Long time no show.

Apart from getting ready to leave Cambridge and become a hobo, I seem to have spent a lot of the past few days squeeing over steampunk. There’s Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age on the one hand, and Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky on the other.

I adore the almost Heath Robinson aesthetic of massive machines patched together from scraps of metal. It makes everything seem functional, compared to the gleaming, polished steel of most futurism.

The thing that bugs me is: where on earth does the ‘punk’ come in. Cyberpunk as a genre stripped out all of the politics and most of the rebellion, but there was at least a glimmer of connection between the cyber and the punk. But what politics there is in steampunk is a hearkening-back to empire, occasionally scattered with a bit of affection for the people being destroyed by it. Steampunk made with real punk: there’s something I’d enjoy reading.

Look for me in the whirlwind

This is one of the best justifications I’ve seen for naming a blog. I love posts like this, picking apart the history of a phrase you’d otherwise barely notice – from rap back to the Black Panthers and then to black activist Marcus Garvey

Tantric Masons

I had been planning to spend this weekend at the Climate Camp in the hope that through surrounding myself with idealistic political hippie types, at least a bit of it would rub off on me. elise, feanelwa, rachelfmb, innocent_irony: this is the thing Josh has spent most of the past year planning for, and part of the attraction was seeing him in his element, surrounded by the Real Friends he’s been spending all his time with.

Dan finally realises that Tantric cults were Kashmiri Freemasons

Leaving Cambridge

Right. My last day at Jagex will be a week on Friday, and after that I’ll be clearing off…somewhere. I think I’ll be spending at least a couple of weeks travelling, because in the past 2 years I’ve not left England, and now for a brief moment I can move about without worrying about rent and days off work.

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A quick question before I briefly and belatedly head off to WUS:

Why does Leonard Cohen have such a reputation for being gloomy? He’s just about the most inspring, feel-good songwriter I’ve ever come across. What about this, which got (I think) somewhat bizarrely used as a republican campaign song for the first Bush:

But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags

that time cannot decay,

I’m junk but I’m still holding up

this little wild bouquet:

Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Or this, which apart from having become a kind of anthem for my family, almost makes you want to become a Jewish terrorist:

I’m guided by a signal in the heavens

I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin

I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

or this fantastic bit of art-over-religion:

You say I took the name in vain

I don’t even know the name

But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?

There’s a blaze of light

In every word

It doesn’t matter which you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah

And there’s so much more to him, and every verse has something special, and he is So Much Better than anybody else out there.

Now, off to the Kambar to dance to things that are loud and inane….


Still alive. Spent a fun weekend at the

rhythm festival

in Bedford, serving burgers for whotheheckami. The smell of onions will vanish soon, really it will.

The weekend before that was a pleasant friday evening celebrating robert_jones‘ call to the bar, followed by an equally pleasant Saturday wandering around London. There isn’t much that beats waking up in a strange and beautiful building, strolling down to a park, spending the morning and afternoon in museums, then the evening sitting in a Samuel Smith pub in Soho, reading an exceptional book, and being almost totally undisturbed as I sat with a lot of wheat beer. After that I went along to Feeling Gloomy, which was pleasant but not as outstanding as I’d expected, in a fairly grotty venue, and too small to drift anonymously in. Between the weekends was a lot of time spent happily by myself, which is a big improvement over the socialising-to-not-be-alone that I’ve been doing so much of in recent months.

And generally? Life is good, my head is in a remarkably sorted-out state, and things are progressing. LJ is falling by the wayside a little, which is probably a Good Thing. With any luck I’ll be spending a bit more time by myself now; see you in a while.