Content

Random thoughts, settings, characters, situations, perhaps leading somewhere

New Politics Category: Nothing But Hot Takes

Wednesday 7 November 2018 - Filed under Hot Takes

It’s been long enough since Trump was elected that the panic has subsided and the anger is at the fore. This new category will be pretty much knee-jerk pontifications that are focused on how to deal with and contain the reactionary authoritarianism at loose upon the American Experiment, aided and abetted by mendacious opportunists, Domininist true-believers and a Russian dictator hell-bent on seeing the breakup of the United States as revenge for the breakup of the Soviet Union. There may be some olive leaves and level-headed considerations, but don’t bet on it.

 ::  2018-11-07  ::  Edward Semblance

American Containment

Wednesday 7 November 2018 - Filed under Hot Takes

It’s been two years since Trump heralded the rise of the angry white Christian voter, and the midterms have solidified this particular demographic. The areas of the country that have seen their economies and populations hollowed out since the 1980s, with the dynamic, tolerant and capable individuals making their escape to the cities and coasts, are firmly on-board with a reactionary, Dominionist white Christian philosophy. The remaining tolerant populations, while there, are nowhere near numerous enough to counteract this demographic tendency.

So what to do? Fascist faux-Christian authoritarianism has coupled with Putin’s white-power Russia to keep a hold upon the American heartland. With Russian interference driving the money and media narrative behind this insurrection, I say we take a page from the Cold War playbook. I propose Dominionist Containment. Give the violent Godbotherers the South and Central heartland, and build a true Blue Wall around these sites of infection. Hopefully demographics and death will slowly eat away at these reactionary reservations, and slowly return the country to health.

 ::  2018-11-07  ::  Edward Semblance

Updated Earworm Categories

Saturday 19 December 2015 - Filed under Pontifications

Category Five: Persistent
A previous earworm begins replaying.

Category Four: Immediate
A song heard in the immediate vicinity implants itself directly. May have some delay before implanting.

Category Three: Logical
An established or recent earworm segues into another song that has some logical connection: beat, style, album progression, lyrics, etc.

Category Two: Accidental
An overheard phrase, a suggestive sound, an accidental melody recalls to memory some portion of a song, which then establishes residency.

Category One: Subconscious
A song insinuates itself without prompting, but is typical of one’s usual preferences.

Category Zero: Inexplicable
A song long forgotten, or of an atypical genre, or actually actively hated impinges on one’s consciousness.

Special Category D: Dreamworm
A song from a dream remains in residency into waking life.

Tagged: » »

 ::  2015-12-19  ::  Edward Semblance

Updated: Categories of Earworms

Tuesday 25 August 2015 - Filed under Pontifications

Category Five: Resurgent
A previous earworm re-establishes dominance in the auditory brainspace.

Category Four: Immediate
A song heard in the immediate vicinity implants itself directly. May have some delay before implanting.

Category Three: Logical
An established or recent earworm segues into another song that has some logical connection: beat, style, album progression, lyrics, etc.

Category Two: Accidental
An overheard phrase, a suggestive sound, an accidental melody recalls to memory some portion of a song, which then establishes residency.

Category One: Subconscious
A song insinuates itself without prompting, but is typical of one’s usual preferences.

Category Zero: Inexplicable
A song long forgotten, or of an atypical genre, or actually actively hated impinges on one’s consciousness.

Tagged: » » »

 ::  2015-08-25  ::  Edward Semblance

Dreamscenes: Organic LEDs

Saturday 1 August 2015 - Filed under Dreamscenes

I accidentally cut my heel on something on the floor. I sat down to check how bad it was. There was a flap of loose skin sticking on the side of my foot, so I pulled it off. There was some blood, but what surprised me was the rippling wave of honey-colored light that the skin emitted as I tore it away. It was somehow granular, as if there were many tiny LEDs inside the epidermis glowing in succession. As this was human skin, I realized it was probably an organic enzyme producing light under pressure, like the signal of a firefly.

Tagged: » » » »

 ::  2015-08-01  ::  Edward Semblance

Dreamscenes: Putting My Foot Down

Tuesday 30 June 2015 - Filed under Dreamscenes

I had had enough. It was just too much to deal with. The living room was filthy, and none of my group were comfortable with the situation. I abandoned the niceties, and told Mama June (from the reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo”) straight out that we would not be dressing up like tamales to take part in the religious-themed pageant she was having in the den.

 ::  2015-06-30  ::  Edward Semblance

Categories of Earworms

Saturday 11 April 2015 - Filed under Pontifications

Category Four: Immediate
A song heard in the immediate vicinity implants itself directly. May have some delay before implanting.

Category Three: Logical
An established or recent earworm segues into another song that has some logical connection: beat, style, album progression, lyrics, etc.

Category Two: Accidental
An overheard phrase, a suggestive sound, an accidental melody recalls to memory some portion of a song, which then establishes residency.

Category One: Subconscious
A song insinuates itself without prompting, but is typical of one’s usual preferences.

Category Zero: Inexplicable
A song long forgotten, or of an atypical genre, or actually actively hated impinges on one’s consciousness.

Tagged: » » »

 ::  2015-04-11  ::  Edward Semblance

Squibs: Chatting with a Dragon

Saturday 10 January 2015 - Filed under Squibs

There was a flash and a high-pitched whine; Prestran squinted at the blur above him; it looked like a wisp, but it was much, much larger. It was a brilliant cyan shot through with ripples of bluer color, and it was pretty much invisible against the sky except as a slightly brighter crosswise shape. He put his hand on his shield, but Melira’s touch stopped him.

“Not necessary, strongman,” she said, “This one wants to talk.”

She gestured with her staff, up and to the left, then spun it clockwise between her fingers, allowing the talismans on the tip to describe a slow circle. The creature above hung for a moment, then slowly spiralled down. As it came level with the trees, Prestran could finally see its form. It was a flying thing, but it wasn’t animal. It didn’t have feathers, or fur, or scales; it had static, rippling spikes of the bluer color contrasting with the greener hue of its skin. If it was skin.

It alighted on a boulder in front of Melira, condensing itself into a smaller configuration. It looked like a human-scale fox, except for the thin rippling tendrils of its tail and the multilayer translucent overlappings of its wings. None of these terms actually made sense, watching the thing; these constructs were different, yet similar enough that the mind reached for them as reasonable substitutions. But the folded “wings” zigzagged back on themselves like no bones or flesh could manage, and the tail was not so much a tail as a long curling multiple antenna.

With a sound like wind hissing over fresh snow, it spoke. The sound held nothing for Prestran.

Melira said, “Good morning, travellers. I am curious about you. I wish to converse. I am Zisishirash.” She kept a level gaze on the creature, and continued to spin her staff, slowly and steadily.

Sound came from behind Prestran, making him jump and turn. Kiva was also staring at the dragon, and her lips were moving in an unnatural fashion. What emerged were labored breaths shot through with sibilants and pops. Melira smiled, and said, “Good morning to you, Zisishirash, I am Kira Kivikta. Let us speak a while. I hope you are well.” She glanced back at Kira, said as an aside, “Nice phrasing, but pitch it just a little higher.” Kira nodded, eyes still intent.

The dragon’s head underwent a series of short sideways jerks. The sound that emerged was such like eerie laughter through static that Prestran jumped again. “As well as may be. I have trouble with another human nearby. Maybe you can help,” repeated Melira.

“Yes, we are looking for that human. We would be glad to rid you of that problem.”

“Your dress and attitude told me as much. This human is bothersome. He does not intrude, but his pets do. I would have him gone.”

“That is our business here, to remove him. What pets do you mean?”

“He keeps a number of energals, most small. Those are annoying, but harmless. The larger one is the problem. She has no manners; she encroaches upon me and mine with great frequency. She has not been properly brought up, with others of her kind, and she mocks me and my neighbors. The human will not converse about the issue. Their behavior is rude. My neighbors concur.”

At this, Melira raised her eyebrows and a smile stole over her face. There was laughter in her voice as she translated Kira’s next sentence: “We shall be happy to assist you and your neighbors with this unfortunate problem. However, if we remove the human, your problem may remain.”

“It would be best if she were given an option that would remove her from this area, once the human is gone.”

“We will see what we can do.”

“Thank you human. It is pleasant that we have conversed. I shall alert my neighbors of our conversation.” With that, the dragon unfolded itself, its wings literally snapping themselves through a series of folds and flips, and gracefully mounted the air.

Melira watched it go, letting her staff stop and resting it on the ground. Kira, breath laboring, managed a laugh herself. Melira grinned, and said, “Looks like we have our work cut out for us, strongman.”

Prestran said, “Sounds like Kevestari has a dragon of his own, from what I heard.”

“Yes, yes he has. And a big one.” Melira gestured toward the dwindling spark of Zisishirash, “You heard what he said: she encroaches on all the dragons in the area and is generally an ass about it. She even makes fun of them to their faces. That’s not very nice. Most dragons wouldn’t put up with that kind of behavior.” She shook her head. “If all the neighborhood dragons haven’t ganged up and driven her away yet, that means she’s big. Bigger than all of them put together. And that may be a problem.”

 ::  2015-01-10  ::  Edward Semblance

Dreamscenes: Foreign Keyboard

Saturday 6 December 2014 - Filed under Dreamscenes

I needed to use a computer, but the one I found was obviously a Chinese model, because the keyboard was large, flat, and covered with a myriad of tiny square buttons with Chinese characters on them printed in gold. There were a few that had Roman characters printed in light gray below the Chinese character, but it was really hard to type because the buttons were so small. Fortunately, the designer of the monitor had given some thought to the situation, because I was pleased to find auxiliary buttons on the top edge of the screen that had useful characters like commas, periods and quotes.

 ::  2014-12-06  ::  Edward Semblance

Dreamscenes: Gully Oxygen

Saturday 6 December 2014 - Filed under Dreamscenes

I was wandering through a hallway when I came upon an interesting poster that had all sorts of graphs and charts on it. Two of the main ones were layered bar graphs in a grayscale scheme that purported to lay out the various economic activities of the State of Massachusetts. One of the sections, relatively large, was a light gray bar with the legend “Gully Oxygen” in Avenir Black. I was surprised to see it so significant because I didn’t think that Massachusetts had all that may gullies to begin with. But it was good to see that so much oxygen was being produced in marginal-use land areas.

Tagged: » » »

 ::  2014-12-06  ::  Edward Semblance