Puck https://www.briancharlesclark.com A Journal of the Irrepressible Sun, 05 Aug 2007 21:27:33 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.2.1 en The Forest for the Trees https://www.briancharlesclark.com/the-forest-for-the-trees/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/the-forest-for-the-trees/#comments Sun, 05 Aug 2007 21:24:42 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/the-forest-for-the-trees/ frankenforest?Dara Cowell’s piece on Alternet about the genetic engineering of trees, “Frankenforest: GE Trees Threaten Ecosystem Collapse,” concerns me. Not because I’m in favor of genetically engineering plants or animals. To the contrary, I think it’s a bad idea and for all the reasons Cowell states–except, in my case, without the scare-language that permeates the piece.

What bugs me is that this yet another example of wild-eyed, doom-saying liberal anti-science journalism that (not surprisingly, considering it’s anti-science) ignores the science in favor of trying to scare the bejeezus out of us. (more…)

A Change in the Weather https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-change-in-the-weather/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-change-in-the-weather/#comments Sun, 05 Aug 2007 16:45:09 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-change-in-the-weather/ Jeanette Winterson, the British novelist, wonders in the Times of London (and which I found via BroneteBlog):

As the floodwaters rose around me and we sank in a summer of rain, I tried a kind of homeopathic charm; what books could I find on my shelves where floods and rain played a part?

Multiple lightning strikes; image: NOAAWinterson rattles off the usual list of suspects, including the biblical flood story and (weirdly) the movie version of Frankenstein (which movie? and why not the novel?). What’s odd to me is that almost none of the academic eco-criticism types have picked up on climate as at least a viable leit motif for analysis. In my reading of gothic lit, climate and weather are veritable characters. Wouldn’t it be useful (something that is normally very difficult to say about contemporary literary studies) to analyze climate and weather in literature with an eye toward shedding some light on our current crisis, a crisis which, in our inability to do anything concrete about, is surely as much moral and psychological as scientific and economic?

I took a stab at it a couple years ago by presenting a paper at a low-level, regional MLA lit-studies conference. I was met with blank stares, for the most part, perhaps because I eschewed the jargon of the trade as much as possible. Because they could understand all the words I used, the audience may have felt talked down to. Or maybe it’s just a crappy paper. It certainly doesn’t delve deep enough into the implied thesis: that climate is a character or anyway a means of characterizing roles.

In any case, here’s the paper as presented at the conference in 2005. Perhaps it’ll be of some use to an eco-conscious scholar attempting to open the field of climatocriticism. (more…)

Solo Worker https://www.briancharlesclark.com/solo-worker/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/solo-worker/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2007 04:29:42 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/solo-worker/ You have to ask of the solo insect, fly or bee: who do you work for?

insectophobia is killing my country.” (to paraphrase Graham Nash)

I just swatted a fly. A big, fat solo fly. (Need I say black?)

Can you believe something like one-third of the world’s energy out-take goes to ag inputs? Fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, jesus christ water. Most of that is nitrogen (fertilizer), because we kill the plants that fix the nitrogen and feed the insects that thwart the pests that kill the plants we really want to eat or process.

We are food miners and we don’t have enough insects. Damn.

BBC Sells Out to DRM https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bbc-sells-out-to-drm/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bbc-sells-out-to-drm/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2007 00:57:51 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bbc-sells-out-to-drm/ Defective By Design writes:

The BBC should have chosen free and open standards that work well and are available today—software that you can install on every major operating system including Microsoft’s. Free software.

Instead, they have given Microsoft complete control.This deal isn’t about supporting Microsoft Windows users. It’s about excluding everyone who doesn’t use Microsoft Windows. It says that everyone who does not agree to use DRM and proprietary software made by Microsoft cannot view BBC TV programs over the Internet. Read more.

Audio Cooking https://www.briancharlesclark.com/audio-cooking/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/audio-cooking/#comments Mon, 30 Jul 2007 04:05:22 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/audio-cooking/ How to cook a breakbeat in the kitchen.

Mega Beatbox
Uploaded by Zegoat
Clarifying Butter https://www.briancharlesclark.com/clarifying-butter/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/clarifying-butter/#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2007 05:29:45 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/clarifying-butter/ I am a traveler.

I am a man
of the Goddess. I say:
We are entwined.

We seek, each
some others.

Soul makes images:
my soul is a mare;
my librarian is an owl,
catalogs eels of words.
A four-year-old boy
captains my ship.
My bear is warder of dark places.

My wolf
wants into your temple.

My bag of water bones
is subject to the dialogue
of the world. The wind
knows our fates.

A Typewriter Grows in Oz (and plays music) https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-typewriter-grows-in-oz-and-plays-music/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-typewriter-grows-in-oz-and-plays-music/#comments Tue, 24 Jul 2007 05:04:58 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-typewriter-grows-in-oz-and-plays-music/ Andrew Macrae, an Australian writer and artist, wrote to say that although he lives

a long way from the centres of cultural production in the northern hemisphere… maybe there’s something of interest in an antipodean perspective.

Oh my. The man knows how to write a pitch to snare an Irrepressible, no?

Chairman SAndersSo check out his typewriter art (I suspect Photoshop or Illustrator, not an “actual” [or “Real,” as Andrew says below] typewriter, but I could easily be wrong; and don’t get me wrong: I respect and admire mimicry): Acid Head War. The thing that grabs me about Macrae’s pieces is the bridge between the dot matrix and the typewriter. All you can see here is the dot matrix; to get the typewriter detail, you need to visit Acid Head War.

What we’ve got here is the translation of photographs into typewriter art-via an algorithm which offers, I can only imagine, a good deal of user control. (Indeed, I suspect that each character is handpecked, but I’m a Romantic.) I have no idea of how many languages Andrew speaks (other than an obvious fluency with English, that is), but translation–or anyway, the engineer’s strategy of bridging–is clearly a forte. In that regard, check out Ordinary Magic, “the ecstasy of everyday things,” a minimalist WordPress blog in action. (more…)

Bukowski Scholar in Spain Needs Our Help https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bukowski-scholar-in-spain-needs-our-help/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bukowski-scholar-in-spain-needs-our-help/#comments Tue, 24 Jul 2007 01:43:50 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bukowski-scholar-in-spain-needs-our-help/ I just got mail from a fella in Spain name of Abel. He writes that he’s working on a dissertation on the great (if that’s where your boat floats) American writer, Charles Bukowski.

Abel wrote to ask if I, in the persona of Puck et alia, had ever published Buk.

Nay, says I, tho I was once published on a facing page with a poem in a short-lived zine called 10,000 Flies Can’t Be Wrong. Shall I send you a copy of the Bukowski poem? I asked.

Please, replied Abel, and supplied further needs that convince me he’s for real. (There wasn’t any real doubt anyway; who the hell is going to put Puck and Bukowski together and think, What a perfect mind fuck I could play on this guy!?) Here’s part of Abel’s slightly less than colloquial but perfectly rendered reply:

For bibliographical reasons, I would need copies of the Bukowski content as well as copies of the cover and masthead pages. Of course, if you have any spare issue that you can send or sell to me, I would appreciate it. I have to wade through tons of paper to find things here, while mags and books are tidily kept in the bookcase. If that’s not possible, then scan/xeroxes will do.

Actually, most of my books and zines from that era are untidily shoved in boxes hiding under other boxes in the back of a closet, but I get Abel’s point.

Which is, help me out if you can. I’m going to go rooting through old zines and have myself a walk down memory lane, digging for that brief brush with fame when I, your humble blogger, was published not just between the same covers but on the facing page from the bodacious Buk.

So I thought I’d throw the word out to you, the old contributors to my various literary outings, and others: let’s help this guy out. He’s working on a detailed bibliography of Buk’s zine publications, among other things, and that shit is ephemeral as hell. Hard to find, hard to pin down. (Abel said my explanation of my publishing history was “confusing.” Yeah. Well. How many librarians have said that to me? Let me count the leaves.)

Contact Abel (cirereta AT telefonica DOT net) before he graduates, gets a tenure-track job, and has to start writing some serious bullshit.

A Cheney Saturday https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-cheney-saturday/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-cheney-saturday/#comments Sat, 21 Jul 2007 05:13:55 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/a-cheney-saturday/ Butt-probed Bush hands riegns to CheneyDick Cheney is POTUS while George is under anesthesia for a “routine colonoscopy,” say White House reporters.

It’s a chilling thought,” one passerby told AXcess News when asked if they were concerned over Cheney’s short-term rule of the White House.

Girl-gone-wild Cheney says, “Give me my nuclear codes. Give me my everyday fuck you, Corpus Christi be damned. Give me executive power and I will coup like a dove. Give me ’till the bitter end and I will change you forever, America.”

Too late, asshole. Too. Fucken. Late.

Bang https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bang/ https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bang/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2007 07:01:44 +0000 Brian https://www.briancharlesclark.com/bang/ fiction by Brian Charles Clark

“I’m in heaven,” Orkney sings as he and his little black bag bloom through the door. I’d swear he was gesticulating wildly, but no, it’s just his aura flaring.
I’m smacking cornflakes, sitting stoic as a reader in bed.
“Where ya been? Been specten ya.”
Orkney trips another step into the little yellow room. He grins like a refrigerator door swinging open, waves away my question.
“We’re in the news,” he says.
AWOL, base police, truncheons, court marshal, the Group W bench.
“I’m trying not to jump to conclusions here,” I say. I feel like an old felt hat. Too comfortable to have much backbone. I eye Orkney suspiciously.
He hands me his cache, snicks it on. I click the Morning with WNN bookmark automatically.
“Click on obituaries.”
“Scu me?” But I click anyway.
Flip me. There we are. Our names.
“We were killed in the war.” We were killed in the war? Did I miss something? (more…)