Tagged book

The Inapplicable Ballardianism Of Simon Sellars

RND/ To consider a poetic critique / remix of sections from obsolete, eye-rollingly turgid auto-fictive pseudo-biography “Applied Ballardianism: Memoir from a Parallel Universe” by Simon Sellars.

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Simon Sellars Applied Balalrdianism: Book Cover Remix

The characters are finding.. that the so-called Real World isn’t convincing anymore.
– J.G Ballard interview, BBC Profile 2003

// entertaining and informative only in parts

i. some intriguing research idea
for precisely how not to analyse or approach ballardianism
this project never concludes and instead
becomes part of highly doubtful content
dead body of irrelevant facts not previously in public domains
painfully sketchy shoehorning of ballardian narrative similitude at every opportunity
to find oneself claming b.s at end of many paragraphs
failed attempt to relay period of life by identifying massively
with various characters in his stories – with ballard himself
cosplaying with characters not normally taken up by cosplayers
yet many of events feel reinvented to align with ballardian scenarios
occurring at times in life nothing remotely ballardian was happening
standing around with faces like drained swimming pools

ironically this aligns with ballard’s own writing
mythologizing life into weird wild array of semi-fictitious autobiography
the representation of large sections of mundane conference papers
framed in unfortunate narratives that present these as minor works
of idiosyncratic academically challenged imposters
somehow undertaking intense ballardian activity
yet as phd student nothing could be more normal than for authors
to present such papers at various conferences
but aggressive responses to projected self-doubt feels quite sad
peppering of various cultural theorists – virilio baudrillard et al
feels at odds with private critiques of boring intellectuals

ii. yet why name drop such academic references if they’re unimportant
large sections consist of basic synopses of ballard’s novels and stories
which offer little interpretative insight
space alien sightings and underlying macho violence are worst aspects
along with vivid description of second life as though it’s real
supposedly violence and blurring of reality is meant to tie in with ballard’s writing
but it feels like punch-ups muggings running from bike gangs hitting people
are really just embarrassing non events
that would only happen to aggressive idiots /
consider such books ones nobody asked for
and yet they got even slightly less

// fleeing excesses

in which young cyberculture researchers set out
to systematically analyse
obsessively reiterated themes of obscure internet theorists
disorienting near futures now prophesized
fragmentary narratives/ disturbingly psychotropic as dark magus miles davis
where car crash prophets speed mutate
into surgeons of pathological virtualities

slick surfaces of contemporary reality throb and pulse
existential odysseys/ inextricably weaved lived virtual experience
as theoretical insights warp into startling autobiographical hyper fiction surveys
dissected worlds hooked up live into global technological delirium
hot bright worlds now unmistakably postmodern

// psychic wombat

to trace decline – bittersweet benefits of survival
exact moments located in theater of unwellness
high school dropouts pinball between dead end jobs
once bright students/ squandered ambition
fuses melting under excessive voltage
turn inwards but nothing holds stare of deep voids
sight of self lost within interminable fever dream

to awake inside anomalous worlds with something oddly familiar
cloned versions threatening erasure
no choice but to spark internal war mission – take out clones
in which to fight means exposure to interdimensional time
unable to distinguish between failed futures
wrong questions asked – unskilled in psychic combat
wrong doors open/ dark matter burns within

// artificial weapons

i. zenith of cyberculture as incandescent moment
embryonic internets go nova
wild untamed frontier zone occupied by hackers
digital somali pirates/ hot data surgeons for hire
cadres of romanticised undesirables shining forth
from glossy cyberphile magazines

stories emerge in terminally unhip lands
as tv personalities make fools of themselves
asking about data tubes live on air
struggling to pronounce at symbols
such fearless cybertroopers storm gilded gates of tomorrow
clueless rubes snowblind from self generated nonlinear pixel blizzards
nets hyped as radical human evolution

thundering cyberprophet consciousness uploads to mainframes
booster rocket bodies ditch as dead meat weight
cyber modification fads display contempt for physical limitations
swept up in augment fervor noses spontaneously pierce in three places
tongues split in two/ yet instead of ascension to enlightened state
each receives sinus infection / speech impediment lasting for weeks
californian cyber hippy culture gaggles peddle digital utopia snake oil
nets as new home of mind – dull rhetoric forged
from pink male privilege/ sure feels cold

ii. danger excitement diversity discontent bond
to pseudo nihilistic cyberpunk science fiction
communes transplant from virtual desert online
stark correctives to cyber utopianism needed
in cyberpunk virtual reality displaces new normal
alien loners log on via neural interface
minds conjoined – bodies lifeless slack
nervous systems soon collapse / minds warp – living death occurs

one slick worldview those with high social capital buy into easily
to consider cyberpunk as accurate summation of era
startling research exposes sickness of culture
in wake of cyber prophet based global news simulation
provocative reports release on information overload

where even staunchest adherents feel unnerved
sum total of available information doubling
in ever shorter amounts of time
data tsunami swamps uncontrollable mind stream
new overlapping technology flux
faxes mobile phones modems internet conferencing
exponential human cost of assimilating / processing material
information fatigue syndrome – atrophied attention spans

minds shut down – bodies deplete
symptoms include hyper aroused psychological condition
paralysis of analytical capacity – faux anxiety – lack of self doubt
increased capacity for bad decisions based on flawed conclusions
appointments made with doctor to complain about malaise
yet practitioners regard such patients with barely concealed contempt
ir condition shrouded in pseudo intellectual babble
recent media reports quoted in pathetic attempt
to make situation appear more or less significant
than torpor of degenerate data slackers sitting opposite

iii. such info fatigue syndrome somehow heroically avoidable consequence
of willingly service in ongoing digital war
sustained immersion within new cyber dawn
wraparound virtual reality technology
where so called cyber warriors speak of minds going
doctors rise wearily from hard wooden seats
slouch over to medicine cabinet – sets of golden blades on desk
alien scalpels laid out – such medical scenes nervous / paranoid

rising panic induced/ mystifying geometry alarms
designer weapons of advanced analytical dissection
conceptual cardboard boxes opened
high quality electronic consumer merchandise ideology sealed within
to return from such sessions with unmarked boxes of pills
instructions included/ details fail however to register distraction
attractive middle aged nurses stand nearby
to observe such medical interaction – feel stirring deep in loins
completely present in some recondite way
moods mauve in colour/ engraved with crude outlines of sick doves

// still dead world

i. in which pills generate monstrous side effects
after ingestion fail to remember thoughts had moments before
sometimes lose contact with seemingly critical childhood memories
or even names / ages/ swathes of brain wiped
such mindspace freefall accompanied
by chaotic spatial disorientation

walls fall away to inky voids
floors vanish into bottomless chasms
in precious moments between such apocalyptic hallucinations
manage to hold down part time job in warehouse on outskirts of town
wholesale distributor supplying underground urban architecture magazines
to nationwide newsagent chains
heat seal ballpoint pens into plastic blister packs
rear of building storeroom for remaindered stock

something weird to read scavenged during tea break
cache of soft architecture porn periodicals draws eyes to seductive covers
face flushed by lurid red filter sporting plastic horns
cameras wink back as multiple tongues extend from saucy grins
other attractions advertised by progressively smaller fonts
interview with some legendary gonzo sci fi public toilet writer
tantalizing heading screams ufo

vivid mishmash of faded hero with current fads
waiting viperous among back pages
content scan for essential field guide to coiled interview with future cult author
science fiction on elliptical orbit
far distant from planets asimov heinlein clarke
devour sci fi but never let it read in return – already too far underground
known only through blurbs tucked away in endpapers of less esoteric novels
simple souls keen on doc smiths lensmen series – sappiest of boys own space operas

yet what to make of works described by shell shocked
chill splinters of unreality – source of bleak new live / evil
clearly for crowds such coders not major draw
peripheral figure from youthful forays into science fiction
information tech mixes with bleeding edge cast of wannabes
heavy metal christian sloane rebels – nocturnal vampettes
yet now more punk than any – interview incendiary showcase for deadly ability
to pinpoint moment when technology strafes uncanny valley

ii. predicted forms social media assumes
as it reinvents itself twenty minutes into future
psychological fallout from heavy use included
deregulation of airwaves leads to deregulation of imagination
people now screen themselves – bad midnight cable access tv holo programs
television reframed as cyborg extension of cultural coders mind space
tv tube flagging piece of nervous tissue
ever bigger charges needed to get necessary eye kicks
themes of suburban breakdown define rnd
big strain to maintain fabric of absolute normality
requiring powerful repressive dark unseen biopsychic forces
perverse suburbs animate/ fascinate via existential stasis
dystopic interior world space where everyone acts violently sane

deviance factored directly out of architecture
bleached landscapes siphoned off from ever odder behavior
terms / conditions of suburbia – empty time/ no past or future
only enervation – eternal presents
where little changes but constant change
soul desert memories of fictional overlays
consumer futures always just out of reach
futures as deathly boring – psychic suburbanisation of planetary soul
radical counterpoint mutant strain identified – possible resistance node
tedium of suburbs forcing imagination into new arenas

deviant acts each morning
merely to make certain of freedom
nothing so dramatic as say torching local blumquist video store
or beating up men of business
although do just that in later works
kicking your boss does for now
accompanying interview monochrome photo portrait
enhances casual brutality of synthetic truths
large gritty photo/ grain scuffs surround pages
black shirt worn while gazing off camera
left eye framed with thumb forefinger
cheek pulled down to reveal wide opaque pupil
struck by visual cryptograms/ crack code

iii. what exactly x signals as never known
until years later when reading local newspaper
answers surfacing from random connections
announcing presence with alien electricity
unpredictable spark jags from tesla coil
exact same signal/ arcane intimation
fictional experiments aiming for identical results
to awaken by any means possible

complacent suburbanites stiff from dreamlike existence
insight not revealed until near future
when events take full course
in thrall to dark strange unseen forces just beyond reason
magazine interviews re read for now
open eye stares inadvertently setting wheels in motion
signal of overpowering broadcast feed
brain colonized airwave pirate
prime time television splices into pornographic immateriality

// end of shift

commence long walk home from warehouse – weather hot / dusty
deadly rays from high sun reflect off
vicious concrete expanses passing for public space
intense glares blot out all life in atomic flash colors
half expected shadows sear bleak pavement
unpeopled industrial areas power substations hiss
cavernous breaker yards
back street negotiation – infestation of dun colored brick factories
each small/ foreboding – iron bar windows
private dens rented out to high bidders

slaughtered chicken on road spattered with bloody innards
arranged inscrutable symbols
three discarded battered carriages on nature strip nearby
modern day mysteries ponder
lace suspended sneakers over suburban power lines
front door open/ fuses blown – power off
hallway pitch black darkness hemmed in
coordinates of contemporary madness
still suffering spatial hallucination from pills

eye probes/ minds beckon mirror world
thresholds crossed with senses reeling
breadcrumbs followed – risk it all/ kicked dogs
notorious novels read for days
consuming dangerous literature as liberating act
works so depraved/ author myth beyond psychiatric help

// technolust

i. in which crashes change lives torching everything before
reversed negativity – channeling i.t into something radical
sensuous narrator of seditious work
rough copy of flawed clone infiltrates group
of urban professionals bored with jobs
marriages bored with themselves
allegiance pledged to hoodlum scientist nurturing dark desires
promises to recalibrate android lives in nightmare marriage of sex / technology
master plan to induce global autogeddon – primitive uniting singularity
machines in terminal congress of loins / engine coolant

tune in to police radio as damaged crew vultures descend upon car accidents
stage own atmosphere of trauma perfume inhilation
scars of numerous accidents born – crash wounds entered
pleasuring yourself watching crash test dummies pulverize to oblivion
as they admit crash induced pain into flesh – hybrid lifeform burst cocoons
strange bodies indelibly altered – resultant scars conduits to newness
more intense sexuality crash logic accelerated
intimate reshaping of human form – no return insight revealed when lsd taken

drive across motorway systems defining ey world
as acid trip peaks hallucination becomes one with machine bones
arms form solid coupling with shift of steering column
vibrations from gears shoot down legs – spine lying in transmission tunnel
cyborg metaphors warning against outsourcing of bodily functions to technology
turned on nonetheless – cyber fetishists remain at heart

ii. despite injurious prior flirtation with body modification
obsessional disabilities clad in leg braces
physical frames reconfigured by willing participation in numerous crashes
unique contours of scarred hands proudly display
deformed knees radiating humid fetishistic charge
jagged prose isolated body parts placed in geometric conjunctions with leather
cool car seats – disability enhanced steering wheels
chromium trim of vehicle movements form cryptogram of prosthetics flesh metal
boundaries between human machines obliterated

naturally such wounds worshiped via hypnotic obsession
ineluctable moment when couples fulfill pulpy techno lust
leg irons stroked as if admiring new car finish
entering / irrigating crash borne thigh scar
such trashy gleaming portmanteau world reflects soul back
small intense following of few psychopathic amputees
send more porno photos to warp minds
attracted to images and strange media senses
once considered repugnant

desperate to break free of inexplicable stupor succumbing to crash spell
machinic curves beguile – merge with ongoing fantasy of middle aged nurse
shimmering chromium callipers offset by blinding uniform white
minds cleave mind in two to never recover
automated response to spiritual affliction sickness etc

// war signs

i. one night drives under influence of pills
hoping altered reality replicates lsd crash insights
some rapturous vision of technological union – crippling loss of self
mass produced pharmaceuticals useless
only artisanal synthesised high of narration marries with machine
pull over to slip road convinced mobility means doom
see self driving off overpass in moment of heightened panic
bursting into flames below – hallucinating phantom trucks
surging headlong forcing to swerve onto oncoming lane

signs scarred with index of trauma through shatterproof glass of windscreen
desperate to decode numerical mystery
why had stars aligned so catastrophically in 91
what would tally instill such heavy dread
blighting one of worlds largest exurban conglomerates
machine calibrated for vehicles to move rapidly across long distances
from young age forced to bathe in metallic glow
developing subliminal awareness of status symbols
hidden meanings embedded in car culture

children once lived in suburbs in foothills of misty ranges
area crosshatched by endless freeways perpetually crawling
heavy duty industrial road trains – military grade enforcement vehicles
juiced up high speed muscle cars
service roads scarred landscape lined with tire outlets truck mechanics

ii. car showroom stench of petrol
industrial perfume of rubber coated air
there pub wedged into intersection between two major freeways
isolated as remote pacific islands
beer flows like water yet no footpaths lead to pub
quickest way to die by car drunk at wheel
on surrounding roads no pedestrian refuge islands exist
nowhere for walkers gain respite
walking unheard of since nobody walks in outer suburbia
not in environment designed to wipe people from earth’s dusty face

staring at sign feel chill sense of cosmic entrapment
as if parking in remote slip road many years ago draws body closer to location
until finally inhabiting prediction
realization once again adrift in mental space
last straw for battered psyche
steeled self for return of terrifying hallucinations defeated
by medical error pulsing relentlessly through bloodstream
nonetheless knowing one must wait it out
to let horror wash over in whatever form i.t might take
no matter risk to sanity as to feel cleansed/ emerged whole on other side
yet passing signs continue to interrogate midnight highway oversoul

// impotent roadkill

i. growing up subjected to endless stream of public safety announcements
made by transport accident commission
horrific productions warned of nightmares on roads – scenes of carnage
ashamed to discover primal jolt thrilling to bone
staged cautionary accidents with machine gun editing speed – cranked action
hyperfluid camerawork all trademarks of mad max which fourteen years earlier
reinvented cinematic car crashes
films tortured anti hero max rockatansky
burnt out speed addicted cop in decaying pre apocalyptic society
hotted up cars sanction murderous impulses of dehumanised psychos behind wheel
seductive split second cyborg rhythm of high octane driving
real intent to manipulate viewer to climax with state sanctioned illicit thrills
no other conclusion triggered at point of impact

precise moment supposed to solemnly condemn terror of roads
to feel fullest revulsion at casual violence underpinning lives implicated
in total horror of road crash seducing with undeniable pleasures of speed
to embraces total aesthetic experience of film crash
they are two versions of reality separated by ideology
doubtless transport accident commission films designed to evoke
psyche mimicking stylistic tropes drawing upon cultural resonance
storied symbol of predilection for vehicular carnage placed within
shocking naturalistic context of crash sutures / dueling ideologies
embedded concept of inner space
alternative mindscape generated when characters react
against totalising systems of control so dream reality fused
each retaining its own distinctive quality

ii. yet in some way assuming role of its opposite
paradox framed in simplest terms – by undeniable logic
inner space engine of ambivalence powers crash
since for all novels radical sexuality side effects are queasy
disturbing revealing flipside of subversive dream logic
one particular sequence riven with existential dread
forced to plot uneasy childhood
with its normalized backdrop of violence
mapping onto strange new coordinates

// bludgeoned by billboards

i. television films of imaginary accidents
british equivalent of tacky ads bequeathing
vague sense of unease gruesome climax
of life being rehearsed years in advance
he even has premonition of how he’ll die
filmed unwittingly for televised psychodramas on some secret road
its location known only by filmmakers

one day he crashes into another car on motorway – admits fate
after being bombarded endlessly by road safety propaganda
almost reliving to find self in actual accident
although dimly aware rendezvous symptom
of inexorable logic drives this program of posthumanism
night understood only that sunlight had now become black
under watch of ominous sign slip road where he’d parked
mysterious roads upon which ballard would meet doom

marked for death simply by having viewed ads
thrilling guiltily to superbly crafted max aesthetic
attraction to technique absorbing into hyper simulated world
with no escape from vectors of speed or trauma

ii. for historians apocalyptic violence of mad max recalls moment
whens roads were truly killing fields
signs with confronting statistics begging return to form
killing fields now re opened for business
questions mark bolded in blood
to drive towards death – coercing us to beat previous records
as if powerless to halt carnage

during global oil crisis of mid 70s
read in paper about frustrated motorists turned feral at petrol station
attacking each other for last drops of fuel
later working as doctor treat numerous road accident victims
struck by nightmarish intensity
frequency of crashes
events interconnected as if city driven by malevolent forces

make funny noises
but few really understand whats happening
hurled through windscreens striking bonnets
in frozen moments people die
patterns forming on victims hands
puffed up into huge blood blister
signature of radiator emblem
stark incident underscores key insight of global acid trip
incomplete bodies fractured by demands of capitalism
bound together by signs – symbols of banal technology
disordered minds aligned with ciphers of auto death
received personal epiphany

iii. immutable natural law inextricably linked with one’s own pathetic death
drive with reason – prescribed accursed pills
mighty temporal shift outline of physical body syncing
out of phase with soul ontological layers rubbing together
moving apart again like tectonic plates
hands under dull luminescent glow of cars dashboard display
purplish hue as if photosynthesised electric light through skin
sit there for hours minutes or seconds
basking in purple light until car battery drained
dashboard glow no more
unable to recognize notion of self

// unfamiliar planet

i. something snapped inside night
glimpsing operating system propping up reality
crash exposed shape shifting narratives in media advertising
politics where every version of reality has negative image
shadow reality all part of synchronous system
keeps endlessly consuming new promises new lifestyles
new identities new tomorrows
endlessly consuming ourselves

what could be more normalized than metal skin
donned every time one enters cars
what could be more pathetic than road ragers
indulging in reckless pursuit of other vehicles
after being held up for few seconds on public tarmac
within inconsequence lurks death as philosopher paul virilio admits

ii. as ships were invented shipwrecks seemed to invent themselves
as planes manifested people invented skyscraper crashes
electricity also invented electrocution
concerned with such logic of accidents
now deploy mechanisms of ambivalence
to record visions of humanity simultaneously enthralled/
destroyed by technological environments
crashes simply fascinate without fascination
imply no value judgment however
except perhaps naked naturally subscribed to miracles

// driven by fanaticism

to never have enrolled as mature age humanities student
among less prestigious institutes of higher education
hoping insights allow making sense of ostensible subject matter
interlocking grid of capitalism consumerism social control
cover idols warped by pixelated green purple wash
badly rendered characters in low rent video games
appropriate metaphor for cyberpunk fate
virus accelerated by researcher johnny mnemonic
scripted by apparently iconic cyberpunk writer
lazy cinematic hack job turkey results
production gorged on tacky cyber special effects
resulting in messy overdriven incoherent narrative
fast paced explosion riddled ride through silicon valley
sum total little more than big dumb video clip
ripe for instantly forgettable consumption
by mtv primed target audience
margarine substitute available
to even most clueless of popcult magpies

in contrast to rapid obsolescence
valorised work as surpassing of science fiction
mutated form able to avoid absorption by media landscape
actively satirising generic baggage
crashes forensically examine fascination
sexualised violence as entertainment
wraparound ubiquity of car culture as extreme metaphor
to rub human face in its own vomit
then force it to look in dull mirror
crashes as no science fiction but worlds/ worlds

Example Reference Links


// how to play big science

How To Play Big Science

RND/ In which the following summarizes “How To Play Big Science – a forthcoming conceptual European novel of postmodern fragments via freelance internet theorist Robert What”

How To Play Big Science

Skint, unemployable and terminally bored – consider a backwater island UK citizen with few Real™ prospects, forced into roleplaying “Robert What” – self styled Amateur Postmodern ‘Internet Theorist-For-Hire’ and Non (/Bad) Artist – busy procrastinating in Research and Development of absurdist, imaginary play state “Big Science

This informal alternative lifestyle sandbox, toolbox / social practice features superficial sci fi mythos – based on contentless, open fan source field study vaporware fragments – impressionistic ‘visual language’ code compiled with or via imagination

Consider such scenes / scenarios / simulations / interventions / ruptures / intellectual catalysts – synthetic setups / virtual events / nonlinear actions / occurrences – forming temporary / highly improvisational research performances / advanced scientific visualizations

Example In-Scene Use

Y: Hi – what you doing?
X: Oh, you know – “Big Science”
Y: *blinks once* OK, how do you play?
X: Good question, lets find out!

Both ambivalent engine and enquiry mode – Big Science now partially manifests in this dimension as new age social media cult / free to play eSport set in ‘Near Future Now’ of global turbo Capitalist videogame spectacle; giddy, hyperreal age of rogue precedents and kaleidoscopic, atemporal expression – emergent planetary scale meta-computation shockwave tapping the ‘very dark’ energy fabrics of spacetime Beyond

Unaffiliated fellow player Robert What has spent decades sitting alone in cold rented laboratories diving through terabytes of digital zombie pop trash as immaterial for vague ‘RND Projects’ – and now shares predictably oddball findings and mundane observations online

Hire Robert What Today

If you’ve a unique RND project which might benefit from outside amateur consultation, freelance speculative ideas brainstormer Robert What brings keen non-rational / experimental philosophical investigation / deep left field perspective to reveal and expand existing andor hidden meaning / potential artistry

Rob’s skills include an ability to undertake daring cognitive leaps across ontological voids between notions and perceptions; such extensive tests / imprecise deployed notions involve indeterminate strategies – unpredictable ongoing developments and impossible events to deconstruct / ponder radically alternative improbable outcomes – to provide insight into emergent ‘in-scene’ play

To discuss such bleeding edge ‘theory-fiction’, chat about cool project collaboration andor consultation, simply email Robert – expect three working days for replies; politeness and intellect always welcome and reciprocated

Terms and Conditions

For purposes of philosophical critique, artistic parody / socio-political satire, public education and historical archiving – such “Big Science” enacts under conditions of contemporary financial duress; it releases andor escapes to what Brian Eno terms the ‘Scenius’ – via No License / No Copyright / Maximum RND – Kopimi!

B.S Disclaimer:: in order to bypass regular neural [cultural / market] interference/ this advanced thought experiment transmits to you now, direct from Near Future Retro 80s “Big Scientist RND Zaibatsu” Shadow Hyper Corporation lab space via Quantum Psychic Blockchain; such RND seems provided seemingly as-is/ raw or burnt – as such often contains or actively expresses technical inaccuracies/ errors typographical / otherwise wildly out-of-date information/ nebulous / spurious notions – often necessarily pretend-tious; all text in lowercase to engage with notions of authorship / linearity; updated in-scene without notice at any time its use seems risky – in no pseudo event shall fellow researcher Robert What or affiliates be liable for special / indirect / incidental or consequential damages andor unexpected existential excitement resulting from or related to use theoretical or otherwise – of / exposure to hot research data / general absurdist social play-practice of “Big Science”

// how to play big science

Postmodern Ladybird Books Remix

RND/ To imagine a remix of “Boys And Girls” by Ladybird Books:

While exceedingly de rigueur nowadays – and there are some truly eye-rollingly dreadful mainstream Ladybird remixes available in any Waterstones nowadays, whose lead footed obviousness in conception and design feels utterly depressing – mixing up weird and wonderful books of one’s impossibly naive (/imagined white middle class)  childhood can still occasionally throw an interesting existential curve ball.

Presenting “Boyz N Girlz” by ‘Ladybirdd’ books, featuring mild instant spray-on ghetto flava; go Peter – go Jane!

Ah, old Ladybird Books – for clean happy obedient citizens only – fascinating historical artifacts clearly illuminating upper middle class bourgeois culture in some permanently forever green and disturbingly pleasant England circa immediate post WWII.

Such illustrations showcase the exact type of soul crushing inner blandscape predicted by writer-visionary J.G Ballard [1]

The future is just going to be a vast conforming suburb of the soul
– Interview, 30th October 1982 in RE/Search No. 8

Ladybird key word reading books are some holy place in the elite stifled imagination where Mummy, Daddy, Peter and Jane live in a carefree countryside far away from all vulgar noise of Johnny Foreigner and their funny ideas – where everyone knows their little D0g-given role in English(TM) life by heart, and it all plays out with ruthlessly charming and terrifyingly bland efficiency.

UK based artist Miriam Elia [2] has historically faced unthinking blanket censorship from neckless bean counters at Penguin Books for releasing a ‘frightfully jolly’ postmodern satire of one of ir impossibly ancient titles – ironic indeed, considering such images were (historically-culturally) tantamount to shameless propaganda for a white (washed) Western world of fake innocence, plastic living and unquestioned misogyny.

As a small measure of artistic solidarity and to try one’s hand at a spot of spiffing digital montage, freelance amateur postmodern internet theorist Robert What presents another such parody in slices of perfectly English delight.

Example Reference Links

  1. J.G. Ballard themed Conceptual R&D
  2. http://miriamelia.co.uk/

// how to play big science

Concept Covers

RND/ To consider some conceptual concept album covers:

Cockney Voodoo Beaver album: User’s Latest Favorite Colors

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– Another hot theoretical banger from ‘ambient death jazz metal’ supergroup that brought you classics like “Biofreak Removal Operative” (Orloff Records, 1989.)

Track List Side A

– Sweet Electric Boogaloo Blue/ 4:50
– Terminal Sunset In Day West Red/ 3:20
– My Hot Super Chrome Starlove/ 18hrs 55
– Umm Urrrg (Tasty Zombie Plastic Green)/ 2:01

Track List Side B

– Turns Out Orloff Was Right About Lemons 5:50
– Hey It’s Me (Billy No Mates)/ 1:02
– And No 4th Wall Neither/ 6:00
– North South East West Gates (Fighting Fantasy)/ 13:47
– Bonus Track: Feelin’ Kinda Dislocated On This Bright, Hard Edge Of Postmodern Media Phantasy/ 2hrs 20

Evening Star Fripp & Eno

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An alternative album cover take – faces like distant memory islands with the texture a cross between thick quality paper and new pressed Levis jeans.

Sleater Kinney – The Hot Rock

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Not heard this album yet, though consider envisioning this cover as a faded indie classic.

Smashwords Covers

To consider how Smashwords e book covers rule.

Cheat your landlord if you can must but do not try to shortchange the muse
It cannot be done
You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal
– William Seward Burroughs

In which it seems a large percentage of ebook covers teleport in from another slushy dimension – where modern languages of design and aesthetic judgement are bypassed along with a distinct lack of readable typefaces as the norm; consider Smashwords that dimension.

Travel with me now as you research a tasty sampling of of best only Smashwords can only offer – where ephemeral banality, acute irony, angst ridden kitsch and deliberate self parody along with billiously strong colors and other hyperreal aesthetic distortions seem to undermine the functional symbolic value of such objects, questioning concepts of taste, good design and common sense under regular supervised medication.

Such book covers give strange new impetus to the phrase “If the covers are anything to go by, imagine what the writing inside must be like.”

Cover Notes

– These Smashwords covers seems to be channeling the Stepford Wives.

– One also wonders if title indicates both of these people no longer soil carpet.

Sample: Julia was no longer convinced of her own faithfulness, due to fact her trousers were regularly missing from the washing line ever other Thursday; other than that she was still busy coping over the recent death of Beufort, her prized psychic bulldog.

– It’s unknown if unfortunately angelic Sarah is staring up in fright at the couple she’s unable to join in shadow – or up at the scary Ferris Wheel of unrequited love.

Sample: Sarah’s cute button nose was a regular item of commentary among the fast rising starlets of New Montagnal High’s inner social circle/ it was set however in a face where the inner shine of a troubled soul shone through with an oblique gold tint, paradoxically casting its melancholy shadow on every party Sarah frequented in her angry overcast semester.

– The awesomely photoshopped head seems to contrast well with the dirty blue bubble font set at  a jaunty angle.

Sample: Intense mucosal explosions suddenly rocked the entire school to its foundations as minxy Emily in her new sky blue winter sports jacket giggled with jagged sexual luminosity – snowy daydreams of luxurious revenge on her team mates forever rapidly expanding in ancient untold skies above her hometown now forgotten in a hard chemical rush for liquid revenge.

– Other than a straight to VHS Fulci flick, the only place this poses a greater immediate threat is to one’s eyeballs as a terrific beast.

Sample: Justin clasped the monster by its fleshy lapels and threw it over his muscular shoulder with the force of a man who watches late night open access cable judo; with a strange fiery yelp the creature crashed through several cubicles into a watercooler where, due to effects of the water Justin had blessed that very morning it underwent a terrible transformation into local network manager Graham, known as ‘flesh trifle’ to his numerous secret office enemies.

– Having said that, however one obviously did not have to contend with the burning sun of this modern classic; one wonders what strange literary thoughts must have been provoked to produce it.

Sample: Let sunlight be your guide – let the rocks tell your story – everything in this land is a perfect symbol of peace and loving guidance but you must allow such a sentient message of holistic wonderment into your heart – turn off the television, eat the apple of contentment waiting in your soul – just don’t forget to plant any seeds you find in the core for these are are future selves as yet unborn and ready to sprout.

– Now this cover should be on a Hawaiian style t-shirt worn by employees of a company where they have ‘enforced fun Fridays’ – dig the ‘playful’ (deadpan) way Mr. Tiger pokes ir head through.

Sample: Monkey speak through teacher – teacher speak through wine – wine not speak but poor – rain on table, mist in bloody desert air – monkey teacher drink poor wine from rainy table – calculate oddities of fate but never speak of tiger of destiny without first raising single finger to test air for shifting winds of unexpected joy.

– Standing before a cardboard cut out city of her troubled birth, Susan feels as confused as anyone else.

Sample: Clasping her designer handbag to an ample chest, Susan waited for a cab to the meeting she now sensed would never arrive at; where was her life heading if not rapidly down the nearest executive toilet, her head bumping against the continually lowered glass ceiling of a male dominated industry. Sarah sighed carefully, and took out a single tiny white pill from a delicately made medicine box in the side pocket of her purse – it was already dissolving into her pores as she slowly ground it between thumb and finger. Sarah immediately felt alive, conceptually renewed and just horny enough to care.

– Any book cover where it’s possible to visually interpret the giant carp as saying the name of author should be commended – for precisely what however is the tricky part.

Sample: Bloop bloop went the fish – why am I here said the mighty fish hunter.

– This cover seems precisely the kind of intense fever dream someone young with measles might conjure up.

Sample: Dallius let cool, grey sand slip pleasantly between his oversized toes while the light played off the surface of colorless water. “Time for another hot existential doodle”, thought Dallius.

– This particular cover should win an award for most unrestrained use of Tartan in the knowable universe.

Sample: In some strange sense, Julia really was a private investigator – right up to the point the man under question filed a restraining order against her. No private investigative roleplaying with 500 meters of this alleged imaginary suspect read the court order. Julia frowned and carefully considered ir next case.

– When words fail, a heteronormative kiss taken over a pastel scene of pure phallic flight-fantasy often suffices.

Sample: Haemorrhoids, thought Trevor.

– Armed with what look like ten breasts and a face slightly too small for the head, any reader would fear the pealing of this particular bell.

Sample: Copy the sixth – summit meeting of elite bodybuilders – eight quadrant over ninth plus eighty – four circles – weave eighty call fourth copy – damned if I know where the manuscript lies.

– The 70s called with an offer; awesome how the milkshake looks sentient and ready to attack – a horror story perhaps.

Sample: It was no laughing matter thought Duke Gombrata, as he indelicately slid one of his many remotely controlled mating organs into what was left of the storm cloud pudding. A great crackling could be heard, echoing throughout castle; many of guests were damp with anticipation.

– If there was ever a book cover suggesting a marriage on the borderline of terminal decline.

Sample: Marianne hated Peter so much, she threw away her first edition copy of Ulysses into the harbor where they had once departed for their honeymoon, a thousand billion bloody hollow moons ago it seemed.

– In an impossibly distant, immediate near future, who will come across covers like these – what will they make of them? What pathetic little backwater planet of empty gestures and endless useless details will they imagine once existed where now there’s only airless, utterly desiccated salty death.

Sample: Chapter One – in which old Tom Fisherman at Omega Point lapses back into private reverie, where he is the unsoiled potato king, or something.

– Highlights: the suspect gaze at the young woman, her lipstick smear, the use of lens flare – horses; one wonders what other untold promises such epic trilogy might hold.

Sample: Captain Robinson liked his women physically strong, mentally feeble and perfectly armed with his favorite brand of space pistol – a Crakos Mark 14 slung low on one cheeky hip. He looked out the port window and sighed, dreaming idly of better days. The captain’s mind was like brilliant metallic space sponge able, to absorb any information about impending attack by dimensional ninjas sent by his intensely fashionable arch enemy Doctor Caslon.

– Ten (unidentifiable) marks out of ten.

Sample: Eat it, mutant street scum – shakaloumabanjo!

– This particular book cover seems legit; one might even want to be seen reading it in public with slip on shoes and a popped collar; this sort of book is often found in Maseratis in Beverly Hills – know what I mean?

Sample: Open your life to the affirmative possibility enhanced by neuro-cognitive science and let sunlight be your guide; let the audience tell your story – everything you own is a perfect symbol of peace and loving guidance. Further unlockable life lessons available online now for new, low price.

Peter Blake, Summer With Monika

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Summer With Monika

Cleaned up; added portrait of Eno on wall, and a tattoo gun on the side dresser.

More detail given to visible outer sensual organs of the slumbering form.

Was to overlay image of engraved doors to mines in LOTR on art portfolio at the foot of bed but didn’t have time.

The Police, Ghost In The Machine

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To consider some garish remix of Ghost In The Machine album cover by The Police.

Too much information, running through my brain
Too much information, driving me insane
– The Police 1981

Upstepping Album Cover

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Remix via Oliver Coates

// how to play big science