Nov 2006

Anyone still here?

Wouldn’t you know it? I’m only gone for a few weeks and yet I manage to miss the most fertile month for blogging all year. The muslim veils farrago… the Madonna adoption thing… the Iraq U-Turn (except it’s not really a U-Turn, it’s a “reassessment”, honest)… the Macca divorce… the Enron guy getting 24 years… the US elections and Rumsfeld getting sacked… climate change hitting the front pages. Politics, celebrity, war, big business; there’s even been some peak oil stuff worthy of a rant. My, how the chattering classes are chattering.

Thankfully we’re far from all that noise here on the quiet road, dear reader. It’s a virtual backwater out here. Hell, I can even write about the Israel / Palestine situation and raise nary a murmur of disapprobation, let alone the online equivalent of an outbreak of mindless violence that it would generate anywhere else on the web. Perhaps it’s the irregularity of posting or perhaps it’s the denseness of the prose. It’s hard to say. Speaking of which, may I quickly remind you that there’s a new Pynchon novel out next week. The author has provided a synopsis…

Spanning the period between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, “Against the Day” moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska event, Mexico during the revolution, Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred. The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx. As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it’s their lives that pursue them. Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they’re doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction. Let the reader decide, let the reader beware; Good luck – Thomas Pynchon.

If you’re not tingling with anticipation, you bloody well should be!

You may or may not be interested to know that I’ve resurrected my novel (The Stockhausen Manuscript) which ground to a halt a couple of months back. I’m certainly not promising anything, but this one might actually get finished. Mind you, even if I do finish it, there’s no guarantee I’ll let anyone actually read the thing.

But look, I know what you’ve really come here for. And it’s not to read me droning on about my half-written psychedelic thriller. It’s to find out what I think about stuff like the muslim veils farrago… the Madonna adoption thing… the Iraq U-Turn (except it’s not really a U-Turn, it’s a “reassessment”, honest)… the Macca divorce… the Enron guy getting 24 years… the US elections and Rumsfeld getting sacked… climate change hitting the front pages, and maybe a bit of peak oil rantiness. All of which I’ll try to cover over the next couple of weeks by way of catching up with the rest of the blogosphere.

An absence explained

Incidentally, if you’re wondering where I’ve been for all this time, the answer is “right here, but without a computer”. You see, my PC’s power supply unit (PSU) decided to die. But it didn’t want to face the recycling yard alone, so it took a few other things with it. I was in the middle of responding to an email from the groovy Tom Fourwinds who runs megalithomania (he’s just published a new book incidentally… Monu-Mental About Prehistoric Dublin) when three things occurred simultaneously. There was a loud bang, the screen went blank, and a tiny wisp of acrid smoke rose from behind my desk. It took a couple of days to replace the blackened chunk of ex-PSU at which point I realised that wasn’t the only thing wrong. A closer look at the inside of my computer revealed scary-looking char-marks on several other components including the circuit boards on all three hard-drives. Yes, even the one I’d named “backup”. It was at this point that I repeated the word “fuck” very loudly about seven or eight times. I hadn’t backed up onto shiny silver disc for a good three or four months.

Anyways, I’ve had to replace the hard-drives and the graphics card and the RAM though – bizarrely – not the motherboard or CPU. Those of you who know a bit about how PCs are put together will understand how weird that is. And I’ve lost all the writing I’ve done for the past four months or so. Although it wasn’t the most productive period of my life it’s still a serious pisser. But at least I’m back up and running and I’ll try to resume semi-regular blogging. Hopefully I’ll have caught up with the email backlog before the end of the week too. Laters y’all.

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