Invisibles: 2001

My friend Daveexternal link has just offered be a writing challenge. It’s wonderful! Than you so much Dave: I feel like I haven’t used this part of my brain in years and years. I’ve missed it.

The challenge, to quote Dave’s email, is this:

I’ve started blogging a bit about The Invisibles’ Arcadia storyline. You know issues 5 – 8, Revolutionary France, Marquis de Sade, Byron/Shelley, Head of St John the Baptist, a demon cuts off Dane’s finger and is then killed by Fanny. I thought you might potentially be interested:

At the moment I’m trying to write a letter to The Invisibles letter column (of 1995) as if I’d just read or was just reading Arcadia (as I did in late 2001). What would you write?

This seems like it is best addressed in blog form…

If I had read Arcadia in late 2001, I would have seen it very differently than I did in 2004.

I can see where you worry about holism and not doing justice to the work, but I also know that I’m an incurable reductionist: I would have approached it the same way I always would have, and always will: take the strongest, clearest single thread and analyse the f*ck out of it, to the exclusion of all else.

In late 2001, in the wake of the WTC disaster, with the USA knee-jerking Afghanistan into tiny pieces (nothing to do with oil, oh nonono!) I was completely immersed in a magnificent, terrible, fascinating process: The Bursting of the Dot Com Bubble. I was watching in horrified fascination as the unspeakable wealth which had very nearly been mine became pitiful, worthless, eventually laughable.

In late 2001, I would have read Arcadia as a treatise on economics. The political/economic bent of the work is very simple and clear: it’s all about Anarchy versus Control.

Dane is the unenlightened man who is given a guided tour of the real underlying stupidity of the world so that he might be able to see through it and be freed of it. He might be learning the deeper secrets of the world and thus attaining immense power, but he might just be getting a crash-course in self-sustaining hype. Either way, he winds up powerfully freed from his old life. I could have identified with that in 2001, very much.

The team though, especially King Mob, are clearly Terrorists in the light of late 2001, whatever you understood that label to mean. They are the righteous butt-kicking that The Establishment has needed so badly for so long, but they’re also brutal, merciless killers.

I remember very clearly from Arcadia the reprisal of the life of the anonymous security guard, as he is gunned down by King Mob. Morrison plays on this quite heavily and deliberately: Are the Invisibles noble freedom fighters or pointless derganged killers? Is their cause just? Are their actions justifiable, let alone justified?

Since September 11, 2001, much of the western world has been helplessly viewing the past through the pinhole lens of a single event, but this was even more the case at the time, so I would have had to ask Mr Morrison:

On September 11 would The Invisibles, if real and present, have been part of the problem, or part of the solution?

It’s an ambiguous, double-edged question, in knowing anticipation of Morrison’s inevitably ambiguous, double-edged reply.

Too Darn Hot

This last weekend was meteorologically special for those of us lucky enough to live in Melbourne.
For those of you who don’t, the weather was as follows:

Top of 41c (105.8f)

Saturday night
overnight low of 27c (80.6f)

Top of 43c (109.4f)

So, naturally, I chose this weekend to move house!!! Naturally, I failed dismally, but didn’t I have fun trying…

New House!

I have a new house! It’s actually a very old house, with lots of trees, as can be seen from overheadexternal link.

My new physical address, freely splashed upon the internet, since it costs actual money to spam a physical address:
5 Armstrong Street
Springvale 3171

And my new landline phone number:
03 9546 0342

Now to just get ADSL, gas, power, stuff like that.

Some updates

This is essentially an errata-post, correcting some details and updating some things:

  1. Thank you Heffa for the Toys R Us vouchers with which I purchased the big lego forklist. Sorry for getting the attribution wrong the first time.
  2. The magnificent menu on complexification.netexternal link is not javascript. Sadly, it is Flash. What a ripoff.
  3. The lovely house front depicted in the previous post is a lie. It is a nasty smelly little place with considerable mold. Yucky!

That’s all folks.


As E just pointed out to me, under recent IE the side menus on my homepage were all buggered up. This has now been resolved through application of some blunt-force CSS hackery.
This post is going to be really short if I stop there, soooo…

Here is where Thorne probably wants to live:
Thorne hasn’t inspected yet, much less submitted an application, so this is still purest speculation.

Soul-searing machine-generated beauty

I was appreciating a particularly beautiful screensaver today. It’s called ‘substrate’, and it involves these little crawling veins of colour which meander about aimlessly across a white page, slowly evolving something that looks like an aging parchment map of a chaotic old city, all in sepia tones. The (static) end result looks a lot like this:

In contemplative awe, it struck me that I could probably Google up the author of this marvel. Some very rudimentary googling led me to, home of the wrongest, yet most beautiful javascript menu I have ever seenexternal link.eek
Here, I found many many more marvels like kind, such as this:

Most seem to have java-based live examples, so that one can generate one’s own work of random glory, and splatter it on one’s

In other generally random news, the progress towards the great upheaval porceeds apace. I can’t remember if I’ve already broadcast the details, but if not, here goes: my housemates and I are selling up our immense house in Glen Waverley and going our separate ways. I will be posting more public guff here as this project progresses.