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    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011 edited
    I know there's a thing here where people don't seem to read Warren's website.

    But right now, you really should be. (start at the bottom)

    One of the things I loved about 'Do Anything' was the way Warren rambles through all kinds of connected elements to reach his conclusion, and this series of posts is doing the same thing. Brilliant.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011 edited
    i know i have been reading his posts intently over the last few says. My head has been spinning a bit...

    There seems to be a weird synchronicity/ideaspace thing going on here. This months edition of the wire has a section by Simon Reynolds, based on his new book "Retromania", about how the new digital culture has created an entirely new landscape that has completely made atemporal how we consumer culture, especially that of music. in the (analogue) past, time tilted forward with the chase and acquisition of physical objects to consume, but now the cultural time seems lateral and recursive. We now can experience spontaneity and permanence. Such as making tweets you can't remember an hour later, but the persistence of a past that you can access on youtube in an instant.

    We are all starting to act like Quartermass in the way we consume our information these days, although whether or not this is a good thing, depends upon your viewpoint.

    Also, post two describes memories of the past and phantoms from the future. This IMMEDIATELY made me think of this video, which was culled from the John Carpenter film "Prince of darkness"

    what we are seeing here are a montage of the films dream sequences, where it transpired that they are actually broadcasts being made from the future to warn the lead character of impending doom in the present. But the final memory changes from the others. That's where it starts to get really confusing...

    edited for crap spelling
  1.  (9875.3)
    I know there's a thing here where people don't seem to read Warren's website.

    And, as you can see, it's almost completely true.
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011
    Yeah, this has been firing up all sortsa synapses these last few days. Jesus, Warren. Careful now.
  2.  (9875.5)
    Ohh, i've noticed it. Just been letting it all quietly crawl around in my brain.

    (Edit to add: The evolution/transformation of that Prince of Darkness transmission is probably one of my favorite moments in a John Carpenter film.)
  3.  (9875.6)
    Quietly loving the piece, watching it evolve. Bravo, squire.
    • CommentAuthorcbkof
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011
    Being quite the newb here I assumed there might be some kind of “wait and see it finish itself” rule. Have been following Spirit Tracks intently since it started and have been spreading the word. I still hope the video of the CoCities talk gets posted but I imagine this is better.
  4.  (9875.8)
    I've been reading this in bites, because every one of them blows my brain apart. So it's taking some time. I'm glad I'm not the only one, ha. I'm really enjoying it.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011 edited
    the posts have become very interesting now with the idea of ghosts as electromagnetic/radio energy. How strong electromagnetic fields, possibly aligned with the surroundings can affect our temporal lobes and make us see UFO's, ghosts and angels (this i remember was touched upon in Global Frequency #5 wasn't it?).

    The idea of people seeing ghosts on their iphones via RFID? fucking madness (but brilliant fucking madness).

    Also the way that machines and cards with RFID can contain so much information about a person (i remember a Docklands Light Railway inspector freaking me out by showing what info he could bring up me and my movements just by using my oyster card), we could end up seeing electromagnetic spirit doppelgangers of ourselves haunting our surroundings as they leech energy off our recorded actions. And then they try to contact us through our phones...
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011
    Oh thanks for that, bob, new techy-nightmare fuel that is...
  5.  (9875.11)
    I've been marking the posts as unread in bloglines so I can come back to them later. Recently read Shivering Sands and the first volume of Bad Signal, so definitely in the mood for some more of this sort of thing...

    Is this going to be Knock John, or Do Anything 2, or something else entirely?
  6.  (9875.12)
    I've been enjoying Spirit Tracks quite a bit. Mini-Do Anything? Yes, I'm more than happy to give that my full attention.
  7.  (9875.13)
    Holding off on reading this until it's finished. Then I can dump all the posts into InDesign, print it out, & read it on the crapper.

    Quite excited.
  8.  (9875.14)
    I've been converting them and putting them onto my Kindle. It's been really good, but I can't help but think that Warren has talked about something called "spirit tracks" before.
    I think I'm going to have to decide that I was thinking of "Stealth Tribes" instead and stop trying to remember it...

    It's nice to see little snippets of stories on Ellis' page again. I've missed reading them.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011
    It's been really good, but I can't help but think that Warren has talked about something called "spirit tracks" before.

    Actually, it was memories from the future you having read it just now trickling back through [REDACTED BY BUREAU OF CAUSALITY CONSISTENCY].
    • CommentAuthorOwen
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2011 edited
    Really glad someone posted this, I've been reading them on the early shift (6.40am here in Wales) and it's been a fantastic wake-up call for the brain. It's enjoyable to plot all the associations and follow the train of thought. Thank you Mr Ellis and please keep them coming.
  9.  (9875.17)
    i've always found that scene in prince of darkness to be incredibly unsettling.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2011

    it was weird that he used the latest Camcorder technology to record those scenes, Yet it still seems to retain this unsettling "grainy" atmosphere that allows for freaky visuals like that....
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeMay 19th 2011 edited
    Your buildings and cities will come with pre-recorded Stone Tapes?

    My path towards interest in weirdness and where I'm at right now is almost identical to the one described here, although I've probably arrived in a slightly different place. It starts with some of the more fucked up Tom Baker Doctor Who episodes, through Target paperbacks and Usbourne kids' books on the Supernatural and UFOs, through to those mental magazines about The Unexplained and some of the Time Life and Reader's Digest books, which were essentially compendiums of news clippings with a salacious veneer of 'oooh spoooky' put on them, and the occasional guilty sneak at Misty and rare finds of slim pulp books on weird rituals and satanic panic, written either by the folk that went on to form the Alexandrian tradition, or by Ed Wood in a weekend whilst off his tits on speed.

    You can't tell the difference between any of this and the stuff by Tolkein, Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft, Dick, Moorcock et al and it doesn't matter, because it all sits there fermenting in your head. The world seems at once a fascinating and terrifying place. Monsters are fucking everywhere and the Daily Mail says that '1 in 10 people could be Satanists'. It's brilliant.

    And then you find things like the Fortean Times, which says 'whoa, there's weird and cool stuff out there, but hang on and think about this for a minute' and it's 93/94 and you've got access to bulletin boards and ApraNet and UseNet and TelNet via Vax/VMS greenscreens at college, and then you can afford a 14.4 modem of your own and that crackle and hiss and pop of the carrier signal is like the first drink of the day hitting an empty stomach and although the Netscape browser is a pile of shite, the full horror and wonder traps you for weeks at a time. And David Icke actually gets on TV saying all that stuff that the online fringe is saying and he looks a bit of a twat. And the X-files has a decent pilot episode and then knocks it out of the park with 'Tooms' and you've got both a fantastical and a sceptical viewpoint presented to think about in interesting ways. And despite what became the cliche of Scully being a sceptic and missing everything, what you did cleverly have before the writers lost sight of it was that Scully was sceptical about aliens, yes, but believed in religious phenomena and Mulder didn't believe in this but kept seeing the aliens and monsters. And there's another glut of books, some of them actually pretty decent, about the paranormal which includes sceptical and rationalist viewpoints. And then there are all the X-files imitators and wannabees and somehow it all gets a bit fucking old and you grow up a bit and get a job and have to deal with dull fucking idiots for whom there's no wonder at all in the world.

    And even more frighteningly, it looks like they might be right.

    So you grasp at stuff like Paul Devereaux's earth lights work. And people who've looked into ayahuasca had common experiences and the links between reports of fairies and entheogens seem like there's something there and crop circles go from being crappy alien hoaxes to beautiful rural outsider art. And it starts getting interesting again.

    Then, whilst Arthur C Clarke's line about 'sufficiently advanced technology etc' becomes an overused, dull, naff justification for poncing about in stupid clothing (or none) by people who spout rubbish about Quantum Theory and Chaos and who probably haven't even got a maths GCSE let alone any kind of decent understanding of physics at a high level, his more useful comment in the introduction to one of his 'Mysterious World' books about 'approximately 50% of the book is nonsense, but he doesn't know which 50%' goes up to 95% of it being nonsense, then 99%, then 99.9% of weirdness and the paranormal almost certainly being nonsense, but whilst the feeling of the world being full of weirdness and amazing things that boring people don't know or care about is gone, there's still something you just can't shake.

    But then the boring and unintelligent people you hate dealing with get flooded with so much crap about the paranormal that (although there's always been a tradition of folk magic and ghost stories and working class spiritualism of sorts, that's quite different and in no way what I'm on about) it gets coerced into the mainstream in a banal and moronic way and you get called a close-minded fascist by people who want to charge you to give Reiki Healing to your cat, but whose eyes would glaze over if you started telling them about things Orgonone and Phlogiston or discussing whether Dorothy Clutterbuck's poetry supported Margaret Murray's theories or was just influenced by the missing chapter from The Wind In the Willows and what that meant or the ETH and Drake Equation and the things you end up finding interesting.

    And you wake up in your mid-30s and realise that you're sick of it all and it's a load of shite but you still crave the hit that The Weird brings. And keep looking for it. And you do look to science for simulations or things to replace it. Augmented Reality might just be psychic methadone. Maybe technological weirdness is the best we can hope for. But, dammit, even Technoshamanism (involving actual techno...) is hard enough to find opportunities to partake in, due to the scene dying and you know, you're too old to gurn like a knob in a field somewhere, especially when it's now sponsored by Budweiser.

    But there's something inside some of us that gets switched on by this. It's not adrenaline, but it's something just as addictive. It's not kicked off by psilocybin or weird electromagnetic fields in itself, but it kicks in when we hear about them, or other weird shit, and the rational, sceptical response isn't just an internal immune response, it's something that enhances the hit when it really comes.

    If you've read this ramble this far, you damn well know what I mean, don't you?
  10.  (9875.20)
    Loving this. And as new ones are added I go back and start from the beginning again. Of course reading this makes work so damn dull and boring when no one wants to talk about anything exciting and just wants to sit around and shrug.