One of the common themes of Lovecraft's oeuvre and cosmic dread in general is that the threat comes not from some moral imperfection or defined antagonism but from mutual incomprehension, from a universe filled with intelligences so different from humans in outlook and scale that we are irrelevant. The analogy of humans seeming as ants … Continue reading Cosmic Head Scratch
As any who have dared to throw aside even a corner of that blanket of comfortable illusion that men call sanity might know, Lovecraft tells us that Azathoth is "nuclear chaos". To the modern mind already laden with the dread echoes of science wrought scouring destroyer, this conjures—as some followers of Providence have stated—Azathoth as … Continue reading Darkness of Heart
As many of you will know, I incline strongly toward visions of Yog-Sothothery where humanity is doomed by incomprehensible forces rather than the visible, opposable monsters of Gordon/Yuzna et al. However, Maarten Verhoeven's interpretation of a dried out eldritch monstrosity somehow captures the cosmic in plain sight. If you enjoyed this, I heartily recommend an … Continue reading Exquisite Corpse
Certain governments have recently taken stances on the trustworthiness of Chinese telecommunications businesses: the US a hard line; the UK a partnership. However, perhaps both this pessimism and this optimism are directed toward the wrong target. Perhaps the spying is more subtle and against a different target. Each of the cat litter trays we've bought … Continue reading One Scoop or Two?
All who bear the burden of unholy knowledge know that Yog-Sothoth, the gate and the key, is perceived in congruence, and that the reasoned half of the mind is our protection from horrific truths. Thus, when I encountered a headline about a forthcoming Lovecraftian project and read the producer not as Jordan Peele but as … Continue reading Twelve Rules for Life in an Uncaring Cosmos
In public transport as in so many other areas, I favour multi-sided, organic, and nuanced over sterile pseudo-utility. There's a bus stop outside the Burger King near my house. The advertisement on the end has changed several times since we moved, but it's always been for McDonalds. Which caused my wife and I to wonder, … Continue reading This Is My Stop
Events reminded me of a recent discussion I had on whether Nyarlathotep might really destroy humanity and how he might do it. Unsurprisingly, my thoughts drew upon nuances of meaning: specifically, what one means by “Nyarlathotep” and “destroy”. Of all the Old Ones and other vast beings of Lovecraft's stories, Nyarlathotep is one of the … Continue reading Beneath a Three-Lobed Eye
Is midday in the morning or the afternoon? Is it more believable that midday is in the morning or the afternoon? And why might that make the moon landings seem implausible? I took a brisk walk to a nearby business park this morning because the closest health food shop to me rents a unit there. … Continue reading What Time Is Now?
Proving once more that psychogeographers and chaos magicians might be onto something, the chance collision of pedestrian-crossing etiquette and computer gaming has summoned forth before me a dread irony: the human mind inconsistently correlates the meaning Lovecraft's work, and that results in a lack of mercy. A couple of days ago, a friend shared an … Continue reading The Black Sea of Experience
The home and garden centre around the corner has one stand of Halloween decorations but half a floor of Christmas paraphernalia. The carols have started. The online retailers have started their reminders to shop early. With only the Conservative Party Conference remaining true to the mix of horror and hearkening back to a mythical past … Continue reading Clawing Back Sanity