“As long as enough people can be frightened, then all the people can be ruled” — James Bovard
Now the rest of the quote:
viα reversethesurface: Production Design - A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
In order to comprehend reality you must first know the original premise, foundation, or basis for our current civil society; as otherwise the whole world really is just a stage laid out in front of you, a live theatre where you are standing along with an audience of your peers, attending a play which is being played out in a coded language that you can’t decipher.
Have you ever asked yourself why a government, in a so-called democracy, would allow the existence of secret societies such a Freemasonry or Skull and Bones to exist?
Secret Societies teach their privileged initiates, in a step-by-step manner, to OVERSTAND reality while you on the other hand are only taught to UNDERSTAND, by a system that wants to control you, that’s why.
“Stargate,” “Starship Troopers,” “Point Watch” — three more paintings by Paul Lehr (three others are posted here: Seedling Stars, Parapet & Fortress). He was a master of producing organic dreamscapes, capturing fragments of worlds half-remembered on waking, places at the far end of history where the line between technology and life — and mind and reality — is often blurred. Besides countless paintings gracing decades of covers of science fiction and fantasy books, his visions may be remembered for heightening the allure of the sci-fi magazines of yore. From Lehr, Paul : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia:
Lehr studied illustration at the prestigious Pratt Institute, where he worked under Stanley Meltzoff, an early influence on his art. His first sf cover – for the American edition of Jeffery Lloyd Castle's Satellite E One (1954) – is a realistic depiction of the construction of an unusually-shaped Space Station, and similar images of spacecraft, rendered mostly in shades of grey, are seen in other early covers for James Blish's Galactic Cluster (coll 1959), John Wyndham's The Outward Urge (coll 1959 as by Wyndham and Lucas Parkes), and the May 1959 issue of Satellite Science Fiction. However, his 1960 cover for Brian W Aldiss's Starship (1956 Science Fantasy #17 as “Non-Stop”; exp 1958 as Non-Stop; cut vt Starship 1959) and his cover for Robert Sheckley's Journey Beyond Tomorrow (October-November 1962 Fantasy and Science Fiction as “The Journey of Joenes”; 1962; vt Journey of Joenes 1978) show Lehr moving toward the less representational style that would later be his trademark.
His first noteworthy work in this vein, perhaps, was his cover for James Gunn's Future Imperfect (coll 1964), depicting a Medusa-like woman and a human-headed spider amidst odd designs within a rectangle that is partially shattered. His covers for a 1967 edition of H G Wells's The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth (1904) and Sheckley’s Dimension of Miracles (1968) display what became one of his trademarks, strange egg-shaped objects, here broken to respectively reveal an enormous eye and an array of planets and stars. While his people often seem small and insignificant in contrast to the large structures dominating his covers, Lehr was capable of foregrounding the human figure, as shown by his 1973 cover for Frank Herbert's The Godmakers (fixup 1972 as The God Makers), showing a huge, skyward-looking statue being worshipped by a shrouded supplicant. Lehr could also make effective use of bright pastel colours, which tended to make his covers stand out amidst others dominated by darker hues.
As Jane Frank has observed, Lehr “dominated science fiction covers in the mid-1960s into the 1970s”, and while his works were not as extravagantly surreal as those of an artist he is sometimes compared to, Richard M Powers, those two artists did contribute significantly to the distinctively imaginative style of sf art during that era, which for some represents the peak of the form’s long history. As American publishers came to prefer more realistic art in the 1980s, Lehr focused instead on covers for the sf magazines Analog, Omni, Tomorrow: Speculative Fiction, and Weird Tales as well as covers for foreign publishers. Lehr also worked outside the genre for magazines like Business Week, Fortune, Life, Playboy, The Reader’s Digest, and Time, and he remained active until his death in 1998.
“The Seedling Stars,” “Parapet in Golden Light” and “Fortress on the Rocks” — “Paul Lehr (1930-1998) is one of the greatest future-fantasist painters of the post-pulp era. He was very prolific and produced a large body of work of remarkable intensity and consistent high quality. Lehr did many mindbending paperback covers in the 1960s-80s before Michael Whelan and his wave of imitators moved science fiction and fantasy illustration towards photorealism” (from Weird Masterpieces of Paul Lehr and Paul Lehr - Melt). Three more paintings to appear in a follow-up post. Meanwhile, regarding “The Seedling Stars:”
The Seedling Stars is a near textbook example of that common SF form: the fixup novel. Indeed, it includes as one of its “books” a somewhat rarer beast: a fixup novella! Blish took his 1942 story, “Sunken Universe,” and joined it, in much revised form, to his 1952 classic “Surface Tension,” to create Book 3 of The Seedling Stars. (The original version of “Surface Tension” appears in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume I.) To this combined story, he added three more: the 1955 novella “A Time to Survive” that is retitled “Seeding Program” for its appearance as Book 1 of the novel; the 1954 novelette “The Thing in the Attic” forms Book 2; and the 1955 short story “Watershed” is the concluding Book 4. The Seedling Stars can be regarded as a collection of 4 (or 5, or even 6) shorter works, but the stories do gain resonance taken together — so it is not entirely improper to call it a “novel.”
The central conceit uniting the stories is that humanity will colonize other planets not by adapting the environment of those planets to men (terraforming), nor by avoiding the environment of other planets (living in domes, say), but by adapting men to alien environments. By so doing, man will “seed” the stars. The first book tells of the beginning of this project. The main character, Donald Sweeney, is a young man who has been altered so as to be able to survive on Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede. He has been raised completely alone, and told that his job is to infiltrate the criminal colony of Adapted Men already on Ganymede, and to bring their leader to justice. If he succeeds, perhaps he can become a true human, and live on Earth. It won’t come as a surprise to learn that when Sweeney goes to Ganymede, his views change — and that the genius scientist who is leading the Adapted Men has a visionary plan for man’s future. The story is slightly marred by overly evil villains, and by a bit of silly science (not counting the wildly implausible “Adaptation” technology — that impossibility I allow), but the overarching vision is wonderful, and the story is exciting and involving.
The next two books involve two different planets with radically different Adapted Humans. In “The Thing in the Attic,” humans have been Adapted to live in the trees which dominated their planet. Over generations their society has ossified, held back by a fear of the ground, and by a reverence for the myths about the “Giants” who supposedly placed men in the trees. Honath is a heretic — he doesn’t believe in the Giants, and for that, he and several of his fellow unbelievers are condemned to exile and certain death on the ground, or, in their terms, in Hell. But after much hardship, Honath and a couple of his friends manage to survive on the ground — only to make a shattering discovery.
In “Surface Tension,” a spaceship crash-lands on a planet around Tau Ceti, a watery planet quite unsuited for even ordinary adaptations. The only solution the desperate crash survivors can see is to make adapted humans of microscopic size, to live in the tiny ponds that dot the planet’s surface. The two episodes, one derived from “Sunken Universe,” the other from the original “Surface Tension” novelette, tell first of the humans’ alliance with some of the protozoans, and their joint battle against the more dangerous microscopic creatures; then, generations later, of the brave attempt of some of the humans to make a “spaceship” with which to travel to other “universes”: i.e., to leave one pond and make their way to another. The concepts here are wonderful, and the ironic commentary is nicely handled, though the story itself is rather straightforward.
The final story, “Watershed,” is set centuries or millennia in the future, and the wonderful twist is that now humans and Adapted men from all over space are returning to Earth — to Adapt men to live on the environmentally ravaged hellhole that remains. Against this backdrop Blish tells a morality tale about the true nature of “humanity”: it’s a bit baldly put, but still well-taken.
This “novel” represents some of James Blish’s very best work. He takes a striking idea and develops it fully, in the best tradition of pure Science Fiction. It’s exciting and often inspiring: justly regarded as a minor classic of the field. Bravo to Victor Gollancz for returning it to print.
— from The SF Site Featured Review: The Seedling Stars by Rich Horton
The Fat Takers Pipeline: Native People, the KXL, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance and the Constitution by Winona LaDuke
“No Keystone XL Black Snake Pipeline will cross Lakota Lands. We will protect our lands and waters and we have our horses ready…” Brian Brewer , President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe
In mid February, the Keystone XL Pipeline, or the Black Snake found some stronger adversaries. “It poses a threat to our sacred water and the product is coming from the tar sands and our tribes oppose the tar sands mining,” Debra White Plume, an Oglala leader told the press. White Plume’s family and many others have opposed the pipeline, along with a myriad of uranium mining projects proposed for the Paha Sapa, the Black Hills. “All of our tribes have taken action to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. Members from the seven tribes of the Lakota Nation, along with tribal members and tribes in Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska and Oregon, are prepared to stop construction of the pipeline. “
This past October, the Lakota rode some of the proposed pipeline route in a set of 3 rides organized by grassroots and national organizations, including Honor the Earth, Owe Aku, and 350.org. The routes covered territory between Wanbli on the Pine Ridge reservation to Takini on the Cheyenne River reservation, in a spiritual ride to honor the water and counter the oil. This ride was one of three rides (the other 2 were Minnesota pipeline rides on the Alberta Clipper and proposed Sandpiper route for fracked oil). The Lakota will ride again. That is, if the pipeline project gets President Obama’s approval. That is, if the Nebraska and Iowa lawmakers don’t stop it first because of the little constitutional problems of eminent domain. That is also, if the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t close it down.
The Keystone XL Project took a big step forward for oil companies, when the State Department announced that the pipeline had passed the most recent environmental review. The State Department Inspector General however, is investigating potential conflicts of interest on the part of ERM, the contractor hired to conduct the study, because of close relations with TransCanada the pipeline company in the past.
Peak Oil Denial Bingo!
A game to play while arguing with peak oil deniers.In FullPeak Oil Denial Bingo” was suggested by, and initial phrase list supplied by: John Michael Greer of The Archdruid Report This is YOUR GAME, make it better by sending new phrases to…with more instructions
Trinity Church is the only permanently staffed Orthodox church in Antarctica. It is situated on the largest of the South Shetland Islands, King George Island, part of Russia’s Bellingshausen Station beside Collins Harbour. (It also shares the island with the world’s southernmost lighthouse: Arctowski Lighthouse.) Though this spot doesn’t generally get more than a few degrees above freezing (average temperature in warmest month, February: 34°F), it’s considered the White Continent’s mildest location, warm enough to attract some eco-tourism, for Metallica to play a concert there, and for the Russian inhabitants to nickname the place “the resort.”