Tag Archives: science fiction

RIP Earl Kemp (1929 – 2020)

Earl Kemp was an American publisher, science fiction editor and critic.

Illustrated edition of Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (1970)

During the 1960s and 1970s, Earl Kemp was involved in publishing erotic paperbacks through a company, Greenleaf Publishing, where he was employed by William Hamling. In an example of détournement, in 1970 Kemp published an Illustrated edition of the Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. According to Pornography and Sexual Representation: A Reference Guide, the book was “replete with the sort of photographs the commission examined.” Kemp eventually was sentenced to a one-year prison sentence for distributing the book (as was Hamling). However, both served only the federal minimum of three months and one day. The story of their arrest and prison time was covered in Gay Talese’s Thy Neighbor’s Wife (1981).

RIP Syd Mead (1933 – 2019)

Syd Mead was an American concept artist best known for his work on Blade Runner (1982), Tron (1982) and Aliens (1986).

His death comes only three months after the death of Luigi Colani (1928 – 2019) who was in a different but comparable branch of concept art.

Both Colani and Mead were obsessed with futuristic aerodynamics.

RIP André Previn (1929 – 2019)

André Previn was a German-American musician best known for his film scores.

He first came to my attention when his ex-wife Dory Previn died in 2012.

After some quick glancing through my archives, I find that a ‘porn groove’ on the compilation The Mood Mosaic Vol. 3 “The Sexploitation” is of Previn’s hand, a track called “Executive Party” composed for the film Rollerball.

In the clip above that song is heard in a wonderfully strange scene “shot in the pre-dawn “magic hour,” as the wealthy, decadent upper-class fire explosive rounds at a line of towering trees, setting fire to them one after another, reveling in destruction” [1].

A example of pure wanton waste of excess energy.

‘The Possibility of an Island’ is world literature classic #110

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The Possibility of an Island is very much a philosophical novel, as is most of Michel Houellebecq‘s fiction. In this particular novel Houellebecq juxtaposes Plato’s soulmate theory to Saint Paul‘s ‘one flesh’ remark in the Epistle to the Ephesians, remarking that this ‘love craving’, this need for emotional symbiosis is the origin of much unhappiness.

In the words of Houellebecq:

“It was [Plato’s Symposium] that intoxicated Western mankind, mankind as a whole, which has inspired in it disgust at its condition of a rational animal, which had engendered in it a dream that it had taken two millennia to try and rid itself of, without completely succeeding.”

Below is Plato’s soulmate theory in which Zeus split the four legged and four armed primeval humans in two parts, giving birth to creatures who are forever searching for the other half, the soul mate, to reunite their flesh:

“[Primeval man had] … four hands and four feet, eight in all … they made an attack upon the gods … Zeus discovered a way [to punish them] … I will cut them in two … after the division the two parts of man, each desiring his other half … longing to grow into one … when one of the halves died and the other survived, the survivor sought another mate, man or woman as we call them … and clung to that … so ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of man … each of us … is always looking for his other half. Suppose Hephaestus … [was] to come to [a] pair who are lying side by side and to say to them … ‘do you desire to be wholly one … I am ready to melt you into one and let you grow together, so that being two you shall become one … if you were a single man?’ … there is not a man … who when he heard the proposal would deny … that this meeting and melting into one another, this becoming one instead of two, was the very expression of his ancient need … and the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.” —Plato’s Symposium

And this is Saint Paul’s remark in the Epistle to the Ephesians:

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

This is not the new flesh but the old flesh.