Another year in. Fuck knows what it may bring. Really, today I’d rather do a Scarlett O’Hara…and think about it tomorrow. Today, here be Fifi “Red Socks” the Hyper Penguin and her young protégé, Oops, one of the far-too-many Young of the ineffable Shub-Niggurath, wishing you a wonderfully contrary 2017. She’s taking Oops to visit the oracular Cthulhian roses, to enquire about the New Year’s odds on the integrity of the EU, the Trump presidency and the outcome of the 3.45 at Kempton Park. On the way there she catches up with the latest inspirational bon mots, plastered all over the frail walls of the reality tunnel to relieve monotony and for the amusement and instruction of the weary traveller. ‘ppy New Year folks.
Is that time of the year again. Darkness drifts gently away and the days get longer by and by. Not physically noticeable, but the blood and the imagination know it’s happening and that’s good enough for me. This year the honour of leading the celebratory shindig falls to Ding and Dong, the Bomber Harriers. Dong takes away the gloom and the bad taste of the Scottish debacle and the moronic Brexit that lingers between my clenched teeth. Ding brings light and merriment and frippery and large doses of persiflage. Something tells me this coming year large doses of persiflage are going to be much needed. Overseeing the ritual is Manolito, the Hardy Perennial Alien, wielding his astral chums and wearing his rude T-shirt, assisted by my favourite alter ego, Spikky, the Spaniard in Your Works and her bosom pal Emiliano “The Mexican”, the Problematic Penguin. And behold! Even the timid and antisocial Repulsive Moon Beasts of the Plateau of Leng have emerged from their quarrelsome seclusion to bid farewell and greet the darkness and the light respectively. All is fluffy. Happy Transition, folks! PS. I’m truly amazed that I’ve actually managed to finish this here thingy in time, what with the crappy health scene and the high levels of New Computer Neurosis and all. And it will have to double as both solstice card and the Ashok Chandra Patel Memorial Service. Ash left me bereft, bored and bewildered 4 years ago come Friday. I buggeringly miss him so… L
They just don’t make them like him anymore, do they? Here be a little something to mark the passing of one of the greatest irritants of the Bastard Right ever. Made out of residual affection for the guy and possibly “con ánimo de offender”* the bien-pensants on Main Street. Hasta siempre don Fidelito. It was a pleasure to have known of you.
*Con ánimo de offender. (With the intention of offending/Aiming to affront). A collection of some of the most delightfully outrageous articles published by Arturo Pérez Reverte in El País, some ages ago. Highly recommended.
So… perhaps the Scottish vote and Corbyn (twice!) and Brexit were not a gaggle of Black Swans after all. Perhaps there is a trend on the rise. Dodgy, true, but possibly better than the BBC/Guardian/NYT/etc. party line.
Sketch. There’s a first for everything, obviously. Never done this sort of “for the Family Album” thingumybob collage stuff before. So here it is, a tribute to some people who have not only amused, inspired, moved me and made me think (the bastard…), but somehow have strengthened not only my resolve to live one more day (one at the time, easy does it) but to live it as if I was going to live forever. And as I was cobbling together this Rogues Gallery, sodden with the images and thoughts that each character brought back from the bottom of my erratic memory, I kept on humming bits from The Mikado, especially the one that starts with: There is beauty in extreme old age….. And goes on to ask:
Are you old enough to marry, do you think?
Won’t you wait till you are eighty in the shade?
There’s a fascination frantic
In ruin that’s romantic.
Do you think you are sufficiently decayed?
And today’s deep mystical question is: Can Gilbert and Sullivan be classed as a guilty pleasure? Answers on an e-postcard, please.
Dream big. Dream strong. Dream loud. Dream the kind of dream that will shake the ground beneath our feet and rouse the sheep and make the leeches scamper off in fear. Dream the songlines of a new world with the face it had before greed and intellectual laziness corroded it into its present unseemly sorry ass state. So says the Mother of Bumba and her associates. Rosie and Edwina sing semi-canonical Socialist Lullabies to the hatching dreamlets and double as backing group to the very famous boy band The Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Magdalena keeps the watch and her cub keeps the flame. Out there in the void, the Dancing Balloons have decided to fall in love right now rather than wait for a still distant and definitely unreliable spring, especially if the Hellary Harpy wins the election -which she will, the ghastly creature.
Update 29/10/16 Waiting for the GSV Ethics Gradient. Picture by Xavi Pagés, the best faux nephew that ever graced a prosthetic family. Even a devout atheist needs an object to pray to, sometimes. For me it’s either The Mother of Bumba or the good Culture ship Ethics Gradient. Each night I pray that it’ll come and make me an offer I couldn’t possibly refuse. It passes the time, you know…
Update 06/11/16. The Tunnel. aka La ley del embudo. Here’s a little something for darling Xavi’s birthday: his very own space craft, the good starship Persiflage. May it help him navigate the hideously crappy times that will follow the enthronment of the Hellary Harpy, that fast friend of everything that’s wrong and vile and stupid and illegal and underhand and …………… (enter your atrocity of choice here). If you thought the Obama regime had narrowed the funnel’s neck beyond the practicable, let alone the tolerable, wait and see what she’ll do to the world. Mothers of America and its little British minion, start packing the wargames kit of your children, soon to be sent to the Baltic to fight the Red Devil and shed their expendable blood in yet another fraudulent conflict with an imaginary enemy. Oi, are we fucked…
Tides. As it says on the tin. Take your pick. The BBC or whatever piffle the Whitehouse or The Guardian blathers are always good candidates. You can never go wrong with them. Oh, stuff and the fucking Daily Mail, that goes without saying, innit.
Maison Shogg Presents. Time again for some frivolity, so here’s the latest alien fashion news. This autumn every discerning hexapod insectoid life-form in and around the Crab Nebula, who knows their Armani from a hole in the ground, will be wearing this fetching exoskeleton designed by those fashion demons, Rosie and BoomBoom of Maison Shogg. Made of clarified titanium (*) with a coating of sentient dilithium microgel, worked into the fabric in a brushed finish, it’s simple, stylishly, extremely comfortable, very strong and highly versatile. Inspired by ancient Japanese body armour and cut following the strictest principles laid down by Mademoiselle Coco Chanel, it combines macho chic with exquisite grace, so it will do nicely either for the Tripondian ambassador’s reception or in a pub brawl with a brace of Klingons on steroids. The Battle Hummingbirds helmet is made of reinforced Mexican silver. The Birds are detachable and, when fully operational, can be used for impromptu aerobatics, berserker eye-pecking sorties and as message carriers; at a pinch they’ll mix the Martinis. They also sing beautifully, of course. Their repertoire of old Spanish Republican songs and reworkings of Gilbert & Sullivan is second to none –they have just written a new version of the “Little List” from the Mikado that is most amusing and sure to offend practically everybody. (*) Yes, I know it sounds most unlikely, but Rosie assures me that there is such thing as clarified titanium, and if Rosie says so then that’s good enough for me. PS. The little proto-lizard on the left smokes Gauloises. Rosie sticks to Silk Cut in homage to that other supreme troublemaker and demon magnet extraordinaire, Mr. John Constantine of London Town (Jamie Delano canon).
Tadpoles of Tindalos. Considerably less known and even more poorly understood than their compadres, the notorious Hounds, the Tadpoles of Tindalos are some of the most enigmatic denizens of that most inscrutable of meta-dimensional layers. Like their canine counterparts they are keen on angles, but unlike the Cagnolitos they have a certain elastic tolerance of curves. This flexibility makes them rather more mobile and therefore much more dangerous.- Here they can be seen contemplating the alluring possibility of an American-Influence-Free planet. The little Flamenco-Singing Creetchah is belting out an inspirational Alegría, accompanied on the hyper guitar by her chum, Gamal of the Egyptians, elder Hyper Rat. The little F.S.C. learned her trade personally and directly from the wandering spirit of La Niña de los Peines, so she’s damned good, she is.- And here’s a spiffingly clever practical application for these admirable creatures: bribe them with a few juicy angles and run any of them as a candidate in the impending US election.- Wake up, America! Why persist in riding this hideously entropic downward spiral engendered by decades of voting for the lesser evil? Why not have the moxie to go the whole hog and vote for a bona fide monstrosity? Forget Donald, the Dumper plastic duck. Renounce the Hilarious Hellary harpy. Never mind Noam Chomsky’s advice -what the fuck does he know about real horror, after all? Go on. Be bold. Be radical. L’audace! Toujours l’audace! Throw wishy-washy caution to the howling night winds and embrace a genuine nightmare. If you can’t bring yourselves to vote for groovy Great Cthulhu or the ineffable Shub-Niggurath, consider the equally deadly option: vote for a Tadpole of Tindalos and be completely and unambiguously damned! And give the rest of this wretched planet a break, there’s a dear.- Let it never be said I didn’t try to give wise counsel :-)- Note for my good crony Mr. D.C. alias “the Dude”. It’s too late for us, your Especial Limeyous Friends across the Pond. We’re so far gone down the Sickly Yellow Freak Road to Crapitalist Perdition, moronified beyond reclamation or redemption by decade upon decade of successive Thatcheright Crap, New Laboured Bollocks, Putty-Faced Tory Crud and sundry Talentless Assholes Regimes, that we could no longer tell real evil from a sinkhole in the subsoil if it were slapping us in the face with a wet mercury-riddled mutant kipper and singing a Dies Irae. Thus we strain the periphrases, lionize the hyperballs, ratchet up the hysteria and mix our metaphors until we’re so befuddled that we hallucinate with every breath and imagine that George Galloway is the last of the red hot reddies and not the self-serving toxic git that aligned himself with Nigel Farage, be it only for a fleeting opportunistic moment, to campaign for an entirely futile Brexit. ‘ere, ‘ave a B&W version and some music: