Ghosts of the past

I write like
Rudyard Kipling

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I ran some of my writing through an online analyzer and it gave me this result. I guess Kipling isn’t so bad, but I haven’t read him in years and I was never super into him, so he probably didn’t influence me that way. Then I ran another sample through the analyzer and got this:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Oh come on, I’ve never even read Lovecraft! Be more consistent, literature robot! I was actually afraid I wrote like Isaac Asimov, I read most of Foundation when I was 10 and I think I absorbed Asimov’s sparing descriptions. Strangely enough, the Lovecraft sample was from a non-fiction essay. I guess Lovecraft’s writing sounds like dry academic text.

Nick Carraway, Action Hero

The Great Gatsby - Press Start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever wonder what The Great Gatsby would have been like as a mid-80s Japanese video game? Yeah, neither have I. But a couple of enterprising chaps have answered the question that was burning in no one’s mind. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The fake manual and fictional provenance propels it further into the heights of absurdity, but the cut scene where Gatsby teleports while gazing at the green light from Daisy’s house is already sublime in its awful glory.

You’ve got to love the fact that you have to fight Meyer Wolfsheim’s Jewish gangsters along with hobos, flappers, and the Black Sox. But where is the ghost of the Dutchman from? I don’t remember that from the book, but admittedly I haven’t read it in a long while.

Video game trivia: the titular character of The Legend of Zelda video game series was named after Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, wife of dear old Francis Scott.

EDIT:

Holy crap, some company made Gatsby into an adventure game. It’s not a parody like the game above, it’s an actual thing that’s supposed to make money and everything. It looks like one of those classic inventory games where you click on everything trying to find the object you need to solve the puzzle you’re stuck on. Pretty pictures and you even have a GOSSIP action, but I wonder if the game makers kept Tom’s fascination with racist literature?

The pic is from the adventure game, not the parody from above

Why Sarapen?

Okay, so let’s just get this out of the way: Bulgarians, I am not connected to the Sara Pen store that apparently sells fashion accessories. As for the rest of you, I have not read Lonely Werewolf Girl nor have I named my blog after one of the characters. You people are skewing my Google Analytics numbers. Not that I mind getting more visitors, but I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being gypped.

The blog itself is named after a Filipino children’s rhyming chant that goes like this:

Penpen de sarapen
de kutsilyo de almasen.
Haw haw de carabao
batuten.

Sayang pula, walang pera.
Sayang puti, walang salapi.

Sipit namimilipit
Gintong Pilak
Namumulaklak
Sa tabi ng DAGAT!

At least that’s how the version I learned as a child goes, apparently there are minor variations. For a translation and further explanation, go here.

There, now you know the secret behind this blog.

Mine at last

Magus Triumphant! Magus, blazing with power, raises the Infinity Gauntlet as Dr. Doom recoils in defeat.

Finally, all of the posts and comments from Sarapen II have been imported here. At last, my blog is whole once again. None shall stand before me!

Or not. Say, does anyone out there remember the Infinity War crossover mini-series from the 1980s? No? It was pretty fun as long as you checked your brain at the door. Man, check out how wordy comics were back then. Like a third of the picture is nothing but words, almost all of them unnecessary. Purple dude gets a magic glove, how many words does it take to describe that?

Magus there used to have a totally sweet afro, though, instead of that chasen-gami samurai topknot he has in the pic. And damn if he isn’t afraid of rocking the codpiece and the hot pants. Now that’s a man who deserves to be ruler of the universe. If you’re too much of a wussy to even wear short shorts in public, how could you be trusted to wield the Infinity Gauntlet responsibly?

Alternate prehistory

I just finished reading Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter. It’s an alternate prehistory novel set in 7300 BC in the former land bridge that connected Britain to the continent, before the water from the melting glaciers raised sea levels and turned perfidious Albion into an island nation. Against this backdrop of climactic change occurs the story of the Etxelur people and how they come to build great dikes to keep out the sea and thereby changed the face of the earth itself. The book is first and foremost a novel, so the story focuses mainly on the relationships and petty struggles between the various individuals and factions and not on the admittedly dry and boring geological details.

After a small tsunami wipes out half of her tribe, Ana organizes her people and their neighbours into a labour force that works on the dikes during the abundance of the summer. Her obsession with preventing the sea from claiming more lives and land eventually leads her to buy stone and slaves from another tribe.

Essentially, this part of Stone Spring depicts the hydraulic theory of state formation in action, which proposes that states formed because people needed to organize themselves in order to build and maintain complex irrigation systems, otherwise they’d have starved to death.

I didn’t like this part of the book because it felt unrealistic from an anthropological point of view.

Continue reading Alternate prehistory