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Since I haven't given you anything truly creative in a while, and since I'm experiencing a rather infuriating writers block at present, a very modest Carrot has allowed me to post this very clever tapestry, so that at least I can pretend I wrote it....... So please tell her what an excellent tapestry it is and tell me to stop posting other people's stuff and get moving on something of my own again. Thank you * * * * * * * He was just standing around, frustrated, waiting for something to happen. He’d been there quite a few weeks. Initially, he’d felt relieved and at peace with the world, outside in the field, away from all the hustle and bustle, the noise, confusion, crime and violence of that world. Here, amongst the birds and voles of the acreage, he felt smoothly aware of his purpose in the universe and complete. He had attained validation. He was no longer just something put together by uncaring hands, with little or no time to attend to the details of facial features and tasteful clothing. After being stuffed and bundled up into a formless lump, resembling a twisted Wicker Man, he was “clothed” in cast off, smelly overalls and dumped into the back of a tractor, along with his compatriots. Now, lassoed and mounted unceremoniously on a pole, he contemplated his lot. Where had his sense of duty gone to? Why did he feel this untenable restlessness? What had changed in his soul? Why was he no longer content? The sun, his friend for the moment, seemed sullen today, not wishing to warm the straw and heat his limbs in any magnanimous act of good neighbourliness. He had dreamt the night away, visions of stars and a revolving earth spun in his head. Now awake and in charge of the day, he longed to be off, striding across the rich brown soil, out into the world, to explore. But then the realisation hit him with a thud, that he would never do that. He would never taste the freedom of mobility. And he felt strange and alien again, his head hung limp and the workman’s oily cap, which had been slapped on top of his matted head when he was made, tottered low on his brow, ready to fall off, if the wind would take the trouble to blow in his direction. A deep sad lethargy settled on him, a faint memory stirred but it was soon forgotten. For a fleeting second, he’d been consumed by an animal desire to leave this place, to wander around and find out what was going on. There was something happening, somewhere else. He vaguely remembered that feeling but just as quickly as he remembered how it felt, he forgot it again. He knew that his purpose was to do the bidding of man, to scare the birds of the sky away from this patch of mud but now, in his lonely reverie, that seemed so inane and silly. Why did he feel that way? Where had these thoughts come from? He tried to lift his head and spy the others, who like him, hung dejected and motionless on their lances in the ground but as much as he struggled, he could not do this simple thing. He thought that maybe his neck was broken. Then he saw it. At first, the spark flashed for just a second and spluttered out. But as he stared at the ground where the spark had hit, he saw smoke rise in a wispy, innocent, tiny tendril, lurching up out of the ground towards his feet. He did not know what this new animal was. He had never seen anything so remarkable. He watched transfixed as the smoke grew thicker and a tiny crackle spoke to him. He was amazed at how cheerful this crackle appeared and how bright it flickered in the watery sunlight. The spark and crackle became one and engorged itself out onto the surrounding earth, crawling closer to his feet, devouring tiny shreds of broken grass and dead leaves. He was fascinated by this new affectionate orange snake, how it glittered and chuckled at him from the ground. He smiled at it gently, as a father would to a child, wanting to pick it up and hold it, feed it, give it some sustenance. He felt enamoured with the vitality of this new thing that seemed so happy to see him, chattering and buzzing around his feet. His focus was consumed with the realisation that this new creature was not afraid of him, or disgusted by the sight of his raggedy clothes. Had this new friend come to rescue him? Could they speak the same language? Would they love each other? He dwelt for a moment on his imagined feeling about love. He yearned for this sensation and agonised about how beautiful it would be to love such a magical god-thing as this – a fantastic, sparkling dragon, bustling with a life force all to itself. Where had it come from? And why had it appeared before him, seeking his audience, just when he thought that his life was dwindling into obscurity, depression, futility and shame? Was this an angel? Why was it so interested in him? He felt humbled by its urgent and obvious affection and he did not, would not, allow himself to dwell on the impotence of these new thoughts. He gazed in wonder and admiration as the little friend grew bigger and suddenly it seemed angry about many things. It appeared confused and unsure of its path. First choosing one, then twisting back on itself and searching wildly for another. It spat and hissed, coiling about on the ground in a demented and tortured agony. This puzzled him and he was, for a moment, saddened and worried by it. He wondered whether the world had become too frightening for it, or that it had lost its way and again, he wanted to reach out and hold it tenderly in his arms and assure the growing demon infant of its worth. But it flashed and screamed at his legs, arching its back, writhing in fury. And as he watched it flail and lash about him, he became warm, as warm as he would ever be. And smiling into the face of death, the fire consumed him, taking with it the field of his dreams and all thoughts of redemption.


Quizzical Carrots

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As requested, five questions for Ms Lucretia:

1) Cd or Vinyl? Why?
2) "We are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday we’ll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but we won’t. And we’re just learning this fact..." - Chuck Palahniuk. Fact or fallacy? Discuss.
3) "..just the bare necessities, that's all I need. Choosing which clothes to take is the hardest thing." - Haruki Murakami. Why are you so restless?
4)Summarise the alternate ending for the movie 'Gladiator'. Your alternate ending.
5)"Falling feels like flying, until you hit the ground and everything is beautiful..." - Tom McRae. Describe your masterplan to achieve unaided flight.


Hell Yes!!!!!

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Champions Words fail......



So I finally gave in to the 'official interview' meme. I should have known resistance would be futile. First round of questions............why only the greatest feline assassin of all time, the Banzai Cat!

(1) If you were a city, which one would you be?
My wife is always telling me I spend far too much time trying to rationalise things, that I vacation in my mind more then is healthy (who, me?)....so I guess it would have to be Alexandria of old. Plus, most of you already know how much I love libraries......
Though from time to time, I do dream of Nephelokokkygia............... (2) You're stuck in a mall while giant spiders attack. What weapon would you pick to defend yourself?
Uther Doul. Which raises the question, can a person be qualified as a weapon? Well, since that is very much his role in the context of the book, I don't believe I'm taking any liberties in using him as such. Besides, I'm being attacked by freakin' giant spiders here and you want to argue semantics!?!
Either that or I'd change weapon to ability and choose as mine the ability to summon and control a murder of crows. Hungry crows. (3) Boxers or briefs? Aside from the slightly unnerving curiousness as to why you would ask that question, I'd have to be brief and say I'm a boxer-briefs man myself. (And don't give me flack for the ridiculous pun, you knew I'd use it so don't look so horrified!)
(4) Do you believe? Hmmm.....I do believe in this, parts of this, I desperately wanted to believe this (oh well, sigh) and I can't believe this! (5) Where would you rather be right now?
Looking for Benny.
I apologise for the seemingly cryptic nature of this answer, but it is what popped into my head immediately and it's honest. I don't think you're looking for anything more than that.

The Official Interview Game Rules:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “interview me.” 2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person’s will be different. 3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions. 4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post. 5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

If you don’t have a blog, I will still ask you 5 unique questions and you can post your answers here.


Ecclesiastes 1:9

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Memory, the past, reality - how to capture that fleeting moment, why the need to define previous, to trap it, cage it and display it. Should the artist concern himself with this hunt? Is it not the ultimate concern of the artist? Do we involve ourselves in 'the framing and drawing' to prove that we hunt a prey that does not exist? To assume that because memory cannot be reproduced in its exact contextual nature and that there is therefore no value in forgery, is to undermine the nature of the artistic process and the effect it has upon those who, aware or ignorant, are in daily contact with its many forms. Surely there must be answers in the quest for memory, answers in the pale forgeries? When I was still studying photography, I had a theory that truth (that of the past and the present) as a matter of traces was the banner under which I had to operate. Place a camera in the hands of everyman, and the base human urge to record the obvious will prevail. The true nature of an image is often that part that is most overlooked, or in some cases, the most well disguised. How often does the aspiring critic glean meaning where it is not to be found, not because he is preoccupied with his image more than that of the artist (well, partially), but because it is an almost monolithic force that places what he wants to see in the image, superimposing non-existent meaning. How much of that which we believe we have grasped remains, in fact, further from our grasp than ever before? If the viewer can never fully grasp an image, as that image fails to grasp its subject, then upon recollection the image alters, setting in motion a possibly infinite process in which the more an image is committed to memory and then recalled, the more it is unlike the original. But an after-image, a trace always remains. If a created image is not whole, lacking in reality but abundant in imperfect collection. then what does one create images of? If the representation of a memory is flawed or unreal, then surely that representation should be the same? If a human body is the subject, is it not truer to mask identity, distort, disguise, concentrate on absence rather than inclusion? If what before was an image of a simple room, a box, an ornament, an unglamourous face, then what will the representation of such things achieve? Nothing? The reaffirmation that such things are in fact banal? According to Derrida we, not only the image, cannot be Whole. According to Baudrillard we, not only the image, cannot be Real. According to Virilio we, not only the image, cannot be There. This loss or absence, this failure, rather than being merely a metaphysical failure of presence opens up the possibility, infinite in scope, to set in motion a play with the plurality of the other, the difference between the self and the other, that allows for experience to be open. But surely art is not exclusively about the final image, rather, the process: the journey is the destination. If the image is failed and imperfect, does this not apply to the process? Whether it be cathartic or not, much pleasure can be derived from the creation of an image. But at the same time, the knowledge that this creative process is at best only able to produce pale shadows must weigh heavily. The initial pride at manipulating the viewer, rapping the knuckles of society, can only ever be short-lived. And what of the notion of the 'authentic copy'? If the painted image is flawed, in essence and not in technique, then what of those qualities we so love to see? Can an image be truly beautiful? If the image is perverted, this beauty must too be perverted. Wholeness gives way to the partial, identity to anonymity, warmth to horror. We see the human face every day, and though it affects us in many ways, fear and horror would not normally be among those emotions. Then why does a photographed or painted face have the potential to instill the viewer with paranoia, even repulsion. What does the face lose in it's conversion to canvas or film that can transform our reactions? Or for that matter, is it something it gains? Is it a confrontation with the obsolete? What could be mistaken for warmth is in fact sickness. The image that appears peaceful is nothing of the kind. There is a constant violence. Not that violence which has been redefined in an age of the flickering screen, but a violence of a different sort. A violence in which we believe reality to be of a certain nature, but through the image, perhaps a deception, we are shaken by the realisation that it is not so. Can the truth be grasped by the piecing together of the traces in every indexical image? It is certainly closer to being captured when we accept that truth is not what we hope it to be. What of this chain-reaction? The infinite means by which an image is created, viewed, recollected, altered, created ad infinitum? This process allows us to operate upon a reality that has become more stable (yet which threatens to crumble at any moment). There is nothing new under the sun? How can we answer that statement with any certainty if our memories are as fickle as the attempts to capture them in paint, pencil and film? To paraphrase Georges Bataille, the realisation that this mourning of loss, this impossibility of violence in which the image making process is complicit, is also ironically and paradoxically, the very beginning of worlds of possibility. Goddamn Art College, couldn't just allow me to think like a sane and rational person, could they.


The plot thickens......

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It seems the 'Piano Man' mystery is slowly being resolved.....he has been identified. Thanks to Onkroes for the update. Damn, and I had such a great script.



Is it really that time again? When grown men huddle together in darkened theatres, sharing the latest DIY lightsabre specifications....... I mean really, an asthmatic overlord, a pouty pseudo-teenager, European robots, a sci-fi story set in the PAST? What gives? And the door should most certainly not have been left a-Jar Jar (yes, I know, that was beyond corny, but then so is the script writing!) A really ancient, green elf with a penchant for butchering the English language, he has. Sheesh.............. Now if you'll please excuse me, I need to phone Mrs TenMiles and remind her to pick up my Vader mask for tonight's sneak preview..........where the hell did I put my limited edition Millenium Falcon cell phone? For those fanatics with a sense of humour, try this.


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Someone had taken the fate of the world and tossed it onto a chair and somebody else had dumped it under a table, where it remained until a thin, grey-haired tramp picked up the paper, wiped off the worst of the grime and spread it out. - Jon Courtenay Grimwood The cynic in me is feeling somewhat dominant today......


"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence" - Robert Fripp

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Link here Sshhhhh.........did you hear that? It's the sound of a thousand scripts winging their way to Hollywood...


Shiver me timbers...

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Avast, ye Scurvy Scum, Arrr!!!!........I have indeed taken on the image of a pirate gleefully hoarding the contents of Davey Jones' Locker, as horrible an image as that may be. A rather grand birthday week culminated on Friday with the long overdue arrival of my Amazon package. So if you will allow a quiet gloat or two, my loot consists of a good few musical banquets, Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Jeff VanderMeer's City of Saints and Madmen and Jon Courtenay Grimwood's Stamping Butterflies. For those curious as to the details of said musical banquets, I submit the following for your disentanglement:

Once you're lost in twilights's blue You don't find your way, the way finds you
It takes the weight out of living
And my soul's just a silhouette On the ashes of a cigarette
It's a little too much to ask of faith A little too late to wait for fate So tell the angels what you've seen Scarecrow shadow on the Nazarene
This is the army of none, got no flag, got no home
This is the pocket-sized edition Rapid sleep through benediction
We're just blind pilots In strange planes Back seat drivers In dead cars
No there’s no light In the darkest of your furthest reaches In other news, Lucretia has done some work on the various segments of the collective story crossing 'leitmotiv', which now stands as a short story or, more hopefully, the seed to another branch. Time will tell....... Ten Miles will most likely be a place for quiet reflection over the next few days, as yours truly embarks on a journey to the darkest depths of sadomasochism, otherwise known as 'study leave'. Exams start on Friday, so pray that I come to my senses and depart the country well before then. Thanks again to all who so unexpectedly left birthday wishes, if I don't turn up in some wild corner of Borneo, I shall return soon!
"The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos."
- Stephen Jay Gould


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A very wise person once said: "Sometimes words fail me; music doesn't. Simple as that." Why bother saying anything else?


Sliding doors......

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Adamant has posted on a topic I'm sure we've all thought about at one time or another. Sometimes, when you keep in mind how definitive the little decisions can be, it makes the larger ones seem that much less insurmountable. He's asked for our stories and I'd be interested in reading yours, for those who'd like to share. I've cut and pasted my response, so it may seem rather abrupt.

It's 1996, I'm fresh out of school and mid-way through a one-year course, when my parents start talking about immigrating from SA to Australia. Father goes over to follow up potential job prospects, everything seems to be moving smoothly and then one afternoon he overhears a conversation I'm having with a good friend. I'm talking about the move and how I'd probably finish up studying there and more than likely come back to SA. That plants the seed of doubt in his mind, as the main purpose of the move is to ensure a 'better' future for myself and my sister. By this time, I haven't applied to any local universities or made any arrangements for the coming year, as I'm under the impression that I won't be here for much longer. And then the move slowly dissolves, we all agree to stay and I'm left with nothing to do the next year. So I start working in a Chinese restaurant, where one fateful night I meet an incredible young woman, who many years later would become my wife.


Ambrosial

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You may recall 100 things no.94, bottled nostalgia. Now Carl V has, in an inspired bit of observation, seen the potential of this idea and has decided to partner me in this endeavor. Our plan for world domination is in place, yet we lack one crucial item.............a name for the product! So, should anyone have any ingenious ideas, please let us know and we may, in our unsurpassed magnanimity, decide to cut you in on the deal.


Just this once.......

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Please forgive the following indulgence, but such things are a rare occurence. Normal broadcasting will resume shortly. liverpool


9 comments

"From the back of another drawer I take out a photo of me and my older sister when we were little, the two of us on a beach somewhere with grins plastered across our faces. My sister's looking off to the side so half her face is in shadow and her smile is neatly cut in half. It's like one of those Greek tragedy masks in a textbook that's half one idea and half the opposite. Light and dark. Hope and despair. Laughter and sadness. Trust and loneliness. For my part I'm staring straight ahead, undaunted, at the camera. Nobody else is there at the beach. My sister and I have on swimsuits--hers a red floral-print one-piece, mine some baggy old blue trunks. I'm holding a plastic stick in my hand. White foam is washing over our feet." Kafka on The Shore by Haruki Murakami When does the realisation hit that you no longer know someone you never thought you'd forget?


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