A scientific announcement this week made me think of H.P. Lovecraft. It was not the picture of the black hole that may or may not just be some photoshopped art. It was the fossil discovery yielding a being named cthulu because of its tentacle resemblance to Lovecraft’s most famous creation. This made me rush to reread At the Mountains of Madness and enjoy more Lovecraft.
Some writers age horribly as their writing while fantasy or sci-fi focused are too much a product of their time. Lovecraft is not one of them. It is Lovecraft’s reliance on mood and atmosphere of his stories as well as his vague descriptions of the monsters that inhabit his stories that prevent this time-stamping. He leaves much unsaid and unknown, which allows a reader to imagine. The horror is not knowing exactly why or how but knowing that these entities exist.
At The Mountains of Madness has not been adapted for the silver screen, but The Thing is sort of similar. Prometheus fits the story and mood as well. The technology is there now to adapt it. Antarctica itself keeps churning out the mysteries to create enough mystique to sell an audience on relaxing for two hours and going along for a wild ride.
Lovecraft’s appeal too is the very implicit race awareness in his writing that modern critiques are trying to use to unperson him. Lovecraft saw the cities and recognized them for what they were. America’s cities in his day were overstuffed from the post-Civil War waves of immigration that seemed to land at eastern ports and just stick. Governor Al Smith’s family story being a perfect example where they rented roughly blocks from where they got off the boat and stayed for years. Lovecraft was disgusted by this.
What is The Shadow Over Innsmouth but a tale to not give into mingling with others just to try to maintain the current system? It is there buried in the tale. The islanders strike a deal with the sea creatures because they do not want to change behavior, but instead change their very souls. Same for the sailors of Innsmouth. The town maintained its economic situation but in doing so became full of fish people.
There is something to Lovecraft’s mood setting and ability to write a great scene. Visit Rhode Island. The state is a craggy coastline of a bay and coves where no matter where you drive you always feel close to water yet the forest covers hills that go right to the coast. It does not feel like a happy seashore vacation spot. As someone who believes land shapes the people, I can see this affecting Lovecraft’s soul. On to the links…
Luttwak On Japan – The opening line sets the tone, “One can fly to Japan from anywhere, but from Japan one can only fly to the Third World, and it hardly matters whether one lands in Kinshasa, London, New York or Zurich”.
A Mexican Nightmare – Was that massacre of students in Mexico something worse than cartel violence? This book review covers the massacre, Mexico and the reason no one in America who has a clue about Mexico wants that here. Some strong accusations in this book, but with El Chapo trial witnesses claiming to have offered a $100 million bribe to the last Mexican president, anything is possible.
Decline In Conspiracy – This is a great post by AnomalyUK on how the public spectacle and new means of communication have killed the old conspiracy method of politics. The transparency now demands insanity but also honesty. Organizing is in the open and must be in the open.
5 Geopolitical Questions No One Knows The Answer to – This is a great read as he touches on the major concerns on the great game. He may be ascribing too much rationality to US government actions.
Countries Are Coworking Spaces – Roosh does a nice job of succinctly identifying a feeling about the modern city and SWPL class’ existence in a great analogy. The experience and worldview of the Davos class that Chris Lasch wrote about in Revolt of the Elites has now trickled down to the white liberal striver class of the West.
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That Luttwak quote is the cleverest, richest string of words I’ve read in quite a long time. I would hope every Japanese person would hear it and think about the responsibility such a complement entails.