• On Taletelling

    “The jinni shook with delight: The jinn resemble humans in their ability to appreciate the value of a marvelous tale. Mia Gerhardt suggests that the terms of this ransom tale are ultimately rooted in the values of early Islamic society, where storytelling was an important source of entertainment and a fundamental way of asserting one’s status as a civilized being. The ability of the three storytellers to entrance the jinni listener represents the superiority of human abilities: ‘Jinn may be stronger than men and often redoubtable, but men’s words charm them, men’s lives are more interesting than theirs‘ (p. 404). Ferial Ghazoul sees the exchange of stories as metonymic, as the old men sacrifice the intimate stories of their lives as a substitute for the sacrifice of the life of the merchant (p. 85).”

    —from The Annotated Arabian Nights, translated by Yasmine Seale and with notes by Paulo Lemos Horta

  • Flick: Carmen Jones

    Wildly uneven attempt to split the difference between Bizet’s opera and Hammerstein’s musical that does neither well. Makes the truly baffling decision to dub everyone’s singing voice despite casting Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge in the lead roles.

    Cinerarium
  • Fic: A Third The Seas

    Red and rich the seas, ripe with life, teeming, twitching life, furrowed against the grain, bringing forth every fruit and every fowl, every tree, every leviathan, rising to swallow the land…

    Alexander Hammil
  • Flick: A Hard Day’s Night

    Shockingly contemporary; feels like it’s from an entirely different universe than everything else we’ve seen on this list so far. Certainly the most New Wave things’ll get. The songs are just okay.

    Cinerarium
  • Fic: Floor It

    From the minute he had the wad in his hand, he had thirty minutes to make the drop and no time to waste.

    https://alexanderhammil.net/2022/05/19/hustle-2/
  • How did we do this again

    I like blogging a lot more than Twitter in a lot of ways—there’s a stillness to it that’s missing from the perennial fishbowl of social media—but it’s definitely a lot more lonely. I miss the conversational piece that used to be a part of the scene, particularly back when everybody I knew online was on LiveJournal (RIP to a real one). I don’t even remember how we *built* those communities back in the day—you followed people and then you commented on their posts? But that’s not really possible with RSS feeds in the same way? Hrm.

  • When Will You Die

    George W Bush had a li’l Freudian slip today and called the invasion of Iraq “wholly unjustified and brutal” when he meant to talk about the invasion of Ukraine, and his little self-satisfied chuckle at the end is the most infuriating thing. Someday he’ll die and we’ll dance in the streets.

  • Fic: Owens Street

    She counts everything out loud: thirteen instruments, three sharps, ten gauzes, four tubes, one small dollop of lubricant.

    https://alexanderhammil.net/2022/05/18/owens-street/
  • Cesare Eyes

    I’ve been watching a lot of old Perry Mason episodes this week and I’m lowkey obsessed with Raymond Burr’s exhausted, giant eyes. Look at this dude!

  • Fic: Welcome to Detroit

    So she’s tied to the block with the witch doing some witch shit, and her friend the possessed zombie comes sidling up to her and says, maybe I should kill you, you know, just so the witch doesn’t get your power.

    https://alexanderhammil.net/2022/05/17/welcome-to-detroit/
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