Punishment Through Time

January 16th, 2019

Holocene, by Horehound 

Our Raw Heart, by YOB

“It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it.” – Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed 

“An audience of old stone in ancient theatre, watching a circle made hard to last. Each rock a number against years to come.” – Douglas Noble, Counting Stones: A hymn of Castlerigg

I’m a metal dilettante, always have been, but 2018 was a good year for really wallowing in some bad feelings, what with ever escalating anti-refugee rhetoric that can only act as an appetiser for brutality, anti-trans campaigning from “moderates” who’d call their own arguments out if they saw them applied elsewhere, the fact that people in power are so wedded to what they have that we’re all fully booked up for climate change and mass death in our lifetime, endless dead storytelling, the flailing triumph of tactics over strategy…  all of this served as my excuse for listening to endless spiralling riffs and blown out shredder symphonies last year.

The connection between the music and my mood is probably bollocks, mind, but I’m in my mid-30s now and I sometimes need to lie to myself about my indulgences. Thankfully, Horehound were there to help me out at the end of  2018. Their sludgy blues takes the idea of defeat for granted, uses it as a starting point, even – the first words on Holocene are “Rise/Rise/We take and give nothing”, words that are howled with revulsion, an embittered acknowledgement of a detested status quo.

Defiance follows, a yearning for a break that is so dramatic as to seem impossible…

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PRAISE FOR THE LOOKING GLASS HEIGHTS COMICS:

Classic British indie small press pamphlet, and a sharp burst of mood and ideas. It’s very much comics as poem – it’s the sort of work that Douglas Noble has been known to do” – Kieron Gillen

A spooky zine… Liked this a lot. The writing is really strong and the art suggests just enough to make you uneasySarah Horrocks

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portal #1

portal #2

portal #3

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If you enjoy the above video or any of the LGH comics, please consider giving some time or money to Living Rent (Scotland’s Tenants Union) or another similar group closer to home –

thanks,

David

Outside/In

January 11th, 2019

The Green Lantern #1-3, written by Grant Morrison, drawn by Liam Sharp, coloured by Steve Oliff

LaGuardia #1-2, written by Nnedi Okorafor, drawn by Tana Ford, coloured by James Devlin

“The outside is not “empirically” exterior; it is transcendentally exterior, i.e. it is not just a matter of something being distant in space and time, but of something which is beyond our ordinary experience and conception of space and time” – Mark Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie

“It sickened me when I heard the expression for the first time, barely understanding it, the expression crime of hospitality [delitd'hospitalitej]. In fact, I am not sure that I heard it, because I wonder how anyone could ever have pronounced it…” - Jacques Derrida, On Hospitality

The three novellas that make up Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti series have a distinct weirdness to them, one that’s partially generated by the flurry of casual references to alien technology and partially down to the narrative structure of the series, which gives it the feel of a story constantly in motion. This is most literally true in the first volume, which promises an adventure at a space university starring a girl from a culture that has previously had no truck with it and instead takes place mostly on the harrowed journey there, but the pattern repeats itself in new forms throughout the trilogy.

In Binti’s world(s), new adventures, homecomings and trips to meet forgotten family members are all guaranteed to be fleeting, frustrated events. In fact, at some points it feels as though Binti barely has time to recognise a new destination before it’s shifted, recontextualised as yet another point of navigation on a journey that is implicitly endless, beyond Binti, beyond any of our stories.

There is much to learn and love out there, but also a history of violence and oppression that stretches further than we can see…