misce stultitiam consiliis brevem

Archive for November, 2010

Calciate the Vote!

[The following email was sent on November 4th. The webmaster apologizes for forgetting to post it to the blog until just now. You have one week left to vote.]

The HRSFAns constitution calls for an election “The Election Chair
shall announce a date and time for counting ballots in November, and
shall distribute ballots to all dues-paying members of HRSFA, no fewer
than four weeks before the election.”

Well I am announcing an election with ballots due by Friday December
3, 29 days from now.

Send your ballots to

Remember your candidates are:

– Thomas Lotze ‘01

– Elisabeth Cohen ‘06

– Emily Morgan ‘07

It’s a turning point election for HRSFAns really, and I fear we are in
for a campaign season of mud-slinging, extremist base-mobilizing, and
last minute bribery. At least I’m hoping so.

Reminder: Only the votes of dues paying members shall count for this
election. In this case, “dues paying” just means:
1) Fill out our survey:

This is the required portion of renewing your membership! It only
takes five to ten minutes, but it’s very valuable, as it lets us know
how you feel about what HRSFANS is and could be doing.

2) Pay ~~OPTIONAL~~ membership dues.
Suggested dues are:
$23 standard dues (for the Illuminati)
$11 for recent graduates (in the last two years), or other who need a
reduced rate (for Bilbo)
$42 for those who can afford it (for Douglas Adams)

Remember, if no one votes, then we have to have a 4 hour election
meeting at the winter party.

Tony Vila
Michael VonKorff
Election Co-Chairs

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Who’s the medium now? Part II


Nur - Enemy of darkness and illuminator of consciousness


Xyn - Bringer of sleep, keeper of secrets and guardian of Mysteries

Earlier this fall I encountered an pair of goddesses to enthrall me, part of a larger pantheon on display in a coffee shop. More recently I found contact information for the artist, Jonah Kamphorst, and asked for their stories; he has been kind enough to send some preliminary pointers prepared for an earlier show.

I had earlier on the evening I wrote to Jonah re-read my other recent post on fiction, reality, and communication by/through artists. This pretty clearly influenced the particular questions I posed of this artist:

Are they from a world of yours? If so, to what degree are they yet fleshed out in your consciousness?  If not, where else can I look for more?

Jonah’s response is that he created the goddesses (note the direction of the agency) for himself, but has hoped others might find them illustrative or more. Also that he has an “extensive narrative … which is nowhere near complete” regarding them.

I haven’t checked yet, but my first guess is that Jonah has less than extensive experience writing narrative fiction so far. Again, as I noted last month, many writers seem to find themselves less than entirely in control of their narrative worlds. Also, I would describe none of my favorite fictional worlds as “complete”—or at least not as “completely described.” Wholeness in a world, whether this in which we live or those into which we follow storytellers’ great tales, is to my senses crucially dependent on there being always more to discover. One should always sense that one does not yet know everything that’s going on. Even, I expect, as a world’s creator.

Certainly that’s how I maintain my self-respect as a proper Dune fanatic: by insisting that it is not a universe belonging to and best understood by Frank Herbert. Herbert was merely the first to show it to us.

Likewise, I quite without remorse discarded Farscape barely into Season 3 and Six Feet Under part-way through Season 2, feeling the writers had lost track of their characters. And, despite my continued absorption in and deep respect for the character creation from Martha Cooley in The Archivist, I feel she mistakes her plot at the end.

Nur and Xyn here, from Jonah Kamphorst’s pantheon, remind me visually somewhat of “The two sisters,” from Margaret Mahy‘s The Door in the Air, and Other Stories, although these two are not actually complements as Jennifer and Jessica are. The obvious visual influences of Indian, Celtic, and cyberpunk cultures are quite striking and super-fun in combination. The image of Xyn linked here, though, does not quite feel the same as when I first saw it; it may be a different image, or possibly I feel different enough looking at it through the computer screen. In either case, I don’t have quite as forceful a feeling today as I did earlier this fall that there is more to discover—but it’s forceful enough.

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