Michaeline: Cosmic Horror and Dread Cthulhu

Polish political poster featuring a Cthulhu in a suit carrying mystical paperwork.

Cthulhu is here. Artists in a lot of different countries have begun to think, “Why choose the Lesser Evil?” (Image via Wikimedia Commons; Wikipedia credits the drawing to Wieksze Zlo, and says it was photographed by Jakub Halun)

Cthulhu is here.

*Warning: here be spoilers. Do yourself a favor and take an hour or two to read the original short story, “Call of Cthulhu”. You may not enjoy it, but at the very least, you’ll be familiar with an important piece of pop currency. NB: I’ve only read the story this week myself, and haven’t read anything in associated universes. So, any opinions I have may be under-funded in the Cthulhu Canonical Knowledge department. Feel free to correct me, argue with me, or spoil me.

Last week, Jennifer Crusie posted a piece about the importance of Cthulhu to her current work-in-progress, and something tapped into my own deep anxiety and sense of cosmic horror.

Cthulhu is here.

Or at least, it’s an active force in popular culture, and it probably always has been. H.P. Lovecraft just identified it and shaped it into a story to wrestle with his own personal problems, and wrote that story in such a way that many people can use the idea to wrestle with their own unreasonable dread.

At the heart of Cthulhu is a conspiracy about something that can’t be Continue reading

Michaeline: In Case of Emergency

Well, what a week. Hurricane Harvey is in the news as clean-up efforts continue, while Hurricane Irma is heading to Mar-a-Lago (Fortune.com) and Rush Limbaugh’s home studio (Miami Herald). An earthquake and tsunami in Mexico (The Guardian, UK), plastic in our water (Teach the Earth website, hosted by carleton.edu), and solar flares (space.com). Everyone, I hope you are staying safe, and are in a position to help the less fortune.

The solar flares may cause disruptions in electronics, and I’ve noticed that the internet hasn’t been playing very nice the last few days — I assumed it was just because my location wasn’t very good, but I’m having the same problems at home.

So, just in case I’m late, I’m scheduling this post to go out on time. I’m not sure what to recommend. I’m going to wrap my electronics and my head in aluminum foil, and give the old pen and notebook route a try.

You’ve just got to laugh, haven’t you? Well, wish me luck on my more-serious, on-topic post, and in the meantime, please enjoy the fabulous Weird Al Yankovic with his rendition of Lorde’s “Royals” — titled “Foil” of course. So weird and wonderful!

And hey, if you manage to see a great sunset or (gasp!) the aurora (swpc.noaa.gov), drop us a line in the comments, or post a link to your pictures!

With no further ado, I link you to Mr. Yankovic! (P.S. “Word Crimes” is also terribly funny if you haven’t seen it.)

Michaeline: Word Crimes or Changing Times?

A highway man in a torn shirt breaks out of a stone prison and is received by a startled guard and a young lady with a candle.

Break free from a prison of received wisdom, and find a worthy guide to rules and usage. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

Sometimes living in Japan, I wind up discovering stuff years after it was popular. So, you might read this and think, “Oh, Michaeline, you are so two-thousand-late!” like a Black-Eyed Pea. (Yes, I just heard that lyric for the first time two days ago.) But that’s the way I roll. Discovering pop culture, like an archaeologist, LOL.

Anyway, I’ve always been an admirer of 80s pop parody phenom, Weird Al Yankovic. I came across his YouTube video  “Word Crimes” this week, and it plugs right into what I wanted to talk about: the changing language and how to determine the right way to write. Continue reading