Behind the scenes post

June 10, 2011 2 comments

Loyal reader(s):

I changed the ˝theme˝ of the website from one preset option to another because the photos were wider than the ˝columns˝ on the website and it looked stupid. I´m sure there´s probably an easier way to do this, rather than changing the whole layout of the website  but whatever.

 

Pros:

40% less wackiness per update

 

Cons:

Roosevelt – monster disappeared somewhere and I can´t get him to come back

On the Train to Moscow

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Hour 1

We boarded the train at about 11PM local time in Irkutsk, Russia and quickly headed to our 4 – person cabin (called a Koop in Russian). The Koop on this train was basically two bunk beds in a very small room, with about 40 or 50cm between the two bunks. Sure, it´s not luxury; but it´ll do for 4 days.

Hour 6

After a couple hours sleep we all slowly woke up and started to adjust to our newly – congested life together. Personally, I slowly woke up and put in my ipod earphones, listening to the latest History of Rome podcast (shoutout to Steve), to wake me up.

I tried to make a cup of coffee using the urn in our carriage, but because I only had some freeze dried Nescafé and no milk or cup, this went about as well as expected. When I was trying to make my way back to the bottom bunk that I´d claimed late last night, Anna accidentally dropped her phone on me. She had the bunk right above mine, so it´s only natural, and no big deal. I´ll ask her to be a little bit more careful next time.

Hour 9

Once everyone had properly woken up, and I´d had my aborted attempt at a coffee, we decided to play cards for a while. I wasn´t really in the mood, but I´m stuck in the train with everyone for a couple of days, so I played along for about two hours, just to keep the peace.

Hour 11

I left everyone to play a game of Big 2 without me, so I could read some more of Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (AKA the most amazing book ever). Anna occasionally dropped some cards down on me as she played. Kind of annoying because I had to keep making sure that I picked up every card that she dropped. I asked her to be a little bit more careful and she giggled at me as she promised to hold onto the more tightly.

Hour 19

I woke up to a large bang, as Anna´s bag fell down from her bunk slammed into the floor of the carriage. It missed my head by about an inch. I was about to pass it back up (swearing under my breath, when a second bag fell, with a second bang. In my half-awake state, I passed both the bags back up to Anna, and she muttered something at me as she put them to one side. I was a little bit confused, because I could only remember Anna bringing one bag onto the train…

… The second bag missed me by less than half an inch.

Hour 24

Woke up in the morning feeling like P Diddy terrible because I could hardly sleep last night. The motion of the train kept me up most of the night and after a while I decided to put my earphones in and listened to some NoMeansNo to try and put me to sleep. I could have sworn that I heard giggling through the music.

Cards again.

The hours flew by; the cards fell from above.

Hour ?

In both Drujite and Lovecraftian polytics of radical exteriority, omega-survival or strategic endurance is maintained by an excessive paranoia that cannot be distinguished from a schizophrenic delirium. For such a paranoia – saturated by parasitic survivalism and persistence in its own integrity – the course of activity coincides with that of schizo-singularities. Paranoia, in the Cthulhu Mythos and in Drujite-infested Zoroastriansim, manifests itself as a sophisticated hygiene-Complex associated with the demented Aryanistic obsession with purity and the structure of monotheism. This arch-sabotaged paranoia, in which the destination of purity overlaps with the emerging zone of the outside, is called schizostrategy. If, both for Lovecraft and the Aryans, purity must be safeguarded by an excessive paranoia, it is because only such paranoia and rigorous closure can attract the forces of the Outside and effectuate cosmic akienage in the form of radical openness – that is, being butchered and cracked open. Drujite cults fully developed this schizotrategic line through the fusion of Aryanistic purity with Zoroastrian monotheism. The Zoroastrian heresiarchs such as Akht soon discovered the immense potential of schizostrategy for xeno-calls, subversion and sabotage. As a sorcerous line, schizostrategy opens the entire monotheistic culture to cosmodromic openness and its epidemic meshworks. As the nervous system of Lovecraftian strategic paranoia, openness is identified as ‘being laid, cracked, butchered open’ through a schizostrategic participation with the Outside. In terms of the xeno-call and schizostrategy, the non-localizable outside emerges as the xeno-chemical inside or the Insider. 

Falling is schizostrategy.

Hour 31

Time feels almost meaningless now. The time difference between Irkutsk and Moscow is only 4 hours but because this is slowly drawn out over nearly 4 days, it feels strange. The fact that the sun doesn’t set until about 11:30 PM local (?) time doesn’t help.

Train – lag is different from jet – lag.

Hour 47

Writing is more difficult now as the scalding burns on my right had ache whenever the skin touches something.

I woke up early (?) this morning before Anna, and tried to make instant noodles quickly using the carriage´s urn. I nearly made it back to the safety of my bunk before a hair dryer flew down and landed in the noodles. The boiling water went all over me and it wasn’t long before my hand began to ache.

In the background I heard giggling.

Hour ?

Hidden Writing, whether as apocrypha scripta or steganographia, integrates the utilitarian frenzy of ( )hole complex as its functioning principle, inseparable from its convoluted structure. In Hidden Writing structure and function alike are the same as in the dynamism of emergence and formation in porous earth. Hidden Writing can be described as utilizing every plot hole, all problematics, every suspicious obscurity or repulsive wrongness as a new plot with a tentacled and autonomous mobility. The aftermath of this utilization manifests itself as an act of writing whose effect is to deteriorate the primary unified plot or remobilize the so-called central theme and its authority as a mere armature or primary substance for holding things together. The central or main plot is reinvented solely in order that it may stealthily host, transport and nurture other plots. In Hidden Writing, a main plot is constructed to camoflage other plots (which can register themselves as plot holes) by overlapping them with the surface (superficially dynamic plot) or the grounded theme. In terms of such a writing, the main plot is the map or the concentration blueprint of plot holes (the other plots). Every hole is a footprint left by at least one more plot, prowling underneath.

Hour 51?

I awoke again to noise. Shoes flew past my vision to crash to the floor. Pots and pans joined them. The whistling of their fall was almost louder than their crash.

Giggling.

I put up the volume on my ipod to help drown out the noise. My eyes absorbed Cyclonopedia while my ears absorbed NoMeansNo.

My mind floated.

Hour 17?

6.       The simplest way to understand Anglossic Qabalah or AQ is as a continuation of hexadecimal digit formation (for which A = 10, B = 11, through F = 15), following the standard decimal digits. Anglossic Qabalah (Gematria) proceeds in this fashion up to Z = 35, thus avoiding the redundant mapping of digits or letters by preserving the standard values of the decimal digits 0 – 9. For example, according to AQ the word NINE is equal to 78 (N{23}+I{18}+N{23}+E{14}) which is reducible to 15 and consequently 6. If AQ has been extensively used as a numerological system, it is because it evades the mystico-prophetic redundancy – the consequence of too much elaboration and technical details for the uninitiated – of the traditional Kabbalistic systems. AQ corresponds more to the virally propogative, optimizedly effective and efficient elements of economy, communication, military, traffic and mobility. Numbers as corresponding to populations or demographical dynamics rather than axiomatic mathematics (Hyperstition Laboratory)

Hour ?

I dare not leave the safety of my bunk. I now lie facing the wall of the Koop as things rain down around me. I feel like my ipod is all that protects me from the Outside(r), even though I can hear …things… through the music.

Crashing and banging and oily noises as viscous things slop over the edge of the bunk above me.

The giggling is ever present.

Hour GGGGGGGGV

He thought he was putting his things in the right place  
Everything had a name and everything had a place  
But now there’s so much of this stuff around  
That when we look down on the ground  
There is nothing there to see  
Well, you’re probably saying to yourself,  
„I guess they buried it somewhere else”  
Wait a minute, wait a minute, please wait a minute  
Just bend your neck, just crane your neck, just twist your neck  
But don’t break your neck and look above you, look above you  
Above us is the garbage, below us is the earth  
Above us is the garbage, below us is the earth  
And each day, each hour, each minute, each second  
We’re crawling, crawling, clawing, falling more, more, more, more it’s junk 

Mockba Cтанция

I see the sign through the train window.

I quickly grabbed my bag and made a dash through the open koop door, thinking that I could make it through the rain of falling things. As soon as I left the safety of the bunk I was hit by a watermelon and a Five Fingers sandal.

It was worth it.

As stepped off the train and onto the platform I began laughing uncontrollably. There was no roof above me but the stars.

Freedom.

In the background I heard giggling.

Sneak Preview 5

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Cyclonopedia

NoMeansNo

Falling

Olkhon Island – Damo is a dirty liar

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Ok so ignoring the fact that we didn’t catch a goddamn hovercraft like Damo promised, Olkhon Island was a lot of fun. It´s some kind of perennial second or third placed um… place? It´s (I think) the third largest lake bound island in the world, sitting in the second largest lake in the world; so it´s nothing special almost by definition.

Nice ukelele LIAR

Looking towards Olkhon Island

Here´s the usual quick summary:

Olkhon Island seems to be a very poor (by Siberian standards) area.

To the extent that Anna wasn’t allowed to pay for 89 rubles of groceries at the store with a 100 ruble note because they couldn’t afford the change.

The only thing that makes money at all on Olkhon Island is wood (basically old – growth evergreen pine forests that fill 90% of the island).

So everything, everything on Olkhon Island is made out of wood.

There seems to be a lot of deforestation on Olkhon Island (ok hands up, who is surprised by this?).

The main town (where we stayed) in Olkhon Island is called ˝Main Town˝ in Russian. The main road in ˝Main Town˝ is called ˝Main Road˝ in Russian.

Not as slippery as you would expect

We found this ˝slide˝ in the school playground

We stayed at a place called Nikita´s Homestay at Olkhon, which was apparently set up by a former Ping Pong gold medallist, (called Nikita, I guess?), the place was filled with amazing woodwork, but unfortunately not filled with ping pong tables.

Nikita 1

Nikita 2

A bit hard to see, but this little hut is actually filled with old fashioned sewing machines. Sorry mum, I couldn´t fit one in my bag!

After lounging around for a day or two we went to:

The somehow still functioning docks

Docks

Seriously Dilapidated

The beach for a swim

Beach

Seriously Cold

Some kind of sacred shaman site

Shaman site

Seriously Sacred

And for a general walk around the coast

Coast

Seriously Beautiful

I´ll leave everyone with a photo of almost the entirety of Main Town

Main Town

Seriously Tiny

 

After 2 nights at Olkhon we hopped in a minivan driven by a James Bond henchman look-alike (no photos, because I did´t want to be killed) were on our way back to Irkutsk, for a 4 day train to Moscow!

Categories: Olkhon Island, Photos

Sneak Preview 4

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Hovercraft

LOOK AT ALL OF THAT ICE

Does this look like a hovercraft to you Damien?

DOES IT?!?!?!

Categories: Photos, Sneak Preview

Irkutsk – This flag is incredible

May 25, 2011 1 comment

We got off the overnight train at Irkutsk station and tried to follow the directions given to us by the hostel – “Take any tram for 3 stops, then get off and go into the alley behind the “OPTIKA” sign”. Helpful.

Through great skill and ingenuity we managed to make it to the hostel pretty quickly and dumped our bags before going outside for a walk around the city. To our surprise Irkutsk was actually much, much warmer than Mongolia and it was pretty much T-shirts and shorts weather the whole time we were there.

View of Irkutsk

View of the river

Our hostel was on Lenin street, which was right around the corner from Karl Marx street, so that was exciting for me. What confused me was that there was a statue of Stalin on Lenin street, and a statue of Lenin on Karl Marx street; there was, however, a  statue of Yuri Gagarin on Gagarin street, so at least that one made sense.

Lenin statue - Irkutsk

Irkutsk is full of fantastic looking and old fashioned wooden houses. Apparently this is a hangover from the time of the Decemberists, it adds a nice touch to the city and gives the whole place a nice vibe and a unique look.

Wooden house

Another amazing thing about Irkutsk is that their city flag is of a cat eating a mink. Yes, you read that right.

Amazing flag

See, I wasn't lying

To quickly sum up Irkutsk, it’s a nice place to visit, but there isn’t a great deal to do there. After two days, and too many birazkhi/pirozkhi (puns!) we ran out of things to do and left for a 3 hour drive to Olkhon Island – complete with hovercraft to cross the frozen ice of Baikal lake.

More photos here.

Categories: Irkutsk, Photos

Sneak Preview 3

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Here are some things I found in stores in Irkutsk:

Duran Duran

Duran Duran

Fake Turtles

At least Raphaela's still green

And two hints: Cats and Mink

Categories: Irkutsk, Photos, Sneak Preview
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