in a shitty old planter on the side of the road
I really liked this image so I fucked around with it for a while and came up with this. It's a greasy dream sort of thing.
Have you ever experienced these kinds of visual effects whilst tripping balls on Psilocybe? There were two different pathways for me- blindly i.e passing/experiencing the sensory stuff through my skin and flesh, and letting myself fall into the drift through my eyes, if you know what I mean. The radiant way, sometimes full of offset detail and weirdly coherent colour shifts that relate to all those other forms of occult logic.
Everyone's all about the mushrooms these days but I wouldn't have the guts to do them now, frankly. While I used to love their utter unpredictability, my brain's just seen too many rough miles. It's like that seething, fleshy stump monster in Flash Gordon in that the best I could hope for while tripping is not being painfully envenomed by some lurking dissociated scenario. I am disappoint. Mushrooms were the only hallucinogen I actually enjoyed from a purely recreational perspective. That's another problem with being middle-aged; you're only halfway through the tedious process of fully getting over yourself.
The prospect of genetically engineered organisms entering the New Zealand biosphere for fun but mostly profit keeps rearing its ugly fucking head. I maintain a hard no position. You don't have to understand the CRISPR processes to smell what stinks about it, though apparently the technicians and researchers pushing for its release still haven't bought a fucking clue. They are giddy about the science. It behooves them to present an unimpeachable account of its utility, and they display both coyly venal and terrifyingly naive attitudes toward its commercialisation. It is not anti-intellectualism to assert that we cannot trust academia with the totality of this decision and if a sizeable chunk of the nerd complex didn't privately acknowledge this, trust me, we'd already be eating tomacco.
We should reject most forms of genetic modification for a hundred different speculative- precautionary reasons. Genetic expression and regulation are bewilderingly polyvalent, to an extent beyond our current collective understanding (not just my understanding). Modded genomes will contribute to wild and domestic biomes to unknown effect. Unknown effect. I'm not down. But there is another compelling reason to reject this technology, one that has nothing to do with the materia, and that is its underlying imperatives.
The proposed modifications to farmed organisms are just doubling down on the greedy, mindless MO that has gotten us into this collective shit in the first place. The expectation of an endless free lunch, of infinite extraction via intensive agriculture has already despoiled the entire planet. How will plants tweaked to fruit all year be anything other than corporate-garrisoned vampires on our insolvent resources? The unprecedented and aseasonal amplification of production will not feed a billion more humans*; it will devolve into jet fuel for a garbage-fire market system in which greed, exclusion and profligacy are utterly intrinsic.
Capitalism as it stands is the enemy of equitable provision. GE tech will make no net contribution to managing our finite inputs. There will be no more water or fertiliser left to lavish on apple trees that never stop fruiting or wheat that triples the currently achievable tonnage, and that production will be squandered anyway. Intensive farming interests in New Zealand have already wrought utterly perverse and irreversible damage under the aegis of a sociopathic corporate entity. The result? A huge chunk of New Zealanders can no longer afford dairy products or drink and swim in what remains of our cowshit-poisoned waterways. Fonterra has already demonstrated both its ruthlessness and its impunity. In a GE near future, when their modified cows need more resources to deliver more profit, who will restrain them? Nobody.
I don't want to consume GE organisms, for both private and extrinsic reasons. Corporate interests are attempting to force them into the food chain. I think we've already established just how much altruism and integrity figures in their reckoning. If that isn't the most compelling of all arguments to say fuck no to the thin edge of this toxic wedge, I don't know what else to tell you.
* Fertility rates are falling around the world to an unprecedented extent: it's not just you who doesn't want to fuck or procreate. Yay herd stress!
Oregon Zoo has pub'd some radiographic images of its residents.
We support well-run zoos and sanctuaries for one compelling reason; for many species, they are their best and last chance at maintaining a viable, diversified population. You can quibble all you like about born-free ideals and the evils of captivity, but there's not enough time left for those sorts of scruples. There just isn't.
top to bottom: Chameleon, Flying Fox, Python, Beaver, Toucan.
Susan was grateful to be able to lie on her side in the darkness, carefully tonguing the smooth new vacancy between her teeth and wishing the scent of the needles padding her repose had proved more soporific. Beside her on his naked back lay Sachiin, arms strewn beneath his head and a rifle set between him and the dark legs of the painted horse, as indifferent as ever to exposure in his somnolence. Her restive gaze wandered across his softly glowing pallor until his arm slid out around her seemingly of its own volition; she shrugged it off and spread her sleeping bag across him, sighing as it sloughed away. The wind had dropped and settled stasis on the gorge, allowing her the sounds conveyed beneath its auspices; fluting south-bound trains of migrant birds, the tiny, squeaking-wood cries of bats hawking across the colonnade and the languid repeat of her companion's breathing. That he would never be conscious of the beauty he wore in repose was a notion that added to the mass that held sleep so steadfastly at bay.
Between her own slow breaths came a distant, concerted strike or clatter, strangely repetitious and insistent; she sighed, sat up and eased her feet into her boots. He handed her the rifle without opening his eyes, which she accepted and then abandoned by the door.
The zip tab beneath her chin chimed as she climbed down the outer steps, her hand against the cold wall of the hillside. Low clouds leant the night its sequestered nature and pallid reflet, loosing harbinger flakes that dissolved against her outline as they drifted earthward, under no apparent duress from gravity. At the bottom of the flight she sat down and pushed off the landing stone with both hands, onto the broken suggestion of a path that skirted the base of the pile toward what might once have been its kitchen gardens, the stretch of half-leveled slope upon which the alujha had stood to issue their complaint. Blocks of toppled parapet lay strewn across its width like pieces swept from an enormous chess board and stamped into the ground, casting little shadow.
Edward stood amongst them beside a great cache of windfall timber. He swung skyward then hurled down the head of an axe dragged from a store in the bowels of the ruin; the ancient implement sectioned the limbs with little aid from its dull edge, driven deeply into the wood with a force that shuddered through his daunting frame. His pullover hung from a waiting branch like the upper half of a form he had abandoned. The crack of the blows flew back at him from the wall then away into the encroaching forest, the trees standing as though they had climbed the slope to satisfy a morbid curiosity. Susan stood hoping for an acknowledgment, but he did not pause to look at her and she sat down on a cap stone in a hunch against the cold, her mood settling around her like the sleeping bag, imposing its dense black presence between her spine and lungs.
Within the fixed frame of her stare and its own mechanized trajectory, his shape suffered shade-like alterations so fluid and persistent that she was forced to blink them away before they became too disturbing. They led her to ponder what he battered so unceasingly when the wood began to blur; through his eyes, she saw so much lie down beneath the blade that she ceased to wonder at his dedication and began to make her own grim offerings, throwing the aborted shapes of spite and insufficiency under the steel. The snow did not melt on his shoulders as he worked, but lay in narrow drifts until it slid away along his back under its own weight. Susan could not bring herself to examine the disfeatured archives on his arms, her stare falling instead to the naked foot with which he pinned the branches and its narrow adjacency to the point where the blade cleaved them. That she minded its atrocious potential more than he did seemed a thing of inexplicit poignancy, referring again to their dispirited impasse until clarity urged her to her feet.
He had set down the heavy haft and stooped to toss the cut wood over the wall, where it cleared the parapet and clattered audibly on the floor of the yard. Her careful navigation of the slope toward him caused him finally to pause, albeit with an expression that should have halted the intrusion. Frowning to herself as she stepped over the branches, Susan encircled him with both arms, turning her head against him.
“We do love you, Kala'amātya.” she sighed. “Please don’t be so sad.”
He smelled of the night and green fir balsam and stood completely still, feeling so much like and yet unlike his brother that she suffered a moment of baffling agnosis, meeting reserve where Sachiin wore invitation, a desolate parity with the granite of the ruin and the snow that fell around them so that she might not have distinguished him from either.
“Let me go.” he said, almost in resignation.
“Make me.” she replied, frowning in the expectation that he might. “Thank you... for my tooth, and... everything.”
“Tout le plaisir est pour moi.” he assured her. Susan released him, but grasped the arm he offered as she stumbled backward over unseen timber. She stooped to pick up one of the lengths, shuffling a small way down the slope and wheeling her arm in a circle before letting the piece fly in the hope it would clear the parapet, which it did not, hitting the wall and bouncing back at them. He put out a hand and caught it before it could strike her, committing it to the yard himself and shaking his head faintly at the smile she turned to him. Her gaze followed him to the edge of the cut wood, where he began to sort the pieces too large to throw.
"Do you mind... being called Kala'amātya?"
"Not any more." he admitted. She was led toward her few coherent notions of Helaine de Marchand, imagining her voice as the analgesic agency that had cleansed the word of its pernicious connotations. She bowed her head and blew warmth against her hands.
"I am sorry, for calling you a sadist..."
Dragging another branch from the pile, he shrugged in a brief concession.
"Never apologize to one." The set of her mouth changed with her appreciation of the remark as he took up the axe again. The first log flew in two directions across the snow; Susan watched him halve another dozen lengths. “You look cold.” he added with his back to her, and she smiled at the unsubtle denotation; the crack and buffet of the wood proved so sapid that she was loath to leave it, but he looked to her and changed his grasp upon the weapon, and she shuffled off in the direction she had come.
CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
© céili o'keefe do not reproduce
The first real bunch of the season. The smell. I almost forget why I am such a slave to a good rose and flowers in general, then I go out into the garden after late spring rain and find them all smiling at me. I am hard-pressed to think of anything more gratifying.
In the pagan canon, the Garden returns to us everything we've lost along the way-
love, virtue, honour, pleasure, even those who have departed and descended- restoring everything we require to endure. I think that is almost true, and if not literally so, at least its gentle substitutions are resplendent and perfumed.
Texturally Janet is a 90% opaque, medium-sheen satin which doesn't bleed, stays put and applies evenly straight from the tube. There's no caking or drying, two minor blights that knock points off the muddier, stodgier UD After Dark. My only real technical gripe is the typical Nars Audacious line's consistent skipping on the midst of my turned-out lower lip, but this shade will cover there if you take the time to drag it slowly over that area a couple of times.
We have Nars Janet (left) and MAC Flat Out Fabulous (Retro Matte) for comparison in the triptych below. Trying to get Janet's blue duochrome to show up without the sensor splitting it into glitter is next to impossible. The pic at far left if probably closest.
And now for the caveats. If you can't werq much blue, don't take a punt on Janet hoping your lip colour might bend her in your favour. It won't. Also- magenta's ability to blow up one's defects needs consideration. This colour clashes horribly with my cheek capillaries and I have to correct that shit before we are simpatico. It's not a casual slap-on shade unless your skin is all dewy perfection and your undertones are unicorn-compatible.
Many of us love magenta but need assistance if we are not to look unwittingly editorial. I've learnt some tricks. Most importantly- hide yo problems: go for a medium coverage foundation or at least take your time with a good concealer. If you really covet that low-information, freshly pissed-on in a fuck tape realness, by all means go hard with the ditchpig contouring and industrial highlighter. I can only advise against it. Related: magenta + asphaltic Instagram dirge-brow = mistake. Stick with a minimal, tightlined, mascara-heavy eye. If you don't have a truly appropriate blush to hand, don't just slap on a peachy random or you may discover there are worse things than looking a bit monochromatic.
Finally, don't succumb to the temptation to pencil a magenta outline, even in the utterly, inconceivably unlikely event your liner matches perfectly. In fact, wipe a fingertip lightly around the edge of your application or do the same with a transparent primer stick to blur it out a wee bit. Extra wearability is achieved just by taking down that margin contrast.
But whatever. I love Nars Janet. She can sit on my face any time.
L2R all MAC unless stated: Russian Red, Nars Janet, Urban Decay After Dark,
Bite Beauty Beetroot, Girl About Town, Rebel, D for Danger