Gabriel García Márquez Was a Literary Legend — But We Should Remember Him for More Than Just His Writing

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Originally posted on Flavorwire:

“May it, finally, be hoped that this enthralling, exceedingly comic novel will not encounter the lazy indifference that other Latin American novels have met with in this country.” So wrote David Gallagher in his June 28, 1970 Guardian review of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude . Today, García Márquez, the Nobel winner who passed away yesterday at the age of 87,  looks up at readers from the front page of the New York Times ,   confirming that he left the world of literature a very different place than he found it.

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25 Things You Didn’t Know About ’2001: A Space Odyssey’

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

We’ve seen a major resurgence of Stanley Kubrick’s work in the last few years. Rodney Ascher’s atmospheric documentary, Room 237 , explored the strange conspiracy theories surrounding The Shining . Speaking of the horror opus, based on a 1977 novel by Stephen King, a sequel book was released by King last year, Doctor Sleep . The recent Kubrick retrospective at LACMA offered viewers an intimate look at the director’s scripts, models, costumes, and more.

This week, we have cause to celebrate Kubrick again as the 46th anniversary of his cosmic epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is upon us. Critics were initially divided on the unusual science-fiction tale, featuring a sentient computer and a mysterious monolith, but the 1968 film’s influence still resonates today. 2001 helped make room for the thinking person’s sci-fi story in Hollywood and displayed a technical prowess still copycatted in contemporary cinema. In honor of Kubrick’s…

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Sunspot.

reposting this because I enjoy the hell out of what I wrote…cheers, and enjoy.

SUNSPOT: a spontaneous, stream-of-consciousness love letter written in under an hour in a sudden burst of inspiration.

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Dear Sunspot:

Consider me here, waiting for you; consider me here, sitting alone on my front-steps, eyes hidden behind sunglasses and yet looking up above, watching the planes cutting that perfect sky in to pieces, chemtrails from the exhausts of shimmering scalpels making straight, puffy scars across that endless sea of blue that towers above me, the me that you’ve considered so well and become so goddamn sure of, so sure of and so attached and so in the process of chemicals blending together with mine, skin and sweat and tears and hushed voices lost in the tall, dead grass left over from summer. I sit here on these steps and watch life pass before me, people marching off in the direction I know you’ll be walking from, and how my mind expands at the thought of how small I am in the grand scheme of this chemical dance – this city desert makes you feel so cold, it’s got so many people but it’s got no soul – my body, your body, your mind that glows and violently blooms when it comes in contact with mine, our small little blasts of energy the only thing keeping me grounded as I realize how small I am, how lost I am, how a job offer in San Francisco would tear me apart from this new heavenly glow, and yet hear I’m still sitting, ass planted on the steps. Sunspot. But I’ve always been a waiter, a watcher, unable to escape from the words that I can’t help but watch pour out from me, my mind running now like a flood as I write to you and think about you walking towards my doorstep my dear Sunspot. It’s funny to me how much time I’ve spent waiting for you, dreaming of you during nights god fucking knows how fucking long ago, dreams that sparked in my sleepy darkness before I ever even met you, and now I’ve finally found you, and now I wait, mind on fire and eyes painted towards the sky dreaming of harmony and love, and here’s why I wait: I’m waiting for you as the dance partner, the Muse, The Girl, the blinking and burning light crafted by earnest, sweet and deep and dear idealism and I can’t help but see explosions on the sun when I remember our last few nights together, the walls being painted by thoughts and holy rolling who are we what are doing here what is now what is forever fears anxieties, lovers have always found the eternal in painting the walls that they’ll never finish raising, fear and fear and oh anxiety turning in to colors of their very own and intensity, burning, burning thoughts, now scarring the walls with all their joy and with all their giddy whimsy fury, my burning light kept confident by the light burning beside me; and, since this is a dance and a dance has moves and so a dance has rules, we will do what we were made to do: to skip and laugh and burn ourselves across the surface of this Earth, she and I and I and her and all that we burn with us, whether it is the sidewalks that moan under the weight of our power in the cities that never saw us coming or the people that believed they were dead until they recognized Life or – and this I’m sure of, dear Sunspot – the most likely victim of all: myself, Mr. Jackson Williams, the devoted dreamer of you, the man with the mind that is always at war with itself, a passionate and unforgettable war, a man now let loose to put a light to the world however he sees fit. So long as a light burns beside me, crucial little light as strong as a star, because why would a sunspot wish to burn believing that burning is something that one does alone? I have felt alone for years now, and if I wanted to be really honest I’ve felt alone my entire life. Father never cared about me, my depression kept me locked in a cell that I’ve only recently escaped from – it’s the sunlight that broke the bars, the literal kind that comes down from that nuclear reactor that hums over us all and the figurative kind, the kind that comes not from sunlight but from moonlight, laying under those stars and that big blue moon and realizing that their is a future besides contemplating your own death. Only recently have I returned from years spent running from the depression that pushed me towards the brink of taking my own life – a few attempts, good to still be here – and now I see sunlight, I see the open possibilities of a future that for some reason I feel is begging me to stay here.

I will be here forever, and I’m a writer because I write for myself, and when I realize that the world will keep spinning and the people around us will keep moving towards god knows what I can always remember to stop and imagine my beautiful treasures that were merely buried beneath my Converse – now you’re here, now you’re with me, and when I imagine all the possibilities that this brave new world of mine can suddenly become, the room becoming warm again when you step in to it, I realize that I know absolutely nothing about what will happen next.

What could become of us? Will next week be the end or will the weeks suddenly melt in to months and then coagulate until they form years, marching forward like good little soldiers, marching us towards scenes that can only be played through an old-projector, a projector for old home movies – of course, in this little mind of mine, love can only be captured in fading hallmarks and sepia-toned moving pictures. Trust me, dear Sunspot: I think these thoughts every time I meet a girl, and I’m only afraid because when I’m around you I don’t feel like running and there’s no self-sabotage and there’s no more self-doubt. You are my Sunspot, my fireband, my muse, and you become She: standing in a yard, putting wet clothes on a line for them to dry, somehow not getting the memo that dryers have been invented and she can stop living in the past; her face above mine, hovering, she’s all I can see and she looks absolutely beautiful, like some new moon making its debut in the night-time sky, a once-in-a-millenium event for one; a family photo under a tree, She and I and a couple of little kids running around, tormenting each other, they’re clearly supposed to be our little brood of budding psychopaths, each one of them wilder and weirder-looking than the next, and I’m too stupid and oddly content at that time to do a damn thing about their bad behavior, let the little fuckers run around and cause havoc and someone somewhere not named me has probably written that being wild & crazy is good for the soul so you might as well instill it young; now come nebulous images of a street with white fences, each fence and yard and one-story house and even each barking dog identical, designed suburban dreamland, like this wall assembled in some cold factory in the East, whole vast stretches of an imagined suburbia uniformly laid out in neat little rows just to make the imagination stop itself from going overboard, providing flimsy walls to contain that most modest of fantasies; and I see her, there’s that dress, and we spin round and round in a tempest of leaves and pieces from the white fences of that fantastical suburban sprawl, stretch me out forever upon this chemical cloud of lust, wrap my mind forever in the dust-cloud, baby we’re connected only because my hands are on your hips and your arms are over my shoulder, I feel too lost to let go now darkling, and her fingers are slightly laced behind my head…it was at that point, us floating and spinning amidst the flotsom and jetsom of artificial suburban life, that she sticks her tongue out like she’s just gotten through telling me that I’m an asshole and I noticed a little gold ring resting in the very center of her tongue, the diamond sticking up towards the roof of her mouth because it’s being balanced by the tongue, locked and held up-right her folded tongue the world was moving she was floating above it and she was and My eyes pause on this absurb image, focusing heavily on (of course) the diamong ring, shimmer shimmer all that’s gold usually does glitter and just as I get what I suppose you could call a ‘good’ look at it the tongue recedes back in to her mouth, the gate now locked by two rows of perfect, white teeth.

Your eyes: glittering blue, framed under a gazebo new and white. Words wasted on things as trivial as celebration and hatred. You can tell why my mind is scattered – long ago, eyes blessed and breath missing, foolish work as destiny for a good fool, I caught a glimpse of something other, something wild, something wonderful, something I’m obviously failing to explain; and what I witnessed, whatever it was, has left me as someone different than who I was prior to those first moments of color. This angel pierces right through me with eyes like summer sky bottled down to the size of pennies.

Consider me here, waiting for you; consider me here, sitting alone on my front-steps, eyes hidden behind sunglasses and yet looking up above, watching the planes cutting that perfect sky in to pieces. Who knows how two people meet and lust becomes so powerful it controls the cells and controls the dreams. Who knows why your very presence sends my mind in to a million directions, and I’ll never quite understand why a kiss from those lips of yours makes my fingers sing, sing when they touch these buttons and make these words bleed from me. I do not know how you unlock that artist inside me. Maybe a Sunspot has existed for all those who wish to write. When F. Scott watched the ocean crash upon the beach and the bottle was beginning the look dry, I bet his head began to buzz he felt her coming, and there he would look down the beach and see Zelda strolling towards him, her hair lit up by the sunshine, that woman he loved becoming a beacon for his heart both in spirit and in hair lit up by the sky. All writers experience a million loves and I’ve always laughed at the fact that I fall in love at least once a day – usually while walking through campus, forgive me, it’s in my biology – but I feel something new come alive whenever I’m around you. I feel the winter that’s held me for twenty-four years suddenly begin to melt away and now I feel alive, and now I’m writing again. The world can bend itself around my gravity now.

Sunspot, the enigma I might spend years trying to figure out. Sunspot, the face that grows more beautiful the more I imagine it. Sunspot, mysterious with both her smiles and her laughter and never once letting me in on her secret – how can all those smiles and all that laughter and all that mystery tell me to continue towards my destiny as a writer even when she says no words? Without even bringing myself down she knows when to stop me, she knows when to push me forwards towards something that I may never have again. Maybe I’m just scared. What is there to say for the summer of hushed voices?? or of how Time would creep slowly through the grass, unaffected by feeling and noise and all the electric daydream excitement of lost, young love, quiet as a snake, not once letting itself be known as something other than a kinetic whisper to all its lost, young children?? Can we ever put me and you, this love we share so thrillingly with ourselves at the moment, in to the words that anyone else could ever understand? I’ve tried with these words I have written just now in a flash but I feel I will come up short and I feel deep down that I will continue to come up short until all your mysteries are revealed to me. I will stay intoxicated by you whenever you come around me and I’m glad I can see the electricity that forms in your eyes when you’re looking right in to mine.

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All attempts to write a straight-forward letter to a new love will never be pure. Trying to do this requires convention, and when I look at Sunspot, hair as light as her humor, eyes as calm and knowing as her soul, I knew that I could never speak openly without being Jackson Williams, the hopeless young romantic, the young man growing restless when he daydreams about all the places he might go. My heart leaps and swirls when I try to capture you with words – my only weapon, I have no others except if you wish to count my heart, aim as true as it has always been. I have always been described as intense and intelligent, but I say fuck you to those descriptions – I am passionate and I want to set the world ablaze with nothing but good intentions. I want to lead with my writing and I want to have you with me, dear Sunspot, dancing across the surface of the Earth with all our heat and all our nerve and all our god-given fucking spirit, attitudes armored by a million utterances of fuck you to all those who wish to stop us – a profane Buddhist fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you chant for a 21st century American love story, one that I will write, my darling Sunspot, and one that we will live, one that we knew was set to begin from the day we met each other. Somewhere in that burning, beautiful soul of hers is what I’ve been searching for: the muse, the Girl, the one that understands. Years ago I had believed I was in love before but now I’ve found you, dear Sunspot, and if you disappeared tomorrow that face – a piece of those clouds that I was looking up at, your face forming amongst the patterns of white that hang like lost armadas in the ocean – would still hang with me, and only because of the future: who am I becoming?? You love me and as my writing career is suddenly and mysteriously returning, my old talents now awoken from their deathly slumber by the feel of your lips on my neck, I can’t help but picture the future that once scared me but doesn’t now anymore simply because I know that explosion of light and love and ferocious thunder will be right beside me, merely a knowing look from her eyes that can set it off, and I will finish this letter in the glow of the unknown – it’s the void, it’s the frightening future, but I can never be afraid when all I need to fly above these quiet little neighborhoods is that hand in mine, pure as a memory of a Christmas tree wrapped in snow, all the past and our future locked and framed by the moonlight above that my mind – introduced to it by now as you are – finds holy and eternal.

Sincerely,
Jackson Williams.

6 Books That Will Prepare You for the Inevitable Robot Uprising

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

“Our great-grandparents loved killer robots. So do we. But why?” Daniel H. Wilson asks that question in the foreword of the collection of essays he edited, Robot Uprisings , which includes work by Cory Doctrow, Scott Sigler, Charles Yu, Robin Wasserman, and many others. It’s full of stories of the near-future, when the things we created, as Jeff Abbott puts it in his piece, “wanted to be just like us.”

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“Maps” (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

Pack up
I’m straight
Enough
Oh, say say say
Oh, say say say
Oh, say say say
Oh, say say say
Oh, say say say

Wait, they don’t love you like i love you
Wait, they don’t love you like i love you
Ma-a-a-a-ps, wait! 
They don’t love you like i love you…

Made off
Don’t stray
My kind’s your kind 
I’ll stay the same

Pack up
Don’t stray
Oh, say say say
Oh, say say say

Wait! they don’t love you like i love you
Wait! they don’t love you like i love you
Ma-a-a-aps, wait!
They don’t love you like i love you…
Wait! they don’t love you like i love you
Ma-a-a-aps, wait!
They don’t love you like i love you…

J.W.