Pixel Scroll 5/2/18 Hold The Scroll Firmly. Open With The Pixel End Pointing Away From You

(1) ILLUMINATION. The Geek Calligraphy team has produced an art print from a Penric story —

(2) A HELPING HAN. ScreenRant explains “Star Wars Narrated by Ron Howard in Arrested Development Mashup”:

With Solo: A Star Wars Story nearing its release date and news of a fifth season of Arrested Development premiering soon, fans of these properties can enjoy the best of both worlds with a comedic mashup featuring Ron Howard as the connective thread. The director of Solo and producer/narrator of Arrested Development, Howard narrates a 3-minute-long breakdown of George Lucas’ very first entry in the Star Wars franchise, recapping A New Hope with the music, trademarks, and running gags from the Arrested Development series.


(3) FUTURE TENSE. Mark Oshiro’s short story “No Me Dejas” is this month’s entry in the Future Tense series that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. The series is offered through a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University.

… A brief flash of eagerness crosses his face, a light I wish I could unsee. He wants to do it in my place. He has been nothing but supportive ever since Abuela Carmen chose me for the Transfer, but this moment skirts an uncomfortable truth. Why did she choose me over him? Why will I be the bridge in our familia, the one to receive abuela’s memories before she leaves us? The love between us isn’t enough to explain why Carmen chose me over her own son, but she has offered no other clue….

The story was published along with a response essay, “Should You Download Someone Else’s Memories?” by philosophers Jenelle Salisbury and Susan Schneider.

(4) HWA SCHOLARSHIPS. The Horror Writers Association has begun taking applications for these four scholarships. Applications will be accepted until August 1. See linked pages for eligibility and guidelines.

(5) COSPLAY IN GOTHAM. A beautiful set of photos has been posted by Scott Lynch at The Gothamist: “Cosplayers Outnumber Cherry Blossoms At Spectacular Sakura Matsuri”.

There was plenty of organized entertainment on three stages, everything from taiko drumming to a Parasol Society fashion show to Japanese go-go pop to video game themes blared out by the J-Music Ensemble. Workshops, kids’ activities, origami and bonsai demonstrations, and a bustling marketplace rounded out the celebration. The festivities culminated with the Ninth Annual Cosplay Fashion Show, a raucous affair featuring nearly 30 elaborately costumed participants showing off their passion for their craft.

(6) ARTI$T$ ALLEY REPORT. The 2017 Artist Alley Survey results are available for purchase.

For those unfamiliar, the annual Convention Artist Survey collects data anonymously from artists and artisans in North America about numbers related to conventions as a business — how much artists make, how much they spend, how far they travel, how staff communication and organisation was, whether buying interest and attendee engagement was high, etc.

This report takes all of those numbers and data points and presents various charts and graphs for easier consumption.

You can grab the 2017 report below for $5 or more!

(7) IS ATTEMPT TO TRADEMARK FANZINE A PROBLEM? James Bacon passed along Douglas Spencer’s concern that Brewdog’s application to the UK’s Intellectual Property Office to trademark the word fanzine will end badly for fans:

A while ago, they sought and subsequently obtained a trademark on the word “punk”, which spurious right they then defended vigorously to the vast detriment of the pre-existing punk community.

They’re now seeking to obtain a trademark on the word “fanzine”. If they obtain it, I anticipate they’ll defend it vigorously to the vast detriment of a few pre-existing fanzine communities.

Don’t let them do this. Don’t let their shitty business practices be seemingly endorsed by your silence. Tell them that they’ll be despised by a whole extra set of communities if they steal our word and sue us for using it in the same way we and others have been using it for generations.

See the complete application here.


Trade marks

Word (1 of 2)


Word (2 of 2)


Mark details

Number of marks in series



Filing date

19 April 2018

Goods and services

Classes and terms

Class 32

Beer and brewery products; craft beer; lager, stout, ale, pale ale, porter, pilsner, bock, saison, wheat beer, malt beer, sour beer, non-alcoholic beer, low-alcohol beer, flavoured beers; processed hops for use in making beer; beer wort; malt wort; non-alcoholic malt beverages; non-alcoholic beverages; syrups and other preparations for making beverages; malt syrup for beverages; extracts of hops for beer making, processed hops for beer making.

Class 35

Retail services connected with the sale of beer, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, printed matter, clothing, glassware, drinking bottles, keyrings, posters, bags, bottle openers and lanyards; retail services connected with the sale of subscription boxes containing beer; retail services connected with the sale of subscription boxes containing alcoholic beverages; retail services connected with the sale of subscription boxes containing food; information, advisory and consultancy services in connection with all of the aforesaid services.

Except for Spencer’s comment about their history with the word “punk” I’d have taken the application as for the rights to a beer named Brewdog Fanzine (or just Fanzine) and associated marketing paraphernalia. So I’d like to know more about what they did with “punk” in order to evaluate how big a problem this might be.

(8) LOCUS STACK. Greg Hullender says Rocket Stack Rank’s “Annotated Locus List” has been updated to incorporate the finalists for the Locus Awards — “Locus Finalists Observations”:

We looked at each category by score (that is, a weighted sum of recommendations from many other sources) to see how the Locus finalists looked overall. There aren’t a lot of surprises there, which (I think) simply reflects the fact that even though tastes differ from one reviewer to another, there really is such a thing as a set of “outstanding stories” which are broadly (but not universally) popular.

A few things that pop out:

  • “A Series of Steaks” and “The Secret Life of Bots” did not make the Locus finalists, even though they were the most praised novelettes in other quarters.
  • Out of the 18 Hugo Finalists, 15 were on the Locus Reading List.
  • Zero write-in candidates made the Locus finalists.

There has been a pattern of late that stories don’t get nominated for awards unless they’re either free online or else available for purchase as singles. That is, stories in print magazines and anthologies don’t get nominated unless they’re also available for free online, but novellas that have to be purchased do fine. It’s as though readers don’t mind paying for a good story, but they object to paying for a dozen stories just to get one in particular. Anyway, Locus bucks that trend with five such “bundled” stories in their finalists list.

(9) LAWS STUDENT. Yahoo! News reports “Stephen Hawking Finished Mind-Bending Parallel Universe Paper Days Before His Death”.

British physicist Stephen Hawking may have died in March, but his legacy is still unfolding.

The prominent theoretical physicist and cosmologist co-authored a research paper about the existence of parallel universes similar to our own, which the Journal of High-Energy Physics posthumously published on Friday.

According to the BBC, the study was submitted to the open-access journal shortly before Hawking’s death.

Thomas Hertog, a co-author of the study, told the BBC that he and Hawking were wrestling with the idea that the Big Bang actually resulted in the creation of multiple “pocket universes” that exist throughout space. It was unclear to them whether the laws of physics that apply in our universe would also apply in these alternate universes.

“In the old theory there were all sorts of universes: some were empty, others were full of matter, some expanded too fast, others were too short-lived. There was huge variation,” said Hertog, a physics professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium. “The mystery was why do we live in this special universe where everything is nicely balanced in order for complexity and life to emerge?”

Hertog and Hawking’s paper uses new mathematical techniques to restore order to previously chaotic views of the multiverse, suggesting that these different universes are subject to the same laws of physics as our own.

(10) BATTLE OF HOGWARTS ANNIVERSARY. J. K Rowling continues her annual tradition of apologizing for killing off a character – although this one did not fall in the battle.


  • May 2,1933 — The modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster is born when a sighting makes local news on May 2, 1933. …Revelations in 1994 that the famous 1934 photo was a complete hoax has only slightly dampened the enthusiasm of tourists and investigators for the legendary beast of Loch Ness.
  • May 2, 2008 — The first Iron Man hit theaters.


(13) EATING THE FANTASTIC. You’re invited to share a pastrami sandwich with T. E. D. Klein in Episode 65 of Scott Edelman’s Eating the Fantastic podcast.

T.E.D. Klein

He’s been a seven-time nominee for the World Fantasy Award, starting in 1975 with his first published story, “The Events at Poroth Farm,” and his novella “Nadelman’s God” won the World Fantasy Award in 1986. Stephen King once called his 1984 novel The Ceremonies, “the most exciting novel in the field to come along since Straub’s Ghost Story.” All this and more resulted in Klein being given the World Horror Convention’s Grand Master Award in 2012.

Our dinner last Thursday night was at a spot he suggested—Fine & Schapiro, an old-school NYC Kosher deli which has been serving pastrami sandwiches on West 72nd Street since 1927. Ninety-one years later, we took our seats in a booth in the back—and saved a seat for you.

We discussed what he hated most about editing The Twilight Zone magazine, how he ended up scripting the screenplay for “the worst movie Dario Argento ever made,” what eldritch action he took after buying a letter written by H. P. Lovecraft, which movie monster gave him the most nightmares, what he’ll likely title his future autobiography, why he feels cheated by most horror movies, the secret origin of the T. E. D. Klein byline, his parents’ friendship with (and the nickname they gave to) Stan Lee and his wife, what he learned (and what he didn’t) when taught by Anthony Burgess, the bittersweet autograph he once obtained from John Updike, whether we’re likely to see his long-awaited novel Nighttown any time soon, and much more.

(14) BRITISH FAN HISTORY. Let Rob Hansen fill you in about “The London Circle (1959)”:

SF fans have been holding regular meetings in central London since the 1930s. In all that time there was only one year – 1959 – in which, thanks to the efforts of a couple of SF pros, they became a formally organised group with dues, membership cards, an elected committee, and a written constitution. Having recently unearthed a copy of that
constitution, I’ve just added a page to my website about that brief, failed experiment and the continuing legacy it left behind.

(15) IT’S A GAS. And if you have the help of the Hubble telescope, you can see it a long way off: “Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time”.

The international team of astronomers, led by Jessica Spake, a PhD student at the University of Exeter in the UK, used Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 to discover helium in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b This is the first detection of its kind.

Spake explains the importance of the discovery: “Helium is the second-most common element in the Universe after hydrogen. It is also one of the main constituents of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in our Solar System. However, up until now helium had not been detected on exoplanets – despite searches for it.”

The team made the detection by analysing the infrared spectrum of the atmosphere of WASP-107b [1]. Previous detections of extended exoplanet atmospheres have been made by studying the spectrum at ultraviolet and optical wavelengths; this detection therefore demonstrates that exoplanet atmospheres can also be studied at longer wavelengths.

(16) WINDOWS 2018. The BBC tells how: “Ford car window helps blind passengers ‘feel’ the view”

A prototype, called Feel the View, uses high-contrast photos to reproduce scenery using LED lights.

Passengers can touch the display to feel different shades of grey vibrate at different intensities.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People said the charity “wholeheartedly supports” the company’s effort.

“[It] could contribute to breaking down barriers and making travel more enjoyable and inclusive for people living with sight loss,” Robin Spinks, innovation manager at RNIB, told the BBC.

(17) DJ SPINRAD. Norman Spinrad has created a playlist (or “mixtape”) for the French radio show Voice of Cassandre. The playlist includes Kris Kristofferson, Accept, Lotte Lenya, Kraftwerk, the Sex Pistols, the Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen. The entire playlist can be heard on Mixcloud.

(18) DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING. Jon Del Arroz’ CLFA Book of the Year Award winner has a lovely cover, which he posts frequently on social media. Today somebody asked him the name of the artist. JDA’s answer was

The guy blacklisted me over politics I wouldn’t recommend him.

(19) INFESTATION. The Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp – Official Trailer is here.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, ULTRAGOTHA, Joey Eschrich, Danny Sichel, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Scott Edelman, Rob Thornton, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Chris S.]

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93 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/2/18 Hold The Scroll Firmly. Open With The Pixel End Pointing Away From You

  1. Several people have pointed out that basic sexual relief does nothing about the underlying misogyny. It turns Incels into MGTOW, rather than fixing the radical and nasty ideas beneath.

    And MGTOW would be happy to remove all women other than the odd breeding stock that suits their aesthetic.

    How about we work on deradicalization instead of sexual relief?

  2. @Lenora:

    Absolutely agreed that deradicalization is crucial. I see incels, MGTOWs, ammosexuals, and several other pathological behaviors as manifestations of toxic masculinity*, which is positively endemic to and pervasive in American white male culture. Discussing those symptoms does little to address that root cause.

    That being said, I have to admit that I snicker whenever I see some dude self-identify as an “incel.” As a word, it’s one of those perfectly self-fulfilling prophecies. It just looks and sounds like a stupid word of bad-nerdy origin which, if used around the sort of woman these guys desire, would absolutely guarantee the loss of any interest she might have had in them. It’s kind of like asking someone out in Klingon, but without the possibility that she knows and is a fan of the language. (And in this case, if she does know the term, he might as well just introduce himself as a stalker and would-be rapist who doesn’t care about what’s in her head, just what’s between her legs.)

    Incels make me somewhat ashamed of my own nerdy tendencies, just by being such overwhelmingly toxic nerds. It’s the same reaction I had to Gamergate: “if being ‘a gamer’ means being identified with that, count me out!”

    * For the benefit of any nimrods who think that using the phrase “toxic masculinity” is a way of labeling all things masculine as toxic, allow me to remind you that talking about “spoiled food” has never been misunderstood as an allegation that all food will make one sick. Recognizing that some food has spoiled doesn’t mean that all of it has; some forms of masculinity are toxic, but not all things masculine are bad.

  3. @JAA: Good link, good poem.

    @Arifel: as James Moar said, if you see CA:CW, then you’ll be all set for Infinity War. But I think you could go into it now with no problems, frankly, since you’ve seen Ragnarok (IW picks up moments after T:R ends). So you’re already partly set for next year!

    @RevBob: You try to tell the kids these days, they won’t believe you.

    Oh, and I agree that everyone needs to see the Melies Doodle. It’s just lovely. (It has music, so headphones if it would disturb people). Be prepared to pan left a bunch and up a little to follow the action properly. And click through to the “making of” stuff, it’s fascinating, showing what bits were taken from which movie.

  4. @ rob_matic

    As far as I can tell, anybody he feuds with is golden.

    Huh. Maybe I should have skirmished with him a bit more when he came after me after I posted a comment here that–with nothing to do with him–criticized some of the implications of things people were posting in a thread about him.

    Mind you, I’d much rather people read my books because they like my books rather than because I make the right enemies.

  5. @Rev Bob: I agree that if I heard some guy describe himself as an “incel”, my first thought would be “Probably good reasons for that” immediately followed by “way to go with the self-fulfilling prophecy”. And that’s even without factoring in the toxicity, entitlement, and stalking inherent in the term. nothankyou.gif

    I kinda miss the old “male chauvinist” description. It doesn’t impute any psychological reasons, it merely describes the outward behavior, and it covers everything from incels, PUAs, MGTOW, a lot of Republicans/gLibertarians, and your great-uncle who calls you “little lady” and asks when you’re going to get married and quit your job, but he isn’t outwardly toxic and you still like him.

    @JAA: As long as the sexbots don’t have full consciousness or else they’re slaves to incels. Ewww. Sexbots would be owned by the state and you’d need a doctor’s prescription so it could be billed to the health authority. The sexbots should also be programmed by women (maybe teach the incels how to talk to real women? program the sexbots to shut down under certain conditions?), and the prescribing physician should probably be a shrink to help deradicalize the losers. That’s the only way you’d stand a chance of it being non-toxic. The goal would be getting the pathetic or dangerous men to integrate into being full members of society.

    Here in 1313, toxic masculinity rules all, and you can only hope to find a good-natured male chauvinist. Incels make great spear/sword/arrow fodder for the alpha males’ armies.

  6. 13) T.E.D. Klein! OMG!

    OK, let me unpack that. In the ’70s and ’80s, Klein was one of the most impressive folks on the horror scene. He produced a handful of great stories, including the truly first-rate “The Events at Poroth Farm”, which is a benchmark in post-Lovecraftian cosmic horror, and “Children of the Kingdom”, which wove together ancient Central American mysteries and the mundane life of then-contemporary New York, which strolls sedately toward a really gripping, disquieting ending. He did a handful of great novellas, enough to fill up the volume Dark Gods. And he expanded the Poroth Farm story into a novel, with one of the great atmosphere-building mysterious openings and extended intertwining plot lines that really work.

    And at that point, creatively-crippling writer’s block got him. He’s published nowt since.

    So I’m really, really stoked to spend some time with him in conversation now.

  7. @Karl-Johan Norén

    Locus is a print fanzine, and I would not be surprised if there is a strong correlation between Locus subscribers and those who still subscribe to sf periodicals like Asimov’s or F&SF. The Hugos, on the other hand, have seen a strong growth in fen who engage actively with the voting and nomination process, and among those new voters I believe people are much less likely to subscribe to periodicals.

    I thought that too for a while, but it was pointed out to me that stories in anthologies suffer just as much as stories in print magazines. There it’s not an issue of subscribing to anything.

    So the other argument was that it’s about free vs. paid stories. And, to be sure, the free, online magazines rarely run novellas, but, more broadly, there’s no shortage of free novellas out there. And yet paid novellas from Tor almost swept the novella category.

    That leaves me with the conclusion Mike quoted above. Fans don’t mind paying for outstanding stories, but it’s a lot harder to get them to buy a bundle of stories they don’t want just to get one or two that they do.

  8. Dear Greg,

    This sounds similar to what happened in music when individual cuts got unbundled from albums. I can remember when you’d jump at an LP that had two cuts that made you swoon. Nowadays I hear comments from entirely reasonable critics who’ll downrate an album that isn’t majority A+ cuts.

    pax / Ctein

  9. @Bruce Baugh: I’d wondered what became of Klein. That’s really a shame. I really admired most of his novellas and some of his short fiction, although I found The Ceremonies massively disappointing (despite really liking the original Poroth Farm story).

  10. @ Ctein: This is why I really miss AOR. When any cut from an album could get airplay, bands didn’t release albums with 2 hits, a couple of decent B-side cuts, and a bunch of filler trash. I consider it perfectly reasonable to note that sort of construction in a review. However, since I don’t review music professionally, its main effect on me is to push me toward buying the cuts I want as mp3s instead of buying the CD as a whole, unless I have a specific reason for wanting the whole thing in hard-copy.

  11. James Moar and Lurkertype: Thanks for the heads up! It’s definitely too early to start worrying about 2019 voting while I still have 20 or so books to read for this year, but I’m on an unusually good run with the BDP categories this time so its nice to know that won’t DEFINITELY be out the window next year…

    (Also, I left Black Panther off my list! That makes 6 MCU films, which I feel is a respectable number of films to have watched in any normal franchise?)

  12. 19) Trying to not get too carried away on a trailer, but that looks great. Loved the first one, and Giant Man’s appearance in Civil War was hilarious.

  13. @Lurkertype: I take it you think the only people who might use a sexbot are people–and not just all people, but just straight guys–in need of psychological help. Perhaps I’m generalizing from a broad statement, or perhaps you didn’t properly restrict yours, but that’s how it reads to me.

    But my comment about government-subsidized sex work wasn’t about sexbots. That would be a step backwards. It’s the ability to occasionally–not often. Once a quarter? Once a year?–access a real live sex worker, just like a real live doctor or a real live therapist. The Sex-Focused Workers of America would set the standards.

  14. Hi! Long-time lurker here.
    @ Rev Bob – surely it was the incels, not the sexbots who were revolting :).

    @ John A Arkansawyer – I seem to recall that in Zamyatin’s We there was a social scheme where citizens were allowed to ask each other for sex. I think it was intended to be in the main a fairly joyless business. (Not that I’m necessarily disagreeing with your proposition, simply pointing out a genre connection.)

    There’s been some talk about potential relationships between the alt-right, incels and others. This article in today’s Guardian is very interesting:


  15. @Arifel: (Also, I left Black Panther off my list! That makes 6 MCU films, which I feel is a respectable number of films to have watched in any normal franchise?) Is this a normal franchise? (What is a “normal” franchise?) If you’re speaking of all Marvel-based films rather than just MCU(tm), there are somewhere close to 40, of which I’ve seen 20 or so in theaters (I skipped a lot of poorly-reviewed ones) and a couple in segments on TV; I haven’t asked other members of the local group how many they’ve seen. I’m wondering how much longer the various lines will run….

    @Arkansawyer: the first question is where your SFWA would come from; the random reading I’ve done suggests that online workers vary widely, but contact workers are still mostly people who’ve been abused/gaslit/… into the work. J. Neil Schulman suggested one way this might work; it wasn’t pretty.

  16. John A Arkansawyer:

    The discussion started with a poem about giving sexbots to incels. I think Lurkertype was following on that as the base assumption.

    There are a lot of other reasons, not all bad, that sex work exists, but your suggestion seems to have forked off the direction of thought of everyone else without you initially at least saying you were wandering. Which means it’s reasonable to think you were talking about sex worker time as a cure for incels and not a broader thought.

  17. @ Lee

    This is why I really miss AOR. When any cut from an album could get airplay, bands didn’t release albums with 2 hits, a couple of decent B-side cuts, and a bunch of filler trash. I consider it perfectly reasonable to note that sort of construction in a review. However, since I don’t review music professionally, its main effect on me is to push me toward buying the cuts I want as mp3s instead of buying the CD as a whole, unless I have a specific reason for wanting the whole thing in hard-copy.

    As a massive Bandcamp user, I can tell you that albums are alive and well. Most of the time I buy them because I get more music per dollar ($7 for 35 mins or so) than singles ($4 for one or two songs). Actually, one of my favorite artists (Skullflower) now releases most music as single tracks for that reason. Often, Bandcamp artists will allow you to listen to the whole album and I will take 10-30 second slices of each track. If three or four tracks are good, I think about buying the album.

  18. There’s not much metal/hard rock airplay in the UK (that I listen to anyway) so I still tend to buy CDs of bands I like when they release new material. Sometimes FLAC if it is available, everything gets ripped to that anyway.

    Quite happy to use Spotify to test drive new things, but picked up a surprising number of support band disks at gigs of late. Always happy to do that as they’re more likely to get a better cut of the merch sales.

  19. @Lenora Rose: That makes sense. I believe I did misunderstand Lurkertype there. My apologies for that, Lurkertype–that was a totally reasonable inference you made.

  20. Buying whole albums is almost always more of a bargain than scattershot songs, but I do both depending – the scattershot songs though tend to be things I’ve been listening to for years and have reason to know I’m only interested in one or two (Eg, big hits from the eighties, or stuff I had in some previous format), rather than new bands. There are also albums even now that tell stories greater than the sum of their parts.

    What I sometimes miss when buying albums in something other than CD format (And occasionally even then) are liner notes or lyric sheets. Sometimes the band has them on their web site. Sometimes not. Though most annoying recently was an album with two songs not-in-English with no lyrics and not even a rough translation *anywhere*. I understood 75% of the one in French (but a couple of lines are either not sung clearly enough or defeat my fading vocabulary — I could tell which if I could read it even in the original), and a vague gist of the one in Spanish, plus a couple of isolated words (family, friends, buenos dias/noces) but it would be nice to be able to check and confirm the rest.

    (And don’t get me started on lyric sites not endorsed by the band. They can be invaluable when properly served with salt, but I’ve found some impressively bad mistakes.)

  21. @ Lenora Rose: ISTR hearing that the reason lyrics sites have so many errors is so that if somebody copies-and-pastes a lyric without permission, they can trace back which site it came from — sort of like Van Halen and the “no green M&Ms” clause. Now, that could be a load of hooey, but if true it would go a long way toward explaining some of the most egregious errors. Obviously, if I’m copying-and-pasting a lyric, I correct the errors. 🙂

  22. @Cliff:

    Very interesting article indeed. Talk about history repeating itself…

  23. @Lee, I’ve heard the same about maps, that mapmakers put deliberate errors in unimportant back areas, so they can identify copies made from their data. I don’t know if it’s true, but it made sense to me.

  24. @Lenore Cam beat me to it. Yep, Trap Streets are most definitely a thing.I remember accidentally coming across this in a map of Staten Island, and wondering where the heck the street on the map was, since I lived a block away and there was no such thing. I hypothesized at the time it was a “future” street, not knowing about the concept.

  25. (3) FUTURE TENSE. Didn’t we agree to no future tense? 😛

    (19) INFESTATION. Oh yes!!! I’m so looking forward to this. 😀

  26. My experience over the years is that, even on official albums (LP and CD), printed lyrics are often at variance with those audible in the actual recording.

    My supposition is that this is in large part because pre-release lyrics evolve (often through honing during live gigs), and the album cover/CD insert designers have been given, by the band/their management, a different version to the particular take that winds up on the album. Once an album (or single) is issued, however, a band is quite likely to stick with that version of the lyrics thereafter.

    This was brought home to me recently whan listening to a newly-purchased second-hand DVD “Special Edition EP” featuring Deep Purple, which included a performance of ‘Highway Star’ from a German TV broadcast (allegedly from 1972) whose lyrics were very different (and rather less polished) from the version on the actual album (Machine Head, recorded in December 1971 and released in March 1972).

  27. [Addendum] A failed edit to the above just before the window expired was meant to say that the (live) German TV broadcast of ‘Highway Star’ was probably that that on Beat-Club in September 1971 (so around 2 months prior to the album recording).

  28. I can believe that in many cases, the wrong lyrics are purposeful… but I’ve also seen what seemed to be clearly, um, guesses. Part of the giveaway is whether it’s one of the lines you’re probably looking up the lyrics to decipher in the first place.

    The one I remember is “…next baron here” in place of “Next burrough mayor” – when the original singer has a fairly heavy British accent and the lyric guesser clearly didn’t. (The difference, of course, is that if the person were going to be the next Baron, there’s no guesswork and planning involved to get support.)

    I have been amused by seeing bands change the lyrics as they go live; usually it’s small tweaks and polishes, but the single worst person for this, by far, is Loreena McKennitt, who cuts verses from classic poems willy nilly from her live renditions until they are incoherent story-wise. (Even the studio version of the Lady of Shallott loses a couple of verses, but it maintains coherence as a tale. The version half the length she plays on stage is a few pretty sounding nonsensical bits.

    What surprised me is one of the people with me knew it so well she barely noticed… while singing along. Where for me it was the opposite; I knew it well enough I couldn’t join in. it’s all about which gaps you’re willing to let your memory fill in for you.

  29. Didn’t we agree to no future tense?

    We’ll see, Kendall. We’ll see.

    Lenora Rose: I’ve managed to go decades with wrong lyrics in my head. I recently found a lyric site called Genius that lets you annotate lyrics, and have been checking Bonzo Dog Band songs for things I was never clear on. I found one howler: “She was dressed as before the bed,” instead of “She was dressed as Biffo the Bear.” Somebody didn’t read enough comic weeklies as a youngster! (Which probably spared a few brain cells, come to think.)

  30. Kip W, I see what you did there.

    Regarding lyrics, I believe that mis-heard lyrics are called “Lady Mondegreens” or simply “mondegreens”, from an old ballad that ended with “…and laid him on the green” but was famously misinterpreted as “and Lady Mondegreen.”

    Infamous mondegreens include the one in the song “Bad Moon Rising”, “there’s a bathroom on the right” for “there’s a bad moon on the rise.” Or Hendrix’s ” ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy” for ” ‘scuse me while I kiss the sky” … although I’ve heard that Hendrix himself sang it both ways in concert, depending on his whim…

  31. @ Cassy B

    although I’ve heard that Hendrix himself sang it both ways in concert, depending on his whim

    Maybe it’s just my auditory processing disorder, but my immediate reaction is, “But how could you tell which way he sang it except from his own claim?””

    I have two favorite lyric-interpretation phenomena. One is where I finally do track down the official “correct” lyrics for a song I’ve never been able to figure out. (Or where I’ve substituted a mondegreen in my memory just as a placeholder, but I know it can’t be correct.) But then the “real” version fails to stick and I have to look it up again every single time I wonder about it. I think there are several Elton John songs where I’ve had this problem.

    The second phenomenon is where I actively prefer my mis-interpreted version of the lyrics. Because my mind interpreted the indecipherable sounds in a way that made the most sense it my own universe, and my universe is first and foremost a story-generating place. I think the earliest and most trivial example I can remember was the Moody Blues song about the endless cavalcade of pale-caparisoned warriors…you know, “Knights in white satin, never reaching the end…”

    That one’s trivial because it doesn’t involve the really peculiar things that auditory processing disorder can do to completely ordinary sentences, when given insufficient context for disambiguation. And song lyrics are a great context for presenting imagery in ambiguous contexts.

  32. @Kip W: “We’ll see, Kendall. We’ll see.”


    @Heather Rose Jones: “But then the “real” version fails to stick and I have to look it up again every single time I wonder about it.”

    Oh yeah, I’ve been there a lot! If singers would just sing slowly and clearly. 😉

    “Knights in white satin, never reaching the end…”

    Heh, you tricked me! I had to look it up to see what was wrong. I was looking for a different (pronunciation-wise) word, not a different spelling. ::blush:: Thanks, that made me LOL.

  33. There are definitely songs where I misheard lyrics forever (it took me nigh on ywo decades to figure out the second line of the chorus of “what’s love got to do with it?”), including ones where I prefer my own interpretation of what the words should be but to me that’s a different issue from actively wrong lyric sheets either intentional or just plain ol’ wrong.

    The girl with colitis goes by…

  34. @John A Arkansawyer it appears that the Netherlands have some sort of government stipend for the disabled to subsidize the purchase of sexual services, though articles on the subject seem to be vague:


    As for sexbots, here in the year 8751, we don’t see why anybody who is fine with masturbation should be particularly grossed out about getting it on with a sexbot, apart from practical considerations like storage and maintenance.

  35. Subsidised sex for disabled people in the Netherlands has been around for a while now. At any rate, I recall first hearing about this scheme several years ago.

    But then, the really notable point here is the different attitude to prostitution in the Netherlands, where it is legal and pretty visible, and the US, where it is illegal in most states.

  36. Returning briefly to matters of tense and person, I had cause* to reread Lovecraft’s “Pickman’s Model” earlier today, and was amused to find that it was written in the second person. But then, he did a lot of deposition-style work, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.

    * The book I’m currently reading is a collection of four stories which are not just Lovecraftian in tone, but so far (two stories in) reference Lovecraft himself as an author who fictionalized and/or sensationalized accounts of true stories. One even ropes in Dupin and mentions Lestrade. At any rate, it has proven useful to refresh my memory of the originals before proceeding to these sequels.

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