As always, I assumed
my poems were the best ever written.
Then I saw the reflection of white clouds
in a marble floor, while the sound of a fountain
–water excited by white– accelerated time
and the clouds, moving inches at once
toward my seldom polished shoes
were like fat round soldiers at march.
The sun dipped behind one of them
and the entire day drowned for a minute.
Of course my poems were shit.
They always had been.
In a fascinating (but short) article on science fiction and religion, Glenn Harlan Reynolds says:
In the old days, religious pageantry – sometimes enhanced with psychoactive substances of different kinds, or with hypnotic music – was the most exciting thing people were likely to run across in their everyday life. Special costumes, masks, ceremonies, big fancy buildings, and so on all tended to create a sense of separation between the sacred and the ordinary, and to make religious ceremonies stick in people’s minds.
Now movies provide many of the same characteristics, in a more intense form. The synthetic experience of attending a film, with its arresting special effects, meticulously-planned shots and narrative, and music carefully designed to drive viewers’ emotions into the desired state, may have a similar effect, imprinting the message of the film into people’s minds at a level below consciousness, just as religious ceremonies have done for millennia.
I have no doubt this is very true. Now if only there was a science fiction convention every sunday morning…
I just discovered some new author blogs, including my (current) favorite author, Rudy Rucker.
See also Bruce Sterling, Ken MacLeod, and Charles Stross, (who I haven’t yet read, but have on my list).