Monthly Archives: June 2008

Technocracy

One of the many interesting items I’ve learned from Mark S. Morrison’s Modern Alchemy: Occultism and the Emergence of Atomic Theory (Oxford, 2007) is the existence of Technocracy Incorporated, a type of Wellsian open conspiracy of engineers and planners that numbered the young Ray Bradbury among their members.

They are still around, apparently:

Morrison describes how Nathan Schachner’s “The Revolt of the Scientists,” published in Wonder Stories is based on Technocracy Inc., and the use of various utopian financial texts about the potential fluidity of currency in their founding doctrine is an altogether fascinating bit of cultural history. (Pound’s exploration of some of the same sources, is, as Morrison indicates, more familiar, though Pound seemed never to think much of technocracy. [I should look at Wells and Pound's letters.])

John from Cincinnati

That it was cancelled, I now think, after watching the first six episodes, was a disaster. But if you’re looking for some humor in the situation, I’m not sure that watching the actors listen to Milch explain to them the artistic theory of the dream sequence in the sixth episode is likely to be beat. (Rebecca De Mornay’s* expression, in particular, is matchless, though Dayton Collie seems to rival her for mute and increasingly hostile** incomprehension.)

I’m waiting for the next disc, so I don’t want to jump any exegetical guns. Nancy Franklin’s review Milch seems bitter about in the commentary, this venue being the one which seems best to represent the values that HBO is selling to its subscribers. He doesn’t mention it specifically, but he does say that critics expected to be able to judge and understand the show after only watching a few episodes. I disagree with Franklin about it being boring and poorly acted. I found the dialogue to be hilarious, most of the time, and I’m not even bothered by the portentousness of naming the titular character “Monad” and recasting what seems to be an incident out of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in the first episode.

*Milch’s commentary on the first episode mentions first that De Mornay was best known for manually stimulating Tom Cruise in one film, and his remarks re her appearance on another occasion trend zestfully callipygian.

**If you’ve seen the show, you have to allow that this might be method acting.

Georgics

Behold, the destroyer of citrus:

Nymph of Leptoglossus phyllopus

He’s on an evolvulus because I’ve been progressively extirpating, deracinating, and finally, uprooting three heavily cankered orange trees that came with our back yard. The minor drought here has been helping, but, when I dragged the trees to the front yard to be carried away, the displaced leaf-footed bugs took to my asters. The nymph instars you see above sample everything, though I think they find the lemongrass and Vietnamese coriander in that herb bucket with the evolvulus strange and frightening after the sweet, sweet satsumas they’ve known for so long. Such indeed is life in the Acadian ecorama.

More about my homonym’s partnership with Neil Young soon.