Donovan’s Brain?

Photo by Roman.

Donovan’s Brain is the title of a 1942 sci-fi / horror novel by author and screen writer Curt Siodmak. According to Wikipedia, it’s been made into movies more than once, including a 1953 production that shares the title. I saw the movie once ages ago and actually have a 1969 re-issue of the book, but I remember almost nothing about it except that it probably could also be classed as detective fiction.

Disembodied brains have been a constant trope of horror and fascination in the sci-fi and fantasy genres probably as long as folks have been writing such stuff. It would be an interesting compare and contrast of the treatments of that plot device by various authors. I mean, consider on one hand the heads preserved alive in C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength or the intelligences embodied in light in Arthur C. Clarke’s The City and the Stars and Against the Fall of Night. In the face of the mighty productivity of the authors of popular fiction, the bibliography alone would be a significant project.

And, of course, what do zombies want? Brains…

One lunch time when my Dad was working a day shift, Mom asked if I’d like something different for lunch: baked calf brains. Dad was one of those meat and very salty potatoes sort of guys so this was not something he’d have cared for… But I was game. No, it did not taste like chicken. As I recall, Mom’s production tasted like meatloaf, a meatloaf of sincerely alarming appearance.

I think I finished my serving but I’m certain I did not ask for more.

I was inspired to suspect that many of my fellow children had meatloaf for brains and alas that nothing since has challenged that prejudice.

Though to be fair, we all have meatloaf brains. *

On the other hand, maybe the photo is of a very large wad of used chewing gum…

But really, the photo above is not someone’s discarded higher or lower functions but what looks to be the result of maybe a full can of spray foam, the kind of stuff used to seal rodent holes. Was that the intent here? They could have done as well with less, especially if steel wool also blocked the hole. But this overkill makes for a much more interesting photo, yes?


* For an interesting perspective on this, see “All People Are Created Educable, a Vital Oft-Forgotten Tenet of Modern Democracy” over at Ex Urbe.

The Old Family Home

a spider’s meditation

Photo by Roman.

Our old web was never worth all that much. Mom always said that it never caught anything but dust and Dad and Dad was barely enough to sustain a clutch of eggs. You’d think a window web would prosper but no, it was a waste land. I had a whole passel of sisters when we hatched but now there’s just me. When you live in a desert, you make do. Between Mom and me, my sisters lasted a while. Dinnertime was always a family affair.

Nothing is left. Time to move on. Thanks Mom. You were great.

— Yip

The Triplets of Belleville

I have mixed feelings about movie trailers. With DVDs, I usually watch them without the sound. It’s better that way, usually. And music videos… need I repeat that I don’t like ’em?

That said, I was visiting Roy Edroso’s blog recently, part of my weekly list of reading. If the name sounds familiar, Edroso was a columnist for the late Village Voice where he covered and made fun of the conservative commentariat. He still does that on his blog and he has a newsletter you can subscribe to… which I would do if Social Security paid more than the rent… but what I was getting at is: His post for Friday, April 26, had embedded music from one of my favorite films, Sylvian Chomet’s The Triplets of Belleville.

When it was first released in 2003, something resembling the following clip was used as a trailer.

I was instantly hooked and actually went to see it at an actual movie theatre. However, some folks could easily freak out over this particular presentation, so SONY is using this as the official promo:

Unlike most movie trailers, you’re not likely to learn just what the movie is all about from either of these. But you will get a taste and, yes, the movie has a sweet, sentimental and totally bizarre story to tell.

It was also released on DVD and you may be able to find it in that format — I’ve not checked — but it is available online from Amazon Prime Video, Vudu or iTunes.

See it.

Long Term Delivery

“A short comedy about a secret division of the United States Postal Service.”

National Letter Carrier Day isn’t until February 4, and this is just too  bizarre to keep until then. Hats-off to letter carriers everywhere, who generally do an amazing job, except on those occasions when they do not.

Beyond that, I’m not sure what to say about this delicious bit of video. Maybe mumble something about how we try to find meaning in life and how mutable that meaning is — or is not.