RIP Ray Bradbury

His teeth began to chatter. God-All-Mighty! He thought, why haven’t I realized it all these years? All these years I’ve gone around with a—SKELETON—inside me! How is it we take ourselves for granted? How is it we never question our bodies and our being?

A skeleton. One of those jointed, snowy, hard things, one of those foul, dry, brittle, gouge-eyed, skull-faced, shake-fingered, rattling things that sway from neck-chains in abandoned webbed closets, one of those things found on the desert all long and scattered like dice!

He stood upright, because he could not bear to remain seated. Inside me now, he grasped his stomach, his head, inside my head is a—skull. One of those curved carapaces which holds my brain like an electrical jelly, one of those cracked shells with the holes in front like two holes shot through it by a double-barreled shotgun! With its grottoes and caverns of bone, its revetments and placements for my flesh, my smelling, my seeing, my hearing, my thinking! A skull, encompassing my brain, allowing it exit through its brittle windows to see the outside world!

He wanted to dash into the bridge party, upset it, a fox in a chickenyard, the cards fluttering all around like chicken feathers burst upward in clouds! He stopped himself only with a  violent, trembling effort. Now, now, man, control yourself. This is a revelation, take it for what it’s worth, understand it, savor it. BUT A SKELETON! screamed his subconscious. I won’t stand for it. It’s vulgar, it’s terrible, it’s frightening. Skeletons are horrors…


—from "Skeleton," in The October Country, 1955.


This just in

Longtime activist and Brown Beret co-founder Carlos Montes, whose home was raided by an L.A. County Sheriffs' SWAT team last May, and whose case I wrote about at some length in the March issue of Los Angeles magazine, just agreed to a plea deal. Two of the six felony charges he had been facing had already been dropped and, according to an email I received from Montes, the District Attorney agreed today to drop the remaining charges in exchange for a plea of no contest to one count of perjury, for which he will be sentenced to three years of probation and community service. No jail time. Kinda makes you wonder just what they thought were doing with all their laws and lethal toys, dudn't it? Also: as I understand it, Venus is currently inside the sun. Be careful out there.


Take that!

“If quotations, in their fragmenting force, destroy in advance the texts from which they are not only severed but which they exalt till these texts become nothing but severance, then the fragment without a text, or any context, is radically unquotable.”

—Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster 


Rest easy


It is Sunday, and the long-sought link between Nabokov and Snoop Dogg has been found:

“The sun made its usual round of the house as the afternoon ripened into evening. I had a drink. And another. And yet another. Gin and pineapple juice, my favorite mixture, always double my energy.”

—HH, Lolita, 2nd Vintage edition, 1997. Page 72


“Well, well, well, well, well; of all colics, save me from the melloncolics; green melons is the greenest thing!”

—Herman Melville, Pierre