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Thread: Ligotti recommendations

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    It's not just bureaucracy - and yes, of course that goes back to Kafka, at the very least - but specifically the horror of the workplace, and not just any workplace, but that of the corporation, the firm, the private sector. The Blaine Company's stated mission to become a leading player in the global marketplace.
    Coming back on a 2 points.

    1 - I think one aspect of corporate horror or horreaucracy that seems to slot into a more definite Lovecraftian continuum is the lurking sense of the unknown. Thacker (In The Dust of This Planet) argues that there is a particular philosophical horror of being aware of a lacuna of knowledge... Of course, we can see this in the hinted, barely glimpsed sense of The Old Ones in Lovecraft and in the 'behind the veil of this world' strategy that Ligotti employs so well. But, in a contemporary sense, this lacuna of knowldeg is not giant beings under the ocean or dreamlike existential crises but financial and corporate. The anxiety of being liminally aware of what one cannot fathom could be taken as the horror of laissez-faire capitalism... The sudden cancellation of projects because of an occult funding decision, the obscure reasons for company reorganizations or the mystical magics of high finance trading that our savings and pensions are affected by are the modern day 'old ones'. Many of us, now, do work - but the impact of our work can not be gauged.We do not know why we are working, nor why our work is suddenly changed, or why our vocational networks are suddenly re-structured 'for greater efficiency' or even why our skills and experience are no longer useful to the world.

    So, for me, corporate horror is less about interactions (manager-qua-wendigo) but more about the spectre of the market, the gnawing anxiety of unseen forces. Most economists use climatological vocabulary... and weather forecast, of course, is not an exact science.

    I went through a phase of feeling this sense of vertiginous precarity, I often tweeted 'part of an ever expanding network'.

    2 - This is about Ligotti. His control is supreme. I always appreciate how most of his stories could be anywhere between 2016 and 1800. He rarely references technology, occasionally a phone is referenced or a car is mentioned, but he is never specific, It lends his pieces a timeless quality. Most characters use notes to communicate. I think, because of this, even when specific technology is mentioned, like headphones in The Bungalow House, I assume them to be vaguely steam-punk and lifted from an alternate reality.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Office manager as the wendigo.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 12-10-2016 at 12:14 PM.
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  3. #33
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    On a side note, what do you reckon Ligotti is making of the 'killer clown' phenomenon?
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 12-10-2016 at 02:19 PM.
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  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    On a side note, what do you reckon Ligotti is making of all the 'killer clown' phenomenon?
    it is just the stranger-than-fiction cherry on 2016 isn't it... Brexit, Trump, Killer Clowns.... I'm just waiting for France to convert into an Islamic state now.

  5. #35
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    For now, until one of them actually kills someone, I'm mentally replacing 'killer clown' with 'clown'.

    Or even, 'misguided twat in a clown costume'.
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  6. #36

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    Clowns are interesting.

    Disallowing facial recognition and the affective interaction that fires our mirror neurons (happiness, disgust, fear and anger being the four main ones iirc). In a sense they confuse the spectator, giving them an obnoxiously false expression but ultimately leaving one with little to go on. A mask. Notable how many 'psychos' in film etc tend to be clowns or wear masks. Isn't the fear of clowns (aside from the obvious cultural reference) part of assuming the worst in a person whose expression is cloaked. Hence, 'killer clowns'? Or, to riff on western anxieties... the burqa? An unfounded prejudice based on a lack...

  7. #37
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    Unfounded? I think there is something fundamentally weird about going around in public wearing a garment that doesn't allow you to be recognized, and there's nothing wrong with objecting to it. Whether that should be enforced with a law is a whole nother kettle of fish, can of worms and bag of scorpions.

    Mainly I think people associate clowns with murder/horror because of IT and the approximately 5,000 knock-offs it inspired. And, you know, John Wayne Gacy. I mean, it had become enough of a fixture in the popular Western imagination by the early '90s for Insane Clown Posse to base their entire schtick on it even then.

    Edit: and The Joker of course, duh!
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 12-10-2016 at 02:31 PM.
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  8. #38

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    Well, I don't care about being able to see everyone's face. Why? Why is a certain level of consistent appearance required or expected? If it is based on expecting a certain level of non-verbal communication, then we are on a slippery slope to things like http://www.faception.com/ or (can't find the link but there was an article on predictive policing concerning a study that looks at how the way you walk can be analyzed for criminal intent). Perhaps we should ask, why can't one cover up?

    For me, if people want to cover up - fine.

    Yes, IT was my 'obvious cultural reference'. Of course Gacy! Isn't the creepy clown just another part the culture of ritual torment? I'm thinking more of things like Krampus. Isn't there a long history of accepted intimidation by people made up as something else... surely someone with an anthropology degree could chime in and highlight how many cultures tend to have rituals whereby a costumed person 'thrills' youths...

    Going back to my comment about the creepy horror of feeling a lack of knowledge... There is a Ligotti story that describes in detail a clown that never quite turns around to fully face the narrator. I thought that was one of his best.

  9. #39
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    ive had a few occassions when ive been walking down a street or on one occassion an alley when a large group of youths with ski masks or scarves covering their faces have been walking towards me. i didnt like it much but that was possibly also cos some of them were openly carrying weapons. it signals an intent to commit crime and not be recorded on cctv or recognised by witnesses

  10. #40
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    it wasnt too scary cos obviously i knew they were on a specific mission and not out to get me but still a bit uncool

  11. #41
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    The thing about Patches the clown was the 'pointy' makeup, which is avoided like the plague by real clowns, specifically because it's so creepy. Gacy wore it even when he was doing fetes and various other community things for kids.



    Quote Originally Posted by you View Post
    Going back to my comment about the creepy horror of feeling a lack of knowledge... There is a Ligotti story that describes in detail a clown that never quite turns around to fully face the narrator. I thought that was one of his best.
    Ligotti has had a few beckett moments IIRC.


  12. #42
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    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-37611993

    lots of law-abiding good clowns are outraged by these clowns

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-37611993

    lots of law-abiding good clowns are outraged by these clowns
    #NotAllClowns
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  14. #44

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    There must be, socio-neurologically, something disconcerting about obscured faces, something off-putting and as Tea said 'weird' about not being granted the neurological mirroring from the inter-facial affects of key emotions (like fear, happiness and disgust). But just because it feels odd doesn't mean it is. Opiates feel good. But that doesn't mean they are, unquestionably, good.

    But expanding on this... isn't there a continuum of horror tropes that all pivot around obscured faces? Clowns are one. Masks (hockey, or Lecter style) are another. Similarly, female 'baddies' tend to obscure their expressions with long hair (thinking of The Ring).

    Droid. I'd never noticed that. Pointy make-up does seem more sinister. I wonder why this is. Is there a cultured reason for this or do points and jagged edges just notch up the visual-facial dissonance?
    Last edited by you; 12-10-2016 at 05:58 PM.

  15. #45
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    Opiates are unquestionably good.

    For a while.
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