Monday, July 29, 2013

The Sasquatch Phonetic Alphabet

Last week, you may have heard about the Greek-tragedy level death of two women, friends who got lost hiking in Roque Bluffs State Park in Maine. They were rescued, and got back into the minivan belonging to one of the two women, and promptly drove off a boat launch, into Englishman's Bay.

It was a foggy, rainy night, and they were probably quite shaken by the previous event. The story fascinates -- was death simply there to collect them, no matter what? The strange, sad details are reported in the Portland Press Herald.

We didn't come here to talk about that, but had to mention it on the off chance you missed it. For some reason, the story really sticks with us.


In far lighter news, linguist and writer Karen Stollznow wrote a piece for Scientific American's blog, about the language of the Sasquatch. That's right: The alleged language spoken by the crypto-zoological simian said to roam the remote mountain forests of North America.

Stollznow, being a scientist, demands extraordinary proof for the extraordinary claim. It's a gentle beat down, if such a thing can be, but still a surgically precise beat down.

The article led us to the vast sea of YouTube clips that contain portions, or the entirety, of the "Sierra Sounds recordings." Which, you may have guessed, are field recordings of the Sasquatch language in use, by a Sasquatch.

Read Stollznow's baloney-detecting exercise, 'cause it's fun. Fall down a well of Bigfoot videos on  YouTube at your own peril.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Readin' Dirty

The Typing Monkey tries to keep this blog as PG-13/SFW as possible. So understand that several of the links in this post contain pictures that might get you in trouble at work, or force you to have an uncomfortable conversation with a loved one. If your wife asks what you're doing, though, you can tell her in all honesty that you're reading The Paris Review.


All media are used as pornography delivery devices. And because that’s usually one of the first uses for a new medium, the history of pornographic books is the history of the book itself.

Writer Avi Steinberg looked into the library/porn connection for The Paris Review back in 2012. Thanks to J. Kingston Pierce’s blog Killer Covers of the Week, we discovered Steinberg’s essay, "Checking Out" and it’s a positively fun and enlightening read.

Steinberg, who worked as a librarian in a prison, declares midway through that "according to the pile of books I’d stacked onto my library desk, our story is nothing but the evolutionary history of the Porno sapiens."

And to that end, Steinberg arrives at a perfectly logical connection. Books can satisfy our prurient needs. Therefore, those who curate the books must have arcane knowledge of the erotic and esoteric, which lets us off at the final stop on this ride, the archetype of the “sexy librarian.”

For many, the very phrase conjures a sort of post-WWII pinup idea: A prim woman, with glasses and hair coiled into a bun. But once those glasses come off, and the hair is loosed, she’s a trick-underwear-sporting tigress in sensible heels, a variation on the Madonna/whore fantasy that’s come in and out of fashion over the decades.

As poet and librarian Stephanie Brown put it in her article “Sex in the Stacks” – “In the world of librarian porn, a sex maniac lives behind the lorgnette [and] those orthopedic shoes.”

Read her take on the books, and the idea, on The Best American Poetry blog. And notice there that she too, includes the cover of Les Tucker’s Nympho Librarian, a paperback that has also provided the two images we used for this post, primarily because it’s so funny and so neatly sums up the ideas discussed.

Books are sexy. Anybody who says otherwise probably hates reading. Stop associating with those people as your schedule allows, and go read something.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Your Dead Are Safe Until Winter

The corpse-eating fly, thought to be extinct, and possibly apocryphal, is alive ... and hungry.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kung Fu and Other Delights

We confess we knew little of the athlete-turned-film-star Jim Kelly before he died and the obituaries began to appear.

The Typing Monkey has never seen Black Belt Jones, despite being a fan of the dub tune by Lee "Scratch" Perry. We knew the title only, and had not carved out time to watch what sounds like a crackerjack good time, combining action of the chop-sockey and Blaxploitation varieties.

It's hot out, and summer laziness has put a few writing projects on hold, so please enjoy first, this YouTube clip of the theme song from Black Belt Jones by Dennis Coffey and Luchi De Jesus:

[courtesy of funkybrezhoneg]

Then spin this playlist of nearly every cut from dub legend Lee "Scratch" Perry's 1975 LP Kung Fu Meets the Dragon, a record clearly inspired not just by Jim Kelly's black man of action, but martial arts movies in general.

Note the only cut that's been pulled from the playlist is "Black Belt Jones", possibly the best tune on the record. Despite that, this is a fun listen, so get yourself a glass of limeade or something and have a relax.

[courtesy of sqezyplus]