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A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: PatConolly (IP Logged)
Date: 8 May, 2019 10:55PM
This page

[eldritchdark.com]

is a postcard which is identified as "From Donald Wandrei and Samuel Loveman"

But when you read it, you see it is mostly by Lovecraft, signed HPL, with one line from Wandrei and one line from Frank Belknap Long.

A couple of months ago I used the Contact form for this site to notify them of the mistake. That message was never acknowledged, let alone corrected. Anyone know if this site is actually maintained?

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 11 May, 2019 02:46AM
The Eldritch Dark can have the characteristic silence of the tomb, much in line with the spirit of its subject matter. As long as this is accepted and agreed upon, this is a fine place with occasional inflorescence of comments.

I believe the site owner, as well as others once prominent posters, have not commented here in several years. There used to be a lot more activity. My own personal view of the reason for this lessening, is the decline of the West. The West is moving into a dark age, that will call for hardships. The signs for this have been extra prominent over the last ten years. In such times sensitive dreamers and fantasists tend to withdraw. Some go into depression. (The more superficial and confused welcome the new world order destructive changes, and think there is still a party going on.) My way of handling this, as well as can be, is to stay in the small world as much as possible, away from regulated society; actively seek Nature, Art, and creativity, and pray to the cosmic God for guidance and upheld ecstatic inspiration.

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 11 May, 2019 10:45AM
Interesting POV...

I'm unsure about the cause for the decline in the levels of participation on the Eldritch Dark site (in part, the subject is finite, not open-ended, and hence can therefore be "consumed"), but for sure you're right about the decline of the spiritual, aspirational quality of life in the industrial West.

The common man has never been any great shakes when it comes to self-ennoblement--and I say this as a self-admitted common man--very panzaic, that's me! Why seek the sublime if the mundane gives an immediate thrill--and doubly so if you're none too sure what "the sublime" hints at, anyway.

So yep, we live in a world where the crass is so commonplace as to pass by unnoticed, vulgarity is everywhere you may choose to look, mediocrity has been elevated to the praiseworthy, and whereas in previous times, if you recognized that you were being pandered to, you'd feel genuine embarrassment at the exposed baseness of your character, you now feel that unless you are actively pandered to, constantly, you're being deprived of the normal life experience, the one that you're entitled to.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Yluos (IP Logged)
Date: 11 May, 2019 12:52PM
I'm hardly a regular around here, and by the time I made my account this place was already as slow as a glacier. I, too, was wondering if anyone actively maintained this site, so it's nice finding some confirmation on that matter. It is a shame, but at the same time I can't complain so much, because it almost feels natural for a site based on CAS to be as dusty and eerily quiet as the catacombs of Zothique or Yoh-Vombis. I dislike the commercialization and franchising of Lovecraft, turning the "Cthulhu Mythos" into a geeky pastime, when it was probably better left as a dead memetic artifact of literary history. I'd hate for CAS to become such a circus.

As for the decline of the west, I think that's a melodramatic way of putting it, and maybe slightly pompous, but I do agree that the fabrics of culture are deteriorating in many crippling ways. It's troubling when the general public decrees Marvel movies, Disney movies, and the latest anime series to be high-quality art or intelligent media, and when sensational and overreactive news is considered good journalism, and when all you need to be considered a great mind or even just a good person is to repeat bland truisms everyone else has been repeating for a few decades.

Such is life, I suppose, but as long as I can find a comfortable niche for myself, I can manage.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11 May 19 | 12:57PM by Yluos.

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2019 06:24AM
Sawfish and Yluos, I fully agree with both your views of present times.
Yluos, you capture well the cancerous outgrowth of disgusting commercialization. And, as a further expression of that, the widespread false pandering to mediocrity. It's all in the forced interest of the top bankers.
Sawfish, thanks for your frankness! Nothing wrong with being 'panzaic'. Whatever it means! (I searched high and low, it's not even found in my foot-thick Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary!) But I am sure I agree; food, drink, the flesh, our natural biological hedonistic heritage. It needs of course be balanced by intellectual and aesthetic quality; because otherwise life will be unbearable, a cesspool of self-deceit. And science, fantasy, and Art is, after all, the highest level of exhilaration!

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2019 12:12PM
Hah! Probably I misspelled it. It is taken from the character Sancho Panza in Don Quixote. He was an earthy peasant interested only in the simple, sensual life.

Good, pleasant exchange! Thanks!

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 06:31AM
Naw, it's just the consistent stupidity of most of the discussion here. One would've thought that might fix itself after certain folks departed, but not so much.

Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Eldritch Dark can have the characteristic
> silence of the tomb, much in line with the spirit
> of its subject matter. As long as this is accepted
> and agreed upon, this is a fine place with
> occasional inflorescence of comments.
>
> I believe the site owner, as well as others once
> prominent posters, have not commented here in
> several years. There used to be a lot more
> activity. My own personal view of the reason for
> this lessening, is the decline of the West. The
> West is moving into a dark age, that will call for
> hardships. The signs for this have been extra
> prominent over the last ten years. In such times
> sensitive dreamers and fantasists tend to
> withdraw. Some go into depression. (The more
> superficial and confused welcome the new world
> order destructive changes, and think there is
> still a party going on.) My way of handling this,
> as well as can be, is to stay in the small world
> as much as possible, away from regulated society;
> actively seek Nature, Art, and creativity, and
> pray to the cosmic God for guidance and upheld
> ecstatic inspiration.

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Chipougne (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 07:38AM
We might also consider more mundane explanations. The current population pyramid, for example. Many CAS hardcore fans are/were babyboomers. Not all of them, but probably most. Some of them are gone, the others are not getting any younger, and they probably got tired of debating over the same subjects over and over again after a few decades. And younger generations have other fish to fry. Yet they still read. As a small press owner I can assure you they do, perhaps even more than we did. And as Sawfish aptly pointed out, the subject is, after all, finite.

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 02:45PM
Hah!

A funny thought occurred to me. Since the topic of CAS and his works is indeed finite, and it's been plowed over pretty thoroughly and repeatedly, now is the time for the revisionists among us to step forward...

Might CAS, as a callow youth, have been complicit in the assassination of Archduke Frznz Ferdinand? Perhaps it was CAS, as the driver of the car, who came back around that second, fateful, time...

Might Jack the Ripper have been CAS's true father?

Why stop there? Just as in any History department of any respectable college or university, if one wants to make a name for one's self, and all the data has been thoroughly explored, just make up some new sources, or invent entire implausible scenarios.

What fun!

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Yluos (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 03:15PM
It's a shame there aren't so many people of my generation who are aware of CAS, and the few who are either don't read his work (relying on Cthulhu Mythos wiki pages for bare-bones information), or read them with the intent of scanning for ideas they can adapt into role-playing campaigns. It's not like CAS is difficult to find, for not only does this site exist but many decently-priced books on Amazon as well. There are countless legions of Lovecraft fans, including people younger than me, so I don't understand why CAS is practically unknown in this sphere, especially when people are still designing fan art of his creatures. Atlach-Nacha is drawn fairly often these days, usually by people who call him (or rather, her) a creation of Lovecraft's.

It can feel a bit lonely for a newcomer like me, not that I actively seek others to talk about this with, but it creates a melancholy impression like I missed out on a literary gold rush.

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 03:58PM
While I would agree that, to all appearances, society seems to be disintegrating, I think this may be as much apparent as genuine. Not that I mean we aren't seeing a dreadful inversion of values, but that this is hardly the first time in human history this has been the case. What makes it different now is how easily we are made aware of this on an immediate, personal level; whereas in earlier times it was much less likely to be "in your face" because of the lack of such rapid access to what is going on in a wider sphere than our own. I tend to be pessimistic about these things myself (always have been) but these days I've also had reason to question how valid such a view is when taken in context. True, what we see on the web is largely blather by semi-literate or ignorant people... but not entirely. (Nor is ignorance necessarily a pejorative statement; it simply means to be unaware of, and that is something that can be remedied.) I've also encountered an encouraging number of younger people who are becoming aware of these things as they explore what is out there -- very much the traditional province of youth -- and no few of whom find it worth exploring further. (Just as, on another level, the actual facts of the percentage of youth which are becoming more savvy and politically active, concerned about what is going on, is actually growing rather than diminishing. But often the ones who are active are more concerned about being involved than about complaining, or vocal about how useless it all is, so we don't hear about them nearly as much. Nonetheless, the studies I've seen or heard about tend to indicate this is the case.)

I'm reminded, for instance, of something that happened some years ago when I was working at a science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery book store.... I was doing inventory when a group of late high-school, early college students came in, and happened to overhear part of their conversation. The first thing I caught was: "Yeah, she was known as the IT girl". And the first thought that sprang into my head was "No; they can't possibly be talking about Clara Bow"... but they were. And Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd, and a host of other silent film stars. Their conversation went from there to a knowledgeable discussion of the writers of the era and on up to inheritors of those traditions in the present. Nor was this an obviously academically-inspired conversation. These kids were simply people who had discovered these things on their own, and began to explore further; widening their circle of awareness, and beginning to assess critical valuations as they went along. We had a lovely discussion -- me nearly 40 years their senior, yet very cordially accepted into the conversation once I ventured a comment -- and they left with an enthusiastic determination to look up some of the subjects I had brought into the discussion. Nor has this been the only incident of this sort I've encountered; far from it.

So, no, I'm not as inclined to dismiss the future as I have, throughout my life, tended to be. The dross has always been there, and has (I think from my own reading and experiences) always been much more numerous than the gold... but the gold is still very much there, and probably no less quantitatively than it has ever been. It may, in fact, be very slightly increasing... and that is encouraging.

On the subject of what has happened with Lovecraft's mythos... again, I would agree that there has been a dreadful lot of nonsense written with this as subject matter... yet what is of value has hardly been exhausted; from some of what I've seen, it has only begun to be tapped, as newer generations of writers are reading Lovecraft more closely, taking on his ideas and their implications, and then addressing them in their own voices and manner, and often applying his philosophical and mythic views to modern concerns and happenings. This, too, (in my view) is a good thing. What HPL did, just as what Poe, or Maupassant, or Flaubert, did, is to open doors and begin the trailblazing; it can still remain vital and breathing today in skilled hands, and often is. For example, some -- by no means all, but nonetheless a surprising number -- of the small or independent films inspired by Lovecraft's work (not necessarily adaptations of his work, but continuing in his vein) are really quite good. One should not look for "Lovecraft", but his influence, the traditions he began; these are being explored in a variety of ways, as is the case with any living artistic concept. That, too, is encouraging. The same may be happening with Smith, as I see more and more editions of his work appearing... which indicates a market which has most definitely grown since I first became aware of him about a half-century ago. I've not seen much of that, it's true; but it may simply be that Smith has taken a bit longer to reach his audience than was the case with HPL. At any rate, I'm not nearly so inclined to dismiss the possibility, or the current/future audience as I have been most of my life. Perhaps this is simply encroaching senility on my part; but the fact that we do have younger members here, sometimes providing thoughtful comments or beginning threads worthy of following up, argues against that, I think.

Thus my thoughts, for what they're worth....

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 04:53PM
To jdworth,

I can see your points and there's validity when considered in a certain context; e.g., the ease of dissemination of information, including literary works, brings more inquisitive minds to the fray.

And, too, past eras have seen their relative ups and downs.

But his is different, and to put it simply, so far s I can see, as a 71-year old observer in a west coast urban center, the aspirational is out of vogue. In its place is its active rejection. It is, for the first time I've seen, popular, culturally widespread nihilism.

So what's wrong with this? It's that while the wealthy can afford to be blasé and decadent, the common man cannot. Discontent sets in, and in its wake comes manipulation--either concerning material possessions/acquisitions, or ephemeral and malleable qualities such as social justice, which are for the most part subjective.

And to turn this around is very, very hard to do, short of an existential emergency, and this is quite simple, really: aspiration and its realization are hard, and have effort and disappointment along the way, while eschewing effort and aspiration as pointless or uncool, is easy, and pays off socially in the present.

Certinly I'd be interested in hearing your (or anyone else's) thoughts on this. I'd love to be shown that I'm fundamentally wrong... :^)

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 06:46PM
I would say that you raise some very valid concerns; ones which I share. As far as what we are seeing politically/socially... yes, we are in a very precarious position at present. What gives me hope is, as I noted, that we have an ever-increasing number of younger people who are concerned about these very things and committed to defending the better core values. This is by no means a certain outcome... but, again, time is on their side, as is the amount of energy youth can bring to such struggles. Moreover, because of the ease of information access, and ease of ability in creating a network to combat such problems, they are able to strategize their battles, and that is a ray of hope. It's one hell of a dark time with this, but (perhaps oddly) it seems to me that the clouds are beginning to break. I could be wrong. But, frustrating and even infuriating as a huge amount of what I see going on is... I also see a growing resistance to this mindset, and for the first time in a long while, I have some hope.

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 08:14PM
jdworth Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would say that you raise some very valid
> concerns; ones which I share. As far as what we
> are seeing politically/socially... yes, we are in
> a very precarious position at present. What gives
> me hope is, as I noted, that we have an
> ever-increasing number of younger people who are
> concerned about these very things and committed to
> defending the better core values. This is by no
> means a certain outcome... but, again, time is on
> their side, as is the amount of energy youth can
> bring to such struggles. Moreover, because of the
> ease of information access, and ease of ability in
> creating a network to combat such problems, they
> are able to strategize their battles, and that is
> a ray of hope. It's one hell of a dark time with
> this, but (perhaps oddly) it seems to me that the
> clouds are beginning to break. I could be wrong.
> But, frustrating and even infuriating as a huge
> amount of what I see going on is... I also see a
> growing resistance to this mindset, and for the
> first time in a long while, I have some hope.

This is fine, but I see it differently. And in the interests of openness, I'll make it clear that day-to-day politics, and indeed, social concerns don't interest me much because time has proven them to be transient.

But underlying all this is that once down the easy path, it takes one order of magnitude more resolve to turn back. And I sincerely believe that just after WWII, we (western industrialized nations) began to shy away from aspirational challenge, and permitted the common man (me) to think that daily pleasures and satisfactions are sufficient goals in life.

So for whatever reasons I ended up resisting this, and about the time I was preparing to pat myself on the back, I realized that what I had done was nothing more, or less, than almost all preceding US generations since the opening of the frontier, at least.

So I realized that my effort to pull off of the easy road was historically trivial, and found that only a few are prepared to make this effort at any time, but if the culture supports the pursuit of aspirational goals, it helps to motivate one along.

This cultural support is all gone.

I have a daughter who is graduating from an east coast elite college. Very hard to get into, and one would expect , therefore, those there to represent the cream of the intellectual crop. But the idea of aspiring to a shared national goal, one that appeals to a farmer in Nebraska as much as a social worker in DC, is almost alien to them. They are, and I do not exaggerate this, playing a game in which finding, and criticizing past wrongs saps them of any impetus to come up with shiny, new generational aspirations.

In conclusion (I hope I haven't bent your ear too much), my wife and I recently saw a single documentary that illustrates the difference between the common national ethos of the late 60s, and today's involuted, self-destructive cycle of non-aspiration. The film is "Apollo 11". a remarkable documentary on the lunar landing mission, with no narration or voice-over, only the comments recorded at the time.

If you remember the event, as I feel you probably do, see it if you can, and you'll understand what separate previous generations from the current one. We had our moon landing and our parents had the Depression and WWII. There is nothing at al like this for any living Millennial.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: A postcard to CAS is misidentified on this site
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 13 May, 2019 10:15PM
I agree with jdworth that there is certainly no lack of good young individuals today. Many are very keenly intellectual, and potentially brilliant. Both in literature and art, ... and also in politics, much thanks to the Internet which gives them a chance to get in underneath and analyze rigid and corrupt political systems. And there is now a fast political awakening, that wasn't possible a few decades ago when information came to the people vertically, from top and down, selectively screened by those in political office and by the owners of newspapers and TV to suit their own long-term interests. Today, with the Internet, information flows horizontally, the spread is phenomenal, and every citizen has potential access to a vast amount of information. The political system becomes more translucent than it was before, its faults and potential corruption are more difficult to hide. So we may just have an upcoming revolution in the making (against those I describe in the next paragraph). Things are beginning to topple. Or else, if we fail, we will be completely subdued.

It's not the people that is the problem. People today are pretty much the same as they were a century ago (they may even have taken a few evolutionary steps forward genetically). The PROBLEM is that the masses (most of which live rather mundane, materialistic, and non-intellectual lives, mostly enjoying down to earth common pleasures) are corrupted into decadence by those who manage vast amounts of money, who own and shape the multinational corporations market, the financial institutions and banks including the Federal Reserve, all the established media houses and the entertainment 'Hollywood' industry, and they select and finance the politicians for the "democracy" elections. One may say they have TOTAL control over society, over economy, politics, law, the military, ... even manipulating our culture and values to conform submissively under their control; in short, we are turned into uninformed consumers slaves. It is all well-nigh too horrible and unbearable for most intelligent people to even think about. But if we are able to endure Smith's and Lovecraft's cosmic abysmal horrors, I think we can handle and stand up firmly against this living perversity too.
John F. Kennedy here describes this elite group: John F. Kennedy speech. The speech in full version: John F. Kennedy speech, Full version

Anyhow, in keeping with good debate-climate, this is my personal view on matters.

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