How Europe Stole the World

I write about maps and map-making here often. Some might say a lot. 😏 As I research and build out resources, I am constantly reminded that map-making itself is a type of propaganda. It envisions a world as its creators or commissioners want, and one that doesn’t always correspond to reality. Nicolas de Fer, the creator of the maps my latest sets were based on, was notorious for this stuff, and he wasn’t alone—cartographic propaganda is a thing.

In the fantastic YouTube video above, Johnny Harris breaks this down in the first of a planned series on how maps, and the imaginary lines drawn upon them, can influence the course of history. As a world builder, writer, map maker, or history enthusiast, it’s worth watching.

The Green Knight

The Green Knight

Hey, it’s a random Thursday in February. Let’s all watch the trailer for everyone’s favorite 14th-century Arthurian legend, The Green Knight.

As I said over on Twitter, this looks weird enough I might actually drag myself to a theater to see it. (A rarity these days.) I have to admit I’m a sucker for almost everything A24 releases these days (The Lighthouse, Hereditary, Lady Bird, The Witch, Ex Machina, The Lobster, the list goes on and on), I think Dev Patel is great, and I find David Lowery​ intriguing. Plus, I’m getting Holy Mountain/Tale of Tales vibes from this teaser, which is not a bad thing.

What do you think?

Color Out of Space

It’s Just a Color…

The Colour Out of Space is arguably one of the best—if not the best—H. P. Lovecraft stories. Plus, this is directed by cult-filmmaker Richard Stanley. (I highly recommend his film Hardware and the documentary Lost Soul, which tells the story of Stanley’s attempt to create a film based on H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau.) And to top it all off, this is being produced by the folks who made Mandy—one of my favorite campy horror flicks!

I’m sold. Sign. Me. Up.

Four Notes

Four Notes

What do Gregorian chants, Lion King, Star Wars, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Shining have in common? The Dies irae. A particular little four-note melody from early Minor Mode chants which pop-culture has coopted as the music of suspense/death/horror. Vox breaks it down, and it’s fascinating:

Why Early Cartoon Characters Wore Gloves

Why Early Cartoon Characters Wore Gloves

Ever since I first read it, historian Jason Steinhauer’s excellent 2017 essay “History is Not There to be Liked” has been rattling around in my head. His point of perpetuated myths often becoming more potent than reality has stuck with me. What we think of as normal can often have an unpleasant past obscured by more palatable lore or legend. It can be difficult for a culture to decouple the truth from its feelings toward a beloved myth.

Those thoughts cropped up again (around a less sober topic, surely) after I watched this excellent video from Vox on the reasons why so many cartoon characters wear gloves and the unfortunate connection between early animation and minstrelsy. It’s a nice bit of investigation around the craft of animation and the historical connations therein—worth checking out.

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