The Nameless Horror

There’s always a line with sex, drawn at different places for different people, where things get too weird to handle. They start getting scary. Maybe for a normal human being it’s those people who hang themselves by hooks from the ceiling or choking somebody. Maybe it’s wearing a wig. Maybe it’s marrying a turtle. The exact point doesn’t really matter, it’s that with Rick Santorum it starts at the earliest possible place. He’s terrified of the concept of sex. Everything to do with it. Rick Santorum is the Lou Costello of sex. He’s constantly sputtering, tapping us on the shoulder and trying to warn us about the ha-ha-ha-hairpie or ga-ga-ga-ga-gays right around the corner.
Rick Santorum’s Sex-Haunted World. SA is sometimes brilliant.

It’s impossible to read All You Leave Behind without thinking of William Gibson’s Sprawl novels, the architecture is the same, all slow decay and Darwinian solutions, and Cregan has a fantastic eye for location.
The charming Eva Dolan says nice things about ALL YOU LEAVE BEHIND here. As always, you can read a big chunk of it and buy the thing for peanuts from my site.



On July 11th 1897, the Swedish aeronaut Salomon August Andrée (seated above) lead an expedition to reach the North Pole by hydrogen balloon.

Along with his companions - photographer Knut Fraenkel and engineer Nils Strindberg (to his right and further right respectively - Andrée’s balloon - The Örnen (Eagle) ascended from a specially built base on Danskøn (“Danes Island”, in the Svalbard archipelago). The balloon quickly disappeared from view. And forever.

The bodies of the three explorers were discovered 33 years later, along with their journals and photographic negatives.

The photographs can be viewed here, and a fascinating article about the “archaeology” of them can be found here

Although the full contents of Andrée and Strindberg’s journal writings have never been released by the Swedish government, apparently genuine portions of entries were adapted into a song cycle by the composer Dominick Argento. A fascinating analysis of this can be found here.

Some extracts follow.

(photo via the Grenna/Andrée Museum)

"When mummy was born, someone was in charge. She was in charge of everything. And when she had a bath, she liked to have electricity in it. Electricity! How weird.”

  • Aidan, displaying a peculiar level of knowledge of Margaret Thatcher. (I didn’t correct him to say that his mum was 7 by the time Thatcher came to power, but otherwise…)