A chicken that was not a chicken

This passage is from Terry Goodkind’s Soul of the Fire (maybe I should add that Goodkind does not have an ironic bone in his body. Everything he says, he means in the most serious way possible):

Hissing, hackles lifting, the chicken’s head rose. Kahlan pulled back. Its claws digging into stiff dead flesh, the chicken slowly turned to face her. It cocked its head, making its comb flop, its wattles sway. “Shoo,” Kahlan heard herself whisper. There wasn’t enough light, and besides, the side of its beak was covered with gore, so she couldn’t tell if it had the dark spot, But she didn’t need to see it. “Dear spirits, help me,” she prayed under her breath. The bird let out a slow chicken cackle. It sounded like a chicken, but in her heart she knew it wasn’t. In that instant, she completely understood the concept of a chicken that was not a chicken. This looked like a chicken, like most of the Mud People’s chickens. But this was no chicken. This was evil manifest.

Blood and State

For various reasons, I have been reading this poem a lot recently (click here for a version with correct spacing). For more on James Shirley, click here.

James Shirley: The Glories of our Blood and State

The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow;
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds:
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb;
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

We all have to find our way.

My books are really books that are impressed and loved with the memory of comics, and how important they were to me as a child. You know, I did live across the street from the Baptistery; I didn’t live near any famous person; I didn’t see Michelangelo go to work in the morning I just lived in Brooklyn, where everything was ordinary, and yet enticing and exciting and bewildering. The magic of childhood is the strangeness of childhood; the uniqueness that makes us see things that other people don’t see.

We all have to find our way. If I can find a way through picture making, book illustration or whatever you want to call it, I’ll be OK.

from this short interview with the great, the amazing Maurice Sendak, who died today. I’m lost for words.

Its unique place

We get asked, ‘What do you think of the state of hip hop today?’ a lot. Maybe I’m being defensive, but it seems like people always look for us to come out and criticize hip hop. But hip hop is what we grew up on, and it continues to be one of the only forms of music left that strives on evolution and innovation. Yeah, we might be in a spell where we’re waiting for that next record to come out and change everything—but still, that’s what hip hop is and that’s what puts it in its unique place.

Mike D from the Beastie Boys on hip hop.

Below is a long (long!) video of the release party of Paul’s Boutique, one of the best records released in the past 30 years. Featured in it, as in the article I link above, is Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, who died this week of cancer. The world will be so much poorer without him. Enjoy the video below. Listen to their music.