Friday, November 09, 2007

Ruins

At the end of the third age, the fellowship of the ring entered the chamber of records [the twenty-first hall of Moria] lit by a wide shaft high in the further eastern wall; it slanted upwards, and far above, a small patch of the blue sky could be seen. The light of the sharp fell directly on a table in the middle of the room; a single oblong block about two feet high, upon which was laid a great slab of white stone. Here is written in the runes of Men and Dwarves: Second Lieutenant John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Eleventh battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
Chamber of Records
Tomb of Balin
A rolling boom seemed the come from depths far below, and to tremble in the stone at their feet. Doom, doom it rolled again, as if huge hands were turning the chamber into a vast drum.

'They are coming' cried the elf, 'We cannot get out', said the dwarf. 'Trapped!' agreed Tolkien.
Tolkien awoke in the military field hospital. He had been heavily sedated. For much of the night, he had been screaming and screaming. And shouting Trapped! Trapped!.

In Tolkien's combat shattered mind, he was trapped in a phantasmagoric nightmare he would later revisit in his post-war life as an author of fantasy. Like Kurt Vonnegut fifty years later, he would use escapist literature to describe the horrors of war.
In 1978, the new age began at the London nightclub Billy's when musicians Steve Strange, Midge Ure and Rusty Egan launched the New Romantic band Visage. The meaning of the band's name as defined by Strange is “Vis is for the visual side of the band and the Age is the new age in dance music."

1980 saw the release of their self-titled debut album, which sold extremely well and raised the band's popularity mainly because of the single "Fade to Grey". The single quickly became a huge club hit, went to number one in 21 countries and marked an imminent commercial breakthrough for electronic music and the whole New Romantic movement, for which the first Visage album became a kind of soundtrack.
VisageOne man on a lonely platform
One case sitting by his side
Two eyes staring cold and silent
Show fear as he turns to hide
Aaah, we fade to grey (fade to grey)


~ Visage 'Fade to Grey' - Click to Watch Sample
Fade to Grey
After the Top 40 hits, "Mind Of A Toy" another track originally written whilst Steve was in 'The Photons' and "Visage" Strange struggled to reunite the band again to record the second album because of their success with their respective bands (Ure and Currie with Ultravox, Formula and Adamson in Magazine and McGeoch in Siouxsie and the Banshees); but in the autumn of 1981 all musicians sans McGeoch went to the studio again and recorded "The Anvil".

The band members to chose to abandon Ultravox and Siouxsie and the Banshees and remain with Visage. This vital decision ensured that New Romance retained a cutting edge into the mid-80s. The economic boom changed everything, and many feared that the imperative of commercial success was about to overwhelm new age music. If not, the extra disposable income of the richer teenage population would have bought a cheap formulaic music future at the expense of artistic flamboyance.

The lyrics are available at at Phespirit
Nixon
Nixon
In 1968, Stanley Shapiro published A Time to Remember, the basis for the 1990 movie Running Against Time. To prevent his brother's death in Vietnam, a man travels back to 1974 Washington to prevent Robert K. Preston bungling the assassination of Richard Nixon. He finds an altered history may also need correction. A fictional President Nelson Rockefeller escalates the conflict beyond the limited war that Nixon permitted throughout his Presidency, saving Saigon but invoking horrendous US casualties in the “Third Indochina War”.

In 1992, George Zebrowski published Let Time Shape. The counter-factual masterpiece examines the possibilities of Captain Cook finding the Dreamtime populated by passive Aboriginals and not the spiritual supermen who founded the irresistible first nation consciousness known as the Mesh. However, there is twist; the Aboriginals carry a lethal cocktail of diseases that wipe out the budding European colonists.Captain Cook
Captain Cook
Nuclear Detonation
Nuclear Detonation
In 1966, a second deep-underground nuclear detonation of a small magnitude is reported by atomic energy authorities throughout the world. None of the nuclear club of nations claim responsibility for either underground test. Washington presses a number of suspects to see if a new power has emerged, possibly Israel or South Africa. All likely candidates deny the test.

In 1965, the former Prime of the British Crown Colony of Rhodesia Ian Smith received a telephone call he was expecting from London. Operation Quartz had been approved and brought forward by a fortnight.Ian Smith
Ian Smith

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