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velkommen

Welcome. This is my blog, and you're my most coveted guest. If I seem a bit too intense, it's only because I have so much that I want to share with you, and I can see that you're eager to begin as well. So, please...make yourself at home, sip an East India cocktail (I blended the pomegranate juice myself), and sample some of my domestic and imported Arcana: useless, but fascinating information about Victoriana, Steampunk and other favoured topics; music which evokes that dark, lost Lenore sensibility; and other pleasant or, perhaps, unsettling non sequiters whispered in a darkened room. Linger long or short, leave a comment or refrain, but remember to come back soon to play a (shhhh) parlour game.
Velkommen. Dette er min blog, og du er min mest eftertragtedegæst. Hvis jeg synes en smule for intenst, det er kunfordi jeg har så meget at jeg vil dele med jer, og jeg kanse, at du er ivrig efter at begynde så godt. kan du ...føl dig hjemme, sip et East India cocktail (jeg blandetden granatæble juice mig selv), og prøve nogle af mine indenlandske o importerede Arcana: ubrugelig, menfascinerende oplysninger om Victoriana, Steampunkog andre begunstigede emner; musik der fremkalderdenne mørke, mistede Lenore sensibilitet, og andrebehagelige eller måske foruroligende, ikke sequitershviskede i et mørkelagt rum. Linger lang eller kort,efterlade en kommentar eller afstå, men husk at komme tilbage snart til at spille en (Shhhh) selskabsleg.

ABOUT ME

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I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.

Fuldmane

Fuldmane
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Helvede's så Nocturne

Helvede's så Nocturne
The raw, aching sadness with which the following words were typed has been reformatted to fit your screen. No need to adjust it. All names have been expunged to protect the innocent and the willfully insane.

Nocturne in G Flat major

Chopin, darkness, light, sand and wind, starlight tread. Beethoven, love, fear, madness, redemption in the night. Liszt, waltzing widows, desperate bargains, pleasure's secret plight. Now, then, before, always, forever. Promises made on lonely beaches, celestial summer's perfect kiss, passions quenched in salty breezes, the lure of distant mist-draped heights. Bitter interlude. Final, private nocturne. Burned down like a candle. Doomed bleeding beauty. Fated sacrificial night.
To be continued...

Gentle Visitor

Gentle Visitor
And now, Gentle Visitor, won't you please lend an eye (we've worked so hard)...
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We love all things dark and mysterious, macabre and obscure, odd and unfathomable. Nothing is too strange or bizarre for our little blog. And although we would never presume to offer definitive answers to the great questions of life, we shall do our best to enlighten, inform and delight our visitors with our whimsical potpurri of facts, anecdotes, trivia and informational outpourings. We strive not to offend, but to edify those who wish to reach beyond their comfort zone and touch the fabric of another time and place, and of distant, but genuine worlds and lives. As Victorian-themed blogs go, ours may not be the most austere, nor the most comprehensive, but we know what we like, and if our readers like it as well, then all is as it should be in this ramshackle corner of our own personal Victorian empire.

A Musical Note

A Musical Note: We feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by one or more of the following musical selections. Then again, we also feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by a glass of absinthe, a bite of lemon cake, and a foot massage (preferably by someone you know). So, to paraphrase the otherwise completely irrelevant-to-our-blog Mr. Aleister Crowley, "Do what thou wilt...but be open to Chopin."
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And now we begin

And now we begin
"One must strive to show decorum even when scrolling." Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace Blog, August 11,1879

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Friday, February 15, 2013

IXNAY, IRON...HELLO, KITTY!



Well, it's official. After a month of passionate debate and fierce competition among supporters of various factions, Monopoly enthusiasts have given the boot to the "iron" token and have chosen a "cat" token as its replacement. Hasbro's "Save Your Token" contest ended at midnight on February 6, leaving some voters jubiliant, some disappointed, and some...confused. In an interview with ABC News, Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming, said that, while the company was pleased by all of the excitement and interest in the contest (votes poured in from such disparate places as Liechtenstein, Dijibouti, and Guam), he and others at Hasbro were surprised by how close the "shoe" token came to being ousted.

"The shoe was surprising to all of us because there's definitely a large fan base out there for shoes," he said.


The shoe's inclusion in the "bottom three" may have been a surprise to Hasbro, but we doubt that anyone at the company so much as raised an eyebrow when the "wheelbarrow" token narrowly escaped passing "go" forever. Not that we have anything against wheelbarrows in general, or their use as game tokens, but, like the ultimately doomed iron token, the wheelbarrow has never really had the same "oomph" as its compatriots: the hat, the race car, the thimble, the battleship, and...of course...the Scottie dog. And while a Monopoly player's preference for one token over another is of course a completely subjective matter, we can't imagine anyone sitting down to play a game of Monopoly and declaring, "Dibs on either the iron or the wheelbarrow!" Even the thimble...that humble, unglamorous symbol of a mundane household task...has a certain aesthetic quality lacking in the iron and the wheelbarrow.


Perhaps that's what it all comes down to in the end. Aesthetics. When playing a game which requires adults to spend an inordinate amount of time sitting around a table and pushing tiny tokens back and forth across a board, the process becomes infinitely more enjoyable if the tiny token has some substance to it. In a word, the iron and the wheelbarrow are simply too spindly. And no matter how much fake money you manage to amass during the game, or how many properties, houses, and hotels you can afford to buy, it's hard to feel like a real business tycoon when your presence in the game is represented by a dinky little iron or wheelbarrow.


Which brings us to the newest member of the Monopoly universe: the cat token. If there was uncertainty as to which of the original tokens would ultimately get the ax, there was never a moment's doubt regarding which of the new tokens would find its way onto Boardwalk. Of the four other contenders on Hasbro's "new token ballot"...a guitar, a diamond ring, a helicopter, and a robot...the only one that ever had even a ghost of a chance to shut out the cat was the robot. What makes us so all-fired sure about that? Well, as before, it's simply a matter of aesthetics.


What does a guitar have to do with real estate? Or a helicopter? And while diamond rings might seem ritzy enough for a game like Monopoly, the token just looks awkward. Which leaves us with the cat and the robot. But the robot, while undeniably cute, just looks out of place in a game like Monopoly, which, for all of its enduring appeal, is essentially a game whose values are rooted in America's early 20th-century past. What does a robot have to do with any of that? But a cat...well, not only is the cat right up there with the Scottie dog when it comes to aesthetic appeal, voting it in as the newest member of the Monopoly token hiearchy must have felt like a personal vindication for all of the cat loving Monopoly enthusiasts who have had to listen to people go on and on about the Scottie dog all these years. The Scottie dog may still be the most popular token on the Monopoly game board...for now...but the advent of the cat may be just the shake up that the old pooch and its cardboard world need after resting so long on their collective laurels.


Of course, none of this will really affect the Monopoly universe in any real way. Iron's out, kitty's in, roll the dice, let the game begin! But it's not often that a game like Monopoly manages to make headlines. The fact that it has, simply because the company that manufactures it decided it was time to jettison an old token in favor of a new one, says something about what Monopoly represents. And what does it represent? Well, we would hazard a guess that it has something to do with the past, and our desire to preserve our connection to it, even as we make room for something new...something different...but something whose time has come.


1 comment:

scott davidson said...

How about this for a design for a wall painting, in the tried-and-true Art Nouveau style?: http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8BWN3L, by the famous English artist, Audrey Beardsley himself. You can also order a canvas print of the picture from wahooart.com.