Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Speak Your Brain! Part 43. Cultural Items You've Resisted, and Is the Universe a Hologram?

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon

The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay
December draws ever closer but, for now, it remains November - and a Tuesday.

Time, then, to dust down the feature the world cannot halt.

And that's the one in which the first person to comment gets to pick the topic of the day!

But what will it be?

All reason suggests it may be art, films, flans, plans, books, bagels, cooks, nooks, crooks, ducks, drakes, pixies, rocks, socks, blocks, music, mucous, fairy tales, fairy lights, Fairy Liquid, fairy cakes, Eccles cakes, myth, moths, maths, magic, tragedy, comedy, dromedaries, murder, larders, Ladas, mystery, mayhem, molluscs, Moorcock, May Day, mangoes, bongos, drongoes, bingo, Ringo, Pingu, Ringu, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Doris Day, Marvin Gaye, Marvin the paranoid android, Brookside Close, Ramsay Street, Coronation Street, Albert Square, Scarlet Street, Dead End Street, chickenpox, the Equinox, parallelograms, rhomboids, androids, asteroids, The Good Life, the Next Life, pomegranates, raisins, grapes, currants, blackcurrants, figs, waves, granite, marble, marbles, maples, staples, fables, stables, sofas, eggs, pegs, legs, dregs, moons and supermoons, Supertramp, Supertrams, streetcars, desires, sodas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Bath, baths, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, Garth Crooks, Bruno Brookes, Bruno Mars, Mars Bars, wine bars, flip-flops, flim-flam, flapjacks, backpacks, see-saws, jigsaws, dominoes, draft excluders, blockheads, blackheads, dunderheads, deadheads, webheads, flowerpots, Bill and Ben, Ben and Jerry, Tom and Jerry, flour pots, bread bins, bin bags, body bags, body horror, shoddy horror, doggy bags, bean bags, handbags, glad rags, silk, milk, mink, coal sacks, cola, cocoa, dodos, Dido, Soho, Solo, silos, windows, day-glo, glue, Gloy, Bostik, pancakes, Eccles cakes, Bakewell Tarts, Fabulous Wealthy Tarts, Mr Kipling, Rudyard Kipling, pizzas, pastas, pastors, baking soda, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, Hi-Fi, sewage, saunas, suet, Tomorrow People, yesterday's men, Forever People, Party People, purple people-eaters, Blobs, Globs, slobs, Sheila Steafel, steeples, Silurians, Sontarans, Sea Devils, sins, suns, sans, sense, sludge, slumps, sumps, pumps, sunshine, slime, soup, sandwiches, servants, Sultanas, Santana, Sultans, grapes, grappling, grippling or sandcastles.

But we may not be at home to Mr Reason.

Only you can decide.

And decide, you may, in the comments section below.


Matthew McKinnon said...

What have you put off reading / watching / listening too for years or decades because you found its reputation tiresome and annoying; but then sat down to it and discovered yes, OK you were right, it’s s masterpiece.

Colin Jones said...

Is the universe a hologram? What is reality? What is consciousness? Is there a multiverse? What is time? Do aliens really exist or are we alone?

Any theories on these profound questions?

MM said...

*to, not ‘too’.

Colin Jones said...

Drat! Matthew was sending his suggestion at exactly the same time so ignore mine if you wish.

Anonymous said...

SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND is probably the closest thing to a ‘You’re right, it IS a masterpiece’ thing for me. The Beatles were ubiquitous when I was growing up, so much so that i knew the lyrics to most of their big hits by heart without even meaning to. It was easy to take them for granted. I knew the SGT. PEPPER’S album by reputation but never got around to listening to it front-to-back until I was in my early 20s. Yep, it’s pretty great.

Wondering if there’s a Comics equivalent, I can only think of examples of the opposite — comics that are considered ‘Classics’ but they just leave me cold for one reason or another. Like Hal Foster’s PRINCE VALIANT, Milton Caniff’s TERRY AND THE PIRATES, Dan Clowes’ EIGHTBALL, Art Spiegelman’s MAUS — I know I’m SUPPOSED to be in awe of them, but I’m just not.

Fiction-wise, people have been raving about Larry McMurtry’s LONESOME DOVE for as long as I can remember. I got about 150 pages into it and had to bail. On the other hand, after years of friends recommending Charles Portis’ TRUE GRIT to me, I finally read it and thought it was wonderful.


Anonymous said...

Colin, i couldn’t begin to answer your first five questions. But as for whether or not aliens exist, I tend to think they do. I remember Carl Sagan saying something to the effect that the statistical odds of intelligent life-forms existing on other planets are overwhelmingly positive. But I’m somewhat skeptical about them visiting our world, building the pyramids, bothering our livestock and all that.


Anonymous said...

As regards masterpieces, for me, that was an early-mid twenties thing. I read 'Ulysses', believing it to be Joyce's masterpiece ('Finnegans Wake', I still haven't read), but didn't enjoy it. Maybe a second reading's in order, sometime, now that I'm older!

In contrast, slightly earlier, I read 'Moby Dick' (the Penguin edition, with brilliant typeface & notes), and felt it lived up to its reputation, and more!

A holographic universe? Probably not.

What is reality? A subjective thing, which varies according to the viewer's own prejudices (paraphrasing Thanos!)

What is consciousness? The idea that the universe is self-aware, and each & every creature is the universe experiencing itself.

Is there a multiverse. Ask Moorcock!

What is time? An effect of gravity. Or, a way of ordering/arranging experience.

Do aliens exist? The current view seems to be that ufonauts have always been here. Hence, they are not "alien" to this world!

This reminds me of when I was a little kid, and believed that my dad was omniscient, so used to ask him impossible questions!


Colin Jones said...

To answer my own questions, I'm going to chicken out and say that the true nature of reality and the universe/multiverse (?) is almost certainly beyond the capacity of the human mind to comprehend. But as for aliens - I'm convinced the universe is teeming with life but 99.999999% of that life is microbes. If intelligent alien civilisations do exist they are vanishingly rare and our own civilisation is probably the only intelligent one in the entire Milky Way galaxy.

To answer Matthew's question - bt mentioned the Beatles and so will I. Just a month after my father's death in 1999 I bought the Beatles final album 'Let It Be' for the first time and I thought it was a bit "meh", it didn't grab me in other words. But last year I bought the re-released version of 'Let It Be' and this time I really liked it.

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve W. said...

Matthew and Colin, thanks for the topics.

Matthew, the only example I can think of is The Wire. I didn't actively avoid watching it but I had no desire to, thanks to the hype around it. When I finally did watch it, it was by accident, as it was on the TV, one Friday night, when I was zapping through the channels. I didn't, at that point, realise it was an episode of The Wire I was watching and I didn't have a clue what was going on in it but I very quickly started to find it compelling. I then watched it every week, from that point on, and it was genuinely outstanding.

Question 1. I don't know. That theory always hurts my head.
Question 2. It may be that there's no such thing as reality, as everything is ultimately subjective.
Question 3. Awareness of one's place in relation to one's surroundings and in relation to one's self.
Question 4. A description of change.
Question 5. Given the size of the universe, and how long it's been around, I'd be amazed if aliens didn't exist.

Anonymous said...


Great question!

A few months ago I finally listened to the STONES "HER SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST." It was roundly derided as a poor imitation of of SARGEANT PEPPERS. Being on a bit of a old STONES binge lately and learning that SHE'S A RAINBOW and 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME were on it I thought, "The critics must be wrong." Umm... they were mostly right, lol.

Like BT, I heard about PRINCE VALIANT by HAL FOSTER and TERRY AND THE PIRATES by CANIFF for a fair 4 decades until I finally gave them a shot. GOOD STUFF! REALLY GOOD STUFF IMHO.

Charlie Horse 47 said...


So the oldest star is about as old as the universe, around 13,000,000,000 years. And earth life is only a few BB years old. I am going to go out on a limb and think life exists elsewhere, some of it more intelligent than us earth dwellers.

Also, it is interesting that the faster one goes, the slower time passes, mass increases, and objects becomes smaller. But neither the object itself, nor those inside it (let's say a spaceship) would know that. Only those observing them (relative to them) can assess that. So... given we are all on the same earth, in the same galaxy, in the same universe whipping along with nothing being "absolute" I guess there could be something else observing us. Or, similarly, something as fast as light, infinitely heavy and infinitely small whipping by us? Is that then a multiverse?

And I guess if you are not unconscious you are conscious. But I am just going to say if you are smart enough to look in the mirror and realize you are looking at yourself (how blessed I am!) then you are conscious. Obviously I am borrowing that from things I've read over the decades. But what is it? I would say simply intelligence.

Cheers, Charlie

Redartz said...

Wow, a great deal of thought required here today.

Starting with Matthew's classics queston: probably too many to mention. I failed for years to read many highly regarded books, just otherwise occupied I suppose. Last year I read "To Kill a Mockingbird", and it was just as great as it's reputation.
In terms of comics, for years I'd heard positive reviews of Don Rosa's "Life and Times of Uncle Scrooge". Unfortunately, when the series first appeared I was pretty much out of comics. Scroll ahead to this year, when I finally broke down and ordered the collected Fantagraphics volume. A wise move; it is phenomenal. One of my all time favorite comics stories now. Plus there was the added bonus of meeting Don Rosa himself at a convention back in July (Charlie knows, he was there).

Colin, your questions are a lot to cover for my work addled mind tonight! I'm certain aliens exist; and that the intelligent ones know better than to come anywhere near our Earth ( hope that changes, still rooting for our better natures to win out in the long run). I feel that reality is what we make of it; each of us lives in our own little storyline and interprets everything through our individual experiences. That said, I also feel that there is more to 'reality' than what we sense day to day. Not to get too paranormal, but I've had experiences that defy explanation, and I'm a pretty science-based guy. Therefore, I keep an open mind...

Anonymous said...

Colin, my understanding is that the answer is 42.


Colin Jones said...