Getting Stranger all the Time

From the Demons of Scott Eagle gallery at io9

Strangeness exists in every sidewalk crack, the corner of every eye.

Look to authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Thomas Ligotti, Robert E. Howard and Ambrose Bierce to get your dose of vintage strange. Or dive into China Mieville or Jeff VanderMeer for something a bit more contemporary. After reading this, you may find enough weirdness to keep you reading for a lifetime and then some. That’s not too bad is it?

End of the World? Check. All the weird books I could ever read? Check. Glasses?

It can be a problem if you don’t have all these guys at your fingertips, but there are other sources of strangeness that are much more accessible and take up less time. I like to think of them as a shot of strange espresso.

Music.

If any of you read this blog quasi-regularly, you know I’m a huge Tom Waits fan. If ever a man had a direct connection into the weird pipeline, it is he. Waits is a fan of irony, humor, and surprises. He also has a fantastic flair for mood. I listen to him often when I write.

There are some gems hidden in folk music as well.  Check out these lyrics from the old Irish ballad, Dreadful Wind and Rain:

It was early one morning in the month of May
Oh the wind and the rain
Two lovers went walking on a hot summer’s day
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He said to the lady “won’t you marry me”
Oh the wind and the rain
“And my little wife you’ll always be”
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

Then he knocked her down and he kicked her around
Oh the wind and the rain
Then he knocked her down and he kicked her around
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He hit her in the head with a battering ram
Oh the wind and the rain
He hit her in the head with a battering ram
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He threw her in the river to drown
Oh the wind and the rain
He threw her in the river to drown
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He watched her as she floated down
Oh the wind and the rain
He watched her as she floated down
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

She floated on down to the miller’s millstream
Oh the wind and the rain
He watched her as she floated down
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

The miller fished her out with a long fishing pole
Oh the wind and the rain
The miller fished her out with a long fishing pole
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
Oh the wind and the rain
He made fiddle pegs of her long finger bones
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

He made a fiddle bow of her long curly hair
Oh the wind and the rain
He made a fiddle bow of her long curly hair
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

The only tune that fiddle would play, was
Oh the wind and the rain
The only tune that fiddle would play, was
A crying the dreadful wind and rain

There’s a high creep factor there.

Photos.

China Mieville has a penchant for observing the weird in everyday things. He posts photos over on his blog, rejectamentalist manifesto. Great stuff. Google Images is another way to see the world from another perspective. Just type in what you want and try not to get sucked down that rabbit hole.

Visual art (non-photo division).

Painting, graphic design, computer generated images or any combination of those things can provide a quick burst of bizarre. Check out this post over at io9 – No shortage of strange goodness there. Be sure to explore the galleries. So far, this and this are my faves.

I know weird isn’t for everyone, but if you can dig it, what are your favorite sources of strange?

*Please note that I use the terms strange, weird and bizarre interchangeably and strictly as descriptors.

Bonus video:

Jerry Garcia and David Grisman doing a slightly different version of Wind and Rain. You know, for those of you who just cannot get enough.

FWIW, the whole Grisman and Garcia Shady Grove CD is fantastic. Go get it. Now.

About The Author

Jonathan

Other posts by

Author his web sitehttp://jonathandanz.com

02

09 2010

Your Comment