The h2g2 Post 03.04.17

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Posted: 3rd April 2017

Higher Aspirations

A young Japanese woman climbing a ladder. It's art, people. It's also a metaphor waiting to happen. Don't blame us, blame the Met. What? No Fake News headline for April Fool's Day? In a word, no. That would be so two days ago. Besides, every .Tom, .Dick, and .Harry has been doing that. As John Oliver famously demonstrated, April Fool's Day is just annoying these days, what with the unfunny amateurs and the commercial people getting involved. So we're going to come over all high-minded and above that sort of thing. No snark this week.

Really? No, of course not. We were just having you on. There's the usual amount of snark and low humour, also very bad puns. But we do have some cool Stuff this week, and a lot of it is straight from the heart. So let's talk about that first.

  • As you will painfully recall, Willem was out of town last week, which is why your nature study turned silly. Worry not: our real wildlife expert is back, with a two-part photoessay on his trip to Kamonande. The pictures are breathtaking, and you're going to be so jealous you don't get to pet kudus on a regular basis.
  • Awix is back with a cinema review, and he's always serious and high-minded, so it's safe to mention him here. Aha, his review has come in, and yes, it's very high-minded. Awix discusses higher SF criticism, the philosophy of identity, and Scarlett Johannson's anatomy.
  • There's nothing more high-minded than a book fair, right? Superfrenchie went to one in Paris. See her picture. Of course, it's the h2g2 Caption Challenge this week, so we're sure you're going to bring the level of discussion right down. We know you.
  • There's a highbrow poem to go with that ladder picture: trust Longfellow to keep us on our toes.
  • SashaQ, ever taking the high road, continues to dialogue with Cleverbot. In this installment, it appears that romance is in the air. We blame Icy North.
  • Your Editor even gets kind of high-toned with this month's Create Challenge. I have thoughts (and scriptural quotations) about internet behaviour.

Which brings us to this month's Create Challenge. We think the devil made us listen to FWR. It was his idea, really: sometimes, you just get naughty impulses. What happens then? That's what you're supposed to tell us. See the Challenge for details, and send copy to the Post or Peer Review. This should be a productive month: the devil finds work for idle typing fingers. To keep us on-topic, we've got a quiz on demon classification, and a Literary Corner by the great Edgar Allan Poe. Poe will tell you why you shouldn't bet the devil your head. Or criticise the wrong author. . .

Speaking of criticism: there's a reason we didn't bother with April Fool's this year. It is becoming increasingly impossible to parody the 'straight' news sources these days. Take last weekend, when a certain news outlet 'broke' the significant report that the US president was spending the weekend in the White House, working. Whereupon all the other news outlets made mock of this story, on the quite sensible grounds that a working president shouldn't really be news. Of course, matters got even worse when said Leader of the Free World was spotted playing golf in that dorky red cap, watching television, and eating in one of his own restaurants. As many workers before him have discovered, it's hard to get away with playing hookey in the age of the mobile phone. . .

Fortunately, the rest of the news was terribly serious and grown-up, involving as it did a heated internet discussion of the appropriateness of yoga pants as airline attire. . .

You can see what we're up against. In an era in which the h2g2 Post sets an intellectual standard appreciably higher than that of the mainstream media, we feel doubly obligated to ensure that we meet your expectations of good quality. We show you art. We climb ever onwards and upwards to new knowledge.

Which is why I say: explore, read, comment. And send me more Stuff! Next week, Icy North will have a UFO report, and I'll tell you about the Boy Scout crusade against banana peels. See what the devil makes you do, and let us know about it!

And have a great week.


Dmitri Gheorgheni

WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE
  • Emma and Willem.
  • Fig tree roots by Willem.

STROLLING THROUGH THE WEIRD

THE INTERNET WILDERNESS

  • The Stoning of Stephen as an internet event.
  • A quilt.

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
HIGH DEVILMENT
  • Create April  Challenge 2017.
  • Landscape in Kamonande nature preserve, by Willem
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