It’s a line from a Leonard Cohen song about the apocalyptic future, but quite frankly it also describes this largely unrelated bunch of links (not to mention my headspace at the moment!).
First off, I think these “hyperphotos” by Jean Francois Rauzier are quite interesting: the best way to describe them might be as hyperreal landscapes. They remind me of a dream I used to have about an infinitely deep tunnel surrounded by balconies, and (fittingly) look like something straight out of “Inception.” Rauzier has taken real photos of buildings and used the replicating and compositing tools of photoshop to turn his images into impossibly complex cities. Thanks to this blog for the link.
In a similar vein, I stumbled across this collection of drawings by Hugh Ferriss, an architectural “delineator” from the 1920s whose sketches have influenced everything from Batman to Blade Runner. The futuristic, “noir” cityscapes are breathtaking, and somehow are both idealistic and terrifying in their immensity.
Speaking of dystopic societies and the apocalypse, I enjoyed this Yahoo! News article about the planet Nibiru which according to some is supposedly going to collide with our own. (Sounds like an Immanuel Velikovsky revival is impending.) And while I’m on the topic of fringe science, it’s a small leap to spurious Christian history, so here is a link to a surprisingly thoughtful article on fictitious Christian monarch Prester John by Andy Crouch’s friend Nate Barksdale. Well-written, and of course on a fascinating topic – a myth that impelled European travelers to the ends of the earth in search of a utopian kingdom. Here’s a small excerpt:
As for the kingdom he ruled, it was a storehouse of wonders: elephants, dromedaries, mute griffins, wild oxen, and wild men. There were pygmies, giants, Cyclopes and their wives, not to mention a more or less complete collection of natural resources: emeralds, sapphires, carbuncles, topazes, chrysolites, onyxes, beryls. There was a plant whose very presence in the realm frightened away demons. A spring, which, if you drank from it three times, would keep you 30 years old for the rest of your life. And since it wouldn’t be the East without spices, of course there was lots of pepper.