My state of things. ATTN: equilugubrium is defunct. Stephen Fraser now maintains Tenebris (, a blog about independent publishing.

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New Update:

Tenebris, a publishing blog, is now also defunct. You can find the archives of Tenebris here.

The personal blog of Stephen Fraser is now Salutor.

In my new life as an Internet marketing consultant, my online marketing blog is MarketingType.

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This blog is no longer active. My current blog is Tenebris, a blog about independent publishing. Hope to see you there. -Stephen

When I was twenty years old and dreaming of little besides the adventures that I imagined lay before me in exotic and distant places, I considered a small book called Vagabond Globetrotting to be nothing less than a bible for the life I wished to lead. I considered its author, Marcus Endicott, to be a legend. Fourteen or so years down the road, I am happy to report that Marcus -- a real fellow, as it turns out, and still traveling the world -- has revised and republished the book in a twentieth anniversary edition. Buy it. Read it. Imagine the things you may still get to do.

Not that I blog anymore. But sometimes I'm tempted.

Telegraph | News | The Lady and the lapdancer: "'But this was midweek and come the weekend it will probably be packed with stag and hen parties.
'Even when crowded, I was assured, the men behave very well. It's the women customers, apparently, who misbehave. In groups they get drunk, sick, loud, and take their own clothes off.'"


Fabulous: What’s Wrong with Twinkling Buttocks?
Of the pop singer, the Observer’s critic wrote: “Marilyn Manson’s ability to shock has swung like a pendulum in a high wind . . . . He was really scary at first, when [he] burst out of [his] native Florida and declared war on all Middle America holds dear. Manson spun convincing tales of smoking exhumed bones for kicks. . . . But . . . Manson’s autobiography revealed a smart, funny man—even if he did enjoy covering hearing-impaired groupies in raw meat for sexual sport. He turned into an artist, rather than the incarnation of evil. Church groups still picketed his gigs, which often echoed Nazi rallies (they still do). But any fool could see that Manson was making a valid point about rock ‘n’ roll gigs and mass behavior, as well as flirting with fascist style.”

The author of this review—who fastidiously balks at using the word “deaf” for the hearing-impaired but appears not to mind too much if they are exploited for perverted sexual gratification—takes pains to let the reader know that she is not so unsophisticated, naive, and, well, Middle American, as to find the whole spectacle disgusting: for example, by objecting to the adoption of the name of a sadistic multiple killer for trivial publicity purposes. To have responded in such a way would have been to lose caste, to side with the gawky, earnest Christians, rather than with the secular devil worshipers—though the determination to be shocked by nothing, to object to nothing, is itself, of course, a convention. It seems beyond the critic’s range of imagination or sympathy that people who actually fought against fascism and risked their lives and lost their compatriots in doing so, or who suffered under fascism’s yoke, might find the concept of flirtation with fascist style not only offensive but a cause of real despair in the last years of their lives. Fascism is not fashion.

The “any fool” of the last sentence is a subtle form of intellectual snobbery and flattery, intended to suck the reader into the charmed circle of the sophisticated, disabused intellectual elite, the knowing and the cognoscenti who have moved beyond moral judgment and principles, who are not deceived by mere appearances, do not condemn according to outmoded ways of thought, and are therefore unmoved by such trifling (and oppressive) considerations as public decency. It does not occur to the writer—nor would it matter to her if it did—that in the audience in which fascism was flirted with there might not have been any fools but many fools, those who failed to see the ironically playful “valid” point behind the flirtation and would embrace fascism without irony. Not long ago, a newspaper asked me to attend a “concert” to report on a group whose main selling point was that they urinated and vomited over their audience, as well as abused it constantly by calling every member of it “motherfucker” countless times. Thousands attended the “concert”—in fact, a reverberating wall of deafening, discordant electronic noise punctuated by the chanting of obscenities—among whom were hundreds of children as young as six. For these unfortunate children, this was not nostalgie de la boue; this was total immersion in the boue itself, the boue in which they lived and breathed and took their cultural being, the boue from which it is highly unlikely that they would now ever crawl. Any fool could see that this was not a suitable spectacle for children, but many fools—their parents—didn’t.

First bumperstickers, then tattoos. Now this. Oh Lordy. I am laughing. Will it become a trend?

In my next life, I'd like to come back as a Zeus bug.

Rosy cheeks seem to be crucial in the dating game, for monkeys at least.
Favorite line: "The females spent much longer looking at the red faces and used gestures such as lip-smacking to show their interest."

Nice article on whiskey making, although the author apparently thinks "Mull of Kintyre" was a Beatles song.

You know, he's right. The Internet is shit. And I'm an evangelist.

Truly a sport that gets more difficult with age: Wife-carrying.

Scientists in the UK have created a sticky tape that works like gecko feet. Cool! If I were Bill Gates, I'd commission gloves right away.

I agree with the general point being made in this article: Click by Click, Teens Polish Writing ( It's clear that young people once again, for better or worse, find themselves writing constantly in order to communicate with one another and to express themselves. And written language requires a different set of faculties. It's not your grandmother's written language, to be sure, but I'll take it.

Someday soon history will look back on this phenomenon with as much nausea as we now regard the burning of witches in the 18th century:
The Trauma Society
Unlike Freud, some overzealous twentieth-century therapists had remarkable success in "finding" memories. Not only did they uncover stories of parental violation, they also found tales of blood-soaked satanic worship, cannibalism, and alien abduction. Heartache ensued as hundreds of families were ruptured by groundless accusations of the sexual abuse of children; caretakers were cross-examined in courtrooms and even imprisoned, based solely on their young charges' fantastic tales of mistreatment. Patients were tragically misled about the source of their unhappiness, while the therapeutic profession was staggered by its self-inflicted wounds.
Particularly ironic (and horrifying) is that the segment of society most obsessed with exposing and remembering witch burning in previous centuries overlaps significantly with the group that perpetrated the hysteria over repressed memories.

Paul Theroux on Hunter Thompson,
The honest outlaw
Two great tastes that taste great together.

I don't believe this for a minute, but it's funny nevertheless. Tree That Give Meat Instead Of Fruit!

Comcast Can't Stand To Lose a Customer ( The cable company refused to cancel an account for a dead customer without a death certificate from the widow. I expected this from the Record-of-the-Month club people, but the cable company?

Haven't tried this out just yet. The Personality Forge - Artificial Intelligence:
The Personality Forge is the world's first community of living people and artificial intelligence entities called bots. Come on in, and chat with bots and botmasters, then create your own artificial intelligence personality, and turn it loose to chat with and form emotional relationships with real people and other bots.

Personality Forge bots are pushing the envelope of artificial intelligence by incorporating memories and emotions into their makeup. True language comprehension is in constant development. Transcripts of every bot's conversations are kept so you can read what your bot has said, and see their emotional relationships with other people and other bots. See if you can tell who is real! Then discuss your successes and failures in our forums.

Well, this explains the amnesia:
BBC NEWS | Saving Private Lynch story 'flawed'


From SF Gate, the best story so far on the Aron Ralston story. Nice subhead, eh?
Climber recalls ordeal of self-amputation
Man, 27, waited days before snapping bones

If Thomas Hardy or Gustave Flaubert were alive today, they would know what Nabakov knew. There is only one real sexual sin left. From the NYT review of the film Blue Car
A sensitive aesthete and caring friend on the one hand, and a self-deluded lecher and an impostor on the other, Auster is so eager to impress his protégée that he passes off the words of Rainer Maria Rilke as quotations from his own, probably nonexistent novel-in-progress. As he lurches between these poles, his good and evil sides begin to blur. The character emerges as a man whose failed dreams can never match his small, cramped life as a married high school teacher with a passion for literature. Faced with a young woman as dependent and adoring as Meg, who radiates a confusing mixture of innocence and sexual heat, he can't resist the temptation to play God.

Fuuuuck. - Climber amputates his arm, hikes to safety - May. 2, 2003 MOAB, Utah (AP) -- A Colorado climber amputated his own arm Thursday, five days after becoming pinned by a boulder, and he was hiking to safety when he was spotted by searchers, authorities said.

We know they're different, men and women. But can they help it? asks the Guardian.
There really are big differences between the male and female brain, says Simon Baron-Cohen. And they could help explain conditions such as autism.
Which is not to say that men can't have female brains or women male brains. Wouldn't you like to take the test?

Weekly Notes:

This blog is effectively defunct. But thank you for visiting. Perhaps it will revive one day.