Monthly Archives: April 2009

Lovecraft Countdown

Syndicated from Alex Smith’s Re-Imagine Ritual.

As some of you know, I’ve been making sporadic posts about my involvement as the publisher of Against Religion, by HP Lovecraft, edited and introduced by ST Joshi with a foreword by Christopher Hitchens. In order to raise interest in the book, and see that it reaches a proper audience, I will continue to post small pieces of the book I’ve found especially interesting. The following quote reminds me of Dawkins’ argument against indoctrinating children into religion.

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We know today, through psychology, that any belief or emotional bias, no matter how untrue or absurd, can be implanted in the brain and nervous system of a human being with tremendous force and firmness if the victim be inoculated with it in infancy. A person thus subjected to indoctrination with some special idea at an age under seven will always have a deeper instinctive predisposition toward that idea—but this has nothing to do with the truth of the idea. There is no natural leaning toward religion. Originally, it merely attempts to explain the unknown through poetic symbolism and crude personification; today it survives among the less analytical majority merely because they lack scientific information, and because their emotional apparatus has been permanently biassed or crippled by religious propaganda hammered into them in childhood, before their mind and emotions had developed beyond the infantile state of helpless and uncritical receptivity. It is really a crime against a child to attempt to influence his intellectual belief in any way. (p. 25)

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As I read the book I was inspired to see the many points Lovecraft argues that we see today in the atheist cause. Joshi’s book really highlight’s a single man’s struggle to live as an intellectual and an atheist at a time where atheists were not only in the minority, but were not seeing the opportunity for recognition that we’ve seen today for such figures as Dawkins and Dennet. Although a release date for the book remains uncertain, you can check back here for updates, and expect it on shelves before the 2009 holidays.


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Survey Says! Book-Opening Party Tonight!

Come celebrate the release of Nathan Austin’s Survey Says! tonight at Lolita Bar in the Lower East Side. Nathan will be reading from the book, and copies will be available!

Tonight, Tuesday, April 28th
7-9, no cover, extended happy hour prices!
Lolita Bar, 266 Broome St. near Allen. Click here for directions.

See you there!

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Filed under Event, Family Feud, Poetry, Survey Says!

Weekly Selection – Amy Lawless

Selections From Top One Thousand Insect Tragedies

At the old age of four, Brigitte, a Chicago bedbug, died alone on a crackhead’s
mattress miles from her nearest relative.

Charles, a Palmetto bug from Tallahassee, Fla., was crushed when a woman
closed her cabinet door onto him.

Equitable beetle from Toronto, Hal, was insecticided.

Unable to rub his legs together to make his song a depressed Jean-Louis, a
Haitian cricket, threw himself in front of a truck.

John, a fire ant from a large suburban family, was stepped on by a thirteen
year-old on a tennis court.

Tina Rodriguez, a ladybug, was trapped inside a piece of luggage on United
Flight 175 on September 11, 2001.

Paul, the first moth in his family to step foot inside a college, was trapped
unceremoniously between a screen and a window frame and starved to death
in October. His wife witnessed the whole thing but was unable to push food
through the screen due to her ceaseless histrionics.

A free-loving flea named Harold jumped up the nose of a tourist at the Louvre.
He was blown out dead a few minutes later.

After a fight with his mate, Gene “Sully” Sullivan, a Bostonian fly, stormed
off into the wrong arlirshaft at a local university and was never seen or heard
from again.

Ben, a cockroach living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, got caught in a
sticky mousetrap. Two of his children watched him try to escape the ooze for an
hour before he told them to retreat to the nest. They thankfully didn’t witness
Karen Ng crush him with a small brown bag hours later.

Elvis Ender, drifter aphid, wandered onto an electric chair moments before a
convicted murderer was executed in Texas on August 18, 2006.

Jeff “Scooter” Hamlin, a firefly from Arlington, Virginia, was kidnapped by
the McKinley twins and suffocated to death in a mason jar.

After a small kitten batted off Craig Schloss’ sixth leg, he hobbled into some
tall grass and starved. The same kitten ate his body two days later.

Local honeybee Zelda Smith got too close to the Barber family’s ceiling fan.
As it was oscillating on high, it clipped off her wings and she fell 10 feet to her
death. She was unconscious upon impact and felt nothing.

Carol and Jim Glendale, two middle-aged butterflies looking to spice up their
sex life, were making love in the air. They smashed into the windshield of a
Dodge minivan and were wiped off cleanly.

Single mother of two hundred Bertie Jenkins died when a fire engulfed the
nest she and her children lived in.

While sucking a bloodfeast from the body of actor Charlton Heston, California
mosquito Jenny Wong suffered a cardiac arrest.

After mating a stunningly gorgeous female mantis named Julia, Matthew McDonald was eaten limb by limb. His last words were “Non, je ne regrette rien.”

(from Amy Lawless’ Noctis Licentia, p. 20)

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Filed under Amy Lawless, Poetry

Literary Deathmatch

Needless to say we were appalled with the judges’ ruling to eliminate Ms. Lawless in the first round of last night’s Literary Deathmatch, which was hosted by Mr. Todd Zuniga and a beautiful redheaded woman (we didn’t catch her name). The consensus in the crowd was that Lawless’ writing was superior.

We hereby challenge the guy from 30 Rock who was judging to an acting/literary deathmatch rematch with Ms. Lawless. The rules are thus:

1) Ms. Lawless and the guy from 30 Rock each perform a scene from Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct 2. They may read from a script, and extras will be supplied as necessary from the audience.

2) Ms. Lawless and 30 Rock guy then each read a poem they have written.

3) The two contestants then compete in a surprise physical challenge.

4) Judges (James Lipton, Alice Quinn, and Tiffany Pollard, star of VH1’s I Love New York) rule in the acting, poetry, and physical categories.

5) Winner receives one drink ticket.

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Filed under Amy Lawless, nepotism

Weekly Selection – Nathan Austin

Cabbage. Rabbit. Macaroni and cheese. Vacation. Vacation. Vaccines. Lace. Dachs­hund – the little wiener dog. Racing. Back. Back to me – Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. Macy’s. Ladder. Paddle ball. Daddy. Sade. Radio. Lady Bird Johnson. Magazine. Cage. Bagel. Sailing. Rain­coats. Hair, hair color. Wait a second – it’s already been said. Major speeches. Cake. Take a pulse. Take a shower. Fake fur. Fake people. Fake teeth. Cake – we’re going to go with cake. Take your blood pressure. Making sure you look good for the party. Saks Fifth Avenue. Salad. Talent. Calf. California. California. Cali­fornia. California. Walk. Walk. Walk away. Walkie-talkie. Talking on the cell phone. Talk on the phone. Talk on your cell phone. Balloons. Balloons. Balloons. (from Survey Says!, p. 11)

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Filed under Family Feud, Poetry, Survey Says!

From the Alex Smith’s Re-Imagine Ritual Blog:

As Against Religion: The Atheist Writings of HP Lovecraft, edited and introduced by ST Joshi with a Foreword by Christopher Hitchens nears release, I will begin posting tidbits of the book within here.

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> All I say is that I think it is damned unlikely that anything like a central cosmic will, a spirit world, or an eternal survival of personality exist. They are the most preposterous and unjustified of all the guesses which can be made about the universe, and I am not enough of a hair-splitter to pretend that I don’t regard them as arrant and negligible moonshine. In theory I am an agnostic, but pending the appearance of radical evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist. The chances of theism’s truth being to my mind so microscopically small, I would be a pedant and a hypocrite to call myself anything else. (from Section I of Against Religion)

Although we do not have a proper release date yet, we are pleased to announce a partnership with SOTA Toys. A group of magnificent sculptors are crafting some excellent imaginings of Lovecraft’s Elder Gods. Below is an image of the Nylarhotep resin statue:

They will be helping us with the cover production. Also, we will be working with many atheist blogs and websites to promote the book. If there are any blogs, podcasts, radio shows, reviewers, etc, who want to help us with this part of the campaign, feel free to contact us.

We’ll syndicate these here from now on. Keep checking in.

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Filed under Announcement, Lovecraft

Amy Lawless in Deathmatch, NYC!

Amy Lawless in a Literary Death Match hosted by Opium Magazine’s Todd Zuniga.

New York City’s most unlucky LDM yet (Ep. 13) will make its first-ever appearance at Pianos in the Lower East Side. Hosted by Todd Zuniga and super-agent Erin Hosier, the lineup boasts Heidi Julavits (The Uses of Enchantment) Cheryl Wagner (Plenty Enough Suck to Go Around), Amy Lawless (Noctis Licentia), B.C. Edwards (Evitative), all to be judged by Richard Lawson (Gawker) and many more! Hold thy breath!

Can’t make it? Follow the action live on Twitter (@toddzuniga).

When: Thursday, April 23; Doors at 6:30, show at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Pianos, Manhattan
158 Ludlow St., (212) 505-3733

Cost: $5

LDM NYC’s 2009 debut was an absolute knockout that saw Cintra Wilson first turn a hostile crowd with her charms, then out-art co-finalist Christopher Monks in a drawing duel like none other. The result: Wilson stole not only the show, but the LDM crown. Want more details? They’re all right here.

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Filed under Amy Lawless, Uncategorized