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John McKay
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I've been collecting hollow earth books for some time now. I was actually thinking of writing a book about the idea when David Standish's "Hollow Earth" came out in 2006. There is a lot more that I would have added or said differently, but it's not the sort of idea that can support two books in the same decade. I can bide my time. Next time I'm flush I'll probably ask you to help me find some of the more obscure books.
I'm going to guess that the phrase "fine gold" was originally "fined gold."
I have the map for 1860. By them it was only six days to New Orleans and less than three weeks to San Francisco.
The Tulalips now run, what I believe is, the biggest casino in Washington and make a fortune selling whiskey to whites. Irony is a dish best served cold.
Something I find interesting in the picture is the soil itself. The grass, weeds, or whatever the ground cover was is completely gone. Every inch is covered by flat bootprints. There is one line of wheel tracks, but I can't see the marks of a dray animal's hooves. Were the bodies brought in by a human pulled cart? It looks like the dead are being buried in a line following the road. I suppose that would be the easiest way to organize transport. I think you're right about the stakes. At first I thought they were a broken fence, but the line appears to cut the buildings off from the road. And it ends just before where the laborers are digging new graves. I love this sort of visual archaeology.
The Seattle area had a lot of odd social reformer/revolutionary movements in those days. The area already had a history of utopian communities and labor radicalism before the Depression to draw on for inspiration. Technocracy was pretty big here (that's what this looks like), and Pelly's theosophy flavored Fascists, the Silver Shirts, were active here, too.
Something that I've always loved about the space cannon in The Shape of Tings to Come is that the gun has a sight at the end of the barrel. It's quite visible in the still. One minor correction: the Paris gun was not built to attack the Maginot Line. The gun was dismantled after the 1918 Armistice. The Maginot line was an inter-war project and serious construction didn't begin until about 1929.
The first image that came to my mind looking at these images was Bob Kane's Batman of the fifties with the wisecracking dynamic duo battling the incompetent henchmen of their foes atop giant typewriters and other grotesquely inflated household appliances. I'm sure there was a brilliant commentary of American consumerism hidden in those battles. I'm equally sure Kane had no idea he was making that commentary.
I love the idea of comparative studies of textbooks. The late Charles Jelavich wrote a book about Serb, Croat, and Slovene nationalism in schoolbooks prior to WWI (and Yugoslav unification). I'm sure a wonderful history of the Cold War could be written using that approach.
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Sep 20, 2010