Being a record of the ruminations, ramblings and obsessions of a Hound of the noblest breed (or so His Lordship claims, anyway). The focus being on dark music and culture, style, spirituality and - naturally – Basset Hounds.
Welcome to the chronicles of Lord Bassington-Bassington, coming to you from Little Storping in the Swuff – a quaint place located somewhere between England’s Lake District and the outskirts of the Norwegian capital.
This is intended as a log of His explorations of music, books, films and so on. I, your humble chronicler, is merely His Lordship’s secretary.
For more information on Lord Bassington-Bassington, please confer this blog’s opening post. Contacts can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lord Bassington-Bassington is proud to present a recap of this weekend’s film festival here at Bassington Manor, dedicated to the master of weird fiction, H.P. Lovecraft.
A Lovecraftian film festival is not a new concept, the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon has been running for a few years now. But we dare say that this Saturday’s event here at the Manor represents a first in Norwegian history.
The festival, which, it is hoped, will become a more or less regular event, is named the Little Storping in-the-Swuff Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Lewis Theobald III and Sundry Mythos Writers Cinematographic Festival (and Open Absinthe Bar). But, to be quite honest, we here at Bassington Manor simply refer to it as The Festival. This is not only a very Lovecraftian title, as “The Festival” was one of Lovecraft’s most interesting short stories, but also especially appropriate, since Yule (or Christmas, to those of you who are followers of Christ) is approaching and “The Festival” was Lovecraft’s Christmas story. Even if it was a rather unusual Christmas story.
The powers-that-be had provided a fog that swept Little Storping in-the-Swuff in a thick veil of grey, which set the mood perfectly. Participant prepared for the program of Lovecraftian cinema by reinforcing themselves with helpings of American Chop Suey, a New England dish from a recipe kindly provided by Rhode Island-based folk singer Allysen Callery, who had the recipe from her grandmother. A grandmother whose family had come over to New England on the Mayflower. Which surely makes her a full-blooded New Englander!
Suitably slime-green drinks were provided by fraulein Frost and her absinthe tower, purchased at the H.R. Giger museum in Switzerland. Which of course makes for another exciting Lovecraft reference, as Mr. Giger has been heavily influenced by the Gentleman of Providence.
The evening opened with a Shorts Program of short films and trailers, all retrieved from the world wide Interweb.
The film Lord Bassington-Bassington is probably the most excited about seeing is the upcoming adaptation of “The Whisperer in Darkness”, by the same people who made the excellent silent version of “the Call of Cthulhu” a few years ago. They have since taken the daring step into talkies, and seem to be handling this newfangled technology quite well.
The main feature was Cthulhu. It'a film that is easy to have severe prejudices against, as one would have against any film with Tori Spelling on the roster, but Cthulhu is actually surprisingly decent and does a good job at capturing a Lovecraftian atmosphere.
While Swede Mr. Pär Boström was named the official festival composer – more about this eminent gentleman tomorrow.
The program committee here at Bassington Manor would like to thank those that helped and participated, and like to express our hope that such cinematographic gatherings can become a regularly recurring event, and that we will be able to open our doors for another Little Storping in-the-Swuff Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Lewis Theobald III and Sundry Mythos Writers Cinematographic Festival (and Open Absinthe Bar) early next year.
The program committee hard at work selecting the evening’s cinematographic entertainment.
Lord Bassington-Bassington continues to shamelessly solicit hits for his Chronicles by trying his paw at fashion blogging. So far he has tried to copy the influental fashion blog The Sartorialist, by looking at ear trends and what people are wearing when visiting a certain Heretical Cellar.
But his somewhat pathetic attempts at fashion blogging need to be taken to "the next level", or however fashion bloggers put it. So when he came over these pictures, he knew he had to compile them into a Neofolk lookbook, modeled by Latin lover and Neofolk gangster Don Bota of Gävle.
Don Bota has recently become a lord, but we here at the Chronicles suspect that Lord Alexander Bota of Jura's title might be even more tenuous than that of Lord Bassington-Bassington himself.
But anyway, on with the fashion story.
Many Neofolk enthusiasts are fond of uniforms, both because of an interest in history and fetishism, and an appreciation for the transgressive nature of some of them, as shown by swastika-wearing punks. But Don Bota takes it a bit farther than most, frequenting clubs where people are obliged to wear historical uniforms to be let in. Here he's modeling some particularly stylish riding boots, which reminds Lord Bassington-Bassington that the season for his own high boots is about to set in.
While uniforms are often stylish, Lord Bassington-Bassington is a snuggler, not a fighter, and tends to be more appreciative of civilian styles. This photograph, taken outside of Kafé Spegeln, one of Gävle's better establishments, shows Don Bota to be a master of the classic dandy pose.
And as a bonus picture, here we see that Don Bota was an early starter when it came to having a style of his own. We here at the Chronicles suspect that one of our regular readers, the indomitable Superfritz, might approve of this particular look.
(Of course, this little lookbook is about style, not fashion. And as he has stated before, Lord Bassington-Bassington holds that style and fashion are not only different things, they are polar opposites. Somewhat harshly expressed, he holds that while style is an expression of one’s identity and values, and therefore tends to be static, fashion is an attempt to compensate for a lack of identity and values by constantly trying to reinvent oneself).
It's supposedly a common phenomenon with Neofolk fans: To start out by having problems with Ian Read's voice, but end up loving it.
Listening to Mr. Read's vocals on some early Death in June and Sol Invictus songs (Mr. Read has been a member of both projects), Lord Bassington-Bassington had reservations about Mr. Read's voice. And when the old Hound tried to listen to Mr. Read's own project, Fire + Ice, the problems were amplified. Perhaps it was the unschooled character of Mr. Read's voice? the then-young Hound thought. Later, he has come to realize that it has more to do the influence of traditional English folk singers on Mr. Read’s singing style.
However, after letting Mr. Read's voice crawl under his hide, Lord Bassington-Bassington's opinion of his vocal abilities changed radically. Meeting the most gregarious Mr. Read in person might have had some influence, but even if Mr. Read is both a very interesting modern mystic, humourist and all-round great fellow, that probably has very little to do with how Lord Bassington-Bassington thinks of his voice. His Lordship can think of several people he would probably want to bite if he ever met them, but whose voices he still appreciates, so a singer’s personality doesn't really count either way.
These days, Fire + Ice is amongst Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite Neofolk acts. So when His Lordship stumbled upon these videos from Mr. Read's performance in Halle last year, he felt the need to share them with The Chronicles’ readers.
In these live videos, Mr. Read is supported by Barditus, the main project of Uwe Nolte, best known as one half of Orplid (more about them in some later post). Barditus' more aggressive approach to music really shows in these recordings, and give the Fire & Ice songs an extra punch that works great on the stage.
This is especially true for "Gilded by the Sun". This Spenglerian lament is one of the finest Neofolk songs ever written, but was a bit overproduced (hey, the '80s were barely over) when it appeared on the album of the same name. So the more stripped-down, rawer, live version really becomes it.
Albion, how fine your trees stand gilded by the sun Across the land and in your fields the tree-lined waters run But in your heart what light is there, what grows and comes to flower? Does mind grow cold, do weakened hands let slip their ancient power?
And here's "Dragons in the Sunset" from the same concert.
This post is also a way to remind people that excellent label Trumpets of Doom still has copies of its excellent and luxurious re-release of the Fire + Ice album Birdking.
While this blog will continue to focus on Lord Bassington-Bassington's favourite musical genres, such as Neofolk and Dark Ambient, a bit of Synthpop is always good for lifting the spirit. Especially when the synthetic pop is done with such style and flair as Sweden's Elegant Machinery.
Not only do Elegant Machinery make first-rate pop music, they also occasionally come up with something that's interesting to look at. The lads have tried their hand at halfway ludicrous fetish fashions in the past, but their latest video shows them donning timelessly stylish outfits.
As a canine given to reflections about religion and morality, Lord Bassington-Bassington is pleased that Elegant Machinery take the time to teach today's youth some important moral lessons. The lesson, in this case, being this: If you get in trouble, be sure to wear interesting neckwear, for then young ladies will help you. People without interesting neckwear, however, get locked into toilets.
Lord Bassington-Bassington thought it was safe to bring Great Cthulhu along to Trondheim for a conference and lecture on Lovecraft the following evening. He knew that is ended in disaster and debauchery last time he let Cthulhu out of the house, but he figured the Old One wasn't too old to learn from his mistakes (and the grounding that followed).
This evidence, captured by Candid Cthulhu Camera, shows all the sordid details from this visit. We apologise for the dubious quality of some of the shots, but it's hard to think about focus and lighting when an ancient God of evil goes on the rampage.
Here we see Cthulhu eating fatty foods...
...drinking Polish vodka...
...and we'd prefer to not even comment on what we think is going on in this picture.
Luckily, Trondheim's comics maestro Mads Eriksen was able to calm Cthulhu down by reading him a suitably Lovecraftian goodnight story. Thank you, Mr. Eriksen! You saved the day yet again!
Great Cthulhu should now consider himself grounded – for good.
While the richest countries of the world increasingly worships "casual" style and pre-torn jeans, the spirit of style appears in some strange places.
As a Caninist, Lord Bassington-Bassington has mixed feelings about the new breed of Christian missionaries coming from the Global South to re-Christianize the West. But sartorial missionaries from the Congo would be welcomed with open arms.
After looking at renowned documentary photographer Héctor Mediavillas online exhibition of pictures of Congolese dandies, the so-called sapeurs, His Lordship simply had to share these pictures with his readers.
Not only are Mr. Mediavillas' pictures superb, his subjects are stunning. These African dandies maintain the best parts of European style, but, like many Africans, they excel in the use of colours that don't really look good on paler skins. Not only is the result a feast for anyone interested in style, the pictures also say something about a struggle for beauty and a faith in civilization that seems lost in the West.
Some background for this intriguring phenomenon is provided by the following text:
The arrival of the French to the Congo, at the beginning of the 20th Century, brought along the myth of Parisian elegance among the Congolese youth working for the colonialists. Many considered the white man to be superior because of their technology, sophistication and elegance. In 1922, G.A. Matsoua was the first–ever Congolese to return from Paris fully clad as an authentic French gentleman, which caused great uproar and much admiration amongst his fellow countrymen. He was the first Grand Sapeur.
Respected and admired in their communities, today’s sapeurs see themselves as artists. Their refined manners and impeccable style in their attire bring a little glamour to their humble surroundings. Each one has his own repertoire of gestures that distinguishes him from the others. They are also after their own great dream: to travel to Paris and to return to Bacongo as lords of elegance.
Read the rest of the text, and see many more pictures, here.
Sometimes life is like literature - like a weird tale, or magical realism.
"Are you interested in Sufism?" asked The World's Coolest Librarian, one of the humans that Lord Bassington-Bassington really admires.
His Lordship's ears started flailing as he excitedly nodded "yes", his love of Islamic mysticism being hard to conceal, so The Librarian continued his tale.
It seems that an uncle of The Librarian had been a Sufi, a follower of Hazrat Inayat Khan. The uncle had now passed on, and his library was too large for even the Librarian to take care of. Could Lord Bassington-Bassington perhaps help in giving some of these tomes a new home?
So a sleeting, snow-covered morning, Lord Bassington-Bassington and Lady Mju found themselves outside a large and very normal-looking house in a normal-looking Norwegian suburb. Which is very fitting, of course: Sufi masters are supposed to be found in the unlikeliest places. They then spent a few hours rummaging through a large, cold house with bookshelves bursting with numerous volumes of esoterica. The house itself was a treasure trove, filled with traces of a life spent in the pursuit of mystical wisdom and transformative love.
Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to pay his respects to this remarkable man by printing some notes on the ideal life from Inayat Khan's In an Eastern Rose Garden:
"When speaking on the subject of ideal life, the words of the Prophet of Islam may be quoted, where he says, 'Every soul has its own religion.' This means that every soul has a certain direction, which it has chosen, a goal to attain during life. This goal is a certain ideal, which depends on the soul's evolution."
- Inayat Khan
Lord Bassington-Bassington sincerely hopes that this particular man, upon leaving this earthly existence, felt that his own soul had attained its goal, and would like to lift a glass of ruby-colored port to his memory.
And speaking of In an Eastern Rose Garden, an excellent edition of this book is now a part of the library here at Bassington Manor. Along with a box or two of other Sufi wisdom, Christian mysticism and Runic lore. To mentions some of the more mainstream subjects.
While books are always a pleasure to know, they are but earthly possesions. What Lord Bassington-Bassington and Lady Mju are most thankful for was the privilege of experiencing this strange house. The Chronicles would therefore like to share some pictures from the visit with its readers.
(EDIT: And as it turns out, it's The World's Coolest Librarian's birthday today. Congratulations, Sir!)
As The Dodologist reminded us yesterday, Edward Woodward, star of The Wicker Man, possibly the film that most influenced Neofolk, has just passed away. If you have not seen this superb thriller, featuring one of Christopher Lee's finest performances, and have any interest at all in Neofolk, modern Paganism, or film, you need to do so. Just take care to get the 1973 original, and not to confuse it with the recent remake (which Lord Bassington-Bassington considers an act of sacrilege).
About two decades ago, the young Lord Bassington-Bassington saw this film while sitting on the couch of the superb people behind Cthulhu Records. He has loved the film ever since.
So what better way for a Neofolk-advocating blog to mark the passing of Mr. Woodward than to publish two Neofolk bands interpreting songs from The Wicker Man?
In Lord Bassington-Bassington's opinion, of the most inspiring and interesting bands in the Neofolk genre is Solblot. Solblot hails from Sweden, a fact that would be hard for anyone to miss. For Solblot might possibly be the most Swedish band in existence.
The trio wears their own versions of Swedish folk costumes, complete with stylish yellow scarves. Their songs are all in Swedish, with lyrics taken from Swedish national scald Verner von Heidenstam. Von Heidenstam’s democratic nationalism permeates Solblot's attitudes and has made them turn their backs on folks who would use love of Swedish culture and identity to further a xenophobic and extremist agenda.
Strangely enough, Solblot are based in Scania, a part of Sweden that is considered – both by Scanians and non-Scanians – to not really be a part of Sweden, culturally. As such, Solblot might perhaps be considered an experiment in identity?
Solblot haven't been very active on the recording front, and so far have only produced a 7 inch record, Sommarsång & Soluppgång, which has been cleverly and tastefully designed to look like an old 78. But the band claims to be working on a whole album, which will hopefully see the light sometime this millennium. And you can always listen to a few songs on their MySpace page.
While Solblot's is quirky and charming in itself, the band really needs to be seen on a stage to be truly appreciated. For not only does the live format allow the band's punky energy to shine through, it also allows the audience to enjoy the fact that Solblot might be history's first National romantic boy band. So the video below, or the videos at the band’s YouTube channel might be a small substitute for those who don’t have the opportunity to see Solblot on stage.
And in any case, Lord Bassington-Bassington will always be grateful to these fine lads for travelling seven hours by bus (each way) to play at his and Lady Mju’s stag and hen party. Thank you yet again. The dedication of the song on the video above to Andreas Ritter only underscores what superb human beings you are.
As one grows older, it's usually a good idea to change one's wardrobe along with one's age. And Lord Bassington-Bassington is now at the point in life where he thinks a jacket doesn't look quite right unless it has a handkerchief tucked into its breast pocket. But how to do it? Having large, clumsy (well, Basset-y) paws, His Lordship hasn't yet mastered the art of pocket hankie tucking. While it should be as easy as dipping his paw into the pocket and then tucking the hankie in place, getting the right effect with this "dip and tuck" approach can be a challenge.
Luckily, the ever-expanding Interweb comes to the rescue yet again. Lord Bassington-Bassington really liked the short instructional film below, especially since the musical interludes add an extra touch of class.
Whatever you do, remember to not let the handkerchief match the tie too closely. That just looks like you've bought a set.
You should also realize that if you for some reason move the hankie from your breast pocket to your back pocket, and then wander into a gay club, you might be in for a surprise. And that if you wouldn't be surprised by such reactions to your hankie, you should know that there are hankies available that are designed especially for you.
(The picture at the top of this blog post is from The Chap Shop, which should be a natural stopping point for pocket squares, cravats and other essentials).
As one gets older, it's natural to reflect on the development of one's character. Or the lack of both development and character, as might be the case with Lord Bassington-Bassington.
In other words: Where did it all go wrong?
In His Lordship's case, there might be a variety of turning points, such as being exposed to Lord Baden-Powell's ideas about Scouting for Boys, and its emphasis on chivalry, uniforms and rituals in the forest, at a tender age. Or the ideas of Carl G. Jung or Rudolf Steiner.
But one factor looms larger than the rest: Slovenian band Laibach.
Laibach was a nexus for so many of the young Bassington-Bassington's interests: Radical politics, music, philosophy, religion, theatre, totalitarian kitsch, history and dressing a bit differently than what the chain stores were trying to push on you.
Laibach were like a glimpse into another world, another time.
It's hard to remember these days how interesting Laibach was before the band let itself become a joke band, taking pop hits from the West and interpreting them through totalitarian kitsch. That was fun for a while, but quickly got stale.
This Slovenian documentary from the band's early days shows Laibach at their most challenging, and had a profound influence on the young Bassington-Bassington when he was able to watch it in a film club in Oslo a couple of decades ago.
If you claim to be interested in Industrial music, you need to see this film. This film will clarify one thing: Heavy metal bands with drum machines aren't Industrial. This is Industrial.
Or perhaps, in the case of one of the band's earliest hits, "Drzava" (also featured in the film), it might possibly be called something like Social Realist Disco.
History is full of fiery manifestoes that - well, manifested - some ideology or other. As a pup, Lord Bassington-Bassington was quite taken with The Futurist Manifesto of F.T. Marinetti, only to quickly realize how insane it was. "Demolishing libraries?" Well, try to demolish the bookshelves here at Bassington Manor, you scallywag, and see how well that goes!
Futurism is plainly passé. These days, discerning canines such as Lord Bassington-Bassington need more sensible manifestoes. Such as that provided by the superb publication The Chap, to which His Lordship naturally subscribes (being married to an upstanding feline has its advantages).
The Chap isn't just a very entertaining magazine, a parody of lad magazines, it is also a rallying place for those who find a world of tracksuits and SUVs less than appealing. And its ethos is very well put forth in The Chap Manifesto. This manifesto should be read in its entirety, but the short excerpts below (with permission of The Chap's editor, mr. Gustav Temple) gives you a taste of its brilliance.
The Chap Manifesto Society has become sick with some nameless malady of the soul. We have become the playthings of corporations intent on converting our world into a gargantuan shopping precinct. Pleasantness and civility are being discarded as the worthless ephemera of a bygone age - an age when men doffed their hats to the ladies, and small children could be counted upon to mind one's Jack Russell while one took a mild and bitter in the local hostelry.
Instead, we live in a world where children are huge hooded creatures lurking in the shadows; the local hostelry has been taken over by a large chain that specialises in chilled lager, whose principal function is to aggravate the nervous system. Needless to say, the Jack Russell is no longer there upon one's return.
The Chap proposes to take a stand against this culture of vulgarity. We must show our children that the things worth fighting for are not the latest plastic plimsolls but a shiny pair of brogues. We must wean them off their alcopops and teach them how to mix martinis.
While The Lord Bassington-Bassington Chronicles are proudly Basso-centric, this blog does have a certain weakness for other life forms - humans and felines being the most obvious. And, of course, dodos. One of Lord Bassington-Bassington's dearest associates is The Dodologist, an upstanding fellow who has just published an English translation of his Dodo Declaration.
Lord Bassington-Bassington has pored over this Declaration, and declares that it provides more guidance than a floor-to-ceiling stack of postmodern tracts. As the excerpts below reveal.
The Dodo Declaration The Dodologist is a project in the spirit of the dodo. While reality runs its course around us, we drink our tea and take note of the sufficiently unimportant with our virtual fountain pen.
The Dodologist is male and middle aged, rude, annoyed and elitist. He does agree than no one has invented a better political system than democracy – but still doesn’t like it.
The Dodologist is a self declared reactionary, but realizes that the best thing about the past is that it is past. It's not that they did everything well back then, but the past being past means we can focus on the good stuff.
And at least they didn’t have gangster rap. Or “psychics” solving crimes on television.
If you need more guidance than these two manifestoes can give you, then there's something wrong with you.
As any casual reader of The Chronicles will have noticed, Lord Bassington-Bassington loves Neofolk music. He also loves to give something back to people that have given him something. So His Lordship is happy and honoured to be able to combine those two loves by lending a helping paw to people whose music has inspired him, such as Coph Nia, Die Weisse Rose and Klammheim, by helping them with press releases to promote their recordings.
Last in a short (but very cosy) line is Apatheia, the project of the ever charming Linus Andersson. Mr. Andersson is not just a superb fellow, lover of good (vegan) foods and talented musician, he was also kind enough to take the time to travel to Oslo to play at Lord Bassington-Bassington and Lady Mju's combined stag and hen party. He deserves all kinds of respect and support.
And with those words, we cut for a commercial break.
Gothenburg-based multi-instrumentalist and sound sculptor Linus Andersson is a busy man. Not only does he beat the drums for goth-Industrialist outfit Coph Nia, and work as a sound engineer and producer for everything from hair metal to contemporary art music, he also plays in a bunch of punk bands.
No wonder his own neofolk project, Apatheia, seems to suffer from… well, apathy. Despite existing for about a decade, it has only produced a few releases, in highly limited editions on highly obscure labels. But as anyone who has heard any of this material knows, they have been well worth tracking down. Apatheia’s songs are typically well arranged and well played, with a strong sense of melody and sound. A song like “Rot in the Core” is worth the entire productions of some of the neofolk outfits out there.
This situation couldn’t last. It would only be a matter of time before a label grabbed Apatheia and gave its music the audience it deserved. This label turned out to be renowned Swedish label Cold Meat Industry, and now they’re re-releasing Apatheia’s Lifethesis.
This is what main man Andersson has to say for himself:
“Originally released in an edition of 100 copies by Stridulum Recordings in 2003, Lifethesis consists of some of the earliest Apatheia material, recorded in Linköping between 2001 and 2002. The recording quality is rough and the performances are often spontaneous and not always perfect - and all for the better! I considered remastering the album, but quickly realized that it did more harm than good. To me, these old bedroom recordings have a certain quality to them that couldn't have been reproduced in a proper studio setting”.
While his musical merits speak for themselves, there is more that makes Apatheia a bit unique in the world of neofolk. In a genre obsessed with symbols of power, conquest and control, Apatheia (the term denotes a state of detachment from the world) is all about retreating to one’s bedroom, to regroup and plot one’s revenge against everyone and everything. A bit like punk, only less noisy, less smelly and – let’s admit it – less silly.
So, rejoice that the notoriously perfectionist studio rat Andersson has decided to let some of his old treasures out of the vault. If Lifethesis doesn’t make you eager to hear more of his releases, then you’re not really interested in this sort of music, are you?
So, if you are interested in this sort of music, you should keep an eye on the Cold Meat Industry webpage in the time coming. And in the meantime, you could always check out the very limited vinyl single (see picture below) Apatheia has just released. The details below are stolen from the Apatheia blog, as are all the pictures in this post.
A new 7″ has been released. A numbered edition limited to 100 copies on blue vinyl will initially be released, followed by an additional 200 on black with different artwork.
The A-side features a new rendition of Rot In The Core (originally released on the Promo album), and a new song called You Will Not Survive on the flip. The latter is a droning instrumental version of the song, and it will most likely be published in a different version on a sampler early 2010.
(Society page writers: Yell "STOP PRESS!" now. The rest of you, please read on.)
In one of the most important social events of the season here in Little Storping-in-the-Swuff, Lord Bassington-Bassington has been accepted into the New Sheridan Club. He also has the pleasure of escorting his better three-quarters, Lady Mju, and friend Mr. Anthony Wakeford Esq. into the club. The club, which is slightly reminiscent of His Lordship's beloved Heretical Cellar (which has a gathering this coming Thursday, society page writers take note again), is a project right after his own heart.
Of course, one can ask why Lord Bassington-Bassington would apply for membership in the first place. His Lordship resides in Little Storping-in-the-Swuff, outside of Oslo, Norway, while the New Sheridan Club is in London, England. So his chances of attending one of their club nights are, sadly, rather slim. And even if the membership fee is just five pounds a year for overseas members, this could be seen as a waste of money.
Because of these hard facts, and as Lord Bassington-Bassington's tastes in menswear are well known, some would undoubtedly accuse Lord Bassington-Bassington of joining the New Sheridan Club just to be able to buy and wear a pair of its "Brolly Roger" club cufflinks (see pictures below). But while the club cufflinks are undeniably spiffy, this is far from the truth. The truth must, as it often must, be sought in religion.
In matters such as this, His Lordship relies on the advice of his Mullah, the famous "Mad Mullah" Hastur of The Little City Between The Many Mountains, to steal a phrase from the Dodologist.
In one of his many fatwas, the good Mullah underscored the importance of supporting the English economy in these dire times, so that purchasing fine English footwear, eating in English restaurants and – in a wider interpretation of the Mullah’s fatwa – joining their clubs, is a clear religious obligation.
So His Lordship is not joining the New Sheridan Club just so he can buy the club cufflinks. It is for religious reasons, darnit!
(And anyway, the club ties are pretty spiffy too...)
While everyone seems to be talking or blogging about their Kindles (or some other electronic conveyance for reading), Lord Bassington-Bassington has become slightly obsessed by what Mr. Andrew Eldritch called "the ultimate technology": The book. The good, old-fashioned book.
Of course, this obsession can be seen as an expression of His Lordship’s armchair Neo-Luddism. In a world of letters swirling around in cyberspace, where the written word is ever more ephemeral, there is a certain reassurance in holding a well-made, hardbound book in your hands. It's like a small bunker, protecting against the vulgarity that the modern world.
As a result of this bibliophilia, as well as his ever-growing interest in weird literature, His Lordship has taken an interest in small presses like Side Real Press. This publisher has just started out, but their edition of short stories by Hanns Heinz Ewers is a real treasure to own; like a piece of art for your bookshelf. And surprisingly affordable.
Tartarus Press has been in operation a lot longer, and are especially notable for their exquisite editions of Arthur Machen's weird and wonderful literature. Mr. Machen's The Hill of Dreams is possibly the book that has come the closest to reflect Lord Bassington-Bassington's feelings about the world.
And not only do Tartarus publish great literature, their books are designed with dustjackets that look like the original dustjackets that apperared in Victorian times.
These publishers are the kind of commercial operations that really make the world a more beautiful place. They deserve every kind of support, but especially financial support. The kind of financial support which makes your bookshelves look more beautiful.
As previously reported by the Chronicles, Lord Bassington-Bassington has accepted an invitation to give a lecture on the life, fiction and mythological impact of H.P. Lovecraft in Trondheim on November 20th. The details are now in place, as the poster above reveals (apart from minor mistakes, such as not getting Lord Bassington-Bassington's name right. Well, such mistakes can be forgiven).
It's been a while since His Lordship was entirely up to speed on the subject, so to help him refresh his memory The World's Coolest Librarian, keeper of much elder and eldritch lore, brought this theologically enlightening film to his attention.
But one thing is certain. Lord Bassington-Bassington's own little Cthulhu will not be allowed to come along, as he is grounded after his shameful behaviour the last time His Lordship let him out of Bassington Manor.