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We find ourselves at one singular hundred articles. With an estimated average of seven hundred words per strudel, that makes a total of approximately seventy thousand words, in all - the summary of a short and particularly weird novel - for you to paw and rummage through, like so many horny voles. I am here with you and I am amazed. Brains have been racked in an effort to divine some insight as how best to celebrate this pleasingly round number. Many Bothans were bothered. Ultimately, we decided that - in this most tumultuous and heated of climates - business as usual is usually best and there are worse things than good books, film and delicious vinyl with which to mark our march into triple digit figures.

Warner Bros dropped a new trailer for ‘IT CHAPTER TWO’ (yeah, I’m using all caps on this one occasion because that appears to be their house style and I respect their decision) last week and it looks very, very good. I’m presuming that there is, at the very least a simulacrum of the same team that worked on Part One and part one was excellent. Directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman, gone are the days of ‘IT’ being a film that both terrifies and amuses because of the…patchy acting and occasionally questionable writing.

I had forgotten that they had to go back, twenty-seven years after Part One and I’m so, so down

Skarsgård returns as that fucking clown and the new cast (James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean) billed to play grown-up versions of the pervious cast (Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff) look hellishly on point. In all honesty, I had forgotten that they had to go back, twenty-seven years after Part One and I’m so, so down for whatever this interpretation has to offer. Let’s just hope the grown-ups can sell it. I imagine it’s one of those films that just so happens to be about what it means to be an adult, in so much as conquering one’s own fears isn’t always enough; you have to help others best their’s in turn.

Photograph courtesy of  The Science Museum Group Journal .

Photograph courtesy of The Science Museum Group Journal.

Making The Modern World’ at The Science Museum is all kinds of awesome. There’re two-hundred and fifty - that’s 2, 5, 0 - years of science and tech to discover through some of the most iconic items that have shaped society as we know it, Jim. They have the original Apollo 10 command module. That thing’s been to the moon and back. Also on display is Crick and Watson’s DNA model (absolutely a certain person’s thing) and the first Apple computer (absolutely mine). Elsewhere on show, you can feast on penicillin from Fleming’s laboratory, pour over a porcelain bowl salvaged from Hiroshima, and set your watch by a clock that will tell the time for the next 10,000 years. That’s two-handed and fifty multiplied by forty, for those keeping track. They do have an OG grey Game Boy and so I would have been happy whatever the weather. It was hot, in case you were wondering and there existed space for hallucinations of the flashing back variety.

The fabric of spacetime had gone slightly wonky as she stood there, transfixed

I experienced a vivid recollection of having been upstairs in the ye olde pharmacy exhibit with my father, a retired pharmacist. This was a few years ago now but I can see him, stood behind the shop counter - one that would have harkened from only a only slightly earlier era [Victorian, Jon] to that in which he cut his professional teeth - when one of his first ever superintendents, from thirty to forty years prior [not Victorian, Jon] walked through the door of the exhibit. The fabric of spacetime had gone slightly wonky as she stood there, transfixed, her brain attempting to figure out, simultaneously, the odds of this occurring coincidentally (approximately 3,720 to 1) and also trying to account for the possible existence of a wormhole on the mezzanine level of London’s Science Museum. After a short while, my father simply said, “Hello,” like he does.

The gentleman from next door has been at it again, bringing the most alluring of objects into my cave and littering my thinking zone. It is both tease and temptation. ‘Mal’ - a journal of sexuality and erotics (Vol.3) is a pink little number, mostly concerned with plants and sex. In fact, they just went and straight up called it ‘PLANTSEX’ (gain, on this occasion I shall honour their form). This issue is in collaboration with Serpentine Galleries, on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition, ‘PLANTSEX’ (this one is in italics so I thought I’d just make that clear) and looks to see what flora might teach us about ourselves and our own place on this rock. All of this is part of the Serpentine’s ongoing environmental project, ‘General Ecology’, curated by Lucia Pietroiusti and it follows on from the symposium series, ‘The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish’. I am curious too. Technically, it’s poetry. And plants. And sometimes fish.

Victoria Sin has an delightfully esoteric take on the weird life of parasitic fig trees and wasps

‘Uprooted’ by Chloe Aridjis is a wonderful look at encounters between Mexican cacti and Leon Trotsky; Victoria Sin - she of Dream Babes, responsible for those excellent sci-fi porn screenings at Auto Italia South East - has a delightfully esoteric take on the weird life of parasitic fig trees and wasps; and Alex Cecchetti, who may or may not have died in 2014, brings to the table a suitably magical collection of witch nursery rhymes. I had the most incredible premonition that The Lady S would be partial to this latter selection and I was correct. She was also inexorably dawn to Yi Xiao Chen’s ink on archival paper illustrations, scattered throughout the book like so many leaves. I am reminded of Elsa Mora’s work, some of which DEAF YETi used for the cover of ‘The Gunfactory Ep’ back in the day and I can only direct you there.

Photograph courtesy of  Steve Eccles .

Photograph courtesy of Steve Eccles.

I look forward to the next hundred articles, columns, features and nonsense that this House entails.

That’s about the size of it then. Books, records, photography and more. “More” being some extraneous amalgamation of film, TV and video games, I guess? We also do exhibits, restaurants and even medical disorders of the frustrating variety. I have suggested in the far-flung past that it is totally a mixed bag and I think that’s a good thing. I stand by that and shall even reiterate it with the greatest affection, variety being the chilli in your beans. There’s nothing wrong with that and a whole bunch stuff to like. I look forward to the next hundred columns, features and nonsense that this House entails. It does also warrant acknowledgement, for your part, that you too have come through this. Scars, tinnitus and all. It has not always been easy but that’s kinda the point. What breed of monster lets a straight line get in the way of a good joke? For those of you whom have travelled from here, I say thankee-sai. To those just joining the party now, I see ya very well.

And to that end, for your company alone, I thank you.


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- Team Alchemist -

A Moxy Rogue

A Moxy Rogue