|If thou be’st born to strange sights,|
|Things invisible to see,|
|Ride ten thousand days and nights,|
|Till age snow white hairs on thee,|
|Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,|
|All strange wonders that befell thee...|
|— from John Donne, 'Song'|
If thou be'st born to strange websites, take a look at some of these:
What happened to Link, once the Zelda games were over? This site will tell you. I think my favorite character is the elf stripper who hides under the bar when the fight begins, and doesn't stick her head out until it's over. (Requires Flash.)
I. Found Poetry. Francis E. Dec is a paranoid schizophrenic, a well-known, and even well-loved kook, who has been publishing flyers warning the world about his delusions for years. These include Frankenstein Earphone Radio, Frankenstein Eyesight TV and Computer God Parroting Puppet Gangster Slaves. Delusions that one's thoughts are being created, deleted, or manipulated by an outside agency using radio control or witchcraft are a common feature of schizophrenia, but few schizophrenics are able to articulate these ideas as creatively and forcefully as Francis Dec. His rants have been used by Genesis P. Orridge of Psychic TV and have appeared in the subGenius periodical The Stark Fist of Removal. Read two of his rants here, or even better, listen to his rants as spoken poetry. Francis E. Dec himself has not done well, and in 1996 had apparently been confined to the psychiatric ward of a VA hospital for at least three years. He was briefly interviewed at that time by a man who first heard of Francis E. Dec via Doc Britton's recorded rants which were played at a semi-religious, ritualistic Winter Solstice nitrous oxide party hosted by the Hot Tub Mystery Religion before Christmas, 1993. Schizophrenia is a bad, bad disease, folks. It's incredibly disabling, and very common: it affects 1% of every human population studied. Some schizophrenics are treatable with medication. Some, like Francis, are not.
II. Found photography. The People's Photo archives is a collection of 'found' photographs, picked up from the sidewalk, from dumpsters, in bundles of whatnot being sold in flea markets, and who knows where else. These photos are eerie, evocative, nightmare-ish, touching. They really do resemble what some serious photographers are doing as art. It's amazing how some pigment aging, scotch tape marks, bad flash technique, and scratches can make a photograph of ordinary people doing ordinary things look like a scene from The Shining, or a Hieronymous Bosch painting. The rest of the Spillway site is equally strange or more so, but less accessible, at least to me.
"Naked States represents a five-month journey across North America in which Spencer Tunick photographed nudes in every state. He traveled through cities and rural locales, searching for individuals who were interested in forming new American landscapes. The challenge of breaking past limitations imposed by regional mores created a dynamic tension between the bodies and the outside world. The end result is a combination of the artist's America Zone series of one and two-person nudes and his Reaction Zone series, group nudes of over 100 people framed by vast undefined spaces, combining elements of performance, sculpture and installation."
Warning: the links to photographs from different states are in the middle of the photograph on the opening page. Just move your mouse over the photo, and the link buttons will appear. This is overly cute, and I think it's kind of a misfeature, it just confuses the unprepared user.