Pardon merci, je suis le grand zombie
I’m just not human tonight
— Mekons, “Big Zombie”
I haven’t thought about anthropologist Wade Davis much since his 1985 nonfiction book The Serpent and the Rainbow was turned into what I thought was an icky film by Wes Craven in 1988.1 In L.A. I had a habit of picking up review copies and other first editions at Cosmopolitan Book Shop, where I got Davis’s book. I always had good luck there. Continue reading “Le plus grand zombie is US”
This past summer in Cheyenne my uncle Richard Hughes told me of his hallucinations. That a man going blind might also view visions seems an insult to injury. Yet his condition has a name—Charles Bonnet syndrome—after an eighteenth-century Swiss naturalist and philosopher. As profiled in ACNR (Vol. 8, No. 5, 19) Bonnet first listed his grandfather’s
silent visions of men, women, birds, carriages, and buildings, which he fully realised were ‘fictions’ of his brain. Bonnet himself later underwent visual deterioration and experienced hallucinations typical of the syndrome named after him […].
(Compare with “Blinky” Watts, the sound effects technician character from David Lynch’s short-lived TV series On the Air, who suffers from Bozeman’s Simplex, which causes him to see “25.62 times as much as we do.”)
Six months prior I came across a song by Richard Dawson, which I wanted to write about tonight only to find that he too sees things (due to a genetic defect), but through a glass darkly, as Dawson toldThe Guardian‘s Michael Hann, who remarked, “There’s an almost hallucinatory clarity to his writing.” Continue reading “Seeing Things”