De Vulgari Eloquentia - or DANTE: THE BOARD GAME:
"Italy, late Middle Ages. The fabric merchants need to write down their contracts in a language that everyone can understand and the literates are looking for an alternative to the elite of the traditional Latin language. So, the Volgare, the language spoken by the common people, taken from the dialects spoken in the various Italian regions, starts to gain relevance.
During this period, Francesco D’Assisi writes his famous Canticle of the Sun and Dante writes the Divine Comedy both written in Volgare.
The players will have to do their part in the creation of this new language! But who will provide them the proper knowledge to understand the manuscripts in the different dialects? Who will succeed to uncover the secrets of the books inside the Papal Library? Who will embrace the religious life and who will remain a merchant? Some of the players can become a famous banker, someone else can climb the church’s hierarchy to be the next Pope! But in the end, who will be the most appreciated and respected for his status and his culture?
The aim of the game is to obtain more Volgare points. The players will gain VP from reading manuscripts, looking for important documents like the Canticle of the Sun or “The Riddle from Verona”. Players can also gain VP by improving their social status, for example, if the merchant become a banker or the Friar becomes a Benedictine Monk or the Cardinal becomes Camerlengo or Pope.
Moreover, VP can be gotten with money and with the support of Politicians, Noblemen, Abbesses, and of the Amanuensis.”
(courtesy Language Hat - http://languagehat.com/varia-iii/ )
"I admire Hughes, above all for the casual way in which he closed the door on the world. Lying back on a couch with the blinds drawn, popping pills and worrying about fad diets while watching the 170th rerun of *Ice Station Zebra*, reminds me in many ways of life today in the Thames Valley. Hughes May well have been more in touch with reality than one assumes."
JG Ballard (duh) New Statesman, 1977
Hughes, Jonathan Swift, pioneers in neuroses that became the structural paradigms of the future. An alternative theory of history where our neuroses shape the future. less guns germs and steel more fear fads & neurochemistry.
Every time I see Caesars Palace, I’m reminded of Father Christmas on Summer Holiday.
The outside flavourness of it. 1. The Venetian. 2. Having breakfast in Paris.
The Neon Sign Boneyard was great - about the best museum Vegas could have. Guided tour took you through the history of the signs and the history that was attached to them.
I’d missed all this Matt Goss being a thing in Vegas.
Here in the Nevada Desert, Goss has reinvented himself as a new Sinatra. A Peckham boy updating the moves Ol’ Blue Eyes invented. And rather than running him out of town for the cheek of it, the Americans have fallen for Goss in a way they never did before.
This feels like the sort of place Vegas is. Producing weird Gatsbys out of the desert.
For a while he had no money at all. 'All our assets had been frozen. I was down to the wire, I'm talking only being able to buy one cheeseburger a day.'
Now he can afford many cheeseburgers a day. But he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Not everybody is impressed. As Goss walks through the casino, flanked by bodyguards, on his way to the show, a lone voice from the card tables shouts out: ‘Douche bag!’ The singer spins on his heels, outruns his guards and goes close up, face to face with the offender.
'Just because I'm on the billboard doesn't mean I won't sort you out.'
Underneath that tux is a tattoo he calls The Mark: a circle pattern worn by a close group of friends, all sworn to loyalty, including his father and his stepbrother Adam.
It’s a strange picture of a man, who went through a fame-loss-fame cycle, and it’s shaped him in some weird ways. But, again, Vegas feels right for that sort of thing. He may not be ‘Britain’s Answer to Frank Sinatra’ as the billboard has it (it’s a quote from The Sun), but he maybe he is this version of America’s Frank Sinatra.
Five o’clock in the morning, and as the sun rises Goss is standing in the bay window of his suite, black tie hanging loose, with a tumbler of Johnnie Walker Black Label in his hand, looking down on Vegas.
'Look at this. It's not a fantasy. This is real.'
reading Al Alvarez’s Biggest Game in Town again. That sense of geological time as you come into Vegas gave me a strong feeling of Ballard, not erased by the experience of the urban strip.
And in the middle of this alien planet, a mirage.
It feels like an inexpert post-collapse attempt to preserve. Ersatz skimmings of other civilisations - that which those who survived, who were not the best, were able to save.
The outside-in hotels, through a drifting middle-America, looking almost refugee-like, are sustained and contained by a vast machine of statistics and neurochemicals.
'These fragments have I stored in favour of my ruin.'