Saturday, December 30, 2006

My headlines

The headline for the previous post was supposed to run thus: "Don't tell anyone, but I did some work!"

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Don't tell anyone

I wasn't supposed to do any work during the holidays. As you've read here, I've been slightly depressed and also may have had the first anxiety attack of my life. So, I decided to take it easy.

And I did. I watched the whole Tolkien film, ate lots of Xmas food and chocolate (and gained two kilograms), read some books (Fury by G.M. Ford is a good read, let me tell you that, even though it's a tad overlong with too many point-of-view characters) and saw the last episode of Six Feet Under (may have to blog about that later on).

But then, all of a sudden I wrote a short story. It took just twenty minutes before Six Feet Under last Tuesday and some ten to fifteen minutes during the commercials. It's an experimental fantasy story, with something of horror in it, told entirely as witness testimonies (even though the story spans, or at least seems to span, several years or even decades). It's very short, with only 1700 words, but I hope there's enough to tickle a fancy. I'm sending if off to a short story contest with the deadline next Sunday. Wish me luck! (It's appropriate that I now read through the story and also happen to read an interview with G.M. Ford in which he says that all writers have to do is conquer self-doubt.)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy holidays to everyone!

(A stupid title, if there ever was one. I don't seem to be very good to come up with inventive titles. There was a title in a music magazine, maybe New Musical Express, in the late eighties: "Yule love it!" I could use that one.)

Merry Xmas to all! (Even to those with shitmass coming!)

I've been alone at home for two days, as Elina and Kauto are with her parents. I'll pick Ottilia up later today and we'll catch with them on Saturday. While alone, I've been shopping for Christmas and watching the extended DVD versions of The Lord of the Rings. I watched the last two episodes yesterday. I'd like to comment on the movies, but I have some other business to do. Maybe after the holidays. Which, I hope, are happy to everyone! Don't beat anyone and don't eat too much! (My menu for these two days has been pizza and Chinese take-away, so I'm not full of Xmas food already!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Marcel Duhamel on Série Noire

Definition of noir literature or noir fiction is a bit elusive. Here's something to start with: it's a preface to a thing called Série Noire, a series of crime novels published in France, starting from 1946, and including mainly American and British hardboiled crime novels. Duhamel was closely linked with the Surrealists, so it's appropriate that he praises the subversive elements he finds in the books he selected for the series.

Let unwary readers be warned: books in the Série Noire cannot safely be placed in just any hands. Those who like Sherlock Holmes-type puzzles won't find what they're looking for. Neither will systematic optimists. The immorality generally accepted in this type of work solely to serve as a foil for conventional morality is just as much at home in our books as fine feelings, even just plain amorality. The spirit of such books is rarely conformist. In them there are police more corrupt than the criminals they're chasing. The nice detective doesn't always solve the mystery. Sometimes in our books there is no mystery. And sometimes there isn't even a detective. And so? So what remains is action, torment and violence, in all its forms, especially the most shameful - from beatings to massacres. As in good films, moods are expressed through actions, and readers who are fond of instrospective literature will have to do the reverse gymnastics. There is also love — preferably bestial — disorderly passion, pitiless hate. In short, our goal is quite simple: to keep you from sleeping.

Marcel Duhamel, founder of the Série Noire, 1948
translated by Karin Montin, 2006 (originally posted at
the Rara-Avis e-mail group; reprinted with the translator's permission)

From the files of Duane Swierczynski

I haven't as yet read Duane Swierczynski's second (ehem, third) crime novel The Blonde, but I really loved The Wheelman and hopefully will see it published in Finland at some point.

Here's the prologue from the book Swierczynski posted on his blog. It's thrilling as hell, but he was convinced that the book doesn't need it. So he cut it.

I have pretty much the same feeling about prologues: they are not necessary. Swierczynski quoted Laura Lippman saying "cut it out", but I could've said that to Laura Lippman herself when I read her, otherwise brilliant, The Sugar House: there's a prologue and I didn't find it necessary.

Fuckin' fuck

My blogger friend Tosikko said in a post a while back that she doesn't like cursing and foul words. What do you think she would say about this, the latest masterpiece by Allan Guthrie?

Monday, December 18, 2006

See for yourself

I've recently written an article about the amateur writers of erotic stories. It's finished now and will soon be published in Aamulehti's Valo weekly supplement, but the debate goes on. I tried to get some interviewees from a website featuring erotic stories and all I got was a bunch of whining bitches trying to get back at me. Check for yourself (sorry, it's in Finnish only, which makes me wonder why I wrote this in English in the first place).

Some stuff before Christmas

A depression is still lurking and I've given up doing any work for the rest of the year. I'll be reading books on a sofa for couple of weeks and then we'll see what comes.

I just finished Robert Ferrigno's first novel, The Horse Latitudes (1990). It's a good, comic, erotic, fast-moving noir thriller, with just a little too much of the late eighties' yuppie feel to it. And I could've preferred a bit tighter plot. Will have to pick up his much-fuzzed book, Praeyrs For The Assassin, about the Islamic United States of America, in the near future. This seems to have been reprinted as a paperback and is quite easily obtainable, otherwise I would've told the boys at Hard Case Crime to reprint it.

Now, off to read Brian Garfield...

I was walking home this morning after having taken Kauto to daycare and couldn't help noticing a poster for a gig by some death metal bands. The tagline: "Shitmass is coming..."


Raimo Väyrysen sosialidemokraattisuudesta on päkisty paljon ja on vaadittu, että Tuomiojan Tieto-Finlandia pitää harkita uudestaan. Panu Rajalakin kuulemma äityi ehdottamaan, että tällaisista palkintoraadeista pitää poliitikot ottaa pois. Väyrynen ei kait ole poliitikko, ja minusta on vähintäänkin outo ajatus, että ihmisellä ei saisi olla puoluepoliittisia mielipiteitä. Lisäksi Tuomiojan kirja ei ole mikään yksittäinen pyrskäytys, vaan johdonmukaisen kirjallisen tuotannon yksi osa.

Mietimme tosin Elinan kanssa, suhtautuisimmeko yhtä tyynesti asiaan, jos kirjan olisi tehnyt joku selkeästi kokoomuslainen politiikko ja palkinnon olisi valinnut joku kokoomukseen kytköksissä oleva tyyppi. Sanoin: "Kokkareilla ei ole yhtään vastaavaa tyyppiä kuin Tuomioja, joka edes voisi tehdä yhtä kiinnostavia ja uskottavia kirjoja." (Never mind this: it's about politics in Finland.)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mikko Koukin tekstimainontaa

Luin marraskuun Annan loppuun äsken työtauolla ja kirjoitin äkämystyneenä tällaisen palautteen lehden päätoimittajalle:

Olin järkyttynyt huomatessani Mikko Koukin mainostavan omaa elokuvaansa kolumnissaan marraskuun Annassa. Kolumni alkoi kohtuullisen kiinnostavasti hauskasta aiheesta, mutta muuttui tekstimainonnaksi puolivälissä, kun Kouki alkoi kirjoittaa Aku Louhimiehen elokuvasta Valkoinen kaupunki - sehän on Koukin käsikirjoittama, mutta tätä Kouki ei syystä tai toisesta maininnut tekstissään ollenkaan.

Minusta kolumniin piilotettu tekstimainonta sotii journalistin eettisiä ohjeita vastaan ja on outoa Annalta, että teksti on tässä muodossaan solahtanut toimituksellisen verkon lävitse, varsinkin kun lehden ilmestyminen osui juuri Valkoisen kaupungin ensi-illan tienoille.

I must be in my maniac mood

Depressed today, maniac tomorrow... as you can see, I'm not all depressed anymore. But I'll stop posting after this. It's a meme - sorry, in Finnish only. I got if from here. Hi there!

Käytän meemissä kannettavalle ladattua nigerialaisen 70-luvun funkin ja rockin kokoelmaa.

1. Sukupuolesi? Upside Down
2. Mikä on suurin unelmasi? No Discrimination
3. Mitä inhoat? Jeun Ko Ku (Chop'n Quench)
4. Millainen fiilis sinulla nyt on? La La La
5. Miten elämäsi sujuu ylipäätään? Allah Wakbarr
6. Mistä asioista pidät? Orere Elejigbo
7. Mitä haluaisit sanoa ihastuksellesi/tyttö-/poikaystävällesi? Tire Loma da Nigbehin
8. Missä haluaisit olla? Akayan Ekassa
9. Kuvaile elämää? Kita Kita
10. Kuvaile itseäsi? Ja Fun Mi
11. Mitä sinä haluaisit juuri nyt? Ifa

Okay, something more Pulpetti-like stuff

Earl Kemp has made an eZine out of his 1960 questionnaire, Who Killed Science Fiction. You can read it here. It makes fascinating reading, as the magazine science fiction has almost been killed during the last fourty years - reading Kemp's editorial makes you wonder what took so long. It's also intriguing to see so many signatures - Sturgeon, Asimov, Robert Bloch, Alfred Bester... Frank Kelly Freas has a pretty weird signature, don't you think.

(Thanks to Bill Crider for the link!)


Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe is getting back, now on tube. Rap Sheet's J. Kingston Pierce isn't exactly happy.


Christa Faust's interview on Tribe's blog: interesting reading. A writer who gets called "pulp writer/bondage artist/rockabilly (etc.) priestess" really can't be all that bad. And she's getting her novel out from Hard Case Crime - it's called Money Shot and it's about a porn actress getting a revenge on his former employers (so I understood it). And she's already written a crime novel about Mexican wrestling!

And yet another one

Here's one, with a different location. Courtesy Robert Seger.

Another one

Here's another one from the Daddy Blog sessions.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kauto and me: how's about this?

This is a publicity photo that was never used, much to my chagrin, for the Daddy Blog I keep with a friend of mine, Ville Hänninen, the comics connoisseur extraordinaire and fellow writer and editor. The photo was taken by Robert Seger, who's one of the best magazine photographers working in South-West Finland.

PS. The Finnish-speaking commentator in the previous post meant something like this: "And de wimmin sgream!" (She was referring to an old beer commercial.)

I'm the sexiest guy in the whole of Finland?!

Bill Crider (in an old post) posted about our prime minister, Matti Vanhanen, whom the French president dubbed the sexiest man in Finland (Vanhanen was also voted to the same position by the readers of a Finnish tabloid). Bill thinks I should've been the one nominated.

Well, I don't know. You can judge for yourself. These are photos from a session in which I modelled for my photographer friends, Susanna and Tero. The photos were never used with the article they were intended for, but I look good in some of them. Better than Matti Vanhanen, at least, eh? (I'll be posting some other modelling photos of me later on, so stay tuned! You're so lucky to have this!)

Depression hitting me hard?

I said to Elina yesterday: "Doing work sucks."

I've felt this way for several days now. I don't know what started it - maybe it's the on-going rain and the goddamn pre-Christmas darkness (for the foreigners reading this: there's absolutely no snow around here and it's fucking 8 degrees Celsius all the time and it's pouring water like Noah's waiting around the corner with his fucking animal ship) -, but I do know that I want it to end. I don't feel like doing anything - well, maybe I'd like to read.

Even watching television last night - Sopranos and Six Feet Under - felt like a burden. Well, okay, I was drawn to them when they started and especially Six Feet Under, with Nate's burial, was very, very touching. I was thinking I'd post about the series saying something like "it makes us want to get hurt so that we could feel ourselves heroic under the tragic circumstances", but I don't feel like doing it.

Well, I managed to do something: I finished another draft of my crime novel The Dostoyevsky Reel and will be sending it to a small press publisher that showed interest in it, when I sent them a short synopsis. We'll see what happens. I'm also sending my other crime novel to another, newly formed small press house - you remember that one, about the right-wing private eye working in the present-day Finland?

As I mentioned in passing, I was reading Laura Lippman's The Sugar House. I finished it the day before. It was very good, but I had some trouble in the climax when the baddy turned out to be a Democrat, Jewish and homosexual at the same time. I'll maybe go reading on a sofa after I've sent the manuscript to the publisher - maybe some Robert Ferrigno. I have his first, The Horse Latitudes, on my TBR pile.

Check out the new issue of the on-line crime fiction mag, Spinetingler. There's an interview of Duane Swierczynski, amongst all.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

James Reasoner in movies

My friend, American writer James Reasoner, has had his story filmed. It's the first for him - and I believe also for the director. Check out the results here. (James's comments on the story (he hasn't been able to see the film as yet) are here.) I thought the film is pretty good, a quite effective short story, told with only a voice-over narration and with a footage that looks like surveillance camera's point-of-view.

James mentions that the story has been reprinted once or twice. Here are the facts:

Graveyard Shift, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, November 1978, reprinted in Hard-Boiled, ed. Bill Pronzini & Jack Adrian, Oxford University Press 1995, and Love Kills, ed. Ed Gorman & Martin H. Greenberg, Carroll & Graf 1997.

A new killer track from Kompleksi

Just received this e-mail from my friend pHinn:

'Slick Little Girl', a new Kompleksi track

Can be found for a limited time from:

In collaboration with Sonic Temple Assassins (a.k.a. Jani Hellén of Forssa,Finland)

She's a slick little girl
she's a slick little girl...
Bambi eyes and baby-pink lips
and her Pilates hips
a little lip gloss won't hurt it
because you're worth it

She's a slick little girl
she's a slick little girl...

Her skin is made of Revlon,
Max Factor and teflon
Keeps her life in neat little boxes
girls like her are sly like foxes

She's a slick little girl
she's a slick little girl...

She's a shopping mall queen
won't ever vent her spleen
Never takes a digression
being bad for her complexion

She's a slick little girl
she's a slick little girl...
She's a slick little girl
she's a slick little girl...

Waiting for her Mr. Right
she's prowling for him all night
Not just a small boss, no
she read a tip from Cosmo
Got to be rich and famous,
isn't that contagious?
Got a grin like Cheshire cat
wants a chauffeur and pillbox hat

She's a slick little girl
she's a slick little girl...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Poe's best story

As I wrote here earlier (in a couple of posts, one of which was in Finnish) I was reading the collected stories of Edgar Allan Poe. I didn't like his humorous stories in the least (with the exception of "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" which seemed to balance the jokes and the horror quite well), but I'm glad I was able to finish the book. (Um, well, I skipped some stories for being just too damn awful. Another reviewer of the collection wrote in Helsingin Sanomat that the funny stories were delightful... I just cannot comprehend that statement.)

But nevertheless, I made up a small contest on the Fictionmags e-mail list I belong to and simply asked the people on the list to name Poe's best stories. Here are the results. The stories that got only one vote:

The Gold-Bug
Purloined Letter
The Black Cat
Loss of Breath
Ms. Found in a Bottle
William Wilson
The Tell-Tale Heart
King Pest

Two-vote stories:
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
A Cask of Amontillado

Three-vote stories:

The Masque of the Red Death
The Fall of the House of Usher

There were no four-vote stories.

And the winner, with five votes from the members of the Fictionmags list, is Hop-Frog! You can see an old illustration for the story on the left. I don't know the original source. (I'll be posting some other old Poe illos when I'll have the time.)

My favourites would've been "William Wilson" and "Ms. Found in a Bottle", which is quite intriguing and almost absurd.

What are your favourites?

Friday, December 08, 2006

What's with me?

Sorry, I haven't been blogging lately. There's no apparent reason for this, unless maybe it's that I've been busy and a bit stressed too. I'll start blogging again when it doesn't feel a complete waste of time.

In the meantime: I'm reading Laura Lippman's The Sugar House and enjoying it so far - but I'd skip the personal events in the hero's life if I were the author. But I'm not. This lady hasn't been translated in Finnish so far - should someone change this fact?

As you're aware, I'm also a small press publisher. A new issue of Pulp just came out, with articles on the porn novels of Stephen Frances, the Hank Janson creator, and porn stories of the Finnish film director Aarne Tarkas (yes, he did write some, in the last years of his life), reviews of Mike Ashley's wonderful Transformations and Feral House's delightful Sin-A-Rama and lots of other stuff.

The new issue of Isku is coming out - it's already the fifth and I'm not broke! There are stories by JA Konrath and Duane Swierczynski, with stuff by Finnish authors. I'm especially proud of the ultra-hardboiled story from 1940 by Reino Helismaa, the singer-songwriter who abandoned crime writing after the war, much to my chagrin.

There's also Seikkailukertomuksia/Adventure Stories that's meant to be like a good old all-genre pulp, with stories ranging from highwaymen to the Egypt of pharaohs, from the exotic India to the 19th century Finland. Check out the cover by Jukka Murtosaari. The mag's not out yet and may not be until next January, but it's going to be good!

Okay, that settles it for now. We are leaving to visit my mom tomorrow morning, back on regular schedule on Monday. And I'll promise to get back to blogging!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Why I'm reading books I don't like

You may remember that I was reading books that I don't normally care for, such as a James Bond adventure by John Gardner. I mentioned that the reason for this is a professional one. Well, I'm compiling and editing a reference book on thriller writers. I'll be writing entries for MacLean and Gardner, among others. It also seems that I have to write ones for Sidney Sheldon and Ridley Pearson, too. What one does for a living...

This merits mention because the postman brought today a letter announcing a 3,000 euro grand for the book! Yikes! I didn't actually believe for a second that I'd get this, since my experience has been that edited books don't get grants. But I'm not complaining.

(Foreigners reading this, especially Americans, must be pretty confused as to why I get grants: they are the most important source of income for Finnish writers, from poets to non-fiction writers. In Finland, there's no opportunity to live solely on book sales. Maybe for five writers, tops.)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bad, bad day

Two books went bust today. Our YA novel was turned down by a biggish publishing house today (via e-mail! what nerve!) and another publisher returned our offer about a book on Biblical first names.

Well, a writer friend said later when I complained about this over e-mail that the biggish publishing house is a conservative one, which probably explains why they wouldn't touch a book about the homosexuality of a young girl's dad. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Poetry blog

Decided to launch a blog for my poetry after all. They seemed a bit inappropriate here. The new blog, called Min Dikt (My Poetry in Swedish, that is, after the first collection of poems by the Finnish-Swedish Elmer Diktonius in 1921), is here.

(Hey, by the way, here's an article of mine about Diktonius. He's also in the picture, as you might've surmised by now.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The project

Umm... where to start? Okay, the project that we were supposed to be doing until our asses dropped off (or something to that effect) has been postponed. It's now due to be published next Fall.

So, now I could start blogging again. Where to start? I'm reading - again for professional reasons - John Gardner's almost awful James Bond entry, The Icebreaker (the one with Bond in Finland). It's boring, yet somehow pretty fluent. I've been told that Gardner was a really wonderful spy and thriller writer, but he went strictly downhill after signing to write James Bonds.

What else? Haven't really slept last night, so won't brag much now. Will be taking a shower soon, then having a cup of tea. Am writing an article about erotica writers and Marmite - not in the same article! Am listening to seventies' Nigerian funk - great stuff! Soon I'll be going to get Kauto from daycare. So, bye bye for now!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Busy, busy world

Just wanted to let you know that I'm working on a project in a quite tight schedule, so I'll have to cut the blogging down a little. I'll let you know in due time when everything's finished.

Here are some starred reviews for some books I've read and am reading (out of five):

T. Jefferson Parker: California Girl **** (starts slowly, but builds into a very effective tale of hippie age syndromes)
Ken Bruen: Rilke On Black ***½ (my first; could've preferred tighter plotting and less cultural references - after all, it's a book with a moron in the lead!)
Alistair MacLean: The Guns of Navarone **** (as some of you may remember, I've been having my doubts of MacLean: I read him in my teen years and liked him, but then I got intellectual and declared being bored with this type of thing; now this is work-related [will post later on this] and I find myself enjoying the quite crisp, yet literal style)
Edgar Allan Poe: collected short stories *-***** (the best being, in my mind, "William Wilson" [will post about this later on])

Okay, now back to the project No. Uno.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Velvet Underground ja Gor

(English summary: this is about the name of the band Velvet Underground and the Gorean society that lives somewhere in the net. It's a comment I sent to the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and two articles they had published. They didn't use my comments. It's really nothing important, though.)

Tony Conrad muisteli Harri Römpötin jutussa (HS 17.11.) Velvet Underground -bändin nimen historiaa - hänenhän on usein väitetty keksineen yhtyeelle nimen. Conrad kuitenkin vain kertoi jättäneensä samannimisen kirjan treenikämpälle. The Velvet Underground oli vuonna 1963 kioskipokkarina ilmestynyt reportaasikirja, jossa floridalainen toimittaja Michael Leigh tutustui ajan suosikkipuuhaan, vaimonvaihtoon eli swappingiin, erilaisissa asiaan vihkiytyneiden kerhoissa ympäri maan. Kirjassa oli itseään lääketieteen tohtoriksi tituleeranneen Louis Bergin esipuhe, jossa hän tuomitsi kansakunnan perversiot ja vertasi niitä muun muassa sotaa edeltävässä Saksassa rehottaneeseen dekadenssiin. Pokkarin kannessa nähdään piiska, fetisistinen nahkasaapas ja naamari, jotka ovat varmasti vedonneet Lou Reediin ja kumppaneihin. (Kuva täällä.)

Jussi Ahlroth taas kirjoitti lauantain lehdessä Visual Life -keinoelämästä ja mainitsi sen piirissä asustelevat goreanilaiset. Oikea termi olisi varmasti gorilaiset, koska sana viittaa John Norman -salanimellä ilmestyneisiin Gor-fantasiaromaaneihin, jotka ovat jo 60-luvun lopulta saakka kuvanneet planeettaa, jonka kulttuuriin kuuluu naisten täydellinen alistuminen. Suomentamatta jääneet Gor-kirjat ovat olleet jostain syystä juuri naisten suosiossa alusta alkaen ja tähän liittynee myös Ahlrothin mainitsema gorilaisten yhteisö.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Editing a pulp anthology

I've been compiling an anthology of old pulp fiction stories by writers from the Turku region. The book will be published by Pelipeitto next March and it will also feature a bunch of new writers, such as Boris Hurtta, Markku Soikkeli and Sami Myllymäki, and perhaps Kirsti Ellilä. There are also some old stories by such present-day veterans as Pirkko Arhippa and Totti Karpela.

But there will also be four or five stories from the thirties and fourties (well, at least three). I've tried to gather information about the writers' heirs. It seemed to be very difficult at first, when I tried to go the legal route, through magistrates and such, but then it clicked: I just googled. Well, it wasn't as simple as that, but it proved to be more fruitous than I first thought. I've managed to secure the rights for a story by Aake Jermo and will be phoning for some others next week. There was just one writer about which I'm not so sure what to do: there are three heirs, two daughters and a son. One daughter is suffering from a bad case of dementia and the other daughter and the son don't speak to each other. I talked to the son and he said everything's okay, but you'll have to ask the other daughter first. "But don't say anything about me or it backfires. She's a nuisance, totally unpredictable."

I didn't phone the other daughter, as I wanted to hear what the publisher had to say about this. Can we go only on the base of the son's okay? I'd really like to print a story by the said writer and wouldn't want to tackle with the bitter and angry heirs. The son said that his father would've been delighted to hear someone wants to reprint him, but it seems that not everyone thinks so.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I've been writing quite a lot poems lately, but haven't posted them here. I've been also thinking about setting up a (yet another!) blog for these poems. They do get in the way, don't you think?

Maksukehotukset putoilevat taivaalta,
syli on täynnä, kertaheitolla
tehtyjä valheita, pankit ovat muistoja vain,
tiliavaimet ovat oleellisia jos haluamme eteenpäin,
taivaaseen, helvettiin, on valta jos haluaa,
ota se pois, itseltäsi ennen kaikkea,
muilta takautuvasti, taannehtivasti,
remburssit heijastuvat seinään, liiketoimintakieltoon
on asetettu vain joitakuita, joita et tunne
etkä tule ikinä tuntemaan,
vaillingit lankeavat, vekselit tuleentuvat,
aikamme on täynnä totuuksia,
kuka niitä kuulee, napsii ilmasta,
heijastuu seinälle, metsän kaltaisena.


Heijastu seinälle, ammuta itsesi taivaalle,
kuoleman kaltaiset olotilat, ktooniset murrosikäiset,
ktooniset kuoleman kaltaiset nuorison käsitykset,
meillä on muovipusseja kivesten tilalla,
kauniit kukat käsissä, kuljemme kohti mitä sitten ikinä kuljemmekin,
muovipussit katatooniset, minun katatoniani,
oi katatonia, onni on maratooni juostuna ja piestynä,
keskittyminen kannattaa aina, keskittäminen on jo asia erikseen,
mene ja tee mitä pitää tehdä,
miehen osa, naisen vaisto, siitä välistä on löydyttävä jotain,
arvotontakin se saa olla,
kuinka minä tämän päätän, on ihan oma asiani,
hiukan dokumenttia, hiukan romanssia, eikö jätkä tajua mitään,
keskusteluista palasia, hyppäävät miehet, pomppivat naiset,
naiset katatoniassa, miehet perässä juoksemassa,
härät Pamplonan,
maagisuus on viimeinen toivomme.


Haluatko säästää muutokset, tallettaa rahat, viimeiset rahat,
varat on kuoletettu tästä päivästä maailmanloppuun,
koskaan et mihinkään pääse käsiksi,
loppu tulee jo ennen kuin olet mielestäsi päässyt alkuun,
lyhyet ilot ovat nautintojasi,
haluatko todellakin säästää itseäsi,
kasvojasi, häpeääsi, muuria jota vasten itket,
kuinka muka voisit tietää
mistä maailma on tullut, tietoisuuteesi,
kamalat väitteet ovat raivattavissa, tiet eteenpäin ja taaksepäin ovat auki,
sivuilta on sinun mentävä,
kuinka sen teet on oma asiasi,
tyttöystävät, siilit, pienet elottomat esineet, luonnonmukaiset,
meillä on niitä kohtaan velvollisuuksia,
moraalista on puhuttu jo maailman alusta saakka,
sitä on tutkittu, etiikkaa, journalismia,
meille on kerrottu paljon, mutta ei vielä oikein mitään,
meiltä on pimitetty paljon oleellista,
kuten jalkojen järjestys öisin, pääministerin sydämen muoto,
sinulle ne on kerrottu, mutta et tiedä mitä tiedolla tekisit,
myy ne, myy ne mustassa pörssissä, myy ne kaikille, kenelle tahansa,
saat korvaukseksi maailman mustan silmän.


Kaikki ajatukset, kulkevat pitkin katuja, katuja kiveyksiä maailmoja,
auringot kulkevat tuosta noin ja takaisin,
hiekkaa on minun suuni täynnä,
auringot auringot, minulla on tarpeita,
väistykäähän vähän, hajaantukaa,
maailmaan mentiin silloin ihan toista kautta,
sikiöt puhuvat pitkin metsiä,
meillä on menoa: matka kutsuu kohti Pariisia,
pariisia, riisiä, paperia pinkka, pinot, pinkat,
rahaa tukoittain, takataskut pullollaan,
takaisin ei ollut enää tulemista, joten lähdimme pois,

auringot ovat lavoilla, niitä pystytettiin illalla,
eilen illalla, muistatko vielä,

sinäkin olit siellä,
minä en, minä olin muualla, kaukana ratsastamassa, horisontissa,
taivaanrannassa, taivaallako on ranta,
kuka sen on keksinyt,
nouskaa ylös, metafora on tarpeeton tässä yhteydessä,

jonkinlainen järjestys on säilytettävä maailmassa.


Maailma kuiskaa korvaani:
lähde maailmaan, maailmasta,
pois, kokonaan, kausittain,
minulla on vastuita joita en voi välttää.
Minun on oltava muualla kun sinä olet täällä.
Vieressäni. Vieressäni lepää myös suuria kissapetoja.
Ne ovat valmiina.
Kuka muu on valmis.
Minusta tämä ei tunnu enää miltään.


En ole osannut järjestää sanojani oikein.
Joskus osasin. Silloin maailmakin oli toisenlainen.
Lapseni kysyy minulta: mitä toi tekee,
enkä osaa vastata koska en tiedä mikä on "toi",
salaperäinen tuo, kaukana kaukana oleva otus, olio,
viime kesänä nähty haikara,
katoilla pesivä outolintu,
viime kesänä koettu outous, toissapäivänä aamulla eilen illalla
ollut väsymys,
toinen lapseni sanoo minulle että toinen lapsistani näyttää pöllöltä:
linnut siis kulkevat mukanani tästä iänkaikkiseen.


Mikä heittyy seinälle, piirtyy mieleen, mikä heittyy mieleen, on piirretty
ikiajoiksi sydämeen. Mikä maailman banaalius siinä tuntuu.
Kukka on kaunis kuin sydämesi,
rakastuminen on ollut maailman ajoista asti tunnettua,
tutkitaan sitä, niin kuin journalismia tai etiikkaa,
maailmanräjähdystä, näinkö systeemit loppuvat, ihan tuosta vain,
isolla pamauksella vai olemattomalla pierulla,
pierukin on sana jota et välittäisi käyttää,
sinulla on käskyvalta, sidottu, ratkaisu-,
avaimet oviin joiden takaisesta maailmasta et tiedä vielä mitään,
tiikeri vai nainen, nainen vai tiikeri,
kummasta astut, hehe, siinäpä sinulle dilemma, varsinainen ongelma,
ratkaise se ja olet oman maailmasi valtias.


Vaimoni kirjoittaa kännykällä,
linnut kirjoittavat itsensä,
glöginmaistelu saa jäädä,
kupit ovat tyhjentämättä, vaimolla on pyyhe pään päällä, turbaanina,
se tuskin on ideologinen kannanotto,
harmillisesti maailmasta poistetut tilanteet.


Keskusteluryhmä on lakkautettu, sanoo kirjallisuuteen keskittynyt nettisivu.
Se on minusta jo jonkinlainen paradoksi,

rautateitten kaltainen poliittinen manifesti,
linnut ja puitten lehdet ovat valmiita protestiin.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

From Lumière to Tawny Kitaen

Recent films seen:

on Monday, Just Jaeckin' s (of the Emmanuelle fame) Gwendoline. It's based on John Willie's famous bondage cartoon from the 1930's, but takes many liberties with the original text. The film was probably made in 1984 to capitalize on the success of Spielberg's and Lucas's Raiders of the Lost Ark: there's the same locale in South-East Asia, the same cynical hunk adventurer (played by very handsome Brent Huff). The sadomasochist imagery, however, was pure Willie and Jaeckin who'd directed also The Story of O couple years earlier. I don't know if this was a good film or not - it has a pretty big budget and lots of action going on, but the erotic content - save the sadomasochism - is pretty naïve and laughable. Tawny Kitaen in the lead has a stupid 80's haircut - but then again she was the wife of the Whitesnake lead singer! The Finnish censorship had been quite harsh on this and several of the fighting scenes had been cut severely. It was enjoyable and funnily entertaining, though, and the audience was having lots of fun - they even started applauding and clapping hands when the film was over!

On Wednesday, the reconstruction of the first film screening ever showed in Finland. This was already in 1896, in Helsinki's Kaivohuone, and consisted of the films by the Lumiére brothers. The Finnish Film Archive had done some research and ordered the most likely films from the Lumière estate. The new screening consisted of 22 films and was accompanied by the lecture of archivist Juha Kindberg. There was one very interesting point in the lecture: The most famous train-arriving-on-a-station film wasn't the first film ever, as is often being said, as it was possibly made only in 1897, based on the the age of the Lumière kids shown in the picture. Lumières had made earlier some train films and one of these was shown yesterday - it wasn't as striking as the most famous one, which probably explains the error is still prevalent.

Some other, rather trivial points: the Lumière films seemed to be precursors of many home movies to come. Maybe someone could write a history of home movies and start it from Lumière (and perhaps some others who preceded them; I haven't seen enough specimens to really suggest anyone). It would seem that the same narrative regulations are at use both by Lumière and many 8mm and VHS photographers who capture only random shots of family and domestic life and travel scenes.

Lumières didn't really succeed at bringing humour to their pieces. Especially the slapstick scenes are very, very bad. However, one of the films that shows some soldiers trying to get up on a horse reminded me of Spede Pasanen (note to foreigners: Spede Pasanen was a famous Finnish TV and movie humourist; not a very good one, in my mind). The gag just keeps going on and on and on... Vesku Loiri tai Simo Salminen olisi hyvin voinut olla siinä hyppimässä hevosen päälle.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Keskustelua Valkoisesta kaupungista ja ideologiasta ja elokuvien poliittisuudesta

Kävin katsomassa Aku Louhimiehen Valkoisen kaupungin ja kirjoitin siitä arvion, joka ilmestyy jonkin ajan kuluttua Peili-lehdessä. Postitin arvion ystävälleni Jussi Parikalle ja sähköpostissa kävimme seuraavan keskustelun, joka alkaa sitaatilla jutun lopusta:

Olisin vain suonut, että Louhimies viimeinkin luovuttaisi itsestäänselvistä kulttuurisista viittauksista, joihin hän on ollut Levottomista asti rakastunut: siinä oli Camus ja Sivullinen, tässä Scorsese ja Taksikuski. Alun monologi on suora kopio Robert De Niron monologista, mutta Scorsese osasi Taksikuskissaan sijoittaa De Niron hahmon hajoamisen kiinnostavaan ideologiseen kehykseen.

- hyvä juttu, tuli mieleen, että eikö Louhimiehen taksikuskin maailman valuminen tyhjiin sijoitu kovin mielenkiintoiseen yhteiskunnalliseen taustaan, ts. 90-luvun jälkeinen lama, yms.? Siis myös ns. "ideologinen" kehys? t.jussi

Joo, mutta se ei käy tarinasta ja elokuvasta mistään ilmi.

sitä ei eksplikoida esim. sanoin, mutta jokainen katsoja, jolla hiukan "taustatietoa" voi ajatella tämän linkin. lisäksi: mitä kulttuurintuote ilmaisee ei ole vain jokin tietty sisältö, tietty teesi, ideologinen ajatus (vaikkapa:uusliberalismi ajaa ihmiset kaaokseen), vaan koko elokuva on ilmaus, osa sitä yhteiskuntaa jossa se syntyy. eli leffa ei representoi aikaansa, vaan on sitä.Esim.: synkkä elokuva ei heijastele aikaansa, vaan "aikakausi" koostuu juuri näistä elokuvista ja muista ilmauksista, jotka eivät ole siitä irrallisia.näin siis itse ajattelisin! t.j.

Joo, olet varmasti oikeassa, mutta sehän tarkoittaisi sitä, että kritiikille ei jäisi tilaa. Ja täytyy taiteilijan edelleenkin silti osoittaa jollain tavalla se, että hän on itse tietoinen siitä mitä hän aikoo omalla teoksellaan sanoa ja osoittaa että hänellä on siihen keinot ja taito. Mutta tiedän kyllä, minulla on taipumus heittäytyä vanhanaikaisen ideologiseksi tämmöisissä kritiikeissä, mikä tekee minusta aikamoisen jäärän. Mutta minähän olenkin vanha kommari!

joo, monet filmit voi ehkä ajatella ns. mikropoliittisiksi, eli vaikka ideologinen teema jää lausumatta niin niiden audiovisuaalinen ilmaisu voidaan tulkita tietyllä tavalla esteettis-poliittiseksi. Tähän Godard taisi tavallaan viitata kritisoidessaan sitä Fahrenheit-leffaa, Michael Moorea: se on lausutusti anti-Bush, mutta ilmaisultaan aivan samaa - ts. käyttää samanlaisia av-muotoja, jotka implikoivat tietynlaisen havainnon mikropolitiikan kuvan ja äänen tasoilla...mutta en minäkään ideologiakritiikkiä vastaan ole! :-)t.j.

Ymmärrän ajatuksen, mutta tuntuu Louhimiehen kohdalla hiukan kaukaa haetulta... sen ilmaisussa ei ole mitään erityisen haastavaa, jonkalaista Godard varmasti kaipaisi. Ja leffa on sitäpaitsi kuvattu digikameralla - eli siinä on Godardin mukaan pelkkää positiivia, eikä negatiivia, mikä heikentäisi sen ideologista (mahdollista ideologista) sisältöä. Ja kyllähän minä nautin siitä, että elokuvista löytyisi hedelmällisiä ristiriitaisuuksia, jotka tekisivät niistä mahdollisesti subversiivisen, mutta tästä ei löytynyt sellaista, ei sitten millään. Olisin voinut olla elokuvaa kohtaan paljon ankarampi jos olisin halunnut.

joo, enhän minäkään tätä leffaa ole nähnyt, joten spekulointia sen tv-sarjan perusteella, lähinnä. Itse väittäisin, että teemasta saisi paljon irti - poliittistakin, ei ideologista ehkä. Ja Godardin digi-kritiikistä olen kovin eri mieltä...toisin kuin joku von Bagh... t.j.


(Kirjoitin vielä vastauksessa siitä, että Valkoisesta kaupungista saisi varmasti kiinnostavan analyysin - esimerkiksi siitä, miten elokuvassa kuvataan katsomista - mutta sen paikka ei ole keskipitkässä, noin 3000 merkin pituisessa arvostelussa. Valitettavasti tämä viesti katosi sähköposteja tuhotessa johonkin, joten sitä en pysty enää rekonstruoimaan.)

Vanhaa suomi-pulpia

(English summary: I read some old Finnish pulp stories.)

Lueskelin junassa joitain vanhoja kotimaisia lukemistolehtinovelleja. Olavi Tuomolan "Hantshungin kultainen buddha" (Musta Kuu 1/1945) on kohtuullinen pulp-seikkailu Pertti Kaarna -nimisestä kapteenista, joka sekaantuu Kiinassa seikkaillessaan uskonnollissävytteiseen kapinaan ja saa käsiinsä vahingossa buddhapatsaan. Tuomola oli forssalainen, mutta toimi Turussa muutaman vuoden ajan asianajajana.

Olavi Linnukselta pistelin kaksi novellia, joista toinen oli aiemmin mainitsemassani Keltainen kotka -korsulehdessä. Kummassakin novellissa seikkailee komisario Vahtonen, joka oli Linnuksen vakiohahmo romaaneissakin. Tarinat olivat lyhyitä ja ihan kelvollisia murhamysteereitä. Keltaisessa kotkassa ollut tarina (sori, en muista nimeä!) käytti hyväkseen, ehkä vähän kömpelösti, suomalaisten ennen sotaa vallannutta intoa muuttaa Amerikkaan. Tarinassa "Kuolemanuhka saharakennuksen kellarissa" (teoksessa Hiljainen yö, toim. Outsider, Lehtiyhtymä 1944) Vahtonen kaapataan - hänelle on varattu mielikuvituksellinen kuolema.

Aake Jermolta on samaisessa Hiljainen yö -kirjassa novelli nimitarina, joka on ronski juttu toimittajasta, joka sekaantuu puolivahingossa salakuljettajien bisneksiin. Hiukan hätäinen, mutta kohtalaisen sujuva. Suomen kirjallisuus ei ilmeisesti menettänyt mitään, kun Jermo hylkäsi jännityskirjallisuuden. Jermo toimi myös Turussa ,40-luvulla toimittajana, mm. Uudessa Aurassa.

Luin myös kaksi Osv(ald). Rahkosen novellia. "Liian monta onnettomuutta" (edelleen Hiljaisesta yöstä) oli juttu nuoresta toimittajasta, joka selvittää perheessä peräkkäin tapahtuvat kolme murhaa. Klassisen perinteen ihailijat pitäisivät monia novellin juttuja huijauksina, ja vähän minäkin. Hauskempi oli "N:o 13" (teoksessa 14 matkustajaa, toim. Outsider, Lehtiyhtymä 1945), joka oli amerikkalaistyyppinen juttu insinööristä, joka kehittää uudenlaisen taistelukaasun. Hiukan hatusta tempaistu suurrikollinen N:o 13 anastaa kaasun kaavan, mutta jää jalkoihin...

Holger Harrivirralla, joka paremmin tunnetaan suomalaisen elokuvan uutterana kameramiehenä (hänellä on alan muistelmat Lykättävät lyhdyt ja kannettavat kamerat, 1983), oli novelli "Mies putosi pikajunasta...", niinikään jo mainitussa Hiljainen yö -kokoelmassa. Se on ihan ookoo tarina ruumiista, joka löytyy ratapenkalta - missä on murhaaja?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Kompleksi remix

Here's an e-mail I received from my friend pHinn:

Here is our brand new remix for Boys of Scandinavia's ( 'Dead End Beat'. It's downloadable for a limited time only, so try to check it soon...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sandra Scoppettone on Dan Brown

I went over to Sandra Scoppettone's blog via Lee Goldberg's blog and noticed this comment which struck me as pretty accurate:

I do pray that The Da Vinci Code clones will disappear. They aren’t real writers. In my opinion they’re opportunists. I don’t know what to call the agents who want/expect writers to imitate Dan Brown. Maybe stupid is the word.


It was Father's Day today. (I don't know what the exact English word is.) Got three (!) cards and two presents from Ottilia and one card and one present from Kauto. It was nice and sweet, even though with those two kids it's impossible to have the day only to yourself, even though there's one other parent in the house alongside yourself. Nevertheless, I love them very much. Don't know what I'd do without them. (Well, I do, but you know what I mean.)

Am going to Helsinki to shoot this year's last insert for the TV show I've been doing some stuff. It's maybe my last. I think I reported a while back that the show was to be aborted (after a measly year!), but I heard only recently that it's going be on production for the coming Spring after all. We'll see if I'm in or not.

You may remember about me ranting about a small town of Loimaa and its flea markets and charity shops. Well, one of them - the best of them - is closing down. (Did I mention this already?) We went there for the last time (well, you never know) and still found some stuff. We are (Elina and I, that is) also making an article about the change in flea markets in Finland in the last ten years. The closing down of the charity shop in Loimaa is the signal: the times, they are a-changin'. There will be no more these cozy and messy shops, only sterile and uninteresting and chaotic flea markets where you'll put your stuff up for others to sell.

Susanna and Tero were there taking pictures. They do great work and would post some of them here, but they haven't mailed them yet. Which reminds me that I haven't posted any pictures from our holidays and weekends at the cottage. Should, any of these days. Kerrankos meikäläisen jotain pitäis, as the Finns say.

Over 20 blonde jokes at Duane Swierczynski's blog.

Friday, November 10, 2006

This and that: quick observations, in many languages

1. I just can't approve of Saddam being killed. A state cannot, must not kill its own citizens. (And there's also the logical fallacy that was pointed out by Finnish philosopher Tuomas Nevanlinna in today's Nyt supplement: death sentence does only what's evitable anyway and it also saves the person from suffering. It has also been mentioned that it's convenient for the US administration that Saddam cannot now be questioned about the US support he got while gasing the Kurdi people.)

2. Listening to Peaches's Fatherfucker. Great stuff.

3. T. Jefferson Parker's California Girl is a bit slow.

4. Ensi viikolla Avanto-festivaali ja vuoden kulttuuriteko: Sähkömetsä-sarja, jossa on suomalaisen kokeellisen elokuvan koko historia!

5. Dokumentti Petteri Jussilasta viime tiistaina on ollut upeinta suomalaista tv-ohjelmaa vuosiin! Absurdi, pelottava, järkyttävä - kuin toisesta maailmasta.

Edit: Otin Kuros-kohdan pois, koska aloin tuntea itseni tyhmäksi höpöttäessäni sellaisia.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Outsiderin Atoroxin edeltäjä

(English summary: this is about a pulp magazine story that I recently found. It's a precursor of the Atorox robot stories by the same writer, hitherto unreprinted.)

Käväisin eilen yliopiston kirjastossa tutkimassa sinne tilaamiani lehtiä ja muita julkaisuja. En ollut edes muistanut tilanneeni sinne Keltainen kotka -nimistä lehteä - se oli korsulukemisto vuodelta 1943, julkaisijana Lehtiyhtymä. Lehdessä oli pilakuvia, pakinoita, novelleja, sen semmoista. Ei mitään kovin mullistavaa. (Laitan lehdestä myöhemmin lisää kuvia, jahka ehdin.)

Paitsi että sivulta 75 eteen tuli Outsiderin eli Aarne Haapakosken novelli "Insinööri Murron Robomax". Tarina kertoo hiukan sekopäisestä keksijästä, joka kehittelee ihmismäisen robotin, ja kutsuu muutaman tutkijaystävänsä tutustumaan uuteen keksintöön. Robotti ei käyttäydykään aivan odotetunlaisesti... Outsider tarjoilee tuttuun tapaansa loppukäänteen, mutta novelli on aivan liian lyhyt tehdäkseen kovin kummoista vaikutusta.

Kuten kuvasta ja robotin nimestä käy ilmi, kyseessä on lähin esikuva Outsiderin neljä vuotta myöhemmin debyytin tehneelle Atoroxille. On keskusteltu paljon siitä, kehittelikö Haapakoski Atoroxin täysin itsenäisesti vai plagioiko hän surutta ranskalaista Otomox-sarjakuvaa, joka ilmestyi vuonna 1943. Robomax-tarinan perusteella hän plagioi sarjakuvaa saman tien, jos hän vain sai Pic et Nic -nimistä lehteä Suomeen sodan aikana. Jonkin verran epätodennäköiseltä se kyllä kuulostaa. Yhteensattumia on tosin liikaa: Outsiderin paha keksijä esimerkiksi on romaaneissa Minax, ranskalaisessa sarjassa hän on Minuscus. André Mavimuksen ja Roger Roux'n sarjakuvassa Otomoxkin näyttää aika samalta kuin löytyneen novellin Robomax.

For the record: Simo Sjöblomin dekkaribibliografian mukaan "Insinööri Murron Robomaxia" ei ole julkaistu kirjamuodossa, mutta on mahdollista, että se on ilmestynyt joissain hänen toimittamissaan Outsiderin tarinoita sisältävissä vihoissa. Jos joku tietää, niin ilmoittautukoon!

En tiedä, kuka on tehnyt novellin alkuperäiskuvituksen. Keltaista kotkaa kuvitti paljon Ami Hauhio ja tyyli voisi olla Hauhiota, mutta varma en ole, koska signeeraus puuttuu.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Here's a link to four films I've commented on IMDb. I don't really know what links those four films, but you can find it out yourself.

Buster Keaton commercials

Here's Buster Keaton doing Alka-Seltzer commercials in the late fifties. I like the man's voice and outlook. He could've done - and should've done - better in his late careet. The last film he ever made (hope I'm remembering this correctly) was a 30-minute film with him travelling through Canada in a motorized hand car. (Resiina in Finnish, if you don't get that. I'm not really sure what the actual word for the vehicle should be.) The film is not funny and it's too long - a sad ending to a career of one of the most important comedians in the history of cinema.

Culture-oriented Sunday

Vow! I want more days like this! I had a most culture-oriented Sunday and I felt it was just what I needed. Not much of it was work-related, but maybe it was only for the good.

I saw two films: The Falcons (1970) by the Hungarian István Gaál and The Dark Mirror (1946) by Robert Siodmak. We also viewed the last week's episode of Six Feet Under that I had taped. On top of that, I was able to finish The Lincoln Lawyer. I also had time to start a new book, T. Jefferson's Parker California Girl.

The Falcons was a truly compelling film, something which the theaters don't show anymore. It's a film about training falcons and the best way to interpret the film is to see it as a political satire, with falcons representing the spies and snitches working inside the Communist system and praying on the ordinary citizens (which are symbolized by herons and magpies). The film trusted on the spectator to understand the symbolism and didn't give out any information on the characters and why they were doing what they were doing. There's only one scene in the film that says that falcon farm is owned by state. Other than that, it's just a falcon farm in the middle of Hungarian pusta plains. Strangely compelling and quietly rewarding.

The Dark Mirror, on the other hand, was a nice little film noir from the early-to-middle years in the noir cycle, about identical twins who are played by Olivia de Havilland. The tricks were very good, and so was de Havilland. The plot was a bit forced and the outcome was pretty obvious, even though I had some doubts in the middle as I was hoping for some twists. The ending was forcedly happy, but the photography was very good and there's always something very intriguing about the early noir's fascination with double identities and mirror personalities.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly has been hailed as one of Connelly's best, but I wouldn't say so. It was pretty cool and detached for Connelly, whose series characters, Harry Bosch and Terry Caleb, are quite hotheaded and deeply involved in their cases. In this one, there's not the same dramatic drive. I was hoping that the plot would have more twists (there's a scene in which I thought it would get as complex as the best Bosch novels), but it's surprisingly straight-forward. Nevertheless, a very entertaining and suspenseful novel.

Okay, now I'll have to get back to work.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer

I'm in the middle of reading Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer which I believe is still his newest one, even though it's from 2005. It's great so far, even though there's a feeling of having read something similar before. I get that a lot when I read thrillers of this kind, but Connelly is so much more engaging than many of his colleagues and his characters are real and vivid and full-blown, not simply cardboard. I'll post later thoughts when I'm through with the book.

I was also thinking that one of Connelly's Harry Bosch novels (The Lincoln Lawyer is a one-off) should be included in the top 10 detective novels list, but I couldn't name a favourite. What's the book that has Bosch investigating kiddie porn? Is it Angels Flight? That could be my choice.

By the way, I've interviewed, via e-mail, Connelly couple of times and had a chance to meet him for a live interview two years back. He's a very nice guy. I was quite awkward in the interview, but could relax afterwards and we chatted for quite a while in a Russian restaurant in the middle of Helsinki.

A song for Anna Politkovskaya

Here's a song Finnish musicians made for Russian journalist and activist Anna Politkovskaya who was murdered some weeks back. Check it out. The song is great and the video has Enligsh subtitles. The English translation (and some other stuff) of the song is found here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Other top detective novels

These things just keep popping up in my head.

I don't know how I was able to forget Arthur Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles. It's still an interesting read, even though I'm not a fan of whodunnits. There's a strong atmosphere of grand adventure in the Holmes stories. In this, Doyle comes close to actual horror writing - in which he was quite apt.

James Crumley's The Last Good Kiss (translated in Finnish as Viimeinen kunnon suudelma). I've read this only once - on a trip I made with two friends of mine to Nordkapp, the northernest town in Europe. We had an old Beetle for a car and it took us four or five days. We slept in a tent at roadsides - I remember once putting the tent up almost in someone's backyard, because we couldn't see almost anything in the night! We almost hit a reindeer somewhere in the northern Norwegian, but I saw the car's lights' reflection on the animal's eyes and yelled "stop!" just in time.

I liked the book very much, but couldn't care for Crumley's The Mexican Tree Duck. Didn't even try the other translated novels.

Charles Willeford's Sideswipe, with Hoke Moseley. The book convinced me that Willeford is a genius. I'd had some trouble with some of his novels, but not anymore. I also like Willeford's early novel Wild Wives, which is a PI story. It's quite crude, but very exhilarating. I so hope that a Finnish paperback publisher would've grabbed this in the early sixties - or any other Willeford paperback. No such luck.

We want Jonathan Valin!

Over at The Rap Sheet, there was a recent poll on what mystery writer readers would like to return. Most nominations went to Jonathan Valin, one of the hardboiled crime writers who emerged in the late eighties. I've read the only translated Valin, Kosto (Book Studio 1996; originally Extenuating circumstances, Delacorte 1989) and while I liked it quite a bit - the atmosphere was nicely gritty and Valin's hero, Harry Stoner, was a likable character - I was also disturbed by the manner in which Valin described the people who are into sadomasochism. It was like they were all potential killers, maniacs on the loose, ready to inflict pain on anyone and enjoy it. I found that quite unlikable in the book and haven't grabbed any other Valins to read, even though I have one whose title escapes me.

Here's what I got to say about the book some years back (in Finnish).

Friday, October 27, 2006

A cartoon with Kauto and me

I've been posting here occasionally cartoons that I've made - mainly about my family. Here's another one - it's made on a train ticket and I think I made it on a train, perhaps to amuse Kauto and try to keep him away from doing any harm.

I found the drawing recently in a bag I hadn't used for a long time and wanted to save it for the future reference. (Note the sarcastic tone.)

In the picture Kauto is wearing a t-shirt with a chainsaw. I think the shirt was actually on me - it's from H&M. Instead I'm having a nice flower shirt the kind of which I own quite many, in different colours.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This and that on crime fiction, pt. 2: Blacksad, Malet/Tardi, Poe

Read the Spanish graphic novel Blacksad by Juan Canales and Juanjo Guardino last night. It's a very well-drawn noir piece set in the late early fifties New York and John Blacksad is a private eye in a trench coat. What sets him apart from some other trench-wearing PI's is that he's a cat. Other characters are also animals - there's a duo of a rhino and a bear working as bodyguards, a gorilla being a champion boxer, a Schaefer is a police lieutenant, and so forth.

Blacksad is very well drawn, as I said, and some of the animal characters are aptly described, but it left me a bit cold. The graphic novel has won some prizes, but for me it was just another sadly clichéd private eye yarn. Even the noir mood seems worn out. The plot wasn't much and the script writer did unnecessary tricks to hide the baddie - unnecessary because he hadn't been seen earlier. It's a series, maybe it'll get better.

While reading this, I was reminded of yet another great detective novel: Leo Malet and Jacques Tardi's 120 Rue de la Gare. I don't know if it's been translated in English (from a quick Google, I'd say not), but some of Malet's Nestor Burma novels are available in English. This one is a graphic novel by Tardi based on Malet's novel and having read two or three Malet's novels, I'd say that this is hugely better. Tardi's drawings bring depth and width to the plot (which isn't very easy to follow; it's about WWII time secrets) and his characters are warm, yet robust. Certainly one of the top 10 material, most certainly.*


On Poe: I got my hands on the finished product yesterday and could concentrate on it more fully. Just finished his first crime story, perhaps the most influential crime story in the annals of literature, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". It's a gripping piece alright, but no one would get away with it anymore: "The murderer is a friggin' monkey? C'mon, get outa here!"

From the ones I've just read, "A Descent into the Maelstrom" is one of the most powerful. Poe's funnies are, as I said earlier, nothing to laugh about and I dropped one or two of them. Just looking at his picture is enough to guarantee me that this man is not funny. (Is he having a hangover in that picture, by the way? Look at those eye bags!)

* I was checking up on Malet on Abebooks and found this. For only 15-year old paperbacks, they sure come pricy. It also seems that some of Tardi's graphic novels based on Malet have been translated in English, but don't seem to be available. Check out this from Thrilling Detective.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This and that on crime fiction

Remembered another great detective novel:

James Reasoner: Texas Wind (very short, with some 130 pages or so in the trade paperback reprint, but very satisfactory)

Dorothy Hitchens's Sleep With Slander could also just sneak in. Margaret Millar has a private eye in her great novel, A Stranger In My Grave, but I don't really know if it's a detective novel. But that could prove Peter's point when he said in a comment:

"Why can't we agree to call everything "crime," and just be happy? That way, we would stop having to worry so much about definitions and disagreements when we make lists."


Finished James Hadley Chase's espionage thriller, Have This On Me (1969), late last night. Pretty much okay: the action starts at page one and doesn't let up until the latter half and then it drags a bit just before it bursts again. One of the most entertaining Chases I've read. This one features Mark Girland, an ex-CIA agent who thinks freelancing is more profitable, in Prague after 30,000 $ some soldiers have stolen.


Saw Akira Kurosawa's High And Low (or Taivas ja helvetti, as it's known in Finland - meaning Heaven and Hell) last night at the film archive. It's based on a 87th Precinct novel by Ed McBain, I think the title of that is Ransom. I don't know if I have read that one or not - it's been years since I've read any McBains (so many years that I'm actually pretty ashamed of myself) and I don't recall the details anymore. However, the first hour of the film is pretty damn striking: Toshiro Mifune, of the Yojimbo fame (one of the truly great heroes!), plays a shoe factory owner who's into a big money. Suddenly he gets a call - his son has been kidnapped. It's soon revealed, though, that the kidnapper has the shoemaker's servant's son instead. Will Mifune pay or not? He doesn't have to, but the servant is a friend to the family and the two sons are each others' buddies. But if he pays, his business and life are ruined.

After the first half, the film, yet well made, turns into a just another police procedural, and at times too long (and the Finnish subtitles didn't translate all the dialogue, which was frustrating). The ending was pretty powerful, though. The scenery in the film is pretty ordinary, save for the first half of the film, with striking black-and-white CinemaScope (don't really know, if it's CinemaScope, maybe it's something like TohoScope) strictly inside Mifune's modern villa. Some nice touches here and there, though.


Okei, sanotaan jotain Huhtiniemestäkin. Tuleva romaanikirjailija minussa ajattelee oikeastaan vain sitä, että rintamalla -44 tehtiin myös ufo-havaintoja.

Michael Marshall

When I was glancing through a list of coming books, I was disappointed to see yet another serial killer novel translated - Michael Marshall's The Straw Men was translated and it appeared earlier this year. I've been bored with the phenomenon for many years now and would really love to see some more original crime writing being translated.

But then I read this at the Rap Sheet (it has become a very popular blog at our house):

"All this reminded me of the time, a few years back, when I interviewed Michael Marshall, author of The Straw Men, The Lonely Dead (U.S. title: The Upright Man), and Blood of Angels. All three of those novels center around a huge conspiracy involving a cabal of genetically linked serial killers who--get this--date from the dawn of man, and continue to ply their devious talents even today. Pretty incredible, sure, but also terrifically imaginative and involving. I was concerned, after the release of Angels in 2005, that Marshall might return to his roots in horror and science fiction (where he’s known by his full name, Michael Marshall Smith). But the good folks over at HarperCollins UK have reassured me that Marshall will be releasing another left-of-field crime novel next spring, this one titled The Intruders. Let me just say that I’m looking forward to that book as if it were a missing lottery ticket."

Behind the link there's a lengthy interview with Michael Marshall (here's the link again). I'll definitely check the book out.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Edgar Allan Poe

I've been reading a yet-to-come Finnish collection of Edgar Allan Poe's stories - it includes all of his short stories! The book has over 1000 pages and it must be a huge item. I haven't seen the actual book yet and I've been reading the book on a computer screen from a PDF file, which is pretty tiresome and doesn't really make justice to Poe. I was supposed to write a review of the collection for the coming weekend (when there's the Helsinki Book Fair), but I just won't make it in time. Should have the real book in my hands, I could lie back on a couch and dwell in Poe's fantastic countries...

To my mind, though, Poe seems a bit dated now. It's perhaps a mistake from the publisher (it's Teos, by the way) to publish all of Poe's stories, because his funny stories aren't funny in the least and his science fiction seems only obscure by now.

But the new translation (by the Harry Potter translator, Jaana Kapari) brings out some new issues in Poe. More than ever before (in Finnish, that is), he seems now firmly to have been a precursor (and a contemporary) to many French poets. We've known all along that Baudelaire admired Poe and translated him, but Poe's influence on the generation of Baudelaire (and the next one, and perhaps many to come) has been huge. Poe's parodies, pastiches, wordplay, exuberant examples of literary allusions, heteroglossia (hey, I still know these words!), they all make him actually a quite postmodern writer. (Or post-postmodern.) Young scholars and translators have been digging up some mid-19th century and Decadent writers who all have their resemblances to Poe and been hailing them - such as Gerard de Nérval and J.-K. Huysmans.

If Poe's stories were to appear now, they'd be hailed as new weird, and the writer would be compared to Susanna Clarke and her Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (which I didn't like at all and which, to be true, isn't actually a part of the new weird movement at all, but I'd link the two). For some reason (someone should explain the cultural logic of this) it's the obscurity that appeals to the new readers and writers, and therefore Poe could now become out of the horror and the inventor of the short story ghetto he's been in.

So, could one say that Poe isn't dated, but he's very actual, because the new writers in the genre hark back to the cryptic language and weird self-invented mythology and literariness of Poe. He has been seen as the precursor of bad pulp writing (and there are scenes which could be out of Howard or Lovecraft), but he seems to be a precursor of great art. (Or "great art".) It's also evident now that Poe didn't only write exemplary short stories, but also played with the form - many of the stories are everything but strict short stories with a twist.

(I don't know if any of the above makes any sense to anyone, but I was thinking it out as I was writing. Will have to establish these thoughts later on in Finnish.)

Poetry, pt. 56

Wonder if I should put up a new blog, dedicated to my poetry. But before that happens, here's some new ones. Don't know if they're any good, but they seem to be healthy for me. Sorry, in Finnish, again. Next time I'll be writing about James Hadley Chase again, Benjamin Appel, a forth-coming low-end pulp magazine, the new issues of Isku and Pulp, and so forth.

By the way, Elina said that reading my poems at Pulpetti are a depressing experience. It has always seemed that I write only about negative stuff. Don't know why this is. Maybe I just can't think that positive feelings are worthy to write about. Maybe these are noir poems. (Fat chance, brother!) Now, back to real work.

Kun ei laihdu, niin ei laihdu, kuihtuu pois, turvotus lisääntyy,
kaikkien maailmojen yhteiset nimittäjät,
pienimmät ovat maailman armoilla, suurimmat ovat maailmasta poissa,
jossain kaukana, taivaalla lentävät, saavat lentääkin,
minun puolestani, en paljon jaksaisi välittää
mistään mitä sanotte: kuihtukaa pois vähäisimmästäkin sanasta,
menkää menojanne, tulkaa takaisin, olkaa poissa,
paikalla, läsnä, ylipäätään täällä,
puut kasvavat vaakasuoraan, minä näen sen ikkunastani,
sataa, miehet ovat töissä,
kurjuus lisääntyy kun he putoilevat telineiltä,
minä joudun kertomaan huonot uutiset perheille,
minä olen ollut aina se jolle käy huonosti,
hyvä tuuri, mäihä, nämä asiat pysyvät elämästäni kaukana,
kuinka se onkaan ollut joskus niin helppoa,
on vain kaatanut itselleen ja ottanut vielä hiukan lisää.


Taintuvat lyönnit osuvat parhaiten, parhaiten osuvat myös valeet,
puolitotuudet, satunnaiset sanonnat, fraasit, toistellessaan typeryyksiä
ihminen on vähiten velkaa itsellee, toisteisuus on kielen ominaisuus,
kuka on joskus sanonut näin sanoo sen vielä uudelleen tai itkee ja sanoo,
jalkapallo on omituinen peli: kun sen on hävinnyt, sen haluaa hävitä uudestaan,
pelit ovat minusta kaukana, minä olen vain ja ainoastaan kielipeli,
sellaisten mestari, kuka on tajunnut että kahvikupit ovat maailman salaliitto,
meitä vastaan suunnattu siis,
sellaisia sanomisia on viimeinkin ruvettu kutsumaan valheiksi,
minä kirjoitan ristiriidoista ristiriitaisesti, kuinka muutenkaan,
vihaisena on vaikea olla hiljaa, yhtä vaikea on olla kovaääninen,
pitäisi puhua kovempaa, se on jo liikaa vaadittu,
lyönti, tuosta ja tuosta, levylautasella Beethoven,
animoidut iskut, kukat, kukat lautasella ja ruukuissa,
syökää olkaa hyvä, istukaa olkaa hyvä, seisokaa olkaa hyvä, seinää vasten, noin, ihan kiva,
ja - nyyyt!
Hymyt hyytyvät viimeistään silloin
kun on työntänyt suuhunsa lopullisen annoksen loskaa.

(Tähän tuli tosi huono lopetus.)


On syytä lopettaa kun on kirjoittanut viimeisen rivin.
On syytä tarkistaa lumen valkoisuus.
On syytä edellyttää oman itsen koskemattomuus.
On syytä olla syyllinen.
On syytä löytää syyllinen ulkopuolelta.
On syytä syytää rahansa turhuuksiin.
On syytä löytää itsensä kadoksista.
On syytä käyttää karttaa.
On syytä tajuta taivaan harmaus.
On syytä mieltää maailma musteeksi, läikiksi paperilla, kahvikupista läikähtäneeksi.


Paljon parjatut olemukset tulevat takaisin,
kieli, kukkalapio, istutuslapio, olki, koirat,

minkä maailman me löydämmekään vielä.


Kuvittaja tai taiteilija, se ja sama, olen vihainen,
olen ennenkin ollut, joskus -95,
kun olin vielä pieni, silloin en tiennyt mitään,
nyt tiedän - tai ainakin voin sanoa tietäväni - kaiken,
kaiken tietämisen arvoisen,
älä kuule ala mulle,
muille voit ihan vapaasti,
avaudu terapiassa, olet silloin maailman kuvittaja,
luot uudenlaisia maailmoita, olet älykkö,
intellektuelli, kuinka tajuttavissa onkaan mielesi ja yksikkösi,
sotilaalliset määreet liikuttavat sinua,
kuinka väärässä olinkaan joskus aikaisemmin,
kun luulin kortit jo jaetun,
kun kuulin kirjat palautetun maailmaan,
kun tajusin että maailma on tällainen eikä muuksi muutu.
Mitä tahansa mitä teenkin, on vain sinulle.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Kinopalatsin puolesta

Pelastakaa Elokuvateatteri Kinopalatsi

Me adressin allekirjoittaneet haluamme että Tampereen kaupunki aloittaa toimet Kinopalatsin elokuvateatterin pelastamiseksi ja muuttamiseksi kulttuuritilaksi. Kinopalatsi tulisi siirtää laajaan kulttuurikäyttöön mukaanlukien muttei rajoittuen näihin:
-Elokuva-arkiston näytännöt
-Yksityiset elokuvaprojektit (esim. Star Wreck)
-Media-alan oppilastyönäytännöt
-Tilaan sopivat musiikkiesitykseet: Jazz, blues ja ylipäätään istualtaan kuunneltava musiikki
-Luennot ja esitelmät

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What was I thinking?

I realized only after I'd shut down the computer and rushed off to the train station that Hammett's The Glass Key isn't a detective novel. Oh my. You can blame that for the hurry. I really do know these things. (Oh well, my blogging hasn't been very good lately... Will have to concentrate and not just throw things here in random.)

Hammett? Where's Hammett?

Dave's comments made me realize that I was altogether too tired to come up with a reasonable list. Where's the goddamn Hammett? Man, I just love Red Harvest, The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key! It's been years since I read them, so couldn't really decide what would fit in, but my fondest memories are of Red Harvest. The Maltese Falcon is really exemplary as a movie and it slurs the reading experience a bit.

As for Rex Stout who seems to be getting quite a lot of nominations: I haven't read anything by him for at least 15 or 16 years - and then I was an adolescent.

Peter at Detectives Beyond Borders nominated Cosi Fan Tutti by Michael Dibdin. I've liked several Didbins I've read, but would have hard time to come up with a title.

And I'm pretty sure I'm just forgetting something recent... Scott Phillips's second novel (on whose title I'm drawing blank right now) could be labeled as a detective novel, so it could fit in.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ten greatest detective novels

Critic David Montgomery has raised some buzz with his list of ten greatest detective novels. I'll join the chorus too, even though I should be sleeping by now (have to up early in the morning and have still some real work to do). Has to have a detective.. that might prove difficult.

Um, let's see... The first are easy:

Raymond Chandler: Farewell, My Lovely
Ross Macdonald: The Zebra-Striped Hearse

Then it gets more difficult:

James Ellroy: The Big Nowhere (if for nothing else, then for the wolverine)
Thomas B. Dewey: The Mean Streets
Michael Collins (aka Dennis Lynds): Act of Fear
Howard Browne: The Taste of Ashes
Floyd Mahannah: The Golden Widow
Ben Benson: The Broken Shield
Al Conroy: Devil In Dungarees

Okay, that's nine already. I'm making this up as I go. Ellroy is the newest one, huh? I thought Scott Phillips's The Ice Harvest is one of the greatest crime novels ever, but there's no detective in it. Dave Zeltserman's Fast Lane is great, but one of the top 10..? There are lots of great new detective novels out there, but I really don't know... Would a Western do? The protagonist in Merle Constiner's The Short-Trigger Man (Ace 1964) sure acts like a detective. And he wipes the floor with the heroes of the books I mentioned.

I may have another list tomorrow...

Estonian Beat

Just received this e-mail from Estonia:

We (NGO Rampade Org) are glad to report that Estonian 60`s beat music (often called as garage beat or mersey beat by the 60`s music lovers nowadays) compilation "Biit Piraadid" is finally out. It took half a year to collect material from the Estonian TV and Radio archives and to put together this extra rare compilation on CD format.

The idea of making this record came from Estonian beat music researcher Vello Salumets who had written amazing and complete book about Estonian rockmusic childhood. The book is called "Rockrapsoodia" ( and it describes Estonian beat music profoundly with fascinating excitement and also, sometimes with great sense of humour. Vello Salumets himself were singing, playing bass and keyboards in widely over the country known beatband called Optimistid. Optimistid were the first proper popband in Estonia, their song "Mul on tunne" (actually the cover version of Herman`s Hermits` "You Won`t Be Leaving") broke the hearts of the young generation all over the Estonia.

The record "Biit Piraadid" is actually the first compilation of unreleased (lot of songs were even undigitalized till putting those on the record) material by NGO Rampade Org. The second volume of "Biit Piraadid" have been planned to release on december and there will be 10 live songs from the first official rock festival in Estonia. The event took place in cinema "Kosmos" on the 28-th of april in 1968 and it has been defined as the first public guitar bands appearance ever in USSR. The songs on the current record, "Biit Piraadid" were actually mostly recorded in Estonian Radio or TV studios. The focus is more on melodic "mod-pop" songs that sound unique and original, the songs also sound a bit different from western brothers` and sisters` bands at the same time.

The bands on the record are Tallinn based Mikronid, Kristallid, Virmalised, Lüürikud, Optimistid, Toonika, Andromeeda, Omega, Toomapojad, Peoleo and Credo. The record also includes songs from Tartu`s Kogudus and Rapla`s Omega, that was different band from Tallinn`s Omega. You can also listen the soundclips in internet from the record:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Several updates

Haven't been blogging much lately, due to haste and hurry in work and personal life. I finally made it to the train last Tuesday and gave my first lecture on writing movie reviews. The students seemed nice and bright, as the Finnish youth usually is.

Umm... what should I write about? I'm trying to work at the same time as I'm writing this, so please patient with me, if I seem rambling...

Our YA novel came back, once again, this time with only a short rejection slip: "The text is warm and touching and it contains humour, but doesn't fit in with our publishing line." Okay, thanks.

I've been selling out my principles. I proposed a book on Biblical first names (there seems to be several in English-speaking markets) to a Christian publisher. Now, they do mostly general non-fiction books, but there's a strong Christian undercurrency in most of the books. I felt that I had to give up when I rewrote the sample text (it had been with another publisher for a short while). I had to use "B.C." when I had used "B.P.E." previously. Oh well, it's only a goddamn book.

The paperback line I've been mentioning here from time to time is again slightly closer to existence. The first books could be out next Fall. I'll keep you posted.

We kept a day off from work with Elina to visit Loimaa. I had noticed from a train window that the flea market I've been referring here to as one of the best in Finland is closing down. Elina phoned the place and found out that they are selling stuff out with one euro per bag! We bought nine plastic bags and an old baby carriage with us! The stuff we bought was mainly retro and vintage clothing - I got six or seven new jackets, one very nice suit from the early seventies and three great fur hats, with two from real fur... We are going back in a couple of weeks' time. The sale will be for the end of November.


This is mostly about politics. Hope you foreigners read about Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya's killing.

Anna Politkovskajan murha: ensinnäkin tuli huono omatunto siitä, että itse kirjoittelee tämmöistä liirumlaarumia ja toisaalla joku tapetaan sen vuoksi, että hän kirjoittaa minkä näkee ja kokee oikeaksi. Toiseksi alkoi ehkä ensimmäistä kertaa elämässä tuntua siltä, ettei ehkä kannattaisi mainostaa olleensa kommari ja että kokee nostalgiaa mennyttä Neuvostoliittoa kohtaan. En tietysti tiedä, millainen maailma olisi, jos bolsevikit eivät olisi tehneet vallankumousta vuonna 1917, mutta aivan selvää on, että Venäjän nykyinen alennustila on melko suoraan syytä neuvostohallinnon virheistä.

Toisaalta eräs ystäväni totesi, että Venäjällä vallitsee tällä hetkellä samanlainen rosvokapitalismi kuin esimerkiksi Villissä Lännessä 1800-luvulla. Nyt Yhdysvalloissa on vakaa demokratia (tästä voisi tosin moni olla eri mieltä), ja Venäjä seuraa perässä 50-100 vuoden perästä. Anna Politkovskaja tuskin ilahtuisi tästä analyysista. Mutta se voi silti olla oikea. (Ystäväni oli seurannut Virossa itsenäistymisen aiheuttamaa huumaa 90-luvun alkupuoliskolla. Hän oli tuntenut terästehtaan omistajan, joka oli rahan huumassaan myynyt kaikki tehtaan laitteet Ruotsiin, vaikka tehtaalle tuli koko ajan tilauksia ja työntekijöitä oli kymmenittäin.)


Rupesin kirjoittamaan tätä ennen kuin tulos (jippii!) varmistui, mutta menköön nyt kuitenkin:

Hedelmöityslaki: oi voi, mitä argumentteja vastapuolella on. Joku kansanedustaja (Kari Kärkkäinen?) oli todennut, että nykyinen liberaalivihreys on miesten alentamiseen tähtäävä hyökkäys (tai jotain sinnepäin). Miesten itsetunto on heikoilla, kun he tuntuvat ajattelevan, että vain laki estää naisia hylkäämästä miehiä kokonaan. Välillä tuntuu myös siltä, että jotkut ovat sitä mieltä, että naiset, joita uusi laki koskisi, lyöttäytyisivät yhtäkkiä miesten kanssa yhteen, kun laki kieltää heiltä lasten tekemisen - hyökkäys miehiä vastaan loppuisi kuin seinään!

Mietin kyllä myös Bertrand Russellia tänään. Hänhän sanoi joskus, että on epäloogista todeta, että lasten on oltava kiitollisia vanhemmilleen siitä, että hän on olemassa.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Various stuff from some blogs

Here's an ugly post in Finnish, with ugly hyperlinks.

The Rap Sheetistä:

Television Chronicle -nettisivun vaikeuksista ja linkkiä pariin kiinnostavaan artikkeliin:

Norjalainen yksityisetsivä (onko näitä suomennettu?):

Cleopatra Jones kuollut:

Stephen Kingin uusi kirja:

Peter Falkin haastattelua:

Damon Runyonin syntymän 122-vuotisjuhla:

Lee Goldbergiltä:

Burke's Law -sarjan tunnari:

The Zoo Gang -sarjan tunnari:

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Weekend at the cabin

We were at the cabin for the weekend, as I wrote in a comment on a comment (hey, hope everything has worked out on your end; I got negative here). The weather was nice for the most parts - at times it rained like a motherfucker (sorry, too tired to come up with anything subtle here). Kauto and Ottilia sure enjoyed themselves. And so did we. Elina said that she's relaxed more than for a long, long time. When you're deprived of a computer, you'll just have to sit down and listen. Maybe we should ban reading e-mails, blogging, putting up stuff on etc. after five o'clock or something like that...

I read three books during the weekend. Pretty obscure ones: a fake biography, a POD Finnish crime novel and a collection of concrete poetry.

Harri Kumpulainen (whom I've mentioned here couple times before) has written a nice fake biography of a man called Sulo Waldemar Rundgren. I'll switch languages here: Sulo Waldemar Rundgren eli Runkku löydettiin Kärsämäen kansakoulun pihasta vuonna 1939 ja hän katosi vuonna 1969. Sitä ennen hän ehti olla suutarina, keikkamuusikkona (kitaraa ja haitaria enimmäkseen), runoilijana (hämärä monikielinen runo Nuoren voiman liiton vuonna -69 ilmestyneessä vappurunokokoelmassa, joka on ihan oikea juttu; en vain ole ikinä nähnyt kopioina ilmestynyttä vihkoa missään, mukana on myös mm. Kosti Sironen ja Juhani Tikkanen), taidemaalarina (pitämättä jääneitä näyttelyitä, kadonneita, mutta kaupungin kokoelmiin myydyiksi tiedettyjä töitä jne.) ja pikkurikollisena. Erittäin hauska kirja, jota suosittelen lämpimästi. Kirjan ulkoasu vain on kovin amatöörimäinen. Kumpulainen on sujuva kirjoittaja, joka ansaitsisi tulla paremmin tunnetuksi. Kirja on käytännössä itsejulkaistu, mutta eipä se olisi minkään kustantamon pirtaan mahtunutkaan.

Antti Tuomainen is a young copy writer and his first novel, Tappaja, toivoakseni/Killer, I Hope, is a pretty impressive noir novel in a country where noir novels are not very popular (at least by young writers). It's a first novel by many accounts - first of all, it tries too hard to be deep when it doesn't have to be, and there's too much inner monologue when you don't need it, and the love story is a bit rushed and the dialogue between the two lovers is at times forced, but it's also quite touching and troublesome. Here's seriously hoping that Tuomainen has a chance to write more - and to get a more profitable business deal than the POD Myllylahti provides!

And finally Marko J. Niemi. Marko has done pretty amazing visual poetry at his own blog and he also edits the Nokturno site (where I've sent some some of my exercises in experimental poetry). His first collection came out from Ankkuri which also works as a POD house, through Lulu. Some of Marko's pieces are very inventive visually and I got a chuckle out of them. There are also some poems in the shape of pyramids which you can read any way you want to which I also liked. Check out his blog, especially the early posts - I just wonder why the delightful Tuoli/Chair series is not included in the book!

Uglish fashion

Here's a very nice fashion picture: a mom has made a great leather/jeans outfit for her son. And now she's selling it! You might want to give her some money not to send it out to anyone...

I'll be posting some other fashion pictures here as well: Kauto's modelling days have just begun.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Missä on Poen Valtameren salaisuus?!

(English summary: it's about the forth-coming collection of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories - in Finnish, that is. I'd thought the book would include also Poe's only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, but no.)

Sain tänään sähköpostissa pdf:n Edgar Allan Poen kaikki tarinat sisältävästä käännöskokoelmasta (Teos, suomentajana Jaana Kapari). Olin luullut, että kirja sisältäisi myös Poen ainoan romaanin, Valtameren salaisuuden (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, 1838; suom. myös nimellä Gordon Pymin kertomus), mutta ei. Poen romaani jäi tunnetusti torsoksi, mutta monet ovat pitäneet sitä osittain sen kiehtovuuden syynä.

Suomalaisia kirja ei ole juurikaan kiehtonut, koska oudosti se on käännetty viimeksi vuonna 1915! Aiempi käännös onkin jo kaksitoista vuotta vanhempi... En muista ikinä nähneeni kumpaakaan - jaa, Valtameren salaisuuden olen nähnyt niin että siitä puuttui kymmenen viisitoista viimeistä sivua. Pöyhösen keräilykirjojen hintaopas antaa sille hinta-arvioksi 300 mk eli noin 50 e. Hinnan luulisi nousseen vuodesta 1999, jolloin hintaopas ilmestyi.

Minulla on mielikuva, että Erik Bergman olisi säveltänyt romaanista kuoroteoksen suurehkolle orkesterille. Ainakin olen nähnyt tv-taltioinnin, jossa esitettiin suomalaisen nykysäveltäjän kuoroteos juuri Poen romaanin pohjalta. En löydä Googlella juuri mitään todisteita. Hoi, osaako joku auttaa? Musiikki oli tehokasta, hiipivää, pelottavaa. Niin kuin Edgar Allan Poe parhaimmillaan. (Minua ei kauheasti innosta, että nyt on saatavana Poen "hauskat" scifi-jutut, mutta kaipa niille joku kysyntä on.)

Oli miten oli, kirja ilmestyy Helsingin kirjamessuille 27.10. Kulttuuriteko jos mikä - mutta suurempi se olisi ollut, jos mukana olisi ollut tuo lyhyt romaani!

Vieressä - hmm, ilmeisesti - Poen romaanin alkuperäisen painoksen nimilehti. Onko se vaikuttanut Paavo Haavikon Viiniä, kirjoitusta -kokoelman kansikuvaan?