Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why haven't you visited Night Vale yet?

I don't think enough of you have listened to my recommendations to listen to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. I could just assume that you've seen my recommendation and decided "Thanks, but no thanks. This isn't for me." I could assume that, but instead I'm choosing to assume that my other mentions were too subtle, or just obscured by puppy pictures. So now I'm going to bash you over the head with a recommendation to check out Night Vale.

I first heard about this show on PBS Idea Channel (another thing I'm going to keep bugging you guys about) in their show "How does Night Vale confront us with the unknown?" The show describes Night Vale as "borrowing Lovecraft's (as in H.P.) spirit" but with "paralytic terror replaced with drab mundanity", taking "unspeakable abomination and turning it into unremarkable absurdity," and HOW HAVE YOU NOT STARTED LISTENING TO THIS YET?

I listen to it sometimes on my commute if I'm not feeling my book/reading in general and I constantly find I'm giggling to myself, which is fun cos sometimes that means people will slowly edge away and I get a bit more space.

Need more reason? How about 10 of my favorite quotes from the episodes I've listened to so far:

1. "There appear to be catastrophic earthquakes happening right here in Night Vale that absolutely no one can feel. Well, submit an insurance claim, anyway. See what you can get, right?"

2. "Wednesday has been cancelled due to a scheduling error."

3. "Hello, radio audience. I come to you live from under my desk, where I have dragged my microphone and am currently in the fetal position."

4. "Saturday, the public library will be unknowable. Citizens will forget the existence of the library from 6am Saturday morning until 11pm that night. The library will be under a sort of renovation. It is not important what kind of renovation."

5. "This just came across the wire! The secret police have issued a new statement shedding more light on last night’s PTA meeting incident. The noisy portal and subsequent dinosaur attack that brutally interrupted discussion of swing set repairs on the elementary school playground stayed open long after recreation center employees thought they had rounded up all of the ancestral avian beasts— and, authorities warn, there is still at least one more pteranodon on the loose.
Citizens should cover themselves with a low-SPF sunscreen and hide in a tiled bathroom."

6. "In light of the ever declining sales of newspapers and the rise of competition from digital media The Night Vale Daily Journal announced that it has developed a new business model. Publishing Editor, Leanne Hart, speaking to television and internet reporters outside the burned down shell of the The Journal’s distribution plant, said their new mission, as a newspaper, is to kill news bloggers with hatchets.
In this bold new initiative, a game changing strategy by one of the industry’s stalwarts, The Daily Journal plans to just go to bloggers homes and places of employment, with hatchets, and then chop them up, the bloggers. Until they, the bloggers, are dead."

7. "Exciting news about the abandoned mine shaft outside of town, where people who vote incorrectly are taken by the secret police: HBO On-Demand will be made available to prisoners during their indefinite detention!"

8. "I’m still not completely sold on there being more than one mountain. It’s possible that the mountain apologists built a single mountain in order to prove their skewed world view."

9. "The Night Vale medical board has issued a new study indicating that you have a spider somewhere on your body at all times, but especially now. The study said the further research would be needed to determine exactly where on your body the spider is and what its intentions are. Only that it is definitely there and is statistically likely to be one of the really ugly ones."

10. And of course, Night Vale City Council's motto, "If you see something, say nothing, and drink to forget."

So. Yeah. Bet you feel pretty silly you haven't already listened to this. You should probably get on that.

Oh and um, how to make this book related? Well, there's the whole Lovecraft thing. And the show is put together by Commonplace Books. There you go.