Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heat Waves and Fraying Realities

Image Source: Recap.

Yesterday, my cousin called me and said, "It's freezing here."  She's in the one small, northern corner of North America that isn't suffering under an awful heat wave.  As for the rest of the continent, the American media are full of reports about relentless temperatures.  In eastern Canada, several weather records were set today.  With the humidity factored in, it felt like 51 degrees Celsius (124 degrees Fahrenheit) today in Toronto.  Meanwhile, Hurricane Dora is churning toward Mexico.  Great!

Image Source: Twitter via The Inquisitr.

Just that was enough to inspire a blog post with a few images inspired by heat waves (see below the jump). The natural sympathy of heat waves speaks to a fractured consciousness.  Pop culture tropes say that heat waves generate a weird atmosphere, which inspires people to do strange things.  Some examples where the heat drives the action in films and novels and pushes characters past their limits are (in no particular order): Body HeatDo the Right Thing; Dark Knight Returns; Stand by Me; In the Heat of the Night; Summer of Sam; Ice Cold in Alex; The African Queen; Predator 2; Rio Grande; The Glass MenagerieThe Long, Hot Summer; and The Sheltering Sky.

The most curious example, though, and the one that perhaps best demonstrates my point, takes fictitious tensions right into our tense reality.  The novel Heat Wave by Richard Castle offers a typical Post-Postmodern Millennial marketing play between meta-reality and metafiction.  That's because Richard Castle doesn't exist. He's a character on a TV series. From the Straight Dope:
On the TV show "Castle", [the character] Richard Castle is supposed to be a mystery novelist. In the show, one of the books he recently wrote was called "Heat Wave", introducing his new protaganist, Detective Nikki Heat.

I was just in a book store and I saw on the shelf "Heat Wave", by Richard Castle! The book plays it completely straight: Nathan Fillion, the actor who plays Richard Castle in the TV show, is shown as the author. The acknowledgment section lists his TV daughter and mother and the fictional NY detectives on the TV show. There never is a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" that I could detect.

My question is, who ACTUALLY wrote the novel?
Good question. In 2009, Heat Wave made it onto the New York Times Bestseller list, followed in 2010 by another novel written by the TV series' fictional character in 2010, Naked Heat and another, Heat Rises.  You can partake of this Millennial Post-Postmodern meta-reality by visiting the Website of the 'author' Richard Castle. There is some speculation that Tom Straw is the real novelist.

Heat Wave © by azrainman, Deviant Art.
Heat Wave © by Victoria Heryet. Image Source: Fine Art America.
Heat Wave (1954). Image Source: Old Old Films.

I always gave this vid props for making broiling self-defeat look so cheerful.  Steal My Sunshine by  LEN (1999) © SONY/BMG. Video Source: Youtube.

All image and video copyrights remain with their respective owners and are reproduced here solely for the purposes of non-profit discussion and review.

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