Guest Post: Uptown Funk, The New Years Song that Sunk Strike at Annabel’s

“Wonder how Robin’s enjoying skiing?’ Midge shouted up to Strike as ‘Uptown Funk’ began pounding through the room (IBH, pg. 22, Chap. 3).


It’s New Year’s Eve and Ink Black Heart readers naturally think of Strike’s meeting Madeline at Annabel’s. The music that was playing as he makes perhaps the biggest mistake of his romantic life? Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk.’ Chris Calderon shares his thoughts below about the song and why he thinks it is a meaningful choice for this scene.

Happy New Year!

In honor of the turning of the New Year, I thought it a fun idea to share the song that was playing at the club in Ink Black Heart, where Strike was foolish enough to let his guard down around Cupid, the god of eros, and thus fell into one of Charlotte’s snares.  I do it for two reasons.  The first is because the song itself acts as a subtle marker to the online nature of IBH.  Much like the adventures of Hearty and Friends, the song Uptown Funk has gained the same sort of internet notoriety and fame due to the influence of fans exerting their will on the work of another artist, or in this case, a whole slew of past artists.

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If Dostoevsky Had Written ‘Harry Potter’

The neural network showed how the characters from “Harry Potter” would look like if they were invented by Chekhov and Dostoevsky:

Russian enthusiast Vasily Polyakov has generated portraits of characters from the Harry Potter films in the style of Russian writers Anton Pavlovich Chekhov and Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky. Polyakov shared the results of his work in his group on VKontakte.

To create drawings, the author used the Midjourney neural network. It is not known what kind of requests Polyakov made. The selection includes images of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Minerva McGonagall, Voldemort, Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy.

Please do go to the page linked above to see the others; the Hermione, Snape, Draco, Ron, and Dumbledore pictures not shown here are well worth the visit.

The first soul triptych in modern literature remains the best, namely, the three Brothers Karamazov. I think it is fair to assume that Dostoevsky deployed this Patristic-Platonic allegory because of the several allusions to copies of St Isaac the Syrian’s homilies found in that novel, in which collection the three faculties of soul and their right alignment are mentioned repeatedly. Regardless, Chekhov and Dostoevsky inspired ‘drawings’ of Rowling’s characters are a delight, despite their depressing demeanor.

What other authors or playwrights do you think could be used to generate like AI imagery? Shakespeare, for sure; Wodehouse? Dickens? Austen? 

Ashenden Mentions Rowling in Review of King Charles’ Christmas Speech

Dr Gavin Ashenden is a scholar of Inkling writing, whose exegesis of the literary alchemy of Charles Williams in Alchemy and Integration is a landmark study, and a devout Roman Catholic. He was once an Anglican bishop and Chaplain to the Queen before he swam the Tiber. He works currently as an Associate Editor at The Catholic Herald. He wrote a review of the King’s 2022 Christmas message this week called, ‘The Christmas speech that defines the King as a ‘defender of faiths.’ In the role of Christian gadfly to the body politic, Dr Ashenden is the closest thing to C. S. Lewis, social critic, that the 21st Century has on offer.

I thought it worth noting, then, that he thought it important to mention J. K. Rowling in his review of the new king’s first Christmas message to his subjects in the United Kingdom. Ashenden thinks the king has made a mistaken political move, one he signals in the speech on Sunday, to appease the Woke establishment and media mob in hopes of protecting the monarchy. It is a mistake, he argues, because the Left always devours its own; he offers Rowling as a recent ‘for instance’ of this phenomenon: [Read more…]

Merry Christmas, One and All!

Merry Western Christmas! Hat Tip to Wayne for the music.

Shared Text: Philosopher’s Stone Ending

This piece is funny on several levels, but I post it here just to note that the Babylon Bee, a satire site,  assumed that everyone reading it would be that familiar with the ending of a book published twenty-five years ago.

They assumed that because, oddly enough, it happens to be true, one more demonstration that the Hogwarts Saga remains the global shared text.