savage mountain

Lake Di Braies ( South Tyrol , Italy ) Photo by Michael Block

According to legend, once upon a time savages dug in the mountains for gold and precious stones. The local herdsmen were jealous and tried to steal the treasures collected by the savages. They were unsuccessful because the savages opened up an underground spring and sunk their treasures in the lake this spring created.

“If it were not my purpose to combine barbarian things with things Hellenic, to traverse and civilize every continent, to search out the uttermost parts of land and sea, to push the bounds of Macedonia to the farthest Ocean, and to disseminate and shower the blessings of the Hellenic justice and peace over every nation, I should not be content to sit quietly in the luxury of idle power, but I should emulate the frugality of Diogenes. But as things are, forgive me Diogenes, that I imitate Herakles, and emulate Perseus, and follow in the footsteps of Dionysos, the divine author and progenitor of my family, and desire that victorious Hellenes should dance again in India and revive the memory of the Bacchic revels among the savage mountain tribes beyond the Kaukasos…” 


Alexander the Great


Graphic - Alexandre-Georges-Henri Regnault


K2 Base Camp, Karakorum Mountains, Pakistan (The first photo is by Javier Camacho Gimeno).

K2 is the second highest mountain on earth. Located in Northern Pakistan, K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram Range and is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent and the second-highest fatality rate among all the eight thousanders. For every four people who have reached the summit, one has died trying.


Vintage MTI (Movie Tie-In) from Disney’s 1978 supernatural adventure film starring Bette Davis, Christopher Lee, Kim Richards, Ike Eisenmann, Brad Savage, Denver Pyle, Jack Soo, Anthony James, & Richard Bakalyan.

From IMDB:
In this sequel of “Escape To Witch Mountain” (1975), Tia and Tony, teenage sister and brother who possess extraordinary powers, leave their safe refuge on Witch Mountain for a trip to Los Angeles (their transport ship lands in the Rose Bowl). Tony is kidnapped by the evil Dr. Gannon and his spinster partner Letha and brainwashed into helping Gannon and Letha commit various crimes. It’s up to Tia and a gang of truant kids to rescue Tony and prevent a major disaster.

Title: Return From Witch Mountain
Author: Alexander Key
Publisher: Pocket 81911
Cover Illustration: Photo Cover
Printing: 1st, March 1978


Central Pennsylvania Gothic

Its early morning. You rise by some unforeseen force. There is a disturbance. You feel it in the water. You feel it in the earth. You smell it in the air. You face east toward the great circular structure erected for the worship of the gods. They are not your gods but you must keep this secret deep in your heart for the others will sense you are a non believer and cast you out. But you resist, oh yes you try so very hard to resist.

They are coming. The people in the wagons and tucks with horns and fried food to feed their gluttonous souls. Their paint their bodies and faces like the heathen savages of old. They camp outside the iron center of worship and begin their dark rituals. Music is played. They drink and drink and drink until they sway drunkly to music only they can hear.

And then the gates of this neo-coliseum open. And you realize nothing has changed in the hearts of men for many a long age. They swarm in like flies on a sun rotted corpse. The corpse is your faith in humanity.

Then it begins.

The people raise a frenzied cry that can be heard from every mountaintop in the surrounding valley. They open their mouths, they throw back their heads, they cry out in ecstasy: WE ARE…

And you must answer the call. It is in the very marrow of your bones though you have tried in vain to carve it out.

WE ARE…they cry.

You fight it valiantly. But the words, like a caged, savage mountain lion, must break free.

WE ARE…they cry.

…PENN STATE. You say.

It is over. There is no God. Only college football.

anonymous asked:

Maester Steven, may I please ask why you describe the Mountain Clans at the outskirts of the Vale as "oppressed" as well as dispossessed? (the latter is objectively true, but given that the Clans outright reject any connection with the Vale that doesn't involve preying on the local peasants one would argue "Marginalised" or "Exiled" is a more accurate term).

Because it’s standard policy for the knights of the Vale to mount punitive expeditions against the Mountain Clans of the Vale:

“Before that, the chronicles tell of countless battles with the savage mountain clans.” (WOIAF)

“The mountain clans were lawless brigands, descending from the heights to rob and kill and melting away like snow whenever the knights rode out from the Vale in search of them.” (AGOT)

“The clans have grown bolder since Lord Jon died,“ Ser Donnel said. He was a stocky youth of twenty years, earnest and homely, with a wide nose and a shock of thick brown hair. “If it were up to me, I would take a hundred men into the mountains, root them out of their fastnesses, and teach them some sharp lessons, but your sister has forbidden it.” (AGOT)

If we do a bit of de-bowlderization, I think it’s fair to conclude that “root them out of their fastnesses” refers to cavalry raids against camps and villages of civilians, and “sharp lessons” refers to massacres. Hence why the mountain clans have to be described as “savage,” “wildlings,” and the like; de-humanization is required in order to rationalize the gap between the ideals of knightly conduct that the knights of the Vale espouse and how they behave at home. 

K2, Karakoram, Pakistan.

K2, also known as Mount Godwin-Austen, and Chogori , is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest, at 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in Pakistan. K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent. It has the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. With around 300 successful summits and 80 fatalities, about one person dies on the mountain for every four who summit.Unlike any other eight thousanders, K2 has never been climbed during winter.


“Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden

from Savage Garden

It’s the year 2000. I’m sitting at the desktop with Napster open. Hmm, what should I download? Don’t those “I knew I loved you” guys have another song? Something about standing on mountains? I decide to give it a shot. After googling (or Yahoo-ing? Asking Jeeves? Can’t remember) “I Knew I Loved You” to find the band name, I went back to Napster and downloaded “I Wanna Stand With You On A Mountain” by Savage Garden.

It took about, oh, 5 seconds for it to become The Greatest Song of All Time.

I remember that first listen better than I remember most things. Like a good outfit, the song became a part of me immediately. At 15 though, I didn’t have the proper musical vocabulary to pinpoint why “Truly Madly Deeply” worked so well, so I traced the appeal back to the easy thing to get a grasp on: the lyrics. The chorus was particularly amazing. You know it, but here’s a refresher anyways:

I wanna stand with you on a mountain
I wanna bathe with you in the sea
I wanna lay like this forever
Until the sky falls down on me

I had always defined myself largely against the traditional masculinity of my older brother, whose main loves are the Dallas Cowboys, underground hip-hop, weed, and “alternative” women (read: women that are into ‘90s alternative rock and not, like, non-cis women). I was the sensitive, artistic one, and my CD collection was already full of lovey-dovey fluff by the time I discovered “Truly Madly Deeply”. But these lyrics stood out. Darren wasn’t just relating emotions; he was painting a picture, and this “imagery” thing that seemed so inferior to metaphor and simile and paradox in English class finally made sense.

But I heard more than just good lyrics here. I heard an entire paradigm of desirability I could conceivably adopt. God knows nothing else was working for me. Looks? Nope. Intelligence? Synonymous with grades at the time, so also no. Sense of humor? Lmfao. Brush my hair and put on some decent clothes? Fuck that (see figure 1.1).

(from Juliet by Anne Fortier)

But this intersection between the intellectual, the creative and the romantic seemed like just the space for me. And so I began to fancy myself a poet and a songwriter. I started buying those black and white composition books, the n+1 to the spiral notebook’s Buzzfeed, and would carry one with me at all times. And by “carry” I mean I literally held it in my right hand because fuck space, my poetic brilliance was way too good to be sealed away in my backpack.

Of course, things didn’t quite work out the way I hoped. As it turns out, telling near-strangers how perfect I thought they were wasn’t that far removed from the “Hey girl” brand of machismo I felt I was the antidote to. What I thought of as being the “nice guy” that all women really wanted deep inside was in reality a strategic decision to overperform a pre-existing side of myself, allowing me to feel like I was doing something so that I didn’t have to actually do anything.

I had a phase where I blamed musicians and pop culture for much of the terrible crap I internalized. After all, Savage Garden never specified with whom they wanted to stand on a mountain with, leaving me free to imagine the thin white girl of my dreams while still perceiving myself as “one of the good ones.” But ultimately I realized that that’s a cop-out. I couldn’t blame artists for my own lack of curiosity about the world around me.

And besides, “Truly Madly Deeply” still rules. The main knock on the song is that it’s very, very safe, which isn’t untrue. In fact, you don’t know the half of it.

How safe is “Truly Madly Deeply”? Well besides being a love song released during a fertile time for love songs, there’s also

  • the 4/4 “common time” signature, which is kind of a given but important nonetheless.
  • The C Major key, the most entry-level musical key in existence.
  • The main chord progression, which is a simple C-G-F-G then Am-G-F-G, the basic-ness of which is reinforced by the fact that …
  • all the chords above are made up of tidy whole notes.
  • And these chords aren’t just in the background, or implied, but right up front, the instrumental “top line” (at least in the verses).
  • The vocal line is very full and very reliant on the tonic.

If you’re not familiar with music theory, don’t panic (I’m still a beginner myself; corrections on anything I’ve written welcome!). The point is this: even for a genre that’s often derided for being unadventurous, “Truly Madly Deeply” is uniquely, unabashedly, almost defiantly predictable. It’s as if somewhere in the process, Darren and Daniel decided that hey, if this song is going to get marked as safe, it might as well be the safiest safe that ever safed.

Not only do all the qualities above create a trajectory so perfect that it felt to me less like discovering a new song and more like Darren and Daniel were exhuming a piece of music that had always pre-existed in my head, it also allows the song to progress with a checklist-like, almost impersonal efficiency to act as a necessary counterweight to its romantic overtones, echoing what I would later find worked best for me in real life romantic contexts. I’ve ruined many potentially amazing opportunities by making them out to be Big Fucking Deals. Which isn’t to say that they weren’t BFDs, but when you turn something into that you risk showing your desperation, and there’s few dealbreakers more lethal than desperation. “I Knew I Loved You” doesn’t work because it badly needs to convince you of something in a way that screams Big Fucking Deal, whereas “Truly Madly Deeply” masterfully creates a sweet spot between a Grand Romantic Gesture and eh, you know, just standing on a mountain with mah love.

Most critics consider The Tension and the Spark the crowning achievement of Darren Hayes’ career. I can be harsh on that album, but it isn’t that I don’t like it. I just resent the implication that Darren had to explicitly distance himself from his softer material in order to be taken seriously.

“Truly Madly Deeply” is saccharine. Conventional. Predictable. Soft. Safe. And that’s why I love it.

I’m currently sitting in my epic poetry class in which an absolutely savage discussion of Cold Mountain as a version of the Odyssey is happening and it is wild.


Phone Sketches-Procreate Pocket App for iPhone

It’s been real busy around here with “non-art” related projects. These phone sketches are all I can manage for the time being. However not to worry… I have a number of works in progress to post and shall will be catching up with everyone’s blogs soon!

As always… thanks for the support!