Friday, November 27, 2015

A Zenpundit writer on RAW and PKD

Philip K. Dick

At Zenpundit — a group blog written by four bloggers — blogger Charles Cameron watches a documentary on Philip K. Dick, listens to the Robert Anton Wilson interview in the movie, and then compares it to a quote from Chuang Tzu. There are also some nice thoughts about Dick fandom. Hat tip, John Merritt on Twitter. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Robert A. Heinlein

Today, a national holiday devoted to gratitude, I am thankful for the friends I've made through this blog and the many gestures of kindness and support from its readers.

I am certainly thankful, also, for the literary culture of the modern world that offers readers many fine writers; I read a lot of Robert Anton Wilson, many of the authors he admired, and many others he likely did not read or had even heard of. There are many more good writers than anyone can keep up with. One writer I know he did like was the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein. The famous SF writer Theodore Sturgeon certainly was thankful for Heinlein's friendship; here's a wonderful anecdote.  (Via Justin Raimondo on Twitter.)

Sturgeon, by the way, was a RAW fan. 

Bonus: Check out Arthur Hlavaty's Thanksgiving message.

And here's a piece on the importance of gratitude to happiness.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

RAW on why antiwar sentiment toward U.S. foreign policy makes sense

Chad Nelson

If you want a dose of Robert Anton Wilson's antiwar thoughts these days, as the world seems to be becoming more violent and dangerous, Chad Nelson has a pointer. He has a new posting up at the Center for a Stateless Society, "Robert Anton Wilson on Blowback, Anarchy, and Optimism." I listened to the 15-minute clip of a RAW interview he pointed to as I started my day. As Chad writes, "Among the topics discussed in this segment: 9/11 and Pearl Harbor as blowback from American Empire; the 'despised' (aka revisionist) historians Wilson was warned by high school teachers not to read (Harry Elmer Barnes, Charles Beard and James J. Martin); libertarianism, anarchism and contract-based societies; Wilson’s favorite anarchist influences (Tucker, Tolstoy and Kropotkin); globalization, corporatization and the transformative potential of the internet; and how Wilson remains optimistic despite never-ending war."

For more on the revisionist historians that RAW and Chad mention, see Jeff Riggenbach's Why American History is Not What They Say. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Adam Gorightly on Principia Discordia's anniversary

Adam Gorightly, who works really hard in researching Discordian history, marks an apparent anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of the Principia Discordia. I say apparent, because as Adam makes clear in his carefully-researched post, pinning down some of the details on the history of the Principia is no easy task.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Preserving the Timothy Leary archives

Timothy Leary archivist Michael Horowitz

I posted earlier on the struggle to preserve the Timothy Leary archives, and now I can report that more information has become available. Lisa Rein is doing a long interview with Leary archivist Michael Horowitz, and a Part 2 has been promised. Hat tip, John Merritt, who is on Twitter.

The whole interview is a great read. Excerpt:

LR: Tim ran for governor of California?

MH: Yes. He was stoked by the Supreme Count ruling in his favour on the Marijuana Tax Act (later reversed, but that didn’t faze him—few things did). He knew that attacking the power structure would be at great personal cost and he would lose battles along the way, but any time he saw an opportunity to spark a cultural evolution, why not give it a shot?

The most radical proposal in his platform was legalizing marijuana and taxing it appropriately. It was a lot like the model adopted by Colorado and Washington 45 years later.

LR: And John Lennon wrote his campaign song?

MH: Yes. John Lennon did compose his campaign song, “Come Together, Join the Party,” when Tim and Rosemary joined John and Yoko at the Montreal Bed In to end the war. After it was clear that Tim’s felony conviction had knocked him out of the race, John repurposed the song into the Beatles’ hit, “Come Together.”

Sunday, November 22, 2015

'Woman Finds Out Boyfriend of Six Years Is Undercover Cop Spying on Her and Her Friends'

Police officer Mark Kennedy in his role portraying a radical environmentalist. 

The story is here.  There's also a sidebar from the Guardian about how this was common practice, and the British police saying they are really sorry.

One oddity of the articles, at least for me, is that I could not find any explanation for why police were spying on environmental groups in the first place. In the U.S., lip service is given to the idea that people have the right to engage in peaceful political activities under the Bill of Rights, and police would have to come up with some sort of excuse for engaging in this type of conduct (which is hardly unknown over here.)

Via Jake Shannon at Discordian Libertarians on Facebook.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

H. P. Lovecraft roundup

H.P. Lovecraft

The World Fantasy Award will no longer be in the likeness of H.P. Lovecraft. 

My "social justice warrior" credentials can sometimes be shaky,  but I'm fine with this. An award doesn't have to reflect a particular cult of personality, and it makes sense to make everyone at the World Fantasy Convention feel welcome. I doubt if Lovecraft's legacy will suffer.

Also, Arthur Hlavaty finds a surprising quotation.