Saturday, February 18, 2017

'There is no president anywhere'

From Bobby Campbell

"There is no governor present anywhere"
Chuang Tzu
There is no governor anywhere; you are all absolutely free. There is no restraint that cannot be escaped. We are all absolutely free. If everybody could go into dhyana at will, nobody could be controlled — by fear of prison, by fear of whips or electroshock, by fear of death, even. All existing society is based on keeping those fears alive, to control the masses. Ten people who know would be more dangerous than a million armed anarchists.”

― Robert Anton Wilson,
Schrödinger's Cat 2: The Trick Top Hat

Friday, February 17, 2017

Alan Moore vs. Grant Morrison, a 'wizard's' perspective

Alan Moore

 A new article, "Two Of The Greatest Comic Book Writers Have Been In An Occult War For 25 Years," by "Urbanski," a self-described wizard, describes the ongoing feud between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, the two famous comic book writers influenced by Robert Anton Wilson.

Urbanski says he himself is a "wizard," and that he brings a perspective to discussing the feud that other writers don't have:

So here's where we get to the part that most articles on the Moore/Morrison feud have missed. I'm a comics reader but probably not expert enough to really detail the history or quality of work other than at the 'fan' level. But I am an expert on occultism. And I can say this: the war between Moore and Morrison isn't just a "writers' fight", it's a "wizards' feud." It is two very different views on magick using comics as a medium to fire salvos at each other.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Robert Anton Wilson on freedom of speech

[Certain recent political events and actions associated with them have revived debate about freedom of speech on social media, so I thought I would let Robert Anton Wilson weigh in.

This is from a letter published in issue No. 10 Robert Shea's zine, "No Governor." The full letter is here.  Wilson is responding to a defense of environmental radicals by Neal Wilgus in issues No. 9 and 10. All of the  issues of "No Governor" are available as PDFs here.  I obtained them from the University of Michigan in the earlier days of the blog— The Management.] 

I think Neal Wilgus has his head up his ass. With all his ifs and ands and buts and subordinate clauses and modifications, he still seems to be endorsing the idea that any "moralist" that thinks X's way of life is "immoral" has the right to come in and trash anything X owns, and I find that bloody damned terrifying. It only seems remotely akin to sanity if  you substitute some person or group you violently dislike for "X,"but put your own name in the place of the "X's " and read it again. See what you think then. If it doesn't work with "the NAACP" or "Bob Shea" or "the Credit Unions" in place of X, it seems a very dangerous idea, even if "Mobil Oil" or "the American Nazi Party" in place of X does not upset you immediately.

Civil liberties remain indivisible, and what can be done to Catholics or Mobil Oil today can be done to Protestants or nudists tomorrow. ("If they can take Hancock's wharf they can take your cow or my barn," as John Adams once said.) Since the majority always rejects the Bill of Rights whenever a sociologist tries the experiment by offering it for approval by a cross-section of the population, and since George Bush earned great enthusiasm for his attacks on the ACLU, I don't suppose Wilgus or most people will understand this point, but we libertarians  have to keep saying it over and over, every generation, and hope it will eventually register.

Maybe Wilgus thinks he knows who "is" "really" "immoral" and who isn't, and only supports vigilante action against the "really" "immoral"? I would congratulate him on having attained Papal Infallibility, except that I suspect he has only obtained the delusion of Papal Infallibility.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

News roundup at Libertarian Institute

The Libertarian Institute, a relatively new outfit, has been posting a daily roundup of news from Kyle Anzalone that I have gotten into the habit of checking daily. There is a strong concentration on peace issues and civil liberties, but Mr. Anzalone also has a gift for finding news items that a libertarian would regard as particularly outrageous. Some recent examples:

• "Arizona officials are investigating a cosmetology student for giving free haircuts to homeless people without a license. [Link]"

• "A New Jersey police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing after he shot an armed 76-year-old man. The elderly man was in his home when the officer entered the house after bring incorrectly sent to the address by dispatchers. The man believed the officer was a home invader and was holding a shotgun when the officer killed him. [Link]"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Email to the Universe has new introduction

Robert Anton Wilson and Michael Johnson, Feb. 18, 2003, in Wilson's apartment. 

The new edition of Email to the Universe currently being prepared for publication by Hilaritas Press and scheduled to be released soon has a nice bonus: A new introduction by Michael Johnson of Overweening Generalist fame.

If you are not familiar with the story of how Email to the Universe came to be assembled as Robert Anton Wilson's final book, see my interview with Michael.  RAW did not do a good job of keeping copies of his work. Michael Johnson and his helpers, such as Mike Gathers, did a heroic job of gathering up much of Wilson's uncollected material and making it available at the Robert Anton Wilson Fans site, which remains one of the best RAW sites on the Internet. Many of the best pieces posted there were included when Email to the Universe was assembled.

Richard Rasa, director at Hilaritas Press, says Johnson's piece is “the Intro we think the book always needed.” I have read it, too, and it's an excellent piece, a nice bonus for people who buy the book.

Monday, February 13, 2017

New John Higgs book out soon

John Higgs

One of my favorite authors, John Higgs, will have a new book out this summer. Watling Street: Travels Through Britain and Its Ever-Present Past is scheduled for release on July 13, according to the Amazon UK site.  "A journey along one of Britain's oldest and most enchanting roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today." No cover shown, and I didn't seen anything on the U.S. Amazon site, but the British site helpfully says, "This item can be delivered to United States."

Meanwhile, Hilartitas Press is busy with new editions this year of Email to the Universe and Coincidance: A Head Test. More information about those titles will show up here as it becomes available.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

More on the new KLF book

A little bit more information has come out about 2023, the new book by "The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu," e.g. guerrilla ontologists The KLF.

A page by the publisher, Faber, reveals that the book is scheduled for release on August 23 this year and is subtitled, "A Trilogy." There is a pyramid on the cover. Faber's page to promote the book says,

Well we're back again,
They never kicked us out, 
twenty thousand years of 

Down through the epochs and out across the continents, generation upon generation of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu have told variants of the same story - an end of days story, a final chapter story. But one with hope, even if the hope at times seems forlorn. 

The story contained in this trilogy is the latest telling. Here it is presented as a utopian costume drama, set in the near future, written in the recent past. 

Read with care 
for K 2 Plant Hire Ltd.

All of this certainly seems suggestive of the Illuminatus! trilogy, although the references seem to be lost on every press report I've seen about the book, such as this one from Jezebel. 

Hat tip, Rarebit Fiend.