Fans of Robert Anton Wilson's "Historical Illuminatus" books will recognize "No Waters in Cherry Valley by the Testicles" as a remix of some of the more arresting passages in the novel Nature's God, intermingled with quotes from the movie "Casablanca" and other bits that I didn't recognize. The piece would seem to have something in common with the remix culture that we've seen in electronic music for years.
The other day, a few hours after I walked in a small Ohio park, I picked up my copy of Coincidance, opened it at random, and read the sentence, "Sigismundo Celine, in the woods of Ohio, meditated."
The sentences in Nature's God about Celine finding himself in the woods of Ohio are reminiscent of the opening sentences of Dante's Inferno, "Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost."
When Wilson lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, he lived in one of the older states, one that had been settled for a couple of centuries. But during the Revolutionary War, Ohio was the western wilderness, and a man in the woods there was very far from Europe, indeed.
Isn't Wilson's "Cosmic Schmuck" principle a recognition that we should stop, every once in awhile, to consider whether we have found ourselves in a dark forest?
By coincidence, I have been reading Holy Blood, Holy Grail, one of the books mentioned by Wilson. Isn't "Dagobert" a wonderful name? The first "Dilbert" comic strip, featuring a character named Dogbert, was published in 1989, after Coincidance was published. I am confused about why Scott Adams has never been able to work Dagobert II into the strip. A couple of years ago, I listened to Yale professor Paul Freedman's posted online lectures on the early Middle Ages; the professor neglected to mention the theory that the Merovingian kings of France were descended from Jesus, but he did tell his students that the Merovingians had wonderful names that make good names for cats.
Update: Scott Adams answers my email:
Dear Scott,I am curious whether Christmas is the most important holiday in the Adams household next month, or whether you place more emphasis on the feast day of St. Dagobert, which of course is celebrated on .
I have heard of that holiday. But they keep spelling it wrong.