Sunday, February 22, 2015

Watching TV with RAW


Hugh Laurie, star of the TV medical drama House. 

Ted Hand, on Twitter (Ted's father recently died): "After Robert Anton Wilson died his daughter told me he had wanted to find out what happened next on House. My Dad missed 2+1/2 Men finale."

I never watched "House." Does anyone else have intel on RAW's TV habits?

13 comments:

Oz Fritz said...

I remember reading somewhere a comment by Eric Wagner who said that Law and Order was RAW's favorite TV program.

michael said...

When I hung out with RAW he told me he checked the TCM schedule almost every day.

The number of citations of films - from the worst schlock to the all-time canonical faves - is very very high in RAW's early writings. Just look at how he often he works movies into PBOFW, for example. A few times he says "Late Show" which is quite a dated idea for people, say, under 40. In the days before cable TV (and therefore TCM), you'd receive about seven channels on your TV. And often there would be a block in the late afternoon and after 10PM when a feature-length film would be shown. (No doubt he saw a great many classic films in theaters.)

RAW loved "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" when it appeared. He did like cop dramas: note the cop detectives in Illuminatus! and the cops in SCT; this is in keeping with his enjoyment of Ed McBain's books. RAW seemed fascinated by the literature of cops and detectives and the sociology of their lives. (Did RAW ever get to see The Wire?)

Any one of us can read Reality Is What You Can Get Away With and speculate about the conditions under which RAW had familiarized himself with those movies, many of which he written about in other places as tapping in Jungian archetypes, etc...RAW once described TV as a "squatting Buddha in everyone's living room, that spouts kitsch." (paraphrasing from memory)

The last Q Dr. Jeffrey Eliot asked RAW, circa 1978, at RAW's place in Berkeley:

Q: Finally, another object of considerable criticism, although not by you, is television. How do you assess the overall impact of television on modern society?

RAW: Oh, man. There you've got me on one of my favorite subjects. I really think television is 100 times better than most literary intellectuals admit. I think that "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman", in its two seasons on the air was better than anything done in movies, in novels, or on Broadway at the time. As far as I'm concerned, television was the major art medium of the country for those two seasons. Movies, the stage, and literature were totally outdone. The combination of social realism, coupled with black comedy, was masterful. They really made it work! In looking at the show from minute-to-minute, you never knew whether you were going to laugh or cry. The artistic ambiguity was handled brilliantly. I think there has been a lot of other good things on television, too. Since most science fiction fans despise "trekkies" let me go on record as saying I'm an ardent "trekkie" myself. I love the show. I also think "The Prisoner" is as good as any movie of our generation. In brief, I think television has come in for a lot of unfair criticism. Of course, it's primarily the fault of the networks themselves. It's extremely irritating to look at something first-rate, only to have it interrupted by those idiotic commercials every seven minutes.
-p.64, _Literary Voices #1_, ed. Jeffrey Eliot, Borgo Press, (1980)

RAW mentions TIVO in a 2004 interview with RU Sirius.

michael said...

Interestingly, look at "Damnation By Definition" from _Email to the Uinverse_. The basic essay was written in 1964, although RAW interpolated his 2005 thinking in some sentences are updated (q.v. where he parenthetically mentions Internet as a medium that could supercede TV and allow TV to break out of its neolithic taboos, in which - in 1964 - it was encased).

There's a talk from 2000, while Gore was running against W, where RAW says he used to think he discovered channel surfing, which he's likened to cut-ups. He called it "Bavarian TV." In _New Libertarian_, 11/28/76, in context of discussion about Burroughs, Pound and magick, "a TV shot picked up as you turn the dials quickly." Pynchon has written about using TV this way too. Also: Burroughs. See _The Job_, pp.31-32

SCT: p.19 (violence on 1960s and 70s TV and imprinting); 24 (a montage); 24-25 (Vietnam WAr experienced as "bad TV"); 28 (most Boomers took TV-visual imprint on 3rd circuit); 113 (TV as depressogenic), etc, etc, etc

See CT3, chapter 35, "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," which uses TV as part of metaphor/mask riffing.

See Prometheus Rising, revised ed, p.151 for a riff about TV as metaphor for the biggest promise and threat we face: knowing how the brain/nervous system works.

Sorry to have rambled on so.

Bobby Campbell said...

Great comments, Micheal!

I remember RAW had this really cool little Loch Ness Monster figurine on his cable box.

The figurine was in multiple pieces so it looked like it was submerged in the cable box. (Like on the cover of Masks of the Illuminati.)

I liked the implication that the mythic creature was swimming through the ocean of TV channels.

chas said...

Okay Michael, I'll bite--what the heck is PBOFW?

michael said...

Chas-

Sorry: _Playboy's Book of Forbidden Words_ (1972). With _The Sex Magicians_, the earliest of RAW books that saw the light. Illuminatus! was finished by this time, but not published until 1975.

RAW said that the editors at Playboy took out almost all of his riffs on how words bamboozle us - unless we've read someone like Korzybski - and therefore hypnotize us. He wanted to publish his own revamped version called _Robert Anton Wilson's Book of Black Magick and Curses_, but never got around to it. (Fragments of what he seemed to want appeared in essays subsequently.)

huali10 Cai said...

oakley sunglasses
ysl outlet
jordan shoes
karen millen dresses
ghd hair
michael kors outlet store
true religion jeans
nike free
air max 95
cheap wedding dresses
nike air max uk
the north face clearance
thomas sabo uk
nike free uk
chicago bears jerseys
air jordan shoes
asics gel kayano
coach outlet online
the north face jackets
tiffany and co
valentino sale
michael kors handbags
seattle seahawks jerseys
air force 1 shoes
adidas wings
ferragamo belts
converse shoes
louis vuitton outlet stores
christian louboutin outlet
new balance shoes
mizuno running
links of london uk
lululemon outlet
calvin klein online store
michael kors outlet online
minnesota vikings jerseys
mbt shoes
north face jackets
zheng123 7.18

dong dong said...

201510.20dongdong
michael kors outlet
mont blanc pens
ugg boots
coach outlet online
Authentic Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Sale
ugg boots
true religion jeans
Montblanc Pen Refills Outlet
Abercrombie & Kent Luxury Travel
Michael Kors Handbags Clearance Outlet
Cheap Michael Kors Handbags Outlet
Designer Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet
louis vuitton outlet stores
burberry outlet
canada goose jackets
michael kors outlet online
hollister uk sale
Air Jordan 6 Champagne Bottle
100% Authentic New Lerbron James Shoes
coach outlet
michael kors bags
Louis vuitton Official Website Outlet Online
michael kors outlet
tory burch sale
Michael Kors Outlet Sale Handbags Discount
Christian Louboutin Outlet Sale Cheap Online
coach outlet
cheap jordans,jordan shoes,cheap jordan shoes
Authentic Air Jordan 13 shoes for sale
cheap uggs
mihchael kors bag
michael kors handbags
Michael Kors Handbags Clearance Outlet
Canada Goose Outlet Online
louis vuitton outlet online

Qing Cai said...

oakley sunglasses
tory burch outlet
swarovski crystal
ugg outlet
prada outlet
tiffany and co
adidas wings
oakley sunglasses
woolrich outlet
karen millen dresses
winter jackets
longchamp handbags
michael kors outlet
mulberry handbags
fitflops sale clearance
longchamp handbags
beats headphones
michael kors factory outlet
christian louboutin uk
coach outlet store
fitflops shoes
tiffany and co jewelry
mbt shoes
ray ban sunglasses
kate spade uk
designer handbags
cheap mlb jerseys
christian louboutin online
kate spade handbags
uggs outlet
michael kors outlet online
ugg boots
discount michael kors handbags
true religion outlet
tiffany jewellery
tiffany jewellery
fitflops outlet
nike air max shoes
ray ban sunglasses
cheap nhl jerseys
cai20151215

Zhenhong Bao said...

nike air huarache
cheap jordan shoes
michael kors online outlet
air max 90
cheap jordan shoes
michael kors handbags outlet
michael kors outlet
cheap soccer jerseys
beats headphones
links of london jewellery
swarovski crystal
louis vuitton outlet
asics
louis vuitton bags
christian louboutin shoes
coach outlet online
swarovski jewelry
beats by dre
michael kors uk outlet
michael kors outlet store
michael kors outlet store
nfl jerseys wholesale
mbt shoes outlet
rolex watches
futbol baratas
michael kors outlet
rolex watches for sale
mulberry outlet
ray ban sunglasses
lebron james shoes
beats by dre
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors bags
juicy couture tracksuit
michael kors outlet clearance
20160315zhenhong

林磊 said...

2016-3-22 leilei
longchamp bag
coach outlet
true religion outlet
stephen curry shoes
michael kors outlet
ghd hair straighteners
michael kors outlet
under armour outlet
ray ban outlet
michael kors outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
reebok outlet
ray bans
coach outlet online
cheap basketball shoes
babyliss flat iron
cartier glasses
new balance shoes
nike roshe run
coach outlet online
oakley sunglasses
fitflops clearance
coach outlet
ugg outlet online
levis jeans
cheap oakley sunglasses
michael kors outlet
louboutin outlet
polo outlet
ray ban sunglasses
oakley sunglasses sale
fitflops outlet
canada goose sale
christian louboutin uk
fitflops outlet
polo ralph lauren
armani exchange
burberry outlet
coach outlet online
coach factory outlet online

Zhenhong Bao said...

rolex watches for sale
true religion outlet
rolex watches
ghd hair straighteners
longchamp pliage
toms shoes
ralph lauren outlet
lebron james shoes
rolex uk
fitflop sale
iphone case
ralph lauren polo shirts
tory burch outlet
mont blanc pens
beats by dr dre
chaussure louboutin
burberry outlet store
longchamp outlet
nba jerseys
michael kors outlet
mulberry handbags
cheap jordans
hollister clothing store
oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
christian louboutin uk
reebok trainers
polo ralph lauren
coach outlet store
mulberry handbags
ralph lauren uk
toms outlet
fitflops shoes
tiffany and co
coach outlet online
20160523zhenhong

Fangyaya said...

gucci outlet
coach outlet
cleveland cavaliers jerseys
oakley vault
prada handbags
giuseppe zanotti sandals
ray ban sunglasses outlet
supra shoes
air jordans
jordan femme pas cher
burberry outlet
uggs pas cher
coach outlet store online
hollister clothing
abercrombie and fitch
polo ralph lauren
oakley vault
air jordan pas cher
ray ban sunglasses
basketball shoes
kobe 11
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton outlet
red bottom shoes
ray ban sunglasses outlet
uggs outlet
supra sneakers
mont blanc pens cheap
coach outlet
chenyingying20160903