Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New 'Eris of the Month'

Although I usually post an illustration here, this time I'll just suggest you go over to Adam Gorightly's Historia Discordia and look at the Eris of the Month. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Another musician inspired by RAW


Simon Posford. Public domain photo by digitalex

Musician Simon Posford (aka "Hallucinogen") of psychedelic rock outfit Shpongle is interviewed by 303magazine.com. Guess who's a fan of:

303: Who has been the most influential person in your life? 

SP: Robert Anton Wilson, maybe, who wrote Cosmic Trigger, which had a huge effect on me. Raj also had a big influence — Youth as well. Many, many people. Bill Hicks, as well as my dad. [My dad] was a very positive inspiration.

I don't follow pop music closely, but he's been associated with Youth and with Ott, both of whom have been mentioned in this blog.

More here at the interview. 

Hat tip, Advantardeodus on Twitter. 




Sunday, October 29, 2017

When you just can't read someone


Ken MacLeod. (Creative Commons photo by Patrick Nielsen Hayden.) 

Haven't we all had the experience of trying to read someone we "should" like, and discovering that we can't? I usually read a bit of horror fiction for Halloween, but I ran in to this phenomena a couple of days ago when I tried to read Hauntings by Vernon Lee. She's supposed to be great, she was recommended to me by critic Michael Dirda whose recommendations I often agree with, but I just couldn't get into her long sentences and finally gave up.

Years ago when I read one of Samuel Delany's nonfiction books, i discovered that he cannot ever finish anything written by Brian Aldiss. (I love Brian Aldiss). Ken MacLeod, the excellent Scottish science fiction writer, wrote an obituary/appreciation for Robert Anton Wilson after Wilson's death but confessed, "Recently I picked up the Illuminatus! trilogy again and was perplexed to find that I couldn't get into it."

I personally find Illuminatus! very easy to read; the structure and the plot are unusual, but on the sentence level, the works seems clear and interesting. But as RAW would say, my nervous system is not the same as yours.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Adam Gorightly on the JFK files and Uri Geller


Logo for the Daily Grail, which y'all should check out, if you haven't already. 

Adam Gorightly has recently become a Daily Grail columnist. His latest is "SPOON-BENDING SPOOK? URI GELLER CLAIMS TO HAVE INVESTIGATED THE JFK ASSASSINATION FOR THE CIA."

The JFK angle is new to me, but some of what Adam writes about will sound familiar to those of you who have read Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger.

The Daily Grail has been revamped into a nice new design and regularly features pieces that sumbunall of you will enjoy. It seems to be a nest of RAW fans.



Friday, October 27, 2017

A Henry George community


A house in the small municipality of Arden, Delaware, built in the style of town founder Will Price. (Information here.) Wikimedia Commons photo. 

In the essay "Left and Right: A Non-Euclidean Perspective," reprinted in Robert Anton Wilson's Email to the Universe, RAW approvingly mentions the 19th century political philosopher Henry George, as follows, in a passage listing various Utopian schemes that he'd like to see tried: "I am still fond of the system of Henry George (in which no rent is allowed, but free enterprise is otherwise preserved)..."
"
The wording of Wilson's article suggests that none of the Utopian schemes he liked had ever been tried. So I was surprised to read Jesse Walker's excellent article, "Delaware's Odd, Beautiful, Contentious, Private Utopia," which reveals that a town in Delaware, Arden, and several other towns in the U.S. were founded based on George's principles.

Jesse explains that George was "a 19th century economist who argued that government should be financed solely by a tax on land values. No income tax, no sales tax, no tax on the improvements to a property—just one tax on land."

The town is still run largely on Georgian principles. A private land trust owns the land, and people who lease the land support the town government by their least payments: "The trust collects rent from the town's leaseholders and, as the sole property owner, it pays everyone's county and school taxes. The rest of the rent goes to the municipal government. That bundle of money makes up the vast majority of the Arden budget—usually about 90 percent of it—though the town has a few additional sources of income, such as the rent for the antenna on the water tower (and, yes, the state's street aid). The county provides some services, and the rest are done either internally, as with the volunteers who run the local library, or by companies that contract with the village, as with the business that collects the trash. The big decisions are made in town meetings."

There are a couple of passages in Jesse's article (published in Reason magazine but available online at my link)  that could be read as quiet shout outs to Robert Anton Wilson fans, such as this sentence: "The Alabama town of Fairhope had been established on the same land-trust model in 1894, and several similar experiments were launched in the first few decades of the 20th century—enough for the Single Tax settlements to have their own baseball championship, which Arden won in 1923." 1923 has a 23 and also conforms to the Law of Fives as it adds up to 15, although of course Jesse could innocently explain he had no control over when Arden won its baseball championship. The Illuminati also put in a brief appearance. Is is Jesse's fault the town has been mentioned as a haven for the nefarious secret society?

BONUS! Jesse on the partial release of the JFK assassination files. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The BBC on Discordianism, RAW and Illuminati paranoia


David Bramwell (from his official website.) I don't know who his friend is. 

The BBC has an article posted online, "The accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy," which, apparently relying heavily on the theories of David Bramwell,  argues that the obsession with the Illuminati in the world of hip hop was generated by Discordianism and the popularization of it in Illuminatus! by Robert Anton Wilson (mentioned by name) and Robert Shea (relegated to "another Playboy writer," a particularly clear example of Shea being erased from the record despite his own importance as a writer.)

The article by Sophia Smith Galer mostly moves on to discussing why many people believe conspiracy theories, but I'm more interested in whether Illuminatus! really had such a large effect on popular culture. I'm pleased that it has sold a reasonable number of copies and remains it print, but it never seemed as ubiquitous to me as, say, Stranger in a Strange Land or Lord of the Rings or Dune. 

I decided to ask for a second opinion from the guy who "wrote the book" on conspiracy theory, so I emailed Jesse Walker, author of The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory.  (The book has a chapter on Discordianism, and if you read this blog, you should hunt up a copy.

I emailed Jesse a link to the BBC article and asked, "Do you think it's plausible that 'Illuminatus!' gave rise to all of the Illuminati paranoia of today? I am skeptical, but I thought I would seek the opinion of the guy who wrote the book on conspiracy theory."

He replied, "All of it? No, of course not. Not even all the Illuminati obsessions -- you can trace a lot of that back to the trilogy, but I think there were more significant sources for the hip hop Illuminati stuff."

In any event, pretty cool to see the BBC talking about Illuminatus! Wish I could hear a BBC announcer talking about it.

Bramwell, BTW, has a book out, The Haunted Mustache, that looks interesting.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Coincidance question


Photo by Mohammad Metri from Unsplash.com 

I have been doing a bit of volunteer copyediting for Hilaritas Press, helping to get Coincidance: A Head Test ready for publication. In the introduction to the "Interview with Sean MacBride," Wilson writes, "....yet the Golden Dawn has more to do with the publication of this anthology at this time than most readers will guess."

Can anyone tell me what that statement means?

My illustration is a photo from Unsplash.com, which makes thousands of excellent photographs available for free use, without copyright restrictions.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Review of '2023'


Scott from Wisconsin, who has helped this blog before, recently read 2023:  a trilogy by the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (e.g., Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty) and kindly wrote to me to share these thoughts:

"Imagine a book co-authored by Tom Robbins & Neal Stephenson about the intersection of one of your favorite authors (RAW) and a band (KLF) that utilized touch-points from that same author.

"Having first read the Illuminatus Trilogy back in 1976 and subsequently immersing myself in all the threads from the rest of RAW's work since, I probably got about 2/3's of the references listed in 2023.

"Using my current standard of: 'Was it time well spent?'  I would say yes, I enjoyed it."

"Was it time well spent?' seems like a good metric to me. Thanks, Scott!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

There's that number again


Sean Young. Creative Commons photo by Luke Ford. 

On Twitter the other day, I remarked that actress Sean Young hadn't gotten much sympathy after being sexually harassed by Warren Beatty during the filming of "Dick Tracy." (She was fired from movie after she resisted his advances.)

I remembered too late that I should have checked to see if she's on Twitter. She's there, as @seanyoung23.

I'm pretty sure it's the famous one ..... sounds just like the Sean Young on Facebook, linked to from the official site.




Saturday, October 21, 2017

A note on RAW and Ulysses


Sketch from pinned Tweet at the Linda Joyce Franks Twitter account. A self portrait

James Joyce fans who also read RAW are likely to know that Wilson's  Coincidance: A Head Test (new edition out soon from Hilaritas Press) includes four meaty essays that discuss Joyce's Finnegans Wake. When I did my recent interview with Znore of the Groupname for Grapejuice blog, he referenced that. "It's a shame that those essays have not been seriously considered by the academics," he told me.

But I wanted to point out that one of those Coincidance Joyce essays, "Death and Absence in Joyce," devotes most of its attention to Ulysses and makes many good points. If you are taking RAW's advice to read Ulysses 40 times, the piece is worth your attention.

Eric Wagner in his RAW tome suggests that readers new to Joyce should start with RAW's novel Masks of the Illuminati and Joyce's children's book, The Cat and the Devil. 

My edition of Eric's book even has cover art by a Joyce -- the visual artist Linda Joyce Franks. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Re-reading 'Lord of the Rings'



Although most of the books I read are ones I've never read before, I do have the habit of re-reading books that I consider classics, or at least particularly enjoy. I've read Illuminatus! several times and other RAW books more than once. I re-read Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun about a year ago. And now I'm re-reading Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. (As I write this, I'm nearing halfway through The Fellowship of the Ring.)

There are references to The Lord of the Rings in Illuminatus! For example, Epicene Wildeblood, describing a review he is preparing for a book that sounds very much like Illuminatus!, proudly trots out the insults in the text, including, "If the Lord of the Rings is a fairy tale for adults, sophisticated readers will quickly recognize this monumental miscarriage as a fairy tale for paranoids."

Both "trilogies" are in fact a single literary work, published in three volumes for economic reasons. Both can be described as works of fantasy. Both have appendices. I'm just guessing, but I wonder if Wilson and Shea worked in references to Tolkien because they hoped Illuminatus! would become an instant classic on the order of The Lord of the Rings.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

'Waging Peace from the Inkbattle House: Finnegans Wake in the Shadow of War'



A natural followup to yesterday's review of an important antiwar book, Scott Horton's Fool's Errand, is the recent Peter Quadrino blog posting/essay, "Waging Peace from the Inkbattle House: Finnegans Wake in the Shadow of War." The essay posted on the blog is actually the full version of the presentation PQ made at a Joyce conference.

As we seem to be in a time of endless war, as highlighted by Horton's book, with the possibility of worse to come, PQ's discussion of the composition of Finnegans Wake on the eve of World War II seems timely.

As is usual with PQ, he pays careful attention to the text:

Shem the Penman, emblematic of the author of the Wake, composes “o peace a farce” (FW 14), a piece of farcical art that is a force for peace, leading us to wonder “Is the Pen Mightier Than the Sword?” (FW 306) Hiding up in his “inkbattle house” (FW 176), Shem cunningly attacks the powers of “awethorrorty” (FW 516) with his comedic art ...

Some of what PQ writes has echoes of what I've seen in the writings of Robert Anton Wilson:

The Wake’s anthropological view of warfare and militarism is always scatological, invoked right from the first page with “penisolate war” (FW 3), The Peninsular War where Wellington and Napoleon first clashed. Warfare in Finnegans Wake is reduced to a pissing contest (hence, Waterloo), having to do with the nether regions, characteristic of anal-territorial animal aggression implied by using excrement as territorial marker. As Timothy Leary liked to say, “The only intelligent way to discuss politics is on all fours.” Or as the Wake puts it, “All’s fair on all fours.” (FW 295)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Read Scott Horton's new book on Afghanistan





If you lean at all toward an antiwar position -- if you are at least open to the idea that the U.S. should not fight endless Asian land wars -- you need to read Scott Horton's new book, Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan.  I happen to agree with Horton's position, but it's also a well-researched, interesting book, a lively and interesting read.

Here are some of the things you'll learn if you read Horton's book:

• There is nothing particularly Islamic about suicide bombers. It's a tactic used by combatants who have no other means to inflict serious casualties. (Horton does not mention this,* but the history of World War II in the Pacific illustrates the point. The Japanese resorted to kamikaze attacks after their navy was at the bottom of the ocean.)

• The U.S. is no closer to defeating the Taliban now than it ever was.

• The war in Afghanistan is now the longest war the U.S. has fought.

• The U.S. could have fought a limited war to get rid of Osama bin Laden and his allies, getting out of Afghanistan within a few months.

• If you serve in the U.S. armed forces, you are not likely to be "fighting for freedom." You will be fighting to subjugate people into the American empire.

• Many U.S. allies in Afghanistan sided with the Russians during the Soviet Union's invasion. The folks in Afghanistan who oppose foreign intervention as the "bad guys" in our eyes, just as they were the baddies as far as the Russians were concerned.

• Many of the people we are killing over there are not terrorists or enemy combatants.

• As badly as the Taliban treat women, they are actually better than many of the folks we support. The Taliban at least are less tolerant of rape than many of our allies.

Horton uncovers endless outrages. I could cite numerous passages in the book; here is one. After describing how the Obama administration in 2016 sought to bolster the Afghan government by purchasing Russian MI-25 attack helicopters from India (to get around U.S. sanctions against Russia), Horton writes,

"India's continued willingness to train and equip Afghan National Army forces in their fight against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network amounted to nothing less than a 'proxy war' between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan, in the words of reporter Charles Tiefer, a proxy war in which the U.S. remains on both sides. All this virtually guarantees the Pakistani state will increase aid to their favored insurgent forces in response. The Americans could not be employing a more self-defeating strategy if sabotage was their actual goal."

Your tax dollars at work! Did you know that India was intervening in Afghanistan, with American encouragement? The book is full of such surprises.

I bought my copy of the book as a Kindle from Amazon for $9.99 — a fair price for a new book.

* Correction: He does in fact mention it.





Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New review of 2023


In a pretty good-sized review of 2023: A Trilogy at the LA Review of Books, Ron Hogan begins with a good discussion of Robert Anton Wilson before moving on the subject at hand, the new work by KLF folks Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty.

I was hoping for a bottom line on whether I should actually read the book. The closest thing to that I could find in the review was "Indeed, 2023 is not, as a novel, terribly welcoming to readers who aren’t already familiar with the JAMs, and from a classical literary perspective it’s actually something of a mess — but that’s the point."

Thanks to Chris Mayer for writing to me to point out the review.

Monday, October 16, 2017

News from the UK



A brand new Cosmic Trigger Play Newsletter from Meesh (i.e., Michelle Olley) is full of news. You can read the whole thing yourself, but here are salient news points:

-- There will be a "ritual mass burn" of money, Oct. 23 in London, details in the flyer above; and at this link.  (Attending the event is free, but you are invited to bring cash to burn!)

-- A nonstop reading of the new novel The Sentence by Alistair Fruish, Oct. 27 in Northampton.

From the Fruish website: "The book is one long sentence entirely constructed of words of one syllable, with no punctuation. We have had very favourable comments from the handful of people who have read it so far. This is what John Higgs has said about it:

“Alistair Fruish’s monosyllabic vision is a trance-inducing ticket to an all too plausible near-future dystopia. It is a bleak, grinding, addictive joy that will restore your faith in writing. Absorbing, inspired and unlike anything you’ve ever read, The Sentence is a fully-formed celebration of the power contained in even the simplest of words.”

The reading will be conducted by Daisy Campbell, and Alan Moore is one the the readers (if the others are listed, I can't find them).  Tickets and other details here. Tickets are about 5 pounds; other readings of the book are planned. One hopes the book becomes available in the U.S., sooner rather than later; if I can get details I will update this post.

-- The dream of bringing the Cosmic Trigger play to the U.S apparently is not dead.

From the newsletter: "Safe to say, there is interest in getting the Cosmic Trigger play over to the states. Mycelial spores have been planted and connections made that, with enough love and will, could result in making this dream a reality. More on this soon..."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mozart's 'Magic Flute'



I have been to several Metropolitan Opera productions simulcast at movie theaters, but Saturday's production of The Magic Flute was perhaps the most vivid experience yet, with a production that employed puppets, costumes, lighting and other effects to produce a series of often startling scenes. (Blogger has suddenly lost the ability to upload photos today, but see the images and videos at the Metropolitan Opera's website. I have embedded an official Met video from YouTube.)

The Masonic elements of the opera seemed very strong; almost the entire second half is devoted to an initiation of the heroes. Robert Anton Wilson says the opera also has Illuminati ideas, and indeed there is much talk of enlightenment in the text and the use of light in the opera is itself symbolic.  There were many suggestive symbols throughout the opera; the "three ladies" carried around masks that looked oddly like aliens. Did anyone else see this?




Saturday, October 14, 2017

I hope the fires stop soon [Updated0



UPDATE: After I wrote my post, Branka Tesla sent me this photo taken at sunset. She says, "The photo was taken on Wednesday (10/11) evening from my balcony in Berkeley/Claremont hills overlooking San Francisco. You can see a thick layer of smoke cap over SF Bay."


Fire in Simi Valley, California, in 2003. Wikimedia Commons photo

On Twitter California resident Ted Hand writes, "Fuuuuuck. Voluntary evacuation zone now two blocks away from my house. I'm not staying there, I'm in a safe place."

This blog probably has more readers in California than in any other state. California is a beautiful state and I am always happy when I have the chance to visit. Stay safe, everyone.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Matt Cardin on Chapel Perilous


Matt Cardin 

Matt Cardin is a writer, editor, English professor and RAW fan who has immersed himself in Wilson's works. He has a particular interest in horror fiction. 

I've mentioned him occasionally in this space, but I missed his 2012 blog essay "Initiation by Nightmare: Cosmic Horror and Chapel Perilous" until I saw the Secret Transmissions link on Twitter.  

Matt relates how he was plagued by sleep paralysis attacks in the 1990s and at first related it to cosmic horror, i.e. reading Lovecraft, Lovecraft criticism and authors influenced by Lovecraft. (Lovecraft was also an influence on Wilson, as many of you know). 

"There was, however, another vocabulary I could have used, and it would have complemented the cosmic horrific one in mutually illuminating fashion. It was the vocabulary of consciousness change and high paranormal weirdness encoded in the idea of Chapel Perilous as explicated by Robert Anton Wilson. But this didn’t occur to me until much later," he writes.

Matt then goes on to explore the concept of Chapel Perilous and the history of the concept in works such as From Ritual To Romance by Jessie Weston. 

Cardin's conclusion is sobering:

"We’re all playing with fire, those of us who actively perturb consciousness, and also those of us who have such perturbations forced upon us by powers outside our ken and control. In the words of the weekly closing narration to a classic horror television series, the nightmare aspect of daimonic reality, the aspect that the great writers of cosmic horror fiction have accessed and illustrated in their work, “is always there, waiting for us to enter, waiting to enter us.” This is not mere poetic speech, nor is it mere aesthetic or intellectual entertainment for those drawn to the dark side of fiction, film, philosophy, and spirituality. This is deadly truth.

"Wilson spoke of Chapel Perilous in terms of the perceived arrival of a spiritual ally that helps one through a crisis. But there’s another corridor of the chapel where the ally’s aspect is decidedly darker, and where it’s damned difficult to see and understand him, her, or it as an ally at all. The fact that the classic ally in the Western esoteric and occult traditions is one’s daemon, one’s genius, one’s Holy Guardian Angel, makes this darker aspect of the experience all the more disturbing, for what does it mean when your own “higher self,” the daemon or daimon who, according to the ancient Western understanding, represents the divine template and design for your life — and which in a modern-day context we can metaphorize as the “unconscious mind,” especially in a Jungian sense — what does it mean when this, the most intimate and personal-to-you of all possible psychological/spiritual realities, appears in the form of a demonic, assaulting presence?"

Matt's "Teeming Brain" blog seems very interesting.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mozart's Masonic opera, in a theater near you


Scene from the Metropolitan Opera's production of The Magic Flute

A reminder and a correction: The Metropolitan Opera's broadcast of Die Zauberflöte (e.g., The Magic Flute) will be at 12:55 p.m. Saturday at a movie theater near you, unless you live in the middle of nowhere. See this link to figure out how to find a theater, etc. 

As I wrote earlier, The Magic Flute has Freemasonic elements (note the "eye in the pyramid" motif above.) It was Beethoven's favorite Mozart opera.

In that earlier post, I wrote,  "Isis and Osiris are invoked in the course of the plot, and the main characters have to undergo an initiation. Given Robert Anton Wilson's interest in Mozart, I'm surprised that he never talked about this opera (as far as I know)."

The first sentence is true (as far as I know), but I now know that RAW did talk about the opera, at least once.  RAW stated that the Magic Flute is a Masonic initiation turned into an opera and that the opera has Illuminati ideas.

I can't guarantee a good experience at the theater, but the New York Times seems to like the new production.  And here is a positive review. 

An adult ticket costs about $25. For those who like this sort of thing, it's a good experience. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bertrand Russell's 10 commandments


 Bertrand Russell 


At least of them line up nicely with what many of us learn reading Robert Anton Wilson: " 1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything," and "7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."

Via Supergee, who is sometimes eccentric in opinion. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New book by Steve Pratt



A friend of us all, musician, writer and RAW scholar Steve "Fly Agaric" Pratt, has a new book out, Fly: Selected Poetry by Steve Pratt. I've just bought my copy.

Free preview here. 


Monday, October 9, 2017

New JFK assassination files, Kerry Thornley and Discordianism



If you can't get enough JFK conspiracy theory stuff, head over to Historia Discordia, where Adam Gorightly discusses the impending release of until-now secret documents on the John Kennedy assassination, and then explains how some of them relate to Discordianism and Kerry Thornley. Adam talks about the controversy over whether Thornley met Osward in Mexico. 

If you've come in late, Thornley, often cited in Illuminatus! as one of the founders of Discordianism, knew Lee Harvey Oswald in the Marines. See Adam's blog posts, and his two Thornley biographies.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

New book: The Mysterium




The Mysterium by Jo Keeling and David Bramwell ("Unexplained and extraordinary stories for a post-Nessie generation") has just been released in the UK and comes out in the U.S. next May.

Details from the publisher are irritatingly vague, but Ian "Cat" Vincent's latest email newsletter says contributors include himself and John Higgs, so it sounds good. You can read about the Oct. 13 launch party.

Keeling and Bramwell also did The Odditorium, which I belatedly notice is available in the States now and which I'll have to pick up.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Bobby Campbell discusses his new RAW art



Bobby Campbell has a new post up at the Maybe Logic blog about the new artwork he is doing for the three RAW Historical Illuminatus! books being reprinted by Hilartas Press. As I reported earlier, the new editions will reproduce the drawings in higher resolution than the drawings New Falcon ran.

Bobby writes,

"Presently, The Widow's Son chapter illustrations are proceeding very nicely, as I try to stretch my imagination into a hyperspatial pretzel, so as to do this great work justice. The sketch pictured above [the same one reproduced here -- the Mgt.] is the rather humble beginnings of what eventually became my most complex RAW composition to date :)))
"I've tried to take this opportunity as an invitation to elevate my craft, trying to bring my images up towards RAW's text, meeting on the level, parting on the square, and all that good $#!+."
 
Bobby also talks about the shows he's been watching and the McLuhan lectures he's been listening to, so check him out. 



Friday, October 6, 2017

Upcoming reading groups


Nabokov in 1973

I'll start a reading group in January on Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire. Eric Wagner and I have been talking about that for awhile; the book influenced RAW's use of footnotes in The Widow's Son. I meant to start that up this year, but if we begin now, we'll run into the holiday season, when people tend to be pretty busy. I don't really know how many people will participate, but Eric has promised to take part!

I've read Nabokov since high school, and I like to read another of his every couple of years or so; I finally read Ada earlier this year.

Coincidance is the next scheduled book to be published by Hilaritas, and then the Historical Illuminatus books, which would be suitable subjects for the next series of reading groups.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

MC5 in Rock Hall of Fame?



 MC5 in 2005 (Creative Commons photo)

The MC5 have just been  nominated to be included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland (along with 18 other acts). 

I mention that here because there's an amusing reference to the band in Illuminatus! As you will no doubt recall, the Illuminati control all of the companies issuing rock music, and as John Dillinger explains to Joe Malik, "We were ignoring that front until they got the MC-5 to cut a disc called 'Kick Out The Jams' just to taunt us with old bitter memories."




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Oz Fritz on the feeling of being "home"



Bron-y-aur. Bron-y-aur Cottage near Machynlleth, Wales. Where Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote many classic songs for the third and fourth Led Zeppelin albums. Wikimedia Commons photo by "Andy." 

Oz Fritz has a nice piece up that I liked about how the music one enjoys helps give people a feeling of being home. Excerpt:

"Like many adolescents, I felt alienated and disconnected from current social expectations and the conventional cultural milieu; any sense of a real kind of home becoming distant, especially after moving out of the parental pod immediately upon turning 16.  Whenever I listened to Led Zeppelin back then, and still to this day, I felt closer to being at home.  A lot of good music in general invokes the home space, the place of sanctuary."


What do you want to bet that wherever Robert Anton Wilson lived, he made sure to have some Beethoven LPs?


Last night, I listened to one of my favorite Tom Petty albums Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) in my living room, enjoying the music but also feeling sad.



Monday, October 2, 2017

2023 on sale for Kindle in United Kingdom



From the KLF Update on Twitter: "If you haven’t seen 2023 is in the Kindle Monthly deals."

I followed the link and it's listed at £5.99. I never buy Kindle books from Amazon UK as I'm an American, so I don't know how much of a bargain that is. It doesn't seem to be part of the Kindle monthly deals for the U.S. — it's listed at $10.99 today.

Has anyone out there read this  yet? The early reviews from readers seem to be mixed.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The best militarism money can buy


Tyler Cowen 

The U.S. government spends millions of dollars to have football players stand during the national anthem.

It would be interesting to come up with a total dollar figure for Pentagon spending on propaganda and entertainment, and then compare that figure with, say, the annual budget for the National Endowment for the Arts. It might show what the National Security state that RAW used to write about really values. I'm not necessarily in favor of having the government pay for art, but conservatives tend to single out only one kind of spending.

Tyler Cowen on the national anthem and the NFL: "The awkward, hard-to-admit truth is that the American national anthem is a form of right-wing political correctness, designed to embarrass or intimidate those who do not see fit to sing along and pay the demanded respect."

Don Boudreaux on the NFL protests. "By the way, I myself never pledge allegiance to any flag or sing any national anthem, although when such statist ceremonies are conducted in my presence I stand for them in order not to embarrass whoever is my host who brought me to whatever event might begin with such ceremonies."