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."