A romanticized depiction of Charles Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie") addressing Scottish soldiers during the '45.
Week Thirteen (pg. 199-224 Hilaritas edition, Chapter 9&10 Part II all editions)
By Gregory Arnott,
Special guest blogger
Arctic Tern chicks take flight on Dalkey Island: Some recent news. It seems that the arctic tern has a longer migration pattern, from Arctic to Antarctic, than any other creature on Earth. Their migratory behavior also guarantees that they see more daylight than any other creature on Earth. It is appropriate for a species identified by de Selby to avoid toxic black air.
As Seamus marches from the barracks he ruminates on many of RAW’s favorite demons: double-cross, paranoia, violence and madness.
Interestingly, my light research indicates that “Croppies Lie Down” wasn’t sang until the Irish Rebellion of 1798. In fact, I was unable to find the verse sang in The Widow’s Son anywhere in the original lyrics and at first only excerpted in a book from 2003 by a historian named William Kelleher: The Troubles in Ballybogoin: Memory and Identity in Northern Ireland. Eventually I found the same verse in some other books- the oldest one being from 1982. Too Long a Sacrifice is a history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland since 1969; the author, Jack Holland, had a Protestant father and Catholic mother and worked as a news reporter. This leads me to believe that the verse must have been added to the original song sometime during the late twentieth century. The last line before the refrain “And soon the bright Orange put down the Green rag” is particularly aggressive and certainly could have been penned amidst the violence and politics. So it seems that neither the song, or especially this verse, dated back to the Battle of the Boyne. Another trick by Mr. Wilson.
The Rebellion of 1798 was led by Presbyterians and joined by the Catholics which gives credence to the discussion of how the recension of the Declaration of Independence of Conscience by William of Orange really fucked over anyone who wasn’t an Anglican. The “croppies” of the song were so-called because the revolutionaries cut their hair in the French Jacobin style (not to be confused with the Jacobites).
The Declaration of the Independence of Conscience is more widely known as either the Declaration(s) of Indulgence or the Declaration of the Liberty of Conscience. Of course, James II wasn’t exactly being as beneficent as the text reads and was mostly trying to make his own Catholic faith legal. The founder of Pennsylvania and guy from the Oatmeal tube, William Penn, was a supporter of the Declaration and later quit the party when it was rescinded after the Glorious Revolution. (I’m somewhat certain the guy from the Quaker Oatmeal container isn’t actually William Penn but that’s how I’ve always pictured him.)
The short reign of James II and the Glorious Revolution is one of the most fascinating parts, in my opinion, of British history. Since studying James II and VII in one of my seminars I have always felt like it was a pity Shakespeare wasn’t around afterwards. The whole debacle could have fit in well with his other Histories as it is replete with scheming nobility and bishops, an ambiguous monarch, and the heavy tread of Fate.This would lead to a series of Jacobite Rebellions and the (perhaps undeserved) martyrdom of James Stuart, Charles Stuart, and the veterans of the uprising of 1689, the Fifteen, and the Forty-Five from whence “The Skye Boat Song” originated. (Here is a good overview of the Rebellion of ‘45 from the Adam Smith Institute. November 8th was the anniversary of Charles Stuart’s initial invasion.)
I believe the footnote on pg 204-205 (Hilaritas edition) not only serves to further the de Selby conspiracy sub-narrative but to illustrate the ambiguities of any religious authority. Although we see the Catholic Muadhen mutilated and driven to murderous intent by Protestant oppression, we are reminded that the Catholic machinations in Britain, or elsewhere in the world, were hardly benevolent.
The conversation between Weishaupt and Cagliostro is supposed to by mysterious but the reader of RAW’s other works is easily able to perceive, read between the lines, or at least think that they can easily perceive the undercurrents and connections in their speech. Phrases such as when the stars are right, Et in Arcadia Ego, and the benediction/response of Ewige Blumenkraft (Eternal Flower Power)/Und Ewige Schlangekraft (and Eternal Serpent Power) should be familiar from Illuminatus! and other writings. The term cowans is still used in Masonic lodges and the footnote provided by RAW links this term to others such as “pashu” (“the unwashed herd”), used by initiates of Tantric cults to refer to the unenlightened.
That Weishaupt was commonly referred to as “a deep one” is an assertion that RAW repeats elsewhere. Aside from the surface meaning it is easy to see this as another of RAW’s devices tying Weishaupt to Lovecraftian nightmares. (See also the “die wascally wabbit” scene from Illuminatus!.) Weishaupt’s “time-vision” is an example of slipping into the Morgensheutegesternwelf or the yesterday-today-tomorrow-world spoken of in Illuminatus!. RAW, with the benefit of a couple centuries and his expertise is able to make a convincing vision of the future of the Illuminati. On page 213, Hilaritas edition, I see that I made a mistake in my editing and should have inserted a break between Weishaupt’s low opinion of the Knights of Malta and Sir John drinking Guiness and talking about Machiavelli.
Babcock’s somewhat drunken and perhaps indiscreet joke about Machiavelli, tied with his anxious reflections, makes an interesting triple interpretation of Machiavelli’s political tract as both a religious and sexual allegory. We are also treated to some heavy irony that Babcock is exhausted by a “long hard day in Parliament” when we have read about so many characters in powerless, poverty-stricken situations. The irony is compounded when we find out that Seamus Muadhen, now James Moon, is employed as his servant and waiting outside the tavern. The reader understands how priggish Babcock’s well-intentioned thoughts about the “poor lad” and “the boy” whistling incriminating songs really are as he believes himself to know more about James than he possibly could.
The thunderstone falls from the sky and interrupts Babcock’s thoughts; is this an inscrutable sign of a Machiavellian God or Author?
The paragraph from pg 219-220 (Hilaritas) where Moon considers that history is made by the rash those with too much “fooken imagination” are left its passive victims is as good of writing as any in RAW’s work. It is reminiscent of another Hamlet-obsessed, young Irishman’s ruminations on the nature of history.
The long footnote in the chapter discusses de Selby’s concept of plenumary time which sounds very familiar to the quantum interpretations of Heisenberg and the more recent work of Alan and Steve Moore. I cannot do justice to either Moore’s time/space paradigm here and anyone interested should study Alan’s Jerusalem and then study it some more.
At the end of the chapter Moon’s moral decision is interrupted by the ancestor of George Dorn, who will also wrestle with the ideas of cowardice versus compassion, with the announcement that Maria, Lady Babcock is in labor. Seamus/James is left behind to uninter the thunderstone. Debate on rocks from the sky and new life awaits.
This week’s selection from Eric Wagner: "This week I have chosen Beethoven’s Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjGhUaAp69c .
"The narrator of The Widow’s Son calls this piece “as supreme a work of Masonic ideology set to music as Mozart’s Magic Flute” (pg. 210). (The number 210 plays a central role in Crowley’s notions about sex magick - the two become one become nothing.)"