Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alien Dreaming and the Widening Gyre, pt. VII: Transformers

If you've been in a cave the past few weeks, you've probably missed the thousands of images of Megan Fox relentlessly posing at various premieres of the new Transformers movie. This film is obviously a very big deal for the wizards of Hollywood, even bigger than the new Star Trek movie. Why? It's based on a toy/cartoon line that is of importance solely to young males who encountered it at a very early age. What's the mass appeal here?

I'm way too old to have been bit by the Transformers bug, but I'm not too surprised to see it delving deep into the murky waters of our Collective Alien Dream. I remember seeing the toys it was based on in the early 80s at the old Million Year Picnic in Cambridge and the cartoon hit the airwaves right around the same time I began to get serious about my own inner explorations. So I do feel a connection to the franchise in a strange way.

And I've always been amused by the name, since it was also the title of the classic Lou Reed album that contained the tranny-chasing anthem, "Walk On the Wild Side." That album was produced by David Bowie, that eternal resonator of androgynous alien occult identity. In that light, I'm sure the meme of transformation this film is broadcasting into our collective consciousness will have deeper implications than the mere mechanical shape-shifting we see in the movie already.

But again, the film is lifting themes lock, stock and barrel from The X-Files as well. The whole idea of an alien artifact infecting our brains with a new language would not be lost on Bowie and Reed's hero, William S. Burroughs, but here I'm thinking more along the lines of Terence McKenna's theories on hallucinogenic fungi as an intentional conduit for alien communication and the "Stoned Ape" concept of human transformation that McKenna preached. Put it all together and it's clear that McKenna had put his own spin on AAT.

It's interesting that Shia LaBoeuf (fresh off his Indiana Jones AAT opus) begins his own alien dreaming when he goes to college (Princeton, in this case) since that's the time that many young people have their first encounter with hallucinogens. Likewise, we also see Mulder searching for the alien gnosis that "Doctor Sandoz" possessed at American University (it's at college that some young people also begin to manifest symptoms of schizophrenia, too).

Unlike Transformers II, the new fratboy-centric revision of Star Trek is essentially hostile to subtext, perhaps in reaction to the cumbersome esotericism the franchise had taken on. Deep Space Nine, for instance, is essentially the story of the Emissary of the Prophets transforming from man to god. The series is so laden with deeply subversive text (never mind subtext) I don't even know where to begin, but the mytharc also delved into the same themes of alien dreaming and alien identity that we'll be seeing the hermetically-seductive form of the newly-minted bisexual Megan Fox being utilized to put over into the adolescent group mind at the end of the month.

In "Rapture," Sisko encounters an Bajoran artifact that erases the last vestiges of skepticism left in his psyche. He gets a double dose of the alien gnosis, and as in Transformers and X-Files it not only leads to the revelation of alien identity but to the brink of brain damage as well. The revelation Sisko receives comes in the form of a lost city (that hoary favorite of occult fiction) that shows that the Prophets helped shape Bajoran civilization, just as the Godship in "Biogenesis" did for our own. AAT is everywhere in the Star Trek Universe, with our Federation friends sometimes playing the part of the Anunaki.

The funny thing is that when Sisko gets zapped it's clear that he's on an artificially-induced trip, and we see him alternating between a blissed-out state and a tumultous, psychic one. The impetus for this episode probably came from 2001: A Space Odyssey, which seems to have inspired McKenna's alien dreaming theories as well, with the Mushroom in place of the Monolith. But I'm fairly certain at this point in time that something else inspired Kubrick's vision, other than the somewhat dull Arthur C. Clarke story it's allegedly based on. Maybe not the same thing that inspired Jack Kirby's- we're talking something more in the Cary Grant sphere.

So watch these opening credits for A Man Called Hawk featuring the Emissary himself. Really fascinating symbolism here, about as subtle as a kick in the balls. Soak it in. And strangely enough, the Emissary teaches now at a New Jersey university (the Mason Gross School at Rutgers), though not the one we see in Transformers. But even so, a fascinating conjunction there.

I'll end this with a repeated confession- those symbols that Sam sees in Transformers trailer? I see ones very much like them - a lot - when I close my eyes. First they appear in linear fields and then they morph into circular patterns that rotate too quickly for me to write them down. It's been going on for a few years now. Why am I mentioning them again? Well, I'm listening to a Terence McKenna lecture presently in which he describes DMT elves whose speech is expressed visually.

I've never tried DMT, but I think I'm pretty familiar with those elves.


  1. wklaus23@yahoo.com12:18 AM, June 17, 2009

    I have to say that your work - and it is WORK - is inspiring and unafraid. If you haven't already delved into the frightening (in reference to McKenna's "death by astonishment" refrain) realms of DMT, or Salvia - which may still be legal in your neck of the woods - do so. Life change accelerated. I am an unapologetic proponent of plant based psychedelic experience, done with reverence, respect, and a sense of purpose. It seems almost silly that those that know don't do as much as we say we will. I offer up your work as a torch carrying representitive of both Robert Anton Wilson and Terrence McKenna, two heroes who carried the torch bravely, and with a sense of humor that made the weird so much more enjoyable. Thanks again Mr. Knowles.

  2. How interesting that tonight we just finished watching Big Eden, a post closet "gay" movie set in Calispel (sic) Montana, where the actress playing the part of Grace also played the part of the scheming Bajoran high priestess - Louise Fletcher. Quite the filmography, that one.

  3. if dmt is the spirit molucule, salvia is the devil, at least what i've heard. Awesome post, again.

    ugh ugh ugh ah yeah

  4. I'm just skimming through before I go to sleep, or eat breakfast and then go to sleep... Anyways I notice that at this moment you have 217 followers, and in Transformers, Shia's E-Bay handle is "LadiesMan217." In Hebrew gematria, the name Deborah which means "bee" (as in Shia's Transformer buddy: Bumblebee), equals 217.

  5. Dear Chris, As always, I read, enjoy and am inspired by all your posts. I have never gotten involved in the Deep Space 9 series and may have to now. Anyway this is off topic but have you seen the Goggle logo today? A phoenix, as a bird of spring I think, or a solstace symbol?- flying through the G, a green pillar for one of the ls, and some kind of strange music notations that look more like jellyfish- pretty strange and esoteric stuff....As for the entheogenics, you may try them and find your brain has already taken you there by way of your shamanic pain initations. Best wishes always, and I hope you are staying as well as can be - Delorus

  6. LOL, funny you should mention elves, I am part elf, my ears are pointed, a little like spocks. Neat post, as always.

  7. I'm only partway thru but... "STRANGLE A MOUNTAIN OX"?? Wouldn't that constitute a TAUROCTONY?????!

  8. I tried Salvia once and didn't care for it. I felt mildly sick and felt as though the furniture was watching me... and not in a friendly way.

    Mushrooms, however, are truly incredible. The last time I ate a "heroic" dose I saw those Transformer symbols. Looked like the operating code of the universe. Mushrooms should always be treated with the greatest of respect. Not everybody is ready for what that experience.


    songs with lyrics like these are everywhere now a days in the youth arena.

  10. I'm going to nitpick and say that you probably have to take DMT to be familiar with said elves

  11. I haven't watched any of the Transformers stuff yet, but I've seen similar symbols like that twice. Once written all over my bedroom wall in red. Another time on a chalkboard accompanied by a miniature Albert Einstein-type character ranting about how i needed to learn about the nature of space and time. Both of these experiences were drug-free hypnogogic states.

    DS9 is the only Star Trek I've watched, I really liked it when I was young. Been thinking about revisiting the series.

    Also, I seriously don't see what the big deal is with Megan Fox. These Hollywood ladies look and act all the same to me. I think they must grow them in glass jars, somewhere.

    "Yo Jerry B, I'm headin' over to the warehouse to decant another one! You want I should pick up pizza on the way?"

  12. I totally agree with the first commenter Christopher and others over the time you have had your blog up-always amazes me-like the person said-it takes work and deep thinking to do a blog like yours!! i was fascinated by the Mckenna/2001 connection-the plot thickens to say the least-best to you as always!!

  13. wklaus23@yahoo.com7:49 PM, June 17, 2009

    Though the debate is best settled through experience, I must say that my experience with salvia was so transcendent, so imeeeediately obvious, that I can honestly say that it deserves a name related to "salvation." I offer McKenna's line of thought that salvation is in itself a form of comprehension, that is, it is a divine gift that we GET it, yet it is another to UNDERSTAND it. The post psychedelic confidence that instilled me with the desire to honor some half understood cosmic doctrine always seemed to fade away. The aftershocks of the salvia experience finally catapulted me towards deprogramming my habitual addictions to tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, and actually walk that walk. Not bad. And not necessarily TRUTH, but I offer it as my testament to its humiliating power to energize this slacker sloth beast.

  14. Guys, I'm really beat down right now but I have been reading all of your comments- will have more to say on them for sure. To keep this going, I offer you guys this fascinating lecture by McKenna:

  15. a nice sync for you chris

    Obama Coming To Sirius XM’s Rescue?
    June 17th, 2009

    obama | 17 th | sirius

    kinda freaky

    peace freewill

  16. I don't know, I have always felt that there is a sinsiter side to the psychedelic thing. I mean, look at Philip K. Dick's novel, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, where psychedelics are used by parasitic aliens to invade our reality/consciousness. In his Exegesis, Dick seemed to think that there was a little bit more than fiction in this story.

  17. Just so you know, I worked as an art director on hundreds of TRANSFORMERS tv commercials. I was working for ad agencies in NYC during the 80's..

    sorry, but it's true.


  18. Hi Mike Clelland,

    I'm a copywriter at an ad agency in Miami. So, your shame is not alone.



    Looks like we're heading back!

  20. "mind" controlled hotel heiress paris hilton was born on the 17th and has 17 dogs.