Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You Don't Need Their Permission Anymore, Part 1

The final collapse of American popular culture-
Nicki Minaj at the Grammy Awards

I hadn't time to fully process Whitney Houston's death when I first posted on it. I knew it marked a major turning point in my own life and in that of the nation, but I wasn't quite sure why. I'm still working on it, but the event seems to grow in my mind.

First, the obvious: Whitney's death came on the eve of the Grammy Awards, which is in no way a mere coincidence. I've my own feelings on this conjunction, other people their own as well. But following on the heels of Madonna's Pax Romana imperialist ritual at the Super Bowl and Nicki Minaj's equally grotesque tribute to The Exorcist (a film and novel that I've come to see as the apologia of a psychotic priest after the rape, torture and murder of an adolescent child of indeterminate gender) on Sunday, how can we escape the departure of a performer who didn't need the vulgar distractions of pseudo-occult ritual to hypnotize the entire world?

Equally despicable and depressing were the flurry of tweets from the media-brainwashed ditz-brigades of America, gleefully declaring they'd "let Chris Brown beat me any time." The fact that Brown is not only still a star but a bigger star than ever tells you pretty much all you need to know about where we stand in the 21st Century, with all of our technology and social media bullshit.

But the message is clear-- spectacle and manufactured outrage are what will be sold now. True talent is too hard to package, too hard to control. With the battery of electronic effects these singers are drenched in now, they don't really need to know how to sing at all anymore. Just ask Madonna.

And so the death of Whitney Houston-- the greatest singer of her generation-- acts as the milestone for this dark, cold new age.

Whitney in happier times, Robyn Crawford on right

The exact truth behind Whitney's relationship with Robyn Crawford still seems to be radioactive, with the press only covering claims made by British gay militant Peter Tatchell (reduced to recycling made-up quotes attributed to Jaz Coleman back in the 80s before Whitney died) that Whitney's sham marriage to Bobby Brown was the beginning of her long, ugly downfall. For her part, Crawford wrote a heart-rending open letter that detailed her history with Whitney without addressing the exact nature of their relationship.

But the public record is crystal clear- Whitney started going off the rails when she married Brown and went off the deep end when Crawford departed her life in 2000. How ironic that professions of bisexuality --real or (mostly) imagined-- are essentially a prerequisite for today's new pop stars like Nicki Minaj.

Happy now? Persephone in the Underworld
But that's only part of the story. Whitney's other problem was that she wasn't "real." She was too perfect, too beautiful, too talented, too flawless. In the militant late 80s, she was known as "Whitey Houston." She was seen as music for export, the "Prom Queen of Soul," not street, not credible. Many saw her marriage to Brown not only as a way to establish her straight credentials, but to establish her black credentials. I don't think anyone ever realized how far it would go.

I tuned it all out. My interest in Whitney Houston had less to do with her music or career and more to do with a specific moment in time. But I always recognized her incredible gifts and believed- and I still believe-- in redemption. I still believe in the power of the work to overcome the kind of struggles Whitney Houston faced, that brought her so low.

I believed until the very end that one day she would walk away from other people's expectations and retake control of her life and rediscover the gifts that stunned the world in the 80s.

I believed in Act Three.

Demeter Rising: the elemental Tina Turner

I saw Tina Turner- who I cite as an avatar of Demeter in The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll-- as an example for Whitney, who I saw as Persephone (with Brown as a particularly malevolent Hades and cocaine as the pomegranate seeds). Tina Turner became too "white" for the militants in the late 60s, as hard as that is to believe. So rather than submit to the passing fads of the day, she stuck to what she knew and what she felt.

After leaving the abusive Ike, Tina relocated to Europe (where she remains a superstar of the first order) and later reconquered America with one of the most amazing storybook comebacks in pop history. But there would be no escape for Whitney-- what the world saw and fell in love with was some kind of woundedness, a vulnerability, despite the hardass bitch image she projected on reality TV.

Persephone, in other words.

But Tina Turner made her comeback in another America, another world. Not the America of the shattered attention span and cheap cynicism. Not the America where "transgression" is embarrassingly mainstream. Not the America in which an Internet connection is like a Harvard PhD; it instantly confers on its owner ultimate authority. An America in which everyone becomes an authority simply by claiming to be so and then petulantly demands that their authority be recognized. An America that demands the world be its mirror.

Tina Turner's America that wasn't that much different, mind you, but it was still an America in which certain things still mattered; talent, experience, paid dues, authenticity, knowledge. Not to everyone, mind you, but to the right people. Tina paid her dues and paid them hard, and people responded to that. That kind of thing used to matter. Not anymore.

The last weekend-- a symbolic rebirth on the Saco River, 1984

Whitney Houston appeared in my life as an anomaly. My response to her was visceral, probably hormonal, and was based in the fact that she had one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard and was astonishingly beautiful to boot. In a parade of instantly forgettable music video-- which was inescapable in the mid-80s, it was playing everywhere you went-- she stood out. But as I said before there was this signal. I realize now it wasn't necessarily coming from her, though I now realize she was certainly part of it.

But this was a time when I was kicking furiously at the doors of consciousness and discovering that Synchronicity wasn't just a disappointingly commercial album from The Police. It was a unsettlingly interactive force that seemed to correspond with all of the weirdness of my early life (which some people would call "paranormal" but I never did back then) and tied into all of the mind-expanding and mystical totems I was exploring at the time.

It's funny that Whitney Houston-- the mainstreamiest of the mainstream-- was the anomaly in all of this insanity. But she was mezzo like my mom and looked like an idealized version of my high school girlfriend (who I met at a Clash concert, of all places), so a mixture of the two was certain to be potent in my new life. This would all come back when Whitney died two days after I posted on Max Ernst, who kicked my ass and kicked it hard at the same exact point in time.

Two other things happened to me, in the midst of all that ferment; I discovered the occult (the Paranormal) and conspiracy (the Parapolitical). The first wandered into a den of iniquity my friends and I were renting at the foot of the New Jersey Skylands in the form of a Deadhead, who was an esoteric dilettante in the very best possible way. To him all of the various magical modalities were equally valid, equally interchangeable. It was all one big magickal candy store.

He'd introduce me to a host of new concepts and street-level magi, hiding in the margins of the Jersey hinterlands. He'd even attempt to initiate me as a warlock in the woods (I'm still stunned how he built a full-tilt stone altar literally overnight) in the next town over from where Whitney Houston lived for 20 years, though I must say my reaction was more bemusement and anticlimax than transcendence.

Conspiracy would come in the form of another friend who did way too much acid in high school but chose to listen to The Residents and Captain Beefheart than The Dead. He was also a Subgenii and almost terminally paranoid, but in an extremely cheerful way (he'd regale you with stories of how the government would one day just stop sending food and fuel to suburbs like Ledgewood and make it sound like a two priests and a rabbi joke). He was a hell of a storyteller and could decode the hidden agenda behind every news story. His methodology was contagious and stuck for life.

A lot of other people in our circle thought these two were just vaguely amusing weirdos, but I recognized that these were guys who spent all their time thinking. And their pharmaceutical adventures taught them new ways to think and maybe even turned on new synapses to think with.

I wouldn't quite realize it, but I subconsciously recognized that most other people didn't know how to think, and didn't want to. Even those people in the media or politics or the academy. They simply learned thought-replacement techniques, something you'll see everywhere if you know how to look for them.

But where I sit I see a situation in which everyone who's supposed to be responsible, who's supposed to minding the store, has not only failed us all and failed us all badly but is essentially out there masturbating in public, so to speak. Who are any of them to tell me how to think about the Paranormal or the Parapolitical?

If you look you'll find that those who do not truly know how to think are those who are the most eager to discourage others to truly think. If you stop and think about it, you'll see how these people have perfected this nearly-simian technique of having you beg for their permission to think a certain way. That they have perfected these apelike signals to discourage independent thought, thinking outside of their tiny little boxes.

It's by no means limited to those in quote-unquote authority. Just as often, it's these ridiculous assclowns who set themselves up as authority, without having any accomplishments or credentials. Without having done anything authoritative, in other words.

It's time to knock these motherfuckers off their pedestals and knock them off hard.



  1. This one always has my back, no need for pedestals!


  2. You know Chris, many of your comments over the past weeks, the sentiment was shared by this guest editorial in my local paper.

    Loved your comments about Tina Turner, she was stunning in her prime, and I was always a lot more captivated by Tina Turner than Houston. Turner has always exuded this confident sexuality without having to be crude, which isn't as easy as it might seem, she could be provocative without having to look like she was trying.

    Onto your other points: The problem is Chris, you can endlessly read books, but you have to make connections, take leaps, and it requires a lot of work to build those abilities, and for many people, they just don't have the ability or are willing to put in the work. From my observation, we just don't value critical thinking, and that lack of value is killing us.

  3. 'Human Devolution Theory (VIDEO)'

    The problem in my opinion is anytime someone has an original thought (to pull a page out of a fellow Magi's book "Thoth", remember the Thoth is THE BOOK OF LIFE!!!! Like Gandhi Said Life Life Life, not Death Death Death, well Death has it's place, hope you get my point!) Anyways I feel #1 many don't understand devolution and think it is opposed to Evolution, NOT AT ALL, just watch the video above. It just means we have to WORK TO EVOLVE! and in this guys opinion I think original thought is the KEY!!! But it seems to me every time someone has something original to say instead of retrogressing we like to pretend we already KNOW IT ALL!

    (VIDEO) 'Master Peter Ralston: Ontology (WHAT IS?)'

    Here is a chart inspired from the above.. 'What is Existence or the Nature of "Something"?'

  4. "transgression is embarassingly mainstream." - sometimes i think i'm just getting old and cranky. but then i come across someone who has taken the time and effort to articulate what i am feeling, in a mostly sub conscious way. and it always pricks up my ears and makes me pay attention. You Chris, seem to be that person more and more. well done. thank you. i was overwhelmed with choices for the quote to illustrate my comment. Hey there, quark observer - yeah, i know. ( sorry, bad joke) good points.

  5. Hey Chris,

    Great, heartfelt post. It really is horrific - this degenerate cesspit that mainstream 'culture' has become. A league of jackals looking to tear people apart just as quickly as they build them up. And then all the airheads and mimbos who slavishly worship that basic function.

    I really think that the basic idea being promoted here is "It's cool and edgy to live in a degenerate hellscape, as long the chicks are smokin' hot and the posturing isn't genuinely subversive."

    Anyone who points out that there's something incredibly wrong and disturbing with this gets ignored or ridiculed with the Chicken Little approach.

    A day or two before Whitney's death the British tabloids all went with a front-cover story of Whitney; gleefully describing her spiral into the abyss, with a photo showing an angry, sneering Whitney glaring into the paparazzi's lens. "Look at the nut-job our diva has become? Oh my, isn't it amusing?!"

    I found this to be really saddening and remember thinking, 'We haven't yet reached the height of callousness'. And then a few days later those same tabloids wanted a piece of her memorialization.

    Well, I've got news for the Jackals and their empty-headed neophytes - the House That Jack Built is a house of cards erected on quicksand. This awful hinterland between ennui and darkness can't remain 'fun' for much longer.


  6. this is powerful article--io can tell, reading bits of it are making me shiver. I am a devil for stopping at parts in articles I feel I need to comment on instead of reading all--which i will later. I REALLY agreed with this which made me shiver:

    "But that's only part of the story. Whitney's other problem was that she wasn't "real." She was too perfect, too beautiful, too talented, too flawless. In the militant late 80s, she was known as "Whitey Houston." She was seen as music for export, the "Prom Queen of Soul," not street, not credible. Many saw her marriage to Brown not only as a way to establish her straight credentials, but to establish her black credentials. I don't think anyone ever realized how far it would go."

    I was very aware of this. I was into Aretha, way before Whitney came onto the scene, and also what I thought and still do was SOUL music. And when Whiteney came, the music was already losing its soul BECAUSE funnily enough of its more acceptance by the white corporations. Most of what they manufacture turns to souless dross. Now by that I dont mean that about Whiteney, but for me her music was bever for me000didn't that that duende, that dark sound. That is what i love because the shit I have been through, and I need to healing power. that is what the BLUES isss. that is what Gospel was--the good stuff--it was 'gettin the spirit' and they incorporated the 'Devil's Music' sos the Devil dont have the best tunes LOL. And it is all fukin powerful.

    So, I am sure it hurt Whitney DEEPLY. DEEPLY. to be told that she is 'whitey' because this means a person doesn't know where they 'belong'---you have to experience this to know what i mean. And so 'bad boy' black brother Bobby brown comes along, and maybe he WAS a bit of a dangerous ticket to 'street cred' for her. To get some 'ghetto' experience. But you dont fuck wid drugs, ya just dont. they can feel too good and then yur got, like ANY harmful addiction. your got and you deny your got and....destuction. you start getting bad shit so you take more tixic shit to ease the pain. it is awful.

    I nearly fell off a my chair, and this is where I stopped reading when you suggested Tina Truner was ALSo thought too white in the late 1960s...? Your jokin right?? She was the blackest baddest bold soul sister that could BE. I am not sure where you get that, but hmmm. As much as I was glad she got away from big bad Icke, from there she went to poppy for me. If only the gal could keep that duende without the fucked up male trip, but having said that her shit was STILL fukin good. An amazing woman!

  7. Hey Chris,

    The Saco river? I grew up on the Saco in Maine.

    Please, tell more! Amazing


  8. I haven't posted on here in a while because I got tired of trying to come up with cute shit to say and since I'm not a super-blogger like some of you, or near as intelligent as most of you, I keep it dark, as Genesis used to remind us.

    But, in this post, Chris touched a nerve or something. Whatever it is that gets jiggled around when you linguistically spasm all over pages and pages of someone elses meaning that is reinterpreted through the filter of your own memes. Chris just made a connection click. Like, "Oh, shit. RIGHT. That's right." Tumblers fell and a door unlocked and I got something through my thick skull.

    It was the thing about thinking people or said another way, people who know *how* to think. And what he said about those others that we, the collective secret brain trust 'out there' who judge, judge, write, and judge, allow to overlord us into their own lizard-brained survival circuit games. Why? Cause we're too busy thinking? Maybe. Kind of?

    If there are so many of "us" out there that are supposed to be smart enough to see through the bullshit of the lizard people and their agenda's, then why are they allowed to go on with it to the pain and consternation of us all?

    Well, digging through the past pages of Chris' blog here, I can see something emerging from his writing. Not only is he tapping into something that we all feel strongly about, but he is talking about it in a way that should be clear to anyone who is looking at it.

    All of this talk and presentation of superheros and comics is nothing more but the longing in each one of us to become the people that we know we are really like in our mind, in that perfect world of imagination where a lot of us spend time. But, for most of us, that is just not who we are able to project into the world of the "real" whatever that means to you. We are clumsy, cowardly, do bad things, hurt people on purpose; not on purpose, break things, and otherwise just fuck up constantly. We don't flow beautifully into the right path and cause the earth to bloom underneath our every footfall. No, we leave a path of strewn garbage and pain like everyone else.

    But there is a way out. We can try and be better. Pull your head out of the mudhole that is this place and look into the spaces where these other realities exist. It can happen if we try. Start a blog. Read a book. Take some psychedelics with the intention of a shaman. Be the superhero that you are deep inside. Or, just keep all of those smart thoughts and brilliant ideas and beautiful poetic actions to yourself in your inner space and keep sweeping up around the ashram or whatever you are doing with your life at the moment. Stay silent. Keep it dark. Or bust out of the bubble and crack the egg. Don't keep it dark. Light the mother up. Knock that motherfucker off a pedestal like Chris suggests or end up building and polishing one for somebody else. Our choice. Your choice. Don't let that "motherfucker" become 'you'. It has a face and a place and it's closer than you think.

    And...there is always a choice.

  9. What I found interesting and has really struck a cord with me is that TMZ reported that a few days before her death she was quoting bible verses, talking about John the Baptist baptizing Jesus, and herself wanting to meet Jesus. The fact that she died submerged in water and was pronounced dead is somewhat an amazing coincidence. Since you can almost say she rid herself of her body and was baptized in spirit? There's a connection somewhere...

  10. The theme of baptism is very significant here. I don't know if you're aware of this, but a few years ago both she and Bobby Brown were baptised in the river Jordan in Israel by the community of black hebrew israelites who settled there 40 years ago.

  11. Let me start off by saying I think John the Baptist and Jesus are fictional characters. When i went to church as a teen I had this same question for the "Brothers" there. It would seem that JTB would be of a higher order then Jesus if he baptized him.

    Later in life I remember hearing about how some people had a theory that the Knights Templar met the Johnites who supposedly possessed the head of John the Baptist (I Imagine it wasn't and was just something they thought was the head if this is true)...

    HERE IS A GOOGLE BOOK SHEARCH FOR 'the Knights Templar connection to the Moores and also the "Holy Grail"

    "knights templar moors holy grail",or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=ce543c40646d2916&biw=1331&bih=538

    HERE IS GATORADES 'Quest for G' I came across this 711 connection, not just the store, but this year is the same year that the story of the Knight's of Templar and the Moores Quest for the Holy Grail began.... (GO FIGURE)

    WATCH IT HERE (It's only 9 minutes long and has Kareem [The guy Bruce Lee Defeats at the top of his "Tower" in the unfinished 'Game of Death') Kareem is the End of the World Bell Ringer in Stephen Kings 'The Stand' etc... I always found the end funny... it's Micheal Jordan #23 as a poodle)

  12. Here is a guy schooling two Mormans... I always enjoyed this video myself! I am pretty sure this guy is a Black Israelite (Not 100% Sure)

    2 Mormans SCHOOLED!

    NOW HERE IS Louis Theroux Meets The Israelites on Youtube..... I WATCHED THIS WHOLE EPISODE! If you haven't followed Louis Theroux work with his BBC show, I suggest you find them and watch them.... Anyways what they don't show here I always found odd and you can find it in the full episode about "blacks" and racism is right B4 this in the room ajacent to the Black Israelites room Louis runs into GUESS WHO????? The Rev Al Sharpton! IDK I always found that odd....

    4 anyone who harbors racist feelings, no matter what color you are... here is the cure (Least in this guys Opinion)

    Black Like Me

    It would take about 6 hours of your life to read it and you will C that one man can make a difference!

  13. Ok so I re-watched the one with the guys outside the Burger King and he is a Christian and actually opposed to the Black Israelites and thinks they are the Anti-Christ...

    The Internet is the worst cause there is a great episode of 'Disinformation TV' with Richard Metzger where this guy talked about how that picture everyone has of Jesus is actually an Anti-Christ according to 'The Bible' and 'The Bibles' God.....

    Always thank my lucky stars I never turned out to be a Christian or ever cared to much about any of the 3 "Major" Religions cause to be honest.... in 'the Bible' their 4th commandment is:
    "'4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:"

    There goes every glyph, symbol, image etc... right out the window and what would you do then? Wear sheets and robes? only talk with no symbols? Ok I am done....4 now.

  14. Tina Turner also made her comeback when Reagan was president here and Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister in England. Looking back, the present always seems to be a nightmare compared to when we were young, but I tend to agree with William Gibson - it's an illusion.

    "It’s an ancient, somewhat universal human attitude, and often they give it full voice. But it’s been being given voice for thousands and thousands of years. You can go back and see the ancient Greeks doing it. You know, “All that is good is gone. These young people are incapable of making art, or blue jeans, or whatever.” It’s just an ancient thing, and it’s so ancient that I’m inclined to think it’s never actually true. And I’ve always been deeply, deeply distrustful of anybody’s “golden age” — that one in which we no longer live."

  15. John Henning - I'm inclined to agree with you. I think the world is always more or less fallen, and always more or less saved. Certainly, there are better times than others, and worse, and we're not living in one of the better ones now. But the hardships we're experiencing now, and the flagrant abuses of power that seem so blatant these days, they've always been there, and always been affecting somebody, and it may be no harm that we're becoming much more aware of that now. Personally, I don't much care about popular culture - I think your culture is a personal thing, your personal responsibility, and one good thing about this current era is that it offers us greater scope to develop our own cultural identities, not tied to any particular eras or locations or corporate spoon-fed demographics, and then to find others who share something of that perspective. I mean, maybe we are losing a centralized, communal popular culture - but who cares about that? The cool stuff was always happening with the mystery cults at the fringes of things, anyway.

  16. I'm in complete agreement. In the end...what else is there to say. Fantastically presented as always.

  17. John and Tristan, your points are well taken but I'm not sure I see any real connection to what I actually wrote, which is this: "Tina Turner's America that wasn't that much different, mind you, but it was still an America in which certain things still mattered; talent, experience, paid dues, authenticity, knowledge. Not to everyone, mind you, but to the right people. Tina paid her dues and paid them hard, and people responded to that. That kind of thing used to matter. Not anymore."

    Things do change, no matter how unfashionable it may be to recognize that.

  18. One of the most powerful and affecting articles I've ever read on this site, and that is saying a lot. Thank you.

  19. One thread worth pursuing in regards to Whitney Houston's tragic saga is the drug rehabilitation/treatment industry as a whole and, in the back of it, the 12 Step Movement, which is the direct descendant of a crypto-fascist Christian cult of the 20's and 30's, The Oxford Group (later Moral Rearmament) that Bill Wilson and "Dr. Bob," the founders of AA were true-believing members of before branching off into AA, which was originally just the special outreach to the "drunks". It may seem a rediculous statement if you don't research it, but AA and the 12 Step groups are every bit the secret society with infiltration and takeover motives that other groups much investigated by conspiracy theorists are. Most drug rehabs in the U.S. are simply indoctrination camps for the 12 Steps, beginning with the ideas that you are powerless and diseased and doomed to be a troubled and addicted person for ever and that one's only salvation is in being part of the group and believing in a vaguely defined Deity--anyone deity will do, just so long as it agrees with the 12 Step theology. As a method of treatment for addictions, the research indicates 12 Step programs are no better than trying to quit on your own, with the added dis-insentive that people exposed to 12 Step ideology are more likely to binge when they slip up and more likely to become depressed and commit suicide. Yet, this religious program that pretends not to be is unequivocally hyped in the media, often by folks with conflicts of interest, true believing members of the fellowship who, upholding the promise of "anonymity", don't let the folks at home know that they are Steppers themselves (here's lookin' at you, Dr. Drew and Oprah.) Charlie Sheen may be an abusive, narcisistic crazy person, but he did get it right when he said AA is a "bootleg cult."
    I think indoctrinating people with substance problems with ideas of being diseased, powerless and incapable of trusting their own thoughts or capacity to make decisions is a straight ticket to the kind of tragedy we saw with Whitney this week and that was going on with Demi Moore (20 years in a 12 Step group and how's that turned out?) a few weeks prior.

  20. In defense of AA. Even though my research into the occult, and 9/11, is telling me the significance of 'AA' standing for their master nuimber '11', this does necessairly have to mean Alcoholics Anonymous having to be connected with all that.

    I have experienced AA's GREAT help being given to someone very close to me, and over the years I havbe gone through phases of challenging AA's tenets, but I cannot pretend it hasn't deeply helped this person.

    It is more WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. And also WHAT IS AVAILABLE! As you well know that aint much!!

    There are crucial help messages such as 'one day at a time'--this is deep wisdom for anyone suffering a self-destructive habit. as is having the courage accepting things you cannot change.

    I am not saying it would be for me, but I really think that SOME influence from its reverberations from seeing it help a loved one helped me with my sex and drugs addiction that was VERY much life-threatening

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