The video genius of co-author Raj Sisodia
Friday, August 30, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
4x01 Herrenvolk (Carter)
Chris: Jeremiah Smith takes Mulder to a secret farm in which clones of abducted children raise bees for the alien apocalypse. Meanwhile, Mulder's mother gets on the Mythology Hospital-Go-Round and a new Deep Throat emerges, this one being young, beautiful and blonde (played by Laurie Holden). A great teaser, and a great death scene for a departing supporting character whose actor was off to star in his own series but not much else. The detour to the bee farm holds some startling imagery but is extremely confusing and anti-climactic to say the least.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Gnosticism is not easily understood, and was intentionally designed that way.
The point was to drape its extremely radical- and weird- messages in layers of allegory and symbol, some of whose definitions are lost to us today. There were also a bewildering number of different expressions of Gnosticism (a term invented after the movement's heyday in the time before Rome's adoption of Christianity as state religion), from strongly Christian groups to pagan-influenced groups who incorporated magic, alchemy and concepts such as the Ogdoad from ancient religions.
Gnosticism seems to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean these days. Right-wing Christians from conspiratainment extremists to mushy moderates like the New York Times' Ross Douthat use the term to attack and vilify their opponents within the Church, a rhetorical practice dating back to the earliest "church fathers." Often you see people on the left and right throwing the term Gnostic around willy-nilly to describe (and therefore denigrate) everything from squishy liberalism to Nazism to Maoism and everything in between.
It's not as if there isn't a huge corpus of excellent material on the topic out there. It's easy to get lost in the highways and byways of Gnostic codebreaking and the rich, roiling atmosphere of second-century Alexandria: the most-definitely overlapping magisteriums of the Jews, the Christians, the Mysteries, the Buddhists, the pagans, all more alike and influenced by each other than their survivors today would ever want to admit. But one idea set the Gnostics apart from all the rest...
The fundamental difference that separates the Gnostics from their contemporaries is that, for them, their native `soil' is not the earth, but that lost heaven which they keep vividly alive in their memories: they are the autochthons of another world.
Hence their feeling of having fallen onto our earth like inhabitants from a distant planet, of having strayed into the wrong galaxy, and their longing to regain their true cosmic homeland, the luminous hyper-world that shimmers beyond the great nocturnal barrier.
Their uprooting is not merely geographical but planetary.
And to treat them as aliens in the political or civic sense - which is what happened - could be nothing but an absurd misunderstanding, like giving a Martian a temporary residence visa.
For the Gnostics, all men were in the same condition, although they were the only ones who knew it, and the human community as a whole is implicated in this universal exile, this galactic diversion that has caused us to be dumped on the mud of planet earth.
The Gnostics must have felt this exile even more acutely in that they themselves constituted marginal communities, strangers or ‘foreigners' in the narrow sense of the term, in the heart of a whole humanity of foreigners.
Here there was an historical humus which justified the Gnostic feeling of exile, of being a planetary foreigner: `I am in the world but not of the world' is the most basic Gnostic formula.
So the problem is simple, and one begins to understand how the Gnostics saw it: man, then, is a lifelong exile on a planet which is a prison for all mankind; he lives in a body which is a prison for the soul; he is the autochthon of a lost and invisible world.
The Gnostics by Jacques La Carriere
Eric Vogelin's work is wildly popular with conservatives looking for cudgels and meat-hammers to bash Gnostics, quasi-Gnostics and not-really-Gnostics with, but even so the great German scholar understood the basic heart beating at the core of the ancient heresy:
Of the profusion of gnostic experiences and symbolic expressions, one feature may be singled out as the central element in this varied and extensive creation of meaning: the experience of the world as an alien place into which man has strayed and from which he must find his way back home to the other world of his origin.
"Who has cast me into the suffering of this world?" asks the "Great Life" of the gnostic texts, which is also the "first, alien Life from the worlds of light."
It is an alien in this world and this world is alien to it.
Therefore the question, "Who conveyed me into the evil darkness?" and the entreaty, "Deliver us from the darkness of this world into which we are flung." The world is no longer the well-ordered, the cosmos, in which Hellenic man felt at home; nor is it the Judaeo-Christian world that God created and found good. Gnostic man no longer wishes to perceive in admiration the intrinsic order of the cosmos.
Flying "eyes" have been seen for thousands of years
In the ontology of ancient Gnosticism this is accomplished through faith in the "alien," "hidden" God who comes to man's aid, sends him his messengers, and shows him the way out of the prison of the evil God of this world (be he Zeus or Yahweh or one of the other ancient father-gods).
Eric Vogelin, Collected Works: Science, Politics and Gnosticism
And not all modern right-wingers are anti-scholarly when it comes to Gnosticism. Catholic intellectuals often understand its message, they just realize it's bad for business.
To the Gnostics of old … this world is an immense prison guarded by malevolent powers on high, a place of exile where the fallen and forgetful divine spark dwelling deep within the pneumatikos (the “spiritual man”) languishes in ignorance and bondage, passing from life to life in drugged sleep, wrapped in the ethereal garments of the “souls” it acquired in descending through the planetary spheres, and sealed fast within the coarse involucrum of an earthly body.
The spiritual experience at the heart of the Gnostic story of salvation was, as Hans Jonas puts it, the “call of the stranger God”: a call heard inwardly that awakens the spirit from its obliviousness to its own nature, and that summons it home again from this hostile universe and back again to the divine pleroma—the “fullness”—from which it departed in a time before time. David Bentley Hart, First Things
Gotta love that saucer section.One of the primary Gnostic texts-- a generally accepted Creation narrative-- is Hypostasis of the Archons or "Reality of the Rulers." We've looked at it here before but it describes a situation in which emanations from the Godhead or Monad take form and come to know themselves. But one in particular sees himself as superior to the others and creates a false world in which to imprison lower emanations from the Monad, which decrease in spiritual power the further away from the source they are.
This false-creator is variously known as the Demiurge or Ialdoboath of Samael. Who, uh, came from Outer Space...
Their chief is blind; because of his power and his ignorance and his arrogance he said, with his power, "It is I who am God; there is none apart from me." When he said this, he sinned against the entirety. And this speech got up to incorruptibility; then there was a voice that came forth from incorruptibility, saying, "You are mistaken, Samael" - which is, "god of the blind."
His thoughts became blind. And, having expelled his power - that is, the blasphemy he had spoken - he pursued it down to chaos and the abyss, his mother, at the instigation of Pistis Sophia.
And she established each of his offspring in conformity with its power - after the pattern of the realms that are above, for by starting from the invisible world the visible world was invented.
As incorruptibility looked down into the region of the waters, her image appeared in the waters; and the authorities of the darkness became enamored of her....
The rulers laid plans and said, "Come, let us create a man that will be soil from the earth." They modeled their creature as one wholly of the earth.
This Evangelical diagram clearly shows that the Biblical term "waters"
refers to extrasolar outer space, the "firmament" describing our solar system
refers to extrasolar outer space, the "firmament" describing our solar system
Of course, reading the Hypostasis of the Archons, with its heavenly hosts of celestial powers, including one who stands up against all the others and creates the Cosmos in the image of a celestial goddess, and the "waters" and then the creation of man, you can't but be reminded of this text, can you?
That he might divide the monster and do artful works.
He split her like a shellfish into two parts:
Half of her he set up and ceiled as sky,
Pulled down the bar and posted guards.
He bade them to allow not her waters to escape.
He crossed the heavens and surveyed (its) regions.
He squared Apsu's quarter, the abode of Nudimmud,
As the lord measured the dimensions of Apsu.
The Great Abode, its likeness, he fixed as Esharra,
The Great Abode, Esharra, which he made as the firmament.
Anu, Enlil, and Ea he made occupy their places. When Marduk hears the words of the gods,
His heart prompts (him) to fashion artful works.
Opening his mouth he addresses EA
To impart the plan he addresses EA
To impart the plan he had conceived in his heart:
"Blood I will mass and cause boned to be.
I will establish a savage, 'man' shall be his name.
Verily, savage man I will create.
He shall be charged with the service of the gods
That they might be at ease! The ways of the gods I will artfully alter.
Though alike revered, into two (groups) they shall be divided."
The question is how literally do we dare take this? Do we keep all this lost in the misty miasma of mysticism, or do we cross-reference with other texts (oh, like, you know, THIS) and a modern understanding of the cosmos and our own history- and cough, cough, DNA- and see what comes of all that?
Saturday, June 01, 2013
When I wrote about the Unified Weird Theory it wasn't based in some impulse to bring together a bunch of pseudo-sciences and quasi-superstitions under one tent.
In fact, it was to redefine these as emanations, mere byproducts of what should be a modern Gnosis. At the very top of it all should be an understanding that the world we are sold is false and illusory. And that we'll take whatever clues we can find to get out of the primeval forest we are drifting further and further into every single moment of every day.
Quite simply put, we don't belong here. There's something about us that is profoundly maladaptive and foreign to this biosphere and we will never feel at home here. All of the great visionaries and gurus have told us so. The problem is that even if their minds and souls were somewhere else, their bodies were right here in the celestial prison camp with everyone else. And as soon as they were safely out of the picture the guards turned everything they ever said around and in on itself.
I don't know if anyone has noticed, but the institutions we once built to try to better the human condition are all falling apart to shit. The news media no longer acts as a watchdog for the people against the powerful. The universities are saddling our kids with crushing debt and handing them often-useless degrees- and toxic, divide-and-rule "identity politics" nonsense- in return. The Technology giants are nothing more than manservants for the national security state, Cyberpunk dreams be damned forever.
The scientific establishment is nothing but a cooing, submissive lapdog for powerful corporate and government interests that spends all of its time yapping at its critics. Yet the evidence continues to pile up that a near majority of scientific work being done today is outright fraud, nonsensical corporate makework. Religions have exposed themselves as political tools for the rich and incubators for sexual predation. And nobody tries to pretend that any attempt to build a grassroots political movement won't be co-opted as soon as it emerges.
The problem is that everything is wrong.
We don't know who we are or why we are here. We are a classic-- definitive--- invasive species on this planet. We are doing terrible harm to the biosphere and to our indigenous neighbors; beautiful, loving, highly-intelligent creatures like the pachyderms, the great apes, the canines, the cetaceans and so on and so forth. We are trying to build a scale model of a world our DNA only half-remembers and can't be imposed on this planet without doing irreversible harm to ourselves and everything else. Never mind the "Green" fantasies- it's worse than that. Crazy worse.
We have to get the fuck off this planet- or at least move the focus of our destructive anti-biosphere lifestyle somewhere else- before it gets sick of us and wipes us all out. We've not been here a eyeblink in its history and it has wiped the slate clean five times already in the past four billion years. It's fixing to do so again but is being kind enough to give us advance warning.
But I'd say we have until the end of this century- at the very outside- before Stepmother begins cleaning house.
While our scientists download porn and torture lab animals for lulz the planet is cooking up new pathogens that our medicines won't be able to touch. We're already seeing the frontiers of our antibiotics- the next phase of planetary germ warfare is about to begin.
So what the hell does weirdness have to do with all this?
Anomalies are ignored by scientists because they have a nasty habit of doing away with long-held theories. And this present system is if nothing else entirely theoretical. To quote Gibson, it's a hallucination we all decided to have. But it gets more insane every single day. Ask an older relative what they think of it all.
And anomalies and weirdness are the signals that you are living in an illusion. They are the seams in the matte painting, the cop-issue boots on the anarchist, the corporate advertising on the conspiracy site, the knowing wink on Air Force One, the waving Apollo flag. The signs that something is not right, that something is not as it seems.
As are calamities. I'm still sitting here but got three separate sneak previews of Armageddon in the past several months. Sandy was brutal, but the Halloween storm was by far the most life-changing, maybe because it came first. This gentle little snow, so soft and clean- it should've been a lovely day off. Except the trees were fully dressed and couldn't handle the weight. Listening to trees and branches explode- literally like a Fourth of July fireworks show- and realizing there was nothing anyone could do about it- not even the mighty Bill Nye- made me wonder what we do in the event of real disaster.
Of course, one came the following year. Like the devastation in Oklahoma it was preceded by massive solar unrest, giving lie to the hubristic scientistic delusion that human activity is causing all of this. What they really mean is that we scientists are causing it, because we are the supreme crown of all creation, the greatest expression of the entire universe. And we can stop it too, because we fucking rule. Fuck yeah. High fives.
And now there's a concerted effort in the mainstream media to get you to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, to lump in questioning anything they happen to be ordered to print with "conspiracy theory" and then to identify the term "conspiracy" with stupidity, which would surely be a surprise to all the prosecutors who file charges of conspiracy every weekday.
It's weak and sloppy but utterly typical. The mainstream media is dying too, having broken faith one too many times with its audience. Everything is falling apart, because everything is built on a lie. Sure, some things are falling apart faster than others, but the Second Law of Thermodynamics holds steady.
I think two things will happen- an overwhelming crisis point is coming soon that will either destroy us or snap us out of our Enlightenment-era delusions. We will reboot the project with an understanding of actual reality, and not a Victorian-era reality that reduces everything there is to chunks that can be cut up, measured and sold. Because that's all that the entirety of human activity is oriented towards in these times.
And if you ask me, that's pretty fucking weird.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Against my better judgement I actually voted for Obama this past election. I hadn't planned on it but my wife was insistent because of the issue with insurance coverage. I knew full well it was a choice between effin' evil and really effin' evil but what can you do? I didn't even vote in 2008- I realized as soon as I heard Obama was being backed by Sith Lord Pete Peterson that no good would ever come of him.
Even so, I was worried that Romney would make everything worse by instituting austerity, cutting Social Security and Medicare and ramping up the war machine in the Middle East and possibly against Russia as well.
I needn't have worried at all, because as we all know Obama has done all of that for him.
And now we see Obama out-Nixoning Nixon: ideological IRS hitjobs and wiretapping enemies in the press, that on top of all the other Orwellian nightmares he already out-Bushed Bush on. It doesn't matter though, because Obama could stab young children on live TV and the Democrat zombies in the media- especially sites like Slate and Salon- would fall over each other praising his knife skills and writing stirring essays about how our brave President is creating a more sustainable world by doing away with useless eaters, though their exact phraseology would be a bit different.
As we all know, Obama and his media toadies' big push after the election wasn't jobs or worker's rights or restoring civil liberties but gay marriage, which is all fine and good but perhaps a lesser priority given the fact that like everyone else, a lot of gay people are losing their jobs, their insurance and their pensions and probably won't be able to afford to get married at all. But that's not the point.
The point is that identity politics- in other words, ancient divide-and-rule tactics- are how the Wall St. faction that controls the Democratic Party has decided to wage political war against their Republican dopplegangers.
So in other words, the middle class is to be wiped out --for good-- by outsourcing, unpaid internships and immigrant exploitation, no matter which party you vote for. You probably won't have a pension or insurance when you reach retirement age and your kids probably won't be able to go to college and upward mobility will be forever lost.
However, the good news is that you can use the magic totem of "social justice" to show everyone that you are an enlightened and "progressive" serf, nothing like those mouth-breathing, regressive serfs over there.
Of course, an integral part of the new identity politics program is Atheism and to a lesser extent, skepticism. Atheism is perfect for the coddled children of hyper-privilege who comprise nearly the entirety of the so-called "Progressive" movement in North America, since they can finally play the victim. Oh poor godless me, Daddy sent me to a state university to major in womyn's studies when I really wanted to go to Sarah Lawrence. I'm so put upon- it's God's fault.
Of course Atheism is not only not stigmatized in the circles they spend their entire lives traveling in, it's practically de rigeur.
But they can point to some mouth-breathing yahoo in some deep red state and pretend that they are the victims now. Better yet, they don't have to worry about "people of color" at all, unless it's to browbeat a perceived opponent about "white privilege." They can even (privately) huff and puff about how they are being victimized by them despite having lived lives of almost unimaginable comfort and privilege, since the Nu Atheist movement is in large part motivated by studiously unacknowledged racial anxieties
But some genius- and I'm thinking it was probably Obama's svengali David Axelrod- realized that the best answer to the religious right (who were so influential in this country primarily because they were reliable unpaid envelope-stuffers every election cycle) was the Atheist Left, because liberals have never figured out how to deal with religion.
They took over the so-called mainline churches and ran them all into the ground. I mean, there have been atomic bombs that did less damage to their targets than the liberals did to the churches they set out to "save." So why bother? Atheists make much more pliable consumers-- and voters-- if you appeal to their endless vanity (and insecurities).
So after spending 20 years on the internet seeing mindless tribalism on the part of the religious right everywhere I look, I can now see that AND mindless tribalism on the part of the irreligious left. And of course the two parties that both packs of idiots support are not even remotely at odds about anything but symbolic (read: tribalist) non-issues.
So 'eff them all.
And to get to the heart of the matter, 'eff all these people in weird/Fortean/UFO/whatever world that would worry about what all these Starbuck-sipping idiots think of them.
Eff those who ever-so-tentatively ask the Plait's and Randi's and Shermer's and Myerses and Watson's and Dawkins's if it's all right if they play with their little paranormal toys for awhile. They promise they won't make too much noise and they'll put them all back in the closet when they are done.
It's all just good, clean fun and besides we don't really believe any of this nonsense, so please don't give us the stinkeye through your coke-bottle lenses.
Seriously- eff 'em. They are cowards, traitors, weaklings. They are of no use to anyone, not even themselves. The road goes in one direction, or the other. You are either committed to a path-- in this case, the High and the Strange-- or you're wasting your time and ours.
Listen, all you wannabe-pundits who think you can straddle the fence: the media is too busy licking Obama's dingleberries (and making excuses for his rampant Republicanism) to even notice you. And they won't pay you a dime for your talking head; they don't even pay your travel expenses. The Skepdicks only find you mildly useful if they can use you to attack your friends and allies. "Being reasonable" means playing by their rules.
You either believe in another reality paradigm or you don't. You just fucking don't.
There is no point in being your own debunker because you just look like a cowardly idiot who has wasted their own time. Nobody cares if you run around and "murder your own darlings." The skeptics see you as weak and accommodating and an easy target, even if they may pat you on the back for "being one of the more sensible ones."
Of course, that doesn't mean you have to become the reincarnation of Ti and Do. Discernment is always the path to wisdom. But you are either committed to an alternative worldview or you are not.
There's no point looking over your shoulder at people who will never accept you and never stop looking down on you. They will never give you permission to play with your UFOs, not matter what kind of worthy, schoolmarmish word-drool you dress them in.
You see, the real problem with the paranormal/whatever field isn't the evidence at all.
The problem is that the people in the field who should speak up are too damn quiet, and too busy worrying about the opinions of people who they would much better off mocking and ridiculing, if not outright attacking.
The problem is cowardice.
I am old enough now to see where the road takes you, which ever particular route you may take. The road of half-measures and compromise leads nowhere.
And I know for a fact that the road the skeptics and nu atheists are on only ever leads to one destination: despair. Already the two camps spend nearly all of their time fighting each other now, because negativity and conflict are all they are any good at.
I do what I do because I know what I am doing is based not only in my experience but in rigorous study.
I do what I do because I know that the people who see the world the way I do are the ones who have changed the world in their own image.
I have at least ten thousand years of forefathers and mothers to look upon for guidance and inspiration. I know it's the High and the Strange who kicked the heads in of the Lame and the Same and then pushed this gods-forsaken human race forward.
I will not be moved.
I'm not backing down for anyone. And neither should you. No one gives a shit about anything but themselves so stop waiting for their permission. Fight tooth and claw for what you believe or find something else to do.
Otherwise, you're wasting your life away.
UPDATE: Mike Clelland shows exactly how the media responds to UFOlogists pleading and cajoling to be paid attention by the mindless clockpunchers at useless rags like The Washington Post.
And as if to further prove my point, this is the kind of stupid that gets you a Rhodes Scholarship and a job among the squishy, hyperprivileged schoolmarms at The Guardian.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Friday, April 05, 2013
I think I need to amend Knowles' First Law, or add a new paragraph thereto. The First Law has it that any controversy over symbolism in the media is created to disguise another symbolic message altogether. The classic example of this is the controversy over MIA's middle finger at the Super Bowl, which disguised the grotesque display of pseudo-occult militarism of Madonna's halftime show.
But the past several weeks I've been waiting for the harsh reality that the gay marriage controversy was meant to distract everyone from, and now with the dismal employment numbers, the ongoing damage of the Sequester and Obama's plan to sell out Social Security the other shoe may well have dropped.
Since the election we've heard no end of crowing about the death of the Republican Party and the rise of the new Democratic majority and the inevitable triumph of "social justice" and multiculturalism and all of the other new and inviolate sacred cows. Obama is the "New Reagan" who will form a new politics that will change America to suit the wishdreams of hyper-privileged white "progressives" in the media and academia and we'll all live happily ever after.
The only problem is that all of it is bullshit; new window dressing on the same old scam.
The ultimate grail of the dictator is the illusion of change- the harmless controlled opposition that will generate a lot of heat but no light. It's a magician's trick- a deceptive diversion much like all the phony symbolism in the media. It's why "progressive"- a term borrowed from the Marxist concept of linear progression towards a utopian society- replaced "populist." It's why "social justice"- essentially a synonym for divide and rule tactics repackaged as identity politics- replaced the idea of economic justice.
You see, most of what passes for a Left in this country- almost entirely based in the university/NGO/media axis- are in fact the children of wealth, often extreme wealth, and privilege. Though they may be too stupid to understand it consciously, somewhere in there they probably realize that fighting for economic justice means money coming out of their own pockets.
As I write, Obama- who any sane, intelligent person realizes is perhaps the ultimate Democrat in Name Only, a Wall Street created, funded and sustained Rockefeller Republican (perhaps more so than Nelson Rockefeller himself) offers up a diversion of essentially symbolic social and cultural issues while doing every single thing that the billionaire hedge fund managers who own his soul demand he do.
The Sequester- this insane austerity program that will ravage working families in this country in a way that may well be irreversible- is perhaps his ultimate con.
His Treasury secretary dreamed it up and then sold it to the House GOP, who temporarily allowed Obama to wash his hands of it, a la Pontius Pilate. But once the knife starts cutting into America's bone that blood will likely stain, Lady MacBeth style. Not that Obama cares- he's looking at a Clinton-styled future of hobnobbing with the transnational ultra-rich and setting up ego-inflating Obama-brand NGOs that will help open up new markets, most likely in Africa, for his corporate patrons.
And now Obama is offering up Social Security for sacrifice to his dark lords, an act that will plunge millions of Americans, especially the sick and the old- into abject desperation.
Now you see the utter obscenity of this Obama scam- he was put into place to stick knives in the backs of his people (and with the drone program, other people as well) that no white politician could ever get away with.
It's the Nixon Goes to China gambit- none of the hippie-hating working class Democrats who voted for Tricky Dick could ever dream he was fixing to cut their legs out from underneath them by opening Communist labor camps to American manufacturers. Oh well...
The scamsters rely on the identity dodge to feed their left/right dichotomy. Divide people who otherwise might find common cause and unite against economic injustice, based in the rapacious and deliriously corrupt securities exchange and banking rackets. Destroy the middle class so everyone is weak and powerless. Keep the working classes ever on the defensive through a bewildering host of hoops and hurdles.
And not to upset the almost invariably all-white staffs of "progressive" sites like Salon, but no, in fact nothing changed at the Election. At all.
Congress doesn't represent its voters, it represents its donors. Period. And the Republicans are still have actual control of the House and de facto control of the Senate, thanks to the weak, semi-senile and compromised Harry Reid.
And they have their mole at 1600 Penn, doing the work a President Romney could never have dared. So it's a trifecta for a party who is only playing dead.
I got wise to this technique some years ago, when a British police chief was asked why bobbies don't carry guns. He said that the idea was not to project a threatening image that people would react against, but to "make it look like you losing when you were winning." Indeed, the bobbies borrowed LA police chief Daryl Gates' trick during their riots- let the yobs and the thugs run rampant. That way no one will stand up for their families when the budget ax comes down, which it most certainly did.
Pity poor Salon editor Joan Walsh- a veritable posterchild for the hyper-privileged white "progressive"- she keeps writing or commissioning these impotent pleas for the GOP to roll over and play dead because Obama won the election. I actually truly believe that Republicans piss themselves laughing reading that stuff in the morning. If you see some troglodyte Senator with a particularly amused look on CSPAN it could well be that he just read some whine on Alternet or Salon.
Come to think of it, things have changed since the Election- they've gotten worse. Never mind all of the "social justice" window dressing coming out of the White House- divide and rule and rape and pillage proceed unhindered.
"Progressives" are constantly brainwashed- literally every single day in the media- to accept everything that their favored media organs tells them is the truth. Questioning any of it- a single jot or tittle- makes you a "conspiracy theorist." That will surely earn you a dirty look or two down at the local Starbucks, which is all the discouragement status conscious "progressives" need.
I'm sure questioning just whose interests the Democratic Party really serves is every bit as verboten.
UPDATE: Amitai Etzioni, a guy whose work I believe has been misinterpreted and many times unfairly attacked, schools the liberals on Salon.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A reader pointed this series out to me and I'm rather shocked I hadn't heard of it yet. It plays like a lost episode of Taken as shot by Bill Roe. It's pretty powerful science fiction with a very oblique POV.
Bears repeated viewings as well....
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Well, break out the corned beef and beer- it's time for the wearing of the green and the nation-wide Bacchanalia that marks the Spring Equinox. And you know what else that means- it's also time to bust out the REAL history of Saint Patrick's Day...
March 17 is the day generally believed to be the death of St. Patrick, the British-born missionary who is credited with converting Ireland to Christianity. And as I wrote in one of my first posts on this blog:
In Egyptian mythology, Osiris was killed on the 17th day of Athyr, the third month of the ancient calendar.
3/17 is also the date of a Masonically-created holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. The story has it that the holiday was established by high level Freemason, George Washington, allegedly to reward Irish soldiers in the Continental Army.
But “St. Paddy’s” has traditionally been a very minor Saint’s day in Ireland. Considering that the day has become America’s defacto Bacchanal (which takes us back to Osiris) it’s worth noting some of the parallels of this day with Solar mythology.
• Osiris was believed to be the source of barley, which was used for brewing beer in Egypt.Since then, I've been looking into the curious origin of this holiday and have found out some very interesting facts...
• It’s customary to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and Osiris was known as the “Green Man”
• The root word of Patrick is pater, the Latin word meaning father. Osiris is the father in the Egyptian Trinity.
Their first meeting and dinner to honor St. Patrick was an expression of their Protestant faith as well as their intention to bond with fellow Irish émigrés. Their 1775 meeting included British soldiers of Irish extraction. All proceeded, or marched, to the King’s Chapel to hear a sermon devoted to the occasion, and then continued on to a dinner in King Street. British soldiers were still the big show of the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City in 1762.Since many lodges in Revolutionary-era America were chartered under the Grand Lodge of Ireland, I'm willing to bet those Irish soldiers were predominantly Freemasons (remember this is pre-Morgan Affair, when Freemasons were hardcore). To show how much a Masonic enterprise the American Revolution was, here's a list of the Freemasonic Generals in the Continental Army
The first celebration in New York City was in 1756, at the Crown and Thistle tavern. Philadelphia held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1771. General George Washington issued a proclamation during the Revolutionary War, declaring March 17, 1780 a holiday for the Continental Army, then stationed in Morristown, New Jersey, in honor of the many soldiers of Irish ancestry and those born in Ireland.
It was reported that this was the first holiday granted the troops in two years. Washington’s remark that the proclamation was “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence,” was possibly the origins of St. Patrick’s Day in America as an expression of Irish nationalism as much as Irish heritage or of honoring a Christian saint.
• Up until very recently, St. Patrick's Day was not a big deal in Ireland itself:
In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick's Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland 's St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks shows.• Modern Saint Patrick's Day shares both a date and a mandate with a far, far older holiday:
St. Patrick's Day is also frequently a time for drinking. It used to be that this tradition was strung out for at least five days, the so-called seachtain na Gaeilage or "Irish week."
That may stem from Roman times, when March 17 started the festival of the Bacchanalia, a celebration to the deity Bacchus, to whom wine was sacred. In olden years long gone by, the Irish drank mead, made from fermented honey. You might do better today with a stout Guinness, preferably dyed green.
• The Bacchanalia are well-documented in the historical record:
The bacchanalia were wild and mystic festivals of the Roman and Greek god Bacchus. Introduced into Rome from lower Italy by way of Etruria (c. 200 BC), the bacchanalia were originally held in secret and only attended by women.• The Bacchanalia underwent an evolution from their early celebrations. From The Secret History of Rock ' Roll:
The festivals occurred on three days of the year in the grove of Simila near the Aventine Hill, on March 16 and March 17. Later, admission to the rites was extended to men and celebrations took place five times a month. According to Livy, the extension happened in an era when the leader of the Bacchus cult was Paculla Annia - though it is now believed that some men had participated before that.
Historians today don’t put a lot of stock in Livy’s overheated accounts of the Bacchanalia, and generally write them off as politically motivated hysteria. His story of a massive cult that sprung up out of nowhere and took the country by storm is an historical fiction, meant to titliate his audience.
The Bacchic cult had been around -and been tolerated- for some time in Italy, and many believe that the witchhunt was whipped up more for political reasons than moral or criminal ones. But Romans were known to take their boozing and screwing to extremes the more sober Greeks would not, so it’s not hard to imagine these blow-outs getting out of hand.
But since the most serious charge leveled against the Bacchanalia was of conspiracy against the Republic, it’s certainly possible the moral charges were simply propaganda meant to turn the people against the Mysteries. The fear among the elite was that “another people were about to arise” and supplant the existing order.
The greatest boogieman to the Roman aristocracy was the Demogogue, meaning anyone who could rally women, slaves and other non-citizens against the landowning families who controlled the Senate. Given the incredible socioconomic inequities even in the fabled Republic, rebellion was always a clear and present danger that could be whipped up at any time.
But contrary to Livy, the Bacchanalia weren’t prohibited and its shrines weren’t destroyed but rather tightly regulated and controlled by law. And though they never again reached the fever pitch of the Republican era, the Bacchanalia would be revived by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Renamed the Liberalia, the new Bacchic holiday would be a more family-oriented kind of street fair, with honey cakes and sweet meats replacing boozing and screwing. Various rituals and entertainments made it a very popular holiday. The boozing and screwing snuck back in along the way, but in a less scandalous fashion.
The Liberalia are still very much with us - in fact, our modern version is celebrated on the very same day that the Romans did. In our modern version, people still march and drink and stuff themselves and play flutes and drums and all the rest of it. We still pig out on beer, beef and cabbage, which dates back to the Osirian blowouts in Egypt...
• Of course, Bacchus/Dionysus is just the Greco-Roman reinterpretation of Osiris. And drinking of beer was sacred to the followers of Osiris, the Green Man:
In Egypt, beer was regarded as food. In fact, the old Egyptian hieroglyph for "meal" was a compound of those for "bread" and "beer". This "bread-beer meal" plus a few onions and some dried fish was the standard diet of the common people along the Nile at the time. Beer came in eight different types in Egypt.
Most were made from barley, some from emmer, and many were flavored with ginger or honey. The best beers were brewed to a color as red as human blood. The Egyptians distinguished between the different beers by their alcoholic strength and dominant flavor. None other than the god of the dead, Osiris, was hailed as the guardian of beer, because to him grain - both emmer and barley - were sacred.
The Egyptians believed that grain had sprung spontaneously from Osiris' mummy, as a gift to mankind and as a symbol of life after death. This was sufficient justification for the god-like pharaohs to turn brewing into a state monopoly and strictly license brewing rights to entrepreneurs and priests.
Many temples eventually opened their own breweries and pubs, all in the service of the gods. The port of Pelusium at the mouth of the Nile became a large brewing center, and trading in beer became big business.
... religion of the Druids, as before said, was the same as the religion of the ancient Egyptians. The priests of Egypt were the professors and teachers of science, and were styled priests of Heliopolis, that is, of the City of the Sun. The Druids in Europe, who were the same order of men, have their name from the Teutonic or ancient German language; the German being anciently called Teutones. The word Druid signifies a wise man. In Persia they were called Magi, which signifies the same thing.St. Patrick himself was believed to have driven the Druids of out of Ireland, but in fact druidry was merely incorporated into Celtic Christianity, which was distinct from other varieties and would remain so until forcibly changed on orders from Rome.
• And it seems that the festival of the death of Osiris shares much in common with another holiday that the Irish brought to America:
This universal illumination of the houses on one night of the year suggests that the festival may have been a commemoration not merely of the dead Osiris but of the dead in general, in other words, that it may have been a night of All Souls.
For it is a widespread belief that the souls of the dead revisit their old homes on one night of the year; and on that solemn occasion people prepare for the reception of the ghosts by laying out food for them to eat, and lighting lamps to guide them on their dark road from and to the grave.
Herodotus, who briefly describes the festival, omits to mention its date, but we can determine it with some probability from other sources. Thus Plutarch tells us that Osiris was murdered on the seventeenth of the month Athyr, and that the Egyptians accordingly observed mournful rites for four days from the seventeenth of Athyr.
And what of the corned beef and cabbage? In late antiquity the Apis bull was identified with Osiris. The Apis bull would be sacrificed and eaten in ritual feasts. Cabbage is grown in the winter months in Egypt and was used to control intoxication at feasts.
So it's official: all of our modern holidays in America are simply covert repackagings of ancient pagan festivals and the increasingly popular St. Patrick's Day is no different.
Astronaut means "star sailor", which Osiris was often depicted doing...
The Church took the Bacchanalia away from the Irish and replaced it with a boring religious holiday and the old-school Freemasons used that to bring the Bacchanalia back, which we now understand traces back to Osiris. And Osiris- who came from and returned to the stars- brings us back to the ancient astronauts, which the later adaptations like Bacchus do not.
Welcome to the New Atlantis.
Now keep this all a secret- I don't want you to be considered a "woo woo" (which is Skepdickish for "thought criminal") by the New Inquisition. The guardians of orthodoxy tend to get especially irritable when you tear them away from their disco fries and kiddiefap.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
While the College of Cardinals gathers to select the next Pope, I thought we'd take a sideways look at the action -and the Prophecy of the Popes- through the eyes of movie legend Christopher Lee. Mosey on over to the Solar Satellite and stay a spell.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Back in 2007 I started blogging about Jack Kirby in the context of synchro/data mysticism, and looking at the almost-unfathomable numinous power his work contained. The first series I did here looked at his 1983 miniseries Silver Star and its obvious influence on the then-popular/now-forgotten TV show Heroes.
But the series went far afield from there, looking at 9/11, the paranormal, dream symbolism and all the rest. Part 5 of the Silver Star series took an in-depth look at a very strange episode in which Kirby's art for a movie adaption of Robert Zelzany's Lord of Light (a bizarre episode in and of itself) was stolen by Hollywood makeup maestro- and part-time CIA spook- John Chambers, who was posthumously (and erroneously) credited with involvement in the so-called "Patterson Bigfoot film."
The following year I set out a lot of the groundwork for themes I would explore here including the Solar symbolism of the Oscars, the weird connection between Obama and Star Trek (and Star Trek's endless connections to the occult and weirdness undergrounds), the deep and layered symbolism behind Steven Soderbergh and James Cameron's Solaris (starring George Clooney) and the symbolism attached to Sirius that popped up during the election (including the spiral staircase).
At the same time I began the Silver Star series I also explored the rich Mystery symbolism at work in The X-Files, particularly in Season Eight.
Well, all of that seemed to come together in the most recent Academy Awards show. Note the very interesting symbolism of the stage motif, which pictures Oscar/Ausur as the rays of a circumpunct solar design, the circumpunct being identified with the binary system of Sirius. It almost seems as if there are planets orbiting the inner gold disk, which all looks suspiciously Sumerian to me.
Note the egg shapes emerging from this solar symbol, like some ritual depiction of directed panspermia. Plus, 16 Ausurs + 1 gold sun give us the prerequisite 17.
Charlize Theron (aka Charlize "Great" Therion, from this year's big sci-fi/AAT letdown Prometheus) danced in front of the
Best Supporting Actress winner Anne Hathor's Way was in androgyne mode as well, but not even the most misogynistic Hollywood stylist could butch up Best Actress Guinevere Lawrence (though her glorious blonde tresses were pulled back, but that only served to show off her obviously Cherokee-lineated cheekbones).
Rounding out the actors was Christophe ("Anubis") Waltz and "Book of" Daniel Day Lewis, further proving Americans can't act (which we learned when The X-Files left Vancouver for LA).
Set MacFarlane played the villain (go figure), supplying the prerequisite Knowles' Law manufactured controversy, allowing all of this to go unnoticed.† The Trek portion of our program was supplied by Bill Shatner, portraying Captain Supplant the Roman Church. Appropriately enough, given all the shenanigans afoot at the Vatican lately.
The hilarity didn't stop there: Michele Obama prefigured her husband's Trek/Wars mashup by appearing as the Queen of Heaven on the Enterprise viewscreen, replete with Masonic square and compass symbolism (and more androgynes).
The Avengers made a guest appearance, as a consolation prize for saving the entire film industry from bankruptcy. Kirby was paid tribute to as well, as luminous sketches of the characters appeared behind the cast. Appropriately so, given the film was the purest expression of his work ever seen outside of one of his comic books.
And of course the King ruled the night again when Argo- based on the aforementioned Lord of Light drama- won Best Picture. Michael Parks (star of Kevin Smith's Red State) briefly portrayed Kirby in the film, but his work was not featured, apparently due to licensing issues.
Aside from the Matrix-like 'Lady in Red' (a whole other story I won't get into here), we see frequent Secret Sun guest star George Clooney share the stage with writer Grant Heslov (who played a drug wizard on a pivotal X-Files ep from Season 8) and Argo star-director Ben Affleck.
Bonus sync: I was shown dailies of Affleck's star-making Good Will Hunting up at the old View Askew office when I was working on a script, since Kevin Smith was one of the producers of the film.
This could be a very interesting year indeed.
† The self-appointed "Illuminati" (sic) fighters were doing their usual bit; looking for the usual "Monarch" symbols (sic) originally inspired by the sexual neuroses of a troubled English schoolboy and taken to the bank by an elite, Fortune 500-sponsored PR firm out of Montreal who made their mark by creating pseudo-outrage for singers and rappers recording for gigantic multinationals.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
People are going to interpret this as a comment on celebrity culture, but it's clear that this is about alien visitations and MIBs. You see the classic MIB in the supermarket and their trademark archaic black sedan in the alley, and the lyrics about sexless figures watching us in "our primitive world" or menacing us while we sleep or lurking in the dark on the stairs pretty clearly spells it out. As does the photo of Bowie from The Man Who Fell to Earth on the cover of the fake tabloid. One of Bowie's studio players said that one of the tunes they were working was originally called "Born in a UFO"- I wonder if this is it.
The Sync? Read this.
PS: Yes, I realize "Praying to the Aliens" is a Gary Numan song.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
There's a running joke in comics fandom that Rohrshach from Alan Moore's Watchmen is not based on Steve Ditko's Charlton character The Question but on Ditko himself. Rohrshach was less like Ditko's Question (reinvented as a proto-Synchro conspiracy theorist in the Justice League cartoons, voiced by Deep Space Nine star Jeffrey Combs) than Ditko's Mr. A, a character Ditko created for Wally Wood's ground-breaking creator-owned anthology Witzend.
Though the early stories showed Ditko at his artistic peak, Mr. A was less a "character" for "entertainment" than a vehicle for Ditko's version of primal scream therapy, the wounded cries of a bullied schoolboy. Like many bullied kids, Ditko took on the persona of the bully in his work, latching onto Objectivism, now so popular among the New Confederates.
The Question in his Charlton incarnation
A classic case of the dragon hunter becoming the dragon, but perhaps inevitable in the context of Ditko's career. Ditko was part of the first generation of early comic book fans who entered the business. His early work was derivative of comics legend Joe Kubert to the point of homage, but was small and meek where Kubert's was sweeping and macho.
Kubert was a man's man, a take-charge alpha male with a grip of iron who essentially died at his drawing table. After a career as a top artist at DC, he became group editor for DC's top selling war books. An Edgar Rice Burroughs fanatic from very early on, Kubert engineered DC's acquisition of the Tarzan license, then a hot seller for Gold Key Comics.
Raising a large family in Northern New Jersey, Kubert bought an old mansion in town and used it to open a school for cartoonists in 1976 that is still going strong (he later bought the local high school building for his school). His sons Adam and Andy are two of the top pencillers in comics today.
...until he is suddenly washed away and revealed to be some strange figure ruling over a plastic model of a planet. There are plenty more stories like this in Marvel's mystery and horror books- nightmare visions of a constantly contracting environment. For Ditko, alternate realities were not places to escape to, they were Hells even worse than the nightmare world all of his characters were already stuck in.
Constant and irreversible contraction would become a reality to Ditko, a reality he chose despite winning a jackpot that nearly every single working cartoonist can only dream of.
After struggling for years, working for bottom-drawer outfits like Charlton, Ditko hit the big time with Stan Lee and co-created Marvel's most iconic hero, the Amazing Spider-Man. He co-created and co-wrote Doctor Strange (which he soon turned into a kind of paranoid schizophrenic manifesto), designed Iron Man's iconic red and gold armor and pencilled the Hulk after Kirby handed it off.
But this was all too much for Ditko. For reasons never fully understood Ditko quit Marvel in 1966 (at the height of the new golden age of superheroes) and returned to Charlton, which was tailgating on the superhero wave under the guidance of the visionary editor, Dick Giordano. When Carmine Infantino rose to the top seat at DC he recruited Giordano, along with Charlton's top talent such as writers Denny O'Neil and Steve Skeates and artists such as future Batman superstar Jim Aparo (Giordano eventually became editor-in-chief at DC and engineered its astonishing 80s rebirth).
Trying to revisit old nightmares, from DC's sci-fi anthology Time Warp
Ditko joined the exodus, creating a Spider-Man/Joker synthesis called The Creeper and the ideological debating society superheroes, Hawk and Dove. Neither were the success DC was hoping for and Ditko returned to churning out instantly forgettable horror stories for Charlton.
Ditko returned to freelancing for DC when Charlton closed up shop, working on expansion titles such as Man-Bat and Stalker. He also worked for Atlas/Seaboard, former Marvel owner Martin Goodman's short-lived attempt to relight the old fire.
Before returning once again to Marvel, Ditko created a highly-touted sci-fi superhero called Shade the Changing Man for DC. It was here that Ditko's delirium tremens vision was dusted off- perhaps reluctantly on his part- and given one last quixotic shot to appeal to an audience who comics publishers simply couldn't get a handle on. I'll let comics blogger David Thompson take over here since I couldn't say it all any better myself:
A strange, erratic tale of inter-dimensional espionage and (literally) mind-warping underwear, Shade defies adequate summary or satisfactory explanation. It does, however, include some feverishly inventive visual ideas, thanks chiefly to the possibilities of Shade’s M-Vest, a piece of alien technology that induced fearsome hallucinations in those around him.There's an old saying; just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they're not out to get you. I have my own variation: just because you're insane that doesn't mean that things aren't slipping in unnoticed through dimensional gateways...
The series is also famed for the Freudian nightmare of its central relationship - Shade is pursued by his homicidal former girlfriend - and for a number of inexplicable jumps in narrative. Published at a time when DC seemed intent on conquering the market by sheer volume of titles (the so-called ‘DC explosion’), Shade may have slipped beneath the publisher’s editorial radar in the confusion.
The company abruptly pulled the plug on Shade after only eight issues, possibly when someone in DC’s management actually read an issue or two and came to the conclusion that Ditko had himself lost his mind.
TO BE CONTINUED
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Nick Redfern asked me to contribute a chapter to his upcoming book on the Men in Black. You can preview my piece on The Solar Satellite. Nick will be responding and commenting on it in the book itself. I'll keep everyone posted as to when the book will be out.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Recent drama at the Vatican didn't happen in a vacuum. It's part of an ongoing struggle, a cold war that could shake the world to its foundations if it were to go hot.
As Fate would have it, the resignation of the Pope was preceded- by nine days- by the strange death of one of America's foremost warriors, a man who identified himself as a Knight of the Temple, or Knight Templar. This is by no means a fluke; Erik Prince and his immensely powerful Blackwater/XE outfit are also cited as self-described Templars, as was the Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Brevik.
Lost in the media jumble was this story- six days before the Pope's retirement- about the Knights of Malta, who are stepping out of the shadows. And there are whispers on the fringe about prophecies being fulfilled and strange players taking a role behind the scenes. There's even a powerful drug cartel in Mexico that call themselves Templars, and acted as self-appointed security for his visit there.
Two years back I wrote a multi-part alt.history of the Templars, one I find myself returning to in recent days. I recommend you do the same. Here are the links- enjoy the series at your convenience...
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