Monday, November 03, 2014

These Are the Days of Miracles and Wonders


As some of you might be aware I'm blessed with the joyous gift of Myofascial Pain Syndrome, the so-called "rabid dog" of chronic pain disorders. In point of fact, it's technically classified as debilitating, though I chose not to let it be. 

But it comes with all kinds of wonderful side effects aside from the huge ropey cords of en-spasmed muscles, one of which is chronic fatigue and various sleep disorders.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Numinous Power of Night Slaves


.I have several essays in the pipeline that I am currently wrestling with, perhaps having bit off more than I can chew. In the meantime I wanted to repost this film, which I had post a while back on The Solar Satellite.  It seemed to get lost in the shuffle and really deserves a much closer look. 

This is a perfect film for a cold, rainy weekend, like the kind we're suffering here, and its theme of sleepless nights is apropos for daily savings time tonight. There's a strange kind of numinosity that I don't think you'd see in many films today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Telling Tales Out of School: Hiding in the Light


One of the more fascinating figures of the collision of 20th Century pop culture and future-science is Otto Binder. 

The prolific writer was not only one of the most influential writers in the history of the comics medium he was also a forward thinker on the topic of rocketry and space, creating one of the first- if not the first- magazines dedicated to the space program, Space World

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Covered by the Sacred Fire: Philip K. Dick's Divine Madness

So, what's the difference between madness and true magical thinking? It's a question that needs to be asked. For me, it's simple: the difference is the result. Usually, it's the only yardstick we have at hand.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Songs of the Siren on the River Styx


Jeff Buckley's family is producing a bio-pic on the late singer's life, provisionally entitled Mystery White Boy. Penny Dreadful star Reeve Carney has been cast as Buckley and Medium/ Gospel of Thomas channel Patricia Arquette has been cast as his mother. 

For those of you who may not know, Buckley died by drowning in a river in Memphis, TN in 1997, just as he was celebrating the completion of a new group of songs for the follow-up to his 1994 breakthrough album, Grace.


I don't know if they'll include former Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser in the story; if they've read my posts on Buckley's relationship with the Siren, they may very well not. It's not a story a family would want to tell. 

But it's the only story that's true.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bring on the Serpent Gods


Earnest, well-intentioned scholars like Elaine Pagels and Gilles Quispel worked very hard to bring Gnosticism back into the public consciousness in the past 40 years but presented a Gnosticism that I'm not sure the ancients would have necessarily recognized. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fragments of an Alien Faith: Ancient UFO Religion

Paging Dr. Clelland....

We looked at the remarkable literature of the Mandaeans, who are currently in exile from their native lands in Iraq. Their religious texts are filled with beings and ships of light as well as the very clear, lucid and oft-repated insistance that they are just vistors here, that their true home is on another world, a more perfect world.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Propaganda in the Classical Sense


Throughout history, cults of all sizes and shapes have created exciting dramas to spread their doctrines to the uninitiated. Many of the same elements we see in comic books, paperback SF and fantasy novels and Hollywood movies were first introduced in these stories, not as entertainment per se, but as literal propaganda, meaning as messages designed to 'propagate the faith'.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Everything Old is New Age Again


Though I didn't realize it at the time, the New Age movement was my entry point into the world of alt.whatever some 30 years ago. And it was also an object lesson in how the sandblasting power of consumer culture can reshape everything in its own image. This may seem like a weird detour to be writing about the New Age in these apocalyptic times, but I hope to convince you that it's anything but.

Monday, July 21, 2014

These Are Gnostic Times


It's been nearly a year since I've posted here, having been overwhelmed by the two irreducible realities in my life: work and chronic pain. 

Many a plan and project has been sacrificed on the altar to these unrelenting gods. I've lost count of the times I've gotten started on a project only to have to back burner it when the need to pay the bills rears its head.