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.


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.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ancient Aliens Buries the Lead

"The Great Stone Face," 1957

Ancient Aliens is now in its seventh season. I DVR it, but don't really watch it that often. It's gotten to the point where it's not telling me anything I don't know already, and having been on the other side of the camera a number of times I know how the game is played. 


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.