Monday, January 10, 2022

Something Happened on the Day He Died

The Muses choose broken vessels: that's just the way it's always been. Bill "Spaceman" Lee once said the better the athlete the bigger the a-hole he'll probably be, and the corollary in music is the greater the musician, the more broken the psyche. And no psyche was more broken than that of David Bowie's in the midst of his mid-70s enslavement to the Devil's Dandruff.

The effects of cocaine and amphetamine psychosis are woefully undervalued when it comes to understanding extreme behavior and beliefs. They've played a major role in shaping the destines of tyrants as divergent as Adolf Hitler and Jim Jones. Drug abuse was rampant in Mao's inner circle and Imperial Japan, and almost certainly within the Bolshevik movement. And we all know how that played out. 

Uppers have been force-fed to shock troops since they were invented, and crystal meth is still the obvious drug of choice for the Oligarchy's (and Big Tech's) pet Sturmabteilung, AKA "Antifa" (sic).

So it's no surprise that Bowie's politics got a little, uh, intense at the time. Fascism and occultism - particularly satanic occultism - have been mutually masturbating one another since day one. Especially so for Bowie, after being trapped in Hollywood's hothouse, which Angela describes as "the most active occult area on the planet," where "the black arts are established to the point of being ingrained." 

That was written thirty years ago: can you imagine what it's like today? Surely all the geldings out there shrieking, "Satanic Panic, Satanic Panic!" can't possibly think Angie Bowie is some kind of Moral Majority schoolmarm, right? 

Maybe I don't want to know.


I guess the only thing to be said for speed and coke is that they don't seem to annihilate creativity in quite the same way opiates and downers do, as this murderer's row of killer deep cuts proves. Bowie's psyche may have been shattered by the coke and the witchcraft, but his talent certainly was not. His supernatural ability to channel music - seemingly instantly and out of whole cloth - remained pretty firmly intact. 

It remained so until Bowie began chasing the deadliest of all dragons for a true artist: the Almighty Dollar.

Compare that with Bowie's great magickal/musickal antagonist, Jimmy Page. The legendary guitarist got himself strapped to the white horse in the 70s and dutifully rode it over a fucking cliff. Page's powers began to fail him with the largely-underwhelming Presence, and it would be three and half long years (an eternity in the context of 70s rock) before Led Zeppelin released another new album. Page was such a useless mess by then that bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones had to do most of the work. 

After Zep split in the wake of John Bonham's death, it would take another five years (two eternities in the context of 80s rock) before Page would resurface with the short-lived (and now thoroughly, if unfairly, forgotten) supergroup, The Firm. He's done remarkably little since, and none of it holds a candle to vintage Led Zeppelin. 

Conversely, Bowie got his sea-legs back in the mid-90s and blessed us with a lot of great music until his death, with the Blackstar swan song quite possibly the greatest of the batch.

Themes and symbology borrowed from esotericism and the occult can inspire interesting art, just as long as one keeps their wits about them (or at least has someone around them who can). But I'll take Station to Station over any corny old grimoire if I'm jonesing for true magic. Hell, I'd take the song "Station to Station" over all the corny old grimoires out there. 

Music is the most powerful, most reliable, and most enduring form of spirit communication out there. Accept no substitutes. Ever. 

Because there is no substitute.


In that light, take the opportunity to observe the passing of a great artist - who in turn inspired a lot of other great artists -  by reading my three-part codebreak on the real secret origin of Ziggy Stardust. It's quite a ride.

Must-reads for all Bowie fans, and rock fans in general.

Bowie left this realm on the 70th anniversary of the Army Signal Corps's powerful occult ritual called "Project Diana," which coincided (and contrasted) with the juvenile mutual masturbation session known as the "Babalon Working." That farce in turn was the beginning of the dismal end for another prodigy-turned-occult-damaged-speedfreak. 

Dancing on the strings of his present ONI handler (L.Ron Hubbard) in preparation for being passed on to his future ONI handler (Marjorie Cameron), Jack Parsons almost obsessively pissed away his career chasing the shadows of Crowley's own masturbatory drug fantasies, just as Bowie would nearly do some thirty years later. The difference being that Bowie wised the fuck up.

Parsons was just a self-destructive wanker and masochistic dupe, whatever his skills at chemistry might once have been. He was just smart enough to understand that the science fiction fantasies he obsessively consumed in his childhood would never, ever come to pass, so Crowley's dreary, delusional dictums became his comestained consolation prize. And Parsons followed them to their inevitable destination: a solitary, miserable death.

Hubbard and Cameron, trained in the dark arts of military intelligence, were the real conjurers in that story. Hubbard would later compose Dianetics in the shadow of Fort Monmouth, where Project Diana took place (hence the title). That mega-ritual, and others like it such as the Trinity Tests, Operation Crossroads, and the Roswell Working, showed exactly who were the malignant masters of the black arts and who were the losers, LARPers and poseurs. 


It's funny: when I watch these old Eighties videos I'm always struck by how paradoxically hale and ruddy - and vigorous - the kids in the pit often seem. Even in a video like that Bauhaus/Bowie one, those early Goths (basically just street punks who liked horror movies and vampire makeup) look more like actual Visigoths when compared to later variants. And certainly compared to the shriveled shut-ins you're apt to find at shows today. 

And for good reason: speaking from experience, you had to be in decent-ish shape to get in the pit at those shows back in the day, or you'd get stomped on fairly quickly.

The rot set in a while ago now: when I saw Mission of Burma in 1983, the venue called in a phalanx of Boston's finest because the kids were going so crazy. When I saw them again in Brooklyn in 2006, the overwhelmingly twenty-something crowd stood like statues, even though they were obviously enjoying the music. And I couldn't help but notice that they all looked like hipster variations of Sherman and Mr. Peabody, regardless of gender. 

Without the Wayback Machine, alas.

Mind you, I certainly understand the reaction that arose in the wake of rancid frat-boy rapefests like Woodstock '99 (and to nu metal in general) but maybe it's time for the pendulum to swing back - if just a bit - in the direction of normal human masculinity. Not to mention baseline health.


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