Friday, September 26, 2003 Dissociative Identity Disorder
or: I Am Legion!
You may be surprised to receive this letter from me since you do not know me personally.
I am the first son of the most popular black farmer in Zimbabwe who was murdered in the land dispute in my country. I am Sodingo Malinga, the first son of Malinga Tawanda. I am Mrs. Victoria Nzedioha, the wife of late Dr. Onomua Andrew Nzedioha. I am Ogidigan Frank the son of Dr. Tango Frank. I am Dr. Alexander Fredrick, the Special Assistant to Mr. Charles Taylor, the head of state of Liberia. I am Gabriel Kali, the first son of Gadik Kali. I am Mr. Bruce Mutomy the In-Law to Mr. Tabo Mbeki the President of Republic of South Africa. I am Mr. Paul Ugo, the son of Dr. Matelo Ugo, a wealthy farmer/politician in Zimbabwe. I am Abdul Momoh, the son of Ndiata Momoh. I am Abdoul Douglas, the first son of Mr. Cliff Douglas. I am Collins Chippo, the first son of Mr. Mbewe Chippo. I am Mrs. Theresa Nkomo the wife of late Dr. Benjamin Nkomo. I am William Zuma, the first son of Madogo Magoora Zuma. I am Marimba Nkala, the first son of Ndlovu Nkala. I am Mrs. Mariam Abacha, the widow of the former Nigerian head of state, late General Sani Abacha. I am Dan Igu the personal Assistant to Mrs. Maryam Abacha. I am Mrs. Fatima Abacha, second wife of Nigeria's former head of state. I am Carlos Radebe the first son of Radebe Zuma. I am Joseph Boma Mawelala the first son of Mr. Fred Coota Mawelala. I am Sadu Madiga, the first son of Gadik Madiga.
And what I want to know is: how can learn to blog like RageBoy?
My sister Liz bought me this book today, as she saw I was lusting after it in Boulder Books, a place I hardly ever go these days, as there's no telling whom I might run into there. Or there is telling, but for once I won't. btw, Liz won't read my blog because I haven't read her doctoral dissertation. As she doesn't read my blog, I feel relatively safe in saying, what kind of fucking deal is THAT? I mean, there are JOKES here. Sometimes. And PATHOS! Now and then. And SEX!!! With, a friend informed me only just this evening, disturbingly increasing frequency. I hate to use an adverb and a present participle in such close, if you'll forgive the expression, conjuntion. But... oh what the fuck do you care anyway?
The book is called Hold the Enlightenment (you can see the appeal just from that), and the first graf of the eponymous essay goes a little like this...
"I am not a yoga kinda guy. Yoga people are sensitive, aware, largely sober, slender, double-jointed, humorless vegans who are concerned with their own spiritual welfare and don't hesitate to tell you about it. They are spiritually intense and consequently enormously boring in the manner of folks who, in their own self-absorption, feel you ought to be alerted as to the quantity and texture of their last bowel movement."
However, I was saddened to read the next sentence.
"Or so I used to think."
I haven't finished the essay yet, so I don't know how things turn out. Even though the thing is less than seven pages.
Because when I got back here this evening, I felt a powerful need to be severely depressed. Then, after the meds kicked in, I... well, I... Now that's odd. I can't remember what I've been doing for the last four hours. It's those goddam fucking aliens again I'll bet. Look, I live in Colorado, OK? You've heard about all the
mutilations out this way, right?
I guess they decided they needed bigger balls to experiment on. I just hope their sterile technique is up to snuff. And that they don't slip with the scalpel or whatever it is they use on me up there. What I go through for you people. You have no idea. For instance, did I tell you about my sex change operation? I guess I'm still a little reticent about it. Well, here's the After photo. Maybe I'll tell you more later...
Wednesday, September 24, 2003 Di Chirico Fends Off the Spectral Bats of Andalusia
I rediscovered this piece tonight and it made me laugh. It's dated
March 21, 2001, back when I was still happy. Not that I'm not happy
now, mind you. Oh, am I happy. It's just that I was happy for
different reasons then. It seems way longer ago than two and a half
years since I wrote this. Could it be? That was the Spring Equinox
and today, I think, is the Autumnal Equinox. Or maybe yesterday was. Who knows.
So yeah, it's been
exactly two and a half revolutions around that star out there
that keeps us warm. When it does. And when it does, it's so good.
I'll think about all this while you read the piece. OK? Oh and btw, this is one of the bits in The Bombast Transcripts. though I didn't remember that until just now. Had to go back and edit this, which is what I've been doing non-stop for the last 48 hours it seems. Write, edit, write, edit. Jesus God. What normal person does this sort of thing for fun? Anyway, there are links nearby to that most excellent book, and it's not like it would kill you to click on one of them. Hoser.
EGR is graciously underwritten by Entropy Web Consulting
"Industry Heavies Saying Nice Things About Us, For Money."
you laugh, you pay
thanks to you, it's working!
Now at 75% of Our Goal!
$743.45 From Retarded Fuckheads Like You!
First off, for all of you who wondered if I was soliciting,
no. Gangbangers, dear hearts, are people who belong to gangs.
The state of cultural literacy is really plummeting out there.
Nonetheless, you wouldn't believe how many offers I got. For
all the good it would do me. Remind me to tell you sometime
about the unfortunate incident at the State Fair tractor pull.
Second off, for all of you who have been kindly (and
otherwise) inquiring about Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through
Worst Practices, yes, it's done. Sined, seeled and delivered.
David Goering called me this morning from Perseus Publishing
to say he liked it. Said it was a fucking work of art. Good
thing too. David Goering runs Perseus Publishing and could
have easily asked for the money back. Seeing as he didn't,
it'll be out in October. I'm putting together a chunk of it to
stick online. Naturally, you'll be the first to know.
Third off, a French "Wired-style" publication (their
description) asked me to send them something relating to the
revolutionary potential of the net. I mailed them a letter
bomb. The replacement editor then called and said, no, we
meant an article. So I wrote this thing here. No, they said,
that's too long. And could you make it a bit more concrete. So
I cut it in half and took out all the funny bits (yes, there
are funny bits, dammit!). They loved it, even though that
version now doesn't make any sense. Frogs, what can I say? Not
that this one does either, but hey, did that ever stop me from
sending you anything?
btw, the first reader to correctly guess why the two lead
quotes are grouped together wins a live wildebeest and a
year's supply of chainmail pantyhose. Ready? OK.
Toward a Poststructural Poetics of Cyberspace:
or, Deriding Derrida and the Horse He Rode In On
"Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arriv�!"
"There's nothing you can do that can't be done..."
All You Need is Love
Lennon & McCartney
In May 1968 I was planting beets and corn and dropping
mescaline. Later, sitting on my back porch blowing a soap
bubble, I tried to imagine a world in which such a thing was
possible. Suddenly and with some considerable amazement, I
realized I was already in it. Needless to say, I was pretty
high. At the same time, barricades were going up all over
Paris, an insurrection that lives on in our collective memory
like first love. In Spring, a young man's fancy turns to tear
gas. A few years later, Mick Jagger, having missed all the
action, lamented that "in sleepy London Town, there's just no
place for a street fighting man," but demanded sanctuary
nonetheless: "Ooh, a storm is threatening... my very life
today..." Human culture is an endless palimpsest of commentary
on the commentary written over whatever comments came before.
Later, Foucault would echo the power of the pendulum, Julia
Kristeva would explain intertextuality, and in time Tim
Berners-Lee would implement the platform. Now -- gimme
shelter! -- it's all connected. And we've been tripping on the
connections ever since.
One of the connections to Paris '68, now hyperlinked at
nothingness.org -- how existential, though one suspects Camus
would be scratching his head -- is The Society of the
Spectacle by kingpin situationist Guy Debord. This tract
brought a heavy hit of dada and surrealism into The Movement,
and argued, I think, that it didn't quite know where it was
moving to -- in fact (stop me if you've heard this one) that
there was No Way Out. Huis Clos, baby. I have to say "I think"
because I never read the book. Ergo sum a bit confused
perhaps. But I did see the book jacket once on a TV program
that showed it on a web page as reproduced in Le Monde. Debord
says "The time of production, commodity-time, is an infinite
accumulation of equivalent intervals." Ah yes, how true. But
kind of weird because a couple years earlier Jean-Luc Godard
shot a movie in Paris tricked up to look like another planet
(which, I understand, didn't take much doing) -- Alphaville,
une �trange aventure de Lemmy Caution -- in which a character
named Alpha 60 says "Time is the substance of which I am made.
Time is a river which carries me along. But I am time. It's a
tiger, tearing me apart..." Coincidence? Yeah, probably. I
never saw that movie anyway. I got the quote from The Internet
At any rate, situationism ultimately led to a film about the
Sex Pistols in which Gary Oldman, tricked up to look like Sid
Vicious (which did take some doing) sings Frank Sinatra's
trademarked theme song, "I Did It My Way," just before OD'ing
on heroin. *So* postmodern. All this is explained in Greil
Marcus's tour de force work of pop music criticism, Lipstick
Traces, which I do mean to read one day soon. For all his
influence on the Yippies at the '68 Democratic convention (I'm
guessing Jerry Rubin had spies on the Continent), Debord seems
to have been a humorlessly doctrinaire sort of guy, sullenly
complaining about the seamless and inescapable spectacle of
late capitalism simply because he couldn't get it to do
anything interesting. But art requires patience. And history
is not predestined. It is, however, littered with petty
control freaks peddling fascism tricked up to look like
freedom -- a disturbingly simple disguise.
Look: sure, we all love a good riot. However, the real problem
-- if I may wave my American flag proudly for a moment -- was
way too much Marx and not half enough synthetic psychedelics.
Not to be chauvinistic about it, but we did have the best labs
over here, you know, while all you people had was that cheap
opiated Afghani hashish cured in camel piss. Duck Soup will
only get you so far.
Yesterday, after starting to write this (and wondering, as
much as you are now, where all these random thoughts were
headed), I bought a book by Peter Watson called The Modern
Mind. It's an encyclopedic overview of 20th century memes and
the rich intellectual milieu they have interacted with one
another to produce. A tangled web, you might say. I bought a
cappuccino and lit a cigarette -- the strongest drugs I allow
myself these days -- and immediately turned to the concluding
chapter. Dr. Watson, I presume, believes in science and
rigorous analytic philosophy. He likes universities a lot but
does not like the muddy sort of thinking he associates --
though he doesn't say it in so many words -- with the
imagination. "Scientific/analytic reason has been a great
success" he writes, while "political, partisan and rhetorical
reason... has been a catastrophe." Oh dear.
Everyone is trying to control something it seems. Steer it
left, force it right. The serious work of the mind is to prove
that those other poor bastards are dangerous idiots, who,
really, if there were a Just God, would be forever silenced --
in the interests of an Open Society, of course. Ah, Popper,
the amyl nitrate of rational logic! And there's a long
tradition of this sort of thing, evidently. Somebody once told
me Plato wanted to get rid of the poets. Did he mean kill
them, I wonder? If anyone out there has actually read The
Republic, please send me email.
Power demands to be taken seriously. But the Internet is
rolling on the floor laughing, deep wracking intertextual
guffaws. The web is awash in oh-please-stop-I-can't-breathe
hypertext hilarity. Of course, we are not qualified to join in
the more serious forms of cultural discourse and debate. We
are not specialists. We are not experts. Unskilled,
unschooled, our anthems come not from the hallowed halls of
higher learning, but from the vox populi arena-rock of Pink
Floyd: "We don't need no education. We don't need no thought
control." Oh double-dear. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the
world. Mere Napster. Mere Gnutella. Mere-to-mere networking.
Meanwhile Sony Records wrings its metonymic corporate hands,
bemoaning the fact that we cannot hear the falconer -- of
copyright, ownership, control. As e.e. cummings once wrote:
"Humanity I love you because you are perpetually putting the
secret of life in your pants and forgetting it's there and
sitting down on it." Meanwhile, we're going like: "Falconer?
What falconer??? Dude, what are you even *talking* about?"
Thanks to the Internet, global culture is out of control. As
are deep jungle rain forests. As are the stars, the night, the
music of the spheres. Go look at a soap bubble, as I finally
did (straight) many years later. Look closely and for a long
time. Just before it bursts, you will see millions of
swirling, impossible colors. Imagine a world in which this
world is possible. Imagine the Stones still blasting away from
the past but with greater urgency than ever, "Love, sister,
it's just a kiss away, kiss away, kiss away..." The barricades
are gone, but the truth remains: we won. And all that time, I
thought I was just hallucinating.
We won? We who? Shit, I guess I *was* hallucinating. And oh
yeah that reminds me, I've lately been reading this terrific
and enormously fat volume:
Madness and Modernism:
Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought
It's part of the research I'm doing for an article that will
run in Harvard Business Review just before Gonzo comes out.
I'm thinking to call it "Screaming at the Demons in the
Elevator Shaft: Spiritual Proctology, Marketing Prophylaxis
and Public Relations." Maybe that's too long though. I dunno.
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Rated NC-17 for disturbing and gratuitous
depiction of gore, violent anti-social
behavior, graphic heroin use and resulting
depravity, pervasive sexuality/nudity,
and some language.
Before we get started today, RageBoy has requested
that I post this public service announcement.
Don't worry, it'll just take a minute.
See that wasn't so bad, was it? And it serves as fair warning about what's to come. Or as an advert, as our British cousins like to call em. Things are a little slow in the beginning, as you'll see, but then we spice it up with unforgivable media bias and some truly foul language. We should know better. But at least there's no outright nudity in this one. I don't think...
Ah, but would you look at that! No sooner thought than done. This must be what Jimmy Carter was talking about.
What do you think, Frank? Fuck Euclid! He may have looked on beauty bare, but not this bare I'll wager. I'd say we got us a solid R here. But with some quick-and-dirty cropping, you should forgive the expression, I think we just squeaked under the NC-17 bar. By a hair. The point, of course, is not prurience. Would we stoop to that? No, it's to keep the academic rif raff out. So it's undress under duress. That is to say: in a good cause. Or should that be casuistry?
No matter. You may safely dispense with your unabridged lexicons. And now, since you've all been such good children, ON WITH THE SHOW!
Conspiracy Theory or: Is there a Doctor in the house?
OK then, let's start this with a couple of quotes. The first is from the "Spectrums of Possibility" website of one Dr. [sic] Art Rosengarten -- as in I Never Promised You a RosenGarten -- who describes himself as, and I quote, a Licensed Psychologist, Family Therapist, Author & Speaker, Tarot Expert,
Meditation Practitioner, Published Poet, Diplomate of the APA, Graduate Instructor, and The First Tabugian -- as explained by Herr Doktor RoseGarden: "Tabugian (ta-boo-gee-an) Tarot-based Buddhist Jungian."
I see. And how long have you been bothered by such notions? Would you care to expand on this delusion, Learned Sir?
Why, sure, no problem...
"As a psychologist and Tarot scholar I've long been saddled with the intriguing possibility of blending these strange bedfellows, Psychology and Tarot, despite (or perhaps, sheepishly, because of) those incredulous brows of mystification evidenced in many of my esteemed colleagues. The Freudians and Post Freudians, for instance, naturally find this mission dynamically odd and tainted much as the Behaviorists and Cognitive Behaviorists see the prospect as farcical and ill-conceived. Not surprisingly, however, the Jungians and Post-Jungians, as others of a humanistic/transpersonal bent, seem generally at home with the idea. Psychology and Tarot, why not?"
But wait, that's not all! On his Informed Consent page, Dr. Art (as he calls himself) warns that his Tarot Method is...
"Contraindicated for individuals suffering from severe mental disorders including schizophrenia, active mania or clinical depression, paranoia, acute trauma, obsessive-compulsive and panic disorders."
That would be me. A bona fide depressed paranoid traumatic. There aren't that many of us left. And it is because of these various compound afflictions that I find the following sort of thing nearly unbearable.
That is to say: unbearably funny. I know, I know. How am I ever going to get girls to like me again if I keep being so fucking negative? Well, let's see, I could... no. Well then, I could... no. OK then, I guess it's hopeless. So what the hell. More weirdo pictures!
Now, the second quote (remember? I said there'd be two) I found in Jung and the New Age by a guy who's also written a bunch of other books about Jung and sacred shit and, you know, like The Mind: David Tacey. OK, so he wrote a couple books. Picky, picky. Yeah well anyway, he had these powerful words to say about how Jung has been expropriated by the New Age, and... well, let's let him tell it, shall we?
"My agenda is not to debunk Jung, but to redeem him from simplistic representations and distorted prejudices. In academia, a typical game is to identify Jung with the New Age representations of him and to condemn both together. Scholars often engage in a deliberate falsification of Jung, only too willing to concur with what the New Age has made of him, as this serves to reinforce academic prejudices and resistances. High and low culture have conspired to turn Jung into a figure of ridicule and contempt, and it is time this conspiracy was brought to light."
Resistances. You gotta love the rhetoric. I'll let "high and low culture" ride. Except to say that, sheesh, for a guy who talks about The Postmodern on the same page, you'd think he'd know better. However, we turn now to a conspiracy of a clashing complexion, if you will -- the very one, in fact, with which Tacey's conspirators have, by him, confabulated to conspire.
Sad indeed. And not even a decent dust jacket to show for it. What a fucking stone bummer.
btw, while we're on the subject, C.G. Jung is referenced no fewer than a dozen times in this book, on matters such as Taoist alchemy, divination, racial memory, altered states of consciousness, poltergeists, psychics, physics (or a sort), and so on. And in no case I encountered, so far as I could tell, was our good Magister Ludi woefully misrepresented. No SchadenFreude for the wicked, sorry. Looks like Marilyn knew her boy. And consider: The Aquarian Conspiracy was published more than two decades before Tacey's Jung and the New Age. Kinda makes you wonder where the Big Conspiracy lies, huh? Whatever, wherever: lies is the operative word. And no matter how you cut the pie, there's plenty to go around. Doesn't look like a real good time to be casting first stones. (Naturally, we exempt our present selves from the caveat.)
"A great, shuddering irrevocable shift is overtaking us. It is not a new political, religious, or economic system. It is a new mind -- a turnabout in consciousness in critical numbers of individuals, a network powerful enough to bring about radical change in our culture.
This network -- the Aquarian Conspiracy -- has already enlisted the minds, hearts and resources of some of our most advanced thinkers, including Nobel laureate scientists, philosophers, statesmen, celebrities, and steadily growing numbers from every corner of American society.
Who are the conspirators? What are their beliefs? Where are they leading us? In this immensely powerful and wide-ranging charter of human possibility, Marilyn Ferguson describes how an underground network...
...is working to create a different kind of society based on a vastly enlarged concept of human potential. She shows us how the technologies for expanding and transforming personal consciousness, once the secret of an elite, are now generating massive change in every cultural institution -- medicine, politics, business, education, religion, and the family. Drawing on the startling findings of leading-edge science, she demonstrates the crucial role of stress and crisis in this personal and cultural transformation.
Will our present turmoil lead to a worldwide breakdown of society...
...or to a breakthrough to the next step in human evolution? The answer may depend in large measure on the influence of the Aquarian Conspiracy.
The author speaks to those who are experiencing a growing capacity for change themselves and know that it is possible for others. This book gives heart to the tens of millions who sense the ripeness of our society...
...for renewal and to those who despair but are willing to look at the evidence for hope. The Aquarian Conspiracy illuminates many of our secret dreams for ourselves -- and
makes them all seem possible."
Marilyn Ferguson The Aquarian Conspiracy:
Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s
(J. P. Tarcher, 1980), quote from inside jacket flaps.
I had just pulled up to the PDQ, the 24-hour convenience store where I buy milk because it's cheaper there, go figure, and here's this middle-aged-but-I-don't-really-look-it-do-I Boulder woman walking into the store as the final bars of Evanescence wane on my in-car juke box. Baby now you everbody's fool. "Without the mask / where will you hide / can't find yourself / lost in your lie..." You been readin this rag for any time now, you know where the link would go.
But this one, the one walking into the store, I can see has O-m-m-m-m-m printed across her tits, which I guess is to give sensitive New Age guys an excuse to look at them, as otherwise they'd be too bashful, which around here is what passes for respect. Not that her tits aren't notable in themselves, like I give a shit.
However, not being bashful myself, but more the curious type, I ask, "So does it say O-m-m-m-m-m-m on your t-shirt because you think it's cool..." -- and here she's face upturned and smiling that I
fell for it -- "or because you think it's bullshit?"
"Oh no," she says with a tentative laugh, "because I'm into it!"
"Yeah?" I say. "Me, I think it's bullshit."
"Well," she says, I can feel the one-liner coming, "it doesn't hurt anyone."
Why hello dere Tar Baby! Beau'ful mornin', ain' it? I can't resist. "Yeah it does" I say. "That's where you're wrong."
Exeunt smile and laugh. Enter that clamped-down anal-retentive look reserved in these parts for The Infidel. Well! He must not be from Boulder, she's thinking.
No, baby, I am, I am. That's how I know precisely what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm an angry, aggressive, judgmental sort of person. Aren't you? You stupid cunt.
Author's Note: Damn, I just looked this up on Google, and it seems that Tom and I have entirely different notions of how dangerous Jesus Christ is. Let's see... 666 divived by 6, times three, times 2 is...
So I stopped and flipped through the book, even though I was dying for an iced double espresso and a cigarette. If you wanna run cool, Dire Straits tells us, you gotta run on heavy heavy fuel. And I came to the entry for pain or suffering or some such, in which Osho informed me that this was unnecessary. Imagine my relief.
He said it's me that's causing my suffering. I had once thought this the most convincing argument for suicide, but I read on. My pain, it seems, stems from being deluded about the Nature of Reality. He didn't say that in the part I read, but he implied that he would know. He probably does though, one way or the other, seeing as he's been dead for 13 years now. But even if there is life after death. and even if he did therefore know for a minute, I bet he forgot pretty quick. Therefore, I'm not sure how much use this information will be to me, especially as I'm still wondering if there's life after birth.
Notwithstanding these intrusive ruminations, Osho went on to say that I am in pain because I've had expectations, which, if I let go of, I would feel a whole lot less hurty.
And it stopped me in my tracks. And I thought, my God, that's right! And it all suddenly made sense. And I got down right there on my knees and prayed that these deluded expectations be taken from me. I expected she wouldn't fuck me over. So of course she did. All part of the Kozmik Plan.
With your arms around the future and your back up against the past... reflection serves a better purpose. Thanks, you, for the help finding this one, a source I've been looking for for a while now. Online Research - It's the American Way!
"It was remarkable enough that ordinary folks now had enough money to take it and run off and alter the circumstances of their lives and create new roles for themselves... but simultaneously still others decided to go... all the way. They plunged straight toward what has become the alchemical dream of the Me Decade. The old alchemical dream was changing base metals into gold. The new alchemical dream is: changing one's personality -- remaking, remodeling, elevating, and polishing one's very self... and observing, studying, and doting on it (Me!)....
[it] is at this point that the new movements tend to take on a religious or spiritual atmosphere.... there is another order that actually reigns supreme in the world. Like the light of God itself, this other order is invisible to most mortals but he who has dug himself out from under the junk heap of civilization can discover it. And with that the Me movements were about to turn righteous."
Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of.
I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos."
It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.