MonthMay 2007

Technoccult straw-poll

After posting the Ron Paul thing, I’m curious as to the political leanings of readers of this site…

Vote in the poll here.

Third ear open

stelarc third ear

Earlier this year, Stelarc finally found a medical doctor willing to implant a cell-cultivated ear beneath the skin on the artist’s forearm.

[…]

Stelarc is apparently planning to go through a few more surgeries to give it more definition.

“He’s also going to implant a mic inside the ear that will connect to a bluetooth transmitter, so the ear can broadcast audio from the internet wirelessly,” explains former BB guestblogger and sometimes Stelarc collaborator Karen Marcelo. “That Stelarc, always got something up his sleeve! He likes to say that too. ”

Full Story: Boing Boing.

(Thanks Natasha!)

Quinn Norton has her sixth sense removed

Reporter Quinn Norton, who had a magnet implanted into her finger to allow her to ‘feel’ magnetic fields has finally had it removed – returning her to the normal world of the ‘five senses’.

Full Story: Mind Hacks.

(Via Hit and Run).

Was Hunter S. Thompson murdered? A documentary


(via Kirk Ultra)

Ron Paul and the racist right

I’m posting this here because I think there’s a fairly large cross-over between Technoccultists and Ron Paul supporters, and because I’d really like to get the bottom of this. Paul’s not going to get to get a fair shake in the mainstream media or the progressive media, and the libertarian media (such that it is) seems a bit quiet on the issue of Ron Paul’s alleged racism. Though I admittedly skew to the left for the most part, I have a few libertarian tendencies as well so I feel like maybe I can give him a fair shake. For your inspection:

Ron Paul, In His Own Words.

Ron Paul: The Radical Right’s Man in Washington.

The defenses of Paul I’ve seen so far are:

1. Deny that the newsletters even exist and claim that the Daily Kos poster who posted this is “obviously a neocon Guiliani supporter who has been building up a record on this site in an attempt to give you some sort of street cred to run bullcrap like this diary throughout the Republican primary.” (From “libertynow”‘s comments on the Kos diaries).

2. Take the Paul’s defense that he didn’t write the newsletters at face value.

The former I find fairly absurd, and the latter just doesn’t quite work for me. And while it’s true that you can’t choose your supporters, one has to look at why the racist right tends to support Ron Paul. Even before I read about these newsletters, I was worried by Paul’s immigration positions and asserted that he was deliberately playing to the racist right. But I’m quite open to being proved wrong.

Lupa interviewed about her new book, The Field Guide to Otherkin

Q: Your book points out several instances of mythological and historical anecdotes that point towards the possibility (or at least the idea) of possessing a non-human soul, yet it is fairly recently that a unifying social construction of “otherkinism” has emerged. Why is it important now that these Otherkin have a shared group identity? Looking closer at some of the different varieties of Otherkin (elves, vampires, therians) many of them seem to have little in common.

A: I think it’s mainly the idea of “I’m not the only one!” Even Otherkin admit that believing you’re not human through and through is a pretty weird thing, and a lot of us, especially those of us who recognized our “Other-ness” at a young age, questioned our sanity over the years. I know I went through what I call the “belief-doubt-belief” cycle a number of times about my therianthropy. I’d start out feeling okay with the idea of being lupine on some level, but then I’d start worrying “Am I insane? What the hell am I thinking?” And so I’d repress anything having to do with therianthropy whatsoever. This invariably would make me depressed, and as with anything we repress, the wolf side would start creeping out again, whether I liked it or not. I continued in this cycle until I finally decided to just accept that this is a part of me, for better or for worse. I can honestly say I feel healthier and happier now than I ever did when I was trying to shove it back in the box, so to speak.

Full Story: The Wild Hunt.

Scientists slow down light

Scientists have used silicon crystals to trap light and slow it down to the lowest speed ever recorded in the material. The breakthrough is a step towards light-based storage for quantum computers.

Researchers at Japanese telco NTT used man-made photonic crystals, which contain nanoscale holes, to achieve the feat. The cavity which controlled the light was less than ten millionths of a metre long.

Full Story: The Register.

Old school occultural zines

chaos international

Uncarved takes a look at some old school occultural zines.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

(Thanks to Trevor, who’s zine OVO is very worth checking. The site has issues going back to 1987).

Chaos Marxism on the Church of the SubGenius

Chaos Marxism quotes Ivan Stang:

It’s like, yeah, well, for now we’ve learned all we can about the little grey men from outer space and so forth. For the time being UFOIogy does seem to be a dog chasing It’s own tall, and rife with buckets of self-delusion everywhere you look. Perhaps It might not be a bad Idea to maybe think about taking care of the spaceship that we’re on already, using something besides prayer. You know, It’s great for everybody to visualize world peace and pray and so forth, but when you talk about the hundredth monkey, you have to remember the hundredth Manson, or the hundredth Hitler. (laughter) All that other stuff.

Full Story: Chaos Marxism.

And another bit here:

So it boils down to: try to squeeze out whatever tiny crumbs of psychic nourishment you can get from the system, hang out with others of like mind when you can possibly stand them, and send more money to the Church so that Stang doesn’t have to get a job and can keep amusing you. The SubGenius Must Have Slack” translates to “The Lumpen-Creative Must Break Free of Alienation”. The problem is of course that L?kacs was right, and the end of alienation only comes with the workers-council form of organisation – something that the typical “lone nut” SubGenius working on their art or their music or their writing in splendid if paranoid isolation just wouldn’t be able to grok.

I’m not sure that’s a fair assessment – and I have the feeling Stang might not be so unfamiliar with Marxism. Oh, and there’s actually an article on activism in the newest SubGenius book by my friend and fellow PDX Occulture conspirator, Crawford.

Oh well, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke, right?

Full Story: Chaos Matrix.

Alan Moore interview on art and the occult in Arthur Magazine

Arthur: Of course the other aspect of magic that separates it from most religions is that it’s not based on faith, is it?

Oh, no. No. Faith is for sissies who daren’t go and look for themselves. That’s my basic position. Magic is based upon gnosis. Direct knowledge. It’s a kind of ‘I’m from Missouri. Show me’ approach, if you like. [laughter] I think that gnosis it’s probably the original form of spirituality in mankind. If you look back at the old Gnostic religions that proceeded Christianity, what they depended on was direct knowledge of the Mysteries, or the ideas being talked about. If you look at the early Christians, the people that were allegedly around Jesus, then you can’t get much gnostic than St. Thomas. [chuckles] He has to stick his hand in the wound before he was convinced! Or you’ve got the Essenes, with John the Baptist-they were certainly gnostics. Back then, everybody formed their own relationship to the godhead, which was seen as being inside them, as much as anything.

This is true of the old shamanic religions, that were the forebears of all kind of spiritual and religious thinking. The shaman didn’t so much act as a middleman between people and the gods; he showed them how to get there. He told them how to make their own journeys into the Underworld. I get the impression that the shaman in an ancient tribe would have had the same sort of position as a plumber or an electrician. [chuckles] A plumber is a guy who just knows about plumbing and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty when he’s unblocking your S-bend or whatever. A shaman is a guy who knows about traveling to the spirit world and doesn’t mind vomiting because he’s taking poisonous drugs, or getting the horrors of going to hell. It’s a community thing.

The later idea of magic, which probably sprung up when people started burning witches and magicians, when it became dangerous to be a magician. Which would probably have been around the ooo, what, the 3rd century, 4th century? When Christian mobs started putting Gnostics in hermetic scholars to death, Around that time there were Christian mobs that were putting to death hermetic scholars like Hypatea. We mention her in the first issue of Promethea. She was real. She was, I think, skinned alive by Christians. And so at that point, this is where you start to get the thing of secrecy and magic, which carries on from that point up to the present day. ‘If you’re a magician, don’t tell anybody. Don’t tell them and don’t tell them any of the visions you’ve had or give them any of the information that you struggled so long to accrue. Keep it to yourself.’ And that seems very elitist to me. I’d rather disseminate any information I’m getting by one of the means that are open to me. And I’m lucky in that I have several quite excellent means [chuckles] to disseminate information that are open to me. Comic books, CDs, things like that.

Full Story: Arthur.

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