Peg Aloi: Cinema and the Occult Revival

“This post brings together a number of areas of interest for me, including the increasing interest in fantasy with the counterculture of the 1960s, the connection between fantasy and Neo-Paganism, and the expression of elements related to Paganism and esotericism in film. We will explore issues related to these facets courtesy of an interview with Peg Aloi. Peg is a Pagan and a scholar who works in both the academic and popular arenas. She is a writer on Paganism and the media for Witchvox, is the co-editor with Hanna E. Johnston of the new volume ‘The New Generation Witches:Teenage Witchcraft in Contemporary Culture (Ashgate, 2007)’, and is currently co-authoring a book with Hannah titled The Celluloid Bough: Cinema in the Wake of the Occult Revival.”

(via TheoFantastique)

Jack Kirby: Gods, Myths, and UFOs

Isn’t it strange that our mythical Gods and Goddesses live “up there”- as opposed to the terrible spirits and demons who reside in the hot, fiery core of the regions “down there?” Can it be that some part of us has its roots in deep space? Are we descended from a species that is not planet bound? There, again, is the eternal question! Why is there this mass obsession with the sky?

Despite the numerous “saucer flaps,” and the intriguing speculations concerning artifacts of dead civlizations, is it the opinion of this writer that the true revelations which will lay bare our beginnings are still matters for the distant future. Our capabilities for achieving the truth are unfortunately too limited in this age. The hope lies with the evolution of instruments forged in the technical tinker shops of today. When they’ve reached the proper stage, they will guide our hands to the truth.

Full Story: Jack Kirby.

(Thanks James K!)

Criticism of Lisi’s E8 “theory of everything”

Lubo? Motl, co-founder of matrix string theory, thinks Lisi is a hack.

String theory critic Peter Woit is skeptical but not dismissive, as is Ars Technica writer Chris Lee.

London: City of Disappearances

London: City of Disappearances is a 655 page anthology with over 50 contributors, including: Ann Baer; J.G Ballard; Paul Buck; Brian Catling; Driffield; Bill Drummond; Tibor Fischer; Allen Fisher; Bill Griffiths; Lee Harwood; Stewart Home; Tony Lambrianou; Rachel Lichenstein; Michael Moorcock; Alan Moore; Jeff Nuttall; James Sallis; Anna Sinclair; Stephen Smith; Marina Warner; Sarah Wise.

Citizens disappear constantly, along with their homes, artifacts, buildings and spaces. As your time-flow accelerates, old friends email the latest obituaries and the function of the writer becomes increasingly clear. You’re there to count the dead; and re-count the missing landmarks. Scribe of mutability and mutation, you’re only a memory-shaman, chronicler of the crumbling scrolls – destined yourself to become a mere neural trace in the world-brain, as the towers tumble around you.

Full Story: Culture Court.

Buy London: City of Disappearances.

Also, if you’re in London: Alan Moore, Michael Moorcock, and Iain Sinclair will be reading from the book on October 26th. Details here.

Web writer faces obscenity charges for publishing stories

Regina Lynn says: “A writer whose stories include graphic depictions of the sexual abuse and murder of children is being charged with violating obscenity statutes, even though she only posted text and not pictures to her website.”

Full Story: Tacoma Tribune.

(via Regina Lynn).

Happy birthday Charles Fort

Charles Hoy Fort (6 August 1874 – 3 May 1932) was an American writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. (According to some sources[attribution needed] he was born on 9 August.)

Jerome Clark writes that Fort was “Essentially a satirist hugely skeptical of human beings’ – especially scientists’ claims to ultimate knowledge”. (Clark 2000, 123) (see Pyrrhonism for a type of skepticism strongly reminiscent of Fort’s). Clark describes Fort’s writing style as a “distinctive blend of mocking humor, penetrating insight, and calculated outrageousness”. (Clark 1998, 200)

Writer Colin Wilson describes Fort as “a kind of patron saint of cranks” (Wilson, 199), and also argues that running through Fort’s work is “the feeling that no matter how honest scientists think they are, they are still influenced by various unconscious assumptions that prevent them from attaining true objectivity. Expressed in a sentence, Fort’s principle goes something like this: People with a psychological need to believe in marvels are no more prejudiced and gullible than people with a psychological need not to believe in marvels.” (Wilson, 201; emphases his)

Fort’s books sold well, and remain in print. Today, the term Fortean or Forteana is used to describe various anomalous phenomena.

Charles Fort Wikipedia article.

Spy v. Spy: Bob Novak, the CIA’s MOCKINGBIRD program & the Plame/Wilson Scandal

Robert Novak? CIA operative?

It is the opinion of this writer, that Robert Novak has been part of Operation MOCKINGBIRD for a very long time. (As has the Post’s Bob Woodward, and through which he gained the acumen for to reach and sustain a relationship with “Deepthroat”–now known to be the FBI’s then-second-in-command, Mark Felt.) Someone (and it appears certain now, that it is either Novak or Rove) knew definitively of Valerie Plame’s employment history. If the source was Novak, that he is also a CIA agent, working within a long-standing media-infiltration project, would be a winning bet.

If Robert Novak is employed by the Central Intelligence Agency via Operation MOCKINGBIRD, and if for whatever reason he confirmed Valerie Plame-Wilson’s identity to Karl Rove, it appears now that Mr. Rove is turning on his ultimate Source: a man who is very likely to be CIA himself. Spooks will be spooks, and spooks–as with any two humans–often don’t like each other. But Federal statutes are also Federal statutes, and the citizenry can’t be expected to abide by that which our Masters do not. What’s good for the goose, etc.

Complete article here

Jorge Luis Borges’ Influence on Other Writers

Here’s a great sub-site from a Jorge Luis Borges site with analysis of Borges’ influence on numerous writers, including: Grant Morrison, William Gibson, Joyce Carol Oates, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Umberto Eco and others.

Morrison: I had a dream where I was on a train going through a horrible bone-like station. The name on the platform said “Orqwith,” so I’d thought I’d use it. Also, part of this dream was that this fictitious world was infiltrating parts of itself into our world. But like you say, it’s got a lot to do with stealing work of a blind Argentinian writer.

AH: I’m afraid I stopped reading after “The Garden of Forking Paths.”

Morrison: So you haven’t finished Labyrinths?

AH: I did read ‘”Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” and the one about Don Quixote.

Morrison: I think he’s wonderful. I just have baths in this sort of thing. That was one of the things I wanted to Introduce in Doom Patrol. All those strange paradoxes and philosophical curios.

Borges as an Influence

(via the Barbelith Underground).

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