you get to meet all sorts in this line of work... dire straits ~ private investigations
why does the doctor have no face? stones ~ sister morphine
The previous post cryptically noted that "since 1945, there has been a near complete cultural blackout." I was just beginning to think about this when I blogged that one-liner ten days ago. I've been thinking about it a lot more since. The American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition, defines "blackout" as follows...
The concealment or extinguishment of lights that might be visible to enemy aircraft during an air raid.
Lack of illumination caused by an electrical power failure.
a. The sudden extinguishment of all stage lights in a theater to indicate the passage of time or to mark the end of an act or scene.
b. A short, comic vaudeville skit that ends with lights off.
A temporary loss of memory or consciousness.
a. A suppression, as of news, by censorship.
While sense #1 may be where the term originated, it's senses 4 and 5 that mostly concern us here -- and maybe a bit of #3. I'm still not quite prepared to write about this, but the sources I've been collecting give some pretty good hints of where I'm headed...
One of the things that makes it difficult to write about the late 19th- and early 20th-century proclivity for occult spookiness, proto-fascist nationalism and bloodthirsty manifest-destiny-cum-eugenics-driven racism, is that Nazism -- one of the main branches of this family tree -- has largely been made into a laughingstock. Nazis are B-movie material, the stuff of wild-eyed conspiracy theory. If you poke around on Google, it's not hard to find innumerable restatements of the opinion that the very mention of Nazis renders any argument moot and destroys the credibility of the arguer forthwith. When I first started going down this road, in the back of my own head I heard: "Nazis? Come on, you can't be serious!"
But take another look at the outfits that published the books listed above: Yale, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Cambridge... However much your mileage may vary, we're not exactly talking Marvel Comics.
The truth is, before about a year or two ago, I never had any interest in Nazism. None. I've never had much interest in the standard-issue history of the 20th-century, and none in the 19th. Most of all, I've had zero interest in World War II, Hitler or anything to do with National Socialism. I'm embarrassed to admit it was only several years ago that I had to look up "Shoah" and "Holocaust" to get more than a vague sense of what those terms referred to. Antisemitism was a word, a concept, a problem once upon a time. Uh-huh, whatever.
I was active in CORE as a kid, like any self-respecting white boomer liberal, but racism -- if I ever knew anything about it -- was so... yesterday. I went to DC for the March on Washington, but when Martin Luther King was delivering his "I Have a Dream" speech, I was in bed with my girlfriend. We went down to the Mall late that afternoon and kicked through the leftover rubbish. Depressing. Also around that time, I ran into a book called Black Bourgeoisie. It said -- at least from my quick scan, I thought it said -- that what Black Americans really wanted was bigger cars, more color TVs, and a shot at white-collar middle-management jobs. Me, I thought what was "worth preserving" about black culture was drinking cheap wine on summertime stoops and playing Delta blues on beat-up guitars, maybe getting stoned on weed and catching the last set down at the Pythod Club at 2am.
The mostly middle-class Third [ward] had promise. To a large degree, it was a stable community whose residents owned homes and had good jobs. The Third ward was not all black. Some whites lived there; others visited, attracted by places like the Pythod Club, one of the best jazz spots in town. The club had a lot of tables jammed together, but whites crowded in alongside blacks and everybody felt comfortable. Nearby was a restaurant called Smitty's, whose barbecue was so much in demand that customers had to stand on line to await service. To sit down to eat, you took any chair available. In that New York deli-style setting, strangers black and white ate together and swapped stories of Smitty's barbecue sauce.
That must have been written after my time, because when my friend Ivan and I went there, we were just about always the only white faces in the place. Smitty's, up on Clarissa Street, had more college kids from the University of Rochester across the river, so it was more of a mixed scene. I saw a guy in there one night musta weighed 300 pounds easy, with a lavender suit, a gold medallion the size of a saucer around his neck, a whore on each arm and two plates of fried chicken on the table in front of him. He wasn't no college student. Later, somebody pulled a gun. Still, it was hardly ever what you'd really call dangerous in that neighborhood back around 1965. But it suddenly got real dangerous one night about a year later and a dozen blocks away. Ivan was murdered by a couple white punks who jumped us in the "good" part of town when they mistook him for me. Yeah, a long story. Like the man said: in '65 I was 17. Running blind.
Anyway, the point of all that had something to do with Black Bourgeoisie, which was re-published in 1997 with the subtitle "The Book That Brought the Shock of Self-Revelation to Middle-Class Blacks in America." I guess it brought some kind of shock of revelation to me, too. After reading that damn thing, after Ivan got killed, I started doing a lot of acid and not giving a shit about much of anything. All I wanted was to move up to the country, baby, paint my mailbox blue.
I guess I have a certain warped perspective from another era at this point. I'm 58, which means I was born in 1947. A lot of strange things were happening that year -- none of which I ever thought about until I tried to figure out the bouncing baby bourgeois Buddhists and wannabe bhikkhus of Boulder. However, it was this "private investigation," as Dire Straits once put it, that got me very interested, and has led me to recently wonder why the Nazis America fought WWII against were as forgotten two years after that war ended -- by the year I was born, that is -- as, say, Osama bin Laden is today. There will be plenty more words on this score later on. In the meantime, here's a partial list of events from 1947 that says something I can't quite yet articulate about something important that happened back then. About how the blackout got started...
Tibet sends delegation to discuss trade with India, China, Britain and the US.
Dead Sea Scrolls discovered at Qumran.
Hollywood "Black List" created by House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC).
Paris peace treaties signed between World War II Allies and Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Finland.
Voice of America begins to transmit radio broadcasts into Soviet Union.
Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera."
The International Monetary Fund begins operations.
Truman Doctrine proclaimed to help stem the spread of Communism.
Downed UFO allegedly found in Roswell, NM.
The ship Exodus departs France carrying 4500 Holocaust survivors.
100 year anniversary of Brigham Young leading 148 Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley.
President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act creating the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.
After a memory upgrade, ENIAC, one of the world's first digital computers, is turned on and remains in operation until October, 1955.
India and Pakistan gain independence from the British Empire.
American test pilot Chuck Yeager flies a Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound.
World Trade Organization (WTO) founded.
Walter Frederick Morrison invents the Frisbee.
January 8 - David Bowie, English musician
January 16 - Laura Schlessinger, American "psychologist" and talk radio host
February 2 - Farrah Fawcett, American actress
February 4 - Dan Quayle, Vice President of the United States
March 6 - Rob Reiner, American actor, comedian and producer
March 19 - Glenn Close, American actress
March 25 - Elton John, British singer
April 2 - Camille Paglia, American literary critic
April 12 - Tom Clancy, American author
April 12 - David Letterman, American entertainer
April 16 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, American basketball player
April 21 - Iggy Pop, American rock musician
June 19 - Salman Rushdie, Indian-born author
July 20 - Carlos Santana, Mexican-born American guitarist
July 30 - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-born actor, bodybuilder and Governor of California
September 21 - Stephen King, American author
September 22 - Norma McCorvey, American abortion plaintiff (Roe v. Wade)
October 26 - Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States and Senator from New York
November 14 - P. J. O'Rourke, American journalist and satirist
And me not a rock star, radio personality or politician. I ask myself: what have I made of my life?
January 25 - Al Capone, American gangster (b. 1899)
April 7 - Henry Ford, American automobile manufacturer and virulent racist (b. 1863)
December 1 - Aleister Crowley, British occultist (b. 1875)
I realize it may seem a bit odd, but of all the items on these lists, the one that really stands out for me is the Woody Woodpecker entry. It was just that kind of year in what Franz Kafka once called Amerika.
posted by Christopher Locke at #
Saturday, August 26, 2006
At first I got all excited, like maybe I'd found the Rosetta Stone or something. It had it all. It was religious. It was arcane. It was creepy. But on further inspection, I decided that -- even for me -- it was just too goddam weird. I sighed and put it back on the shelf. So many ding-a-lings, so little time.
But then about a week ago, I ran across the book again, and I looked a little deeper. It wasn't just the deeper look that did it, though. It was that, in the meantime, I'd gotten a whole lot better idea of what to look for. Because this time I'm like holy shit, this is about Traditionalism!
Traditionalism was founded by Réne Guénon, one of whose primary works was The Reign of Quantity & the Signs of the Times. And sure enough, both get top billing in The System of Antichrist. My pulse quickens, I can feel the planets aligning, the dots are beginning to connect themselves. Anyway, we're in the general ballpark of what Jung and a bunch of oddball alchemists he dug up called the sophia perennis, and what Aldous Huxley later called The Perennial Philosophy. This is very serious stuff, people. And the people who get into it get into it very seriously. Out the angels come. Oh yeah.
But the cool part, the part I have broken my long silence here to tell you about, is a similar yet oh-so-different book by Charles Upton -- the same guy who wrote the Antichrist thing. And this other one is called Cracks in the Great Wall. You're guessing China, right? You're guessing maybe a little spackle. Well, guess again. Rather than spoil it by just telling you the subtitle, feast your peepers on this!
This is way better than that half-assed Christians-on-steroids Left Behind series. It even draws a comment from the author of Inanna Returns (more about which in a second)...
I am someone who has personally been involved with ET transmissions. I know far too many people who have received this deceptive confusion that cunningly enhances the frail egos of those who are simply sadly unaware of traditional metaphysics. It has taken me years of meditative introspection and the brilliant writings of Rene Guenon to understand the truth.
[ oh, I guess I forgot to mention that the UFO pilots coming through the cracks are actually demonic minions of -- but you probably already guessed this, right? -- the Antichrist. ]
That's quite some endorsement, so of course I pop over to Inanna Returns, and find the author had also left a comment there -- a few years prior to the one above...
In 1990 while reading Zecharia Sitchin's book The Wars of Gods and Men, I began to have visions of Inanna's life. Her experiences as the great-granddaughter of Anu from the planet Nibiru came to life for me for a 6 month period. This book is metaphysical in nature and has nothing whatsoever to do with the mythological fantasies derived from the somewhat spurious translations of the cuneiform tablets. 'Inanna Returns' is about the colonization of this planet by a group of ETs, her family the Anunnaki.
Now unless I miss my bet, the Anunnaki are the race of giant reptiles that have invaded our planet but are invisible to all but ex-BBC sportscaster and all-around anti-Semite David Icke. For, as the Wikipedia page about him informs us...
In 1999, he published The Biggest Secret, in which he wrote that the secret world government consists of a race of reptilian humanoids known as the Babylonian Brotherhood, and that many prominent figures are, in fact, reptilian, including George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie.
I'm not sure if I have all the details completely straight yet, but if you're bothered by extraterrestrial reptiles, or even just plain old UFOs, I guess the answer is Réne Guénon. By the way, It's funny how many of the books promoting Traditionalism neglect to mention it's second biggest cheerleader -- after Guénon himself, naturally. That would be Mircea Eliade's lifelong friend, the Italian arch-fascist Julius "I'm Not Really A Racist" Evola. We've also talked about Eliade and Evola here before. Tell you what, while you go check out all those links, I'm going to do a little more digging on Boxcar Willie.
posted by Christopher Locke at #
Thursday, August 10, 2006