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mystic bourgeoisie 

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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Thursday, January 24


home of the brave, land of the free
don't wanna be mistreated by no bourgeoisie
lord, in a bourgeois town
yeah it's a bourgeois town
I got the bourgeois blues
gonna spread the news all around


Yes indeed. And to assist with said spreading, I wish I could afford this lovely Bourgeois font!

I know this may seem unrelated, but here's a little story that should explain everything. This is the way Johnny Cash told it, evidently, but I first learned it from Leadbelly on some old Folkways recording.

Now this here's the story about the Rock Island Line. Well the Rock Island Line she runs down into New Orleans. There's a big toll gate down there, and you know, if you got certain things on board when you go through the toll gate, well, you don't have to pay the man no toll. Well, the train driver he pulled up to the toll gate and the man hollered and asked him what all he had on board and he said, "I got livestock. I got livestock. I got cows. I got pigs. I got sheep. I got mules. I got all livestock." Well, he said, "You all right boy, you don't have t'pay no toll. You can just go right on through." So he went on through the toll gate. And as he went through he started pickin up a little bit of speed, pickin up a little bit of steam. He got on through, he turned, he looked back to the man, he said, "Well I fooled you. I fooled you. I got pig iron. I got pig iron. I GOT ALL PIG IRON!"

So I hope the moral of my post is clear. And I hope it answers so many of you who have asked over the years: "What is Mystic Bourgeoisie really all about?" Well, it's about livestock. It's about cows. It's about pigs. It's about sheep. It's about mules. IT'S ABOUT ALL LIVESTOCK!

Thursday, January 10

oh this should be rich

I just came across a new (well, January 2007) book -- A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion -- by Catherine L. Albanese, and I can't wait to read it.
I can't wait to read it because, while masquerading as chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Albanese is actually a major cheerleader and weird-sister hyper-booster for precisely the eclectic blend of spooky out-there mumbo-jumbo that Mystic Bourgeoisie was established to abuse, malign, ridicule, disparage and generally belittle. In this, I count my perspective one of the great advantages of not being a purportedly "objective" academic. When will people stop imagining that a Ph.D. after somebody's name is a gaurantee she's not selling something? I picked up another of her books -- Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age -- as I was deeply interested in the advertised subject matter. What I wasn't expecting, but got, was an extended advertisement for the subject matter.

Clearly, Catherine has not read her McCutcheon. It's bad enough when professors profess Jesus Christ from the secular pulpits afforded by university classrooms. Why should it be any less deplorable to campaign for Hermes Trismegistus in a coonskin cap? And while I'm at it, just en passant: I have never once been disappointed in my expectation that William James will be invoked in such displays of blind-leading-the-blind faith.

I'm holding out more hope for The Occult in Nineteenth-Century America. Let's hope that, unlike Albanese, Cathy Gutierrez is more inclined to critical scholarship than to trying to sell me on the wondrous marvels of superstitious horseshit.