Thursday, March 5, 2009

Black Light in the Attic Podcast: Doug Stanhope & Lorenzo

"Well this week we present you with two interviews. The first is comedian Doug Stanhope and we caught him after two days of straight ritalin and vodka... yeah. Then our friend Lorenzo (the Podfather! from the Psychedelic Salon) comes back into the Attic to discuss more Burning Man stuff. All I've got to say about this one is: Send the Postcard."

"Indubitably! Step in. Then bury yourself." Black Light in the Attic

Lilith's Temptation Island

You may remember this Hidden Agendas post (with more links there) on Lilith. Check out this and this pic. (update: Check out CK's blogs too for more Lilith, memestream indeed!)
This is Veronique De Cock as Lilith in a recent Belgian Temptation Island promo poster.

Cool city names. How about this one?

Couldn't find a pic of the real sign so cooked this up, pretty cool city name in Belgium. The french name is Waremme. Borg in dutch/flemish is also: Bail, guarantee, surety.
If you know any other cool city names, drop 'em in the comments!

V for Victory (part 1)

V The Original Miniseries NBC Promo

From the wiki plot summary: A race of aliens arrive on Earth in a fleet of 50 huge, saucer-shaped motherships, which hover over major key cities across the world. They reveal themselves on the roof of the United Nations building in New York City, appearing human but requiring special glasses to protect their eyes and having a distinctive resonance to their voices. Simply referred to as the Visitors, they reach out in friendship, ostensibly seeking the help of humans to obtain chemicals and minerals needed to aid their ailing world. In return, the Visitors promise to share their advanced technology with humanity. The governments of Earth accept the arrangement, and the Visitors, led by their leader John and his deputy Diana, begin to gain considerable influence with human authorities. (More, here.)
"They arrived in fifty mother ships, offering their friendship and advanced technology to Earth. Skeptical of the Visitors, Mike Donovan and Juliet Parrish infiltrated their ranks and soon discovered some startling secrets. The Resistance is all that stands between us ... and the Visitors!"
Titan skull?
Interesting lighting on the Eiffel Tower

Lookie at what's on the wall
Out of the Saucers comes a smaller Snakey ship (pic below), with a winged-snake-like looking logo, and also swastika-like.

The story became a Nazi allegory, right down to the Swastika-like emblem used by the Visitors and their SS like uniforms. There is a youth auxiliary movement called the "Friends of the Visitors" with obvious similarities to the Hitler Youth, and Visitor broadcasts mimic Nazi-era propaganda. The show's portrayal of human interaction with the Visitors bears a striking resemblance to stories from Occupied Europe during the Second World War with some citizens choosing collaboration and others choosing to join underground resistance movements.

Where the Nazis primarily persecuted Jews, the Visitors were likewise depicted to persecute scientists, their families, and anyone associating with them. They also distribute propaganda in an effort to hide their true identity. Some of the central characters in the initial series were from a Jewish family and the grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, frequently commented on the events of the past again unfolding. Once they are in a position to do so, the Visitors later declare martial law to control the scientists (and resistance fighters) as well. In addition, direct figure analogies are used, such as the senior Visitor scientist, Diana, who can be compared to Dr. Josef Mengele.

First audio message in all national languages: "Citizens of planet earth we bring you greetings and we come in peace, may we respectfully request the secretary general of your United Nations. Please come to the top of the UN building in NY at 01.00 Greenwhich (green witch) time."

"Please come up the ramp." (ramp = disaster in flemish/dutch)

Exit please!
"These visitors assure me they come in peace and they wish to honor all the covenants of our UN charter. As you will see they are much like us, although their voices are unusual. They ask for me to speak on their behalf, but I felt that everyone would be more comfortable if their supreme commander who is aboard this vessel, spoke directly to all of you."

Then the ambassador steps a few steps down and the alien supreme commander:
"I trust that you will forgvie me, but our eyes are unaccustomed to this kind of brightness."

and he puts on his alien brand of 'Hoffman Lenses' ;p

"Our planet is the 4th in distance from the star you call Sirius. This is the first time we have left our system, and you the first intelligent life we've encountered. We're pleased to meet you. Our names would sound peculiar to you, so me and my fellow visitors and I have chosen simple names from Earth. My name is John. Our planet is in sirius environmental difficulty, far worse than yours, it's reached a stage where we will be unable to survive."

They supposedly need a compound manufactured to save their planet.

"We will reward your generosity by educating your industrial and scientific complex to the limits of our knowledge. Then we'll leave you as we came in peace."

"Talk about an offer we can't refuse, huh?"
"I wonder what would happen if we did."

"Would I like to get in his ship."
"I would like to get into his DNA."
says the biochemist to be

The aliens' orange jumpsuits kinda make them look like terr'rists

Power plant, power planet

From JK

"Can I help you?"
"I'm just"
"Yes, just!"
"Yes, help. Help to go. To this place. I'm just!"
"You don't know where to go?"
"Yes. I'm just."
"You're lost!"
"Oh yes, lost!"
"English (angels) not well to me."

Haha, he's not 'just' at all, but very lost, just excellent. That's Robert Englund, aka Freddy Krueger, and his character learned Arabic instead of English and got sent the wrong place, heh. Alien bureaucracies eh.

"Of all the people we've met my people say they feel most comfortable with you, so do I. We've done research that shows your people have a lot of confidence in you. You're trusted, respected and attractive. Qualities which are essential in our new official spokes woman."

Flattery will get you everywhere as the alien pursuades the journalist. Later the woman says "it's a great career move. The perfect opportunity." Blabla. "I'm going to stay objective. I'm one of us, not them." She says later to someone. We'll see about that!

Someone is missing, but they found his car. In the car, there is a weird stain on the inside of the driver's side door.

A news bulletin comes on that there is "an international conspiracy against" the visitors.

"Scientists have simply vanished, which leads credence to them being part of the conspiracy."
lol. Right!

All the benefits they planned to share with us could be in danger. Scientific seminars will have to postponed. The UN has agreed to visitor requests that all scientists and their relatives must register their whereabouts and they will be computer monitored.

"Abraham, nothing's going to happen. NOt to you or your family, they're not scientists. Anyway it's going to pass."
"That's what I said in 1938 back in Berlin"
"But this is different."
"Is it?"
cut to the new Hitler Jugend, orange jumpsuits, terrorists, also used in the show Heroes now.

on the news: "Many scientists have suppressed major breakthroughs in science. Like cancer, because there is much money to be made from research grants..."

Some scientists on TV suddenly 'change their hand preference' and some people notice it, while there's a hissing sound in the background!

The camera man climbs on board and finds that all the chemical stuff is show for nothing. As the aliens load the chemical onto the saucers and just dump them into space again.

He shoots some interesting footage, that's a mouse in his mouth.

I wonder if they cough up hairballs.

Then the camera dude gets spotted and gets into a fight with what turns out to be a 'shapeshifting' reptilian. Symbolizing fear, the primitive centers of the brain, or anything else you want it to. The wiki page mentions this being based on 'fringe theories'. Believe nothing!

He gets back to earth, and almost succeeds in broadcasting his footage, but all TV channels go offline.
As the logo comes on the screen, followed by the Alien Supreme Commander...
Now the aliens not only control the 'journalist' but the entire airwaves.

He ostracises the scientists and adds: "Your national leaders have suggested that a state of martial law will be most helpful at this time and we agree. we will also help the ask of our Visitor Friends Units everywhere."

The Visitor Friends Units are thrilled...

Propaganda posters are everywhere, but the resistance is forming too, their message? "Find the others." And what can be more helpful than a symbol:

V for Victory

Stay tuned for Part 2.

Terence McKenna's Last Trip

Some excerpts from this 5 page article:
"Within 36 hours of his seizure, 1,400 messages poured into McKenna's email in-box. The flood is testament to his underground stature."

"The psychedelic experience is not the equivalent of a dust bunny under your psychic bed," says McKenna. "It's a product of the fractal laws that govern the world at an informational level. There is no deeper truth."

The Net, says McKenna, is "an oracle," fostering an unprecedented dialog between human beings and the sum total of human knowledge.

"The Internet is an oracle for anyone in trouble," McKenna explains, using his illness as an example. "Within 10 minutes I can be poring through reams of control studies, medical data, and personal reports. If anything, my cancer has made me even more enthusiastic about the idea that through information, people can take control of and guide their own lives."

The most prominent feature of the room are the 14 large bookcases that line the walls, stuffed with more than 3,000 volumes: alchemy, natural history, Beat poetry, science fiction, Mayan codexes, symbolist art, hashish memoirs, systems theory, Indian erotica, computer manuals. Deeply attuned to the future of consciousness, McKenna remains a devoted Gutenberg man. "The majority of my fans could not conceive of this room," he says. "They would have no idea that a printhead could push so hard against electronic culture."

McKenna derives great pleasure from pushing the envelope of the human mind, but he is equally turned on by technology. On the one hand, the house, which was only finished last year, is completely off the grid, irrigated with rainwater collected in a large cistern up the hill, and powered by solar panels and a gas generator. There are no phone lines. At the same time, Ethernet connections are built in everywhere, even out on the deck. The computers in his office - a 7100 Power Mac, a dual-processor NT, a G3 PowerBook, and Silness' PC laptop - jack into cyberspace at 2 Mbps through the 1,500-pound high-gain dish on his roof. Using spread-spectrum radio technology, McKenna's dish swaps packets with a similar rig on the roof of CTI, his ISP, 30 miles north. The $20,000 system carries voice traffic as well. His plan was to eventually stream lectures over the Net, thus eliminating the need to travel in order to "appear" at conferences and symposia.

McKenna normally spends four or five hours a day online, devouring sites, weeding through lists, exploring virtual worlds, corresponding with strangers, tracking down stray facts. Sometimes he treats the Net like a crystal ball, entering strange phrases into Google's search field just to see what comes up. "Without sounding too cliché, the Internet really is the birth of some kind of global mind," says McKenna. "That's what a god is. Somebody who knows more than you do about whatever you're dealing with."

In McKenna's mind we are not just conjuring a new virtual language. We are also, in good old shamanic style, conjuring the ineffable Other. McKenna argues that the imagery of aliens and flying saucers - which spring up in numerous tripping reports as well as in pop technoculture - are symbols of the transcendental technologies we are on the verge of creating. In other words, we are producing the alien ourselves, from the virtual world of networked information.

"Part of the myth of the alien," says McKenna, "is that you have to have a landing site. Well, I can imagine a landing site that's a Web site. If you build a Web site and then say to the world, 'Put your strangest stuff here, your best animation, your craziest graphics, your most impressive AI software,' very quickly something would arise that would be autonomous enough to probably stand your hair on end. You won't be able to tell whether you've got code, machine intelligence, or the real thing." McKenna thinks this is coming soon, within the next 10 or 20 years.
Which means that McKenna is as prepared as anyone can be for the final journey into the dark. As he points out, "Taking shamanic drugs and spending your life studying esoteric philosophy is basically a meditation on death." McKenna calls death the black hole of biology. "Once you go over that event horizon, no messages can be passed back. It represents a limit case in the thermodynamics of information. So what is it?"

McKenna chuckles. "The best answer I've gotten yet is out of Don DeLillo's Underworld, where the nun discovers that when you die you become your Web site."

Like many people staring unblinkingly into the black hole, McKenna has opened up a great deal in the months since his diagnosis. "I'm much more in tune with the Buddhist demand for compassion," he says. "The real dilemma is how to build a compassionate human civilization. If we betray our humanness in the pursuit of civilization, then the dialog has become mad."

In his heart, though, McKenna remains an optimist. "When I think about dying, the thing that surprises me is how much of the future I regard as history, but I don't want to miss it. I want to know how it all comes out. I would like to know how the universe came to be, if extraterrestrials exist, where biotech is going, where the Internet is going. Because this is it. We are on the brink of a posthuman existence. So what's it gonna look like? What's it gonna feel like?"

Facing his end, McKenna admits that he doesn't "have a lot riding on my vision of things." But the visions are precisely what make him such an inspiration to so many. Every day another talking head auditions for the role of visionary, trying to convince us that their speculations about the future are true. But real visionaries are more than just futurists. Their power lies less in prophecy than in giving us new perspectives on a constantly mutating world, perspectives that manage to be simultaneously timeless and new. Real visionaries are always dodgy characters, because they embrace strange, heretical, even dangerous ideas. Terence McKenna is a real visionary.

Read it all at Wired's: Terence McKenna's Last Trip (5 pages!).

Karma Police

Radiohead - Karma Police