Too drastic, too crazy, too “out there,” too early, too late, too damaged, too much—Valerie Solanas has been dismissed but never forgotten. She has become, unwittingly, a figurehead for women’s unexpressed rage, and stands at the center of many worlds. She inhabited Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, circulated among feminists and the countercultural underground, charged men money for conversation, despised “daddy’s girls,” and outlined a vision for radical gender dystopia.
Known for shooting Andy Warhol in 1968 and for writing the polemical diatribe SCUM Manifesto, Solanas is one of the most famous women of her era. SCUM Manifesto—which predicted ATMs, test-tube babies, the Internet, and artificial insemination long before they existed—has sold more copies, and has been translated into more languages, than nearly all other feminist texts of its time.
Shockingly little work has interrogated Solanas’s life. This book is the first biography about Solanas, including original interviews with family, friends (and enemies), and numerous living Warhol associates. It reveals surprising details about her life: the children nearly no one knew she had, her drive for control over her own writing and copyright, and her elusive personal and professional relationships.
Valerie Solanas addresses how this era changed the world and depicts an iconic figure whose life is at once tragic and remarkable.
This week Ken and Mark venture into the deepest wooded mountains of the Ozark region to discover the hidden magic contained within. Our spirit guide on this quest is author of ‘Ozark Folk Magic’, and ‘Ozark Mountain Spell Book’, Brandon Weston.
This week we discuss: How does one acquire ‘The Power’, Plant magic, the myths and monsters of the region, just how do you pronounce ‘Appalachian’ and much more.
Joining me on his cunning throne this week is Mar(c)k™ Satyr
Main theme by Simon Smerdon (Mothboy)
Music bed by chriszabriskie.com
Check out Brandon’s book over at Llewellyn BooksBrandon Weston Bio:
My work is a living tradition. It’s the work that Ozark healers have been doing for hundreds of years. You can see many different cultures and traditions represented in Ozark folkways. These beliefs and practices, much like the Ozark people who created them, are a mixture of many places, beliefs, and ways of life. Specific folk traditions that have had a great influence on Ozark folkways include the European Cunning craft, Cajun/Creole folk medicine including the path of the Traiteur, Pennsylvania German Braucherei often also called Powwowing, Indigenous healing practices from the diverse nations of the Southeastern US, West African folk traditions by way of Southern Rootwork, Hoodoo, and Conjure, and even Central/South American Curanderismo. An important aspect of my research includes looking into all the traditions that have had such a great impact upon Ozark folkways. In looking at where these traditions intersect, we can start to understand so much more about the lives and practices of our ancestors. While you can look at Ozark folkways and see the fingerprint of all these traditions, remember that these practices remain unique to this specific area and should be approached with that mindset. I’m an Ozarker through and through. This is the land where I was born, the land where my parents and my grandparents were born, as well as many more of my ancestors before that. In this way, my work is my own, the spirits I honour are my own, and while my work may be seen as a part of the larger tapestry of Southern folk magic, there are many practices that are unique to me as I have learned them. I hold true to all these traditions that I’ve been taught and those that have been Spirit led.
An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America.
Mark Fisher was a writer and academic from the English Midlands who, in the early two-thousands, felt at odds with many of the institutions around him. Fisher, then in his mid-thirties, had devoted himself to theories of capitalism and Internet culture that few people in his immediate vicinity appeared to care about. He was zealous about obscure music and cinema at a time when critical discourse seemed to be reorienting itself around our biggest stars. So, in 2003, he decided to start a blog.
Fisher’s blog was called K-Punk. The K came from kyber, the Greek root of “cyber,” and it was intended to signal his interest in a time before the rise of the sort of cyber boosterism that Fisher associated with Wired magazine. Punk, for Fisher, was a way of being and seeing that involved a refusal of things as they were. The blog would be a place to workshop and refine ideas, and a forum for debates that seemed marginal within academia but too dense for mainstream magazines.
Blogging, in those days, at its best, seemed like a distinct genre of writing and thinking. Fisher’s posts were adventurous and idiosyncratic, chasing allusions across his bookshelf, record collection, and multiple screens—a riff on Ronald Reagan, for instance, might be routed through Jonathan Swift, the Dadaists, and Fredric Jameson. K-Punk gave Fisher space to revisit past enthusiasms: the hyperactive dance singles, experimental filmmakers, and pulp novels that had rewired his outlook when he was growing up in Margaret Thatcher’s nineteen-eighties. He revisited some of these influences—the author J. G. Ballard, the philosopher Slavoj Žižek—frequently enough that, if you were a regular reader of the blog, they became a part of your world view, too.
But if there was a single theme around which K-Punk’s eclectic energies organized, it was the future. Specifically: What happened to it? Fisher feared that we were losing our ability to conceptualize a tomorrow that was radically different from our present.
K-Punk attracted an avid readership, and, in 2009, Fisher published “Capitalist Realism,” a slim, powerful book about “the widespread acceptance that there is no alternative to capitalism.” Fisher saw signs of exhausted resignation in everything from the faces of his students to grim Hollywood movies set in the near-future (“Children of Men,” “Wall-E”) to “Supernanny,” a British reality show about parents unable to rein in their misbehaving kids. Fisher was interested not only in the political causes and cultural expressions of this exhaustion but in its emotional dimensions, too: the feelings of sadness or despondency that seem increasingly common across the political spectrum.
“Capitalist Realism” became a cult favorite in part because of the relentless energy of Fisher’s writing and in part on account of the rousing call to arms that he offered in its pages. “The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism,” he writes. “From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again.”
From Nick Herbert’s
INVESTIGATING NEW DOORWAYS INTO NATURE
Peter Lamborn Wilson is dead.
Peter Lamborn Wilson was a prolific, controversial writer and researcher into the lives and beliefs of mavericks, misfits, hobos, punks and heretics. He is best-known for his coinage of the term Temporary Autonomous Zone or TAZ which can be applied to any spontaneous association of free people from Burning Man to improv dancing, especially those gatherings which maximize what Wilson liked to call “ontological anarchy”.
As an Ontological Anarchist, Peter necessarily acquired an unusual resume’. Educated at Columbia, Wilson left New York in 1968 for a spiritual “Journey to the East” across the Islamic world from Morocco to Katmandu, seeking wisdom and teachers in tea houses, palaces and opium dens and settling finally in Tehran, where his presence coincided with Empress Farah Pahlavi’s desire to spread Iranian culture into the West. At the Iranian Academy of Philosophy, Wilson was put in charge of English publication where he was able to translate the works of famous Islamic philosophers and poets, for instance (my favorite) The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry with Nasrollah Pourjavady.
Wilson’s academic tenure in Tehran was cut short in 1979 by the Iranian Revolution in which the Shah and his wife were replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini (a minor poet himself in the tradition of Khayyam and Hafiz).
Back in New York, Wilson aligned himself with various fringe organizations among which was the Moorish Orthodox Church of America which Wikipedia describes as “a syncretic, non-exclusive, and religious anarchist movement originally founded in New York City in 1965 and part of the burgeoning psychedelic church movement of the mid to late 1960’s in the United States.” MOCA traces its lineage back to a black Chicago religious leader from the 1920’s, Noble Drew Ali, whom the Black Muslims also claim as their founder. More detailed information concerning this “religious anarchist movement” can be found on the web at the Moorish Orthodox Information Kiosk or in Wilson’s own Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam published by City Lights in San Francisco.
Wilson obituaries have appeared in such wide-ranging venues as The Global Ganja Report and the New York Times (!) so I will not repeat here what others have written but instead publish a brief account of how this ontological anarchist affected my own life.
In the early 80’s computers were just beginning to enter our lives. Instead the photocopier gave rise to a web-like phenomenon called “zines”, short for “magazines” in which anyone with a few dollars for stamps and access to a Xerox machine could become their own publisher. The quality of zines ranged from semi-professional to unreadable but what they all had in common was quirky originality and instant access to off-beat topics. I cannot locate in my records the zine in which I first encountered the writings of Peter Lamborn Wilson but it might have been Popular Reality which one archivist described as “distinguishing itself as an open forum for the most unpopular of opinions.”
Connecting via one of the zines of that era Peter and I began a letter exchange concerning the Moorish Orthodox Church and he invited me to come visit him in New York should opportunity arise. So in the spring of 1986 on some errand involving physics and publishing I met the man himself in his third floor apartment on West 107th St just a few blocks from the Nicholas Roerich Museum.
Wilson lived in a rat’s warren of books, papers and unusual objects from his Islamic travels, the centerpiece of which was an old mechanical Remington typewriter on which he composed his voluminous works, He seemed to have a dislike for computers and never quite moved into the digital age. Over a few tokes of crumbly hashish he regaled me with tales from his travels and invited me to become a member of the Moorish Church. It is customary to take an Islamic name and I knew nothing of that faith. Wilson’s own Moorish name was “Hakim Bey” and several of his books, articles and performances appear under that name. “Well, you could do worse, Nick, than “Jabir”, the 9th Century Islamic alchemist.”
So Jabir it was. To which I later added “‘abd al-Khaliq”, designating myself as servant of one of the 99 names of God. A few weeks later I received from Hakim Bey a photocopied diploma certifying my new rank as “Adept of the Seventh Heaven.”
My first substantial adventure with the Moorish Orthodox Chuch was the Antarctic Astral Projection Project. On the night separating August from September 1987, various individuals would attempt by any means at their command to astrally project themselves to a location on the Antarctic continent aptly named “Cape Longing”. We would dutifully record our impressions which would then be collected and published in the zinosphere as part of the Akashic Records, one more fanciful account of the spiritual strivings of the human race. Doctor Jabir decided to go there as Mandrake the Magician and fancied the trip as a conclave of other fictional magician/scientists observing and producing new physical, mental and spiritual phenomena in the exotic low-temperature environment not far from the Earth’s South magnetic pole. As I recall music and dancing girls were involved as well as a spectacular display of the best Southern Lights that my human imagination could produce.
Another Moorish adventure as Doctor Jabir, this time in real space, was the Temporary Autonomous Zone San Francisco performance in 1993 organized and produced by the legendary Joseph Matheny. The site of TAZ SF was Komotion International, an art and performance space in San Francisco’s Mission district. This event featured a dozen or so performers, both male and female, some of whom mingled with the audience. Hakim Bey himself was one of the stars and calmly lectured on some obscure feature of Ontological Anarchy. Most of us were attempting to be as outrageous as possible but Bey trumped us all by affecting an utterly conventional academic normality in an ocean of freaks. Jabir read some of his newest quantum tantric poetry, Robert Anton Wilson shared some of his latest provocative prose. Circus acts and dances followed and there was some sort of bondage scene going on that I had helped to prepare back stage.
MOCA produced at odd intervals the Moorish Science Monitor to which I sometimes contributed. And once I was a guest along with Robert Anton Wilson on the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, an after midnight series hosted by Hakim Bey on New York’s independent radio station WBAI.
Back in Boulder Creek I often enjoyed co-hosting our long running series of poetry readings with fellow Moor Omar abu Khan (aka Ed Cramer). But all in all, Doctor Jabir achieved the height of his Moorish identity in the call for Tantric Jihad which he has performed in venues as various as house warmings and Esalen Institute,
My sheik is dead.
Hail and farewell
O noble teacher of the Way
Hakim Bey has crossed the Black Sands.
Jabir ‘abd al-Khaliq declares Tantric Jihad
After a break in recording, Immediatism has finished a reading of the book Zenarchy, by Kerry Thornley. With frequent references to taoism, and a delightful sense of humor and lightness, this is a late 20th century classic, read by listener request.
Episode 810 concludes with the Eight Principles of the No Politics of Zenarchy:
First Principle: prisons breed crime
Second Principle: ignorance is slavery
Third Principle: it ain’t the landlord; it’s the rent
Fourth Principle: money is only a symbol
Fifth Principle: absentee control of the workplace is the root of all oppression
Sixth Principle: resist all forms of coercive authority
Seventh Principle: liberation is for everybody
Eighth Principle: transistorized untouchables exist
Note: Immediatism podcast is on the lookout for a used/rebuilt mac mini to replace its 12-year-old one.
Zenarchy: Face of the Unborn
Zenarchy: Birth of Zenarchy
Zenarchy: Son of Zenarchy
Zenarchy: Zen Games, Zenarchy Counter-Games
Zenarchy: Yin Revolution
Zenarchy: The No Politics
To reach the only place in the world where cave paintings of prehistoric marine life have been found, archaeologists have to dive to the bottom of the Mediterranean off southern France.
Then they have to negotiate a 137-meter (yard) natural tunnel into the rock, passing through the mouth of the cave until they emerge into a huge cavern, much of it now submerged.
Three men died trying to discover this “underwater Lascaux” as rumors spread of a cave to match the one in southwestern France that completely changed the way we see our Stone Age ancestors.
Lascaux—which Picasso visited in 1940—proved the urge to make art is as old as humanity itself.
The story of Tehching Hsieh, a performance artist who went to extreme places mentally for the sake of his art.
Artists have long gotten away with murder, sometimes literally. After Benvenuto Cellini killed his rival, the goldsmith Pompeo de Capitaneis, in 1534, Pope Paul III—a Cellini fan—reportedly pardoned the Florentine artist, declaring that men like him “ought not to be bound by law.” In 1660 the Dutch painter Jacob van Loo stabbed a wine merchant to death during a brawl in Amsterdam, and then fled to Paris. But, as the art historians Rudolf and Margot Wittkower have noted in their vigorously researched 1963 treatise on the behavior of artists, Born Under Saturn, van Loo had no problem being elected to the Royal Academy there just two years later. His reputation as an artist was what mattered.
Artists have not only indulged in criminal behavior and then been forgiven for it, by philosophers and historians, princes and popes, they have also sometimes openly advertised it. “I do not understand laws,” Arthur Rimbaud wrote in 1873, summing up the attitude of the renegade artist. “I have no moral sense. I am a brute.”