Where you have a logical universe, the more right “they” think they are, the more wrong they are. There is a counter between living as the false Apollo – the electric-green future – and a balance between Apollo and the bawdy instinct of Dionysus. The one can seduce with a seeming perfection of mere existence; the other is shockingly real.
I caught some quotes of residents of the new electric-green town of Babcock Ranch in Florida, the sunshine state of aging citizens.
“When we came here the homes were built in the 1950s style, but with modern technology, Mr Kinley said. “It’s an oasis of social, medical and environmental benefits. We just fell in love with the place and we signed the papers.”
Now here is the complete contrary, from Dragon Lady by Sterling Seagrave
In only a few decades Shanghai had grown from a ramshackle village of coastal pirates and pig farmers into a busy international city guarding the Yangtze estuary, commanding all trade for a thousand miles upriver into China’s still-mysterious interior.. Here canny merchants from Edinburgh or Boston bid against Persian and Sephardic Jews, and ruined their lives drinking the nights away with small-footed Chinese prostitutes in huge brothels run by the Green Gang..Among the steamships, clippers and decrepit junks crowding the waterfront were dismasted cargo hulks with corrugated iron roofs, holding the opium reserves of the great trading houses. The Bund was now paved, and pansies bloomed in the shade of the broadleaved sycamores.. Some things never change no matter how big a city grows, and from across the river came the everpresent nosewrinkling stink of fermenting pigshit, a constant reminder that Shanghai would always be a town of pig-farmers at heart. (page 246)
..and I won’t even mention the detritus of the river, not so different to the Maze from Rogues in the House. In “those days” of city-states and empires, civilization only extended as far as the city-bounds. In past ages, civilization did not own and sell the world; it owned the ramparts of a city. Beyond the gates lay swamps and savage wastelands verging on primeval. As I wrote to swordofreh, this was so with Rome and the eternal city made a virtue of hyphenated culture; Roman-Gallic; Romano-British. What Rome won with legions it retained with hearts and minds – the psyche of Man – and not with an inorganic monoculture of idiot edicts.
Whatever the faults of Rome its saving grace was that it was never a monoculture, and this apples to nature – one only has to look at Pompeii
What that means is that Roman civilization didn’t own the world; it owned the cities and the roads, the citizens and the slaves. There were two aspects of life; one was order and it was enforced with Roman zeal. The other was the worship of sacred places; the natural springs, groves and shrines to deities of water and rebirth (see Sulis-Minerva Weird 11)
Dionysus, the cloven-hooved god, was still abroad. Diana the huntress and Venus roamed the forests and fens in all their wild affinity. This is the fatal distinction with modern times where even our very DNA is part of a monolithic culture. Therefore DNA is also part of this $ culture, of reason applied to pleasure – “effect” (gene-editing). A price can be put on anything; this is the future of sensory-homes and sex-bots, the degradation of sexual relations through gradual neutering (see prev.) Amazon Homes Inc, “neutral homes for neutral people”.
The aim or assumption is contentment but there’s no escaping that the aim is actually death since that’s what’s waiting at the end of the road. Like the CL Moore story Lost Paradise, it’s death without the awareness of death that is so terrible, because it seems so meaningless. What is the meaning of life without adventure and legend? Something you more likely likely find in a self-reliant commune living with beasts and the birds and the trees (Alternates 7)
“Their” future destroys meaning (epistemology) because it destroys the meaning of figures in a landscape(Weird 11). It destroys power (ontology) seen in shrines and monuments to nature deities. Their a priori assumption is that geometrical reason can be applied to everything. The more right they think they are the more wrong they are since Man becomes ever less natural.
This is actually blatantly apparent in monolithic states like China and so if I can take you back to the era of Terry and the Pirates, to an era where the open-handed friendship of Americans overseas was undaunted by monoliths and the free psyche of Man was evident in such great characters as Connie and the Dragon Lady.
It’s sort of laughable some accuse Caniff of racial stereotyping when the characters are so individualistic, fun-loving and exotic.
La dame de Singapour par Al Couteli, very Terry 1970s adventure series
“On the wings of adventure” in the far east – Singapore in this instance in Al Coutelis’s distinctly Terry series. Such exotic scenes have a sort of sensual wildness, the dragon energy of life. As with Caniff there are always two aspects to the scene; the beautiful, mysterious woman and the ugly and animal motives. Sophisticated allure amid dingy wharfs.
SKETCHES OF CHINA
I liken it to Chinese hutongs, which are the traditional meandering alleyways that are the first to be crushed by monolithic culture (the Tao of a Confucian order). Instead of a lot of different irrational activities you get one rational one. Likewise, London’s Canary Wharf is a monument to the global $ - instead of the imperfect and organic you get the perfection of geometry, and this is a recurrent theme of CL Moore’s Northwest of Earth tales. The “fearful symmetry” of the alienTree of Life as horror untold. In Werewoman, Northwest’s atavistic senses in free-flight are assaulted
Once he saw a dark pool of water slanting before him like a door, and once a whole section of landscape hung mirage-like above his head.. yet he knew the plain in reality lay flat and featureless from edge to edge. (Omnibus, page 386)
Life is ugly and animal; what saves Northwest is his utterly blind instinct that rips the throat of a werewoman. The innate savagery that sees through falseness exactly because it is blind to seduction; the very heart of the animal against subversion.
In Heir Apparent the beautiful geometry of a symbiot betokens death (see Pictorial 14). Why should this be so of geometry of a machine? Because it’s non-life, non-death, mere existence, beautiful but banal. Like the false Apollo blinds the mind with fact, we are like blind men working in a world of secret horror. The horror is just lack of awareness of death, the basic cycle of life that Adastra in Africa carries into poetic flights.
The theme that beliefs hold an innate savagery seems to run through Adastra. At the same time, there is a gay lightness that springs from the earth itself. Compare this raw savagery to what “they” tell us is the sunshine-light of an electric-green future. I was reading a piece on Van Gogh’s 3 years in London as a trainee art-dealer, and it said at that time the district was bucolic and Vincent felt thoroughly at ease. That is something that has no price.
What Adastra seems to be saying is that beliefs in tradition are innately savage and spring out of the very soil of regeneration. The theme of sacrificial animal or Man. Their error was to believe in the machine, not in fertility. The rebuttal to that is that machines work; but where is the bucolic gaiety? The end-product of that line of reasoning is that Man becomes one with the machine and loses his awareness of death and of the life-cycle that harbours gaiety (Dionysus).
© BWS 1999
The machine is the dollar, the face of reason, and of Silicon Valley. Where the machine moves into Africa, you can be sure there is no bucolic gaiety. One example is these Silicon Valley drones that carry medicinal supplies in Rwanda, Tanzania. All well and good, except they are there to combat disease outbreaks. If life were bucolic and good there would not be such contamination.
I realize the dangers of that argument, but one has to realize the logic of machines tackling symptoms while ignoring causes. Machines are good at tackling symptoms; that is probably one reason people seem to dig Babcock Ranch in Florida. What I’m saying is the cause is quite simple; it’s the lack of dirt trails and cowboy ranch-hands rounding-up stray cattle in twilight. In Africa, the cause is lack of tribal customs, as covered by BWS.
The dark force of mystique is not a thing that needs the $ or Silicon Valley expertise. It is the natural face of Man; the hunter, the peripatetic philosopher, the leather-skinned frequenter of wildness, the falconer, the fighter, ranger and gatherer.
Portrait from Fayum, Coptic Egypt 2nd century SON OF JESUS
I’m not gonna go over this topic exhaustively as it’s basically simple. Dionysus – blind urge – and the inner strength of Man, inner and outer health. Apollo – ordered thought – human-sheep hybrids etc. Savagery and just basic instinctive action in wild pastures are not things which need the $ or Silicon Valley expertise as they are innate to the psyche. What seems to be happening is that the money men are looking for the latest saviour, and it’s the smart-machine, the artificial human, the death of psyche; of action and adventure, meaning and power.
Legends are born of darkness; adventure is born of exotica; excitement is born of mystique. The ravens are circling the country of geometry – the latest iteration seems to be the “free” nation of Liberland that trades in bitcoin; so keen are they to get close to the machine that no normal country can hold them. The bucolic urge is as far from their minds as sun is from moon.
Blinded by facts they do not witness the flow of seasons that fertilizes the Earth, the darkness of the nighttime that legends are born of. For them there is no night, no dark regenerating force of lifedeath.
These forerunners of eternal sunshine are sons of the machine not sons of Man. Their country is the geometry of reason ($) applied to pleasure (warehouse) for “effect”. As with all these geometries, it’s made for the ever-exploding digiverse, a parallel reality where “effect” is everything and the reality of MUSIC and counter-rhythm is nowhere; physique is nowhere; psyche is abnormally upbeat, psychosis reigns.
Sound familiar? It’s the face of the dollar, of Trump, of the sons of the machine. The false Apollo who can only worship their own image in all its abysmal mortality. Their eternal sunshine is simply death, since there is no reality in it. The death of awareness of death; non-life, mere existence.
The ravens are circling for they are drawn to such weakness. Ravens are an aware species, omens of ill-fortune, brutal scavengers who through history prey on human flesh, and feature in the Bayeux Tapestry
The story of Man is brutal and needs such symbols. A future of the wormdollar is a future bereft of any symbols save one. No contradictions, no differences, no story. Revelations was a battle cry against imperial might that new no ends. A battle of symbols – with a story comes symbols. The adventure of life begins anew with life and death, faith and duty.
In the final analysis Rome came up against contradictions of order and human freedom, and the choice became one of Romano-robots versus a renewal of faith in natural Man, our ancient ancestor. The contradiction of eternal conquest is that Man does not live by food, drink, sleep and sex alone (Pictorial 14) He lives by his eternal psyche, his physique and the adventure of being. It’s like Nazarenes in the early centuries who offered a vision of natural Man “no land holds” and who wanders the Earth with a shepherd’s crook.
The Nazarene is the resurrection of an eternal psyche that a robot culture can crush with order. Howard’s fascination with the era of pilgrimage to Jerusalem may owe a lot to his distrust of Roman conquests that are an affront to the soul of Man. As Lovecraft said, Howard “slandered” Rome and, as I’ve said elsewhere, Roman civilization was just in many ways. However, there comes a time where justice becomes entrenched in Roman Law and the two become one and the law is an ass. This theme is taken-up in Pictorial 16.
Chroniques du Sable (Tales of Faith 1)I got the impression was intended to be anti-Christian, inward and negative – being of the ’68 generation in France – but it really depends on how you look at faith and duty. The outward-bound pilgrim with their fantastical symbols and castles in the mist presage the positive spirit of adventure that lived by the exotic excitement of the cross and the sword.
Defence of faith is an outward-going of the psyche that is almost like a blind urge – a Dionysian force of will. To moderns that may just seem irrational, but it is one with the sacred places of Man and Earth; the holy mounts, the orange groves, the beasts of the fields. Faith is to do with life and death and expands the psyche, expands the symbols that Man is heir to. That could be an interpretation of Chroniques du Sable, albeit one Nifenecker didn’t intend, as presumably it’s a satire on blind faith!
The blindness of urge cannot be seduced by the falsity of facts. You could say in BWS’s Adastra in Africa the tribespeople’s blind faith in Mjnari – through their worship of Adastra – is completely irrational. As Malawe says, they could go back to the machines (become more urbanised).
The machines are a “fact” (or a false one) but Mjnari’s spirit is an “immanence”. It grows with the groves, with the soil of the earth and the beasts of the fields. Basically, one reality relies on order and fact; the other on psyche and the physical adventure of bucolic life. If you say order and fact are symbolised by the dollar, then you’re back to the idea that everything is under a common symbol, that there are no differences, no psychic reality, no faith. No faith in the basic cycle of life and death that is reality. It’s a type of non-life, non-death that is harbinger of the robot. The cy-sphere or pure geometry of Google, Amazon et al.
Order is death when it comes up against the blind urge of Dionysian freedom, the lust that Man is heir to. Thus are symbols born of blood and water, the spirit of a living commune. Apollo without Dionysus is a lie, a deceit, the death of psyche. The ravens are circling over a land of geometry where all symbols are one, the wormdollar of advertising and sloganeering.