Posts Tagged ‘ PR ’

War Prints – A Prosatio Silban Saunter

2010.02.22
By

(THIS POST ONCE CONCLUDED A three-act Prosatio Silban story posted here out of self-motivation. (Never can write without a deadline, me.) The entire eight-page story is now available in .pdf format, so print it out, kick back and enjoy the existential hijinx as Prosatio Silban’s flat tire leads him uphill into perplexity. (Afterward, you may click on “Comments” above or email same to scoop at sonic dot net.)



War Prints – A Prosatio Silban Saunter

by

Neal Ross Attinson



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ORL Redux: Interview with Robert Anton Wilson

2010.02.02
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(AS A FOLO TO THE previous post, and at the urging of sinister forces who would prefer I remain nameless, I now present a reprint from the bygone Bulletin of Obscure Research, Far Corner (v1n5, c. 1991): an interview with the late Robert Anton Wilson, who wrote about everything Dan Brown does (and much, MUCH more) but did it first and funnier. He was and is a great influence on both my writing and my thought, and I hope his fans will be amused rather than disappointed by this previously Lost Interview (which is transcribed with errors intact rather than scanned, at least for now). And if you’re listening, Bob — thanks for the cartography lessons.)


THE FAR CORNER INTERVIEW: ROBERT ANTON WILSON

[picture taken from the inside back cover of The Illuminati Papers (1980 ed.)]

Every publication worth its salt must, from time to time, feature interviews with the Heavyweights of the Field. Unfortunately, most of the heavyweights of the fortean/weirdological field do not share the philosophy of the staff here at Obscure Research Labs; and hence, either do not return our polite inquiries or (more often) write us rude letters requesting money. Fortunately, there are exceptions to these stuffed shirts of pseudo-inllectua; and one of the most delightful is the dsitinguished Dr. Robert Anton Wilson.

Poet, scientist, author, guru, wise guy and internationally-known weirdo, Dr. Wilson scarcely needs an introduction to the readers of this publication. He is the author of several books on psychology, conspiracy theory, literary criticism, magick, history, epistemology, sexuality, ontology, fortean study…but is probably best known as either a) The co-author (with Robert Shea) of the Illuminatus! trilogy, b) a frequent contributor to such magazines as Magical Blend and Gnosis, or c) the Inner Head of the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria, Inc. When we interviewed him, the Good Doctor had been under pressure due to book deadlines and lecture dates; but despite a severe case of eyestrain he graciously allowed us to pester him.

FC: Many publications have interviewed you, and yet it seems that none have asked you what we feel to be some Burning Personal Questions. I realize that you are a busy man, but we’d like to ask you: what did you want to be when you grew up?

RAW: The emir of Kuwait.

FC: Okay. what makes you happy?

RAW: Lotsa bucks.

FC: Is there any truth to the persistent rumour that Illuminatus! will be made into a movie?

RAW: There have been stage productions of Illuminatus! both here and abroad but although it has been optioned for films several times nothing has come of that as yet.

FC: When the Schrodinger’s Cat trilogy was issued in one volume (New York; Dell, 1988) we could not help but notice certain shall we say alterations or differences from the 1979 edition. Could you comment on this?

RAW: Three men in black visited me with editorial suggestions. Glimpsing their tentacles I felt it wise to obey.

FC: Turning back to the personal stuff: What is your favorite food? And do you have any recipes to share with our readers?

RAW: Anything full of cholesterol and sugar which is expensive and accompanied by raw oysters and vodka martinis. Recipes I leave to experts.

FC: Before we leave, are there any Words of wisdom for the aspiring fortean?

RAW: Smash those paradigms and keep the lasagna flying!

We’d like to thank Dr. Wilson for his patience; we’d also like to thank his wife, Arlen, for her help. Incidentally, among other things the Good Doctor is currently publishing Trajectories, an ongoing journal of ideas and opinions. It’s $6 from the Permanent Press, PO Box 700305, San Jose, CA 95170.


More metaphoragings RAW and ORL: http://metaphorager.net/tag/robert-anton-wilson/ and http://metaphorager.net/tag/obscure-research-labs/.

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ORL History, or Where’s Mine?

2010.01.31
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LONGTIME READERS WILL PRICK THEIR pointed ears at the mention of “Obscure Research Labs.” If you’re not one of them, but especially if you are, please read on:

Back around 1989 or so, I became involved with a group billing itself as “the world’s only TRUE research organization … devoted to finding out Just What’s Going On” (see FAQ). Headed by BT Elder, whose tenure as Professor of Applied Memetics at Miskatonic University came to an abrupt and scandal-hushed end during the 1970s, Obscure Research Labs played a key role in the development of 1990s-era underground popular culture. Without ORL’s influence, Roswell would still be a noncommittal speck on the Nevada map; the Men in Black (the real ones, not their sequel-laden counterparts) would still be frightening witnesses with anonymous abandon; and the Wachowski brothers would still be stuck for an Idea.[1]

The scope of ORL’s work and accomplishments would require several volumes to explain in disambiguating detail. Suffice to say, despite the hours and working conditions I accepted the position of newsletter editor and produced seven issues of the ORL bulletin, “Far Corner.” Filled mostly with recent ORL doings, specifically in the areas of time travel and experimental mass psychology, the newsletter also featured interviews with such secretly famous celebrities as Robert Anton Wilson and Ivan Stang.

Of course, that was all before ORL’s still-unexplained disappearance c. 2002. Although I haven’t worked for them in years, I still Google them on occasion to see what they’re up to, if at all (also, they still owe me money). Thus, imagine my surprise when I discovered someone selling ORL merchandise at inflated prices! It is flattering to have produced a collectors’ item, but annoying to be cut out of the profits. At this writing, I have been unsuccessful in contacting the seller — for all I know, he or she or it may be a disgruntled ex-employee (of which ORL seemed to produce dozens, all altered in some fashion) trying to recoup his, her or its losses.

But perhaps it’s better not to know; to let, as it were, tricephalic dogs lie. After all, according to ORL’s credo and operating principle, “You never can tell…”

[1] Few are aware that “the Matrix” is the name given by Elder and his mentor, Neal Higgins, to the “glue” which binds consensual reality like the dough in raisin bread: “Among other things, The Matrix is the theoretical basis for just about everything we do here at ORL. Put simply, it’s that vast area between what you know and what you don’t; paradoxically, it’s both universal and personal. (If you could make a circle around yourself to illustrate the limits of your perception, the area inside would represent your knowledge. Outside lies your ignorance. The circle itself is the Matrix — the indeterminate state you use to account for the existence of things you can’t see but ‘know’ are there, like the person typing these words.)” — from the ORL FAQ

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A Proposal for the Moon of Earth

2009.10.05
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I HEREBY OFFER ONE MILLION U. S. dollars to the first person, corporation or agency with the vision to proclaim humanity’s name to the cold eternal stars.

To wit: the construction of a suitable solar-powered visual display in the lunar crater Tycho, for the purpose of looping Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A space odyssey.

The display may be black-and-white or color. It must be large enough for resolution by a 90 mm telescope, yet invisible to the unaided eye. A sound broadcast is optional, but must correct for the 1.2 light-second delay.

The location corresponds to the site of the buried monollith in the film, which is why this is so cool.

Full disclosure: My current financial position far, FAR precludes me from providing the promised reward. However, given that the project will generate far more than this sum in acquired skills and spinoff technologies (not to mention sales of telescopes and astronomy media) , I am willling to settle for 10 per cent, payable per annum. Please direct all serious inquiries to scoop at sonic dot net.

UPDATES (5/16/10):

APftMoE goes back to the drawing board: we’re no longer building a MegaJumboTron. Instead, we’re going to do it via rocket-delivered “TVA1″ module as detailed in http://metaphorager.net/lunar-update-back-to-the-redrawing-board/. Know anybody with a metal shop?

UPDATES (4/6/10):

Sign APftMoE’s “Lunar Immortality Now!” petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/2001shot/petition.html. (By G?d and George Pal, we’ll get this thing built yet.)

UPDATES (4/15/10):

APftMoE is now listed 413159th (as of 4/16/10) on http://www.goodideas.org/‘s list of 509 Good Ideas. Vote it into reality by going to http://www.goodideas.org/a/dtd/37744-6782.

UPDATES (3/26/10):

A Proposal For The Moon Of Earth on Facebook

- “A Proposal for the Moon of Earth” now has its own Facebook page, with 12 fans at this writing. Click to become one.

- APftMoE is also soliciting donations at http://tinyurl.com/moonbucks. (Donors should probably send an email to scoop at sonic dot net so I don’t spend it on something else.)

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Shameless Plug, Drainwise

2009.08.27
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ALL I REALLY HAD IN mind was helping out my colleagues — I didn’t know I’d also be helping myself.

I’m referring to today’s North Bay Bohemian article titled “There to Be There: Police chaplains ride the thin blue line of compassion.” Aside from this blog and an occasional email, it’s the first thing I’ve written since I got sick back in November, and the fact that my friends (and, more importantly in this case, the subject) are pleased with the results is both gratifying and mystifying. The gratitude is probably obvious, but the mystifying-ness may require an explanation.

Newswriting has always been an effort for me, partly because I was trained in the journalistic arts by some very ethical, dedicated and talented people (i. e., Ed LaFrance, Darryl Curtis, David Wesley Page, Bill Hoban and, chiefly, the late Mr. Robert Lynch). It’s a sort of exquisite agony to know that whatever I write will be read by people who want to know what’s going on; the internal monologue usually goes something like this: “Did he really say that? What was her inflection? Have I checked the facts enough? Why isn’t this quote more quoty? Did I really catch the essence? Do I know enough about this to sound authoritative? Is there more to this than I’m aware? How do I know I know?”

If I’m making this sound hard, it is. If I’m making it sound hideous, then I haven’t fully explained the absolute, timeless, all-encompassing, immediate, pulse-pounding thrill and joy which underlies it all. Because truly, there’s nothing in the world I’d rather do — sometimes I think there’s nothing else in the world that I even know how to do. And after nine months of semi-isolation and attendant self-doubt, it’s nice to know I can still do Neal Things.

In any case, the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Service means a great deal to me. Poor health forced me out of last year’s academy, and while at this point I don’t know if I’ll be able to enter this year I want to help however I can. I hope the article fulfills that need, and I hope you enjoy it too!

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inyourhand to metaphorager

2008.07.23
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Effective immediately, and thanks to a recent free domain offer from the greatest ISP in the world, inyourhand.org is now metaphorager.net. (Well, and it’s also a cooler title.)

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Torah Nerds, Unite!

2008.01.16
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Some people say that the Torah can only be meaningful if the events depicted therein are true. In other words, if 600,000 people didn’t march through the Sinai Peninsula; if the plagues were just a mythologization of natural disasters; if Lot’s wife never turned into a pillar of salt — then nothing else about this Text of Texts can be worth the parchment it’s inscribed on.

To which I say, “What’s the fun in that?”

I’ve written on this topic at length, and although my own approach differs I don’t quite know how to describe it. “Who cares? Shut up and study!” is accurate, though a tad impolite; “Judaism as Fanac” comes pretty close, but a) non-fen don’t always know what “fanac” means, and b) some Jews seem to think the phrase a trivialization. (Which indicates that they also don’t know fandom, and how seriously fen treat the objects of their fascination.)

And then, in the middle of a conversation, out it popped: “I guess I’m just a Torah Nerd.”

So with a little help from cafepress.com, I present the Torah Nerd Lifestyle Identification System. Far more than a kitschy piece of ephemera (although it’s that too), the TNLIS is designed to identify the wearer as someone who:

- Doesn’t take Torah literally to take it seriously
- Doesn’t believe in the concept of “overanalysis”
- Has $1.49 to spare. Collect the set!

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“I Seen It Too!”

2007.12.16
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WAITING FOR THE GRATEFUL DEAD with Sputnik at the Shoreline, c. 1989ish, one of us began the following conversation:

“For example, that guy over there with the ‘I Climbed Lassen’ T-shirt.”

“Yeah.”

“Well, he obviously wants everyone to think that he climbed Lassen. But ‘those who know do not speak,’ so…”

“So you’re saying he didn’t really climb Lassen?”

“I’m saying that whether he did or he didn’t, he wants everyone to think he did.”

“‘Ckin’ poser.”

“He might as well have a T-shirt saying ‘I Seen It Too.’”

“Yeah! Or a bumpersticker. That would pretty much cover everything experienceable.”

“Bumpersticker’s better. They’d be cheaper to print and we could sell more of ‘em.”

“Sell ‘em to who?”

“To people who didn’t actually see It, but wanted everyone to think they did for whatever reason, but if they had seen It, they wouldn’t need to tell everybody.”

“What if they had seen It, and just wanted in on the joke?”

“Mmm … let them get their own damn ‘stickers.”

“But they should buy them from us since we thought of it first!”

!

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Shema Echad, Shnei Regalim

2002.05.14
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Couple of random recent things:

1.) An amazing and unexpected side effect of daily prayer (which, last night in the shower, I have decided to call “Jewish text-guided meditation”) is the feeling of expansion and contraction. This occurred to me… a week ago? when I was davening in the morning. The morning before, I felt that my prayer-session contracted me into a single still point from which I could then go forth into the world. The next morning, I felt it again — with the added fillip of feeling that I was at the point between the waves, so to speak. I’m not sure I’m explaining this well, since it’s more of a visual impression than anything else. But it gives me something *ELSE* to shoot for.

2.) During a Shabbos walk-discussion with my wife (one of our great Shabbos joys), I was able to put into words soemthing that had been bugging me for a while about treading the rabbinical path — the balance between humility and self-aggrandizement. In other words, the paradox between seeking the center of attention in order to remove yourself from it. “I like being the center of attention,” I told Ann, “but I don’t like liking it.” She looked at me with her wise and playful eyes and said “There’s your problem and solution right there.” (She’s the one who really should be getting s’micha.)

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