Saturday, December 25, 2004


Hope you all have a happy holiday - and (even if you don't drink) that Dali's Aphrodisiac Coat might make you smile...

Click pic to see larger

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Maybe Solstices and Equinoxes

The 'magazine' of the Maybe Logic Forum has come out. Students threw the whole thing together in a very short time - the whole thing was compiled by an editor who was able and willing to put in the hours.

Maybe Quarterly may well grow and change. I know Frater K (current editor) sees it as based on Crowley's Equinox. I wouldn't know, never having read that particular magazine, but not being a ritual magician (in fact, being quite violently against rituals of all sorts!) I would prefer if it remained somewhere in the creative 'Arts' field, rather than the 'Magick' one.

I am not very zealous about that - after all, most of my fun comes from writing and presenting short pieces to fellow students in the forums, precisely because the people seem both unshockable and well-informed, and often share my interests. A published medium like MQ can only represent a teaser campaign to get you to join the forum, really, if it appeals to you.

End of story.

I like Acrillic's stuff - especialy as he started me off into using pictures in posts (when we were doing the Ideogrammic course) and ends with some great links - The piece is called Untitled 1.0

And Ray does a good job of describing the fun of doing an online course of research and discussion in Conspiracy, Coincidance and Code. That course actually got a little lost, with the US election dominating everyone's horizon for a while.

Oh, and I contributed a short piece about Illuminatus! - both the book, and the online course we did with Robert Anton Wilson (one of the co-authors) as tutor. Excellent fun!

Fuzzbuddy's graphics are great for the cover. All in all, a success!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

sometimes I wish I was a pagan...

Happy Solstice from me and my dad's wizard

Click pic to see larger

Friday, December 17, 2004

not always cynical

Back on November 24th I mentioned buying stuff for Concern, rather than presents. I sent a variation of that post to all co-workers, and a few friends.

I was delighted to hear that Llanrumney Library are buying some chickens, and Fairwater Library are going to buy a couple of goats.

Check it out here or ring them on 0800 731 5249 - and yes, they will send you a paper order form if you prefer.Goats £25 School Supplies £15 Tools and seeds £30 Manual Water Pump £125 (Did you know that 200 million hours are spent each day by women and girs to collect water from distant, often polluted sources?) Mosquito Nets £107 Fruit Saplings £5 5 Chickens £7 Shelter Kit £40 Maize for a family for 2 months £90 Teacher Training £55

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Santarchy - it warms your heart, it really does

This story about rioting Santas, from the NY Times, is a re-assurring sign for me, as I hate this time of year. (I don't know why, really, it's only two months a year, or one sixth of my life).

Check out the main archive at Santarchy

There is an extended discussion and other links on this weblog Making Light, including an excellent online e-comic about the pagan roots of all this - Saturnalia. ( and no, I am not a pagan, either).

Friday, December 10, 2004

I wanna button to drive traffic AWAY!

Aaaargh That was horrible, I noticed a button to explore other blogs, and clicked through about 4 randomly-chosen one until I hit a Christian bigot (well, I'd LIKE to hit a Christian bigot...) who was discussing the virtues of BlogExplosion - some nasty pyramid scheme to 'drive traffic to your blog'.


I don't have anything to sell, or to promote. I just use this for my own thoughts and rants and notes for future reference - but leave it open for friends and family to browse. If the occasional stranger or film fan comes across it, fine - it's not hidden or private.

If you want more traffic, though, more people reading you - be fucking interesting!

Meanwhile, check out the 'anti-campaign'

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Happy Hannukah!

That's a big hi to a non-christmas celebration - The Festival of Lights.

Hanukkah, in the Jewish Year 5765 ends at nightfall Dec. 15.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

How Gullible are You?

Just to calmly and politely challenge all those who dislike my dislike of being dragged into a religious festival against my will, try this Christmas Gullibility Test from The Museum of Hoaxes. If nothing else it'll give you some great trivia for a good laugh at one of those self-indulgent parties...

Oh, and there is a general gullibility test on history and culture (with maybe a slight US bias) here.

Plus I'll throw in a link to some great atheist quotes (prepare to be upset - and not just by having to shut the geocities popup) - from the English Atheist. How about:
  • "Anyone who has two shirts when someone has none is not a christian." - Lenny Bruce
  • "If you believe in the existence of fairies at the bottom of the garden you are deemed fit for the bin. If you believe in parthenogenesis, ascension, transubstantiation and all the rest of it you are deemed fit to govern the country." - Jonathan Meades
  • When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?" - Quentin Crisp
  • "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful." - Seneca the Younger (circa 4 B.C.E - 65 C.E)
  • "After my Christmas Lectures I received letters from the pious saying that they would have no objection if only I had qualified my remarks by saying: 'But I should warn you that many well-informed people think differently . . .' When did you last hear a priest-in the pulpit, on radio, on television, in infants' Sunday School-qualify his statement with 'But I should warn you that many well-informed people don't think God exists at all . . . ?' " - Richard Dawkins
  • "A man can have sex with animals such as sheep, cows, camels and so on. However he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village, however selling the meat to the next door village should be fine." - Ayatollah Khomeini - 'Tahrirolvasyleh', fourth volume, Darol Elm, Gom, Iran, 1990.

Enjoy your turkey...

Buy Nothing

I didn't nag you all on Buy Nothing Day (Nov 27th), but don't forget that if you are short of cash, or short of temper, or not in the mood, or think the fun has gone out of it, or whatever, you would not be alone if you decided to buy nothing for Christmas - and it's not just anti-capitalists - there are even Christian campaigners for this approach - look at these Canadian Mennonites...
I know it can be tough to rebel against the revel's alone - and I sometimes succumb to the pressure right near the end, and feel like I have to go get some little thing for the nearest and dearest - especially if they are hiding some large item in the cupboard!

If you want to test your ability to resist social pressure, here's a little winter game I try. When someone sneezes, resist the temptation to say "Bless You!" It's not easy. It sounds like a stony silence. The really superstitious people (after all, they haven't got the plague, have they?) then say "Bless me!" because someone has to say it! I have managed to keep that up for weeks sometimes, but I notice I have slipped back to saying it recently (working with a Christian) although I have taken to mumbling it as a throwaway (splitting the difference).

Try it! It's like resisting picking up the phone. It's instructive. Conditioning, and all that.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Read these entries backwards...(not word for word)

Punch and Judy. The name of Mr. Punch, the hero of the puppet play, probably comes from Italian pulcinello, a diminutive of pulcino, a young chicken. His identification with Pontius Pilate and of Judy with JUDAS ISCARIOT is imaginary. The story roughly in its present form is attributed to an Italian comedian, Silvio Fiorillo (fl.1600), and it appeared in England about the time of the RESTORATION. Punch, in a fit of jealousy, strangles his infant child, whereupon his wife Judy belabours him with a bludgeon until he retaliates and beats her to death. He flings both bodies into the street, but is arrested and shut in prison whence he escapes by means of a golden key. The rest is an allegory showing how the light-hearted Punch triumphs over (1) Ennui, in the shape of a dog, (2) Disease, in the disguise of a doctor, (3) Death, who is beaten to death, and (4) the Devil himself, who is outwitted. In subsequent English versions JACK KETCH, instead of hanging Punch, gets hanged himself.

The satirical humorous weekly paper, Punch, or The London Charivari, was named after Mr Punch, who naturally featured prominently on the cover design for very many issues. It first appeared in July 1841 under the editorship of Mark Lemon (1809~70) and Henry Mayhew (1812~87). Its falling circulation led to its closure in 1992 but it was relented in 1996.
Punch drunk, to be. To experience a form of concussion to which boxers are liable, causing unsteadiness of gait resembling drunkenness, used figuratively of someone 'reeling from heavy punishment'.
Punch line. A vivid, often surprising climax to an anecdote, joke, story or the like, which gives point to all that has gone before. The figurative 'punch' suggests that the listener is struck by this line.
As pleased as Punch. See under AS,
Devil's Punch Bowl. See under DEVIL,
Pinch and a punch for the first of the month, A. See under PINCH,
Pull one's punches, To. See under PULL.

Brewer's Phrase and Fable - a mythical name

Nice to see I have made it into the Millenium Edition of Brewers' Phrase and Fable. I'll leave it to you to decide if that is my 'real' name or just a joke from my dad - my 'given' name (I wasn't christened) is Toby, not Tobias, which is the Jewish version, and means 'God is good' Tov Jah):

Tobias. See TOBIT .
Tobit. The central character of the popular story in the Book of Tobit in the APOCRYPHA. Tobit is a scrupulous and pious Jew who practiced good works, but, while sleeping in his courtyard, being unclean from burying a Jew found strangled in the street, he was blinded by sparrows, which 'muted warm dung in his eyes'. His son Tobias was attacked on the Tigris by a fish, which leapt out of the water and which he caught at the bidding of the angel RAPHAEL, his mentor. Tobit's blindness was cured by applying the gall of the fish to his eyes. Father and son prepared to reward Azarias (Raphael), whereupon the angel revealed his identity and returned to heaven.
Tobit's dog. See CAMEL.
Toby. The dog in the puppet show of PUNCH AND JUDY. He wears a frill garnished with bells to frighten away the Devil from his master.
Toby jug. A small jug in the form of a squat old man in 18th-century dress, wearing a three-cornered hat, one corner of which forms the lip.
The name comes from a poem (1761) about one 'Toby Philpot', adapted from the Latin by Francis Fawkes (1720-77), and the design of the jug from a print sold by Carrington Bowles, a London print seller, to Ralph Wood, the potter, who turned out a great number of Toby jugs. Sir Toby Belch. See under BELCH .

And my mum was a Vose - or probably a Huguenot refugee 'de Vaux' - so whether we have a connection to Guy Fawkes - Vaux - faux - false (name) I leave to you to decide. (He was the Lee Harvey Oswald of his age). I like to think we are entitled to Vaux Hall (now Vauxhall, a previously rundown area of London, but still - probably - one of the most expensive bits of planet to buy) but it's all nonsense to me, so make up your own jokes...

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Some people make even me proud to be British

Mr Wilson just recommended this song from Eric Idle, and if you have speakers attached, and a fast enough connection, I highly recommend it for 'laugh of the day'.

Oh and for Brits, the FCC is the Federal Communications Commission (censors)....

If you don't fancy buying a goat, score a bit of Goatboy

I realise that not everyone wants to give to strangers (and if you send the card onto your friends, then they know EXACTLY how much you spent on them, which seems to matter in these ghastly money-obsessed days) -

So if you don't want to be CONCERNed then perhaps I can recommend you go and support Sacred Cow, and buy something subversive. It's not just Bill Hicks stuff, great though that is.....

Blessed Be.

Monday, November 29, 2004

ah, yes, well, er....

Thanks to JerkyLeBoeuf for the link to Zoom Quilt a fantastic bit of collaborative artwork

And just a throwaway as I approach the stressful time of year for a employers are working very hard to inform staff to be tolerant of each others' religions, reminding staff that Muslims will not be eating in daylight during Ramadan, for instance (don't invite them to lunch, and try not to eat your sandwiches in front of them, presumably); there have been cultural updates on various 'alternative religions' (given that Britain still claims to be Christian, even if Church and State should be separate by now...)

There was one indication of a certain lack of early indoctrination today, however, in an apology relating to a previous Christian briefing, about the meaning of Advent etc:

Please note that this should have read "Son of God" not "Son of

Seems like the plot of Holy Blood, Holy Grail has finally seeped into common consciousness.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Another birthday!

It is going to be Tilda's 3rd birthday on Monday. Wow!

I am still getting used to the idea of being a proud grandad...

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Gifts of Hope - from CONCERN

Although it pains me to start discussing Xmas a month in advance, I think I must.

Being a disbeliever (not even a pagan) I always try to avoid getting involved with this festival, and at the same time not spoil other people's fun or be accused of being a Scrooge.

Last year I decided to set aside what I could afford (I don't even understand buying friends and relatives gifts on credit!) and then buy gifts for poor strangers around the world (which seems in the original spirit of the thing). I bought a few goats, and bags of maize, and some school equipment. What my friends and relations got was a sort of reverse book-token - a card saying "I spent £25 on a goat in your name".
And yes I am a vegetarian, and yes I know that goats (eventually) get eaten...but I don't wish to impose my beliefs on anyone, as I said.

Emilia's mother Severina "We suffered much in the war in Angola, and things became very difficult after my husband died. last year I received maize and bean seed from Concern, which I just couldn't have afforded myself. This allowed me to feed my four children. More recently, I also received a pair of goats from Concern. They provide fertilizer for our crops and we have given away our first kid so that another family can have goats too. In future when our goat gives birth I hope to sell the offspring at the market which will bring in money to look after my family".

So why not think about it. At least spend the money you can actually afford on Concern, and then (if you must) use your credit to buy unnecessary (but no doubt fun) presents for people who don't yet have everything.

Check it out here or ring them on 0800 731 5249 - and yes, they will send you a paper order form if you prefer.

Goats £25 School Supplies £15 Tools and seeds £30 Manual Water Pump £125 (Did you know that 200 million hours are spent each day by women and girs to collect water from distant, often polluted sources?) Mosquito Nets £10
7 Fruit Saplings £5 5 Chickens £7 Shelter Kit £40 Maize for a family for 2 months £90 Teacher Training £55

Monday, November 22, 2004

Honk if you love Jesus!

This has been around a while, and there are various versions, but this is roughly the wording that I heard Johnny Walker (DJ) trying to read out from an email, between snorts giggles and howls....

The other day I saw a "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance followed by a thunderous prayer meeting, so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

Boy, am I glad I did! What an uplifting experience that followed! I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in thought about the Lord, and how good He is... and I didn't notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed! I found that LOTS of people love Jesus! Why, while I was sitting there, the guy behind me started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, "For the love of GOD! GO, GO!! Jesus Christ, GO!!"

What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love! There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a 'sunny beach'...I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. When I asked my teenage son in the back seat what that meant, he said that it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. Well, I've never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My son burst out laughing...why, even HE was enjoying this religious experience!

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed, so I waved one more time to my loving brothers and sisters, grinning, and drove on through the intersection. I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them all after all the love we had shared, so I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one more time as I drove away.

Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Happy Birthday to K

Always good for a laugh! I hope you enjoy the 22nd and the 25th...

Always feel better for a laugh...

Click pic to see larger

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Okay, it's in bad taste - but so is Dubya

One day in the future, George Bush has a heart attack and dies. He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him.
"I don't know what to do," says the devil. "You are on my list, but I have no room for you. You definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I've got some folks here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, but you have to take their place.
I'll even let YOU decide who leaves." Bush thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the first room.

In it was Ronald Reagan and a large pool of water. He kept diving in and surfacing empty handed. Over and over and over. Such was his fate in hell. "No, George said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer and I don't think I could do that all day long."

The devil led him to the next room. In it was Richard Nixon with a sledge hammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time. "No, I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day," commented George.

The devil opened a third door. In it, Bush saw Bill Clinton, lying on the floor with his arms staked over his head, and his legs staked in a spread eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best. Bush took this in disbelief and finally said, "Yea, I can handle this." The devil smiled and said "OK, Monica, you're free to go."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Just to prove how old I am

I recently heard Bob's "4th Time Around" again, and remembered that it was a kind, satirical(but more honest) echo of John Lennon's "Norwegian Wood" (still singing in code about almost getting laid, while married to someone else). Bob's is so much closer to the stoned relationships of the 60s (getting laid, and then trying to get away - after 'liberating' any drugs lying around, and smuggling them over to someone 'kinder'). You have to hear the arrangements to hear why I think the songs are related. Here are the words, anyway (what the hell, everyone knows I am an old fogey by now). They were all at it then (Let it Be - Beatles /Let it Bleed - Stones)

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)

I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me.
She showed me her room, isn't it good, norwegian wood?
She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere.
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair.
I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine.
We talked until two, and then she said, "It's time for bed".

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath.
And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown.
So I lit a fire, isn't it good, norwegian wood.

Recorded: October 12, 21, 1965, Abbey Road Studios, London
- Rubber Soul
- The Beatles/1962-1966 (The Red Album)
© 1965 Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.
complete sample here

4th Time Around Bob Dylan

When she said,
"Don't waste your words, they're just lies,"
I cried she was deaf.
As she worked on my face until breaking my eyes,
Then said, "What else you got left?"
It was then that I got up to leave
But she said, "Don't forget,
Everybody must give something back
For something they get."

I stood there and hummed,
I tapped on her drum and asked her how come.
And she buttoned her boot,
And straightened her suit,
Then she said, "Don't get cute."
So I forced my hands in my pockets
And felt with my thumbs,
And gallantly handed her
My very last piece of gum.

She threw me outside,
I stood in the dirt where ev'ryone walked.
And after finding that I'd
Forgotten my shirt,
I went back and knocked.
I waited in the hallway, she went to get it,
And I tried to make sense
Out of that picture of you in your wheelchair
That leaned up against . . .

Her Jamaican rum
And when she did come, I asked her for some.
She said, "No, dear."
I said, "Your words are not clear,
You'd better spit out your gum."
She screamed till her face got so red
Then she fell on the floor,
And I covered her up and then
Thought I'd go look through her drawer.

And, when I was through
I filled up my shoe
And brought it to you.
And you, you took me in,
You loved me then
You never wasted time.
And I, I never took much,
I never asked for your crutch.
Now don't ask for mine.

Copyright © 1966; renewed 1994 Dwarf Music
Small sample here

Monday, November 08, 2004

It might be a long winter of discontent...

apologies to Niall Benvie - and the publishers of The Art of Nature Photography - David & Charles - used without permission - © Niall Benvie 2000 2004

Click pic to see larger

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Happy Xmas! - oh no! that's months away...

Click pic to see larger


Jonathan Miller's programme on a History of disbelief was most excellent. What a delight to hear someone else say they don't want to call themselves an atheist or an agnostic (why define yourself as against anything?) We don't have a special word for people who don't believe in ghosts or witches, after all. It just dignifies a stupid idea (that has admittedly been around a long time) to spend time trying to deny or disprove it. Who tries to disprove the Greek Gods any more? We just 'know' they don't exist, and are just folk tales - maybe instructive or entertaining, but not to be confused with 'real'. Anyway - I stumbled over another cheerfully blasphemous site today, which contained, amongst other things, this:

Top 10 Reasons Why Beer Is Better Than Religion
(by Steve Berry of the Texas A&M University Agnostic and Atheist Student Group)

10. No one will kill you for not drinking Beer.
9. Beer doesn't tell you how to have sex.
8. Beer has never caused a major war.
7. They don't force Beer on minors who can't think for themselves.
6. When you have Beer, you don't knock on people's doors trying to give it away.
5. Nobody's ever been burned at the stake, hanged, or tortured over their brand of Beer.
4. You don't have to wait more than 2,000 years for a second Beer.
3. There are laws saying that Beer labels can't lie to you.
2. You can prove you have a Beer.
1. If you've devoted your life to Beer, there are groups to help you stop.

Cheer Up!

OK, so I don't post regularly right now - most of my online time is spent at the Maybe Logic Academy, and the few hundred words a day (I promised myself I would write) all go into online courses I am doing there, as well as posts to the general forum (you can join in for $60). Even if you don't want to read/write in the forum, you can go visit to see 'story of the day' - and today's is "17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists" by Michael Moore. Rather than ask you to click through twice, I'll post it here:

Dear Friends,
Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in the words of Monty Python, 'always look on the bright side of life!' There IS some good news from Tuesday's election. Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:

1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.

2. Bush's victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults (Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always wrong and you should never listen to them.

4. In spite of Bush's win, the majority of Americans still think the country is headed in the wrong direction (56%), think the war wasn't worth fighting (51%), and don't approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don't try to figure this one out. It's an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)

5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster- proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won't be able to pack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say "if the Democrats do their job?" Um, maybe better to scratch this one.

6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water, all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in lava. And no more show tunes!

7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut. May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.

8. 88% of Bush's support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn't such a long time! If you're ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.

9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't have to buy now.

10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress, including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates can't.

11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!

12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.

13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3 chambers in Tuesday's elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the 2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53 chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47 chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber (Montana House) is still undecided.

14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than the one he's having this week. It's all downhill for him from here on out -- and, more significantly, he's just not going to want to do all the hard work that will be expected of him. It'll be like everyone's last month in 12th grade -- you've already made it, so it's party time! Perhaps he'll treat the next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn't he? He's already proved his point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.

15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn't ever need to pander to the Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear that he should spend these last four years building "a legacy" so that history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and arrogant -- and thus, reckless -- that he will commit a blunder of such major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from office.

16. There are nearly 300 million Americans - - 200 million of them of voting age. We only lost by three and a half million! That's not a landslide -- it means we're almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go home crying -- especially when you get to start the next down on the three yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are coming!!!

17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore. Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out- and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact, that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November 2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of surprise in 2008.

Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a wonderful country -- it doesn't even need a president!'" But it needs us. Rest up, I'll write you again tomorrow.

Michael Moore

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

From Pravda

Theo van Gogh was killed for his views and support of freedom

03:34 2004-11-03
Theo van Gogh, the Dutch artist's great grand-nephew and a provocative filmmaker, was shot dead in a street in Amsterdam yesterday, police said, apparently because of a film he made about Islamic violence against women.
Van Gogh, 47, was stabbed and then shot several times by a man who witnesses said arrived on a bicycle as the film-maker was getting out of his car outside council offices in the Linnaeusstraat, in the east of the city, at 8.45am, a city police spokeswoman, Elly Florax, said. He was dead by the time ambulances arrived.
The suspected killer, a 26-year-old man with dual Dutch and Moroccan nationality, fled into the nearby Oosterpark and was later arrested after a gunfight with police that left an officer and a bystander wounded. The man was last night under police guard in hospital, being treated for gunshot wounds to the leg.
As the Dutch prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, appealed for calm, one witness told Dutch media that the suspect had a long beard and was wearing Islamic or Arabic garb. The Amsterdam public prosecutor said the man had left a letter on Van Gogh's body, but declined to reveal its content until technical and forensic tests had been completed, informs the Guardian Unlimited.
According to the Scotsman, in a report by the Dutch national broadcaster NOS, an unidentified witness who lives in the neighbourhood said she heard six shots and saw a man concealing a gun. She said he walked away slowly, spoke to someone at the edge of the park and then ran. She added that he was wearing a long beard and Islamic garb and appeared to be Arabic or disguised as a Muslim.
Another unidentified witness told Dutch Radio 1 that the killer arrived by bicycle and shot van Gogh as he got out of a car. "He fell backward on the bicycle path and just laid there. The shooter stayed next to him and waited. Waited to make sure he was dead," the witness added.
The killing, which has been widely condemned by Muslim groups, could raise the political temperature in the Netherlands, where security for politicians was stepped up after the killing of the anti-immigration populist Pim Fortuyn ahead of the May 2002 election.
Mr van Gogh, who made a controversial film about Islamic culture, was shot dead as he cycled through the city.
Police say they have arrested a man with joint Dutch-Moroccan nationality.
Instead of holding a wake, protesters were asked by Mr van Gogh's family to make as much noise as possible in support of freedom of speech.
People banged on pots and pans, car horns were honked and whistles blown in response, publishes BBC News.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Look, I am a sort of anti-ritual guy. It annoys friends who don't get 'birthday cards' and it annoys people who want me to celebrate 'Xmas'. One thing I ask, though, is that if you are going to do rituals (and ask me to join in) then please be precise. Don't have your birthday party on 'the nearest Saturday'; don't start nagging me about Xmas in October, etc.

When I grew up in the UK I was told that November 5th and the bonfires were a drift/shift from the pagan Halloween date. Same bonfire, co-opted for political/religious reasons.

OK, but it wasn't the pagans who brought Halloween back in the UK, it was the capitalists (unless they're the same?) giving us the USA's 'Trick or Treat'. 'We' also had Mother's Day already in place, but 'they' gave us Father's Day and Granny's Day and you name it (buy a card for a couple of quid).

So, although I am not a pagan, I will point out (from my past astrological study) that if you must do rituals then at least get them right (empower them):

"Halloween's origin is ancient and astronomical. Since the fifth century BC, Halloween has been celebrated as a cross-quarter day, a day halfway between an equinox (equal day / equal night) and a solstice (minimum day / maximum night in the northern hemisphere). With our modern calendar, however, the real cross-quarter day will occur next week. Another cross-quarter day is Groundhog's Day. Halloween's modern celebration retains historic roots in dressing to scare away the spirits of the dead."

Saturday, October 30, 2004

It's been a bad week

It started out OK, but I got a sensitive tooth that then went to full-blown pain and swelling and etc (let's not go there, huh) - suffice to say I am off work (phone support isn't much good from someone talking like The Elephant Man).

Haven't slept well, grumpy and depressed - hard to read or watch tv (headache) and so on - so not even fun time off.

You see - you didn't need to know this, did you? Shall I throw in that my friend Mick died ten years ago today, and we miss him as much today as then (Time may heal the wound, but the scar remains).

All this and the UK have now adopted the USA's Trick or Treat, as well as our own Firework Night, so now we have a whole week of hysteria and fireworks, etc.

Just be grateful you don't have to share a house with me right now.....

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A grumpy old man after my own heart - H.L. Mencken

Mencken's Creed

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.
I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty...
I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.
I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech...
I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.
I believe in the reality of progress.
I - But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A short break

It was delightful to meet up with Yo again, and talk into the night. In the daytime I got to hang out with Tilda, taking long walks around the town, exploring the parks and the beach, or playing at home. I even did a bit of successful charity shop foraging.

I was pretty lucky with the weather, too, catching some rays among the showers.

There is a flurry of Academy work to catch up on, of course, so I am still neglecting regular postings here, or updates to the website.

It will all start again, soon enough.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Curb Your Enthusiasm

It's great working in a library - today I noticed we had bought the first series of Curb Your Enthusiasm. We didn't have the UK tv channel that was showing this series, so I have only seen one episode until now.

I knew that Larry David was the mind behind Seinfeld (most specifically portrayed by George) but I didn't know much more. I knew the director was Bob Weide cos I am on his mailing list, and bought his special on W.C.Fields (on video, as I got tired of waiting for his DVD deal to come through), but haven't got the Marx Brothers in a Nutshell yet (still hoping for DVD).

I have just watched the HBO special and the interview, and it is a joy. The Great Man himself, incarnate.

I recommend any and all of this stuff.

Whereas, although I thought Spaced was one of the best new UK comedy tv shows (alongside Black Books) I just didn't 'get' Shaun of the Dead - never been a zombie man myself (or computer games) and it just didn't make the cut, for me. Ran out of jokes, couldn't be a real horror film, didn't even make it as a Hammer Horror send-up of the fears.

Sorry guys.

If voting could change anything they'd make it illegal

Crissie T just sent me this excellent US election voting gag
(before the Brits get too smug, never forget that what they do, we do a few years after...)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Creative Writing

I am still writing several hundred words a day (just exercise, like walking 2-3 miles every day)- but I am doing it in the Academy precincts. It's fun though - as I tend to self-censor in this blog, knowing that anyone and all sorts of people might come across it (I don't kid myself that many would seek it out!)

The fun in a restricted area is to let loose a little, with my more crazy or irresponsible thoughts. There is a tolerant gang around, and even if they disagree they do so politely - we haven't had any flame wars yet.

It seems to me a benign group because most of us lack rigid beliefs or taboos. Of course, to people who only feel secure with 'certainty' that means we are shape-shifters, or 'indecisive' or fickle. Most true believers seem to want you to believe the same as them, but if you can't bring yourself to do that you should at least adopt another firm belief. "Stand and fight!" The idea of living without such structures seems to spook the herd - they appear to think of amorality as much worse than immorality (if they can even make that distinction).

Monday, October 04, 2004

For those of you who wonder where I am...

Here's one of Bob's postings in the Academy:


by David Sirota, Christy Harvey, Judd Legum and Jonathan Baskin

September 13, 2004

Correction: In Friday's Progress Report, we mistakenly said $145 million has been spent by the U.S. government in Iraq. The figure is actually $145 billion. We regret the error.


Well, just be more careful in the future. As the late Sen. Dirksen said, "A billion here, a billion there -- pretty soon you're talkin' about REAL money."


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Acting as if it matters

Well, if anyone who reads this really does miss a daily column, I am sorry, but now that I am logged into the Maybe Logic Forum, and doing three different courses, I am online a lot, but not really updating the blog or the website at all.

It won't go on for ever, but I am really enjoying it. Brain-stretching time...loads of reading (instead of watching tv) - new friends I don't have to explain everything to every time (shared obsessions and sub-cultural language).


So to family, and Star Wars fans, old juggling mates, and ex's - I'll be back!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Rolling back the years

Looking back through the archives to this time last year (you can too, on the side bar of archives on the right of the screen) I found some fun stuff.

Here's my friend Pete cracking his fire whip (I took some but not all of the pics) - and yes, he teaches whip-cracking. (Workshops available)

"If you can see your path laid out
in front of you step by step, you know
it's not your path. Your own path you
make with every step you take. That's
why it's your path."

--Joseph Campbell

Getting lazy, but that's just because I'm busy...

I saw this interview with Jamie Whyte about sloppy thinking, and posted it to a forum I visit - here's a fragment, as it deserves a wider audience in this world run by 'faith-based organisations' (huh!):

In your book you are quite harsh on religion. Aren't people entitled to their faith?

This is one of my favourite errors. An interesting change has happened, at least in the west. It used to be that people would argue for a particular religious dogma or a clear religious doctrine. That is no longer what happens. The world is increasingly dividing into those who have "faith" and those who don't. It doesn't really matter what the faith is. That is why you now get "faith groups" coming together from all kinds of different religions. The weirdest manifestation of this new tendency is when people say: "I'm not a Christian but I believe in something." Then I say: "Of course, I believe in many things, like there is a chair there and a table. What are you talking about?" And they reply: "Well, you know, something more." But what "more"? What they mean is something more than we have any good reason to believe in.

That really seems to get to you!

What amazes me is that they like to set themselves up as having a slightly finer sensibility than you or me but in fact they are completely intellectually irresponsible. They used to come up with very bad arguments for their faiths but at least they felt that there was something they should provide. Now mere wilfulness has triumphed. This is what I describe as the egocentric approach to truth. You are no longer interested in reality because to do that you have to be pretty rigorous, you have to have evidence or do some experimentation. Rather, beliefs are part of your wardrobe. You've got a style and how dare anybody tell you that your style isn't right. Ideology is seen as simply a matter of taste and as it's not right to tell people that they've got bad taste, so it's not right to tell them that their opinions are false. I'm afraid that the cast of mind of most people is the opposite of scientific.

There's something close to that that you also hate. When people say "there is an awful lot we don't understand" and use that as an argument for believing in something...

The mystery fallacy: it's a mystery therefore I can think whatever I want.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Support your local library - information wants to be free!

Just in case you think being a librarian is the dullest job in the world, working with grey, boring staff - shushing people and generally fussing about...check out

Jessamyn West "Putting the rarin' back into Librarian since 1993"

Here's an article about her site ands the misuse of The Patriot Act in the US of A.

Or, if thinking is hard work, try the naked librarians page but be warned some of them are actually quite rude...

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Ah, yes, well...

That's a big Hi! to Rachel, as we just had a slightly drunken conversation in which I heard she reads this blog.

I didn't put a good case for publishing, I am afraid...

This really is a notebook to myself, but it's open (like a conversation) to input, 'cos I don't think I have all the best links in the world.

Oh, and I was a street performer, and that never goes away - to stay alive I had to draw attention to myself - without appearing arrogant, or pathetic, or whatever. Never an easy trick. This has an element of that. In that sense it is no more than a column in a newspaper where people drivel on about the everyday hazards that a freelance journalist suffers. hmmm. Like the stand-ups who get successful, and spend their whole time on stage doing routines about the food and service on planes and in hotels (funny, unless, like me, you didn't get on a plane between 1987 and 2002, then it leaves you cold...)hmmm

So, it's not a diary, it's not a column, it's a way of staying in touch with my family (but only if they have time to catch up), it's somewhere to drop links to stuff I want to remember, it's a train of thought, it's up to nearly 110,000 words, so I could have written a book (and perhaps I have). It's a glimpse of the real person behind the 'glamour of brief show-biz fame'. It's an experiment in writing. It's practice at touch-typing. It's the floating supplement to a fairly slow-changing website. And what's a website for? Ah....

And so on.

You should check out the other ways people use instant publishing - there are so many kinds of blogs...

You don't have to read it, you know, there's a whole big internet out there....

Be Seeing you!

Friday, September 17, 2004

Music - Muzak "One man's meat is another man's poisson"

It's such a lock-in, music. The associations and the generations... and the imprints.

I started playing Country Joe and The Fish to Julie, but all it reminded her of was Jefferson Airplane...sure, West Coast rock...but her 'best of' compilation is in the wrong order for me - who thinks they only made "Surrealistic Pillow" and then sloped off to be fat, rich and coked out - (although I quite like "Bless it's Pointed Little Head" - and went to see them live in the rain on Hampstead Heath) - ever-changing their sleeping-together patterns, hiring and firing each other...doing stadium rock. Don't get me wrong - I loved 'em, I ended up living on the beach in Bolinas...the time I was going to swim in Grace Slick's pool I was told the kids had peed in it, so it wasn't on for the day (sure). I even went with El Circo del Sol all the way to LA to do a 'circus' act at the opening ceremony for Big Grunt records and hear them live again...on acid (not a great plan) and so on. The music still got less and less interesting as time passed.

And now Frank Zappa is on the box downstairs - again, don't get me wrong, he can be funny. I loved Freak Out! but telling me he made 50 albums since then doesn't help. To me he's a control freak Capricorn, sarcastic, bombastic, smug and self-satisfied - didn't even let his musicians smoke dope, then killed himself with cigarettes (huh?) - just doing his 'Frank' thing. Sure he was some sort of genius (aren't we all?) Oh, and I like "Titties and Beer" (sounds like they're having a laff), but that's just because it was the first thing I heard when Herman put the elecricity back on in Castellar (by tapping power from the pylons). Yeh, it's funny - but how many times are you going to listen to funny?

I know Julie just hears Bob Dylan as mr.constipated whiny voice (she thought Jimi Hendrix wrote "All Along the Watchtower")...and I gave up saying he was a genius of popular music - broke the 3 minute record mould, said you could write yer own songs to The Beatles and The Stones and David Bowie and everyone - mastered folk, rock, gospel, blues - drawing on old traditions, and creating new ones for 40 years, hanging out with great musicians, and even outlived clean-living Frank(!) But no. He's that bloke with the strangled vocal chords. Fair enough.

Reality tunnels and imprints rule us all...

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

H2G2 - Hitch-Hiker Alert!

The BBC is transmitting a new series of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, starting on Setpember 21st!

The last three books of the five book 'trilogy' have been adapted finally to the best version (radio) - and don't forget, you can listen to BBC Radio 4 on Internet, even time-shifted!

the mad old, bad old daze....

And one last big hello to Nelly Gareau (wherever you are - is it really Kentucky?) who took me away from 'all this' when we ended up squatting an atélier in Alesia for a few months in 1970 - and LOOK, it's still there!

As it happens, I usually try not to mention people on this site without their permission, because it seems only fair (not everyone is delighted to have their past brought up!) but I have already used photos of Nelly on our Mexican trip (without giving her full name), and she was always much further out than me, so if the only reference I can find to her is as a reclusive old hippie mother in Kentucky, living in an old house on God's Land (no rent) it isn't really a surprise.

I assume that she and her kids may forgive me, showing the two of us happy back in the 'mad' days of the late 60s and early 70s.

Click pic to see larger

One big Salut! to everyone from Paris...

but particularly to Jørn for the great conversations (sorry to have to leave so fast - I had one last hit, then got the taxi after about two hours sleep!) - to Yazmeen (glad you got the badge) - to Sophie (sorry I didn't have enough time to talk more) - to Zissia (thanks for all the help on the first day) - to John and Nicole (what a delight to see you together in Paris!) - to Craig (sorry to raise my voice) to Richard (did I really teach you to juggle, I wonder where, exactly?), to Aurélien and Claude (as ever, thanks for all the fun) and, well, to everyone who was there...

Safe journeys, more fun, find the next job you really want, bless - love, luck and light!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Je suis arrivé

Well I have arrived in Paris, and found an Internet cafe quite easily (I used it last year!)

Aurélien picked me up from the airport, and put in me a posh hotel. Now I can wander around, tuning in. Listening to the language and trying to remember what little I know.

Il faut pratiquer, parce que j'ai oublié tout. Je vais ici et là. Une biere blanche avec citron ici, et une sandwich du fromage là, avec un cafe et une cigarette. Le paradis artificiel.

Being in Paris makes everyone a colourful character - the woman on the Metro with a kitten in a box, and the woman pulling her vacuum cleaner through the streets - it's simple magic to change your space, and hear another language, and just hang out.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Keep On Truckin'

I'll be going to Paris for a flying visit this weekend. It should be fun!

I won't have much time for being a tourist, but I have old and new friends to meet, and I can try to see if I can carry on with my Academy courses through Internet Cafes... but I probably will not be dealing with all my emails until I return on Monday, so please be patient...

Click pic to see larger

Sunday, September 05, 2004

What white rabbit?

I've just been on the tv again (nah, no royalties) but while I was in the garden on a hot day, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was on the box. And here is the six-man puppet crew, holding assorted tricks of the trade. I am sure we all got credits when the film came out, but we seem to have been dumped now. (sigh)- Well, I see we are all listed on the DVD version, perhaps it's the just the tv version which has shortened the 743 people list....

That's me centre/back holding the electronic lighter which the octopus barman uses to light the actress's cigarette...Dave Barclay (the grand master) in front of me, Mike Quinn with the weasel's machine gun...those two were 'Ultimate Animates' for a while. Then there's Geoff Felix bottom left (who makes vent dummies), and Christopher Leith (top right) the marionette expert, and Ian Tegonning the very funny Aussie guy in the top left.

It's odd to be discussing Harvey the pookah rabbit in the Academy, and to realise that I spent about 3 months with Bob Hoskins seeing a white rabbit who wasn't there at the time, but when we exposed the film he was there for all to see. fnord

Click pic to see larger

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Country Joe and The Fish

As I walk into work on a Saturday (while the Friday night revellers sleep on) I often listen to BBC2 Radio - "Sounds of the 60s". Now, mostly you will hear stuff to make you cringe - I can assure you (even if you don't much like The Beatles) that most of the music before them was truly awful pop, written by middle-aged men to grab young girl's pocket money, played by cynical or desperate middle-aged session musicians. I promise that Pop Idol and manufactured groups are not new.

However, sometimes there are little gems - and this morning it was "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine" by Country Joe and The Fish. I got here, and immediately looked up Joe's website where you can hear "I Feel like I'm Fixin' To Die".

Now buying a couple of albums at Amazon (sigh) "Electric Music for the Mind and Body" and "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die". I know, I know, just allow an old man his memories of when you could score the real thing...pure molecules of sound, man.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Go Back to Sleep

Check out this excellent video of Counting Bodies like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums by A Perfect Circle at dubya dubya dubya dot a perfect circle dot com
"Go Back to Sleep, America" Bill Hicks

when a monkey looks in, no philosopher looks out.

'Pataphysical research

This will be a page for research links related to my Academy courses, and other 'pataphysical events

the ideogram of the moment...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

More fun for the consumer in me....

Bob has written the first of a series of 3 autobiographical books.

The Dylan Chronicles Vol 1 is going to be published in October.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The Great Magician

I am looking for a short story with that title, which I loved and have lost any copy of.

It was published in Evergreen Review 13 (the 'Pataphysical edition)...which I don't have a copy of any more, but I highly recommend if you can find it.

I suspect that it was one of the short stories by Jean Ferry. What makes me suspicious is that it is very similar to this short story called The Secret Society, which I have stuck up on a temporary page while I dig around...

And I never could work out how much funnier 'Pataphysics might seem if you were a member of the college...

[LATER] Hey! waddya know - I found it in my mysterious filing system - joke boxes of paper which have trailed around with me for years, much to the amusement of friends...I'll type it up tomorrow as this copy is too faint to scan OCR (sigh) - and it's by Rene Daumal (from same edition of Evergreen).....

Is It Rolling Bob?

Yeh, they made a record of Bob songs in reggae. Sounds great and I can't wait...

I seem to be a Bob fan: Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bob (RAW himself) and I guess even Bob Dobbs, though I hate to take the name of the SubGenius in vain.

Then there's Bill Hicks, Bill Bailey, Bill Burroughs (Mr Burroughs to me)...

Hey ho, back and silly as ever from my short break...gotta get on with my online Academy stuff...homework!
PS on September 3rd

Sorry about the comment that was attached (I have hidden it now) - it's a bunch of dodgy URLs, and when I find the idiot who abused my comments system I'll do something unpleasant to them. At least sign it, and don't do it anonymously. And if it is an automated thing, and happens again, I'll just switch off the comments. Phew, I managed to write this without swearing...

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Are we there yet?

We are back from our holiday in West Wales. I am not sure Julie will ever want to go on a motoring holiday with me again! I got travel sick with the switchback winding roads, and the squidgy suspension, and was miserable for several of the days - it wasn't JUST the rain or media withdrawal...sorry about that, lover.

I am back at work today, although she has a few more days look at, and edit, her amazing photos...

One last thought about cars, however. I have decided that cars are for people who are always in the wrong place. Up they jump - "damn, I'm 30 miles from where I am supposed to be!" and off they go. They get there, half an hour later they realise they are wrong again "Back to the car!"

Once they can use the car to fix their bad planning, they end up living (say) 50 miles from where they work - forced to drive 100 miles a day, just to earn a living...of course drivers say they love it, but I think the thing they enjoy most is the privacy (the way some people use the toilet, or bath time as a retreat place). Play your own music, and no nagging (that's why most cars contain only one person, and car-share schemes are an uphill struggle).

Anyway - stuff to do....

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Mask Behind The Mask

I am enjoying being in the MaybeLogic Academy. I guess it's indiscrete, talking about a secret forum where everyone just has 'handles' (pseudonyms, aliases) and 'avatars' and no-one publishes their 'real name' or age or location or sex or anything. That's fine if you are into being mysterious.

I can't be bothered with all that. I publish all and be damned. Information wants to be free....Why should you believe a name like Toby Philpott anyway, when a quick bit of research will tell you that it's as probable a name as John Bull, Uncle Sam, Friar Tuck or Robin happens to be what my parents called me, but why should you believe me?

So - hidden in plain sight - the cheekiest and best plan.

The Forums do seem to be a bit slow moving - perhaps I am the only person who pops in daily...and 'talks' a lot. Still I am looking forward to doing the Illuminatus! course, because I was always delighted with that book. I have also taken on the more daunting course about James Joyce and Ezra Pound - a bit of brain exercise - but working in the library really helps, as we have all kinds of old books out in The Stacks (some not catalogued) which are useful references for this kind of literary project.

Meanwhile, we are going for a week in the country soon...leaving someone else to feed the fish. The cats have had four of the goldfish now ( no surprise to me) but the smaller, faster, more camouflaged fish should be OK. hmmm.

The cats are on an Atkins Diet... (fish and birds)

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Nice One! - get a signed copy and meet The Man Himself

Don't forget, if you want to buy a copy of Tony's "A Summer in the Park" - and you are in London - try and get to one of these dates for a signed copy:
Book launch and signing by the author
Thurs 12th Aug 6.30pm
Upstairs at the Red Lion,Great Windmill St London, W1D 7LQ
Fri 13th Aug 04 6pm at Freedom BookshopAngel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street,London E1 7QX. (Be Lucky!)
Sun 15th Aug 04 7pm Upstairs at the Masons Arms51 Upper Berkeley St, London W1H 7PP

Further launch details: Sheila Trapovska 0207 247 9249e-mail

A Summer In The Park (£8.50) (IBSN 1 904491 04 9) 204 pagesPublished Summer 2004 by Freedom Press Angel Alley84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.

I will be hustling my local library to buy the book, or I will donate a copy...(for details see previous posts, review in The Guardian Guide, etc) - Good to hear that he's given up both dope and tobacco and feels better...

any picture I can get my hands on...

Friday, August 06, 2004

Ah come on now, you can afford these (cheap laffs)...

Support Your Anarchist Parasite and Mixed-Ability Shaman! (no not me, but Lofty Tone) - I have no financial interest in this, it's just a whole-hearted recommendation - if some of the postcards here don't make you laugh then what are you doing on my site?

(sings like Mick Jagger, waving shotgun) "Hey! You! Get Offa My Site! "

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Run to your nearest Anarchist Bookshop, or just do a few clicks...

I got to hang out with Tony Allen for a while back there - an astounding stand-up performer. Check out his book Attitude, from Gothic Image for just a taste of his thoughts and style - or try to catch him live (although he claims not to do that stuff any more). Why not do a stand-up comedy workshop? Look for current news, or listen to the radio interview, on the New Agenda Trust website . I also recommend his Speakers Corner Journal - now (Aug 2004) published as A Summer in the Park , from Freedom Press , with an intro by Ken Campbell. (highly recommended...what can I say...why would you believe me?)

any picture I can get my hand on...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

21 Tatane, 132 E.P. Saints Catoblepas, lord et Anoblepas, amirals

Just a quick link, a daily pic of the cosmos, (I liked the Blue Moon on July 31st - which you will find in the archive)

Just to keep a perspective on the heady atmosphere of the Academy. fnord

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Yes.And.So.What. (Posting 666)

My first blog was called Thinking Allowed, and it ended on October 3rd 2001 - I decided I had to start afresh because my response to 9.11 may have appeared 'inappropriate' - and I suddenly realised that this was a WORLDWIDE publishing scheme.

One lunatic who thought I was out-of-order could be enough - if my words (and images of Buddhist Monks calmly burning themselves alive as a comment on the suffering caused by the Vietnam War - PLEASE DON'T FOLLOW THAT LINK IF REALITY UPSETS YOU - GO BACK TO YOUR HORROR MOVIE KICKS (that ain't no Photoshop image) - just words, seemed inappropriate.

I thought, and still think, it is inappropriate to take innocents out with kamikaze tactics (I agree! I agree!) However, I think it is inappropriate to kill innocents in (supposedly) defending their freedom, too. And I gotta defend the right of individuals (the undivided) to sacrifice themselves dramatically to make a strong point.

There was also a 'private' blog - (the spiders of the Web still found the postings, but it wasn't listed with 'current blogs') - called "Spooking The Herd" - that I shared with a close mate of mine, but we let it lapse for now. Who wants to be in the list of 'most recent blog postings' now that you are jostling for position with "Hot Wet Pussy"? I am hardly surprised that Blogs (so easy to set up) now attract this kind of business, but it's not a Top Ten place I want to compete for!

This particular blog is passing the 666th posting (well over 100 thousand words) (as if that matters). You can see that if you check out the Toby's Blog Profile link.

When I was a kid in the UK we used to dial 999 to reach the Emergency Services (on the old dial phones that took a lot of time, but I guess it was intended to avoid mistakes) - now the UK accepts 911 as well (for the tourists in panic mode) - but I always think that appears to be a slightly unfortunate coincidence (unless the terrorists really did have a warped sense of humour - 9.11 (?) fnord)

Anyway - don't shoot me - This particular posting is 666 (+ or - 7) and I'd just like to say that just because "Ronald Wilson Reagan" has a 666 name (count the letters) doesn't mean that he and Maggie ("ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more" - sang Bob in 1965, a little ahead of the time - how spooky 'IS' that?) - were EVIL or nothing.

After all, she may have just chosen that image as a (fairly stupid) attempt to ingratiate herself with my generation, and piggy-back on Bob's fame - I am fairly sure Madonna did - "And Madonna, she still has not showed" (1966)

Blah blah - so anyway - I figured I might start an "unrelated anecdotes" page - because this linear, self-referential autobiography I call a website is just too difficult to complete.

If we are in a bar/pub/room and we are talking, you can trigger off all kinds of stories, from the polished pebbles which roll off the tongue without much change in the phrasing - the kind of repetitious (but polished) stuff that amuses strangers, and bores partners (who have heard the routine many times before) - to ones that I am recalling for the first time since they happened (the ones that interest me most). They don't easily form part of a linear narrative, so as I recall them (now) I will write them down - and they may become polished a little in the writing (to simulate the inspiration of Irish/Spanish bar talk) - but that's it.

They can be part of my "name-drop" page that I always threaten to write and never do. The day David Bowie blagged a fag off me; rolling joints for John Martyn; that sort of stuff.

Over and Out. Transmission Ends.

Friday, July 30, 2004

It was only ever a maybe...

Well, I didn't publish anything about this, because I never really had any faith in it - but now that it's certainly off, I can speak.

For a while there I half-believed that this Star Wars thing was going to get me to Japan at the end of August. Took a week's leave, in case. Learned a bit of Japanese, in case.

Fortunately I never let it go from 'possibly' to 'probably', so I am not very disappointed - perhaps the people I mentioned it to will be more let down on my behalf. I told them my Pessimist is never let down, just proven right or pleasantly surprised...

And anyway, I have Paris to look forward to (Hooray!) working with someone I know, and like and trust (Hooray!)

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I just heard from Tom, and so wrote to Bill (his dad) - one of my mates from the 60s, who always did set me a model of being bold, and still delights me by turning up unexpectedly, whisking me away on adventures, and then vanishing off to post reports from all over the planet. All power to their whole family -and to Jay and Bill, I wish it was a better photo!

any picture I can get my hand on...

Borrow This Book

For those of you who are not up to speed, and think I am a juggler, or a film puppeteer (same people who think Bob Dylan is a protest singer) - I now work in a library. I am proud of a library that offers books like "Steal This Book" by Abbie Hoffman.

It's a new edition, but it is as subversive as it ever was - and means more when you realise that we didn't have an Internet back in the 60s, so naughty suggestions (how to steal from your place of work), useful tips (how to grow grass plants), sensitive areas (self-defence techniques to use when grabbed by policemen) and straight dangerous info (how to make a Molotov Cocktail) were not freely available anywhere. With jokes!

Some of it just doesn't seem to have dated. "Avoid all needle drugs, the only dope worth shooting is George W Bush" (well, he said Nixon...)

Excellent stuff for the younger generation who often seem to think we were all just a bunch of weekend hippies fluffing around in beads, waiting to turn into Yuppies.....

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

This picture won't stick. It belongs to the Shaman/Showman story below, but it keeps disappearing.

any picture I can get my hand on...

Timothy Leary's Last Trip

Julie works weird shifts now - but it suits her!

i sit here, knowing she is doing Emergency Services Duty for my local environment - bless her! - while i kill a bottle of red wine (having got the library service through another day, on the computer level, at least) - she'll be home after midnight, to take calls through the night until 8.30 - and deal with them well... as best as is possible with the (always too limited) resources.

i am sitting here, and just watched the DVD I bought online - "Timothy Leary's Last Trip" - one great Irishman busting taboos (and boy, is death still a taboo in our modern culture). He was always good at pushing society's buttons.    Joy to you, wherever you are, man!

i sit here, publishing on Internet, the mode he knew was the way we were going...

i sit here.

i have threads - my great mate Graham has sat on the original Further bus; i saw Kesey touring the UK, and if the show i saw in Swansea was not inspired (we all dressed up and got there, to meet a lot of disorientated Americans) then i know it was just that they were "Stuck Inside of Swansea, with the Memphis Blues Again" (listen, it took me two days to hitch out of Ohio in 1972 - i understand); Tzi Whizz employed me for a while, and got me back into puppets and fun with the show Abrakadabra - then she lost a lot of weight (Marsha Marshmallow) and ran off to work with the Hog Farm and Wavy Gravy; my best time and parties (so far) have been with NoFit State Circus - the greatest crew a guy could wish for - still pushing the envelope as i write - have you seen their UFO tent? - man, all those people who gave their hours, days, weeks, months and years - all those people.  Un-fucking-believable. We appear dangerous, maybe - we're really harmless - good hearts are the thing. i don't care if you drink or smoke - i don't care if you don't - i don't really care if you eat fish or meat (although I grew up as an ovo-lacto-vegetarian), i don't care if you're a vegan. We've managed to hang out together when we all have had different values on these things. You should go to a party where everyone forgives and accepts each other.  you have no idea.


i gotta nuther DVD to watch, while my partner deals with the rough side of life, with grace, and charm, and wit - i love her, and i forget to tell her enough - if you see her, say hello - we'll be going back to the country for a while in August. Gotta say hello to nature, yet again.

Greetings to all sentient beings - and if you ain't sentient yet, Dubya, don't fret, you will be eventually... (it may be a rough ride for a while, when consciousness hits - but you CAN change)


Showman/Shaman - there are lots of kinds of magic

This one's for Pop, now I realise that his 100th is coming up. Richard Rudgley is doing a 'Pagan's' programme on UK TV - and showed the Bronze Age magician's hats (that's what they recently decided to describe them as) - with dots representing the stars, and Sun Moon cycles, etc.

No surprise to me - look at this card (above, click to enlarge) that my dad sent to me in the 50s, with a picture of his magician puppet.

Glove puppets don't have a floor (think about it) so they don't need trapdoors. This character used to appear slowly - tip of his pointed hat first - he would rise through the 'floor'. In this picture his wand has a 'christmas tree bauble' attached, but my favourite wand had a ring of wire. After he had been onstage a while he would cross his arms, and the wire tip of the wand would drop out of sight. With his other hand, my dad would dip the wire ring in bubble mixture - next time the magician waved his wand - bubbles! Simple but effective in a live show.

And that 'no-floor' business had other advantages. An empty pot inverted on a little platform (sticking out the back, from the top edge of the stage frame) could have an ice-cream (the 50s dream) secretly loaded into it. He had built a little lift to rise up through this mini-trapdoor, with a peg to hold it in the 'up' position.

You wonder why I became a juggler? It was my dad who encouraged ambidexterity. I watched my showman/shaman dad do this: have the magician appear mysteriously through the stage floor - do a little intro - show the pot empty - magician crosses his arms - puppeteer slides up the ice-cream lift with the other hand, and pegs it in place - then grabs the bubble mixture and dips the tip of the wand - all the while animating, and talking through, the magician.

OK - nearly there - wave the wand - "Ooooh! bubbles!" Lift the previously empty pot to reveal ice-cream for child volunteer. (Applause point)

And, of course, my dad had done the study - he had been a Theosophist, etc. That hat is not a coincidence...but this description was only confirmed in the last couple of years.
"The wizards of early Europe wore hats of gold intricately embellished with astrological symbols that helped them to predict the movement of the sun and stars." The show I am talking about was what Panto was doing in the 1950s.

New Flash

From previous experience I would suggest not to go to bed angry. Likewise it does not seem to me a good idea to go to bed drunk (sober up before going to bed - my tip for not getting hangovers).

I am so delighted to exchange a few (printed) words with Robert Anton Wilson. If you don't know who I am talking about, I am not going to explain. If you do, I don't need to.

Makes me laugh, makes me think, makes me want to get up in the morning and get on with my day - what more could anyone ask of anyone else?

So - he's 72, got post-polio syndrome, still more lively than a lot of my local friends. It made me think...58 years can't be described as old.  Well....but...I lost my best (peer group male) friend 10 years ago, this Halloween.

Suddenly I realised that, if my dad had got a bit of life extension, he would have made it to 100 times around the Sun this August....  'Birthday' doesn't explain very well, if you don't agree on the calendar. I like the Spanish - cumpleaños - complete years. Geddit? When (as we say) you 'are' 1 year old, you have completed one year (what I call once round the sun).

I have completed 58 circuits...58 complete years, and some...

It's only numerology (and the Gregorian Calendar) but I might have to make a little ritual gesture 100 years after my dad arrived on the planet...I guess.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Hey people - don't attack Google - that's like book-burning

I got angry now.

The people doing DOS attacks on Google are really stupid, or fucking crazy (or even full of shit). (I don't know for sure where they come on the Carlin/Leary Assessment Grid.

Forget that the Google people are accidentally making money for offering a great you resent your favourite musician making lots of money?  I don't mind Bob making a load of cash by touring all the time and playing live... He was here for me a few weeks ago...

Don't burn down the library, guys - that always lets the bad guys get a few centuries of oppression going. Nothing they like better than to cut off information resources.

If you don't like Google having a monopoly - invent something even BETTER!

We gotta design our way out of this...don't confront any bad guys head on, and turn into them...

Of course, I am a paranoid, so I assume this is actually the work of 'agents provocateurs' - please don't tell me that it's anarchists, cynics, nihilists, or other unbelievers - I might have to withdraw my membership...           :-(

Aha - Excellent

The Council investigated and have obviously decided that Blogs (even with Comments) are not Chat Rooms, so I can post directly into the blog again, and add comments to other people's. Phew.

It's 4 p.m. and I didn't go to lunch yet, so I feel OK to take five minutes for myself. Even if I go to 'lunch' I am going to miss my afternoon coffee break.

What I wanted to do was copy here something I put in my Academy journal - for wider access:

NLP, Magick and Jokes
What more could you want?

I came across this site recently, called 23nlpeople, and particularly enjoyed the interviews, both the straight anti-psychiatry one, Austin Unplugged, and the magick one
"23 Initiates: An Interview with Andrew Austin " by Dale A. Hildebrandt Copyright 2002. Equal Knocks Magazine. The Journal of Illuminism.

I like someone who posts both praise from other people, and unpopular reviews of self. It indicates a fine sense of self-mockery, and supreme confidence, too (of course).

"Some great articles Andy. Our very own Oliver Sacks of NLP, The Man who mistook his wife for a tin foil hat :-) You should put all these together in a book." Adam Sargant Psycbiatric Nurse, NLP Master Practitioner.

"Following my investigation, I have some very serious concerns from a management perspective about your conduct while performing your duties…[therefore I am]… giving you one week's notice to end your employment…" Heather Bowman, Area Manager, Stonham Housing Association.

"…I thought you seemed motivated by a humane and compassionate attitude and one of genuine listening for the meaning behind the language of 'delusion'…I wish there had been a nurse like you in the hospitals I was in." K. N., patient.

"I have never known anything like it in my life. You are a disgrace, do you always behave in such a unprofessional manner?" Sharon Griffin, ex-manager, who really, really does need a high enema.

All power to him..

Oh, yeh, and he has an excellent links page about magic (without the 'k') and NLP, which will go straight onto my magic links page, as soon as I get home (I can do the blog from work, but I can't start editing my website (!)

Monday, July 26, 2004

I'll try not to get too obscure, but this is a note to myself

Going into the Academy reminded me that (back when I was thinking about Leary's Eight Circuit(System) Model - I ended up in a hovel with no books for a while...and in order to reconstruct what I could remember, without notes, I decided to make my own 24 card Tarot Deck (Leary described three aspects of each of the 8 systems).

I had noticed that in the various writings on the subject, that the 5th and 6th circuits were sometimes reversed - I wasn't sure if that was from looking at texts from different time-periods, or one of those games (like Crowley changing the position of two of the traditional cards) - so I settled for what seemed right to me. I could understand the Neurogenetic Circuit being parallel with the 2nd circuit, and the Metaprogramming circuit being parallel to the 3rd circuit...but most of the texts have them the other way around - and no, without my old pile of books I can't tell you which said what (sigh) - and yes, that made sense, too! (depending on the ingenuity of the person...)

If you don't know ANYTHING about what I am referring to, then I am not going to start now (at 2 a.m.), but ANYWAY, over a few weeks I made up my cards, using only what I could find in my bought materials. Actually, one or two images came from books, so rather than tear them up I went and photocopied them - otherwise everything came from magazines lying around.

Now I should dig them out, and have another look.

They're just a grid, OK - a map - don't fret if it all sounds crazy. I also like the map that astrologers evolved over the centuries, but I don't have any strong belief about us actually being influenced by the planets - it's just a rather beautiful integrated metaphorical language system.

Ah, G'night - it's far too late for this stuff....

Sunday, July 25, 2004

It cheered me up

Anyone who knows me knows I am a fan of Robert Anton Wilson's writings (well, of his 'being' actually - but what do I know). He makes me laugh, and he makes me think - what more can you ask?

I don't know many other people who enjoy his stuff so much (that was one of the joys of meeting up with my son again - that he seemed to know what I was talking about!)

Anyway - the DeepLeaf Productions gang have started an online forum - the Maybe Logic Academy, and I joined - and signed up for one of the courses. A place to babble with like-minded people.

It cheers me up.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Indirect Transmission

When I am at work I can no longer post directly to Blogger - the Council blocks it as a 'Chat Room' .

This is an email post. I was walking along today when I saw one of Robert Anton Wilson's 24 clones (one who was comfortable walking). I caught his eye, and he caught mine, but neither of us flickered.

This sounds a bit like one of John Cage's Indeterminate stories. The album is just about to be re-released (and I have pre-ordered it - having only heard it once, many years ago, when I was in The States).

If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can find the text and some sort of explanation online. This is a great site - you can actually play with the material...He would tell each of 90 anecdotes so that they lasted one minute (faster for long stories, slower for short).

And here's an older review

I clicked the online link for a random sample, and got story 23 (I kid you not)

When   I   got   the   letter   from   Jack   Arends
asking   me   to   lecture   at   the   Teachers   
                 I   wrote   back   and   said   I'd
 be   glad   to,
                          that   all   he   had   to
do   was   let   me   know   the   date.

                          He   did.

                 I   then   said   to   David   Tudor,

       'The   lecture   is   so   soon   that   I   
don't   think   I'll   be   able   to   get   all
ninety   stories   written,
                 in   which   case,
                        now   and   then,
                              I'll   just   keep   my
 trap   shut.'

                                 He   said,

                        'That'll   be   a    relief.'

Friday, July 23, 2004

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake...

Pretty horrible viewing. I saw an hour of television tonight - Robert Brown was beaten up and tortured for two days when he was an illiterate 19 year-old, until forced to confess to murder. Banged up for 25 years, his only options were to plead guilty to manslaughter (only 10 years) or stick to his story. 25 years, and 74 different prisons (he was a bit 'difficult' to be proclaiming his innocence) he is now finally out, and just had a few months with his mum before she died.

Now all he wants is that policeman, Jack Butler, be put in jail. I agree with him, but it looks as though it isn't going to happen.

Miscarriage of Justice doesn't come close -

I flip channels, and there is a programme about the 'Bangkok Hilton'- and the person on the screen is someone I used to know - Andy Hauke. Yeh, he pleaded guilty to smuggling heroin. If he hadn't done that he would have got the death sentence. I think (if I got it right) he ended up with 50 years. Then the King of Bangkok was feeling a bit jolly on his birthday and did a sort of amnesty, and reduced it to 25 years. (!) The British Home Office don't make much effort to get him back here.

I am not defending heroin, and Andy admits that is what he was doing (for financial reasons). But when I was growing up in the 60s the UK was a very civilized place - heroin addiction was considered an illness (as alcoholism is slowly being recognised on a massively bigger scale) and you got your prescription from the doctor. There were a few hundred junkies back then, getting good quality gear, and not hanging out with gangsters. Then 'they' made it illegal (not an illness) and now we have thousands all across the UK, sharing needles, stealing and hustling, and (yes) getting arrested for smuggling in (judicially) backward countries. Ah, progress.

I am past anger - it's the middle of the night, but the stupidity and fundamentalist bullshit goes on and on, and it's a nightmare.
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