Monday, March 28, 2005

And heeeeeere's Eddie!

Click pic to see larger

Gloria Mundi

Nice to hear from Sunshine earlier - on a random email. Another of the fascinating creative people I have crossed paths with. Do you remember (did you ever get to see?) an influential punk/goth (?) band called Gloria Mundi? And hi to Eddie, too!

Sunshine at The Marquee

Click pic to see larger

Apologies to regular readers

I still feel quite bemused when people tell me they drop in here regularly, as I do think of it not so much as a column, but as a journal or notebook. Basically, I use a blog to talk to myself, and I go to the Academy Forum to talk to other people. I even use Trillian to chat live, occasionally, but I don't have that much time...

The Academy goes from strength to strength - and the Goddess course in the summer (by Patricia Monaghan the widow of Robert Shea, amngst other things) might just shift the balance from male geekdom a little bit. Male geekdom currently having a ball on Crowley 101 (which I gave a miss, as I find kabbalah and all that ritual completely uninteresting). Or perhaps you'd be interested in a course with The Dice Man (Luke Rhinehart) or Chaos Magick (Peter Carroll), or Douglas Rushkoff, or...

Oh, and the second edition of Maybe Quarterly has got published. It contains a lot, and who has time to read so much, but I liked the second excerpt of Zen Punkist's HOLeY BIBLE; Trimtabulous' Escape Velocity and Metachor's Dream Quest - and, if nothing else, you should read Kentroversy's piece on Bill Hicks, and his interview with Kevin Booth about Sacred Cow, the new book on Bill Hicks, and much, much more.

I didn't contribute anything this time, but
Issue 1 remains online, so you can still read it, and my piece on the Illuminatus! online course.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

No More Wars means just that

Anyone who knows me will know how much I hate fighting. Or even how much I hate friction, or resistance (most of the time).

Here's something positive for you. Mr Jules has (not quite single-handedly) organised a juggling convention in Slovenia. Not just (boring old) juggling, but street performers of all kinds from all countries. A one-off event you can't even imagine. Value you'll never get from one circus (not Cirque du Soleil, not even NoFit State Circus). I won't do the hard sell right now. I will try to be there. I attended the first European Juggling Convention in 1978, and helped organise one in Spain in 1986, but I fell away as the whole thing grew and I had other work, other interests, and only one short life to experience them in. I got to a few British ones, since (each nation has local breakaway conventions now). You don't have to be able to juggle to come - just to enjoy circus skills, camping, visiting different cultures, hanging out with interesting people from dozens of countries (including, probably, your own) and having FUN!

So no more Wars, please. Not even Wars on drugs, Wars on politically correct speech, Wars on smoking, Wars about imaginary gods. Just stop fighting...

If you think that's the 'unrealistic hippie dream', then that's why it never stops...because you don't believe it can. Forgive each other for mistakes, decide to share the planet, and let's get on with it...

G'night. I don't even kid myself with this stuff. People seem to LIKE fighting...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

You'll be a long time gone

Ah me - I will take a rest from Academy activity, and try to catch up with my life. Keili's album is officially released, but Amazon UK don't seem to have got it yet...He's travelling again, I hear.

I have just heard confirmed that I will be going to Celebration III in Indianapolis at the end of April. This is the big Star Wars event - one not to miss, they tell me. Whether I'll get RSI from signing my name, is another matter...

Some of the Maybe Academy bods seem to be planning a meet in July in Ireland. This might just be the motivation to get me and Julie to get a holiday in Ireland...Cork and Kerry, and all that. Sort of depends on making money at CIII, for me, as I always live on rather tight margins when it comes to that mysterious entity "the holiday". Perhaps we'd both prefer Spain.

Hey ho. Star Wars events even affect performers with that 'if I won the lottery' feeling. The truth, of course, is that it was a couple of months' work, 24 years ago...with a buy-out clause, no residuals or royalties, etc. It's a nice perk if fans pop up now, to decide to pay us a bonus...but Indianapolis would not be my first choice for a holiday destination. I suspect this will also be hard work...Still, a chance to put faces to some of my online correspondents like T'Bone and the Jedi Bendu crew, etc.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

It depends what you mean by freedom

No doubt Shabina Begum should be allowed to wear a bit of black cloth around her head at school for religious reasons. Congratulations.

As a non-baptised child I would have loved to have avoided Christian hymns and prayers every morning from the age of 6 to 18, but I couldn't. In the school I went to from the age of 12-18 the Jewish kids did not have to attend these services, but I did. Non-believers in The Book(s), freethinkers, agnostics, atheists, non-theists, humanists and all the other groups that think of religion as a benign (or sometimes virulent) belief still had to attend the State religion's indoctrination sessions (and hear how bad it seemed that 'Communists' put their children through such sessions).

Can I still go back and sue my school (s) for 12 years of restricting my rights and imposing their (improbable and distressing) beliefs on me? I doubt it.

One of the reasons I dropped out in the 60s was that distressing half hour every morning. Instead of fighting my way through 3 changes of bus to arrive in time for ineffective, hypocritical indoctrination I eventually took to arriving late, and then going to sit with the Jewish kids. One term I arrived late every day. After you arrived late for 4 days you got kept in for one hour's detention at the end of the day. I did that for a whole term, in protest. Nothing changed.

They measured me as smart (to even get to the school) and then completely ignored my feedback. Their thing being that if you want to get to be (say) Prime Minister you have to claim to be Christian even if you in fact have no faith at all - and my school thought 'getting on in life' the most important thing. I don't think they had previously met anyone who wanted to remain true to themselves, at any cost...

There must have been a few more after me, as the Sixties rolled on.

I still resent that 30 minutes a day (of every day of my school life) when I could have been doing something more constructive than staying dumb, singing out of tune, making up satirical words, or just feeling severely depressed and persecuted. I could even have avoided the rush-hour where adults pushed in front of me because they might lose their jobs if they were late, and I would only get detention.

Trivial? I think not.

So I praise Shabina for her persistence, even as I resent the fact that she can win because she is using the force of another nonsensical (to me!) BIG religion.

A BIG HELLO to all the kids out there who already know the world doesn't work because of some god (whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim). I know what you mean, people. That doesn't mean I think I know better how the Universe came to be, or how humans evolved. I accept the mystery. I just don't buy a creator god. Darwin, chaos theory, complex systems, emergence, etc will do fine as approaches to (maybe) one day knowing more about our situation...

In the States they do have a Freedom From Religion site - maybe we need to start one in the UK.

Related Posts with Thumbnails