Saturday, June 03, 2006

Funny in the head

I may wish to take a sabbatical from hanging out with the intelligent crew soon, because of an information overload. Pretty soon we’ll hit the second anniversary of the start of the Maybe Logic Academy. As an ‘early uptaker’ I got to email Robert Anton Wilson (RAW or Bob for short) directly for the first few weeks, as well as take part in several courses with him as tutor. I couldn’t believe my luck. Wouldn’t you like to chat with your favourite author, and perhaps discuss/analyse your favourite book with him/her?

The other members of the MLA (and course participants) have proved an extraordinary group, including a whole spectrum from bright kids to published authors, from therapists to physicists, from artists to musicians, etc. Great company. I never ever had such a club of bright minds to hang around with.

Unlike virtually every other forum I have visited, we mostly communicate in positive .you can't really see thisand co-operative terms. Occasionally someone (usually one of the bright kids!) will think we sound smug or complacent and self-congratulatory or like a cult or something and they try to stir things up, but they usually get bewildered by people not reacting blindly or emotionally, but finding their point interesting and worthy of discussion, etc. Sometimes they simply get a calculated dose of sarcasm aimed back at them. Whatever. We all seem to find flame wars boring and childish. In any case, when Bob started the thing his initial guideline (our only rule) came out this way:

"If you cannot achieve tolerance, at least attempt courtesy."Longhaired Librarian roaming The Stacks

I have felt useful as a librarian, researcher and old hippie – and not only receive at least as much useful information back from others, but have also got drawn into creativity, collaborating with a talented illustrator, maintaining an Academy blog, helping edit the online magazine, etc.

As it happens, I want to get something written for the Solstice edition, and will start another 8 week course with Bob at about the same time, but I really would like to just chill-out with my magic books, and a few ‘toys’, to balance out all that thinking. Antero Alli offered many opportunities to get away from the screen and keyboard with his 8 Circuit course, some of which I couldn’t take up for lack of a studio space, and some I may have merely resisted…but he will run it again in the autumn, and I recommend it unreservedly. As astrology seems like a core interest of his (relatively unusual at MLA, which seems to have more people into Cabbala, Kabbalah, QBL as a grid or gloss) I enquired among fellow students about levels of interest, and asked him if he would consider devising a course for us and Lo! it turns out that such a course has sprung into existence. I like a college where I can influence the curriculum…I probably wouldn’t have dropped out of school if they had listened to me at all, at all…
Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon
Joel Cairo: You always have a very smooth explanation...
Sam Spade: What do you want me to do - learn to stutter?

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