Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Christmaas!

I have had a minor reprimand for neglecting this blog - I didn't think anyone read anything much of mine online (and no-one adds Comments) so I just thought of it as another of my 'experiments'.

I started a webpage because I had stopped travelling with my freelance circus work, and had settled into one city and one proper job (!) at the age of 51 (for the first time ever) - so wanted to collect my thoughts, find my children, publish what traces I had left of my parents (at least the children might find it interesting) and so on.

Well, my kids got in touch, (and a few of my parents' students, too) and I got a couple of gigs out of it all, but eventually the website (made with FrontPage 2000 templates) just ground to a halt. I occasionally proofread a page, and get rid of dead links (or update them) but already it feels like a major project to overhaul it.

A couple of years ago I heard that my favourite author (OK, one of my favourite authors) had decided to do tutorials online. I knew he had done talks and lectures and classes but I dived in (one of the first 15 I believe) and for the last couple of years did workshop/tutorials with him, supported and encouraged the online Academy, etc.

I call myself Bogus Magus (apologies to the games player in Japan who chose the same name). I have written for the online magazine, Maybe Quarterly, and maintain the online blog, Only Maybe.

I have indexed (rather imperfectly) the content we have provided for this insatiable internet environment)...lost interest in my own projects, slightly.a bogus magus in his den of pretend magic

Perhaps things moved again. RAW(Robert Anton Wilson for the uninitiated) became too ill this year to run his course 'Tale of the Tribe' (the great summing up of 20th Century human intelligence) and we students floundered for a bit. Fortunately the Academy has attracted an extraordinary group of tutors, so it may well roll on, but I can't replace my first year of trying to complete 3-4 RAW courses simultaneously. I thought I had taken on too much, but I had dropped one (crucial) course. If I thought I put a lot of work in, Bob said he felt like a one-armed wallpaper hanger. I still thought of him as the man of infinite energy, so to realise just how hard he worked to make all that happen astounds me even now.

Last year (still teaching) he fell down in his house and no-one found him for 24 hours. I don't say that to dramatise the situation beyond saying that none of this leaked out to us at the time - it came out as rueful comedy!

So anyway. This year it became clear that Post-Polio Syndrome, his age, the loss of his wife, who knows - circumstances had got the better of him - the course got cancelled and they gave us our cash back. I didn't want it, but got it any way.

From then on we either wanted him to get back up, and run the course we all so eagerly anticipated, or we knew we had to let him go in peace. When we heard he couldn't afford his rent and medical bills a whole bunch of people around the planet made sure he didn't die penniless and homeless and destitute (like too many of my heroes) and a wonderful Internet event sorted the situation in an astounding 3 days (I reckon Douglas Rushkoff deserves most thanks for the coverage he gave to the situation - but everyone who sent $5 - or $500 - became my friend at least). I went from helplessness and despair to belief in my fellow humans again. That doesn't seem like a trivial matter.

Oh. Why did I say Happy Christmas so early? Most people have me down as this atheist/humanist/anarchist. At Christmas they call me a curmudgeon, and mumble "Bah Humbug" at me, as they spend more than they (or the planet) can afford, complain about visiting their relatives, etc. You can check it out in The Archives if you really care (does anyone read this stuff?)

If you want to buy crazy presents go here, to Grand Illusions.

This year I decided not to buy goats for people, or sulk, or anything. I have decided to act unnaturally cheerful (whatever happens) and transmit "Goodwill to all men/people/humans/entities/sentient beings" IF IT KILLS ME.

Happy Christmas everyone!


Nicole said...

Just to let you know, John and I are reading your blog regularly. So there are at least two out here who like this ;-) It seems to be a wonderful way to keep up with you as we are so bad in keeping in touch.
And now you decided to be cheerful....enjoy it!
See you soon

John said...

Seconded! Always check the page, well every day or so. And have a wander round the links. All the Best to you and yours for the coming Season!

Anonymous said...

I third that as I too enoy keeping up with you this way, and "seeing" you too in your great photo's.
We travelers seem to be so bad a t keeping in touch even with the availability of email, even that seems to be intrusive sometimes, seeming to demand a repy.
Your blog is fun, please keep it going.

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