Archive for the ‘Fnord’ Category

The Illuminatus Trilogy: Notes For a Potential Reader

June 26, 2009

It’s been some days now, that I took the farewell from Stella Maris, Mavis, Lady “are you a turtle?” Velkor,  the midget, Hagbard Celine, Malaclypse and, the best of them all, Chips, and went on with my hempless routine. Departure wasn’t easy, for these people have made me really happy.

Never mind, their presence is everywhere:  the books I read, the movies I see, the Game, the media, mediums and the coincidences I’m part of – they are everywhere.

Destroy All Rational Thought

So what is The Illuminatus Trilogy?

Don’t believe a word from that book’s cover – it’s one big rubbish aimed to be “attractive” to some people, as this book is, in its essence, resistible to any categorization. It’s not a sci-fi book, and it’s not a “conspiracy” book, it’s simply an irrational book, which you will find clear and shiny as Lucily diamonds.

R.A.W and Shea rationally destroy all rational thought. Here are some notes on that remarkable process:

Space

“It’s like a split-screen movie, but split a thousand ways, and with a thousand soundtracks.”

This is how the Book describes itself, and indeed, that’s what you are about to experience.

Think of it this way: a film viewed through a thousand-squares’ monitor, like an eye of a fly, each square presenting part of the film. As this is a book, not a film, the way to achieve this sub-framing of narratives is via the Cut-Up Technique – that which Brion Gysin invented and Burroughs adopted.

So there’s a story, but it was cut into endless pieces, and the book is the pasting of them all, not in a rational-linear order, but rather in chaotic one. It takes time to get used to it, to tame our attention to those jumps in Space.

Time

“This tomorrowtodayyesterday time is beginning to get under my skin. It’s happening more and more often”

The Book’s Time’s a liquid, pouring in any direction. There’s no past, present, future in the sequencing of events; it’s the tomorrow-today-yesterday world.  So hold tight, for you are just about to begin a trip.

Personalities

The world of a Book: space, time, people.

Forget what you know about Personalities & Characters. Here, anyone is anyone. There are always more personalities in what is supposed to be a single character, and often characters are seeing the world through the heads of other characters. You will find no salvation in trying to nail your cognition to a single personality – they are all constantly shifting around.

The I

Oh, the I, the Narrator, the one in charge. Who’s, indeed, the one in charge here?! I wish I knew that answer. The I is nothing but an Illusion. Most of the time, if there’s a multiple-parties’ conversation, the I is allocated to the one who speaks currently. So you tap into that conversation where everybody’s  I. Fuck it, get loose, you got nothing to lose.

Fog

There is a thick fog of hemp’ smoke to the ceiling of the Book. This book is meant to be INHALED!

Surprise, Surprise!

And yet, it all makes sense and the reading streams smoothly, and it is funny and intriguing!

I seriously think it’s a mystery. Those guys, Shea & Wilson, have deciphered something about the human brain, i.e. that it can see clearly through Chaos! The Book itself is constantly smoking good, quality dope, so its Characters can clear their mind and open their eyes;  same effect is achieved for the Reader (800 pages of top quality hemp) – you’re tripping all the way to the end, and the trip is lucid and crystal-clear.

The Story

Like any great work of art, the medium & the message, the structure & the narrative,  are synchronized. So, similarly to the free structure, space, time,  the I and the Characters of the book, so is the story telling us about people breaking space, time, the I, and anything else of an ordinary order.

What a wonderful world is this Book.

Robert Shea & Robert Anton WilsonRobert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson

Einstürzende Neubauten – Stella Maris

Piet Inspired Crowd-Activation Mechanism

June 20, 2009

We’re all conditioned to react to symbols. The reaction can be emotional or rational, conscious or unconscious, triggering an implicit  response baby or an explicit one. stop

And that is not new.

But somehow, although we’re living in a world of symbols, representations, masks and words, where nothing is the real self of anything, but only a symbol of – somehow the pragmatic (i.e. instrumental, operational) essence of even the most innocent-looking symbols have eluded us. Take, for instance, the following painting by Piet Mondrian, an abstract painter, symbolizing something to someone. Is our conditioning to paintings as non-utiliterian carriers of meaning, i.e. as symbols remote from the practical, tool-type instrumentation, is misleading? (I exclude, of course, overtly socio-political imagery).

Mondrian_CompRYB

Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue. 1921, Piet Mondrian.

David Morgan-Mar, invented Piet, a programming language represented by cubes and lines of different size and colors, each combination symbolizing one statement or more, “Hello, World”, the program any newbie to a given language starts with, looking like this:

Piet_hello_big

Piet’s “Hello, World”

Piet is more than a gimmick; it’s an eye-opener, in the sense of “Now I can see the Fnord” (“Fnords” are like tags, appearing before & after certain messages. Children in grade school are taught to be unable to consciously see the word “fnord”, but to react to it physiologically, so that the appearance of the word subconsciously generates a feeling of uneasiness and confusion, and prevents rational consideration of the subject. This results in a perpetual low-grade state of fear in the populace. This in turn perpetuates the need for Government, because without fear, people don’t need Government. Newspapers, naturally, have Fnords all over them. My adaptation to Fnord, Wikipedia). It shows us, simply, that any symbol can be a carrier of a program, activated through an interaction.

Inspired by Piet, and taking it to another dimension, one can see the possibility for a musical convention to represent a programming language, having a “Hello, World” concerto, each note or combination of, representing one or more statements. This musical convention is another eye-opener, issued from the broadcasting, one-to-many nature of music, unlike the one-to-one interaction model of a painting. One can broadcast a tune (or an image) over Twitter that will be deciphered by programs all across the backbone, and consequently whatever thing(s) will happen (I called this kind of tweet, a Twigger).

But are these programs, embedded in work of arts and tunes are only aimed for other programs? What about us? Especially now that millions of us are plugged into that global broadcasting network called Twitter. Can a tune trigger some unconscious mechanical orange in the global audience?

The wise and skeptical will certainly udnerstand that no matter what s/he knows about her conditioning to symbols, there are or there might be some conditionings that elude our consciousness.  Keep your eyes, therefore, open, especially when visiting the museum…