Welcome, one and all to the annual St. Patrick's Day edition of Insomnia!
Every year I enjoy using this forum to present us - one and all - with a greeting of sorts on this, the yearly Wearing of the Green.
On with it:
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!
THIS IS YOUR DRINK:
THIS IS YOUR DRINK'S COCKTAIL:
THIS IS YOUR DRINKING BUDDY:
THIS IS HIS DATE:
THIS IS YOUR DATE:
THIS IS YOUR OTHER DATE:
THIS IS THE OPENING BAND:
THIS IS THE HEADLINER:
THIS IS YOUR EVENT PLANNER:
THIS IS YOUR WINGMAN:
THIS IS MY MESSAGE TO YOU:
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Really feeling the spirit today. Was recently, nearly reduced to tears of joy hearing "Feliz Navidad" at the bean aisle in Kroger.
Check out this performance of the song, live in Denmark in 1973. Hippest caroling ever!
Regardless of your religio/mystico/philosophical relationship to the world without and within, this season really does put people in mind of others. Within such sudden selflessness there lies that great, untapped potential for Total Revolution: psychic, spiritual, personal, interpersonal, galactic...
This tree will grow. I saw it in a dream.
Here is the text for the poem I recited in an audio post in the last entry in this luminescent journal:
There is a truer truth to be known beneath the smoldering sky of starving leaves as winter takes over the South.
(A Yankee front sweeping down from Connecticut. An icy grimace in Union Blue).
There is a knowing to be known between myself and the girl with the black hat and the red bag and the white teeth. She smiles like a friendly Nazi and she laughs when I reach past her for the hot sauce.
There is a light to bright this grey window with the frost in the corners and the dead hornet: legs up; tobacco-colored wings more delicate than Chinese paper; memento mori; origami gunship; an abdomen swollen with frozen poison. A glinting light breaks across the tip of the stinger. The sun roars to life for the first time in weeks.
One of my most enjoyable projects was being asked to edit an issue of Number: An Independent Journal of the Arts. I've been writing reviews, reports and interviews for the publication for years and this opportunity allowed me to make an issue that focused more exclusively on the Nashville art scene (The journal covers Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee and is a publication of University of Memphis).
I recently turned in new piece that features an interview with TSU curator Jodi Hays Gresham. Browsing through the Number site last night I noticed that the back issues have been updated. You can now download a .pdf version of all the recent issues.
Click here to download the Joe Nolan edited Number:62
And here is a special Holiday treat. In a recent post I offered this track for download and had so much response from the folks who heard it that I've decided to make it an open link so people don't have to keep emailing me here and on Facebook to get it. This is a demo for my new song "Phantom Punch". Inspired by the second boxing match between Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston, my pal Jean Paul Lilliston and I had some audio problems so I recorded these vocals on a cell phone in Nashville to a speaker phone in Chicago. Most people who've heard this insist that I have to use these vocals as they turned out surprisingly good. See what you think...
Just returned from seeing Lars von Trier's new film Antichrist.
For those of you who may not be up to speed regarding this flick, it is a disturbing film peppered with very graphic sexual/violent images. It was both panned and praised at Cannes earlier this year. Here is the breakdown from IMDB:
A grieving couple retreats to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.
That really is the truth of the plot of the film. It is a very simple movie and the cast is made up almost exclusively of a husband and wife: She and He.
Ok, here we go...
The plot is very simple - and so is the theme. Although this is a movie full of symbols and layers it is a very basic fable dealing with the triumph of civilization over nature and reason over chaos. Mythological stories have layers and tangents - as this movie surely does - but - at their core they are simple tales that tell a basic truth.
This movie is full of rough hewn symbols and telling dialog, but there is not that much to it, and the hand wringing over the violence in the third act is also over-hyped. Although you will surely see some unique images in this part of the film it is actually less disturbing than the first and second acts. Remember how scary Jaws was until you saw the shark?
Although it may seem callous or a bit crazy to some viewers, I was actually relieved when the brutality got going. At that point in the film LVT simply leaves us with a schlocky horror film that I no longer had to fear.
At that point, it's just a movie.
This film is gorgeous in many ways and disturbing as well, but it's ultimately very flawed despite its ambitions. A lesser film for LVT without question, but not a failure by any stretch. However, this movie won't break your heart, strain your brain or sicken your stomach. The grief at the center of the film is never really communicated in a moving way. The simple fable at its heart will never withstand over-intellectualizing and he gore is ultimately silly movie tricks that fail to convey any real horror.
Again, they actually break the tension and create more relief than revulsion.
Anyway. See it for yourself and leave a comment or two. My thoughts may seem to be on the negative side, but I absolutely recommend the film. Gainsbourg and Dafoe are relentlessly brave in their roles and the cinematography is the best I've seen this year - outside of the gorgeous black and white in the film Tetro.
I've been cyber-collaborating with Jean Paul Lilliston, working on my new CD, The Wicked.
I've had some technical difficulties as of late, so we decided to try cutting some vocals over the phone. I cued up the song (sans vocals)and put on my headphones while J.P. mic'd up his home phone and put it on speaker. The next step is obvious: The song kicked off and I commencedto screaming into my cell phone in my living room. Turned out great. We'll eventually do "real" vocals, but these are fine for now.
We've got some horn/bass/drum cats coming in from Austin soon and they needed a version with vocals.
If you leave me a comment or send me an email I'll give you a link where you can download the demo w the speaker phone vocals!
Welcome back to another post-it note here where the photons do glow.
Just wanted to drop a few lines about Friday the 13th.
Fridays and the number 13 have been characterized by negative superstitions since before The Da Vinci Code was published. Long known as a kind of "day of bad luck", Friday the 13th is also steeped in conspiracy culture and its occult power reaches back to many deep secrets that lie at the heart of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, the Vatican, the Knights Templar, the founding of Freemasonry and the roots of international banking. Whether you believe the origins of "Friday the 13th" have anything to do with the Knights Templar, you've got to admit the intersection is a fun one to consider.
Here's some skinny from the Wiki(although they seem to deny a connection between the date and the fall of the KT): On Friday, October 13, 1307 (a date sometimes incorrectly linked with the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition) Philip ordered de Molay and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested. The Templars were charged with numerous offenses (including apostasy, idolatry, heresy, "obscene rituals" and homosexuality, corruption and fraud, and secrecy). Many of the accused confessed to these charges under torture, and these confessions, even though obtained under duress, caused a scandal in Paris. After more bullying from Philip, Pope Clement then issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae on November 22, 1307, which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.
Pope Clement called for papal hearings to determine the Templars' guilt or innocence, and once freed of the Inquisitors' torture, many Templars recanted their confessions. Some had sufficient legal experience to defend themselves in the trials, but in 1310 Philip blocked this attempt, using the previously forced confessions to have dozens of Templars burned at the stake in Paris.
With Philip threatening military action unless the Pope complied with his wishes, Pope Clement finally agreed to disband the Order, citing the public scandal that had been generated by the confessions. At the Council of Vienne in 1312, he issued a series of papal bulls, including Vox in excelso, which officially dissolved the Order, and Ad providam, which turned over most Templar assets to the Hospitallers.
As for the leaders of the Order, the elderly Grand Master Jacques de Molay, who had confessed under torture, retracted his statement. His associate Geoffrey de Charney, Preceptor of Normandy, followed de Molay's example and insisted on his innocence. Both men were declared guilty of being relapsed heretics, and they were sentenced to burn alive at the stake in Paris on March 18, 1314. De Molay reportedly remained defiant to the end, asking to be tied in such a way that he could face the Notre Dame Cathedral and hold his hands together in prayer. According to legend, he called out from the flames that both Pope Clement and King Philip would soon meet him before God. Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year.
With the last of the Order's leaders gone, the remaining Templars around Europe were either arrested and tried under the Papal investigation (with virtually none convicted), absorbed into other military orders such as the Knights Hospitaller, or pensioned and allowed to live out their days peacefully. Some may have fled to other territories outside Papal control, such as excommunicated Scotland or to Switzerland. Templar organizations in Portugal simply changed their name, from Knights Templar to Knights of Christ.
Here at Insomnia, we associate these days with the undoing of Jacques de Molay and his Knights as well as with my birthday which I have always felt protects me from other "superstitions" like walking under ladders etc. When a black cat crosses my trail I feel "hey, I must be onto something". In other words, I feel that being born on a 13th gives me a kind of astral-immuno-booster, defending me from lesser demons and the frivolity of negative thinking.
For those of us who may feel a day like today to be frought with peril, here are the last words of the Templar's last leader, Jacques de Molay, right before he was executed by the Pope and King Philip IV. As you'll see, Jacques gets the last laugh: "It is just that, in so terrible a day, and in the last moments of my life, I should discover all the iniquity of falsehood, and make the truth triumph. I declare, then, in the face of heaven and earth, and acknowledge, though to my eternal shame, that I have committed the greatest crimes but it has been the acknowledging of those which have been so foully charged on the order. I attest - and truth obliges me to attest - that it is innocent! I made the contrary declaration only to suspend the excessive pains of torture, and to mollify those who made me endure them. I know the punishments which have been inflicted on all the knights who had the courage to revoke a similar confession; but the dreadful spectacle which is presented to me is not able to make me confirm one lie by another. The life offered me on such infamous terms I abandon without regret."
The execution of Jacques DeMolay Reports say they were slowly roasted over a hot, smokeless fire prolonging their agony as their flesh slowly cooked and blackened. Jacques DeMolay insisted that his hands were not to be bound so that he could pray in his final moments and before he died he cursed both Philip and Pope Clement, summoning both of them to appear before God, the supreme judge, before the year was out. His last words were, "Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us - God will avenge us." Guy of Advernge is reported to have added, "I shall follow the way of my master as a martyr you have killed him. You have done and know not. God willing, on this day, I shall die in the Order like him."
The chilling irony of the conclusion of this story is that Jacques DeMolay's final words did, in fact, come true. Pope Clement V died only a month later on April 20th (he is suspected of having cancer of the bowel) and Philip IV was killed while on a hunting trip on November 29th 1314. True to the claim both men did indeed die within the year of Jacques DeMolay's own death.
Have a good day everyone.
Watch out for false benefactors.
Love, Joe ______________________________________________________________________________
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Thanks to Raymond and Joe for putting up with two rather lengthy segments on a subject that is as vast as the Earth itself. The Hollow Earth has long been a favorite crypto-myth-consmology-theory and having a chance to just burrow into it and share my notes has been lots of fun.
As I mention in the 'cast, the thing that I find most attractive about this line of thought is the freedom required to think it. While such notions may have pushed some men like Dr. Raymond Bernard a little closer to a dangerous edge, it seems that most of the proponents of the theory are of two specific types: the bold adventurer and the child-like dreamer. Both proud clans are always encouraged to join our somnambulant republic here in the world between dream and waking.
Here are a number of links to the resources I used in researching the second half of my installment on The Hollow Earth:
Have fun surfing these links. The Raymond Bernard podcast is especially good and the other 'casts at Memory Palace are worth checking into as well.
If you missed my first installment about the Hollow Earth, here is a transcript. You can also find the 'cast archived at Disinformation.
The Early History of the Hollow Earth
When exploring esoteric subjects it can be difficult to find the connections between various disciplines, notions, theories and organizations. Occult practices ultimately rely on systems of associations and it's compelling to imagine a kind of grand unified theory that encompasses all of the mysteries.
While such an ambitious task remains beyond the grasp of this humble report, there is an intersection point where occult mysteries, cryptozoology, conspiracy theories, ufology, ancient religious beliefs and straight-up-science fiction all meet on a strange horizon where a few brave souls have dared to believe the impossible.
Come with us now dear listener as we illuminate the early history of the Hollow Earth.
Cultures throughout time on every continent of the globe have believed that a paradise resides within our own planet. The Hopi tribes in North America, Tibetan monks, the People of Iceland and the fanatical beliefs of the highest ranks of the Nazi party all share in common a connection to the idea of the hollow earth. For Tibetan monks, Shambala is a real kingdom of peace and tranquility where ancient masters live within the earth's interior. The intricate folklore of Iceland is predicated on the notion of a hollow-earth and Hitler's Nazis ultimately claimed lineage to the powerful beings that are said to reside beneath the surface of our planet.
But where do our modern conceptions of the Hollow Earth originate?
In 1664, a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher published his daunting, encyclopedic tome Mundus Subterraneas. An exhaustive compendium of geography and geology, Kircher's book also contained ambitious tracts on fantastic creatures, spontaneous generation, alchemy, fireworks, eclipses and a number of other eclectic subjects. Kircher's own hand supplied his readers with some of the first cross-section drawings of the earth, revealing pockets of interior fire, fueled by alchemical, cosmic rays. Kircher imagined that the freezing oceans at the north pole poured into the interior earth where they were warmed by the central fires, eventually flowing back to the planet's surface at the south pole. Kircher's imaginative model was one of the first that attempted to explain global weather patterns and oceanic circulation.
In 1692 Edmund Haley – of Haley's comet fame – posited that the earth contained a system of concentric spheres. He believed that each level was temperate and supported life and that the Aurora borealois was caused by off-gassing from these inner realms
In the 19th century John Cleve Symmes - a delegate to the Continental Congress from the state of New Jersey - accepted Haley's theory but also claimed that there were 4,000-mile-wide entrances to the earth's interior at the north and south poles. In addition, Symmes forwarded the idea that the holes were inhabited by humanoids. In the face of daunting ridicule, Symmes lectured, published, and lobbied energetically to raise funds for an expedition to the North Pole in order to meet the inner-earth's inhabitants and open "new sources of trade and commerce."
Symmes helped to found The Smithsonian Institution which he envisioned as a future home for the artifacts and treasures that were anticipated to come from this journey, and he made such a strong case that he was able to bring pressure on then president J Q Adams
“I am fascinated by the possibilities.” Adams was quoted as saying “We need to be willing to go forward in discovering new lands, expanding our horizons.. I say give them the money! This could be the greatest discovery since America.”
Funding for the Sea Expedition was eventually squashed by Andrew Jackson when JQ Adams left office.
Given the kind of radical faith that a belief in the HJollow Earth requires, it's no surprise that an eccentric American physician named Cyrus Teed was able to found a religion based on Hollow-Earth doctrines in the 1800s. During an unconventional scientific experiment involving high-voltage electricity, Teed was badly shocked and knocked unconscious. Upon waking, Teed claimed to have been contacted by no less than the Mother of the Universe, who told Teed that he was the savior of the world. Teed promptly founded a Utopian enclave in Fort Myers, Florida. The group's central belief was that "the universe is a cell, a hollow globe, the physical body of which is the earth; the sun is at the center. We live on the inside of the cell; and the sun, moon, planets and stars are all within the globe." Teed and his believers were claiming that the universe was inside out. Outside of the earth – according to Teed – there was nothing. Teed never wavered in his convictions and his ideas attracted a fanatical following. Peter Bender a German aviator was one of the most outspoken believers in Teed's ideas. His enthusiasm for the notion excited a community in Germany who eventually formed the Hollow Earth Society, which still exists today.
Some simply believed that Teed had suffered brain damage when he was injured during his experiment.
IN 1929, Marshall B Gardener, author of A Journey to the Earth's Interior, returned to the Symmes model, but claimed that the inner Earth was illuminated by a sun that was 600 miles in diameter.
In (1934) Guy Ballard published Unveiled Mysteries, written under the pseudonym Godfre Ray King. Ballard claimed that while visiting Mount Shasta, he met a stranger who gave him a creamy liquid to drink. Having imbibed the brew, Ballard suddenly realized that the stranger was Count Saint Germaine, an eighteenth-century occultist who had become an immortal Tibetan Master according to the writings of H.P. Blavatsky
Ballard wrote that he had many meetings with the Count and the two enjoyed out-of-body visits to the inner-earth where Ballard witnessed scientific wonders, spiritual marvels and even attended a conference with along with 12 Venusian masters beneath the Grand Teton Range in Wyoming. Ballard and his family toured and lectured, spreading his ideas and attracting seekers to the occult group he founded: The "I AM" Activity.
Many hollow-earth publications, reports and rumors have persisted to this day.
In our next installment, we'll explore the Shaver Mystery, the disappearance of Doctor Raymond Bernard and the final destination of Nazi U-boat 209.
Until then this has been another installment of Insomnia for Disinformation World News, I'm Joe Nolan.
Joe Nolan was born under a bad sign on June 13th in Detroit, Michigan in the last Metal Year of the Dog. Polymath, provocateur, inter-media artist, his tell-tale signs have turned up in music, visual art, journalism, poetry, fiction, video and film. A double Gemini, his interests range from the pharmacology of phenomenology to fly fishing; from mysticism to mixed martial arts; from Chaos to counting angels on the heads of pins. He has finished recording his third CD,
"Blue Turns Black"in Nashville, Tennessee. Click on
here, to visit his homepage and explore the rest of this site.
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