Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Play a little prayer for my M.O.

The following texts were hastily written for the Maybe Wiki.
After a prodigal clean-up most of the stuff disappeared, creating room for new material by all the participants. In an attempt to hide my vanity I restrained from sending these bits back in, since in the first place the idea was to write collaborative texts for ten characters in search of an author, not hiding away to create alternative storylines like I did . So I chose to put them here.

The sky is falling and I want my MoMa

There was a loud bang.
Something fell.
A gentleman with long gray hair and glasses, looking like a librarian leaned before a wakening borsky, grinning. In the back was something that looked like a very large piece of glass with strange hermetic drawings.
In the purest shakespearian English the gentleman said:
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."
…Now join the nine or be square"

From behind the large glass pane, one by one the other Maybees appeared, looking intensely at the art piece. Eva Herself was the first to talk: "The goddess-bride shines up there, winged like Eris, hovering over the male bachelors." Minja appeared right behind her: "Here in Philadelphia we watch the story of the world, untangling herself since 1923. Nothing 'is', all becomes."
borsky: "This has all to do with alchemical marriage. Transformation of the elements through the metaphors. Initiation. Male and female melting together."
"I can come to terms with that. Look dudes, there appears a spatial oddity that looks like a chocolate grinder at the right of the eight male figures at the bottom" said Rosie Budd, appearing with the other guys.
"Lookit here, left or right, it all depends on your point o'view, this thang made up of glass, right? Left! And besides, we bachelors all grind our own chocolate - didya bring some from Belgium, borskman?" answered Matthias of the snow.
NP: "I've never been much of a 'bachelor' myself, to me celibacy sound more like a veneral disease you can get from an ancient, chthonic lavatory"
Ragu: "Same here. Attraction-contraction beyond my understanding but nonetheless - I seem digged and appreciated"
"Bachelor. Beach-Lore. Pasted Lorry. Beast elured. One bachelor or eight, all same thing, different storylines; less than a singularity, less than a singleton, less than a single man; more of a student, more of a scholar, more of a learner, trying to catch grasp and grok the master class of life here in this musey-room", resumed (as usually) Fly Agaric in his somatic wisdom.

The tenth man, clouded in mystery, took out his magickal pencil and drew a large X above the chocolate grinder, next to the eight figures. "X marks the spot", he said. Immediately the grinder started spinning in a hypnotizing fashion, bringing all the Maybees surrounding the work into a trance. One by one they entered the glass pane, passing through the looking glass. There was a loud bang. something fell.

All stood in a light room, hypnotized by a strange apparatus spinning a central spiral. "Now that's more familiar", grinned the Chorepiscopic Protonotary of the Eburonic Chapter for 'Pataphysical Research. They were standing in New York again, watching another creation by the elusive artist known as the Sandman, looking at his Rotary Demisphere.

"Where are we", said Ragu, waking up from his trance. "Sound and vision", added Rosie Budd.
"To be, or not to be,--that is the question… To die,to sleep; to sleep! Perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub", answered TJ, followed by Minja: "The 'is' of identity…this adventure we seem to experience more and more makes me want to write, read and live in E-prime"
"We 'are' everywhere, because this story gets entangled in different directions, different spacetimes at the same… well, spacetime", said Eva Herself. "All we can do is trying to find the master that makes the grass green", she added mysteriously.

The tenth man had not joined in, or maybe he was hiding somewhere. They stood in the Moma, the New York Museum of Modern Art. "Look over yonder, a clue!" said NP. A strange, ugly-looking kitchy painting was on display. "I dig it", said Fly, Banksy was here".
A bystander approached the gang, dressed in Purple, strangely looking familiar. "Illusions, Fake, all fiddlings from your imaginations", he said. "My name is Rory Torio, by the way". He automatically joined the band, like if he had always been part of it. The gang walked on to the next room, looking for other clues, when suddenly hordes of bloodthirsty alien freaks dressed up as museum guards waving bloodstained weapons appeared out of nowhere. "ShitR", thought borsky, "there goes the neighborhood. You couldn't keep from bringing that up, couldn't you?" he said to Matthias of the snow. "What, me? sheeit man, I'm all spirituality, you can't… wow, isn't that a Swiss halberd from the 17th century?". Immediately the zombies stopped running, and stopped for a friendly little chat about their weaponry. Talking with an over-enthousiastic Matthias about the beauty of the downward curved spike and the importance of the rectangular handle for a better grip and the nice black wood finishing, and the difference between the original long-handled Danish pike, the Zurich variant and the German knights' decorated versions.

The other guys joined in admiring the artwork. "Eeeeewww, guuuuyyys" uttered Eva, "can we please get out, we have a gig to prepare?"
"Nothing can beat my bare hands", said Minja, suddenly jumping in the air like an eastern goddess, yieling "feel the hand of Budha you cursed freaks!" while a gigantic misty hand seemed to come down from the ceiling, effectively crushing all the zombies to oblivion.
While the dust from the crash disappeared, the guys muttered like little children about their broken toys. "Come on, let's get a move on!" said Eva.
They looked around. They had changed places, again.

"We don't seem to be in Kansas anymore", said Rosie. they were in the middle of a large, spirally building. "The third museum we got to, really I like art like the next man, but couldn't we have some action here?" asked Ragu while the others looked at him as if he had gone stark raving mad. "I know this place", said NP, "It's the Guggenheim!". In the distance several Chrysslers appeared, driving without a chauffeur. A strange legless woman appeared, with leg prothesis made from glass together with a strang looking man, on top a same X-like sign. In the distance a song by Björk was heard.

"Oh nooo", yieled borsky. "Yet another initiation. All apprentices, all bachelors - we're trapped inside the spiral of the Cremaster Cycle!

Hiram in the middle of nowhere

Our gang seems suddenly situated on a high floor inside the Chrysler building in New York. There's a stage surrounded by heavy musical equipment. Out of nowhere Caspar Brötzmann Massaker is heard. Ragu wonders whether this is the place we're supposed to play a gig. "Doesn't look much like Universe, to me" says Minja. Some of us decide to look at the flightcases. "It's at times like these I regret we didn't pack a roadie", says Eva.
She'll wish she'd never said that.

Five cars appear out of the blue, engines roaratorying. All we can do is jump onto the stage. We're surrounded. They stop.
Trapped. Danger danger danger. We do not know why but somehow we all realize this is not a game anymore, this has to do with painful realization. Initiation at its best, mental deconstruction at its worst.
In the fumes blurry images appear, as in a German expressionist movie. The screen focuses. Slowly a story is unfold.

Gary Gilmore was born in rural Texas. His father Frank was a con man. Starting from a religious desire, Gary dropped out of school by the age of 14 and got in trouble with the Portland justice. After his first parole he shortly was a roadie. For the Wings no less. Then he started a career as a robber, getting in and out of jail. Violence became his companion. His family bailed him out, offered him new choices. He chose to start drinking. And his life of compulsive theft got him truckin' once again. One day in July 1976 he felt betrayed and surrounded. He took his ex-lover's mentally unstable sister April out for a ride. At the gas station he pulled out his gun and shot the gas attendent twice at point blank. Then they went to see Ken Kesey's 'One Flew over a Cuckoo's Nest". Next he killed a motel manager. Without hate nor desire, in fact without any feeling at all, at all. He was arrested in 1976. Gilmore asked to be allowed to die. He was strapped to a chair in front of a firing squad in 1977. Bullseye. After the last shot he lived for twenty more seconds until his gushing heart was emptied. Four of the five weapons were loaded and one would fire a blank. Gary Gilmore's eyes were given to two different people.
It was then that Norman Mailer suspected Gilmore was Harry Houdini's grandson. Fade to grey.

Two attempts to escape from physical contstraints. The Jew and the Mormon, the same bloody bloodline. We see Houdini on the set of his show 'Metamorphosis' meeting with the physically impossible Fay La Foe, the woman with a waistline disappearing into infinity looking like a two-sheeted hyperboloid.

Baby Fay the praying mantis, preying on the master of tricks. Solve et coagula. United in copulation, the two-sided opposites melting together in the casket of illusions. The great two-faced warrior trampling the stupid beast of understanding, linked to the healing caduceus.

A cure for Fake? A Fake cure? Snake oil starts gushing all over the place, the teratological figures drown in it, the snakes revolve around each other first expressing a DNA-string, then Ourobouros and once again fade out.

In the fumes Gilmore appears once again but not as what he seemed to the profane but as what appears when examining his characteristics or lineaments, and symbolically attributing his virtual properties to them. Or that's probably how Borsky's pataphysical viewpoint would have made of it. The expression of immediacy, the Master of the Nowledge; the Lapis or Philosopher's Stone resulting from the alchemical marriage between the Trickster and the Whore of Babalon. Running in a straight line unbound by ethics, unconcerned by ethic reality. Offering blood, first from others then, his; the great pelican ripping apart her own chest to feed her progeny, symbol of both Christ and the Rose Cross. Until no more blood can be wasted, until the source dries up; then, the means to see beyond appearances is transmitted to two others, like the two thieves on both sides of the calvary. Dead, Gilmore's corpse is offered on display in a glass coffin, suddenly on the stage with us; from between Nonprophet and Rosie the spirit of Harry Houdini appears, sending shivers though their spines; and transforms Gilmore's remains into a woman, providing yet another transition in the Opus Magnum. We understand no longer.

Two of the engines stall. We consider a passageway between the cars. "Let's do it", Rory says, and we run.
Behind us a double-sided sculpture is left in the ashes of the exhaust. "Hey, that looks like a work from a Stourbridge artist", says Fly.

We take the elevator but strangely it seems to go sideways instead of up or down.

We get out out out pouring out in a strange-looking pub. From nowhere a Ragtime band plays. A peculiar looking bartender seems to comically struggle with his attributes.

Matthias, Borsky and Nonprophet take a closer look. "Yet another café scene… are we in Vico's bar yet?" asks Nonprophet. TJ orders a Guinness. On the bar at the bottom of an absynthe-filled glass, strange dentures, seemingly made from car parts, attract Ragu's close attention. Meanwhile the bartender drops glasses, sprays beer everywhere, and ends up playing the tap system like a musical instrument. Descending from above an illuminated white ram is seen, pierced with five long pipes playing divine music, looking like a living bagpipe."I seem to perceive a slight curb in the spatial equilibrium" says Minja suddenly feeling the need for a little pedantry. "The whole shit is fucking leaning over big time", answers Eva suddenly feeling the need for a little vulgarity. And indeed, while the male impersonators hopelessly try to sip at their tilting beers at one side of the bar, the female impersonators, less in number, at the other side are lift up in the air. Minja, Rosie and Eva are projected through consecutive ceilings as if made out of cardboard, while Fly, Rory, Nonprophet, Toby, Borsky, Matthias and Ragu slip down through the liquefied floor into depths of oblivion.

The ladies end up on the roof of the building. The set is heavily decorated with flowers and coloured ribbons. A mysterious white-hooded figure stands in the middle of a respectful crowd, wearing a white cloak and a strange sign with a number 1 on top of a bicycle. He stands between two pillars build from car parts.

Three masked policemen, looking like Kato from the Green Hornet, standing on a grassy knoll suddenly take turns shooting the white figure, quickly transforming him into a red figure. Blood gushes from the wounds. Falling over and dying the figure dyes darker and becomes black as tar. The crowd remains impassible. "It is fulfilled", says the first while a swan flies towards the south. "The end to reach all means", says the second as a fenix flies towards the zenith. "See you in Far Amurikey", says the third while a raven flies towards the North, removing his mask, revealing himself as Orson Welles. "An excellent performance of the three stages of albedo, rubedo and putrefactio" is Rosies hermetical answer. Fade to white.

After the fall the manage to stand up they realize they're on the Giant's causeaway between Ireland and Scotland. The ground is shaking.

In the distance a battle is going on between the relatively smaller but cunning Irish giant Fionn and the humongous large bully Scottish giant Fingal. Fionn ends up biting off Fingal's magick finger, who runs away while blood gushes from the wound. In a frenzy Fionn throws a rock at him, hereby creating the Island of Man. "Creating an island, Building Fingal's cave and the Giant Causeway, the dual Fingal / Fionn appears as the very first apprentice mason" says Matthias. "You know", says TJ, "A legend somewhat isomorphic to the biblical genesis speaks of the celtic warrior Demne, who was told by a druid that the river Boyne was home to a magickal fish, the Salmon of Knowledge. Whoever ate first of its flesh would have knowledge of all things. Demne was ordered by his master to cook up the fish for him. Burning his finger while cooking, he inadvertently sucked his thumb, tasting the fish and hence proclaimed by his master as the one that was intended to recieve the knowledge in the first place. He was renamed Fionn and recieved three gifts that would make him a great poet: magic, great insights and the power of words". "And at this point for the Maybe Logic initiates, the Salmon of Knowledge turns into the Salmon of a Doubt" replies borsky hermetically. He adds "I surely hope Matthew Barney appreciates the token of estime".
From nowhere we hear Pink Floyd playing 'Zabriskie point's theme', shifting into its variation, 'Fingal's Cave' from 1969. Fade to black.

Back in the Guggenheim, the man and the woman are still dancing. She seems unaware of her legs missing. He seems to shapeshift regularly, sometimes looking strangely not unlike Alejandro Jodorowski.

To be cont'd in Schrödinger space

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Honours of the Trait

I just received the exquisite honour of obtaining membership in the Collège de 'Pataphysique in the quality of 'Correspondant Réel'.
As such I chose my imaginary mugshot:

in French

in English

In between thousand of wordly concerns I'm trying to write a text about 'Pataphysics and astrology for the Correspondancier of the Collège. I still hum inside from Antero Alli's tantalizing Astrologik course last October on the Maybe Logic Academy.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A lost gem

I came across this strange cartoon called 'The Outburst of Everett True'.

At the start of the 19th century, in a remarkably modern drawing style, these short rude and cruel stories evolve around the horrible grump Everett True. Each strip always had two panels only, always in the same vein: someone makes the mistake of addressing the title character with a subject that bores him or drives him angry, and in the second panel he does something horrible like throwing a little dog off a bus and insulting his sobbing owner, or beating up a batallion of cab drivers insulting them even more. Or this one, my favourite, with the keeper of the law:

Everett True looked a bit like an oversized WC Fields, one that could not only verbally abuse his opponents but also beat the shit out of them. In France they would call him an 'anarchiste de droite', in the style of Céline, offering a rare combination of extreme individualism (which might appear sympathetic), with an almost fascistic hatred..
There is a lot of anger and sadism in there, and the readers might enjoy the casual destruction of bores like they might appreciate Dr. Lecter's choice of despicable victims. It's called schadenfreude. But actually True is the ultimate democrat. If they annoy him he beats the shit out of them, without distinction in class , sex or age. He seems to remain himself, true to his own monniker.
Written and drawn by A.D. Condo and J.W. Raper who never made much else, , the series started in 1905 and ended in 1927.
More on Everett True at Don Markstein's Toonopedia and Barnacle Press.
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