Tag Archives | interview

Alchemical Traditions: An interview with Dr. Aaron Cheak

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I’ve known Dr. Cheak for a while now. I’ve never met anyone with such a broad understanding of alchemy, magic, or religious studies in general. He’s truly a gem of the modern scholarly crowd. His new book is fast establishing him as one of the foremost authorities in the world on alchemy. I had the chance to interview him at my home in Los Angeles over a bottle of wine. Awesome conversation ensued.

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Former Narcotics Officer Barry Cooper: We Terrorized Families Over Single Bags of Pot

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You’ll probably recognize Barry Cooper from his “Never Get Busted” videos. He recently appeared on the Huffington Post to discuss his experiences as a narcotics officer and what led him to find a new line of work.

Via HuffPost:

“A couple of times I raided a home and there were two kids in the home, scared, we terrorized the family, and it’s for a bag of pot,” Barry Cooper said Tuesday. “Searching the house, I noticed the kids had straight ‘A’ report cards, the parent’s checkbook was balanced, and I realized that something was amiss, something was really bad.”

“I put it together years later, after I started smoking pot,” he confessed. “You know, a lot of people report that the use of that medication helps a person self-reflect. And, wow, the veil came off and then I started doing the real research for myself instead of believing the propaganda.

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George Carlin: An Interview

2618307083_762347d48cI first saw George Carlin perform live when I was 17 and that instance came with it the completely revelatory vision of my life with and in comedy. The introduction came in a happenstance moment as an employee of Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, Indiana where Carlin happened to be headlining one Friday night. My job after ushering cars into the parking lot was to “patrol” the aisles of the theatre as sort of a back-up usher. I sat Indian-style on the pathway of the floor as George came out. It wasn’t long after taking the stage that he filled me with a burning inspiration and hope for my own future.

To hear someone of and from around my parent’s generation display a “fuck you” attitude toward an American culture that puzzled, shackled, and lorded over me in the form of its authority figures turned my entire world on its head and let me know by George’s logic that I wasn’t wrong or a bad kid to have these little buds of forming resentment against societal command.… Read the rest

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Taylor Ellwood On Identity, Space/Time, and Pop Culture Magick

Author Taylor EllwoodThere’s only so many times you can read about the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram before you stop paying attention and start daydreaming about what the real Harlem Shuffle looks like. Magic only seems novel the first time you come across it. After that, it tends to just be the same concepts rehashed ad nauseum. Maybe it says something about my own attention span, but if I hear anyone mention the “Rule of Three” again, I’m liable to smash a Stevie Nicks record over their head (author’s note: I have never owned a Stevie Nicks record).

Finding a magician who’s interested in testing the boundaries and really experimenting with their practice is what draws my attention, and Taylor Ellwood has based his whole career on fooling around in territories no one else has touched. As he says on his website, “My focus as a magician is to innovate and experiment with what can be done magically.”

Taylor has studied Neoshamanism, Taoism, Hermetic philosophy, Ceremonial Magic, Buddhist meditation, and a number of other traditions.… Read the rest

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Edward Snowden: What I Have Done Is Costly, But It Was the Right Thing To Do

abc_edward_snowden_2_jt_130609_msEdward Snowden writes at Common Dreams:

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

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Don’t Call Them Superheroes: An Interview With Zero and Dark Guardian of the New York Initiative

nyi 1When I was seven, I told my teacher that when I grew up, I wanted to be a comedian like Johnny Carson. What I didn’t tell her was that I also planned on putting on a mask and fighting crime. Of course, like everyone else, my childhood dreams were shoved through the meat grinder of reality, and I hung up my cape along with my fantasy.

I’d forgotten all about it when, twenty years on, I saw a documentary on HBO entitled Superheroes. It followed grown-ass adults, calling themselves “Real-Life Superheroes” (or RLSH), who dress up in spandex and go out “on patrol.” They even have forums hidden in the backwoods of the internet, where they can trade training tips, war stories, and sweet pics of their sweet costumes.

But one of the groups featured in Superheroes wasn’t like the others. They called themselves the New York Initiative.… Read the rest

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