Tag Archives | Mythology
The art journal Escape Into Life recently ran the full introduction to an upcoming book, The Immanence of Myth. For my part, it picks up where I left off in Generation Hex (Disinfo). I hope you enjoy:
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Myths and legends die hard in America.
We love them for the extra dimension they provide,
the illusion of near-infinite possibility
to erase the narrow confines of most men’s reality. –Hunter S. Thompson
Myth is immanent. Myth is alive.
I know the idea of living myth is kind of hard to swallow at first. We think, and this thought is a myth too, that thoughts cannot be alive. What does it mean for myth to be immanent, let alone alive? What is myth, really? That’s where this book began, and I think that — now that it is being prepared for publication — that it has opened up the floor for the discussion of these ideas, more than having proven any of them, which is as it should be.
While manufactured “arguments” continue to wage about topics such as climate change and evolution, Anne Coulter has stepped up the game, adding the benefits of radiation to the pot:
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As The New York Times science section reported in 2001, an increasing number of scientists believe that at some level — much higher than the minimums set by the U.S. government — radiation is good for you. “They theorize,” the Times said, that “these doses protect against cancer by activating cells’ natural defense mechanisms.”
Among the studies mentioned by the Times was one in Canada finding that tuberculosis patients subjected to multiple chest X-rays had much lower rates of breast cancer than the general population.
And there are lots more!
A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships’ nuclear reactors.
I had the opportunity to conduct a series of interviews with one of the more inventive illustrators and writers working in comics today, David Mack.
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I still remember the first time I encountered his graphic novel series, Kabuki. I was just browsing around a Barnes & Noble, buzzing on caffeine, and this beautifully illustrated hardcover book found its way into my hands.
It’s not hard to be taken in by the art, really, it is both graceful and bold — but I actually laughed out loud when I started reading it — there was a section where the characters were talking to one another, and then moving through a building. Now most sequential artists would draw panel after panel of them walking and talking, West Wing style, maybe breaking it up with different angles and whatnot so it’s not just a bunch of talking heads. But you just give us a top down view of the building, and little talk bubbles as they wind their way around the maze.
The following is another chapter from my disinformation book, 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know: Volume 2, published in 2004. For more on me go to The Memory Hole or follow me @RussKick on Twitter.
We typically imagine George Washington to be as pure as driven snow, a demigod who won the Revolutionary War, then assumed the mantle of President to flawlessly lead a fledgling country.
The reality is vastly different. Besides being borderline incompetent on the battlefield (during the first four years of the Revolution, he lost every major engagement), the man who could not tell a lie started the tradition of presidential corruption.
The whistle was blown by the Clerk of Congress — writing under the nom de plume “A Calm Observer” — in the Philadelphia Aurora, a muckraking anti-federalist newspaper founded, edited, and published by Benjamin Franklin’s grandson. In 1795, the Aurora published the Clerk’s detailed breakdown of how much loot Washington had taken from the Treasury beyond his Constitutionally-sanctioned $25,000 annual salary.… Read the rest
It’s world-changing (well if you believe in this sort of thing : ) If you’d like to read what’s really going on here behind the hubbub and learn a bit about astronomy not astrology, Charlie Jane Anders over at io9.com has an excellent post:
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What on Earth is going on? And why does everybody suddenly have to work with a new version of the completely meaningless zodiac?
It seems to have started with this article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune last weekend, in which one astronomer made some statements about the zodiac. Parke Kunkle is on the board of directors of the Minnesota Planetarium Society and teaches astronomy at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Kunkle told the Star-Tribune the Earth’s relation to the sun had changed since the Babylonians first created the zodiac.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Russ Kick writes: H. G. Wells is best-remembered as a late-Victorian pioneer of science fiction, mainly due to his 1890s novels The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds. He cranked out dozens of books in numerous genres of fiction and nonfiction, and 1945—the year before his death—saw the publication of his last two books to come out during his lifetime: The Happy Turning: A Dream of Life and Mind at the End of Its Tether. The Happy Turning is a slim, strange work that gets even stranger as it continues. Wells sets it up by claiming that sometimes he dreams about taking his daily walk and coming across a pathway he’s never noticed in real life. Taking this turn (the “Happy Turning”) leads him to the utopian Dreamland (a/k/a the Beyond), where his body is perfectly fit, where society knows no war, poverty, or inequality, and where his “subliminal self” lets loose with a flood of “cryptic and oracular” symbols. Wells then steps back in time to relate some dreams he had when he was young, including the one that “made me an atheist.” Having read about “a man being broken on the wheel over a slow fire,” the preteen Wells had a nightmare. “By a mental leap which cut out all intermediaries, the dream artist made it clear that if indeed there was an all powerful God, then it was he and he alone who stood there conducting this torture.” Upon awakening, he felt that he had two alternatives: go insane or stop believing in God. “God had gone out of my life. He was impossible.”
Today is the winter solstice; the solar nadir in the northern hemisphere. This temporal event in Spaceship Earth’s rotations finds the sun take its lowest path through our sky and the daytime hours are fewest; the axis of light flips; a planetary New Year. This is an event that many wise people have encouraged us to recognise as the origin of our ‘modern’ festive experience. The word solstice derives from the Latin ‘Sol’ meaning Sun and ‘sistere’ which means to stand still, because this is exactly what it appears to do. Our sun, having clambered ever lower over the horizon since midsummer, seems to be disappearing, perhaps eternally, an experience which was no doubt a source of unquestionable anxiety to early peoples. When the sun was henceforth ‘reborn’ from the horizon, into a fresh cycle of light, there was much rapture and hedonistic release. It is not hard to recognise a common origin of the many religious rebirth mythologies in this event.… Read the rest
Site editor’s note: The following is excerpted from The Secret History of Rock ’N’ Roll: The Mysterious Roots of Modern Music by Christopher Knowles (Viva Editions, October 2010). Used with permission.
I like to think of the history of rock & roll like the origin of Greek drama. That started out on the threshing floors during the crucial seasons, and was originally a band of acolytes dancing and singing. Then, one day, a possessed person jumped out of the crowd and started imitating a god.
Most historians believe that the Mysteries began at the end of the Neolithic Age (also known as the New Stone Age, roughly 9000 to 4500 BCE), making them one of the earliest cultural developments known to humanity. Coinciding with the development of agriculture, the rituals were designed to appeal to the grain gods of the Underworld by acting out their myths, which celebrated the cycles of planting, growth and harvesting.… Read the rest