Category Archives: Secret Origins

Deistification

With religious persecution no longer all the rage, I’ve given consideration lately to the steps by which I freely became an agnostic deist. I’ve always had my doubts in the bible, even when mad deacons put forth the scientific evidence for the ark, or the perfect beauty of a snowflake, much of it is very ridiculous. That is, deserving some ridicule.

Al Pacino (i.e. the devil), had some very interesting things to say regarding the paradoxes present ever since the Garden of Eden, not the least of which being the hypocrisy of God to condemn his only begotten son to a brutal death simply because of a case of entrapment he had set up against two weak-minded humans thousands of years before to commit their fated sin(s). The philosophical inconsistencies alone began to make my head spin.

I dabbled with the sophistry of creationists like Kent Hovind, (having been given his tapes by an uncle) but never having been a Christian zealot, it came from more of a place of intellectual rebellion, trying to find the most obscure and bizarrely interesting ideas in defiance of everything mainstream. I was a teened-ager at this point.

Soon after, my mind began to wander into areas of critical thinking and skeptical exploration, listening to paranormal talk radio and reading books about how we may have been seeded by ancient aliens. Though they would not be kept on my eventual list of beliefs, these ‘third options’ presented made the dogmatic religious origins seriously suspect.

Still, the beauty of nature argument from certain historical philosophers, as a merely personal spiritual concept, was quite compelling.

As I delved into history, I learned about Descartes, and eventually the real beliefs of the founding fathers of America, and was surprised to learn that most of them were agnostics and deists, words I didn’t have much context for. The ideas resonated with me more than mere atheism, though the debate over which is more of a hard-core belief system, and which is the real cop-out persist, with every side having their own biased arguments.

For a while, I simply adhered to Pascal’s wager, to hedge my bets.

Eventually, in college and after, I discovered the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, and the writings and recordings of Carl Sagan, the arguments and evidence from biology, history, physics, quantum mechanics and philosophy oped to me a new realm of cosmological context. The debates found on the Conversations From the Pale Blue Dot podcast situated my belief as a personal choice, despite Richard Dawkins‘ or Stephen Hawking‘s insistence that no God is necessary, nothing falsifiable precludes it.

I can see how the world is beautiful with or without the existence of God, and I certainly don’t buy that our ability to believe at all is proof in a built-in system of God’s. However, with theories such as the holographic universe, the interconnectedness of the (as-yet-undiscovered) Higgs-Boson particle, and every spiritual guru’s insistence, I allow for the possibility of the experimental, psychedelic Creator.

But I cannot accept that God or Jesus or Krshna or Allah tampers with us daily. You spend enough time examining the world, you really begin to see the absence of the Hand of God in everything.

So there’s a bias for you.

Aloha, Hawaii!

2010-10-09

Dat one haole blahla makin’ local kine with many alohas to you all from the 50th state, chased by the 5-0, keys slacking, volcanos rumbling, and the most magically relaxing music of the Menehune.

PLAYLIST
Marimba Bells – In The Hall Of The Mountain King
Billy Murray – Hello, Hawaii, How are You? – Edison years
Al Caiola, Guitar & Orchestra – Song of the Islands
Harry Kalapana – E Maururu a Vau – Tiki Music – Hawaii – Vol. 1
All-Star Hawaiian Band – Lovely Hula Hands – Steel Guitar Magic – Hawaiian Style
Elvis Presley – Hawaiian Wedding Song – Aloha – Hawaii Via Satellite
Elvis Presley – Hawaiian Sunset – Aloha – Hawaii Via Satellite
Elvis Presley – Blue Hawaii – Aloha – Hawaii Via Satellite
Don Ho – I’ll Remember You – Hawaiian Favorites
Webley Edwards – Alika – Mondo Exotica Ultra-Lounge Volume One
Marcel Dadi – Hawaiian Slack Key – Le Guitaire de Dadi
Hui Ohana – Maui Chimes – The Best of Hui Ohana
Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus & Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu – Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride – Lilo & Stitch
Hawaiian Style Band – Rhythm of the Ocean
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Hawai’i ’78 Introduction – Facing Future
Martin Denny – Quiet Village – Best of Martin Denny’s Exotica
Michael Land – The Cannibal Village – The Secret of Monkey Island – Special Edition
Ella Fitzgerald – Hawaiian War Chant
Hui Ohana – Nani Waimea – The Best of Hui Ohana
Keali’i Reichel – Lei Hinahina – Melelana
Michael Land – Ghost Ship Shuffle – The Secret of Monkey Island
Ralph Steadman – Little Boy Billy – Rogue’s Gallery – Pirate Ballads
Bob Neuwirth – Haul On the Bowline – Rogue’s Gallery – Pirate Ballads
Baby Gramps – Old Man of the Sea – Rogue’s Gallery – Pirate Ballads
Harry Kalapana – Wahine Serenade – Orchids of Hawaii
Harry Kalapana – Hawaii Kua Uli – Tiki Music – Hawaii – Vol. 1
Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau – Pakalolo – Na Mele Henoheno, Helu ‘Elua
Ka’au Crater Boys – I Hear Music – Na Mele Henoheno
Beamer Brothers – Honolulu City Lights – Hawaiian Love Songs
Malani Bilyeu – Moloka’i – Best of Paradise
Jimmy Buffett – Island – Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads
Hapa – Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u – Namahana
Keali’i Reichel – In My Life – Kawaipunahele
Michael Land – Monkey Island – The Secret of Monkey Island
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – White Sandy Beach of Hawai’i – Facing Future
Hui Ohana – God Bless My Daddy / Mom

Stranger in a Strange Land 2010-10-09: Aloha! by The Stranger on Mixcloud

~The Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

Absurdist Noir

Long ago, on the hallowed archives of xanga, I named and detailed a style and mindset called absurdist noir. What is it? Just the mixture of dark expressionistic themes of fatalistic eventuality and a whitefish sandwich with capers? Perhaps our existential loneliness in the vast aether of temporospatial emptiness that resembles the little boil on my toe that keeps coming back? Is it something grander, something inconsequential, something deep-seated and primordial like the heebie-jeebies, or Abe Vigoda?

What is absurdist noir?

It’s that sick twisted ending, leaving the audience to snicker and the protagonist to agonize and eventually cackle with mad laughter at the cold cruelty of chance and fate. It’s the irrational fear of things we cannot control, like quarks, or spacetime, or the fate of the cosmos. It’s madness.

It’s why good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people.

It’s Schadenfreude, that part of every human that revels in someone else being hurt. It’s the Mel Brooks quote, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” It’s the opposite of the old George Washington quote, “be not glad at the misfortune of another, though he may be your enemy.”

It’s the essence of the dead baby or aristocrats joke, the juxtaposition of deeply horrific imagery and the absurd candor in telling it. The part of your own nature that surprises you and makes it funny. It’s a morbid black sense of humor but a whole lot more.

It’s politics. It’s conspiracy theory. It’s warfare. It’s history. It’s squick (which is most of the internet, anyway).

Firesign Theatre, a highly absurd (bordering on Dada) comedy troupe, crafted hapless characters in situations where they are persecuted, shuffled along, accused and at the mercy of unknowable authoritarian forces both Orwellian and Kafkan. From the ripped-straight-from-the-healines story of the natives in “Temporarily Humboldt County” to the more pointed Trial of P. in “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him“. Clem in “We’re All Bozos on This Bus” is one of the first computer hackers in popular culture, crashing the president (Nixon) of an electronic bureaucratic autocratic government of the future using a nonsensical string of unrelated words.

It’s a bad mushroom or acid trip that you remember fondly anyway.

It’s why, according to psychological research byproduct and books like Impro, the first things that come to mind in improvisational art or stream of consciousness are death, religion (esp. Jesus), and non-sequiturs (everything else). The same themes crop up in the ravings of the mad.

A ton of Warren Zevon makes me think of absurdist noir.

And a hell of a lot of Breaking Bad, for that matter.

A lot of noir is naturally absurd, like the end of Chinatown. A lot of absurdism is naturally noir, like the visceral gut feeling you get from Dali paintings; the unsettling or even disturbing mixture of sorrowful empathy and sniggering superiority when seeing a crying clown.

It’s our primeval and irrational fear of the darkness itself, and the instinctual pull toward it. It’s whenever somebody depicts that in their modalities of expression.

It’s a bunch of guys in clown masks robbing a race track.

The Stranger’s Superheroic Four-Hour Show

A double-wide feature for you listeners this week, as I unsuspectingly find myself filling time, while putting the finishing touches on the Superheroic Stranger in a Strange Land! Four hours of music, experimentation, and news!

For Psionic Dehiscence I pull out some lightly seasoned tapes, the Frank Zappa Crossfire debate, Michael Hedges, the great William F. Buckley/Noam Chomsky debate, and the Firesign Theatre.

Lionel Hampton – Glad Hamp – Jazzmaster
Clatworthy Saunders – In Your Own Sweet Way – All That Jazz
Cannonball Adderley – Moanin’
Louis Armstrong – Let’s Do it (Let’s Fall in Love)
The Firesign Theatre – The Ralph Spoilsport Mantrum – How Can You Be In Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at all
Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington – It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Don’t Have That Swing
Michael Hedges – Because its There

On The Stranger in a Strange Land we battle back the forces of evil, do the Batusi, ponder powered musician battles, super-politics, and every agency from the cia to the x-men.

SRC – In the Hall of the Mountain King
The Bagdhdaddies – Wonder Woman – Katchyazafta
Al Hirt – Green Hornet – Kill Bill Soundtrack
David McCallum – Batman Theme – Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 13: TV Town
Jan & Dean – The Joker is Wild – Meet Batman
Paul McCartney & Wings – Magneto and Titanium Man – Venus and Mars
Mel Tormè – Sunshine Superman – Ultra-Lounge: On the Rocks
Sun Ra – The Bat Cave – Batman (Original Motion Picture Score)
Sun Ra – The Penguin Chase – Batman
Sun Ra – Penguin’s Umbrella – Batman
The Apostles – Super Strut – Acid Jazz Story
They Might Be Giants – John Lee Supertaster – No!
Moe. – Captain America – Warts & All
Spin Doctors – Jimmy Olsen’s Blues – Pocket Full of Kryptonite
Weezer – In The Garage – Weezer
Sun Ra – Batman and Robin Swing – Batman and Robin
Sun Ra – The Riddler’s Retreat – Batman and Robin
Goldfinger – Superman – Hang-Ups
The Aquabats – Powdered Milk Man! – The Fury of the Aquabats!
Fastball – Human Torch – Make Your Mama Proud
Serge Gainsbourg – Comic Strip – Love and the Beat
Jelly Roll Morton – Wolverine Blues – Doctor Jazz
Black Sabbath – Iron Man – Reunion
Entombed – Wolverine Blues
Apollo 440 – Spider-Man Theme
Roam The Hello Clouds – Geoff As the Hulk – Near Mises
Deacon the Villian – X-Men
Dangerdoom – The Mask feat. Ghostface Killah – Mouse and the Mask
7L & Esoteric – Incredible Hulk Rap – Egoclapper
Lee Hazlewood – Batman – Batman and Robin
Gil Scot Heron – Ain’t No Such Thing as Superman
Wesley Willis – I Wupped Batman’s Ass

Stranger in a Strange Land 2010-04-03: Timefill/Superheroic! (Psionic) by The Stranger on Mixcloud

~The Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

“It’s just words.”

San Francisco and some things I’ve learned

I could use this PREMIERE FIRST-EVER GRAND OPENING FREE CRAB RANGOON WITH THE PURCHASE OF ANY DINNER ENTREE post to describe the effervescent personality, the razor-strop wit, and the dyspeptic charm of The Stranger: whose round pear-shaped tones titillate you with I’m sorry I can’t finish this sentence because I have to laugh at the word titillate. Excuse me.

But you won’t get anything out of me, copper. I’m no stoolie, see?

What do you really need to know about me? Besides that I defy the laws of physics on mere whim, have been known to sometimes control weather and traffic lights with my mind, and still cannot deign the true nature of this intricate universe, the mysteries of the origins of life as we know it, and why that chick says she likes me but then gets all weird when I go to put my hand in her shirt.

What I really want to know (and by extension, the rest of you interested in me), is all about this fine little moisture-farm community, San Francisco (or as I read on one mailer, ‘San Francocaus’).

It’s the town where morning=trash smell, midday=sweet Chinese bakery smell, and nighttime=spent condom smell. Where you’re lucky if all you’ve stepped in each day is dogshit! The most clear example that the hippie generation accomplished nothing further than the reclamation of authoritative society into subversive counter-culture, which itself was reclaimed into demeaning covers for auto ads and ice cream flavors. San Francisco, the town where Sam Spade’s partner was gunned down in the street, where Mark Twain attempted suicide, where Jack Kerouac came to get away from it all and Jack London couldn’t wait to get away from.

Home of Craig’s List. And though lesser known, also home to Craig’s Shitty Stereo, Craig’s Ikea Furniture, and Craig’s Bonsai Tree.

Most people on the street (not to be confused with ‘street people’) are rich and haughty, and won’t give you the time of day. Fortunately for you, in case you hadn’t noticed, the pocket watch of old has been replaced by the cell phone, complete with a digital sundial. See? You don’t need other people. Just me. I’ll get you through this technophobic crisis.

Visit the sparkling Pacific Ocean, voted second greatest ocean before Atlantic and after Indian by Zagat’s three years running!
Visit the bay, Otis Redding-recommended, Jesse Fuller-approved!
Visit the precarious bridges, built by precarious natives!
Visit the Full House house! It’s full!
Visit the Metreon, wtf is up with that shit?
Visit the glorious Coit Tower, one of if not the tastiest towers in the continental United States!
Visit San Jose, it’s just down the way!
Visit the Wetzel Pretzel, who’s going to stop you?!
Visit beauteous Golden Gate Park, where if the coyotes don’t get you, vice squad will.
Visit more art museums than you can shake a stick at! (If that’s your idea of a good time.)

Be nice to the homeless about half of the time, because about only half of them are homeless. If they don’t like them odds, they can take it up with the homeowner’s association.

Find your dude or get your card, because walking up Haight will only get you burned. Ah, to be nineteen again!

Be aware of your surroundings, make mental note of where seagulls and pigeons regularly whitewash, where everything else yellowwashes, and who around you carries a knife.

Carry a knife.

Meet some cool people. It is surprisingly easy, or maybe that’s just me. I’ve always been good at that, though I’ve never been good with names.

In short, the sweet industrial sea of skyscrapers reminds me of Cincinnati. The confusion and bustle (though arguably more hustle) reminds me of Phoenix. The fluttering flood of flying forgotten flotsam reminds me of Pittsburgh. Those smells you don’t know but you know you would know them if you could smell them individually, and the only thing you do know is that you don’t want to do that, reminds me of New Orleans. Some of you remind me of L.A., try to work on that. But most of all, it reminds me of San Francisco, a place for which I have no mental frame of reference. Like the stupid leading the blind, or attempting to think like a bat, or trying to remember Spanish based on high school-level foreign language classes: truly I feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land. I’ll either fit right in, or die trying.

L’chaim!

P.S. meet the old blog

Possible Side Effects

Unfortunately, with great power comes a lot of nagging, incessant pains in the ass. Considering what my capabilities are actually capable of, I need to be extra careful. It’s like messing with the source code, or randomly deleting files from your computer willy-nilly. And we all know what can happen. Willy. And. Nilly. Time freezing forever! Vortexes ripping the sky asunder! Everything on the planet losing gravity and floating up into space, screaming in confusion and horror! A suddenly created momentum towards a brick wall! Skyscrapers losing mass! Increased density of the oceans! Uncalled for teleportation! The implosion of the Earth and neighboring heavenly bodies upon themselves! The sudden transmutation of all local matter into Beef Croquettes! I have learned that with casual apathy, and NOT keen concentration, I can control my skills with greater ease and less risk (I learned this after many weeks wasted in concentration camp). Certain abilities, like walking on hydrogen molecules, or bending light into various fractals, doesn’t require much, and can be a sort of second thought reaction, which doesn’t result in much mayhem. Sometimes, I think I slip into alternate dimensions unknowingly, where everything is exactly the same except for the conversation I’d just been having. A man on the bus turns to me and continues a conversation that I was not aware that we were having. He says; “But I do like that hat, though. Like I say, you need a big feather for it.” I had to check, but I was pretty sure at the time that I wasn’t wearing a hat is crawfish season, and I’m very excited! Thank you for axing! Oy, I wish I was recreating with some herbal supplements (or CDs) right now. I haven’t exactly talked to Sampson in a while. NOTE to Future-Breshvic: All Systems Are Go.

Day Five

The key players of the superteam are being contacted and assembled, a base of operations is being sought and priced from the rental guide, and we almost have a wicked sweet name to instill fear and awe into our foes. All the pieces of the plan are coming together, actually quite ahead of schedule. Which is bad. Because I carefully planned all of this shit using psychohistorical methodology and a slide ruler. This either means that I need to take a few days off and catch up on some other neglected projects, waste the time of some of the key players involved on busy work in order to get back on quantum quota, or send everyone but myself back in time about a week. But then there would be two of everybody and nobody around me. And I won’t get invited to anybody’s bangin’ dopplegänger parties…

Actually, I think I’ll just do what I always do in these situations. Get drunk and expect that everything will work out.

I found two lucky pennies today!

You may be asking yourself, (or me if you had any balls, which you don’t), “hey, why write all of this on your myspace page, if Mr. Mind is going to be able to see it? Fools! You don’t understand how radio works! Mr. Mind can (durdurdur) read minds, and since I have valuable knowledge involving the intricate and delicate timestream leading to his fiery hell-ish dominion, then I WANT to explain every one of my actions in painstaking detail. You may now be asking yourself, “B-whu?” Allow me to elucidate for some of the Tommy Turkeys in the room: Mr. Mind knows I wouldn’t be stupid enough to reveal my plans to such extent, but he also underestimates my every move. Therefore, if, he doesn’t expect me to do something that only I could be capable of doing knowing there’s no other way I wouldn’t do it, then it stands to reason that I have to do it. Understand now? If I’m revealing my plan on the internets, then they must be false informations. And if I’m willingly admitting that part of my plan is to plant such false informations on the internets in plain view, then it must really be the actual plan! Obviously, if its so clearly the actual plan, it can’t possibly be it, and should be disregarded.

Confused? Don’t worry. For all of you depending on me, be assured that everything I say on here is 100% true. Except for that. Or… was it? But seriously, it was. You can’t obviously believe that! How stupid are you? Where do you get off?

And my profile pic, (which the motaba seems to have rendered freakin’ impossible to remove), is actually growing on me. It brings me all sorts of joy and wonderment, just like videos of monkeys in tubes. It may be a subtle form of sick neurolinguistic programming designed to indoctrinate me into the Monster Society of Evil’s New World Obliteration (catchy, huh?), but my hatred for Mr. Mind hasn’t subdued at all. Even if I do like the new gif, and even if the motaba has doomed all attempted contact from SPAM profiles to horrendous unspeakable destruction, I still want to grind the pissant little insect under my size-eleven steel-toeds. When I think of all of the horrific ways in which I had to watch my friends and colleagues perish in the future nightmare world of– OOH! Lookit! A fox with his guts all splayed out on the road! That was a good one! Hahahahahahaha! I dint see that one afore! Hooee. Ah. aheh. What was I talking about?

I forgot to end-quotes somewhere a ways back. Well, better late than never.”