A Note on Christmas and being 2016 by Steve Fly



So, i really do sincerely hope each and every one of you out there, reading and not-reading this, find whatever meaning you are looking for this holiday. Today, i thought for a moment on the tram...'man...i must be a Christian after all, no matter what i call myself (model agnostic) by the amount of good thoughts and strong memories i have of Christmas, almost every one since being about 4 years old. The highlight of the year for so many many years, the presents, family, food, laughs, drinks, friends. Plus, i feel compelled to address everybody, like a speech at a massive dinner table. And keep up the good cheer. Putting the stark reality outside the front doorstep aside for a day, homelessness, refugee crisis, war, lies. No, today is a slightly bland merry old time, a day when we count our blessings (you see i can’t help but invoke religious terms today) and give thanks to whatever it is we each feel we wish to pay our respect. Jesus and/or Santa i rekon, if you think about it. But not many say so explicitly.  

We celebrate the birth of Jesus, like it or not, who went on to become the Jesus Christ, a popular figure in western cultures and who seems largely misunderstood to this day, due to interfering belief-systems and the inability to comprehend metaphor in religious and mythical texts and scriptures. So merry Christmas everybody, to mean, wake up to the birth of your own new saviour and muse, the birth of a new inner compass, a loving caring force inside which simply encourages you to be nice and helpful and to share. The birthing is like a filling up with stuff, including the chaos of what comes forth. I hope you quickly get over any difficulty in the beginning of making it new. Happy new year.

I have probably said and written some awful things about Christianity, sometimes with a similar fury to the likes of Christopher Hitchens, yet without his clarity and forceful fact based assault. (sorely missed in commentary today) I have said and written less about Islam and Judaism, but hold them in similar contempt as Christianity, very broadly speaking.
The abrahamic religions, as echoed by Timothy Leary, have been responsible for some of the worst trips this planet has ever known. Yet, having tasted the magic and mysticism connected to some other spiritual practices, strains of Buddhism, Taoism and Thelema, i feel that there are some parts to all religions that can be illuminating and informative, if your open to try new things, like simply new thoughts. It seems to me that to claim to BE an atheist rejects consciousness BEING itself…yourself. Theism can be fun and some gods can be exciting and helpful guides, at least, for me. Just because the large majority of theists may seem like zombie followers of some foreign doctrine or other, does not mean others are not progressive, intelligent and rational humans.      

To refine the idea further, belief itself, weather it be in the form of religious fundamentalism or materialist fundamentalism, leads to similar bad trips. However, i think parallel thinking about these prickly subjects can help bring about a peace for all man kind. You know, like the lyric from the Christmas carol, peace on earth, good will to all man and womenkind. As Bob used to say ‘if you can’t achieve tolerance at least attempt courtesy’ This Christmas, why not try to make a big effort to understand things you might not believe in. Suspend your disbelief, and present it like a fairy on a tree top.

Only the most ignorant and deluded hermit could not see that the coming years will be challenging for all around the world humanity, and closer to home for the disunited kingdom and disunited states of America, and of Europe. To remind yourself every day of all the trouble in the world can be damaging and unnecessarily, the world is not your problem. The animal and human torture, the terrorism, bombings, invasions and drone strikes, the beating and rapes, killings and daylight robbery are not your problem. Keeping a level head while others may loose it around you will be a daily challenge in a hyper-connected world. I sincerely wish you good luck with that, and i hope you can remember to remember. Violence is psychically self-defeating. Being nice to others is psychically self-affirming. What is there to understand? Just do it. 

This is the nice part of the Santa Claus story, the surprise and free gifts delivered, good behaviour and being nice to others is rewarded with presents and surprise prizes. So best wishes, all-around-the-world-humanity, and have a good day.

x
--Steve Fly


  



           


    

Skyswimmer & KFC - Two Stories For Sam and George Harris

Skyswimmer




Knock Knock
—Who's there?
Kenny
—Kenny who?
Kenny hear you.
Knock Knock Knock….

Kenny dashed out the school gate like a race horse, bolting home to begin the other race. The big race, maybe the biggest race ever. Today was race day, it was the skyswimmers final.

Kenny knocked on the door with a loud thump, he pushed the door open with his shoes already in hand, dodged under his mums legs and scampered up the stairs like a dog.
"Kenny! Kenny, how about you say hi before playing games. And what about dinner, it will be ready at 5.45 and you need to be showered as auntie eve is coming over to visit. Don't be late" Kenny's mum shouted up the stairs.

"Yeah mum" he said. His friends were all giggling into their microphone headsets. Both skyswimmer champions were being grilled by their parents at the same time, both had family things to do tonight, and the winner would probably the one who could deal with parents, as much as deal with the opponent.

"Take your marks, get set, BANG" said the high pitched American voice of the ref, and the race started.

Wearing his sky swimmer socks and his skyswimmer gloves, and his sky swimmer goggles Kenny dived in, a huge crowd whistling and screaming along the pool side. Lying on his bed, Kenny kicked his legs and rotated his arms and moved his head, he was off to a good start. Kenny kicked and at the end of the pool, instead of a wall there was no wall. The pool flowed out into the clouds. This was sky swimming.

Kenny felt his stomach turn over as he flew over the edge, the rushing of blue and white colours from the bottom of the pool turning to sky blue and cloud-white, all with a hint of yellow from the sun. Kenny kicked and paddled through the clouds, all the time neck and neck with his opponent. Two of the greatest sky swimmers in the world.

The race course had been designed especially for this final, and nobody, not even the referee had ever seen it all-at-once before, only a small part of it. Thomas and his opponent John were tested in their skills by this course, and they both followed a natural instinct to compete, pushing each other forwards, faster and faster.

The duo soared through 1000 foot high hoops made of orange foam, and flew under golden bridges and between the tallest building you could image. They kicked and paddled and bounced around the fun course, and there was only a teeny-weeny cats-whisker between them. It was a close race, and there were only three more levels to complete, and one of them involved landing back on the ground.
Kenny concentrated and then quickly dived down toward a big green field beneath him, a sound was drawing him closer. The two sky-swimmers noticed hundreds of children gathered to greet them, cheering and very surprised to see them. They landed gracefully together, like ducks on a lake, and they listened closely to their ear buds for further instructions, this was the last part of the race, the final challenge, the highest level, the last hurdle…the final minute of play.

The challenges were created, and voted on by the virtual audience who were tuned in using their phones and computers. Friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends made up some very silly things to do. The words came through Kenny’s headset, ask the kids for food, you must cook for them all, then you will be the champion sky-swimmer.
“Cook, cook, cook, cook…” voices chanted and cheered inside his headphones.

After the cook off, and the children had not died of food poisoning, Kenny and John ran out to the filed and leap into the air, kicking and paddling. And into the wide forrest they flew, spinning and diving like falcons, scraping the tree tops and skimming the waters, lake to forrest the falcons flew, in and out of huge cloud rings, between massive luminous poles. They zoomed up and up through the clouds and back toward the pool where they started.

John nudged Kenny with his shoulder, what he called the zombie body check, where you push all your weight into somebody else, but Joh didi it wrong, and ended up slowing himself down slightly. Kenny nudged ahead, reached for the poolside and just about pipped John at the post. Wow. He won by 0.25 of a second, wow, that’s less than a finger snap. Snap!

Kenny pulled off his goggles and jumped from his bed onto the bedroom floor. He bounced up and down like a football player celebrating a cup winning goal, his hands clasped. “yes, yes, yes, i won” he said to himself. “Yiiiiii whooooooo’.

“Kenny, keep the noise down, and stop playing plants versus zombie-ding-dongs, and come down. You’ve homework to finish for school”           

KFC.




Knock Knock
—Who's there?
Thomas,
—Thomas who?
Thomas’t have knocked before
It was the day after Thomas celebrated his 5th birthday that he thought up a really good magic trick. He said:

"I want to open my own place” he said to his parents. 
"we’ll have fish-fingers, chips and lots of cake, erm, and some milk"
"Oh Thomas, haha, you’re funny" his dad said, 
"Dad. I’m serious. My friends want to as well. We call it Kids Food Club" Thomas said confidently, while bouncing up and down on the couch.
"Let's talk about it tomorrow Thomas, now it's time for ‘beddy’ boys. Up you go, monkey”

And so Thomas bounced across the floor and up the stairs, brushed his teeth, washed his hands and face, and put on his cloud-patterned pyjamas. Pidge-jah-mass, pi-dja-mass, pyja-mas, he said to himself staring up at the shinning stars on his bedroom ceiling. What kind of a word is that…

Thomas had a dream in which his parents and brother, and his relations were all fruits and vegetables. Yeah, it was funny. His mum was an apple, his grandad a carrot, his brother was a strange potato, and his dad a banana. His grandma was a strawberry. And they all jumped around on the front garden like small goats, squeaking. Thomas smiled and rolled over to begin another dream of goal keeping for England, but instead of a ball it was a planet he had to save. He made the most unbelievable, gymnastic moves to catch the world. He saved it over and over again. 

The next morning Thomas and his friends gathered at school to talk about Kids Food Club. They talked and talked about the menu, and new words for the food they would make, instead of cake they would make fake, instead of chips they would make ships, instead of fishfingers they would make ishfingers. That was Tim's suggestion, and he had just lost a front tooth in a hover board accident, so couldn't say his 'S' words properly. So he said "ishfingers" and everybody laughed, so ishfingers it is.

By the end of the day, the first menu for the Kids Food Club looked like this: Ships (Potato Chips), Qs (Peas), Fake (Cake), Ishfingers (fishfingers), Cow Juice (milk), Council Pop (water), Nuffin' (Low fat cake), Navy (Blueberry Sauce), Salladinns (Salad Sauce), Leg-Go (Lego brick breakfast cereals), Council Stew (Don't ask), Gangham (Ham and cheese Sandwich), Cows in bandages (Bacon wrapped burger) and Zomburger (Again, please don't ask)

That evening, after spelling homework, and maths homework, plus drawing homework, Thomas waited for a good time, usually after dinner, because thats when mum had done the cooking and cleaning, and dad was home and reading through Facebook on his phone. A good time, he thought.  

“The kid food club had our meeting today"
"oh, um, Thomas, thats great, so, how did it go..?" his mum asked
"good, we made a new menu, and i made up three things"
"Three. And your going to cook these three things? wow”
"Yes, we will ask Miss Baker tomorrow if she can help us.”
"Which things are you making Thomas?" His Dad asked, picking him up and twirling around the living room"
"Heee, Cows in bandages" Thomas squealed.
"What?"
"Cows in bandages"
"Its like pigs in blankets, but cows, and instead of blankets…erm, bandages!”

Both parents looked at each other, and laughed so hard they both fell off the couch, rolling around on the floor like dogs rolling in dry summer grass. 
"My other food is ham and cheese sandwiches…Gangham Sandwiches" and with that, Thomas moonwalks across the carpet, smoothly moving into a crazy dance.

At this point Thomas and his parents and his brother were all laughing, howling like wolves, yelping like monkeys, gasping for breath, and lay out on the floor in a huddle like drunks.

The next morning Thomas got up earlier than usual, went down stairs and started filling his rucksack with ingredients. He stuffed the bag right up to the top with potatoes, flour, sugar, butter, chocolate, ham, milk, cheese, fish-fingers and peas. 

Thomas staggered out the house and put his bag in the car. “I’m ready” he shouted to his mum. She was very surprised to hear this from Thomas, who was usually leaping around in the lounge at this time of the morning, or watching Gigglebiz on the gogglebox.

At the school gate Thomas made a distraction by pointing out that the drainpipe on the side of the school was loose, and could fall and hurt somebody. So Thomas’s mum quickly led him to his class, without noticing his heavy bag, and she walked to the school office to warn them of the broken drainpipe. Thomas’s mum was very kind.

Thomas entered the cooking class with his huge heavy bag, and dropped it onto the table with a heavy thud. The class turned and looked with amazement at the wide variety of ingredients Thomas had carried. “It’s ishfingers time” Thomas said, and the class laughed. Miss Baker had to calm down the class.
“Right then Thomas, what have you got for us today?”
“Well….i…..”  bililililililing bililililililing billililililing

The school fire alarm sounded. All the children and teachers followers the fire-drill they had learn’t. Calmly making single file line, and then walking to the nearest exit, finally all gathering in the sports-field for the register, to check that everybody was present and safe. 

Standing in the middle of the filed, Thomas looked up into the sky and saw something strange zooming across the sky, zig-zagging in and out of the clouds. He squinted his eyes, and put his hand up in front of his face to shield the sun. He starred and starred, his mouth wide open in amazement.
“Look at that everybody, wow, a skyswimmer, it’s a sky swimmer”

Hundreds of eyes looked up at what Thomas had spotted. High above them two things were swimming through the sky, darting like red arrows, and spiralling through the clouds in odd formations.
“They are going to land here, look, look” a boy called James shouted.

The two figures swooped down and landed next to the group of teachers gathered on the field. They paused for a moment, as if they could hear voices in the distance.
“Hello, erm, we would like to eat, can we eat, please take us to your kitchen”
“What….what?” Mr Foggerty, the headteacher said. “You want to eat? erm…okay, this way please.”
Mr Foggerty led the two boys into the cooking area, and there on the table were the ingredients Thomas had left there earlier.
“Fishfingers” my favourite, Lenny said.
“ishfingers!” Thomas shouted, and everybody laughed.

And so the skyswimmers cooked up the strangest feast you could ever imagine, and told each other knock knock jokes. They made fake navy muffins and Council Stew washed down with wowow juice. Yum. Lenny and Don ran back out to the field and kicked off into the sky together, like migrating birds they disappeared into the clouds. The children cheered, and Miss Baker shed a tear. Thomas shrugged his shoulders, put his hands in his pockets and turned his face towards the bright sun. He started to think about what to cook up tomorrow for the Kids Food Club,  umm, maybe bald swimmers in sewage, he thought. That would be, pea-soup. Brilliant. Zompea Sirwoop.

Knock Knock
—Who's there?
Danny
—Danny who?
Danny hear you knocking mate.

Knock Knock
—Who's there?
Figs

—Figs who?
Figs the intercom will ya’

FLY BY NIGHT 186

Fly By Night: Beatnik Youth
Steve The Fly is spotlighting the new vinyl release of John Sinclair’s Beatnik Youth album from IronMan Records in England, produced by Youth and featuring the late great Howard Marks on the opening cut, plus sides by Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, the Miles Davis Sextet, Eddie Jefferson, Selah Ragab, and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, and a closing cut from Sinclair’s Mohawk album in honor of the late great Lee Bridges—The Cannabis Poet.
The John Sinclair Foundation Presents
BEATNIK YOUTH
FLY BY NIGHT 186
Steve The Fly, Sarwar Studios, Cross Keys, Wales, November 20, 2016 [SFBN-0186]
[01] John Sinclair & Beatnik Youth: War On Drugs featuring Howard Marks
[02] Sonny Rollins: Til There Was You
[03] Sun Ra: The Other Side Of Time
[04] John Sinclair & Beatnik Youth: Sitarrtha
[05] Miles Davis: Blue In Green
[06] John Sinclair & Beatnik Youth: Do It
[07] Eddie Jefferson: Come Along With Me
[08] John Sinclair & Beatnik Youth: Brilliant Corners
[09] Selah Ragab: Naveen
[10] Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson: Gangster of Love
[11] John Sinclair: relaxin’ with lee
A JOINT PRODUCTION
Produced by Steve “The Fly” Pratt for Radio Free Amsterdam
Post-production, editing & annotation by John Sinclair
Executive Producer: Sidney Daniels
Sponsored by Ceres Seeds & The Hempshopper, Amsterdam
Special thanks to Sarwar and to Mark Sampson for the Beatnik Youth vinyl
© 2016 Steve Pratt. Used with permission.

http://www.radiofreeamsterdam.com/fly-by-night-beatnik-youth/

Fake News & Made Up Truth.



“Keep it unreal”—Mr. Scruff.
“Literature is news that stays news.”—Ez.

Silent But Dudley: Black Country Blues 
by Mr Steven James Pratt 

A trip up mount Snowdon



This photo montage and trip report is dedicated to my loving parents and their spirit for adventure. Both in their 70s now, this journey to the summit of mount Snowdon just yesterday was in celebration of 49 years of happy marriage. 49 years! a testament to love and understanding, so rare these days in relationships. Congratulations. Love, steve.



























Launching The John Sinclair Foundation

They Came To Starburg by Steve Fly Agaric 23 (Audio Book stream)

"They Came To Starburg" is my first and only published short story, and also the first time i read my work aloud. Originally crafted for Halloween 2013, recorded in 2014 and released by Iron Man Records in 2015. If you enjoy this free stream of the story, please consider contributing to my effort by buying a track here:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/they-came-to-starburg/id935832302

A note on the text: this story was inspired by the experience of watching Tesco (and all large supermarket malls) transform a small town in England, and my interest in tongue-in-cheek cosmic horror brewed with mushrooms.

Enjoy, Steve 'Fly' Pratt.

& here on spotifly: https://open.spotify.com/album/7c1ePDwFPZmnjvFbndcpWt


Turn Your Shit Down - by The Fuck You Sound

The Fuck You Sound present: Sodcast #01



The first T4QS podcast features a full hour of exclusive shit and bespoke jack-off material from the crazy fuckers. Rare nuggets from sonic maniacs Bogus Order, Rev D Wayne Love, DJ Aries, Lord Beefington, Senor Modulator, Caleb Selah, Steve Fly Agaric 23, Debra Zebra, Viagra Twins, Tim USA, Javier, Charles Shah Murray, John Sinclair, Dr...um and Robert Anton Wilson.
The flagship show has badass T4QS tracks like Turn Your Shit Down, Backbencher, The Money, And So On Eventually, Prozac Imperial, Banjoman, plus unique DJ toolkits.

Introducing epic interviews with wankers, spoken turd, bollocking of the beats to kick back and beat your meat too, or study with a fine crab-comb.
The first hour is followed by a wicked guest DJ mix by Rev D Wayne Love (Alabama 3) to prolong the dance potty.
For more audio visual treats visit:

Robert Anton Wilson meets Steve Fly (Album)

Just one shoulder

...to be still
silent and ready
to bless with fury

what you thought
what you know
what’s new?

horror and terror 
error and mirror
smoke everywhere 

identity dented day
after day by searching for
the elusive other

the you in them
the us in we
the feeling of solidarity

littered lives
splintered sentences
the struggle to make
it whole and new

even the philosopher
of science and magic
can feel cold chill of doom de doom

and yet the mad moon
the number 1 sun and all stars
and earth remain spun

life coming and going 
tragic and comic waltz
orbit of causes pauses to

the work you were doing
what you worked on
before the job sucked time off

swim through the hate and
hollywood revenge flu
into creative love lake mate  

dig deep and spark one
bark if you have to

how to make it all cohere? 

push through
stay high and keep smiling
the world is too big
for just one shoulder

--Steve Fly Acrillic
(First thought best thought technique)

Kevin 'Memory' Lane

Kevin "memory" Lane.

"Hero's get remembered, legends never die"--Evil Kenevil

Ouch, sometimes people are snatched away truly before their time, and Kev was snatched away from us, all who knew him, and from those who did not have the pleasure of meeting him, or reading him, too soon. Way too fucking soon!

Thankfully, he passed in his sleep, and i suspect he was fully up for it, fully ready to ride that pale horse into eternity with a wide grin. "come fucking on reaper, what you got, ay?" And so it goes. A hero beyond measure, both personally and to all of my friends from my home town, Stourbridge, and surrounding areas, Lye, Brierley Hill, Hagley, and the greater Black Country.

I often referred to Kev as the true voice of the Black Country, a unique individual with a rare and raw talent for writing, coupled with his full-on, up front and principled social presence. A true legend who will be terribly missed by those who new him, and by those who did not. Kevin held the kind of fierce intellect and wit and worldly experience our society and its so called leaders lack.

On more than one occasion i had encouraged him to publish his writings, and not just limit his writing ability and insights to facebook. I am sure that some of you reading this know exactly what i mean, Kevin Lane consistently schooled us with his status updates, honest, raw, funny, smart. Kev was a psychedelic wizard and at the same time a top boy, a lad, one of the boys. He somehow combined a number of personalities together, and broke down stereotypes, followed his own path and was his own man. He had his own dance, his own philosophy of life, his own music tastes, his own humour, his unique way of putting it. Kev seemed to me to be a truly free man, always up for trying something new, consistantly making you think, and always, without fail making you, and anybody in earshot, laugh out loud.

Everybody must find their own way to grieve, and for me personally i must write, and write, because one fact i have learn't, and continue learning from his tragic early exit from the stage, is that eight or ten words on facebook don't do him justice, for me, Kev deserves a book, a statue and street named in his honor. Although i fully understand that many people now use the dating website to express a wise variety of emotions and thoughts, personal and otherwise, for me, it's not the place to begin to pay tribute to such a wide-reaching honey-monster of a legend like Kevin Lane. This motherfucker deserves a few thousand words just for starters. So, strap yourself in. Go make a cup of tea and roll a spliff. The present author is about to take you on a journey down Kevin Lane. A lord, and a real shit kicking black country bard. The very least i can do is spend a few days pulling together just a few memories.

So, about the dance...Kev was well known for his unique dance moves, he could be spotted a mile off, doing the Lanebot, or whatever name you wish to put on it, which involved a lot of shoulder movement, little footwork and a lot of smiling. It was a mechanical, almost robotic looking movement, and it was certainly unique to Kev, to the point where other people would try to immitate his moves, with little success but equal enjoyment. Every music event, and every party in Stourbridge will sorely miss Kevin, he was literally the center of the dance, a mascot and life blood of any party. One time around 1999, at a local rave called "Lifted" i remeber Kevin going full tilt on the dance floor, and on the pole. At one point, in a most hilarious manner actually licking the pole, and dancing around it like a cross between a Native American indian worshipping his totem, and a Black Country porn star out on the piss.

Kev loved his music, and supported independent and local acts, most recently championing the Sleaford Mods before anybody else i knew, and always had his ear to the underground sound. A healthy mixture of punk, indie rock, soul, reggae, funk, classic breakbeats and spoken word, Kev would always be up for having a good time at any party, if there were music to groove on, he would be grooving away with all three shoulders. Kev loved good film and TV too, besdes his fantastic collection of pornography (to be donated to Dudley libraries) he sticks in my mind as the guy who turned me onto loads of cult films and future classics, again, before anybody else. Clerks, South Park, Adult Swim, The Black Mirror, Saxondale, were all introduced to me by Kev. Kevin was a taste maker, and had a sharp eye for cultural memes and movements. I would often visit him just to get the low down on what was happening, since i had been away from the UK for large chunks of time, and he always had another movie, fresh album or book to suggest, never disappinting with his selections.

The last time i spent any extended quality time with Kevin was only a few months back, when he picked me up in Bristol and drove down to Exeter to support a good old friend who was performing in a brilliant theater play. Yes, Kev even recognized the joy and benefits of theater, and was one of only three close friends who slogged it all the way to London, and bought a ticket in support of my performance with the Cosmic Trigger Play. On the way to Exeter and back we talked and talked, for over 5 hours.

We talked about Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Anton Wilson, conspiracy theory, Alex "bumblefuck" Jones, The Sleaford Mods, our trip to see Ken Kesey in London, George Orwell's walk to Stourbridge from Brum, facebook fuckery, social media apocalypse, Margott James, putting a whole pair of pants in his mouth, Radiohead, Frank Foley, WWII, Powick Hospital, the Stourbridge acid test, travels through Europe, The Burningman festival, Amsterdam, Bristol, America, 9/11, 7/7 new underground psychedelic bands from the U.K, maybe having Kev help promote new bands at the club i work at in Bristol, Doug Stanhope, a memorable trippy trip to reading festival in a van that broke down, the million marijuana march and Howard Marks, medical marijuana case studies, Kev's writing, my own writing and novels, Chris Morris, his home brewed beer called Stourt made right next to the river Stour at the Broken Arms, John Peel, 360 VR and the fuck you sound, DJ Aries, Pop Will Eat Itself, the decline of Stourbridge clubs and nightspots, the sly closing of Brierley Hill swimming baths and the film footage we made, the opportunity and need for new events and nights in Stourbridge, strong space cake around the Thompson's house that took us out for 48 hours, the rise of the dodgy political far right, the virtues of Jeremy Corbyn. We shared a spliff and a few cheeky ones to keep us going, and Kev was always going, an adventurer who managed to keep angry man's disease at bay, always looking on the bright and funny side of life, and death.

Kev was a unique friend to me, in the sense that he supported my own crazy adventures, often travelling hundreds of miles to support me, he would buy a ticket and get up off his arse and experience things for himself. Two memorable events he attended both took place in London, and are evidence for his rare willingness to try new things and show support for the arts. In 2014, Poet John Sinclair and i had a record release party, gig, at the 12 Bar in London. Kevin and another friend "eggy" made the trip, and were on top form representing home team. I recall an hilarious game of pool he had with Jake of the Alabama 3, and his meeting with the rest of The Fuck You Sound after the show. I felt proud to have support from a Black Country nutter in league with the other nutters around me. Together with CHU, Kev stood front of stage, smiling, laughing and shouting encouragement throughout my set, with the presence of ten men Kev really made that show complete. (See 360 photo)

On another occasion, together with my friend Scott, Kev bought a ticket and travelled all the way down to London to support a play i was performing in called "Cosmic Trigger" based upon the life of our mutual hero and inspiration "Robert Anton Wilson". I remember seeing him laugh a little, and i met him outside the theater, introducing him to the genius poetess Selena Godden before he left back to Stourbridge.

I'll cherish these memories of his support for me and my work, and i'll miss him. But as CHU reminded me, "he'll be eternally over your shoulder, mate" and he'll be equally over the shoulders of all who knew him, a perpetual voice, dropping jokes and insight with perfect timing, serving up good advice together with a fuck load of well placed swearing. Until my own dying day, i will hold the memory of Kevin Lane in my heart and mind, and work toward becoming, with luck, even half as funny and half as honest as he was.

"Go and write a fucking decent song that says something about the state we’re in instead of buying into all this rock aristocracy bullshit. What the fuck’s all that about?”--Jason Williams (Sleaford Mods)

Dove Sta Memoria

Kevin Lane 1973-2016

hand drawn 360 video teaser by Chu for 'Turn Your Shit Down'




Published on Jun 17, 2016

**PLEASE SUBSCRIBE** to this channel so you can be one of the first to watch the full video on the release date

———————
Turn Your Sh*t Down
(teaser trailer)
First release from
The F*ck You Sound

———————
Microcity is an imaginary place, conjured up into this reality by Chu's pioneering analogue to digital handcrafting techniques. It is an empty place, a desolate and experimental pitstop on the way back home from disillusionment.

The city is based on the layout for a board game and evolved into four defined quarters: residential, industrial, natural and financial.

Microcity is the only location for future video broadcasts from The Fuck You Sound, populated solely by the cosmic guardians of each district.

This pilot episode introduces you to our solar system, and puts you at the centre of an alternative universe.

———————

Recommended viewing system spec:
==================================
+ 2 minutes of your time
+ 2 ears
+ 2 feet space
+ Google Cardboard or similar headset
+ Youtube app installed on your portable device
+ Headphones

Select the highest possible resolution that your bandwidth allows in the youtube settings for the best visual quality. Click the goggle icon to enable stereo headset capabilities.

The next video release will be full length, in full resolution and better quality. Stay tuned and subscribe.

———————

Links of interest:
==================================

Order the debut 12" single on Bandcamp
Turn Your Shit Down. Featuring remixes by Bogus Order & Aries:
https://t4qs.fm/bandcamp

Listen to our first sodcast:
https://t4qs.fm/sodcast

Stalk us on Twitter:
https://t4qs.fm/twitter

Hear some of our mixes:
https://t4qs.fm/mixcloud

Discover more of Chu's artwork:
https://t4qs.fm/chu

Please direct all band enquiries here:
https://t4qs.fm/contact

———————

stop the cu*ts

———————

Follow me on Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/chu3d

Occupy by Dr Marshmallow Cubicle



http://www.rawillumination.net/2016/04/new-steve-fly-pratt-music-release-has.html



Did a little shopping this morning — just bought a  digital copy of the new album Occupy by Dr Marshmallow Cubicle.

The band's drummer and one of its main songwriters is my friend Steve "Fly" Pratt who has a big group of RAW related websites and blogs, among them the extraordinary RAW360 site, which you really should go take a look at today, if you are not familiar with it.

The album was released on April 23 on Iron Man Records. Fly is based in Amsterdam and has been playing with the band for quite awhile now.

 Fly says "The Track titled 'The Law Of Acceleration' features fly reading words by Robert Anton Wilson, from Cosmic Trigger I."

I listened to the track and noticed I enjoyed the drums. I asked Steve who his favorite drummers are. "Max Roach, Billy Martin, Alan Hertz, Owen Hart Jr., Mike Clark, Stevie Wonder, JoJo Mayer, Zakir Hussain," he replied.

Occupy is available from iTunes and the Amazon digital music store and probably lots of other places, too. More on the album here.  There are lots of YouTube videos of the band. 

Mark Pesce on Finnegans Wiki, and whatever happened to the book.


Please visit Mark's website here:
http://markpesce.com/ 
There are two other paths open for literature, nearlydiametrically opposed. The first was taken by JRR Tolkien inThe Lord of the Rings. Although hugely popular, the threebook series has never been described as a ‘page-turner’, beingtoo digressive and leisurely, yet, for all that, entirelycaptivating. Tolkien imagined a new universe – or rather,retrieved one from the fragments of Northern Europeanmythology – and placed his readers squarely within it. Andalthough readers do finish the book, in a very real sense theydo not leave that universe. The fantasy genre, which Tolkiensingle-handedly invented with The Lord of the Rings, sells tens of millions of books every year, and the universe ofMiddle-Earth, the archetypal fantasy world, has become theplayground for millions who want to explore their ownimaginations.

Tolkien’s magnum opus lends itself tohypertext; it is one of the few literary works to come completewith a set of appendices to deepen the experience of theuniverse of the books. Online, the fans of Middle-Earth havecreated seemingly endless resources to explore, explain, andmaintain the fantasy. Middle-Earth launches off the page,driven by its own centrifugal force, its own drive to unpackitself into a much broader space, both within the reader’smind and online, in the collective space of all of the work’sreaders. This is another direction for the book. While everyauthor will not be a Tolkien, a few authors will work hard tocreate a universe so potent and broad that readers will betempted to inhabit it. (Some argue that this is the secret of JKRowling’s success.)

Finally, there is another path open for the literary text, onewhich refuses to ignore the medium that constitutes it, whichembraces all of the ambiguity and multiplicity and liminalityof hypertext. There have been numerous attempts athypertext fiction’; nearly all of them have been unreadablefailures. But there is one text which stands apart, bothbecause it anticipated our current predicament, and becauseit chose to embrace its contradictions and dilemmas. Thebook was written and published before the digital computerhad been invented, yet even features an innovation which isreminiscent of hypertext. That work is James Joyce’sFinnegans Wake, and it was Joyce’s deliberate effort to makeeach word choice a layered exploration of meaning that givesthe text such power. It should be gibberish, but anyone whohas read Finnegans Wake knows it is precisely the opposite.

The text is overloaded with meaning, so much so that themind can’t take it all in. Hypertext has been a help; there arefew wikis which attempt to make linkages between the textand its various derived meanings (the maunderings of fourgenerations of graduate students and Joycephiles), and it mayeven be that – in another twenty years or so – the wikis willbegin to encompass much of what Joyce meant. But there isanother possibility. In so fundamentally overloading the text,implicitly creating a link from every single word to something else, Joyce wanted to point to where we were headed. In this,Finnegans Wake could be seen as a type of science fiction, not a dystopian critique like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New Worldnor the transhumanist apotheosis of Olaf Stapleton’sStarmaker (both near-contemporary works) but rather a text that pointed the way to what all texts would become,performance by example. As texts become electronic, as theymelt and dissolve and link together densely, meaningmultiplies exponentially. Every sentence, and every word inevery sentence, can send you flying in almost any direction.The tension within this text (there will be only one text) willmake reading an exciting, exhilarating, dizzying experience –as it is for those who dedicate themselves to Finnegans Wake.

It has been said that all of human culture could bereconstituted from Finnegans Wake. As our texts become one, as they become one hyperconnected mass of humanexpression, that new thing will become synonymous withculture. Everything will be there, all strung together. Andthat’s what happened to the book.--Mark Pesce.

On VR and a 360 of ethics.

Immersive 360 VR opens a whole gas-mask of worms let's hope the thrills and wows are delivered with attention to set and setting. --Steve Fly

Take a look at this paper--"Real Virtuality: A Code of Ethical Conduct. Recommendations for Good Scientific Practice and the Consumers of VR-Technology"

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frobt.2016.00003/abstract

make nice things

be nice
speak with well meaning
don't be mean and spiteful

be cool man

a 360 ethics 

thought for others point of view
in ALL directions?




 ================


 

================

================

The Search For Soma takes a left turn, upwards.

http://scfh.ru/en/news/we-drank-soma-we-became-immortal-/

(Hyperlinks to wikipedia by Steve Fly)

“We drank Soma, we became immortal...”

For over a hundred years now, scientists have been discussing what plant was used to prepare Soma (Haoma), a sacred drink of the ancient Indians and Iranians, which "inspired poets and seers, made warriors fearless." The hypotheses were plenty: from ephedra, cannabis, and opium poppy to blue water lily (Nymphaea caerulea) and fly agaric (Amanita muscaria). The answer was found in a grave of a noble woman buried in an elite burial ground of the Xiongnu, the famous nomads of Central Asia.
Importantly, none of the researchers denies the fact that the ancient Indians and Iranians consumed a drink with a psychoactive substance as a sacrament. However, the precise identity of the substance and its plant source, as well as its influence on human consciousness, are still being debated.
The translator and greatest authority on the Rigveda Tatyana Ya. Elizarenkova wrote: “Judging by the Rigvedahymns, Soma was not only stimulating but also a hallucinogenic drink. It is difficult to be more specific not only because none of the plants suggested as soma satisfies all the parameters and only partially answers the description of soma given in the hymns but mainly because the language and style of the Rigveda, an archaic religious tome with the typical features of ‘Indo-European poetic speech’, pose a formidable obstacle to soma identification.” Knowing perfectly well that all the possibilities of the written source had been exhausted, Elizarenkova believed that the answer could come from archaeologists, from “their findings in North-Western India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (and not in remote Central Asia).”
Remarkably, her opinion, expressed 25 years ago, was confirmed by new findings made in Mongolia. No one could have suspected that a grave of a noble woman buried in an elite burial ground of the Xiongnu, the famous nomads of Central Asia, would answer the question asked long ago.
It happened in 2009. A team from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS, which was led by Natalia Polosmak, was performing archaeological excavations in the Noin-Ula Mountains, Northern Mongolia. In tumulus 31, at a depth of 13 meters, the archaeologists discovered a wooden burial chamber. On the floor, which was covered with a thick layer of blue clay, around an old tomb ruined by ancient robbers, there were visible traces of a woollen fabric; this was all that was left of an embroidered strip, which was of great historical value even in this fragmentary state. Textiles are virtually never preserved in ancient graves, and such findings are exceptionally rare. The remains of the textile were retrieved from the grave and delivered to the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS. The second life of this remarkable artefact began thanks to Russian restorers.
The craftsmanship and the story unfolding on the threadbare fabric are truly amazing. Embroidered in woollen thread on the thin cloth is a procession of Zoroastrian warriors marching towards an altar; one of them, standing at the altar, is holding a mushroom in his hands.
A distinguishing feature of this embroidery is that the craftsmen did their best to depict the faces, costume, arms, plants, and insects, trying to copy everything from life. According to the mycologist I.A. Gorbunova (Candidate of Biology, senior researcher with the Inferior Plant Laboratory, Central Siberian Botanical Garden, SB RAS), the mushroom depicted on the carpet belongs to the Strophariaceae family. In some ways—the general habitus, shape of the cap, stitches along the edge of the cap reminding of the radial folding or remnants of the partial veil and dark inclusions on the stipe that can remind of a paleaceous ring, which blackens after the spores are puffed—it is similar to Psilocybe cubensis (Earle) Singer [Stropharia cubensis Earle]. Some of the mushrooms of the genus Stropharia cubensis, or Psilocybe cubensis, contain psilocybin—a unique stimulator of the nervous system. In their psychoactive properties, psilocybin mushrooms are much more befitting as vegetative equivalents of Soma, or Hoama, than fly agaric, which was identified with Soma in the Rigveda by R.G. Wasson in his well-known book. His point of view was supported by many famous scientists; the psychedelic theory proposed by T. McKenna even assigns the main role in human evolution to psilocybin-containing mushrooms.
For the first time, we can see vivid evidence, embroidered on an ancient cloth discovered by archaeological excavations, for the use of mushrooms for religious purposes, probably, to make Haoma, a “sacred drink.”
The origin of this embroidery and characters depicted on it is associated with North-Western India and the Indo-Scythians (Sakas). How the embroidered cloth made it into a Xiongnu grave is a surprise of the so-called Silk Road, a network of trade routes crossing the whole of Eurasia. Judging by the Chinese chronicles, veils and blankets from Northern India were highly valued in the Han China.
The woollen curtain with an amazing plot was discovered after its 2,000-year-long confinement in a deep grave, which is a miracle in itself. The curtain is not only a fine example of ancient art, which was recovered thanks to the meticulous work of Russian restorers, but a unique source of information casting light on one of the obscure periods of ancient history.



Blueberry Cave by Garaj Mahal (Album)

Eco and Wilson: Guerrilla Ontologists Are Mist

Today a country belongs to the person who controls communications.—Umberto EcoIl costume di casa (1973); as translated in Travels in Hyperreality (1986)
"Belief in the traditional sense, or certitude, or dogma, amounts to the grandiose delusion, "My current model" -- or grid, or map, or reality-tunnel -- "contains the whole universe and will never need to be revised." In terms of the history of science and knowledge in general, this appears absurd and arrogant to me, and I am perpetually astonished that so many people still manage to live with such a medieval attitude.—Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger 1, Final Secret Of The Illuminati.

For Umberto Eco 1932-2016

Disclaimer:

I read Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco more than 18 years ago, and i found it very dense and difficult back then, but influential none the less. I also tackled ‘Apocalypse Postponed’ (from Stourbridge Library) which i enjoyed much more, probably because it was non-fiction, and so accessible to my non-classical taste at the time. Did Umberto get high? i asked in my 20s. Still, the text required a slow reading, and challenged me on every page. Although i enjoyed Eco, i did not continue my affair with his works. Although, i acknowledged his greatness among living philosophers, i did not ever think to compare him with Robert Anton Wilson. On the passing of Eco last week, i found myself doing this in my head, and thought. Dang, might just as well write it down and out. I apologise in advance for any misrepresentations and/or skewed interpretations on my behalf, when writing of these intellectual giants.--Steve Fly


Eco and Wilson: Guerrilla Ontologists


  Umberto Eco and RAW have much in common, not least being born in the same year,1932. They were intellectual titans, able to swim out to the vast ocean of philosophy and science, classical history, occultism, and the history of secret societies, and drag the full net back to the shore of humanity in the form of fucking good story, over and over again. They both produced a mixture of scholarly works and fictional novels. They were renaissance scholars who each produced work that inspired a flurry of imitators. The Da Vinci code, by Dan Brown for example, seemed to me like a watered down mixture of major themes from Eco, in particular his most popular ‘In the name of the rose’ and Wilson’s ‘Historical Illuminatus Chronicles’ but who can really put a finger or a paw on it?  

  Both had deep interest, and a unique methodology of expressing thoughts about ‘reality’, that old slippery fish. Eco developed a rich latticework to represent the premise of ‘hyperreality’ inspired by his study of semiotics, and he translated and share his complex ideas with a large audience, a pretty rare achievement for a public figure, an intellectual who writes novels.

  Eco studied at many great learning centres of the world, in the thick of academia, whereas Dr. Wilson travelled an unorthodox route, largely an autodidactic species of genius. You could say Eco was high brow and Wilson low brow, but any two-valued comparisons such as high and low should be treated with suspicion. Both philosopher novelists turned their back on Catholicism at a young age, but continued to include it as a recurring theme.   

Not accidentally, Standard English also assumes a sort of "glass wall" between observer and observed, while English Prime draws us back into the modern quantum world where observer and observed form a seamless unity.--Robert Anton Wilson, Quantum Psychology.

  Wilson was a strong proponent of many different theories of ‘reality’, or perhaps he might say ‘Reality tunnels’ with an accent on the pluralistic nature of things, the process oriented world view. Wilson trawled the fields of semantics, cognitive psychology, quantum mechanics and design science, together with a practical interest in mysticism and neuro-metaprogramming. Inspired by Alfred Korzybski and ideas from Aleister Crowley, together with his friends Alan Watts, Dr. John Lilly, Timothy Leary and Buckminster Fuller, Wilson also had a legendary sense of humour.   

  The following quotes from Wikipedia put a nice touch to the term ‘Guerrilla Ontologist’, a tag which RAW was fond of using. Wilson published one of his first essays on James Joyce in 1958. 

'In 1967 he gave the influential lecture "Towards a Semiological Guerrilla Warfare", which coined the influential term "semiological guerrilla," and influenced the theorization of guerrilla tactics against mainstream mass media culture, such as guerrilla television and culture jamming. Among the expressions used in the essay are "communications guerrilla warfare" and "cultural guerrilla." The essay was later included in Eco's book Faith in Fakes.--https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umberto_Eco

"His novels are full of subtle, often multilingual, references to literature and history. Eco's work illustrates the concept of intertextuality, or the inter-connectedness of all literary works. Eco cited James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges as the two modern authors who have influenced his work the most.-- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umberto_Eco


I think that both Eco and Wilson, with their open pluralistic philosophy, or Guerrilla Ontology, and their interconnected novelistic techniques, of including real historical and literary forces, distorted by a surrealist mirror on set of lenses, would be delighted by the latest psychological research in the field of ‘Virtual Reality’. Here we have evidence that each individual perceives a different universe, due to the changing parameters of each human sensory system. In VR each participant gets a different audio visual experience, confronted with the fact that if you are not looking at something, how are you supposed to know it is there? and to a lesser degree this applies to sounds from behind too. 

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.—Philip K. Dick.

  Experiments show that even trained minds, fully aware that a they are in a simulation, perhaps walking across a steep drop on a plank, will wobble, shake and react almost unconsciously, as if, they were REALLY in the simulated scene. Meditation can have a similar effect, as can some drug use, and in fact all consciousness change techniques confront a similar question.    

  With VR, however, it’s like coming at it from another place altogether, a place where you are suddenly forced to face deep rooted questions of the nature of reality, identity, perception, likes and fears etc. You do not have to train the mind to be still, so that the clear images may emerge, or chemically alter your neuro-semantic system, no, although these techniques have their own plus and minus points. No, a convincing 3D immersive audio/visual simulation can trigger similar neuro-chemical activity, resulting in dormant, perhaps unconscious but instinctive sensory responses. It does not take much to pull the wool, or goggles, over the eyes, and influence the deep rooted physical responses to neural stimulation. I predict that soon, one may propose a new '360 immersive' expression of the meaning of Quantum Mechanics, or Quantum Entanglement, or Mirror Neurons. Make it new.

democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection — not an invitation for hypnosis.—Umberto Eco"Can Television Teach?" in Screen Education 31 (1979), p. 12.

  This is my hacked together message, a trigger, whereby i hope you at least go and read Dr Wilson and Umberto Eco again. Contemplate for yourself the nature of reality and realities, and of virtual reality and virtual realities, and perhaps if you are fortunate, with the additional help of the latest VR hardware. With luck, in here, some of the the foundational principles of general semantics, and semiotics, can ride shotgun together, inside the latest 3D VR environments. 

  I think we are going to require innovative tools to help the public at large gain more empathy for what is beyond their senses, and learn to better discern the real from the unreal, or...the pretty much real from the not really so real, and so on...

...New tools to combat naive realism, together with captivating games, films, porn and beyond, all media that will shape and meta-program the minds of many generations to come. In VR, you may finally be able to go fuck yourself backwards, convincingly enough to never say that phrase again without wincing.        


—Steve Fly.
    Bristol.
    UK


I'll leave you with these thoughts...
The conspiracy theory of society . . . comes from abandoning God and then asking: "Who is in his place? - Karl Popper. From Yesod, Chapter 118 of Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

"You need the "is of identity" to describe conspiracy theories. Korzybski would say that proves that illusions, delusions, and "mental" illnesses require the "is" to perpetuate them. (He often said, "Isness is an illness.”) Korzybski also popularized the idea that most sentences, especially the sentences that people quarrel over or even go to war over, do not rank as propositions in the logical sense, but belong to the category that Bertrand Russell called propositional functions. They do not have one meaning, as a proposition in logic should have; they have several meanings, like an algebraic function.— Robert Anton Wilson, Language as Conspiracy, p. 277.