review by the excellent Ben Graham of last Friday’s poetry show here in
Brighton was posted on Facebook. One section, however, gave me cause for a
certain old guard pause and posed three possible questions.
1) Have I
been doing this for too long?
2) Have my
visions become archaic?
3) Do I
give a fuck?
“Farren links back to an era when outlaw giants like
Burroughs, Thompson and Morrison still strode the earth, and rock n’ roll and
outsider poetry were linked, along with wider and more amorphous notions of
youth-as-rebel-culture and drugs-as-shamanic-tools, standing firm against
the rapacious advances of the military-industrial greedheads and all who served
them. Such an era may seem quaint and discredited now from our lonely 21st
Century beachhead. And yet we at the Midsummer Poetry Ball still broadly
advocate and stand behind such principles.” (Click here for the whole thing.)
I’m basking in the wonder of me, KUSF in San Francisco devoted an hpur show to
the works of the Deviants plus side project like Tijuana Bible. (Click here for
And if all
that wasn’t enough, here’s a clip of the Deviants’ D-Day show in Wolverhampton.
This essay by John Atcheson provides one more well considered confirmation that arrant and vicious stupidity has to be halted if any of us are to survive.
“We are witnessing an epochal shift in our socio-political
world. We are de-evolving, hurtling headlong into a past that was defined
by serfs and lords; by necromancy and superstition; by policies based on fiat,
not facts. Much of what has made the modern world in general, and the
United States in particular, a free and prosperous society comes directly from
insights that arose during the Enlightenment. Too bad we’re chucking it all out
and returning to the Dark Ages. Literally. Two main things distinguished the
post Enlightenment world from the pre Enlightenment Dark Ages. First, Francis
Bacon’sNovo Organum Scientiarum (The New Instrument of
Science)introduced a new way of
understanding the world, in which empiricism, facts and … well … reality
… defined what wasreal. It essentially outlined the scientific
method: observation and data collection, formulation of hypotheses,
experiments designed to test hypotheses and elevation of these hypotheses to
theories when data consistently supported them. It was and is a system based
on skepticism, and a relentless and methodical search for truth.
It brought us advances and untold wealth and health.
From one-horse carts to automobiles to airplanes. From leaches and phrenology
to penicillin and monoclonal antibodies.
Now, we seek to operate by revealed truths, not
reality. Decrees from on high – often issued by an unholy alliance of
religious fundamentalists, self-interested corporations, and greedy fat cats –
are offered up as reality by rightwing politicians. For example, North Carolina
law-makers recently passed legislation against sea level rise. A day later, the
Virginia legislature required that references to global warming, climate change
level rise be excised from a
proposed study onsea
level rise. Last year, the Texas Department of Environmental
Quality, which had commissioned a study on Galveston Bay, cut all references to
sea level rise – the main point of the study. As Stephen Colbert so aptly put
it:“If your science gives you results you don’t like, pass a law saying
that the result is illegal Problem solved.”Click here for more
Doc40 we love a good conspiracy theory, especially when it involves DIY nuclear
weapons. Although I cultivated a morbid interest the Aum Shinrikyo death cult through the 1990s – they
were the characters who, in 1995, loosed Sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway –
I hadn’t heard this quite amazing story until I read about it in Bill Bryson’s bookIn a Sunburned
“In January 1997, according to a report written in America
by aTimesreporter, scientists were seriously
investigating the possibility that a mysterious seismic disturbance in the
remote Australian outback almost four years earlier had been a nuclear
explosion set off by members of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo.
"It happens that at 11:03p.m.local
time on May 28, 1993, seismograph needles all over the Pacific region twitched
and scribbled in response to a very large-scale disturbance near a place called
Banjawarn Station in the Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia. Some
long-distance truckers and prospectors, virtually the only people out in that
lonely expanse, reported seeing a sudden flash in the sky and hearing or
feeling the boom of a mighty but far-off explosion. One reported that a can of
beer had danced off the table in his tent.
"The problem was that there was no obvious explanation.
The seismograph traces didn't fit the profile for an earthquake or mining
explosion, and anyway the blast was 170 times more powerful than the most
powerful mining explosion ever recorded in Western Australia. The shock was
consistent with a large meteorite strike, but the impact would have blown a
crater hundreds of feet in circumference, and no such crater could be found.
The upshot is that scientists puzzled over the incident for a day or two, then
filed it away as an unexplained curiosity-- the sort of thing that presumably
happens from time to time.
"Then in 1995 Aum Shinrikyo gained sudden notoriety
when it released extravagant quantities of the nerve gas sarin into the Tokyo
subway system, killing twelve people. In the investigations that followed, it
emerged that Aum's substantial holdings included a 500,000-acre desert
property in Western Australia very near the site of the mystery event. There,
authorities found a laboratory of unusual sophistication and focus, and
evidence that cult members had been mining uranium. It separately emerged that
Aum had recruited into its ranks two nuclear engineers from the former Soviet
Union. The group's avowed aim was the destruction of the world, and it appears
that the event in the desert may have been a dry run for blowing up Tokyo.”