Friday, April 18, 2014

Hagbard Celine and John Sinclair

(For Steve Hager)
"Thanks," Dillinger said modestly. "Actually, the Illuminati own the companies that put out most of the rock. We started Laughing Buddha Jesus Phallus to counterattack. We were ignoring that front until they got the MC-5 to cut a disc called 'Kick Out The Jams' just to taunt us with old, bitter memories. So we came back with our own releases, and the next thing I knew I was making bales of money from it. We've also fed information, through third parties, to Christian Crusade in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so they could expose some of what the Illuminati are doing in the rock field. You've seen the Christian Crusade publications—Rhythm, Riots and Revolution, and Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, and so forth?"
—Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea,
Illuminatus Trilogy, page 78.

In the essay T.A.Z  the first from the book TSOG: The thing that ate the constitution. Robert Anton Wilson writes about his experiences as a celebrity judge for the High Times Cannabis Cup 1999 in Amsterdam. I reread this essay recently and found all sorts of cross links and descriptions of the Cannabis Cup and of Amsterdam that I find irresistible to share with you.

T.A.Z or Temporary Autonomous Zone invokes Peter Lamorn Wilson, another brilliant bearded anarchist scholar activist philosopher of the American tradition, who R.A.W often criss-crossed paths with while spontaneously musing upon forms of poetic revolution. Peter Lamborn Wilson T.A.Z is transplanted to serve as title to R.A.Ws essay [see excerpt below] to help describe the unique red-light and cannabis friendly coffeeshop zones of Dutch tolerance in Amsterdam and some other parts of the Netherlands. A generally intelligent and exemplary model of tolerance for 2009.

William S. Burroughs was inducted into the High Times Hall of Fame in 1999, and RAW participated in the induction ceremony by reading parts from NOVA EXPRESS, a small clip of this event can be found on YouTube in a video compilation based on the induction of the Beat generation into the High Times Countercultural Hall Of Fame. It was Burroughs who turned Wilson onto the ‘23 enigma' and Wilson compared WSB with James Joyce as the two greatest literary entities of the 20th century. John Sinclair wrote his Master’s thesis on Naked Lunch iat Wayne State University in 1964-65.

3. The name
Simon Vinkenoog was made familiar to me by way of Dr. Robert Anton Wilson, who noted Simon’s work in his own books such as the tale of the Sage of Dalkey from his last published work – email to the Universe in 2005. When I arrived in Amsterdam Simon was active and a strong part of the Dutch resistance to Bullshit, mediocrity and Tsarist Occupation Government. Simon passed onwards into outer-hyperspace July 12th, 2009. Simon was recently featured upon John’s 10 show holiday extravaganza, and for me this fact makes yet another loop between American and European counter-cultural anthropology, bound together by John’s choice of musical artifacts that continue to delight mindspace.

4. The current editor in Chief of High Times and Grand Wizard of the Cannabis Cup—Steven Hager—wrote a book called
‘The Octopus Conspiracy’ that exhibits a playful confidence found in RAWs occasional work with the High Times Magazine. This book helps one enter the process of engaging in counter-cultural information theory, in my humble opinion—the art of social historicism on the furtive cusp of Conspiracy Theory. This may also be translated as independent journalism—thinking for yourself and following your sense for truth and knowledge—no matter to which rabbit hole your tricky senses may lead.

The following excerpt brings together
James Joyce, Ezra Pound, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and John Sinclair into an Amsterdam synchro-mesh that seems a perfect example of Wilson’s--hologrammic--prose where every part contains the whole picture: Here we have the moderns, the beats, the post-modern poets, and the sense of ambiguity that has haunted the 20th century and might best define it, a true telling of the tale of the tribe.

“John Sinclair started talking about his days with the MC-5, a great Rock group of the 1960’s. My brain did a
quantum jump and reorganized the whole world. This was not the John Sinclair I once knew, who wrote a brilliant column for the Village Voice. No wonder he didn’t look like ‘himself’: he wasn’t ‘himself’ at all. He was the other John Sinclair, from Detriot, who founded the White Panther Party and served a few years in prison for generously giving a joint to an undercover narc. (Under Michigan law at that time, giving somebody a good high for free was punished with the same imprisonment as selling it.) I had mixed up two different John Sinclairs. I felt relieved. Mixing all that fucking pot hadn’t fucked up my fucking brain after all. They led me to the stage. (Was it the same day or another day?) I was giving a speech, inducting William S. Burroughs into the Cannabis Hall of Fame. I told them reasons I consider Burroughs the greatest writer since Joyce, but they seemed restless, so I quoted them a bit of unpublished Burroughs:

“A coprophile named Scott
Who lived in Aldershot
Said, “I’m unbeatable—
My shit is eatable!
Perpetual motion I’ve got.”

”I went into a flashback...... November 1968, at the
Playboy Club in Chicago, having lunch with Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. We had been Demonstarting against the War all week, but now we were enjoying a pleasant meal, and Allen was telling us about his recent meeting with Crazy Uncle Ezra Pound in Rapollo. He had told Ez he considered the Cantos the greatest poem of the 20th Century, and Ez said, “But it is all vitiated by that stupid, suburban anti-semitism.”
Suburban,” Burroughs repeated, considering the connotations of the word; I was more fascinated by “vitiated.”
I snapped back to

—Steve Fly
Amsterdam, 10/01/10



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thank you for reading, and for your feedback i bow