Category Archives: counterculture

Sex Criminals

Unlike all the dark melodramatic stuff that makes up most of the new stuff that I try out each month this is a really refreshingly fun, and despite being light hearted it’s a mature way of portraying sex in comics. A lot of the sexual situations are quite satirical and there’s a lot more exploration of both the leads awkward discovery of sex before they became the super powered titular sex criminals.

It’s really nice seeing a couple as the leading stars of a super power book, in a happy relationship which is still a riveting page turner; It just makes all that fiasco about Batwoman getting married seem all that more stupid and weak an argument.

It’s full of really funny anecdotes, with the stories about the leads finding crumpled porn out in the woods, and having the sack race around the sex shop, and they are some of the most colourful enjoyable Pages I’ve seen in ages, the vibrancy reminds me of Transmetropolitan.

The art is fucking fantastic. Chip Zdarsky (if that IS his real name) packs so much detail and so many visual puns into every panel that you find yourself scrutinising the book shelves in the backs of panels to read the titles.

Sex Criminals

The first issue is still free here so check it out:

http://www.comixology.com/Sex-Criminals-1/digital-comic/46453/?app=1&utm_source=tumblr&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=s131106_sex_criminals_1_free_tumblr&utm_content=&utm_term=&tid=%20s131106_sex_criminals_1_free_tumblr

I bought two and three off of image directly though cause I think the creators get more of a cut, but I can’t be certain.

The reason this has really caught me up and I am posting about it so early (only at issue three) is for incredibly frustrating reasons.

Apple censored… well no. Banned the comic from their app store because it depicts sex. It’s ok for dismemberment, sadomasochism, cannibalism, etc but we can’t be exposed to people having sex, because that might be obscene.

(This Blog has been liberated from the Discordian Menace by the Order of La Mancha)

Right Where You are Sitting Now

The guys over at the Right Where You are Sitting Now podcast decided to dedicate their 23rd (fnord) episode to the memory of Robert Anton Wilson. In the 2 hour long episode they spliced in quite a few of RAW’s clips from various lectures along with interviews with Rev. Ivan Stang, Richard Metzger of Disinfo Corp, as well as chaos magicians Lon Milo Duquette and Taylor Ellwood. They cover everything from The Illuminus! Trilogy, e-prime, Aleister Crowley, Prometheus Rising, chaos magick, the future of counterculture, and of course, Discordianism.

I had never heard of this podcast before but I’m a big fan now. I don’t know how I’ll be able to fit yet another podcast into my busy schedule but I’ll find a way.

Puzzling Evidence TV

Yes, I know that this is supposed to be a Discordian blog but I figured I’d mention something big from the one of the other groups of “godless heathens”. Subgenius High Priest and radio personality Doug Wellman (aka “Puzzling Evidence”) has decided to launch his own YouTube channel to chronicle all the crazy irreligion that he has partaken of over the last quarter century. As a quick sample, here’s the original Dr Hal’s Hour of Prophecy that was pirated to millions of tvs in the western United States back in 1985:

INSERT VIDEO HERE!

(Hat tip to Laughing Squid)

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride…

For some unthinkable reason, I was not invited to Technoccult’s roundtable on the future of the nation-state.  Probably because they’ve never heard of me, Wes and Edward aside, but I won’t let that get in the way of some good snark.  Besides, I can now claim to be a renegade renegade futurist, which justs adds to my edgy appeal.  Or something.

Anyway, good question.  The whole viability/decline of the state has become a very interesting question in light of the credit crunch.  And I have more than a passing interest in social organization in the past and present, in no small way due to reading John Robb for the past three years or so.

Continue reading Always the bridesmaid, never the bride…

Verwirrung 2.0

For those of you who read Warren Ellis’ excellent blog, you may be aware that today is meant to be the fifth Annual Rabbit Hole Day, in celebration of the birthday of Lewis Carroll.

However, we are not doing that.  Not as such.  Instead, we have decided to launch our revamped blog.  Myself and Cramulus threw some ideas around while drunk a few weeks back, and this was essentially the result.  We want Verwirrung to be more than just a blog for the Principia Discordia community.  We want the blog to be a place where we can network, link, confer and argue with people, as part of our drive to improve and understand the crazy world around us.

So, first off, our blogging is going to increase.  By a lot.  Secondly, our writers are each going to concentrate on a particular sphere of interest, in addition to using the blog to write about whatever they feel.  So, for example, we will have writers here concentrating on the Law of Fives and how the brain works, on the art of pranking and operation mindfuck, some idiot dealing with politics and warfare, a guy investigating online subcultures, someone keeping a close eye on the world of religion, someone who can help you prepare for any situation, a guy interested in how maps do not correspond to reality, a biology expert and much, much more.

Secondly, we want our blog to be more of a community.  We want to break into the blogosphere, have people reading us and agreeing or disagreeing, but in short to have a lot more in the way of connectivity with the rest of the world.

Our focus is going to be on the near future, in all our fields.  What will happen 20 minutes in the future.  We want to equip you with knowledge you will find useful, and hopefully you can equip us in return.  I don’t need to tell anyone here that rough times have started, and this is probably the first recession of the internet age.  Lets see what we can do with this incredible tool, while the power is still on.

And most of all, we want to have a good time.  I’ll let each of the writers introduce themselves individually.  Bye for now.

The new face of radicalism: flash picnics

No, I’m not making this up.

In exactly a week’s time, in a supermarket somewhere in or around Paris, a couple of dozen young French activists are going to choose an aisle, unfold tables, put on some music and, taking what they want from the shelves, start a little picnic. The group “L’Appel et la Pioche” (The call and the pick axe) will have struck again – fruit and veg, dairy or the fish counter will have been transformed into a flash protest against global capitalism, rampant consumerism, bank bail-outs, poor housing, expensive food, profit margins and pretty much everything else that is wrong in the world.

The “supermarket picnic” will go on for as long as it can – before the security guards throw the activists out or the police arrive. Shoppers will be invited to join in, either bringing what they want from the shelves or just taking something lifted lightly from among the crisps, sweets or quality fruit already on the tables.

“L’Appel et la Pioche” have struck four times so far and have no intention of stopping what they claim is a highly effective new way of protesting.

“Everyone is bored of demonstrations. And handing out tracts at 6am at a market is neither effective nor fun,” said Leïla Chaïbi, 26, the leader of the group. “This is fun, festive, non-threatening and attracts the media. It’s the perfect way of getting our message across.”

Linked to a new left-wing political party committed to a renewal of politics and activism, Chaïbi’s group represents more than just a radical fringe and has been gaining nationwide attention.

I’m in ur conspiracy theoriez, doin performance art

Link

The very idea of a 911-TV-Fakery researcher faking their own suicide as a performance art piece is incredibly synchronistic for me given the last year and half’s experience of investigating the mysterious double suicide of conspiratorially minded artists Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake. In that case several folks at the Rigorous Intuition and Dreams End websites and forums were talking about the wild and weird world of Situationist performance art and related artistic movements, some of which seem to involve a lot of parapolitical intrigue that sometimes includes hoaxing, culture-jamming and even the faking of people’s murder or suicide, aka pseudocide. Other discussions centered on the idea of both real-world and online group-stalking and gaslighting of people driving them to perhaps commit suicide. In my interview last year with parapolitical activist, writer and researcher Len Bracken (author of the biography on Situationist movement leader Guy Debord – Revolutionary) I brought up the possible confluence of some of the wilder personalities within the 911 Truth Movement (folks who seem more like performance artists than activists and researchers) and the Situationist and Discordian communities.

Also, a link to the mentioned interview can be found here.

Colbertgasm Update

For those of you that haven’t heard, COLBERTGASM was an amazing success. I’ve also been a lazy ass about spreading word of the Discordian Society’s immense and total spagtacular victory. Recently, I became motivated to give the project wiki an overhaul – check it out:

ColbertGASM

I’ve included many video clips of Colbert’s Discordian references – if you know of any more, let me know!

Let ColbertGASM stand as a flag that you can do crazy cool stuff by organizing people over the web. The OMGASM is a great way to organize people and find help for zany projects. Are you missing an artist, web designer, editor, idea machine, whatever for your mission? Want to create a mission for other Discordians to go on? Use OMGASM to amass an army of net Discordians waiting to do your bidding. If it’s fun, they’ll actually do it. And with an army of spags, you can do a lot of unbelievable stuff. Proof is in the link above.

Don’t just read about fun — GO HAVE IT — RIGHT NOW!

HAIL YES

Weaponized Marijuana

We all know the CIA was recklessly spiking peoples drinks and dosing them with LSD back in the 60s, but it seems the Army too was playing games with drugs – in hope of creating nonlethal weapons that could minimize casualties in a war.

Sitting on the panel next to Shulgin was an unlikely expositor. Dr. James S. Ketchum, a retired U.S. Army colonel, told the audience, “When Sasha was trying to open minds with chemicals to achieve greater awareness, I was busy trying to subdue people.”

Ketchum was referring to his work at Edgewood Arsenal, headquarters of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, in the 1960s, when America’s national security strategists were high on the prospect of developing a nonlethal incapacitating agent, a so-called humane weapon, that could knock people out without necessarily killing anyone. Top military officers hyped the notion of “war without death,” conjuring visions of aircraft swooping over enemy territory releasing clouds of “madness gas” that would disorient the bad guys and dissolve their will to resist, while U.S. soldiers moved in and took over.

Ketchum was into weapons of mass elation, not weapons of mass destruction. He oversaw a secret research program that tested an array of mind-bending drugs on American GIs, including an exceptionally potent form of synthetic marijuana. (Most of these drugs had no medical names, just numbers supplied by the Army.) “Paradoxical as it may seem,” Ketchum asserted, “one can use chemical weapons to spare lives, rather than extinguish them.”

[…]

With a larger dose of Red Oil, the reaction was even more pronounced. “These animals lie on their side; you could step on their feet without any response; it is an amazing effect and a reversible phenomenon. It has greatly increased our interest in this compound from the standpoint of future chemical possibilities.”

In the late 1950s, the Army started testing Red Oil on U.S. soldiers at Edgewood. Some GIs smirked for hours while they were under the influence of EA 1476. When asked to perform routine numbers and spatial reasoning tests, the stoned volunteers couldn’t stop laughing.

But Red Oil was not an ideal chemical-warfare candidate. For starters, it was a “crude” preparation that contained many components of cannabis besides psychoactive THC. Army scientists surmised that pure THC would weigh much less than Red Oil and would therefore be better suited as a chemical weapon. They were intrigued by the possibility of amplifying the active ingredient of marijuana, tweaking the mother molecule, as it were, to enhance its psychogenic effects. So the Chemical Corps set its sights on developing a synthetic variant of THC that could clobber people without killing them.

[…]

By the time the clinical testing program had run its course, 6,700 volunteers had experienced some bizarre states of consciousness at Edgewood. Under the influence of powerful mind-altering drugs, some soldiers rode imaginary horses, ate invisible chickens and took showers in full uniform while smoking phantom cigars. One garrulous GI complained that an order of toast smelled “like a French whore.” Some of their antics were so over-the-top that Ketchum had to admonish the nurses and other medical personnel not to laugh at the volunteers, even though it was unlikely that the soldiers would remember such incidents once the drugs wore off.

Ketchum insists that the staff at Edgewood went to great lengths to ensure the safety of the volunteers. (There was one untoward incident involving a civilian volunteer who flipped out on PCP and required hospitalization, but this happened before Ketchum came on board.) During the 1960s, every soldier exposed to incapacitating agents was carefully screened and prepped beforehand, according to Ketchum, and well treated throughout the experiment. They stayed in special rooms with padded walls and were monitored by medical professionals 24/7. Antidotes were available if things got out of hand.

“The volunteers performed a patriotic service,” Ketchum says. “None, to my knowledge, returned home with a significant injury or illness attributable to chemical exposure,” though he admits that “a few former volunteers later claimed that the testing had caused them to suffer from some malady.” Such claims, however, are difficult to assess given that so many intervening variables may have contributed to a particular problem.

A follow-up study conducted by the Army Inspector General’s office and a review panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences found little evidence of serious harm resulting from the Edgewood experiments. But a 1975 Army IG report noted that improper inducements may have been used to recruit volunteers and that getting their “informed consent” was somewhat dubious given that scientists had a limited understanding of the short- and long-term impact of some of the compounds tested on the soldiers.

Ketchum draws a sharp distinction between clinical research with human subjects under controlled conditions at Edgewood Arsenal and the CIA’s reckless experiments on random, unwitting Americans who were given LSD surreptitiously by spooks and prostitutes. “Jim is very certain of his own integrity,” says Ken Goffman, aka R.U. Sirius, the former editor of the psychedelic tech magazine Mondo 2000. “There is little doubt in his mind that he was doing the right thing. He felt he was working for a noble cause that would reduce civilian and military casualties.” Goffman helped Ketchum edit and polish his book manuscript, which vigorously defends the Edgewood research program.

DYSNOMIA.US

I’d like to introduce a blog written by my good friend, Johhny Brainwash. Better yet, I’ll let him introduce it:

We occur at random among your children.

Piracy, space and post-Soviet conflicts. Also treehugging, mayhem and high weirdness. Outbreaks of old-fashioned politics may occur.

Johnny Brainwash lives in New Alamut, Left Coast, Turtle Island. He likes to ride his bike and fight with toy swords.

Read more at Dysnomia.us.

Also, can someone add it to the BlogRoll?