LYRICS

The applications are to blameAll the people do all dayIs stare into a phone (Placebo, Too Many people)

“Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!” (Chief Seattle)

When rock stars were myths (Sandi Thom, I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker)

Machines were mice and men were lions once upon a time, Now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time (Moondog)

Time is an illusion (Einstein)

Friday, 21 February 2020

Pictorial 95


The straight line vistas of all politicians comes across clearly enough in the US elections. Everything – bar nothing – is “order and method” (Les Carabiniers). Everything is numerical, nothing is humanist. Bloomberg’s quote


Is worth picking out for what it says about the guy who took the seediness out of Times Square and the kitchen smells out of NYC. What is that but the living material that has the capacity for direct experience of the city without intermediation by spokespersons for order and method?

There are two things going on. One is the competitive milieu of a numerical order that uses numerical language. The milieu of physical boredom where the numerical and sexual become one (through the dragon of data).


The other is the living material that has a harmonic of life such as, say, Harlem



 
If you look at the photos there is a lot of work going on; what you could call neighbourhood businesses in-tune with neighbourhood affairs (see also Ghost World). That clearly involves collaborations and collective behaviour, but it is not competitive; more to do with a direct appreciation of the commune, the vibe, what’s happening.
There are other factors within such communes. Products are often artisanal and there are wrought iron staircases with the patina of age on weathered red stone. The people skip gaily down the street and tend to experience life without that directly competing with eachother.
In other words, the milieu for competition is not a traditional community with a harmonic vibe; it’s the illusory world of straight lines created by the likes of Bloomberg. Competition to “them” is just a word bandied about- by acolytes of order and method! The straight lines of electromagnetism; the masculine method.
This is an illusory situation without the gay air provided by a feminine harmonic. The female is womb and blood, the giver and taker of life. Ishtar, the goddess of war and fertility. For with fertility comes the blood-cycle of predator-prey. This is seen in the type of decadence that is power in nature; the growth through decay of strength and colour (Pictorial 66)
A traditional community weathers storms and is stronger for them. This was the case I previously made for Detroit, which was not subject to the federal processes of the civil rights era. Its poverty became a visible blight, if a picturesque one (Drama3)
However, the underlying communal fabric flourished and investment flowed. Detroit is a classic example of letting the female harmonic of blood – fertility and decay – run wild and not be pushed around by a masculine ethic of order.
The body is a harmonic instrument; the throat is coated with mucus that enables the voicebox to sing.  None of that worries acolytes (politicians) because they are only worried about the competitive order of the head gazing at screens – data, or “the mirror of nothingness.” This convinces the ego, and we move steadily towards a world built of straight lines, an illusion of the masculine ego.
That could explain why Clint Hillary or Merk el Angela are like all the others. They all inhabit a masculine ego of straight line data seen through screens. It’s all so convincing and fits a competitive ethos, but is totally lacking in blood and spirit of revival, Artemis, the moon, lithe limbs under the stars above, sweat and flesh.
As previously mentioned, field work accentuates the strength of the female body; milk maids loll with skirts a-billowing. Jena-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise is partly about the revolutionary aspect of direct experience. Veronique is considering throwing bombs, but to appreciate the universe directly is also to let in dirt and the wholesome smells of flesh and blood, animal and human, food and sex.
The hygiene-merchants are living in a world of weakness where the physical sense of living with looseness, style and psychic content is crushed and direct experience left to the goats and donkeys of the Earth. Whether “right” wing Trump, “leftist” or “moderate” Bloomberg, their paltry speeches are the other side of the world from dreams of western glory that are rightly ours.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Pictorial 94


What proof is there of this sorcerous system that seemingly circumvents sensations such as sight and sound to surround the psyche subliminally? Well, just sight and sound, smell and feel.

A familiar sight in the modern world is of a head gazing at a screen intently, the experience of straight lines consuming the attention. What is never seen, and what is seen as totally reactionary, is for things to be preordained, for each person or animal to know their place.

Yet in the womb this has to be so to create a distinctive personality of uniqueness in the cosmos. What is preordination but action? Line and movement in the bold language of cartooning (Hyborian Bridge 91). This is exactly what Modern Man has decided to do without, in the domain of facts and information flowing through screens.

Simple scenes of sight and sound can often seem preordained, like a ritual dance. Jean-Luc Godard’s dark fairy tale, Les Carabiniers (1963) reads like a silent film where characters act and react like marionettes.


Godard insists he doesn’t write the script till after the film is shot! A slight exaggeration, but the point is: what is the script for action in the world, for development in the womb? DNA? DNA is information, not a script. A script is action and reaction in time and place. The action-and-reaction is not Newtonian, it is fluid and serpentine. There is no such thing as disproportionate action in nature. But what causes the proportion, the grace?

The feminine principle of harmony within the womb (water, moon) where there is no competitive element. Godard’s 60s films are as much a hymn to woman as they are explorations of revolutionary attitudes. “Women are more natural”; “Their ideas are better.”

Godard uses light to create action and beauty on the screen, the two things which counteract a masculine world of information (or text, which is what most mainstream films are). Les Carabiniers is an ode almost to there being no story; the action then becomes the story through guile and boldness. Well, there is a fundamental question here.

A story is told by characters or animals that are proportionate (such as Aesop’s fables). Therefore, the principle of proportionality comes before the story. In other words, action is what creates the story, by being proportionate.


This is why a masculine world of competition has an illusory narrative. Myth and fantasy tell stories of times and places where the principle of proportionality holds sway. The feminine principle of the hunt – Artemis, moon – is pure action, blood and glory. Everything in this world of myth is proportionate, and the story flows from the sweat and bounding grace of glorious limbs in motion.
 
The female principle is inherently proportionate and fleet of foot, and it is this which is lacking in a masculine order of competition (Darwin). Proportion is simply the application of a harmonic in the womb, which reflects that of the moon and water (Hyborian Bridge 82)
What “they” call natural selection is actually unnatural selection within a system of straight lines (electromagnetism, sun). This unnatural selection convinces the ego (of numerical economics, speeches of acolytes). The ego is trapped by the physique, so that the numerical and sexual become one (physical boredom – see Blake’s print of Newton).

The feminine principle of proportionality (in the womb) gives rise to predator-prey relationships (of the hunt). The talons of the bird rend; the carrion feeders feed; blood, tree, grub and root are one tangled web of life and death.
Red Sonja #11

This is strength, and it is the lusty destruction of Dionysus, uncaring like the stoic donkey.
This lost world of uncaring gaiety is built on strength and beauty. The warrior and the huntress will outlast the charade of competition in an illusory order of straight lines.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Hyborian Bridge 105


Much has been written on the deities of Hyboria. There is a certain symmetry in the invocations to “Ishtar’s girdle!” and “Mitra!” One is an Akkadian war goddess associated with fertility; the other a Persian sungod.
Essentially, the symmetry is of day and night, since ancient deities reflect the reality of Earth-moon-sun. Whereas our own era is “the reality of a reflection” – quoting La Chinoise Pictorial 93– or sun alone, ancient deities harmonise with the movements of all 3 orbs.
The cosmic harmonic stands in the way of sorcerers, somewhat akin to the checks-and-balances of the US constitution (against monarchs). In all the kingdoms – save that of pre-Hyborian Stygia – the principle of proportionality is upheld, and that feuding city-states worship different deities and thereby maintain the cosmic balance.
Exceptions prove the rule.
Yes, I invented Makkalet as an Hyrkanian seaport... more of a city-state, really, where Turan was the capital of a growing nation/empire.  Of course, REH often called Turanians "Hyrkanians," but I thought that would be too confusing so I kept them separate as entities.  Makkalet was just a city-state that had thus far resisted Turanian encroachment.
(reply to email by RT)
The Turanian war starts when Makkalet steals the holy Tarim from Aghrapur, the nominal capital of Turan. It is a holy war between rival; city-states within the Turanian Empire.
The living Tarim is more totemic of a martial order, and could be likened to statues of the Caesars, or later to the Cross and the Crescent.
Here’s where a link to La Chinoise could come in! Marx is the figurehead or totem for the advance of communism, as well as Lenin and Mao. A totemic order tends to have expansionist ambitions to conquer others.
A big theme of La Chinoise is actually education, and how the requirements of a particular order – communism, capitalism – are delivered by teachers to students.
“The attitude of the universities tis to consider the others we address as mere receivers” (of information)
The fact that Francis Jeanson delivers this on a
may be coincidence, but a train happens to be a parallel system of straight lines (Hyborian Bridge 88 CL Moore). The parallel system dates from Newton’s experiments with optics (light). Straight lines – meaning the sun – represent “the reality of a reflection”; something that is very convincing to the ego – as recapitulated ad nauseam.
In other words, the industrial order – of communism and capitalism – is illusory or the reality of a reflection (of reality). It is this which actually makes it convincing to theorists and speech-makers. Darwin can be taken to be part-and-parcel of this order since - TBS – it is a masculine order of competition that occurs outside of the gentle harmonic of the womb (moon).
In other words, what we are told by “them” (acolytes) is a process of natural selection (in nature) is actually unnatural selection in a straight line order (of the sun), rather than a harmonic of sun and moon – day and night, bloodlust, hunting.

Darwin and Marx both exist within this sorcerous system, which has its origins in The New Atlantis of Francis Bacon (Hyborian Bridge 61 idol of the den). One could almost look on those 17th century Tudors as a cabal of sorcerers making plans for the rise of modernism in The New World (The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott is vaguely connected, incidentally).
 
Modernity can therefore be likened to a flow of information from “them” to “us” that facilitates the new order. This seems to be why ideas alone are never enough to combat the sorcerous undercurrent, which is just the presence of straight lines (or light), as in a railway junction. A parallel order to reality.
The flow of information is really the flow of the parallel system of light that facilitates industry and the egos of speech-makers. What is not egotistical (of the head) are the sights and sounds, the smells and feel of action in a world of physical proportionality that is not under the domain of fact or information.
Facts in the modern order constitute a flow of information that is facilitated by the straight-line order of light (electromagnetism). This in turn facilitates the ego of acolytes and their speech-makers.

Take away the parallel system and there is no longer the charade of competition; there is a harmonic between day and night, between order and the hunt. Order (Apollo) is no longer the master; instead, blood and the womb are the dark givers of life and death. The hunt, Artemis.
 

This is the world of decadence, which was perhaps most developed in Clair Noto’s “Red Lace” (Pictorial 92). The underworld or the darkness present is necessary for a harmonic universe that is not merely illusory information or products. The missing ingredient is found not only in Howard, but in writers like Noto and Thomas, and particularly that illustrated by BWS (and Thorne, natch.)
Red Sonja #9 
The life-giving decadence is simply the lack of an order that crushes and molds Man to a standard for the reception of information by “them”, the sorcerers of the 17th century cabal.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Pictorial 93


Simplfying things rather a lot. Earth orbits the sun; the moon orbits Earth; Earthspins. We are prisoners of a sorcerous illusion that takes out 2 of the 3 components, leaving the sun as undisputed master. There is a sense of stasis because the large movements of moon and Earth vis-à-vis eachother and the sun are not deemed worthy of note.


The sun supplies the ego with illusory data via screens, or “the mirror of nothingness”. The illusion is simply the lack of physical substance; action in the cosmos, the hunt and Diana, decay and rebirth, blood and moon.


Wizards of the Black Sun
Physical substance is the subject of Renaissance art; line and movement and the investigation of both through cartooning (Hyborian Bridge 91). Frank Thorne is much closer to Leonardo da Vinci than the mainstream for that reason. Formal development of the human physique takes place in the womb, one of the missing components of our sorcerous masters (Pictorial 89)
From form obviously comes style, as well as psychological content (psyche), and form is the primary thing that a modern order lacks. From form arises the predator-prey relationships, and thereby the cycles of decay and rebirth. Destruction, the hunt, Dionysus. Without form there is merely an empty charade of competition - information, and the numerical/sexual fixations of the ego.
This leads neatly into Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise (67), his satire on 60s student revolutionaries. It has his usual tricks of fourth wall breakdowns in the picturesque communal household of confirmed Maoists.
Farcical it may be, it’s a sympathetic study and does take one back to the Chinese revolutionary spirit of ruralist idealism; shades of The Water Margin. The fact that it all quickly became hell on earth points to a radical wrongness. The film consists of students plus a few assorted drop-in teachers, and these are often depicted (by Godard) as reciting robots.
When one girl says (rightly) that aesthetics is imagination, the teacher trots out the mantra:
“Art doesn’t reflect reality, it’s the reality of a reflection.”
Such nonsense-speak points to the illusion at the heart of what left-wing revolutionaries call “objective reality.” Veronique falls for this linguistic mash-up and, in a long sequence on a train with the one teacher who talks sense, her phalangist credentials are brutally exposed.
Science itself is partial; a masculine version of nature that lacks the feminine harmonic (moon). Revolutionaries are forever stuck in “objective reality”, which is simply the world that exists without a feminine harmonic of the womb (moon).
The lessons are very abstract”; “Culture is cutoff from action.”  Again, very correct statements. To Veronique, action against an inactive culture (throwing bombs and killing people) is justified. Her over-enthusiasm is rebutted by her teacher, who explains that she is not a recognizable sector of society, more like an angry girl (note that the film is 67, the year before the failed Paris uprising).

Nevertheless, one’s sympathies are with the students, for what is action in the modern world? We live in the world of the false Apollo, which is simply speech-making about ideas without the physical substance; the hunt, decay and revival, blood and moon.
Sibyl
Godard’s film is a horrendous hoot, and all too real about the way ideas twist people in knots in a masculine universe that consists of nothing else. This is the mirror of illusions that traps us in a land of nothingness – products, information, screens Pictorial 87
They are also wise to this, and the “revisionists”
who make ideas the prostitutes for capitalist luxury (shades of modern China).
Godard’s other meta-fixation in the 60s was the tenacious hold of myth on the psyche. Myths are the lost world of the harmonic cosmos where male and female components are happily (?) balanced in the vigour of sea, land, sky, Earth.
If you’re wondering where America has gone to, it’s gone to the past where actions speak louder than words, where men are men, ladies are ladies and hosses are hosses. The land, in short, of physical substance on the Earth as she spins merrily through the cosmos on high (Chaparral).


 

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

The Big Summary (mark 2 - see Outtakes)




Modern Man exists in a state of physical boredom, dating from Newton’s light-box experiments. Essentially, he is studying the sun which is the static centre of things. This sense of stasis is implied in Blake’s print, whereby Newton’s body becomes a giant brain.





Pictorial 59

Because the physique can’t be denied, numerical compulsions (of the head) become the sexual tool of the dragon of data. The numerical compulsions of the ego are maintained by a convincing illusion of straight lines (sun, electromagnetism).

The end-product is AI, or simply a giant brain, which takes the place of action (body.) Action comprises things that you see, hear, smell, feel in a sequence of events. This sequence in nature is the blood-cycle of lifedeath, and in human terms it is the hunt. Diana and her hounds bounding by the light of the moon.

Artemis
The hunt is the feminine bloodlust that is the twin to the male sun – Artemis and Apollo. This is the world of action (body), basically because the Earth turns her face now to moon and now to sun. Because we live in a static universe (of the sun) the old Earth deities are denied. The deities of life that exists in the cosmic ambiance of things that just happen under the stars above - of decay and rebirth.

The sights and sounds, smells and feel of the physical substance of Earth are expressions of physical action. Roots, vines, grubs, leaves waving in the wind. The expression of physical action on Earth in human terms is seen in communal gamboling related to work.
Bruegel, Wedding Dance
Gamboling is by its nature sexual, and the human is a sexual animal. This sexual reality relates to action in a harmonic cosmos (of sun and moon). Like a dance, movements in nature are bounding and graceful of limb. Natural movements are not really Newtonian, which is a universe of straight lines (or spheres in space)  
See Hyborian Bridge 91 cartooning, line and movement. The harmonic physique that develops in the womb. Things that are balanced and proportionate, things that seem to exist a priori, as one can see in the art of Frank Thorne
The Wizards of the Black Sun
As noted previously, symmetries and proportions of living things develop in the womb. What Darwin says is that when a gazelle is caught by a predator, that is survival of the fittest. However, all gazelles have the same symmeteries and proportions – see “The Enchantment” Weird 11 figures in a landscape.
The female womb is the quiet repose of formal development – style and content, physique and psyche. A harmonic physique “of woman born”, out of which emerge the predator-prey relations.
Nature also has a symmetry of night and day which acts on animal and plant behaviour. In short, science as straight-line (sun, Newton) and competition (Darwin) is a masculine arena which gives rise to a universe of straight lines and competition. Namely, electromagnetic devices that attach to the head, feeding the ego through the dragon of data – also known as “the mirror of nothingness” Hyborian Bridge 103
The mirror-land we seem to live in can be likened to a sorcerous illusion, such as The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune. A mirror, if you think about it, is an electromagnetic repeat image: a repeat in light of the physical reality.
So, a mirror is not physical, but it is a very convincing illusion. Most convincing of all to the ego are straight lines (numerical data) and the competition associated with that. These are the images and graphs that acolytes (politicians) view.
We humble peasants watch our politicians and seem to accept what they say, even though it is not the harmonic universe of sun and moon, but only the repetitive one of sun (mirror or reflection) speaking.
Why are we convinced by their lies? Because a straight line universe is convincing to the ego that is fixated on numbers. The ego is the slave to the mirror of illusions.
 
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the klone of Merkel?





Saturday, 8 February 2020

Pictorial 92



The only answer that I have found
Above the sky or below the ground
Is that there are no answers
There never were any answers
There will never be any answers
And as Gertrude Stein said, “That's the answer.”

Kantner’s lyric would seem not very optimistic, but it depends how much you reckon the modern world is an illusion. Kantner is not speaking as a scientist but as someone who can feel, smell, hear, see.

While “they” spout words, we can perceive the folly for ourselves. Compare with John Clifton’s anti-scientific Bite Now Suckers! From TCJ 90 (1984)

The function of art is not to challenge our knowledge, that meagre corpus of answers we have managed to intuit from the experience of a few millennia of mortal history, Rather the aim of art is to challenge the questions, to quell the analytical faculty of mind from swallowing everything up in indecision and rationalism, by presenting ultimate versions of those intuited truths, some lasting witness of a final rest for things, some lasting witness to debunk the Garand Inquisitor.(page 108)

Clifton was writing in defence of “the final version” of artists like Neal Adams; of art as superior to analytical science; of formula as superior to culture-science experiment.

There’s a lot to be said for that view, in that comic books affect young minds on a basic level of appreciation. Colour, shape, tonality, sequence, action. Comics are there to be seen and felt; if the artist can make you feel and see then they’re good.

It’s almost the opposite of the scientific mode of explaining laboriously and intellectually. I’ve been questioning the answers (and therefore the questions) of science from the basic level of feeling, hearing, smelling what is in the world.

There is also Alan Moore’s essay “Blood From the Shoulder of Pallas” from Watchmen on a similar theme (). It seems that it is possible to deceive the ego with a convincing illusion through “the mirror of nothingness” (electromagnetism). The result is physical boredom, whereby the numerical and sexual become one;  tools of the dragon of data.


I know all this sounds pretty fancy, but it’s actually a matter of simplicity. A good way to put it is to take a classic comic book, say the silver age Flash by Gardner Fox and Carmen Infantino. I was reading a review by Gene Phillips in TCJ
#58 (1980) the other day (as you do) and he had this comparison.
 
He brought to comics a storytelling style not too far derived from early “sense of wonder2 SF, whose formulaic approach stressed the wonder inherent in exotic worlds and bizarre devices (a la Jack Williamson) (page 47)
The formulaic approach with stereotypical characters engenders a classical formal style. The relation between pictures and words is also a question of style. To inspire a good story, it’s often true to say that the pictures 9sight) work independently of the words (“sounds”). They both supply something different which together makes up the action.
RC Harvey in the same issue gives as an example the Daredevil
of Miller and Roger McKenzie
 
Action is sight, sound and also feel, smell, atmosphere. In later years, TCJ seemed to forget the old formulas of storytelling. Now, if you have a world where there is no sight, sound, action (etc) then that entire world is wrong. It’s also psychotic and sexualised. The reason is that everything that lives expresses action (the fronds of plants waving in desert breezes).
Action is the way something expresses itself. In terms of the human, the body is the vehicle of expression. In the modern ear the body is no longer a vehicle of expression. By “expression” I mean, say, a farmer shouldering a spade, a hunter shouldering a carcass, a cowboy vaulting onto a saddle.. and so forth.
If you go back to Hyborian Bridge 60 there is the example of Fulling where women would strip-off and engage in rhythmical actions. There are also the old grape-treading rituals of Dionysus. I went to Newtown Boarding School (class of ’69), an Irish Quaker-run establishment, and remember rumpty-tumpty classroom rumbles and sex-games like wild animals on-heat (is that normal?)
Essentially, the entire province of Dionysian physical expression is missing in an electromagnetic universe (of the ego). Dionysian activity enables people to engage in communal frolicks related to work that are by their nature sexual. Man is a sexual animal and physique can’t be denied.
Therefore, the lack of Dionysian activity is bound to sexualise people who are no longer engaging the body in the physical, communal acts which come naturally. There is a looseness and a grace of free-form movement. Did you see the clip of Monterey? This is free human expression of young, old and infant with a communal setting.
Instead of this naturalistic freedom, we now have a state of boredom which is numerical (machine). This physical state is like a straightjacket that immobilises the body. We also get constant heat-pumps designed for serpent-men (sun-seekers, slow-thinkers). The body is sexualised disproportionately – as in social-media.
A universe of physical boredom – the product of the ego – does not impress someone who is able to feel, smell, hear, see with a mythical sense of freedom. The connection is with art and comic books and the taste and values of our own “age of myth” (prev.)
Our personal “age of myth” is a safeguard to our perceptions, and another reason to discount the answers “they” give. Their answers only convince the ego through “the mirror of nothingness” that invites physical boredom, the numerical compulsion that is the sexual tool of the dragon of data.
The reason comes down to the cosmic reality we’ve lost through living in this numerical illusion through “the mirror of nothingness” (cosmic silence). Instead of living through a blood-cycle of decay and rebirth, modern civilization lives in the head.

This blood-cycle is nothing less than meaning and power; the strength of red earth, of roots and vines, places of power. This is the scene from Red Sonja #9 where Apah Alah draws Sonja down into her underground forest kingdom. 
 
This is feminine power, physical substance, the moon rising over wooded hills, Diana bounding, hounds baying in loping pursuit of deer bouncing away or slain bloodily. Red Shiva, Red Venus, the bull-like Dionysus.. the destructive myths prev.)
Without destruction there can be no creation; that is to say, a sequence of events that takes place in the cosmos. This sequence is nothing less than the harmonic cosmos that is red-blood female, muscular and manly, at one time dainty and virile.
So, when I say “everything is wrong” (in modernity), it’s that the feminine moon that animates our physical blood-lust is no longer harmonizing with her brother. Artemis and Apollo are close almost to incestuous levels in mythology. That link is broken to Man’s eternal sorrow, for it is simply the physical reality of action – animal, plant, stone, wind, celestial sounds and sights.




Thursday, 6 February 2020

Hyborian Bridge 104


I suppose fans of Howard don’t necessarily like the idea of relating his fantasy stories to the state of contemporary reality we find ourselves in? Nevertheless, if a link is there it should inevitably be found so I’ll carry on regardless.

From HB101 and HB103 it seems clear that The Skull of Silence and The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune are related. The wizard says,

“What matters men’s forgetfulness of you when you have forgotten yourself in the silent worlds of death? Gaze into my mirrors and be wise.” (page 174)

The mirrors have no harmonic sound (silence of the cosmos) because they are images with no sequence of events, representing the ego. A world of mirrors would therefore effectively be a cosmic silence of straight-line (electromagnetic) management and planning, run by acolytes.

So, the question to ask is: is electromagnetism mirrors? That question is difficult to answer; perhaps the best is to go forward on that assumption and see where it lands. A camera – as I think was mentioned previously – is the same as a mirror except that the image isn’t inverted. A self-drive car would operate with cameras analogously to a driver using mirrors.

Basically, all these apparatuses bend light, and light is composed of straight lines. Hence you’re in a perspective universe that could be an illusion, but it is managed, planned and run by acolytes.

The reason it’s not an illusion is that it is managed, planned and run by acolytes. IE the more straight line things get the easier they are to run that way. For example, self-drive cars will probably only ever operate in straight line areas because the illusion of reality is so much greater. The question is: is that futuristic world just a convincing illusion (of the ego)?

It looks real (like The 5th Element) but it is really composed of light. What’s missing is the moon and the blood-cycle of decay and regeneration in twilight landscapes where Diana roams, hunting-bow over her shoulder, deer in her sights and hounds ready for the kill.


One universe is appearance (order, Apollo); the other is reality (blood, Artemis). One is the haed (ego); the other is the body (lithe huntress). Clearly, the latter is very close to Howard’s so it must have a fantasy element which the other doesn’t.

Yes, but an illusion is not the same as reality; it only has the appearance (Apollo) of reality. It is a universe of cosmic silence and the ego. That universe I think can be related to stories like The Skull of Silence and The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune. In other words, Howard’s world exists in a moonlit landscape where the wizards are somewhat like our solar scientists who operate with illusions.

To Howard moonlight, as at the battle scene in Swords of the Purple Kingdom, symbolises and actually is reality. Blood and decay and the lithe body in action. This world is also harmonic and is exposed to the sounds and sights of the cosmos of tumbling stars. It is not run by the ego (of wizards) but by the sword and battle-axe of heroic figures.

To a world of illusion that world is fantasy; but in another sense it is the cosmic reality we’ve lost through illusion. The reality of cosmic sound (silence.)

In a world of electromagnetic illusion, the straight line is reality. So, for example, in the US election all the candidates appear to be managers. They want spending (infrastructure) and Biden was asking Sanders to cost his proposals.

Where are the candidates who want less government and more self-organization by communities? They don’t exist because that is not their reality (illusion). Where is the America of Lil Abner that is not so much political as mythical?

That is not the America that “they” care about. A world of electromagnetic illusions also faces “the riddle of steel” (prev.) since it is aimed at the head. Words feed the ego through “the mirror of nothingness (electromagnetism). The assumption is that one should trust one’s head rather than assume the head may be deceived – as in “the riddle of steel”.

So, the idea of a universe of the ego, managed by acolytes, one could easily think of as a fantastic illusion. I remember as a kid the only TV program I remember watching was the 60s Batman, since we had no TV and went to watch at a friend’s home. The program has always been a mythic memory. Marvel Comics also had a mythic impact.

The age of myth is probably something like 7 or 8 when the power of perception is quite great (Harlan Ellison used to say he “was still that kid”). What you notice nowadays is that the age factor is much less defined in that people watch social media/youtube from about 4 and you almost might suppose that the risk is that they miss “the age of myth” entirely, which is really apprehending something that has a lifelong impact in shaping values and tastes.

These memories, for good or ill, inform my mature mythology. What are they but pure fantasy? Memories should not be the product of ego, but of a vague apprehension of cosmic harmony, in sound, sight, action.

This is what I get from the 60s films of Jean-Luc Godard; at this point there are a couple on order and are due in about a week. Meanwhile, at

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Hyborian Bridge 103


In Swords of the Purple Kingdom, the famous moonlit spectacle of Kull at bay atop a crumbling stair joined by Dalgar to fight for king and lady (also Kull #9 HB100) has a thematic resemblance to “Red Lace”.
In the story Dalgar is said by Kull to have
fought by my side as gayly as he ever rode to a feast
The mix of death, love and gaiety by the light of the moon was
since immortalized by singers and poets
The dark forces of decay and death mix with renewal and rebirth, and Murom smiled softly..
“Out of a night of blood and terror, joy and happiness are born”
This is the same ecology of dark gaiety that in Noto’s tale ends on a melancholy note while Howard, for once, is less sombre.
“Life is that way, Count..” grunts Kull. The false optimism by which we are beset is the product of sorcerous mirrors of illusion (the sun) - which brings us neatly to The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune.
“See and believe” intones the wizard repeatingly, and there is a sense that his words impinge upon king Kull to such an extent that he sees something from nothing.
At times Kull halted to wonder how such thoughts and dreams had come to enter his mind, and at times he wondered if they came of his own volition – here his thoughts would become mazed. (page 176)
There is something about the story that is at once very simple and monstrous.“..the greatest are they who soonest learn the simplest things..” (page 173)
This type of injunction draws home the simplicity of living now, and neither in the past or the future, which are “illusions of substance”. The ego alone is real.
“What matters men’s forgetfulness of you when you have forgotten yourself in the silent worlds of death? Gaze into my mirrors and be wise.” (page 174)
The very simplicity of an image that has no past or future, no sequence of events, and that also is silent. For all the lack of content and reality, the wizard’s words supply the rationale – which is ego.
The simplicity of the story is that the mirrors represent the ego devoid of substance. Adding words provides a rationale for this world of nothingness.
In The Annotated Robert Howard, Robert Weinberg notes that Kull is taciturn, and sees this as a fault in the stories completed by Carter, such as Riders Beyond the Sunset and Black Abyss). Words, in the world of action, are not necessary; they are terse, reflecting events.
Kull is introspective, and for once this tells against him when the wizard’s words tell him to reflect on.. nothingness.
..strange visions entered his mind, like flying unbidden from the whispering void of non-existence. (page 176)
Kull is gazing at himself – which means the ego – and the wizard feeds his ego through “the mirror of nothingness”. What that could imply (see prev.) is that a world of words is there to impinge on “the mirror of nothingness” (electromagnetism) for the sake of the ego.
What is electromagnetism but ones and zeros? It is whatever is fed into it; it is simply a convincing illusion of straight lines (sun, reflection) as opposed to physical substance.
What is physical substance but blood and decay? This lead back to the decadent ecology of Noto’s “Red Lace” where the dainty morsels of nature grow into monstrous forms that are killed to preserve a bizarre lifecycle.
Noto’s world is hard to fathom, but it has physical substance in spades – which is where all meaning and power originate. From the earth, the roots, vines, the crazy creatures that thrive there.
These worlds – like the comic book ones – depend on a sequence of events; on line and movement from past to future. Everything that is there in the physical substance of growth and decay is not there in a mirror, which is just image (Hyborian Bridge 48). Very convincing, but with no history or continuity (sequence of events). The point of a mirror is that it is aimed solely at the head – not the body. Whereas the body needs a physical environment to live (and die) in, the head (ego) doesn’t).
This could imply we live in a world of the ego (head) as opposed to blood and decay and rebirth – roots, vines, grubs, birds, hunters, Diana..
The question you could ask is: what does electromagnetism enable? It enables anything that is straight line order. That means things like management (communication), planning (infrastructure) and politics (acolytes).
That entire universe is symbolised by Apollo (sun), which is appearance, not reality. So, what exactly is missing from that universe?
A straight line order has to be missing out on harmonic constellations whereby the moon reflects the sun in a physical sense. The harmonic universe is not silent; or rather the silence has the sounds of the cosmos Hyborian Bridge 101
If a straight line order has harmonic silence, in what sense does it exist in the cosmos 9of sounds)? Kull, in his introspection, is incapacitated in that he cannot think to draw his sword and shatter the mirrors of illusion. What saves the day is a ringing sound; “Kull!” ejaculates Brule.
If we live in a world of cosmic silence, then words are the equivalent of Tuzun Thune’s intonations to Kull; they feed the ego through “the mirror of nothingness”, which is electromagnetism.
Of course, you can turn round and say to me; you like films, which are electromagnetism. I know, and I also use the net. I do like some films, but don’t watch TV or do social media.  I use light bulbs but would as soon use candles. My ideal would be sort of like the 60s hippies who make a big point of not consuming and use beat-up vans and gear. One can’t uninvent electricity but one shouldn’t stare. There are other things to see, smell, hear, feel.
In fact the $, the servant of electromagnetism, is the destroyer of urban and rural and communal ambiance, feel, smell, sounds.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Hyborian Bridge 102


When the head becomes the body, steel becomes flesh (prev.) This is the opposite of “the riddle of steel” (Pictorial 87) whereby the warrior trusts his sword over his head, which can be deceived by foul sorcery.

This seems to imply we live in the age of sorcery, stemming from Newton’s induction from a light box. Everything else – words of acolytes, material goods – is part-and-parcel of the sorcerous reality. Outside of this are the feminine dreams of blood and savagery.

The feminine element in heroic fantasy is the romantic harmonic of the universe (of sun, moon and planets and constellations of Earth-myth). Sun and moon together are a mix of masculine and feminine, the Earth-spin.

The feminine element is indispensable as it is simply half of the physical universe. The universe we inhabit is not physical; it is a convincing illusion of light (reflection) which subdues the physical. The ego is seduced by the numerical illusion, which has the appearance of physical boredom. The physique can’t be denied, and the numerical and the sexual become one. Hygienic weakness invites the dragon which feeds the ego through “the mirror of nothingness”.

Data is the dragon the ego feeds off in the hygienic world of materialism (electromagnetism). Materialism is convincing to the ego, which exists in a state of physical boredom; the numerical becomes sexual.

This sorcerous reality of metal and numbers is opposed by feminine blood and savagery. While metal and numbers have the appearance (Apollo) of reality, the feminine moon (Artemis) reflects the sun and so has an innate harmonic.

It is this harmonic which goes to the heart of heroic fantasy. If Kull has the decadence and dreamy romance of Valusia, possibly the most decadent of them all was dreamed-up by Clair Noto for Red Sonja #s 10-13.

In the lead-up to “Red Lace”, Sonja is rescued form lynching in the triple-walled Argosian city of Skranos by smooth-chinned Suumaro, rebel scion of Apah Alah and half-brother to hairy Oryx.

One detail I noticed in #8 was that the women in Suumaro’s seraglio wore metal fetters which Sonja, with her steel, slices asunder. The savage use of metal that frees metal shackles.

In #9 Sonja is drawn by Apah Alah into her root-roofed kingdom under the forest; but this is merely a prelude to #10 when she and Suumaro encounter Apah Alah’s forgotten temple to Quillos, her paramour and Suumaro’s father, who’s betrayal caused her to contort the temple into a fantastic symbiosis of tree and stone Aspects3


The temple harbours probably the most savagely female fantasy-world ever put to paper (no offense to Ghita of Alizzar!) Noto creates nothing less than a savage lifecycle of blood born of the dainty aspect of nature. Or, more precisely, the workshop of a fabled artisan (Vulcan?) who here takes the shape of a centaur.
 

  Red Sonja #10
There is the scent of decay in this land of gnarled wood and stone; the age-old patina of things left to intertwine (vines, roots). Death in this land is also wood, in the form of Narca’s bow. The bald huntswoman likes nothing more than shooting down the rocs which grow serenely out of the dainty piped eggs.
The lifecycle takes the form of the blood of the slain rocs which feeds the bizarre ecology of the plant-kingdom. Into this spring the lithe warriors Sonja and Suumaro – the only ones to bear metal swords – along with the japing and insidious thief Marmo.
Sonja eventually kills the leering Narca, after her sight is restored by the heartblood of a dying roc. It is this mixture of evil and good that gives the story its unquiet mystery. Even Cat Yronwode in a letter to #13 was sorely struggling with the oddity of the bloodletting!
The blood imagery of #210 and 11 pulls deep chords in any woman, yet I was again left wondering why. Why did Narca kill the Big Birds and tumble them into a vat of blood? Why did the heart’s blood of one of the birds cure Sonja’s blindness?
The whys and wherefores are completely tricky. Is the dragon Kthon, who desires the emblem, a force for good or evil – and what is the emblem? When it is lost, the temple disintegrates – Sonja feels this is a rebirth of sorts Hyborian Bridge 15
It’s difficult to say apart from the fact that a universe that is innately decadent contains withing it the seeds of rebirth. Blood and death feed rebirth because they are strong and of the earth – of the roots. Evil lurks there, but good can conquer evil – as Sonja’s sword does Narca.
Strength conquers the dragon; weakness invites it. The emblem is unspeakably powerful, and this was the force that Sonja and Suumaro succeeded in keeping from the vengeful Apah Alah.

In the end, the Greek tragedy of jealousy and vengeance is dispelled as Apah Alah’s powers are deprived and she is reconciled to her love for the aged Quillos.
Red Sonja #13
The motto could be that blood and decay are strong and can be both good and evil. Within them is the harmonic of the universe which the warrior, with metal sword in hand, encounters.
The harmonic of the universe is a cycle; like the forest a labyrinth of ways; it is a hunt; it is love and death. It is all these things, and they are all seen by the light of the moon (that reflects the sun).
We essentially live in a half-world that is the sun (reflection) but not the reflection by a physical reality (moon).
The sun represents materialism, but it is an illusion, a harmonic silence without the moon, blood, decay and rebirth.