Showing posts from October, 2015

The Party Over The People

Socialism isn’t a foreign concept in America. At the height of its power, The Socialist Party held 1,200 public offices and boosted 135,000 members. So what happened? Well, a whole bunch of different things but s ocialism in America has always taken its biggest setbacks when the politicians chose political interests and holding office over the needs of the people. Eugene Debs We really need to start with Eugene Debs. Debs began as a Democrat. And it was as a Democrat that he held his first public offices. His radicalization began with the railroads.  After goons, Pinkerton Agents, and the Federal Government killed the 1888 Burlington Railroad Strike, Debs organized the massive American Railway Union. ARU won huge against The Great Northern Railway, but weren’t so lucky in their next big battle. The Pullman Company cut wages by 28% triggering an ARU strike. When the union applied the force of 80,000 angry workers against the railroad, the Government again intervened on be

Anime and Influences

I’m going to show my age here but I remember when anime was hard to find. Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets/G-Force Speed Racer and Astroboy were way before my time. The first programs I remember that aired in America were redubbed, rewritten and heavily edited for cartoon syndication. Gatchaman was reworked into Battle of the Planet s, then reworked yet again into G-Force . The Super Dimension Fortress Macross , Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross , and Genesis Climber Mospeada were hammered together to become Robotech . While Beast King GoLion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV were Americanized into Voltron . The success of these programs lead American companies to utilize Asian animation studios for a lot of 80s American cartoon classics like G.I. Joe . And Hasbro, never one to pass up on a way to sell toys, even purchased the licensing rights to the failed Diaclone and Microman Japanese toylines, combined them, rebranded them as Transformers and then hired writers to

Baphomet Rising , Part VI: The Monstrosity of the Idol

Baphomet Rising, Part VI: The Monstrosity of the Idol The Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruled the Ten Commandments monument unconstitutional and ordered its removal in June of 2015. The Satanic Temple withdrew their proposed Baphomet statue in response. Unfortunately, while the battle over the Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma was playing out, Arkansas passed Senate Bill 939 for the exact same thing. This July, the Satanic Temple unveiled the Baphomet statue in his full glory at a ceremony in an industrial warehouse in Detroit. Then, in September of this year, the Satanic Temple filed to have their Baphomet monument placed alongside the Ten Commandments monument in Arkansas. Finally, in October, only a few days from this writing, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin called for a constitutional amendment to restore the Ten Commandments to her state’s capital. In an interview with Vice , Lucien Greeves says the Satanic Temple is both a satanic and satire group. He then points

Baphomet Rising, Part V: The Devil for Fun and Profit

Baphomet Rising, Part V: The Devil for Fun and Profit Anton LaVey didn’t care about mystical opposites. For him, Baphomet was synonymous with the Devil, a particular devil—the one he could sell you for a $200 membership fee. Born Howard Levey, he ran away from home to join the circus at age 16. For most of his life, he continued working in circuses and carnivals, but also played piano for burlesque shows. In the early 1960s, LaVey’s minor celebrity status in San Francisco drew a few notable locals to his regular parties. Supposedly, as reported by his Church, from that party scene came The Order of The Trapezoid which met regularly to listen to the showman lecture on philosophy and the occult. After LaVey ritualistically shaved his head and declared 1966 the Age of Satan: Year One, The Order of the Trapezoid become the governing body for The Church of Satan. The Sigil of Baphomet Whatever his faults, or perhaps because of them, LaVey was a master of marketing and bran

Thoughts On The Star Wars Boycott

The best response to the assholes pushing ‪#‎BoycottStarWarsVII‬ and claiming it's "anti-white" because it features a diverse cast and people of color? It's not blog posts and flame wars and screaming matches on Twitter or whatever. It's pretty simple really. Ignore them and go see it. Don't engage. Make sure it makes money because that's going to have far more of an impact on what the cast of future Star Wars movies look like and whether this ushers in a real change for the faces we see on screens both big and small. If you feel that you have to do something else, contact Lucasfilm, contact Disney, and let them know how happy you are to see people of color in Star Wars . Everything else is probably going to do nothing else besides cause you grief. There have always been assholes and complainers in the world. Complaints in and of themselves are meaningless. I don't know where we got the idea that every single complaint matters or warr

Baphomet Rising, Part IV: The Great Beast

Baphomet Rising Part IV: The Great Beast “He is ‘the Devil’ of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection.” —Aleister Crowley, Magic in Theory & Practice Aleister Crowley is perhaps the single most famous figure in the entire history of magic and the occult. Often wrongfully dismissed simply as a debauched and drug-addicted Satanist, Crowley was a poet, a painter, a mountain climber, openly bisexual, and a rebel against a controlling society he felt imposed outdated morals based on ridiculous superstition. He was always a master at publicity, a flagrant attention whore, and could be exceedingly cruel. Unsurprisingly, Baphomet was an important figure for the man who called himself “the Great Beast.” Crowley began his formal magical training in The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn before founding the Argentium Astrum (usually written A∴A∴), and finally reorganizing the pre-existing Ordo Templi Orientis u

Forgettable Cases

I’ve been slowly making my way through the first season of Elementary since Hulu added the show to their streaming service. Currently, I’m a little over half way through the first season. I like the BBC’s Sherlock , but if we’re talking purely character and my emotional investment, then Elementary wins hands down. Miller’s Holmes comes off as a more honest portrayal of a human being. I buy that’s he’s super-smart and has a distant father, both of which make it more difficult for him to relate to people. Even though she’s not fresh from a war, Lucy Liu comes off as more genuinely wounded than Martin Freeman’s veteran. Miller and Liu is just a much more engaging relationship, and I like that there’s no hint of a hook-up. I like the actual use and acknowledgment of Holmes’s drug addiction, which most modern adaptations gloss over. The main problem for me with Moffat’s Sherlock is the same problem I have with most of Moffat’s writing. His writing often comes off as smarty pants, like

Baphomet Rising, Part III: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

Baphomet Rising, Part III: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck “With more than his usual derision for the arts which he pretended to respect and interpret as a master therein, Eliphas Levi affirms that the Baphometic figure is occult science and magic.” --A.E. Waite, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. Arthur Edward Waite was a mystic, a scholar, a member and, after the expulsion of S.L. MacGregor Mathers, the leader of the Golden Dawn. Waite’s early interest in the esoteric turned fully to the tradition of western hermeticism and the occult when he discovered Levi’s writings in the library of the British Museum. Not only was Waite the eventual English translator for Levi’s work but he was also the first person to write of the occult tradition as its own unique and cohesive spiritual tradition we could take something from, instead of a disparate group of beliefs or practices that all served as a kind of combo proto-science/religion. Waite was also an early influence and ment

Baphomet Rising, Part II: The Goat of Mendes

Baphomet Rising, Part II:  The Goat of Mendes Baphomet’s name would next be taken up by the son of a Paris cobbler named Alphonse Louis Constant. Constant was a smart boy, and despite being born poor, his parents groomed him for the priesthood. Accounts differ as to why he was expelled from the seminary; either he fell in love or he wouldn’t give up vocalizing “strange views.” Whatever the reason, he never fully shrugged off the fetters of his Catholic upbringing. The conflict between his religious education and his fascination with the weird and the esoteric is present in all his work. Unsurprisingly, in 1860 Constant reconciled with his church. When he died fifteen years later, he received the last rites. Before then, however, he would shape the entire concept of the occult in Western Civilization and become, perhaps unwittingly, a champion for Baphomet. When he began his magical writings, Constant transliterated his name into Hebrew. His first treatise Dogme et Rituel

Baphomet Rising, Part I: The Dark God of The Templars

I wrote a non-fiction piece to submit to a specific market that ended up falling through. Instead of tossing the piece, I figured I'll break it up and post it here. Baphomet Rising "And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET." —Aleister Crowley, The Gnostic Mass In 2012, a private group funded the installation of a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma state capitol. This clear and bold violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution received its first real challenge in the media from The Satanic Temple. If one religion is allowed to have a monument, they reasoned, then all religions are allowed. Through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, The Satanic Temple then raised $28, 180 to construct theirs: a nearly 9-ft tall statue of Baphomet sitting on a slab, flanked by two children eager to hear his words. But who or what is Baphomet?  And what does this mean? The Dark God of the Templars Baphomet

Pope Francis and the Problem with Truth

The reaction to Pope Francis meeting with Kim Davis says a lot about us. I get the hero worship. Francis is a religious leader and that’s important to a lot of people. Spirituality, I think, is a part of what makes us human—I don’t have any issue with that until someone tries to impose their spirituality on someone else. Here in America, too, it’s simply refreshing to see a religious leader engaged in a meaningful way by urging action on issues that help people rather than focusing on who should be condemned and denied rights this week. And Francis really is a progressive Pope for the Catholic Church. However, notice my word choice—progressive. Progressive. Not liberal. Progressive. I know that here in America, where we’ve let the opposition turn “liberal” into a profanity, people tend to call themselves “progressives” but there’s a big difference between being progressive and being liberal. Despite a change in some attitudes and some focus (that has undoubtedly earned him a

Oxide Pang's The Detective

Enjoyed Oxide Pang's Hong Kong neo-noir film The Detective . Not a lot of action but loads of style and atmosphere with a strong streak of black humor. Aaron Kwok plays Tam, a PI working in Bangkok's Chinatown. Tam is hired by Lung, a guy he barely knows from a bar, to find a girl Lung says follows him everywhere and wants to kill him. The C grade detective bumbles into a puzzling string of murders. Absolutely worth a watch but I've always preferred PI stories where the sleuth wasn't a slick badass with a cool car and a black belt and a hand cannon. K eep an eye out for the elephant and some unexpected surprises with the ending.