December 5, 2001
10:51 AM   Subscribe

"Just as the War Against Drugs would make some kind of sense if they honestly called it a War Against Some Drugs, I regard Dubya's current Kampf as a War Against Some Terrorists. I may remain wed to that horrid heresy until he bombs CIA headquarters in Langtry." Recent thoughts from Futurist, author, and stand-up comic Robert Anton Wilson.
posted by tranquileye (29 comments total)

 
"...CIA headquarters in Langtry."

Um... doesn't he mean Langley? Am I missing some obvious play-on-words joke, or something?
posted by Hankins at 11:04 AM on December 5, 2001


Otto: Whoa! Dude musta been high when he wrote that!
posted by y2karl at 11:08 AM on December 5, 2001


I think Mr. Wilson should keep any day jobs he has and leave the comedy to professionals.
posted by billman at 11:18 AM on December 5, 2001


Am I missing something? The linked page is just a bunch of small rambling thoughts, the most interesting of which is contained in the link text. Is there anything interesting and new on this page?

Although I have never heard of this guy, he seems to be in the "loudmouth" category, where broad, incriminating proclamations are made with no context or support.
posted by phatboy at 11:19 AM on December 5, 2001


Obviously the work of the Illuminati.
posted by MrBaliHai at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2001


Is he implying that Judge Roy Bean, the Law West of the Pecos was an early CIA operative? Or is it just an obtuse way of being sarcastic about "cowboy diplomacy"?


(Can't get to RAW's site right now--too much traffic?)


posted by gimonca at 11:26 AM on December 5, 2001


Pretty small article for a guy who took a dare from his playboy editor to write a book only about the breast. Even more surprising is that its actually a good read.

The parallel between which group is a terrorist group and the war on drugs is all about self-interest. If today's terrorists can help bring down oil prices or help the US in their war then they are freedom loving good guys.

If the cops are looking for a big bust the speeding ticket pull-over becomes a search until they find someone with some illegal drug, scare them with jail sentences and work their way up from user to dealer to distributer.
posted by skallas at 11:27 AM on December 5, 2001


With the possible exception of MrBaliHai and Tranquileye, I don't think any of you really get it. R. A. Wilson is best known for being the writer (along with Robert Shea) of The ILLUMINATUS! Trilogy, a cardinal work of psychadelic sci-fi. It's hard to understand any of their writings fnord unless you read the aforementioned book and/or the Principia Discordia, which was loosely based on said book.

All that said, Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!
posted by phalkin at 11:28 AM on December 5, 2001


Praise Bob!

The plight of Bill Maher reminds me of something Ezra Pound wrote about London in 1919: "A single intelligent remark can destroy a man's entire career."

I like small rambling thoughts. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 11:30 AM on December 5, 2001


Okay, I got through about 1 1/2 of the three Illuminatus books when I was in college - enough to fill my head with more conspiracy theories and off-the-wall ideas than I found useful at the time. I backed off and re-entered the real world, just to catch my breath and give my curious paranoia a rest. Still, RAW is entitled to his opinions, and has never been shy about sharing them.

(There was a time when my life was filled with thoughts inspired by Loompanics books, RAW writings, the theories implicit in the graphic novel "From Hell", and of course, Bob Dobbs. I am now properly re-brainwashed into the consumer world of 21st century America)
posted by kokogiak at 11:34 AM on December 5, 2001


And because of RAW's love of all things Joycean (no, he's not Jorn) any misspelling is immediately suspect of not being a typo but actually some bizarre meta-meaning new word.

Langtry.....hmmm.......that'll require some work.
posted by Dagobert at 11:45 AM on December 5, 2001


http://www.iitexas.com/gpages/langtry.htm
posted by Postroad at 12:04 PM on December 5, 2001


Lilly Langtry was a lover of Judge Roy Bean. Recursive li'l bastard, that RAW...
posted by MrBaliHai at 12:07 PM on December 5, 2001


Too true to be funny, unless you find mordant wit particularly appealing.
posted by alumshubby at 12:16 PM on December 5, 2001


Five is the number.

Oh, hey.. I seem to think that RAW and Shea did another book together.. I can't remember the name and can't find it on any searches, so maybe I'm mistaken, but the plot was:

Aliens invade earth. The aliens are 'evolved' mini-elephants (on the alien's world, elephants became the dominant species).

Or maybe it was just Shea on his own, but I still can't remember what it was called and don't want to wait until I get home to search for the book.

As for the quote, it's that bit of using accurate semantics to say what you are saying.. getting rid of the propoganda piece, and saying what you mean. I like it. Wilson's certifiable. Then again, I read Illuminatus! 3 times.
posted by rich at 12:21 PM on December 5, 2001


Nah, that wasn't by Shea, it was by that guy that used to cowrite with Jerry Pournelle... what the heck is it called. Uh. Footfall?
posted by jdc at 12:24 PM on December 5, 2001


With the possible exception of MrBaliHai and Tranquileye, I don't think any of you really get it.

Oh, fer chrissake's, I probably read some of those books before you were born, twerpadelic!* Give us some credit out here...

*Er, I mean phalkin...
posted by y2karl at 12:30 PM on December 5, 2001


Oh yeah. Larry Niven and Pournelle.

That's right. Silly me.

As for Wilson, I still see the number 5 in everything. It's insanely distracting. And then I'll mention it to somebody like, "Hey! 5!" and I get strange looks.
posted by rich at 12:32 PM on December 5, 2001


As for Wilson, I still see the number 5 in everything.

It gets worse when 23 keeps poping up.
posted by skallas at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2001


You see - now there's a good example of meaningful typo (above) - does 23 keep "poping" up, or "popping" up. Because if it's the first choice, I want to know what the Pope has to with this, how deeply the Illuminati has influenced the Catholic Church, and if the Holy Roman Emperor will please step forward so we can see he is behind the September 11th attacks.

Sorry about that.
posted by kokogiak at 1:00 PM on December 5, 2001


Obviously the work of the Illuminati.

Or possibly their less well-informed counterparts, the Ignorami.
posted by Grangousier at 1:04 PM on December 5, 2001


Cosmic Trigger.
posted by mmarcos at 1:33 PM on December 5, 2001


Principia Discordia preceded Illuminatus!, not vice versa.

Not sure why these ramblings were particularly worth linking, as it's pretty typical RAW and his hobbyhorses (dada, dada) -- those who are familiar with his work find nothing new, while newcomers will be puzzled by the post-Korzybskian non-Aristotelian grammar and figure he's just stoned or something.

Cosmic Trigger and Prometheus Rising are good nonfiction intros to his reality tunnel, and Illuminatus! is prolly still readable (though like Leary the homophobia and sexism are sadly old-fashioned for such would-be futurists). The best "traditional" novel of his I read was the first of the Historical Illuminatus series (though it has someone in 17th or 18th century Italy firing a revolver, it also has the best fictional portrayal of a Masonic initiation ritual I've come across).
posted by retrofut at 5:20 PM on December 5, 2001


kokogiak : (There was a time when my life was filled with thoughts inspired ....I am now properly re-brainwashed into the consumer world of 21st century America)

As one.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:31 AM on December 6, 2001


more illuminatus! infiltration. pop-crazies the KLF taken to task over their use of illuminatus imagery and language.
I digress. You grab some symbolism from the books without really
understanding what they're all about (but you THINK you do. Suggest you look up "immanentize the Eschaton" in a big dictionary), put together a scratch
record containing much of it and release it with some convenient publicity about being sued over copyright.

posted by asok at 6:09 AM on December 6, 2001


As loopily consistent as RAW is (in both good and bad ways), it cheered me up to see him still around and opining/rambling.

I went through the same winking-conspiracy fascination kokogiak and stavros mention (the illuminatus-subgenius period of fascination, with in my case old Firesign Theatre records as the third piece), and more or less moved on, but I can't shake a sense of nostalgia for his kind of synthetic, not-laugh-out-loud-funny-but-still-compelling mythopoetic reasoning.
posted by BT at 7:25 AM on December 6, 2001


A RAW link--cool!
I read the first book of the ILLUMINATUS! trilogy a long time ago (and have read a few other bits of Wilson's writings along the way). I enjoyed it, but never got the impression it was meant to be taken too seriously, even if there may some truth to the conspiracy angle.
Been too long since I read it, so I don't recall the 5's, just the 17's and 23's...and how that's Adam Weishaupt (?) on the $1 bill...
--U. Wascal Wabbit.
posted by StOne at 7:30 AM on December 6, 2001


For fairness' sake I should add that RAW is about 80 years old, and the material I was blackfacing was published in the 1970s, so it's very much of its era. My point was that RAW and Leary for all their ontological daring and futurist speculation were still chained by the oppressive mores of their upbringing.

It's great that RAW is around and functioning (including speaking engagements, iirc) and able to communicate via the web. He's about as much a Global Village Elder as Leary, Lilly, and MacLuhan, for a certain kind of seeker. Fnord!
posted by retrofut at 12:23 PM on December 6, 2001


I went through the same winking-conspiracy fascination kokogiak and stavros mention

I never cared for the conspiracy stuff, in every interview I've read he admits his love of conspiracies is based on the fact that they're so ridiculous, not because they have much to do with reality.

Principia and Illuminatus are just big jokes. The really good stuff are the books that touch on synchronicities, reality tunnels, politics, semantics, agnosticism, and metaprogramming. Cosmic Trigger, Promethues Rising, Quantum Psychology, Sex and Drugs, and the New Inquisition are much more representive of RAW philosophy than his fiction.
posted by skallas at 12:42 PM on December 6, 2001


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