Ontological anarchy
March 29, 2003 2:08 PM   Subscribe

"Build frame-lattice lancework set-pieces on the roofs of insurance buildings or schools--a kundalini-snake or Chaos- dragon coiled barium-green against a background of sodium- oxalate yellow--Don't Tread On Me--or copulating monsters shooting wads of jizm-fire at a Baptists old folks home. "

I really have no idea, but it's awesome anyways.
posted by kavasa (17 comments total)
Other references: Bill Laswell, early electro-"Material" on Celluloid then Axiom, Praxis, etc had a strong Hakim Bey link and put out some records of his spoken word. The only good Material records of course were the early Sharrock ones, but some interesting stuff on Hallucination Engine-era releases! Axiom history.
posted by neustile at 2:47 PM on March 29, 2003

embrace ontological watchamacallit. you know - thingy! who needs doodah anyway?
posted by andrew cooke at 3:36 PM on March 29, 2003

[this is good]
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:09 PM on March 29, 2003

Just shows you what happends when you decide you will no longer watch the Jerry Springer show.
posted by Postroad at 4:19 PM on March 29, 2003

Hakim Bey?
posted by y2karl at 5:22 PM on March 29, 2003

God damn. His name is like the one thing I didn't search on. That was even pretty recent. I guess I'm am a retarded.
posted by kavasa at 5:24 PM on March 29, 2003

Temporary Autonomous Zone?
posted by y2karl at 5:26 PM on March 29, 2003

That wasn't a response--I missed your comment. He's always worth the mention. Carry on...
posted by y2karl at 5:28 PM on March 29, 2003

I like Appendix A, "Chaos Linguistics":
If meaning is elusive, perhaps it is because consciousness itself, and therefore language, is fractal.

I find this theory more satisfyingly anarchistic than either anti-linguistics or Chomskyanism. It suggests that language can overcome representation and mediation, not because it is innate, but because it is chaos... Nihilism points out gloomily that language "arbitrarily" creates meaning. Chaos Linguistics happily agrees, but adds that language can overcome language, that language can create freedom out of semantic tyranny's confusion and decay.
I'm not sure what it means, but it's got pizzazz!
posted by languagehat at 7:19 PM on March 29, 2003

It does have pizzazz, indeed, and even chutzpah, heaven forbid, but I think I need a little more convincing that a) consciousness is fractal and b) that that implies in any way that language is fractal.

Still, 'semantic tyranny' sounds cool.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:38 PM on March 29, 2003

Favorite Hakim Bey quote:

"The dullard finds even wine tasteless, but the sorcerer can be intoxicated by the mere sight of water."
posted by namespan at 8:47 PM on March 29, 2003

"Temporary Autonomous Zone".... I like it. It has a good acronym.
posted by taz at 11:03 PM on March 29, 2003

I liked TAZ a lot when it came out (I was, what, 18 at the time) and it's stayed influential and resonant in my life and work, as anyone familiar with the minimal compact can attest.

But there are really two problems here, interrelated. First is the sudden-seeming shabbiness of a call for "poetic terrorism" in the wake of 09.11 - in actuality, it was shabby all along, and only that final and triumphal act of villainy revealed "Bey"'s passionate cry as the fatuous posturing it is.

The second is the inescapable fact that the human being marionetting "Bey" is a man named Peter Lamborn Wilson, who, whatever his other merits (and I think he is in many ways a genius) is also a serial and unrepetant pederast. The "liberty" he calls for is, as has been that of so many libertines throughout history, the liberty of the privileged to take their pleasure upon the bodies of those either unconsenting or incapable of consent.

Wilson would frame it differently, but his writings have left an increasingly bad taste in my mouth these last few years. It's a lovely prospect he offers the (male?) adolescent, but one that's less and less appealing to anyone worth the title "adult." My two cents, as ever.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:44 AM on March 30, 2003

Well put, adamgreenfield. I feel the same way. Too bad such a lively, unorthodox thinker has to be so personally repellent.

The call for "poetic terrorism" reminds me of the lust for violence that was such a marked feature of Futurism just before WWI. It seems that if there hasn't been a major war for a while, people forget what actual violence is like (extremely unpleasant) and start wishing for it as a magic potion to shake up the supposedly soul-killing banality of everyday peacetime life. (And by "people" I mean young men.) I hope the species gets the chance to grow up.
posted by languagehat at 6:45 AM on March 30, 2003

I think you're mixing up Bey's poetic terrorism with some other kind of terrorism; what he describes in Chaos: The Broadsheets of Ontological Anarchism is perhaps wasteful or futile, but it is not violent.

Of course there's always the possibility that my objection arises from a misunderstanding of your terms; I am just a young man who's spent most of his life in peacetime, after all.
posted by zerolucid at 11:09 AM on March 30, 2003

zerolucid, whatever Wilson's intent in naming his praxis thusly, *any* terrorism has as its sole object the "intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments," and any person with genuinely progressive aims has to reject a politics founded on intimidation and coercion, no matter how noble the ends seem.

Any liberation worth the name cannot be founded on the oppression of others; any liberation that is stinks of the ashes of history. To posture otherwise is the sophistry of adolescents.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:01 PM on March 30, 2003

the inescapable fact that the human being marionetting "Bey" is a man named Peter Lamborn Wilson, who, whatever his other merits (and I think he is in many ways a genius) is also a serial and unrepetant pederast.

This I did not know. It sometimes amazes me, all the stuff I don't know.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:41 PM on March 30, 2003

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