Saturday, November 24, 2007

El Stumpo: Beyond Good & Evil columns 2005

El Stumpo: Beyond Good & Evil #1

[Originally published in Rave magazine, Brisbane 25/01/05]

Greetings untermensch,

Being a star of stage, professional wrestler and raconteur, I often don’t get a chance to sit down with a good novel. Back in my misspent UQ days, while most shitheads in my Arts degree were mincing around doing their shabby Kerouac routines, my preferred poison used to be science fiction of the nuttiest kind; Philip K. Dick, Thomas M. Disch, J.G. Ballard. Burroughs, of course, if only to prove that I too was a walking collegiate cliché.

These days as we hurtle blindly towards the end of the Mayan calendar, I find real life much crazier and certainly more amusing than science fiction. Sometimes it can be a drug; if push came to shove, I’d knock over Stephen Hawking in his wheelchair just to get to the crazy shit.

I’d spent a few weeks wigging out on String Theory when the Southeast Asian tsunamis hit. I knew we’d hit gold. Before you could type “September 11” there was a literally a tidal wave of conspiracy theories on the internet. I understand people find this stuff offensive, particularly in the wake of such suffering and devastation, but trust me, step outside your humanist comfort zone for a while and enjoy the wild ride.

I entered “tsunami occult conspiracy” and BINGO. Most references were linked to an earlier theory about one of the weapons of the New World Order. Out of the abortive Star Wars program in the ‘80s came the spawn of errant scientist Nikola Tesla: the HAARP Project, giant electro-magnetic particle generators that can alter weather patterns, burn holes in the ionosphere and disrupt thought waves in an entire city or state. And if you can buy that, you’d believe HAARP can also aim its beams at the tectonic plates and amplify or even cause earthquakes on the sea bed.

Right-wing Christians had been harping on for years about these secret Satanic weapons of infinite mass destruction. Even the Aum cult in Japan (incidentally huge science fiction freaks themselves) believed the huge quake that hit Japan days before their retaliatory saran gas strike on the Tokyo subway was caused by one of Tesla’s mighty boom boxes. I felt like taping a message to Aum’s benevolently smiling blind leader in prison and ask him for a suggested reading list.

Last week Trash Video, being the freak magnet it is, threw up an unexpected gem. Co-monkey Lloyd found a surreal, almost psychotic Japanese horror film from 2000 called Uzumaki or Spiral, in which a small village is menaced by a Bad Spiral. Based on a popular manga series, Uzumaki is a catalogue of Lynchian moments: high school kids are transformed into giant snails, one girl’s hairdo becomes a twenty-foot rats nest of swirls, and a long-suffering housefrau snips off her fingertips with scissors. I asked a friend of mine, a half-Japanese girl with shaman tendencies, about the significance of the Bad Spiral. “Honey,” she sighed, “it’s ALL about spirals.”

Four days later I emerged from an internet-induced daze, eyes flickering back into the skull. The Kabbala, sacred geometry, the Golden Mean, phi, 12-strand DNA, electro-magnetic grids of consciousness. Good Spirals that are the source of all creation, and Bad Spirals that, like Shiva, signal the end of existence.

I started to notice spirals everywhere; it was worse than my Freemason phase from a few years ago. I even became that guy on Friday, shitfaced on tequila at 3am outside the Troubador, screaming “It’s all about SPIRALS!” to random strangers.

Real life came thudding back at 8.30 the next morning. What a drag. The psychedelic spirals in the eyes, however, continued for a few more hours.

Current reading: Alistair Crowley’s Moonchild.

El Stumpo: Beyond Good & Evil #2

[Originally published in Rave magazine, Brisbane 01/03/05]

Thus Spake Stumpathustra

A giraffe once told me in a dream the exact moment of my death: October 2038. I forget the exact date, but I believe it’s a Thursday.

So what do you make of this - disassociative behaviour leading to a complete psychotic breakdown? The start of a serious messianic complex? Too much cheese before hitting the hay?

Maybe a little from column A and column B. Charlie Manson founded a cult on less, and surrounded himself with teenaged girls who were willing to kill for him. Now I don’t have any robes, and I can’t grow more than a pissweak schoolies beard. But ladies, if you’re after a guru with no charisma, sexual magnetism or spiritual insight, I’M YOUR MAN. In the rare instance that you will resist, I’ve thrown in a few subtle hidden messages to convince you otherwise.

It took me 15 years to pick up Philip K. Dick’s 1980 masterwork and just four days to read it. Valis is a daunting mix of surreal SF imagery and Gnostic mysticism (do your homework, kids) and a largely autobiographical account of Dick, writing as both himself and his schizophrenic twin Horselover Fat, receiving information from an alien intelligence he calls Valis, who may or may not be God. To Dick, religion and FOLLOW ONLY ME madness are one and the same. It follows a central Gnostic belief: if human beings are irrational, it’s because the mind of the Creator is damaged and clearly insane. Our very nature, concludes Dick, is of karma-controlled shards of the Creator, deliberately separated (or “occluded”) from each other by space - our three dimensional world - and time.

From playing in bands with friends who are clinically insane, I’ve found schizophrenic voices are no less real than a religious “vision” is to the pious. Yet they’re the ones in the robes, and people GIVE ME YOUR MONEY are quite willing to believe them. This is called faith or blind faith depending on which side of the pulpit you’re standing. On the other hand, preachers usually have an agenda or a vested interest, and people with schizophrenia just want to be left the fuck alone. If I have to hand over any cash, my money’s on the nutjobs.

It’s a collective agreement on what is “real” that determines Consensus Reality. Eastern navel-gazers call our three-dimensional reality Maya; Dick calls it the Black Iron Prison. For both, our consensual reality is the descent of spirit or Brahma into matter. It is mankind’s curse, and is less “real” than the spiritual realms just beyond our veil of perception. Some suggest that dreams are our consciousness’ systematic escape from 3-D reality into the multiverse of other realities. To the dreamer, our dreams seem quite “real” (and I promise I won’t write the word “real” again) - ever been sleepwalking naked into your parents’ room or have woken up shooting firearms into your pillow?

I’ve been plagued with lucid dreams since high school. They are usually accompanied I AM THE ONE by a supersonic roaring and a flash of brilliant white light before slamming back into wakefulness. I stood under a huge tidal wave a week before the Asian tsunamis hit. I’ve collected food cans for flood survivors in a post-deluge Brisbane. This is one of my favourites: I’ve escaped an alien death train bound for a human concentration camp. It’s strange - the memories of each dream seem as real as graduating high school or my first blowjob.

A few weeks after finishing Valis I had my most lucid vision yet. In the dream, three ants did a synchronous dance on top of a smooth white skull, boring stalks of dried grass into the surface with their front legs. From the shallow holes came three tiny reddish transparent hologram Easter Island heads, all twisting in the same ant dance as they started to relate the true story of the creation of the universe.

The answer? You’ll find me all week cross-legged in Orleigh Park in a purple crocheted mu-mu with a week-old beard surrounded by adoring teenaged disciples. All the Happy Punch you can drink, but PLEASE bring your own sandwiches.

Current reading: “Prophecies, Earth Changes And Survival Guide” by Marc Eagle Eyes

El Stumpo: Beyond Good & Evil #3

[Originally published in Rave magazine, Brisbane 12/04/05]

Like Baptists, fundamentalist Muslims aren’t renowned for their sense of humour.

So if ultra-Orthodox Jewish messianists are planning to storm the Arab-occupied Dome on the Rock in Jerusalem on April 10th 2005, the Islamic World’s response may not necessarily be laced with delicious irony or subtle political satire.

The two Dome on the Rock mosques stand on the most significant site in Islam after Mecca. It also happens to be THE most sacred spot in Judaism, the original Temple of Solomon and the very real estate where Abraham planned to carve up his son as an offering to Jehovah. The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement website (www.templemountfaithful.org) calls 10,000 of the righteous to scale the Dome’s walls, sacrifice a genetically-engineered red heifer and thus reconstitute the Temple and usher Yahweh back onto the throne of Israel.

Even if only 500 kosher commandos make it up the Mount, I don’t feel optimistic. One possible response is an all-out missile attack from Iran, drawing the US into a wider regional conflict which Islamic, Jewish and Christian apocalypticists alike will read as the start of the final battle between Good and Evil. Grim, but horribly plausible. Yet hope may be around the corner.

Evelyn, a Trash regular and Wonder Woman aficionado, stumbled on an incredible series of superheroes that are taking the Arab world by storm. AK Comics out of Cairo (www.akcomics.com) publish the futuristic adventures of four superheroes set in the Middle East after the “55 Years War”. They include Rakan - a lethal lone wolf raised by a sabre-toothed tiger and trained in the “Sheba” warrior technique... Aya, part of an X-Men style underground crime fighting organization led by the mysterious Number Zero... and Jalila, survivor of a nuclear blast but vulnerable to X-rays, and heralded as the Saviour of the heartwarmingly-named “City of All Faiths”.

None of the superheroes are specifically Muslim - good news in such a volatile area where young Muslim, Jewish, and Christian comic readers live together in an uneasy alliance - but instead have mysterious Pharaonic powers which they use to battle a simplistic and non-threatening dualism of Good versus Evil. In that respect, AK Comics are better at Middle East diplomacy than Condoleezza Rice’s skull-like grin could ever achieve.

Now, I’m a sucker for three things: inept action films, shithouse musicals, and religious extremism. Which is why I literally pissed holy water when one of my Holy Grails, the Pakistani exploitation masterpiece International Guerillas, turned up in the mail last month. Made to cash in on the Ayatollah’s 1989 fatwah on author Salman Rushdie and his blasphemous novel The Satanic Verses, International Guerillas is the tale of three Muslim holy soldiers sent on a mission from Allah to bring back the head of Rushdie. A baffling, incomprehensible mix of Die Hard and Let’s Get Skase, the three hour marathon alternates between high melodrama, low comedy, insanely loud explosions, and long-winded rants against Rushdie where the three Stooges - at one point dressed in Batman outfits (!!!) - vent the collective spleen of the Muslim world.

Salman in real life is a bookish trail of spit with wispish hair and eyes that seem to disappear into the back of his head - here he’s a suave Bondian villain with a full head of hair with an eye for the lay-deez and his own secret island lair where he decapitates Muslims with a cutlass. He then smells their blood and declares in a slow, ponderous voice, “Every time the blood of those who love Mohammed has splattered on my chest, all gods above and below have got scared!” The real-life Salman Rushdie actually begged the British film censors to PASS the film so it wouldn’t become a guilty pleasure like pregno porn or bacon sandwiches. International Guerillas opened in a densely-populated Pakistani community in the north of England and closed the same day. Rushdie one, Allah nil.

“Salman” is eventually destroyed after a musical number when the rapping Mujahadeen, tied to X-shaped crucifixes on Salman’s front lawn, summon four flying Korans which circle Salman’s head like a wagon train and shoot laser beams at his head until he bursts into flames. Our intrepid Muslim superheroes all rejoice under the booming, disembodied voice of Allah.

On April 10th, make sure you check CNN just in case all hell breaks loose in the Holy Land. Even if Salman Rushdie leads the charge through Jerusalem on a seven headed beast, never fear: Jalila and the Pakistani Bat-Men will be blasting back with their flying laser-equipped Korans. Now THAT’s a Battle of Armageddon I could get excited about.

Current reading: Al Hidell & Joan D’Arc (editors), The New Conspiracy Reader. “From Planet X to the War on Terrorism - what you really don’t know.”

Send all fatwahs, conversion tools and missionary fervour to trash@trashvideo.com.au

El Stumpo: Beyond Good & Evil #4

[Originally published in Rave magazine, Brisbane 26/04/05]

Pope Pius X woke in front of an audience in 1909 and cried out: "What I see is terrifying. Will it be myself? Will it be my successor? What is certain is that the pope will quit Rome, and in leaving the Vatican, he will have to walk over the dead bodies of his priests."

The Catholic Church is riddled with such garish apocalyptic scenarios of its destruction from within its own ranks. In 1139 an Irish monk, later canonized as St Malachy, experienced a blinding vision of the following 112 popes. He wrote an epigram of several words for each; to date, all of the descriptions are uncannily accurate. The ill-fated John Paul I landed the ominous term "De Medietate Lanae," or "from the half moon" - his tenure lasted one month after the moon appeared half full.

From Malachy’s list, there one more pointy hat to come. His final pope, "Petrus Romanus", warrants a whole paragraph: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock among many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city (Rome/The Vatican) will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.”

According to Doomsday watchers we don’t have much time left - dates vary from the end of the Mayan Calendar (21/12/12) to the end of the Piscean Age (2025). Catholics passionately believe in a Golden Millennium following the Great Battle, which would explain why a less-than-sprightly 78 year old Cardinal is elected, in the Vatican’s words, as a “caretaker” or “transitional” pontiff. Bring on Armageddon soon, and pass the Holy ammunition.

“Panzercardinal” Joseph Ratzinger is described by Malachy as "Gloria Olivae" (“The Glory of the Olive”). It was widely rumoured that the new pontiff would be a former Benedictine monk, as the Order of St Benedict (or “Olivetans”) were predicted by their 6th Century founder St Benedict to lead the struggle between good and evil during the Final Days (he didn’t specify which side the Church was on). Upon the papal vote, Ratzinger claimed the moniker “Benedict” - coincidence, providence, or deliberate fulfillment of prophecy? The olive branch is both a sign of peace and a symbol of Israel. Baptists will cream their polyester slacks over this one - will Pope Benedict XVI sign the Covenant between Christians and Jews, one of the signs of the Apocalypse as foretold in Revelation?

There’s a number of splinter groups within the Catholic Church such as the Traditionalists - Mel Gibson’s father included - who, like Baptists, believe each pope has been a precursor to the appearance of the Antichrist. The list includes mystics, seers, prophets and Catholic esoterics, but none more revered than St Lucia of Fatima in Portugal.

On 13th July 1917, the Virgin Mary descended from the sky in a flash of natural pyrotechnics and delivered an apocalyptic vision to three school children. The youngest, Lucy (later a nun canonized as St Lucia), revealed the first two Secrets of Our Lady of Fatima in 1941, predicting the end of WWI (check), the rise of communism (check), and the hope of Russia’s conversion to Catholicism. The Third Secret was later written down, to be revealed on Lucia’s death or in 1960, whichever came first. Instead, Lucia’s handwritten note was buried in the deepest recesses of the Vatican Archives. In its place, Vatican II (1962-1965) made far-reaching liberal changes to the Church to the horror of Traditionalists, who fingered a conspiracy between Masons and Jews (further “proof” was links between the CIA and the all-powerful Masonic P2 Lodge in the Vatican). For Catholic conspiracists, Satan’s minions already had their claws on the throne of God.

Those who have read the Third Secret (Ratzinger included) only hint at the message within. It’s rumoured to speak of a “diabolical wave” sweeping through the Church, specifically over the position of Holy Father, and of the “terrible things” to happen to the Church if the words of the Virgin Mary are not heeded. In a letter St Lucia wrote, "We are in the last times of the world."

OK, pundits. If there’s only one Pope left, here’s my picks:

1) Christoph Schoenborn, vocal supporter of Israel’s claim to Holy Land; believes Christians should embrace the return of Israel as it fulfills Biblical prophecy (ie Book of Revelation!). He’s thus boots-deep with the Neo-Con’s plan for global domination, and rumoured to be Bush’s Man in the Vatican. (Odds: 2 to 1)

2) The End Times prophet Nosty predicted, "...he who is born in ancient France will be elected for the trembling gondola of the papacy." French/Jewish Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, close confidante of John Paul II and, like his former mentor, virulently anti-Bush and pro-peace (and although not pro-Palestinian, is certainly anti-partisan on the Middle East problem). Could split with the US and Israel with disastrous consequences. (Odds: 5 to 2)

Check with me closer to Armageddon. If I’m wrong, people, I swear I’ll eat my pointy hat. Until then, all bets are ON.

El Stumpo: Beyond Good & Evil #5

[Originally published in Rave magazine, Brisbane 07/06/05]

Greetings untermentsch,

This came through by email from the States - I strongly urge all patriotic Australians to read it.

New Mexico, USA: Gorgeous convicted Australian drug smuggler Sherelle Hornby wept openly in a Lake Taho courtroom yesterday, while outside her family cooked stray dogs over burning pool furniture from local motels and sprayed vials of urine on foreign camera crews.

It took just four weeks of continuous TV broadcasts for the thirteen judges in white robes and pointed hoods to deliver the verdict Hornby and her worldwide legion of supporters had dreaded: four consecutive death sentences, with little hope for parole.

An estimated international audience of 1.5 billion watched as a visibly distressed Hornby, petite and slightly tanned from two months water-skiing at Lake Taho’s Minimum Security Facility, then attacked the startled jurors with a stiletto heel and berated her defense lawyer Schmully Dachau for being “too Jewish”.

OBSCENE

Vacationing Newcastle diet consultant Hornby, 22 and still single, was searched at length at Lorne Greene International Airport in Lake Taho, New Mexico, in early April. Officials alarmed at her bizarre, stilted “yet whimsical” behaviour later discovered an “obscene” quantity of smokable cocaine concealed in her underwear.

Concerned viewers have studied TV broadcasts and episodes of Law And Order, and have condemned the trial “unconstitutional”, despite the overwhelming evidence from New Mexico’s Edible Drug Authority (EDA). A stunning 94% of A Current Affair’s Monday night audience declared Hornby had “innocent eyes” while 65% of callers in a Morgan Gallop poll commented on her “wistful smile”.

ABYSMAL

The runaway success of Crack Whore, the syndicated reality show of Hornby’s trial, has forced the NBC to rework its entire fall schedule. Deathrow: No Or Yo, in which a randomly selected and blindfolded studio audience decides the fate of Guantanamo Bay prisoners entirely by smell, is currently being fast-tracked for an August debut, as is the provocative dating gameshow Fuck Or Fuck Off. Meanwhile at CBS, abysmal ratings for the former hit gypsy family series Nobody Likes Raymondo has forced chairman Bernie Dunkett to order an “ethnic cleansing” through its comedy department at their shareholders’ request.

Across Australia, angry customers canceled their orders at US-owned fast food restaurants in an unparalleled wave of anti-American sentiment. In Sydney’s Martin Place a Ronald McDonald statue was toppled by an unruly mob, and last week’s tartar sauce contamination scare has led one chain’s popular fishburger to be withdrawn from sale. Scientific tests have since failed to uncover any biological content to the sauce whatsoever.

LUDICROUS

In the United States, internet rumours of a possible conspiracy may be entered as evidence in defense lawyer Dachau’s planned appeal following Hornby’s execution. It is believed a cabal of Qantas flight stewards plied the overly-friendly Hornby with champagne cocktails and planted the “ludicrous” quantity of cocaine in her underwear because they thought it was “funny”.

A civil rights activist and friend of the Hornby family has accused homosexuals of an “exaggerated sense of the absurd” as well as an “almost pathological lack of empathy”. An unnamed spokesman for the homosexual community has hit back, claiming gay people are in fact as humourless as the rest of the population.

The Ten Network yesterday confirmed plans for the return of Australian Queer Eye have been shelved indefinitely.

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