In an age of heightened awareness and sensitivity to the fact that the government is probably watching you read this right now, you would think America’s spy agencies might try to keep a few things on the down-low for awhile. But when you’re one of the top five intelligence agencies in the US, whose sole purpose is to spy on the entire population of planet earth from outer space -you tend to go big or go home. That’s why it’s no surprise the National Reconnaissance Office (the scariest spy agency you’ve never heard of) with it’s penchant for latin mottos, obscure mythological iconography and that whole spying on you from outer space thing -recently drew up a launch patch that features a giant space octopus slowly squeezing the life out of planet earth with the motto, “Nothing is Beyond Our Reach” proudly displayed across the bottom.
What’s a launch patch, you ask? Well, when it’s your job to spy on people from outer space, you have to launch a lot of satellites into orbit… like all the time and of course, if it’s your job to launch spy satellites into space, this is the sort of thing you might want to talk about with friends and family. As in, “Hey, have you heard about all that Edward Snowden spy stuff? Yeah… I sorta helped with that.”
But of course, you can’t talk about it. What you do get however, is a super cool launch patch! One that you can maybe frame and hang on your wall and specifically not talk about when people ask or maybe you can even sell it on ebay for twenty dollars if you’re lucky. Only, these aren’t your typical boring military insignia with stripes and horses and shields and whatever… these bad boys are like rock and roll album covers… more specifically, 1970′s demonic heavy metal acid rock album covers! Which everybody knows are the best kind.
Actually, all of this is kind of awesome… until you remember we’re talking about a largely classified “black ops” government spy agency with presumably unlimited amounts of “off the books” funds and drawings of things like flaming skulls with devil horns for launch patches.
1. NRO L-39 Launch Patch
This is the launch patch for NRO L-39 and like most NRO payloads, this one is classified. It could be a rocket full of Cheetos or it could be a rocket full of thousands of nano-satellites meant to gently cloak the earth in a dark blanket of tiny electronic eyes silently watching our every move.
Personally, I’m hoping for the Cheetos thing. That would be awesome, although it would be slightly disappointing to discover it costs roughly 10.3 billion dollars to launch a rocket full of Cheetos into outer space.
This launch patch features a giant space octopus slowly squeezing the life out of the planet, while admonishing us all that absolutely nothing is beyond the reach of the NRO… so that’s comforting, I guess. Personally, I think it could use some flames and some sort of ominous latin phrase like, “videntium te masturbari” which I’m pretty sure is latin for, “watching you masturbate”.
Now that’s scary.
2. NRO L-38 Mission Patch
Nothing says good old fashioned American peace and security like the giant jackal headed Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis rising up above the earth’s horizon with his fiery red eyes and serpent’s tongue flickering deep into outer space. At least, that’s what the NRO thought when they designed this mission patch.
What’s it all mean? Well… they would tell you, but then they would have to kill you. You see, monopolizing outer space for your own nefarious purposes is a lot like Fight Club in that the first rule of monopolizing outer space for your own nefarious purposes is that you don’t talk about monopolizing outer space for your own nefarious purposes.
What you do however, is make a totally bitchin’ patch that would look rad sewn onto the back of your denim jean jacket if this were 1986 every time you launch a spy satellite into orbit… which is like, a lot.
3. NRO L-32 Mission Patch
Ah yes, the classic “all seeing eye”… friend to Freemasons, conspiracy theorists and top secret spy agencies alike. Ironically, this one scares me the most. It’s not what it says, but what it doesn’t say that frightens me.
Come on guys, give me something to work with! How about a creepy undecipherable latin phrase or the goat headed Greek god, Pan stomping across the heavens while furiously playing his flute and vanquishing our enemies beneath his goat hoofed feet. But instead, it’s just that damn unblinking eye… staring at me… perhaps even mocking me… staring deep into my soul in stone cold silence, leaving me to wonder at what secrets it might be hiding.
Give me a patch featuring devils and flames and phoenixes rising from the ashes any day over this thing. At least then I can sort of imagine what horrors might be hovering above -just out of sight in the night sky, but this thing leaves me with nothing but my imagination. Fortunately, my imagination has largely been destroyed by years of console gaming and internet porn abuse, but there is still just enough paranoid fantasy material lurking in the dark corners of my mind to lead me to believe this patch signifies the NRO mission where they pretty much joined forces with the Illuminati, took over the world and then put us all to sleep with an endless barrage of Grand Theft Auto video games and Kim Kardashian butt photos.
Damn you, NRO! You win again!
4. NRO L-19 Launch Patch
What’s more badass than a giant space dragon with two American flags for wings?
A giant space dragon with two American flags for wings clutching the earth in it’s claws and a moon sized diamond in it’s tail -that’s what!
Which I’m assuming is exactly why the NRO chose this patch design for NRO L-19… “assuming” because again, all this crap is more classified than the Wi-Fi password to Dick Cheney’s robot heart and all we have to go on are a handful of patches that look like they came straight out of a back alley tattoo shop scrapbook. But at least we have something to work with here… a few tantalizing images to spark our imagination.
Is the NRO raising a fleet of giant space dragons used to harvest moon diamonds from the darkest corners of our galaxy?
Man, I hope so! Because that’s way more awesome than launching rockets full of Cheetos into outer space. Although, I still feel strongly that the Cheetos thing is just as important, for the record.
5. NRO L-49 Mission Patch
Now this is more like it! This bad boy’s got flames and a phoenix and an American flag along with some cryptic lettering at the bottom and a weird latin phrase at the top that appears to be about the devil for some reason.
In case you’re wondering and I’m sure you are, “melior diabolus quem scies” means “better the devil you know…” as in, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know… which is cool and everything until again you realize we’re talking about a multi-billion dollar spy agency that probably knows things about you not even your mother is aware of and they are apparently referring to themselves as some kind of a devil.
Of course, the uplifting message behind this patch is, at least the highly classified top secret devil we do know about is way better than that thing they are not telling us about… which is basically everything.
So, rest easy America! Everything is under control.
6. NRO L-49 Launch Patch
Judging by the mission patch, NRO L-49 looks pretty badass and let’s face it, considering the whole damn thing is top secret the patch is pretty much all we have to judge it by anyway. But for all you doubters out there, let it be known that NRO L-49 has not one, but two patches (a mission patch and a launch patch) that would make any Iron Maiden album cover look like it was conjured up by Walt Disney and the pope.
Behold! NRO L-49′s launch patch actually has a devil on it! It’s as if someone in the pot smoke filled, blacklight lit basement at NRO patch design headquarters finally said, “You know what? Enough with all this subtlety and latin words for the devil and stuff! Let’s just slap that sucker on there and rock out!”
Of course, no demonic spy patch would be complete without some sort of cryptic latin phrase scrawled across the bottom and the NRO L-49 launch patch does not disappoint. Here we see, “primoris gravis ex occasus” which means, “first heavy from the west”… okay, maybe the NRO L-49 launch patch disappoints a little bit. I mean, what the hell? What happened to “devils you don’t know about” and “nothing beyond our reach”? “First heavy from the west”, sounds more like a Grateful Dead album than a super cool top secret spy motto.
But then again, what do I know?
I am absolutely 100% cool with all of this demonic top secret spy stuff and am only joking.
I REPEAT. THIS IS ONLY A JOKE AND I WELCOME OUR DEMONIC NRO OVERLORDS.
I think Bill Hicks once said, “Comedians are just rock-star wannabes with no real musical talent.” Of course, it might be more accurate to say, “Comedians are just people who started out in life doing one thing, failed miserably at it and then became a comic instead” -but the music thing seems to be a pretty common thread.
For example, I am a rock-star wannabe with no real musical talent and I have hours upon hours of shitty garage band cassette tapes to prove it. At least, I could prove it -if only I were able to locate the antiquated, non-computerized machinery required to play back these relics from uncivilized times.
That’s right, before I made literally hundreds of dollars doing standup -I made tens of dollars playing bass guitar. Don’t hate the player, hate my life.
What’s a bass guitar player do, you ask? Well, the bass guitar player is the guy who stands in the back looking like he’s had one too many Ambien -steadily plunking along while the lead singer and real guitar player frantically jump up and down at the front of the stage, performing seemingly impossible aerial acrobatics in tight leather pants and generally getting all the pussy.
But thankfully, those days are behind me now that I have successfully made the transition from failed musician to broke comic with a day job. So to celebrate my success, here are four other failed musicians who went on to seek solace in laughter as well.
1. Phyllis Diller
I have a confession to make: I like Phyllis Diller.
I am not proud of this fact and I am not even sure what it is about Phyllis Diller that I actually like. I can’t think of a single Phyllis Diller joke that ever made me laugh… hell, I can’t even think of a single Phyllis Diller joke -period. In fact, I doubt anyone can… now that I think about it, someone better fact check this thing and make sure Phyllis Diller was even a standup comedian at all, because it’s starting to feel like I imagined the whole thing.
I guess the one thing I do remember about Diller, is that hair… and that make-up… sort of like Bozo the Clown’s aging mother slipping slowly into dementia and finally reaching that point where maybe she shouldn’t dress herself anymore.
“Can’t sleep. Clown will eat me.”
… and now that I think about it, I guess that’s exactly what I like about Phyllis DIller. She was an unashamed freak show for our amusement and dammit, the world could use a few more like her.
It turns out however, she was also a failed musician.
Diller studied piano at the Sherwood Music Conservatory of Columbia College in Chicago and would have launched a professional career were it not for the fact that… well, she kind of sucked… and hey, those are her words -not mine.
Although, she couldn’t have sucked too bad because she still managed to appear as a piano soloist with over 100 symphony orchestras under the stage name, Dame Illya Dillya and became life long friends with piano virtuoso, “Liberace” as a result.
2. Richard Pryor
Okay, I’m not 100% positive Richard Pryor actually first set out to be a singer… but there is this random video of him singing an old blues standard and he appears to be pretty young in the video. But this is the only reference to Pryor’s singing “career” that I can find and every instance of this video is accompanied by exactly the same phrase, “Richard Pryor started his career as a singer. I wish he had done more.” Almost as if it were posted by some random automated spambot for some sort of nefarious purpose that will only be revealed when the master plan is finally set into motion.
I would say, “Until then -enjoy this video.” But the truth is, there is a reason Pryor became a comic and not a singer. So instead I will just say, “This happened.”
3. Tommy Chong
If you’ve ever smoked a joint, there is a strong possibility that you somehow now owe “Cheech and Chong” a small licensing fee. I don’t how they did it, but somehow they managed to make an entire career out of getting high, goofing off and rocking out. Which I guess is basically what most comedians and rock stars do -hence, the whole rock star/comedian connection except most rock stars actually have a discernible talent while most comedians are just lazy assholes.
Not Tommy Chong however. You see, long before he was smoking weed, wearing tie-dyes and rocking out -Chong was smoking weed, wearing leisure suits and rocking out… and by “rocking out” I mean, laying down some subdued white boy guitar riffs punctuated by the occasional “Ooh baby, yeah baby” while the black guy laid down a soulful vocal -but not so soulful as to scare away all the white folks, because that’s how it was done in the days before Tupac.
This polyester powerhouse was known as… and I swear I am not making this up, “Four Niggers and a Chink”. Perhaps not surprisingly, this was Chong’s idea (he’s the chink in case you were wondering) and I think clear evidence that he was already deep into the marijuana thing long before he met “Cheech”. Eventually, however the band must have grown tired of only getting booked as a parody act for the annual KKK rally and wisely decided to change their name to the much less ethnic, “Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers” after adding a couple of white boys to the band.
Once they had a name you could actually say out loud, they quickly landed a record deal and even recorded a top 40 hit called, “Does Your Mama Know About Me” which may or may not be a reference to the fact that dating a “nigger” or “chink” musician in the early 60′s was akin to murdering puppies in church.
Ironically, Chong would go on to co-author an even more popular hit song after he got out of the music business called, “Ear Ache My Eye”. Despite the fact that “Earache My Eye” was meant to be a completely meaningless joke and was probably written in less time than it actually took to finish the joint they were smoking when they wrote it, the song went on to peak at #9 on the Billboard charts and has been covered by bands like Korn, Rollins Band, Soundgarden and Rush.
I hate you, Tommy Chong.
As a side note and further proof that the universe is far freakier than either you or I could imagine -Chong’s partner, “Cheech” Marin actually auditioned as a singer for Frank Zappa‘s band in 1967, but fled to Canada soon after in order to avoid the Vietnam draft. In fact, that’s how Cheech and Tommy Chong first met.
Think about that… if it weren’t for Vietnam, there would be no Cheech and Chong and “Richard Anthony Marin” would be notable only as a backup singer for “The Mother’s of Invention” while Tommy Chong would simply be the rhythm guitar player for his new band, “We Rape Kids”.
4. Ricky Gervais
Remember the 80′s when everyone wore skinny ties, hairstyles were influenced by desert windstorms and you spent most of your time hanging out in an abandoned warehouse with some guy beating on steam pipes with a sledgehammer and singing dark brooding songs with lyrics like, “Irrational accusations as I turn my head. Your threats and trials. My carven smiles. Revolts you in your torturous insecurities” …?
Well Ricky Gervais does.
That’s right. Before earning roughly three gazillion dollars as a stand up comic and creator of “The Office” -Ricky Gervais was busy doing his best David Bowie impersonation while penning lyrics to songs that only the most hopelessly misunderstood and emasculated 13 year-old boys could fully understand.
Most people refer to their time in college as their “experimental” phase, but Ricky Gervais and his college buddy Bill Macrae called it, “Seona Dancing”. Which by the way, is pronounced “Shau-na” just to piss you off even more.
Why are you just now finding out about this? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that the band released exactly two songs before exceeding their annual hair gel budget and parting ways due to the resulting financial stress.
Bill “Sure Is Windy In Here” Macrae and David “Ricky Gervais” Bowie
Yet in a turn of events so unexplainable, it may actually literally prove the existence of a supreme being -the masses not only loved what they heard, they demanded more. Which was too bad, because the DJ who rediscovered this song actually had no idea who was responsible for it -owed largely to the fact that “Seona Dancing” was such a spectacular failure, it actually had the exact opposite effect of fame and the guilty parties might as well have entered the witness protection program, thankfully saving the planet from a possible “Seona Dancing” reunion spurred by their new found Filipino fan base.
Without a doubt, standing in front of large groups of people and trying to make them laugh is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. Every time I go up on stage, I learn something new and when it works -it is one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable… but when it doesn’t work, it can be one of the most degrading, shameful experiences of your life.
That’s why most comics have balls of steel… even the women. Sooner or later you realize, “bombing” is inevitable. It HAS to happen in order for you to get any better. You can learn more from bombing than you ever will from your greatest set and on another note, I still distinctly remember bombing in spectacular fashion at a show nearly two years ago… it haunts me… but the people at that show? Let’s face it, they don’t even realize I exist -so me getting all worked up over it, is actually pretty silly.
This is the crazy paradoxical zen state that every comic strives to achieve. Reaching that point where you really just don’t care what happens on stage. But of course, you still want to get laughs -otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it. But the more desperate you are for laughs -the harder it is to get them. The desperation shows and an audience wants to be confronted with a confident “professional” who just does not give a fuck.
That’s why bombing and shitty mics can be so important. You need to learn from your mistakes and build those calluses… you need to get better… it’s the only way. If all you ever do is bomb -STOP… make room for everyone else. But if you are genuinely working it out and have a genuine sense of humor -bombing can be a blessing.
Embrace the shame.
The first year I started doing standup, I regularly performed at a bar show. This show was rarely promoted and usually resulted in a handful of comics wandering into a bar, grabbing a microphone and then telling jokes to six angry people who just wanted a quiet night out with their closest friends. Nobody told them a comedy show was about to happen and they were not happy about it.
It was awful… I saw things… terrible things… but it also made me a better comic.
Before long, I started to wonder why we even bothered to tell anyone in advance we were performing… including the venue… maybe we should just stroll on in to a laundromat and start a comedy show… or maybe the monorail… at least then, we would be virtually guaranteed an audience and a comic is always desperate for a new audience. After all, they can’t walk out when they still have underwear to fold and if you want to build up those comedy balls of steel -grab a mic, post up in the frozen foods aisle of your local grocery store and go for it!
So that’s what we did.
One day, my buddy Anthony Robinson and I decided to literally walk into a laundromat unannounced and put on a brief comedy show.
Honestly, it couldn’t have gone any better. Anthony is a great comic, so I wasn’t surprised he could win over a crowd… but in a laundromat… unannounced…?
Watch for yourself…
Bolstered by the success of our debut laundromat show, we decided to extend our comedy tour to where else but, the frozen foods section of our local grocery store.
Initially, I thought folding your underwear might be a private moment… a moment where people might be upset if you come barging in with a video camera and start telling jokes. But I guess people in laundromat’s are starved for entertainment. They have to be there and who knows how long they have been staring at their socks spinning round and round in the dryer?
Grocery stores -not so much. As soon as we started up, people scattered like cockroaches. Apparently, nobody wants to be seen buying Ben and Jerry’s and it’s certainly no time for jokes. We lasted all of three minutes before being escorted out of the building by the police… that’s right… the police.
Comedy is serious business.
By now I was addicted though. Who needs venues? Who needs crowds? You wanna do some comedy? Let’s do it right here! Right now!
Which is exactly what I said to Albert Kirchner before marching in to a random McDonald’s and starting up an open mic with him.
I have seen a lot of heckles and threatening to call 911 is definitely in my top three list. How does that phone call even start?
“It’s a comedy emergency! He won’t stop telling jokes in my McDonald’s! Dear god, someone save us!”
I’m starting to sense a pattern here… wherever there is a person in a position of “authority” -they feel as if they have to “flex” it at every opportunity. Otherwise, the illusion of your authority might fade. How do people know you’re in charge if you never actually prove it every once in awhile? … and what better opportunity to flex your authority muscle then when something completely unexpected happens?
This is not a part of my routine! Therefore, it must be stopped at all costs!
That’s when I started to think maybe we should avoid cops and people with a desperate need to prove their authority all together… clearly, this style of comedy is dangerous stuff… we needed to find some place where the audience was still trapped, but the odds of there being someone hanging around who was convinced that everything should go exactly according to plan were slim… like the Sound Transit Light Rail, for example.
… or even Seattle’s famous Monorail.
But perhaps my favorite Guerilla Comedy moments, were the shows put on in the middle of the street. There is no pressure on the audience. They are free to come and go as they please. The comic has to actually earn the crowd and it just might be standup in it’s purest and most basic form. I like to think this is the way they did it back in caveman days.
Say what you want, but that’s a pretty impressive performance by my buddy Mitch Burrow. In under three minutes, he draws a crowd into the middle of the street, completely unannounced and doing standup without a net… and at the end of his set, everyone applauds. They enjoyed it… even appreciated it and for a brief moment in time, three bitter and cynical comics actually became a little less jaded about the art of standup.
If you aren’t impressed by that, try it yourself some time.
… and last but certainly not least, one of my favorite Guerilla Comedy performances was truly spontaneous. We just happened to be walking down the street with our gear when we noticed a religious maniac screaming and yelling at everyone who passed by.
What better place for a comedy show?
Watch as the comedian becomes the heckler and the religious nut goes from foe, to adversary to friend all in the span of seven minutes.
So get out there, embrace your shame and don’t be afraid to say something that’s not funny every once in awhile… and if you see a couple of scruffy looking guys wandering around town with a mic stand and a video camera -enjoy the show.
Well, it happened again… in his continuing effort to pay off his life debt to me (I once took a bullet for Rogan in the Brazillain rain forest after an unfortunate miscommunication due to our translator’s low tolerance for psychotropic entheogens), Joe Rogan once again put me on a stage in front of 1,700 blood thirsty savages completely out of their minds on the DMT and Alpha-Brains.
Damn you, Joe Rogan!
Of course, Rogan and I chat more than two teenage girls with ADD, a fresh Adderal prescription and unlimited texting -so I saw this coming a mile away… and by “saw this coming a mile away” I mean, Rogan made some vague reference to me on Twitter two days before the show.
So… either he was planning on putting me on stage or hoping I could cast out the lost souls of 19th century whores that are said to haunt The Moore. Having to prepare for either possibility was difficult beyond measure, but I have Battle Ropes three times the recommended size if you know what I’m saying.
Originally, Rogan wanted me to do three hours -but seeing as how I don’t like to perform rigorous physical activities like standing for more than ten minutes at a time, he agreed to bring in the very funny Tom Segura to fill in the gaps after my balls out, no holds barred, joke your fucking face off, epic twelve minute roller coaster of laughter and intellect. Frankly, I thought we should just shut the whole thing down after my performance but I guess it was some kind of union labor law or whatever that forced them to continue with the show.
Here is a photo of me changing the course of comedy history on that fateful night. Apparently, this photo was taken from outer space.
A photo I wish I really had though, is one taken from the other side of that microphone. If you haven’t been there, you cannot possibly imagine what it is like. In a lot of ways, comics are like a cult. They have “special knowledge” gleaned from unique experience, posses “information not pertinent to your degree” and bond like war buddies after knowing each other for less than five minutes. Experiences like feeling that huge wave of laughter come crashing out of the darkness from 1,700 strangers while you stare up into a light brighter than 1,000 suns is one of those shared moments that comics and only comics can bond over. It’s beautiful and terrifying all at once.
It’s not a drug. It’s not a rush. It’s just… indescribable. Some goofy little thing you thought of one day just made almost 2,000 people so happy they spontaneously had to laugh when you told it to them.
Here is the photographic evidence. Of course, you might not know he is killing it in this photo because again, it was apparently taken from outer space and Tom’s delivery is so casual you might think he is an usher about to announce the license plate number of a Lexus that is illegally parked in the loading zone. But then you realize, “God damn, this is the funniest fucking usher I have ever heard in my life!”
Here is a picture of Tom and myself hanging out backstage at The Moore. It is dark and grainy because the backstage area of The Moore is actually a cavernous dungeon lit only by candlelight and this photo was taken with what must be the first iPhone ever manufactured.
Tom is one of the nicest guys I have ever met… and he also has a beard. You should buy things from him: http://tomsegura.com/
Do I need to even mention Rogan’s set? I mean… seriously. I think we all know what happened. Even if you weren’t there, certainly you heard the deafening roar of laughter and applause thundering throughout the streets of Seattle as Rogan unleashed almost an hour and a half of all new material. Tom and I were laughing so hard back stage, we begged The Moore staff to stop the show before Tom busted a vein in his forehead and I blew a stitch out of my recent butt implants.
This is what Joe Rogan looks like from space.
… and this is a photo I took backstage while watching a Carlos Mencia stand up special on television during Rogan’s performance.
After the show, Rogan stuck around to shake hands and take photos with every single maniac in Seattle. I fought against this tradition and hid, lurking in a corner. I was spared the indignity of having to come into actual contact with my fans by utilizing my Ninjitsu stealth training and also the fact that I have approximately three fans, until security actually came over to me and angrily insisted I stand next to Joe and Tom.
I swear I am not even making that last part up. Apparently, a handful of people had asked about “that freaky guy” and they assumed that was me. Now security was pissed that I was “slowing down the flow”.
“We don’t want to be here all night,” they grumbled while pushing me into the throng of rabid Rogan maniacs. Now at least fifteen different people are trying to explain to their friends why they felt compelled to have their picture taken with a homeless guy at The Moore.
Immediately after the show, I thought I might check in with Twitter and squeal with glee at the thousands of new followers I must surely have after single handedly re-shaping the Seattle comedy scene.
Instead, I was confronted with this ominous message:
No email… no warning… no nothing. Just like that, I was locked out of Twitter and all of my followers were deleted. That’s when I fell to my knees, threw my fists into the air and began shouting at God through tear stained eyes and the torrential rain (at least, I would have -had there been a torrential rain and such a thing as God). The “Rogan bump” not only resulted in 0 new followers -it actually resulted in negative new followers considering the ones I did have were now gone. That’s when Rogan found me in the fetal position and took pity on me.
To this day, I have no idea what I did to offend the Twitter gods. My account just magically started working again three days later, but my followers were still gone.
Then this happened:
Now I know why people say things like, “Powerful, Joe Rogan”… 700 Twitter followers and counting after just a couple of hours. But of course, I will be telling everyone I earned those Twitter followers after a handful of truly genius tweets.
There is no fan base like the “deathsquad” fan base and that’s probably because there is no comic like Joe Rogan. That guy sits down and talks to every single one of his fans and not only do they respect him for that, they respect each other as part of a larger whole when everything is said and done and I am honored to have been a part of that love.
For example, one guy from Friday’s show was a human mine/IED detector in the army… one of those guys who goes around sticking a probe in the ground to see if there is a deadly explosive hidden just inches beneath the soil. Apparently, they have to use a plastic knife because metal sometimes sets off the explosive devices. I know this because he brought his with him and gave it to Joe. Joe and I talked about the hundreds of times that guy held that knife in his hands not knowing if he was about to be incinerated at any second… and then he gave it to Joe. That’s some powerful voodoo, right there… and I know a thing or two about voodoo.
Powerful, Joe Rogan.
Thanks for all the Twitter love guys and if you were at the show Friday night -thanks for laughing at my goofy jokes. It really does mean a lot to me.
If you missed the show, you can still buy Rogan’s latest special for $5 without even leaving your seat.
… until next time… #DEATHSQUAD
In 1972 Kurt Vonnegut wrote a short story about the end of the world. It was set in 1989 because back in the early 70′s it was correctly assumed that the earth had maybe 10-15 good years left in her before the downward spiral began from healthy ecosystem to frozen wasteland silently hovering in the vacuum of space. In this story, The United States launches 800 pounds of freeze dried “jizzum” to the furthest reaches of the universe in the hopes of somehow propagating the species and continuing the legacy of humanity long after life on earth has drowned in a vast sea of disposable cell phones.
Naturally this story was called, “The Big Space Fuck”.
That may sound like a stupid juvenile joke if it weren’t for two very important facts:
VERY IMPORTANT FACT 1.
Real scientists actually talk about stuff like this and they even have a name for it. They call it, “Panspermia” which would also be an awesome name for a 1970′s concept rock and roll double album about a distant mythical land inhabited by dwarves and magic goat people, but I digress.
VERY IMPORTANT FACT 2.
NASA was actually founded by a satanic sex cult who worships “Pan” the Greek god of fertility, so a “big space fuck” might not be as far fetched as you think.
I swear I am not making this up. Bare with me here… I will try to be brief.
Before there was NASA, there was JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). JPL was co-founded by a man named, Jack Parsons. Jack Parsons was known for two things: his genius level intellect in all things chemistry and his penchant for throwing late night freaky sex parties at his home with an eccentric group of artists and occultists who were attempting to conjure up the antichrist and take over the world.
Jack Parsons holding something presumably highly explosive and filled with the same petroleum jellies holding up his gravity defying hair.
The chemistry thing didn’t work out too well for him. He blew himself up in his garage one day after deciding it might be a good idea to mix jet fuel with his bare hands. The jury is still out on whether or not he was successful with the whole “conjuring up the antichrist” thing though.
Parsons got this whole “let’s summon the antichrist” idea from none other than Aleister Crowley. Apparently, he had read some of Crowley’s books somewhere along the line -perhaps while waiting to have a cavity filled at the dentist or something and as a result, he struck up a rather prolific correspondence with “The Wickedest Man in The World”. In fact, before each test launch at JPL Parsons would chant Crowley’s hym to the Greek god Pan for good luck -which surprisingly, never seemed to come up in conversation over the water cooler at JPL headquarters the next day.
Crowley was impressed by Parson’s intellect. Mostly, because it earned him a sizable sum of money and Crowley just happened to be a few dollars shy of some new shoes -so… one thing led to another and before you know it, Parsons is an official initiate into Crowley’s freaky sex cult The Ordo Templi Orientis and a sanctioned “Master” of the first official O.T.O. Lodge in the United States.
Aleister “Totally Not Batshit Crazy” Crowley
Of course, you can’t attempt to raise the antichrist while developing top secret powerful explosives and rocket fuel for the government without attracting a few nutjobs. Which is why it should be no surprise that none other than future Dianetics author and founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard wandered into Parsons life right around this time.
I swear, I am still not making any of this up.
… anyway, long story short -Parsons finally puts together the perfect recipe for conjuring up the antichrist based on rituals prescribed by Aleister Crowley and Hubbard thinks this whole raising the antichrist thing sounds pretty cool, so he agrees to act as Parsons’ scribe and official historian for this momentous event.
At this point, I feel I should take a moment to explain that much of this O.T.O. “magick” stuff is based on very old beliefs… beliefs deeply rooted in the mysteries of life and the generative powers of sex and copulation. At least, these things were mysteries back before things like birth control and sixth grade sex education classes, but you get the point. I mention this, in an attempt to ease the blow of your head exploding when I tell you that the ritual performed by Parsons and Hubbard specifically involved “charging a talisman” so that it may be used for magickal purposes and of course, by “charging” I mean masturbating furiously before jizzing all over that item so that you may somehow bring about the antichrist with what basically amounts to a crusty jizz sock.
Remember folks, we are talking about one of the greatest pioneering minds of the United States space program and the guy who founded Scientology -that pseudo-religion for rich dummies.
Ron “Don’t Hate The Player” Hubbard
So what happened? Well, you may be surprised to learn that absolutely nothing happened. That is, nothing aside from L. Ron suddenly finding it difficult to maintain eye contact with his BFF after not only witnessing, but fastidiously documenting what was probably one of the most epic marathon masturbation sessions in human history.
Of course Parsons on the other hand, declared the whole thing a tremendous success -which means either he has very bizarre ideas about what exactly it means to conjure up the antichrist or he was just seriously fucking with L. Ron the whole time. Either way, from this point forward I shall always refer to masturbation as, “Conjuring Up The Antichrist”.
Anyway, once you’ve taken your bro relationship to the “mutual masturbation while attempting to summon the antichrist” level -there’s really no place else to go. No place that is, except the Florida keys -which is exactly what L. Ron did after stealing Jack’s woman, boat and life savings. I guess once this summoning the antichrist and taking over the world via masturbation thing didn’t work out, L. Ron decided to take matters into his own hands… and by “matters” I mean, not his penis for once.
At this point, you might be thinking that Jack Parsons’ magick was a little on the weak side… either that, or L. Ron Hubbard actually was the antichrist -which is also a distinct possibility. But consider this, my nay saying friends: when Parsons learned his former masturbatory historian and ex-girlfriend were heading for international waters in his ex-boat, he summoned “Bartzabel” -“an intelligence presiding over the astrological forces associated with the planet Mars” because that’s exactly what you do in these types of situations and lo and behold a mysterious typhoon came down from the heavens, forcing Hubbard to turn back into the waiting arms of the coast guard who detained him long enough to settle the matter with Parsons.
Once again, I would like to point out that I am not making any of this up.
Sadly for Jack though, the antichrist never did arrive -no matter how furiously he masturbated into a magickal sock. Or at least if he has shown up, he has been extremely low key about the whole thing. In any case, Jack blew himself up on June 17th, 1952 -presumably during a magickal masturbation session gone horribly wrong.
Meanwhile, L. Ron discovered that if you stayed on a boat in international waters, you didn’t have to worry about pesky little things like paying taxes or being raided by the DEA which is pretty ideal when you are turning your drug induced fever dreams into a religious front used to generate funds for your massive drug habit. Which is how we wound up with Hubbard’s legacy, Scientology.
Parson’s legacy was cemented six years after his death, when NASA was formed -based in no small part on JPL (which still exists to this day) and the research that Jack had done while perfecting solid fuel propulsion systems and ritualized masturbation techniques.
But that’s not the end of this story.
… now that you know the real history behind NASA and The United States space program, I will leave you with this:
In 2009, the United States government launched a missile into space carrying a payload so top secret not one single government agency is willing to take ownership of it. It is officially an unowned unknown cargo hurtling through space for unknown purposes. In fact, the mission patch prominently features a murky question mark buried in a rocket’s exhaust just in case you were unclear on the ambiguity of the whole thing.
This cargo is officially referred to by NASA as, “PAN”. Supposedly, this stands for, “Palladium at Night” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. But many people familiar with top secret missions of this sort have joked that PAN might actually stand for, “Pick Any Name” considering the official explanation of the acronym is basically meaningless. In fact some people claim PAN isn’t an acronym at all, but simply a direct reference to Pan the Greek god of fertility.
Now… I’m not saying that unowned, unknown cargo in the tip of that satellite named after the Greek god of fertility and launched by a satanic sex cult is 800 pounds of freeze dried “jizzum” sent to fertilize the cosmos with our demon seed and perhaps even bring about the antichrist, but I’m not saying it’s not that either.
After all, you and I both know stranger things have happened.
A comic strip about sharing and caring…
At some point in life, we must all cast our gaze toward the heavens and ponder life’s eternal mysteries… mysteries such as:
If The Dukes of Hazzard were to record an album -would it kick as much ass as I think it would?
You bet it would, cowboy!
After all, this is a show that delved deep into the complex social relationships that exist between the “good ol’ boys” native to the American bible belt, their sexually repressed cousins and totalitarian figures of authority.
So it should come as no surprise that The Dukes of Hazzard album is in fact nothing less than a compelling “rock-u-drama” that makes The Who’s, “Tommy” look like a pre-school choir play put together at the last minute by a drunken PTA mom who’s only goal in life is to vicariously relive her failed childhood through the barely audible murmurings of her daughter awkwardly pretending to sing “Joy to the World” in front of a gymnasium half full of disinterested parents on a Tuesday evening.
Anyway, for those of you who are cultural retards and may not be familiar with this epic milestone in the evolution of humankind, I give you….
The Dukes of Hazzard album!
Good Ol’ Boys
This is pretty much exactly like the intro that played before each show -but much longer! I mean, after all -how can you improve on a masterpiece? You can’t… and you should be ashamed of yourself for even considering the possibility. This is the freakin’ DUKES OF HAZZARD we are talking about people!
Pay close attention however, as this is where Boss Hogg sets the scene for the many layers of complexity that are about to unfold between our wayfaring cast of redneck miscreants and slack jawed, slope headed wonders of evolution.
You see, it seems we have arrived just as preparations are underway for “The Great Race” and Boss Hogg is a little concerned about the competition… particularly an Orange ’69 Charger driven by a pair of homo-erotic hillbilly cousins with wavy hair and manicured nails. You would think they could come up with a name a little more imaginative than “The Great Race” for such an important event… kinda like calling The Olympics, “A Buncha Sports” but hey, it’s a race and it’s great -so whatever.
Of course, Boss Hogg’s heartfelt lamentations serve as a perfect segue into The General Lee’s solo.
That’s right -The General Lee sings it’s own fucking song. How bad ass is that?
The General Lee
What’s more badass than a bright orange ’69 Charger with the doors inexplicably welded shut, a horn that plays perhaps the most racist song in history and a name from a man who led an army willing to kill for the right to own humans?
A bright orange ’69 Charger with the doors inexplicably welded shut, a horn that plays perhaps the most racist song in history, a name from a man who led an army willing to kill for the right to own humans and a singing voice like Johnny Cash -that’s what.
That’s right… somewhere between constantly evading arrest and death defying launches straight into the stratosphere, The General Lee found the time to stop, reflect and share it’s mechanical soul with us through the magic of song.
In the immortal words of The General, “I’m thunder on the highway lookin’ bad, bad, bad…”
Indeed, General Lee… aren’t we all…
If there is any song who’s lyrics are worthy of bedazzling on to your denim jean jacket -it is this one.
Laughing All The Way to The Bank
This is Boss Hogg’s song and let me tell you, it is exactly the genre bending masterpiece you would expect from an asthmatic corpulent midget prone to more laughing fits than a mental patient on mushrooms.
Be warned: under the right circumstances, this song can take you to a very dark place.
Of course Boss Hogg can’t sing, but neither can Kanye. Singing is for losers and little girls. A real BOSS simply raps about his money and power over a small southern town that might as well be located in a third world country while a handful of studio musicians force themselves to see all three chords of this soul sucking song through the fog of whiskey, tears and shame.
That’s right. What’s better than a country song? A country-rap song!
Up on Cripple Creek
At this point in the saga, Luke Duke serenades us with a version of “Up on Cripple Creek” for no apparent reason. This version of Robbie Robertson’s classic is so completely awful, I had to rinse my ears out with some Yoko Ono primal scream therapy recordings and Randy Newman records afterwards.
Once Luke finishes his song, Boss Hog admonishes Roscoe to “go get them Duke boys!” Why they waited until after Luke Duke commits his full frontal assault on all that is decent and good about music is a mystery to me, but this fact is soon erased by the gleefull coo-cooing sounds made by the hapless interloper, Roscoe -as he scoots his boots in the general direction of his redneck rivals.
Go git ‘em, Roscoe! I have complete faith you will bring these young ruffians to justice before your evening collapses into a mildly amusing comedy of errors!
Cover Girl Eyes
Let’s get real for a minute.
Daisy Duke was solely responsible for awakening my little boy penis and molding it into The Mighty Hammer of Thor that it is today… and for that -she deserves something. Maybe a medal or letter of recommendation or something… as long as it does not make reference to the fact that it was awarded for giving little boys everywhere awkward little boners in front of god, the family and the television set. A thing like that could get ugly fast.
So I guess she will have to settle for this song instead, “Cover Girl Eyes”… written by someone whom I am too lazy to Google and inexplicably sung by someone who appears to have no relation to the Duke family or television show at all.
What the fuck…? Can’t we at least give Cooter a song? This is exactly what’s wrong with this country.
Maybe this is just some lonely redneck soul, biding his down time at The Boar’s Nest and silently admiring Daisy from afar while she continuously plies him with watered down Budweisers before he stumbles out to his Ford pickup truck in a fugue state and runs it straight off a cliff, narrowly avoiding two overzealous cousins hooping and hollering their way through the canyon at break-neck speeds in a souped up ’69 Charger.
In The Driver’s Seat
Now we’re talking!
This song kicks ass! Right when you think the wheels are falling off this thing, here comes a song about havin’ one foot on the pedal and the law on your tail! … you know what I’m talking about… just you and your purty cousin, Beaureguard “Bo” Duke sittin’ shotgun… his wavy blond hair fluttering in the wind while his taut chest gently rises and falls beneath the soft folds of his plaid flannel shirt… you feel the General’s 426 Hemi throb beneath your white knuckle grip on the steering wheel when -in a moment of careless abandon, you gently press The General’s horn and thrill at the cute little “dixie” tune that issues forth…
… well… like that -but maybe not quite so gay.
After all, there is nothing gay or insinuated by a song called, “In the Driver’s Seat” about two inseparable young men who have no girlfriends and spend an inordinate amount of time alone together in a car in the backwoods of Georgia.
There’s nothing sweeter in this world than a love song… unless of course, it is a love song written by a drunken backwoods redneck with a third grade education and it is actually about his dog… then it’s just plain creepy… and that’s exactly what we have here. Roscoe loves Flash in a way that is perhaps unhealthy at best and immoral at worst.
I will leave that up to your imagination.
By the way -they called him, “Flash” because he was slow… get it!
Oh god, that cracks me up!
Down Home American Girl
It’s probably pretty creepy knowing that every thirteen year old boy in the universe wants to jab at you awkwardly with their tiny little peckers, so Daisy Duke takes this opportunity to inform us all that she is in fact, a “down home American girl”… which I guess means if you’re of legal age in Georgia, you’ll at least have to get her liquored up on a pint of Cinnamon Schnapps before she’ll suck you off in the backseat of her brother’s car.
The trick of course, is not getting so drunk you can’t climb in and out through the damn window… maybe welding those doors shut is actually starting to make some sense now.
Let’s get this race started already!
I mean, come on! There is WAAY too much character development happening here for an album which is merely an envelope meant to contain the wacky off road shenanigans of two habitual traffic offenders and a posse of mentally deficient policemen!
This is not really a song as much as it is a boot scootin’ hillbilly ho-down trainwreck complete with screeching tires, automobile crashes and Boss Hogg’s barely intelligible non-stop deranged ranting throughout.
I would tell you who wins “The Great Race” -but I don’t want to ruin the surprise of Bo and Luke Duke doing 5 to 10 for reckless driving, evading a law enforcement officer and possession of crystal methamphetamine.
Keep Between Them Ditches
The Great Race is over, the sun is setting behind the foothills of Georgia and The General Lee gently purrs beneath an oak tree somewhere deep within the canyons of Hazzard county… what further exploits await our careless adventurers? What could possibly follow the most mildly entertaining car chase of a lifetime?
This is exactly the question faced by the writers of The Dukes of Hazzard after the climax of each and every car chase came to it’s inevitable end. In this instance, after something as zany and unpredictable as The Duke boys in a race, it’s hard to imagine what new heights of genius the writers of this script could take the Duke boys to… but just when you thought they had exhausted all avenues of entertainment, someone steps up to the plate with a truly original idea -a car chase! After all, a car chase is a totally different thing than a car race! The possibilities are limitless, people!
Personally, I would have liked this song better if it were called, “Keep Between Them Ditches, Bitches!” but it serves it’s purpose… at least, I think it does. Actually, I haven’t listened to the thing… honestly, I lost interest about three songs ago.
The Ballad of the General Lee
Now that The General Lee has kicked some serious Boss Hogg ass and enjoyed a thorough hood buffing by the constant butt scooting of Bo and Duke as they leap to and fro from one side of the car to the other in their tight denim jeans -it’s time to learn a bit about the history of this great cultural icon.
And that’s exactly what this song provides… in fact, this song chronicles the “birth” of The General Lee in a manner that makes the birth of christ look like a back alley abortion, pouring over every detail yet somehow neglecting to mention why no one can get the damn doors open… really, kind of a major flaw in a car you need to get in and out of quickly considering all that running from the long arm of the law and stuff.
Them Good ‘Ol Boys Are Bad
… and finally, this song covers one of the great ironies in life. It’s really no surprise such an epic album would end on such a deep philosophical note as this.
This song addresses the timeless conundrum that despite their name -sometimes, them good old boys can be bad. This is confusing if not outright contradictory and something should be done about it before more young women fall in love with these rapscallions thinking they can change them only to discover what a hopeless waste of time their lives have become thirty years later when their own personal good ‘ol boy has a mid-life crisis which results in over sized novelty belt buckles and welding the doors to your Prius shut.
Hence, the need for songs like these.
I know it’s hard to believe, but -I have a theory about artificial intelligence… and perhaps, even harder to believe -I am about to share it with you now even though you didn’t ask.
Machine Intelligence is an impossibility because perfect intelligence doesn’t exist. In order to create true intelligence, you must also incorporate all the nasty bugs and flaws that computers eliminate by virtue of being machines. However, our flaws are exactly what gives humans a competitive edge in the bigger picture of intelligence and survival. Look at it this way, you may be a MENSA level genius -but that’s not going to stop you from locking your keys in your car at 3AM while it’s still running in the Taco Bell drive-thru and that’s something an artificial intelligence would never do. But perhaps, more importantly -an artificial intelligence would also never discover penicillin simply by being a filthy, lazy slob who forgot to clean up his work area.
But for some reason, the simple fact “to err is human” has not stopped our brightest minds from attempting to produce flawless, error free artificial humans anyway.
Why? If we can’t replicate human intelligence, what is the purpose of AI research?
One word… sexbots.
Don’t believe me? Observe…
Sex not only drives our technology -it drives our entire universe. Ultimately, sex is the only reason we even bother to get out of bed and leave the house to begin with… sure, we may have important things to do that day -like blast off into space and pilot the International Space Station for the next six months in an act of solidarity with the international scientific community -but wouldn’t it be awesome if we got laid first? This is how the monkey mind thinks. Tell me I’m wrong. This is also why most of our greatest inventions and technological triumphs turn into sex toys in one way or another eventually.
Okay… maybe not everything. For example, there’s nothing sexy about the cotton gin… but those were tough times. Nobody had time for sex toys when actually turning cotton into thread was a real thing that you had to figure out how to do. But once we had the basics of survival figured out -it was game on, playa and sex has been the driving force behind almost every notable invention known to humankind since the dawn of the 1970′s.
Cars were no longer just for travel… phones and televisions became status symbols… and nobody had any use for a VCR until it was discovered that they also just happened to be the ultimate masturbation tool… suddenly -almost over night, every household in America proudly featured a VCR in the living room with that little digital clock on the front shamelessly blinking 12:00AM as if to announce to the entire world, “I have a singular purpose in this household and it is not telling time”.
Sure some people may have watched a shaky VHS copy of, “My Cousin Vinnie” every once in awhile, but come on… you know what I’m talking about.
Still don’t believe me about sex and technology?
Well I can sum it up in two words then: The Internet.
We invented the internet just so we can watch other people having sex when we aren’t having sex. Say what you want about the importance of cats or the importance of telling people their YouTube video of their cats is the worst thing ever or maybe even the ability to communicate in real time with other people all over the world, but I happen to know for a fact that porn revenue basically pays for all of this shit. Just like it paid for the home video revolution and just like it will pay for the next step in our never ending quest to get freaky with technology.
|Of course, the inventors of the Internet all look like this, so that might explains things too.
But there’s a problem… in 1970 a Japanese researcher named, Masahiro Mori wrote an article he called -The Uncanny Valley. In it, he postulates that the more “life-like” an android appears to be, the creepier it is. This is bad news for people who don’t like to have sex with things that creep them out. In other words, when plotted on a graph -a person’s empathic response to a “robot” rises higher and higher until that robot starts to look damn familiar… then it just gets plain creepy and a person’s empathic response drops drastically -all the way down to actual repulsion. This drop in empathy is known as, “The Uncanny Valley”.
Supposedly, this graphic actually explains this concept somehow.
Basically, R2-D2 is like a cute and cuddly toy… C-3P0 is like that effeminate uncle from Maine that you only see once a year around Thanksgiving time and a real life Terminator is just plain “run for your lives” creepy.
Some say this is a survival mechanism deeply rooted in our genes. The theory goes, we have been biologically trained to avoid other humans who appear “odd” or “not normal”… maybe they have a contagious disease… maybe they are crazy or rabid… it’s better to just stay away from these people because after all -the only reason we would ever approach anyone to begin with is to have sex with them and nobody needs any flipper babies running around just because you were too stupid to recognize the warning signs before humping a freak of nature. It is theorized that The Uncanny Valley is a reflection of this biological imperative.
Which poses a very important question for the future scientists of America.
“How in the hell am I supposed to get my freak on with a robot when my body keeps telling me to flee?”
Is it possible to overcome human instinct?
Well, I guess we already have “real dolls” and those things are fairly life-like… and true to Masahiro Mori’s word -those things creep me the fuck out… but apparently dudes are out there having sex with these things right now -how do they get over it? I would imagine there has to be at least a little creepy factor there… I mean, where do you keep your real doll when you’re not busy humping it? … under the bed? … in the closet? Surely, you don’t sit down for Hot Pockets and American Idol and then go at it like spider monkeys afterward right there on the coffee table?
Or do you…? If it were socially acceptable for people to be having sex with dolls… which… I guess I’m okay with that? … anyway, if this were socially acceptable, would people start hanging out with their dolls in parks and restaurants and taking them to movies? …would you have to invite the neighbor AND his sex doll over to dinner?
|Then again, if you’re humping THIS -you should have NO PROBLEM overcoming The Uncanny Valley.|
If this is our future, what possible factor could finally shepherd us through the The Uncanny Valley and lead us to coital bliss with our technological counterparts? Maybe… just maybe there is one other biological imperative that somehow over rides everything else…
That’s right. The male urge to fuck EVERYTHING.
Let’s face it, if men were picky about where they deposited their seed -we may not be here in the first place. In fact, as repulsive as it may be -some “anomalous” sexual acts may have paved the way to our evolutionary advantage, much like leaving your mess laying around until it gets moldy paved the way for a medicinal miracle. Maybe in a post apocalyptic world, where human sex is only possible under the rarest of controlled circumstances, men will still be able to go through the motions of fulfilling their only purpose in life by grabbing a cold, unfeeling robot by it’s synthetic hair and releasing their seed into the technological wild… of course, this act will no longer assist in the propagation of the species, but at the very least it will slow down the testosterone fueled transformation from mild mannered cubicle dweller to full on post apocalyptic Mel Gibson style Thunderdome road warrior.
Maybe the fact that your “girlfriend” is missing an eye, emits an odd whirring noise and has a Texas Instruments stamp instead of tramp stamp will be a non-issue when compared to the all important biological Command From God Himself to fuck anything and everything at all costs… and maybe this speaks to a more subtle survival tactic… stay away from the freaky mutants for health and safety reasons at first, but if nothing else is available -start humping the mutants like there is no tomorrow. Because at that point, all bets are off and apparently spreading your biological seed at any cost is more important than spreading your seed carefully. I guess no matter how important we may think we are, our job is simply to spread DNA and even though that job isn’t always pretty -we’ve been programmed to finish that job no matter what.
I don’t really have a technique for writing comedy… usually, I just hope something “comes to me” and the weird thing is -when it does, it is usually much more entertaining than anything I could have possibly sat down and intentionally wrote… which is why I only have approximately 90 seconds of material that is actually funny.
I wish I knew where this stuff comes from… I wish I could some how harness this mystical source of funny and be the next Gallagher of the comedy world, but alas it appears the powers that be are running short on really hilarious dick jokes.
However, after some research -I have discovered I am not the first to communicate directly with higher intelligences… I am just the first to channel that energy into really mediocre jokes about weed.
For example, in the summer of 1973, Robert Anton Wilson came into contact with a higher intelligence residing somewhere near The Dog Star, Sirius. This higher intelligence communicated with him as direct thoughts that appeared in his mind and via subtle serendipitous occurrences throughout his daily routine which were too meaningful to have been attributed to coincidence. Unfortunately, nothing of much substance was ever communicated to Wilson that we know of, but at the very least -the idea that someone or something was attempting to communicate with him seemed unmistakable at the time.
Or he was completely batshit insane. You be the judge.
For what it’s worth, Wilson never really made up his own mind about this time period in his life.
“On 23 July 1973, I had the impression that I was being contacted by some sort of advanced intellect from the system of the double star Sirius. I have had odd psychic experiences of that sort for many years, and I always record them carefully, but refuse to take any of them literally, until or unless supporting evidence of an objective nature turns up. This particular experience, however, was especially staggering, both intellectually and emotionally, so I spent the rest of the day at the nearest large library researching Sirius. I found, among other things, that 23 July is very closely associated with that star.
On 23 July, ancient Egyptian priests began a series of rituals to Sirius, continuing until 8 September. Since Sirius is known as the “Dog Star”, being in the constellation Canis Major, the period 23 July – 8 September became known as “the dog days”.
Coincidence? Synchronicity? Higher Intelligence? Higher Idiocy?”
-Robert Anton Wilson on his possible communications with a higher intelligence
Dr. Robert Anton Wilson
A few years later, Dr. Timothy Leary was serving a prison sentence for the possession of marijuana and evading justice. He was considered by some to be “the most dangerous man in America” and for some unfathomable reason, Robert Anton Wilson was one of the few people that was actually allowed to visit the good doctor during his incarceration.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Wilson rarely mentioned the whole “communication with a higher intelligence” thing to his peers. Yet, Dr. Leary was able to ascertain this information merely through the power of observation during one of Wilson’s visits. How did Leary know? Well you see, he too was in communication with a higher intelligence, but unlike Wilson -he was able to glean some measure of useful information from these communications. He called these, The Starseed Transmissions and they were full of all sorts of useful information about consciousness and the function and purpose of life in general.
It just so happens, Robert Anton Wilson had something else in common with the good doctor Leary. Wilson also held a PhD in psychology. Had these two highly intelligent individuals with an extensive background in psychology and mental illness gone completely insane? Were they somehow sharing the same delusion without collaborating or even realizing it? Or were they both actually communicating with a higher intelligence?
If it helps, Leary -like all other inmates who had been incarcerated at Folsom prison during this time, had undergone a thorough psychiatric evaluation upon admission. This evaluation declared the good doctor, “abundantly and radiantly sane”. Of course, Dr. Leary had also assisted with the development of these personality profile tests, so perhaps he was just faking it.
Dr. Timothy Leary thoroughly enjoying his arrest by the DEA
For what it’s worth, this idea of communicating with a higher intelligence is not new. In fact, the idea has been around since the dawn of consciousness. For example, the Egyptians called it “ka”… the Greeks called it “Daemon”… the Hindus called it, “Atman”… and the Gnostics called it “gnosis”, taken from a Greek word, meaning knowledge. Only this wasn’t your typical knowledge. This was a special knowledge gained only through direct communication with a higher intelligence. Everyone it seems, has been familiar with this idea in some form or another for quite some time.
Unfortunately however, the creepy Jesus Cult was gaining popularity right around the same time the Gnostics were communicating directly with their God(s) and before you knew it, you couldn’t swing a dead cat in the cradle of civilization without hitting a “Christian” in the face and all the Gnostics were being burned at the stake -mostly for this idea that they were somehow instruments of God.
This is also about the time most people in Christian lands stopped talking about the whole “communication with a higher intelligence” thing until Dr. Robert Anton Wilson and Dr. Timothy Leary had their conversation about it in the basement of Folsom prison almost three thousand years later.
But, much like sex with houseplants -just because nobody talked about it, doesn’t mean nobody did it. In fact, at the turn of the twentieth century -almost 70 years prior to Wilson and Leary’s discovery, a man by the name of Aleister Crowley thought this whole “communication with a higher intelligence” thing sounded down right reasonable after he read a book entitled, “The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage”. In this book, a rather lengthy ritual for conjuring up a higher intelligence is described in great detail.
Crowley attempted this ritual twice in his life and came away convinced of his success at contacting a higher intelligence on both occasions. On the second occasion, this higher intelligence dictated a book to Crowley which he later called, “The Book of The Law”. This book gave a sort of poetic overview of consciousness and the function and purpose of life in general and was to become the basis for Crowley’s occult fraternity “The Ordo Templi Orientis”. Crowley was so moved by the experience, he would go on to suggest this was the first and foremost singular goal of any OTO initiate. He called this “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”.
“It should never be forgotten for a single moment that the central and essential work of the Magician is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Once he has achieved this he must of course be left entirely in the hands of that Angel, who can be invariably and inevitably relied upon to lead him to the further great step—crossing of the Abyss and the attainment of the grade of Master of the Temple.”
Aleister Crowley… not a doctor.
Roughly ten years after Crowley’s Knowledge and Conversation, a Swiss psychoanalyst by the name of Carl Jung was crossing his own Abyss and attaining the grade of Master of the Temple. Only, he didn’t put it that way -he referred to it as “a psychotic break from reality”.
Jung’s doctor self told him he was suffering from the onset of schizophrenia, but his mystic self told him to just go with it and see where it takes him. Over the next 16 years, Jung would communicate with a higher intelligence in regards to all manner of topics relative to consciousness and the function and purpose of life in general. Like Crowley before him and Leary after him, Dr. Jung wrote these conversations down in a book that later came to be called, The Red Book.
This was one of the most productive periods of Jung’s life and during this time he formulated ideas that are now considered by many to be the foundations of modern psychology. For the most part, Jung kept these communications with a higher intelligence a secret to all but his closest friends and family. For this reason, the Red Book was not seen by more than perhaps two dozen people until 2009 -48 years after Jung’s death. Curiously though, Jung did publish and share one piece of wisdom imparted upon him by this higher intelligence prior to his death. This was called “Septem Sermones Ad Mortuos” or “Seven Sermons to The Dead” and oddly enough, was attributed by Jung to Basilides a gnostic saint.
I also can’t help but notice that Jung had a PhD in psychology -just like Leary and Wilson. Does studying psychology make you go crazy?
“The years … when I pursued the inner images were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life.
Everything later was merely the outer classification, the scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.”
Dr. Carl Jung
… and of course, perhaps it’s no stretch to suggest that this sort of thing is the same goal all these dirty hippy types with their pipes full of DMT and strange grasses grown on the African plains and ordered over the Internet are after. After all, these trip reports are rife with visits to “extra-terrestrial beings” who attempt to impart some sort of timeless wisdom that is unfortunately lost to the stupor of intoxication.
Perhaps they’re doing it wrong. Put down the pipe, hippy and perhaps you too will pen your very own Book of The Law then start your own cult after becoming fully self-actualized and possessing the secret knowledge of all ages.
Either way, this sort of thing is still open for debate. After all, this is just the short list of influential people throughout history who have claimed to have established some sort of communication with a higher intelligence.
… genuine portal to a higher plane of consciousness? … insane ramblings of madmen and drug fiends? … humankind’s own innate connection to the gods?
I don’t really have a point or opinion on the matter… I’m just sayin’ people be talkin’ to higher intelligences and shit… wtf?