The Night of the 5-MEO DMT Assassin (From Freaks in The Machine)

Feeling like a cosmic assassin on a mission to blow away everyone’s last shred of attachment to any and all social constructs, I set out with my pipe and my bundle.

Another segment from Freaks in the Machine: MONDO 2000 in 20th Century Tech Culture

R.U. Sirius

One fine Sunday, we had a party — it may have been for the release of one of our newsletters — and it was possibly the biggest we’d ever had. The backyard at Quail House looked almost like a small rock festival as attendees found their spots and, no doubt, dosed themselves with favorite hallucinogens.

I had just received a fairly large bundle of 5-meo-dmt, a substance similar to DMT (and the stuff that Queen Mu had discovered was in a certain type of toad venom) — but unlike DMT, a full dose was 5 instead of 35 milligrams. The experience was perhaps even more intense, but rather than entering a colorful infinitely-dimensional funhouse filled with elves and clowns, some of whom may try to convey a message, 5-meo put you into something very much like that tunnel heading towards the white light reported by so many who had been pulled back from death.

I must have been bored, because as the sun was starting to set — and after smoking a double dose — I decided to turn on every person there.

Feeling like a cosmic assassin on a mission to blow away everyone’s last shred of attachment to any and all social constructs, I set out with my pipe and my bundle.

Most of the attendees — veteran trekkers all — accepted my kind invitation and took their journey beyond the veil with aplomb.  Every once in awhile, I would do unto myself as I was doing unto others.  A few partiers rolled around on the ground in fear or clutched my arm tightly while I reassured them that they weren’t actually dead.

Finally, I entered the final room of the house, where some boys — I’d estimate they were in their late teens — were hanging.  Boy One took his dose and settled back calmly into the void. Boy Two, same thing.  I came to Boy Three, the night’s final target. A big dude with a punkish shock of spikey blonde hair. He took his big hit and, unlike most, he didn’t close his eyes.  He stared out at me in terror. His head jerked back and forth. I was ready for him to go totally Linda Blair on me.  Well, his head didn’t spin around in a complete circle, but he did projectile vomit (it wasn’t green). And then he laughed. He blinked a few times. And then he looked at me… “Dude, that was fucking awesome!”

 

The Fab 400: What Did John Higgs See At KLF’s Liverpool event

 

What happened in Liverpool is that all of the 400 people present had their own personal myths connected up to Cauty and Drummond’s extensive body of myth. They weren’t there as an audience.

Lucky John Higgs, author of the widely loved history of KLF, was in Liverpool for the KLF event. What did he see? And what did he make of it? We asked.

From what I can make out, there was some music, including Jarvis Cocker performing some KLF, there was a sort-of book release (Illuminates inspired) and a funeral procession of some kind.  What happened that I haven’t yet mentioned?

John Higgs: There was quite a lot. A new band was formed, Badger Kull. They were hyped to beyond, performed their one song at a sell-out gig and then disbanded. There were a number of Badger Kull tattoos. Drummond and Cauty embarked on their new career – they are now undertakers. A brick pyramid is being built in Toxteth, Liverpool. A dead perch was released in a canal, in the belief that it would swim up the River Mersey. There was strange chanting performed in McDonalds and Yoko Ono-based brand subversion in Starbucks. There was a public hearing held into the burning of a million pounds 23 years earlier. There was soup. Every page of Drummond & Cauty’s book was assigned an owner, who was tasked with creating art in reaction. There was a recurring level of petty theft and vandalism in the service of a higher calling. Greg Wilson and DJ Food performed DJ sets. Robert Anton Wilson was repeatedly mentioned in mainstream British media. Various things were burnt, including a make-shift wicker man in a Liverpool skate park. An ice cream van with Ukrainian lettering was pulled three miles through the streets of Liverpool by a tribe of people in panda skull make up. The police weren’t happy about this.

This is only a fraction of what went on – every one of the 400 people present will be able to add further events, which may be known only to them.

But in short – something was detonated.

Was it exciting, apocalyptic, disappointing, all of the above? Was it sad or happy or profound? Too sedate or wild in the streets?

JH: It was all of the above. It was a reminder that life is never either/all, it is always both and more. The event was self-evidently extraordinary and I think I will be speaking for all the 400 attendees if I summarize it as just fucking great. Admittedly, at the time of writing, a lot of people are having serious trouble adjusting to normal life again. But the event itself – fucking great. Read more “The Fab 400: What Did John Higgs See At KLF’s Liverpool event”

HYPER-INTERACTIVITY TEARSHEET From “Freaks In The Machine: MONDO 2000 in the Tech Culture” High Frontiers 1988

Describe your earliest peak experience in 500 words or less. The best response, as determined by a panel of huffy curmudgeonly semioticists, urban folklorists, and idiopathologists, will be published in the next issue.

Magazines are supposed to learn more about their consumers for advertisers. We needed advertisers just like anybody else. But this tear-sheet from High Frontiers #4 (1988) was not at all normal. Some of it today might just look like cheap “hipster” appeal, but these semiotics were potent and friendly in the day. And some of these are genuinely amusing.  I believe many of the questions came from Morgan Russell. Also, from Queen Mu and R.U. Sirius and maybe some other folks. Answer Us! Read more “HYPER-INTERACTIVITY TEARSHEET From “Freaks In The Machine: MONDO 2000 in the Tech Culture” High Frontiers 1988″

KLF at the Brit Awards Show 1992 — Machine gunning the audience (and a Dead Sheep)

negotiations had broken down following their plans to fill a stage with angels and Zulus and arrive on the back of elephants.

An Excerpt from KLF: CHAOS MAGIC MUSIC MONEY by John Higgs

 

 

With hindsight, it was Jonathan King that killed the KLF. His fatal blow was an innocent-sounding comment. His words may not have split the group immediately, because Cauty and Drummond had too much momentum to stop straight away. But it was only a matter of time, as the implications of what he had said could not be ignored for long. The KLF staggered on for another three months, too stunned to realize that they were already dead.

It was February 1992 and the KLF had just won the ‘Best Band’ award at the Brit Awards. Jonathan King was the producer of the awards show, and he had been asked what he thought of the KLF’s live performance at the show. “I enjoyed it”, he said.

He enjoyed it. There was nothing else for it. It had to end.

King is a music producer, TV presenter and a recording artist who has sold over 40 million records under various pseudonyms, most of them novelty singles. As he busied himself backstage at the Hammersmith Odeon organizing the 1992 Brits Awards, he was forty eight years old and dressed in a garish shell suit and a baseball cap with ‘KING’ stamped in metal across the front. In the coming decade he was named ‘Man of the Year’ by the BPI, praised by Tony Blair and convicted of multiple sexual offences on underage boys, so in many ways Jonathan King could be said to personify the music industry. King’s acceptance had, on a symbolic level, signified the music industry claiming Drummond and Cauty for itself.

Drummond and Cauty’s problem with the music industry wasn’t the usual adolescent anti-authoritarian posturing that is so common among musicians. It was the result of bitter experience. By that point Cauty and Drummond had twenty-five years’ experience in the industry between them, from running record labels to producing, working in A&R, being in unsuccessful bands and being pop stars. They knew what the music industry did to people, and they also knew what it had done to them. But by then they also knew how much they had been formed by it. It had shaped their lives and left them feeling corrupted, but it was also an integral part of who they were.

It’s still surprising that they were asked to provide the opening performance for that year’s Brit Awards show. They had been asked to appear the previous year, but negotiations had broken down following their plans to fill a stage with angels and Zulus and arrive on the back of elephants. The deal breaker, with hindsight, was probably their plan to chain-saw the legs off one of the elephants. The elephant, they said, represented the music industry. The organizers understandably walked away at this point, but they should have realized then that they were not dealing with stable individuals. Read more “KLF at the Brit Awards Show 1992 — Machine gunning the audience (and a Dead Sheep)”

Some Comments About The Transhumanist Project (2014)

by R.U. Sirius

One problem is the underlying philosophical assumptions that enhancement is always enhancement or is just enhancement. And I always think of Marshall McLuhan’s dictum that our extensions come with amputations.

 

 

These are some comments that I wrote in response to some questions from Peter Rothman on the h+ website in 2014

 

Transhumanism as an ism — or a belief system — is probably about the right of individuals and, possibly, the human species as a whole (or large groups therefrom) to self-enhance and to engage in an experiment in self-directed evolution, in a literal sense. In other words, not that we merely have glasses and cell phones but that we might become something other, in a biological and/or perceptual sense.

 

I don’t think it’s necessarily optimistic and I don’t think it’s necessarily rationalist, (particularly when we’re talking about people who think they’re pretty darn rational, who can only really be responded to with satire). I do think rationality and technology — stuff that actually works — are the fundamental tools for attaining an increasingly transhuman or posthuman condition. But tools are not, in and of themselves, paradigms. So individual transhumanists may feel like rationalism is a fine tool for living well but not the essential factor in actually living or even in apprehending what life is about… to the degree that can even be done, or in having social relationships.

 

My ongoing support for the idea of transhumanism is partly a rare acquiescence  to foolish consistency. I’d like to see if the project of a positive radical mutation of the human condition suggested by people like Timothy Leary can somehow win the day; whether, with the engineers and scientists in the vanguard of making it possible, we alternatively minded mutant types can pull a few aces from the bottom of the deck and actually somehow transform this pinched, mean, surveilled, existentially barren and risky 21st civilization into something that feels like liberation, generosity and heightened awareness. At this moment, the tools that could be applied to such a state of affairs are gathering, but the memetic and environmental thrusts lean towards epic failure.

Read more “Some Comments About The Transhumanist Project (2014)”

Mathemagician Ralph Abraham: We Need Another Miracle

A little wind here, and the atmosphere interacts with the geosphere interacts with the biosphere interacts with the noosphere interacts with culture politics and society, and eventually back into the atmosphere. Huge nonlinear feedback loops. You, Ralph and I are part of a whole system that can’t be reduced to separate parts but must be understood as a whole.

by Giulio Prisco

I missed Mondo 2000. The internet wasn’t a thing in the late eighties, and I lived in Europe (still do). I didn’t miss Wired — I immediately subscribed after stumbling upon the first printed issue — but I didn’t realize that it was a watered-down commercial version of something more interesting.

Now our esteemed host is bringing Mondo back, and I hope this new online magazine will be as epoch-making as the original printed Mondo. In the meantime, we can find PDFs of some old Mondo issue collected in the Mondo 2000 History Project and other archives.

Had I been a Mondo reader in the late eighties and early nineties, I would have loved finding chaos and complexity prophet Ralph Abraham there as a frequent contributor.

I knew of Ralph as the mathematician who wrote “Foundations of Mechanics,” which I loved to read instead of my boring college textbooks to try and understand some of the magic of differential geometry and its applications to Einstein’s cosmology. I understood maybe ten percent, but that ten percent was useful.

Ralph seems to consider his life as a square university professor as a boring prelude to his real and very unsquare life as a cyberculture icon and explorer of the wildest fringes of mathematics, physics, history, society, life, the universe and everything. Read more “Mathemagician Ralph Abraham: We Need Another Miracle”

Punching A Nazi (Video)

Punching A Nazi

Creosote Cowboy

R.U. Sirius – Charlie Verrette – Acatelysteleven

Musical Production Daddy Phriday & Creosote Cowboy

Video by Daddy Phriday

with vocals from Acatelysteleven

lyrics by R.U. Sirius (w. help from Acatelysteleven

Killing an arab
Punching a nazi
Albert Camus won’t
Bring back the Stasi
Kissing a baby
Pinching a lady
Oh Mr. Mansplain
You so crazy

Banning an Arab
Punching a nazi
Even Ayn Rand was
Never this bossy
Dating a Barbie
Making a killing
Those were the days
Oh wasn’t it thrilling

Killing an arab
Punching a Nazi

It’s KLF Day In Liverpool!

Their subversive intrusions into ordinary mediated reality made the Sex Pistols look like Engelbert Humperdinck..

The KLF (otherwise known as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The JAMs and the Timelords) were huge in Great Britain in the late 1980s into the mid 1990s but here in America they were virtually unknown.

Today, August 23, in Liverpool, they return after a 23 year hiatus to do …  something.  We don’t know what. And yes, all this 23 stuff and JAM stuff refers to Robert Anton Wilson’s various playful obsession.

Read more “It’s KLF Day In Liverpool!”

What’s It Like Being God? Pull Quotes from High Frontiers Issue #3

Pull quotes… from High Frontiers issue #3 for you to chew over. (High Frontiers was the predecessor to MONDO 2000.)

HF: What’s it like being God? Rosalie Blue: It’s like Doonesbury suddenly getting up off the paper and seeing that he’s always been flat.

 

 

They had to have a new domestic enemy and, of course, drugs are the perfect scapegoat. People that use drugs tend to be dissident.  Timothy Leary

 

 

…they were working on a combination L-dopa/parlodel on Parkinson’s patients in their 70s and 80s. The old ladies and old men started fucking like fiends. Durk Pearson

 

 

The human brain is 50,000 years out of date. It evolved in a nontechnological world where the basic tasks were hunting, gathering, agriculture.  Anonymous Unit

 

The machines produce immediate effects. I don’t think that they are as powerful and noticeable as the effects you might get from a chemical dose. Michael Hutchison

 

In the electronics field, when you put something out, you are protected only by your speed in putting the next thing out. Lee Felsenstein

 

Fringe scientists are interested in time travel, telepathy, psychokinesis, tantric sex, hypnosis, psychedelic drugs, wild card models of mind, God and universe  Nick Herbert Read more “What’s It Like Being God? Pull Quotes from High Frontiers Issue #3”

Fat Stream (Short Story)

by Rudy Rucker

Images supplied by Rudy Rucker

I’m Zak, and I hang with this highly charismatic woman, Zik. We have a streamer show out of San Francisco. It’s called ZikZak. I’m the eye, and Zik is the star. She’s a natural, people can’t stop looking at her. Gestures, voice, expressions, phrasing—she reels them in.

Me being the eye means I wear a helmet with eight outward-pointing cameras, also a pinhead selfie cam aimed at my face. Our stream’s users are interactively immersed, that is, we’re sending them so much data that they’re in a reality bubble containing Zik and me. They can move around in our virtual space, and they can look any direction they please. Ambient eyeball kicks. They imagine they’re with us, a member of our posse.

Since I’m the eye of our reality bubble, the patched-together image of my body is fubar. Our streamware filters out this degraded geometry and replaces it with a textured wire-frame model of me. We use my live selfie stream for the model’s face. Not that I’m anything special to look at. A skinny single guy in his thirties. Sadly yearning for love. Never the right woman, never the right time.

Zik is the one the users watch. My hi-def cameras lock onto her. She wears a couple of pinhead selfie cams as well, filling in any bits that my cams don’t cover. Most of the users hang close to Zik—some of them watch her from an inch away. Not that she sees them. Read more “Fat Stream (Short Story)”