Simcerity: R.U. Against NFTs (period question mark or exclamation point) Join MONDO Vanilli & R.U. Sirius in VR on March 20

image by Chad Essley

Simcerity: I’m Against NFTs (It doesn’t matter much to me)


When Marcel Duchamp — possibly at the suggestion of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven — dropped that urinal on an art gallery back in 1917, he signaled the world of art, contemporariness, galleries and capital that their was a new jest in town.

image by Jay Cornell

image by Jay Cornell

Value was to be an abject/object poke in the eye of the beholder. Bourgeois 20th Century was readymade for its closeup pisstake. Excrementalism would soon follow. Warhol branded it in the context of mediation — firing not the first but the most influential implication of infinite gesture into the rapidly virtualizing human condition. Now, this very year, someone has finally popped Jeff Koons balloon. Are we free yet?


CNN: “Vanderbilt University apologizes for using ChatGPT to write mass-shooting email.”

Simcerity has always been at least somewhat reflexive in the public arena. The medicine showmen who mounted the stage, the corporate publicists who still do… the countercultural media pranking yippies, and all the purchasable cultural products from recordings to cinematic experience — all have worked and hustled (and continue to) this tricksy interzone between direct lived experience and virtuality — an otherish imaginal space of work play and mutual infections.

In 1990, the fake band Milli Vanilli was busted in the media for lip-synching music they didn’t sing and that was recorded by by professional studio musicians. A preposterously bland piece of pap, one of the brands’ recording was rewarded with a Grammy by the wise persons of the music industry. When I read about the great lip-sinking crisis while editing a piece for MONDO 2000 about life in simulacra, I decided to form the band MONDO Vanilli. It was to be a VR band. We embraced authentic inauthenticity — taking the pretense out of pretense. If we would make music (and we weren’t sure whether actually engaging in activity other than gestural branding was a violation of our spirit), we would lip-sync without apologies. We would franchise MONDO Vanilli, allowing only performance artists and ultra-banal copy bands to use the moniker. Eventually we actually used $90,000 of Trent Reznor’s Nothing Records’ money to record an actual album. Nothing was released. Credit Reznor with being true to his brand.

Some years later… last year, in fact, two of the three MONDO Vanilli members reunited across 1000 California miles — and with help from punk rock madman Blag Dahlia — we recorded the song “I’m Against NFTs.” Now it’s being turned into a virtuality by our friends at

We planned, of course, to offer our anti-NFT song as an NFT. (Will it happen on March 20? We don’t know.)

Flashing backwards to 1993, suffice it to say plans to make MONDO Vanilli a dadaist multinational corporation failed. Or maybe it succeeded but Musk — in his mad randomicity — captured the brand as part of his delirious career of evil.

image by Ed Reibsaamen

In 1991, in MONDO 2000 magazine, Timothy Leary wrote a piece about the David Byrne produced book Reproduced Authentic. In his review (advocacy really) Leary celebrated the hoped-for death of the value of the “rarity” in favor of the (early) internet fueled aesthetic of replicability and direct person-to-person or group-to-group transmissibility of art without the intercession of stuffed shirt art establishment gallery owners or, presumably, capital.

Mostly borrowing from Walter Benjamin, Leary wrote “Transmissibility replaces rarity. According to German philosopher, Walter Benjamin, ‘The authenticity of a thing is the essence of all that is transmissible from its beginning ranging from its substantive duration… to the history which it has experienced. ‘Rarity’ now is a… mask of art’s potential for meaning and no longer constitutes the criterion of authenticity. Art’s meaning then becomes socially (and politically) formed by the living.’

Leary continues, “…recreating the Mona Lisa. The 12 year-old inner city kid can slide the Mona Lisa onto her Mac screen, color the eyes green, modem it to her pal in Paris who adds purple lipstick and runs it through a laser copier which is then faxed to Joseph Kusuth for the next GALERIE VIA EIGHT show in Tokyo.” (Or as Bill Burroughs wrote, “LOOT THE LOUVRE!”)

Ahh, but the demands of capital remained static even as the signifiers started getting confused. Rent seekers still wanted some currency.

And so we accelerate into a darker cavern built by Mondo’s anarcho-capitalist pals (we were friendly sorts, perhaps too friendly) the cypherpunks. And with help from a cryptographically, quasi-democratized means of exchange, we sink at last into the unalloyed chaos of mass digitization as it merges with gold-rush obsessions with inauthentic/authentic/inauthentic cryptocurrencies. Spendable (or sometimes not) digits with Joker names and Riddler brandings like Shitcoin or Cumrocket pretending to have all the veracity of Bank of America or Well Fargo (i.e. not much) appeared and continue to. Some have the intent of running scams. Others are intent on keeping your stash (sort-of) hidden from the man. And the folks we love best are intent on giving opportunities to starving artists and excitable nerds.

R.U. Against NFTs?

Let me confess that I’m aware that I have many smart friends who have idealistic narratives around NFT, cryptocurrency and this whole web 3.0 shebang. I think it takes a certain kind of mind to want to grasp the complexities therein. Other smart friends just gaze at the offering and shrug. I can’t help but feel like it’s ultimately the same fascinating trickiness offered by finance capitalism with its derivatives and so forth. A distancing mechanism. But I’ll be learning.

Meanwhile, as a purely visceral observer hoping to offer “I’m Against NFTs” as an NFT, what baffled and befuddled this old ‘90s cyberculture guy was the question of why something rather clearly disappearingly abstract could be perceived as having a large capital valuation when captured by a buying individual.I mean, not even an upside down urinal or an exploded ballon animal necessary. Just some peculiar essence delivered in digits. And it clearly doesn’t even need to appeal to the sophistry or pretense of avant garde purchaser. NFTs are a populist playground for some adapters and offerings are often banal (and not in any self-conscious way.) Sometimes its the enthusiasm of the gamble or of the game and sometimes just… what?

As I questioned on various advisors who work the NFT market about how to bring our anti-NFT song out as an NFT (and I did feel that a successful one would be almost required for the gesture to be aesthetically complete), I learned that it wasn’t necessarily exclusive access (rarity) to our song that someone would be purchasing. Maybe/maybe not they told me. It appeared that I was truly in a kind of exploded space of valuation in which the rationale for a purchase would be individual and conjured from some peculiar sense that arose either from an absolute lack of content or all the content of the moments’ zeitgeist. Commodification of art at its most random decontextualized form. How very MONDO Vanilli. Dada eats its tail.

Cypherpunks Legacy

Today I write before you as a confounded old man staring down the barrel of crypto and the NFT in confusion. But all of this started with the original progenitors of crypto-cash, the crypto-anarchists who were named the cypherpunks by my frequent writing partner and MONDO 2000 Senior Editor St. Jude. The cypherpunks were in the (MONDO 2000) house. Family.

The cypherpunks or crypto-anarchists were intent on absolute lawlessness, at least in terms of the policing grasp of law enforcement, the taxman or curious fellow citizens. Cryptocash was to be untraceable by all except those engage in an exchange based on digitized anonymous trust. Today, law enforcement, journalists and other data seekers are able to penetrate that anonymity… sort of… with luck. The totalizing intentions of the original cypherpunks have given way to a mess engaged in uncomfortable intercourse with mainstream exchange; all of it contextualized by a universal precarity of capital highlighted by the materiality of bad weather.

Can we still be at play in the simulacra? We’ll try.

Join us on the road to nowhere on March 20, when I, R.U. Sirius, will deliver a talk followed by a presentation of the “I’m Against NFTs” virtual space by Playa Labs Z. Come, put on your vr goggles or just float through using your very ancient eyes and join this audiovisual dance in the shards. It may be the last.

Regarding the immersive “I’m Against NFTs Experience, PlayLa.bZ says:

R.U. Against NFTs.. Immersive Experience takes the perspective of an AI system that is training itself on the RU Sirius ‘I’m Against NFT’s’ song lyrics, exploring a surreal and mind melting 360 world of paradoxes and conflicting rules. The experience challenges our assumptions about the nature of technology, creativity, and value, reminding us that the digital world is shaped by powerful forces that determine what is valued and what is not.

The original I’m Against NFTs song is a satirical, irreverent block-chain busting commentary on the ‘Web 3’ hype around non-fungible tokens and the broader issues that underpin our hyper-connected infinite scrolling age. The song is a rejection of the idea that money is the be-all and end-all of human existence and a critique of the deep-seated corruption and power imbalances that shape our economic systems. R.U. Sirius may or may not be against NFTs, but his song is a broader indictment of the global technocrat homoeconomicus system that values profit over people, and nothing comes for free.

Join Us!

Gimme Helter MONDO Vanilli 1994 – Video 2023

New video for Gimme Helter
by Satori D 2023
MONDO Vanilli from IOU Babe 1994
(Scrappi DuChamp – Jonathan Burnside)
Comments regarding co-creating and producing Gimme Helter for MONDO Vanilli and about Trent Reznor whose erstwhile record label Nothing had (sort of) signed MONDO Vanilli and paid for the studio time to produce an album.


by Jonathan Burnside as told to R.U. Sirius
First… Jonathan Burnside according to Jonathan Burnside


Jonathan Burnside, music producer, studio engineer, mixer and guitarist. Years ago, I started a studio (Razor’s Edge) for the San Francisco  alternative music scene that produced albums for The Melvins and Kurt Cobain, Faith No More, soul-drummer Bernard Purdie, NoFx, Clutch, Red House Painters, Michael Franti’s Disposable Heros of Hiphoprisy, Lag Wagon, Fu Manchu, Sleep, Neurosis, Lunachicks and many others.


On Gimme Helter
Gimme Helter is the most terrifying song I’ve ever worked on. And I’ve done bands like Neurosis and Melvins where the whole thing was to be as scary as possible. And in the end, they’re a bunch of suburban kids with fucking loud guitars. So what? Sure, your mother will probably find it scary.

I think Gimme Helter is like one of the most extreme industrial songs I’ve ever heard. There’s nothing pretty about it. And the subject matter is horrifying in itself.

There’s a part in the middle of Gimme Helter where there’s a guy saying, “I’m a soldier man, listen. You guys don’t love us no more.” He was always down at Hayes and Divisidero. And he would always walk hunched over with this green parka pulled up around his head… a big African American dude. Some people told me he thought he had demons and he was trying to trap ’em inside so they wouldn’t go to anybody else. Some people said he had no teeth. Whatever.

I pulled up to him in my pickup truck. And he was at the bus stop. And I’m like, “Hey Buster man, what’s up? What’s the deal man? How’s life?” And he’s completely out of it.  And he gave those quotes. And then he saw that I was actually recording him, and he tried to attack me. [LAUGHTER]  He lurched forward, and I got the hell out of there. And then not long after that, right after the album was completed, I was in Popeye’s Chicken on the corner near there just getting something quick to eat and he comes busting in the doors, falls on the floor, and does bloody snow angels all over the floor and dies. He had been capped in the neck.
Here you’ve got a song with the voice of Jim Jones and all these crazy people. And then you’ve got somebody probably more real than all of them. Some poor fuck that got chewed up by America and spit out shot in Popeye’s.  He died right there in front of me. I didn’t stay to eat.


On Trent Reznor

I didn’t think Reznor would get IOU Babe at all. I really wondered about that the whole time. And especially the subject matter. It could have been a little close to home.

Nine Inch Nails was pretty much wrap it up in plastic and sell it to the world. Downward Spiral’s a good album. I’m not putting it down. But it’s very genre specific.

The only thing I remember about Trent Reznor backstage is that he had the limpest coldest handshake I’ve ever felt in my life. Honest to God, I thought somebody handed me a dead trout. I thought I was supposed to kiss his hand ’cause, literally, he placed his cold thing on my palm.

R.U. Sirius Philosophy Of Modern Song… naaa…

I’m reading and enjoying Bob Dylan’s preposterous, eccentric and enjoyable “The Philosophy of Modern Song” (not Nobel Prize material) and around the same time, I stumbled into this attempt to explain what I was thinking of as my Top 40 favorite songs. I think I wrote it somewhere between five and ten years ago and I would put them in a different order now or maybe change a few.

Not as dreamy or odd as Dylan but still worth a quick read perhaps.



40:  I Was Made to Love Her  Stevie Wonder

Just pure joy, rhythm and exuberance. I’m pretty sure this will be the last thing on my list without a tinge of melancholy or politics or strangeness, so enjoy it while you can. I also had a childhood sweetheart named Suzy and I still sometimes suspect that I was made to love her, although that’s long past.


39:  Venus In Furs  Velvet Underground

Yes, yes. It takes after the novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the man who gave masochism its good name, and the music hurts so good, does it not?  Slow, slightly-off instrumentation and yet a hummable through-line. The payoff is in the lines: “I am tired. I am weary. I could sleep for a thousand years.” Blunt but literate blues for when you’re coming down or going down or getting old.

38: Long Black Veil   The Band

I never liked The Band all that much… or I didn’t realize how much I liked them until I started considering this list and several of their mournful classics popped up in my head and wouldn’t let go. It’s a western (as in cowboy) tinged murder ballad, but the lyrics and music set a mood more than they tell a story.

37:  Wish You Were Here  Pink Floyd

All rise for the baby boomer national anthem! Oh wait, they were Brits. Well, same difference. If you’re between 57 and 67 and the lyrics don’t slay you, you weren’t paying attention then or you’re too comfortably numb now.

36: Blank Generation  Richard Hell and the Voidoids

Richard Hell took John Lennon’s angriest slashiest guitar work and slashed it twice as hard and three times as fast (2022 edit. The guitar may be Voidoid Robert Quine)… and these lyrics are as good as anything Lennon ever wrote (except for maybe a few lines in Happiness is a Warm Gun).  The entire album of the same name is arguably the masterpiece of early NYC punk.


35: Only The Stones Remain  Soft Boys

At the start of the ‘80s, Robyn Hitchcock’s spirited jab at the beginning of the end of whatever that thing was that happened in the prior two decades. It’s exuberant, it rocks, it’s surreal and it’s a bit funny. That lad had a great career ahead of him.

34: Angry Johny   Poe

There are plenty of one hit wonders but this one rises above the rest. Perfectly executed… and I do mean executed. A song for the age of Gamergate? (note: this was written a while ago)

33: Watching the Detectives  Elvis Costello

Sometimes the music… even just the bass line… is so perfect and weaves so elegantly in and out of the words… that my language fails me. Incidentally, in my opinion, Elvis (along with the Attractions, on occasion) had the longest string of consecutive really good albums in the history of recorded music — from My Aim is True through Punch The Clock.

32:  Pleasures of the Harbor  Phil Ochs

More melancholia… this one involving soldiers and prostitutes, rendered with as much tenderness as can be mustered by a human. And with a lovely melody to match. Ochs is remembered for his protest songs, but it’s his more complex lyrical and musical pieces that ought to be recognized.

31: Rocket Man  Pearls Before Swine

No, not that Rocket Man (although that one was certainly ok… about as good as it got on the AM radio at the time), this one came first and is much stranger, although the storylines intersect in a way.  The hits are going from melancholy to melancholy…est here. I had to check to see if Tom Rapp (the man behind Pearls) committed suicide. Heck no. He quit music and became a successful civil rights lawyer. And he started performing again in the ‘90s.


30:  Brown Sugar   Rolling Stones

The best colonial anti-colonial work of genius you’ll ever have the privilege to misunderstand or underestimate. Genet in a perfectly faceted 3 minute rock song. The old fella probably doesn’t remember those early 1970s influences.

29: The Boxer  Simon and Garfunkel

How many great lines can you pack into one song? Lyrically profound (not a word one uses often in pop music), with a nice crescendo near the end that brings out the emotion of it all.

28: Anarchy for the UK  Sex Pistols

Even having already absorbed The Ramones, Richard Hell, Patti Smith etc., this song was like a clarifying explosion on a nuclear scale. It intended to blow the cobwebs off of the rock, which still presumed to have a drop of countercultural cred. No horseshit should have survived it (unless it was genius horseshit on a Dalinian or McLarenian scale). And yet here we are still baptized in banality (to steal a phrase from Jeff Koons). I sometimes wonder if younger people can get the full impact of songs from the ’60s or ‘70s so out of context. (Assignment: explain to me why Hello Goodbye was actually clever.) I meet some who do… and they amaze me.  Oh yes, music… I think the Sex Pistols were not just a rebel legend, but a great band, fresh in the way that The Beatles were fresh in ’63, at least when they still had Matlock on bass.

27: Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands  Bob Dylan

If it were my top 100, there’d probably be about 5 Dylan songs on it, but this one takes the cake. It brings out Dylan’s poignant romanticism, his empathy with women (with the barest hint of misogyny), his Whitmanesque Song-of-Myself romanticism (“My warehouse eyes/My Arabian drums”), and even the length of the song signaled epic (before that word was so abused) when it was released in 1966. The music is lovely. He’s a very tender and evocative harmonica player when he wants to be too.

26: Black Peter   Grateful Dead

I was never much of a Deadhead.  But there was something about their mournful side so tinged with sweetness and compassion and Jerry Garcia’s voice that does it for me.  This one is about dying: “See here how everything leads up to this day/And it’s just like every other day/That’s ever been.” Robert Hunter pretty much sums it up… as he often did.



25: Papa Don’t Take No Mess  James Brown 

Rhythmically this is as good as James Brown gets and James Brown was as good as it gets. Papa sounds a bit abusive, but you want to clean up that mess for him because of the way this record moves your body soul and spirit.

24: Ghost Dance  Patti Smith Group

Here’s another one that may be hard to get out of context. It may even seem a bit pretentious for a countercultural punk rock poet to conjure Native American spirit and outrage, but in 1978, the repressed promise of the late ‘60s was still raw enough for this to feel right. It still touches me, in that way. Marianne Faithful got it, and did a really good version with help from Keith Richards and Ron Woods, but Patti Smith Group’s version is the best.

23:  Waterloo Sunset  The Kinks

This one is just whimsical and lovely.

22: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place  The Animals

The title says it all. Eric Burdon and company apply all the power of working class white boy blues to the problem. As a suburban white boy, my first real blues experience was probably hearing The Animals play House of the Rising Sun. I remember it. I was playing football with some kids on my front lawn and as the song played, I was thunderstruck. I felt something. Everything stopped for a moment. And then the football hit me on the face. A few minutes later, I was stung on the throat by a bee. First World problems… white boy blues.

21: I Put A Spell On You  Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Really? This Voudou was on the radio in 1956? No wonder fundamentalists were freaking out about rock ‘n’ roll! I vaguely remember liking it as a child, but a crazy Brit called Arthur Brown really put it on my radar during the ‘60s with his own insanely great version. Loved it. Listened to the original again and loved that even more.


20: Space is the Place  Sun Ra

Twenty one minutes of cosmic vibes, honking and chanting that will come to take you further away than any magical mystery tour ever could. I think of this as Sun Ra’s theme song. If you don’t know Sun Ra, check it and enter into a whole new dimension of hyperspace. I was fortunate enough to live in a town that the Arkestra played twice in the early ‘70s. Thanks to this I knew that George Clinton was possible.

19: Halo of Flies  Alice Cooper

Meanwhile, back on earth, trouble was brewing. I once recited various Alice Cooper lyrical fragments to some English students and asked them to guess who wrote them. I don’t think they will ever forget that Alice Cooper and the guys who were in his band were freakin’ weird-ass geniuses. This is the ultimate Alice and has been covered by a gazillion different metal bands since. Music for mercenaries, psychos, revolutionaries and other demented types.

18: Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine)  James Brown

The definitive James Brown with the sex up front. And his bands, in this case the J.B.s, were always precision funk machines — wound up tighter than a clock because if they messed up, James would fuck ‘em!  OK, not literally. But they learned to duck cause papa didn’t take no mess.

17: Madame George  Van Morrison

A somewhat obscure, brave and loving portrayal of a bohemian transvestite, lyrical and touching, with that Van Morrision touch of repetition/incantation that he mainly saved for his longer efforts. This one is 10 minutes and I could listen to it for another 10.

16:  Entertain  Sleater-Kinney

All the rage and all the brilliance of smart punk (riot grrl division). Really, every line is golden… mainly thanks to the delivery.


15:  I’ll Take You There  Staple Singers

“Ain’t no smilin’ faces/Smiling at the racists” Ok, so they made it officially “races” instead… but it was the early ‘70s, so we heard it the way we thought it… some of us.  Never mind. The rhythm and the vocals scratch at all the funkiest parts and that’s all you need. It really will take you there.

14:  Kashmir  Led Zeppelin

I’m not sure if there’s anything mystical and/or magickal about Kashmir… I think maybe Page has his face buried in Magick in Theory and Practice and took a wrong turn on his way to tangiers.  but it hardly matters. Plant and Page used their hallucinations to evoke some monumental psychedelic transmutational spirits. I think  Kashmir is an architectural Big Rock masterpiece. The fact that I heard this while high on DMT while crossing the Bay Bridge in the back of a van has only slightly colored my view. It was my favorite Zep song before that revelatory experience.

13: Pressure Drop  Toots and the Maytals

Back in ’72, ’73, everybody was listening to The Harder They Come soundtrack but this was the cut that made you jump up and let go.  It’s been doing it ever since.  “Pressure’s got the drop on you you you.” The message has survived every zeitgeist. In fact, I’d suggest that there’s a Moore’s Law of pressure. You better go work it out on the dance floor.

12:  Soul Kitchen  The Doors

Here’s everything you could want from a Doors song and if you dis The Doors I suggest you revisit this one.  Passion, poetry, blurred visions, bruised brains… it’s 1967! That whole first Doors album is pretty much perfect.

11:  Paint It Black  Rolling Stones

Paint it black you devils!  Well, it’s nominally about a lost love but it’s actually about, well, painting it black… as in… let’s have a RIOT! In the Rolling Stones approved bio film, Crossfire Hurricane, the song plays to a collage of kids going berserk, rioting and attacking cops at Rolling Stones concerts and political protests. The ending is the real pay off… a sort of chant with a middle eastern edge. It invited a sort-of frantic ‘60s youth hora dance preparatory to revolution. Really, this sort of thing would happen then.


10:  One Nation Under A Groove  Parliament Funkadelic

It’s the feel good hit of the multiverse and representative of the best of the US of America (the best Clinton America has). I vote for it!  I blasted this one out at full volume the instant Mr. Obama got elected (the first time) in 2008.  It didn’t turn out that way, but if anybody can get us to feel the hope for change of a funky and fairly trippy sort, it’s George Clinton.

9: Tears of Rage  The Band

Some of Dylan’s most compassionate and deeply felt if slightly elusive lyrics made even more sorrowful by The Band. Richard Manuel’s vocals are at the very edge of a man about to weep and wail.

8: All Tomorrow’s Parties  Velvet Underground

Do I even really have to explain this? Nico, The Velvets, Lou Reed’s lyrics evoking a slightly tatty lower Manhattan Demimonde and the music just right.

7:  O Superman (For Massanet) Laurie Anderson

Laurie’s work was somehow too self-consciously cool and clever to bring us back for frequent listening, but on those occasions when we were in the right mood, she was our mischievous mistress of postmodern ceremonies.  This was the sort of bust out hit song (to the extent that a performance artist gets a bust out hit song) and, if it’s not exactly emotive, it’s certainly haunting and very extraordinary as in non-ordinary.

6:  Danger Bird  Neil Young and Crazy Horse

In all their ragged glory. Neil Young hitting all those slightly off–minor keys and strangling passion out of one of those slow almost-note-free guitar solos. There are a dozen Neil Young and Crazy Horse songs that are very similar that I like almost as much.


5: Memo from Turner  Mick Jagger

“You’ll still be in this circus when I’m laughing in my grave.” Where did that guy go? Well, at least we still have the recording of one of the most lyrically demented (and sharp) songs in music history. “You gentlemen,  why… you all work for me!” Well, at least that part came true.(Ry Cooder should have gotten credit for the music. And the stones rolled everyone)

4: God Only Knows  Beach Boys

I remember I was 13 and we were visiting some friends of my parents somewhere near a beach on Long Island. There was a girl who was somewhere between my older brother David’s age and my own and she was flirting with him. I went back to the house where I found the Beach Boys 45 Wouldn’t It Be Nice sitting next to a record player. After listening to the A Side, I flipped it over. I heard God Only Knows. I was transfixed. For years, I thought of that song as my own little secret. Now it’s a widely recognized masterpiece.

3:  The Thrill of It All  Roxy Music

Whip yourself into a hedonistic frenzy. It’s perhaps ironic that rock’s most elegantly brilliant posers made this song to drive you out of your mind and make your body shake and quake like no other, but there you go.

2: God is Alive, Magic is Afoot  Buffy Saint-Marie

Take one narrow rationalist, add a dose of whatever, wait two hours and sit him or her in front of the speakers as Buffy intones Leonard Cohen’s prayer in an ominous and shaky voice. Repeat yearly. Me? I’m officially agnostic, except when I’m not.

1: I Am The Walrus  The Beatles

Probably the most influential entertainers of the 20th Century, The Beatles stormed the barricades of what was thinkable and feel-able for teen idols just a couple of years after holding our hands  and this one… my god, how could they? It was 1968. I was 15. I had just finished the section in Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf in which Harry Haller has his mind blown and his ego stripped bare in the Magic Theater when the DJ on the AM radio drew my attention to a new Beatles single that he was very excited about. As it played, a shock of exultation ripped through my skull. It was at that moment that young Mr. Sirius shed the earnest seeker and transmuted into a Heyoka (which Lord Nose translated for me as Lakota for “upside down inside out man.”)



To Mainline the Pure Dope of Illuminatus!

An Interview with Illuminatus TV Showrunner Brian Taylor


by Prop Anon



In December 2019, Deadline announced that Illuminatus!, the legendary underground novel, was on its way to becoming a tv show with Brian Taylor, writer/director of the movies Crank, Gamer, Mom and Dad, and the tv shows Happy! and Brave New World, slotted as the showrunner.  

Like Wilson, Taylor has taken risks with his craft. Whether it was developing “the Rollercam,” an innovative camera technique used to film Crank with his creative partner Mark Neveldine, or beta-testing the Sony RED camera while filming the underrated sci-fi gem Gamer, Taylor welcomes the inclusion of what Discordians call “the random factor.”

Wilson would give props to the risks Taylor has taken. Choosing to be the showrunner of a story with as labyrinthine a plot structure as Illuminatus! may be Taylor’s biggest risk of all!

Read more “To Mainline the Pure Dope of Illuminatus!”

Grant Morrison Surveys the Situation In “The Age of Horus”


Interview by Prop Anon

For those familiar with, Grant Morrison needs no introduction. Over the course of his long career, Morrison, and his generation of punk rock warlords, busted through the doors of the lagging comics industry — sorely in need of some power chord clarity and imaginative story lines — and proceeded to take readers on new paths of literary discovery. Morrison’s genius use of tropes, his subversions and inversion of same, are so much fun to read. It’s all there, the light and the dark.

Times are dark. Since the last time I interviewed Morrison, in 2017, Trump and his idiotic minions have rolled out the red carpet for the angel of death. Morrison knows what’s at stake. However, don’t ask him for specific details about the daily plays of politricks. There is little need. The ebullient Scotsman continues to trek the antipodes of the mind, dropping gems and jewels like Chester Copperpot (from The Goonies), educating readers how to vibe right and live like rock stars during a possible apocalypse.

In this interview we discuss his newest television show Brave New World which features an Artificial Intelligence, named Indra, that feeds on human brains to survive. Morrison also provides an update on the progress on his The Invisibles tv show, as well as his insights into Robert Anton Wilson, magick, the Aeon of Ma’at.


Read more “Grant Morrison Surveys the Situation In “The Age of Horus””

The President Addresses The Nation

The President Addresses The Nation

R.U. Sirius January 8, 2019

I see them all lined up at the border
killers, gangsters, rapists…

Ravers with drugs
Bugs with diseases
Mr. Freeze
Old Sandinistas
Bolton just told me there’s Zapatistas
Angry strippers who use the name Rita
Members of ISIS carrying Pita

vampire bats
gals wearing pussy hats
Soros’s minions of liberal fat cats
Knee takers carrying baseball bats

Masked Antifas throwing rocks
Vicente Fox
Honduran children with chicken pox

IRS agents have joined the throng
Octavio Paz arm-in-arm
With Robert de Niro and Erica Jong
Mueller supporters who know I’ve done wrong
Emiliano Zapata on the back of King Kong
Streisand singing that stupid song

Hillary Clinton is down there too
Professor Chomsky and his radical jews
Even the truthers are turning on me
Why can’t I just make a decree
This is a national emergency

Yes there are monsters south of our border
I need a wall against this disorder
Dictator or prison – that’s how I see it
Yes it’s an emergency soon I will decree it

Mrs. Santa Claus is coming to town

by Destinyland

The problem isn’t “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Holiday traditions age slowly — and poorly — and we find ourselves waking up to a whimsically wintry wonder world as we try to apply our new modern sensibilities to Christmas itself. The TV show Glee once famously bypassed all the tricky gender politics by simply having the song sung by two adorable men.

But here’s the bad news for feminists. For decades Christmas has been depicted as a male-centric holiday dominated by a man-giver and his man-elfs. (Even the reindeer all seem to be male.) And if you dig a little bit deeper, it just gets worse. In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the classic Christmas special, Burl Ives even tells youngsters how Donner the reindeer’s wife — Mrs. Donner — was forbidden from helping find Rudolph because “this is man’s work.” (Leaving Mrs. Donner in tears…)

“Are women bad at looking for things?” asks the Women’s Media Center (a group co-founded by Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan.) In a critique titled “Rudolph, the Sexist Reindeer,” they cite other complaints about the children’s special’s frequent bullying (and also it’s “sheer creepiness”), before noting that ultimately the special “is pretty clear that the boys join in the reindeer games while the girls stay off in the corner…swooning? Admiring?

“Life isn’t all that different for the female elves either.”

But now, the hopeful note. Throughout our history there’ve been inspiring attempts to fix the holiday’s one-sided gender balance. For example, back in 1953 Nat King Cole recorded a delightful tribute to the Christmas-y role played by Mrs. Santa Claus, who helps the couple eke out their North Pole subsistence by personally feeding hay to all of Santa’s flying reindeer. And apparently she’s also in charge of important Christmas-related responsibilities, including sleigh-packing, gift-wrapping, and a crucial advisory role for Santa’s whole toy-delivering operation.

Mrs. Santa Claus briefly turns up in the 1964 film Santa Claus Conquers the Martians — albeit for roughly 32 seconds. (The entire miserable film was once heckled by the robot hand puppets on Mystery Science Theatre 3000.)

But an important message was thus delivered to the next generation of film-makers. Yes, Virginia, there is a Mrs. Santa Claus. Back in 2013, Saturday Night Live delivered a brash skit in which Mrs. Santa Claus complains about the travails of a marriage where “your husband is unemployed for 364 days a year, and he’s a thousand years old,” calling Christmas Eve the day “when Santa finally gets his lazy ass out of the house.” And a later SNL skit even shows what happens when Mrs. Santa Claus gets sexually harassed by pervy elves.

Here’s my point. 2018 saw a growing push for more women in media and government, and a greater representation throughout society in general. So why isn’t there a movement to give a larger role to Mrs. Santa Claus? Why do we spend each Christmas focusing on an aging white guy who can see you when you’re sleeping?

Let me just put it this way. I know a lot of parents who’d feel much more comfortable if their children were sitting on Mrs. Santa Claus’s lap….

And to the end, one film was way ahead of its time.

In 1996, Broadway legend Jerry Herman was 65 years old. But 12 years after his hit La Cage Aux Folles, he took one more crack at skewering our society’s gender roles, writing the entire score for an original TV production titled Mrs. Santa Claus. Given a lavish Christmas production from Hallmark Home Entertainment, the film starred Angela Lansbury — the first person to sing “We Need a Little Christmas” (in Herman’s 1966 hit Broadway musical Mame.) Mrs. Santa Claus describes herself as “invincible,” singing that “the moment has come to beat my own drum because, I want the world to know there’s a Mrs. Santa Claus!”

It’s not to be confused with the 2018 horror film “Mrs. Claus”, in which she’s a serial killer rampaging through a snow-capped suburbs.

Instead, this film glows with a gentle holiday glow of feminine pride, as Lansbury croons that “I’m coming your way, keep an eye on my sleigh…” The critics called the film “endearing” and “sure to be an instant classic” — before it vanished into obscurity for the next 20 years. The DVD “has long been out of print,” warns Wikipedia — but the film has suddenly come back to life in the cloud, and Amazon Prime customers can now watch it free. (Or you can snag a used copy of the DVD for $4.13.)

So this Christmas all those male-centric grinches better watch out.

Because Mrs. Santa Claus is coming to town.

Tripulations 1968 – 1969: Excerpt from Timothy Leary’s Trip Thru Time

by R.U. Sirius

Tripulations 1968 – 1969

A Brief Return to Berkeley During “The Revolution”

Tim’s first impulse, upon being released from the Millbrook hive, was to take Rosemary and Susan (Jack had already left a year earlier, joining the great migration to the streets of the Haight Ashbury) back to his old stomping ground of Berkeley, California where he still owned the family home. By now, Berkeley was a buzzing center of the international counterculture. But Tim was not attuned to Berkeley’s late ‘60s culture of protests, riots and apocalyptic revolutionary rhetoric so his stay in Berkeley would be brief.   

The Brotherhood of Eternal Love

At the invitation of a group called The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the small Leary family unit made its way south, to the sunny climes of Orange County, just outside of LA.  

In 1966, a notorious working class gang of tough marijuana dealers from Orange County invaded and ripped off a Hollywood party over a pot deal gone bad. Among the items they grabbed was a bunch of LSD.  They didn’t even know what it was — except that it was obviously a drug.  One day, the gang leader, John Griggs tried it. “This is it!” he told his followers. “A religious experience.” He threw his gun into the ocean. In nearly an instant, the Street Sweepers gang became a religious psychedelic commune. And the skills they’d learned smuggling marijuana from Mexico… well, that still fit the profile. They added acid and hashish to their sales repertoire and became such a successful underground operation that they would eventually get dubbed “the hippie mafia.”

Timothy Leary’s Psychedelic Prayers from the Tao te Ching became a sort of holy book for the Brothers and Leary a guru.  Being at loose ends anyway, the Leary family unit was happy to head to Laguna Beach and be glorified and feted by their high-flying friends.   

The Brothers were the ultimate ecstatic warriors of the psychedelic revolution.  They were following the logic (such as it was) of  ‘60s psychedelia — this was the idea or vibe that the more people consumed psychedelic substances, the closer we would get to an advanced enlightened society… even if there was some freaking out, fucking up and weirdness along the way.  What do you think? 

The legend of the Brotherhood and the Laguna Beach scene is the subject of numerous books and articles, the best one being Orange Sunshine by Nicholas Schau.

High Priest & Politics of Ecstasy

1968 saw the release of Timothy Leary’s first semi-autobiographical book, High PriestThis book bravely, poignantly, poetically and hilariously tells the stories of fifteen psychedelic trips taken during the Harvard years (plus the nervous breakdown/breakthrough in Spain in 1959)— the trips that turned Timothy Leary into the legend of a mind. Many of the adventures I’ve already described are included. If you’re going to read one Leary book about the psychedelic experience — with the emphasis on actual experience and not on the insights inspired by them — this is the one for you.

Later, 1968 saw the release of a collection of Leary essays under the title, The Politics of Ecstasy. Much more a product of its time than High Priest, Politics of Ecstasy crackles with its effervescent, confident and whip smart explication of how psychedelic experience intersected with generational politics and a demented war mongering repressive sociopolitical structure to create the mad countercultural explosion that was, in fact, peaking heavily that very year.  Read more “Tripulations 1968 – 1969: Excerpt from Timothy Leary’s Trip Thru Time”

Changes, Postmodernism, Counterculture, Ego

Wilder Gonzales Agreda & R.U. Sirius

In 2015, Wilder Gonzales Agreda interviewed me for I’m fond enough of the results to present some of the musings here with some updated annotations. Annotations in caps and blue

Why do you think people in general (not elite) tend to avoid changes even if they finally are going to benefit everyone? Why is to so hard to change mentalities? They seem to get frightened always.

Our minds are SEEM TO BE geared, evolutionarily, towards the recognition of patterns and its predictive mechanisms are most naturally geared towards the immediate near situation…  hunting food, avoiding things that might harm you immediately, maybe some gathering, getting shelter and so forth. It’s kind of amazing that we even got to consciously planned agriculture. Now we’re in societies and cultures of astounding complexity, but many of us are still geared towards our immediate comforts and securities. The simplest – or simple-mindedest way to attain those things is to go along with what everyone else is doing and find your place within it. You get a kind of security of the hive, the pack, the tribe. That security is challenged situationally from time to time but the pack basically likes to shoot the messenger. In apocalyptic situations, this tendency may only get worse.

Academics use to say that in current postmodernism people lose faith on ideals, and they live just for the moment, the ego and pleasure. How do you see this situation regarding counterculture ideals and utopias? Or you see we are living a new era?

I’ve never really thought about postmodernism in terms of faith, but I’m sure it would point to and also provoke a lack of it. And I don’t know that postmodernism is particularly a critique of hedonism or spontaneity IF THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE IMPLYING

Academic postmodernism, which has become TO A GENERALIST APPEARS mostly indistinguishable from poststructuralism, culture theory, critical theory, what have you… really, seems to be a dense thicket of illuminating perceptions, fecund horseshit and lots of tangled up nonsense. This is because academics have to produce a lot of words, and because academic postmodernism came out of the demise of the radical left of the 1960s and it’s splintering into oppressed identity formations. Academic pomo — from it’s roots in questioning the highly defined enlightenment paradigm of Western capitalism and it’s Leninist cousin — seems to have constructed some kind of a linguistic/memetic umbrella under which these various strains of obsession with gender, race and colonialism could still be interrelated. Unfortunately, these relations are constructed DESCRIBED through a peculiar elite specialized language that’s only accessible to other members of the academic tribe. Students get infected by it but usually drop it once they start dealing with the actuality of the world and their not-politically-correct sexual desires. IT SEEMS NOW TO BE CONTINUOUSLY UBIQUITOUS IN CERTAIN CIRCLES, ALBEIT IN A SIMPLE FORM OF TOTALISMS AND CERTAINTIES, SOME OF THEM MORE OR LESS ON TARGET. PROBABLY A REACTION TO THE REACTION AND SOMETHING TO DO WITH SOME KIND OF STASIS (ECONOMIC?) PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING POST-COLLEGE THAT KEEPS THEM IN THE SAME CONTEXT

If I could pick out two fundamental ideas from postmodernism that have meaning and appeal for me:

One: it would be the idea that the singular romanticized consistent western classical liberal individual is a limiting construct and not an actual thing. There are no “stand up guys.” Humans are a fluid changeable process and there are multiplicities of selves, particularly amongst people not enslaved by lives of full time labor –- who generally are the only ones that are privileged to have a self or a multiplicity of selves in the first place.

Two: The other appealing aspect of PoMo is the idea that truth is radically contingent. UNFORTUNATELY PICKED UP BY VARIOUS RIGHT WING THINKERS AS A WAY TO SEW CONFUSION IN DOMAINS WHERE FACTS — EVEN APPROXIMATE FACTS — MATTER TO MUCH TO TREAT AS CONTINGENT. That would not necessarily be hard physical truth (if I threatened an academic pomo with a baseball bat, he or she would recognize it’s absoluteness) but philosophical truth, political truth and even scientific truth (the latter is too long an explantion for this discussion). And with the possible exception of scientific proofs, this seems to be palpably (contingently) true. That is sort of the way things are, whether we like it or not. Read more “Changes, Postmodernism, Counterculture, Ego”

On The Road To Chaos In East Berlin (published MONDO 2000 1991)

by Morgan Russell


In honor of former MONDO editor and co-publisher Morgan Russell’s ashes finding their way back from Austria to his home state of Wisconsin, we present this marvelous unfinished piece he sent us about a Chaos Computer Club gathering in what was once East Berlin. The piece ended suddenly when Morgan didn’t send us the ending, but the fun is more in getting to the conference and getting in the conference than in the conference itself… or at least that’s what one would imagine.


“Chaos. It’s more than just a name. It’s our way of doing business!”

Germany’s Chaos Computer Club is known in the US primarily for its incursions into U.S. military and NASA computers (see Clifford Stoll’s The Cuckoo’s Egg). Then there was the well-publicized information-for-money deal with the KGB that got busted. The latter was perpetrated by persons who, while not official club members, are at least within the Chaos Computer Club’s ambit. Little more is known about the Chaos group outside Germany.

Chaos members who might enlighten the rest of the world as to the nature of their organization seem to be nonexportable. One of their better-known members, Steffen Wernery, was arrested on charges of computer vandalism on his arrival in Paris where he had a speaking engagement. He was imprisoned for months. Other well-known members are understandably loathe to leave Germany.

Contact between the Chaos Computer Club and the East Berlin Computer Club was established at the CCC’s Christmastime ’89 Kongress in Hamburg. When I received calls from Hamburg and Amsterdam alerting me that the next CCC Kongress was imminent and to be held in the “East Zone,” as the West German computer security journal Daterschutz-Berate quaintly termed it, I immediately left for Europe.

Arriving in Amsterdam, I learned that I was a full month early. I suspect my informant was a bit hazy on the exact dates simply because he wanted an Amerikan around to talk to. No matter. I purposefully occupied my time doing preliminary fieldwork in Amsterdam, checking out its hacker underground, squatters’ movement, pirate radio and TV, and the newly identified Anti- Media Movement


“Destroy Media!”

Battle-cry of the Anti-Media Movement

I got my first glimmer of the Anti-Media Movement talking to a member of a group known as ADILKNO (The Foundation for the Advancement of Illegal Knowledge). ADILKNO publishes manifestoes in a hyperintellectual art and media journal, Mediamatic. A magazine for the well-read polyglot, its matter is well-nigh impenetrable without a thorough knowledge of Baudrillard, Virilio, Bataille, and Eco, for starters. Its motto is, “We watch media like others watch TV.”

ADILKNO first proposed its attack on media in a Squatters’ Movement document: “By isolating the media, we will reach many more people! Within the movement, many feel we must give our opinions to the press.

The time in which we can reach our goals through public opinion has long been over!”

ADILKNO believes a “massive defection to reality” is occurring now that everything seems to be covered by the media. “The increasing need to make history in a hobby or tourist atmosphere, away from work, is consciously placing the media in the shadow of the event. For the moment, people have no more time for the media. . . Beyond the media traps, people clear the way tor themselves to do the right thing elsewhere. In Western museum cities, an avant-garde has formed the anti-media movement, which puts an end to all connections under the slogan, ‘Let’s pull down another media!’ With disappearing acts, it creates temporary and local media-free spaces. . . It is a pre-eminently secret movement because it carefully keeps itself out of the press and makes its existence known only through jamming and sabotage. All events that don’t appear in the media are claimed as a victory by the movement. . . The survival strategy of the media is to remain more interesting than reality.” Like that.

In the newly published Movement Teachings:Squatting Beyond the Media (as yet available only in Dutch), Geert Lovink and Arjen Mulder describe the “outer-medial experience” as “making history on the streets through ‘immediate’ (i.e. ‘media-free’) contact.”

The Anti-Media Movement is contentless. It can only be discerned, in Lovink and Mulder’s formulation, as “curious cuts in the data stream.” It is a question of “how we should read the gaps. Is it an accident or the Anti-Media Movement?” One needs “an eye for it.”

Hoping to catch traces of the meaningful gaps of the “AMM” at the CCC Kongress, I mobilize Special Forces: DFM Radio-Televisie.

Read more “On The Road To Chaos In East Berlin (published MONDO 2000 1991)”