Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society by Adam Gorightly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Historia Discordia is obviously a labor of love by the editor, Adam Gorightly, who has created a glorious collection of humorous, ludicrous and inspirational letters, essays and ephemera from the founding fathers of Discordianism. Inspirational? Yes! Many of the quips and clever epistles gathered within this colorful and well designed tome are the sort that make one scratch ones head in wonder and awe; “Wonder why I never thought of that?” and “What an awesome and polite way of mocking political (or religious) pundits!”
Although I was not familiar with the Discordian Society until its creators, Kerry Thornley and Gregory Hill, had joined the accordion orchestra in eternity, I had some exposure to the Church of Bob, Robert Anton Wilson, and even the Illuminatus Trilogy, which I purchased in the 1970s. (I regret tossing it due to my inability to read beyond the first couple chapters). Perhaps I was mentally incapable of appreciating the humor of masters Shea and Wilson in my younger days. Historia Discordia codifies and illustrates the wild intelligence that brought the Discordian Society into chaotic fruition.
Speaking of fruit, the golden apple of Eris, the goddess of discord and chaos, is definitely worth tasting, even if you are reluctant to bite. The more you know about Discordianism the less you need worry about Accordianism. You are already a member, either way. I guarantee you will enjoy the silly catma and dogma compiled in this remarkable book, and you can always just look at the pictures.
Oh, and my chosen Discordian name is “Palimpsest the Pointillist”. Hail, Eris!
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Presidents’ Day is almost upon us, and I have heard rumors that Mardi Gras is in progress, although you would never know it here in the Land of ID.
I was recently asked by a Facebook friend to join her League of Western Fortean Investigators (L.O.W.F.I.) as the Idaho correspondent, which will be a challenge and a pleasure. The Idaho Panhandle has been our home now for almost five years, and the Land of ID is filled with splendid landscapes and staunch Republicans. So far, the weirdest phenomenon I’ve encountered was unexplained roars, which resembled the tumultuous trumpeting of very angry archangels or a fleet of revving B52s suspended above us. No explanation was ever found. Idaho does not appear to have a high weirdness quotient, but there are a lot of Californians here now, so perhaps some strange vibes will have followed us to the Gem State.
My art has been rather stagnant lately, so my resolution to post more paintings has been a failure. I am considering an art page on Facebook, which I have no clue how to accomplish, but today I am posting a recent drawing in marker pens which I call “Robin Drops Acid”. Now if only Batman’s sidekick can lead me to something Fortean to report.
“Holy highlights, Batman!”
As usual, I am on the wrong device to share the appropriate photo to illustrate my thoughts. Autumn is a special time of year here in northern Idaho. The foliage is turning slowly to gorgeous shades of saffron, carmine and magenta. The very air seems a different hue from the brighter light of summer. Nights are chilly, and the mosquitoes are circling with hungry attention at the doorways.
The Golden Altar of the Universal World Church has nothing to do with Fall in the panhandle. The church at Beverly and Alvarado in the beating heart, the geographical center of Los Angeles is long gone. I miss Dr. O. Lee Jaggers and his lovely wife, Miss Velma. The small photo displayed here is a relic of our years long ago in Orange County, California. Sunday mornings in Huntington Beach were enlivened by the heart felt, goofy sermons broadcast regularly from LA. How I wish we had owned a video recorder in those days so that we might relive the inspiring, “UFOs and the Creatures Who Fly Them”, and “Baby Fay” of baboon butt infamy.
Dr. Gene Scott was another frequent lecturer on our television. His cigars and layers of spectacles amused us no end. We still stop and say, “Gene Scott” whenever we hear a jaunty, blues melody similar to his background music, the soundtrack for getting “on those telephones!”
Ah, but time passes, the seasons change, and so does televangelism. We watch very little television, and what we do catch is usually several years behind what is current, since Roku and Netflix are our enablers. Our ancient Sony Wega still has rabbit ears and a pregnant silhouette. We gave up on cable service after the first year’s special price ballooned to an insupportable cost.
Now I entertain myself watching the leaves and the mushrooms on our property. It’s good to be closer to nature. I do not miss southern California.
My husband and I often think we missed our calling. We should have been a modern day Gilbert and Sullivan or some sort of crazed jingle maker. Silly notions, characters, tunes and scenarios are constantly emerging from our aging brains that need sharing with the universe. Therefore, I am announcing, right here, right now, a new concept for a website (don’t anyone steal this): Cyantology: a celebration of all things blue.
Now I fully expect to be inundated with hate mail from the Church of Scientology, simply because my brainstorm resembles the sound of their “religion”, but I assure you, there is no copyright on a color, especially printers’ blue. Cyan is the color of my true love’s hair (Alissa of the Agonist), the Smurfs, the lord Krishna, the cookie monster, and countless other blue meanies. I’ve chosen the name Cyantology because it rings better than Cyan-ology.
Until I can find a reasonable place to create my concept (there’s always Facebook), I announce Cyantology here. Since I have a single follower of my blog, I’m not too worried about my fabulous idea being highjacked.
Perhaps I’ll go watch the movie Blue Velvet again for further inspiration.
The exact place and time my internet path crossed the author, Nick Mamatas, escapes me, but I recently ordered two of his novels before having read a single line penned by him. Since I am a devotee of Hunter S. Thompson, I was attracted to the fiction work, The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham, which combines Lovecraft inspired characters with a gonzo flair. I also ordered Move Under Ground due to its protagonists, some of my favorite rapscallions of the Beats.
Facebook postings by Nick Mamatas announced the release of his latest novel, Bullettime, which is described as a Discordian adventure. Since I had just spent $30.00 on the above mentioned paperbacks, I decided to request that our local library purchase Bullettime for its shelves and was pleasantly surprised to find they had.
The plot of Bullettime is both chaotic and simple in a healthy Discordian manner. The hero is a young man from a dysfunctional family who is constantly bullied (although the term is not used) by society. His disconsolate life is complicated by a chance meeting with the Goddess Eris, who infiltrates his thoughts and actions up to the satisfying finale.
Concurrent to the main action is multiple dimensions or realities called the Ylem, (pronounced “IGH-lum” according to Nick, who kindly sent me a link to the Wikipedia definition. Rather than leading the reader into alternate universes, Mamatas treats life in Ylem as a background or undercurrent of potential paths, much as I would envision the creative imaginings of this engaging author.
Bullettime is a day at the beach or a walk in the park, but beware of jellyfish and muggers.
As 2012 moves closer to its finale, I am listing the tasks and purchases I am postponing until 2013, just in case the world really ends this December.
1. A new world almanac
2. Getting a physical and an eye exam
3. Hiring a tree surgeon to clean up our property
4. Getting the house painted
5. Buying gravel for the driveway, including delivery and spreading
6. Photographing or scanning paintings and drawings currently stored in my studio
7. Cleaning my studio
Likewise, I am procrastinating in the area of website building, online selling, and anything else that takes effort that I resent and resist. If the world doesn’t end, which it probably won’t, I will make a concerted attempt to clean my studio.
I did notice that the dead things in my art (filthy little nest) studio are starting to smell. I suppose I will have to bury the poor little hummingbird I had hoped to save after it crashed, and the dried mushrooms I’ve collected probably don’t help the atmosphere. The deer skull stays, though.
I am so thankful that I can flee this reality on the nights I do sleep and cruise through the chaotic landscapes called dreams. I have finally accepted cell phones as a dreamland prop. They never work, just like the button phones would morph into pillows with illegible numbers. Last night I actually dreamed of my own Virgin Mobile, which I’ve had since 2008; it was drained and useless.Sometimes life reminds me of hiking up a sand dune.
Usually the first robin of spring shows up in our ash tree sometime in March. Today we were astonished to see a huge flock of red breasts resting after their long migration. Approximately 20 or 30 robins were consuming the bright red ash berries and leaving ruddy poops on the patio. Is this natural or another illustration of global warming?
Speaking of, yesterday on Facebook, I tried to share a friend’s photo of a banner proclaiming
However, Facebook would not allow me to share the image unless it was on my own wall. Such censorship truly disturbs my faith in social media, NOT! I must admit, I am probably as addicted to Facebook as anyone else, although I do not share my physical and mental ailments, my familial discords or triumphs or even my political views (other than general nausea) with my FB friends, whether close or mere acquaintances. The distinction of nearness or shadow friends is requested by Facebook, but I always ignore the plea. The majority of people or pages liked or befriended are merely cyberworld contacts, bands or artists, writers or philosophers. How do you measure closeness on the web?
What seems to draw me to certain people or their blogs is what they say or the images they post. Very few display true self portraits in their albums. Many collect iconic photos of celebrities and infamous serial killers which they use for their profile pictures. The ability to hide behind someone’s mugshot is a benefit available to anyone who so chooses. I show my own face, but it is not labeled with my true name. Names have always been considered powerful and magical secrets, a greater truth now in the era of identity theft and character assassination. Profile information has been hijacked in the past, and Facebook users should always be alert to phishing and ill considered clicking.
Robins should be wary of unseasonal southern breezes. They’ve arrived in the Idaho panhandle too early this year, and I hope they know what they are doing.