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  • lady_stardust74
    I just started reading Lovecraft about two weeks ago. The man is brilliant. I normally read King, but this guy is WOW. hehe Anyway..
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 1, 2002
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      I just started reading Lovecraft about two weeks ago. The man is
      brilliant. I normally read King, but this guy is WOW. hehe

      Anyway..
    • Toren Atkinson
      Just wanted to make sure all the new Lovecraft fans know about www.lovecraft.com and of course my Lovecraft band The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets!
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 2, 2002
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        Just wanted to make sure all the new Lovecraft fans know about
        www.lovecraft.com and of course my Lovecraft band The Darkest of the
        Hillside Thickets! www.holycow.com/thickets

        Enjoy and WELCOME to the best kept secret of the literary world

        Mark my words. Go ahead....mark them!

        tOrEn aTkiNsOn
        hTtP://wWw.tOrEn.Net/thickets
        302-1015 West 13th Ave Vancouver BC V6H 1N1 Canada
        http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/vanjobsandroomies
        http://www.vancouvergamingguild.com


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • isiscrisis@ymail.com
        My name is Diana and I am new to this group. I started reading Lovecraft this year after a move to the Pacific NW led to months of horror and woe, as my immune
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 10, 2009
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          My name is Diana and I am new to this group.

          I started reading Lovecraft this year after a move to the Pacific NW led to months of horror and woe, as my immune system doesn't like the various types of mold which permeate almost every corner of that region.

          Lovecraft's works made me feel like someone understood the true nature of reality, as revealed to me in and around Seattle.

          (No offense to those of you who have proper functioning immune systems, and who therefore might like Seattle and thereabouts. You can just write my experiences off as being due to the tainted genetics of some blasphemously non-human ancestor a few generations back in my family line.)

          I'm also interested in the fact that, even if he was just playing around, on some level Lovecraft "got" that Theosophy had or could have a mind-blowingly terrifying and super-evil side to it. Given Theosophy was a major influence on the Nazis I think he--accidentally though it may have been--picked up on something kind of big and important.

          Very scary solstice to you all!
        • Sat Sat
           A Very Warm Welcome Diana, I  agree with you in regards to what you say about Lovecraft enabling us to understand the true natire of reality. I am sure you
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 10, 2009
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             A Very Warm Welcome Diana,

            I  agree with you in regards to what you say about Lovecraft enabling us to understand the true natire of reality. I am sure you have and will find many themes and Dreams maps in the works of Lovecraft.

            Dreaming

            Russell.



            ________________________________
            From: "isiscrisis@..." <isiscrisis@...>
            To: hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wed, 11 November, 2009 12:49:27 PM
            Subject: [HP Lovecraft] Hello

             

            My name is Diana and I am new to this group.

            I started reading Lovecraft this year after a move to the Pacific NW led to months of horror and woe, as my immune system doesn't like the various types of mold which permeate almost every corner of that region.

            Lovecraft's works made me feel like someone understood the true nature of reality, as revealed to me in and around Seattle.

            (No offense to those of you who have proper functioning immune systems, and who therefore might like Seattle and thereabouts. You can just write my experiences off as being due to the tainted genetics of some blasphemously non-human ancestor a few generations back in my family line.)

            I'm also interested in the fact that, even if he was just playing around, on some level Lovecraft "got" that Theosophy had or could have a mind-blowingly terrifying and super-evil side to it. Given Theosophy was a major influence on the Nazis I think he--accidentally though it may have been--picked up on something kind of big and important.

            Very scary solstice to you all!





            __________________________________________________________________________________
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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Graham Evans
            ... interesting...and a truly Lovecraftian topic for discussion. How about theism that isn t theosophy. Like the chance that maybe there is an omnipotent
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 11, 2009
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              isiscrisis@... wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > My name is Diana and I am new to this group.
              >
              > I started reading Lovecraft this year after a move to the Pacific NW
              > led to months of horror and woe, as my immune system doesn't like the
              > various types of mold which permeate almost every corner of that region.
              >
              > Lovecraft's works made me feel like someone understood the true nature
              > of reality, as revealed to me in and around Seattle.
              >
              > (No offense to those of you who have proper functioning immune
              > systems, and who therefore might like Seattle and thereabouts. You can
              > just write my experiences off as being due to the tainted genetics of
              > some blasphemously non-human ancestor a few generations back in my
              > family line.)
              >
              > I'm also interested in the fact that, even if he was just playing
              > around, on some level Lovecraft "got" that Theosophy had or could have
              > a mind-blowingly terrifying and super-evil side to it.
              >
              interesting...and a truly Lovecraftian topic for discussion. How about
              theism that isn't theosophy. Like the chance that maybe there is an
              omnipotent being for this universe (monotheism) and that s/he/it is
              malevolent, petty, super-evil if you like. Combining the base
              motivation (procreation and the pleasure principle) with ultimate powers
              certainly makes for a terrifying prospect (akin to the terror of Neo
              waking up in the battery bath in the Matrix). Personally I can't see
              how this is less probable than the benevolent diety of monotheists. In
              Cartesian terms; The 'deceiving demon' idea provokes sceptical ideas;
              The 'sadistic evil deceiving demon' provokes sheer utter bowel clenching
              terror.

              Gurdjieff, not a theosophist but more a lone mystic, seems to have
              embraced such a heresy - God as an evil magician. Gurdjieff actually
              wrote a book (Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson) which contains almost
              identical ideas to 'The Secret Doctrine' by Blavatsky (the long held
              secrets of magic and mysticism existing in hidden places of the Earth
              presided over by strange unknown sects in the Tibetan regions of Eurasia
              etc. etc.). And then, roughly contemporaneously (I would love someone
              to clarify these timelines and influences) Lovecraft is writing his own
              Secret Doctrine in the form of the Cthulhu mythos. Gurdjieff has such
              things as the moon being a kind of higher power which demands a blood
              tribute from the humans on Earth (that's a terrible paraphrase of
              Gurdjieff). Not horror fiction but secret mystic teachings for him.

              It is like all these three were tapping the same source but Blavatasky
              made of it a pseudo science, Gurdjieff a patriachal mystical cult, and
              Lovecraft fabulous pulp horror fiction.
              >
              > Given Theosophy was a major influence on the Nazis I think
              > he--accidentally though it may have been--picked up on something kind
              > of big and important.
              >
              as for the Nazis I think I find your view a little heretical - try this
              instead. The same being/s who fed religion to Blavatsky, mysticism to
              Gurdjieff and Fiction to Lovecraft found the impressionable brains of
              the Nazi intellectuals and decided they were fertile. And so
              Nationalism became the next vehicle for them. The influence comes from
              the life behind the ideas rather than from human transmission of the ideas.
              >
              >
              > Very scary solstice to you all!
              >

              and for a scary thought - if the Nazi's didn't create Nazism who did?

              Graham
            • isiscrisis@ymail.com
              ... As an atheist, I d say they re equally probably. As a person living in the wake of George Bush the Second, I ll take omnipotent malevolent super-evil for
              Message 6 of 17 , Nov 11, 2009
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                --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, Graham Evans <gray@...> wrote:
                >
                > isiscrisis@... wrote:
                > >
                > > [..]
                > > I'm also interested in the fact that, even if he was just playing
                > > around, on some level Lovecraft "got" that Theosophy had or could have
                > > a mind-blowingly terrifying and super-evil side to it.
                > >
                > interesting...and a truly Lovecraftian topic for discussion. How about
                > theism that isn't theosophy. Like the chance that maybe there is an
                > omnipotent being for this universe (monotheism) and that s/he/it is
                > malevolent, petty, super-evil if you like. Combining the base
                > motivation (procreation and the pleasure principle) with ultimate powers
                > certainly makes for a terrifying prospect (akin to the terror of Neo
                > waking up in the battery bath in the Matrix). Personally I can't see
                > how this is less probable than the benevolent diety of monotheists.


                As an atheist, I'd say they're equally probably. As a person living in the wake of George Bush the Second, I'll take "omnipotent malevolent super-evil" for 600, Alex.

                ..

                ... Oh wait, you're Graham. Please forgive me. I get confused sometimes.



                > In
                > Cartesian terms; The 'deceiving demon' idea provokes sceptical ideas;
                > The 'sadistic evil deceiving demon' provokes sheer utter bowel clenching
                > terror.


                This actually brings to mind that there's sort of a Peircean thing going on with Lovecraft.

                OK, so there's like this religious argument for the supernatural that rests on the feeling of the "numinous", like the different, supernaturalish fear you'd have of knowing there was a ghost in the next room, contrasted with the ordinary but still very strong fear of knowing there was a man-eating tiger in the next room. (C. S. Lewis paraphrased this in some book a religious person encouraged me to read once.)

                I agree that they are different types of fear but I've always connected the numinous fear to fear of the unknown. Not just regular unknown but something so outlandishly unknown that you'd have to have a paradigm shift in your understanding to deal with the new kind of thing, and where even with the paradigm shift you'd have no knowledge about how this new class of threat works. So it's a really terrorizing threat because unlike a tiger you don't know what it is or how to best deal with it, and you'd have to scramble all the working knowledge you have in your brain to even begin to try.

                I think this type of fear of the unknown is very much the kind of fear Lovecraft plays with, but what's interesting is that he's not doing if from an 100% explicitly supernatural/ religious perspective, but from more a sci-fi one; reading religious themes onto sci-fi situations. So his work kind of supports my perspective on the numinous against C. S. Lewis'.

                Anyway C. S. Peirce was an early 20th century philosopher who along with William James really looked closely at how people fixed belief and how people approched truth, and what truth was in practice, and how people dealt with evidence conflicting with their worldviews.

                The basic model is that people don't shift their beliefs unless they have warranted, genuine doubt, and that when they are forced to change their beliefs, they'll change it in they minimal way that least impacts their other beliefs. James talks of a "web of belief" where if one part is damaged the minimal changes needed to repair the web are done. There are loose connections here to Lovecraft's characters who are driven to madness when confronted with evidence that shifts their understanding of reality so profoundly it's like their web of belief is so severely damaged it's practically unrepairable.

                Peirce is considered the American philosopher who made the biggest contribution to philosophy, for proposing that genuine doubt needs warrant like belief, contra Descartes who feign-doubted everything without necessarily having warrant to do so.

                Peirce is also like Lovecraft in being almost totally unappreciated in his own time, suffering from severe poverty and health ailments, surging in popularity only recently, and having his work collected, protected, and supported by a tiny handful of better-off friends who saw its true import.

                I've been thinking that was interesting how these two of my favorite people had such similar experiences but maybe it's just how the early 20th century dealt with groundbreaking new ideas.



                >
                > Gurdjieff, not a theosophist but more a lone mystic, seems to have
                > embraced such a heresy - God as an evil magician. Gurdjieff actually
                > wrote a book (Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson) which contains almost
                > identical ideas to 'The Secret Doctrine' by Blavatsky (the long held
                > secrets of magic and mysticism existing in hidden places of the Earth
                > presided over by strange unknown sects in the Tibetan regions of Eurasia
                > etc. etc.). And then, roughly contemporaneously (I would love someone
                > to clarify these timelines and influences) Lovecraft is writing his own
                > Secret Doctrine in the form of the Cthulhu mythos. Gurdjieff has such
                > things as the moon being a kind of higher power which demands a blood
                > tribute from the humans on Earth (that's a terrible paraphrase of
                > Gurdjieff). Not horror fiction but secret mystic teachings for him.
                >
                > It is like all these three were tapping the same source but Blavatasky
                > made of it a pseudo science, Gurdjieff a patriachal mystical cult, and
                > Lovecraft fabulous pulp horror fiction.


                Blavatsky was tapping Hegel, and my guess, albeit take into account that I never heard of him until you mentioned him, is that there is an excellent chance similarities between Gurdjieff and Blavatsky can by explained by the possibility Gurdjieff was also tapping Hegel, if only because almost everyone else since the mid 1800s or so has been, from Marx to Foucault to Said to Fukayama. (And don't tell anyone this because it might sound nutty, but I personally suspect that other than just tapping into authoritarianism, Hegel was also tapping into dynamics in the theology of the trinity -- god immanent, transcendence, and somethingorother, cf J. P. Allen "Middle Egyptian"--that had mostly laid latent since the Egyptians created them to account for different cities having different central creator Gods at the time of national unification.)

                From what you describe Gurdjieff also reminds me of the Popul-Vuh (Or Popples, which was my nickname for it when I was reading it), and I really liked that book so I don't mean to reduce Gurdjeiff to any of the other blokes just that the seed for influence could have come from the mainstream intellectual culture of his time.

                (Aside, if I started uploading photos of Popples to the group photo section do you think I would get kicked out?)


                My understanding is that Lovecraft was tapping Blavatsky, as by his time Theosophy was pretty well-known and fairly influential.


                > >
                > > Given Theosophy was a major influence on the Nazis I think
                > > he--accidentally though it may have been--picked up on something kind
                > > of big and important.
                > >
                > as for the Nazis I think I find your view a little heretical - try this
                > instead. The same being/s who fed religion to Blavatsky, mysticism to
                > Gurdjieff and Fiction to Lovecraft found the impressionable brains of
                > the Nazi intellectuals and decided they were fertile. And so
                > Nationalism became the next vehicle for them. The influence comes from
                > the life behind the ideas rather than from human transmission of the ideas.
                > >
                > >

                I am flattered that you find me heretical, and I thank you very much for the kind compliment.

                I mostly agree with what you say here except that I think the beings of whom you speak are 19th century German academics, the chief being an entity called Hegel, and that he "fed" his ideas to Blavatsky in the sense that she read about them somewhere, as they were published and also widely studied in university. She, also being published, then "fed" them to both the Nazis and to Lovecraft so that the latter two are getting it a little less directly. The evidence for this is that Lovecraft mentions the word "Theosophy" in his work (the context being, what if the Theosophists are right except that the beings they imagine are malevolent not kind), and that Theosophy books were found in the possession of the Nazi leadership.

                So far as the Blavatsky/Nazi connection, this is very clear historically, to the point that I've even seen it on the History Channel (not that that's the only place I've seen it). Also, Blavatsky is clear in suggesting that the different races corresponded to different epochs of spiritual evolution, and that certain races that were exemplars of previous stages of spiritual evolution would have to be cleaned out of the way before the next stages could be reached. Specifically the Jews had to be cleared out of the way before the next stage of spiritual evolution could be reached. The Nazi idea that the Jews were psychically preventing the spiritual leap forward that the Aryans, if left alone, would have been capable of, is derivative of that.

                The other huge influence on Nazism was Hegel more directly. Hegel was explicit that the "world historic figure" was above petty moral constraints and was essentially justified in trampling on innocents and crushing them under his feet as if they were flowers. He also argued that true freedom was willingly doing the will of the state, and he believed that massive centralization of power and collectivization of will would lead to collective consciousness, the making of the godhead explicit in the universe where it had previously been implicit. This dovetails with, & is the root influence of, Blavatsky's beliefs on spiritual evolution.

                Hegel also described the course of history as being formed by opposing forces that are then reconciled into a new status quo until a new revolutionary force opposed it, forming a creative tension, the resolution of which is (purportedly) the engine of progress. The Nazis believed themselves to be such a synthesis, specifically of the left (communism/socialism) and the right (nationalism/conservativism) That's where they get the "National" (rightwing) "Socializm" (leftwing) name from.


                I don't mean to be insulting or anything, especially if you like Blavatsky, but as an atheist being heretical and arguing that religion has caused all sorts of badness is kinda my schtick. Please don't be too offended.



                > > Very scary solstice to you all!
                > >
                >
                > and for a scary thought - if the Nazi's didn't create Nazism who did?
                >
                > Graham
                >

                Oh, oh! I think I know this one.....

                Was it Pancake Popple?
              • Bill L
                And hello to you, isiscrisis- Glad there s a chick besides my wife and a few others who love Lovecraft. Just to let you know, over on the eastern side of
                Message 7 of 17 , Nov 11, 2009
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                  And hello to you, isiscrisis-

                  Glad there's a chick besides my wife and a few others who love Lovecraft. Just to let you know, over on the eastern side of Washington state, her in Spokane, we're always fighting the mold. HOLY FUNGI FROM YUGOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
                  -Rhinefrank



                  --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "isiscrisis@..." <isiscrisis@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > My name is Diana and I am new to this group.
                  >
                  > I started reading Lovecraft this year after a move to the Pacific NW led to months of horror and woe, as my immune system doesn't like the various types of mold which permeate almost every corner of that region.
                  >
                  > Lovecraft's works made me feel like someone understood the true nature of reality, as revealed to me in and around Seattle.
                  >
                  > (No offense to those of you who have proper functioning immune systems, and who therefore might like Seattle and thereabouts. You can just write my experiences off as being due to the tainted genetics of some blasphemously non-human ancestor a few generations back in my family line.)
                  >
                  > I'm also interested in the fact that, even if he was just playing around, on some level Lovecraft "got" that Theosophy had or could have a mind-blowingly terrifying and super-evil side to it. Given Theosophy was a major influence on the Nazis I think he--accidentally though it may have been--picked up on something kind of big and important.
                  >
                  > Very scary solstice to you all!
                  >
                • Graham Evans
                  ... I am familiar with 20c Philosophers of Science like Thomas Kuhn (another American) whom I once studied at uni. There are varying versions of paradigm
                  Message 8 of 17 , Nov 12, 2009
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                    >
                    > Anyway C. S. Peirce was an early 20th century philosopher who along
                    > with William James really looked closely at how people fixed belief
                    > and how people approched truth, and what truth was in practice, and
                    > how people dealt with evidence conflicting with their worldviews.
                    >
                    > The basic model is that people don't shift their beliefs unless they
                    > have warranted, genuine doubt, and that when they are forced to change
                    > their beliefs, they'll change it in they minimal way that least
                    > impacts their other beliefs. James talks of a "web of belief" where if
                    > one part is damaged the minimal changes needed to repair the web are
                    > done. There are loose connections here to Lovecraft's characters who
                    > are driven to madness when confronted with evidence that shifts their
                    > understanding of reality so profoundly it's like their web of belief
                    > is so severely damaged it's practically unrepairable.
                    >
                    I am familiar with 20c Philosophers of Science like Thomas Kuhn (another
                    American) whom I once studied at uni. There are varying versions of
                    paradigm based epistemologies (paradigms being knowledge constructs,
                    like the Newtonian Universe or the Sun Centred Solar System, which shape
                    empirical investigations so that these scientific enquiries find
                    confirming facts rather than confuting facts.) It sounds like Pierce's
                    'web of belief' may be a fore-runner to these later 20c theorists.

                    > Peirce is considered the American philosopher who made the biggest
                    > contribution to philosophy, for proposing that genuine doubt needs
                    > warrant like belief, contra Descartes who feign-doubted everything
                    > without necessarily having warrant to do so.
                    >
                    Brilliantly put - thanks for the reference. Descarte's philosophy is
                    like the well you keep going back to and finding there is another bucket
                    of water to tip out and examine the little creatures that come up with
                    it. Horrific little monsters of the enlightenment mind.

                    Anyway thanks again - I am going to have to check out Pierce.

                    > Peirce is also like Lovecraft in being almost totally unappreciated in
                    > his own time, suffering from severe poverty and health ailments,
                    > surging in popularity only recently, and having his work collected,
                    > protected, and supported by a tiny handful of better-off friends who
                    > saw its true import.
                    >
                    > I've been thinking that was interesting how these two of my favorite
                    > people had such similar experiences but maybe it's just how the early
                    > 20th century dealt with groundbreaking new ideas
                    >
                    One of my other intellectual heroes, William Blake, was in the same boat
                    poverty and recognition-wise. The Norwegian philosopher, Soren
                    Kierkegaard, argues that this is the way the World should be expected to
                    repay a truth seeker for his labours. ie to punish them. Wordly
                    Success and truth telling are actually an unholy marriage.

                    Not wanting to stray into reflex anti-Americanism, I think Keirkegaard
                    would be the ultimate philosophical heretic to the naive mainstream
                    American world view of success through merit. Of course this false view
                    (according to S.K.) has spread throughout the world and didn't originate
                    in the USA. However I believe that US culture is a big engine built
                    around this false truism...
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Blavatsky was tapping Hegel, and my guess, albeit take into account
                    > that I never heard of him until you mentioned him, is that there is an
                    > excellent chance similarities between Gurdjieff and Blavatsky can by
                    > explained by the possibility Gurdjieff was also tapping Hegel, if only
                    > because almost everyone else since the mid 1800s or so has been, from
                    > Marx to Foucault to Said to Fukayama. (And don't tell anyone this
                    > because it might sound nutty, but I personally suspect that other than
                    > just tapping into authoritarianism, Hegel was also tapping into
                    > dynamics in the theology of the trinity -- god immanent,
                    > transcendence, and somethingorother, cf J. P. Allen "Middle
                    > Egyptian"--that had mostly laid latent since the Egyptians created
                    > them to account for different cities having different central creator
                    > Gods at the time of national unification.)
                    >

                    I have never found an accessible 'point of entry' in Hegelianism - I
                    think there are a few 1/10 read books of his on my shelves.

                    > >From what you describe Gurdjieff also reminds me of the Popul-Vuh (Or
                    > Popples, which was my nickname for it when I was reading it), and I
                    > really liked that book so I don't mean to reduce Gurdjeiff to any of
                    > the other blokes just that the seed for influence could have come from
                    > the mainstream intellectual culture of his time
                    >
                    Gurdjieff was an original and a charlatan and definitely very much a
                    creature of his time. I am not at all defensive of him - I just find
                    him an incredibly amusing spectacle of the 20th Century. He was know to
                    many as 'the man who killed Katherine Mansfield' through bodgy Cancer
                    treatments (a slander of the British gutter press). He is a little too
                    evasive to be clearly characterised as any one thing. His only writings
                    are in the form of fiction, fantastical autobiography, and second hand
                    reports of his teachings to disciples.

                    >
                    > (Aside, if I started uploading photos of Popples to the group photo
                    > section do you think I would get kicked out?)
                    >
                    I'm too new here to say. But the reason I am here is discussion and
                    exchange. Surely there will be a warning before the pavement knocks our
                    front teeth out?

                    >
                    > My understanding is that Lovecraft was tapping Blavatsky, as by his
                    > time Theosophy was pretty well-known and fairly influential.
                    >
                    Thanks for clarifying that timeline. Blavatsky is rich material but I
                    am having trouble getting very far into the two doorstopper volumes of
                    The Secret Doctrine.

                    > I am flattered that you find me heretical, and I thank you very much
                    > for the kind compliment.
                    >
                    heh heh

                    > they imagine are malevolent not kind), and that Theosophy books were
                    > found in the possession of the Nazi leadership.
                    >
                    there's no doubt the Nazi's were magical thinkers... it harks back to
                    there attempts to overturn the enlightenment maybe?

                    > So far as the Blavatsky/Nazi connection, this is very clear
                    > historically, to the point that I've even seen it on the History
                    > Channel (not that that's the only place I've seen it). Also, Blavatsky
                    > is clear in suggesting that the different races corresponded to
                    > different epochs of spiritual evolution, and that certain races that
                    > were exemplars of previous stages of spiritual evolution would have to
                    > be cleaned out of the way before the next stages could be reached.
                    > Specifically the Jews had to be cleared out of the way before the next
                    > stage of spiritual evolution could be reached. The Nazi idea that the
                    > Jews were psychically preventing the spiritual leap forward that the
                    > Aryans, if left alone, would have been capable of, is derivative of that.
                    >
                    wow I guess that's why so few talk about her... This must be the
                    chapter of Secret Doctrine or one of the other 27 or so volumes she
                    published which I have yet to pick up.
                    >
                    >
                    > The other huge influence on Nazism was Hegel more directly. Hegel was
                    > explicit that the "world historic figure" was above petty moral
                    > constraints and was essentially justified in trampling on innocents
                    > and crushing them under his feet as if they were flowers. He also
                    > argued that true freedom was willingly doing the will of the state,
                    > and he believed that massive centralization of power and
                    > collectivization of will would lead to collective consciousness, the
                    > making of the godhead explicit in the universe where it had previously
                    > been implicit. This dovetails with, & is the root influence of,
                    > Blavatsky's beliefs on spiritual evolution.
                    >
                    OMG that sounds like the Transcendental Meditationists as well as the
                    Nazis. So dangerous to have groups of people trying to make things
                    happen by all thinking the same thing. Because things happen!

                    >
                    > Hegel also described the course of history as being formed by opposing
                    > forces that are then reconciled into a new status quo until a new
                    > revolutionary force opposed it, forming a creative tension, the
                    > resolution of which is (purportedly) the engine of progress. The Nazis
                    > believed themselves to be such a synthesis, specifically of the left
                    > (communism/socialism) and the right (nationalism/conservativism)
                    > That's where they get the "National" (rightwing) "Socializm"
                    > (leftwing) name from.
                    >

                    >
                    > I don't mean to be insulting or anything, especially if you like
                    > Blavatsky, but as an atheist being heretical and arguing that religion
                    > has caused all sorts of badness is kinda my schtick. Please don't be
                    > too offended.
                    >
                    I like Blavatsky as one of the great wellsprings of existential horror -
                    not as a mystic or philosopher. Also I am unoffendable as far as
                    beliefs go. Hale to all heretics I say...
                    >
                    > > >
                    >
                    > Oh, oh! I think I know this one.....
                    >
                    > Was it Pancake Popple?
                    >
                    I don't know - I'll google it. :p

                    s'been fun. Thanks for the chat!

                    Graham
                  • isiscrisis@ymail.com
                    Hi Bill, thanks! A year ago I wasn t a chick who particularly knew much about Lovecraft either way (a little bit), but yes now I am one of the few, the proud,
                    Message 9 of 17 , Nov 12, 2009
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                      Hi Bill, thanks!

                      A year ago I wasn't a chick who particularly knew much about Lovecraft either way (a little bit), but yes now I am one of the few, the proud, the female Lovecraft fans. Sonia's spirit lives on! You can call me Diana.

                      I have a good friend who also lives in Seattle and doesn't want me to go back to Chicago (from whence we both come), so she's tried to suggest that I move to Spokane. It's nice in theory as having functional state government on a 9% sales tax compares quite favorably to having a stunningly corrupt and dysfunctional one on 10% sales tax plus state income tax. But now that you've informed me that the Biological Underworld is as involved in Spokane as in Seattle, the stunningly corrupt Chicago and C(r)ook county politicians--even those who wear dead raccoons on their heads--begin to look not quite so bad.

                      I used to think Eris was just f*cking with me. She's not supposed to be consistently malevolent though, so that no longer fits (or she's just going to greater lengths to confuse people). I'm not saying I'm taking evil as like something conscious and personified yet, more like questioning the underlying structure of the universe. Rather than unbiased and uncaring (modern scientific view), or promoting the formation of life (sort of Deist-y), or just generally wacky, frustrating, and occasionally mysterious (the Discordian thing), I now see the underlying structure as promoting the formation of life so that some life (for example, me) can be tortured via other life (for example, mold). This makes for an extremely sadistic universe in my opinion.

                      I am very sorry for you and yours that you have that same Seattle stuff going on in Spokane, as I was hoping for humanity's sake it was limited to the Puget Sound and Innsmouth, one of which has been mercifully wiped off the face of the earth by the military. This new information also makes me fear ever going to the Lovecraft film festival in Portland, as I'd bet if mold pwns all of Washington state it's probably got at least a foothold in Oregon.

                      I'm trying to get back to Chicago (where I'm from originally) and have seen various apartments in Chicagoland that have not a trace of mold. An uncle of mine who left Chicago for the other Washington (DC) claimed that it is extremely hard to leave Chicago, and that everyone else he went to grad school with planned on leaving, but then they just didn't. That Chicago-as-glue theory is kind of turning out to apply to me too, in a less direct way. At least, if everything works out, I'll be able to get good pizza again (really, really good pizza I might add).

                      One plus side of being in Seattle the year, that your email name reminds me of, is that they did the Ring Cycle, & I got to commiserate with Sigfried's horrific luck (speaking of art suggestive that this is a seriously cursed world). That was pretty cool.



                      --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "Bill L" <rhinefrank@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > And hello to you, isiscrisis-
                      >
                      > Glad there's a chick besides my wife and a few others who love Lovecraft. Just to let you know, over on the eastern side of Washington state, her in Spokane, we're always fighting the mold. HOLY FUNGI FROM YUGOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
                      > -Rhinefrank
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "isiscrisis@" <isiscrisis@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > My name is Diana and I am new to this group.
                      > >
                      > > I started reading Lovecraft this year after a move to the Pacific NW led to months of horror and woe, as my immune system doesn't like the various types of mold which permeate almost every corner of that region.
                      > >
                      > > Lovecraft's works made me feel like someone understood the true nature of reality, as revealed to me in and around Seattle.
                      > >
                      > > (No offense to those of you who have proper functioning immune systems, and who therefore might like Seattle and thereabouts. You can just write my experiences off as being due to the tainted genetics of some blasphemously non-human ancestor a few generations back in my family line.)
                      > >
                      > > I'm also interested in the fact that, even if he was just playing around, on some level Lovecraft "got" that Theosophy had or could have a mind-blowingly terrifying and super-evil side to it. Given Theosophy was a major influence on the Nazis I think he--accidentally though it may have been--picked up on something kind of big and important.
                      > >
                      > > Very scary solstice to you all!
                      > >
                      >
                    • isiscrisis@ymail.com
                      ... Just to help your searching, it s spelled Peirce not Pierce. & pronounced purse . You won t find him under Pierce. He s still fairly obscure, so you ll
                      Message 10 of 17 , Nov 13, 2009
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                        > I am familiar with 20c Philosophers of Science like Thomas Kuhn (another
                        > American) whom I once studied at uni. There are varying versions of
                        > paradigm based epistemologies (paradigms being knowledge constructs,
                        > like the Newtonian Universe or the Sun Centred Solar System, which shape
                        > empirical investigations so that these scientific enquiries find
                        > confirming facts rather than confuting facts.) It sounds like Pierce's
                        > 'web of belief' may be a fore-runner to these later 20c theorists.

                        Just to help your searching, it's spelled Peirce not Pierce. & pronounced "purse". You won't find him under Pierce. He's still fairly obscure, so you'll have to hunt to get much anything on the internet, or else buy the books put out by his society in Indiana. If by any chance you're near Chicago I know the UC co-op bookstore (under the seminary, across the street from the oriental museum) carries them, it's where I got mine (which are now in storage after having been in a particularly nasty moldorific Seattle apartment, sigh). Also I have a friend who's into the occult and he really liked Peirce's Synechism, which you might want to look into too if you're going to bother digging up Peirce stuff. It's this system based one his three part theory of signs and on the idea that everything is interconnected and continuous.

                        I've read him independently for the most part but also took a grad level course on his Pragmatism and I've been pretty impressed. A lot of Kuhn's ideas seem to go back to Peirce, but that's not the whole story. There are things in Peirce and in James that are increasingly interesting to philosophers working now, well past Kuhn. There's a guy called Rorty for example that's taken it in a very post-modern direction since the 1980s or so. So if the Pragmatics are proto-Kuhn they're maybe also post-Kuhn. The Pragmatists are relativists in that they hold no absolute truth is possible, there are only relative degrees of certainty (James went further in seeming to argue that there were different truths for different people). They're also looking at truth in a larger sense than laboratory science, and made the point that what's done in laboratory science is only useful in approaching truth because it is a sort of condensed and simplified subtype of experience, and experience is the way people approach truth. This opens the door to other approaches to truth than just hyper-reductionist laboratory science. They're very holistic (which is probably linked to their being dedicated Monists).

                        If you've read "The Omnivore's Dilemma", it argues the problems we're having in agriculture with nutrition and environmental sustainability started when, on account of overly simplistic laboratory evidence, scientists concluded it was safe to start ripping apart dynamic natural systems before really understanding all the components and connection in these systems. There were farmers at the time that argued, based on their understanding of natural systems gleaned from experience, that this would be massively problematic for people and land. This is basically the kind of place the Pragmatists break away from traditional philosophy of science, they'd say wait a minute, lets see what these other guys have to say even though they haven't worked in laboratories. Their experience might be connected to truth too.


                        > One of my other intellectual heroes, William Blake, was in the same boat
                        > poverty and recognition-wise. The Norwegian philosopher, Soren
                        > Kierkegaard, argues that this is the way the World should be expected to
                        > repay a truth seeker for his labours. ie to punish them. Wordly
                        > Success and truth telling are actually an unholy marriage.
                        >
                        > Not wanting to stray into reflex anti-Americanism, I think Keirkegaard
                        > would be the ultimate philosophical heretic to the naive mainstream
                        > American world view of success through merit. Of course this false view
                        > (according to S.K.) has spread throughout the world and didn't originate
                        > in the USA. However I believe that US culture is a big engine built
                        > around this false truism...


                        I hadn't heard of Blake, thank you for mentioning him. I also had a laugh when I read that his father was a hosier and for like a tenth of a second I got that SCTV skit in my head and was confused. That's got to be a good omen.

                        Not to be pedantic but I though Kierkegaard was was Danish. I had to look it up and he is, which is a little bit relevant as iirc Denmark was more politically influenced by German philosophy than Norway, as was its state church. Hegel was Kierkegaard's major intellectual nemesis and he carved out existentialism largely as an alternative to the oppressive religious Hegelianism of his day, which was a major source of his professional problems. Kierkegaard also opposed Calvinism iirc, which was extremely influential among protestants since Calvin's time (some Anabaptists have claimed this is because Calvinists have historically been more inclined to resort to violence to resolve theological conflict). Calvin argued that people are predestined to die in hell or be saved, and that God's elect couldn't really be determined but that they would tend to be blessed on earth.

                        Weber proposed that modern, bureaucratic capitalism actually has its roots in Calvinism, on the grounds that people would, on like a subconscious level, seek wealth as a sign that they were one of the elect. Given ascetic religious constraints this wealth wouldn't be spent for enjoyment as it would for most people in human history, but rather be reinvested to produce more wealth to produce more of a sign that the person was one of the elect.

                        So, yeah, the idea that good, righteous people get money and bad people suffer didn't start with the US even though it is an extremely dominant meme here, possibly because of the fundamental role the Puritans had in our early culture (here's another potential Lovecraft tie-in).

                        I've read only bits of Kierkegaard, but I like Kierkegaard. I don't totally agree with him that the truth will always be hounded quite so terribly he claims or as it was in his case. He was living in an very bureaucratic and fairly intellectually oppressive society, in the wake of Hegel (his major philosophical target) no less. If contrast, if you look at for example J. S. Mill was similarly allowed to say his piece, it was generally recognized as important, and he wasn't shut up institutionally or totally ignored.--and this despite the fact that his position threatened the fundamentals of a society based on enlightenment, natural law theory paradigms. Turning to literature H. G. Wells wrote scathing social commentary in his gory and often disturbing proto-sci-fi-horror, yet unlike Lovecraft he was celebrated for it in his lifetime.

                        I despise the perverted Calvinistic cultural trend of assuming everyone good will be rewarded here, usually monetarily, and that if something wasn't rewarded, it wasn't good. In its modern form it has become a perverse form of social Darwinism. And I grant that there is always going to be some degree of cultural caution to new ideas, which is probably healthy in small doses insofar as any new idea, until it's tested and examined, has just as much chance of being disastrous as enlightening. Still, history suggests that whether geniuses tend to be ignored, or abused, or seriously engaged, is written in the society rather than in stone. I think the Christian cultural influence (with its focus on sacrifice), the legacy of Socrates, and the difficulty in his own life colored how Kierkegaard saw the reception of truth. It is rare for societies to be different from his on this point, but it seems possible.


                        > I have never found an accessible 'point of entry' in Hegelianism - I
                        > think there are a few 1/10 read books of his on my shelves.

                        Secondary sources I've found are better routes into Hegel than Hegel. I'm with Mill on Hegel ("Conversancy with Hegel tends to deprave one's intellect."). Hegel's verbal talent seems to have been more in lecture than in print, and perhaps because of this when he's discussed in classes he's made more decipherable. I honestly don't think that what Hegel was getting at was as deep as the wording and veneer of mysticism make it sound, though it was really historically timely in a lot of ways. The interesting parts of his framework come from Kant, and his view of history and religion tend to be extremely authoritarian, and in favor of dangerously massive centralization of power. This is probably why churches and governments embraced his work so readily not long after the enlightenment and its revolutions created serious threats to their traditional power structures.


                        > Gurdjieff was an original and a charlatan and definitely very much a
                        > creature of his time. I am not at all defensive of him - I just find
                        > him an incredibly amusing spectacle of the 20th Century. He was know to
                        > many as 'the man who killed Katherine Mansfield' through bodgy Cancer
                        > treatments (a slander of the British gutter press). He is a little too
                        > evasive to be clearly characterised as any one thing. His only writings
                        > are in the form of fiction, fantastical autobiography, and second hand
                        > reports of his teachings to disciples.

                        He sounds like fun. (Unless you have cancer).


                        > > (Aside, if I started uploading photos of Popples to the group photo
                        > > section do you think I would get kicked out?)
                        > >
                        > I'm too new here to say. But the reason I am here is discussion and
                        > exchange. Surely there will be a warning before the pavement knocks our
                        > front teeth out?

                        Maybe, but America's Young Republicans yahoo group didn't give me a warning when I changed their group colors to pink and cyan, and their group picture to a photo of a tart wearing nothing but an American flag. They just booted me. But that was a long time ago. & Popples are cuter than Kirsten Anderson so maybe I'd get away with it.


                        > > they imagine are malevolent not kind), and that Theosophy books were
                        > > found in the possession of the Nazi leadership.
                        > >
                        > there's no doubt the Nazi's were magical thinkers... it harks back to
                        > there attempts to overturn the enlightenment maybe?
                        >

                        Yeah, that's a good point.

                        Everything started going woogidie after Hume's causality stuff. He's the one that really started the end of the enlightenment if I have it right. Kant was inspired by him and was sort of the transition between the enlightenment and Romanticism, and he built the framework Hegel could fit his magical stuff into.

                        If you're trying to overthrow the freedoms of the enlightenment, that's got the be connected in some way to the intellectualism of the enlightenment--the mechanistic stuff (and here we're back to Lovecraft)--and so that's where the magic comes in. Or its the other way around or a feedback loop of some sort but yeah what you're saying makes sense.


                        > OMG that sounds like the Transcendental Meditationists as well as the
                        > Nazis. So dangerous to have groups of people trying to make things
                        > happen by all thinking the same thing. Because things happen!

                        Is this a reference to that goat movie?

                        Actually TV freaks me out by getting people to all think the same thing. I was living near friends of mine once who also didn't have a TV. And one of us would be like "OMG all this week on the street and the bus people have been mentioning X have you heard people mention X? I've never heard so many people talk about X until this week!" Where X is like something kinda normal but also unusual and random that it would be weird to ever hear people talking about. And then another person would be like, "maybe it was something on TV!" Anyway it would freak us out because it was like people were getting some sort of secret message to think about some particular thing that week.

                        Probably what happened is that all these people, using the power of their minds in unison, managed to levitate Coca-Cola's stock price (because that was what was advertised after the shows they watched). So it was kinda like majik after all!


                        > I like Blavatsky as one of the great wellsprings of existential horror -
                        > not as a mystic or philosopher. Also I am unoffendable as far as
                        > beliefs go. Hale to all heretics I say...

                        Sounds good! Here's to having more fun with heresy than this poor bloke did:
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aikenhead
                      • Graham Evans
                        ... No risk - I m about 180 degrees longitude away in Western Australia. ... All those explanations and theorists strike me as reductionist now - university is
                        Message 11 of 17 , Nov 13, 2009
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                          >
                          > Just to help your searching, it's spelled Peirce not Pierce. &
                          > pronounced "purse". You won't find him under Pierce. He's still fairly
                          > obscure, so you'll have to hunt to get much anything on the internet,
                          > or else buy the books put out by his society in Indiana. If by any
                          > chance you're near Chicago
                          >
                          No risk - I'm about 180 degrees longitude away in Western Australia.
                          >
                          >
                          > I've read him independently for the most part but also took a grad
                          > level course on his Pragmatism and I've been pretty impressed. A lot
                          > of Kuhn's ideas seem to go back to Peirce, but that's not the whole
                          > story. There are things in Peirce and in James that are increasingly
                          > interesting to philosophers working now, well past Kuhn. There's a guy
                          > called Rorty for example that's taken it in a very post-modern
                          > direction since the 1980s or so. So if the Pragmatics are proto-Kuhn
                          > they're maybe also post-Kuhn. The Pragmatists are relativists in that
                          > they hold no absolute truth is possible, there are only relative
                          > degrees of certainty (James went further in seeming to argue that
                          > there were different truths for different people). They're also
                          > looking at truth in a larger sense than laboratory science, and made
                          > the point that what's done in laboratory science is only useful in
                          > approaching truth because it is a sort of condensed and simplified
                          > subtype of experience, and experience is the way people approach
                          > truth. This opens the door to other approaches to truth than just
                          > hyper-reductionist laboratory science. They're very holistic (which is
                          > probably linked to their being dedicated Monists).
                          >
                          All those explanations and theorists strike me as reductionist now -
                          university is so long ago. Now there is dirt and trees and music. HP
                          Lovecraft. Richard Rorty rings a bell from my studies but - it's all
                          dust in the wind. I seem to remember my post-structuralist lecturer
                          pouring scorn on Rorty.
                          >
                          >
                          > I hadn't heard of Blake, thank you for mentioning him. I also had a
                          > laugh when I read that his father was a hosier and for like a tenth of
                          > a second I got that SCTV skit in my head and was confused. That's got
                          > to be a good omen.
                          >
                          William Blake's father was a Minister of religion in the English
                          Anglican church I believe. Unfortunately his 'songs of innocence and
                          experience' are some of his most peddled material but apocalyptic
                          visioning was his full time job. A bit like Ezekiel in his retirement.

                          It seems there was a period of English society and Anglicanism that
                          respected some really way out beliefs. A glimmer of a tolerant
                          pluralistic society in the time before and after Napoleon was rampaging
                          up and down. For a while William Blake was in 'hiding' in the
                          countryside and in fact almost sent to jail in this period when a
                          soldier claimed that he praised Napoleon.

                          >
                          > Weber proposed that modern, bureaucratic capitalism actually has its
                          > roots in Calvinism, on the grounds that people would, on like a
                          > subconscious level, seek wealth as a sign that they were one of the
                          > elect. Given ascetic religious constraints this wealth wouldn't be
                          > spent for enjoyment as it would for most people in human history, but
                          > rather be reinvested to produce more wealth to produce more of a sign
                          > that the person was one of the elect.
                          >
                          > So, yeah, the idea that good, righteous people get money and bad
                          > people suffer didn't start with the US even though it is an extremely
                          > dominant meme here, possibly because of the fundamental role the
                          > Puritans had in our early culture (here's another potential Lovecraft
                          > tie-in).
                          >
                          Wow you have a nice breadth of philosophical knowledge and history of
                          ideas - it really helps to make those connections. There's quite a few
                          there totally new to me. I appreciate the learning...

                          >
                          > I've read only bits of Kierkegaard, but I like Kierkegaard. I don't
                          > totally agree with him that the truth will always be hounded quite so
                          > terribly he claims or as it was in his case.
                          >
                          It's not an empirical argument but based on an understanding of the
                          nature of the world and the good. Which is where I need to correct
                          myself that Kierkegaard referred not so much to 'the truth' as to 'the
                          good' and a mystical (but _not_ mysterious) concept of one-ness - in a
                          highly analytical way. Like Nietzsche he evaded deconstruction by
                          embracing a post-structural view of langauge. My favourite Soren
                          Kierkegaard, where the topic of 'the worlds true reward for pursuing the
                          good' is covered, says it all in the title: "Purity of Heart is to Will
                          One thing."

                          > He was living in an very bureaucratic and fairly intellectually
                          > oppressive society, in the wake of Hegel (his major philosophical
                          > target) no less. If contrast, if you look at for example J. S. Mill
                          > was similarly allowed to say his piece, it was generally recognized as
                          > important, and he wasn't shut up institutionally or totally
                          > ignored.--and this despite the fact that his position threatened the
                          > fundamentals of a society based on enlightenment, natural law theory
                          > paradigms. Turning to literature H. G. Wells wrote scathing social
                          > commentary in his gory and often disturbing proto-sci-fi-horror, yet
                          > unlike Lovecraft he was celebrated for it in his lifetime.
                          >
                          and so was Michelangelo, Socrates, Kepler not so much... Galileo was
                          essentially feted (despite what Brecht says), Aristotle, Plato,
                          Acquinas, Augustine... merciful exceptions seem to abound but this also
                          leaves me suspicious of those figures and looking for their flaws. And
                          sure enough some of those flaws are there... In Australia there is a
                          thing called 'tall poppy syndrome' that is suppose to be part of our
                          national psyche. This is the knocking down of anybody who is successful.
                          The cultural elites, and when it suits them the mainstream media, have
                          always branded this a national flaw. On the contrary it has always been
                          obvious to me that, where it exists, it is largely a strength. This
                          became especially obvious to me when I had a German Sociology tutor who
                          respected Academic authority. Not the road to independent thought.

                          > history suggests that whether geniuses tend to be ignored, or abused,
                          > or seriously engaged, is written in the society rather than in stone.
                          > I think the Christian cultural influence (with its focus on
                          > sacrifice), the legacy of Socrates, and the difficulty in his own life
                          > colored how Kierkegaard saw the reception of truth. It is rare for
                          > societies to be different from his on this point, but it seems possible.
                          >
                          I will have to read S.K. again on this point - I seem to recall being
                          pretty convinced by the argument at the time. While the outcomes _were_
                          written in society (or 'the world') rather than in stone, the nature of
                          the world dictates the direction in which that world works and only
                          freak loops will take you the other way. However my remembrance of the
                          argument is weak as I'm sure you can tell. I will get back to you if I
                          find something interesting to say about it. For the moment it seems a
                          point worth establishing. It certainly had a lot of importance in my
                          life and helping me bloster my personal 'slacker' philosophy!

                          >
                          > > OMG that sounds like the Transcendental Meditationists as well as the
                          > > Nazis. So dangerous to have groups of people trying to make things
                          > > happen by all thinking the same thing. Because things happen!
                          >
                          > Is this a reference to that goat movie?
                          >
                          Goat movie... no.

                          Anyway thank the Gods the internet has come to the rescue of
                          intellectual diversity or at least to the destruction of overly narrow
                          unities.
                          >
                          >
                          > Sounds good! Here's to having more fun with heresy than this poor
                          > bloke did:
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aikenhead
                          > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aikenhead>
                          >
                          "The killing of Thomas Aikenhead, like the hounding of Salman Rushdie
                          for the same ‘offence,’ was a disgrace. . . a prime example of a
                          God-fixated state killing a man in an attempt to stop the spread of an
                          idea."^[1]
                          <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aikenhead#cite_note-truth-0>"

                          I am glad to have read the article just for this reference. There were a
                          lot of Western intellects who decided to brand Rushdie some sort of
                          enemy of cultural plurality, failing to realise he was just a good old
                          fashioned heretic. Or perhaps allowing themselves to fall unconscious at
                          the call of the reptile (or monkey?) brain.

                          Thanks for the ride!

                          Graham
                        • Bill L
                          Diana- I think I actually overstated the mold problem here in Spokane and Spokane Valley, just to get in my HOLY FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! line.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Nov 13, 2009
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                            Diana-

                            I think I actually overstated the mold problem here in Spokane and Spokane Valley, just to get in my "HOLY FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" line. Let's put it this way; our current apartment, as our previous one, has had the creeping stuff appearing on window sills, and along our slider. I didn't want to scare you off from Washington altogether. Stick around long enough, and you might even have a Big Foot sighting! And just to let you know, Spokane isn't nearly as conservative as many Seattlites seem to think. It's the outlying Whately and Marsh types in the surrounding countryside of eastern Washington and north Idaho who give us a bad name. Sort of guilt by association.
                            May Nyarlothotep bless and keep you.
                            -Rhinefrank (Bill)


                            --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "isiscrisis@..." <isiscrisis@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hi Bill, thanks!
                            >
                            > A year ago I wasn't a chick who particularly knew much about Lovecraft either way (a little bit), but yes now I am one of the few, the proud, the female Lovecraft fans. Sonia's spirit lives on! You can call me Diana.
                            >
                            > I have a good friend who also lives in Seattle and doesn't want me to go back to Chicago (from whence we both come), so she's tried to suggest that I move to Spokane. It's nice in theory as having functional state government on a 9% sales tax compares quite favorably to having a stunningly corrupt and dysfunctional one on 10% sales tax plus state income tax. But now that you've informed me that the Biological Underworld is as involved in Spokane as in Seattle, the stunningly corrupt Chicago and C(r)ook county politicians--even those who wear dead raccoons on their heads--begin to look not quite so bad.
                            >
                            > I used to think Eris was just f*cking with me. She's not supposed to be consistently malevolent though, so that no longer fits (or she's just going to greater lengths to confuse people). I'm not saying I'm taking evil as like something conscious and personified yet, more like questioning the underlying structure of the universe. Rather than unbiased and uncaring (modern scientific view), or promoting the formation of life (sort of Deist-y), or just generally wacky, frustrating, and occasionally mysterious (the Discordian thing), I now see the underlying structure as promoting the formation of life so that some life (for example, me) can be tortured via other life (for example, mold). This makes for an extremely sadistic universe in my opinion.
                            >
                            > I am very sorry for you and yours that you have that same Seattle stuff going on in Spokane, as I was hoping for humanity's sake it was limited to the Puget Sound and Innsmouth, one of which has been mercifully wiped off the face of the earth by the military. This new information also makes me fear ever going to the Lovecraft film festival in Portland, as I'd bet if mold pwns all of Washington state it's probably got at least a foothold in Oregon.
                            >
                            > I'm trying to get back to Chicago (where I'm from originally) and have seen various apartments in Chicagoland that have not a trace of mold. An uncle of mine who left Chicago for the other Washington (DC) claimed that it is extremely hard to leave Chicago, and that everyone else he went to grad school with planned on leaving, but then they just didn't. That Chicago-as-glue theory is kind of turning out to apply to me too, in a less direct way. At least, if everything works out, I'll be able to get good pizza again (really, really good pizza I might add).
                            >
                            > One plus side of being in Seattle the year, that your email name reminds me of, is that they did the Ring Cycle, & I got to commiserate with Sigfried's horrific luck (speaking of art suggestive that this is a seriously cursed world). That was pretty cool.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "Bill L" <rhinefrank@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > And hello to you, isiscrisis-
                            > >
                            > > Glad there's a chick besides my wife and a few others who love Lovecraft. Just to let you know, over on the eastern side of Washington state, her in Spokane, we're always fighting the mold. HOLY FUNGI FROM YUGOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
                            > > -Rhinefrank
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "isiscrisis@" <isiscrisis@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > My name is Diana and I am new to this group.
                            > > >
                            > > > I started reading Lovecraft this year after a move to the Pacific NW led to months of horror and woe, as my immune system doesn't like the various types of mold which permeate almost every corner of that region.
                            > > >
                            > > > Lovecraft's works made me feel like someone understood the true nature of reality, as revealed to me in and around Seattle.
                            > > >
                            > > > (No offense to those of you who have proper functioning immune systems, and who therefore might like Seattle and thereabouts. You can just write my experiences off as being due to the tainted genetics of some blasphemously non-human ancestor a few generations back in my family line.)
                            > > >
                            > > > I'm also interested in the fact that, even if he was just playing around, on some level Lovecraft "got" that Theosophy had or could have a mind-blowingly terrifying and super-evil side to it. Given Theosophy was a major influence on the Nazis I think he--accidentally though it may have been--picked up on something kind of big and important.
                            > > >
                            > > > Very scary solstice to you all!
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • isiscrisis@ymail.com
                            Thank you kindly. I believe you, as over the summer I had to buy an air conditioner so the cat wouldn t die in the heatwave. Seattle and thereabouts were sold
                            Message 13 of 17 , Nov 14, 2009
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                              Thank you kindly. I believe you, as over the summer I had to buy an air conditioner so the cat wouldn't die in the heatwave. Seattle and thereabouts were sold out as far north as at at least Everett and as far south as Portland. As going west would have gotten me to the Deep Ones, who might not even use air conditioners (though I can't understand how their cats would have survived last summer without them), my option was east.

                              So I went 140 miles east to Yakima (which bills itself as the "Palm Springs of Washington"), to buy the last AC they had. The Target people said they had been having Seattle people drive in all week for ACs. (Since people had to go individually out of Seattle, apparently the laws of supply and demand don't apply to anyone with storefront or shipping truck in Puget Sound.)

                              Anyway Yakima actually seemed very nice, at least in and around the Target. It had the nicest air of anywhere I had been in WA. So I do actually believe you that going east makes Washington state much nicer.

                              I knew a survivalist guy online I was friendly with who went from like Connecticut or something to Couer d'Alene to, I guess, stockpile weapons or build a compound or something. We had a falling out over the Iraq war (I am apparently, for opposing it, some sort of intellectually dishonest Ayn Rand villian who wants Iraqis to suffer under oppression). Oh well. This at any rate makes me unexcited about Couer d'Alene. Spokane sounds nice though.


                              --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "Bill L" <rhinefrank@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Diana-
                              >
                              > I think I actually overstated the mold problem here in Spokane and Spokane Valley, just to get in my "HOLY FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" line. Let's put it this way; our current apartment, as our previous one, has had the creeping stuff appearing on window sills, and along our slider. I didn't want to scare you off from Washington altogether. Stick around long enough, and you might even have a Big Foot sighting! And just to let you know, Spokane isn't nearly as conservative as many Seattlites seem to think. It's the outlying Whately and Marsh types in the surrounding countryside of eastern Washington and north Idaho who give us a bad name. Sort of guilt by association.
                              > May Nyarlothotep bless and keep you.
                              > -Rhinefrank (Bill)
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "isiscrisis@" <isiscrisis@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Hi Bill, thanks!
                              > >
                              > > A year ago I wasn't a chick who particularly knew much about Lovecraft either way (a little bit), but yes now I am one of the few, the proud, the female Lovecraft fans. Sonia's spirit lives on! You can call me Diana.
                              > >
                              > > I have a good friend who also lives in Seattle and doesn't want me to go back to Chicago (from whence we both come), so she's tried to suggest that I move to Spokane. It's nice in theory as having functional state government on a 9% sales tax compares quite favorably to having a stunningly corrupt and dysfunctional one on 10% sales tax plus state income tax. But now that you've informed me that the Biological Underworld is as involved in Spokane as in Seattle, the stunningly corrupt Chicago and C(r)ook county politicians--even those who wear dead raccoons on their heads--begin to look not quite so bad.
                              > >
                              > > I used to think Eris was just f*cking with me. She's not supposed to be consistently malevolent though, so that no longer fits (or she's just going to greater lengths to confuse people). I'm not saying I'm taking evil as like something conscious and personified yet, more like questioning the underlying structure of the universe. Rather than unbiased and uncaring (modern scientific view), or promoting the formation of life (sort of Deist-y), or just generally wacky, frustrating, and occasionally mysterious (the Discordian thing), I now see the underlying structure as promoting the formation of life so that some life (for example, me) can be tortured via other life (for example, mold). This makes for an extremely sadistic universe in my opinion.
                              > >
                              > > I am very sorry for you and yours that you have that same Seattle stuff going on in Spokane, as I was hoping for humanity's sake it was limited to the Puget Sound and Innsmouth, one of which has been mercifully wiped off the face of the earth by the military. This new information also makes me fear ever going to the Lovecraft film festival in Portland, as I'd bet if mold pwns all of Washington state it's probably got at least a foothold in Oregon.
                              > >
                              > > I'm trying to get back to Chicago (where I'm from originally) and have seen various apartments in Chicagoland that have not a trace of mold. An uncle of mine who left Chicago for the other Washington (DC) claimed that it is extremely hard to leave Chicago, and that everyone else he went to grad school with planned on leaving, but then they just didn't. That Chicago-as-glue theory is kind of turning out to apply to me too, in a less direct way. At least, if everything works out, I'll be able to get good pizza again (really, really good pizza I might add).
                              > >
                              > > One plus side of being in Seattle the year, that your email name reminds me of, is that they did the Ring Cycle, & I got to commiserate with Sigfried's horrific luck (speaking of art suggestive that this is a seriously cursed world). That was pretty cool.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "Bill L" <rhinefrank@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > And hello to you, isiscrisis-
                              > > >
                              > > > Glad there's a chick besides my wife and a few others who love Lovecraft. Just to let you know, over on the eastern side of Washington state, her in Spokane, we're always fighting the mold. HOLY FUNGI FROM YUGOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
                              > > > -Rhinefrank
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "isiscrisis@" <isiscrisis@> wrote:
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > My name is Diana and I am new to this group.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > I started reading Lovecraft this year after a move to the Pacific NW led to months of horror and woe, as my immune system doesn't like the various types of mold which permeate almost every corner of that region.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Lovecraft's works made me feel like someone understood the true nature of reality, as revealed to me in and around Seattle.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > (No offense to those of you who have proper functioning immune systems, and who therefore might like Seattle and thereabouts. You can just write my experiences off as being due to the tainted genetics of some blasphemously non-human ancestor a few generations back in my family line.)
                              > > > >
                              > > > > I'm also interested in the fact that, even if he was just playing around, on some level Lovecraft "got" that Theosophy had or could have a mind-blowingly terrifying and super-evil side to it. Given Theosophy was a major influence on the Nazis I think he--accidentally though it may have been--picked up on something kind of big and important.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Very scary solstice to you all!
                              > > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • isiscrisis@ymail.com
                              those explanations and theorists strike me as reductionist now - ... Dirt is good stuff but I ve been urban for so long I don t see it much. Trees are
                              Message 14 of 17 , Nov 14, 2009
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                                those explanations and theorists strike me as reductionist now -
                                > university is so long ago. Now there is dirt and trees and music. HP
                                > Lovecraft. Richard Rorty rings a bell from my studies but - it's all
                                > dust in the wind. I seem to remember my post-structuralist lecturer
                                > pouring scorn on Rorty.

                                Dirt is good stuff but I've been urban for so long I don't see it much. Trees are plentiful around Seattle, one of the redeeming features.

                                Music arguably beats even dirt and trees... of the things in my contaminated storage unit Pretty Hate Machine and OK Computer are among the most missed.

                                Do you think Lovecraft would have hated the Beatles if he lived long enough to hear 'em, or do you think he'd have mellowed out by then and maybe even accepted them for being so gosh darn British?

                                I'm actually of the opinion that, had he lived post WWII, he was intellectual enough and sensitive enough that the sheer real-world extreme horror of the Holocaust, the photos of the emaciated bodies piled up, the accounts of Mengele, would have likely changed his racist views (as it was Teutonic Aryans that were the perpetrators), and generally have softened his stance toward various really quite harmless things that he would have previously seen as degeneration. He did find early reports of the Nazi's hounding of the Jews to be quite disturbingly irrational, and the worst he ever actually did to non-"Aryans" was move off the sidewalk (with his Jewish wife) to be away from them, so it's hard to imagine the large-scale bureaucratic genocide and torture would have failed to shake him up rather severely. It did for most American intellectuals, who had previously supported eugenics, forced sterilizations, and the like.

                                I haven't read Rorty, but I've heard he's rather aggressively claimed that philosophers are goofing off while they could be getting on having answers and stuff, so he's hated by a lot of folks. From what I've heard of him in class he seems to often twist James and Perice a bit to get what he wants. I'm somewhat sympathetic to him though because I like folks who shake things up a bit.


                                > Wow you have a nice breadth of philosophical knowledge and history of
                                > ideas - it really helps to make those connections. There's quite a few
                                > there totally new to me. I appreciate the learning...

                                Awww.... thank you. I'm kind of embarrassed. I've done a little of a lot of stuff, worked in a neuroscience lab, published in political science, published in theoretical linguistic, Arabic immersion courses, field work on Native American languages. But I keep not liking grad school. You have this fake freedom. As an undergrad you do what you're told; in grad school the boundaries are still there but there's this facade that you're freethinking and doing research wherever Truth may lead you. Really you have to navigate all sorts of hidden intellectual, personal, and political minefields. I hate it. I've dropped out of two grad programs, in different fields, so far, and might be trying a third in a third field next year.


                                > > unlike Lovecraft he was celebrated for it in his lifetime.
                                > >
                                > and so was Michelangelo, Socrates, Kepler not so much... Galileo was
                                > essentially feted (despite what Brecht says), Aristotle, Plato,
                                > Acquinas, Augustine... merciful exceptions seem to abound but this also
                                > leaves me suspicious of those figures and looking for their flaws. And
                                > sure enough some of those flaws are there...

                                Flaws are like the Law of Fives though. The more you look the more you find. (The tortured, unrecognized guys have flaws too; Lovecraft was pretty darn racist for example.)


                                > In Australia there is a
                                > thing called 'tall poppy syndrome' that is suppose to be part of our
                                > national psyche. This is the knocking down of anybody who is successful.
                                > The cultural elites, and when it suits them the mainstream media, have
                                > always branded this a national flaw. On the contrary it has always been
                                > obvious to me that, where it exists, it is largely a strength. This
                                > became especially obvious to me when I had a German Sociology tutor who
                                > respected Academic authority. Not the road to independent thought.
                                >

                                I actually had a (Canadian, tenured, totally awesome) professor make that kind of a case for the American suspicion of intelekshuls and book learnin'. It's a very healthy impulse in moderation.


                                > I will have to read S.K. again on this point - I seem to recall being
                                > pretty convinced by the argument at the time. While the outcomes _were_
                                > written in society (or 'the world') rather than in stone, the nature of
                                > the world dictates the direction in which that world works and only
                                > freak loops will take you the other way. However my remembrance of the
                                > argument is weak as I'm sure you can tell. I will get back to you if I
                                > find something interesting to say about it. For the moment it seems a
                                > point worth establishing. It certainly had a lot of importance in my
                                > life and helping me bloster my personal 'slacker' philosophy!
                                >

                                The critical point for me is I don't actually (usually) think the fundamental nature of the world is inherently degenerative and hostile (except when it comes to fungus). Otherwise, yeah, it all follows from there like you say. The idea that the nature of the world is degenerative and hostile to Truth is to me a Christian theological thing, related to original sin, and Satan being the deceiver who now controls the world. I'm not Christian and I don't believe in original sin or Satan.

                                With you on Slack.


                                > >
                                > > > OMG that sounds like the Transcendental Meditationists as well as the
                                > > > Nazis. So dangerous to have groups of people trying to make things
                                > > > happen by all thinking the same thing. Because things happen!
                                > >
                                > > Is this a reference to that goat movie?
                                > >
                                > Goat movie... no.
                                >

                                A bunch of guys get together and stare at goats and then the goats fall down. The guys think the goats fell though psychic powers This is a movie based on a true story apparently. I'm on a mailing list about animals, and someone there posted an article about the goats' muscle fibers being afflicted by some genetic disorder. That's where I learned about this.


                                > Anyway thank the Gods the internet has come to the rescue of
                                > intellectual diversity or at least to the destruction of overly narrow
                                > unities.

                                Yes, but does this cancel out the fact that it's the internet's fault I know what a "furry" is?


                                > "The killing of Thomas Aikenhead, like the hounding of Salman Rushdie
                                > for the same `offence,' was a disgrace. . . a prime example of a
                                > God-fixated state killing a man in an attempt to stop the spread of an
                                > idea."^[1]
                                > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aikenhead#cite_note-truth-0>"
                                >
                                > I am glad to have read the article just for this reference. There were a
                                > lot of Western intellects who decided to brand Rushdie some sort of
                                > enemy of cultural plurality, failing to realise he was just a good old
                                > fashioned heretic. Or perhaps allowing themselves to fall unconscious at
                                > the call of the reptile (or monkey?) brain.
                                >

                                Yeah I've seen that too. I was at a Mid East studies talk at uni like 2 years ago, and afterword the discussion contained a fair bit of Rushdie bashing. Rushdie's seen as an Uncle Tom, selling out his culture to be patted on the head by Western intellectuals and literary people (none of whom seem to like him anyway though).

                                It's Said I think. Said pointed out all the crap that went on with colonialism in the Mid East, and did so in a Foucauldian framework. He's right it was nasty, but how he discusses it, and given the framework, makes it seem like an inescapable struggle between two "sides". Believers of this stuff see Rushdie though this framework. In that framework, he's a brown Middle Eastern man giving ammo to the white European oppressors, not a modern-day Aikenhead. As an evil neo-Colonailists lackey he's seen to be promoting an oppressive and murderous colonialist ideology and thus the risk to his life, though a genuine and pressing risk, isn't seen as a big deal.

                                It's ideology at this point. Lizard or monkey brain? I dunno where ideology lives. I suspect it's human brain sadly.
                              • Bill L
                                Diana- Concerning the Beatles, Lovecraft was an Anglophile, but he HATED music, almost as much as he despised sea food. I tend to believe HPL had some degree
                                Message 15 of 17 , Nov 14, 2009
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                                  Diana-

                                  Concerning the Beatles, Lovecraft was an Anglophile, but he HATED music, almost as much as he despised sea food. I tend to believe HPL had some degree of Asperger's syndrome (high functional autism). My daughter has been diagnosed with high functioning autism, and I suspect I have some degree of it, myself. Many people with autism react very badly to certain physical stimuli - my daughter can't handle organ music and singing, which can make church attendance something of a challenge.
                                  -Bill

                                  --- In hplovecraft@yahoogroups.com, "isiscrisis@..." <isiscrisis@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > those explanations and theorists strike me as reductionist now -
                                  > > university is so long ago. Now there is dirt and trees and music. HP
                                  > > Lovecraft. Richard Rorty rings a bell from my studies but - it's all
                                  > > dust in the wind. I seem to remember my post-structuralist lecturer
                                  > > pouring scorn on Rorty.
                                  >
                                  > Dirt is good stuff but I've been urban for so long I don't see it much. Trees are plentiful around Seattle, one of the redeeming features.
                                  >
                                  > Music arguably beats even dirt and trees... of the things in my contaminated storage unit Pretty Hate Machine and OK Computer are among the most missed.
                                  >
                                  > Do you think Lovecraft would have hated the Beatles if he lived long enough to hear 'em, or do you think he'd have mellowed out by then and maybe even accepted them for being so gosh darn British?
                                  >
                                  > I'm actually of the opinion that, had he lived post WWII, he was intellectual enough and sensitive enough that the sheer real-world extreme horror of the Holocaust, the photos of the emaciated bodies piled up, the accounts of Mengele, would have likely changed his racist views (as it was Teutonic Aryans that were the perpetrators), and generally have softened his stance toward various really quite harmless things that he would have previously seen as degeneration. He did find early reports of the Nazi's hounding of the Jews to be quite disturbingly irrational, and the worst he ever actually did to non-"Aryans" was move off the sidewalk (with his Jewish wife) to be away from them, so it's hard to imagine the large-scale bureaucratic genocide and torture would have failed to shake him up rather severely. It did for most American intellectuals, who had previously supported eugenics, forced sterilizations, and the like.
                                  >
                                  > I haven't read Rorty, but I've heard he's rather aggressively claimed that philosophers are goofing off while they could be getting on having answers and stuff, so he's hated by a lot of folks. From what I've heard of him in class he seems to often twist James and Perice a bit to get what he wants. I'm somewhat sympathetic to him though because I like folks who shake things up a bit.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > Wow you have a nice breadth of philosophical knowledge and history of
                                  > > ideas - it really helps to make those connections. There's quite a few
                                  > > there totally new to me. I appreciate the learning...
                                  >
                                  > Awww.... thank you. I'm kind of embarrassed. I've done a little of a lot of stuff, worked in a neuroscience lab, published in political science, published in theoretical linguistic, Arabic immersion courses, field work on Native American languages. But I keep not liking grad school. You have this fake freedom. As an undergrad you do what you're told; in grad school the boundaries are still there but there's this facade that you're freethinking and doing research wherever Truth may lead you. Really you have to navigate all sorts of hidden intellectual, personal, and political minefields. I hate it. I've dropped out of two grad programs, in different fields, so far, and might be trying a third in a third field next year.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > > unlike Lovecraft he was celebrated for it in his lifetime.
                                  > > >
                                  > > and so was Michelangelo, Socrates, Kepler not so much... Galileo was
                                  > > essentially feted (despite what Brecht says), Aristotle, Plato,
                                  > > Acquinas, Augustine... merciful exceptions seem to abound but this also
                                  > > leaves me suspicious of those figures and looking for their flaws. And
                                  > > sure enough some of those flaws are there...
                                  >
                                  > Flaws are like the Law of Fives though. The more you look the more you find. (The tortured, unrecognized guys have flaws too; Lovecraft was pretty darn racist for example.)
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > In Australia there is a
                                  > > thing called 'tall poppy syndrome' that is suppose to be part of our
                                  > > national psyche. This is the knocking down of anybody who is successful.
                                  > > The cultural elites, and when it suits them the mainstream media, have
                                  > > always branded this a national flaw. On the contrary it has always been
                                  > > obvious to me that, where it exists, it is largely a strength. This
                                  > > became especially obvious to me when I had a German Sociology tutor who
                                  > > respected Academic authority. Not the road to independent thought.
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > I actually had a (Canadian, tenured, totally awesome) professor make that kind of a case for the American suspicion of intelekshuls and book learnin'. It's a very healthy impulse in moderation.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > I will have to read S.K. again on this point - I seem to recall being
                                  > > pretty convinced by the argument at the time. While the outcomes _were_
                                  > > written in society (or 'the world') rather than in stone, the nature of
                                  > > the world dictates the direction in which that world works and only
                                  > > freak loops will take you the other way. However my remembrance of the
                                  > > argument is weak as I'm sure you can tell. I will get back to you if I
                                  > > find something interesting to say about it. For the moment it seems a
                                  > > point worth establishing. It certainly had a lot of importance in my
                                  > > life and helping me bloster my personal 'slacker' philosophy!
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > The critical point for me is I don't actually (usually) think the fundamental nature of the world is inherently degenerative and hostile (except when it comes to fungus). Otherwise, yeah, it all follows from there like you say. The idea that the nature of the world is degenerative and hostile to Truth is to me a Christian theological thing, related to original sin, and Satan being the deceiver who now controls the world. I'm not Christian and I don't believe in original sin or Satan.
                                  >
                                  > With you on Slack.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > > OMG that sounds like the Transcendental Meditationists as well as the
                                  > > > > Nazis. So dangerous to have groups of people trying to make things
                                  > > > > happen by all thinking the same thing. Because things happen!
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Is this a reference to that goat movie?
                                  > > >
                                  > > Goat movie... no.
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > A bunch of guys get together and stare at goats and then the goats fall down. The guys think the goats fell though psychic powers This is a movie based on a true story apparently. I'm on a mailing list about animals, and someone there posted an article about the goats' muscle fibers being afflicted by some genetic disorder. That's where I learned about this.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > Anyway thank the Gods the internet has come to the rescue of
                                  > > intellectual diversity or at least to the destruction of overly narrow
                                  > > unities.
                                  >
                                  > Yes, but does this cancel out the fact that it's the internet's fault I know what a "furry" is?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > "The killing of Thomas Aikenhead, like the hounding of Salman Rushdie
                                  > > for the same `offence,' was a disgrace. . . a prime example of a
                                  > > God-fixated state killing a man in an attempt to stop the spread of an
                                  > > idea."^[1]
                                  > > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aikenhead#cite_note-truth-0>"
                                  > >
                                  > > I am glad to have read the article just for this reference. There were a
                                  > > lot of Western intellects who decided to brand Rushdie some sort of
                                  > > enemy of cultural plurality, failing to realise he was just a good old
                                  > > fashioned heretic. Or perhaps allowing themselves to fall unconscious at
                                  > > the call of the reptile (or monkey?) brain.
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > Yeah I've seen that too. I was at a Mid East studies talk at uni like 2 years ago, and afterword the discussion contained a fair bit of Rushdie bashing. Rushdie's seen as an Uncle Tom, selling out his culture to be patted on the head by Western intellectuals and literary people (none of whom seem to like him anyway though).
                                  >
                                  > It's Said I think. Said pointed out all the crap that went on with colonialism in the Mid East, and did so in a Foucauldian framework. He's right it was nasty, but how he discusses it, and given the framework, makes it seem like an inescapable struggle between two "sides". Believers of this stuff see Rushdie though this framework. In that framework, he's a brown Middle Eastern man giving ammo to the white European oppressors, not a modern-day Aikenhead. As an evil neo-Colonailists lackey he's seen to be promoting an oppressive and murderous colonialist ideology and thus the risk to his life, though a genuine and pressing risk, isn't seen as a big deal.
                                  >
                                  > It's ideology at this point. Lizard or monkey brain? I dunno where ideology lives. I suspect it's human brain sadly.
                                  >
                                • Graham Evans
                                  ... Beatles is Mom s boy music really so on that count HPL should have liked it. Then again, perhaps not in light of the Aspergers Bill mentioned. I hadn t
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Nov 15, 2009
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                                    isiscrisis@... wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > those explanations and theorists strike me as reductionist now -
                                    > > university is so long ago. Now there is dirt and trees and music. HP
                                    > > Lovecraft. Richard Rorty rings a bell from my studies but - it's all
                                    > > dust in the wind. I seem to remember my post-structuralist lecturer
                                    > > pouring scorn on Rorty.
                                    >
                                    > Dirt is good stuff but I've been urban for so long I don't see it
                                    > much. Trees are plentiful around Seattle, one of the redeeming features.
                                    >
                                    > Music arguably beats even dirt and trees... of the things in my
                                    > contaminated storage unit Pretty Hate Machine and OK Computer are
                                    > among the most missed.
                                    >
                                    > Do you think Lovecraft would have hated the Beatles if he lived long
                                    > enough to hear 'em, or do you think he'd have mellowed out by then and
                                    > maybe even accepted them for being so gosh darn British?
                                    >
                                    Beatles is Mom's boy music really so on that count HPL should have liked
                                    it. Then again, perhaps not in light of the Aspergers Bill mentioned.
                                    I hadn't realised HPL was quite such a sensitive beast (reminds me of
                                    Proust - another Mom's boy - and his cork lined rooms). I had no idea
                                    about the racism either. I always liked the way HPL picked on the 'poor
                                    whites' in New England to use Bob Dylan's terminology. For instance
                                    'The Picture in the House' - one of my favourites.

                                    I have an ambition to redo Picture in the House as a stop motion model
                                    animation. It is just so spot on to my own little Appalachians in the
                                    South West of Western Australia. I have a particular local in mind as a
                                    voice actor for the part of the old man in The Picture in the House:
                                    'them pictures make you think... thoughts...' I was initially annoyed
                                    and then very happy to stumble across a very nice Japanese stop motion
                                    animation of this very story recently. No translation which makes for
                                    wacky but fun viewing if you know the story well enough.

                                    So my landscape is nothing like the Appalachians in the mountainous
                                    sense; It's flatish country here. However we have huge quantities of
                                    the world's third tallest tree (the Karri), a lot of National
                                    Park/Wilderness, and a LOT of rain. Many of our fungi are completely
                                    undocumented by the way... The Appalachians connection is more in
                                    relation to the types of settlement which have occurred here. Largely
                                    white European/UK. I talk to people who moved to my town and 9/10 of
                                    them came here to grow vegies, to be outside of societies' panopticon,
                                    and... a factor almost always mentioned in passing - it was the only
                                    place they could afford. Large swathes of land used to go for pennies -
                                    so to speak. Throw in a vegie garden and wait for the copious rain and
                                    you can live without engaging with the world or having to pass as
                                    normal. And if you're not wacky when you get here - the relative
                                    isolation and the company will eventually have its effect. Makes us all
                                    peculiar like. Which I like. A true psychic diversity.

                                    Well I am drawing far too long a bow to compare it to the extremes of
                                    the Appalachians. For instance how about this:

                                    I thought the group might be interested in some amazing documentary
                                    footage of Appalachian snake handling churches where they used to sing
                                    great music, throw around live serpents, sway around a lot and speak in
                                    tongues. Something about "*/They shall take up serpents; and if they
                                    drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on
                                    the sick, and they shall recover."/* And then the (rattle)snakes get
                                    thrown around the church and the entire congregation gets exposed to
                                    them to prove their purity. Presumably they keep the babies at a safer
                                    distances - and there are always plenty of those. However in the film
                                    'Holy Ghost People' one of the church elders gets bitten and starts to
                                    get pretty sick. They cite a statistic of the number of people still
                                    killed each year in Christian snake handling ceremonies. This was in
                                    the 1960s. You've got to love the USA.

                                    Go go youtube - here it is in six parts. The first:
                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nX0irC4Bgs&feature=related
                                    Or skip to part 5 at about four minutes which has the snake handling
                                    actually beginning to happen at not to mention some fabulous Appalachian
                                    music:
                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j03AIn5w3Tg&feature=related
                                    And then in part 6 the reverend gets bit.

                                    The lighting is bad - I think my own copy is a better restoration - but
                                    the content is mind blowing to me. A residual part of HPLs world (in a
                                    loose sense) surviving in film form. Of course we've got nothing to
                                    compare with that around my part of the world unfortunately! You just
                                    can't find good extremists in a nation dominated by a rent-seeking
                                    middle class.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I haven't read Rorty, but I've heard he's rather aggressively claimed
                                    > that philosophers are goofing off while they could be getting on
                                    > having answers and stuff, so he's hated by a lot of folks. From what
                                    > I've heard of him in class he seems to often twist James and Perice a
                                    > bit to get what he wants. I'm somewhat sympathetic to him though
                                    > because I like folks who shake things up a bit.
                                    >
                                    I shall call him the 'philosophy as usual' guy. Which would explain why
                                    a pos-colonial post-structuralist would see him as the enemy.

                                    I dropped out of my post-grad program and haven't reattempted. I had
                                    too much trouble with self-discipline - and not enough real reason to
                                    carry on at the time. Good luck climbing that ladder - it sounds like
                                    you're overdue to make it up a few more steps and get some of the
                                    bullshit underneath you rather than hanging just overhead.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I actually had a (Canadian, tenured, totally awesome) professor make
                                    > that kind of a case for the American suspicion of intelekshuls and
                                    > book learnin'. It's a very healthy impulse in moderation.
                                    >
                                    Oh yeah - that's right. It's kind of a wild-west/ post colonial thing.
                                    A down side of the anti-intelekshuls is how they sometimes rear their
                                    children (that and the the 'shock jocks' if that term has any meaning in
                                    USAian). We used to live next door to a school in a rural area with the
                                    very depressing motto 'Deeds not Words.' The school in our current town
                                    has a circular saw as its logo - since this is big timber getting
                                    countryside.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > A bunch of guys get together and stare at goats and then the goats
                                    > fall down. The guys think the goats fell though psychic powers This is
                                    > a movie based on a true story apparently. I'm on a mailing list about
                                    > animals, and someone there posted an article about the goats' muscle
                                    > fibers being afflicted by some genetic disorder. That's where I
                                    > learned about this
                                    >
                                    Goat killun sounds almost as silly as the TM cults' 'Yogic flying' - aka
                                    seated frog hopping. http://www.ionet.net/~tslade/flying.htm

                                    The world really is as crazy as HPL saw it to be. Lucky for us.

                                    Graham
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