Legendary Pink Dots - New Tomorrow
Just listen to it.
Usually, Patreon subscribers get newsletters a week before everyone else. This one, however, is time-sensitive enough that it seemed worth not doing so this time. This is rather raw, as befits the time, and at the encouraging of those who have expressed a preference for something rather than something perfect. I apologize to my subscribers, and hope they will understand. Also, the promised continuation of my Narrative talk from last time is basically done and should be out soon, but, again… this felt needful. Normal service will resume shortly.
For some value of “normal”, anyway.
As I write this, it is Monday, the 15th of January, 2017, and the last man to walk on the moon has died. Appolo 17 Commander Eugene Cernan was the last human to leave a footprint on truly foreign soil. He said “We leave as we came, and God willing we shall return…”
As I write this I find out that bikers will be performing security at the Inauguration. Echoes of Altamont, here, in ways that are so powerful that they make me want more to believe in an Illuminati-style conspiracy theory than almost any other evidence I’ve seen. Altamont, if you don’t remember, was the event in 1969 where Hells Angels were hired to do security for a free concert festival, and as the Rolling Stones performed “Under my Thumb”, a black man in a lime green tuxedo drew a revolver and was stabbed five times in the back and stomped by bikers. I generally don’t bother with conspiracies, because the majority of them can be explained more efficiently with feedback loops. But this is a semiotic decision on someone’s part, someone is sending a signal. My main question is who, and at what level of power? And, do they know it?
Meanwhile today in Mexico, at the BPM music festival, a shooter opened fire, killing five and wounding at least fifteen. There’s no intentional semiotic there (at least, not without severly blunting Occam’s razor), but there’s still a resonance, a rhyme.
Symbolism is an inherent part of politics. Inagurations, crownings, exchanges of power, no matter how secular, all look like religious matters, because they speak in the same symbolic language. So you don’t need to believe in some masonic power behind the throne satanic sacrifice narrative to explain the fact that much of what happens in the public face of political power looks like a ritual. And yet, some ritual gestures resonate in a way that make the political and the spiritual rhyme in such a way that they become indistinguishable.
What new era ushers in The King In Orange?
It’s a rough day for those of us working in the mythopoetic sphere.
As I write this, it is the day of the “Inauguration Celebration”, a concert that, politics aside, was, to a person who used to do concert production for a living, frankly embarrassing to watch. The last time I saw a crowd that white and normal was the night that we had to kick out someone’s dad for trying to get on stage during the son’s guitar solo.
Before that, though, the Orange Beast laid a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Actually he didn’t lay it so much as follow a Marine carrying it and then touch it, lightly, as though he wasn’t quite sure what flowers are for. And as he and his political insurance against assasination stepped back and held hand over heart, he kept tapping his hand nervously, like the amphetamines were just starting to kick in. As he stands there waiting to get back in the motorcade, in my headphones Legendary Pink Dots say “Let me desecrate the contents of your tomb”.
And now, I’m listening to New Tomorrow as I watch the feed for the Inauguration of the Beast. And the first time “Tomorrow” comes in the lyrics that word flashed huge on the four-screen televisor on the wall of this cafe. I’m starting to think we underestimated how bad it could get.
“We told them as they plunged the needle, pledging our escape
From the all-embracing arms of New Tomorrow”
There’s a constant tension, in the work of someone who operates in the spaces I do, between the scientific and the occult. Nevermind that the division of the two only really became part of the western world post Sir Issac Newton, who happily worked in Alchemy along with Gravity and didn’t really see any disparity there. Also ignore the various other attempts at “synthesis” of the two which stab fitfully to sew together a seam produced by a myopically materialistic worldview. I’m not going to try to convince you of this point here (I suspect the book I started reading today on this subject will produce its own missive later). You have more important things to think about right now. I’m just informing you of my context: I’m operating with the assumption that the principals of what is usually called “magic” can provide us with useful information that a reductionist view lacks.
So what are we to make, then, of these signals that may not be signals, of these rhymes and resonances?
I don’t know. As I write this, it’s the morning after, and the Inauguration is, I guess, happening right now, or has happened already. I watched the concert because, as a production person, I can read more about the state of the world by the feel of people at a show than I can at some official event, where you don’t get to see which verses of the shoddy pop song the incoming regime sings along to. I have no need to watch the official bleeding of the patient. The ritual is what matters to me, not the bald fact.
And what did I learn, then, from that ritual? I learned that the Orange Beast is as bloodless as the corpse he wants to make of this country, a (so far metaphorical, but it is the 21st century) vampire who sucks up power because he has the hole at the center of himself that is unique to those who would sing along to Kryptonite during a transfer of official power. He has no grace, no poise, he has all the crassness and tone-deafness of anyone who wants power for the sake of power. What did I learn from this ritual? That at the center of it is someone who has no sense of ritual. It was hollow, as empty as the streets of Washington during the parade, as empty as the eyes of the rows of identical soulless minions gathered near the front so it would look like there were more people there. I know these camera tricks. I once used angles and lights to make 20 people at a show look like 200, but there’s no hiding some holes.
There are many people right now writing inspirational things about how we fight, where we go from here, each according to their own strengths and knowledges. You should read them, you should listen to what they have to say. So I will stick to what I know, and say this about how to fight: we have soul and they don’t. We have passion and parley and anger and fire, they merely have the anemic rationality of power. They have a vision of the world based on archaic ideas of nationalism and race and a myth of a golden age. We have a vision of the world based on not fucking drowning. We have Beyonce and Rome and Ministry. They have 3 Doors Down.
I’m not assuming that anyone who reads this is going to agree with my notions of magic, but it doesn’t matter, honestly. Because I’m not talking about woo grimoires or spooky action at a distance or any of that stuff. I’m talking about languages, symbolic sets. You can be a staunch rationalist and still know that symbols affect how we see the world (because otherwise why would you be reading language?), and that how we see the world affects how we make the world. Ritual is a form of signaling, a way of ordering the world, and their rituals are built from dust laid on scaffoldings of hate and fear.
Our rituals are built from love and desperation and flames.
As I write this, a better world is dreaming.