Plus News and Notes
Hey Juan. It's not a trivial think to dig a pond and create tangible and useful objects, just as it can be *just a trivial thing* to read heavy duty philosophical nihilism. Meaning the "depth" of the latter can be a mask for our internal distraction, our unwillingness to wrestle with our own creative "daemons." I think its an important soul workout (at least for some of us) to take on nihilistic perspectives *but not get stuck in them.* They are like an acid bath: refreshing and cleansing but they will rot your bones if you are not careful. Ponds and pipes are the way to go.
I have been quietly working in a "Dark Ages" vein since reading Berman's bitter but unforgettable take in that book. Another thought is this: because the future is so unimaginable, we cannot know which practices and actions and values we take right now that might get picked up and become future seeds or inspirations, that might even "scale" in some unimaginable condition. Therefore: find that vein, and pursue it with depth, consistency, curiosity, care. In both concrete, worldly, and metaphysical/values ways, I accept that my primary investments and practices are antiquated or unproductive in contemporary terms -- they aint gonna "scale" even if they become more relevant in a weirder world. But this stuff as a consistency and character that make them good seeds, like pages with powerful sigils that I fold into paper airplanes and launch toward the burning future, or easter eggs hidden for the luck, the sensitive, the strange. I am lucky to know both Carlos and Matt and I know you two also have that survival passion magic.
I had a sense of this during all the coverage of Burning Man this year. Though I didnt go, I knew plenty of folks who did, but even before I could talk to them I was shocked at how incorrect and clearly mendacious some of the coverage was, the apocalyptic tone, the mockery and schadenfreude, the factual errors. Plus most of the folks I knew who knew what they were doing out there had a fine old time, and the rest did OK. Weather challenges are part of the place--being resilient! — but all of that was lost in the coverage. Even the porta potties were generally fine!
So good, Erik 👌
yes i am sad to say it does hit home now, especially with the inevitable religious element. i am like many obsessed though trying to stay away from super gnarly video but both the devastation in gaza and the terror of the ravers are very much in the brain. as for funeralopolis, it reminded me of a quotation from a gaza resident yesterday on the bbc: "it looks like from a movie about the end of life on this planet." DOOM. So sad. So intense. So much "karma" coming down.
Yes I have been happy to count JF and Phil friends and colleagues since before they started WS! I had JF on my Expanding Mind podcast way back in the day when his book first came out, and I was so glad I spidey-sensed the value of speaking to him! I love what those guys do, they manage to keep it real and keep it weird at the same time.
I can't believe I am saying this but I have never read it or watched it...seems resonant...
Yes that book really stays with you, in strange and unexpected ways, especially given how off-putting it can sound when you describe it at a distance. Truly magical writing then.
Your outside is in, my inside is out...
Glad you found it inspiring! Folk Horror sounds like a juicy topic, although potentially well-trodden territory? One thing about theses is they take awhile so its important to focus on a topic that has legs -- both for you and for the cultural memory! But horror is endlessly fascinating...
Night Land is one of the more bizarre books I've ever read. 30 years later, I'm still haunted by the vision of that 'medieval 'chappie hacking away at the monsters in the darkness with his trusty sword trying to get his beloved back to the base pyramid. I look forward to read your essay on it all.
preeettyy pretttyyy prettty timely now with Israel
*Doomscrolling and listening to electric wizard funeralopolis*
Paragliding into the raaaaave
Erik, it wasn't until I had read approximately halfway through this essay, when you mentioned The Nightland, that I realized you appeared on perhaps my favorite podcast just last week - Weird Studies. And how to my delight it was when you made an honorable mention of JF and Phil.
How small this world is.
Anyways, excellent essay sir, and truly one that brings about a sense of mental and spiritual clarity, especially when one finds themselves caught in the moment of mindlessly thumbing their way through the haunts of *insert social media*.
Always excellent Erik!
I just got my yearly physical n before my doctor comes in the PA takes the vitals asks if there’s anything that’s been bothering me that he should know, I replied that other than the “feeling of impending doom “ that started around 2016 I felt physically ok, which was a lie, as I’m participating in sober September this year so I don’t ruin my October, so my usual gloomy outlook feels a bit more intense.
I’ve been having an ear worm of
the Eagles “last resort “ for a while now since that awful disaster in Hawaii, I wonder if anyone has covered that song on Bandcamp lately.
On a brighter note, I dug a cool goldfish pond in my backyard and I’m creating my peace pipes again….it was either that or reread Ligotti’s conspiracy against the human race.
I’m grateful for you, always looking forward for the insights you provide.