Don’t blame the band for the late arrival of this brilliant new tune on Dangerous Minds, blame me (though they could have picked a better time to put this out than on December 26th when I’m on my hols, ferchrisakes.)
Well they didn’t just tour. They also went into the studio with none other than LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, and laid down a brand new tune called “After You,” a power-disco-pop gem that fits snugly into the band’s canon of modern classics. It leans towards the band’s more uptight-funk sound—it’s even got a bongo breakdown—but as ever is carried along by Jarvis Cocker’s caustic with, and a delivery that combines hard-nosed snark with pure sexiness.
Here’s to more brand new Pulp tracks in 2013!
Pulp “After You”
BONUS! After the jump, the entire, two hour Pulp headline set from the 2011 Reading Festival.
When President Kennedy was assassinated, “sick comedian” Lenny Bruce came onstage just hours later, took the mike and paused for a long time, looking at the audience and shaking his head before sighing: “Poor Vaughn Meader” (Meader was a popular and wealthy 60s nightclub entertainer whose act consisted solely of his uncanny JFK impersonation).
This morning I couldn’t help but think, “Poor Daniel Pinchbeck…”
When I woke up today, feeling exactly the same as I had yesterday and pretty much all the days before that, it didn’t even occur to me to wonder if “the end of the world” (as we know it)—or if you prefer, a global spiritual awakening—had happened last night as the wife and I watched the final episode of The Crimson Petal and The White, because, well, I’d forgotten all about it.
When my eyes opened today, after I had taken a piss, walked the dogs, made some tea, and was looking at Huffington Post’s headlines, I remembered, oh shit, the 2012 “apocalypse” thing was supposed to have happened last night. I certainly didn’t feel anymore “enlightened” that’s for sure. If some sort of cosmic transformation of mankind was supposed to have taken place—as some New Agers were predicting—then I was a groggy Bodhisattva this morning…
I checked if there had been any mass suicides or any of that sort of activity. Nothing on HuffPo. Drudge came up snake eyes on that front as well. That’s good, since at least one mass suicide seemed virtually assured…
And then I wondered if Daniel Pinchbeck had published anything about this momentous event—or notable lack thereof—on his blog. He had in fact, in a piece titled “The End of the Beginning,” that, to my mind, rather comically hedges on what did or did not just happen…
It begins like so:
At last, we have reached the end of the classic Mayan Long Count calendar, the 5,125-year cycle that ends on December 21 of this year. The mainstream media has, predictably, used the occasion to ridicule the straw man they irresponsibly helped to set up: That this was a doomsday threshold, as silly as Y2K. At the same time, the worst and best predictions of alternative theorists ranging from Graham Hancock to Paul LaViolette to Jose Arguelles, Terence McKenna, John Major Jenkins, David Wilcock, and Carl Johan Calleman have failed to materialize.
Apparently, a galactic superwave is not engulfing our planet, as LaViolette proposed. We are not confronting immediate cataclysmic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, as Hancock sensationally predicted in his bestselling Fingerprints of the Gods. We are, also, not suddenly attaining collective enlightenment as Calleman, Arguelles, and John Major Jenkins conceived. Our pineal glands are not being instantaneously flooded with DMT, as Wilcock concocted. We have not reached the Eschaton or Singularity, where time collapses as we construct the final technological object at the end of history and complete the Great Work of alchemy, as McKenna playfully projected. We are not ascending out of our bodies into the astral plane. But does this mean that this threshold was meaningless? Not at all.
Oh, I think that’s still pretty debatable, but it’s not a topic that I, personally, would care to debate with anyone. That would just be a fool’s errand, for obvious reasons.
Back to Pinchbeck:
As a personal aside, I am delighted we are finally getting beyond this date with destiny. Over the last months, my work has been constantly ridiculed and put down by mainstream journalists who parrot preconceived ideas. Almost as a rule, these journalists avoided watching the film I made with director Joao Amorim, which is freely available on Netflix, or reading my book. Each article is a tiny piffle of stupidity and ignorance, adding to the great vapidity. Although I am used to it, it is still painful to be misunderstood.
I’m sure it is, but such is the lot of a pop-up prophet in the age of snarky Internet blogs, right? Comes with the territory.
Now I want to be clear that I don’t have anything against Daniel Pinchbeck. We’re acquainted, although I have not seen him for for several years. I happen to agree with much of what he espouses, at least his more earthbound ideas on a post-capitalism future. I think he does a good job getting younger people excited by Occupy, saving the environment and these kinds of important issues with his prose and I am a fan of his writing myself, having excerpted some of his Breaking Open the Head book—which I loved—in my own Book of Lies occult anthology.
But whether it’s coming from Daniel Pinchbeck, or another source, this 2012 jive was/is a bunch of soft-brained New Age hooey—it doesn’t deserve any respect—and the idea that he’s trying to forge ahead and act like he was somehow right about it the whole time—unlike the rest of ‘em(!)—and rhetorically pivot away from the “failed” 2012 prophets made me chuckle as I read it. Pinchbeck’s own name is at the very top of that list and he damned well knows it.
In a 2006 Rolling Stone profile, “Daniel Pinchbeck and the New Psychedelic Elite” by Vanessa Grigoriadis—the article that first brought him some mainstream exposure—there are so many goofy quotes from Daniel that I’m sure he’d like to live down, that I don’t know where to start:
“I’d like to move off the grid, to escape the chaos and hustle of city life.” When we talked about it earlier, he said, “But there is no escape,” his eyes burning into mine. “We have to fix this situation right fucking now, or there’s going to be nuclear wars and mass death, and it’s not going to be very interesting. There’s not going to be a United States in five years, OK?”
His current book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, has been largely panned in the mainstream press. In fact, his original publisher dropped it, with Gerald Howard, a venerable editor of authors like Don DeLillo, offering the comment “Daniel, you’re not Nietzsche.” Says Pinchbeck, “It was hard for him to conceive that someone of my generation was doing something of primordial significance.”
Perhaps Mr. Howard, in retrospect, might be forgiven his trespasses against our self-ordained prophet, eh?
“I’m generally a humble person, but I do feel I’m surfing the edge of consciousness on this planet,” he says. “A shaman risks their ass to get knowledge that the tribe needs to continue. In this case, the tribe is potentially the whole fucking world.”
I find myself in a peculiarly bittersweet relationship to fame, worldly success, etc., as part of the concept I am promoting is of a shift in consciousness that will be so swift and so profound, when it arrives, that it will annul our current categories and conventional reward systems. As I noted in ‘2012,’ I sometimes feel like I am communicating ‘backwards’ from this future state of ‘time freedom,’ and it is a peculiarly uncanny sensation. From that impersonal perspective, I am simply watching a process unfold in linear time – the process of the accelerated evolution of consciousness. As a messenger or prophet (certainly not a guru), I am simply sending out a signal to be picked up by those who are ready to receive it.”
I’ll just let that one fall to the ground with a mighty thud.
Even if Daniel is from the future, he’s not allowed to change the past: A writer named Tom Swiss penned a short take-down of Pinchbeck’s seeming belief that he was a cosmic messenger of the gods in an online essay, “Why Daniel Pinchbeck needs a smack upside his head” that highlights the most… well, the funniest aspect of Pinchbeck’s whole idiosyncratic 2012 trip: If Aleister Crowley could declare himself the prophet of the new aeon, then by gum, Daniel could do it, too.
Generously “borrowing” from The Great Beast 666, with a hefty dollop of Terence McKenna’ trippy apocalyptism thrown into the mix, the whole “channeled message” nature of Pinchbeck’s psychedelic holy man shtick is—how do I put this kindly—FUCKING RIDICULOUS:
Daniel Pinchbeck is the guy probably most responsible for kicking off the idea that some great transformation is going to occur in 2012. In his book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, he claims to have received “transmissions” from the Mayan deity Quetzalcoatl telling him about this momentous event. An excerpt from these transmissions:
The writer of this work [i.e., Pinchbeck] is the vehicle of my arrival—my return—to this realm. He certainly did not expect this to be the case. What began as a quest to understand prophecy has become the fulfillment of prophecy. The vehicle of my arrival has been brought to an awareness of his situation in sometimes painful increments and stages of resistance—and this books follows the evolution of his learning process, as an aid to the reader’s understanding.
The vehicle of my arrival had to learn to follow synchonicities, embrace paradoxes, and solve puzzles. He had to enter into a new way of thinking about time and space and consciousness.
Almost apologetically, the vehicle notes that his birthday fell in June 1966—6/66—“count the number of the Beast: for it is the number of the man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
The Beast prophesied is the “feathered serpent,” Quetzalcoatl. [Pinchbeck, 2012 p. 370]
That’s one hell of a zany, paranoiac, monumentally self-important megalomaniacal feedback loop, ain’t it?
As I type this today, one aspect of the 2012 trip is certain, and this is that all of those fucking full-of-shit blow-hard New Ager/“Burner” types who made cocksure bets about SOMETHING (anything!) happening (solar flares, earthquakes, killer asteroids suddenly coming out of nowhere, or even the more mundane predictions of a great spiritual awakening and turning point for all mankind) on December 21, 2012 are going to have to pay up... as well they should.
New Age-types: STOP BEING SO GULLIBLE. You’re no better than Fox News viewers if you bought into this bullshit!
I mean, seriously, people, anyone who promoted or defended any manifestation of the 2012 hoax without tongue placed firmly-in-cheek, needs to have their noses rubbed in it bigtime. Learn a lil’ lesson, brah. No, really, take a serious bloody hint about how you evaluate your information sources and maybe. just maybe seek out some different intellectual inputs before somebody gets… embarrassed.
Below, the grand finale of Beyond The Fringe, the hysterically funny “End of the World” sketch, restaged for The Secret Policeman’s Ball in 1979 with Peter Cook, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eleanor Bron and others. A young Rowan Atkinson fills in for Dudley Moore. This sketch will never get old… for obvious reasons!
For any true believers out there who were planning to run up a lot of credit card debt prior to the “end of the world” that was supposed to take place between December 21-23, 2012, you might want to change those plans (or not!) because it looks like the Apocalypse just got cancelled.
In a striking find, archaeologists in Guatemala report the discovery of a small building whose walls display not only a stunningly preserved mural of a brightly adorned Mayan king, but also calendars that destroy any notion that the Mayans predicted the end of the world in 2012.
These deep-time calendars can be used to count thousands of years into the past and future, countering pop-culture and New Age ideas that Mayan calendars ended on Dec. 21, 2012, (or Dec. 23, depending on who’s counting), thereby predicting the end of the world.
The newly found calendars, which track the motion of the moon, Venus and Mars, provide an unprecedented glimpse into how these storied sky-gazers — who dominated Central America for nearly 1,000 years — kept such accurate track of months, seasons and years.
“What they’re trying to do is understand the large cycles of cosmic time,” said William Saturno, the Boston University archaeologist who led the expedition. “This is the space they’re doing it in. It’s like looking into da Vinci’s workshop.”
Before the new find, the best-preserved Mayan calendars were inscribed in bark-paged books called codices, the most famous being the Dresden Codex. But those pages hail from several hundred years later than the newly found calendars.
It will be interesting to see just how steadfast some people will cling to their beliefs in these New Age theories. Especially the ones who have gone out on a limb promulgating them in public. We’ll never get to hear Terence McKenna’s reaction to still waking up on Christmas Day, 2012, sadly, but what will Daniel Pinchbeck have to say I wonder?
Maybe Daniel and Harold Camping might want to grab a coffee!
Here’s what I wrote about the 2012 nonsense back in 2009 in a post titled “2012 is for suckers (and lapsed Christians)”:
Christian apocalyptism has been projected onto counterculture thought due to a surprisingly widely-held belief that the calendar of the ancient Mayans is going to “run out” and via various New Age theories (Jose Arguelles, Terence McKenna) growing in currency since the 1980s and conflating into one giant unstoppable Internet meme.
Y2K and went without a hitch and guess what? Every other previous doomsday failed to materialize also.
Here’s a telling anecdote, it’s all I have to offer you on the subject: In the mid-90s I had the occasion to ask Timothy Leary what he thought about Terence McKenna’s theories about 2012. He sat up in his chair—he was in horrible shape at this point, I should say—fixed his gaze upon me and wagging a finger in my face, sternly told me, “Terence McKenna is a High Episcopalian! He was raised to believe in the end of the world in church on Sundays. There is NO SCIENCE to any of this. He took psychedelic drugs and he interpreted those experiences via his own nervous system, which was pre-disposed to want to believe in the end of the world in the first place due to childhood imprinting about the Book of Revelations! If you believe in these things, why not just become a Christian and then at least you’ll be in the mainstream!”
If you buy into this stuff, you need to ask yourself WHY that is. Is it residual Christianity that you thought you shook off, but didn’t? It’s a valid point.
I’ve talked about this subject with Robert Anton Wilson as well and his take was different, but complimentary to what Leary had said. Bob very simply explained that calendars are man-made constructs. They are based on astronomical observations, of course, and the Mayan calendar is pretty accurate, but the idea of an end date, presupposes a start date and who CHOSE that date? It’s arbitrary and the whole argument starts to fall apart there.
Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly “running out” on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it’s not the end of the world.
Or is it?
Definitely not, the Mayan Indian elder insists. “I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff.”
It can only get worse for him. Next month Hollywood’s “2012” opens in cinemas, featuring earthquakes, meteor showers and a tsunami dumping an aircraft carrier on the White House.
At Cornell University, Ann Martin, who runs the “Curious? Ask an Astronomer” Web site, says people are scared.
“It’s too bad that we’re getting e-mails from fourth-graders who are saying that they’re too young to die,” Martin said. “We had a mother of two young children who was afraid she wouldn’t live to see them grow up.”
Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.
Looks like the entire genre of “The World Will End in 2012” literature is about to go on sale for 99% off.
A few months earlier than planned, no doubt, but there was only so long they could milk this bullshit anyway.
Thank you, Steven Otero of New York City, New York!
An ‘artist’s impression’ of a terror attack on London 2012, courtesy of the Daily Mail
Anti-terrorist fears surrounding the London 2012 Olympics are reaching fever pitch in the UK. The Ministry Of Defence is reportedly planning to install anti-aircraft missiles on the roof of a residential block of flats in London’s East end.
No, this isn’t a sketch by Chris Morris or a story from the Onion. It sounds crazy but this is real. From BBC news:
An east London estate, where 700 people live, has received leaflets saying a “Higher Velocity Missile system” could be placed on a water tower.
A spokesman said the MoD had not yet decided whether to deploy ground based air defence systems during the event.
But estate resident Brian Whelan said firing the missiles “would shower debris across the east end of London”.
The journalist said: “At first I thought it was a hoax. I can’t see what purpose high-velocity missiles could serve over a crowded area like Tower Hamlets.
“They say they’ll only use them as a last resort, but… you’d shower debris across the east end of London by firing these missiles.”
Mr Whelan, who claims to have seen soldiers carrying a crate into the building, said his property management company put up posters and gave out the leaflets on Saturday.
He continued: “They are going to have a test run next week, putting high velocity missiles on the roof just above our apartment and on the back of it they’re stationing police and military in the tower of the building for two months.
This begs the question: are the supposed benefits of hosting the Olympics in London worth the intrusion into people’s lives?
Great news for people living in NYC, Bjork is bringing her phenomenal Biophilia live experience to the city next month. The shows will be taking place over two different residencies; one at the New York Hall of Science (six dates in all, between February 3rd and 18th) and one at the Roseland Ballroom (four dates there, between February 22nd and March 2nd).
While the Roseland Ballroom is more intimate, the grapevine tells me the Hall of Science will be better as it will facilitate the whole 360 degree stage show, which should hopefully incorporate giant tesla coils, homemade instruments, a large female choir and the full surround sound PA and plasma screens. I was lucky enough to catch a Biophilia show last year in Manchester, and it ranks as one of the best live shows I have ever seen. I reviewed it for Dangerous Minds, and you can read that here.
There have also been Biophilia shows announced at various European and South American festivals over the summer - for more info on the shows (and links to buy tickets for individual performances), visit the Facebook page for Bjork events.
Here’s an inkling of what you can expect:
Bjork “Joga” (Live at Manchester International Festival 2011)
A very interesting talk here from two of the more credible voices to comment on the 2012 phenomena (who I think need no introduction). As you would expect though from Hancock and Pinchbeck (both names together have a nice ring, eh?) the conversation covers much more than that, and takes in crop circles, drug consumption, 2012, the future, and the “freedom of consciousness”. The talk is opened up to the floor for some very interesting questions two thirds of the way through. This was recorded Baltimore late last year, and is here presented for the first time in its entirety, lasting just over 70 minutes. Perfect background listening while you are doing some dishes and washing some clothes:
The technique is called Fear Selling, it’s how sales and marketing can seal deals by focusing “on the negative consequences of not buying [a] product / service.” A good example of “fear selling” is to be found on The Vivos Underground Survival Network for Surviving 2012 and Beyond, “a privately funded venture, with no religious affiliations,” which wants to help you “survive” the forthcoming catastrophe:
Millions of people believe that we are living in the “end times”. Many are looking for a viable solution to survive potential future Earth devastating events. Eventually, our planet will realize another devastating catastrophe, whether manmade, or a cyclical force of nature. Disasters are rare and unexpected, but on any sort of long timeline, they’re inevitable. It’s time to prepare!
Vivos is in a race against time to complete construction and commissioning of a global network of underground community shelters prior to the predicted December 21, 2012 Mayan date. While this date is the impetus for completing Vivos, the envisioned catastrophic events can happen without notice, this year, next, in 2012, 2029, 2036, or even 100 years thereafter.
Nobody knows if the prophecies will happen, or not. Scientists understand that the Earth has had a number of catastrophic, periodic events that repeat on a somewhat predictable, or even random basis. Many current events, both natural and political are pointing to potential a disastrous change. The process may already be unfolding. NASA reports that 2012 could bring powerful solar storms, at the peak of the solar cycle; while it is also tracking the Apophis asteroid for what may be an Earth devastating collision in 2029, or 2036. What if one of these events happens? We cannot predict, but we can prepare. Time before the storm!
I know they’re hedging their bets here, but I know you know deep down something, somewhere, is going to happen to somebody, sometime, someplace. And that somebody might just be you.
And before you say this sounds like the kind of crap you’d expect from Glenn Beck, wait, Mr Snake Oil himself is on the Vivos site:
Learn about the 10|80|10% rule from a recent Glenn Beck show featuring the author of the Survivors Club. Which group are you in?
Okay, using Glenn Beck’s probably a bad idea, but look, they’ve got some stuff from the History Channel. Yep. The History Channel, or History as its now known, that channel famous for such historical programs as…er, Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men, Pawn Stars and all those documentaries about Hitler.
Many have predicted events around 2012. Vivos is not about 2012, but rather preparation for potential catastrophic events, whether they are in our near future or decades beyond. This History Channel presentation is one of the best on chronicling the Mayan prophecy.
I wonder if History know they’re being associated with this site?
Of course it’s not just the Mayan calendar you have to be worried about, as Vivos points out, there’s various “threat scenarios” from “a pole shift, super volcano eruptions, solar flares, earthquakes, asteroids, tsunamis, nuclear attack, bio terrorism, chemical warfare and even widespread social anarchy.” To help with your decision, they even have a selection of videos that:
...portray many of the most viable threat scenarios that make Vivos necessary for the security and life assurance of your family.
Still not convinced? Well, don’t worry, you have 637 days left to make your mind-up.
Where would we be without a good conspiracy theory? Here’s one that’s currently circulating the web, from a Doctor of Inter-Stellar Anthropology (no really), who was allegedly hired as a “special consultant” to the CIA, on the project “dubbed Red Rock,” to locate and operate a mysterious “device” that emitted all-powerful sound waves, which the Doc had to get working before 2012, otherwise we’re all dead. This, according to the voice on the video, is the reason America invaded Iraq. Hm…so that explains it..eh?
The people controlling our planet DO NOT WANT YOU TO HEAR what this guy has to say, but he is a respected academic and has first hand knowledge of the real reason the US invaded Iraq and ancient, alien tech - ET disclosure in imminent, we may as well know the truth. This video explains why everyone is trying to buy up the gold, the stuxnet virus, the NWO’s plans to attack China, the real reason behind the September 11th attacks and what is going to happen on December 21, 2012.
Make your own mind up, but just remember, this guy gets to vote.
In what seems like something out of J.G. Ballard, Scientology, and the final act of Roland Emmerich’s 2012, like, combined, a number of billionaires are taking to the high seas for their Plan B. I can see their point. You’ve ravaged the planet and trashed the economy, if that possibly results in pitchforks and flaming torches at your door, a thousand miles of ocean makes a better barrier than a gate or concierge.
Thus, Utopia, a floating, billion-dollar luxury liner now being built by Samsung of Korea (you can tour the ship below). Its 200 or so cabins run anywhere from $4 million (that gets you a small condo), to $160 million (that secures you a home of 40,000 feet). Prices aside, what kind of people would choose such a lifestyle? A fascinating article in today’s Alternet provides the answer:
The floating castle is a longtime dream of libertarian oligarchs—a place where they can live their lives in peace free from the teeming masses of starving losers and indebted parasites and their tax demands. Since they’ve grown so rich off of America, they have enough spare change to fund projects like the Seasteading Institute, run by Milton Friedman’s grandson, Patri Friedman, and financed by the bizarre right-wing PayPal founder, Peter Thiel. It couldn’t have come a moment sooner for Milton Friedman’s grandson, who was best known until recently for running a grotesque advice blog for married swingers, PUA4LTR (Pick Up Advice For Long-Term Relationships).
Thiel is also the person who last year wrote, “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” Maybe it’s also not surprising that he does believe America’s decline started with women gaining the right to vote? Unfortunately, Thiel and Friedman are the more benign tip of the iceberg here.
The article continues by listing the far graver misdeeds of the other players in the flee-to-the-sea movement. They include former Carlyle Chairman and Donald Rumsfeld crony, Frank Carlucci, as well as financier Danny Pang.
Pang, along with Carlucci, are founders of the Frontier Group (the backers of the Utopia). Pang died, though, back in September under mysterious circumstancesfrom possible suicide. And perhaps not a moment too soon. He’d recently been accused of the execution-style murder of his wife, as well as the embezzlement of hundreds of millions from his private equity firm, the PEMGroup.
Pretty scary Ad Creepage currently up in Rio de Janeiro for the Mayan calendar Apocalypse flick, (I hope Woody Harrelson bites it hard) opening here in the States on Friday the 13th, of course. First off, when the Evil Doers next blow up and flood an underground tunnel somewhere in the world, my bet is, that ‘somewhere’ will be ‘here.’ Secondly, our tunnels already leak just fine, thx.
Last night I almost hit a bus crossing in front of me with a giant 2012 sign on the side. Doesn’t get much funnier than that.
Aaaaand OK, I might as well throw in my 2 cents about this one since it’s a hot topic: 2012 is a transition and demarcation point past which our culture will hit a certain no-return-point in shifting towards spirit and away from matter (read, on one level, as: life becoming almost completely Internet-mediated, while economy and physical infrastructure continues to fall apart by dint of being less exciting than Twitter). It is NOT the end of the world and one of the more productive things to think about around the whole issue is why, exactly, people are so addicted to apocalyptic thinking (as Alan Moore pointed out somewhere?
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
I'll repeat that: We're not necessarily endorsing everything you'll find here, we're merely saying "Here it is." We think human beings are very strange and often totally hilarious. We enjoy weird and inexplicable things very much. We believe things have to change and change swiftly. It's got to be about the common good or it's no good at all. We like to get suggestions of fun/serious things from our good-looking, high IQ readers. We are your favorite distraction.