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‘The Good Morty’: Pitch-perfect ‘Rick and Morty’-themed Chick tract parody
02.14.2018
12:26 pm
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I’ve been a big Rick and Morty fan ever since the show debuted on Adult Swim in late 2013. (For the big Science March last year I carried a sign emblazoned with the image of Rick Sanchez—who is a scientist and genius.) I was a big Community nut and continue to be a Harmontown devotee, and so I was eager to see where Dan Harmon would land after the lengthy demise of Community. In addition to creating that Joel McHale vehicle for NBC, Harmon was one of the main minds behind the legendary failed 1999 TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack, which a young Jack Black teamed up with a young Owen Wilson in a parodic reworking of Knight Rider directed by a young Ben Stiller.

Harmon’s heart always lay more with visionary sci-fi (à la Robocop) and not the relatively sober sitcom trappings of Community, so Rick and Morty represented a return to subject matter like Heat Vision and Jack as well as a chance for him and show co-creator Justin Roiland to have a shit ton of fun. Reflecting the evident creative fulfillment that Harmon and Roiland have enjoyed, the show has found a solid cult following.
 

 
Purhasers of the box set of season 1 (Blu Ray version only) of Rick and Morty, which came out in 2014, received an odd little pamphlet with the title “The Good Morty.” The 14-page story was a pitch-perfect parody of the Chick tracts once unleashed by the millions by evangelical nut case Jack T. Chick. “The Good Morty” made a brief appearance in the season 1 finale “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind.”

“The Good Morty” tells the story of the “good” Morty and the “bad” Morty—the latter makes the poor decision to join Rick for an adventure that is identical to any number of Rick and Morty episodes while the “good” version of Morty stays home and obeys the strictures laid down in Sacrimortys 4:23 to worshipfully kiss his own toes and so on. Meanwhile, Morty’s sister Summer becomes a heroin addict and eventually the “bad” Morty is transformed into a cockroach by a vengeful deity. Such are the risks in deviating from the true path of Morty!

The tract ends with a little list of things to do in order to avoid getting transformed into a cockroach:
 

1. Draw five scantily-clad or fully nude girls every day.
2. Kiss your toes three times each night before bed. Imagine each toe is a crying Morty who needs love.
3. Say Jessica’s name seven times each morning. Never above a whisper. Never above audible levels. Use your “six inch voice.”
4. Play with toys daily. Action figures, building blocks, remote control type toys. Bonus points for yo-yos. They’re a classic that holds up. Just be careful with them. No fancy tricks in crowded rooms.
5. Refuse all calls to adventure from Rick. Be like your dad. Be like Jerry. A simple life.
6. Play video games. Bonus points for handheld games. Never play freemium games.
7. Don’t worry about homework. You’ll be fine. The global economy is going to collapse soon anyway. Learn survival skills if anything.

 
Anyone who has listened to Harmon discourse on Joseph Campbell will recognize the Campbellian note in the phrase “calls to adventure.”

“The Good Morty” was written by Roiland and Ryan Ridley, and the art was created by Erica Hayes. You can read the entire thing below:
 

 

 
Read the whole thing after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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02.14.2018
12:26 pm
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The Victorian woman who drew pictures of ghosts
02.06.2018
11:03 am
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Georgiana Houghton (1862).
 
Georgiana Houghton (1814–1884) claimed her artistic talent came from the dead. Houghton was a spiritualist, a medium and (apparently) a self-taught artist though there are suggestions she may have had a basic training in art. Houghton said her drawings and watercolors were the product of her communication with the spirit world. She took part in séances, where she sat with paper, pencils, and gouache, and drew her pictures from the energy, words, and images the spirits used to communicate with her. Her first spirit guides were deceased relatives and friends, in particular, her late sister Zilla. She drew their spirits as fruit and flowers. Later, she said her spirit guides included the Renaissance artists Titian and Correggio which were mighty fine talents to commune with. Often, on the back of her pictures, she explained how her drawings were made—on one occasion explaining how Titian had worked through her to create a picture. Whether we believe Houghton’s supernatural claims is irrelevant. What is important is Houghton’s artwork which is mesmerizingly beautiful, utterly original, and denies any easy classification—though some critics have (perhaps rightly) described Houghton as “arguably the first ever abstract artist.” Houghton was producing her abstract image long before Kandinsky and Mondrian and even another spiritualist Hilma Af Klimt, who is also often credited as the first Abstract artist.

Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1814, little appears to be known of Houghton’s early upbringing until around 1859 when she started producing her “spirit drawings” during private séances held in the homes of fellow spiritualists. She used these séances as a means to focus her artistic talents and produce her astonishing watercolors and undoubtedly believed she was communicating with the dead. It should be noted that it was very difficult for women to become artists in Victorian society. The art world was dominated by men who excluded women from their guilds and art clubs that promoted their work. Women had to find other ways to express themselves and their talents. Houghton found hers through the ethereal world of the spirit world. At a time when figurative and narrative art was the dominant genre, Houghton’s strange, swirling, peacock-feathered watercolors look like the psychedelic creations of some hip 1960s artist. She was expressing a deeply private world—a belief system and her feelings towards it. Many of her drawings featured the eye an all-seeing God which is arguably a reflection of her own subconscious feelings about the unrelenting and controlling male gaze of the world in which she lived. There are also the expected drawings of her religious icons like Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.

However, “[a]t a time when few opportunities were present for women to explore creative practices,”:

Houghton’s work draws attention to the role of women within society by creating an alternative space through ritual. The perceived irrationality of Spiritualism has in the past been used as an excuse to systematically belittle the importance of Houghton (and other female artists such as Hilma af Klint) within a history of abstract art. Houghton’s strange mediations between individual self and the collective otherworld foreground a feminist investigation that complicates common tropes of hysteria and feminine theological excess as dangerous or disturbed.

Houghton’s seemingly frenetic, yet highly deliberate, and beautiful watercolours accept as legitimate that which lies beyond the bounds of conventional experience, and offers a fascinating context for an array of contemporary artists who are interested in the spaces between dream, afterlife and living reality. Artists such as Joachim Koester, Matt Mullican and Jess Johnson absorb both shared cultural and personal memories through the aesthetic of ritual to interrogate notions of the world beyond.

Houghton thought her work important enough to organize a self-financed exhibition of 155 pictures at a gallery on Bond Street, London, in 1871. The exhibition received mixed reviews—one critic in the Daily News described Houghton’s pictures as “the most extraordinary and instructive example of artistic aberration.” The show was a failure and almost bankrupted Houghton. This, together with her unfortunate association with the fraudulent spiritualist Frederick Hudson—a man who faked photographs of ghosts and spirits—saw Houghton cruelly dismissed as a charlatan and oddball by the art world. Houghton continued making her spirit drawings until her death in 1884. She would have been forgotten had not the Victorian Spiritualists’ Union in Melbourne, Australia, exhibited 35 of paintings in 1910. This led to sporadic exhibitions of her work over the past century most recently at the Courtauld Gallery, London in 2017. However, the bulk of Houghton’s startlingly beautiful artworks are either lost or hidden away in private collections.
 
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‘The Flower and the Fruit of Henry Lenny’ (1861).
 
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‘The Flower of Warrand Houghton’ (1861).
 
See more of Georgiana Houghton’s spirit drawings, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.06.2018
11:03 am
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HE IS RISEN! The face of Frank Zappa has miraculously appeared on a doorknob
01.17.2018
07:48 am
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Jesus of Nazareth, known in certain circles as “Christ” and regarded among members of that fellowship as the spiritual redeemer of humanity, has a long-standing reputation as a worker of miracles. Supernatural interventions attributed to him include the transformation of matter, healing, walking on water, the resurrection of the dead, and even surviving his own execution.

But all of that was a very long time ago, and in more recent years, this allegedly supernatural figure seems to have limited his miraculous activities to causing his image to appear in various foods. And a dog’s asshole. While not unimpressive, these miracles seem rather prosaic under the long shadow cast by his divine reputation, which prompts one to wonder if that reputation isn’t perhaps a tad exaggerated? But such sightings have become sufficiently infamous that toasters and sandwich presses are available for faithful who don’t wish to wait for a miracle to be be touched by His bready visage.

And now, it seems, that this Jesus fellow has been joined by some illustrious company.

The iconic American musician and composer Frank Vincent Zappa has few miracles attributed to him in his lifetime, though he arguably cheated death in 1971. Death, as it is wont to do, finally claimed its victory over Zappa in 1993, but unlike Jesus, he has made no credibly documented miraculous reappearances—until now, in an Alabama shitter. A Fairhope, Alabama resident who boasts the wonderful name Patrick Mutual made a public Facebook post last week offering incontrovertible photographic proof of his father’s discovery of a Frank Zappa miracle bathroom doorknob.
 

 

 

 

 
As is clear if you read the post, Mr. Mutual is attempting to sell the doorknob for a hefty premium, but though the FB post states a $30K asking price, the actual eBay listing sports a Buy It Now price of only $25,000 plus $3.64 shipping. (Dangerous Minds officially loves anyone who’d sell a doorknob for 25K and still add a shipping charge.) As this is the only big ticket Zappa-related sale we know of in the last couple years that doesn’t benefit the massively depressing Zappa Family Trust, and because he’s committed 20% of the final sale price to benefit African Children’s Charities, we wish Mutual the best of luck in finding a buyer.
 

 
Much worldly love to Matt Verba for hipping us to this religious experience.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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01.17.2018
07:48 am
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There’s a ‘Stranger Things’ ouija board
01.15.2018
10:27 am
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I’m a bit late to the game with Stranger Things 2. I just started watching it this past weekend. So far, so good, although I’m not loving it as much as the first season. (I’m only on episode four).

Anyway, here’s a Stranger Things ouija board made by Hasbro and Mystifying Oracle.

Supernatural forces were uncovered, a young boy was rescued from a parallel dimension, and monsters—both human and otherworldly—were defeated. Gather around the Ouija: Stranger Things Edition game, if you dare, and unlock secrets from a mysterious and mystifying world of the Upside Down.

The Stranger Things ouija board is available to purchase on Amazon for $26.85.


 

 

 
via Laughing Squid

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.15.2018
10:27 am
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Michael Shannon and Yo La Tengo covering Suicide’s ‘Ghost Rider’ is what we needed this Hanukkah
12.20.2017
11:20 am
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For years Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah shows were a holiday staple for festive souls in the New York City area. It didn’t take place every year, but quite often Ira, Georgia, and James would dedicate all 8 nights of the Jewish holiday to gigs at their home base, Maxwell’s in nearby Hoboken, New Jersey. Sometimes a musically inclined comedian like Todd Barry or Fred Armisen was spotted behind the drum kit.

Seeing as how it was Yo La Tengo doing the hosting, the shows would frequently feature surprise guest appearances to give the spectators a rare tingle. In 2002 David Byrne sang with the band, in 2007 it was Alex Chilton who supplied the extra-special treat. One time the guys from Mission of Burma showed up. When Maxwell’s saw new owners take over and cease hosting live music shows in 2013, the future of the shows was cast in doubt.
 

 
This year marks the first time in five years that YLT is playing their Hanukkah shows—the venue they have selected to carry the torch is the Bowery Ballroom (an excellent substitute IMO). Earlier this week Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer joined the band, and last night Michael Shannon popped up onstage and delivered a predictably galvanizing rendition of “Ghost Rider” by Suicide. Armisen was helping out on the drums.

Due to his willingness to be strikingly weird, off-putting, or sinister, Shannon has become one of the main character actors of note over the last decade or so. He was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his work in Revolutionary Road and Nocturnal Animals. He gained wider recognition as General Zod in the current DC franchise, and has also become associated with the movies of Jeff Nichols. I’ve been lucky enough to see Shannon in plays several times, and the man never disappoints.

Watch it, after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.20.2017
11:20 am
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Tibetan Buddhist robots and Pauline Anna Strom’s space music star in ‘Ether Antenna,’ a DM premiere
11.09.2017
08:11 am
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Pauline Anna Strom is a San Francisco composer. Blind since infancy, Strom says she felt like “a loner and a heretic” growing up Catholic in the South. During the Seventies, she moved to San Francisco, where she heard Tangerine Dream, Eno and company on FM radio and was inspired to experiment with synthesizers and a TASCAM four-track. (DM is reliably informed that, despite all the other changes to the city, she still resides in SF with her long-lived iguana, Little Solstice.)

Strom’s music is not for the disco. At once soothing and disorienting, it’s her means of sailing in the timestream, conjuring up the frozen past and the (apparently) populous future. Her first release, 1982’s Trans-Millenia [sic] Consort, took its name from Strom’s time-traveling alter ego, according to the press materials for the new retrospective of her recording career (such is its futurity, it comes out tomorrow):

She believed that humanity was confined by its inability to access the people of the future, therefore suffering in a kind of group solipsism. Designing a world of music that rooted itself in all times but the present, Strom’s alter ego, the Trans-Millenia Consort, became a musical activist for triggering this state of heightened consciousness.

 

Pauline Anna Strom (photographer unknown, used with permission of Archie Patterson’s Eurock Archives)
 
Strom’s first LP has inspired a new film that also mixes the familiar unsettling and the unsettling familiar: Ether Antenna, set in Nepal. There are no human actors, only robots portraying incidents from the lives of Avalokiteśvara and Shakyamuni Buddha. A five-minute excerpt from Ether Antenna, set to music by Pauline Anna Strom, appears at the bottom of this post, and the director, Michael Candy, kindly agreed to answer a few questions by email.

It strikes me that the prayer wheel that appears at the beginning and end of Ether Antenna is a kind of robot, and that Tibetan prayer flags are automata, too. Why do we find machines in a 1,200-year-old religious tradition?

The idea of automata originates in the mythologies of many cultures around the world. It’s almost an obvious outcome of a technology-enabled civilization; as digital automation continues to penetrate our daily life, it’s easy to overlook the analogue counterparts and machines that have made modern living possible.

A few years prior to my residency, I traveled to Ladakh and spent a few weeks exploring the Indian Himalayas. One of the most striking things as a (foreign) engineer was to find ancient mechanical infrastructure still functioning and valid in society. It’s like, none of those complex folding walls, trap doors or snake pits Hollywood seems so fond of would ever function without a good amount of oil and snake food. But here, in this ancient mountain range, you can find and touch a several-hundred-year-old spinning drum embossed with text and with the flick of a finger have it praying for you; some even use water, wind or solar to complete their eternal journey clockwise.

Nowadays you can’t catch a taxi in Kathmandu without a plastic solar powered prayer wheel whirling away on the dash. For me, these are simple machines doing man’s spiritual bidding—to pray; ether machines keeping you connected to the cloud, from a time when people actually knew where the cloud was.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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11.09.2017
08:11 am
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The terrifying Japanese demon festival that probably sends kids into therapy for life
11.06.2017
09:38 am
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A little kid running away from a man dressed as Paantu, a mythological demon/god who appears in a yearly festival on the island of Miyako in September.
 
The mythology behind the ancient, annual Japanese Paantu festival tells of how a mysterious and odd-looking wooden face washed ashore on a beach located on the northern shore of island of Miyako (or Miyako-jima). The arrival of the mask was the impetus for the festival which has been held over the course of several centuries. On other islands in the Miyako chain, the festival is closed to outsiders like many other religious ceremonies held on the various islands that make up the Miyako Islands of the Okinawa Prefecture, so not much is actually known about the gathering which is held in early September. However, details about the clandestine event are not a complete mystery.

Paantu is held in part to help drive out demons and removing any trace of bad luck that is hanging around on Miyako. In preparation for the festival, a group of local men are “elected” to portray the evil devil or god Paantu. The men then cover themselves with mud, leaves, and branches and finally the ceremonial black mask of Paantu. The menacing-looking group then rambles around visiting the locals smearing mud on folks, doors to homes and even police cars in order to ward off evil spirits. The popularity (and signifigance) of the festival has drastically faded in recent years as it has become increasingly difficult to recruit people willing to cover themselves in mud and scare the shit out of little kids—which I find hard to believe because all that sounds like a pretty fun time if you ask me. I’ve posted some photos taken at various Paantu Festivals for you to scroll through below and a couple of videos of good old Paantu terrorizing kids and covering them in mud.

If you need me, I probably won’t be anywhere near Miyako. That’s for sure.
 

PAANTU!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.06.2017
09:38 am
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‘Slacking Towards Bethlehem,’ the incredible true story of the Church of the SubGenius
10.12.2017
08:35 am
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The Church of the SubGenius’ annus mirabilis, 1998, may have come and gone (or it may be yet to come, as some of the faithful believe), but it’s never been easier to hear the word of “Bob.”

OSI 74 carries on the Church’s TV ministry. Evangelical radio programs such as Hour of Slack, Puzzling Evidence, and Ask Dr. Hal no longer splutter from our computer speakers in a pitiable dribble of RealAudio 1.0, but burst forth in full stereo at 64 Kbps, a mighty firehose of Slack. The classic SubGenius recruitment movie Arise!, which used to cost 20 whole dollars, is now just as free as an ISKCON book with Ganesha on the cover. And The Book of the SubGenius is still in print.
 

 
But a documentary in the works promises to do something new for the Church, namely, to situate its founding and founders in real, actual historical time. Slacking Towards Bethlehem: J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius will tell the story of Rev. Ivan Stang and Dr. Philo Drummond meeting in mid-Seventies Texas as young weirdos. The pair “quickly forged a friendship over a shared love of comic books, Captain Beefheart and UFO paperbacks,” in the words of the movie’s press release, before starting a religion that won converts in R. Crumb, Robert Anton Wilson, DEVO, Frank Zappa and Negativland. Directing is Austin filmmaker Sandy K. Boone, whose late husband, David Boone, directed the 1980 cult film Invasion of the Aluminum People, which might be “an allegorical testimony for the Church of the SubGenius.”
 

 
Slacking Towards Bethlehem is almost in the can, Boone says, with poster art by legendary comix artist and SubGenius saint Paul Mavrides (a/k/a Palmer Vreedeez [unless you believe he’s really Dr. Hal], LIES) to come, but first they have to fund post-production. The movie’s Kickstarter—not to be confused with the also recently launched crowdfunding campaign behind SubGenius Dr. K’taden Legume’s proposed “alien-contacting beacon”—offers tempting perks. At $11, salvation can be nearly anyone’s. There are clothes, books, and rare items from the Rev. Ivan Stang archive higher up the scale. Still more generous donations secure holy relics, suitable for framing, such as pieces of toast on which “Bob” has appeared to believers in their humble kitchenettes; for just a few dollars more, they will sell you the Breakfast with “Bob” toaster used to manufacture these miraculous apparitions. For the very deep-pocketed donor, or the crazed, impulsive superfan with a high FICO score, there is an associate producer credit on offer. Would it be too much to hope for a few Holy Seven-Bladed Windbreakers?
 
Keep reading after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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10.12.2017
08:35 am
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Jesus appears on designer shower curtains as Satan, a surfer, his holiness Tom Waits & MORE!
09.20.2017
09:52 am
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The lord and savior, Tom Waits, striking a Christ-like pose on a shower curtain by artist Hilan Can. The bible held by Waits contains lyrics from the musician’s 2004 single, “Dead and Lovely”
 
Sometimes one is fortunate enough to do what they have always wanted to do for a living—and I am living proof of that. Lots of people utter the phrase “thank god” without actually giving the words a second thought beyond using it as a mere expression. By the way, I’m one of those people, and though I wasn’t raised in an non-believing home, I’m pretty convinced that some unseen, unknown deity was not responsible for the creation of this world, nor should said (probably) non-existent deity be personally thanked when you achieve a goal, win a Grammy or dodge a bullet in the game of Russian roulette that is life. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love my job—regardless if I’m writing about Iggy Pop doing coke while in rehab or in this case, fancy shower curtains with various, strange depictions of Jesus Christ emblazened on them. AMEN!

If you have been reading Dangerous Minds for a while, then you’ve been personally hipped to an obsession that I share with DM’s own Tara McGinley that concerns our preoccupation with designer shower curtains. To prove my point, I will tell you that just today I was looking for yet another new curtain for my bathroom (I need a support group, it’s true). Then I came across a curtain featuring Slim Jim spokesperson/one of the greatest WWE wrestlers of all time, Randy “Macho Man” Savage flying through the air about to land a perfect “big elbow” to the back of Jesus’ head. I do remember that particular image was a huge Internet meme following Savage’s passing in 2011 in a tragic car crash. Even in death, Macho wasn’t having any of it, not even when he arrived at Jesus’ nifty cloud house. Anyway, the discovery of that epic shower curtain led me to immediately pursue the availability of other alarming bathroom necessities that incorporated images of the Son o’ God in ways that most of us have never considered. All I can say is this—there is a blacklight shower curtain in this post of Jesus with a third eye and blood dripping from his other eyes. That’s all. No big deal. Some of the images below are NSFW.
 

Jesus as an astronaut, a more believable scenario than other stuff I’ve heard. Get it here.
 

The mythical Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Jesus shower curtain. Get it here.
 

The equally mythical blacklight Jesus shower curtain. Bong and VHS copy of ‘The Song Remains the Same’ not included.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.20.2017
09:52 am
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The occult art of Austin Osman Spare
09.15.2017
09:59 am
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Austin Osman Spare was an outsider artist, an occultist, a writer, a philosopher of sorts, and a clarinet player. His career as an artist burst like a firework against a full dark night—a quick, bright, early success fading to a slow and unworthy decline into poverty, dirt, and virtual obscurity. The myths about Spare and his involvement with the occult often take precedence over his talents as an artist. This is a pity, as Spare was a tremendously complex artist who deserves far greater recognition than being tagged merely as someone who is collected by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

Spare was born into a working class family in London on December 30th, 1886. His father was a policeman, his mother the daughter of a Royal Marine. This was a no-nonsense, square-headed family who lived in a tenement in Smithfield—the city’s meat market district. Every day on his way to school, Spare had to wander through the busy market with its hanging flesh and blood splattered cobblestones. As an animal lover, he hated this brutal bloody carnage.

As a child, Spare showed a prodigious talent for drawing, which eventually led to his exhibiting work at the Royal Academy in his teens. There’s a story that his father, who was a stickler for correct English grammar, saw a news vendor selling papers with the headline “Local Boy Hung.” His father being an utter jobs-worth made his way across to the vendor to correct the word “hung” to “hanged.” It was only when he read the story did he realize this was not about some ghastly execution of a murderous youth but a report on his very own son having work exhibited at the RA.

His technique for line drawings saw Spare hailed as the new Aubrey Beardsley—who was then the fashionable Decadent artist of polite London society. This should have been a caveat. Fashionable artists tend to bloom and fall with the season. Spare’s startling early success—where it seemed nearly every art critic hailed him as the next big thing—soon vanished. It must have been galling and utterly confusing for him. In some respects, it could be argued that his background and his class went against him in the London art world. Add to this Spare’s growing interest in the occult, which saw George Bernard Shaw dismiss his work as “strong medicine” that was not to everyone’s taste.

His interest in the occult started with his early reading of Madame Blavatsky before moving onto Agrippa and then becoming friends with Aleister Crowley. Whatever happened between these two men to sour their relationship isn’t fully known other than Crowley described Spare as a “Black Brother”—an occultist who had failed to submit his ego for the advancement of learning—or in plain English, to submit himself to the will of the “Great Beast” or one Mr. A. Crowley.

A dabbling in the occult is always good copy when explaining why things turned out the way they did. Though Spare did devise his own magical rituals (which heavily influenced modern Chaos Magic) and beliefs involving Zos (“the body considered as a whole”) and its complementary force Kia—which were “symbolised anthropomorphically by the hand and the eye”—it is fair to say, he was ultimately probably a bit of a confabulist about his magical powers. He was later aided and abetted in this myth-making by fellow occultist and writer Kenneth Grant, who believed he had found his own personal magus in Spare. Unfortunately, Grant made up so much of Spare’s alleged magical powers that it is unclear as to what Spare actually did believe and what he actually practiced. For example, it was claimed Spare was inducted into the occult by an octogenarian witch who seduced him when he was a boy. Great story, but most likely false. Similarly, Grant wrote eloquently about Spare’s use of magical sigils where “any wish may be given symbolic form,” which was to a large extent true but never seemed to deliver the “particular desire in question.” Spare’s use of magic never extricated him from anything but seemed to keep him in the direst poverty, obscurity, and near starvation. A life of painting in a tiny darkened basement, where he collected stray cats and drawing portraits in pubs for beer and sandwiches. After Spare’s death in 1956, Grant claimed this kind of “intense disappointment” was the way by which Spare attained greater enlightenment. But of course!

Spare was a unique and consummate artist. He was a visionary in the tradition of William Blake or even to an extent Stanley Spencer. And while his belief in magic and the occult has relevance to his artwork it shouldn’t become the determining factor when appreciating Austin Osman Spare’s art which has an impressive range of styles and techniques, which has led some to describe him as “the first Surrealist” and even (surprisingly) the first Pop Artist.

But in truth, he wasn’t any of those things. He was just Austin Osman Spare, artist.
 
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See more of AOS’s work after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.15.2017
09:59 am
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