Category Archives: Literature and Writing

End of Days –

According to a relatively well-known Christian preacher and religious group May 21, 2011 is the end, or the beginning of the end, of the world.

Nothing drastic happened. And it’s 11:27 p.m.

But there are hints amid the storm of current events that “the news” cycles through and then drops.  Then there are the minutiae (see next post) that we don’t know about or aren’t told about…

Today the Israeli Prime Minister (again, I don’t know details)  predictably rejected U.S. diplomatic – and the U.S. President’s – demands that Netanyahu halt West Bank settlement construction. The State Department Special Envoy to the Middle East (a key post since the Clinton days), George Mitchell, resigned about a week ago. We can guess the reasons. Mr. Netanyahu was heard on television today categorically rejecting the latest U.S. offer. They stopped negotiating with the Palestinians per se when Yasser Arafat died,  barricaded by the Israelis under a sort of house arrest in his “compound.” And so since a Palestinian state does not officially exist, Israel does not officially negotiate with them. The U.S. is the only entity Israel will talk to, as they feel the rest of the world and particularly the U.N., are against them. It’s a diplomatic game, but a very important one, symbolically and otherwise, and “concessions” are what U.S. diplomacy perennially seeks and usually does not get. As for Israel, the last Prime Minister to engage seriously in “peace talks” and make significant concessions was assassinated…otherwise the two peoples have been in a state of either hot or cold war since the country of Israel’s U.N. recognition in 1949 (after a war in which, against incredible odds, Israel was victorious)…

Two points – we in the West (if I read “us” right, and I don’t claim to) see the End of Days as, one, “near”, and two, as deriving from the Holy Land – Palestine – the land of the founding of the Christian faith and the land of the Bible. A tiny but historically steeped piece of real estate.

D.H. Lawrence’s Apocalypse1, is a unique book and somewhat of a memoir. This was Lawrence’s last book – he was purportedly “a dying man” according to the 1966 Viking Edition Introduction by Richard Aldington. The long essay offers a glimpse into how Lawrence feels the biblical Book of Revelation influences the Western lore of an “End Times.” Lawrence argues that it derives from a Jewish mindset, reaching far into history.

Lawrence desires to clear up the first misconception with the opening sentence:

“Apocalypse means simply Revelation…”, though he grants that it’s a bit more complicated than that. His overall point is that the religion of his childhood is a huge part of his being, and the book is an effort, in his dying days, to come to terms with that:

“[T]he Bible, in portions, (was) poured into the childish consciousness day in, day out, year in, year out, whether the consciousness could assimilate it or not…” (p. 4).

Lawrence was a scholar of the ancient Greeks; his specialty the Etruscans of 700 to 300 B.C., and he believed they lived life as close to the best it could be (and that this is reflected in their architecture, mythology, prose, etc.). My view is that Lawrence, like many, believed that the early Church was pure and good, but became corrupted. Hence the opening sentence – “[a]pocalypse means simply Revelation” – a contradiction in the Christian mind, but one we readily accept.

Four quotes, all from Chapter Two, summarize Lawrence’s view of what happened in those halcyon yet brutal days:

In Jesus’s day, the inwardly strong men everywhere had lost their desire to rule one earth. They wished to withdraw their strength from earthly rule and earthly power, and to apply it to another form of life. Then the weak began to rouse up and to feel inordinately conceited, they began to express their rampant hate of the “obvious” strong ones, the men in worldly power.

  – (p. 17)

To the underground early Christians, Babylon the Great meant Rome, the great city and the great empire which persecuted them. And great was the satisfaction in denouncing her and bringing her to utter, utter, woe and destruction, with all her kings, her wealth, and lordliness. After the Reformation, Babylon was once more identified with Rome, but this time it meant the Pope…

  – (p. 11)

…[they] took over to themselves the Jewish idea of the chosen people. They were “it,” the elect, or the “saved.” And they took over the Jewish idea of ultimate triumph and reign of the chosen people. From being bottom dogs they were going to be top dogs…

– (p. 13)

So that religion, the Christian religion especially, became dual. The religion of the strong taught renunciation and love. And the religion of the weak taught Down with the strong and powerful, and let the poor be glorified. Since there are always more weak people, than strong, in the world, the second sort of Christianity has triumphed and will triumph. If the weak are not ruled, they will rule, and there’s the end of it.

   – (p. 18)

And finally, an old man in his final days, “…when people are mere personifications of qualities they cease to be people for me.” (p. 8)

Valid sentiment.

What of the end of days, or Apocalypse? If you consider it, it isn’t really possible to judge an era until it’s over. But overpopulation, environmental destruction on a monolithic scale, economic and social decline – I favor the disgusting but very analogy of the frog sitting in slowly boiling water. . . and so to apply it to the United States itself, I also like the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure scenario:

a “founding father” – let’s say Thomas Jefferson or John Adams, or one cut from that sort of cloth – transported to the present day, maybe their old stomping ground – Philadelphia, or Boston. Would Jefferson or Adams believe he were living in, say, the normal trajectory (aawwww within bounds, say) of a nation, 300 years hence? Or would he believe, upon walking the streets and examining the situation in its totality, that  he was living in the end times?

1 (Lawrence, D.H. Apocalypse. The Estate of David Herbert Lawrence, 1931. Viking Compass Edition, New York: 1966.)

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Book Review:


Human Race Get Off Your Knees by David Icke

Human Race Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More

By David Icke. Copyright © 2010 David Icke Books Ltd.



Short version of this book review published @ http://www.seattlemetaphysicallibrary.org/book_reviews.html.

© 2011 David Wilhelm / Seattle Metaphysical Library.


You’re a bookstore clerk pondering in which section to place this book. The title, Human Race Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More, gives few clues. Lions? Get Off Your Knees? Sounds like a scene off a bad movie script. You flip to the middle – Neil Hague’s vivid, Salvador Dali-meets-Adobe Illustrator glossy-paged graphics – “Science-Fiction”? You read the back-cover: “astounding secrets and suppressed information,” and “global Orwellian state.“ “Politics” section! But Under the author’s photo you see not a bio but a review by Project Camelot. Kerry Cassidy and Bill Ryan in the Arizona desert…“New Age” section! But yours is a modern bookstore and they got rid of that bookshelf back in the early ‘90s. You do a quick skim and Bingo! You’ll shove it in the “Conspiracy” section. “Conspiracy”, a growing genre of literature, fits the bill for this, David Icke’s 14th and latest book (published 2010).

The Author

Some background is important here: David Icke is a British writer and lecturer in the field of “alternative” research. He has published at least 14 books and a slew of DVDs. Icke has recorded countless lectures to audiences large and small; from Brixton Academy, London; to Slovenia; to UFO Conferences in L.A. He spoke at Benaroya Hall in Seattle in 2009.

Born on the Isle of Wight off England, Mr. Icke is a nationally known figure in the U.K.: he played football professionally in the ‘80s, was a popular BBC presenter for a time on their most-watched sports show; and he was the UK Green Party National Spokesman. Currently, Icke is particularly well known in the UFO-research community for his Conspiracy research and on the “interdimensional entity” (alien) phenomenon (Children of the Matrix, © 2003).

His lectures typically focus on spiritual self-help coupled with very hard-hitting critiques of politics, culture, globalization, the media, academia; and 9/11 and the Middle-East conflicts. His renown in America grew with the 2002 publication of Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster: Why the official story of 9/11 is a Monumental Lie (© 2002).

Human Race: An Intro

Human Race Get Off Your Knees reads like a compendium of Icke’s earlier material. The subject matter is esoteric and metaphysical, but its style is conversational and unpretentious – though equally verbose and often repetitious. At 645 pages, topics range from political and economic conspiracy theories to physics to space and extraterrestrials (ETs), to the nature of reality. An ambitious scope, but David Icke is an ambitious man. One gets the feeling that if Icke hadn’t a deadline he’d have turned Human Race into an encyclopedia! Indeed, finding a topic on which he doesn’t have an opinion becomes difficult as the reader journeys down “through the Rabbit Hole”, to borrow a trademark phrase from his lectures.

Importantly, Icke shows his characteristic sardonic, tongue-in-cheek humour. He knows the subject-matter is far-out and could not retain an audience for long if he did not.

A note of caution: with this kind of writing – the polemic – in the end we as the reader retain the final choice as to whether we are reading science-fiction or “alternative research.” You will see what I mean as we investigate the subject matter.

In Section I of the book, we read historical speculation: “Before the [earth] cataclysms, there was a global society based on a common religion and knowledge.”

We read facts: “Goldman Sachs paid [Larry] Summers $135,000 for a single day’s ‘appearance’ in 2008.”

PROBLEM – REACTION – SOLUTION

Chapters four through 9 deal with the “global conspiracy.” We read about the history of the so-called Illuminati and the Rothschilds and Rockefellers (Chapters 4 – 7). [See also The David Icke Guide to the Global Conspiracy and how to end it.]

We follow the trail of “the expansion of the Sumerian, Babylonian, and Egyptian (Illuminati) bloodlines into Europe…(p. 57).

Icke’s views on the machinations of world power conjure Orwell, though Icke ventures further, delving into history and science alike for fresh answers and pieces the puzzle. His view on how the power structures control populations and perpetuate their power rests on his theory “Problem – Reaction – Solution” – a solid framework for explaining world events. This, he believes, was the key to 9/11, and why globalization of commerce and surveillance spreads unchecked.

The “Illuminati”, or “bloodline families” as he terms it, makes for intriguing reading.

Mr. Icke begins with a historical synopsis of the Sumer/Babylon origins of the Illuminati, pointing to the historical region of Khazar as the destination of some of the “Sumerian” “bloodline families,” namely the Rothschilds, who eventually went north and west to Europe. These chapters deal with what Icke terms “Rothschild Zionism” (from the infamous European Rothschild family). For Mr. Icke, the Rothschilds (“Redshield” in German) are a major key to the puzzle of the current global power game: they control the purse strings: “You simply cannot understand the global conspiracy without knowing [their] background…“We are led to believe that the Rothschilds are a family of biblical Jews and therefore originate in Old Testament Egypt and Israel [p. 79].”

But –

Sumerian and Babylonian peoples migrated north into an area near the Caucasus” as well as east, eventually forming the kingdom of Khazaria…AD 740, the King…adopted the religion of Judaism and the whole nation [did likewise].” [T]hese converts to Judaism moved north to become the East European Jewish communities…Among them were the Rothschilds [p. 79].

Science-Fiction?

We read about “The Moon Matrix,” how our brains are decoding false “vibrational information” transmitted from the moon (what Icke calls “The Moon Matrix,” Chapter 19/p. 405) – information “hacked” from its “mother” source, the Sun.

Icke uses our modern wireless Internet as a metaphor for how our brains decode energetic information into physical reality. This “virtual” reality is the premise behind Icke’s fantastical, science-fiction inspired ideas: the “holographic Universe”; the “body-computer”; “The Cosmic Internet”; The “Moon-Matrix,” etc.

Human Race Get Off Your Knees is exciting fodder for UFO-enthusiast and government conspiracy theorist alike:

The Reptilians and the Greys began the process of manipulating the human-energy field, or body, to control humanity’s sense of reality, and humans experienced an ever-degenerating state of awareness (p. 228)

Icke concludes that “Humans are sustenance to the Reptilians – we are their food source” (p. 287) and control us via “hacked” information transmitted from the moon (“the Moon Matrix”). As “interdimensional entities”, these “Reptilians” are the dark culprit – a constantly recurring theme and key premise to the book (see also Knight, Christopher, and Butler, Alan: Who Built The Moon?. Watkins 2007). The Reptilian theme, interwoven with many othe sub-topics throughout, takes the cake as main idea of Human Race Get Off Your Knees.

Mr. Hague’s trippy, 32-page color graphic interlude comes as a useful visual aid to the writing, and divides the book into roughly two sections: the latter section deals with

1) The “Controllers’ “Game Plan” against humanity, and
2) How best humanity can thwart it.

Author’s Approach/Reader’s Approach

Problem is, many will agree wholeheartedly with 90% of Icke’s ideas (particularly the sections on corporations, “the control structure”, and Icke’s theory of “Problem-Reaction-Solution”…) – until he gets to the “Reptilian” issue. This is problematic because Icke rests so much else on that premise. This is the number one sticking point for the book.

The alternate approach here is, again, to read on and take what you will and leave the rest.

The book is organized somewhat haphazardly, though much of this is new material, yet to be worked out even by scientists or full-time specialists, so we can forgive Mr. Icke for jumping around a bit. In our Internet-age, Human Race in many ways mimics the web-format/blogosphere style – but a book is a book. Another criticism would be Icke’s use of sources – unlike his previous works, this time the author eschews end-of-chapter references, using only a bibliography (65 citations total). Easily twice as many sources are found in-text, but they are not formally cited.

David Icke is stubborn and stands his ground. The sense is that he does not want to be wrong. He seeks to cover all bases. In his defense, Icke presents so much material that doing so, along with perfect CMOS citations – on a deadline – would be near to impossible for any author. The obvious sticking point with Human Race is that the flow of the book is such that if you don’t accept one premise, the author leaves fewer and fewer outlets for agreeing to the overall thread.

In summary, the scope may be too grand for one book. But, to his credit, Mr. Icke forges on with fortitude: I know Icke would agree with what Socrates said, “Follow the evidence, wehrever it leads.”

Fortunately, we also get Icke’s trademark “New Age”-esque optimism (Section II: “The Lion Foils the Game Plan”): “Unmanifest ‘Oneness’ is where we find love in its true sense and so Infinite Love is the only truth, everything else is illusion” (p. 389).

Thus, it is possible to read the book without agreeing with everything Mr. Icke says. That being said, Human Race Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More must be read with a very open mind.

– David Wilhelm
January 2011

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“A Prophecy”

 

 

 


Anyone read The Road by Cormac McCarthy? Did he glean any inspiration from this, William Blake’s 1793 poem about the American Revolution?


 

The strong voice ceas’d; for a terrible blast swept over the heaving sea:
The eastern cloud rent: on his cliffs stood Albion’s wrathful Prince,
A dragon form, clashing his scales: at midnight he arose,
And flam’d red meteors round the land of Albion beneath;
His voice, his locks, his awful shoulders, and his glowing eyes
Appear to the Americans upon the cloudy night.

Solemn heave the Atlantic waves between the gloomy nations,
Swelling, belching from its deeps red clouds and raging fires.
Albion is sick! America faints! Enrag’d the Zenith grew.
As human blood shooting its veins all round the orbèd heaven,
Red rose the clouds from the Atlantic in vast wheels of blood,
And in the red clouds rose a Wonder o’er the Atlantic sea —
Intense! naked! a Human fire, fierce glowing, as the wedge
Of iron heated in the furnace; his terrible limbs were fire,
With myriads of cloudy terrors, banners dark, and towers
Surrounded: heat but not light went thro’ the murky atmosphere.

– William Blake (excerpt from “America: A Prophecy”)

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Do you ever wonder what our nation’s founding fathers, as they’re warmly called, would think of of the current state of their country?

“Rolling over in their graves” is the common summation we hear on what our ancestors would think about the present-day. But this might be an understatement…

If you’ve come across this blog post, you may be familiar with the monthly Harper’s magazine (my personal favorite of all U.S. rags) and its infamous one-page Harper’s Index. There you will find a page full of flabbergasting, yet understated statistics on U.S. culture, economy, and politics – a string, connected down the page by whimsical yet sharply serious themes.

Harper’s Index for January 2010 has the usual mix of simultaneously asinine and disturbing figures reminiscent of the satirical newspaper The Onion:

The 10th statistic in January’s Index reads, “Amount that a Florida attorney spent in 2008 on the cake for Governor Charlie Crist’s birthday party: $52,000.

Then a stat on the number of fundraisers President Obama has attended since taking office [“(26)”].

The 14th on the page reads, “Date on which a Goldman Sachs vice president of ‘business intelligence’ became the head of enforcement at the SEC: 10/13/09”

And so, what would the likes of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, or George Washington think if they rode a time warp and caught a glimpse of the Harper’s Index? They might think they were reading about a society of aliens from another galaxy?

Wait, here’s one more from the January Index, close to the bottom of the page:
“Date on which the fifty-millionth man-made chemical was registered: 9/7/09”

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The moral principle to adopt is: “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.” It is a task that requires the most precise, the most exacting, the most ruthlessly objective and rational process of thought. When one pronounces moral judgment, whether in praise or in blame, one must he prepared to answer “Why?” and to prove one’s case – to oneself and to any rational inquirer.

Observe how many people evade, rationalize and drive their minds into a state of blind stupor, in dread of discovering that those they deal with – their “loved ones” or friends or business associates or political ruler – are not merely mistaken, but evil. If people did not indulge in such abject evasions all the claim that some contemptible liar “means well” – that a mooching bum “can’t help it” – that a juvenile delinquent “needs love” – that a power-seeking politician is moved by patriotic concern for “the public good” – that communists are merely “agrarian reformers” – the history of the past few decades, or centuries, would have been different.
Ask yourself why totalitarian dictatorships find it necessary to pour money and effort into propaganda for their own helpless, chained, gagged slaves, who have no means of protest or defense. The answer is that even the humblest peasant or the lowest savage would rise in blind rebellion, were he to realize that he is being immolated, not to some incomprehensible “noble purpose,” but to plain, naked human evil.
Observe also that moral neutrality necessitates a progressive sympathy for vice and a progressive antagonism to virtue. It is then that such formulas as “Nobody is ever fully right or fully wrong” and “Who am I to judge?” take their lethal effect.

Ayn Rand

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“In the Absence of Predators

by Vinnie Wilhelm. Published last spring in the Harvard Review (Issue 34).

 


 

The Philadelphia-based fiction writer and screenplayist Vinnie
Wilhelm’s take on identity and context in writing:

Vinnie and David Wilhelm at Bowling Alley in Ballard, WA

Vinnie Wilhelm (front), David Wilhelm (left) at a bowling alley in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA.

 

“But questions of identity are ultimately ancillary to the work: they go away in the end and the work has to succeed or fail on its own terms.”

 

– V. Wilhelm 

 

 


 

 

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Vinnie Wilhelm; K. Vonnegut on Writing

Writer Vinnie Wilhelm wrote the following in a correspondence with me in Sept. 2008:

Vinnie and David Wilhelm at Bowling Alley in Ballard, WA

Vinnie and David Wilhelm at Bowling Alley in Ballard, WA

“But questions of identity are ultimately ancillary to the work: they go away in the end, and the work has to succeed or fail on its own terms.”

– Vinnie Wilhelm

 


 

 

On writing better–Kurt Vonnegut

This is an excerpt from his book of essays Palm Sunday. I think it pertained to science writing, but you can apply it generally.

 

1. Find a subject you care about. It’s hard to bring yourself to write if you don’t believe in what you’re writing. We procrastinate for any number of reasons (and perfectionism is one of them). But if you deeply suspect that a thesis chapter isn’t yet ready for prime time, get a reality check. Present it as a 10 minute talk to your lab group.

2. Do not ramble, though. Outline your argument. Boil it down to the essential points. Then use the outline to construct your topic and summary sentences for each paragraph. It ain’t necessary to point out every possible exception to every generalization.

3. Keep it simple. I was once told that the perfect paper in ecology was 10 pages long and had one good idea that was bolstered by a variety of evidence. Such a paper maximizes the possibility that it will be read and remembered.

4. Have guts to cut. Nearly everybody loves the sound of their own voice. Go through your first draft and ask, of every sentence, “Is this really necessary?”. This particularly applies to your Discussion. It is not a repository for every thought you have had on the topic. Relate your data to your hypotheses and to the current thinking in the field, honestly confront your limitations in a caveat paragraph, and propose one or two next steps.

5. Sound like yourself. Science writing is not supposed to be boring or flowery. Write as if you are explaining your study to a colleague.

6. Say what you mean. It is often easy to get lost in the thicket of sentences and paragraphs. Before you sit down for the day’s writing, spend a minute explaining to an imaginary officemate why this paper is worth writing, and what the data mean. Then make sure every sentence advances that message.

7. Pity the readers. The literature is huge and expanding. Clear, concise writing is needed now more than ever. Whenever you are tempted to leave one murky paragraph, imagine a reader some time in the future (or better yet, a reviewer or editor) wincing and shaking her head. Then buckle down and write what you mean.

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