Lava Cocktail Review Winter Solstice Edition 2010
'A Toast to Your Psychic Health!'
In this Issue:
Coal Burning Virtual Reality
Art from the Overworld
An Offer the Vikings Cannot Refuse
Peter Russell Letter
Thanks for tuning in to the latest installment of the Lava Cocktail Review. It has been rather a rough time here at the Lava Cocktail Lounge, but I seem to be surviving the spiritual tests doled out to me non-stop and they have afforded much needed insights into everything from the sorry state of humanity to the workings of evil forces above, below and 24/7 all around. Most humans are simply not equipped to deal with the onslaught of evil in our world and opt for passive acceptance of it, unconsciously acclimating to these forces via whatever distraction or numbing means is available-whether its T.V. or onanizing to the latest conspiracy.
Since the Autumn equinox, I've embarked on an intensive purge which began with gathering up and getting rid of all the conspiracy, mind control, UFO, and 'alternative' spirituality books that have accumulated in my library over the last 10 years. It has been a pleasantly cathartic experience and I must confess I feel quite a bit lighter, more joyous and expansive than ever before. It has also helped me get in really great physical shape as I have had to haul dozens and dozens of boxes up a flight of stairs and into the garage. At first, burning the dreck in a huge bon-fire wearing a Nazi uniform was the only option-destined for You Tube. A fantasy was also harbored of various conspiracy writers all holding hands, infinite love pouring out of their eyes in mutual respect of each other, as they danced around the flames with ecstatic abandon. With this unlikely vision squelched, I distributed the collection. for real, to various used book stores in Minneapolis. The meager proceeds garnered were then used to buy bird food for some grateful critters in the backyard such as Red, Black and Grey Squirrels, Yellow Shafted Flickers, reclusive Cardinals and of course the Blue Jays at large whose gulosity knows no bounds. It was all akin to a Tibetan air burial where the corpses are ground up for the vultures to eat. Most beneficial however has been the liberation of my soul from the labyrinthine prison of conspiracy and other forms of mediated weirdness, now and forever.
In the peaceful aftermath of the purge, I still hold on to my view that the only real conspiracy is ourselves and how what we say and do effects other people. Love and forgiveness are all that are really left as there's nothing, absolutely nothing left to get intrigued by or wrapped up in anymore. Ever since my podcast on love and forgiveness ( http://blog.lavacocktail.com/2010/03/13/love-and-forgiveness-are-out-of-style.aspx ) was posted-traffic to my blog has decreased considerably as people are obviously looking for ways to remain in fear, so they can justify their shut down, apathetic state, while looking for ways to absolve themselves of all responsibility to the planet. Regular readers of the Lava Cocktail Review are perhaps tired of this hobby horse I often get on, but conspiracy has become nothing but a Fun House commodity that the likes of Alex Jones and others daily hawk. The perps of the JFK Et. Al. assassinations will never be brought to justice, chem-trails will continue to be sprayed and Lady Gaga will shove the Illuminati into deep recesses of our soul-all in pop 4/4 until the end of time no matter how successfully we figure it all out.
Honestly, I derive much more satisfaction doing things such as consoling an accordion player at the nursing home-which occurred recently while visiting my folks there. He had lost his wife the year before and started crying. Holding his hand and looking into his swollen eyes, I asked him to share the good memories of his lifelong companion with me. He brightened up quite a bit and shared stories of them playing Polka tunes at various taverns across West Central Mn. and North Dakota. And to think, I could have used my time more wisely, trying to figure out the Bilderbergers's next geo-political move. A few days ago, I found myself doing some intercessory praying for the well being of a single mother whose wayward video game app kept turning her cell phone on and off with an ominous, gargled roar-over and over again-while her toddler ran off to the kitchen of the restaurant we were in, taking advantage of the tragic distraction to slip away. Instead of praying for her and her child's welfare, I perhaps should have spent the time trying to predict when the Bohemian Grovers will initiate a New World Order takeover and ruffle my feathers on Coast to Coast about it instead.
During the above mentioned purge, I've also donated thousands of dollars worth of CDs, DVDs, books, art supplies,clothes, furniture, computers, musical instruments etc. to the local Salvation Army as a way to walk my compassion/generosity talk-esp. considering donations are way down this year as people clamp up in response to the bleak economic forecasts they're daily fed-the so called 'adversity' we are facing. As I do this, what comes to mind are the people in third world countries who have nothing to lose and are the kindest, warmest, most open souls I've ever met. With all the talk of the U.S. turning into a third world country, let's hope the same happens here-but it will only occur if we pull the fear plugs out of our butts.
Sorry folks, I cannot stoop to fear mongering like Alex Jones or hate mongering like John Kaminski, all in hopes that you go out and buy guns and gold and freeze dried food to fortify yourself for a Martial Law Armageddon that will never happen because it will put too big a dent in retail sales-even if it lasted for only one day. Focus on your hearts and ask yourself what you can do for someone less fortunate than yourselves instead of waiting to see politicians shapeshift into Boa Constrictors or UFOs from the Pleiades clean up the earth's atmosphere by 2015 as they have apparently promised. It is the only way to put conspiracy hucksters out of business-something that needs to be done pronto IMO. You can start by getting rid of your conspiracy books and feeding the birds instead.
p.s. Jason Bodel? I'm no longer using my pseudonym Jaye Beldo but rather my real name that I've managed to keep concealed all these years. It's all a part of my openness and transparency policy.
Coal Burning Virtual Reality
(editor's note-a rather uppity missive I sent to Mondo 2000 who actually published it. It was also quoted in Mark Dery's book, "Escape Velocity" How ironic that virtual reality, the internet/cyberspace first hyped by the 'zine is still sustained by our archaic coal and nuclear based energy grid.)
I'm writing in regards to the 'direction' your magazine is taking. Every time I open up a new issue of Mondo 2000 I feel like I've missed the cybernetic boat. I'm ultimately thankful that I am not aboard your boat for it is floating in a Virtual Void, completely unmoored, with no substantial roots of any kind. Your flippant elitism, as evidenced by page after page of nebulous, smart drug induced prose attempts to mask your basic ontological ignorance of human evolution. The smart drugs you editors have taken have made you only into smart asses. Every page of your rag smacks of a callow betrayal of aesthetic, literary and philosophical integrity, in short, a pop trashing of the frontiers of consciousness. You surf these frontiers like like babitts tossing beer cans and rudely clicking off instamatic portraits. It is tragic that your magazine is supposed to represent the new consciousness of the coming bi-millenium. You do not take your task very seriously (R.U. Sirius? Yes I am!). After reading Mondo 2000, I feel that something is being taken away from me, rather than me gaining something. You really have no intention of enlightening your readers but rather distancing us by your arcane use of terms, ideas you yourself are unsure about. There doesn't seem to be any virtue in your virtual reality. Why don't you start addressing some of the more crucial socio-economic and environmental issues at hand?
Art from the Overworld
(editor's note: Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote years ago that included two other artists. One, a self promotional virago, deleted what I wrote about Frank Bigbear Jr. and the other artist-then formatted the piece to make it look like I had written it only about her and was distributing it to galleries on the east and west coast. So, I've taken it upon myself to delete what I wrote about her below. She was one of the main inspirations for my novel A Stab in the Light.)
In the work of Native American artist Frank Bigbear, Jr. exhibited recently at Intermedia Arts in downtown Minneapolis, part of the: "Endangered: Art and Performance by Men of Color" installation, the other side of the coin of so-called spiritual art is painfully depicted in terms of the secular conditions of many whose spiritual heritage lays in the ruin of oppression by those in power.
Within the sickly psychedelic panorama of Bigbear's work, born of what seems to be visions induced by inhaling metal flake spray paint, drinking kerosene or lighter fluid, the ghastly, great white, twentieth century foreclosure on American Indiana's spiritual heritage is agonizingly depicted. An ironic, cubist betrayal (an image of Picasso is the only image left undistorted) housing the work has fragmented and drained the archetypes of Indian mythologies, narrowing our perspectives, not liberating them in multi-dimensional resonance. Not only is Indian mythological heritage fragmented and nullified, but also heritages of other oppressed peoples throughout the third world who are the current victims of eradication by whites in power. In one of the panels, a starving African child with a swollen belly plopped miserably in a bowl meant for food is framed by a motto inscribed on the bowl's rim: Life is short, Death is Long. In the upper panel of the tryptich work "Chemical Man in a Toxic World", even the spirit guides cannot escape dismemberment by the cubist razor blades of "DWEMS" (Dead White European Men) and their appropriated (stolen) primitive inclusiveness. Mutilated mandalas bleed their bile nectar in garish acidic colors into the geomtric frames which try to house them in an obscenely sublimated perspective. In the uppermost portion of the work, a partially shrunken head, its rubbery scalp impaled in the manner of the Lakota Sun Dance participants, sheds its toxic head blood to the white man's colorless sun, in a sacrifice unappealed.
Appalled at myself, angry at the initial disregard of Frank Bigbear Jr. and his people's suffering when I first surveyed the work, I thought of all the times I passed through the neighborhoods on Franklin Avenue in my comfortable car, shrugging my shoulders as I drove by, unconcerned with what was really going on inside the minds and hearts of the drunk Indians I saw, callowly writing them off as casualties of the modern world. I had no recourse as to what to do about it and still do not. As a 'priveledged' white I was forced to look at the indifference deliberately installed in me by my culture. I realized how much I have to fight to cast out a genocidal attitude which penetrates me like neutrinos out of a t.v. set while I sleep invading the possible sanctity of my dreams of a liberated future for all. The work made me aware of my own spiritual arrogance, an arrogance I thought I was too sensitive to carry as a person struggling to shed the biases of my own heritage as a white. The illusions that I foster, that somehow my soul is a favored one and that a reserved escape route will be available when things get really bad all lay shattered like the images in the work. I left the gallery feeling helpless, panicking, ashamed, sick to my stomach and head. I managed to gather my energies and attended a psychic fair at St. Anthony Main. Walking past the tarot readers, crystal vendors, palm readers all charting the futures of the shopping mall dwellers, I thought I heard someone screaming from within Frank Bigbear's work back at the gallery.
In a positive way, the work in its conveyance of suffering, helped me gain insight into my own crises of feeling helpless. The work invites me to reach in through the cubistic window frames and pluck out, the starving baby and nourish it instead of standing catatonic, unable to act. The invitation encourages me to pick out a radioactive flower and hold it to my heart. My hands and wrists may be slashed by the fragments of the shattered world within, but, somehow I am invited into the work to help those trapped within, since much of what they are trapped in, I am, in a way responsible for. Indeed, the work is more a reflection of my attitudes and prejudices than it is of the current spiritual condition of American Indians. I am elated, yet horrified that I too will have to some day pass through the hallucinatory detriment that the work consists of, pass through my own psychological ruin on route to an individuation actualized within the world and not beyond it. Frank Bigbear Jr.'s work has inspired me to strive for a hope within but not until we confront the horrors of our own misgivings about a spirituality some of us have stolen and claim it as our own.
@ Chicago Ave. and Franklin in Minneapolis. There's a future in colportage!
An Offer the Minnesota Vikings Cannot Refuse:
After one of the most dismal seasons the Minnesota Vikings have ever had, it is obvious that Curse of the Lutefisk http://blog.lavacocktail.com/2009/12/31/curse-of-the-lutefisk.aspx is a strong as when it was first wished upon the team by Sven Larsen so many years ago. From Favre's Sexting scandal to Brad Childress's axing in November to the recent collapse of the roof of the Metrodome, it is obvious that something supernatural is very awry.
Having much experience in breaking curses, I, Jason Bodel hereby offer my services to the ailing franchise and suggest that team pays me $1.5 million to end, once and for all, the Lutefisk plight. The price is a mere pittance-not much more than one day's earnings for Brett Favre If the Vikings ignore my offer, it is guaranteed that the curse and its stench will follow them wherever they go. The Curse of the Lutefisk will prevail until the end of time!
(editor's note: I received this letter from Peter Russell, an ostracized poet who lived in a windmill in Italy and once hobnobbed with Ezra Pound-a very un-PC thing to do. I had sent him a few of my articles on the plight of PC in the U.S. wrongly assuming it hadn't reached Europe yet. Peter passed away in Jan. of 2003 and his hand written letter is one of the few sent to me that I have bothered to save all these years.)
12 Jan '96
Dear Jaye Beldo,
Your letter brought me great comfort at a very difficult time. At close on 75 years old and after two major surgical operations in the past three months, I am (against medical orders) on the point of leaving for London for a lecture tour, since my financial position is so "desperate", as they say. The official literary authorities will have nothing to do with me (I am completely non party-political) but private groups and individuals favor my work. I have published 25 long prose articles and 500 or more poems in the past two years. Total income $500. One can't live on $250 a year. Everyone talks and writes poetry, no one buys it. I support my 17-year-old son, a widely published poet too.
Here with, I send you a foretaste of my work. I would like to write you a long letter but I am so behind writing my lectures for London that I must be brief.
Creative writing has become big business for organizers-teachers who have never written a column, educational psychologists and sociologists, publishers about how to "get on" in the world. (Poets and writers, associated writing programs), the NEA (Antichrist's henchmen and minions) and the journalists who look for news and want only novelties. Po Biz nous.
In England, the Arts Council say "The new poetry is the new Rock and Roll" "Mythology is dead, the real poetry is on the street corner." Well, let them!
Your best mentor would be the New York monthly, New Criterion who savaged the Minneapolis Gay gladiators in their May or June issue 1994. And the new Norton anthology of recent U.S. poetry, recently reviewed by John Haynes. There is no literary criticism today because it isn't PC to call anything good or no good.
"Urine and faeces" (!): see how it CAN be done. The grunge think I'm an old fogey living in the past. I'm far more "contemporary" than them. But like Mandelshtam "I have never been anyone's contemporary." The grunges exemplify non-entity. Read Plato's Parmenides! To one who does not exist, nothing is.
Who publishes Robert Hughes, Poetry of Complaint? Ought I to read it? If it's only negative, I have no time for it. Healing is making whole.
Poetry is my central thing, my personal craft and trade. That means:
1, Contemplation and reflection. "A sort of religiosity."
2. Projection of imagination.
4. Reading and writing of criticism.
5. Publicity and marketing.
Call itself is a sort of semi-transparent screen through which one perceives "poetry"-the numinous presence of the "other". The essence of poetry is non-figurative, beyond the image (s). It is the Pythagorean tuning the soul to the world of the intelligible essences. You can only see the light when it is interrupted by an obstacle. The poem itself is an obstacle which diffracts the light.
I am preparing an essay on Plato's Phaedrus as the best textbook of creative writing ever written. I shall be ostracized by the poetic community. Good. No loss.
Your two essays are absolutely fine. I can't fault a single word or concept. I shall reread them often. Song is the sacrifice of the voice to divinity. There is no literary criticism these days. Only hype-or silence. Why are you an Ex-artist? Why Minneapolis? You know the poetry of Dana Gioia? Exquisite. Surely the best living U.S. poet? And a very fine critic too. Gray Wolf Press.
Yes, for me, poetry demands transcendence, beauty no cult of self but no elimination of Self either.
Italy is like the UK, USA or Germany. Media, Internet, 24 hours a day of entertainment (for the money profit of the gambeen.) There are a few people in Italy who care, as in all countries.Ep. USA.
To evoke Eros once again. I've been doing just this for 50 years. We are all internal exiles, one can only survive by contact with a few like-minded people. It takes decades to find them. Certainly not on Internet.
I will collaborate willingly on Momus. But I have no knowledge of him save what one can glean from the classical handbooks. Send me photocopies all you can find on Momus, and I'll write on a contemporary Momoid vision. As for the rest, let my articles and poems say it all?
p.s. My son at 14 was publishing much admired poems in Italian in the lit. reviews. I support him entirely and he deserves it. He works 16 hours a day, minimum, like me.
for more info. on Peter check out: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Russell_(poet)
Jason Bodel AKA Jaye Beldo has appeared on BBC and Capital Radio London, WGN Chicago, Spin FM 103.8, The Robin Zodiac Show, The X-Zone, The Grassy Knoll, Free Radio Olympia, Untamed Dimensions, Out There Radio, The Alien Agenda and The Gary Burbank Show. Please check out his website @: http://www.lavacocktail.com/