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Hi everyone…

Uh…well, maybe you heard, the lead singer for Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, just committed suicide. I am devastated. This was a band I had an active enthusiasm for to the present day.

I am fine personally, but I’m taking a break from my blogs until a week from now. I just…want to do as much stuff as I can outside of the internet to sort of process all of this. One of the things I was planning to do is visit a bunch of the spiritual-type places around NYC like the Theosophical Society, the Rudolph Steiner center, and so on. I think now is the time to do it.

One thing to think about is that Bennington had reported experiencing a lot of child abuse, especially, in his words, “getting beaten up and pretty much raped.” What are we doing as a society to specifically address the abuse that males experience as children—to defuse the sort of extra shame over it, and really deal with it? It is a question I am asking myself right now.

Next Thursday is the official one-year anniversary of this site, so it is a good time to go back to it.

Best,

Val

Soylent To Be Sold In 7-Eleven And I’m Not Even Mad

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For the first time, the meal-replacement drink Soylent is available in a brick-and-mortar store rather than just over the Internet. And considering that the first store—or, rather, chain—to carry the drink is 7-Eleven, it’s clear that the product is just about hit the mainstream.

The funny thing is, years ago, when Soylent was just starting to expand its offerings, I had written a post criticizing the brand. At the time, I expressed concern that a drink (white, bland, and filled with “essential nutrients”) that seemed right out of a 1970s dystopian film—and sharing the name of one dystopian film in particular, a film in which the actual bodies of the poor were used to make said food product—was being promoted so heavily.

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Observations 7/17/17

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First of all: writing that Spear Of Destiny post was a hoot, and I’m glad so many of you liked it. I had been planning it literally for months. This is such a nutty book that as I was thumbing through it last night to finish the review, I was SO tempted to start reading it all over again. It’s one of those books, for better or for worse. I will probably pick up on themes from it in future posts.

Second, I am not unaware that a new Doctor Who—the “13th” Doctor (though your mileage will vary on that #)—was recently announced, and is a woman. I wrote a brief post on my initial reflections on Fantasy Merchant, and you can read it here.

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Book Review: The Spear Of Destiny

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I don’t have a lot of cool images related to this book, so I’m going to mostly instead run pics from various pop-culture adaptations of the legend…like this one from “The Librarian: Quest For The Spear”

The Spear appeared to be some sort of magical medium of revelation for it brought the world of ideas into such close and living perspective that human imagination became more real than the world of sense.
–Trevor Ravenscroft, “The Spear Of Destiny”

The Spear Of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscrofta story about reincarnation, alchemy, evil sorcerers, secret societies, soulless doppelgängers, sex magick, possession by alien entities, Aztec peyote, the Akashic Record, questionable homeopathic practices, psychic vaginal ectoplasm, a sacred Christian relic that could rend the very fabric of time as we know it, and, yes, Nazis—is one of the most elaborate and utterly bizarre conspiracy meta-narratives you will ever encounter

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You Created A Joke Religion And It Became Real. Now What?

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I’d like to talk about the concept of the Joke Religion—something created by you, somebody you know, or somebody you know once-removed—that is utilized to ridicule traditional religion, some pop-culture thing thought to be banal, or both.

Half our online culture seems to be proudly a Joke Religion. A tongue-in-cheek sacredness and meaning is invested in the the cheap and tawdry. What author Philip K. Dick might have referred to as “the trash.”

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