Friday, June 28, 2013

Welcome to the 21st Century - What Had Happened Was #18

GHCstitcher Subscribe via RSS, or download the episode directly.
What Had Happened Was is a grumpyhawk collective podcast co-hosted by grumpyhawk (that would be me) and Benjamin Combs. In this "week-in-review style" show, we cover and comment on stories with a tech, science, weird, or strange sort of angle. Visit to see and hear more from the collective.

On today's episode grumpyhawk and Benjamin Combs discuss how Edward Snowden escaped Hong Kong, Texas protecting the emails of the citizens of it's state, the FAA reconsidering how to treat electronic devices on airplanes, Microsoft's 180 on their DRM policies, and a body modification grumpyhawk would be interested in. Welcome to the 21st Century.

Show Notes:

Post show notes:

Since we are putting this episode up on Wednesday, there have been some additional clarifications as to the discrepancy that allowed Ed Snowden to leave, as in the government didn't get his middle name correct. Here is that article. US got NSA leaker Edward Snowden's middle name wrong, says Hong Kong

[Take a Trip with us... Mythos Media.]

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Live In Austin - What Had Happened Was #17

GHCstitcher Subscribe via RSS, or download the episode directly.
What Had Happened Was is a grumpyhawk collective podcast co-hosted by grumpyhawk (that would be me) and Benjamin Combs. In this "week-in-review style" show, we cover and comment on stories with a tech, science, weird, or strange sort of angle. Visit to see and hear more from the collective.

Today's episode is another "in-person" episode, and we're back to a more normal format. We discuss NSA vets telling us "I told you so", the Digg RSS reader, Time Warner paying content providers to keep their stuff offline, President Obama freeing up more wireless spectrum, and a new, kind-of-baffling fetish. All of this plus more on today's episode "Live in Austin."

Show Notes:

  1. Kick ass NSA vets.
  2. Time Warner Paying to keep programs offline?.
  3. President Obama clears more wireless spectrum.
  4. The MF Digg Reader.
  5. The Dangers of eyeball licking.

[Take a Trip with us... Mythos Media.]

Full Moon in Capricorn: The Flame of Vision

The three initiates stand at the cusp of the warfront, amassed in an aftermath of great battle. Here was where great men were put to the test, some raised and others fallen, left to the dregs of violent karmic pension. An ambush by the battalions of the greater sky, where none were left without scars, all aspected to the only constant of transformational warfare: relentless and uncompromising change. 

The cosmic twins stay near each other, huddled in the familiar warmth of presence. 

"One could say that was rough," proclaims the Messenger. "I don't even remember half of what happened. And, that's saying something."

"I can sense the shadows of our fathers and grandfathers," his double, the Morningstar, replies. "But it as if they are asleep, and have long since been. Was it long, the battle? Was it so severe?"

Suddenly, the three receive flashes of pain through their heads. Visions of agony, terrorized death, and pools of blood entrenched on the battlefield fill their minds. 

"i remember," called the Warrior. "We were all here, fighting for our lives. Another climax from the throes of our grandfathers' struggle to perpetuate mortal change. It nearly wiped out the whole of memory. All of metaphor would have been lost. Now, they rest. We rise. And the mortals, one by one."

"The universe has been scarred," the Morningstar sings. "I feel a great trauma swept across the billion worlds."

The Messenger and the Warrior exchanged glances, responding in silence, neither daring to bring a response to words, neither wishing to dwell upon the implications of such an event. 

"We rise," the Messenger repeated. "And so, we continue to tell the story."

"The resting colossi speak to me," the Morningstar shuts her eyes, and begins to chant the ancient hymns of the vestals. "We approach a time of great dreaming. A new reality approaches, a co-creative dreamtime, where each initiate is held responsible for the direction of their lives. Now is the time to turn the gaze inward, into the entirety of the cosmos within, body and blood as sacrament, and understand consciousness as individual manifestation of God. We are the priests and priestesses of our selves."

"They nearly destroyed us, all of us, all of it, with they're senseless games!" spat the Warrior. "She channels a sacred wisdom when the true enemy has finally been revealed, twist ending and all! The old gods are growing clumsy, with age. Now is the time to strike."

"Look--over there," Mercury calls, softly. In the distance, the shape of an ancient centaur roams the battlefield. He seems to be covered in a transient haze, stepping in and out of their vision with erratic motion.

"Chiron," Mars replies. "He is alone, wandering the battlefield now covered in distant dreams, entering in and out of the many worlds."

"He continues to drink in the realm of the fishes, diving deeper into the great ocean, uncorking multitudes of karmic pain; only to be processed, released, sometimes with great resistance. The great shaman of man, destined to be misunderstood."

"I don't like it," the Warrior says, all eyes fixed on the ephemeral centaur. "Man does not need a shaman, but a sword for the mind. Let them keep their destinies. They do not yet deserve his grace."

"And yet, he gives from his fount freely as a cascading jar of endless light."

"Why have you come to our world, centaur…" the Warrior mused to himself.

"A warning," Venus continues. "The sacred flame must lead during this time of transition, for sake of becoming lost in the great sea of dreams. Even the Lord of Time has unwound his clock, letting loose the chaos of unpredictability onto the world. We are given the task of becoming the individual lords of our own time, unearthing the intrinsic mysteries of the co-creative, unknown self. Grasp this understanding, and--"

"That's enough," the Messenger states. "We will not speak of the death of gods just yet."

The Morningstar jolts herself to awareness with a short intake of breath. "The Great Mirror blesses me with an understanding of myself, even though I cannot bring the knowledge to voice. The ancient goddesses are alive in my blood. I feel them pulsing, thriving, ripening to awaken. I am scared."

"I am too," Mercury stated, gesturing to Mars. "And so is he, whether or not he wants to admit it. The most important thing is that we are here. Even I, the right hand of God, had experienced a tinge of fear at our impending doom. But, as such, we are still alive. We have earned the right to carry on."

The Warrior put his arms around the Morningstar, and, after a long embrace, looked at her tenderly. "You can do this."

She nodded, humbly, tears welling in her eyes, and took a moment to appreciate the love that surrounded her, and how lucky she was to have them. How lucky they were to have each other. 

"I know."

for the learn'd astrologer:

7:33 AM - 6/22/13 - 2 degrees Capricorn

At the apex of last month's eclipse season, we somehow survived another direct aspect of the cycling Pluto/Uranus square. Each one seems to be bringing more transitory violence into our shifting lives, whether it be emotional, physical, or spiritual. The challenge continues. Four more to go, folks. Change has never been more volatile. 

While the full moon rests in Capricorn, nurturing Cancer plays the dominant hand in the culmination of this cycle, as Mercury, Venus and the asteroid Vesta make their way through the last decant of the sign, whereas Sol has only just arrived on the cusp of the solstice. After the raging calamity of the eclipses, now is a time to focus on family, hearth, and home. At the same time, expect unresolved emotional issues to rear themselves forward, especially in the next few days.

Venus directly conjuncts the goddess Vesta, whereas only two cycles prior she was conjunct Pallas during an eclipse. If Pallas represents youthful independence, Vesta is the veiled grandmother goddess of hearth and home. She is the keeper of the sacramental flame, remaining unmarried due to an unparalleled devotion to the divine. She is the epitome of mature, sexual feminine empowerment. The tantrika rather than the dominatrix. This is a time to both expand your sexual horizons and also take control of your urges, channelling them into productive creativity. Ask Vesta to guide you through the foggy Cancerean mist. And, let her be on top for once.

The fabled grand water trine between the Sun, Neptune and Saturn brings an enormous amount of luck and creative potential. However, as the north node of destiny progresses through weaponized Scorpio, there is still the chance of hard lessons being learned, if we don't wise up (that Aimee Mann song from Magnolia comes to mind). Saturn goes direct on July 8th after a five-month retrograde period, and he will get right to work at correcting your path. Imagine you are training with an ancient, strict, uncompromising kung fu master, who, after starting you off, left you alone for several years. Now, he has returned. Do you think he will have some things to say about your posture?

This, of course, comes during Mercury's own 3 1/2 week retrograde period. The only prescription for this intensity is focusing all of your energy within. Mercury will be retrograding in Cancer, and we might grow confused about the past and develop a sentimental fondness for the attachments in our life. If you are in any sort of commitment, you may find yourself going back and forth between options. Remember, retrograde is not a time for making big decisions when under stress, especially, in this case, emotional ones.

Ironically, these same aspects are commissioning serious creative potential into our lives. The full moon will illuminate the dreams that may be squandering about in your mortal noggin. Take a large chunk of Sunday and Monday to meditate on the type of dream you want to live. Strike while this iron is hot. Then, when Mercury turns inward, transition into a period of deep emotional processing and transition.

Tend to the garden of your mind, so that flora is bountiful and luscious. Otherwise, your plot will grow stagnant with memories of the past and half-dead flowers. Do your mind a favor and euthanize what may be dying. A clean death will facilitate the new life begging to be sustained. Right now, the stars want you to thrive. However, in order to do so, we must let go of the past.

Once Jupiter falls into the trine around mid-July, blessings from the young king will enhance the imaginative potential, and bring blessings toward home. There would be great danger of getting lost in the clouds, if not for stern Saturn keeping your feet on the ground. Meditate on a prehistoric crocodile's tail keeping you connected to the earth--you will want to wander off into dreams, but if you stay focused on your chosen path, and keep the energy directed inward, you await massive benefits come August.

Remove your mind, study, meditate, and trust. Force nothing and no one into being. Only go with the effortless choices that fill you with happiness, peace, and grace. A thousand times, go within. It is very important to keep your energy contained. If you can go without sex, do it. On the other hand, the Venus/Vesta conjunction suggests some kind of sexual liberation, whether it be through union with another or a transpersonal relationship to the divine. When Mercury exits his shadow period in August, expect the fruits of the love you have given yourself to manifest in ways beyond your imagination.

The planets have not been this kind, lately. Though life may seem muddled and confusing, there is a hidden recipe here for you to take complete creative control of your life, and to have fun doing it. There is no other; only you.

Mars in Gemini squares Chiron in Pisces, as wounds from the past are the only encumbrance against the initiate. However, this is yet another opportunity to get to know your karmic processes and make peace with them. Mars is fickle in Gemini, but he's good at isolating friendships and parts of the mind that assist intention.

Mars is conjunct Pallas, a goddess of wisdom. The intellectual may be asked to pay mediator with our friends. Pallas grants sharp guidance to the warrior's sword, granting knowledge of weak points and the aim of surgical dexterity. Use this precision to remove mental distractions.

Jupiter is also still in Gemini. Blessings are added to discernment and clarity of the mind. Get all of your thinking done now, before being immersed in all of this water. Post questions, live curiously, make new friends, and tickle your brain with humor.

Finally, the Moon stands as the centerpiece in Capricorn, sextiling Saturn and Neptune in the grand trine. Luna keeps the energy heavily grounded in the reflection of the self, and your objective life. Whatever that reflection is, when it hits, it's going to hit hard. Be ready to accept the structure of your life at face value. The architecture, wiring, and intricate plumbing system is revealed. Have you been keeping a good home, practicing the old axiom, "the body is a temple?" If not, now's the time to start giving tithes.

[Take a Trip with us... Mythos Media.]

Friday, June 14, 2013

Do You Crave Independent Media?

Independent film, art and media is important.

It enables us to create new ways of thinking and being. It attacks the grinding status quo.

Do you crave independence? Do you value your own choices, and wish you weren’t constantly being hammered by media, advertising and society? Are you sick of the powerful telling you what to eat, what to think, what to do and who you can love?

The good news is, you’re not alone. Not by a long chalk.

We’ve covered uprisings, we’ve taken apart the narratives of the powerful wolves in the board-room, we’ve explored the ways we can subvert and use the Drone-Future to our advantage.

We’ve used ancient archetypes to shed light on today’s patterns.

You’re not alone.

Throughout the world there are countless folks like you, who crave that independence, who have that urge to steal the fire from the newsrooms, and the studios, the corporations and the 1%.

And that’s the thing - the ones you think hold all the cards? They’re actually in the minority. A vanishingly small selection of people inhabit the shells of corporations and the halls of power.

Big empty rooms, echoing with the occasional footstep.

But imagine for a second - imagine what would happen if those empty, hollow spaces were filled up with a plethora of voices?

Even traditional media cannot deny the heaving crowd, the seething mass of all those individual voices raised. It’s just not possible any more.

You’ve probably read how Clark: A Gonzomentary is appearing at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.

 Think about that. Independent people coming together to celebrate their achievements, to create things because they want to, because they need to.

Because dammnit, there is a way to do it, despite what you’ve been told.

And if you look, there’s always more:

Strange Factories - Trailer from FoolishPeople on Vimeo.

On Monday, FoolishPeople announced their collaboration with London’s Cinema Museum, to release their crowdfunded independent film, Strange Factories

Through that collaboration, a live cinema event occurs in October, the characters coming to life and interacting with the audience!

You can pre-order Strange Factories now, download it then, and stream it to join in with the rending of the veils on opening night.

You can explore its world through the doors of Theatric Arcana wherever - and whenever - you are, on the damn planet.

And this is possible because you are not alone.

We are not alone.

Collaboration and interdependence means exactly that.

In today’s networked society, you can lend your voice to the crowd, you can give politicians bloody noses and corporations kicks in the profit margins.

You can support blazing visions that burn brighter than the sun, and you can spread laughter that reminds you to be alive.

You are not alone, and it’s time we reminded you of that.

Independence is not isolation, it comes from inter-dependence. It comes from hundreds, thousands, millions even, supporting each other in any way they can.

Time to spread the word.

Be seeing you.

Craig 'VI' Slee is a Consultant & Theorist dealing with Mythology, Folklore, Storytelling & Culture.

Currently, he serves as Writer and Content Developer for
FoolishPeople, an internationally acclaimed immersive theatre company who create ritual experiences, books and films. Their latest work is STRANGE FACTORIES, which will be released to worldwide distribution October 2013.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tinfoil - What Had Happened Was #16

you are being watched

  GHCstitcher Subscribe via RSS, or download the episode directly.
What Had Happened Was is a grumpyhawk collective podcast co-hosted by grumpyhawk (that would be me) and Benjamin Combs. In this "week-in-review style" show, we cover and comment on stories with a tech, science, weird, or strange sort of angle. Visit to see and hear more from the collective.

Hello everyone! grumpyhawk here with another episode of What Had Happened Was. Today's episode is slightly different because Benjamin and I recorded live from his living room in Austin, TX, and instead of talking about our 5 or 6 favorite news stories we took a more broad approach and just talked about some of the overarching stories that have seemed to take over the news for the past couple weeks. So here it is, Episode 16 - Tinfoil.

Show Notes:

  1. NSA Leaker Outs Himself
  2. UK Government Is Allegedly Involved In Us Internet Spying Program
  3. Microsoft Xbox One At E3 2013 - Everything You Need To Know
  4. Xbox One Online Requirement Details
  5. Senators vote to require parents who don’t want a child vaccinated to get a science lesson first
  6. Jenny McCarthy Body Count
  7. Quebec's new pizza-and-spaghetti-flavored slushy drink is "love in a cup," apparently
Due to the plethora of articles and news stories involving PRISM and Edward Snowden I've only included a few specific articles for your enjoyment.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fuck Yeah Dragon Age

I'm taking a break from the usual commentary here to just say...

Holy shit I waited my entire childhood for video games to be like this. Some of my first memories are of an Atari 2600.

Now... this.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Science, Narrative: The Story of the Hominids

Science has a truly ambivalent relationship with mythology. In many ways, science depends on mythology--in part because we quite simply cannot get away from the narrative impulse that lies at the center of all out attempts to make "sense" of things.

This ambivalence is something we've discussed at length on this site, and in the books we've put together such as The Immanence of Myth and Apocalyptic Imaginary. I'd like to share a NOVA video about a possible branch on the homonid genetic tree that we've only recently discovered: the 'hobbit.'

While watching this, consider how the need for a a linear narrative drives us to make certain assumptions, and how the mythic impulse relates to (sometimes complicating, sometimes supporting) the scientific enterprise.

Watch Alien From Earth on PBS. See more from NOVA.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Monday, June 10, 2013

Nature Vs. Nurture: As If It Wasn't Confusing Enough...

I've long said that "nature vs. nurture" is the wrong argument to be having. It isn't an either or, and the argument itself is essentially structured by the schema that's created so as to have the discussion in the first place.

But here's yet another example of why this discussion couldn't go along easily, even if that weren't the case:
Darwin and Freud walk into a bar. Two alcoholic mice — a mother and her son — sit on two bar stools, lapping gin from two thimbles.
The mother mouse looks up and says, “Hey, geniuses, tell me how my son got into this sorry state.”
“Bad inheritance,” says Darwin.
“Bad mothering,” says Freud.
For over a hundred years, those two views — nature or nurture, biology or psychology — offered opposing explanations for how behaviors develop and persist, not only within a single individual but across generations.
And then, in 1992, two young scientists following in Freud’s and Darwin’s footsteps actually did walk into a bar. And by the time they walked out, a few beers later, they had begun to forge a revolutionary new synthesis of how life experiences could directly affect your genes — and not only your own life experiences, but those of your mother’s, grandmother’s and beyond.

Discover Magazine, article

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Saturday, June 08, 2013

My Story And I'm Sticking To It: A PRISM of uncertainty.

As anyone that hasn't been under a rock for the past week knows, this "PRISM thing" has blown up all over the internet. Which is a good thing -- privacy is something that people should be concerned about, and discuss. And much of what's come up around this issue is deeply troubling. But it's also interesting how many opinions were formed before all that much information was actually made public. That's what I'd like to discuss.

Take a look at some of the other information that came to light in the past few days:

The fictional journalistic "this may or may not be true":

The following article should be treated as strictly hypothetical. It has been editorialized to simplify the content in certain areas, while maintaining as much technical detail as we can offer. Companies named in this article have been publicly disclosed, or used in example only. This piece should not be taken necessarily as fact but as a working theory that portrays only one possible implementation of the U.S. National Security Agency's PRISM program as it may exist today. Several ZDNet writers contributed to this report. --Zdnet article.
The deniers: 
Slides obtained by the two newspapers say that the program was established in 2007 and that seven of the largest Internet communication companies “participate knowingly” in providing NSA direct access to their central servers.
If true, this would mean that NSA had full access to many messages sent using applications run by Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, and Apple. (The documents also separately list YouTube and Skype, subsidiaries of Google and Microsoft, respectively.) The unprecedented access would give the government audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs for potentially billions of users.
The revelations caused instant outrage as Twitter exploded with shocked and angry denunciations from pundits across the entire political spectrum. The Washington Post cited an anonymous “intelligence officer” as saying “they quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type.”
But could the revelations be a carefully constructed hoax? There are several indicators that the PRISM reports may not be entirely accurate...
--Business Insiders.
Deniers of the deniers: 
Two different versions of the PRISM scandal were emerging on Thursday with Silicon Valley executives denying all knowledge of the top secret program that gives the National Security Agency direct access to the internet giants' servers.
The eavesdropping program is detailed in the form of PowerPoint slides in a leaked NSA document, seen and authenticated by the Guardian, which states that it is based on "legally-compelled collection" but operates with the "assistance of communications providers in the US."
Each of the 41 slides in the document displays prominently the corporate logos of the tech companies claimed to be taking part in PRISM.
However, senior executives from the internet companies expressed surprise and shock and insisted that no direct access to servers had been offered to any government agency. --Guardian Article. 
The middle ground:
Over the last day, tech executives including Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg outlined that they did not give bulk or blanket access to user data. However, they may not have been able to discuss the exact volume of the legal demands for data they’ve received. That left the exact scope of how many people had data pulled by NSA open for wide interpretation, and many including myself, in some cases assumed the worst — that while not at the volume of the massive request for data on all Verizon users that’s been reported, huge numbers of people may have been spied on.
However, in the last year, there were only 1,865 FISA requests for data. Some believe those requests could include data pulls as broad as anyone who searched a specific term. Legal experts I’ve consulted, though, believe the requests must be more narrow than that for the tech companies to have not pushed back. That means the the number of people monitored by PRISM may have been in the thousands or tens of thousands, rather than in the tens or even hundreds of millions. --Techcrunch Article.
And, of course, the conspiracy theorists:
PRISM the new Nazi party. Just confirmed!!! BE CAREFUL! They know what you're doing! --Godlike Productions thread.

Of course, hundreds of other examples could be found. The point isn't the particular articles but rather the incredible spread of contradictory information, misinformation, and disinformation. Pretty hard to make an entirely coherent story out of all these divergent pieces, right?

Yet, far before anyone could possibly have an absolutely iron-tight, certain conviction of what the hell is going on here, most people have already made up their minds. They've made up their minds with such certainty that anyone that sees it otherwise must be insane! There is a reason for this, and that's what we're going to talk about today.

Narrative is everywhere. Or rather, we see it everywhere. Of course, we hope to have those expectations confounded. It is in the melody to a catchy blues riff -- playing an assortment of notes enough times for you to expect it a fourth time, and then going down rather than up. Confound them, yes, but only within a certain framework. When artists such as Schoenberg or Cage tried to show our mythic impulse back to us, or even do away with that impulse altogether, many listeners rebelled. The same is what we look for in our fiction -- different, but not too different -- and it is also what we look for when we try to attempt to interpret the real world.

You see, when we test reality, we simultaneously build stories around that testing. We collect little pieces of information and piece them together. In a sense the metaphor of a puzzle and puzzle pieces would be altogether too apt, if somehow a puzzle could be freeform and shift around on the fly.

James Lincke
This is not idle speculation. As we discussed in the introductory article for this site, this mythic impulse -- or narrative impulse, if you prefer -- is built into our brains. It is a big part of how we come to understand the world. This is also the reason why the best way to teach children is often through stories. Our minds are designed to work with them, and to fill in the missing pieces.

As we've discussed before, this is how optical "illusions" work. More accurately, the visual world we build in our heads is itself entirely illusory -- flipped around, taken apart and pieced back together. Yet again we see this same tendency, now in the visual rather than auditory modality. This is not idle philosophical speculation. It is as close to fact as we can come, and therein lies the problem.

There is simply too much contradictory information out there, and too much chaos that needs to be filtered out as unimportant to our aim. For these systems to work on the fly, we have to graft in a schema ahead of time.

In other words, to go back to the puzzle metaphor, we need to imagine what the completed puzzle is going to look like so that we can understand how the pieces might fit together.  If your reality tunnel is based around distrust of authority, then you have one puzzle to cram the pieces into. If your reality tunnel is based around the opposite, or something in between -- you get the point.

This is well and good for many purposes, but it is wreaking a lot of ideological havoc in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Everyone else seems insane because they aren't trying to build the same puzzle that you are.

This isn't to say that everything is an opinion, or that if I think a baseball is a cloud that you can't wing it into my skull. The issue being discussed is how we make sense of the puzzle pieces (mythic fragments) that we're given. It is not a question of the "ultimate reality" of the myth, nor what it represents.

As Robert Anton Wilson once famously said, "what the thinker thinks, the prover proves." Still later, he used the metaphor of reality tunnels:
"When we begin to realize that we're all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnels we find it is much easier to understand where other people are coming from or the ones who don't have the same reality tunnel as us do not seem ignorant or deliberately perverse or lying or hypnotized by some mad ideology. They just have a different reality tunnel and every reality tunnel might tell us something interesting about our world if we're willing to listen." 
His advice in this case remains as poignant today.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Friday, June 07, 2013

Yahulu? - What Had Happened Was #15

GHCstitcher Subscribe via RSS, or download the episode directly.
What Had Happened Was is a grumpyhawk collective podcast co-hosted by grumpyhawk (that would be me) and Benjamin Combs. In this "week-in-review style" show, we cover and comment on stories with a tech, science, weird, or strange sort of angle. Visit to see and hear more from the collective.

In this episode, grumpyhawk and Benjamin Combs are discussing another potential Yahoo purchase, Xbox One Kinect concerns, more incorrect DMCA notices, Pandora getting on board with releasing music early, a WTF moment in North Carolina, and a report that the Japanese prime ministers house is, in fact, not haunted. All on this episode, "Yahulu?"

Show Notes:

  1. Yahoo reportedly bids up to $800-million for Hulu
  2. Microsoft Kinect TV Monitoring awards achievements for watching ads
  3. Hollywood studios want Google to censor
  4. North Carolina ban bill would prevent unfair competition with car manufacturers
  5. Pandora premieres channel streams pre-release albums
  6. Japanese government unaware of ghosts at prime ministers official residence

Other Mentions:

Again, huge thanks to Makeup and Vanity Set for allowing us to use Quadra IV off of 7.25.2148.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Thursday, June 06, 2013

This Is Going To Make Marchel Duchamp's 'Fountain' look like a urinal.

Fallen Nation: Free Chapter

I've been getting back into the spirit of giving away writing for free. Which probably means that the summer heat has been getting to me. All the same, feel free to take advantage of the temporary insanity.

Today's offering is the first chapter of Fallen Nation: Party At The World's End.

Download the PDF.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

American Meritocracy: The Myth of Success

Molly Crabapple
Just read something that is almost verbatim what I've been saying for years -- that didn't lessen the impact of reading it for me. As much as the myth that 'we are all created equal' seems to have a heart of gold, it has some pretty nasty repercussions in the real world.
Those with money usually think they deserve it. But most people who make the world run—who care for kids, who grow food, who would rebuild after natural disasters and societal collapse—will never be rich, no matter how hard or well they work, because society is constructed with only so much room on top.
Once, I met with a man who runs an idea festival. He was a great admirer of businessmen who became Buddhist monks. "I don't like protest," the man told me. "It's too much about ego. Ego is the problem with America."
I thought of the workers busting their backs lifting boxes at warehouses, while an electronic tracker yelled at them to work faster. Are their egos too big?
Go and read it. We'll wait.

Article, "Filthy Lucre."

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Monday, June 03, 2013

And They Lived Happily Ever After...

One of the narrative biases that all of us are familiar with is the Happy Ending. (Very different from what you might get in certain massage parlors if you ask for a happy ending, to be sure.)

As a storyteller, I quickly discovered that happy endings are entirely the result of where you end the story. End the story right after the couple fall in love and solve the problem of integrating themselves with their mutual circumstance, and it's a happy ending. End the story ten years later, and one of them may have died of cancer, or their marital bliss had in the interim turned from blessing to curse. This is the way of time: given enough time, everything changes.

lora zombie

Our frame of reference being what it is, small changes may seem large -- especially in youth. It's no surprise to most of us that, subjectively, a year's time is quite different when you are eight to when you are thirty. The years flow more swiftly as we age. There are many ways of explaining this, I always liked the idea that relatively speaking each successive year is a lower percentage of one's entire life story. But whatever the reason, this is another factor to consider in our Happy Ending Bias.

There's also the question of carts and horses. (Or chickens and eggs, if you prefer.) Was it that we were fed the narrative of the happy ending in countless Disney and Hollywood productions that we have come to expect it in life? Though it's not particularly easy to conduct scientific research with a matter such as this, it seems more likely that Disney, Hollywood, et al are capitalizing on the expectations and hopes that rise in contrast to our certain knowledge of true Ends: Death.

Indeed, despite all the uncertainty that can arise around a mythological need such as this one, the single certainty we can count on is the inevitability of our own death. It is to try to assuage this anxiety that all of our end-narratives arise.

(It should be noted that George RR Martin's Game of Thrones, and the writers for HBO's adaptation, have not bought into the "happily ever" myth. And some of the disbelief and shock that people have recently experienced in watching that show -- especially with the "Red Wedding" episode -- is the result of that expectation being turned on its head.)

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Superstition and Myth: A Bias of Narrative

Go Ahead. Try To Explain This. 
While setting up the Survivorship Bias post, I got to thinking about all of the biases that play into such ubiquitous curiosities like superstition, astrology, etc.

Unfortunately, though these subjects fall square in the middle of Modern Mythology's subject-matter, they also deserve ample time and attention. An entire book could be written on the subject of the cognitive biases at play in the 23 Enigma, Astrology, or the sense one may have of being cursed or attacked by magicians. These things refer to actual events, but our need for narrative and the cognitive biases produced drive us to go a little crazy in trying to explain away those events. These narratives that we build become re-enforced as they are shared by others, and further re-enforced in ourselves, as these little narratives turn into full-blown myths.

We might call these mythic reflexes mythic biases, to contrast them to the more commonly known cognitive bias. The two share much in common, and may have some amount of overlap.

A few of these biases:
  • Friendly (or Hostile) World Mythic Bias
  • Whatever You Look For Is Everywhere Mythic Bias
  • Happy Endings Mythic Bias
  • If It Happened Once... Mythic Bias (A form of Confirmation Bias)
In fact, all myths can present a sort of bias, if we integrate them enough with our lives that we expect to see them elsewhere. 

I hope to deal with this in more detail. So we will focus on this subject a bit more in coming posts.

First, it'd be worthwhile to refresh ourselves on the narrative tendency that was implied in the most popular page on this site, "What Is A Modern Myth?"

We will be looking at our need for Happy Endings on Tuesday. After that I hope to continue to look at some of the others.

In the interim, check out the You're Not So Smart blog, dedicated to the various cognitive and narrative/mythic biases at play in our understanding of the world.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Gonzomentary Selected for Philadelphia Independent Film Festival

"Clark: A Gonzomentary is a whole bucket of crazy, and I really enjoyed it for all of its insanity."
- Filmthreat review.

Clark: A Gonzomentary, a movie that keeps growing (like a cancer) and from which I can't escape (like a tiger cage in Vietnam), has been officially selected to screen at the 6th annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, June 26th - 30th, 2013.


Can't make it to the screening? 

Why not watch the early-release cut of the movie on YouTube

The version to be screening has been shortened ~10 min and the sound has been improved.

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]

Monsanto Myths

The tone of this blog post aside, the point needs to be made. The GMO issue has gotten horribly muddled, as many vaccine conspiracy theories and general anti-corporate sentiment has blended together into a growing "conspiracy mythos." Back here on planet Earth, Monsanto's predatory business practices have nothing to do with GM as a process. Some may need to be reminded that all of our foods are genetically modified, even if some still are produced through the "slow method" of selection.

Dispelling myths regarding GMOIn this section I hope to dispel some myths and frankly bad logic justifying the hatred of GMO pushed by GMO truthers. Full Article. 

We'll forgive him for using the less nuanced definition of "myth" that is all too commonly employed. Not that any of us here would ever do that, right?

[Where is the fucking counterculture? Mythos Media.]


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