Books


We have decided to put a book end on the current version of this blog. In some ways this is our goodbye to AnimamRecro as you may know it. Due to the lack of personal posts in the previous year, we felt it was only appropriate to create a podcast reflecting on where we have been and where we are today.

If you’re interested in hearing the voices of AnimamRecro for the first time, here’s your chance.  Here is the first part of a 2 hour recording.

The volume on the recording is low, so be prepared to turn it up.

Listen

The Monochromatic Knight and Pavel a.k.a The Sheik

Advertisements

I’m currently listening to the audio book of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” by Vincent Bugliosi, an American attorney and author, best known for prosecuting Charles Manson. He lost only one of the 106 felony cases he tried as a prosecutor, which included winning 21 out of 21 murder cases.

He writes with great lucidity in his book, highlighting the tragedy of the Iraq War. Impeachment has been brought up on numerous occasions in the US, but after considering Vincent Bugliosi’s compilation of evidence and arguements, I firmly hold that various members of the US administration should be indeed tried for murder.

You can obtain the book via torrents or through the official website.

“There’s only so much you can do right? So let’s at least start talking about it. Maybe let’s even write a book and try to change to world. DJ Ing leads a discussion about American/Czech policies, culture and language, not to mention the impending radar base set to be built in the Czech Republic. Joining the discussion is American author, Aiden Delgado. His book titled, The Sutras of Abu Ghraib explains his experiences as a soldier in the war in Iraq which led him to apply and ultimately obtain conscientious objector status. Also joining the discussion, Jeremiah Palecek (King Vitamin) and musical interludes by Lorin Bassnectar.”

In Czech and English

Listen to the show here.
Visit ArtBeep

We recently discussed Alan Moore on Animam Recro. The Mindscape of Alan Moore is a documentary about the creator of such masterpieces as Watchmen and V For Vendetta. The film is a available for your viewing pleasure here.

Via BoingBoing
Alan Moore, the individual in V for Vendetta
Alan Moore on Spirituality

The Knight recently posted a short video of Alan Moore being interviewed on his magickal views. Unknowingly he reminded me of an insight I have gained last year from reading V for Vendetta, one of Lana Moore’s masterpieces.

Alan Moore is an English author, most famous for his work on comic books such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, Watchmen or From Hell. Some of his more famous works have been adapted into films, with varying (lack) of success. Alan Moore does not limit himself to writing comic books, among his other areas of study are literature, poetry, music, drama, occultism and magick. His occult interests interest me as they are one of the prevalent influences evident in his literary work.

do what thou wilt

V for Vendetta deals with a dystopian future in which an anarchist fighter who calls himself V wages an uncompromising war on a fully totalitarian British government. This parallel reality gives us a view of a Britain whose citizens have very little personal and political freedom left, most of it being given away by themselves in return for personal security as a result of a brief nuclear war and a subsequent coup d’etat by a fascist group offering immediate protection to the citizens.

One of the reasons why V for Vendetta (both in the film and comic book versions) gained such popularity in recent years is the way that individual security and personal freedom have been changing in recent years, closely resembling the story told in V for Vendetta. The so-called ‘war on terrorism’, (a war, which should be noted, by definition can’t be won) has been given as an excuse both in America and Britain to pass legislation that takes away more personal freedom than most people realise. Personal and political freedom is being quickly exchanged for perceived security from a danger that can’t be protected from, or if you are more cynical, does not exist. Leaving us…
V is an anarchist, he doesn’t believe that it is necessary to give away freedom to receive security. He doesn’t believe in chaos and disorder either. His beliefs can be summed up by a quote from Aleister Crowley: ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.’ V agrees with Aleister Crowley that it is possible to know one’s True Will, True Will being the true calling, potential and will of an individual, rather than needs, desires or wishes that are constantly experienced and which control most personal decisions and choices. V calls this process of discovering one’s True Will ‘escaping the prison’. He ‘escapes the prison’ of his perceived needs, wishes and desires by being physically imprisoned in a concentration camp, where he and numerous other ‘test subjects’ are infected with a chemical virus, which apart from V kills all its recipients. He is physically imprisoned and lacks control over what happens to him, which makes it possible for him to awaken the parts of him, which can’t be controlled by anyone but himself. This episode gives V the intelligence, strength and knowledge to escape his prison and ultimately single-handedly challenge the government.

My favourite part of the comic book plays out on pages 148 – 172, where V puts another person, his disciple if you wish, or a girl he met by chance if you prefer, through a similar experience in order to produce the same effect, the same process of awakening. Perhaps the most revealing way of describing the effect would be to copy the last part of their conversation:

V: Welcome home.
Evey: You. You did this to me. You did this to me, yuh-you. Oh god. Yuh-you hit me, and cut off my hair… it was you. It was you all this time… You… tortured me… Oh, you tortured me…
V: Because I love you. Because I want to set you free.
Evey: Because…? Set me free? D-don’t you realise? Don’t you realise what you did to me? you nearly drove me mad!
V: If that’s what it takes, Evey.

Evey: I hate you. I hate you because you just talk junk and you think you’re so good that you don’t have to make any sense! Nothing you say means anything. You say you love me, and you don’t because you just frigten me and torture me for a joke… You say you want to set me free and you put me in a prison…
V: You were already in a prison. You’ve been in a prison all your life.
Evey: Shut up! I don’t want to hear it! I wasn’t in a prison! I was happy! I was hu-happy here until you threw me out.
V: Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.
Evey: That’s warped! That’s warped and evil and wrong! When you threw me out I went to live with somebody. I… I was in love with him. I was happy. If that’s a prison, then I don’t care!
V: Don’t you? Your lover lived in the penitentiary that we are all born into, and was forced to rake the dregs of that world for his living. he knew affection and tenderness but only briefly… Eventually, one of the other inmates stabbed him with a cutlass and he drowned upon his own blood. Is that it, Evey? Is that the happiness worth more than freedom?
Evey: H-how do you know? How did you know what happened to Gordon?
V: It’s not an uncommon story, Evey. many convicts meet with miserable ends… Your mother. Your father. Your lover. One by one. Taken out behind the chemical sheds … and shot. All convicts, hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells, the weight of their chains, the unfairness of their sentences.. I didn;t put you in prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.
Evey: You’re wrong! It’s just life, that’s all! It’s how life is! It’s what we’ve got to put up with. It’s all we’ve got. What gives you the right to decide it’s not good enough?
V: You’re in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You’ve been in a prison so long, you no longer believe there’s a world outside.
Evey: Shut up! You’re mad! I don’t want to hear it!
V: That’s because you are afraid, Evey. You’re afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You’re afraid because freedom is terrifying…
Evey: I can’t feel anything! There’s nothing to feel! Leave me alone!
V: Don’t back away from it, Evey. Part of you understands the truth even as part pretends not to. Woman, this is the most important moment of your life. Don’t run from it.
Evey: I don’t know what… you’re… Oh god. Oh god. I can’t… breathe… Asthma. Whuh-when I was… a little guh-girl…
V: Good. You’re almost there. Go closer. Feel the shape of it. Your mother died. They took your father away. There’s a little girl, Evey, and she’s screaming…
Evey: A-huh… aa-huhh… Oh, make it stop. Mummy, daddy, please make it stop. What… are you doing to me? Oh, I can’t breathe…
V: You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between the death of your principles and the death of your body.
Evey: Oh. Oh, I can feel it… oh, what is it… oh, I’m going to die, I’m going to burst…
V: You said you’d rather die. You faced the fear of your own death, and you were calm and still. Try to feel now what you felt then…
Evey: I… uhhh. oh god… I felt… huhh… I felt… like… an angel… Oh god, I’m so scared, I’m so cold. What’s happening to me?
V: The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside. Don’t be afraid. Try to stand. Try to walk. The lift will take us up to the roof.
Evey: To… the roof…? Outside…? I don’t want… to be blindfolded…
V: No, Evey. No more blindfolds. All the blindfolds are gone.

The most common way of understanding V for Vendetta is as a social and political commentary. After reading the comic book I was left with the feeling that that is only the very top layer of the meaning that V for Vendetta seeks to convey. V’s awakening and Evey’s initiation are both very powerful episodes in the main plot, explaining where the knowledge and information needed in order to understand oneself, not to mention knowledge needed in order to transform society is to be gained. Consequently, I find it difficult to limit the importance of V for Vendetta to its political and societal message. For me it is primarily a story of the individual, explaining the true meaning of the word. We build our own prisons.

tdy_lauer_taserboy_071101300w.jpgA lot of attention was focused on Andrew Meyer, now better known as the ‘Don’t Tase Me, Bro’ student, after he was tasered at a John Kerry talk. A discussion ensued on this very site about Andrew Meyer’s credibility, many referring to him as a prankster and claiming that the entire incident was premeditated. Well, Andrew appeared on the Today Show to dispel some myths. And apologize.

TODAYshow.com:  Was your arrest planned?  Did you ask anyone to tape you at the John Kerry event?

Meyer: My arrest was absolutely not planned. You would have to be a fool to intentionally get arrested and incur the cost of cleaning up this mess legally (ask my lawyer, it wasn’t cheap).

 TODAYshow.com:  A lot has been made of your Web site, particularly a video of your friend (which has been incorrectly reported as you) standing  on the side of the road holding a sign, “Harry Dies,” after the release of the last Harry Potter book. Is your site in any way connected to what you were trying to accomplish at the Kerry event? 

Meyer: It’s funny you should mention “Harry Dies,” because that more than anything else epitomizes how my character has been misconstrued by the media. “Harry Dies” is a video two friends of mine shot on the day the seventh Harry Potter book was released. They are standing on a busy street corner holding a sign that says, “Harry Dies.” I am not in this video. I did not shoot this video. All I did was post it on my Web site. And yet this, according to the media, is the smoking gun that proves I am a “well-known prankster” and my questions to Senator Kerry were not serious. There are no other cited instances of me pulling a practical joke.

My Web site was and is intended to be a forum for me to express myself, but I was not looking to promote it in any way by attending the Kerry forum. I did plan to post the video of me asking Kerry questions on my website, the same way I posted the videos of  Validus and Quigley & the St.Pete Players, a couple of local bands I had filmed. I did not, however, have a pocket full of business cards ready to pass out after the event. If I were promoting my Web site, passing out my card is exactly what I would have done. A police officer did find one of my business cards, which read “TheAndrewMeyer.com.” I was using it as a bookmark for “Armed Madhouse.”

TODAYshow.com:  What is your biggest criticism of the media in covering your story?

Meyer: I haven’t seen any mainstream news outlet once dissect the questions I asked the Senator. Everything is about me personally or the taser. This is the type of tabloid journalism prevalent in America today. When my story is over, they won’t start covering Blackwater or Ron Paul. It’ll be Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, business as usual.

…I wish I had maintained my composure. The next time I will.

Read more

 

southlandtalesgn1.jpgAs Donnie Darko fans sit in anticipation, many wonder how Richard Kelly will pull off his second major film. So far the reviews and comments by critics have been pretty poor. Adjectives such as confusing, complex, disappointing, dense, too ambitious, have been used to describe the movie. One question that no one seems to be asking (probably due to being ill informed) is “what are the disadvantages of releasing three comic books as the prequel to a film”? Yes, although Southland Tales won’t be released till November 14th, the first half of its story has been available in graphic novel form for quite some time. It’s unsurprising a film would appear incoherent if you unaware the first half of its story.

I admit that I love what I’ve read so far. Staying true to form, Richard Kelly uses the themes of time travel, parrallel dimensions, and meta-realities to create an experience you may actually have to think about. Characters in the graphic novels are playing the roles of actors as a the comic turns into a screen-play and back. The comic book even alludes to the fact that one the characters is actually writing the plot of the movie. Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles anybody? It took me several readings to get a grasp on what is actually going on. Add social-political critique and conspiracy theories into the mix and you’ve got yourself quite the story. Try to fit the continuation of such a plot in the time span of a single film and have it appeal to the average viewer, that’s a challenge.

The film is ambitious indeed and it seemed to have an aggressive marketing plan that might have not come to fruition. Many of the characters from Southland Tales have myspace profiles and websites such as Krysta Now . Even one of the main corporations in the story have a promotional flash video for their car. The site for the Donnie Darko film featured an interactive game where more information about the plot was revealed. It looks like Richard Kelly was intending to do the same with Southland Tales, but to my knowledge the sites haven’t been updated since their creation.

If this wasn’t confusing enough, the film is a dark comedy and satire which is almost kitsch in its presentation. Not until I reflected on the trailers did I realize what was going on. Perhaps this will sound like a bad excuse to some, but the incredible cheesiness in the film may actually be intentional. An amnesiac action movie star is trying to save the world and a porn star is assisting him on his mission. Doesn’t exactly sound like the plot of the most serious film.

It wasn’t the critics that made Donnie Darko a cult classic, but the fans. So, I would encourage people to give the movie a chance. And if you want the full experience, read the Southland Tales prequal to get an idea of what’s going on.

And finally… a trailer:

Next Page »