“Crowds are all that's left,” James Joyce muttered to Eugene Jolas.
As Bob Dobbs walked into the studio, Joyce turned to him and whispered, “Television kills telephony in brother's broil.”
Dobbs: “Television? Mr. Baird was with my father last year after the fire at the Crystal Palace. Is the telephone related to television?”
Joyce: “They're both electric forms of communication. Hence, the simultaneity factor.”
Dobbs: “I always thought, when reading Eliot's The Wasteland, it was like eavesdropping on a telephone conversation.”
Joyce: “For such a young man, you say remarkable things. The underlying image that guided me through the book was a telephone party line that everyone had access to. I wonder if the language of my book will predict your life.”
Bob was distracted by a view of a lake through the window. A sign on a building said Banook Canoe Club. B-A-N-O-O-K. Bob looked at it in his mind's eye. Ban...the...book. “Well, television will certainly murder the book!”
“Not my book!” Joyce glared. “When you know the inevitable cycle of technological effects, from speech to television, you can anticipate the problems. It's probably happened before.”
Dobbs: “You mean, like Atlantis?”
Joyce: “Perhaps. Yeats would see it that way, but he didn't think anthropologically--more, psycho-spiritually. He was greatly impressed with the same ideas that influenced Aleister Crowley.”
Dobbs: “There's a man I'd like to meet.”
After the poetry reading, Rene [Bob's father] took Bob to Gurdjieff's home at Fontainebleau-Avon and there he was introduced to T.S. Eliot. Bob would hear Eliot say to Gurdjieff only fifteen minutes later: “You have to consider that any esoteric occult ritual is today socially acted out by the daily publishing and consuming of newspapers.” But an image distracted Bob--a beautiful blonde woman stood over a street grating with her dress billowing. A movie marquee above spelled out SOME LIKE IT HOT.
As Wyndham Lewis put the book on his lap, he directed the following words to Bob: “Art used to be the teaching machine. Not anymore. We can now see that the mechanical environment is the teaching machine.” Bob saw a small shape orbiting around the Earth--this image floated out of the lamp to the right of Lewis' head.
Ezra Pound stared at the very young-looking fourteen-year-old Bob Dobbs.
Pound: Go for the higher hypothesis. Forget Joyce and his Aristotelianism, think like Plato.
Dobbs: What would Plato have made of modern communication?
Pound: That's what I'm working on in my Cantos--mating poetry and the newspaper!
Bob looked away, saw a headlight of a Ford Model-T, and out of it an image of a politician riding in the back seat of a car getting his head blown off flashed at him. A sign nearby spelled out D-E-A-L-E-Y P-L-A-Z-A.
Bob sat very still on the sofa as Rene prepared to answer Adolf Hitler's question.
Renee: We were not and are not now in a position to interfere with your nation's wishes.
Hitler: That is good. We think it is in your nation's wishes, too. And in the aspirations of our children and yours. That is all we need to discuss now. Please excuse me, and I will join you and your son in my movie theater downstairs later.
Bob wondered about the old man's [W. B. Yeats] morbidity as he uttered so clearly: “The emotion of multitude is the key to survival today. As long as people have that they can forget about death.” Then Bob was in a room and a short man in a white robe lay on a couch. His eyes were closed. A flower fell slowly out of his hand. And the phrase, “This Awareness indicates…,” started a sentence. The image faded and Bob looked into W. B. Yeats' eyes again.
Bob, let me suggest to you how to penetrate a fascination you will
have in about ten years. Every generation is obsessed with the events
and dramas of the immediately preceding generation. If you study the
debate James Joyce and I had in our writings a decade ago you will
have a front-row seat and a healthy close-up on
Dobbs: Well, I know one of my father's great obsessions is the book Mr. Joyce is supposed to be writing right now. Is he still debating with you?
Lewis: He certainly is. I'm familiar with what he's working on now and I can prove to you that I am one of the main protagonists in his new book. One of the main images I used on my side of the debate was the insect. I expressed the fear that our society was beginning to turn into a giant mechanical bug. And if you read the parts Joyce has published in Transition magazine, you will see the main character is a man named after an insect--an earwig, to be specific.
Dobbs: What's his name?
Bob giggled as he peered more closely at the colour of the brushstrokes Mr. Lewis was adding to his portrait of Rene.
Peggy Guggenheim (whispering to Bob about Samuel Beckett who was sitting at the far end of the table): Bobby, do you think he's an attractive man?
Dobbs: No, not at all. He looks like a ghost. Why?
Guggenheim: He is a little taciturn, but I think there's an interesting man behind his apparent shyness.
Dobbs: He is so very respectful to Mr. Joyce.
Connie was sitting on the couch beside her new friend Peggy Guggenheim, a woman who Connie had heard a lot about from her mother and had looked forward to meeting. They were guests at James Joyce's fifty-sixth birthday party in the home of Peggy's oldest friend, Helen Joyce. Mr. Joyce had just offered one hundred francs to anyone who could guess the real title of his Work-in-Progress.
Connie (shyly whispering to Peggy): Finnegan's Wake.
Samuel Beckett (sitting beside Connie): Finnegan's Wake!!
Joyce: That's it! You win, Sam! Congratulations.
Peggy stared in a slight state of horror at Connie as Connie winked at her.
Aldous Huxley: Study the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Bob. If I ever have a chance to see you again whenever this coming war ends, you'll thank me. I don't think Lewis, or even Joyce, knows what to do with it. Bob smiled, shook Aldous' hand, and an image of an older, thin man putting a small cube of cement in a bottle of water floated over Huxley's tie.
Dobbs: Excuse me for being nervous, but I've looked forward to this moment for a long time. My father has told me a lot about you.
Aleister Crowley: I understand. I cast a long shadow before me.
Dobbs: I was wondering what you will do when war breaks out.
Crowley: Like your father, I will work for the British secret services. That's no mystery.
Dobbs: Another question I have--what do you think the Egyptian pyramids are telling us?
Crowley: Too much for a young man like yourself to know, yet.
Bob glanced at Rene, who only smiled, and returned his sight quickly to Crowley. Behind Crowley's head in the mirror on the dining-room wall, Bob saw a white room with rows of women working at typewriters that had small glowing screens attached to them. Above the screens were the words, HADRON INC. Are those ancient Egyptians?
RHYEE. ELOI. TU. LOFTI. Bob couldn't shake the words out of his head. What did those words mean, he wondered as he wandered into his father's room. Rene sat glowing in his favorite chair. He had just returned from a Priory de Sion meeting, his father's favorite activity. He was holding a book. He held it up for Bob to see the cover. The title was two strange words--FINNEGANS WAKE. No apostrophe--a misprint right on the cover, Bob laughed to himself.
“Tim, he's finally finished it!”
Bob's father always called Bob “Tim” after Rene attended a meeting with the Priory. The habit usually lasted about 24 hours.
“I don't think I've seen him since he made that recording a while back.”
Bob looked while Rene opened to the first page. He moved it in to the light and Bob noticed more misprints… or it wasn't written in English.
“This book will be a guide for world government. A kind of operating manual for the next few decades. I'm going to show you how to use it after you've become absolutely exasperated with it.”
Dobbs: But Mr. Joyce, what meaning is underneath all the layers of meaning in your new book?
Joyce: I've written it, Bobby, so that it cannot be edited down into any particular level of meaning.
Dobbs: That's stupid. Then it's meaningless, and it's a failure.
Joyce: Yes, it looks like a book. But I assure you, it's more than a book.
Renee: Bob, the movie camera rolls up the world like our cognitive faculties do when they apprehend sensory life. And then the movie projector plays back what the camera took in just like we do when we speak. It's the same process.
you're going to be meeting a very interesting character tomorrow. His
name is Fritz Kraemer. You just do what he says. Don't ask your type
of questions. The next few months are going to be a little dangerous
for you because we're going into the final turn.
Rene then turned his attention to the newspaper on his desk. But that only lasted a few seconds. He sighed, put the paper down, and began scanning the maps on his worktable.
Dobbs: Father, do you remember the young lady I told you I met at the club the other night. Well, I saw her coming out of the embassy today. She was with some of Gehlen's people.
Renee: You mean that Constance girl?
Dobbs: Yes, but she told me she prefers to be called “Connie.” Anyway, why would she be with those thugs? It's unfathomable. That's not the impression she gave me when I met her. Do you get my point?
Renee: Definitely. I'll look into this tomorrow. I know who'll know.
Dobbs: It appears you knew about me before I met you in September.
Connie: My parents helped organize the Vichy government. Therefore, I was nurtured in the circles that monitored Parisians. And even though your father's network was untouchable, we still watched you. The significance of you and me working on this mission together indicates something different is going to happen. I think they're preparing for a new world order that will be set up after this war is over, which is going to be soon. And where they're sending us today probably has some role in it.
Dobbs: My family has been an observer of these Machiavellian maneuvers for over two hundred years.
Connie: My family goes back further than that, and they weren't just observers.
Bob relaxed as much as he could as the jeep headed out of Paris. I haven't been south of Paris in over a year. And I haven't met such an interesting young woman in a longer time. This is going to be fun.
American Soldier: Let me see your papers.
Fritz Kraemer handed the papers over to the guard at the gate. Bob and Connie sat beside Kraemer in the front of the jeep shivering in the bitter cold.
Soldier: Who won the World Series in 1940?
Kraemer: I don't know.
Connie:The Cincinnati Reds.
Bob was stunned and looked at Connie, then at Kraemer. They were both very calm. How'd she know that?
Soldier: What's the name of Betty Grable's third husband?
Kraemer: I don't know.
Connie: Harry James.
Soldier: You have a German accent. I can't let you through.
Kraemer: I left Germany in 1939.
Soldier: You don't seem to have any knowledge of American culture.
been in the military since I arrived in America. I haven't had the
time to enjoy its popular culture and, frankly, I have no interest in
it. Why is this an important
German soldiers wearing American uniforms murdered 86 American
soldiers at Malmedy a few days ago. We're under strict orders to
regardless of who they appear to be.
Kraemer: Make your decision, then. But consider how she knew the answers. She's no German and wouldn't be caught dead with one.
Connie: I used to date Joe DiMaggio.
Soldier (overwhelmed by Connie's beaming face): Okay, you can go through.
Bob relaxed, but Kraemer and Connie didn't express anything. I couldn't have answered those questions. I don't know anything about American so-called culture. How could Connie know about it? But come to think of it, "Connie" sounds like an Americanization of “Constance.” Strange. Damn, it's cold!
Renee:Bob, do you remember years ago when James Joyce told you that crowds were all that's left?
Renee: Well, that's no longer true. The atom bomb ended all that. The world is going to be run by and for machines now, and no human or crowd can alter that fact. There just can't be an atomic war, so we've told every country that any terrorist group that tries to hijack the planet with an atom bomb - their home country will be immediately destroyed. That's the law now.
Dobbs: Sir, I don't think we should be killing journalists and union leaders.
Reinhard Gehlen: Listen, Bob, this is a war. Have you got a better way to conduct one without killing people?
Dobbs: This is a war between managers. We don't have to kill the employees, also.
Gehlen: I also don't want to kill the workers, but I can't always control the foremen, especially the ones we've hired--and they were hired before I came in.
Dobbs (chuckling): Maybe these foremen know what they're doing. They see the messenger as the problem, not the message.
Gehlen: That's half the truth, because it's certainly not what you know, but, as you and I know, it's who you know. But then again, perhaps these foremen help disguise that fact. See? No matter what happens, it can be seen as useful. So you shouldn't be concerned.
Dobbs: I'm not sure. However, enough of that, I'm going to a Rossellini picture tonight with Gelli and his friends. I'll talk to you when I get back to Paris.
Renee: Bob, as all technological instruments of communication become the spinning content of the television medium, the citizen-viewers will become detached from any normal unconscious conditioning process. This is a state of mind a culture has never existed in before. We on the committee are going to find this a very interesting phenomenon to manage.
Dobbs: Anton, why would an aristocrat like yourself join the Bolsheviks at the time of the October Revolution?
Prince Anton Turkul: I'm a patriot first. At the time of the Revolution, I supported the removal of the useless Romanov dynasty. But once that was accomplished, me and my associates waited to see what would happen. Once the Bolsheviks consolidated power, we knew who to work with to exploit our interests. But it didn't mean we agreed with their programs. We certainly didn't agree with their international revolutionary plans. We only wanted to defend Russia. And we were in a position to work with everybody credibly and still not be discovered. Once Stalin is gone, we will make our move.
Dobbs: Who's this “we”?
Turkul: Keep this to yourself, even though your father probably already knows it. We’re a very old Christian sect within the Orthodox Church.
Dobbs: You're a secret society? Like my father's Priory de Sion?
Turkul: Yes, although we didn't know of the Priory until after the Revolution.
Renee: Bob, I want you to think about the fact that when you see yourself on the television screen, your image is not reversed as in a regular mirror.
Renee: Bob, this is going to be an interesting year. Stalin will be dead soon, the Korean War will soon be over--the world is going to be a different place politically. It's going to be more a battle for men's minds, rather than for territory. And I think a symptom has already surfaced. Do you remember Sandoz and their LSD-25?
Dobbs: Yes, Dr. Albert Hofmann, in particular.
Renee: Yes. Well, some people have surfaced and are complaining about how the CIA is misusing it as a truth serum for interrogation purposes. Interesting, isn't it? The mining of the subconscious for invisible patterns as a military operation. Joyce's Finnegans Wake comes to mind.
Dobbs: Finnegans Wake always comes to your mind. I'm afraid I've heard too much about that book over the years from you and your friends for it to fascinate me.
Renee: I think you should know, son, that we're going to give Herbert W. Armstrong and his church an outlet on Radio Luxembourg this year.
Dobbs: Why would you do that?
Renee: All the archetypes are allowed full expression from now on.
Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh (Prime Minister of Iran): Mr. Dobbs, it is getting harder for us to tolerate this embargo. You have been saying you can persuade the British that our compensation package is enough, but so far you have not been successful. I am getting very reluctant to continue relying on your resources.
Dobbs: The British Government is not able to control Allen Dulles and his CIA. Dulles is not willing to accept your administration and they are going to try and put in the Shah. The British have their hands tied, so we will rely on our influences in Washington to tie Dulles' hands. The British will soon accept your package and the Shah will remain in Rome. You can count on us, so you need not worry.
Renee: Bob, the committee wants you to go to New York for work that is new for us. We've got to get a better understanding of American culture.
In a cafe on McDougal Street, the English language poured out of the mouth holding court, much of it sculpting a tale about a Russian lady telling off Nazi officers in a concentration camp. Occasionally its audience would purr, “Oh, Garrett.” Bob thought of Paris, his father, Baron Rothschild, and Wyndham Lewis.
Bob turned to Marcel Duchamp asking, “Why not?”
“I'm going to protect my art from the Twentieth Century--this plague of machinery.”
Marshall McLuhan: My procedure is based on the identity, the identity, of the processes of cognition and creation.
Dobbs: Yes, but then that identity is applied to mapping that process on the machines of communication.
McLuhan: Yes, as extensions of our unconscious.
Dobbs: And my father and his people realized that what Joyce was demonstrating in Finnegans Wake was a means of being conscious of those stages of apprehension.
McLuhan: But today it is largely futile to discuss it at all at any level of society.
Dobbs: That may not be a problem. Does this mean you will become a satirist?
McLuhan didn't answer as the field pulled them down the hall.
Jacobo Arbenz (President of Guatemala): I know the United Fruit Company are going to try to have me removed. But can I count on your support?
Dobbs: One hundred percent. Nobody is going to remove you. I know Howard Hunt and his CIA team are confident that it'll be a cinch. But they have no knowledge of the strength of those defending you. We know their every move.
J. Edgar Hoover screamed at Bob and his partner: “They've nailed McCarthy and now the Catholics are going to run roughshod over us all!”
Dobbs: Yeah, this joker, McLuhan, is a Catholic.
Renee: Bob, the committee is not happy with your work in the Middle East and Latin America. But they are satisfied with your assignments in Toronto and New York. So your base of operations is going to be Nova Scotia. It's a perfect place for you to never be suspected, and we have sentimental tentacles there that stretch far back into our past that you are well aware of.
Marshall McLuhan stood in the hall.
McLuhan: They won't give up their specialism. I can't form a unified team.
Carpenter: And the administration won't pay me back. It's not going to work in the university.
Carpenter stared down the hall corridor.
Dobbs: I can get Bassett to fund an independent issue.
Bob stared down the other end of the hallway.
McLuhan (directed at Dobbs): Balbus is building a wall.
Dobbs: Yeah, James Joyce. Is that why you blessed “SEPARATENESS” in your Counterblast last year?
McLuhan: Blake would have been the opposite of holism in this century, too.
Dobbs: Yes, and he would have spelt it “bulbous.”
Garrett Deane took each step very slowly. Bob watched from across the street, trying not to laugh. The citizens of the town of Dartmouth swarmed off the ferry onto the bottom of Portland Street. Some began to look confused as they slowed their pace. They could see that this face up ahead had on some kind of white make-up, but not as thick as a mime's--more like a smooth powder. Garrett passed through the crowd, walking carefully but seeming not to notice the reactions. Bob followed Garrett as he turned right onto Alderney Drive. Bob felt like a documentary camera. He told me he was going to do this as a joke, but he seems to be doing it so seriously.
Rene: Bob, as I've explained to you before, we're engaged in building a solar government as a network that keeps the world government in check. Within two years the Soviet Union is going to be the first to make this solar cop visible.
Dobbs slammed Ted Carpenter up against the blackboard.
Dobbs: McLuhan says that we, each of us, are a pattern of information. Well, who is patterning Ray Birdwhistel?
Carpenter: Yeah? Well, who blacklisted Dorothy Lee?
Garrett Deane and Bob were walking out of the Mayfair Theatre into the afternoon sunlight, only momentarily blinding, when Bob suggested they go over to the Banook Canoe Club for a swim. But first they studied the poster for the new Elvis movie, LOVING YOU, they had just seen.
Deane: Your offer is the perfect refreshment I need after basking in the heat of Elvis' voice. What a singer! It makes up for the obvious lack of drama in the movie.
Dobbs: He's a strange and wild phenomenon. America is such an intriguing culture. When I think of my adolescence in Paris back in the Thirties, I feel like we were Martians compared to these American teenagers. Speaking of drama, when are you going back to New York?
Deane: In two weeks. I want to get ready for a few imminent auditions.
Dobbs: Did I ever tell you how I saw the word "Banook" in a psychic flash when I was young in Paris.
McLuhan: Only a rapid series of innovations can be anti-environmental today, and that situation is only an ersatz one. We can't escape the inevitable merging, synchronicity, or implosion.
Dobbs: So fragmentation is necessary to reinforce the status quo, a strange route for creating a sense of unified resonance.
McLuhan: It's the new law for our time as long as our age lives under electric conditions.
Bob slipped into the little club in the Mojave Desert and found a stool. Bo Diddley was taking a break, but a conversation caught Bob's attention: “Frank, you believe the universe has a point of view--tight and tapered. I believe the universe doesn't--fast and bulbous!” The speaker had a baby-face but the aura of a woodsman. The Frank spoken to looked like many people Bob had seen around Jean Paul Sartre's scene in Paris. Bob thought of Marshall McLuhan and “balbus.”
Rene: Bob, I think I'm the only one on the committee who realizes we're now in a world that no longer lives at the speed of light, but at the speed of thought - this is faster.
Dobbs: You mean, telepathy and ESP?
“Since we don't know what this thing does, we have to keep it under wraps. Somebody else might be able to eventually figure this out and use it against us.”
Bob looked away from the speaking face and out across the California desert and nodded his head.
“I'm going to enjoy coming back here, at least for a while.”
Captain Alfred Hubbard: What can I do for you, sir?
Dobbs: I represent a group that is interested in your recent enthusiasms?
Hubbard: You mean LSD-25?
Dobbs: Yes. You have no qualms about discussing it?
Hubbard: No, the more the merrier.
Dobbs: Well, I'm their guinea pig subject to your discretion.
Hubbard: Let's go for a walk.
Outside on the suburban sidewalk Bob noticed some kids rockin’ and rollin’ in their hulahoops.
Dobbs: Why are you stopping the car here?
Captain Alfred Hubbard: You see that house across the street? That's the Center of Integration. Some very interesting people live in there. It's my favorite experimental site for my studies with LSD.
Dobbs: Why is that?
Hubbard: Because very psychic and aware people are associated with the Center, and I think it's important to investigate the effects of the drug on that kind of sensitivity. Anyway, you stay here. I'll be back in a few minutes.
Dobbs watched as the Captain walked across the street, rushed up the front walkway, knocked on the door, and was greeted by a young man who appeared to be in his late twenties or early thirties. But Dobbs was startled by his face. He had seen that beaming moon-face while under the influence of LSD.
Bob walked into Banook Canoe Club with Hugh Boyd.
Mrs. Jamieson beckoned to Hugh and asked quietly, “Who's he?”
Hugh: He's Bob Dobbs. I met him downtown the other day at Brothers' Lunch. He was saying some incredible things and I got talking to him. I've been with him night and day since.
Mrs. Jamieson: Well, anyway, you better get some sleep. I think I have a job for you.
Dobbs sauntered over to the war canoe as the paddlers pushed off from the wharf. What a strange sport--we never had this back in Paris. Look at the muscles. And these are young women. Meanwhile, Jerry Lee Lewis interrupted Dobbs' reverie with his new song “Great Balls of Fire” shouting from around the corner of this summer club. Turning the corner there was a little beach packed with people quivering in that mood of anticipation that marks an American holiday.
Somebody yelled out, “MacGlashen, you're in the next race! Get over here!” And the young man inside Jerry Lee Lewis turned off the radio and brushed past Bob.
Rene: Bob, everything's truly disappeared now! This means there can be no Present. Only an ersatz Present that is manufactured can exist now, and temporarily at that. There is no longer the nowness of Now.
Dobbs: Now you're being ridiculous, father! It's more like you've disappeared! Because I know I'm still here, and thank God for that!
Dobbs: I've always felt quietly thrilled whenever I've been in your parents’ home, Garrett. But now it's your responsibility.
Deane: Yes, Bob, my mother's funeral took a lot out of me. When I return to New York, I know this house will keep pulling me back here. Perhaps even more than the sirens of Broadway. But let's go out on the balcony and you can tell me about your endless wanderings over the rivers and valleys. It's like spring out there!
Dobbs: Soon the paddlers will be out on Banook Lake. Garrett, why don't you come up to the rink with me tonight?
Deane: Yes... hockey. I would if they used pucks that flew.
Dobbs: Marshall, you better start writing a book soon. Look at this article by J. C. Carothers in Psychiatry magazine. They're catching up to you.
McLuhan (taking the article in his hands): Not likely.
Dobbs: Read it later. I want to ask you if you've figured out what Sputnik and these new satellites mean, yet?
McLuhan: Yes, I think I'm getting a handle on them. I've had to do a lot of reformulation of my ideas over the last couple of years because of them.
Dobbs: May I hear a few of them?
McLuhan: I think I'll take a rain check on that.
Dobbs laughed quietly and turned on his transistor radio. He raised it meaningfully at Marshall as “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke hopped into McLuhan's hospital room.
Bob sat in Brothers' Lunch and marveled at how close the canoe race had been between Mickey MacGlashen and Gabor Joo. Hugh Boyd and Gary Geddes walked in.
Boyd: “Bob, have you heard they're going to make a movie about the Bounty here in Nova Scotia?”
Dobbs: “Yes, and I think I can get you in it? What do you say to that?”
Just then an older man came out of the washroom, sat down by Bob, but Bob didn't introduce him.
Dobbs: Mr. Taub, you've been waiting for me to tell you this for a while now, haven't you?
William Taub: Yes, I've expected this for at least two years. You can guarantee this?
Dobbs: With the new President, the old team is no longer protected. There has to be changes. So, Trujillo will be out of power by next summer. This will change your circumstances considerably, as you know.
Taub: Why do we have to be so unstable?
Dobbs: The bomb as an environment mandated the American intercom. Satellites only reinforce this condition. Militarily, there cannot be a national scale, let alone a human scale. Those are the facts, ma'am. Anyway, you know this--do I really have to remind you?
Taub: I'm sorry, I occasionally get sentimental. So I'll have more work after this change?
Dobbs: Perhaps. I don't have any say in that. If you are let go, I'll be in touch with you. I can be sentimental, too. After all, our vocations are very similar, wouldn't you say? Only on different levels.
Rene: Bob, our family has been a butlering institution for over three hundred years and I don't want it to continue in that fashion anymore. I'm now dedicated to getting you out of this intelligence function that we've been forced to serve. This will be the last chance to redeem our family, to find a new role in a coming world of greater choice. But you must tell no one what I've just said. I'm going to very carefully manipulate the committee to get you on it. This is going to be almost impossible. However, the network you're creating serendipitously in North America, whether you know it or not, is going to help me free you.
J. Edgar Hoover: Those fools are going ahead with that Castro nonsense.
Dobbs: Shit, so I'm going to have to go down to Miami.
Hoover: Not only that, you're going to have to visit the JM/Wave group.
Rene: Connie, this device will keep you in touch with the surveillance facilities at Menwith Hill in North York for the next six months. You then must return it to me and I will have the next codes installed. You can't show Bob how to use this at any time. He understands these are the rules the committee has set out and he will respect the security requirements in this aspect of your duties.
Connie: Don't fret. There's never any “prob” with Bob.
Rene smiled and kissed Connie lightly on her hand.
Rene: You are the most delightful and grandest daughter-in-law a father could ever wish for. I miss seeing you around here every day like in the old days. Are you really enjoying your posting in Nova Scotia?
Connie: It's a
quaint enough place for pretending to be an earnest middle-class
knownothing. Where we live is a Happy Valley that gives us respite
from our Parisian worldweariness.
I don't miss the formalities of France at all - at least, most of the time.
Rene: I think North America is slowly changing you as much as it has Bob. But perhaps that is for the better, considering the plans I have for you.
Connie: Has Bob told you much about our friend Garrett Deane?
Rene: The old Broadway actor?
Connie: Yes. I think he must have had a past life in Paris. He is a Parisian to the core, but he has never been to Europe. It's the strangest thing. Since he spent most of his life in New York, it lends credence to the theory that New York is not really an American city. I must send you some photos of him. He's actually a lot like you if you had not been a butler.
Dobbs: Frank, how's the greeting card business over in Claremont?
Zappa: It's not music, but I got a hunch that what I'm learning about business, especially advertising, is going to help me be a better composer.
Dobbs: Do you think Don Vliet will learn as much in the shoe business?
Zappa laughed and turned on his tape recorder.
Dobbs: I met a genius the other day over in Cucamonga.
Dobbs: His name is Paul Buff and he has this amazing studio. It has the most advanced recording equipment I've ever seen - out here in the sticks, no less! I told him about you and Don. He says you're welcome to visit and look it over any time.
Zappa: Give me his address and I'll go over tonight.
Dobbs: Sure, but if you keep that tape recorder running, you're going to owe me millions.
Rene: Bob, it's beginning to look like the Vatican's philosopher, Aquinas - the angelic doctor - might have the last laugh. This is certainly what your friend and cut-out, McLuhan, has placed his bets on. His use of Aquinas' own word, “medium,” is very clever. Even though the committee assigned you the job of monitoring him, he may prove extremely helpful in my plans for you. Although the committee will have to drop him eventually, I don't want you to lose touch with him and those of his colleagues who have a good understanding of him.
As Bob and Marshall left the church, Bob couldn't hold back the question he'd kept to himself for the last couple of years.
Dobbs: Mac, why do you go to Mass every day?
McLuhan: The Mass is the secret behind everything I write about. The stages of apprehension which are replayed in the artistic, creative process are also echoed in the Eucharist. These stages of apprehension are again mimed in the rituals of the collective, social energies as shown in the popular phrase “mass media.” However, what we are living in today is a Black Mass that is eating us alive daily. So I have a responsibility everyday to hold up the Catholic Mass to our environment just as the Holy Cross is used to ward off a vampire.
Dobbs: So Christ took the simple act of sharing food, turned it into an artform, the cliche'-to-archetype pattern, and parodied the secret cults and their magicians for all time.
McLuhan: You got it!
Sidney Gottlieb: You think we've gone off track? What's wrong with it?
Dobbs: This MKULTRA project is very misguided. You'll never be able to control the private citadel of consciousness. Oh, you can disorient it for a while, but you're never going to know if it has recovered the ability to distort what it's presenting to you. London and Tavistock have figured this much out, and I've been instructed to tell you so your team doesn't fall behind. And you will if you continue pursuing your present objectives.
Gottlieb: What is the advantage that Tavistock has over us?
Dobbs: They're looking into the structures of language itself, exploiting the differences between metaphor and metonymy--basically, the shaping of collective archetypes. I think this is the cause of Dr. Leary's restlessness. He sees how misguided and futile your interests are.
Gottlieb: Ha! Dr. Leary's opinions are useless as far as my work is concerned. Let him and his associates drift wherever the archetypes take them. Good riddance! The Zeitgeist now bespeaks the rise of the individual and we have to remain on top of that.
Dobbs: Frank, if you and Don Vliet are going to change the music business, then why not do it together?
Zappa: We are going to do it together. We had a talk at a folk music club the other night where we agreed on a mutual goal. We hope to be able to make a movie, too. I think Don can carry a lead role.
Dobbs: That's great! But I want to hear you in the same band, now.
Zappa: You will, Bob, you will. Soon.
Bob grinned and put another 45rpm record on the turntable. He, Motorhead, and Frank sat back and contemplated “Girl of My Dreams” by The Cliques.
Bob idled along Wyse Road thinking of Garrett Deane's sweet breath and approached Dartmouth High School. He heard some shouting coming out of the gymnasium. “The Big Five! Yeah! The Big Five!” In his mind Bob saw a chart with five columns: Rhyee, Eloi, Tu, Lofti, Bob. He walked in and introduced himself to Randy, Flaps, Mike, Gary, Peter, Ray, Dennis, and the gym instructor, Bill Young.
Bob jumped into the car as the assassin ran back from the fence and got in the passenger side. They headed for a house on the outskirts of Dallas.
Randy turned down Slater Street and headed for the road hockey game. He marveled at what a great song “Cry, Cry, Baby,” by Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters, was. He couldn't get over how much he loved the radio. He puzzled over how hard it was to keep up his interest in hockey. As he approached the game, he laughed to himself as Mike Kroger slipped on the snow and collapsed on Gary Reid's stomach while Gary's stick just missed Ross Short's head. Once he started playing, he forgot about the music and was happy he had already scored two goals and got one assist. Then it happened. Penny Peters and Judy MacLean came bustling by saying something about the President of the United States being shot. He immediately wondered if this would affect the party at Steve's that night. It was going to be a farewell party for Reid whose father had been transferred to Bathurst, New Brunswick. This game was being played in front of Gary's house where they had had some good sleep-over parties. That wouldn't happen anymore. Randy hoped Gary's girlfriend, Janet Stevenson, would be at the party. Then the tennis ball slapped into his thigh. OWWWW!!!!
Bob swept up Crichton Park Road swaying and melting to Garnet Mimms' “Cry, Cry, Baby” on the car radio. Dobbs was happy also because it hadn't been too much hassle getting it on the charts. North America really needed it. He saw Randy coming out of #25 so he slipped to a stop.
Dobbs: Hey, you don't look well.
Randy: Uhh... I had a fight with Mike last Friday night at a party over at Steve Tanner's.
Dobbs: The night Kennedy was killed... there was a lot of fighting that night, especially in Dallas.
Bob walked up Portland Street with Flaps, who was only 14 years old.
Dobbs: We and all our activities are pills for the gaping maw.
Flaps: I don't think Oswald killed Kennedy.
Dobbs: Oh yeah, he shot Kennedy.
Flaps: Are you sure?
Dennis walked around the cars towards the Dartmouth Rink with Bob.
Dobbs: Do you think Oswald shot Kennedy?
Dennis: Sure, they proved it.
Dobbs: Think again. Why do you think he was killed by Ruby?
Just then Billy Barton hobbled up to Dennis with his skates on and shoved a newspaper article in his face. “Look at this! There's a new band coming here from England. They're called the Beatles.” Dennis puzzled over the photo while Billy failed to take any notice of Bob, the man standing by Dennis.
J. Edgar Hoover: Now you listen to me, Bob! You and your people are going to have to level with me! I have proof that you were at Dealey Plaza and that you were directly involved with the assassination of President Kennedy! So you better give me the whatfor. Why did you kill the President?
Dobbs: Edgar, you know you can't touch me, so you can call off your threats. But I'll give you your what-for. The reason is somewhere between collective phobia, national mythmaking, cultural norm-functioning, and individual sensation. You can take your pick or juggle all four. Remember, Edgar, I have no grievance against the Catholics.
Hoover: Catholics? What are you trying to suggest?
Dobbs: Just what I said.
Hoover: Are you taping this?
Dobbs: Of course.
Hoover: Your friends think they have immunity for now and all time. Well, I'm going to make it my legacy that they will be exposed. Since you're getting it on tape, you make damn sure they hear me saying this. And you're going down with them. Now get out of this building!
As Bob left the Dartmouth Rink he bumped into his new friends Randy and Flaps as they chatted up three teenage girls with skates slung over their respective shoulders.
Randy: Hey, Bob! We meet again! Kristen, come here and meet one of the neatest rink rats you could ever know!
Randy quickly and excitedly introduced Bob to Kristen, Sue, and Nancy. Flaps told Bob they had been talking about the Beatles and wondered if he had heard of them.
Dobbs: Yes, I saw them on the Ed Sullivan show a few weeks ago. They ain't no Louis Armstrong.
Kristen: Oh, they're better than anybody. I can't get enough of them!
Sue: The Beach Boys are better!
Dobbs (looking at Nancy): And you?
Nancy: I don't listen to the radio much. I haven't heard them.
Flaps: Elvis will always be better than the Beatles!
Dobbs: It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a swarm of insects! The Beatles!
Everybody cracked up. Bob was proving to be a funny rink rat.
Dobbs: Do you young ladies attend the cinema?
Kristen, Sue, Nancy: Yes! Of course!
Randy, Flaps: Whoa! What a fast mover!
Dobbs: Would you like to see BYE BYE BIRDIE?
Kristen, Sue, Nancy: Yeah!
Dobbs: Well, let's go!
Randy and Flaps stood there limply looking a little confused.
Dobbs (looking back): C'mon, you two! The ladies say you're welcome to come along! Randy and Flaps smiled and sheepishly got in line as Bob marched across the muddy parking lot.
Willoughby Sharp: Sir, excuse me, but I was wondering what you thought of this Pop Art exhibit.
Dobbs: Warhol is treating the software machine as artform. He's merely reacting to the present. However, the fact is, we live in an anticipatory democracy.
Deane: Bob, ever since my mother died I've spent more time during the summer in Dartmouth than in New York City. But I still spend more time in New York during the winter--much more appealing than Nova Scotia. However, this year the mood was different. New Yorkers are a little more somber. A little air has been let out of them. I think the Kennedy assassination has deeply affected Americans. It makes me a little sad, and if New York doesn't get out of these doldrums soon, I may spend more time all-year-round here in Dartmouth.
Dobbs: That may be true for the people our age, but the Beatles have jump-started the kids into a necessary floating ebullience.
Deane: If the Beatles are just a fad, then those American kids are going to be fed one hysterical fad after another for the next umpteen decades into their doddering old age if this dark Kennedy cloud isn't lifted.
Dobbs: You really think so?
Deane: Yes. And let me ask you a personal question. I don't think I've noticed any change in you since President Kennedy was shot. It doesn't seem to have affected you. Am I reading you correctly?
Dobbs: Yes, because the forces that lead to his death I had adapted to even before I met you ten years ago.
Deane: What forces?
Dobbs: I'd rather not talk about it today. Look at the weather outside. Let's go over to Banook Lake.
Deane: Oh yes, you are so wise, Bobby! The wailing of America will not touch our ears! We have the thickest wax in all of Camelot! Not for us the mast of Ulysses! We will walk with Aristotle's Peripatetics! To the lap of Neptune!
Garrett and Bob rushed out the back door of Garrett's house and into the bright harbour air. But Bob knew Garrett had seen a new strange part of Bob that Garrett had not experienced before. The tables have turned and now I'm under the microscope, not Garrett, as has been the case up to now.
Rene: Bob, I don't think the committee realizes it's got only about five years left to definitively consolidate its interests. And even then it's an “iffy” proposition whether consolidation, or lockdown, is possible.
Dobbs: Mars, in your writing you use the symbolic cluster of Sex, Death, and Technology. Don't you think you should add Thought to that grouping?
McLuhan: Yes, I've been doing that lately. I indicate this when I say students want insights, not packages. From instruction to discovery.
McLuhan and Bob entered the movie house on Bloor Street to see THE SOUND OF MUSIC. McLuhan left after ten minutes muttering that entertainment is the new torture, but Bob stayed and traveled to the Old Country.
Allen Dulles: Mr. Dobbs, we are doing our own little review of the assassination of President Kennedy and we were hoping you could help us.
Dobbs: I know nothing of the events surrounding that tragedy and I'm afraid I can't help you.
James Jesus Angleton: But we have heard that you do know something. Just between us, it wouldn't hurt anybody if you gave us a few tips.
Dobbs: Do I have to repeat myself? Gentlemen, I have a plane to catch and I don't think you want to join me in the pleasures of modern transportation. Good night.
As Bob left the restaurant, he noticed nobody was following him.
Dobbs: I know the police in Cucamonga are setting our friend, Zappa, up for a bust in a couple of days. I hesitate to warn him for one reason. Can you guess it?
Connie Dobbs: That's easy! We know America is going to draft a lot of young men as it gets more bogged down in Viet Nam. We don't want Frank to be drafted, and that can only be prevented if he has some kind of crime on his resume. So you better not warn him. It'll be painful for Frank but he'll learn a lot about his society from it. He'll be the smarter for it and make better music to assist our purposes. Anyway, his father will get him out of jail very quickly. He doesn't take any guff.
Dobbs: Yeah, you're right. I have no choice but to let the detective do it.
Dobbs: It's an honour to meet you, Dr. Beter. My Japanese friends tell me that you saved their lives.
Beter: How do I know your Japanese friends?
Dobbs: Through your work at the Export-Import Bank.
Beter: Ah, yes. The Japanese applied for loans from the Bank, but the generals on its board wouldn't have anything to do with them. I was the only one who understood the Japanese couldn't go home empty-handed. They would have killed themselves if they stopped applying. Now they think I'm their saviour because I convinced the Bank to give them some loans.
Dobbs: I'm curious now to see how they do in the global market.
Beter: How are you involved with them? Not many people know my role in these areas.
Dobbs: I work in intelligence.
Beter: Aha! Then we must talk some more when we are alone.
Dobbs: So how do you feel about it now? It's been three years today.
David Ferrie (turning on the car radio): Let's see what the radio says I feel.The station was just beginning to play “It's Gonna Take A Miracle” by the Royalettes. Bob and David both began to beam as they started to sing along with this heaven-sent song. As they roared up Fifth Avenue, it wasn't long before they began to laugh and sway.
Bob sat in one of the dressing rooms of the Dartmouth Rink as the coach prepared Bob's young friends for the final playoff game against Prince Andrew High School. As Bob watched the tense faces of Randy, Steve, Flaps, Dennis, and Alan, he thought of Hilliard Graves in the opposing dressing room and Darryl Maggs out in Bedford. Those two players were the only ones that seemed destined for a professional career in hockey--although this wouldn't occur to anybody else that night or any future night. Later Bob heard some of his friends’ girlfriends--Jane MacGlashen, Judy MacLeod, Gudrun Gurholt—singing “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas and the Papas while waiting at the canteen.
Not So Well-known European Businessman: We've got to get a hook into this student unrest that's increasing in the United States. Since their leanings are to the left, it has to be through the socialist parties. Look for someone with a grievance in there.
Bob flew into New York and soon after perusing the radical journals for a while, he got in touch with a writer calling himself Lynn Marcus.
Dobbs: Is Lynn Marcus your real name?
Marcus: It's Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr.
Dobbs: What's your complaint?
LaRouche: Well, I'm a Platonist. I've made some discoveries that show that the real stream of Platonism is a story suppressed and untold. There is a technological basis for the conflict between Aristotelianism and the real Platonism.
Dobbs: I think it was Coleridge who said men were either Aristotelians or Platonists.
LaRouche: Yes, and the Romantics were certainly no help to my antecedents in that century--my allies being thinkers like Humboldt and Reimann.
Dobbs: So what is your strategy?
LaRouche: I'm going to offer a night class over at Columbia and create a cadre of students who can steer this revolution away from its present controllers who have a decidedly Aristotelian, Utopian bent.
Dobbs: I'm a revolutionary myself and I have funds available for you if you can show me some results and get your plans into action.
The rest of the conversation was drowned out by “Like a Rolling Stone” as Bob and LaRouche left the restaurant on West 4th Street.
Bob sat down on the wooden bench to have some soup. The spoken sentence, “The rituals of the Order of the Golden Dawn should not be used to establish a new priesthood,” passed into his awareness and he turned and recognized the speaker's face. It took Bob a few minutes for him to place it. Seattle, about ten years ago, during the LSD experiments. He walked over carefully balancing his soup.
“Excuse me, but did you live in Seattle once?” Bob asked.
“Did you spill your soup?”
Bob looked down. The familiar face continued, “I still live there.”
“I think we met many years ago. Anyway, did you know that Krishnamurti is mentioned in Finnegans Wake?”
“I've heard of that book, but I haven't read it.”
“Oh no, one can't read it per se, one can only study it. By the way, I'm Bob Dobbs.”
“David Worcester, pleased to meet you.”
Dobbs: Oh, you're the man who asked Krishnamurti if he's asking us to experience violence!
Worcester: Yes, what did you think of his answer?
Dobbs: Well, he said he is doing that. But for me Krishnamurti addresses the individual's private citadel of consciousness as the source of spiritual regeneration and ignores the dynamics of the crowd.
Worcester: That may be so but when Rhyee set up the principality of Man...
Dobbs (looking stunned): Rhyee!!?? Did you say Rhyee? Who's Rhyee?
Worcester: Yes... it's a concept channeled by a friend of mine who's a medium.
Dobbs: Is he here today?
Worcester: No, he lives in Hawaii. His name is Ralph Duby.
Dobbs: “Rhyee.” I can't believe it! I've had that word running through my mind for over, at least, twenty-five years. I've never known what it referred to.
Bob entered the restaurant knowing who he was looking for and what she looked like although he had never met her. Ah, there she is. She's sitting where she has a good view of the room. She's picking up on me right away.
Dobbs: Mae Brussell, I presume.
Brussell: Mr. Dobbs?
Dobbs: Yes. I wanted to meet with you about the Ramparts article on the Kennedy assassination you worked on behind the scenes with Penn Jones.
Brussell: Yes, there are a lot of potential witnesses dying. Why are you interested?
Dobbs: Penn Jones speaks very highly of your cross-indexing work on the twenty-six volumes of the Warren Commission and I'd like to help.
Brussell: I don't know you well enough yet so I won't let you near my files. But I welcome any new sources of information as long as they keep their distance. How does that sit with you?
Dobbs: That's not a problem. I know some witnesses who are willing to talk very, very quietly. But they know if there is one mistake, they are dead.
Brussell: They definitely would die. I understand that.
Dobbs: I trust you do. So I will keep you in touch.
Brussell: Look who just walked in.
Bob turned around slightly in his chair but Warren Beatty wasn't looking in their direction.
Dobbs: Do you ever get a chance to read novels?
Brussell: Oh yeah. I like Henry Miller. He lives near me up in Carmel and we've become friends. Have you read him?
Dobbs: Not yet, but I intend to.
Gehlen: What does McLuhan say about the effects of television on Greece?
Dobbs: Publicly, not much. He only says he is studying a nation that just got TV. But privately, he knows what's going to happen: a panicked bureaucracy.
Gehlen: If he knows that, then he's correct, because the military is getting nervous. But we've got trouble coming in the Middle East and that's my primary concern right now.
Dobbs: Well, McLuhan blames the turmoil there on the United Nations distributing transistor radios to the local populations over the last ten years.
Gehlen: How in the hell did he figure that out?
Dobbs: He was lucky. He met Wyndham Lewis in the Forties, the original “man who knew too much.”
Gehlen: You know, I can't get over how perceptive your father was in sending you to monitor McLuhan so many years ago.
Dobbs: My father's team has always had the time to notice these new developments. They've got a lot of time on their hands, but they don't waste it.
Bob, Dennis, and Connie had just spent a couple of hours in a new club, The Trip, listening to the jazz band Circa 67.
Dennis: You know, I really liked that group. They're good musicians and all, but I don't know if that's the kind of music I want to study.
Connie: I think you mean you don't want to specialize in any particular kind of music.
Dennis: That could be the crux of my problem. But I've got to specialize to improve.
Dobbs: That may not be your only problem. You're being molded in a time where music is incidental to other effects that have to be communicated. Pop music is not just “music” per se, but is an environment. Look at the Beatles and the British invasion. You've got to deal with the fact that the traditional notion of music may not be possible anymore. I suggest this may be a cause of your restlessness and lack of focus.
Dennis: Are you talking about the merchandising of music?
Dobbs: No, I'm saying the audience's entertainment needs are being mutated and they have to be satisfied by new mixes. Being an entertainer today might mean being a high priest in a new kind of religion.
Dennis: I don't always understand what you're sayin’, Bob, but you make me think and that's good. I'll have to tell this to my music teacher and see what he says.
Dobbs: I was reading an old interview with that young folk singer, Bob Dylan, the other day, trying to see why he's so popular. He mentioned he read some Kant in college. What do you think of Kant as a philosopher?
LaRouche: Kant said there is no such thing as a cognizable creative process by which scientific discoveries are made. He also said later there is no cognizable process by which you can judge whether a form of art is good or not. It's all arbitrary. Now I don't agree with that at all. I operate on the exact opposite principle--that you can know the creative process. How does one come to this knowledge? By re-experiencing the act of discovery by original discoverers of principle from the past - beginning, in most cases, with the ancient Greeks. By reliving the paradox or problem, then reliving the flash of insight, and then reliving the proof of the principle, followed by the idea of applying the principle - by knowing, rather than memorizing, the most crucial experiences of scientific discovery and art in the known history of mankind, you learn nothing, but you know everything. And the tragedy is that Kant has greater influence today because he was resurrected by the likes of Norbert Wiener and his “information theory.” Bob Dylan is a product of an educational system that is organized around the principle of learning, and not knowing. He makes bad art!
Dobbs: That's an eloquent answer, Lyn. Have you ever heard of Marshall McLuhan?
Dobbs: Well, you will over the next few months. There is going to be a publicity blitz to raise his profile. I mention him because I know him personally and he has always stressed that he knows the identity of the processes of cognition and creation. That sounds anti-Kantian to me. I'm going to get you two together as soon as possible so you can compare notes. Meanwhile, watch for him in the media.
LaRouche: I'll look forward to it. “Marshall McLuhan” - what a strange name!
Bob and Lyndon parted as LaRouche hopped a subway taking him up to Columbia University to teach a class, and Dobbs stopped to pick up the latest issue of the East Village Other, the Village Voice, and the New York Times.
Dobbs: So, David, explain to me this “Rhyee” concept again.
Worcester: According to Awareness, Rhyee was the entity that manifested the first separateness from the Plane of Essence. It created the dimension known as “matter” and subsequently “man.” To perpetuate itself within matter, Rhyee made an agreement with the entity known as Isis to enter matter as “woman.” This led to the first priesthood as a means of creating authority. The words “authority” and “author” come from “awe.” All the subsequent principalities and dominions came from this Rhyee action. When Rhyee returns to Essence, there will be no support for maintaining any kind of power.
Dobbs: When will that happen?
Worcester: It already did... in January of this year.
Dobbs: What? You're kidding?
Worcester: No. And now we can find out if this dimension is real, or viable. The female womb is being closed.
Dobbs: Having heard Zappa's song, “Call Any Vegetable,” what do you think?
McLuhan: I once wrote an article, “The Southern Quality,” back in '46 or '47 where I explained why there was no human life on this planet. Since then, human beings have been grown inside programmed media-environments that are essentially like test tubes. That's why I say the kids today live “mythically.” I've long considered them as vegetables. Zappa seems to have an inkling of this.
Dobbs: I'll let him know what you said. I don't know if he has read any of your books.
Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart): Bob, we've been invited to play at this hippie festival up in Monterey in a few weeks. I don't know whether I want to be associated with such a crowd scene. What do you think I should do?
Dobbs: When does it happen?
Vliet: It starts on Friday, June sixteenth.
Dobbs: Aha, Bloomsday! Well, to me you represent the autonomy of the flesh under satellite conditions--free of all crowds and media. Obviously, to maintain that image, for me, you've got to avoid Monterey.
Vliet: But I don't think the band understands the purpose of my image--they're musicians and they want to be heard by as many people as possible.
Dobbs: Remember earlier when I told you about Rhyee returning to the Plane of Essence? And how there is no moredoubleness in consciousness?
Dobbs: Well, with that in mind, isn't it interesting you have a band member whose name is Ry Cooder?
Vliet started to smile.
Dobbs: And since you're the great punster, why not have Rhyee--alias Ry--leave the band just before the concert. You'd make a situational pun on this historic moment in human consciousness, and you'd have the perfect alibi.
Vliet (laughing): Yes, that would be an impressive sculpture. But how am I going to convince Ry to leave without him catching on?
Dobbs: You'll think of something. You've got a history of eccentricity to exploit. He's young, he won't figure it out for a long time.
Randy returned to the kitchen with the day's mail. He thought, “What's this? A letter for me?” He opened the envelope and out fell a booklet of tickets. Picking it up he saw it was for a lottery on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean sea. “Who sent me these?” It would take Randy several days before he would decide to take a chance on the lottery. But he kept wondering how the Maltese got his name and address.
Randy: Bob, I got a strange letter yesterday. I was wondering if you could help me.
Dobbs: Sure. What's strange about it?
Randy: It came from Malta, offering me lottery tickets. I don't know anybody in Malta. How'd they get my name and address?
Dobbs: Didn't you once tell me your father was an engineer?
Randy: Yes. His company built the MacDonald Bridge. Why?
Dobbs: Somebody could have gotten your name from a biography of your father in a catalogue of a professional engineers' association. But then again, there is another association called the Knights of Malta.
Randy: What are they?
Dobbs: They're a military order pledged to defend the Vatican.
Randy: I'm not a Catholic.
Dobbs: Well, I'd suggest you send the tickets in and see what happens since they sent you more than one. Perhaps the lottery's rigged and they want you to win.
At this point in the conversation, Randy and Bob entered the front door of Dartmouth High School. Once inside Randy said goodbye as he rushed off to study for his Provincial Examinations. Bob stood quietly in the hall for a while and watched Mr. Fanning, the principal of the school, efficiently carry out his duties. Then Bob left the building, crossed Victoria Road, passed by Bicentennial Junior High School, strolled on to the athletic grounds behind the school, sat down on the grass to watch the kids and their coaches, and waited for Garrett to come by on his regular route to the MacDonald Bridge. I assume this headache I've had for the last twenty-four hours is caused by the present war in the Middle East. Then so be it.
“June 18th,” mumbled Marshall McLuhan.
“So?” asked Lyndon LaRouche.
“Paul McCartney's birthday,” continued McLuhan.
“Yeah, the Beatles are going to have the first live satellite broadcast in a week from today,” added Dobbs.
Frank Zappa finished sucking on his cigarette, tapped it into the ashtray on the wobbly
table, interjecting, “It's also Sugarcane Harris' birthday today. For me, that's more significant.”
“Who's that guy over by the long bench?” Mae Brussell asked Dobbs as she sat down with her drink.
“Garrett Deane. He's an old friend of mine from Nova Scotia. Quite an actor, did a lot of Broadway in the Forties and Fifties. He's not working much now, the last thing he did was interview the woman who played “Hazel” on TV. I'll introduce you later, but he's leaving New York soon. He's moving back to his parents' home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in a couple of days. He doesn't like what Nelson Rockefeller has done to this city.”
They were all sitting around at Stanley's in the East Village waiting for Jiddu Krishnamurti to come and meet them for the first time. Dylan's “Like a Rolling Stone” came on the jukebox and LaRouche frowned and shook his head.
LaRouche: These hedonistic concepts spell trouble for our culture, I guarantee you.
McLuhan: Well, Lyndon, the percepts are far more dangerous than any concepts.
LaRouche: What are “percepts”? You mean, our sensory life?
McLuhan: Yes, but I'm referring more to the new percepts--their mechanical, environmental extensions.
Just then, Dobbs stood up as he greeted a short, Middle Eastern-looking man approaching the table. Bob introduced him as the next governor of West Virginia--Dr. Peter Beter.
Zappa: The kids today are going to be different. They're going to allow things to happen. Perhaps even have their cake and eat it, too.
McLuhan: But wait until they discover books.
Zappa: When will that occur?
McLuhan: When they get into their thirties and forties.
Dobbs: We and all our activities are drugs for the gaping maw.
Connie walked over to Bob and whispered in his ear, “He's on the phone again. I can't calm him down.”
Bob went into the back room, picked up the telephone, and put the Well-known American Businessman in his ear.
“Dobbs, Jim Garrison's getting close. You've got to go down there.”
Bob returned to the table and noticed Zappa, with eyes akimbo, leafing through Connie's copy of “Finnegans Wake” that had been left on the counter. Dobbs drew Frank's attention to the song on the radio right then—“I'm Sorry” by the Impalas. Bob noticed Mark Lane passing on the street in front of Stanley's, probably heading home to his flat in Murray Gross' building. Murray was a lawyer who worked in the DA's office and had carved out an expertise in the new field of securities-laundering by the Mafia.
Beter: “Is this Krishnamurti fellow we're meeting a Buddhist or a Hindu.”
Brussell: “I've heard he's neither--a kind of mystical atheist.”
LaRouche: “Well, whatever, he's still a Gnostic. Mae, what do you think Jim Garrison's going to do next?”
Brussell: “I don't know, but I'm going down to New Orleans next week to help him.”
Connie got Bob's attention and pointed to the doorway of the bar they were all sitting in--Stanley's in the East Village. Bob jumped up from his seat and moved briskly toward the entrance with his hand out.
Dobbs: Mr. Jiddu, I'm so happy you found our rendezvous!
The elegant, but serious face waited for Bob to direct him. Bob signaled to the bartender to turn the jukebox down as he escorted Krishnamurti to the long table of guests. Introductions were politely made and then Bob asked Krishnamurti to address the room.
Krishnamurti: I don't know why you are here, but this is not a lecture, nor a sermon, and the speaker is not a guru. You can disregard anything or everything the speaker says and you can leave any time you want to. The speaker is not trying to help you. Actually he refuses to help you. Imagine, however, you and the speaker are walking together by a river in the forest and are having a conversation as between friends. But it's a serious conversation, on serious concerns such as: what is death, how can human beings love, why do we suffer so much, or can humanity really change? But as we listen to each other, the speaker would prefer that you not agree or disagree with him, but just listen and be aware of the thoughts that our discussion gives rise to. You don't have to express them. Just observe them with all your attention. You will notice that thought is only capable of experiencing the known. It is not able to think about the unknown. This is more than a contradiction, it is a fact. It is a fact because all thought is based on memory, and memory can only be based on the known. The known is what has been experienced. Therefore, the known is the past, which brings in the concept of time, and if you go into the experience of time, you will observe that time is the known, that the unknown is not time, that it is something else, if it is anything. But the unknown evokes emotions of excitement, anxiety, or fear which are based on past experience or memories, the known. The known is the content of consciousness-- memory or time. Did you ever observe that when you are most involved in an action, you are not aware of yourself, you have no self-consciousness? The observer is the observed. But why does one lose this experience when one suddenly becomes aware of oneself doing the action? At that point have you entered time? Are you following what I'm saying? Don't nod in agreement or shake your head in disagreement! Go into it. The speaker is not presenting an argument to be believed in. The speaker may be talking nonsense. You have to investigate this for yourself. But do it now as you are listening. Don't say to yourself, “I will listen now and go away and think about it tomorrow.” Go into it now with the speaker, but not as something to argue with. Observe your thinking as we talk. Shall the speaker continue? Yes? Okay. Human beings have lived in conflict for thousands of years. This is a fact that has not changed. There have been attempts and claims to change human behaviour through many kinds of institutions, but none have stopped this conflict. Why is this the case? We say we want the “good,” and we don't want the “bad.” But the “good” is thought of in comparison with the “bad.” We use thought to make the distinction. That is, we use the known. If we actually stopped conflict, that would be a new condition in our experience. It is presently for us an unknown situation, but we use thought, which is based on the known, to attempt to create the unknown. The speaker is not talking about the daily use of thought for the practical concerns of life--for the maintenance of our survival, for inventing new technology. That is necessary. The speaker is asking if there is an experience that does not involve thought. When one sees an object that one desires, that desire creates an image, an image in the mind. That image then creates a thought, a thought that reacted to the desire.
Follow this--first the object, then the desire, then the image, which creates the thought. Do you see? Don't answer the speaker. Go into it yourself. Observe it yourself--now. Oh, why should I go on? Is anybody listening? The speaker says there is an experience beyond thought. It is not “God.” “God” is a concept created by thought. It is not an experience created by techniques of meditation, by chants or mantras, as they advocate in the Eastern religions. It is not a product of prayer or ascetic habits as taught in the Western religions. It is not any of that nonsense. The speaker is affirming a bliss that cannot be expressed in words. But the speaker is not asking you to believe him. The speaker may be crazy, but he is asserting there is a difference between the mind and the brain. And we will go into that tomorrow.
With that said, Jiddu Krishnamurti stood up from the table and Garrett Deane guided him out the door with the utmost sensitivity and flair. The respectful silence was broken by the voice of Herbert W. Armstrong.
Armstrong: I apologize, Bob, for arriving late and missing the first five minutes of Krishnamurti's speech. And that may be the reason I'm a little puzzled about the point he was making. For example, I certainly don't agree that God is a concept created by thought. God is not something created by human beings, but human beings were obviously created by God. I don't see why he brought God into a talk that was otherwise interesting in its psychological emphasis.
Mae Brussell: Yes, his talk was fascinating as psychology. It was even bizarre. But he gave me nothing, at least so far, that helps me in my research into the Kennedy assassination, which I think is the prime cause of so many problems in our country today. As a matter of fact, if more people were influenced by Krishnamurti, I would consider him a dangerous distraction. But he's so out of touch with today's reality, he could never get that kind of attention. Tomorrow I will ask him if he will help my friends and me expose the Warren Commission's cover-up.
Dr. Peter Beter: I personally found it a fascinating talk, too. I've been studying Hinduism the last few years and I can understand the religious dimensions of the psychological aspects in Krishnamurti's talk from the Hindu perspective. But curiously he doesn't seem to have any respect for Hindu meditation rituals. As you suggested before he arrived, Mae, it seems accurate to call him a “mystical atheist.”
Lyndon LaRouche: To be blunt about it, I think he represents the worst aspects of Gnosticism. As an advocate of the Platonic dialectic, I am insulted and not surprised that he, in true Gnostic fashion, did not wait around for any questions. What are we supposed to do with a babbling, halting monologue?
Dobbs: I think Krishnamurti is going to take questions tomorrow, Lyn.
LaRouche: Oh yes, when it suits him. Well, we'll see. I will admit he has a hypnotically seducing effect while he's talking. He's a good rhetorician, a skillful Aristotelian.
Marshall McLuhan: But, Mr. LaRouche, Gnostic techniques are a valid way to explore our sensory conditioning. Gnosticism should not be considered a way to salvation. However, as an artform it attempts to replay the stages of apprehension and therein we can use its modalities to a secular end. My recommendation to Krishnamurti would be in the form of a question: isn't our bodily sensory conditioning puny compared to the collective numbness induced by our technological conditioning within these vast new environments we inhabit? How can we develop a language for awareness under today's electronic conditions? We may have to use the media as artforms to replay the stages of apprehension.
Frank Zappa: About ten years ago I started reading up on Zen Buddhism and that helped me to drop my Catholic conditioning. Krishnamurti sounds like Zen to me, and so I enjoyed his talk. Although, speaking as a composer, I agree with Alan Watts' objections to John Cage's use of Zen Buddhist inspiration in his musical compositions. Music being a technological experience today, I would say Mr. McLuhan has a more accurate diagnosis of the problems confronting the modern-day composer who refuses to die. Wouldn't a society that needs all the friends it can get use a force as powerful as today's popular music?
Dobbs: Garrett, you were so graceful in escorting Krishnamurti out the door I almost couldn't detect the twinkle of the insolent imp in your eye. Were you really so eager to get rid of him?
Garrett Deane: Oh Bobby, Bobby, Bobby! You're the Rumplestiltskin, not me! No, no, no! I feel truly blessed to hear such a river. It was the Buddha's laughter! And its chuckling slowly got louder and louder until I was crushed by the Niagara Falls of Krishnamurti's wisdom! I am amazed that I was able to regain enough consciousness to blurt out even this much bliss.
As everyone relaxed amid the laughter evoked by Garrett as he hung limply on his barstool, Connie signaled the bartender to bring on some beverages to loosen the tongues and minds. But Bob whispered, “Hold the jukebox.”
Dobbs: David, have you ever taken LSD?
Worcester: Many times. Why do you ask?
Dobbs: Did you ever meet Captain Hubbard?
Worcester: Yes, I used to spend a lot of time with him. Do you know him?
Dobbs: Yes. I think I know when you spent time with him. Was it back in '59?
Worcester: Yes, that sounds correct. How do you know that? You're making me nervous.
Dobbs: The Center of Integration.
Worcester: You were a member!?
Dobbs: No, but I once waited outside in his car while Hubbard visited the Center. I'm now remembering you answered the door and Hubbard talked to you for a few minutes.
Worcester: You've got a remarkable memory.
Dobbs: Perhaps. But it wasn't hard to remember your face. On that day I was startled when I saw you because I had seen your very round mug when I was on an acid trip.
Worcester (laughing): Oh yes. Over the years several people, people I didn't know, have told me the same story after they met me. I seem to be a fellow traveler on the LSD road.
Dobbs: But I bet none of them had the word “Rhyee” in their heads before they met you.
Worcester: No, you're unique in that regard. I wonder what significance we might find in that strange occurrence.
Dobbs: Maybe it has something to do with the fact I knew Albert Hofmann.
Worcester: You're kidding! You knew Hofmann!?
Dobbs: When I was a young man, yes--when I lived in Europe. Curious, isn't it? The letters “A” and “H” are both Alfred and Albert's initials. And those letters originally were interchangeable and meant “the beginning.” But I want to know how you met Hubbard.
Worcester: It was through CIA people. Hubbard controlled all the LSD distribution in North and South America. We attracted attention at the Center of Integration. You know, Seattle has the smallest church-going population of any city in the United States. Anyway, Elliot Craig came around and gave me my first trip. He was involved with Hubbard. Then I soon met Hubbard. He would visit us and interview me about my experiences with acid. We worked out the protocol for tripping, came up with the term “session” years before Tim Leary offered his maps. You know, I was the one who gave Alan Watts his first LSD trip--in San Francisco. I think it was in early nineteen sixty-one. Tony LaVey was at that party.
Dobbs: We're seeing the rise of the TV kids now, but we should be studying the coming generation of computer kids. Let's designate the “Now Generation” as “22” because they have to learn to use the tetrad--it's not instinctive to them. Whereas the coming Computer kids will have no problem with the tetrad, but will wrestle with the pentad. So they will be designated as “14”--the “1” symbolizing the return of Rhyee to the Plane of Essence and the “4” as the merged 22 of the tetrad. Adding 1 and 4, you get 5, which represents the pentad.
McLuhan: Corinne wants me to have brain surgery as soon as possible.
Zappa: Lumpy gravy.
Dobbs: Mr. Armstrong, you and I have known each other for a long time. You know that I was raised in Paris and you know my sentiments for Europe. Tell me, what does the Bible predict for Europe?
Herbert W. Armstrong: It fortells the rise of a Fourth Reich in Europe in the coming years.
Dobbs: Will you be able to continue your broadcasting in those times?
Dobbs: Will you yourself make that decision to stop?
Armstrong: No, it will be made for me.
Dobbs: Lyndon, are you aware of Bucky Fuller's architectural plans to put his domes over cities like New York?
LaRouche: Of course.
Dobbs: Would you support his ideas?
LaRouche: Not at first. I'm for building more cities. I fight for the Hamiltonian citybuilding circles and against the Jeffersonian country-bumpkin circles. The reason we don't build more cities and are afflicted by the sprawling suburbanization in the United States is the financier-rentier circles who pretend to grow an economy through land speculation and usury. Because this fraudulent growth depends on real-estate speculation and maintaining high property values in certain parts of New York, or any American city, we can't get investment in new cities using the latest technology because that would threaten the Wall Street financier oligarchy who reinforce this myopic tunnel vision that goes around in boom-and-bust cycles. We should design our new cities around more efficiently beautiful infrastructure systems that have high-density populations who wouldn't lose the important role of urban classical culture that is being dissipated in the Playboy-magazine, leisure-society culture of the suburbs. Until the relevant government institutions get behind this kind of industrial policy, I wouldn't waste my time with Bucky's beachball antics. They'd be fine for new cities but they'd only make this concentration-camp of a city more claustrophobic and paranoid.
Dobbs: Funny you mention Playboy. They just featured Bucky's designs in the January issue of this year.
LaRouche: Case closed!
Dobbs: Randy, there's a significance in the date of your birthday you should be aware of. I've told you before that you and my father were born on the same day--June the fourth. But listen to what happened the other day. On Monday, June the third, Andy Warhol was shot. On Tuesday, you had your nineteenth birthday. A few hours later, in the first hour of June the fifth, Robert Kennedy was shot. You wouldn't know this but the ambulance carrying Andy's severely-wounded body moved along nineteenth street in New York City. If you add up the letters in the word “Bob,” “b” equaling two and “o” equaling fifteen--their positions in the alphabet--you get nineteen.
Randy: Why are Warhol and Kennedy so significant?
Dobbs: For nineteen sixty-eight Andy is the pope of software Art--mixed media, and Robert is the pope of hardware Art--politics.
Randy: And I'm Mr. In-Between Art.
Dobbs: You don't know how true that statement is!
Randy: But Andy lived and Robert died.
Dobbs: Yes, that's because hardware is kaput but software still has a few years to go before it dies.
Kristen: Bob, I've got a problem. Ever since Randy went to Montreal, I haven't been able to really figure out what I want to do. He's good at keeping in touch, but it's not the same. I don't have him around to distract me so much anymore, so I start wondering if I should try to make something of myself. My father thinks I should be a model.
Dobbs: What does your father do?
Kristen: He's a musician. A big-band fanatic. Swing and jazz. You know, like Don Warner, the guy who has a show on CBC.
Dobbs: Yes, I know who you mean.
Kristen: But I think I should go to university. I want to learn.
Dobbs: What do you want to learn?
Kristen: I don't know, yet. My father wants me to know first before he'll pay for my tuition and stuff.
Dobbs: Tell him you want to be a designer, something a little more challenging than being a model, but still in the ballpark of modeling.
Kristen: Hey, that's a good idea! Let me think about that. That would impress Randy, too, I bet. Maybe I could go to school in Montreal.
Dobbs: Yeah, think about that, and if that doesn't pan out, you can ask Connie--she might have some ideas.
Dobbs: You say here in your Forward to one of your books that “we” mowed down the Kennedys? Who is the “we”? You?
McLuhan: That's for my new book, The Interior Landscape. But I'm not going to discuss the “we” with you. If anybody knows what I mean, it would be you.
Dobbs: What about Barry Nevitt?
McLuhan: He hasn't seen it yet, but I'm interested to hear what he says when he reads it.
Dobbs: That should tell you something, Dr. McLuhan!
Steve was very animated. “Bob, I was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. I went over to the University of Toronto campus to see a professor who has meetings open to the public. He claims there're no connections in matter--calls it the ‘resonant interval.’ Says television imitates this fact, imitates tactility... therefore... television can't be seen, only felt.”
Dobbs: Well, what's his name?
Steve: Marshall McLuhan.
Dobbs: Never heard of him.
Steve: Anyways, this means music becomes a drug!
Dobbs: Is this bad?
Steve: Umm... I couldn't tell if he felt that way.
Dobbs: What's his point, then?
Steve: Ya got me there. I'm going back up there as soon as I can. I'll try to find out.
Dobbs: Let me know when you do. “Television can't be seen.” But people always say they're “watching” TV. This McLuhan guy seems a little off if you ask me.
Bob and his father, Rene, were leaving the Royal Albert Hall in an inspired state. They had just attended a Mothers of Invention concert.
Dobbs: I'm very happy to have finally had the opportunity to introduce you to Frank Zappa after all these years of telling you stories about my adventures with him.
Rene: Yes, your friendship with him makes more sense now. I can see how he's going to help us in our plans. He may be at the start of a career that will do for music what Finnegans Wake did for literature. He reminds me of both Wyndham Lewis and James Joyce, a mixture of their sensibilities, but in an American context. I get a better sense of American culture watching and listening to Zappa.
Dobbs: Yes, I can see that. For example, when the band did that little skit about “taking progress and putting it under a rock.” If you think of a “rock” as representing electric software and “progress” as representing the old linear, industrial hardware, then Frank's got it right about the present state of American, and consequently, global culture.
Rene: Yes, he's a Mozart/Beethoven for our satellite culture. It was a wonderful concert--even for an old man like me.
Dobbs: If Rhyee has returned to the Plane of Essence, how does this affect matter?
changes the “tridocea.” The tridocea is made up of air,
fire, and water. Water will fall away and be replaced by “akasha,”
which is the word for “new being.” In
occult literature it's called the “Age of Aquarius.”
Dobbs: So the Piscean Age, symbolized by the fish, is over because there is no more water for the fish. Worcester laughed and turned on his car's motor, and he and Bob headed down the country road for the small town of Olympia. Bob switched on the car radio but it was broken.
Holding open the main door to the City Hall for a man in a wheelchair, Bob overheard its occupant, “He walked right into my lawyer's office and announced that the judge would take a bribe!” Bob walked through the door, turned around and decided to follow this paraplegic back inside. He heard the woman pushing the wheelchair address the paraplegic with the name “Skolnick.”
Nancy: Bob, I never see you reading a book. You sound like the kind of person who reads a lot, but I never see you actually with a book.
Dobbs: I only read when I'm flying. I never read when I'm back home in Dartmouth.
Nancy: What do you read when you're away?
Dobbs: Anything and everything.
Nancy: Give me a suggestion on what to read.
Dobbs: I would suggest a book called, “The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.” It's written by Alan Watts. Try that one and we'll talk about it.
Sue and Bob were standing on the southern edge of Point Pleasant Park enjoying the sweep of sailboats over Halifax harbour.
Sue: Bob, have you ever heard of LSD?
Dobbs: Yes, but I don't know much about it.
Sue: Neither do I, but I've met some people who claim they can get some if I want to try it.
Dobbs: Why would you want to do that?
Sue: They gave me a book on it. It describes people's experiences with LSD. I also read a wild interview in Playboy with Allen Ginsberg the other day. He sure makes it sound worthwhile.
Dobbs: Are these friends of yours--students?
Sue: No, but they're educated.
Dobbs: You know, Sue, I have a theory. I think color television has a psychedelic effect on people. And when you take color television away from people who have been used to a steady diet of it, they need to continue having the psychedelic effects. So they turn to drugs. The most vulnerable segment of the population for this is young people, especially students, when they leave their homes where they had watched TV regularly. The semi-isolation of the student ghettos creates this craving.
Sue: What? Bob, you're nuts!
Dobbs: When was the last time you watched TV?
Sue: I don't watch television.
Dobbs: Case closed.
Sue and Bob's laughter
was interrupted by a young man calling out Sue's name. They turned
around and Sue recognized Butch Lucas, a childhood friend from junior
school. As Butch ran over, excited to see Sue, Sue filled Bob in.
Sue: Butch grew up in Lucasville. You know the Negro village at the end of Creighton Avenue?
Dobbs: Oh yes, I've walked in the woods near there many times.
Sue: Butchie, where have you been lately?
Butch: I'm working at the Black Community Centre down on Gottingen Street.
Sue: Do you work in Africville?
Butch: No, they're tearing Africville down and moving people into public housing. We're helping with the transition.
Sue: Jesus, I didn't know that. Butch, I want you to meet an older friend of mine. This is Bob Dobbs. Bob, I've learned all my Rhythm 'n Blues at Butchie's house parties since I was twelve.
Dobbs: I wish I'd been there. Actually, I think I've heard some of those parties when I've walked through your neighborhood.
Butch (laughing): Hey, I think I like this white man, Sue!
Dobbs: You know, Flaps and Randy often talked about “Butch the Electron.” So I've finally met him.
Bob sat in a chair across from David Worcester who reclined on a couch that looked strangely familiar to Bob. Vern, David's oldest friend, came downstairs from his bedroom in a dressing gown. It was almost noon. Vern had gotten to bed very late the night before.
Worcester: Vern, do you remember what I was trying to describe to you last night? I've got a better image of it now. I'd say it's an action that comes together and turns like this.
David brings his hands towards each other to make a ball shape with his fingers almost touching. Then he turns his wrists and palms inward toward his chest, but interrupts that gesture to cross his forearms and turns his palms outward, and then repeats the whole movement not quite exactly because the movement at that point is usually impossible to continue. Overall, Bob thought Worcester was trying to mime a gyroscopic action.
Worcester: This is what I was getting at. By the way, Vern, this is Bob Dobbs--the man I met at the Krishnamurti talks a while back. Remember I told you about him? For years he had the word “Rhyee” running through his mind.
Vern: Oh yes, I do remember that. The three of them began to laugh hysterically.
Dobbs: What is my purpose and direction?
David Worcester (in trance while lying on a couch): This Awareness indicates this within the previous message, that your action in relation to the symbolic language is that which is extraordinary; this also will aid in relating higher abstractions within the psyche in a manner which creates the circumstances by which you may speak through more than one symbol simultaneously in a series of well-chosen words. This, at a level of transpersonative interaction.
Dobbs: I see you managed to maintain your course through the “Days of Rage” in Chicago.
LaRouche: Yes, I think my associates now understand the irrationality that has guided the student activist movement the last few years. They are now very receptive to my program. They are ready to settle down and do some efficient conceptual work. I'm glad the catharsis of the Sixties is over.
Dobbs: You know,
my parents used to spend time on the island of Capri in the early
decades of this century. The stories they told me of the goings-on
there, the excesses
of inspiration--the Sixties as they unfolded always reminded me of those tales of Capri.
LaRouche: Really? I'd like to hear them some day, but I've got to get back to my typewriter now. However, I don't think I'll be surprised.
As Bob left LaRouche's apartment in Greenwich Village, he noticed he almost bumped into two young men, one of whom he recognized was David Walley, the music journalist who wrote articles on Frank Zappa for the East Village Other. I must introduce myself to him someday. I wonder what he'll think of Burnt Weenie Sandwich when it comes out.
Dobbs: Would Awareness comment on the musical ideas of Frank Zappa?
Worcester (in trance while lying on a couch): This Awareness indicates that this entity as one who moves and collects response from many areas. That these become a kaleidoscope to be embroidered for the texture of sound. This Awareness indicates that each of these then become an entrance from a two-dimensional system into many other areas of visualization.
Dobbs: Was this entity a famous musician in a previous life?
Worcester: This Awareness indicates this is negative, that this entity's previous life action as one involved with a stone, and a glass and mosaics, this in areas of North Africa, that this entity also was an architect involving certain Mosques.
Dobbs: Would Awareness comment on the ideas of Marshall McLuhan and the significance of their application?
Worcester: This Awareness indicates that this entity in breaking through strands of certain gauges and screens has seen a view of which becomes of itself an action, and in understanding that each of the gauges a screen that is placed before the real action, also determines the extent to which entities may approach the real action before breaking through these screens and gauges. This Awareness indicates in this manner the various apparatus, organization, mechanical, or structured concept may be considered as gauges and screens before the real action, that that which is seen in relation to each of these gauges or screens is the limitation which one may approach the real action, hence “the medium is the message” is an indication of the limitation to which entities may move through these filters and colorations.
Dobbs: Would Awareness comment on the ideas of Buckminster Fuller?
Worcester: This Awareness indicates that these emanate great strength and light, yet those points of intrinsic value create a limitation in certain areas through specifics inclined to be involved in thoughts which are not entirely open to the creative change which must come to every part, to live.
Worcester: All magicians have previously used a formula to achieve their ends. Now, formulas--any formulas--don't work anymore.
Dobbs: That statement reminds me of the time you told me about your magician friend, Robert Carr. How he was doing his magic tricks for an audience and he noticed he was manifesting more cards than he had and he couldn't fathom why--he was quite puzzled and amazed.
Worcester: Oh, you remember that story? Yes, that's a good example of discovering the choiceless awareness of New Being and operating without a formula.
Dobbs: Is that what caused Carr to get interested in Krishnamurti?
Worcester: Yes, I think so. It certainly moved him into experiences he had not anticipated.
Upon hearing this Bob ever-so-subtly withdrew into a reverie of conversations he had had with Rene overlayed with images from his activities on November the twenty-second, just over six years before. Worcester got up out of his chair very quietly to look for some matches.
Dennis: I've been sitting in on the recording sessions of a new kind of musician by the name of Frank Zappa. He's got a new group called Hot Rats. He's unbelievably creative!
Dobbs: Come on, Dennis. As I've told you before, creativity is obsolete.
Dennis: Well, you haven't been around this Zappa guy.
Dobbs: Flaps! I haven't seen you in a while.
Flaps: I've been
in New York City. I've joined a workers' movement. They came out of
the SDS stuff a few years back. They call themselves the National
Caucus of Labor Committees. They have some interesting ideas in their
newspaper, especially this guy Lyn Marcus. He's a Marxist, but he
emphasizes technological growth and science. He's
not the “back to nature” type.
Dobbs: Sounds interesting. You don't usually hear that kind of talk from revolutionaries these days. Can you show me their newspaper some time?
Flaps: Sure, I'll bring some over later.
Dobbs: Have you heard about Steve? He's gone bonkers over this McLuhan fad.
Flaps: Yeah, it's
sad. McLuhan was invited to speak at the Bilderbergers conference
last May in Denmark. The NCLC has some good information on what
they're doing to screw
the working class.
Alan: Well, Bob, I think I'll head out to Seattle and check out this medium I saw advertised in this old Paperbag magazine. Something called Cosmic Awareness. I'd like to learn about meditation, yoga, you know, the Eastern religions.
Dobbs (turning the radio down): Yeah, radio will do that to you.
Alan: What do you mean? The radio drives me crazy. That's what I want to get away from.
Dobbs (turning the radio back up): Yup. Going out to Seattle sounds like fun. I've never been there myself.
Dobbs (as the face of Walter Cronkite blipped off the television screen): David, that reminds me. I'm beginning to see a paranoia spreading among the wealthy about their money.
Worcester: That's because, ever since Rhyee returned to the Plane of Essence, there's no energy for their money to feed off. So, last year, when the wealthy tried to take their money out of their accounts, they found there was none there. Their timing was off. Any grabs for power from now on will be off-balance, out-of-synch. You watch.
Sherman Skolnick: Ever since I met you, Bob, my court cases haven't been covered by the local media like they used to. I used to be able to hold press conferences on my front lawn within an hour, just at the snap of a finger.
Dobbs: Yes, but I suggest you might be able to broadcast by telephone. Set up a looped five-minute message on a tape recorder. You can change the message every few days to feature new stories. Anybody anywhere in the world can call in and hear it. You'd be broadcasting to the whole planet. Just think of it!
Skolnick: That's an interesting idea. I'd be on the bus without being edited or censored. Sherman rolled across the room in his wheelchair as his private phone line began to ring.
Steve: Dr. McLuhan, what's the role of the old industrial city in the global theater?
McLuhan: Oh! Well, the city becomes sacred. That's why we have the new rush to build expressways to expedite traffic into the cities. The city planners don't understand this, however.
The hot night is not being suffered by Bob as he pondered the following words the scientist had just spoken: “Since it's not feasible for us to have a nuclear war and yet we still may have to harness captive nations for industry, the way to conduct war is to find something that weakens the enemy so they can't fight and resist but still leaves them alive enough to recover and work for us. I propose I can genetically engineer a virus that can weaken the immune system temporarily so the enemy picks up local diseases over a pre-programmed period of time and then this vulnerability subsides.”
Flaps: Lyn, why do you think the suburbanization of the working class spells doom for us?
Marcus/LaRouche: Because real wealth comes from city-building, from the increase in relative potential population density. Suburbanization decentralizes and weakens the negentropic spiral of working-class evolution, and favors a new Dark Age dominated by the rentier-finance class.
Randy: What's new, Connie?
Connie Dobbs: Here, try this. We call it D-Cell water. It's purified water. It seems to slow down the aging process.
Randy turned off his television set and took the glass in his hand. He trusted whatever Connie said.
Dennis: Listen, Calvin, I will have that check ready for you by tomorrow. Frank called me this morning from Europe about it and he says we owe it to you.
Calvin Schenkel: Great. Thanks, Dennis. By the way, when are you going to audition for Frank's band again? I think you can make it now. Listening to you last night at the club, I could see you'd have no problem.
Dennis: Yeah, I feel confident, too. Playing for Zappa is like being in a military operation, but he knows I'm lookin' to be in the band when he gets back from this tour.
Dobbs: Peter, I want you to know they're going to get Nixon.
Beter: Why? What happened? What did he do?
Dobbs: As you've no doubt heard, Nixon unhooked the dollar as an anchor last August. So, they're pissed!
Beter: Nixon's got a big problem, then.
Dobbs: Yes, and I'd like you to help him. I'd like you to go back to the U.S., and I'll feed you the information you'll need. I want you to go public.
Alan: David, in twenty-five words or less,how would you summarize Awareness' messages on personal development?
Worcester: A co-creative alignment of one's relationship to money, power, and sex by means of mind, then emotion, and finally feeling.
Alan: Is that what Krishnamurti is saying?
David: That's what I hear from him when he speaks.
Connie and Bob sat by the old stove in the kitchen as Garrett praised the poetry of the young woman sitting beside him at the ancient table filled with Garrett's cooking eager to be eaten. Jovanna was her name and she blushed elegantly while she was massaged by Garrett's river of words. This is another exquisite pleasure in knowing Garrett--we meet the true individuals through him. He's a magnet for them. But not a “monster magnet,” heh heh.
Deane: Thinking of Jovanna's poetry makes me want to hear my favorite opera singer, Maria Callas. Let me put on one of her records. I'm also reminded of my friend in Greenwich Village who won the Mark Twain Prize...
Garrett left the kitchen but we soon heard Callas' voice from his mother's bedroom.
Sue: I prefer cocaine over psychedelics. I can use my time more effectively on coke. Acid disrupted my routine too much.
Dobbs: I'm interested in what you're going to think of heroin.
Sue: Are you kidding, Bob? I wouldn't go near that poison. Anyway, you can't get any of that around here.
Dobbs: Do you know anybody who works at City Hall?
Sue: No. Why?
Dobbs: Sorry, I changed topics on you. Back to heroin. With heroin you turn your body into an environment. With LSD you just consume the content of your body - movies, so to speak. Cocaine is a sped-up way station to heroin. Heroin enables you to put on more than the universe.
Sue: For someone who knows little about drugs, you're talking way over your head. You're romanticising them. Does Connie hear you go on like this?
Dobbs: I've been doing a lot of reading up on all kinds of drugs. So... yes, when she's around, I've told her what I've been learning.
Sue frowned and turned on the radio. She was delighted to hear a favourite from a couple of years before—“Give Me Just a Little More Time” by the Chairmen of the Board.
Randy: Garrett, since I met you last fall, I don't feel the need to go back to Montreal for graduate studies. Your unique style of kindness for people inspires me to want to be a doctor, and there's an excellent medical school right across the harbor at Dalhousie University. That way I can easily stay in touch with you and get an occasional hit of your world.
Deane: Oh, Randy, the people I used to know in New York filled me with such a spirit. Just to remember coming home at six in the morning, with the sun coming up, on Park Avenue, having spent all night at the bars on the Bowery--I can sit here in the dream of those memories and not have to lift a finger.
Randy: I think I can feel what you feel by just being here in your home.
Deane: You're very generous, Randy, to say that. But this is my mother's house. She created that warmth you feel.
Jean Baudrillard: You are interested in my writings on McLuhan?
Dobbs: Yes, but I think you can find a way around his ideas by emphasizing the “phatic” function in economic exchange. You know Roman Jakobson's “Six Functions in Communication”?
Dobbs: The phatic is all that's left now. Well, anyway, I've got to go. I want to see the new Godard film. Perhaps we'll talk again.
Dobbs: Nixon knows exactly why the Watergate break-in happened. He knows it was because he agreed to create a floating exchange rate. With that certainty he can fight back with a tough confidence. So the question is: where would he still be weak?
Alexander Haig: In the journalistic circles. He hasn't got a chance if there are leaks.
Dobbs: Someone who's been very close to him on a daily basis would have to betray him.
Haig: There's no one that close who would. They have too much to lose.
Dobbs: How about you?
Zappa (turning his wheelchair towards Bob): Say that again.
Dobbs: The satellite environment works on four levels: first, the broadcasting level; second, the broad-catching level, or general surveillance; third, the narrowcasting level, for intelligence purposes, purchased by corporations and governments; and the fourth is narrow-catching, for monitoring the third level. You got it?
Zappa: I've been doing the first two levels in my music, but I think you've clarified what I've got to add to my musical concept.
Dobbs: Yeah, you've been on the right track with your satellite-conductor notion, but now you can refine it.
William Irwin Thompson: There's a new geometry afoot.
Dobbs: Does it retrieve the culture of Atlantis?
Dobbs: Well, I think we're living in the cultural geometry of Lemuria.
Bob sat in the back room of Dartmouth's best downtown diner, the Shell Restaurant. Sitting across from him was the Well-known American Businessman.
WAB: Dorothy Hunt is going to help President Nixon.
Dobbs: Doesn't bother me.
WAB: Well, it's something I have to be concerned with.
Dobbs: Reminds me of pages 572 to 576 of Finnegans Wake.
Bob noticed John MacLeod and John MacCormick, brothers-in-law, enter from Portland Street. Garrett Deane passed by the window.
“Ever seen him before?” asked MacCormick as he took off his coat.
“Yeah, he often walks the bridge late at night,” Bob overheard MacLeod reply.
Nancy rushed into Brothers' Lunch hoping to find Bob. It was midnight and he was sitting at a booth with Connie. She slid into a seat opposite them excitedly.
Nancy: I know Bob doesn't read at home, but, Connie, you've got to read this. It's called “Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness” by Charles Bukowski. It's a collection of short stories that's unbelievably funny. It just came out. I didn't know one could write like this. The author is being very open about his sick life. I don't think he makes any of it up. It makes me want to go to Los Angeles.
Connie: Okay, okay. I'll read it.
Dobbs (looking at the cover): Is it pornography?
Nancy: No, it's more like a philosopher acting out his metaphysical frustrations through his body. It's absurd!
Connie: He's using his body as a probe?
Nancy: Yes, and women get the brunt of it.
Dobbs: Perhaps Connie will read the best parts out loud to me.
Connie: Yeah, if you're around at the time. He's been playing a lot of ball hockey lately, Nancy. Talk about using your body as a probe.
Bob smiled as he tuned into the song on the jukebox—“Everybody Plays The Fool” by The Main Ingredient.
Alan: David, which precept given by Awareness do you find the hardest for people to understand?
Worcester: “Resist not Evil.”
Dobbs: How long have you been in Seattle?
Alan: Two years.
Dobbs: What are you going to do now?
Alan: Well, before I go back to Seattle, I'm going to go to Europe and check out all the places where I had past lives.
Dobbs: How do you know your past lives?
Alan: I got them through a medium by the name of David Worcester when he channeled Awareness. I had many sessions with him during the last two years and I accumulated an inventory of my past lives. Many were in Europe over the last fifteen hundred years.
Dobbs: Whoever this Worcester fellow is, you believe him?
Alan: Yes, I'm inclined to because I like Awareness' philosophy. It's similar to Krishnamurti's. Have you ever read him?
Dobbs: I'm familiar with it.
Alan: Great. When I'm in England, I'm going to visit Brockwood, one of his schools. I hope to be there when he gives some lectures.
Dobbs: But you're going back to Seattle eventually?
Alan: Yes, I want to take some advanced development classes from Worcester on how to become a medium for Awareness.
Alan and Bob turned left on the northeast corner of Queen and Portland Streets and walked a few yards to the entrance of the old Mayfair Theatre. They got their tickets and went in to watch McCABE AND MRS. MILLER. But Bob stopped for a second, though, to listen to Led Zeppelin's “Stairway to Heaven” leaking from a car radio as it coasted into a parking spot in front of the movie house.
Nancy: Have I told you about my interest in George Adamski and his experiences with UFOs?
Dobbs: Yes, I remember you telling me about his writings. But I was more interested in our discussions about Bukowski.
Nancy: I'm bored with Bukowski. There's a new writer on UFOs who takes a more historical approach, which fascinates me--Erich von Daniken. Have you heard of him?
Dobbs: Why would I? I don't believe in UFOs, so I don't keep up with the genre.
Nancy: Well, I do, and I'm saving up my money to travel to South America to visit some archeological sites he talks about.
Dobbs: Just take some good photos, or better yet, some good footage, and then I can say I went with you.
Nancy laughed and picked up a Time magazine with a cover story on the Watergate troubles of President Richard Nixon.
Connie: Jovanna, why do you think Garrett won't show anyone his poetry?
Jovanna: I think he considers his interactions with people, largely through speech, his poetry.
Connie: But he also writes down his poems.
Jovanna: Yes. Perhaps the written ones are rehearsals for his eyes only.
Connie: That's his form of communication ecology. But then again, I'm saving his letters to me as evidence of his memory theatre.
Jovanna: Ha! Yes, his letters are his way of leaking to us his memos to himself.
Randy, Kristen, Bob, and Connie were driving back to Dartmouth from the Kelly Lake Airport. They had picked up Kristen who had flown in from New York, and they all looked forward to spending New Year's Eve with Garrett Deane.
Randy: If I hadn't gone to Montreal, you would not be in New York now working for Andy Warhol.
Kristen: If I hadn't let you come with us to see BYE BYE BIRDIE the day I met Bob, you wouldn't have met Garrett.
Randy: If I hadn't met Garrett, you wouldn't be in New York now trying to find the city that Garrett told you magical stories about.
Kristen: If Connie hadn't given you the D-Cell water, I wouldn't still be attracted to you.
Randy: If I don't get my medical license, then we can't get married and have a family.
Dobbs: Excuse me, fellow explorers, but Randy, didn't your father provide the steel for building the airport?
Randy: Yes. He ran the old Dominion Steel Company back in the Fifties. It's now called Canada Iron. They also built the MacDonald Bridge back then. We have a picture of Flaps' father standing at the highest point on one of the bridge's towers. His father is an electrician, so he must have had something to do with wiring it.
Connie: That's the steel plant one drives past out in Burnside?
Connie: That building always catches my eye when I drive by because it looks like it was never finished.
Their subsequent laughter was cut short because Bob just missed running over a dog and the car slid out of control on the icey highway.
Steve: Bob, I'm more and more realizing the importance of kinetic and tactile space in McLuhan's system. He doesn't talk about them as much as visual and acoustic space in his writings but the kinetic and tactile spaces are more of an influential factor in the Twentieth-Century experience.
Dobbs: Political control is the biggest factor in the Twentieth Century and I don't hear this McLuhan guy talking about that, ever.
Steve and Bob continued looking over the Halifax harbor from the mid-point of the MacDonald Bridge. They could see the lights of the Dartmouth ferry slipping into its dock. Almost midnight. Garrett should be crossing the bridge about now.
Flaps: You know, Bob, LaRouche is really emphasizing the use, by the intelligence agencies, of narco-hypnosis in political control and counter-terrorist strategies now. It's caused a lot of factional infighting among us in New York and a lot of people are leaving.
Dobbs: The daily information-overload environment is the real terrorist action against the working class today. Not just what's on the news any day, but the fact there is constant news twenty-four hours a day, day in, day out. Your LaRouche buddy is clueless in even how to approach this problem.
Flaps picked up his copy of Rolling Stone magazine to scan the piece by Ben Fong-Torres on Bob Dylan's recent comeback tour. His eyes immediately fell on a section about Michael McClure introducing Marshall McLuhan to Dylan back-stage.
McLuhan: Bob, I'm in a very claustrophobic situation here at the coach house.
Dobbs: Why is that?
McLuhan: I'm surrounded by intelligence agencies.
Dobbs: Right in the coach house here?
McLuhan: Yes. De Kerckhove is in Africa right now selling advertising for the CIA. Nevitt has long worked for British intelligence. And I've finally decided you're an agent for somebody, but I don't know who.
Dobbs: Well, if I ever was, I'm not now. I'm trying to help you, and in so doing you help me. So don't worry.
Sue: Bob, I don't do drugs anymore but I still need music. I've got to hear a live rock band at least twice a week or I start to get irritable. Would you and Connie like to go out to some clubs with me tonight?
Dobbs: Sure, we need the enema of dancing just like any healthy couple. As long as we take in the Arrows Club as one of our stops for a little dollop of Soul music. They're always bringing in groups from the States that you don't want to miss. Maybe we'll see Butchie Lucas there.
Sue: Okay, if you promise we don't stay there all night.
Dobbs: No problem. We'll take Butchie with us to the other clubs.
Sue laughed and lit a cigarette as she turned the car into the entrance to the decaying Dartmouth Shopping Centre. Bob surveyed the burnt-out ruins of the old Dartmouth Rink across from the Holiday Inn. Wayne Norman has told me several times about the night he spent with the Beach Boys at the Holiday Inn after their concert in Halifax. That experience really had a big impact on his self-image. Could he give up that memory? Should he? I've got to get in touch with Krishnamurti soon.
Alan: But, Bob, if there's one thing I've learned from Krishnamurti, Awareness, and David Worcester, it's that what's keeping people held back and in the dark is the fear of death. If we all could somehow get over that, then greed, lust, and ignorance wouldn't have such a hold over us.
Dobbs: No, I don't think so. What Krishnamurti and your friends miss is that once people have realized unmistakeably the fact that the machines have won and taken over, humanity is going to fall in love with death as an escape hatch. It will be seduction by suicide.
As Alan and Bob slowly walked along Wyse Road, Bob noticed that Dutchie Mason was playing at the Matador Lounge across the street and suggested they should drop in. Alan agreed but said he'd also love to hear Frank MacKay and the Lincolns again.
Dennis: I feel good, Bob. It's great to be alive! The good news is Captain Beefheart is getting back together again with Zappa. The Mothers are going to tour again in a few weeks and I'm handling promotions. Music is the best!
Dobbs: Music is what's holding society together now--it's both a fascist anaesthetic and a dionysian release. But, Dennis, this situation will have no staying power in the long run, so it will be interesting to see what your musician-god Zappa does when that problem surfaces.
Sitting on a bench in front of Sullivan's Pond on the Creighton Avenue side, Bob wanted to mention the new Fellini movie that was in town, but he was interrupted by Dennis complaining about a recent article in the Village Voice by Ron Rosenbaum that reported on a convention of assassination researchers in Boston.
Harry Whittier: The students in my class don't usually get it until years later. Then they will call me up and we'll celebrate their new understanding.
Dobbs: So the newly-sophisticated yokel goes to the city to find reality, to escape the unreality of the country. But the city-dweller finds only the image of reality in the city.
Meanwhile, the country bumpkin finds only reality in the rural milieu and yearns for unreality.
Whittier: Yes, that's the essence of every story in Western literature. That's what I repeat every day in my classes.
Dobbs: Do you ever use the Bible as a text in your class?
Whittier: Yes, every other year.
Dobbs: Then you would have to suggest to the students that the first words,“In the beginning was the Word...,” should be changed to,“In the beginning was the Pun....”
Whittier roared with laughter as he unlocked the door to his office and Bob entered behind him eager to get a look at Harry's library. They were both relieved there were no students waiting to discuss difficulties with their courses. Bob and Harry needed time to interpret whatever discoveries they made.
Mikhail Gorbachev: Bob, I understand you know Marshall McLuhan.
Dobbs: For many years.
Gorbachev: I would like to read as much of him as possible. Can you bring me copies of as many books of his that you can find?
Dobbs: No problem. I can even get you very important unpublished articles he wrote back in the Fifties.
Gorbachev: Thank you, I'd appreciate anything you could give me the next time we meet. My debt to you would never be cancelled.
Steve: Your son, Eric, recently explained to me that you were a Menippean satirist. Do you agree with him?
McLuhan: Yes. All of my work outside of the classroom can be considered to be Menippean.
Steve: Why is it Menippean?
McLuhan: Because we live in a Menippean environment which requires a Menippean strategy to control it. Don't forget, “Menippean” refers to group-minds or collectivities.
Steve: How does one control those?
McLuhan: By knowing and using the laws of media--a “medium” being defined as an archetype of the social unconscious.
Steve: But how would we do that in practical terms?
McLuhan: We could use the computer as a kind of global thermostat, modulating the hot and cool effects of our media.
Steve: And that would be a Menippean strategy?
McLuhan: No, this would be a new science.
Steve: So, if given the opportunity, you would rather be a scientist than an artist?
McLuhan: Yes, of course. A new kind of scientist.
Dobbs: Mr. Jiddu, why do you think Jeanne de Salzmann remains a Gurdjieffian and yet takes your teachings very seriously? I would think that's a contradiction.
Krishnamurti: I know what you're getting at because you have heard me say that I detest anything connected to the idea of spiritual evolution. Madame Salzmann has surely heard me say that many times, but you're forgetting that statement only applies to me. It doesn't necessarily apply to anyone else. Secondly, she and I are good friends, and on that basis she would take me very seriously. For example, I got a call from her today asking me to join with her and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at a private meeting to discuss the Prime Minister's troubles in India. She is considering the option of implementing a state of national emergency, but she wants to hear my views among others on the wisdom of such an action.
Dobbs: What are you going to advise her?
Krishnamurti: I will suggest that she not do it.
Randy: As you no doubt know, Bob, if you hadn't introduced me to Garrett, I wouldn't have gotten through medical school. I owe you for that. Thanks.
Dobbs: You don't owe me anything. Garrett is kind of an unknown treasure in this city and I've fortunately enjoyed his company for over twenty years. I'll never forget walking around the Dartmouth of the Fifties with Garrett fresh in from New York. Any friend of Garrett could be a friend of mine.
Randy and Bob approached 64 Queen Street. Mrs. McMenemy waved at them as she carefully put some curtains in the back seat of her car parked across from Garrett's house. The side door of the house was wide open. They could see that Garrett expected their visit even though his windows had no light in them.
As Bob walked across the Dalhousie University campus, he spotted a face he had seen many times in the classes of Edgar Z. Friedenberg over the previous couple of years.
It's time I spoke to this person. Bob approached him.
Dobbs: Hello. I recognize you from Friedenberg's classes. Your name is Duncan, I think.
Duncan: Yes it is. I recognize you, too. But I don't know your name. I do remember that, like me, you don't take notes.
Dobbs: I'm Bob Dobbs. We don't take notes because we're not students, right?
Duncan: Yes, but I do teach in the Education Department with Edgar.
Dobbs: You're a professor? Then how do you find time to sit in a colleague's class?
Duncan: I'm only an assistant professor and I don't have a full teaching load. We have a very small budget in our department. However, I'll listen to Edgar any time I can.
Dobbs: Yes, I find him one of the most interesting minds at Dalhousie. Being an expatriot American in Canada, he has a unique view of both countries.
Duncan: And you're not a Maritimer yourself, are you?
Dobbs: No, I'm from Paris, but I've lived here for twenty years.
Duncan: What do you do for a living?
Dobbs: I'm a playwright.
Duncan: Are you coming to Edgar's classes this term?
Dobbs: Yes, when I'm in town.
Duncan: Well, maybe we could have lunch after class one day.
Dobbs: I'll look forward to that.
As Duncan and Bob parted at the entrance to the Student Union Building, Bob noticed a poster announcing that Dick Gregory was going to speak there soon. Ha, that'll be a shocker for the Maritimers! I seem to remember that Mae Brussell told me Dick's been staying at her house lately checking out her files.
Nancy: Connie, I can't find any real evidence that there are aliens visiting us, or even what UFOs are. I'm tired of this pursuit of the weird. I'm going to try to get into law school, or some other kind of high-paying profession. I've got the brains to do it.
Connie: Of course you could be a lawyer, but you don't have to close yourself off to your old interests. There are more and more sources of information coming out every week that are getting easier to find. You won't even be able to ignore them. They'll even make you want to specialize your attention on something like getting a law degree. We are now living in a world where it's almost impossible to keep a secret. But if you become a lawyer, then it's imperative that you know how to stay healthy. Cancer is a lifestyle.
Nancy: Speaking of lifestyle, what's your secret for looking good?
Connie didn't say a word but she turned on the radio and took a long drink of water.
Duncan: You know, Bob, I also teach at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design--in media studies--and I have a friend there who teaches the history of Twentieth-Century art. His name is Dennis Young and he's an expert on Marcel Duchamp. Have you ever heard of Duchamp?
Dobbs: Of course. I know him as R. Mutt.
Duncan (laughing): I know, stupid question. But you are rather inscrutable to me, Bob.
Dobbs: Did you know that Joyce addresses Duchamp in the first overt dialogue at the beginning of Finnegans Wake? On page 16 there is the meeting of “Mutt” and “Jute.” It's a direct reference to Duchamp--especially when you consider that the very first section that Joyce wrote when he began the Wake in 1923 contains the word “readymade.”
Duncan: No, I didn't know that. When I was an undergraduate, we only did Ulysses in our English class.
Dobbs: I'm not surprised. The professoriate has avoided the Wake like a lethal virus. Their very literacy prevents them from getting a handle on it.
Flaps: You know, Bob, LaRouche has really begun taking on the world government. He's moving into an international perspective and setting up an attack on a global front.
Dobbs: That would be natural now, since there's no more satellite environment.
Flaps: No more satellite environment?
Dobbs: Yes, it's been subsumed by the instant-replay technology.
Howie Stillman had just dropped Bob off near his apartment. Another loss to the Seagulls. There are good players on Howie's team, better than my old Dartmouth team, the Whips, but I keep blowing it with these Halifax guys because there's no ESP between us. Not like I had with Rat Driscoll and John Willett. I've spent more time in Dartmouth than Halifax these past twenty years. Interesting--two cities on opposite sides of the same harbor can generate two different styles of ball hockey? Ah, I'm just getting too old for this game. I'll be fifty-four tomorrow. Howie and his team would freak if they knew how old I really was. Thank Joe for that D-Cell water.
Dobbs: You know, Dennis, I'm glad Duncan introduced me to you. It's a pleasure to find such a cauldron of avant-garde creativity in such a backwater like Halifax. Who would believe it?
Dennis Young: Yes, our school is developing quite a reputation in the art world. We're having Joseph Beuys give the graduation address this spring.
Dobbs: Joseph Beuys? I've never heard of him.
Young: Duncan told me of your interest in Finnegans Wake. Well, Beuys claims to have added a couple of chapters to Finnegans Wake back in the early Fifties.
Dobbs: How so?
Young: That's what it says on his resume that he sent us.
Dobbs: I wonder what the Joyce Estate will do about that?
Dennis smiled as he entered his dungeon of a classroom in the Sciences Building on the Dalhousie University campus. Bob followed closely behind to find a seat as he overheard two students discussing Robert Altman's NASHVILLE.
Kristen: Bob, I can't believe you were onto the scene at CBGB'S before I was. It's my job at the Factory to scout out the fringes for new ideas. And I only heard about this place because some friends of mine went to see Blind Orange Julius and they saw you reciting your poetry while you were simultaneously doing pushups. That's how I first heard about this punk stuff.
Dobbs: Yeah, I had come into the city to see the reunion of my old friends Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa. They had patched up their differences and were touring together. I'll never forget that night out at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. It was April 25, 1975. But I stayed in New York for a few weeks after and heard that Dean Latimer and Rex Weiner, some friends from the old East Village Other days, had formed a band and were playing at this new club down on the Bowery. They played after an open poetry reading that I contributed to because I got there early. Boy, was Latimer surprised to see me. I even got up on stage and jammed with them.
Kristen: The EVO--that was happening before I got to New York.
Dobbs: When I was here last year--that was an interesting time. The United States was pulling out of South Viet Nam and there was a new energy erupting. I had to find a place for Ken Kesey and Paul Krassner to stay after they staged an oral retrospective at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. I met Anne Waldman that night. Another night I was with Nam June Paik. The New Yorker had done a piece on him and he wanted me to take an autographed copy to Marshall McLuhan when I passed through Toronto. Another night I dropped in on Cecil Taylor at the Five Spot. Backstage he asked me what I played. “The radio,” I answered. He got a kick out of that because that was his instrument, too. I don't think Gary Giddins, the Voice jazz critic, ever figured that out. I also spent time with John Cage and Allen Ginsberg during those weeks. As you can probably see, these were all people who had a high profile in the Sixties. So I was on the cusp of the “New” at CBGB's while the “Old” flashed before my eyes in a condensed form, just as they say happens when a person drowns.
Kristen: You're sounding like Garrett does when he talks about his life in New York. You know, all those famous people from the Thirties and Forties that he knew on Broadway.
Dobbs: Yes, Garrett got around, too. And the way your life is going with Andy Warhol, you'll be able to drop names to your children, too.
Kristen: If I ever get married. As long as I stay in New York I can't get married. I'm having too much fun. Randy is the only guy I ever really connected with and I doubt he'd move here to be a doctor. When I left Nova Scotia I was an enthusiastic feminist, but in a media and fashion-drenched city like New York one can't take ideas or causes seriously. They have no staying power. This is what Andy understands. I can't say he told me this but it's the main fact one learns as an employee in his environment.
Dobbs: But you will eventually realize nothing really disappears in this city, either.
At that point Kristen was interrupted by Mink DeVille's opening shot.
Dobbs: With the satellite environment you can broadcast, broadcatch, narrowcast and narrowcatch simultaneously.
Dennis: That sounds like the idea Zappa uses in his theatrical projects.
Dobbs: That's another person who's become interested in your work, then has gotten mad at you, and then has gotten in trouble, through no fault of yours.
Worcester: When that force comes through, one gets out of the way, or it'll go right through you, and it's damn near impossible to survive it.
Dobbs: That reminds me of the principle of Seduction that my friend Jean Baudrillard talks about.
Dobbs: Oh, nobody. Just a friend of mine in Paris. Let's not get distracted. Please, continue.
Dobbs: Hey, did you hear about the earthquake in China? Six hundred and fifty-five thousand people died, or some huge number like that. It happened right after we had dinner the other day. I'm beginning to notice a pattern--any time we get together lately, an earthquake happens somewhere.
Worcester: Perish the thought.
Sue: Connie, while I was pregnant and wondering whether to get an abortion, I got very thoughtful about my life. I was sort of depressed, but not really--I guess I was in a very detached frame of mind. Definitely a new kind of feeling for me. Anyway, I started thinking about all my old school friends and what happened to everybody. The way their lives turned out--none of us knew what was coming. I mean, Flaps ends up in this political conspiracy cult in the United States. Steve ends up with this media nut in Toronto. Alan tries to evaporate into thin air through a meditation cult in Seattle. Dennis is found working for the silliest rock band in the world. Randy never really leaves Dartmouth--the one guy I thought would exit the Maritimes first and forever. Kristen, I thought, would stay home and pine for Randy. She's now in a fashion cult in New York, of all places. And who would have thought quiet little Nancy would turn into a Bukowski fanatic, then a UFO nut, and finally end up in law school? I just gotta ask--are we living in civilization, or what?
Connie: Well, Sue, as you know, I've never been pregnant in my fifty-four years as a resident in civilization. So I couldn't answer that question. But Bob could--he claims to have been pregnant once.
Sue laughed, but she wasn't really satisfied with Connie's answer. Sue then lit up a cigarette and tried to find some wrinkles in Connie's face.
Bob was sitting in his booth at Brothers' Lunch listening to “Reeling in the Years” by Steely Dan on the jukebox when his old friend walked in.
Dobbs: Alan, good to see you! It's been a couple of years, right?
Alan: At least that. How ya doin'? How's Connie?
Dobbs: Great. We're doing fine. How about you? Are you still involved with that Awareness group in Seattle?
Alan: Yes, but it's different now. Worcester stopped doing the channeling and moved to Los Angeles. A new guy is channeling Awareness now and I'm not sure what to think about it? His name is Paul Shockley and he lives in Portland, Oregon. He talks about a group called the Illuminati. Weird stuff.
Dobbs: Worse than that--that kind of talk is usually anti-Semitic.
Alan: So I've heard, but so far his stuff hasn't been. It's more about a spiritual Illuminati.
Dobbs: And this is supposed to be the same thing called Awareness that came through Worcester?
Alan: Shockley says it is, but Worcester doesn't agree and he won't have anything to do with it. It's a long story, and the upshot is Worcester went south.
Dobbs: How does this affect you?
Alan: I'm not sure, but I had to check out for a while. Here, look at this.
Alan shows Bob a copy of a magazine called Co-Evolution Quarterly.
Dobbs: Have you ever read Flaps' guru, Lyndon LaRouche?
Alan: No. He's tried to get me to read him, but I can't say I have.
Dobbs: He's in from New York. Give him a call. You might find it more interesting now.
Somebody punched in “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison and that reminded Bob to say, “Connie and I may be leaving Dartmouth soon. She may continue her medical education in Toronto and I may be sent to Dallas for a few years. This is going to be a big change for us.”
Alan: But, Bob, what is it you do? I've never really understood that about you. Not that it's any of my business.
Dobbs: I'm in computer software development. It's a relatively new field. I don't talk about it much around here.
Alan: Well, you've always been a good friend to me. I remember when I first met you around the time President Kennedy was killed. I was in junior high school.
Dobbs: Yes, I remember that. Connie and I had been living in Dartmouth for almost ten years at that point, but we had never known many local kids until I went into the Dartmouth High School gym one day and met some of your friends. It was good for us to make some young friends back then because a new world was a-borning and you and your buddies were responding to it.
Alan: Let me know if you leave. I would miss you and I'd like to keep in touch.
Dobbs: Oh, don't worry, we'll keep in contact with our Dartmouth friends.
Alan and Bob stared at the cook pensively as they nodded to Johnny Cash's “Ring of Fire.”
Bob strolled into the
Seahorse Tavern at the appointed time to find Duncan sitting with a
person whom Bob recognized as a familiar face around the Nova Scotia
College of Art
and Design campus.
Duncan: Bob, this is Eric Fischl, an artist who teaches at the art school.
Dobbs: Yes, I've seen you around there when I've visited Dennis Young.
Duncan: We were just talking about our favorite movies and Eric mentioned a film called GREASER’S PALACE. I've never heard of it? Have you?
Dobbs: Oh yes. I've seen it. Great movie. Made by Robert Downey, who did an earlier classic, PUTNEY SWOPE.
Fischl: You've seen GREASER’S PALACE!? You're the first person I've met in Halifax who's even heard of it, let alone seen it. Amazing!
Nothing more was said about movies because they were interrupted by the chattering company of Art McKay and Greg Skinner.
Dr. Beter (leaning over the railing on the second floor of Studio 54): So that's where we stand now--the Bolsheviks have knocked out the Americans' moon base. From there they can point their particle laser beams at any part of the planet.
Dobbs: What about the Skoptsi faction in Moscow? They've got a little leverage over the Bolsheviks still, don't they?
Beter: Yes, that's going to be very interesting as we watch their moves after this Bolshevik victory. And the Americans are going to have to go public with their space program again.
As Randy turned the corner onto Spring Garden Road from Barrington Street, a familiar voice was ingested: “Who was that guy?” It was Dennis.
Randy: Dennis, what a surprise!
Dennis: Yeah, I haven't seen you in years. But who was that guy?
Randy: A poet friend of mine, Rick Rofihe. I once did a performance piece with him called, “King Modern Meets the Son of Spring Garden Road.”
Dennis: Right along here?
Randy: Yes, and part of it was in the park. So, what's happening with Zappa?
Dennis: I got laid off. He's suing Warner Brothers and Herbie Cohen so things have changed a little around Frank. And, on top of that, I never made the band. So I left L.A. and I'm back looking around for something new. I'm not thinking about anything in music though. Hey, where's Bob Dobbs? I can't find him over in Dartmouth.
Randy: He and Connie moved away. He's in Dallas and Connie's in Toronto. But Steve's still in Toronto, too.
Dennis: I'm going to Toronto next week. Have you got his number?
But Dennis didn't hear Randy because he was drowned out by a college student whose car radio was shouting “Peaches en Regalia.”
Dobbs (sitting in a bar): What's your name?
Young Man: Doug St. Clair Smith.
Dobbs: And yours?
Second Young Man: Philo Drummond.
Doug St. Clair Smith (sitting in the same bar): Can you run that by us again, Mr. Dobbs?
Dobbs: Ontologically, each one of us is now constituted of one-fifth chip, one-fifth neuron, one-fifth astral body, one-fifth television screen, and one-fifth archetype. Epistemologically, we are now constituted of one-fifth NASA, one-fifth CIA, one-fifth Xfiling, one-fifth human scale, and one-fifth genetic engineer.
Dobbs: Mr. Thompson, I found your seminar very stimulating.
William Irwin Thompson: Thank you. I noticed you during it and I thought you looked strangely familiar.
Dobbs: Yes, we met about six years ago when you first came to New York from your retreat in Toronto. We discussed the resonance of the Atlantean metaphor for our times.
Thompson: Oh, yes. I remember that because you emphasized Lemuria and I've never been able to get your point. I've actually puzzled over it several times since then.
Dobbs: Shall I attempt to explain it again?
Thompson: Be my guest!
Dobbs: According to my sources, the Lemurian culture in the Pacific Ocean about eighteen thousand years ago was so stratified that the king and his immediate circle could not see the citizens who lived below them. The king literally could not see them. So, for example, if a bridge collapsed, the king would request the bridge to reappear. Eventually, when the bridge was rebuilt, he thought he had manifested it because he couldn't see the engineers who had actually done the job.
Thompson: That's an original idea! Now how does it relate to Atlantis and today?
Dobbs: If we accept my description of Lemuria and the standard mythic image of Atlantis, then the current mixed corporate-media oligarchy centered in Los Angeles and New York is more like Lemuria because that simulated world can't recognize the world of industrial hardware and flesh, it can't stop and acknowledge what it does to those Lost Worlds, or how it exploits them.
Thompson: Well, you've made your metaphor clearer, but I'm going to have to digest this for a little while. Let's talk about it later.
Just at that moment Gregory Bateson came over to Thompson, nodded knowingly at Bob, and escorted Thompson over to the other side of the room for a private tete-atete. Bob turned and bumped into Margaret Lloyd, a regular at the Lindisfarne seminars, who was the seventh-generation direct descendant, on the female side, of Benjamin Franklin.
Dobbs: Lyn, have you ever noticed that the central feature of all machines is rotation?
LaRouche: Now that's a mouthful, Bob! I'll have to think about such a sweeping generalization, but my first impression is it has the ring of fact. I've been so busy with our new book, Dope, Inc., I haven't had time to think about those kinds of patterns the past year. But I think such an idea gives me a little jolt in the direction I should now go to clear my head of our drug-war work. Once again, Bob, thanks for the door to fresh air.
Dobbs: You know, Peter, I was thinking about the terms “state socialists” and “corporate socialists” you use in your Audio Letter.
Beter: Yes? Remember, Russia is state socialist and America is corporate socialist.
Dobbs: They're both socialists, or collectivists. I was talking to McLuhan the other day about his old terms “hardware communism” and “software communism” and how electric media create software communism. In other words, electricity is socialism. And your terms refer to cultural variants of this common denominator. Now, with that in mind, McLuhan has been using two new terms: “military bureaucracy” and “temple bureaucracy.” Think Russian hardware and American software, respectively. Do you see where I'm taking this?
Beter: Yes, I
think so. Since the Bolsheviks and the Pentagon, both now panicking
state socialists, or McLuhan's military bureaucracies, are forced to
team up, they’re going to
have to control the coming temple bureaucracies. And the Christian Fundamentalists are very useful and necessary to bridge that gap. But that would create a problem for the American corporate socialists, the old temple bureaucracy of Liberalism. That's one hell of a conflict I see on the horizon, I fear.
Dobbs: Yeah, it'll tear the country apart.
Flaps: Why are you emphasizing the historical role of Venice more and more?
LaRouche: Because we are in the middle of a replay of the Fourteenth Century when the Bardi and Peruzzi banking families failed to encourage city-building and technological growth, thanks to their entropic, usurious financial policies, and subsequently fostered the stressful conditions that led to the Black Plague in the middle of that century. This plague wiped out not only millions of people's lives but also the renaissance fostered by the policies of Frederick the Second and geniuses like Dante in the previous hundred years. Today, we are witnessing the destruction of the American infrastructure that was initiated by Abraham Lincoln's and Henry Carey's industrial policies between 1861 and 1876, continued by FDR after earlier setbacks, and accelerated in the early Sixties by JFK and the Apollo space program. This progress was halted by the widescale implementation of a paradigm shift called the “post-industrial society” beginning in 1966. One of the institutions that initiated this new policy model was the Cini Foundation in Italy in 1963, the year President Kennedy was assassinated.
Flaps: What you're telling me is information that we haven't published in our newspaper or the Campaigner.
LaRouche: No, but what I just outlined for you is the framework for what we will be researching, supplementing, and publishing in the Eighties. It's going to be exciting material. It will certainly help mobilize our political constituency.
Flaps: I hope so because I've been a little disappointed with our organization's progress so far.
LaRouche: You're going to have to be a lot more patient than that. I envision our movement taking at least a hundred years before we see some real results.
Jeanne de Salzmann: Mr. Dobbs, in the few times I've heard you talk privately to Krishnamurti, I'm always struck that you bring full sentences out of him--he doesn't mumble syllables shyly as he usually does in private conversation. He even uses the word “I” when he talks to you. Do you realize how unusual that is?
Dobbs: I don't think so. He's always talked that way around me, which is the same way he talked to my father years ago when I first met Mr. Jiddu through Rene.
Salzmann: So your father is to blame.
Dobbs: I hope so.
Dobbs: Frank, you hit the nail on the head with that theme of banning music in Joe's Garage?
Zappa: Yeah, look at what the Ayatollah is doing in Iran!
Dobbs: Oh yes, but I want to warn you. There's going to be a rise in Fundamentalist political activity here in America mainly through the Republican Party over the next few years. Your scenario will look more like the news than science fiction.
Zappa: If you're right, then those are some of my worst fears come true.
Dobbs: It's unfortunate, but it's going to knock the wind out of a lot of the mood of electric autonomy that motivated much of the frenzy of the Seventies.
Frank turned back to his editing console, but he also turned on his television to catch the news.
Dobbs: Garrett, if I fly up to Dartmouth, will you go to APOCALYPSE NOW with me?
Deane (in Dartmouth): No, Bob, I will not go to a movie that treats the word “apocalypse” so casually.
Dobbs: Michael, to put it bluntly and quickly, you're being transferred. The Nugan Hand Bank is obsolete and it's going to be made a public victim. Accept it because the Eighties are going to be a different ball game.
Michael Hand: Frank Nugan won't accept this.
Dobbs: He will, actively or passively--either way. He has no choice in the matter. As for you, Trenton Parker will be in contact shortly. He'll assist you. And that's it. Don't try to contact me. I will find you.
Dobbs: Licio, if you don't clean up this Toni Negri matter very soon, you're going to be “culta” non grata.
Gelli: I'm tempted to tell you and your people to go fuck yourselves.
Dobbs: Look, your role in the old world-government apparatus is pretty tenuous right now because we've got bigger problems in the solar-government structure.
Gelli: That doesn't concern me.
Dobbs: Oh yeah?
Gelli then turned on his VCR and picked up the telephone as Bob watched the opening scenes of THE GODFATHER PART II unfold on the screen.
Sue: Connie, I haven't seen you and Bob in so long that I just had to come to Toronto to spend the holidays with you. But there is another reason I wanted to be with you.
Sue: As you know, after you and Bob left Halifax, I got into the Bible and I became a born-again Christian. However, I discovered something about six months ago that has changed me a little. Have you ever heard of the Worldwide Church of God?
Connie: Yes. That's the guy on the radio. What's his name? Garner Ted Armstrong. Right?
Sue: You're partly correct. He's not on the radio anymore because he was removed from the Church by his father, Herbert W. Armstrong, who started the ministry back in the Thirties. Herbert Armstrong has replaced Garner Ted on the radio, and he's also on television now.
Connie: I see. I actually haven't heard either of them in years.
Sue: Neither had I. And then I found Herbert Armstrong's book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy. I read it and it shook me up. It turns out I was not a real Christian.
Connie: Why not?
Sue: Real Christians observe the Sabbath on Saturday, they don't celebrate Christmas on December 25--that's a pagan holiday--and so is Easter Sunday. The true Church is very serious and particular about how one practices the rituals of being a Christian. It has great respect for the traditions set out in the Old Testament. The New Testament fulfills the Old Testament. I never realized how important these issues were for the Christian until I read this book. I was hoping you would take this copy I brought for you and Bob, and maybe you'll find the time to read it.
Connie: Since it's a gift from you, Sue, we'll certainly read it. I'm honored that you thought of us. But that explains why you didn't come to our Christmas dinner.
Sue: Yes. We're living in a dark time so we have to know how to be a light in the world. That's what I'm committed to.
Dobbs: The way I see it, Peter, the old world government cloned national governments. The recent solar government cloned electric media. Now where does the organic robotoid fit into this?
Beter: It's the mythic government phase. That's when the national, world, and solar governments merge and implode into the cloned mouth as government. Think of that Man Ray painting. Oh, what's it called? It has the lips in the sky. Oh yes--Fashion Photograph! That's an image of what I mean. It's the old Bucky Fuller principle of doing more with less. And it brings back the flesh in a more efficient manner. At least, that's what our friends hope.
Dobbs: Government by “cloned mouth.” There was a band I saw at CBGB's back in June '76 called The Talking Heads. Remember when old McLuhan used to talk about how “the word makes the market”?
Beter: I certainly do. Even he would be shocked by how it's utilized today.
Dobbs: I hear he's ill now. I may have to visit him at his home, and that could be awkward because his family doesn't know about our friendship. It began over twentyfive years ago.
Beter: Did McLuhan ever figure out that your quote-friendship-unquote was originally an assignment?
Dobbs: Yeah… a few years ago… Barrington Nevitt helped him figure it out.
LaRouche: Steinberg tells me you've got some interesting new information.
Flaps: My sources tell me to watch for the growing influence of the Orthodox Church in Moscow. So I've begun researching the old “Third Rome” plan, and I'd like your help.
LaRouche: Tell me what you've got.
Connie: So, how's your new job at the law firm?
Nancy: So-so. But there's an interesting lawyer I've become friends with there. She's been telling me about a friend she has out in Carmel, California, who studies something called the Fourth Reich about which she gives weekly updates on her radio show. You can get tapes of these shows every week. My friend, Diane's her name, is getting very concerned about President Reagan. According to this woman out in California, Mae...somebody, Reagan is part of this Fourth Reich. Diane is getting so worked up she wants to help Mae expose this scandal. I'm going over to Diane's tonight to hear one of Mae's tapes.
Connie: Bob talks about a similar kind of journalist in Chicago. His name is Sherman Skolnick and he has an organization called The Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts. The next time Bob calls from Dallas I'll ask him if he knows about this Mae you're talking about.
Dobbs: What's new, Peter?
Beter: What's new? Ha! Listen to this: the West German government has gotten the consent of the Moscow government that it won't prevent the reunification of Germany in exchange for the secret support for the Russian Skoptsis if Nuclear War One against the Bolsheviks occurs.
Dobbs: Now that's new! What if no war happens?
Beter: No problem. The Skoptsis want to dismantle the Bolshevik empire anyway. They want to return to Russia's original borders.
Dobbs: If this comes about, it will be the surprise of the century. So what do we do in the meantime?
Beter: Do our best to prevent Nuclear War One through my disclosure and your surveillance.
Mae Brussell: So, you're saying this Project Paperclip story is going to get mainstream coverage soon.
Dobbs: Yes, and more than that. The P-2 scandal in Italy is not going away and there is this man in the Justice Department, John Loftus, who's stumbled on some documents that his conscience won't allow him to keep from the American public. After he goes on 60 Minutes, I'll get you together. You'll feel very satisfied and rewarded about all this work you've been doing these many years.
Dr. Peter Beter: Well, Bob, this is the year. The countdown is almost finished. It's up to you and I alone to stop this first strike. God help us if we fail.
Dobbs: Yup. In a week from now I'll have been in this body for sixty years, and yet, all Connie and I have worked for could be snuffed out within the next six months. By the way, I wanted to show you this pamphlet. Some kids put this out in Dallas. They call themselves “The Church of the SubGenius.” Look at that.
Beter: Damn! That guy looks just like your father! What is this?
Dobbs: It is my father.
Suddenly, Bob turns up the volume on Beter's television set. “Look, Al Haig's on. Let's listen to what he says now!”
Beter: I wager that he'll have to resign within these next six months.
Dobbs: Why do you think your medical practice is so popular?
Connie: Because I listen to my patients. I let them define their problems.
Dobbs: You let them create their own body percept?
Connie: Yes… at least, in the beginning.
Dobbs: So, it is a given today that people in America demand the right to have an audience.
Connie: It seems so.
Dobbs: And that is a new pressure in doctors’ lives?
Bob and Connie were
interrupted when their son and daughter, adopted twins born on
Jan.17/65, barged into the kitchen with their friend Eddie and
demanded to hear again
the Frank Zappa album that made fun of televangelists.
Nancy: Mae Brussell! I'm so glad you're in the phone book. I've been listening to your weekly tapes for almost a year now. I've learned so much from them I can't begin to tell you! These Nazis are really going to cause a nuclear war! They have so much power right now--who can stop them?
Brussell (Carmel, California): That's right! They've got us in the palm of their hands. Look at Argentina and what they're doing to Britain over the Falkland Islands. The P-2 Lodge runs Argentina and ever since they got caught last year in Italy, they've upped the ante. They shot the Pope! That gets a lot of attention, but there are dead bodies of key people showing up all over the world. I almost can't keep up with the thoroughness I like to have on my broadcasts.
Nancy: I know! I can hardly keep up just listening to your tapes. I don't know how you get the time to read everything.
Brussell: I make
the time! I get ten newspapers a day and go through them all
carefully and then I file the relevant articles. I've got over thirty
filing cabinets stuffed to the gills. But it's not work to me because
it's so much fun putting together the puzzles and
seeing the patterns.
Nancy: I can imagine! Once you have the key--that top Nazis actually won World War Two in terms of power and influence--then the news makes sense.
Brussell: Once Reagan became President, then people began to see what I've been talking about since I wrote my first article for Paul Krassner's The Realist way back in 1972. I predicted Ronald Reagan would have to become President to fulfill the Fourth Reich's plans--ten years ago!
Sue: It's wonderful that you looked me up, Nancy. We haven't seen each other in years.
Nancy: Yes, I don't get back to Dartmouth much anymore. It's very hectic being a lawyer in Toronto nowadays. With the economy in such bad shape and everybody suing each other, I have more than enough business but it's not much fun. People are getting very mean in Toronto. How is it around here?
Sue: It's much the same but nobody has any money for suing anybody. People just get more bitter.
Nancy: You probably remember how I always liked strange ideas and books.
Sue: I sure do.
Nancy: Well, I found some new ones lately that have kept my mind alive. There's a woman who has done a lot of research on obscure Twentieth-Century history and proposes that the world is coming under the control of a Fourth Reich. She says it's being built from the supposed ruins of the Third Reich--almost the same people. Her information is really intriguing.
Sue: A Fourth Reich? You mean, in Europe?
Nancy: Partly, but it includes America, too, now.
Sue: That's interesting, because the Bible predicts a Nazi Fourth Reich will rise in Europe around this time in our history and will wreak a lot of destruction on our Earth.
Nancy: Oh, you're talking about that Fundamentalist crap that says the Vatican is the Whore of Babylon. I've heard that before. As a matter of fact, Mae Brussell--she's the maverick journalist I was just mentioning--says these Fundamentalist churches have a lot of the Fourth Reich money funding their missionary work and their televangelist broadcasting.
Sue: That's what I'm talking about. I'm quoting from a “maverick” interpretation of the Bible. It doesn't agree with the regular Fundamentalist practices, even the general Christian ones. It's completely different from anything you've ever heard about.
Nancy: Sue, you're acquiring the same fringe tastes I have!
Sue: Yeah, who would've guessed! This is funny! However, on a serious level, the church I'm talking about doesn't preach hate. It is actually quite successful. It has members all over the world and different media outlets in many countries. And it offers magazines and literature for free. It never asks for money--not like your regular churches.
Nancy: It's free? How does it pay for all this? Where does it get its money from?
Sue: From volunteer donations.
Nancy: Then it must be the world's largest and most successful charity organization! Weird. I'd like to see some literature. Have you got any?
Sue: Yes I do. Here, read this. It's a book by the founder--The United States and Britain in Prophecy. This is where the Fourth Reich is talked about.
Nancy: Hmm... interesting.
Bob and Connie eased through the crowd of dancers and onlookers on the second floor of 242 Queen Street West--an apartment rented by Bob New, a cameraman who worked for Second City TV. They had been invited to the party by Alan who was hoping to create a spontaneous reunion of his old Dartmouth buddies. And almost everybody had shown up. Flaps had flown in from Seattle, Dennis from New York, Randy from Dartmouth, and Steve was still living in Toronto anyway. It turned into a fortuitous event for all of them. Flaps, still working for LaRouche, met Ian, the son of a wealthy newspaper publisher. Dennis, who had gone to New York with Randy's poet-friend Rick Rofihe, met Nelson, an avant-garde poet. Steve met Jamie, a film director from Los Angeles.Alan met Don, an actor based in Toronto. Randy had a chance to hear about Connie's successes in her complementary-medicine practice which opened up strange new possibilities for him in his own flagging family-medicine clinic he ran with Billy Barton back in Dartmouth. Bob himself chuckled more than once over the fact he was in Bob New's apartment, because he kind of felt “new” himself: he soon wouldn't be stationed in Dallas anymore; he and Dr. Beter had prevented Nuclear War One in September '82 allowing the exhausted Beter to retire his Audio Letter; Doug St. Clair Smith had gotten a book published by McGraw-Hill that featured a super-salesman that looked just like the picture of Bob's father Bob had shown Doug and his friend Philo back in '78 in that Dallas bar--what a hoot, but it must mean something positive for Bob and Connie's destiny; nobody was going to find out for a long time how Bob had been involved in the KAL 007 crash; and Bob had just been introduced to Bob Marshall, a young Canadian journalist, who Bob immediately recognized from puzzling psychic flashes he had gotten perhaps ten years before--and when that occurred he knew his plans were on the right track and usually on schedule. The only thing that bugged Bob a little bit--he was being reminded again how timidly the Canadians danced compared to the Americans. As a matter of fact, Americans were consumed by Canadian dance-timidity if they stayed in the country for any length of time.
Dobbs: I say people are now largely patterns of information. So I like to use historical patterning to illustrate to friends how they became reduced or inflated to these patterns.
Bob Marshall: We've been weaved?
Dobbs: Yes. We've
been robots for five hundred years here in the West. The first phase
was psychological automatism. Its icon is Newton. The second phase
automatism. The icon--Darwin. The third was hardware automatism. Two icons--Edison and Ford. The fourth was software automatism. Two icons--any President of the United
States since World War Two and Walter Cronkite. The fifth phase is a paradoxical condition. I call it autonomy automatism--the robot confident in declaring its independence and in refining its sense of freedom. We have an endless supply of icons for this phase--any star in any demographic of any genre of entertainment or information. It's probably obvious to you we have not arrived at the sixth phase. So who are your icons?
Marshall: Well, they're pretty obscure. You probably never heard of them: Mae Brussell, Lyndon LaRouche, Marshall McLuhan, Cosmic Awareness. And, uh, Herbert W. Armstrong. What demographic does that make me?
Dobbs: I've actually heard of them all. You're in my demographic!
Marshall: No! I don't even know you!
Dobbs: That's because I'm in the obscure zone, too.
Bob Marshall: Bob, have you ever heard of Frank Zappa?
Dobbs: Sure have. Why?
Marshall: Just wondering. I think he's a genius--one of the few around today.
Dobbs: On November twenty-fifth, nineteen seventy-one, I was in New York City to see Zappa's new movie, TWO HUNDRED MOTELS, and I went over to the Guggenheim Museum to look at the James Joyce Liquid Memorial Theater. Besides running into Gerard Malanga--you know, the Warhol poet--I got to join the group onstage. I was up there dancing and ranting when something intangible nudged me and I almost fell off the stage. I would've been killed or at least paralyzed--the stage was that high. Anyway, about two weeks later, on December tenth, Zappa was pushed off the stage in London and incapacitated for about a year...
Marshall: Man, I remember that! I was really pissed off. But are you connecting the two events?
Dobbs: Perhaps. You see, Frank and I have been close friends for over twenty years.
Marshall: What?! You're kidding!
Dobbs smiled and pointed to the window of a used-record store where the front cover of the album sleeve for Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica held court.
Dobbs: You see, Bob, this whole dimension--nature, the universe--is a spiraling doubleness. We did not create this doubleness--God did. But everything human beings created--what I call “Second Nature”--includes doubleness, but it's doubleness squared. It's a structure of fourness, but “First Nature” doesn't have fourness, only doubleness.
Marshall: Can you give me some examples?
Dobbs: The amoeba splits, DNA works with RNA, you've got two eyes, two ears, etc., you look at objects through the filter of memory--doubleness, it never changes in First Nature. But with Second Nature, its artifacts' constituents change the structure of other artifacts which in turn respond and alter the original artifacts. Language registers these changes and then we recognize patterns in those changes.
Bob Marshall looked up thoughtfully from the pavement and caught the poster display of the Bloor Street Cinema in his gaze: THIEVES LIKE US. Next he saw his reflection in the shop window and quietly winced at how he looked an awful lot like Lee Harvey Oswald. Not long after that thought, he shot his arm out to stop Dobbs' stride as a car turned and almost struck him.
Randy: The drug salesmen dropping into our clinic are getting a little irritated by what they perceive as a slightly less enthusiastic response to their new products. But I don't have enough knowledge about the alternative approaches to confidently rebuff them.
Connie (Toronto): You're going to have to find the time to take some seminars. They're lots of professional, competent ones being offered now. I'll send some recommendations to you.
Randy: Then I have to convince my patients to change their expectations and take the time to educate themselves. Everybody's back in the classroom again. Or is it a laboratory with no guiding standard procedures?
Connie: Yup, we are the experiment!
Dobbs: Bob, I'm going to let you in on a pattern nobody's noticed. It goes like this: The satellite prefigures the actual merger of First and Second Nature. You got that?
Marshall: Uh, yeah: “The satellite prefigures the actual merger of First and Second Nature.” I just said it but I hardly know what it means.
Dobbs: I'll give you a hint. Bucky Fuller used to point out that the satellite is a manmade environment that contains and miniaturizes a complete history of all the technologies we live with.
Marshall: That sounds like something McLuhan said. I think it was:“The satellite is an extension of the planet.”
Dobbs: Well, now you have two hints. That should tell you something.
Dobbs then opened Connie's mail and pulled out two tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game. He grinned mischievously at Bob Marshall.
Steve and Jamie had just seen THE KILLING FIELDS. Walking into the cinema's cafe, Steve spoke first.
Steve: McLuhan used to say in class that the Third World broke out into great violence thanks to Hollywood.
Jamie: That's ridiculous! Hollywood serves up only commercial pablum. And that was especially the case twenty years ago. Hollywood couldn't cause a tempest in a teacup.
Steve: Maybe that's what caused the Third World revolutions--the movies they were sent were so banal they got pissed off.
Steve: But seriously, you're missing McLuhan's point. As far as the Third World was concerned, these movies were far from banal--they were ads for a paradise that the ordinary citizen had access to and even inhabited. The Third World thought they had a right to that abundance. Remember the McLuhan aphorism: “The user is the content.” Your Canadian experience of Hollywood is completely alien to a Cambodian's experience of Hollywood. However, if that Cambodian sees a movie here in Toronto after having lived in Toronto for five years, that Cambodian would see that movie through American eyes. You see how silly it is for the Canadian government to insist on ten percent Canadian content in the nation's entertainment consumption.
Jamie: I'll have
to think about some of what you said, but I couldn't have gotten any
working experience as a film director if the Canadian government
hadn't supported and
insisted on Canadian content. Anyway, I live in Los Angeles now. Does that make me an American film director now?
Steve: In McLuhan's view, you were always an American. There's no difference between Canada and the United States on the sensory level.
Dobbs: Another factor, Bob, we have to consider is that history is largely a struggle between those who look at machines as analogies and those who look at machines as ongoing anomalies and insist on improving them.
Marshall: Analogies? Analogies of what?
Dobbs: Oh, analogies of the human condition in general, or of some human archetypal desire, or of some demon orinvader.
Marshall: Why is the other side called... anomalists?
Dobbs: Because they don't accept the human situation. They feel it isn't quite right, there's something incomplete, that they can adjust the picture frame to diminish the perceived dissonance.
Dobbs: So who do you think is winning right now?
Marshall: Well, the popular sentiment would favor the analogists, but no one can stop the anomalists.
Dobbs: Yes, that would seem to be the conventional wisdom. So what would be the escape hatch from that cliche?
Marshall: I don't know. I'm still in the nightmare, as James Joyce wrote.
Dobbs: Doesn't your friend Marshall McLuhan say the atomic bomb was the exclamation point of history? And that's forty years ago.
Marshall: I've always thought that was a brilliant analogy.
Dobbs laughed and turned away from the seawall, scanned the Toronto skyline, and rested his eyes on the CN Tower and his feet on Toronto Island.
Dobbs: Bob, people talk about ESP, yearn to have ESP, and will stop at no extreme to possess it. Yet, they fail to notice they live in a sea of it.
Marshall: You're going to have to explain that to me. Give me some details.
Dobbs: When you
turn the sound off your television set, you can watch people's
gestures in the silence. And they really speak volumes. So much so
that most people would turn the sound back on. The silent screen is
just too loud in its radiance. Now, you're perhaps imagining just one
person doing that. Just think if a million people watched the same
content at the same time with the sound turned off. That's a
collective experience of ESP, not just one-on-one ESP. TV really
magnifies the ESP. Consciousness is a great deal more than a verbal
process, so a collective consciousness is created immediately in any
population that shares a couple of TV channels. That's what I mean
when I say we live in a sea of it. I don't think we have the means to
translate this experience. But notice the obsession with sports
today. Games like football, basketball, and hockey move fast enough
today to approximate and mimic a collective ESP in dramatic action.
They're about the only means around today that can hope to translate
the new ocean we're swimming in. Hence, the devotion to
Marshall: You should have been a poet, Dobbs! Now hand me that tape of Mae Brussell over there and let's listen to her ESP-take on the news.
Marshall: So the last word in Finnegans Wake is “the” and I assume one is supposed to go back to the beginning of the book and continue the sentence with “riverrun.” So it would read: “The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adam's,....” The book's a circle?
Dobbs: Not necessarily. I think Mr. Joyce wanted us to go back to the last page of Ulysses, at the end of Molly's monologue--a parallel to Anna Livia Plurabelle's final monologue--where the last letter is “s” in the word “Yes.” Then, reading backwards, I would note the letter “e”--Joyce's symbol in his notebooks for Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker and Here Comes Everybody--which is “us.” Then--I repeat, reading backwards, just as Finnegans Wake flows in reverse on one level--the letters in the last word, “the,” would be the beginning of the word “Theseus,” and they would not be an article preceding “riverrun.” In Greek mythology Theseus was given a thread by Ariadne to unravel and later retrace for escaping from the Labyrinth (traditionally symbolized by the letter “s”) after he killed the Minotaur. That's the meaning of the words,“The keys to. Given!” And metaphorically, when the reader plunges out of the nighttime of Finnegans Wake and into Ulysses, he or she or it is back into the labyrinth of daylight, like Leopold Bloom, the adman. And Ariadne, as an anagram, would include the meaning,“I near ad.”
Bob entered the waiting room in Connie's medical clinic expecting to see his cohort, Bob Marshall, the journalist.
Marshall: Bob, what are you doing in town?
Dobbs: Come outside for a minute.
Marshall (out in the hallway with Dobbs): What's up?
Dobbs: I've found a radio station you can use to release your particular kind of news. It's downtown on the Ryerson campus. A Chris Twomey will call you.
Marshall: When do I start?
Dobbs: They want to check you out first. Just show them your library and play a couple of Mae Brussell tapes. You'll overwhelm them. It should be no problem.
Marshall: So how long are you here? When can we get together?
Dobbs: Not right now. Sorry, but I have to go to Moscow tonight. There's a new guy coming in after Chernenko--one of Beter's so-called Skoptsis.
Don: How do you know if Worcester or Shockley are really mediums for Awareness? They could be just good actors. Or, at least, good at acting like mediums.
Alan: That's a good question, but with Worcester I could feel the energy in the room. I never experienced Shockley in person.
Don: Energy? What kind of energy? Any good play will generate energy.
Alan: I perceived it as a different kind of energy than what I get in a theatre. Mind you, you experience the medium in a very small room compared to a theatre. Maybe spiritual energy is an intimate energy. But, you know, I remember Worcester talking about “conscious mediumship.” I think that was one of the goals of the development classes--to get to that state. So a conscious medium might do traditional mediumship as an act, as a means to an end, as a way station. The very doctrine of Awareness undermined the charisma of mediumship, much like Krishnamurti does. And there's no doubt Worcester was influenced by Krishnamurti. So Worcester could have been acting, but his intention perhaps was to create a genuine-fake form of the occult as a strategy to counter the increasing fascination the public was having for the occult. He always said that Awareness wanted to undo the effect of the Order of the Golden Dawn, the last manifestation of Rhyee.
Don: So where did Worcester get his script for Awareness from?
Alan: You mean, who was the playwright?
Alan: Well, Ralph Duby and David Worcester were part of a clinical experiment done by Captain Al Hubbard in the late Fifties where he monitored the effects of LSD-25 on very psychically-sensitive people. This was before Tim Leary ever took LSD. So maybe acid wrote the script.
Dobbs: Look at
this, Bob, on page 355 of Finnegans Wake, line 35, “... and,
bespeaking of love and lie detectors in venuvarities, whateither the
drugs truth of it, was there an
iota of from the faust to the lost.”
Marshall: Yeah... what about it? I don't see anything.
Dobbs: “Lie detectors” and “drugs truth”--Joyce is referring to using drugs as a means of prying the truth out of somebody. That's the MKULTRA agenda, that's what they used LSD and other drugs for.
Marshall: But Joyce wrote that before there was LSD.
Dobbs: The Nazis were doing similar experiments in the Thirties and Forties. Did you ever see the Bergman film, THE SERPENT’S EGG?
Marshall: No. But if that's what Joyce is referring to, no wonder he wrote Finnegans Wake in code. He would have had to self-censor more than just pornographic stuff because he was writing at a time when it was very dangerous in political terms--nobody knew whether the Right or the Left was going to win.
Dobbs: Yes, some critics might think he wrote in code to bypass the censorship problems he had with Ulysses, but maybe he was embedding information he had about more sinister levels of mind control. I know J. Edgar Hoover was keeping an eye on Joyce.
Ian: Our newspaper is breaking a story tomorrow on the terrorist links to the Sikh population in Canada.
Flaps: I bet you're not including the terrorist links to British intelligence.
Ian: You're right, we're not. But we have no evidence of that. I've read what your organization says in its newspaper, but your evidence isn't strong enough to stand up in court.
Flaps: Yes, we don't have the particular evidence on paper, but these activities leave no traces on paper. You have to look at the pattern of events over a span of time. We elucidate that pattern in our newspaper by juxtaposing unique, suppressed historical records with current events. As Ezra Pound says: “News that stays news.”
Ian: I don't think history applies in the newspaper business even if, ironically, newspapers record daily events that become an important part of the historical record. People don't have time for history. They read newspapers to see what's happening now.
Flaps: They wouldn't read newspapers so superficially if they knew how to think. There's a way of learning and thinking that transcends the daily hubbub of sensation.
Ian: If you can show me that way of thinking, that would be sensational. Flaps chuckled.
Ian: Then perhaps I could be eloquent enough to persuade the editors to let Lyndon LaRouche have a weekly column in our newspaper.
Bob Marshall skirted the edges of the dance floor in the Limelight disco club, former home of William Irwin Thompson's Lindisfarne Association. Bob was looking for Frank Zappa. Bob suspected Frank was on the edges, too. Bob was correct. Frank was in a back room holding court with a few fans. Bob waited for his opportunity to speak.
Marshall: Frank, have you heard of Mae Brussell?
Zappa: Yes, I read something by her in Larry Flynt's magazine, The Rebel.
Marshall: Are you interested in more?
Zappa: Perhaps. What have you got?
Marshall: I have tapes of her weekly radio show. I can send a few to you.
Zappa: Sure. I'd like to hear them.
Marshall: What did you think of Flynt's campaign about the explosion of KAL 007?
Zappa: I gave him some legal advice for his newspaper ads right after it went down.
Marshall: Those ads were what brought Mae and Larry together.
Marshall: Yes. It was after Larry met Mae that he decided to create a magazine for her. That's why The Rebel came into existence.
Zappa: But the magazine doesn't exist anymore.
Marshall: And Larry Flynt got put in jail and Mae Brussell is isolated again in Carmel, California.
Dennis: Our friend, Rick Rofihe, will not go to a Frank Zappa concert even though I can get him complimentary tickets any time.
Nelson: I used to like Zappa back in the Sixties but then he got into this juvenile, sophomoric shtick. I haven't thought of him in years.
Dennis: Then you're missing out on something awesome. Zappa is perhaps the greatest poet of our time, and since you're a poet, you should check him out again.
Nelson: Poetry today is theoretical and I've never heard any theory presented in Zappa's music, and I've certainly never seen any of his poetry.
Dennis: The theory presented in Zappa revolves around questions of physics in Time, Space, and the Big Note. He often says the one thing he'd like to know is: “What time is it?” He's also claimed that he doesn't know who actually is the drummer in his group. So you see, the question of rhythm is foremost in his work just as it is in the poet's mind.
Nelson: Like I said, I haven't seen his poetry.
Dennis: Why would his poetry be only in book form? If poetry is theoretical, then the theory has to include the question of what and where the lab is.
Nelson: You're relying too much on the positivist notions of science as your model for poetry. We're in a world where that model is a colonizer of the imagination. It is supported by the bourgeois hypothesis of subjectivity. Subjectivity is not an attainable condition today. That's why the poet, like the scientist, can only write science fiction now.
Dennis: Aha! That is why Zappa, for almost twenty years now, has been trying to stage a science-fiction musical on Broadway. As a matter of fact, he's trying to mount one right now based on AIDS as a byproduct of military biological warfare research.
Dobbs: You know, Bob, there's something I've been meaning to tell you about Finnegans Wake that you're not going to find mentioned by the Joyceans, as far as I know. With your interest in conspiracy theory in mind, take a look at pages 572 to 576. Then look at Joseph Campbell's Skeleton Key and read his translation of that section. He picks up that some financial information is being passed back and forth between the Vatican and the Anglican Church and neither knows what to do with it. It's a hot potato with a history going back for centuries. But then look at the section again with the idea that it's a secret, a contradiction, that's being covered up. I'm interested in what you think Joyce is trying to tell us because it seems to be an important part of the book.
Marshall: I don't have much time to spend with the Wake like I used to since you got me this radio gig, but I'll see what I can do. I am planning to go through the book again page by page with Eric McLuhan's PhD. thesis in one hand and Roland McHugh's Annotations in the other when I have a little more time. Now that I'm doing the Saturday edition of the International Connection with Adam Vaughan, Dave Newfeld, and Tom Rich, I'm feeling overbooked. As a matter of fact, that reminds me, I've got to get to a medical appointment with Connie in thirty minutes. Catch ya later, Bob. July 16/85 (Toronto)
Adam: Bob, your news sources always seem six months ahead of mine. If I could become news director at this radio station, I'd give more prominence to your stuff.
Marshall: I wouldn't want to be news director, but if you want to and like what I do, I know people around here that could arrange that.
Zappa: Mae, this is Frank Zappa. I've heard a lot about you from our mutual friend, Bob Marshall, and I was hoping you could help me with some concerns I have.
Brussell (Carmel): Maybe I can. What's on your mind?
Zappa: There's a committee in Washington that's pursuing legislation for the purpose of censoring music-industry products. I was wondering if you had any information on some particular politicians who may be behind this legislation.
Brussell: Who do you have in mind?
William Irwin Thompson: We meet again! The man from Lemuria! How are you doing, Mr. Dobbs?
Dobbs: Fine. I was looking over your old book, Passages about Earth, the other day when I came across the part on your stay at Findhorn in Scotland. It suddenly occurred to me that perhaps the quality and productivity of their famous garden was because they used the D-Cell.
Thompson: The D-Cell? What's that?
Dobbs: It's a water purifier and energizer. It has remarkable beneficial effects on our bodies and nature in general.
Thompson: I never heard of it, and I never saw anything along those lines at Findhorn. They used elves and nature spirits to energize their garden. Can I get some of this stuff?
Dobbs: Not easily. The man who makes it, Joe Dun Sloan, doesn't try to make the world notice it. He just produces it for those who already are lucky enough to use it. Just at that moment the Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Rev. Jim Morton, came over to Thompson, nodded knowingly at Bob, and escorted Thompson over to the other side of the room for a private tete-a-tete. Bob turned and bumped into Peggy Harrington, a regular at the Lindisfarne seminars, who was the wife of Alan Harrington, the well-known author of The Immortalist.
Ian: Flaps, you've wanted me to feature LaRouche as a columnist in our newspaper ever since we met.
Flaps: Yeah. Why, have you decided to do it?
Ian: Not really. But I've been scooped. There's a journalist in Toronto who has a radio show and he regularly interviews LaRouche's associates from the Executive Intelligence Review.
Flaps: You're kidding. How could that be allowed in one of the Queen's cities? LaRouche would be assassinated if he ever went to Toronto.
Ian: I don't know about that, but this guy--Bob Marshall's his name--he's getting away with it.
Flaps: We don't even have a distributor in Toronto. I've gotta look into this. Do you remember any names of the people he interviewed?
Ian: Richard Freeman. He has Freeman on more than anybody else. Marshall even had LaRouche on once.
Flaps: Wow! We're on a lot of radio stations here in the States now, but getting into Canada is not what I expected. I've got old friends in Toronto. I'm going to call them and get 'em to listen to this guy! Ian ordered another coffee from the waitress and proceeded to study the packaging of the news in various American dailies he had spread out on the table. Flaps returned to reading an essay in an old Campaigner on why the British hate Shakespeare.
Marshall: Bob, I got a call from a listener who plays bass in a band called Rosi Fan Tutti. He wants me to join them onstage at the Beverley Tavern and they'll back me up while I give out some International-Connection kinds of information. What do you think?
Dobbs: Why do they want to do that? Do they think your information is just entertainment?
Marshall: Oh no, they think it's important stuff. They want to give me some exposure on the Queen Street scene so more people will tune into my radio show.
Dobbs: What's this bass player's name?
Marshall: Jack Tasse.
Dobbs: I've heard of him. He used to play with Nazi Dog on the punk scene back around '77.
Marshall: Nazi Dog! You mean the guy who would cut his arms with razors and broken beer bottles while performing?
Dobbs: Yeah. He was in love with the electrified, discarnate state and considered his body a hateful burden.
Marshall: Was this a conscious preference?
Dobbs: Only on an instinctual level. He didn't know why he had this preference.
Marshall: Be that as it may, should I take Jack up on this offer?
Dobbs: Well, you don't want to jeopardize your status as a serious journalist at CKLN.
Marshall: They don't listen to my show too closely anyway. Maybe this will get their attention.
Dobbs: Considering that you named yourself in honor of McLuhan, maybe a little flash is appropriate. Yeah, might as well go for it, Bobby.
Bob Marshall: Have you read any books by Robert Anton Wilson?
Dobbs: Yes, The Illuminatus! Trilogy.
Marshall: He seems to have the same intense interest in Finnegans Wake as you?
Dobbs: Yes, but
his approach to physics is the opposite of Joyce's. Wilson's a
nominalist who is very influenced by his quantum physics pals in San
Francisco--guys like Saul-
Paul Sirag, Fred Wolf, and Jack Sarfatti. They basically argue over the names of Satan. But Joyce viewed language as the real constituent of matter and bet on the propensity for us to become our names. Wilson's friends wrestle within the arena built by the Bohr-Bohm polarity. Joyce spars with Einstein over which medium is the message--Joyce doesn't agree with Einstein on where the arena is located and what time the fight should take place. Joyce countered Einstein's E=MC2 formula with his own 1132 formula.
Marshall: That pipe-smoking guy in the Book of the SubGenius you showed me seems to be modeled on Wilson's Hagbard Celine.
Dobbs: Yes, your intuition is correct because Doug Smith had read Wilson's books before he met me. When he and Philo encountered me they thought they had met the real Hagbard. The result of the alchemy between the two images is J. R. “Bob” Dobbs--Finn the Eskimo.
Marshall: The All-Canadian Boy!
Dobbs (laughing): Yes--you, my Pygmalion.
Marshall: You wish!
Dobbs: By the way, why is Wilson on your mind?
Marshall: I thought of him after I performed with Rosi Fan Tutti. It's the whole thing about presenting my information in the counterculture milieu. It was a little disconcerting and it reminded me of his audience when I saw him speak here in Toronto.
Dobbs: Small is beautiful!
Bob and Dobbs turned off Yonge Street and aimed for the CKLN radio station on the Ryerson Polytechnic Institute campus.
Marshall: Have you ever heard of Krishnamurti?
Dobbs: Yes, we're
friends. I last saw Krishnamurti at Saanen in Switzerland a few
months ago and during the third talk I was struck at how he
represented a replay of the
moment when we evolved into a univocal matrix in the world.
Dobbs: Yes, when we started to internalize on a cultural scale a serious division in the concepts of good and evil.
Marshall: You mean, the “hundredth-monkey effect.”
Dobbs: Yes, that's a useful way to put it. But Krishnamurti, in his talks, dramatizes the highest decibels of consciousness within that dilemma and tries to show how and why thought leads in that direction. It's probably at the Neolithic stage when human beings became more sedentary and more focused on the mouth rather than the kinetic and proprioceptive forms of culture of the previous Paleolithic phase. Anyway, the idea of a participational “Logos” is the meme he is wrestling with. You can see him sliding up and down the spectrum that would later be divided up into grammatical, dialectical, and rhetorical approaches to the Word.
Marshall: But doesn't he represent the esoteric wisdom and mysticism of the oral tradition?
Dobbs: Yes and no. He is the Ur-moment that tries to avoid falling into the founding of the mystical teaching traditions. He wants to simulate the ordinary insights and pleasures of a penetrating, rigorous conversation conducted while walking with another, even though he is forced to remain sitting and logocentric. He's trying to get you up on your feet again and moving around without creating conflict.
Marshall: I don't think that's ever been said before.
Marshall put down his fork, rose quickly from the table and left the restaurant. He came back about five minutes later and spoke about how it may start raining.
Steve: So, Jamie, what do you think of this Bob Marshall on CKLN?
Jamie: Well, I'm glad you turned me on to his show. The International Connection! It's crazy stuff, but it's got me paying attention to the news again. I haven't followed the news in years because I've been trying to create news with my films. The kind of information Marshall presents gives me a whole new range of ideas I hadn't considered before. His show has actually got my creative juices going again.
Steve: I find it rather obsessive. I mean, he's on there twice a week explaining all the current news, and he never stops. It reminds me of a syndrome McLuhan once told me is characteristic of our time. He used the phrase,“the cognitive thrills of pattern recognition.” I think that's what Bob Marshall is addicted to, and it's what his fans crave.
Jamie: No, I don't see that at all. He's giving us the information around current events that the mainstream press won't touch. That's important because it deals with the reality we're all hiding from.
Steve: When information is moved at the speed of light, news becomes fantasy, no matter what its source is.
Jamie: That may be how it looks because of information overload, but there's still a real world with real actions that determine whether we live or die or not. That's what the news refers to--something we're all actually involved in!
Steve: Again, I'm reminded of an aphorism McLuhan often repeated: “Depth involvement creates instant response.”
Jamie: C'mon, can you stop parroting McLuhan just once? You're so involved with him that he becomes your instant response to any new ideas. Ha, got ya!
Steve grimaced but Jamie
didn't see that facial reaction because the lights had gone down in
the theater as the opening credits for Robert Altman's SECRET HONOR
on to the screen.
Don (via the telephone): Alan, do you ever listen to CKLN?
Alan: No, I don't listen to the radio.
Don: You're not going to believe this! A couple of weeks ago I heard that guy, Worcester, you used to tell me about being interviewed on the radio.
Don: He was in some kind of minor trouble, and he told the interviewer that, if he was bothered again, he was going to cause forty billion dollars damage. And then he was interviewed again a few weeks later after the Challenger space shuttle blew up, and the journalist believed Worcester had caused it.
Alan dropped his telephone he was laughing so hard.
Alan (recovering): I haven't talked to Worcester in years, but I remember a few times back in the Seventies when he would make grandiose threats like that and some disaster would happen. I never knew what to make of it. But who is this journalist?
Don: Bob Marshall, but I don't think that's his real name because he features pretty wild information on his show.
Alan: When's his show on again? Which station is it?
Don: It's on Wednesday and Thursday, or Friday, at around eleven o'clock in the morning. It's called The International Connection. And CKLN is at 88.1 on the FM dial.
Alan: How did you find out about this show?
Don: You know your friend from Nova Scotia--Steve? His friend, Jamie, told me about it when I saw him at some film company's party around Christmas.
Alan: Is Worcester going to be on again?
Don: I don't know, but I get the impression he's a regular guest on the show.
Alan: I'm going to call the station and see if I can get Worcester's phone number from this Bob guy. Thanks fortellin’ me. This is amazing!
Dobbs: Bob, I've explained the concept of “phatic communion” to you before, but there's a new element...
Marshall: Phatic communion? What's that?
Dobbs: Remember when I told you how, when you're with familiar acquaintances, like co-workers in an office, you casually walk by somebody and they ask you, “How are you doing?”, and you don't literally answer the question, but you repeat the question to that person and you, too, don't expect them to answer it in any detail?
Marshall: Oh yeah, I remember—“phatic communion.”
Dobbs: You know, it's like waving at a person verbally. It's a form of social acknowledgement, a form of nodding and amiability. The anthropologist, Malinowski, came up with the term in 1922 or '23.
Marshall: But you have a new twist on it?
Dobbs: Yes. I think the machines are now doing it with satirical intent. I call it, “Menippean phatic communion.”
Dobbs: The word, “Menippean,” refers to an aesthetic of cynicism. Menippus was the first literate mixed-media writer. He combined poetry and prose in his writing, around 220 B.C., in the Hellenic period of Greek culture. To mix the two was considered outrageous at the time. Unfortunately, there are only fragments of his work left.
Marshall: If “phatic” means amiability and “Menippean” means cynical, then “Menippean phatic communion” is an oxymoron.
Dobbs: No, it's a way of expressing ironic communication. In a world where there is no common social space, no means of connecting, not even phatically, then the phatic function becomes no longer casual but flips into intensity. This happened in America many decades ago for human beings. When the machines came alive in the Fifties, they passed through these same stages the human beings had gone through. By the Seventies the machines had had their Armageddon and had died. Now the machines have reincarnated and they try to act human, but with a vengeance. They celebrate the whole range of human emotion and venality. They will even retrieve phatic forms of connection and communion. But it's done very self-consciously and very aggressively. It's Menippean!
Marshall: Well, that's all fine and good, but how do human beings fit into all this?
Dobbs: Imitation is the sincerest form of battery! At this point that's how human beings are going to express their essentially stubborn nature.
Marshall: So we can't tell the difference between us and the machines anymore.
Bob Marshall: Bob, it was a year ago when I performed with the band Rosi Fan Tuti. Do you remember that night?
Dobbs: Yeah, you did O.K., if I recall correctly.
Marshall: I just found out that Andy, the lead singer for the band, moved back to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. That's where you lived for many years, right?
Dobbs: Right. Why did he do that?
Marshall: It seems his wife is from there.
Dobbs: No kidding. Well, that's more evidence of “xenochrony.”
Marshall: Xenochrony? What's that?
Dobbs: When one does everything in one's power to avoid merging in synchronicity...and fails.
Marshall (a little puzzled): Hmmm…
Dobbs: “Xeno” means strange. So,“xenochrony” means “strange synchronicity.” I don't mean that synchronicity is a strange phenomenon. I mean the failure to willfully avoid synchronicity is strange.
Marshall: Is Nova Scotia a place where xenochrony occurs a lot?
Dobbs: It certainly has been for me.
Bob turned off the bootlegged video of Frank Zappa's 1984 concerts at The Pier in New York City.
Dobbs: Alan, there's something I want to explain to you about Krishnamurti that may throw new light on your obsession with him.
Alan: What's that?
Dobbs: You know how Krishnamurti has repeatedly emphasized for decades the simple process of cognition and how it conditions us.
Dobbs: That knowledge came out of the Theosophical circles that nurtured Krishnamurti and subsequently many artists in the early decades of this century. However, James Joyce was unique at that time because he saw first how that knowledge could be applied to the stages of collective cognition in cultures and their rituals. As the Twentieth Century has unfolded, we can see how the private stages of cognition would be an increasingly puny issue and why Krishnamurti would appear more eccentric and McLuhan, Krishnamurti's logical heir, would appear more resonant.
Alan: What happened to Joyce?
Dobbs: It was McLuhan's sole understanding of Joyce that put him past Krishnamurti.
Alan: I don't think I completely understand what you're telling me. Perhaps you could recommend some stuff I could read to get some background on this.
Dobbs: No problem.
Alan: Okay. Now put the Zappa tape back on. I love “Hot-Plate Heaven at the Green Hotel.”
Dobbs: No problem.
Nelson: One of the most interesting things about my visit to Toronto is the tapes of that International Connection show you've been playing me. I have had a couple of friends die from AIDS the past year and the word on the street in New York is that AIDS was created by the government or somebody... you know, it's man-made. This Bob Marshall seems to use sources who believe that. Do you think your former employer, Frank Zappa, has the same information?
Dennis: Oh, you picked up on that when I was playing “Thing-Fish” the other day?
Dennis: I don't know Bob Marshall, but I've heard that Marshall knows Zappa and he's definitely mentioned Zappa more than once on his show in casual babble with other DJ’s. Zappa has always had references about CIA stuff in his music since the Sixties. He did a song almost twenty years ago on Ronald Reagan as an Agency-controlled politician. And Zappa's always thought that LSD was a drug introduced into the youth culture by some part of the government. Did you ever see the booklet that came with the “Uncle Meat” album that shows a semi-human vegetable saying he's just been killed by the government because he knew too much? As a matter of fact, the themes in “Thing-Fish” are implied in the original script for the UNCLE MEAT movie.
Marshall: Well, Bob, I did what you said and played the Dr. Beter tape. Guess what happened?
Marshall: The station manager kicked me off the station.
Dobbs: You mean, Adam Vaughan?
Marshall: Yup. Man, am I pissed! You screwed up, Bob!
Dobbs: I don't blame you for being angry, Bob, but this may be better for us. There have been some new developments I haven't had time to tell you about. Don't regret it because I've got a new role for you in our plans. I'll eventually get you back on the air, but you won't have as much time to prepare your show. We'll take advantage of all the taped work Dave Emory has done and play that when the time comes. Meanwhile, you're going on assignment!
Marshall: Whatever you say, Bob, but give me a week to chill out. Okay?
Dobbs: That's fine. I'll call you in a week.
Dobbs: Bob, I know you've been wondering why I haven't said much about Dr. Beter's death since he died in March, and it's made you a little suspicious. Well, I can talk about it now.
Marshall: Good. Was he murdered?
Dobbs: After Peter stopped doing his Audio Letter in November '82, he put most of his energies into finding gold for a very influential client. At the end of '86, I got involved with his dealings because the waters had gotten muddied by former President Marcos wanting to dump some of his gold. This led to a lot of people claiming the gold could be acquired through them. Peter and his client were ready and able to buy, but they kept getting the runaround. However, I soon found a real connection in January, and then, before the papers were signed, Peter suddenly died. Not only that, my connection, a man named Felix, disappeared. Peter's client wants to get to the bottom of this, and I'll help when I can, but I'm making my own moves on my committee right now as we go into the final turn. So I don't have much spare time. But guess who does?
Marshall: You're talking about me?
Dobbs: Yes. Your firing from CKLN was very timely it turns out.
Marshall: What do you want me to do?
Dobbs: Find Felix.
Marshall: Come on! Are you kidding?
Dobbs: You'll have all the information you need and all your expenses will be covered.
Myke Dyer (broadcasting on CKLN-FM, 88.1): As regular listeners to my show here at CKLN know, I have been playing tapes from the Church of the SubGenius the last few weeks. At the same time, listeners know that Bob Marshall's show, The International Connection, has been taken off the air here at the station. Well, surprise, surprise, the two seemingly unconnected events, unbeknownst to me, have a meaning none of us could have foreseen. It turns out that J. R. “Bob” Dobbs, the mascot of the Church, was not assassinated on January twenty-first, nineteen eighty-four, has left Dallas, has resurfaced in Toronto, and is sitting across from me in the studio. Good evening, sir.
Dobbs: Good evening, Myke... good evening, Mr. Mulroney... good evening, Mr. Bobby Fulford. In the broadest sense your introduction is true, but in the particulars I want to make a few adjustments. I am Bob Dobbs, not J. R. “Bob” Dobbs--J. R. is a cartoon version of me that I inspired back in February of 1978. I have nothing to do with the creation of the Church of the SubGenius per se, nor with any of its commercial activities such as the tapes you've been playing. In fact I left Dallas in nineteen eighty-two after the failed attempt to start Nuclear War One. I've been skulking around Toronto for about four years now spending more time with my wife, Connie, who has been living in Toronto the last nine years.
Dyer: And you know Bob Marshall?
Dobbs: Yes, after I met him here in Toronto, I encouraged him to create a show on CKLN. I continued to advise him behind the scenes as his show became a success and assumed a high profile in Toronto. But thanks to the Iran-Contra hearings in Washington and other events, I decided that Bob Marshall should step aside and I make my move to reveal my long-planned agenda.
Dyer: And because you've impressed me over the last week with your credentials, I've made a tentative commitment to assist you with your plan even though I don't fully understand it, yet. I am not guaranteeing you anything. We'll just see how it goes. I'm as curious as the listeners probably are.
Dobbs: I sincerely appreciate that, Myke. So let's get the ball rolling. Myke then played some excerpts from one of the Media-Barrage audio tapes composed by Church members, and at various points Myke stopped the tape and allowed Bob to explain the real knowledge that inspired these hallucinated interpretations of Dobbs.
Alan (turning off the tape recorder): Well, there you have it. It turns out we grew up with two people in our midst, here in little old Dartmouth, who were in disguise and way more important than we could ever imagine.
Steve: Where'd you get that tape?
Alan: It's from a series of broadcasts in Toronto on a community station there--CKLN.
Steve: I listen to that station. It had that show with Bob Marshall--The International Connection.
Alan: Yes, and apparently Bob Dobbs had something to do with Bob Marshall's show. Did you know that Marshall was kicked off the air?
Steve: I wondered what had happened when I noticed it wasn't on its regular time slot. I only listened to it occasionally.
Dennis: Alan, are you saying that Bob replaced Bob Marshall's show?
Alan: It seems something like that happened because this Myke Dyer who has Bob on his show used to help Bob Marshall by playing Mae Brussell tapes on his own--meaning Myke Dyer's--show. The three of them seem connected.
Dennis: So you've played us excerpts from more than one show?
Alan: Yes, Mr. Dobbs has been on every two weeks since June. And he's apparently explaining the purpose of his life up to this moment. He's in some kind of struggle with an intelligence organization called the Secret Council of Ten.
Flaps: But, Alan, you see Bob in Toronto more than any of us here tonight. Have you talked to him since he's been on the radio?
Alan: No, I've been so shocked by this situation that I'm too embarrassed to call him. I don't know if he's gone crazy or what.
Nancy: Well, I used to visit Connie a lot a few years ago when I first started working as a lawyer in Toronto, but she's become so busy and famous in her medical practice that she hasn't had much time to socialize the past few years. So I certainly didn't know about this. However, I did know of Bob Marshall's show because I've become friends with Mae Brussell and she told me that she was on the radio in Toronto. But I get her weekly tapes by subscription so I don't need to listen to her on the radio. I wouldn't have the time anyway.
Sue: And I heard that Bob and Connie have kids now.
Alan: Yes, they do.
Nancy: Yes, they adopted a teen-aged boy and girl--they're twins. Really nice kids. I wonder what they think of what their foster father is doing.
Randy: This is all too weird, Alan. Connie's helped me with my medical practice with great advice by telephone over the years. But I haven't seen her and Bob since Alan hosted our reunion back in '83. I haven't talked to Bob since then.
Kristen: Yeah, but it kind of makes a little sense to me because whenever I saw Bob in New York he was always ahead of me by being part of the fashion trends that it was my job to detect. He was always there first. And I always wondered why he was even involved in any of those scenes when he seemed so indifferent to fads back in Dartmouth. I never had the opportunity to tell you guys all the outrageous things I shared with him in New York over the last ten years. I bet none of you knew he was a lifelong friend of Marcel Duchamp.
Randy: You've told me a lot of those stories but I thoughthe just loved New York--like a hip tourist.
Sue: I wonder what Garrett would say if he heard this tape.
Randy: We invited him over tonight but he said he didn't think he could make it. You know how he always spends New Year's Eve with Jovanna? And I didn't push it because I didn't know what Alan was going to drop on us tonight.
Flaps: Alan, do you realize the significance of who Bob talked about when he wasn't blowing his own horn? In thevarious excerpts you played us, he at one point or another praised Frank Zappa, Marshall McLuhan, Lyndon LaRouche, some medium...
Alan: Cosmic Awareness, who I know...
Flaps: That's the point! Steve, you got into McLuhan; Dennis got into Zappa; I'm a LaRouchie...
Sue: I heard Herbert W. Armstrong mentioned--my hero!
Nancy: Bob referred to Mae Brussell at one point--a big influence on my life.
Flaps: Collectively, Bob's talking about the people in this room--our lives! What's going on here? He always criticized LaRouche whenever I mentioned him back in the Seventies. I knew about LaRouche before he did! He had never even heard of LaRouche!
Dennis: I could say the same for Zappa and Bob!
Steve: Ditto for me, McLuhan, and Bob!
Nancy: I remember Connie telling me she had never heard of Mae Brussell!
Alan: Bob always made fun of Cosmic Awareness! But, dig this! All these sources of information were used by Bob Marshall, and in fact, made Marshall notorious and wellknown in Toronto and environs.
Sue: And the first part you played--from Bob's first show, if I recall correctly--Bob said he had guided Bob Marshall all those years Marshall did his radio journalism.
Steve: All of us in this room together make up the contents of Bob Marshall's head.
Randy (yelling over everybody's laughter): All except me and Garrett!!
Alan: Guess what, Randy! I didn't bring it with me, but Bob has even talked about Garrett! And not only that! Bob Marshall has played tapes of Garrett talking on the phone with him!
Kristen: Does Garrett know that!
Alan: I doubt it.
Kristen: This is getting spooky.
Randy: Yeah, and from what I've heard on Alan's tape, Bob is claiming to be the greatest spook of all time.
Alan: So now you know what I've been dealing with for six months. I could barely contain myself until I had this ideal opportunity tonight.
Flaps: Why didn't you tell us before?
Alan: Who would have believed it? Not to mention the expense of a lot of phone calls. I can hardly meet my monthly rent.
Randy (standing up to get some food off the buffet table): So what are we supposed to do now, Alan?
It was getting near midnight. Alan didn't know how to answer that question, and neither did anyone else. So they all slowly followed Randy to the beckoning banquet. About five minutes later, Flaps and Alan slipped into a private conversation.
Flaps: I've been living in Seattle for the last couple of years. Didn't you used to live out there?
Alan: Yes, but it's been over five years now. It's an interesting city--the lowest population of churchgoers inthe U.S.
Flaps: Yes, in my work there, I've noticed that Gnosticism is rampant in the city.
Alan: What do you mean?
Flaps: In our organization we've uncovered, in history, the war of elites that is essentially a battle between the Platonic tradition and the Aristotelian, or Gnostic, tradition. During the Eighteenth Century the Platonic stream was best represented by Leibniz while the Gnostic river carried people who created the Enlightenment, such as Voltaire. After the great earthquake occurred in Lisbon, Portugal, in, I think, 1755, Voltaire used that disaster as a symbol to satirize Leibniz's this-world-is-the-best-of-allpossible-worlds idea...
Alan: Hey, I know about that! According to the Servants of Awareness, that earthquake was triggered off by a conflict among the principalities of that time. The Carmelite nuns were involved and some bad decisions were made that led to the manifestation of a natural disaster. Many members of the Servants of Awareness had past lives as these Carmelite nuns at that time, and they were working out their karma from 1755 in Seattle. They actually went to Europe in the middle of the Sixties and visited these Carmelite sites to remember and resolve the karma from that particular past life.
Flaps: Now that's Gnosticism! And you know these people!?
Alan: Of course. I was a member of their organization fifteen years ago.
Flaps: Have you ever read Plato?
Alan: No. Why?
Flaps: I live by Plato. Our organization fights on behalf of the Platonic tradition against the Gnostics. If you're still influenced by this Seattle Awareness group, then we would probably have a deep disagreement on many issues with each other.
Alan: We'd better tiptoe around each other or we'll be in a giant earthquake.
Flaps (laughing): You know, this Bob Marshall guy used to have political associates of mine on his show.
Alan: Did he? Well, he interviewed my friend, David Worcester, the trance medium for the Servants of Awareness,several times.
Flaps: Really!? Then maybe the earthquake took place in his head.
Alan: And Mr. Dobbs is the sole survivor.
In another corner of Randy's living room, Kristen asked Dennis a question.
Kristen: Did you go back to work for Frank Zappa again?
Dennis: No, I moved back to Toronto and got into the Queen Street art scene. I write for a magazine called Impulse. Have you ever seen it?
Kristen: Oh yes. But I bring up Zappa because my boss, Andy Warhol, God bless his soul, always complained about Frank. Do you have any idea why?
Dennis: Yes, it came from the fact that Zappa made fun of Warhol's band, The Velvet Underground, when they first played in California in nineteen sixty-six at a club called The Trip. Then Zappa came to New York and had a popular run at the Garrick Theater. I think Warhol and Lou Reed were either intimidated by Frank or just didn't understand him.
Kristen: I always liked Frank.
Dennis: And now Andy's dead. Did Bob and Connie know Andy?
Kristen: Bob did. I introduced him to Andy once. I don't know about Connie. But after hearing Alan's tape, I'm even wondering if Bob knew Andy before I got them together, and he didn't tell me. When I think about it now, he and Andy were surprisingly casual with each other that night.
Dennis: What did Andy die from?
Kristen: He didn't go to Prince Thurn und Taxis' party the summer before last.
Dennis couldn't get past Kristen's practiced New York deadpan so he could only smile, nod knowingly, and tune into Steve and Sue's tete-a-tete.
Sue: Steve, you live in Toronto, did you ever hear this Bob Marshall's show?
Steve: Oh yeah, I listened for a while, but I found it too addicted to the transient content of the Now.
Sue: Aren't you interested in what's happening in the world?
Steve: You don't have to listen to the news to know what's happening if you can confidently predict what's going to occur.
Sue: Oh, and you can do that?
Sue: What's going to happen next?
Steve: We'll continue to simultaneously centralize and decentralize while being showered with more and more violence.
Sue: Centralize? How will that increase?
Steve: Through satellites, computers, and the chip as more and more pressure is put on the credit agencies to know more about us in a less amount of time.
Sue: You're predicting the Mark of the Beast.
Steve: Mark who!?
Sue: You know, Revelations 13:17.
Steve: Oh, I get it, you're quoting the Bible--Northrop Frye's Great Code. St. Mark didn't write Revelations.
Sue: The Mark of the Beast is a huge computer being built in Brussells by NATO to control all economic transactions. It'll be the means for creating the cashless society.
Steve: Yes, the chip does seem to threaten people's sense of privacy.
Sue: Privacy!! I'm talking about the greatest tyranny and slavery ever known to humanity. Where've you been, Steve!?
Steve: Well, we've just heard a tape featuring a close mutual friend, almost family for both of us, and he sounded like he was personally creating this Mark of the Beast you're so concerned about.
Sue: Hmmm... I hadn't thought of that, but if I recall what he said on Alan's tape with your interpretation in mind--yeah, he does claim to be involved with people who run the world.
Steve: Yes, he does.
Sue: I missed that because I identified with him citing the authority of Herbert W. Armstrong, the man who taught me about the Beast. This is getting scary.
Steve: Only if you believe that the Beast threatens more than our privacy. If it's only privacy at issue, and if you have nothing to hide, it's not so drastic.
Sue: I think there's more at issue than privacy--a lot more. What's frightening is that if Bob's telling the truth, then the Beast is right here in Dartmouth. Excuse me, Steve, but I've got to sit down and think about this.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Randy and Nancy caught up on each other's lives.
Randy: Who's this Mae Brussell you mentioned when we were all reacting to Alan's tape?
Nancy: She's a journalist who analyses the motives and origins of the people you work for.
Randy: My patients?
Nancy: No, the drug companies. They control medicine now, and according to Mae, they've done so for a long time. Ever heard of I. G. Farben?
Randy: Yes. A chemical company in Nazi Germany, right?
Nancy: Yes, but it was built up before Hitler and survives to this day. Most people, if they even know about it, think it was dismantled, broken up, and scattered to the four winds. Mae shows us how that is not so.
Randy: This is interesting and I'd like to know more, but I've got to tell you that I don't use regular allopathic drugs in my practice--at least as little as possible. And ironically, it's thanks to Connie that I don't. As I said earlier, I hooked up with her at Alan's reunion and I subsequently learned from her how to treat my patients in a way that I.G. Farben wouldn't have appreciated.
Nancy: That sounds great! And your patients get better?
Randy: They sure do, and very quickly, too. But you know, Connie has never told me the kind of history that you say Mae is an expert in.
Nancy: And if Bob is telling the truth, and I'm highly suspicious of what he's saying on that tape--I think it's some kind of elaborate joke--then Connie knows a lot of that murderous history.
Randy: You know,
in a perverse sort of way, I hope what Bob is saying is true. Because
that would add an exciting and surprising dimension to our little
lives here in Dartmouth
that I, for one, could handle.
Nancy's laughter was interrupted by Kristen who came in to the kitchen to get Randy to help her prepare for the countdown to midnight and the New Year--due in five minutes.
Dobbs (on the air at CKLN): Myke, we can consider Krishnamurti's technique of talking meditation, McLuhan's technique of suspended judgement while probing, and LaRouche's technique of Socratic Reason, or Nature's path of least resistance, as all means of bypassing the argument between the Apollonians and the Dionysians in order to perceive the ineluctability of the drama of cognition.
Myke Dyer: Bob, we have another caller on the line. Go ahead, caller.
Caller: I don't know who this Bob-guy is, but he makes a lot of sense... I think... I just don't understand him... but maybe that's not the point.
Dobbs: Yes, caller, you're on the right track. Just observe how the cookie crumbles. That's where the “slack” is.
Dyer (smiling ecstatically): Oooh, you're hot today, Bob, and the calls just keep comin'. Let's go to another caller.
Dobbs: So over the past ten years, it's been hypoglycemia, then allergies, and now chronic fatigue.
Connie: Yes, those have been the trends and changes in new problems for my patients since I've been practicing. Hypoglycemia used to be prominent. Then people started complaining about allergies, and now chronic fatigue is big.
Dobbs: How successful are your treatments?
Connie: They used
to be more effective than they are now. They're still better than
what the allopaths provide. But we're going to need something new
very soon. I can feel it.
Connie and Bob were interrupted by the telephone ringing. Bob picked it up. It was Tom, Carlos Castaneda's close friend. He had a message for Connie.
Prince Charles: Bob, what do you know about this cold-fusion breakthrough in Utah?
Dobbs (Toronto): Forget it, it's a hoax! I wouldn't trust these Pons and Fleischmann characters if I were you. Listen, Charles, get the new Zappa album,“Broadway the Hard Way.” Even though you never liked him, I think you'll respond to this one.
“They won't print it, the scum,” Eugene Mallove moaned as he charged into Bob's office.
“If I can
assassinate the phonetic alphabet within five years...” Dobbs
was confidently saying into his telephone, not his speakerphone. He
was being interviewed on a radio
Connie Dobbs: Ken, these results are amazing. The AIDS patients are actually improving their immune systems.
Kenneth Ainslo: I wouldn't have dreamed of such results before.
Connie: David, what do you make of this Hillary Clinton character?
Worcester: Remember, doctors make up something like forty percent of the Republican Party. And the Republicans have got only five years to regain control.
Bob looked at the fax sent from Hawaii by Shelly--his head nodding to “Jimmy Mack” as he chuckled over what Hillary Clinton was going to do with this. Shelly used to work in the lab with Connie but she took a break to return home. Her little village was hosting Hillary and Bill's vacation in Hawaii for a couple of days so Shelly thought why not tell Hillary about the treatments for many diseases, including AIDS, Connie had developed in her lab at Dobbstown. Bill missed the opportunity because he had to go back to the U.S.A. to cover for the floods in the Midwest. Since everything and anything, including the “virtual,” had completely disappeared by 1990, it was difficult for Bob and Connie to project to anybody, and for anybody to project to them. “So will the late Mrs. Clinton miss the same old golden opportunity?”, Bob asked himself as he now wiggled to “Teenage Spirit” by Nirvana, which reminded him Frank Zappa would soon be packing for his next tour. Bob looked at the calendar. It was July 14. In a week he would be told that Hillary's best friend, Vincent Foster, had shot himself.
William Irwin Thompson: Many people in the seminar are puzzled because you keep mentioning McLuhan's tetrad. They don't see how it relates to the evolution of consciousness.
Dobbs: Wait until I bring up Lyndon LaRouche. They'll be even more puzzled.
Thompson: Seriously, Americans have completely forgotten about McLuhan.
Dobbs: Your students don't seem to be aware of Wired magazine.
Thompson: What's that?
Dobbs: A new popular magazine that touts McLuhan as its “patron saint.” It’s having an impact as the “Rolling Stone” of the Nineties while using McLuhan as a mnemonic.
Thompson: I'll have to check it out.
Dobbs: And then, when your lectures start again next spring, I won't have to mention McLuhan because perhaps you'll carry the ball.
Thompson smiled, and
quickly asked Bob to keep his voice down as it was attracting the
attention of the other diners in the Upper West Side restaurant.
Later that night
Rudy Giuliani was elected Mayor of New York City.
Dobbs: I think we
can get a better handle on what James Joyce is doing in Finnegans
Wake if we consider that with Ulysses he mated book and movie, while
with the Wake
he mated book and radio.
Three members of The Finnegans Wake Society of New York (in unison): Come on, Bob! What do you mean by that?
Dobbs: I'm not talking about the content of the book. I'm looking at the forms of perception Joyce is playing with, by the way he lays out the printed text itself.
Two members of The Finnegans Wake Society of New York (in unison): That's ridiculous! That tells us nothing!
Dobbs: It's becoming obvious to me as the Nineties unfold that our battle with the Android Meme during the Eighties is being replayed for popular consumption in the Nineties.
Connie: Then that means our reappearance in New York is the “hidden ground” for the Nineties.
Dobbs: Yeah, lockdown ConnieRule!
Connie: This is reflected in the media's obsession with Hillary Clinton and Lady Diana. It's the after-image of the last strut by Isis.
Dobbs: I think I'll write a new manifesto for Flipside magazine celebrating the effects of your living in Manhattan.
Connie: Oh, that's so cute!
Bob picked up the phone, “Gerry, have you heard from Christine Hart yet?”
“No, but have you seen Flipside--the new issue?”
“Yes, just today--the chart looks good. The manifesto is now out there. We've reached a new plateau. Wait'll Frank Zingrone sees this--I'll call him tomorrow and warn him.”
Bob hung up as Gerry's laughter peeled in the receiver.
Bob dialed another number. “Michael, is that article on the waitresses coming out this week?”
“Yeah, but they edited out the part on Duchamp claiming the artform of being a waiter, that Connie suggested.”
Dobbs: No waiting on waiting… for the New York Observer.
Thomas: Any more ideas for articles?
Bob checked the radio. CBS-FM says they have a new R&B show on Tuesday nights with Bobby Jay. I wonder if he'll open with Barbara Lewis' “Baby I'm Yours.” Then he decided to call and introduce himself to Paul Mavrides.
Dobbs: Professor Lotringer, I've followed your Semiotexte publications for years and I've always been interested in your promotion of Jean Baudrillard. After seeing a videotape of your recent dialogue with Baudrillard at the Drawing Center, I was prompted to get in touch with you about a possible introduction to Baudrillard himself.
Lotringer: Well, he's coming to New York in November so that is possible. But first, tell me about yourself. What's your field of study?
Dobbs: I've always been intrigued by the address for your office--number five hundred and twenty-two.
AArtVark (editor for Flipside): Bob, you're not going to be a cover feature in the magazine anymore. You're going to have a regular column each issue. What do you think?
Dobbs (New York): Well, I've been the only constant thing on the cover for the last two and a half years, and X-Day is comin’ up on July 5 this year for Rev. Stang and his gang. That'll be it for them! So, sure, I can start releasing the real files on July 6.
AArtVark: We'll need a name for the column.
Dobbs: Let me think about it. I'll get back to you in a couple of days.
Copyright 1998-2009 Bob Dobbs.