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September 10, 1991 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-10

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, September 10, 1991


Cosmic Trigger 2:
Down to Earth
,by Robert Anton Wilson
New Falcon Publications
Everybody has heard that if you
use every letter in RONALD
'WILSON REAGAN, permutated,
you will obtain INSANE ANGLO
WARLORD - but did you know that
BUSH, similarly cracked open to
reveal its ugly secret, gives us
We all know how to deal with an
nsane Anglo Warlord; we've had
lots of them in our history. But
:nobody is really prepared for a
Huge Berserk Rebel Warthog. It's
like living in a surrealist painting.
- Robert Anton Wilson,
Cosmic Trigger 2
J'eople who think they're living
i, a surrealist painting tend to like
xRobert Anton Wilson's books. The
,notion that a surrealist painting is
the most accurate depiction of

"the" "real" world is the unstated
assumption behind each of his pub-
lished works, well over 20 of which
are now in existence. In Illuminatus!,
the science fiction classic co-
authored by Wilson, that notion
bubbles very close to the surface;
here, in Cosmic Trigger 2: Down to
Earth, it is finally brought out into

lished in 1977. The original was a
mind-altering substance of the sort
that usually brings instant State re-
pression. There are, I suppose, other
close examinations of secret soci-
eties, alien pancakes, and telepathic
emissaries from Sirius, the Dog Star,
but none written with such zetetic
wit and anarchist charm.

A "zetetic," as is explained in Cosmic Trigger
2, is a person skeptical both of challenges to
consensus reality and of consensus reality it-
self. They are, for this reason, anathema to
both overcredulous New Agers and
Establishment materialists.

the open, for the benefit of those
readers who still believe they are
living in Leonardo Da Vinci's
Cosmic Trigger 2 itself might be
called a -surrealist autobiography. It
is the sequel, ostensibly at least, to
Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the
Illuminati, another surrealist auto-
biography which was first pub-

(A "zetetic," as is explained in
Cosmic Trigger 2, is a person skepti-
cal both of challenges to consensus
reality and of consensus reality it-
self. They are, for this reason, anath-
ema to both overcredulous New
Agers and Establishment material-
Cosmic Trigger 2, meanwhile, is
both more staid and more surreal:

more staid because Wilson's sub-
jects here are less obviously an
affront to polite thinking, and more
surreal because the conclusions he
reaches are nonetheless the same.
The reader of the first book might
feel justified in ignoring Wilson's
philosophical points on the grounds
that the author had been dropping a
good deal of acid and, thus, is One Of
Them. Why take seriously a man
who can consider the possibility
that he is receiving telepathic com-
munications from outer space?
Never mind that he never embraces
the notion; the very fact that it
crossed his mind in the first place is
cause enough for committing him to
the Loony Bin.
But Cosmic Trigger 2 is some-
thing else. Here the topics are more
"down to Earth," as the subtitle
implies. Growing up in working-
class Long Island during the
Depression. Seeing King Kong as a
boy. Working as a medical orderly.
Protesting segregation. Reading
books. Meeting people. Learning
from mistakes.
And Wilson's conclusions,
common to both Cosmic Triggers?
An endorsement of critical thought
over uncritical belief-systems (or
"BS"). A preference for individual
liberty over authoritarianism and
the State. A commitment to peace
and a hatred of all war. A hope that
the information explosion (or, as he
charmingly named it in another
book, the "jumping Jesus phe-
nomenon") will lead to global
prosperity instead of nuclear obliv-
ion. In general, a libertarian, agnos-
tic, pacifist point of view, shot
through with a distrust of all re-
ceived authority.
Read this book, whether or not
you've read its predecessor. Then,
look out the window, and see if you
can spot the melting clock dripping
from the cliff next door.
-Jesse Walker
Continued from page 5
goes on and you just interprzt it the
way you can... The first album's
just an interpretation... (The songs)
were written in '86 and '87 by Lee...
"You can get a feeling across to
people anyway with doing (an
overtly political song)... I mean, no
one ever sits down and says we're
going to write about that. None of
us. It's more of a thing, just like
tuning into the airwaves, like, and

808 State is more than just a drum machine, as you can see from the
above photo of the four computer engineers it took to program the
music on their latest album, EX:EL.


808 State
Tommy Boy/TT Records
I smiled. I danced.
808 State's latest release is not only better than most of the wimpy
beat, wimpier bass, wimpiest vocal tunes that are currently assaulting the
airwaves and dance floors, but it is also quite a bit better than the band's
previous release, Utd. State 90. EX:EL takes the listener, and, more
importantly, the dancer, on a ride through lush, layered synths, airy strings
and deep, shuffling drums.
Although we here at Daily Arts in no way, shape or form condone
illicit drug use, it's easy to hear how the music of 808 State became closely
linked to the drug-catalized rave parties in England that started in the late
'80s. Whirling sounds surround the mind as beats rush through the body.
At dance club volume, the music of State stops becoming a song and easily
turns into an experience.
The 808 Experience is not limited to that "one drum-machine pattern x
8 songs = an album" dance crap either. It subtly, and sometimes not so
subtly, drifts between different styles that all manage to keep the feet
moving, from the softer "ambient" style of dance with its richly stacked
strings and droning drums, to the "acid house" style, with its distorted
synths and hyperactive beats.
Also of note is that while EX :EL is mostly instrumental, it does
contain special guest-vocal appearances by Bernard Sumner of New Order
and Electronic fame and Bjork Gudmundsdottir of the Sugarcubes. Of the
two, Gudmundsdottir's undulating Icelandic vocals are undoubtedly better
suited to the swirling music which surrounds her.
808 State -EX:EL 'ent. -Richard Davis

"To be honest with you, when I
write a song, I don't know what it's
about. Until I finish it. And even
then you don't know it all, like. It's

got so many different meanings to
so many different people, like, that
it's never about one set thing.
Unless it is."
The La's perhaps draw their
strength and determination from
their working class background. "i
you really, really, really. want i,
you're not going to change your
ideas no matter what people say oi
tell you that you're shit or tell you
this, you know, and you keep going
for it. You'll catch on it in the end,"
Power explained. "You've got t5
find the root and then you're
laughin'. You can grow from that,
you know what I mean? 'Cause
there's only one root of music, like;
All the different types of music
they all stem from one thing, like;
you know what I mean? One certain
root and branch out. Jazz, rhythm
'n' blues, rock 'n' roll, all of it,
Tomorrow, learn about Northside
John Power says, "Northside, la
I'll say nothing, all right? It' does
nuttin' for me, spiritually or
physically or mentally."
for UAC I MUSKET's Production of




Saturday, Sept. 20 8pm
Power Center

Monday, September 16 @ 7:00pm
in the Anderson Room of the Union

Study in
dL ondon,

Emphasis in Liberal Arts, International Business,
and Criminal Justice
Mainstream classes with British students,
plus specially designed courses just for American Students
All courses approved by University of Wisconsin-Platteville
and validated on an official UW-P transcript
$4,200 per semester for Wisconsin and Minnesota residents
$4,550 per semester for non-residents



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