Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-285

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 285

                 Monday, 16 October 2000


                      Instant Tunes
                     We're all light
                       XTC on WB TV
                       Sundry stuff
 Oh...Stuff (XTC Content: Mild Yet Spicy, With Tomatoes)
              Re: Oh, God, you are so huge!
                      XTC Evangelism
                         Dear God
                   Rainbows and Demons
                A Steady Deity of Nothing
                       Re: infidels
     Is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?
                    xtc on tv sighting
         Where's Satanas Diablo when we need him?


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Come down from your tree now.


Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 11:09:30 EDT
Subject: Instant Tunes
Message-ID: <>

My Adorably Fuzzyheaded Friends,

Please, please, PLEASE be aware that my post in which I verbally shook my
head in wonderment at the strange monomania of a gaggle of Cure fans who put
together a collection of over 400 cover versions of songs--every song the
Cure had ever done--burned them to several CDs, and presented the whole
bundle of obsessive creepiness to Robert Smith, and in which I suggested we
Chalkhillians follow suit...

( this part carefully now...)

...WAS A JOKE....

Not the part about the Cure fans. Yes, some Cure fans actually did this.

Not the part about the story in Mojo. Yes, a story appeared about it in Mojo.

Not the part about the obvious between-the-lines discomfort experienced by
Robert Smith upon being presented this "tribute." Yes, I think Robert Smith
now has a better idea of just how weird some of his fans can be.

No, the part that was not meant to be taken seriously was the part where I
suggested that handing an artist a "tribute" that consisted of an obsessively
complete recapitulation of that artist's entire recorded output would be a
GOOD IDEA. That was the part where you were supposed to chortle knowingly to
yourselves and reflect, "Those Cure fans! What a bunch of gooberheads!"

Now I know most of you were right on board with the gag, but I've received a
disturbingly large number of "Hey! Let's get started!" e-mails, and some of
the posts I've read here seem to take the same tack, so let me just make this
as clear as I can:

I do NOT propose to lead a project to collect amateur cover versions of all
347 songs listed in the Chalkhills Discography. I certainly don't mean to
discourage anybody who does intend such an undertaking, but please understand
that my original suggestion to do so was satirical in intent. I'm sure most
of you understood this, but I just want to be completely clear.

Now, all that said, I really rather *like* Mark's notion of presenting Andy
and Colin with a collection of art inspired by their songs. There's something
quite satisfying about the idea of using our imaginary, virtual Chalkie
community, in which most of us have no idea what each other look like, to
make real, three-dimensional XTC-inspired objects that exist firmly in
SpaceTime. Knowing Andy and Colin's aesthetic sense, their dedication to
hearth and home, and their love for the eclectic, I think they might very
well be touched by such a thing. I imagine a sort of one-of-a kind book type
of affair, each page containing a poem or drawing or print or collage or
something of this nature, the whole thing smelling of leather and gouache, a
quarto volume with hand-marbled endpapers, saddle-sewn by tonsured
Benedictines, lettered in beautiful Uncial calligraphy, gold-leaf
illumination... You know the thing.

Anybody know how to put such a thing together? This time, I promise, I'm at
least semi-serious.

Harrison "Difficult though that may be to believe" Sherwood

PS: Warmest kongrats to Dominic L'Awesome, the curse of st custards, who is a
GURL and will soon be dancing about heavy mental architecture chiz chiz--and
getting PADE for it!. He is the winner of the mrs joyful prize for raffia
work but he will soon be caught by sir and made to do 1000000000000000000
words on the new nashville pussy album! It panes me to think we came from the
same blud.

PPS: What the hell is so *wrong* with dancing about architecture, anyway?



Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 09:56:32 +0100
From: "Steven Paul" <>
Subject: We're all light
Message-ID: <004101c034f3$a4134f00$6782a8c0@me>

Brian said about gods and topics:
"Because Andy P. himself is purportedly a non-believer, I think a certain
amout of discussion in this area IS on-topic... I mean, I've read talk of
all sorts of other XTC arcana that has little to do with music-making (such
as Andy's soldier collecting). If John R. e-mails me personally and tells me
to shut up, I will, but until then...
We're all atheists."

No, we're all light.

Remember the story of the blind men around an elephant.  Here's a link I
found The one at the
leg says an elephant looks like a pillar, the one at the middle says it's a
great wall, the man at the ear says the elephant is like a cloth and the man
at the tail says it looks like a rope.

The teacher says all are right, because each has seen only a part of the
elephant.  Just like us, we can only see or know a small part of diety -
just because we define God with our own limited vocabulary and vision,
doesn't mean we aren't partially right.  Because after all, we're all light.


Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 10:46:34 -0700
From: "Drew MacDonald" <>
Subject: XTC on WB TV
Message-ID: <002601c0353d$87407700$>

I haven't seen the show myself, but a friend had this to say about the
GILMORE GIRLS, a new sitcom on the WB network here in the US:

In two episodes, they have not only consistently been using Sam
Phillips for mood music (is Ms. Phillips actually working with the music
supervisor, I wonder?), but they've played "There She Goes" (yes, the La's
version, not any of the covers!) and Yo La Tengo's version of "My Little
Corner of the World."  Not only that, the opening scene in tonight's
episode featured one character running into another's living room waving a
CD over their head screaming "NEW XTC!  NEW XTC!  APPLE VENUS VOLUME
TWO!!!," finishing with the three of them dancing around the living room to
"The Man Who Murdered Love."

-- Drew


Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 18:31:08 -0700
From: Ed Kedzierski <>
Subject: Sundry stuff
Message-ID: <>

It's been a while... work very busy (judging by the slowdown in digests, I
suspect I'm not alone in that...)
 A few things (having been silent for so long, of course it all now comes
out in one big lump)...

First of all, I don't support taking "Omnibus" out of Nonsuch (it's one of
my favourites from that album, damnit!), or substituting the Sarah M version
of Dear God for the proper one (what are you on?), in fact I've seen almost
no suggested cuts or substitutions that I've agreed with. I will, however,
divulge the tracks that I, personally, tend to skip more often than not (not
that I have any problem letting most XTC albums play unhindered all the way
through). All of these songs doubtless have their partisans, who will
angrily disagree, but, well, we've all seen songs we love dismissed on this
list, and I've frequently kept quiet while my faves were nominated for the
dustbin, so here goes...
Skip List per album:
White Music: I'm Bugged
GO2: Buzzcity Talking (expecting a Barry song, weren't you?)
Drums & Wires: Roads Girdle the Globe
Black Sea: Paper & Iron
English Settlement: Leisure
Mummer: Wonderland (love the lyrics, they get stuck in my head all the time,
but I rarely have the patience to sit through this one waiting for
"Farmboy's Wages")
Big Express: Used to be "Reign of Blows", but now there are none, making BE
an "all the way through" album.
Skylarking: none
Oranges and Lemons: "Hold Me My Daddy" (typical male emotion-discomfort?
Maybe. Shut up. FWIW, I love my dad & we get along great, but this song
gives me this weird embarassed feeling when I play it.)
Nonsuch: Peter Pumpkinhead
Apple Venus 1: I Can't Own Her ("Harvest Festival's next, and I want to hear
it NOW!")
Wasp Star: None yet (it may still be too early)

In the "Where Were You When John Died?" department...
I was 16, and my friends and I were a small group of Beatles and 60s music
fans in a school filled with rockers and jocks, etc. (there was barely a
dribble of budding punks, though I think that my later acceptance of punk
was eased in part because they were much more decent towards the introverted
wimp that I was than most other cliques). I had heard the news on the radio,
driving back from an evening shopping trip with my dad. I don't remember now
who called who, but we ended up wandering around our neighborhood, talking a
little, but pretty sombre (at this time, in that neighborhood, just
wandering around was an acceptable & harmless behavior, we didn't trash
stuff, nobody expected us to, and we were never hassled). I was particularly
guilty of over-idolizing John (having discovered Imagine & Plastic Ono Band
earlier that year), and was the worst one of our little group in terms of
longing for a ridiculously over-idealized image of the 60s (eventually
killed by the obnoxiously proprietary attitude of many of the "60s
generation" towards "their" music, but that's another story).
Anyway, we ended up at McDonald's (like I said, we were 16), and not being
experts on experiencing grief, I was dared to go up to the counter and say
something along the lines of "I'll have a fries, chocolate shake, and did
you know that John Lennon was just murdered?" Which, for some stupid reason,
I proceded to do. What's the opposite of "cathartic"? It was awkward,
embarassing, probably ruined the girl's day, and made me feel guilty and
wondering if I was a bad person (so in that, at least, it was a day much
like any other...).
We all went home feeling a little empty.
Regarding the furor over Chapman getting a parole hearing: he's not getting
out, and getting all hot under the collar over the fact that the formality
of holding the hearing was observed is just silly. I certainly have no love
for the man, and I believe that he should remain out of society on a
permanent basis, but I also believe that the process of taking another look
every few years will only keep him where he is.

Radio: well, Todd's right that (pop) radio's pretty irrelevant & we can all
get by on our own collections and the recommendations of (generally)
like-minded fans, but at the same time Duncan Watt's right that radio
deserves all the shit we can sling at it, both just on general principle and
the fact that sometimes it's unavoidable (ie some work situations, in which
it would be nice to have options other than the look of fear on the faces of
casual acquaintances when one holds up a mixed tape or something by someone
they've never heard of...).

After the "Is White Music out of print?" scare (was that here or on
ColleXTC?) I ordered a copy on line, which is lucky for me, because
apparently, according to Mr. Strijbos:
>You have the CDs , right ? yes.  and quite frankly: IMHO anyone on this
list who doesn't deserves to be shot on sight.<

Yikes! Looks like I got my copy just in time!  Especially as my vinyl copy
was used! Well, that now makes all regular albums that I have CDs of (and
vinyl up to O&L) And am I wrong, or is the CD mastering job the worst of all
the disappointing (in audio quality terms) CD versions of the early albums?
There've been complaints about the others, but it seems like even less care
went into the CD of this album than the rest. (and saying you don't care
because you think it's a "lesser" album is completely beside the point).
Still, at least I can crank up New Town Animal without it being full of

Also, a new "Chalkhills dispute resolution mechanism" has occurred to me
while listening to WM: if two people have such totally irreconcilable views
on something that rational argument is never going to get anywhere, and
everyone else has lost patience with both sides, each party is given the
(preferably electric & "rocking") instrument of their choice. They must
then, together, perform a continuous, constantly-accelerating version of "Do
What You Do", with the last person to collapse being the winner. This, of
course, involves being in the same place, unless you have access to a really
high-bandwidth connection and a high-end teleconferencing setup...

Insert yet another plea to the "later stuff only" crew to lighten up and
give some early stuff yet another try here. And vice versa.

Even though I'm basically an unbeliever myself, it seems out of line to
claim that everyone on this list is an atheist just because Andy more or
less is one. I certainly don't feel obligated to get heavily into toy
soldiers just to be like Andy...

By the time I got to the third or fourth Castaneda book I was tired of the
way he started repeating himself under the guise of continuing his journey,
ironically similar to illusions of endlessness experienced during some
psychedelic experiences. I was fascinated at first (and was very young and
naove about "exploration"), but the books really seem to degenerate into
tarted-up "I was so fucking wasted that I saw...(fill in the blank)"

Sushiman, have you ever passed up an opportunity to plug Nonsuch or
Mattacks? Not that there's anything wrong with that, more power to you, etc.

Dom said:
>No offence to your esteemed superior segment, but Robert Smith sounds
nothing like Andy. For a start, Robert Smith can't sing (all part of his
charm...see also John Lydon, Mark E Smith, Joe Strummer etc etc)<
Totally. It's all about appeal, charm, and what you respond to. Whenever
someone dismisses a singer they don't like with "they can't sing", it gets
my hackles up, because I know I'm about to get into an argument with someone
who's operating in a different context and working from different premises,
so the whole thing's going to be an exercise in frustration. Many
technically good singers in the traditional sense actively turn me off.
Something very hard to pinpoint makes me like the vocalist (as in their
voice makes me like *them*, not just like their voice; a sense of
personality) as opposed to the voice flooring me through sheer technical

As a last bit of self indulgence, my current WIMP list is (including a spate
of recent acquisitions)
Jules Verne's Sketchbook, Miner edition (My Oh My, What a Sight for Sore
Eyes! Great job!)
Ween, White Pepper (kicks ass, esp. the first 4)
Sloan, Navy Blues (I'd written these guys off as post-grunge pseudo-altoids,
but I was way off! This album rocks.)
White Music (if I can just get these old tight striped glam-punk jeans from
twenty years ago on without losing the feeling in my feet or going sterile,
I'll be ready to dance to "Atom Age")
The Compact King Crimson (a lazy cheapskates way of making up for the lack
of representation of this band in my collection? Fair enough, but you can't
buy everything worth hearing all at the same time...)
Os Mutantes, Everything is Possible! (best of...)
Bonzos, Dog Ends (includes "Let's Make Up and Be Friendly" and various
And Wasp Star is still holding up nicely, thanks (and I usually run home and
give whatever's being raved about lately a spin, too, of course)

Oh, and of course, the great news from Mitch Friedman... Yes! More stuff! We
want more stuff! To have... To buy... We wants it, yesssss... (I think I
need to change my shirt, I've drooled all over this one). Seriously, though,
after so many "expect less" announcements in a row, this is very

Hey, it's Friday, and I'm still sitting here typing at 6:30!
Ed K.


Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 23:52:41 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: Oh...Stuff (XTC Content: Mild Yet Spicy, With Tomatoes)
Message-ID: <>


Artistic contribution: will have to be entirely verbal
from me...I DID once enter a karaoke competition and
win a prize...the booby prize. In the enlightened
opinion of the judges, I was the worst singer they'd
ever heard in their LIVES! Methinks I'll stick to what
I do least badly, i.e. words. I just might have to
start work on a project of alternative and mis-heard
lyrics to well-known songs by a certain band... ;-)
Either that, or colour in a drawing on the Nonsuch
colouring book site...

Spam: someone mentioned this...was it our Mayor(ess)
Of Worrier Town? Actually, no, that would be Mayor.
Pointless trivia question - if the Mayor is a woman,
she is known as the Mayor. If the Mayor is a man he is
the Mayor, and his wife is the Mayoress. So what do
you call the husband of a woman Mayor? Oh yeah, the
point - thanks for reminding me...I'm sure everyone
knows all about this, but I thought I'd just give it
the once-over again because it's such an interesting
subject :-|

Yes, it's the official Spam site! Learn all you can
about Spam! 179 million visitors can't be wrong!
(surely...) Strangely, on my (very brief) visit to
this site, I couldn't find the derivation of the name
Spam, but I believe that it means SPecial hAM. Can
anyone incontrovertibly confirm or deny this? And,
yes, we all know about Monty Python...

Mummers: Should traditionally be given cakes and ale.
However, I'm told that your modern mummer demands hard

Brian Matthews: Check down the back of the sofa. If
you don't find it, at least you should get a handful
of change.

Trivia: Cloudbusting (Kate Bush), Bloody Well Right
(Supertramp). Thank you Mark & Nor. Top songs both.

And finally: Working on a contribution for Mummer day
- watch this hill...

Rory "happy Mummers day!" Wilsher


Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 01:05:55 -0500
From: Cecile Bellamy <>
Subject: Inspiration
Message-ID: <>

    I just wanted to briefly write that I noticed someone commenting about
fans working together to develop some kind of creative venture that gives
XTC and others a more positive interpretation of the songs that we listen
to. I noticed that with just about every issue of the Little Express, a
number of people submitted different types of artwork. I'm thinking maybe
something should be added onto one of the websites where people could submit
pieces that could be scanned into a type of virtual gallery. Another page
could have recordings of people wanting to submit thier own original songs.
Lastly, poetry and lyrics could be simply sent to the newsletter.
    Personaly, I've tried a number of times to draw and paint the different
band members over the years. My most successful one was of XTC as characters
of the Wizard of Oz but sadly, the drawing has been missing for some time
and I need to get back the confidence to try again. One song though by XTC
has inspired me to make plans to paint pieces in oil that are wall size.
When I first heard River of Orchids,I immediatly pictured complete paintings
of different kinds of orchids. About a year ago,I took out my sketchbook and
started doing research on orchids. The result was about ten different
realistic flowers made with color pencil, one of them was a visual
interpretaion of an orchid I had seen in a dream. I intend to develop these
drawings into abstract paintings.
    I think that discussion about the different albums XTC has made is
something that should keep going. Andy and Colin touch on a number of
personal and social issues that few bands won't even touch. I find that the
newsletter at times provides fans a kind of forum for critical discussion.
Poems, lyrics, and visual art could only enhance what we do now.


Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 14:32:33 -0400
From: "Brian" <>
Subject: Re: Oh, God, you are so huge!
Message-ID: <001501c036d6$4ba85c40$240affd1@Brian>


>Well, first off, my comments were not meant to be a slight to yours, merely
an alternative stance to the whole question of God and the afterlife, or the
absence of.  I offered Castaneda's works as a potential alternative among
many.  Where I'm coming from is this; no one knows for certain.  Especially
atheists.  To "believe" in something or to "believe" in nothing is merely an
act of believing, with no empirical knowledge to support these positions.<

As I already said, I have the observational evidence of the universe on my
side. The only place we can start, and the one that holds the most promise.

> case in point are the notions of God and Satan.  Opposites.  When working
within the system, we declare that we believe in God, or believe in Satan.
What we're not seeing is that one can't believe in one without believing in
the other.  They're both players in the same game.  Imagine a baseball
bame, where God is the pitcher and Satan is the batter.  If you removed
either one, the game couldn't be played.  Right?  Same deal with
Christianity.  Without Satan and sin, you couldn't have any reason to seek
redemption and God.  When you pull back and see it this way, you realize
it's just a game.  And a pretty silly one at that, when you see how people
get so bent out of shape over it!  (Just watch some of the reaction to

But the problem is: people don't all do this.
And try like all get out banging your head against the wall to try to make
this people see the point, and this simply refuse. Simply refuse.

>The same holds true for theists and atheists.  By declaring yourself an
atheist, you're still playing the game.<

Not the " believe because someone told me to" game.

If we try to compare to other "games", (Moslem, Hindu, Bhuddist and so on),
all were doing is comparing games.

>As for Castaneda's validity, I have Richard De Mille's works, and the
works of many others who have slaved away to debunk him.  In spite of date
conflicts and his own artful dodger act with his past (which falls in line
with the teachings, by the way), he has never been nailed to the cross as a
complete liar and hoaxer, with everything he's presented being shown as
totally untrue.  He had vehemently stated up to the end that it was all
true.  My point is that whether it is totally true, or was just a vehicle
of allegory to present his discoveries, what he has revealed to us bears
serious consideration.  Not as a *belief*, but as a roadmap of
understanding, one that will have more roads added as we learn.  It beats
the cardboard cutout model of Genesis.<

The problem with this is the Weekly World News crowd, who don't know better
than to take stuff at face value, instead of questioning its validity.
Religion is presented as being based on real gods and minions, and there is
no observational evidence of it. I may not have ever seen the black swan
with my own two eyes, but I sure do have access to books and other media
that show me pictures and life histories of it. I have no reason not to
believe it. This information does not exist for deities (the bible does not
count - I can write a story) except for someone's insistence that it is so.
Insistence ain't existence.

-Brian Matthews


Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 06:31:45 +1000
From: "Central Intelligence Agency" <>
Subject: XTC Evangelism
Message-ID: <001e01c036e6$f035a780$290ffea9@dracon>

I've managed to convert my mum to XTC. My friend at school loves 'Dear God'
but my other friends still remain resistant. I lent my friend my Dukes CD
for the weekend, and he made the comment that it was "a bit repetitive".
I think it would've been a lot easier if XTC didn't call themselves XTC,
because people the wrong impression about them just from the Band Name. Is
it about time for them to get a name change? Let's suggest new names for


Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 13:34:35 -0700
From: David van Wert <>
Subject: Dear God
Message-ID: <p04330100b60fb2aaf144@[]>

>  >Nonsense means to me that it makes no sense.  But who's to say for sure?
>Oh no-one important. Just a few overhyped windbags like Newton and Darwin
>and Einstein. Sorry Tom, but if that response was intended to perusade
>anyone of anything, I think you blew it. (Not exactly the First Law of
>Thermodynamics, is it?)

Though I have no religious affiliation myself, I think it's only fair
to point out that both Darwin and Einstein repeatedly acknowledged
their beliefs in a higher power, "God does not play dice with the
universe" being one famous example from Uncle Albert. There are many
more such published statements, including some unequivocal
professions of faith. He viewed his own work in much the same light
as a Kabbalist-- unraveling the mysteries of the divine, except his
source material was the universe, not some scrolls.

Also, Brian Matthews, a minor semantic quibble: anyone who believes
in any one (or more) of the 2500 gods is not an "atheist." An
atheist, by definition (and etymology), believes in no god
whatsoever. I think the word you were looking for is "heretic." Or
perhaps "heathen" or maybe "hell-bound sinner." But if you hear a
Christian call a Hindu an atheist, the Christian is wrong. And as far
as "love and mathematics" comparisons go, you have to understand that
just as you "feel" love, other people "feel" some god or other. For
you to dismiss their feeling is just as presumptuous as for me to
dismiss as absurd this so-called "love" you claim to have felt in
your life. But I won't do that. If you say you felt it and it was
real, then that's cool by me. But face it, you can't prove a thing.
Those gooey notes you wrote and received, that incredible devotion
that gripped your insides, those nights you sat awake gazing tenderly
at the beautiful person in bed beside you-- those are no more valid
proof than some 3,000 year old scroll or temple carving is proof of
any god. I'm just accepting your word for it, Brian. That acceptance
is easy for me because I've felt it too. Someone who has never felt
love, however, might have a harder time accepting it and think of you
as an irrational fool compelled to impose some mystical concept of
"love" as a pointless social justification onto the need to fuck. But
not me. I do believe in love.

David van Wert  <>

"Is it hot in here or is it just me?"
Richard Nixon, 1998


Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 17:05:16 -0400
From: "Michael Versaci" <>
Subject: Rainbows and Demons
Message-ID: <000001c036eb$9fa94920$268456d1@tornbmv>


Tom Kingston said:

>To "believe" in something or to "believe" in nothing is merely an
act of believing, with no empirical knowledge to support these positions.<

I disagree.  Not accepting a premise that lacks proper evidence is not the
same thing as "believing in nothing."  It is not, as he says, "merely an act
of believing."

The onus of proof is on those who put forth the proposition.  You cannot
prove a negative.

Religion can offer comfort and structure to people.  When it goes beyond
those parameters and becomes more important than logic and reason, trouble
cannot be far behind.  Whenever we abandon rational thought and the
scientific method in favor of dogma, and, hard, quantifiable evidence is no
longer a requirement for the acceptance and belief of a theory - people

A couple of books that might be of interest are "Unweaving The Rainbow" by
Richard Dawkins and "The Demon Haunted World" by Carl Sagan.  They are aimed
at a non-scientific audience, and are a pleasure to read.  I highly
recommend them.

Michael Versaci


Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 16:26:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: pancho artecona <>
Subject: A Steady Deity of Nothing
Message-ID: <>

For what its worth, the only deity I believe in is
Kali.....she almost bit my member off! Then I made a
few offerings and we're finally at peace. Treat me
wrong and I will have her chop your head off! As far
as I m concerned there is no other God(ess).
I once thought a tree was 'Mescalito' (thanks to
Castaneda) but then I came down and it went back to
being a tree. Castaneda is dead, he did not like to
have his picture taken.
Cocaine never allowed me to see God, with heroin I was
in heaven.
I do love XTC although I try not to deify them.
the quality of mercy is not strnen (quiz)



Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 19:46:41 EDT
Subject: Re: infidels
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 10/15/00 2:53:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<> writes:

<< Especially atheists.  To "believe" in something or to "believe" in nothing
is merely an act of believing, with no empirical knowledge to support these
positions. >>

Wrong.  It's impossible to prove a negative.  That's why all enlightened
legal systems consider the accused innocent until proven guilty.  It's not
necessary for atheists to "prove" god(s) doesn't (don't) exist, it's
incumbent on theists to prove his/her/its/their existence.  Atheism is not an
act of faith, it's the renunciation of faith.

"Occam's Razor... available at your local chemist or convenience store.
Shaves as close as a blade, or your mind back."


XTC content: "Dear God/Can't believe in you."


Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 02:03:26 EDT
Subject: Is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?
Message-ID: <>

>Eeek, is that old charlatan STILL at it?? If you wanna wade knee-deep in a
>morass of incoherent, half-baked mumbo-jumbo from an author who flounces
>around in a Sears poncho pushing pre-digested pseudo-mystical psychobabble
>to gullible hippies under the guise of "timeless Indian lore" --  then yeah,
>I guess Carlos is your man.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.  Sorry Dunks.  The body of knowledge laid out in
the Castaneda series is exremely coherent, non-mystical and empirical in it's
approach to the subject.  The comments you offered are completely typical of
folks who have dabbled in the first two or three books, and never bothered to
follow through with the rest.  I'd bet $20 bucks at the drop of a hat that
you or anyone else who lines up to thrash his work has not read anything past
Ixtlan or Tales of Power, let alone The Fire From Within which is the book
that reveals the purpose of all that "mumbo-jumbo".  And please, folks, spare
me smart-ass comments like "well, all I had to do was read a half of a page
to know it was bullshit".  That does not validate your stance, anymore than a
Christian saying that "The Last Temptation of Christ" was garbage without
seeing it.

Carlos did not wear a poncho, and neither did Don Juan.  That stereotype
exists nowhere in the writings.  In fact, Don Juan is described consistently,
*from the start*, as an energetic, sarcastic, nimble and self-effacing person
who could outperform Carlos, who is much younger, on any task.  At ease in a
business suit just as easily as a sombrero and khakis. Nothing like the
"mystical old Indian" portrayed by the stereotypes.  People lambasting his
works often foul themselves on horrendous stereotypes that are completely
erroneous and just *do* not exist in the books.   And if you disagree, I
challenge you to find them in the works and present them!!!!  I warn you, I
know those books like the back of my hand.  Wallowing in these false
stereotypes undercuts your arguments.

The information revealed is light years beyond any "timless Indian lore", and
is quite scientific in it's approach, in as much as observation and
experimentation, leading to conclusions.  It extends back nearly 5000 years.
Without having read the later works to know this, you cannot make logical

The *mystical mumbo-jumbo* stuff that seems to obscure the early works was
revealed in later works as a calculated ploy by the nagual (in this case, Don
Juan) to trick a person into an apprenticeship.  All pretense of that is
dropped as the truth is revealed, again in the *later* works.  There is a
very clear and sound reason for the tricking, as opposed to direct enticement
or explanation, which is too much to get into here.  I'd be happy to talk
about it offline.

And finally, "that old charlatan" passed on in 1998.  The Fire From Within,
which is the most crucial book, came out in 1984.

I have read every book many times.  I have followed from the beginning, with
a sharp eye out for his potential invalidity given the importance of what he
was revealing.  I have looked at everything he's presented from all sides.  I
am still convinced that there's something vitally important in what he's
presented, and it bears noticing.  But you have to know what that is before
you can make conclusions.  I am fully prepared to defend and explain the
works as I understand them now, as well as accept their invalidity if it can
be *properly* shown.  If any of you wish to get into this, feel free to
contact me offline.  If you do so, allow me to present my view properly
before you offer any rebuttal.  Just telling me you think I'm full of shit
will do nothing but clog my mailbox, and I wouldn't do that to you.  And
trashing my comments before the rest of the Chalkhillians on the digest for
ignorant ego gratification without a willingness for open minded discussion
is completely unfair.  Thank you.

One last point; none of this stuff about Castaneda is meant as proselytizing
promotion.  I repeat my stance that it offers serious consideration, but is
one body of knowledge among many.  Least my original point get lost, I was
trying to state that I feel that atheism is as untenable as theism, since
neither can be proven to be true.  Amazingly enough, I agree with Dunks that
knowledge on these things is something to attain and build and learn from,
which is what science does.  And I feel equally certain that we ain't learned
nothing yet!!!!!!

>Correct -- Castenada is NOT new age -- he is, in fact, OLD HAT.

Very old hat.  Like I said, over 5000 years ago, in central Mexico.  I made
the comment that I did because I despise the new age movement as sorry
pantheistic mumbo jumbo packaged for sale to gullible yuppies.  James
Redfield is the real charlatan, not Carlos.

>Let's face it -- the guy is about as mystical as Jimmy Swaggert.

Castaneda is NOT about mysticism.  And it ain't no Cosmic Debris!

>Start with "The Power Of Myth" - preferably on video, so you can hear and
>see what a wonderful storyteller he was, as well as being a brilliant
I have read much of Campbell's works, and I have seen the entire Power of
Myth series twice.  Beyond Campbell, I have read extensively on the subject
of myth, religion and metaphysics.  I still do, with an open mind.  I would
love to continue discussions of the same with any of you offline!   Dialogue
is the beginning of understanding.

XTC content - what does all this have to do with XTC, fer chrissakes??!!
Well, let's see...Wasn't their biggest single about atheistic conflict?

BTW, I wouldn't hold Andy to anything he says on the subject.  He's only
human, grasping for answers like the rest of us.  In spite of his atheistic
rants, and his current comments in interviews, he went on to write in Rook -
"If I die and I fnd that I have a soul inside,
Promise me that you'll take it up on it's final ride"

Tom K

"For me there is only the travelling on the paths that have heart.  On any
path that may have heart.  And there I travel; and the only worthwhile
challenge is to traverse it's full length.  And there I travel, looking,
looking breathlessly."  - Juan Matus
    This from a charlatan and a fraud?


Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 12:12:39 +0100
From: Adrian Ransome <>
Subject: xtc on tv sighting
Message-ID: <497FEA72C392D3118AE700508B731177B42EA1@NT4SERVER03>

I'm probably not the only one to post this info, but on Friday's "Never Mind
the Buzzcocks" on BBC2 Kirsty McColl & Sean Hughes 'performed' the intro to
Making Plans for Nigel as part of the "guess the intro" round.

Big tough Mark Lamarr then cracked a joke about the ex-lead singer of Xtc
leaving to become a window cleaner & start a punk tribute band called Shammy

I thought they were doing the intro to the Cardigans' "My Favourite Game",
much to the amusement of my wife.



Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 08:06:17 -0400
From: "Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt" <>
Subject: Where's Satanas Diablo when we need him?
Message-ID: <>


Brian Matthews asks:
> Ain't I a stinker?

No, but you're a bit of a dick. Why don't you mind your manners when you
post? And I wouldn't be so dogmatic if I were you -- there are certain
people on this list that I'd put on the "thinking side," and you ain't one
of them. Need I remind you of the "Boy in Blue" debacle?

> But you're forgetting about the immutable and unforgiving yardstick of
> This is what we must use to measure the validity of a belief system.  If
> I can't see it, hear it, taste it, touch it, or feel it, then I have no
> good reason to accept its existence. Nor should anyone else.

Oh, thank you for your instruction. I (and countless philosophers
throughout history) stand corrected.

> Where I am concerned, my acceptance of the Universe at face value with
> its physical laws and tried-and-true observational data tips the scales
> in my favor. Any reasoning person could see it.

Thank you for enlightening us, oh Reasoning One.

> But you're STILL an atheist, as far as the adherents to that particular
> subject of worship would be concerned.

Um, no. An atheist is a person who doesn't believe in any god ... period.

> >2. Actually, the difference between you and me is I believe in one of
> the 2,500 concepts of a higher power, and you don't believe in any higher
> power.<
> Just the laws of physics, which manifest themselves mightily to me every
> day.

And just why are those two things -- God (whatever he/she/it might be) and
physics -- mutually exclusive? By saying yours is the only "reasonable"
path, you're demonstrating that you're just as close-minded as any
hellfire-and-damnation Bible thumper.

> And you can have your belief system. You are apparently
> stupidly happy with it.

Thanks for letting me have my belief system. I appreciate your

To paraphrase John Goodman in "The Big Lebowski" -- Shut the fuck up,

Neil Oliver asked:
> Mitch referred to a "live version" of I Don't Want To Be Here to appear
> on an AIDS compilation. What does "live version" mean in the context of
> XTC??

It means they recorded it "live" with a drum machine in Andy's shed. I
can't wait to hear this great, great pop gem.

Tom K said:
> A case in point are the notions of God and Satan.  Opposites.  When
> working within the system, we declare that we believe in God, or believe
> in Satan.  What we're not seeing is that one can't believe in one without
> believing in the other.

I get where you're going w/this, Tom, but I think it's an
oversimplification, and this point is just plain wrong. It's very easy to
believe in God (see above for my extremely precise definition) without
believing in Satan. But I think you're right in saying that organized
religion (and all its accoutrements, such as the Big S) are simply
constructs of humanity that we need to look beyond.

> It beats the cardboard cutout model of Genesis.

I dunno, my model from the PG era is pretty nice, actually.

Congrats, Rob!


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-285

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