Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-293

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 293

                 Tuesday, 31 October 2000


                      Re: The Plague
                  Re: Dog is my co-pilot
            Wow it looks like I wasn't missed
                and that's my last comment
                         Emmet R.
          A shameless attempt at self-promotion
                Re: Mystical Mastery Tour
               Rounding up a few things...
      And now for something completely different...
              Mike Simmons, please read....
                Re: Man Machine No Mystery
                A note from the other side
         similar to XTC
                     Advice request.
       "If there's a secret, can I be part of it?"


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My position had gone to my head.


Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 04:29:15 EDT
Subject: yawn
Message-ID: <>

Dont know about other lucky subscribers to Chalkhills but I really do enjoy
reading the  thoughts of Messrs Wilsher and Matthews. And of course it helps
that they are so concise.
Keep it up lads. It's not boring atall. No really. Honest. More of the same
please. I admire your energy. I really mean this. I really really do. Ahem.



Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 08:13:10 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: The Plague
Message-ID: <l03130301b6207f176953@[]>

>"In 1986, British artists (The Police, YES, Duran Duran, The Petshop
>Boys, Pink Floyd, George Michael, The Stones, Paul McCartney, Elton
>John, etc.) made 32% of the music sold in America. Today, they are
>responsible for 0.2%. "
>Why the change? .....The Plague...... ..Yes, ....The Plague.........
>........The Plague of Hip-Hop Gangsta Rappa's......
>Fortunately, I was inoculated...  I surrounded myself with my music
>collection, (which is about 70% British), and just got a small rash in
>my eardrums from hearing the neighbor's music..
>Ya see folks, I am an American for XTC!!!  Give me that good ole'
>British pop any day of the week!!  And a side of British Prog!!!
>Get your shots today, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!!
>Joe "MC Dynamo Cool T" Funk

  One word: MTV. The British used video to promote their music even before
MTV, the only significant American video pioneer in the music business was
Todd Rundgren, who was using video to promote Utopia albums as early as
1982. When MTV first started up most of the videos available were British,
and American acts only started catching up somewhat by the mid-80's. By the
90's video had become just another way of promoting music, and British acts
no longer had that commercial edge. The commercial rise of the hip-hop/rap
scene contributed as well. I suspect there was something of a Buy American
backlash against foreign acts in the music business, which is a pity, even
today much of the most innovative music out there is still British. I can't
speak for European, since practically none of the music sold in the States
is of continental European origin. I was much more up on European bands in
the late 80's when I lived in Montreal, which imported music from Europe a
lot more than Stateside, for some reason.

Christopher R. Coolidge
Vermont State Senate candidate, Libertarian, Chittenden County

"A Great law protects me from the government. The Bill of rights has
10 GREAT laws.  A Good law protects me from you.  Laws against murder,
theft, assault and the like are good laws.  A Poor law attempts to
protect me from myself."  - Unknown


Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 08:00:56 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Dog is my co-pilot
Message-ID: <l03130300b6207b718e20@[]>

>Here in the tiny universe known as the Anthony Hamster
>Ranch, I am god. One of my dogs, an Airdale, is really
>a cat in disguise and heretically deems me no better
>than a slow, oafish servant, but the other, a
>retriever-collie mix yclept Susie B. Anthony, is a
>true believer. She lies down and worships me --
>Bringer of Food, Refresher of the Water Bucket, Opener
>and Closer of Doors, Master of Light and Darkness,
>Driver of Heaven's Chariot, Conductor of Hidden
>Orchestras, Scratcher of Ears and Tummy, Dispenser of
>Pills and Treats -- with soft brown eyes. She's doing
>it right now, and not because she wants anything, just
>because she loves me.
>No, wait, it's the cinnamon raisin bagel in my hand.
>Here you go, Susie.
>I guess you can petition the Lord with prayer. This
>lord, at any rate.
>That's my infallible take on religion, and if you
>don't like it, you can go to Cat.
>Ryan Anthony

  Well, you know, God spelled backwards is Dog. Woof. :-) Some people are
cat people, some people are dog people. I'm more of a cat person, but one
of our two cats, Spike, is just the opposite of your Airedale, he seems to
think he's a dog, follows us around, tries to have conversations with us,
and loves to ride on my wife's shoulder. Not mine for some reason, she's
bigger than I am and has more room on her shoulder for fifteen pounds of
feline muscle. When we have visitors, Spike loves to meet new people
regardless of whether they like him or not, while our other cat Coco hides
under the bed and maybe, if she's brave enough, comes out a couple of hours
later to carefully sniff the new arrival and make sure they don't eat
little cats.
  That's rather unusual, a cat-like Airedale; all the Airedale I've known
have been really outgoing and friendly beasts that lick you to death.

Christopher R. Coolidge
Vermont State Senate candidate, Libertarian, Chittenden County


Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 17:08:18 EDT
Subject: Wow it looks like I wasn't missed
Message-ID: <>

Hi all--

I haven't had time to catch up with any of the posts lately. It sure sounds
like you folks had another heated discussion. I personally like Andy's bit in
Rook (one of my favorite songs).

Anyhow,  Vanity Fair just published their rock edition. Elvis Costello names
what he considers to be the 500 most important albums (includes music from a
variety of styles including classical). Missing is anything by Xtc (although
the EC produced Squeeze album East Side Story is included). Some very
interesting choices but I was a little surprised by the slight to Xtc.

Jayne, sorry to hear about your loss.  Whether we lose someone close to us or
not it has an impact. In such cases our mortality shows through the armor we
use to cloud our perceptions of life.

Vee I need your address (I had it written on one of my mousepads and can't
find it. My kids are pulling a fast one on Dad again).

Warren, thanks for the terrific Idle Race stuff. I made a CDR from it. If you
want a copy let me know.

Interesting that the boot (but not surprising) for Xtc: Fab Four in Philly
has the wrong year on it. It's pretty clear based on the selections it was
recorded sometime in 1980. Haven't had time to research the band's dates to
confirm when it was in 1980 (or even to confirm it was really recorded in
Philly). Let's boot the boots! Actually, I'm surprised that Andy and Colin
haven't taken Frank Zappa's approach to the boots. They should get a hold of
as many as possible, tweak the sound and offer it through the TVT website
(either as MP3's or on CDR similar to Martin Newell's German reissues) with a
booklet and info about the show.

They should also consider this approach for the collection of Star Park stuff
making the rounds. There would be a (small) audience for it--probably enough
to justify the expense. They can then copyright the stuff themselves and make
a profit. I'd buy them again just for any improvement in sound (thanks Vee
you did a great job on them!) and/or graphics, notes, etc.

The Amsterdam show sounds like it was recorded sometime in 81 as it includes
a generous helping from English Settlement.  Mark S. any thoughts on these
boots? A pity that both shows weren't part of the boxset from 1998. They
would make a nice addition to Fuzzy (assuming that they decided to include
some concert material and not just demos).

Kudos to Sir Demon Brown for putting the Boston stuff on line. I haven't had
a chance to visit it yet but if it is anything like Ian's great stuff, then
we all owe him a standing ovation (and Ian, too).

Anyhow, back to lurking mode.  For those in the US have a great Halloween and
those elsewhere a great All Hallows Eve, day of the dead, etc.



Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 22:03:41 +0000
From: The Worrier Queen <>
Subject: and that's my last comment
Message-ID: <>

Sorry to bring this up but I was reading Brian's post in 291
and got in touch with him.  I'm sharing this in case any one
feels that I was upset by his original comments.

I wasn't offended by what he wrote - it wasn't easy for me
to read at that time.
I may not agree with him, but it was his opinion and he has
the right to express that.
I also didn't feel that it made him an uncaring person.

So business as usual :

XTC content - yes, yes I have some.  Anyone want to share?

I went back to Big Express yesterday - I'm still thinking
about the 'bits' I haven't given you the benefit of my
slightly warped mind's take on.  Still with me?  What I want
to shout about is Wake Up.  Still the best thing to get you
out of bed if played VERY VERY loudly.  You know the post
gig & I sat right in front of one of those really big
speaker thingies?  Look my ears are bleeding and I think my
brain melted - that sort of loud.
I'll get to the point eventually - whatcha mean it's closed?
OK I've been listening through headphones - you know how
neighbours can be.  Well I put it out through speakers for
the first time.  I admit they were tiny Aiwa (sorry no Sony)
almost portable sort of an entertainment centre speakers,
and you can hide tham behind a paperback, but they are speakers.
And I heard it for the first time.
I heard the children's choir right at the end.
Halle-  sorry.  Oh my - no not that.  YES!  (Sound of a
smallish human beng punching the air in a somewhat
aggressive manner.)

BTW who invented picket fences?  I'm going to have to go &
remove some splinters.

A final thought:
If George Lucas ever makes the Clone Wars Episodes of Star
Wars will Dolly the Sheep get a part?

She's maaaa-d, she's baaaa-d and she wants her wool back.

Jayne the Worrier Queen

He Toi Whakairo He Mana Tangata
Where there is artistic excellence, there is human dignity.
Maori saying


Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 08:17:27 +0900
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: Emmet R.
Message-ID: <000001c0414c$8b5cab40$7178aad2@johnboud>

Wes Long asked :

>Ever hear of Emitt Rhodes?

Actually , I have . I have never * heard * him , but Fairport Convention did
a cover of his song " Time Will Show The Wiser " on their first album . For
those of you who do not know , Richard Thompson was a member of FC at this
time , along with FC legends Ashley Hutchings ( founder of Steeleye Span and
The Albion Band ) and Simon Nicol . Judy Dyble - who later sang with Robert
Fripp's first group - is on vocals . Judy was replaced soon after the first
album was released by one of the greatest folk/folk-rock singers of all time
, Sandy Denny .



Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 04:47:16 +0000
From: The Worrier Queen <>
Subject: Skylurching
Message-ID: <>

Thought I'd join in with Rory - I may be the 0.3 who got the Bod
reference.  If you're very good I'm sure Uncle Rory will explain.
Now who's the 1.0?

Summer's Cold on-

Glass - that's all folks 'cos I let Rory have my best shot at it.

The Eating Plaice - anyone for fish'n'chips?

That's really Soup Supergirl - even super heroes have their off
days and can't remember where they put their specs.

Chalet pour une belle Renee (apologies to the French language)

One foul sand young fellas - stay away from the quick sand boys

See, son, cycles - in which a father points out to his son the
rare spectacle of someone using a bicycle

Burns enough for us - as the winners of a complete set of the
Treasures of Scottish Literature decline everything but the works
of Robert Burns.

Pig Bay - where you park the pigs of course.

A mother's always right - need I say more?  OK then "More."  Happy now?

My mare smiled - what have you been feeding that horse Nigel?

The man who mailed who mailed a pound of sole

Drying - a typo methinks

Sack with fish and pond fire - well you put the fish in the sack
to save them from the pond fire.

and that, ladies and gentlemen is that.
Jayne the Worrier Queen

Salmagundie can be found at
He Toi Whakairo He Mana Tangata: Where there is artistic
excellence, there is human dignity.
Maori saying


Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 12:43:44 -0800 (PST)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: A shameless attempt at self-promotion
Message-ID: <>

If any of you are in the Bloomoington/Normal IL, area,
check out my show!

An exhibition of my recent work is at the Wakeley
Gallery at Illinois Wesleyan University in
Bloomington, IL.

Show dates: November 2-December 4, 2000.

Opening Reception Thursday, November 2, 5-6 pm

                Gallery Hours:

          Monday-Friday 12-4 pm
         Tuesday evenings 7-9 pm
       Saturday and Sunday 1-4 pm

Wakeley Gallery
Ames School of Art
Illinois Wesleyan University
302 E. Graham St.
Bloomington, IL.

    Call (309) 556-3822 for more info.

If you're not near there, you can lso see some work on
my webpage (be sure to check out the trade list too):


Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 20:25:23 -0400
From: Chris Conroy <>
Subject: Re: Mystical Mastery Tour
Message-ID: <>

So Hbsherwood sez...

> I think Andy Partridge finds *this* to be a mystical idea--that women
> participate in history in a way that is incomprehensible to men. I think that
> this idea, which appears in his songwriting all the way back to "Down in the
> Cockpit" (hell, "Battery Brides" touches on it), is central to understanding
> him as an artist--and no doubt as a person as well.

Wow... and I just really like the tunes...

Chris Conroy
Heartwood Media Inc.


Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 11:39:43 +0000 (MET)
Subject: Rounding up a few things...
Message-ID: <>

First of all kudos to squirrelgirl, Xteve X and
(sorry, I didn't make up these superhero names:), all three didn't sign
their posts) for their hilarious Thanksgiving songs/XTC parodies in the last
digest - people at work here are wondering why I'm grinning so stupidly

Then another round of kudos to Rich and Harrison for their wonderful and
erudite Harvest Festival discussion. One very minor point, which Harrison
overlooked when quoting the lines
>     Now let's put things right
>     Let's multiply
>     The loaves and kisses
>     'Til we have enough to love and eat forever

> (There's that identity between food and love again! Was he perhaps weaned
> from the breast too soon?)
Well, and the link with fertility of course, implied by the pause caused by
breaking up the sentence "Let's multiply / The loaves and kisses." Being a
stupid illiterate techie I forgot the prosodical term for this effect.

Then a question which has been buzzing in my head lately: will the tracks
that didn't make the AV volumes (e.g. "Shipped Trapped In The Ice") end up
on Fuzzy Warbles, or is Andy keeping these for future albums? In other
words, will FW consist solely of (older) demos, outtakes and B-sides?

Onwards ho! To John Boudreau <> who fumed again, in
his post Buy Acid in reply to my defense of Tyler Hewitt's post (class,
are you still following this?:)):

> M. Rappard said :
Sorry, but that M. _van_ Rappard

> >basically what's Tyler is implying is that while the title of said book
> >has an air of impartial, objective research to it, the name of its
> >publishing firm betrays otherwise. Would you think "God: Real or >Hoax?"
> >by the International Communist Publishing Company is objective?

> Would you think " Communism : Good or Evil ? " by the International
> Communist Publishing Company might contain a little bias ? Sure ! But you
> would probably read it anyway.
What does this have to do with anything? If you're implying I'm a
Communist, you're dead wrong and it would be a argumentum ad hominem
(i.e. a fallacy) anyway. If not, our point is exactly the same
point as Tyler made, except that it substitutes Communism for Religion.

> > Please get off your high Christian
> > horse
> When did I ever say I was a Christian ?
Did I say you were? Since the whole debate centered around a Christian
publishing firm which you seemed to be defending I thought this was
rather an apt figure of speech. Again, (Herr Selbstzitator, that's me)
"context is everything".

> You assume too much Sir !
No, I do not. You should learn to read more carefully.

> Just because I read a book published by a Christian firm automatically
> makes me a CHRISTIAN
No, did I ever say it does? I've read Ginsberg, does that make me a

> Like Tyler , your own prejudice shows when you make statements like that .
No it does not, except for people who can't be bothered to read
posts properly before firing off their angry replies.

> You assume only a Christian would read Stroble's book , indirectly
Again, I do not - I merely state (along with Tyler) that the book might
not be as objective as the title would otherwise imply. Nothing more,
nothing less.

> >Fallacy #3: in what way
> >exactly does this show Tyler's prejudice?
>If I had recommended the fictitious book mentioned above ( Communism - Good
>or Evil ) , would Tyler have
>written in to the list saying the publishers were Communists and therfore
>may be biased ? Me thinks not .
You suspect not, but you don't know for sure, do you? Just based on a
hunch you publicly insulted a member of this forum.

> All I did was recommend a book.
And all Tyler did was pointing out that the book might not as objective
etc. etc.

> I receieved several emails off list from
> folks who either have read the book in question , or are going to check it
> out.
Good for them, but what does it have to do with this discussion?

> Tyler should have addressed his comments to me directly
Why? I certainly think he made a valid point which should be (and was)
out in the open for everybody to peruse and ponder.

Basically, based on a misreading of someone's post (and a hunch, see
above) you publicly accuse someone of being prejudiced, something for
which you haven't apologized. Very polite. Anyway, I'll shut up on this
topic from here on (most people who've read this far are probably bored
enough already) - I've made my points carefully enough and have nothing to add
to them.



Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 11:12:17 -0500
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: And now for something completely different...
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.

..A post about XTC!

Rich H. and Harrison have been exchanging loving looks as of late, and
being the jealous type, I figured I should weigh in here -- not
disagreeing with either of them, but adding something that they haven't
yet mentioned.

Harrison said, about the invitation in gold pen and the wishing well:
> Oh, here I disagree vigorously. These words are wonderfully psychologically
> insightful: can't you hear the manfully swallowed lump in the throat, the
> choked-back tear, the catch in the breath? This is the manly
> "stiff-upper-lip" response to the devastating news: the Bestower is now not
> only absent but irrevocably lost! He has always deeply regretted his failure
> to act, and the wedding invitation is the final nail in the coffin that
> contains the infinite possibilities that accompanied his youth. It is a sad,
> sad moment.

Bittersweet, yes, but sad, sad? I don't know. Here are the lyrics, from
the bridge to the last chorus:

>And what a year when the exams and crops all failed
>Of course you passed and you were never seen again
>We all grew and we got screwed and cut and nailed
>Then out of nowhere invitation in gold pen

As I think we all agree, these four lines contain some of Andy's best,
and most concise, storytelling. Rich and Harrison have already done an
admirable job of describing the images, but here's what I'd add: In line
one, Andy slaps the naivety of youth in the face, tying together the
fate of the protagonist, his efforts, and his surroundings. Line two
shows how the life of the object of his affection took a different
course (note the double meaning of the word "passed"), while line three
brings us back to the hard realities of adult life that the protagonist
has endured since the halcyon days of school. At the same time, it sets
us up for the surprise of line four, the "blast from the past" that
returns us to the setting and tone -- and object -- of the first verses.

>See the flowers round the altar
>See that you two got married and I wish you well

Andy purposely repeats the first line of the song to show that we're
once again at a "harvest festival" -- the schoolday girl has grown and
blossomed, and her festival of marriage is a celebration of fertility
and creation, the culmination of her youth and adolescence, of her ready
acceptance of (what some would say is) the responsibilities of
adulthood. As Harrison points out, the protagonist wishes the "chosen"
pair well with a stiff-upper-lip kind of resignation, but I also see a
lot of hope here, and acceptance of this new kind of festival. Here's

>Harvest festival
>Harvest festival
>What was best of all was the
>Longing look you gave me
>That longing look
>Across the hymnbooks and the canvas chairs
>The longing look you gave me
>That longing look
>More than enough to keep me fed all year

Now, this can be seen as nostalgic, and I believe there *is* a certain
element of that there -- after all, this language was used by the
protagonist to celebrate that earlier, happier time -- but for me the
brilliance of this chorus lies in its double meaning, as does the
redemption of this experience for the protagonist. Yes, the chorus
expresses yearning for the innocence of youth, but it also expresses the
moment in which the protagonist finds himself: a moment of mature
acknowledgment and acceptance of the limits of adult life, of a look
exchanged with the woman he wanted -- and perhaps still wants -- in
which she acknowledges their former connection, as well as his sincere,
altruistic desire for her to be happy with her chosen one.

In that church, across the hymnbooks and the canvas chairs, their
connection to each other, and to the innocence of the past, gives them
"more than enough" strength, courage, and compassion to face the
hardships of adult life, and move on. And once they've reached that
point, they're able to let it all go, to tell the next generation -- our
source of hope and salvation -- to drop us all, like so much sand...



Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 10:32:09 EST
Subject: Mike Simmons, please read....
Message-ID: <>

Mike Simmons, whose e-mail address used to be, if you
are reading this please contact me at your earliest convenience. It concerns
your contribution to Kerry Chicoine's XTC tribute project.

That is all.

Harrison "Herding Cats" Sherwood

PS: Reminds me of an old Pogo rhyme:

   "Do you herd sheep?" my gramma cried;
    My grandpa leapt in fright!
   "That grammar's wrong!" he said to me;
   "'*Have* you heard sheep' is right!"


Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 10:48:17 -0500
From: Richard Hamilton <>
Subject: Re: Man Machine No Mystery
Message-ID: <>

Mr. Sherwood's response (chalkhills digest #6-292) to my rather misguided
attempt at an analysis of the "longing look" (chalkhills digest #6-290)
deserves rich rounds of applause and accolades for his astute insight into
the issues raised by this song (in particular) and its connection to AV-1
(as well as XTC's greater body of work) in general. While I've always felt
that the Longing Look held great significance, I've never been able to draw
it all together the way Mr. Sherwood has. If my post was at all "wonderfully
thought provoking", Harrison, it was only to provoke YOUR wonderful thoughts
on this matter. If my half-baked posts serve any purpose in the future,
hopefully it will be to elicit intelligent and detailed responses similar to
this. Thanks again, Harrison, for your brilliant efforts. I'll never hear
AV-1 in quite the same way.

Let me also publicly flog myself several times repeatedly for misquoting
some of the lyrics. This is an inexcusable transgression which I promise
will never happen again. Some of you have rightfully reprimanded me
off-list, and Mr. Sherwood certainly could have ripped me wide open in his
post (it shows his class that he didn't). Thanks to all who pointed this

Rich Hamilton


Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 09:56:24 -0500
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: A note from the other side
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Enterworks, Inc.


>>Hmmm ... little tolerance, it seems, for Curtiss' "personal take on XTC
song lyrics."<<

>Granted... but in this case, am I not in the 'right' with the
Apparently I was 'wrong' before, but near as I can tell, I was 'right'
that time.
If I can be 'wrong' about song lyric interpretation, then so can someone

Why, I ... mfnghrrrr ... youfuckingidiot ... ouchouchmyheadouchouchouch
... *thud*

[fade out ... cue music ... cut to hospital room, two days later...]

Well, now that I've had and recovered from my stroke -- and benefited
from the perspective that one gains from such experiences -- I admit
defeat. Blind, importunate stupidity *can* overcome logic and reason --
and, in fact, does ... every time. I was a fool to think otherwise.

You win, BM. No point I've made has been sharp enough to pierce the
dullness of your intellect (for lack of a better word). You just go on
saying whatever asinine thing you want to, ignoring all the internal
contradictions in your posts, and I'll just take my pills and hit the
page-down key.

Now, if you don't mind, I must go. Nurse tells me it's time for my
sponge bath. Again.



Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 09:11:11 -0600
From: "Marcus Padgett" <>
Subject: similar to XTC
Message-ID: <>

I was gone for awhile, and I can't catch up so I'm starting fresh today.
Here is what I've been up to. I went to and searched for all artists
that listed XTC in the "Similar To" category. There were 250. I listened to
them all, and selected about 20 that struck me on the first listen. I
reviewed them later and cut it down to a dozen. I downloaded all available
selections, burned them on 3 CDs, then listened to them 3 times. From that I
chose one song from each band. The result is some excellent tunes from some
excellent bands. I've never heard of any of them before. Listen to them and
tell me what you think.

And the winners are:

KC Bowman		Blithering Heights
Seven Planet Sun	Time Won't Wait
Epigene		Troubled Man
Moe Howard		Really Out Of Touch With a Touch of Reality
U.N.I.		Flower Shirt
Ghostbeat		Bug In My Car
The Mosaic Virus	The Little Places
Mummer		Conversation
Miles Green		Wait Weight Waste
Minster Hill	I've Been In a World
Ego Plum		Plum Theme

And to make it easy for you:

And if you want something more adventurous, check out Moe Howard's SPEED.

This project was made possible by having high speed internet access. If you
love music, can get broadband, and are still on a dial-up, you are missing
out. The quality of streaming sound is great, and I was able to download 3.5
hours of high quality music in minutes. If you don't have the ability to
download these songs, and want a CD, I can be bribed.


Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 09:32:32 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: Advice request.
Message-ID: <>

Hey any of you South Eastern Michigan Chalkers,

I am looking for a decent guitar store in the Detroit Metro\Ann Arbor

Any reccomendations?


Jon Rosenberger


Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 02:49:18 EST
Subject: "If there's a secret, can I be part of it?"
Message-ID: <>

>I wasn't trying to piss you off, and I'm not trying to now, but all you've
>really convinced me of is to transfer more of my scorn for Castaneda to his
>skills (or lack thereof) as an author.

Ed, not to worry, you didn't piss me off.  Actually, the only time I was ever
pissed at you was for declaring I Can't Own Her as a dispensable track on
AVI!  :)

I am merely in an unfortunate position of having been one of the scant few
who have followed Castneda's writings into the later books.  I have said this
before; basing criticism on his works based on the earliest efforts is
erroneous, especially when Casteneda himself was just scratching the surface
of what he was uncovering and didn't grasp what it was about himself.  At
least not yet.  What Juan Matus and his cohorts were up to is revealed first
in The Eagle's Gift (1981) and especially The Fire From Within (1984).  I
feel if there's any truth to it the implications are earth shattering.
But, and I repeat this again, I point to it as a possibility, not a given
truth.  Yet it is a possibility that demonstrates that we have much to learn,
and the truth may well be at the ground where science, as it advances, and
the source of what we know to be religion may meet.

The crux of the discovery lies in the nature of perception.  As rational
people we make discoveries and draw conclusions based on what we perceive.
What we fail to acknowledge is that our perception is based solely on what
our trained senses filter to our minds.  If other modes of perception were
possible we could view other aspects of the world, giving us a new set of
criteria for discoveries and conclusions.
What Castenda reveals, for instance, is just such a whole new universe (or
aspect of the universe, if you will), with discoveries and understandings and
practical applications built on years of observation and action.  Not
"mystical" or metaphorical, but very real, as real as our daily lives.

Science itself has shown that other percpetive modes exist outside our
current abilities.  All manner of creatures pattern their lives on input that
humans do not perceive.  Any pet owner can testify to that!  And we ourselves
have, since Galileo first peered through a telescope into the heavens,
created incredible artificial means of extended and extrasensory perception
to gather scientific data that challenges our understanding daily.  So
certainly it is possible that we may have natural access to perceptive modes
that lay dormant because of our focus on survival and what our five senses,
working overtime (everyone, GROAN), tell us.  If we could only stop this
distraction and train ourselves to find a new sensory level, the world as we
understand it could well be very different!  This is the possibility revealed
in Castenda's works.

Every religion is based on the experiences and 'visions' of some holy figure,
be it Mohammed, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Wovoka or Joe Smith.  It could well
be that these people accidentally tapped into that other mode of perception
and saw unknown things that they erroneously interpreted in the terms of the
religious matrix that they were born into.  One can argue that these were
only hallucinations, inferring that they are nothing more than the constructs
of the mind.  (Imagine that!  All religions based on someone's
hallucinations!)  But suppose they really did see something?

That is a possibility that cannot be disproven at this point, and should not
be ruled out.  What Juan Matus and the Toltec Nagualists (there's an
interesting band name!) have done, over the course of about 5000 years, is
move into an active state of discovery with their newly found mode of
perception, learning how things operate and what could be done, rather than
getting stuck in a metaphorical mode of mysticism that would evolve (or
devolve) into a static and eventually politically associated dogmatic
religion (which is what I feel happened with all the major religions).

Actually, at one point, they did get bogged down in metaphorical
self-importance.  They became the "spiritual" leaders of the Meso-American
civilizations (according to Don Juan).  Then they were slammed around by the
Aztecs (think of the Aztecs as Vikings - this is an accurate historical
comparison of the Aztecs compared to the older Meso-American civilizations.
They even invaded from the north.  They are related to the Pauites and some
of the New Mexican Pueblo tribes.  They were North Mexican mountain men /
barbarians when they invaded Teohuaticlan) and later the Spaniards.  They
learned dearly from that mistake.  They ended up splintering into separate
lines barely in touch with each other to avoid religious persecution by the
Catholic State in Mexico.  Many of them posed as good "Catholic" citizens.
One in Juan's lineage was a priest!  It was one of these lines that Castaneda
stumbled onto.

Betcha never read that in "Ixtlan"!

(XTC dontent:  This gets damn close to the Maya who provided AP an album
title with their ledgends of the "Wasp Star").

One thing that excites me about it is that it shows the possibility that
there may be very real phenomena which we do not fully understand yet that
provide the source experiences for all religions.  I have coined a term for
the study of this possibility - protheism.  (As in *before* religion).

Like I said, we ain't learned nuuuhhthing yet!  Ha-ch-ch-ch-cha!  (Durante.)

Oh, and yes, he is a poor author.  If you read him as an author.  If you read
him as a reporter, revealing something, it's quite different.  If you want a
story, read James Redfield.  Or much better yet, Dickens.

BTW:  Great post, Ed!  Missed ya.

My last words on this, I swear (so I lied last time!  What of it?)  Contact
me off line, anyone interested.  And Pancho, if you read this, can I please
have those links!  Thanks!

With that, I shall SMWPT like a good little RP!

Tom K

"Number 6 on the agender, The Meaning of Life.  Now, Harry, you've had some
thoughts on this."  (scroll down.)

"That's right, yeah!  I've had a team working on this over the past few
weeks, and, uh, what we've come up with can be reduced to two fundamental
concepts.  One:  People are not wearing enough hats.  Two:  Matter is energy.
 In the universe there are many energy fields which we cannot normally
perceive.  Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person's
soul.  However, this soul does not exist abbanicio (?) as orthodox
Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of
guided self-observation.  However, this is rarely achieved owing to man's
unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia."
(keep going.)

"What was that about *hats* again?"

"Oh.  Uh, people aren't wearing enough."

MP - The Meaning of Life


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-293

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