Imagining Chapel Perilous

“Once you are in the Chapel [Perilous], Wilson insisted, there are only two ways out: as an agnostic, or a stone-cold paranoid. “There is no third way.”…

…Like so many drugs, the Imagination is both poison and cure, and we are not getting rid of that paradox any more than we are getting rid of pop paranoia or conspiracy politics or apocalyptic psyops. Living with Imagination does not involve the transcendence of pathology, but something more daemonic, more ironic, and also probably more tragic. The Imagination provides forms of sense-making that do not deny the chaotic disorders of our inner wilderness, and it nourishes us to the degree that we approach it as an ally to barter with rather than an overlord to slavishly believe or a “cognitive bias” to avoid.

—Erik Davis, “Wilderness of Mirrors.” Burning Shore. No. 8., August 25, 2020.

Marginalization and Being Weird

“One thing I think this illustrates is how non-transferable experiences of marginalisation are. bell hooks obviously has more experience of marginalisation than I do – she is a black woman in the US, while I am in most regards a fairly privileged white man. But I am also a queer neurodivergent person, and the experience of small towns for people like me is literally the worst.

If you’re sufficiently “weird” and live or go to school in a small town, chances are pretty good you know almost nobody like you, and it’s awful. In a large city you may still struggle to find people like you, but those people are at least there and once you’ve found a few you will find more through them. It is possible to build a community of people like you, and to build a love ethic within that community, in a way that I don’t think people like me are ever going to really find in a small town.”

-David R. MacIver, “The conditional love of a small town.” DRMacIver’s Notebook. April 27, 2020.

Recommend David’s blog in general. Personally, I find I agree with much of what he says. I’ve been “weird” to other people my whole life, but I’ve never identified as being “neurodivergent”, a term I’ve only come to know in the last few years. However, it is a useful way to understand being out of step with the world and helps bring a sense of normality to being different.

Bizarro Fiction

Readers in the horror genre want horror. Readers of erotica want something titillating. Bizarro fiction readers want something weird.

“The introduction to the first Bizarro Starter Kit describes Bizarro as ‘literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store’ and a genre that ‘strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.'[1] According to Rose O’Keefe of Eraserhead Press: ‘Basically, if an audience enjoys a book or film primarily because of its weirdness, then it is Bizarro. Weirdness might not be the work’s only appealing quality, but it is the major one.'[2]”

—Wikipedia, s.v. “Bizarro fiction,” last modified May 7, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro_fiction

Eraserhead Press is a major publisher. Thought I might try a short story collection with a GoodReads rating above four, Entropy in Bloom by Jeremy Robert Johnson. Interested in suggestions if anyone reading this has any.

The Oral History of ‘Too Many Cooks’, Adult Swim’s Weirdest Experiment Ever | Inverse

“When Adult Swim debuted Too Many Cooks in that early morning time slot, almost no one thought it would find an audience. Within a week, the surreal 11-minute parody of a ‘90s sitcom theme song had racked up over 5 million views on YouTube… It took a full year, a skeleton crew, and dozens of extras to bring this half-baked concept to life. To mark its four-year anniversary, and shed a little light on how a bit of late-night stoner comedy won over the internet with surrealist humor and a catchy tune, Inverse spoke to 10 people behind Too Many Cooks, from creator Casper Kelly to the musicians who wrote the song, to the villain.

Here’s the story of Too Many Cooks, in the words of its unlikely creators…”

—Jake Kleinman, “An Oral History of ‘Too Many Cooks’.” Inverse. October 28, 2018.

More than you wanted to know about the making of Too Many Cooks.

Cosmic Dyspepsia & Divine Excrement by Thomas Moyihan

“One pauses, and is suddenly struck with a vision: The Earth opens up and seeps fizzy pop. The carbonated fountains of the great deep break open. End-oriented teleoplexic history reveals that the world was created merely to spew forth Pepsi: everything else was merely a means to this end. They call it the 𝖕𝖊𝖕𝖘𝖎𝖈𝖑𝖎𝖕𝖕𝖊𝖗. Pepsi, as cosmic alchemical baseline or sugary-blackened-Nigredo, is the Alpha and the Omega, and all other conceivable ‘ends’ (human will, desire, values, Promethean ambitions) are merely camouflaged ‘means’ for the shooting forth of Pepsi from the great internal fountains of the Earth. The springs of terrestrial history weep black liquid sugar. Tears of Pepsi trickle from the empty eye-socket of an anorganic God, a cosmic visage pulled back into sugarrush rictus. This time there is no Noah and no ark. Everything drowns in obsidian sluice. Glucose high; glucose crash. John Milton — blind prophet, blind to his own prophecy — announces this, our fate, from Anno Domini 1667.”

An essay in seven parts, Thomas Moyihan’s Cosmic Dyspepsia & Divine Excrement is a schizophrenic juxtaposition of the Arnell Group’s Breathtaking: A Design Document for the Pepsi brand (a document of uncertain origin that could be a modern Protocols of the Elders of Zion aimed at the marketing masters of late-stage capitalism), academic critical theory, and a reimagining of Milton’s Paradise Lost as a prophecy of Pepsi.

Not for everyone, but if the text above appeals to you, then it might be worth taking a look at the whole thing.

Part 1 of the 7 part series.

h/t 3:AM Magazine