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Reviews: Books


Strange Creations / Kooks

Author: Donna Kossy
Publisher: Feral House
Isbn: 0922915652 / 0922915679

A double delight from Donna Kossy of eccentrics, dreamers and cult leaders

The disturbed and unhappy eccentric writers and visionaries described by Donna Kossy are sitting targets past and present for sceptical intellectual eugenics as practiced by the grown-up "meaningful" world. She portrays Charles Fort's "damned" folk whose crime is that they have wilfully dared to break some wretched rule of the "real". Confused, wounded, blinking at the light, they stumble from trains, and head for cultural extermination. They are flanked by camp-guards who, not suffering from any subjective illusions themselves, have rid their consciousness of all fantasy and self-deception. The guards have all been saved from the fate of the prisoners by Fact and Objectivity. This has protected them from Satan's tools of metaphysics, mystical and religious nonsense, and the dangerous contaminations of the creative imagination. They therefore can put their shoulders to the right wheel at the right time, and they have sworn not to bend spoons, levitate, talk to the dead, or see UFOs.

Perhaps the last things they hear are the screams coming from the Research and Experimental block run by the real people. In this block, Belief and non-Belief are readily and distinctly separated as poisonous slag is drained like an exorcised illness from the shining iron of the Pure, who of course are under no illusions about anything at all.

Kooks are rivals in entertainment to the sceptical Big Brother Show. In Strange Creations Donna Kossy gives great portraits of such performing heroes of reject systems as George Van Tassel, Brinsley Le Poer Trench, Helena Blavatsky, and Elaine Morgan and her Theory of the Aquatic Ape as the missing link in Evolution. We are introduced also to Alfred W. McCann's God or Gorilla, in which McCann described Darwin's Theory of Evolution as "the most spectacular hoax of a hundred years", a sentiment with which some moderns would agree. Another good performer was the polygenist Edward Long (1734-1813). He considered that Caucasians were the result of a coupling between a "Negro and an Orang-Outang" offering as evidence "the passion the male Orang-Outang has for the Negress.

In Kooks, Charles E. Buon (God's Envoy to the U.S.A.), comes on stage, followed by a truly splendid cast including Ray Crabtree (The Philosopher King), Professor Arnold Ehret (he of the Mucusless Diet Healing System), Dr. Cyrus Tweed ("We live on the inside of the Earth" ). We hear also of Hillman Holcomb's "Well Regulated Militia of Christian Technocracy". David Linton's pamphlet on "How Men Can Have Babies" comes thankfully just before the natural break as it is a messy business. Shunning the so-called Enlightenment, all these heroic actors are free of Fact and Democracy. But above all they are free equally of what most kook performers would refer to as that late historical imposture called the real.

The sceptics dismiss such people, not realising that they have an absolutely vital psychological function: en mass they form rain forests in the brain essential to mental functioning, which as we know, is largely a process of controlled self-deception. Donna Kossy's two books give the impression that like the equally despised African bushmen, all kooks are free for a while. When inevitably caught and metaphorically imprisoned for their mostly harmless thoughts, the wretched books and pamphlets of such sacrificial heroes appear as scrawls on prison walls and asylum cells of twentieth century consciousness. They have been tried and condemned by the sober, the rational, the acceptably clever and the scientific. Their products, in contrast to kook silliness, have been concentration camps, nuclear bombs, and the polluting of air, sea, water and land. No kook, no matter how mad could get all that together.

The kooks are "possessed" by the weird as sceptics are equally "possessed" by the counter-rituals of the Normal and Mundane. This battle of belief and non-belief is a war between different strands of advertising protein, with the Normal having a better public relations department. The kooks show that human beings do not think so much as advertise, and "reasoning " is more programmatic negotiations between hallucinations more than anything else.

Sceptics, being as much in the entertainment business and Media market as the kooks, manufacture things for a particular audience with equal gusto. But the sceptics had better watch out. The kooks make for far better TV, which is all that is going to matter in the future. The kooks demonstrate that all you need is a plan. You live in the plan. The territory (as old industrial objective externality) matters hardly. The plan as programmatic induction is the Web and the multi-channel TV screen, all being maps that guide, nourish and inspire, as once did the "hard" products of the old world. The "product" is now the induction of a state of mind. The protein structure of the kook's world is personality, and the equations describing this structure are Media equations, which like the work of the kooks, have nothing at all to do with Facts, or even Brains.

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Strange Creations


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