Saturday, July 31, 2004

Ramsey Dukes

The Wright Bros Fly Ramsey Dukes To My Door22 comments
17 Dec 2003 @ 03:01, by Richard Carlson

Wherever you are
is the entry point.


The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.

---Paul Cezanne

To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

---William Wordsworth

Today marks the One Hundredth Anniversary of Orville and Wilbur's first flight. How better to celebrate the auspicious occasion than with "the Peter Pan of the British occult scene" (as Paul Geheimnis calls him), Ramsey Dukes?

"As was argued in Thundersqueak, it is ludicrous to describe the aeroplane as a wonder of science. The Wright brothers were not scientists, they were bicycle makers. On the day of their historic first flight they invited the American Scientific establishment to attend, and the Establishment quite rightly refused to waste time with cranks who were attempting the blatantly impossible. As a consequence, the plane flew. If only scientists had left Uri Geller alone.

"As someone who has worked in the aircraft industry, I can assure you that a plane flies despite science, not because of it. Yet I am not belittling science, merely seeing its true contribution. To be utterly precise, it is magic that makes the plane fly, and what science does is to STOP IT FROM CRASHING."

---from Ramsey's delightful essay, "The Charlatan And The Magus," printed entirely right here~~~


As if by magic, the book Thundersqueak, mentioned above, arrived in my mailbox yesterday by air post. Ramsey (only the most familiar, I gather, of his many names) had emailed he was sending it over. I've told you about Ramsey Dukes before, and how we stumbled over each other on the Internet. But who is he and what does he think? Here's a good sample:

“I want to be rich, happy, sexy, powerful…. Hey, I’ve discovered a thing called magic that can make you rich, happy, sexy, powerful…. It’s quite simple to become rich, happy, sexy, powerful… as long as you do one thing- you have to become perfect first. So how do you know when you’ve made yourself perfect? Oh shit. You know you are perfect when you no longer WANT to be rich, happy, sexy, powerful…”

---from Blast being the 2nd volume of his collected essays

Thundersqueak carries the alternate title The Confession of a Right Wing Anarchist, and purports to be a dialogue of "suicide writings" between 2 characters named Liz Angerford and Ambrose Lea. They remind us of many assumptions we cheerfully carry about with us into the 21st century--especially our faith in science and complete dismissal of supernatural thought:

“...when we are taught to be suspicious of spiritualists who insist on working in the dark, what are we to make of nuclear physicists who do not ever allow any observers within a hundred miles of their tests?”

Ramsey finds refreshing liberation in the fact that nobody believes in magical thinking because, thus, he can do whatever he wants. He finds support in this behavior as close as the nearest church:

“Morality that depends upon individual judgment is a vigorous living thing; but when morality becomes equated with a rigid code of law and dogma then it is no longer part of us, we are ‘distinct’ from it and can grow free. The church did mankind the favour of thus enslaving morality long, long ago.”

There are nice UK links to a purchase of Thundersqueak in "The Charlatan And The Magus." For folks in the States, Amazon's got it~~~


Thanks to Ramsey Dukes and the magic of airmail!



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