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Sunday, July 26, 2009

A tessellation of the plane. And beer.

It all begins with a simple flash of recognition and a sense of poetic resonance.

One the one side of the board, the ebony: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., respected and renowned Harvard professor.

On the other side, the ivory: Sgt. James Crowley, respected officer and instructor for the Cambridge Police Dept.

More than a classic "town and gown" confrontation, their encounter has been front page news in America for days, and even Barack Obama has stepped into the fray with some ill-considered words--now retracted; in an attempt to be a peacemaker, he's invited both men to the White House to work things out over a nice cold beer.

Now, to deny that racism and racial profiling exist in this country is nothing short of willful ignorance. It would also be naive to think that the election of Obama has somehow eclipsed the very real racial inequalities which the nation faces.

But--gasp!--racial disharmony is not the country's core problem. We propose that stoking racism is a ploy in a great theatrical chess game being acted out by everyone, everywhere, all the time. And lest we forget, the players are not one the board itself, but behind it.

Behinds the actors on both sides of the board there are small bands of extremely wealthy and powerful individuals, families, corporations and organizations. One mouthpiece of these elites cry about the devastating effects raising the minimum wage will have on the economy--a whopping 7 dollars--while defending the practice of looting the profits created by the workers who receive these slave wages in the form of millions of dollars of bonuses destined for the already wealthy. What better way to distract attention from that flow of money than by occasionally lobbing a race bomb?

Race really isn't the issue here. George Bush had no qualms about putting blacks into top positions. To argue that the accomplished Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell were mere tokens is in itself a racist proposition. Whatever personal qualms politicians might have about, say, actually marrying a black person aside, they apparently have zero when it comes to working with people who are willing the take their side in the game. Black Queen, White Queen, ultimately it makes no difference, as long as the money and power keep flowing in the right direction.

The country has, after all, elected our first ostensibly "black" president. In quotation marks because at least half of his DNA comes from a white lineage. Black and white, Americans still seem to be under the spell of the "one-drop" rule.

Now, the poetic resonance of this particular case comes from the names (it's always the names it seems with poor old befuddled Daurade!)

Which brings us back tour opening gambit: Gates and Crowley.

Anyone even dimly aware of occultism will recognize the name Crowley. Our Sargent shares the name with the most famous, accomplished and influential occultist of the 20th century. Aleister Crowley, the great Beast 666 as he liked to call himself: bisexual, drug-addict, alleged spy, occult genius, poet, mountaineer, Moonchild....

Then there's the lovely evocative name "Gates." Crowley was if nothing attempting to open gates between this existence and another. In Magick Without Tears, just to give one example, Crowley speaks of the "fifty gates of understanding" in a chapter entitled "The Black Brothers". In the Enochian system Crowley explored the four Gates of the Watchtowers.

But these examples only limit the field of inquiry. Gates, portals, liminal points of transition. It's all central to the Magickal universe. It's arguably the whole point of ceremonial Magick to begin with.

If one is in any way aware of occult imagery, even on a subconscious level, it's hard to avoid the subtext of the Gates/Crowley conflict as it heads towards reconciliation, and given TV and cinema's seemingly endless parade of occult-inspired fare (no matter how insipid and watered down)--you'd be hard-pressed to find a culturally engaged American who is not on some level aware of occult symbolism.
The old "reconciliation of opposites" played out on the chessboard, the ebony and ivory of the keyboard tinkling out the music of the spheres. "Perfect harmony" as they say, symbolized by the checkerboard pattern on floors and trestle-boards of Masonic Lodges.

The square represents both the physical universe and echos that verse in Revelation (21:15) where the angel who shows St. John the Heavenly Jerusalem "....had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. (16) And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth...." And St. John the Evangelist is one of the two St. Johns who are considered the patron saints of Freemasonry.

We are dealing with a conflict being played out in the material world and on another plane, call it spiritual or psychic if you'd like, but it is as equally "real" to the players. They would impose a grid of diametrical opposites in a state of constant warfare upon a land free from such artificial dialectics. They would measure, subdivide and enclose everything. Then pretend to bring us all together over brewskis and patriotic jingoism.

The United States--E Pluribus Unum--"Out of Many, One"--the New World, a modern Atlantis, Utopia. Ever striving not only towards social betterment and self-improvement, but perfection itself. A land and culture where a plastic, deracinated androgyne like Michael Jackson--who destroyed his natural beauty in a quest for an artificial ideal--can be held up as a national icon. Where incremental initiatory systems towards perfection such as Scientology and the Boy Scouts thrive like so many Roman mystery religions--Christianity included. As American as apple pie, that mischievous beguiling apple! We bit whole hog and continue to chew and chew and chew, hoping that we can regain Paradise Lost through rigorous work and a healthy dose of self-help books.

And where a black intellectual and a white cop can sit down with a man who is both black and white and solve the nation's race problem over a glass of beer. To reconcile the opposites, as it were. Hey, we love beer--in vino veritas--but we're not sure it's gonna do the trick. One hand giveth, the other taketh away. Pay no attention to The Man behind the curtain. He's too busy nigger-baiting and pouring salt onto wounded crackers.

This great "beer diplomacy" summit will reportedly take place on July 30th, the day on which 276 years prior the first Grand Masonic Lodge in the US was constituted--in Massachusetts.

Miscellanea:

For what it's worth the term checkmate is an "alteration....of the Persian phrase "Shāh Māt" which means, literally, "the King is ambushed" (or "helpless" or "defeated"). It does not literally mean "the King is dead", although that is a common misconception, as chess reached Europe via the Islamic world, and Arabic māta مَاتَ means "died", "is dead"."

July 30 1971: The first lunar rover was used on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission. It was, in effect, the first car on the moon Incidentally, one of the drivers--James B. Irwin--was a Freemason. On the same day in 1990 the first Saturn automobile rolled off the assembly line.

July 30 is also the feast day of "Saint Abdon and Saint Sennen, illustrious Persian dignitaries of the third century whom the king of Persia had highly honored, were secretly Christian; it was they who had taken up the body of the martyred bishop, which had been cast contemptuously before a temple of Saturn, to bury it at night, with honor. "

And finally, these two men Crowley and Gates, the sun and the moon, these opposing pawns, are in fact, related. Turns out they're both descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, an apparently very fecund kind of 5th C. Ireland, ancestor of the clan which dominated Ireland from the 6th to 10th centuries....and we all know how them Micks love their beer....

16 comments:

  1. Speakin' of checkers, check out the suits at the table during the fabled beer talk: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/30/harvard.arrest.beers/art.beer.summit.afp.gi.jpg

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  2. Oh, my bad, I thought those were white coats on the prez & vice-prez ... nonetheless, checkers

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  3. "The president was drinking Bud Light, Biden was drinking Buckler (a nonalcoholic beer), Gates was drinking Samuel Adams Light and Crowley was drinking Blue Moon" (CNN)

    I was with them (as in, duh, of course *he* drank *that*) before the Blue Moon ... gotta admit that I didn't see that one coming...

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  4. Okay, but back to the idea of the names here, the real irony is that the whole dispute started with Gates forcing himself through the door (gate) in his Harvard-owned home ...

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  5. Yes, they do form a kind of checkerboard pattern. Politicians in white, pawns in dark coats---you see, they are on the same side after all! lol

    Seriously though, I gotta tone down this poetic resonance thing. They're getting progressively less ironic. The Weinman and Moon pieces are pretty evident, but this one and the Jackson one make me seem a rather strident lunatic. Which is partially true, of course!

    But very good call on the name game--Gates/Door. I zapped that one completely.

    I'm not sure I understand your beer comment however; could you clarify?

    My reaction to their drinks of choice is that Crowley comes out on top. I mean light and non-alcoholic beer? No offense if you drink light beer, Gid, but I think I'd rather drink a rugbyman's piss than that stuff, it would certainly taste more like beer!

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  6. OK Gid, you can forego the clarification. Blue = Cop. And Moon should be self-evident. That's what you were getting at,no?

    Must be the beers I drank last night. I missed my exit on the way to work today.....

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  7. Eh, nothing so complicated ... perhaps yr not familiar with Blue Moon, but it's a girly beer.

    I mean, our prez drinks the most popular beer in the USA, no surprise.

    And our loose cannon vice prez goes non-alchey but some weird independent brewery, well that's just exactly Binden's style.

    And Gates, the Harvard man, "the most famous black scholar", arrested for yelling at a cop goes for something that seems robust and independent and bold, yet somehow misses the point, trying too hard, and ends up with something tasty yet not bold, not independent ...

    So, no surprises so far.

    But then the cop gets a Blue Moon? Seriously? He might as well get a wine cooler. I'm dumbfounded.

    There's something rotten in Denmark.

    Speaking of which, Daurade, my beer tastes?

    Well, my beer belly speaks for itself. I'm quite sure that you haven't seen the likes of it over there in France. I'm certain that my hometown Surly Beer would make your wines blush. :-)

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  8. As for "this poetic resonance thing", Daurade, don't stop, ya don't stop now. You are, really are, on the right way.

    You feel shy, and that's understandable. But your hesitation is not heartfelt. You can see what is here, what resides in these names.

    The cards are dealt ... read 'em.

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  9. Well, the only thing with poetic resonance is that the deeper you go the easier it is to forget to calibrate the bullshit detector. It is fun though; undeniably weird patterns are emerging.

    I didn't realize Blue Moon was such a girly beer, Gid! Still, the name does have some poetic resonance. See wikipedia:

    Selected goodies:

    "Some interpret this "blue moon" as relating to absurdities and impossibilities,[3] and a similar moon-related adage was first recorded in the following year: "They would make men beleue ... that þe Moone is made of grene chese" [They would make men believe ... that the moon is made of green cheese]."

    "Every one to three years the Lent and egg moons would come too early, so the clergy would have to tell people whether the moon was the Lent moon or a false one, which they may have called a "betrayer moon"."

    "The origin of the term "blue moon" is steeped in folklore, and its meaning has changed and acquired new nuances over time. Some folktales say that when there is a full blue moon, the moon had a face and talked to those in its light."

    Keep working on that belly! I knew you were a True Cowboy! Light beer! I needn't have even aked....

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  10. Obama plays up love of beer to ferment coalition of the swilling

    Obama apparently likes beer enough to have had the WH kitchen staff brew their own with he kit he paid for. I'd like to try that stuff, but given that he drank Bud Light at the beer summit, ya gotta wonder if it'd be worth the trouble. Tippler in chief!

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  11. Replies
    1. "With public excitement about White House beer fermenting such a buzz, we decided we better hop right to it." haha

      I'd rather have a beer drinker in the whitehouse than a teetotaler!

      Delete
    2. So dig this. Blue Moon gets lots of play on this half-serious synchromystic post--and the comments.

      August 31 was a rare blue moon, which is nature's way of smiling on....Neil Armstrong's funeral, same day.

      September 1. Obama, who got the cop a Blue Moon, releases his beer recipe.

      Coincidence? Cosmic joke? Or weird ploy by Obama to slip "beer" into the national discourse, associating it with rare natural phenomena and the celebration of a national hero? Homer Simpson diplomacy?

      And oddly, one hero named Armstrong dies just after another is taken down for doping, his heroism undercut, his 7 titles at risk....

      This second hero named Lance. French verb lancer means...."to launch"....

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    3. OK, stop f*cking with us: Sept 3: Sun Myung Moon dies in Korea (Sept. 2 on the US east coast)

      Delete
    4. Keith Moon would have turned 66 on August 23 if he were still alive! He died from an overdose of sedatives prescribed to relieve symptoms of alcohol withdraw...

      CCR's "Bad Moon Rising" was a number-one hit in--you guessed it!--September of 1969!

      Delete
    5. Brooklyn Brewery brews up some White House Honey Ale "The verdict: It was good. Very good."

      Delete

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