Featured Post

Hope Springs Eternal: The Mary Wheeler Interview

Mary and Tim Wheeler, with son Christopher.  Courtesy Mary Wheeler. Prepare yourself(s) for an amazing interview with a largely u...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sometimes it's just a cigar (or something else)

Maybe it was the day we realized the Météo France logo was a kind of pyramid encircling the globe, or the day the pyramid on the neighboring DSNA building revealed itself to us. It's hard to remember exactly. But, here, waiting for an appointment on the Météo France campus, we spotted another little rascal tucked away under a shelter designed to protect exiled smokers from the elements.

It can be read as an obelisk, but because of its height (about one meter), it is the pyramid which is most obvious; it is further emphasized by the pattern of triangles at the bottom (a lucky seven of them) and of course one at the top to evoke the eye of illuminating knowledge and reason.

In such a mundane functional object it's almost easy to overlook the pyramid entirely. It becomes a subliminal trigger to remind us of the larger pattern of geometric forms, especially triangles and pyramids, which make up an important part of the symbolism of the French scientific establishment.

Of course, we could just dismiss this as a fancy ashtray. It is that. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

France as Hexagon

We have already seen how Napoleon's regime reorganized France according to Enlightenment principles in order to impose a more rational order upon nature. We have interpreted this as a great chessboard and have linked it to the destruction of traditional regions in order to facilitate trade and commerce through homogenization. It linked imperial, cultural and revolutionary ideals with science and measurement.

Being more or less agnostic in all our ventures, we began to doubt ourselves.

Then we came across this map on the Strange Maps blog, provided by Valéry Didelon.

"Squaring the circle is a proverbial way of describing something impossible. Jacques-Guillaume Thouret set himself an even more daunting task: squaring the hexagône – in French, that word is shorthand for describing the roughly six-sided shape of France."

"Thouret (1746-1794) was born into a bourgeois family in the French département of Calvados. Back then, in the Ancien Régime, there was no such territorial unit. The area was still part of the old province of Normandy. It was Thouret himself who instigated the change from provinces to the new system, still en vogue today."

"The French Revolution also entailed a revolution of measurements. The revolutionaries were obsessed with standardising, and replaced traditional, often regionally variable measurements with a universal metric system. Sometimes the changes proved to be a bridge too far: the revolutionary calendar was abolished after only a few years; and Thouret’s square départements – reminiscent of the rectangular methods of the Land Ordinance Survey [LoS!] in the US (see post #120) ... – never made it off the drawing board."

Now dig the official French explanation of the Hexagon.

"Centralisation is a feature of the organisation and management of France that goes back to the monarchy."

"Even the French Revolution did not dismantle this structure. Indeed it accentuated it."

"In the name of equality, provincial features were repressed, including regional languages."

"In 1792, the provinces were replaced by départements....This egalitarian treatment has been maintained, even after regions were created much later, and French people feel at least as much attachment to their département as to their province and its traditions."

"This concept of equality is combined with a strictly hierarchical management of the whole country. Each level has specific responsibilities within a hierarchy."

According the Wikipedia

"Like squares and equilateral triangles, regular hexagons fit together without any gaps to tile the plane (three hexagons meeting at every vertex), and so are useful for constructing tessellations. The cells of a beehive honeycomb are hexagonal for this reason and because the shape makes efficient use of space and building materials."

So as Thouret tessellated France, France itself becomes one more tile in the larger mosaic, towards and ever-expanding macrocosm. Think Risk, Imperialism and the acquisition of land. Think of Europe; the currency's in place, but the old regions will die hard.

France has a vision of itself and its place in the world at large aligned with Napoleon's imperial ambitions. This is inherent in it's omnipresent symbolism. It would seem, though, that absent any significant military and philosophical dominance, it would garner this influence via Science, Technology and Commerce. It allies itself mystically with geometry and mythically with its founding dynasty. The hexagon is the central unit of the bee's hive, and the bee was the symbol of the Merovingians. Napoleon had himself painted wearing ermine adorned with golden bees.

Napoleon.org has this to say:

"Symbol of immortality and resurrection, the bee was chosen so as to link the new dynasty to the very origins of France."

Another article asserts:

"Napoleon was initiated, passed and raised into an Army Philadelphe Lodge of the Ecossais Primitive Rite of Narbonne between 1795 and 1798. Considering Napoleon’s interest in things Egyptian, his reason for adoption of the bee symbol can only be a subject of supposition."

The article goes on to insist that his use of the bee had no link with Freemasonry, which uses the beehive as a symbol of discipline, order and industry.

We would posit that there is a link, but that this not be read as wild-eyed conspiracy theory. Our recent posts, however, can elucidate this better than yet another repetition.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Battle of the Pyramids

Cold, dark tomb

Now this here pyramid can be found on the Place de L'Europe as a monument to specific battalions of war dead from WWI and WWII as well as Indonchine aka Viet-Nam. In our survey of pyramids in the Toulouse metropolitan area it is the first which serves an explicit funerary purpose.

The Place de L'Europe, like the Place Capitole at the literal heart of the city, is decorated with a large Occitan cross.

Now, we've always felt that whatever it was Jesus was teaching and whatever it was the early Christians thought he was on about, by the time Constantine gave a nod towards recognizing it some three plus centuries later Christianity had acquired a lot of the trappings of a mystery religion, or as some might have it, a death cult. Thus it's fitting that the pyramid and the cross should be so combined.

The Occitan cross in this plaza links Europe to Toulouse; one could argue that's the point. Local and continental become as one; this very Toulousain and regional symbol becomes associated with Europe as a whole. Wherever you go, there you are. It decorates the center of Toulouse and again in a place named after Europe. Symbolically Toulouse asserts a European prominence.

The Occitan cross is steeped in legend and of uncertain origin. Some assert that it's patterned on Celtic solar symbols; others that its twelve points represent the zodiac. Indeed, in the Occitan cross on Place Capitole, each point is decorated with an astrological sun sign. Others assert that it came back from the east with returning crusaders. (See La Croix Occitane by Raymond Ginouillac).

Napoleon and Egypt

Place de L'Europe is part of a larger complex of parks and office space, a school and a conference center called Compans-Caffarelli.

The first part of this name comes from Count Jean Dominique Compans. Compans joined the army as a volunteer upon the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789. He served as a General in the Napoleonic Wars and and rejoined Napoleon upon his return from exile during the perid known as the Hundred Days. He died in 1845 in Blagnac.

The Caffarelli comes from yet another noble family--Caffarelli du Falga. Three Caffarelli brother were Generals.

Youngest brother Marie-François Auguste (1766-1849), was loyal to Naopleon and among his service in Marengo and Austerlitz served with him in the Egyptian campaign. He became aide de camp to Napoleon in 1800, after having served the same function for General Dagobert de Fontenille starting in 1791. Dagobert was himself an early supporter of the Revolution, "rallying to the cause" alongside Louis-Philippe d'Orléans, a fellow noble and Gand Master of the Grand Orient of France.

(1760-1845) began his career as a naval officer but became an officer in the Army after the Revolution began. He too remained loyal to Napoleon during the Hundred Days.

Oldest brother Louis-Marie-Joseph-Maximilian (1756-1799) also accompanied Napoleon into Egypt (on a wooden leg, no less!) and later died from gangrene as a result of a bullet wound sustained during the assault on Acre. When he died Napoleon wrote:

"Our universal regrets accompany General Caffarelli to the grave; the army is losing one of its bravest leaders. Egypt one of its legislators, France one of its best citizens, and science, an illustrious scholar."

The Egyptian campaign, as we have mentioned in previous posts, helped set off a fashion in France for "oriental" and Egyptianate architecture which is probably why even after so much time the war memorial to the Caffarelli brigades is in the form of a pyramid.

What is also interesting about the Egyptian campaign is that it bore a veneer of scientific inquiry. There were apparently a large number of scientists attached to the invading armies. Some have interpreted this as a ploy to hide the real motives of the expedition, namely the extension of empire and the acquisition of land. But it is also true that Napoleon saw himself as a liberator and in service of the Enlightenment, a sort of light-bringer. In our ongoing thesis, this dedication to "illumination" through rational scientific inquiry is intertwined with revolutionary principles regarding government, especially as it relates to the repartition of territory. Indeed, Napoleon issued proclamations which portrayed him as a liberator from ancient tyrants the Mamluks. Fascination with geometry and measurement abounded.

Interesting for our discussion is that the beginning of the end for the Mamluks was at a battle Napoleon himself called "The Battle of the Pyramids" where his reputation for tactical brilliance was enhanced by his innovative use of massive infantry squares: moving tessellations for the literal control of space.

Naopoleon spurred his troops on with the cry: "Forward! Remember that from those monuments yonder forty centuries look down upon you."

History tells us the pyramids were barely visible in the horizon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Boxing the Compass

The Pyramids, like great wily jackals hungry for time, just won't give up.

There's no need to go on repeating our take on their significance. Peruse any of our posts tagged "pyramids" and see what we're on about.

Light of Reason

In the picture on the right we have placed a pin upon the Météo France inverted pyramid fountain. Head northeast and you'll see a traffic circle decorated as a compass rose aligned perfectly north. Head in a northwesterly direction and you'll see a ray-shaped sidewalk whose point terminates in a green oval. We are finding that this "keyhole" or "eye atop the pyramid" design is itself becoming a common decorative motif wherever our pyramids are to be found.

What is interesting here is that the base of the triangle/ray you have the principal facade and entrance to the DSNA-DTI (Direction des Services de la Navigation Aérienne-Direction de la Technique et de l'Innovation), the French agency responsible for services relating to air traffic control, navigation, communication and monitoring. This includes training, software development, etc. The DTI is a cutting-edge research division.

For some reason they decided to pop a pyramid atop the entrance of this otherwise unadorned facade. From a side difficult to photograph, visible as it is only from a busy road, one can see it is a kind of three-sided pyramid. We find it weird that on their website, in their own photo of the facade taken from within the grounds, a tree obscures the pyramid. It's a bad angle.

And speaking of Météo France, we'd be remiss not to mention their logo, which, though not exactly a pyramid, is a triangle circling or set somewhere above the globe set against a square divided into light and dark halves. Perhaps an echo of the doctrine of opposites and the reconciliation thereof?

What is the red arrow point at? Where is it going? Squaring the circle or boxing the compass, the measurement's the thing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ouvrez donc les yeux! Reichstag 911, redux.

The following post originally appeared on a website operated by Daurade sometime after 9-11. It was intended to be ironic and in some versions the word "Satire?" was emblazoned on the page. Several websites linked to the page and some comments were made, but everyone seemed to take it at face value; that is to say a serious accusation that Bush is part of a Satanic and or alchemical cabal of some sort. A question mark was used because there were indubitably some weird symbols which appeared in researching the satire, and to be truthful, was intended to be taken humorously. In light of recent LoS posts, it seems appropriate to revisit this story, which seems to fall into the Bush as Gog theory The Gid has mentioned in a recent post. The original text is in red. Current commentary is in black. Gid's commentary is in yellow and Jon in blue.

White house photographers have a fondness for photographing political figures under rotundas or with symbols behind them which cast a kind of halo or nimbus around the head. This is such a shot. What's strange about it is the makings of a grin on W's lips and from the heavy posture and the shadows around the eyes it's as if he's shooting daggers. The halo is almost certainly a governmental seal of some sorts, perhaps even the seal of the POTUS. Which becomes more meaningful in light of what's to follow.  

They intentionally shoot Bush with a halo because these people really do believe they are God’s true anointed. They both cynically use the myth and believe in it. Like all secret societies pursuing earthly power, they engage in acts that are exactly opposite to the values they espouse. Lying, homosexuality, drug use, torture (not that being gay is inevitably any of these things; arguably these people aren’t gay at all, they are rapists), masks, secret meetings, hording of wealth, the use of symbols, are all indicative of a cabal and a reversal of values. Consider the Cathar leaders who felt they were liberated from God’s law and were free to violate it, or various forms of extreme tantrism that came to dominate courts in Java in the pre-Islamic period.

It is sometimes suggested that the Republican Party under Rove, Cheney, Norquist, Delay, Gingrich et al is a black-hooded homosexual cabal. Closeted gays are intentionally chosen because they can be blackmailed. But it is also possible that buggery is used as an initiation rite, as it is was purported to be for the Knights Templar, for pirates, for ancient Egyptians (cf the buggery episodes between Seth and Horus, where semen is hidden in lettuce and consumed, appearing in the intestinal track to fool the gods into thinking an act of buggery has occurred).

People will believe what they want to believe about the hand signal, at least consciously. But unconsciously matters are not so libertarian. The unconscious mind recognizes the primordial archetype of the horned hand and therein lies its transformative power in the process of human alchemy. When the sign of the horn is elevated to national prominence by "the most powerful man in the world," the unconscious mind groks that the reptilian tail is not far behind. Believe it or not, that's the "twilight language" message in this case; a message intended to go over the heads of the cattle on board the truck bound for the abattoir."

Michael A. Hoffman II, Plausible Denial: "Hornwinking" the Bush League January 21, 2005

Quite frankly, Hoffman comes across sometimes as a bona fide nut-case and a raging anti-Semite. But there is an eloquence of writing, and independent spirit and a penetration perception of contemporary culture which is startling.

Whether or not Bush is flashing devil horns or not is irrelevant; the fact remains that aside from people familiar with Italian hand gestures or the Texas Longhorns, the "Horns" will always be a heavy-metal devil sign, associated with Satanism. When our born-again and quite publicly croyant President flashes it, alarm bells are going to go off among our uncanny fundamentalist brothers and sisters: they're gonna see the Antichrist. Especially when they see such photos as these. 

Bush et al dare people to disbelieve them by openly lying and manipulating symbols clear in meaning to anyone with a brain. They demonstrate their power of intimidation by walking about naked asking us all to admire their beautiful clothes.

I think it would be mad to say that Bush is some sort of Messianic pretender. This photo says more about the photographer than Bush. But even so, none of that matters to the viewer, triggered with poetically resonant images. The President at the kairotic crux of the cruz, crowned by architecture parlante: "LORD" and an actual crown. Remember the Moonies? Remember the moon? The cross and crown motif can be found as a symbol of the Freemasonic Knights Templar, early Christian Science and early Jehovah's Witnesses. 

Others said you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.

Bush as magician. Using a well-known magical gesture, Bush is indicating his allegiance to the Horned God. Notice his robes. Ostensibly they are those of an academic, but that is part of the arrogant humor of the Cabal; they stage their rituals publicly under the guise of regular events. No wonder he looks so smug.

He does look exceedingly smug. And he does resemble a magician. This is probably the most ironic barb towards the twilight language theory. The idea of a subliminal message staged in a public ritual. I don't even know the context of this photo. It's probably a graduation ceremony of Long dongs, er, horns. We could probably go on about Mithraism at this point, and be well within our rights. Fact is that this is such a pregnant image how could it not evoke such sinister claims? There is indeed a twilight message here, but if it's Bush, or some photographer's editor somewhere sending it, is to be debated. We tend to think of it as ourselves sending this message, Heisenberg-like as we observe from within the shadow of the valley of the Book of Revelation, agog and Gog-hungry, thoroughly Googled and definitely goggled, as in with blinders on. 

This example comes from a FEMA press conference in the wake of the Sept 11 attacks. (It is telling that Bush would display the symbols of his true office here, for FEMA has long been suspected as the real agency of domestic repression--under the guise of national emrgency--when it came time for the Cabal to seize control of the country). The horns are only the most flagrant Cabal joke in this photograph; the real story lies in the alchemical symbolism. The position of Bush's head in the FEMA seal, relative to the position of the presidential seal is a way of projecting the message: L'Etat, c'est moi. You could write a dissertation of the symbolism of this image.

As an artistic composition this cannot be beat. The reflecting circles, the motif of the eagle in the seal below and the wings above, the microphones. All the better as it appears that horns are coming from his head. He does appear to swoon but a photograph's quick-like mid-motion capture creates strange effects. "A Nation Prepared" reads the motto. But yeah, grok that circle and triangle, an alchemical symbol if there ever was one. The composition of the photo into light and dark halves, the repeating imagery vertically arranged is such a hermetic composition: As above, so below. Again, we're dealing more with a snarky photographer than a calculating President.

These photos would never have appeared if they didn’t want them to. But my concern is, after reviewing the photographic evidence so far, in support of an evident thesis, is that they are appropriating the Perpetual Art, the Most Ancient Arcanum, for their own perverted uses. Those who mess with the occult for evil purposes place both themselves and the world at great risk, but they inevitably fall, because the perennial heresy is before good and evil, and is an apprehension of the one and the many as an ongoing process of unfolding and return. Their division is one of divide and conquer. The Fall of Being into division is one of divide and create.

Notice the similarity of the presidential seal and t
he sigil of Baphomet. Concentric circles inscribed with words of power. Inside the circles an animal totem is circumscribed by a pentagram. In the Baphomet sigil, the pentagram is explicit. The President also displays it openly, but coded. In the presidential seal the pentagram is implied in the shape of the Eagle: its wings form the legs, its feet, the arms. Its tail forms the head. In this photograph the bottom triangle is made explicit in the angles of the microphones--which in the top circle is where the Eagle's tail would be if Bush's head weren't taking its place. The triangle finds a mirror image in the halo above Bush's head: as above, so below. The interplay between the FEMA seal and the Presidential seal reinforces this most basic of hermetic doctrines. Notice how Bush swoons as the Horned God enters his body to address the nation.

I stand by the comparison.

The flipside of the Dollar--Washington's sacred currency--reaffirms the hermetic motif of circles, triangles and stars. It is also quite clearly an
expression of faith in the One. The interrelationship of symbols is a divine interplay between earthly might, spiritual authority and the implied solace of faith in their unity. Although it doesn't appear here (it appears above the Eagle on the obverse of the quarter), this is the real meaning of the national motto: "Out of many, One."

Okay, the idea of the motto is a bit-farfetched, "Out of many, one"; but I stick by "The interrelationship of symbols is a divine interplay between earthly might, spiritual authority and the implied solace of faith in their unity." 

Like father, like Son.

From the Inaugural of George Bush Sr., 1989. Three alchemical triangles soar over the phallic personification of George Washington, state Godling. The Washington Monument dominates the skyline of the city that bears his name. It is as if it is the phallus of the city. And now a second Bush has descended upon the city. The coming of the Sun.

Do a web search for the "Apotheosis of George Washington" and you will find several sculptures and paintings depicting the ascension of our first president; becoming one with or becoming--Mormon-like--God Himself. He is a Godling of sorts in the national mythology, replete with weird tree-cutting fables and coin-tossing stunts. The phallic aspect of the obelisk is a trope needing no further elucidation. The trinity of triangles is exceedingly resonant. Remember all that talk of pyramids and power? Doesn't is riff nicely with that weird FEMA seal? Let alone that of the Information Awareness Office....

Federal law ensures that the Washington Monu
ment will always be the tallest building in the nation's capital.

"Welcome to Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

OK, I admit this is a bit of whimsy. But it does tie back into the idea that humanity is running out of space here on earth, so space out there in, urm, space, is the logical destination: The Stars My Destination. Also, they’re damn funny Bushisms. I say this without malice, but the man made me laugh so.

I would say it with malice! The man was malicious!

The quotes are whimsical, but the pilot aspect is not. Relating back to pyramid power, one can easily see that the aristocracy of old were cavalrymen. Today they are pilots.

A disembodied eye casts its gaze over the world, illuminating it."Knowledge is Power."

For anyone seeking to prove that the government is an Illuminist cover story, the IAO logo will be a clincher. Interesting that is embodies all the theses we’ve been going over in recent posts: the pyramid, the symbol of illumination, the link of knowledge and reason with progress and authority, the missionary ideal of bringing light to the world and then dominating it. In this case a domination through science, or, more specifically, technological prowess.

And just to really rub it in, DARPA named this program “Information Awareness Office” or I.A.O., which is a magic formula for Aleister Crowley and “as a gnostic godform … both a sun-god and mystery-god” (see Thelemapedia, “IOA”).

While the seal is surely supposed to represent the all-seeing eye casting light upon the world, consider some other creepy reads that we can layer onto the image. First, consider the eye as a projector. Pynchon’s phrase “Shall I project a world?” (from “The Crying of Lot 49”) has become synonymous with the enveloping layers of paranoia that wrap around us as we consider that such vast conspiracies may simply be constructs of our own mind, a projection of our own mad instance of meaning and structure upon a Newtonian world devoid of purpose.

This notion of projecting a world also invites a Gnostic interpretation of the image, with the eye over the unfinished pyramid suggesting an imperfect god, shown here in the act of creating a world. While it appears that this will be a world of light, note that as viewers, we can only see a glimmer of a lit world, for from our perspective, almost all that we see of Earth is cast in darkness, reinforcing the suggestion that this an incomplete god, caught in the act of trying to create life, but rending a world of shadows unable to see the True Light.

For a final alternate take on the image, consider the eye as the Sun, which, in addition to reinforcing the scientific and Egyptian mumbo-jumbo, means that this image shows the Earth orbiting the eye, which casts light on half the globe but leaves the rest of the Earth in shadow.

And of course this brings us back full circle to the IAO “as a gnostic godform … both a sun-god [shown here bathing the orbiting Earth in shadow and light] and mystery-god [shown here in its imperfection as it struggles to project a world].”

Is the point of all this just that Bush’s boys created a cool-looking symbol that they knew would trigger the paranoid radar just to f*ck with us? Or does this demonstrate Bush’s boys thumbing their noses, a demonstration of power, power so unmatched that They simply reveal themselves and speak their own true names?

Consider this infamous quote from an unnamed aide to Bush: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” That’s a quote from the New York Times, by the way, and after hearing this—the way it so perfectly fits this image of the “all-seeing eye,” a godly form that fails to even see its own unfinished foundation as it projecting a world of darkness and shadow suspended in its own imperfect godly glare—after hearing this, you must stop to marvel. On LoS we have been attempting to tease out a methodology of revelation through crypto-analytical deconstruction (“CAD”); it is amazing, is it not, the “Information Awareness” that a CAD can provide?
Consider, finally, the pyramid as monument rising upward to the god and note that one of IAO’s projects was “Babylon.” My God! Who would dare to flout their hubris in the very face of the maker? Hmm, could it be … SATAN!?!

Babalon, aka "Babalon" is given lengthy treatment in the aforementioned Thelemapedia, where it is discussed as, among a myriad of things, "the Gateway to the City of Pyramids."  This is "s a step along the path of spiritual purification, and a resting place for those who have successfully shed their attachments to the mundane world."

What are we to make of this image? Is it saying, "The whole thing was orchestrated, look to the recordings," or is this another way the Cabal has of thumbing its nose at us? There it is: the towers are burning, the conductor is waving her batons--they form a triangle around her head--and above it all is a signature: "The Coup." According to the label, this image was conceived of months before Sept. 11.

The towers always inspired apocalyptic images. After 9-11 I went back to my book Specimen Tank, written in the 80’s. In it I describe it as a giant syringe and the narrator/protagonist, Wally, imagines it smashed to pieces in the future, a heap of glass that archaeologists must number in order to reassemble it. The first time I went to try to go to the top I chickened out, it was too terrifying. The second time I had dinner at Windows on the World.

Another weird personal event (and I think things like the 9-11 attacks constellate meanings, hence all of the conspiracy theories that also swirl around the assassinations of the sixties), has to do with a video tape of The Wizard of Oz. My father-in-law taped The Wizard of Oz off of broadcast television on the day of the first World Trade Center Bombing. In 2000 my 4 year old daughter was watching this tape and I was talking on the phone to my ex-wife. I came into the room where Z. was watching and stared at the t.v. Suddenly a news alert rolled across the bottom of the screen saying the towers had been bombed. “Holy shit,” I said to my wife, “They bombed the Twin Towers again!” We couldn’t believe they would do it twice and she got off the phone to call friends and family and tell them. Seconds later I realized that I was watching an old video tape and that it wasn’t the news at all. I called her back and we laughed about it, realizing that of course it was absurd that the Twin Towers would be attacked twice.

The Twin Towers were always an affront, aesthetically. They should never have been built and no one liked them, that is until the first bombing. They then became beloved and more familiar as the neighbourhood around them was gentrified and populated with affluent young New Yorkers.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jim Carroll, RIP

Jim Carroll died on September 11th.

Even without the momentous timing, it would be as if yet another nail were driven in a bygone New York's coffin. Not to make his death into a potent symbol at the expense of his humanity--he seemed a decent and sensitive man--and the moniker "punk rock poet" so many articles seem to saddle him with is incomplete and misleading. He was a poet and diarist in a punk rock milieu who extended his art into a few largely overlooked albums. But what a poet!

It seems appropriate here to send you in the direction of this here essay by LoS commentator Jon about that disappeared New York. It's not about Jim Carroll, yet it is....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Future is Here

Holy Crap!

The Chinese landed on the moon today!

To Do

There's only one thing that's important: Populate the universe.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Not so hidden meanings

In a recent post we presented this seal without explanation. It is the old seal of the BIPM, or Bureau International des Poids et Mesures. Not finding any info on the web, we decided to call the BIPM directly to find out of they had any more info. In short measure (ha!) we were put through to a nice lady from the BIPM library. She emailed us this little note she wrote on the images in the seal.

The seal represented on this page is the ‘macaron’ of the BIPM and represents an allegory of science holding in her hands the new metre standard with its decimal divisions. Mercury or Hermes, the god of commerce, invention and weights and measures wearing a winged cap is an allegory of industry, he carries his herald’s staff and as befits the messenger of the gods sits upon a map. The other feminine figure in the seal carries the symbols of industry, the mallet and a gear wheel. The macaron carries the inscription in Greek “Metro Kro” or “use the measure”.

It is suggested that the laurel decorating the ends of the metre represents the triumph of the work of those who made the new metric prototypes.

According to Wikipedia: 
Hermes is the Messenger of the gods in Greek mythology. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of thieves and road travelers, of orators and wit, of literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and measures, of invention, of general commerce, and of the cunning of thieves and liars.

Hermes gives us our word "hermeneutics" for the art of interpreting hidden meaning.

In Roman mythology, Mercury was a messenger, and a god of trade, profit and commerce...

In Celtic areas, Mercury was sometimes portrayed with three heads or faces, and at Tongeren, Belgium, a statuette of Mercury with three phalli was found, with the extra two protruding from his head and replacing his nose; this was probably because the number 3 was considered magical, making such statues good luck and fertility charms.
In light of recent posts, we don't need to add much comment. Relating to Mercury, we would tentatively propose that each figure in the seal is holding some sort of phallus. They are a magical trio indeed.

In addition to being a messenger, Mercury symbolizes trade and profit. Likewise with Hermes, communicating hidden meaning, patron of industry squatting on a map. Thus confirming our suspicion that the metric system was primarily designed to facilitate commerce and measure new divisions of land in service of an emerging industrial and capitalist culture. He is the God of boundaries, invention, commerce, thieves and liars.

Finally, we would posit that the figure on the right, carrying a mallet and sitting behind a gear wheel, is none other than the Marianne, or Lady Liberty. Both can be seen pictured with laurels. Her "mallet" is more like a flag, think Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. The gear is like a shield. With shield and flag, there's also something of Pallas Athena in her.

During the French Revolution of 1789, many allegorical personifications of 'Liberty' and 'Reason' appeared. These two figures finally merged into one: a female figure....

If the figure is indeed a kind of Marianne, it would only serve to reinforce the idea that the metric system adopted by Revolutionary France was inexorably linked with progress, the advance of reason and the Republican ideal.

New measurement for a new order.

The final, central figure seems to be older and wiser than the others. There appears to some writing on her sash. Does it say Europa? Or are they just wiley wrinkles? Any insight is welcome.

The Gid has found out that the BIPM: 

"was originally charged with maintaining the international standards for various measurements, which were categorized in three "dimensions" (a poor choice of words since the measurements do not correspond to the traditional three dimensions): length, mass, and time -- which originally (?) had the base units of metre, kilogram, and second."

He proposes the three figures represent these dimensions. One can also add that the figures form a rough triangle within a circle. What do you think?

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

We want to leave these pyramids alone, honest. But they just won’t let us. A few days after posting about the StorageTek pyramid, we were confronted with yet another.

Let’s jump back a sec. We have argued that the pyramid was chosen as a symbol to honor Western social organization, wealth and power. In Blagnac wealth and power is synonymous with the aerospace industry. Architecture evokes the wings of jetliners, plane parts decorate the traffic circles, the names of streets are named for the heroes of French aviation.

The rocades are no exception. Their names link the sky to the land. The Blagnac pyramids are all situated along the Voie Lactée (Milky Way). To the south the rocade is called the Arc-en-Ciel: the Rainbow Road.

When this other pyramid made itself known, we were hesitant to post about it, for you see, it is inverted. We didn't want to push things too far, what with so many other more obvious and clear-cut cases to look at. But it is striking, situated as it is just a scant few hundred meters across from the StorageTek pyramid. What makes it harder to ignore is that it is a fountain with a pool at the base. Just like every other pyramid we have come across recently.

Of all the pyramids discussed on LoS so far, the most debatable is the one in Odyssud park. One could argue that it’s more of mound than a pyramid. Unlike the others in Place de la Revolution and the Centre Commercial Blagnac, it’s not a fountain. It does sit on an artificial lake at the center of which is an enormous fountain, but the beast itself does not spew water. But close enough for government work, eh?

We could go on about the fact the pyramid fountain adorns the entrance to Méteo France and is flanked by incongruous circular landscape architecture (a round parking lot?). That inverted it resembles a kind of funnel to concentrate the powers of the sky onto the earth (what’s a weather service for other than the measurement, prediction of and thus control of the skies?) We could mention the traffic circle decorated like a compass, perfectly oriented towards the north, which like other imagery we have seen near the pyramids, symbolically extends its power around the globe.

The pyramid is a way to raise the aristocracy and the priestly cast closer to the heavens. In this inverted pyramid (another of which can be found under the famous glass pyramid of the Louvre), we propose that the idea was to bring heavens down to earth.

The doctrine of progress and the perfection of nature is thus implicit.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Further adventures in "crypto-analytical deconstruction" (CAD)

Pyramids, keyholes, Gog/Magog and....golf?

The south side of Toulouse has, over the past 30 years, been transformed from one grid into another. Once a checkerboard of small farms and fields, it is now a checkerboard of office buildings and parking lots. Perhaps there is no more fitting symbol of the transformation of the agricultural economy into a service economy.

To link this zone d'activité to other commercial zones in and around Toulouse, a series of "rocades" have been constructed. To link Blagnac to the north in expectation of further development, the rocade is called the Voie Lactée (Milky Way). To link it to the south the rocade is called the Arc-en-Ciel (Rainbow). On both of these rocades one can see that the access preceded the need; the buildings rise up because now, they can. Their names evoke the aerospace industry which is the agglomerations breadwinner.

A few years ago a Colorado-based company called StorageTek swept into town with the promise of jobs. In exchange for creating a mere 470 jobs, the city of Toulouse gave the company 12 hectares off the Arc-en-Ciel and built a nearly 20 million-euro facility to go on it. Local municipalities also pitched in 7.31 million euros to help the company start operation. To make a long story short, StorageTek didn't come through. Not even half the promised jobs appeared and the company eventually pulled up stakes and left the place entirely, leaving a massive and expensive building and campus, replete with helicopter pad, empty. Toulouse was stuck holding the bill, and they recovered half of the sum later for promises unfulfilled.

As far as these things go, the building is rather handsome and landscaped with a subtle series of sidewalks going nowhere in strange geometric patterns; satellite photos are charmingly evocative of crop circles, at least to the imagination so inclined.

What isn't imaginary, however, is the small pyramid which is set at the entrance to the facility. (Getting a good picture of this pyramid will be tricky, but we'll see what we can do). [Got it! 10/03]

Like the pyramid at the Blagnac Centre Commercial (see Pyramid Power) it is placed within a circular base which serves as a fountain. LoS readers will also recognize this similarity to the so-called "Temple of Supreme Wisdom" in Blagnac (see Can an evil tree produce good fruit?)

Like both Blagnac fountains, a line at the top of the pyramid serves to accentuate the cap. In this case the round base serving as a pool has an oval extension in the direction of the main building which is a landscaped with palm trees and from above gives the impression of a keyhole.

The [first] picture of the pyramid shown above is nicked from a realtor's website (hope the link mollifies) which also tells us that the name of the campus is "Golf Park." Remember that in Pyramid Power we spoke of another development with an incongruously English name called "Green Park." This latter Egyptianate set of office buildings is also decorated with palms and just down the road is a monument to the A330 test flight accident which viewed from the ground gives an impression of a pyramid; from above it resembles a keyhole.

Note the repetitive circle patterns in this picture, like some sort of Kabbalistic sephirot gone awry, or even simply one giant golf course superimposed on the one the little people play on.

Just to add some spice to the mix, StorageTek left the premises after being acquired by Sun Microsystems. Sun was later acquired by Oracle. The realtor flogging the current empty space is named Bruno Pentecôte (Pentecost). What all that means is in the mind of the beholder. But why couldn't it simply be a Mr. Brown or involve companies with far less evocative names? Pentecost refers to the moment after Easter when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and caused everyone to start speaking in tongues. Or as we call it, babbling! Like a brook.

The name "Golf Park" derives from the fact that the campus sits on a golf course. Here we imply no conspiracy or intentionality, but there are many poetically resonant aspects to this association germane to this post which will become apparent in the next section. The connection between Golf and Freemasonry may or may not be intrinsic, but at least one synchromystic seems to think so. This latter link is especially resonant for LoS because it not only links golf with Freemasonry, but to the moon.

Another resonance, completely a propos of nothing, is that in researching stuff for the Gid's Gog and Magog posts, we discovered that this is the name of an elite English Golf Course! Which is pure comedy gold.

And all that water which went onto the crops now makes nice greens for those with a little disposable green.

The most important resonance is less metaphor than fact. A golf course is, after a park, probably the most blatant example of the Western man's desire to improve upon and sculpt nature, to impose a vision of order upon the organic in order to suit his purposes: to eat, play, mingle and above all, make money.

Tessellation of the plane

While there are several variations within definitions, the word "development" usually implies a notion of progress or improvement. In our opinion this notion is intrinsically linked with a linear notion of time and results in the progressive hierarchical structures one sees for example, in the military, the Boy Scouts and even that old bugaboo Freemasonry. There are systems of ranks which do in fact reach a culmination; it is a linear concept and moving towards the apex is called advancing or climbing through the ranks . Ostensibly towards the tip of a pyramidal organization.

Urban development then, is implicitly presented to people as "progress". We argue, however, that this is linked primarily to the rise of modern capitalism and Western notions of time and space. It's no secret that for many non-Western peoples the concepts of time and property ownership are radically different than our own. They simply don't exist as we envision them.

In lieu of urban development, we prefer the term tessellation of the plane. In recent posts we have rather casually linked this concept to Freemasonry, to which it is most certainly linked, but perhaps we have been unfair in our implications.

Before 1717, there is very little known about Freemasonry; there are cryptic references and speculation, but very little hard data. It would appear that in 1646 Elias Ashmole was initiated into the fraternity. This comes from his own diaries where he says "I was made a Free Mason at Warrington..." There are any number of good articles on the subject available on the web.

Warrington, incidentally, possibly derives its name from "people at the weir." A weir is a low dam. The name Washington is a similar "locational surname" which might be from weis, or wash, which is an estuary or water running in from the sea, perhaps the shallow part of a river. (See water.) Controlling the flow, anyone?

What is certain is that after 1717, the public phase of Freemasonry is well documented. We need not recount the details, but suffice it to say that in the 18th century it flourished and by century's end included notables from all walks of life: the military, the aristocracy, the world of commerce, the clergy. It's also no secret that among the revolutionary upheavals of the time, Freemasons played prominent roles: Bolivar, Washington, etc. Hence the endless reams of conspiracy theory surrounding the New World Order and the Illuminati etc. ad nauseum.

Interestingly for a period in which so many dastardly (or heroic, depending on your perspective) revolutionary deeds were ascribed to the Illuminati, we call this period the Age of Enlightenment. The period where reason and rationalism came to the forefront of intellectual life.

Freemasonry fits into all of this for its very specific rationalist worldview. Freemasonry in many ways embodies the Newtonian model of the clockwork universe. The Universe was not a chaotic and random place. It was strictly subject to laws which could be fathomed by the mind. God becomes the Great Architect of the Universe.

But Newton, rational as he may have been, was also a mystic. He was deeply interested in the Kabbala and numerology. His was a mathematical route towards the understanding of the Mind of God. The Freemasonic model of God as architect can be viewed the same way. Some have posited that the Scientific Revolution turned architecture away from a metier concerned with mystical and numerological consideration into "'blind technological intentionality'....in which rationality was its primary objective."(Albo, 2007). We would argue that while this may be true in some part, the conflict between rationality and mysticism only plays out in minds predisposed to think of them as irreconcilable. However, a fundamental esoteric tenant is the reconciliation of opposites: As Above, So Below. Rationality could be put into the service of mysticism. Newton serves as a perfect example. Freemasonry another.

Which brings us back to the tessellation of the plane. Perhaps the most blatant symbol of this doctrine is the chessboard, where black and white squares form a larger whole; the squares are interdependent within their unity for the great game. And the checkerboard pattern is a common motif in Masonic tracing boards.

Weights and Measures

In the Age of Enlightenment, aka the Age of Reason, we see other developments linked to the tessellation doctrine. The development of the metric system, for example--a perfectly rational system of measurement based upon mathematical relationships existing solely in the mind--has replaced in all but three countries old standards of measurement. Imperial measurements, for example, are based upon the human body: an inch comes from the width of the thumb (indeed the French word for inch and thumb are the same); the foot comes from the average foot. The yard an average human stride. Horses are measured in hands and so forth. Needless to say, this could lead to discrepancies and we are told that the primary motivation for France to adopt the metric system was to resolve disputes involving commerce and taxation; presumably this would extend towards the measurement of land. The metric system was adopted by France in 1791.

Speaking of land, which we feel has become of paramount importance in our apocalyptic times (see Gog and Magog: Ruminations), it was in 1790, at Napoleon's instigation, that the French were obliged to abandon their traditional provinces in favor of the current departments. This change was explicitly for the purpose of imposing a more rational structure on the land and to mitigate cultural differences in order to homogenize and unify the people. Once again, as with the adoption of the metric system the next year, the traditional, organic standards were replaced by rational and more artificial ones.

It was the Age of Enlightenment, after all, and the light of reason was held up like a lamp to illuminate the shadow of ignorance and thus dispel superstition, local tradition and notions of distinct cultural identities. For all its variety, France today remains Europe's most centralized and homogeneous state.

Across the channel in England, it may also be worth pointing out that during roughly the same period (1750-1860) the Enclosure Acts were at their zenith. Roughly speaking the Enclosure Acts were literally government acts to enclose common lands and privatize them, concentrating the land into the hands of wealthy landowners. Marxist interpretation reads this as a way to force the peasantry into the cities and thus create the proletariat, the cheap labor supply for an increasingly industrialized nation. One doesn't really need to be a Marxist to see that this was so; maybe not by design but true nonetheless; it's no coincidence that Age of Enlightenment was also concurrent with the rise of modern capitalism.

It's also no great leap to state that in addition to idealistic notions of rationality, the rearrangement of territory in back in Revolutionary France also were designed to facilitate commerce and economic development as with the adoption of new metric standards by which to measure these new arrangements.

Standardized measurement served both the interests of commerce and the division of land among an increasingly wealthy minority. It is interesting to note that George Washington, famous Freemason and revolutionary, was also a surveyor. But more importantly, he was a land speculator.

So as we run out of space to occupy, in a world where homesteading is a scandalously bygone possibility, where guys like Ted Turner buy up millions of acres of Patagonia and George Bush Senior millions of acres in Paraguay above the largest freshwater aquifer in the world, where the average person dreams the dream and puts themselves 30 to 100 years in debt to own a postage stamp somewhere in which to merely breathe free, what's left to control?

Coups d'état, even revolutions have involved re-appropriating the land and what's beneath it: gold, uranium, even water. That free air might be next. As Below So Above.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Terror Below -- The Sea

In my previous posting, I suggested that we are especially terrified by terrors below because we are instinctually programmed to expect attacks from above and beside, but never below. Yet as descendants from tree-dwelling monkeys, we carry genetical programming that does anticipate attack from below ... In other words, there’s this residual fear of attack from below, but that residual has been buried (so to speak) -- until it necessarily arises.

I suggested that this argument is especially pertinent to the sea. On the land we might presumably safely assume that nothing can attack from beneath us, but on the ocean, we ought to expect it, right?

Yet we find terrors beneath the surface of the ocean especially horrifying.

There’s this whole sense of the impossibility of boating, for example. “My God!” one ought to reasonably realize, "I’m barely suspended above miles of depths full of horrors, held barely in suspension by surface tension!" It’s the same terror that so many people feel when flying: "Wake up!" we scream inside. "My God! Falling is just pretend! We’re going to fall!"

Vertigo, that dizzying horror we feel on the edge of cliff, ought to be present in every trip on a boat. I suspect that it is there, but shoved back into the back of our minds ready to be reawakened as soon as something surfaces.

Compound this with the true horrors of the deep: sharks, giant squid, whale so big that they should see us as mere squashable gnats…

No wonder, then, that so many horror films and Greek legends have picked up our terrors from below when skimming the surface of those great unknown seas....

Anyhow, in the next couple of postings I want to first examine the more unexpected horrors of terrors beneath us while we are land, followed by an examination of related mythology.