I have decided upon a new Rauschmonstrum Remix for the holiday season.
I have decided upon a new Rauschmonstrum Remix for the holiday season.
In a previous post I said Donald Trump’s campaign was dead in the water. This was shortly after the “Grab ‘Em by the Pussy” tapes were released, when many other folks were writing obituaries for the campaign. (That’s still no excuse for me to make the same mistake) Anyway, I was wrong and so I must apologize. Donald, you ran the craziest campaign of all time and now you’ve pulled off the greatest political upset of all time, (Dewey vs. Truman is overrated) you deserve props, at least for that. In this piece I will explore further some of the things I mentioned in my previous blog on Trump.
When I think of the words “The Trump Campaign” my mind is filled with images of Trump at his rallies in his red hat, shouting whatever comes to his mind, along with this are memories of him tearing down “Low Energy” Jeb, “Lying” Ted, and “Little” Marco. I also think about him telling Clinton she was “WRONG” and that if he won he would put her in jail. What an insane campaign.
For most of his life, the Donald hung out with A-List celebrities, but none of those people would dare be seen with him after he started his campaign, and instead it was Clinton who was getting to hang out with the top Hollywood players. The working class folks of Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin certainly noticed how Trump had left the winner’s circle in order to be with them, and that may have been what carried him over the top on Election Day. The Manhattan billionaire spurned polite society to become an outlaw. If he had lost he wouldn’t have been able to return to their ranks. He did so many things which would have destroyed anybody else, yet here he is. There’s gotta be something to be said about that.
One of my main points in my “Trump’s Death Drive” blog was on our overexposure to information. My quote was “The more information is out there, the harder it is to discern lies from reality. It is this quality which makes the modern world the perfect lair for The Donald.” What I didn’t go into was the divide between the mainstream media and the “not so mainstream” media. CNN is a good standard bearer for everything the mainstream media represents, and on the “not so mainstream” media side we should look towards Breitbart.
Our friend Steve Bannon (I shall refer to him as “our friend” here because why call him something else and risk his wrath?) made his triumphant arrival into the national spotlight by heading the Trump campaign’s during its last couple months, and in the process he was able to take his fringe right wing website and place it head to head against CNN, the NY Times, and all the other respectable media institutions. Who won? Bannon’s victory in the propaganda department may actually be more important than Trump’s victory in the political department. I predict Breitbart will in the coming years be considered a more and more legitimate place to get your information while CNN, the NY Times, and all the others will be treated less and less so. This is the chaos Trump and Bannon have wrought.
In my previous blog I said “Trump’s gambit as that truth is absolutely irrelevant, that it is something which had a good run and should now be put out to pasture.” I went on to say that Trump was just a tad wrong about truth being dead, but back then I thought he would lose! Trump won! Truth may actually be dead! What have we done?
This takes us once again to the subject of death drive. Trump ran a campaign where he always teetered on the edge of going too far and destroying himself. Yet somehow, that didn’t happen. He has become a triumphant political force, the likes of which we have never seen before in American history. In my previous post I said that the problem with running a campaign on death drive is you are fated to failure, but that didn’t happen! Now let’s see what Donald can do with this.
I don’t dig these letters to the Thessalonians. First off you warn against sensuality. What the fuck are you talking about? Nobody wants to hear this. Just because you’re a celibate preacher (nobody causes more issues than you celibate preachers) doesn’t mean you should ruin everyone else’s fun. Encourage everyone to fuck and they’ll gladly listen to the rest of your message.
In these letters you also make the mistake of telling everyone you expect Jesus to return during your lifetime. He ain’t coming back in your lifetime or anyone else’s lifetime, he’s gone, and he wasn’t magic. By claiming he’s coming back you’re setting Christianity up for a premature death. If you make people expect a Return from him soon and he never shows up, then they’re going to lose interest in you and the movement is out of luck. Be sure to avoid slip-ups like this in the future.
[This passage appears within the book Further Sketches of the Rauschmonstrum]
I hear you had a vision of Jesus in the road to Damascus. Maybe you really do think you saw him, or maybe you’re just having a laugh on everyone. It doesn’t make a difference to me. What matters to me is how you use your time spreading your message henceforth.
The truth is Jesus of Nazareth was not the Son of God. He was just a deluded fellow I conned into bringing my plans into fruition. You can do with this information as you wish, I don’t care. You can quit this Christ stuff right now and go back to being a lawyer, or you can be one of the most important people who has ever lived. I am already certain of which choice you will make. Remember, facts are not important when it comes to persuading people, emotions and desires are what’s important.
I will have much more to discuss with you during the coming years.
Keep on Keeping On,
[This passage appears within the book Further Sketches of the Rauschmonstrum]
I’ve been reading some of the letters you’ve been writing to the Romans and Corinthians, and whoever the hell else. I’m not impressed. How about instead of your wind bag letters you wrote a story about the life of Jesus, a gospel if you will. You don’t know this yet but several folks are going to be writing stories these in the coming years, why don’t you do it yourself? After all you’ve been doing more to spread the message than anyone else thus far. Certainly more than any of his twelve bumbling disciples did.
If you decide to do this let me give you some help. Have Jesus be a wandering preacher who has lots of sex. The reason he goes from place to place could be because he keeps impregnating the women of the towns he preaches in. This is a common thing which occurs with charismatic speakers. Presenting Jesus as guided by his libido will make him a good role model for those who read your gospel. They’ll be healthier, happier, and will “be fruitful and multiply” as it is said God said to Noah. (Actually I was the one who said that to Noah. I knew the worst flood in history was happening and the only way to convince Noah to build that fucken ark and take those animals along was to pretend to be God.)
You would also be wise to include dragons in your Gospel. People like the idea of dragons, and if you had a passage of Jesus riding a dragon the image would be on stained-glass windows in every church the world over come 1000 years. For similar reasons, using trolls, goblins, and dwarves in your story would be a good idea as well. Are you afraid these inclusions would make the story outrageous? I’ve got news for you, the story is already ludicrous. (Virgin births and a man coming back from the dead? Come on.)
You should have him and his disciples sing and dance a lot too. Perhaps those around him could refer to him as the Singing Messiah and his Merry Band of Dancing Disciples. Is that too long? I don’t think so. Oh and this one is important, give him a good sense of medical science, not what people in your time and place foolishly refer to as medical science but actual medical science. I’m attaching to this letter a separate piece of paper in which I wrote some precepts which will put the scientific knowledge of your world into hyper drive.
Perhaps most importantly, if you decide to write your own Gospel, be sure to avoid placing the blame for Jesus’ death squarely on the Jews. Do not mention “blood guilt” or anything else like that. Trust me, doing that will cause some problems in the future .
If you abide by these elements I think you’ll have yourself a pretty good gospel, definitely better than any of the others that may be created.
[Unfortunately due to issues with postage, Paul never received the Rauschmonstrum’s letter. Who knows how the course of history would have changed if he had.]
I’ve been reading about Situationism and Guy Debord’s work “Society and the Spectacle.” It got me thinking how my character. The Rauschmonstrum fits into this philosophy, particularly the concept of detournement. Namely, both of them exist for the purpose of chaos.
Detournement is French for “hijacking.” In Situationism it refers to the process by which previously created pieces of art are altered so that their new purpose is counter to what their original purpose was. When I wrote my book “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum,” I had never heard of Situationism or any of the concepts associated with it before. However my purposes for writing it were very similar to why people use the detournement technique. I wanted to use The Rauschmonstrum to turn the Gospels, and the whole Christian narrative against itself. I wanted to expose its flaws and make the mythological aspects of the story more apparent by injecting it full of a myth of my own creation.
I have also inserted the image of the Rauschmonstrum into previously created paintings, as well as photographs of different famous people. I think of this as Rausch Grafitti.
The fact that the Rauschmonstrum is extremely crudely drawn is not lost on me; it’s kind of the point. His grin is just too much! To me it all has a “Memento Mori”-ish quality, which suits him. On top of all this, he’s pretty easy to draw this way.
I never liked the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and so I revised into it my own “Rauschmonstrum Remixed” version in order to flip the entire story on its head. I plan on doing this to other previous pieces of literature for further “Rauschmonstrum Remixes.” I think the Rauschmonstrum could really liven up the books “Dracula” and “Frankenstein,” and due to ol’ Rausch’s characteristics as a shape shifter and immortal, the possibilities are endless.
Ultimately my wish is for others to use the Rauschmonstrum for similar purposes on their own. In this way, the Rauschmonstrum will play a sizable role in “disrupting the flow of the spectacle” which is everything detournement is meant to do.
“The fool’s standpoint is that all social institutions are games. He sees the whole world as game playing. That’s why, when people take their games seriously and take on stern and pious expressions, the fool gets the giggles because he knows that it is all a game.”
“All humane people should admit that they are jokers; that they are playing games and playing tricks.”
I’d like to go a little bit into Alan Watts’ idea of jokers (or fools), and how the characteristics of Watts’ Joker can be related to the character of The Rauschmonstrum in my book “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum”
Watts discusses his idea of jokers in several of his lectures. He describes the archetype of the joker as followed:
Qualities of Watts’ Joker
The Rauschmonstrum has many similarities with Watts’ Joker. For one thing The Rauschmonstrum is as slippery as they come, always changing his appearance, and altering the pillars reality is based on wherever he goes. To him, everything is constructed out of deception, the way he is constructed out of smoke. His humor is dark, and he seems to take joy in the joke he is playing, while Jesus and everyone else in Judea take it all quite seriously.
The Rauschmonstrum is clearly anti-establishment After all, at the get-go of the book it is made clear he does not like the Roman’s occupation of Judea and does not like the laws of Judaism. It is for this reason he decides to see them done away with and transforms Jesus into a false messiah. This is matched with Ol’ Rausch’s desire to play a big trick on mankind. At the start of the story the Rauschmonstrum wants to trick mankind with a false messiah simply to amuse himself, but as time goes on he decides he may well be performing this trick for humanity’s own good as well.
Interestingly enough Watts once described Jesus himself as a jester, saying “of course the church formed itself around a particular jester who couldn’t be stood and thus had to be crucified, it was just too much.” Jesters all abound!
I think about Sam Harris’ book “Free Will” a lot. When it comes to moments in my life which do not sit well with me I often reflect if whether these things were bound to happen due to a combination of events which came before it and which I had no control over. When I was facing a fork in the road could I have simply ignored that impulse to go the way I did, and instead go the other way? If I had, would it have mattered?
For this post I am going to take some of the things Harris brings up in “Free Will” and apply them to my book “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum.”
The Rauschmonstrum’s Free Will
As “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum” points out at the start of the story the Rauschmonstrum is alone. He has been thrown into this world with no sense of where he came from. He has no family and there are no creatures resembling him. Immortal, he has no better way to occupy the time but to wander the Earth. The thing which interests him the most is observing humans. Although he has a genuine interest in them, he also despises them due to the flaws in their nature. It is for this reason he decides to play a trick on Jesus of Nazareth to make him think he is the son of God, putting the events into place which lead to the establishment of Christianity, and the consequences thereof.
However, were the Rauschmonstrum’s actions voluntary? Did he have free will? He took lots of time to put his plan into action, but did he have a choice to make these plans? Was it simply something bund to happen out of a combination of the experiences ol’ Rausch had had up to that point along with the thoughts which appeared in his mind? If these were the only variables in play I would say he does not have free will. However, there is more. Later on in the story when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Rauschmonstrum considers everything he has done to this point and has second thoughts about leading Jesus off to his doom. He considers changing course and allowing Jesus to live on, unburdened of his delusion he is the son of God. If somebody takes opportunities to reflect on what they have been doing, and consider changing before going right back to what they are doing is this not a utilization of free will? I would say yes it is.
Then again, there are aspects about the Rauschmonstrum which make things all the more complex, in that he has the power to do just about anything. (Shape shifting, making things appear and disappear, healing the sick, raising the dead, etc.) Humans have limitations to what they can do and this limits their ability to do as they want. The Rauschmonstrum does not have this problem. I think this only strengthens the case for him possessing free will.
Jesus’ Free Will
In “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum” Jesus is just plain duped by the Rauschmonstrum. Ol’ Rausch appealed to false conceptions Jesus already had about himself and reinforced these beliefs again and again and again. How would Jesus have been able to break away from the Rauschmonstrum’s puppeteer strings and live out his life in a different way? The only way would have been for the Rauschmonstrum to change his mind about what he was doing to Jesus, and stop. Since this means Jesus’ behavior was directly dependent on another being’s decision there is no way Jesus possesses free will in “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum.”
In the future I’ll probably make a post about the version of Jesus presented in the Gospels and examine whether that character possesses free will.
Hitchens was by far the greatest orator I’ve ever seen. He was also the finest advocate for atheism to be found on the web. (much love to Dawkins and Harris.) Who knows how many he won over thrashing persons of faith in debates, and through his prolific appears on the talk show circuit, his powers on best display on the Charlie Rose Show and Real Time With Bill Maher. In print Hitchens wasn’t quite as effective. His articles and books rarely live up to the power of his speaking ability, but then again how could they? That being said, the wisdom he shares in print is quite palpable, as he thrashed against Mother Teresa and Henry Kissinger for their fraudulence and ill-will, and praised Jefferson and Paine for their rationalism.
Nobody outside of a handful of legendary actors, musicians and novelists ever looked as cool with a cigarette in their hand as much as Hitch. (Never touch the stuff kids, it eventually killed him.) He looked damn good with a drink in his hand as well. Hitchens was oh so brash and smug, and never back away from a fight, though I wish he had backed off his support of the Iraq War. He was one of those rare people who gave off the impression of knowing everything, rather than just somebody who pretends to know everything; those people are a dime a dozen. And oh how he hated religion! He treated it with the contempt it deserved and wouldn’t give an inch to anyone who thought otherwise. His quote on the then recently deceased Jerry Falwell, “if you gave Falwell an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox” is one for the ages. Perhaps the biggest shame about his early death is that it happened just as both he and his views on religion were hitting the mainstream.