My days of STFI are soon to be ending, as I will be returning to a new office a few days per week, starting next week. After that, it will be Staying Mostly the Fuck Inside, although realistically speaking, it’s become Staying Somewhat the Fuck Inside for a while now. If the next variant gets stupid, then we’ll adjust levels of STFI accordingly.
I’m reading Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica by Erik Davis. His book TechGnosis is a favorite of mine, and reading through this one, I’m surprised that I hadn’t read it sooner. That said, I’m finding much in it that seems timely for where/who-I-am than it may have been had I read it in grad school. Except I couldn’t have read it in grad school, since it came out in 2010. We had the kid in 2011. We’ve been busy.
This, of course, has made me nostalgic for the joy of stumbling upon books like Apocalypse Culture, or the Rapid Eye books, or many similar tomes that always seemed to have an interview with Genesis P-Orridge in them. Finding, and reading one of these books was eye-opening in the pre- and early-Internet days. Now, of course, you can find anything and everything and things you didn’t even think to think to look for online. We are victims of our own success. Sure, there’s probably an underground somewhere, well, underground. But what’s going on there is anyone’s guess, and given how much WTF there is above ground, I’m not sure I really want to know. What will my kid make of these books, or the works of Hakim Bey, or Terrence McKenna, or Robert Anton Wilson? Will he feel the same disappointment at the revelation of some of Peter Lamborn Wilson’s more unsavory tastes? Or will all of this just be mere antiquated sociological curiosity, like fucked up versions of old National Geographic issues?
Coupled with this nostalgia is my continued nostalgia for music that realistically speaking, I’m probably one of a small handful of people (that I can think of) who even remembers it or gives a shit about. Disposable dance tracks that used to be in heavy rotation at a gay club in Baltimore that I frequented in the early 90s. My time there was a fundamental building block of who I am, and my unquenchable thirst for new sonic experience led me to take a deep dive into the genre for a while. I have about 6 hours of music from the club that took years to hunt down. If I’m feeling down, or need motivation, I send myself back to 1992 and I can still smell the sweat, the drinks, and the smoke machine, and feel the heat and the bass reverberating from the speakers. Flashing lights, and friends I haven’t seen or spoken to in (Jesus Christ) 30 years now. Where are they? How are they? What has happened to them? Do they wonder this about me? Do they remember any of this music? Does it matter to them as much as it does to me? Or am I more like Gary King of the Humans than I want to admit?
Okay. I am Gary King of the Humans.
Back to Nomad Codes, I realize that this is a book I wish I’d written, or could have written. At the same time, I realize that I could maybe put together my own version of something like this. A memoir of travels both outer and inner. Erik Davis and I have crossed paths exactly once, in real life. He showed up at a talk I gave (or attended, I don’t remember) to a small group of people in Berkeley once. I wish I’d had a chance to talk with him more than I did. On the other hand, I keep nervously waiting to see if he brings it up in this book. That evening would not be out of place in here.
Apologies for the brain dump.
I’m trying to make room for other things.