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By David Metcalfe (originally presented on The Eyeless Owl)
The initial symptoms have escalated into a monstrous plague. It does not require much imagination to locate the underworld within a scarred, butchered landscape. Industrial wasteland, inhumane concrete hovels, resembling rabbit hutches stacked up on top of one another. “ - Jaz Coleman, The Courtauld Talks “For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” - Luke 23:29-31 One of the first cd’s that I bought was Killing Joke’s Pandemonium. This, along with Psychic TV’s Force Thee Hand of Chance, a recording of French Motets and The Orb’s Orblivion album, formed the core repeating repertoire of albums guiding my young mind on a Euro-mystic journey into the cultural abyss. While my friends where dosing
. As I read through the reviews in the U. this stilted categorization couldn’t be farther from their goal.themselves on Marylin Manson. marketing a niche or grappling with the low hanging fruit of criticizing contrived conspiracy theories. Is it really necessary to keep flipping the fundamentalist or science coin. Now 15 years later I’m encountering those formative experiences in a different light. press I was struck by just how far we are from a rational cultural narrative. is a violent purgative for the paranoia that’s been eating its way into the collective consciousness. solve et coagula. their incendiary musical exorcism of mediocrity. If you dig deeper the real story starts to unveil itself. The cognitive dissonance in this presentation is lost on writers bent on exposing imaginary satanists. Applying the Paracelsean maxim. fire and cleansing. Why is the music often so brutal? “It is a homeopathic principle. Killing Joke is about “catharsis”. I was dreaming Druidry and the synchronistic sublime. Their positivity is lost on a media quick to declare them dark and sinister ministers of doom. “the dose makes the poison”. the first since 1982 to include the original line up. Killing Joke’s latest album Absolute Dissent. For Jaz and Co. they’re a bunch of cunning satanists. Coleman describes it in Aristotilean terms. Such a cure for a sickness involves experiencing a little of the essence of sickness” Coleman explains in the lecture he presented at the Courtauld Institute of Fine Art in 1987. Metallica and NIN. It’s all about fire. watching for which limited viewpoint lands to call the next shot? Does this idiocy have to filter in to the arts as well? If we take the media’s view of Killing Joke’s philosophy we’re presented with fallow choices.S. repression and the irresponsible whims of Western culture returns to take on the infection of the Infowars contingent reminding us we really do have a choice in changing the path we’re heading down. kao et order. The cure for a sickness is accomplished by dosing the patient with minute quantities of substances which in larger doses would actually create the very symptoms of the sickness. It’s hard to understand the full impact of Killing Joke without an understanding of the Western Mystery Tradition. violent musicians or they’re conspiracy kooks.
“Life is the location of your gift. Stuck between the post-human parlour tricks of Gaga. as Coleman puts it. and global catastrophe from designer diseases and out of control AI. “human beings don’t change unless they get a big jolt. feeling outside of everything. the potential for division between those who choose enhancements and those who don’t. mass starvation. nor fearful lamentations . and the banal fear mongering of fundamentalists. their souls will have died years ago. are balanced by a darker side in decreased privacy.We live in trying times. facing climate change. are not closed ended messages of doom. cognitive enhancement. which find their inspiration in these debates. and calls to action. life extension. The positive implications. The bands violent presence intends towards a homeopathic cure for the decline of Western society. we haven’t reached the final stage of evolution yet. from helpful Artificial Intelligence. global thought leaders gathered to discuss how advanced technology is reaching a point of no return.” Killing Joke is that jolt. and the development of it” according to Coleman. Neither a fan of post-human rhetoric. nuclear proliferation.” unfortunately.” How could a band that uses the figurehead of the Fool take any other course? Step off the edge smiling. “it’s just a change. a controlled dose of the violence that surrounds us acting to inoculate those capable of being tried by fire. At the World Futurist Society conference in 2010. “we were all really angry when we were younger. Coleman channels the same fire that pushed Giordano Bruno to expound the virtues of de gli eroici furori. genetic engineering and advanced robotics. Killing Joke’s given us the opportunity to find our path and supported us the whole way.” . People living in a posthuman world for 400-500 years. our society has very few potential solutions being offered to measure a reasonable reaction. Coleman is firm in his conviction. “I don’t think this biotech/nanotech is going to turn out very well. a safe dose of the hatred. wars and disease. or the heroic furies. the scientific community is saying that if we don’t change what we’re doing immediately we’re going to need a new planet by 2030. Songs like Here Comes the Singularity . “We’re hurtling towards disaster. but warnings. a fractured economy.” While others face global catastrophe with a worried blink. there’s no other path to take. vitriol and pollution that corrodes our culture.
for Coleman. What many have mistaken as demonic possession is better understood as a sacred calling to purify the soul of the West from centuries of slow decline. “David Icke said that my friend Laurence Gardner was a reptilian. I’m seeking transmission and I get in a trance-like state. an event that caused the break up of the original band. however.) It’s a powerful ritual. rumored to have proven too difficult for even English Adept Aleister Crowley. The mask isn’t for other people’s benefit. I assure you. It’s very important. that is their magic…with an affinity for “decontruction and reconstruction” (they) share the ability to separate and regroup elements of psychological process. ultimately in the service of renewal” When looked at in that light.The media reacted with disdain when Coleman and Geordie canceled obligations in 1982 to head to Iceland. This wasn’t a holiday however. The idea of taking the mask off…if you don’t take the mask off. that some woman had seen him . in an interview for the website Invisible Oranges he describes the purpose of his altered persona on stage: “We put on the mask and take off the mask.” From the casual reader’s stand point the conspiranoia rampant in our culture is nothing more than info-porn. Coleman fits the bill. his willingness to explore the outer edges of culture for the sake of the Sacred isn’t something easily swallowed by the status quo. a connective consciousness to a person’s role in a unified vision of life. shape-shifters amplify. It’s interesting to see what this means on an archetypal and mytho-poetic level. you take that world into your own life…We are well aware of the energies that surround us in Killing Joke and the peculiarities. The Book of Symbols. When I go onstage. As he points out in the Courtauld talk. what we miss is the pain of being on the other side of someone’s paranoia and the poison this puts in the mental reservoir of our culture. “the fundamentals of such performance are clearly routed in the venerable healing magic of the ancients. The archetype of the shape-shifter as portrayed in the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism’s recent publication. Central to this very old form of therapy is the idea that if you suffer from the underworld you can only be cured in the underworld. the vision and presence of a high priest of the sacred flame. People often invoke the appellation of shaman for Jim Morrison. It’s for my own protection. shares none of the negative or paranoid qualities assumed by the mainstream dialogue: “The world is interconnected and always changing. Conspiracy bloggers have said that Coleman is a “shape-shifter”. it provided the full flowering of his gift. Journalists often fixate on Coleman’s stage presence. reveal or hide this process. Coleman and Geordie were looking for some peace of mind and space to enact the Abramelin Working and contact their Holy Guardian Angel (or what Socrates called the ‘genius’. in Coleman this vocation is more than just stage pageantry.” There’s a problem when the chorus of our culture can’t differentiate a healing balm from a blast of brimstone.
in which he becomes the symbol of freedom and brotherhood that is all to often missing in our time. an apotheosis (a raising to divinity) for Raven’s spirit is presented. On Absolute Dissent the bonds of friendship form a central theme. commissioned by the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden London and they met again in 2003 at the Occulture Lectures in Brighton. In the song The Raven King. Paul Raven. If truth were ever to emerge in their critiques it would be mired by their uncritical experiments in chimerical bullshit. The Imperial and Royal Dragon Court and Order. . support of the downtrodden.The Marriage at Cana.” Coleman remembers with sadness. upholding of peace.sacrificing babies. defense of the feminine (taken in the occult sense as the matrix of creation and the Holy Mother Earth). UK. It deeply troubles Coleman that someone who was so focused on freedom would be accused of being involved in a conspiracy against humanity. Gardner was a member of the Ordo Dragonis..” The question becomes.” Gardner and Coleman’s friendship formed when they collaborated in 2001 on an opera. By presenting this information with the breathless malevolence of a masturbatory voyeur these critics expose the fragile basis for their claims. conspiracy blogger Chris Knowles wrote even more disparagements and accusations alleging Coleman’s untoward involvement in an occult conspiracy against Raven. “Laurence was suffering from a prolonged illness and at the end of his life he’s got a bunch of people harassing him with that shit. Laurence Garder is best known for his explorations of the Gnostic themes that Dan Brown borrowed and made popular in his Da Vinci Code trilogy. “Forever in this moment. which is described as “(providing) a fraternal rallying standard for those of all creeds and cultures who are dedicated to preserving the rights and values of others. spiritual symbol of their true purpose. Rejecting those who would control us. to publicly exchange works. Touched by a common genius. that’s complete crap. Again we find some mytho-poetic truth in Icke’s identification. Their mutual admiration was based on a shared respect for chivalric virtues that most of society has long left behind. and oft times Killng Joke bassist. if all of these ‘sinister forces’ stand against tyranny and control…who do the journalists and conspiracy mongers support? It’s a cruel irony that shortly after the death of his close friend. protection of the Earth. and the pursuit of knowledge. something lives on. All bound by fate and common purpose . This focus recommends a positive solution to the poison of conspiratorial whispers. Death is not the end.” Coleman’s lyrics speak to his deep respect for ancestral spirits and for the presence of allies in the present walk. and Raven has become a guiding force for Killing Joke.
” So that’s the sinister plot my friends. is one of self education. and the Asia-Pacific Union. The Americas. a global republic with “every citizen required to debate. and realize ‘If they can do it…I can too. For all his showmanship. outside a farmer’s market with locally grown produce. “We call it the mirror effect in Killing Joke. Again from the Invisble Oranges interview: “The only logical answer is to divide the world into four blocks. If there is something sinister it’s the fantasies of our culture’s demented chorus who’ve forgotten that the mask means protection.Killing Joke’s legacy. and all we can hear are their feeble mutterings against the red light of dawn. It promises to provide a more rounded picture of the band and their unique philosophy of social renewal. and enjoys spending time on his land in New Zealand where he dreams of a sustainable future and an enlightened society renewed by a respect for the cycles of nature. the bonds of brotherhood and unflinching motivation. people come to the show and see a bunch of assholes on stage who’ve done all that we’ve done. The African Union. Cafes with art galleries and live music. Or it could be an authoritarian model. and to some how control the dangers of over population and wars that have marked the 20th century. without it they’re blinded by the sun’s illumination. He lives an austere life with few possessions. and a life lived in the beauty of the natural cycles that surround us. Then a world council that will be annexed onto the exiting U. as Coleman likes to see it. That’s the only way to solve all of these problems effectively at once. in person Coleman couldn’t be farther from the malevolent force he’s so often accused of being. We have a choice there also. “Think of it.” For Coleman a one world government is necessary to curb the irresponsibility that’s grown from corporate manipulations of the populace.” Coleman has been working with ILC Productions / Coffee Films on a documentary. . they focus on the dream of an interconnected web of self reliant villages and self educated polymaths. the European Union.” he says. to explore the journey that Killing Joke has taken over the past 32 years. self reliance. the brotherhood of man.” Production on the documentary involved Coleman’s direct involvement.N. “every village must be self reliant. responsibility. It could be the dream of Beethoven and Schiller. and if the trailer is any indication it will be one of the most interesting documentaries on a band that’s been made. The Death and Resurrection Show. Inspired by the Rosicrucian ideals that arose in Europe during the 17th century. And now you see! It could still go two ways.
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