RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Thursday, August 30

SONG OF THE DAY: Cell Therapy (Chopped Not Slopped)


I miss the days of conspiracy theories requiring books, or at the very least printed matter. The entire Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars reveal of the pale horse allegedly came about because of a surplus copy machine with a manual copy left inside by accident. It was born from printed material. Whether that story is true or not is beside the point. Conspiracy theories were slow burners shared with meticulously created materials culled from sources both real and imagined to manufacture this aura of credibility to the notion that there were dastardly humans concocting and perpetuating bastard master plans to influence the course of history, in large or small ways. The pulpy fleshiness of actual books made it seem possible, and yet hardly anybody believed it, because marginal books put out by questionable outlets were laughed at by right-thinking people firmly washed in the mainstream of western civilization.
Fast forward to now, once the idea of books (and most forms of artistic culture) have been fragmented into shards of information stabbed into the internet’s relentless shit storm of pseudo-knowledge, which don’t have to be well-researched and believable to become absorbed by the critically thinking psyche; they just have to stab through the cracks in a person’s metaphysical make-up. And because of this, conspiracies run so rampant that they actually have taken hold in a sizeable part of the public, where some dude you work with might suddenly secretly reveal he’s red pill woke to you in private conversation (at least to me, as I am a white dude), and start dropping Qanon mentions as if there’s some credibility to any of it.
I used to love conspiracy theories when I was younger, and a big part of that was the unstable background I came from, attempting to transition upwards in class and station, and that brought up internal questions like “how come I’m not where these other people are already?” Conspiracy theories gave an explanation, which fuck, we all want explanations for the unexplainable. That’s the reason we have religion, science, and conspiracies – to explain the shit that makes no sense. Obviously the underlying fault in this process is that everything is supposed to make sense, and that there is an actual foundational “sense” that even exists in the first place.
Oddly, as internet culture became more pervasive than weird ass book shop culture, and conspiracies started to thrive in the petri dishes of message boards becoming mainstream, I believed less and less in them. At one point, I wondered if this was just me being contrarian, thinking “oh well if any random motherfucker on reddit can believe a conspiracy theory now, why bother?” but I came to realize it’s because I no longer believed in the foundation of conspiracy theories, which is that a group of human beings could conceivably plan and execute such complicated plans secretly, without fucking it up. The biggest fault in thinking conspiracy theories might work is basic human nature – people are always flawed, and tend to fuck things up. So if you have a large group of people attempting to do some secretive shit, they will fuck it up.
Another aspect to human nature, which goes back to that desire to make “sense” of everything, is that we can find meaning in everything, as a means of manufacturing that sense. I remember being an English major undergrad doing explications of old ass poems, and how we were trained to discern deeper meaning from a poet’s lines. As a poet, it always seemed like such a bullshit task because a lot of times, as a poet, you’re not really thinking too hard so much as being a conduit for some unexplainable shit shooting through you that comes out as words. And you might tinker and concoct and add some direction and meaning to it, but that’s very limited and also an accidental combination with the raw flow that just pops the fuck out your heart and mind when writing. But yo, you could easily bust out a three page explication of a twenty line poem. You can drill in and find deeper meaning in anything.
And this is exactly what online conspiracy theories have become. The entire Qanon phenomenon is very basic cryptic messages being hashed out by a crowd of message board explicators into a deep and significant meaning. When you add in the bonus ego-chemical boost of being able to figure out something regular (normie) people cannot, it’s no wonder digital conspiracy theories have spread so widely that we have an actual President who hints at these somewhat preposterous notions openly. But there’s also this overload of data to cull through, so that when you see a kid from a mass shooting high school show up in a vacation video across the country, people grasping for meaning will decide crisis actors are real and mass shootings are made up.
But as someone who used to sell drugs, carefully and selectively, do you realize how fucking hard it would be to actually have crisis actors to play these manufactured roles in manufactured situations, and have all of them do their job without fucking up obviously, so that these alleged false flags could be flown? That shit is literally impossible. In fact, I fucking dare you to perform the following test – the Saturday afternoon cookout conspiracy theory test. I want you to have a cookout with twenty people taking a different role in making this cookout happen. Each of those twenty people can invite a few people they see fit, but your select twenty is delegated, by you, with the task of making the basic cookout happen – food, plates, music, drink, dominos, whatever else you deem necessary for the conspiracy of a good cookout to happen. You don’t even have to have the goal of having the best cookout ever, which would be the equivalent of a successful enough false flag operation to actually make it to full media scrutiny without falling apart. Just have a cookout. And see how well it goes. I mean, chances are you’ll have a cookout, but somebody in your core execution team of the conspiracy is going to fuck up somehow. Somebody’s gonna be absentee, or will flail, or show up with the wrong piece performed on their part than what was delegated to them. Somebody will hand something off to somebody else who never actually catches what was handed off to them, and you’re likely going to end up with some very simple problems like no hot dog buns, or no non-alcoholic drinks for the kids, or not enough ice, or damn where’s your boy D did nobody tell D? But I challenge you to try this conspiracy to have a good cookout challenge.
Two things will come from it… The first is that lmao no fucking way are conspiracy theories possible for the most part. Humans are too human, and we might be able with our human potential to execute heavy handed power grabs towards fascism like we are seeing currently in the United States, but secretive conspiracies are in all likelihood impossible, and also probably give ourselves far too much credit as being more advanced than we actually are as a species.
But secondly, you’ll have a cookout. This allows you to kick it with real live humans, flaws and all, in a real life environment, free (to an extent) from the digital petri dishes that let our worst fears and misinformed concerns grow unchecked. Real life kicking it stomps out digital poisons, as you become more immune to senseless fears when you realize there’s no ultimate sense to everything and everybody is trying to make sense of this senselessness just like you, and it’s better to share serotonin and dopamine boosting good times together than to sit there festering in fear and loathing and spiral yourselves closer to embracing oblivion as a pseudo-intelligent supreme wokeness. So I hope you have a cookout, and conspire more to conspiracy less. The only real conspiracy is that each of our time on this Earth is limited, and we only got one of us each, so we best make the best of it. Not the most, but the best. Your most is not your best. My most is not my best. Most folks don’t believe that, but the best folks have learned it, often times in hard ways.

[If you made it this far, be aware I have a patreon where I am going to start publishing a lot more of my meandering philosophies in traditional raven mack forms moving forward. Support if you can, and want to. Art wants to be free, but unfortunately, humans are not.]

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