The other night I was battling insomnia by watching the 1964 Hammer Film The Gorgon. About half way through, a dying character bids farewell to his manservant with a heartfelt “Goodbye Hans”.
Around that time I had to stop watching. Bathroom break or cat fight or something. Maybe the wife woke up and I chatted with her for a bit. When I went back to my Nook HD to finish the movie I had lost my place. So I watched a different movie Seven Psychopaths, a black comedy released on Crowleymas 2012. I know of no reason for these two movies to have anything in common. Yet at one point, maybe halfway through, a character who is about to die turns to her reflection in the window and says, “Goodbye Hans”.
Turns out Christopher Walken’s character’s first name was Hans, a fact that I never paid attention to until then. Quite a cute little bit of coincidence but I have not run into that phrase since.
“Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, thrice is enemy action” Recently read that in a Hawkgirl comic, which attributed the quote from the movie Goldfinger.
The basic premise is that there is information being ‘transmitted’ to us, disguised in the everyday noise we are bombarded with. Hidden patterns, word games, puzzles, personalized clues. We are not pretending this is sane behavior. In fact, deciphering these “messages from the Secret Masters” is nothing less than a romanticized artificial psychosis.
Hence the danger. This is Left Hand Path workings, driving yourself falsely schizophrenic based off of subjective gleanings of information. This is not a simple ladder to enlightenment. This is a journey into your own pathetic need for meaning. There is no winner, there is no prize. Once you start, the only way out is thru.
These will not be mere reviews of books, and other art. This will be a surface look at the construction of my personal Qabalah. Most of this work is gleaned from years past. I no longer torture myself with daily workings. My past work has brought me to a different, hopefully better, perception. However, one cannot just abandon the work once one sees the light. Keep in mind the daily lesson of the false dawn.
I devoured these 10 books in about a week and a half and recommended them to middle school kids for about 2 months after. Then I was done. No interest in the 2nd series. I had completion. It was a great run. I never felt dumbed down to, the concepts were equally something both my 42 year-old self and your favorite middle school-er could investigate. There is definitely a bit of conspiracy horror, but there is no overt racism or idiot “symbology”. That is still not a word, Dan Brown. After a good cooling period I went on to the 2nd series. No interest here, I’m afraid. The writing was up to par. I can deal with vague Modern World settings but vague Pre-Industrial, I lose interest. My fault. Props to all the authors that involved themselves with this project, you are mighty mighty unto the lore.
Conflict by Poul Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A book of short stories with the titular central theme. Very enjoyable, though after the first several few stories standout. They are all well written, and certainly worth the time. This is the serious side of Poul, no Space Traders or medieval tomfoolery. High standard works from an exceptional author.
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The Call of the Sword by Roger Taylor
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
didn’t bother finishing it. Halfway through and the plot still hadn’t started yet. the world setting was nowhere interesting enough to keep me going. No thanks.
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As a stand alone, this book is good, a little rough around the edges and a little light on characterization. The problem? Ender’s Game was such a wonderful read, it’s one of those books i scoop up every time i find it at Goodwill and immediately try to find some who hasn’t read it yet to give it too. And the trilogy that followed was soooo damn serious. So i understand what Mr Card was trying to do, recapture some of the wonder and fun of his original setting. Didn’t necessarily work for me. Bean’s genius came off as exaggerated and the premise behind it seemed stretched. The villain was a cut-out and i’m getting tired of ‘found-family’ happy endings. Not Mr. Card’s best.