Who is the new Pope, same as the old Pope?
January 14, 2012 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Who is the 21st Century Robert Anton Wilson?

The recent RAW post made me wonder. Who is the author teens and 20s are reading today that will have the same effect on them that reading RAW in my 20s had on me?
posted by wittgenstein to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
That is a fantastic post, but how would you describe the effect he had on you and your thinking? Those kinds of specifics will help.
posted by safetyfork at 7:58 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: RAW blew my mind when I first read him, introducing me to a whole bunch of authors and ideas I would never have come in contact with otherwise. Even though I don't think he was right about everything, I enjoyed the trip he took me on. (I am thinking mainly of his nonfiction though others probably feel the same way about his fiction.)
posted by wittgenstein at 8:04 AM on January 14, 2012

Best answer: Yesterday I listened to the Expanding Minds podcast Erik Davis and Jeffrey Kripal and definitely got a little of that RAWster buzz off it. In fact I may listen to it again this morning it was that good.


Link to Kripal's book on the history of Esalen which is very good although not as overtly enthusiastically druggy as RAW.
posted by bukvich at 8:46 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Alan Moore.
posted by empath at 9:13 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also Grant Morrison.
posted by empath at 9:14 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

2nd Moore & Morrison.
posted by bukvich at 9:17 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Daniel Pinchbeck, and seconding Erik Davis (see his 1999 epic "TechGnosis")
posted by Roach at 10:19 AM on January 14, 2012

Maybe someone like the writers who came out of Something Awful? Zack Pearson is doing some mind-bending SF lately.
posted by The Whelk at 10:36 AM on January 14, 2012

Moor and Morrison. My first exposure to Moore was Swamp Thing, which is, yes, about a swamp monster, but it very aggressively tackles the idea of the arbitrary boundaries of the self and its relation to the universe.

For Morrison, I knew about him, but saw Talking with Gods (available on Youtube) and understood for the first time his direct descent from RAW, Crowley, etc.

Morrison, I think, wrote a short treatise on sigils and at various points speculates on their connection to the subconscious and NLP, but I'm not aware of anything long form Morrison's done specifically talking about er... "chaos magic" (a silly term that Morrison acknowledges is silly, but is useful) in practical terms. Morrison's Disinformation Con talk, also on YouTube, is highly entertaining in its own right, but is mostly talking practically about all of this Prometheus Rising type stuff. That, the short sigil thing that was published, I think, in some issue of The Invisibles, another essay, Pop Magic that was published I don't know where, and parts of the Taking with Gods documentary are the only non-allegorical (or hypersigilistic) things he's done in reference to chaos magic, or Thelema (Crowley's term, which I prefer cause it sounds more witchy) that I'm aware of. There must be more from both Moor and Morrison, and I'd love to know about it.

If you're interested in this stuff you might also be interested in Carlos Castaneda's stuff. It goes about talking about these things in an extremely roundabout way, though, and has since been twisted into a new-age ripoff. You'll find, though, that the "mystical" experiences described by Castaneda and Morrison are nearly identical. Honestly, though, the Castaneda books seem designed to more or less trick one into falling down these rabbit holes, so it's pretty ideal for a teenager discovering psychedelics, but not so much for someone already heavily into RAW territory.
posted by cmoj at 10:40 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Castaneda is very dead so he is definitely not it.

Related to above: Erik Davis also interviewed Alan Moore for his podcast (I am pretty sure this has been on metafilter before); link.

The thing which I remember about that podcast is I almost lost my balance when Moore said he thought Morrison's work sucked. Probably he was taking the piss outta poor Erik.

Two others still alive and working in this vein are Peter Carol and Colin Low.
posted by bukvich at 12:05 PM on January 14, 2012

Yeah, I meant Castaneda as a sort of "see also:"

But I'm pretty sure that Moore really does hate Morrison's work. Morrison once called to ask him if he could draw a story Moore had written and he had been offered and Moore said, in effect, "You are so unworthy that if you do draw this I will destroy your career."

I think this was when he was still drawing comics. Maybe it was a rewrite. Whatever.
posted by cmoj at 12:38 PM on January 14, 2012

I personally found those avenues through the work of David Tibet. When I was 15, Thunder Perfect Mind pretty much split my brain open. Tibet is a prolific name dropper, and I followed his stated influences into the world of the weird and mystic. If I hadn't read Maldoror then, I think my life would very different now.
posted by vathek at 12:39 PM on January 14, 2012

Grant Morrison takes a lot of shots at Alan Moore in interviews, and once accused Alan Moore of plagiarism.
posted by empath at 9:21 PM on January 14, 2012

I kind of think Moore & Morrison affected a generation of people after RAW and before today's teens/20yos. Not that people aren't, I'm sure, still having their minds exploded by them, but the same's true of Wilson.
posted by hattifattener at 12:21 AM on January 15, 2012

China Mieville?
posted by speicus at 1:09 AM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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