“Rockin’ Rabbit” by Richard F. Yates

rockin rabbit (11 dec. 2017) by rfy - (peg)

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)

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“RAoA” by Charlie Centipede

Have you committed your RANDOM ACT OF ART yet today? Stick it to the forces of tyranny and oppression! Make someone smile with a gesture, drawing, song, or magic spell. Otherwise, the terrorists in the White House win!

—Charlie Centipede

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“Read a Damn Book – 060: The Illuminatus! Trilogy”

illuminatus - 1 - (peg) illuminatus - 2 - (peg)

Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson – The Illuminatus! Trilogy (1975/1984)

Holy excrement… This week, I’m finally getting around to writing about the most wack-a-doo, hilarious, demented, science fiction, conspiracy, adventure-based, religious text (slash) social critique (slash) social deprogramming (or secret society REprogramming) series that I’ve ever read. (I hope that sentence wasn’t confusing… or that it WAS confusing, but only confusing for people who aren’t IN-THE-GNO…) And the squirrel runs back up the tree…because he knows THEY are watching, and I think there’s a tracking program in the digital copy that I read, so THEY also know I’m writing this review! (I’ll try to be nice…)

In 1975, Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson released The Eye in the Pyramid, the first of the three books in this trilogy. I’m not exactly sure when the next two books, The Golden Apple and Leviathan, were published, but according to several of the sources I consulted, the three books were packed together in a single 800+ page volume in 1984, and that’s really how this series HAS to be read. Before deciding to tackle this review, I’d already read the first two books, and I found them humorous, confusing, creepy, and even a bit hokey… Now that I’ve read the first two books TWICE, and finally finished the third book, I see how essential the final book is to making sense of the first two—if SENSE is the right word here.

The “story” as told by the two Roberts moves with frantic speed through various characters’ lives, frequently changing points of view, often without signaling that a change is coming. The story is told sometimes in first person, but mostly in third. TIME means almost nothing in these pages, as the tale bounces from “current” to past events, projects into the future, and then slips into extended hallucinatory segments, then spends pages on theories of reality and perception, exposition, and historical information. The narrative contains explicit scenes of sexual content, is swimming in drugs of every variety, and incorporates historical figures, like John Dillinger and Hitler and Lee Harvey Oswald, plus borrowed elements and situations from a variety of sources, from the Principia Discordia to H.P. Lovecraft to Carlos Castaneda to Laurel and Hardy.

There are a few graspable narrative threads that pop up here and there and some recurring characters to cling to, like a drowning swimmer would grasp a floating piece of debris after their boat explodes at sea—but after experiencing the initial shock of the quick jumps and narrative shifts (jarring enough to make Beckett blush), a reader grows accustomed to the style and learns to go with the flow. And those who valiantly push through the weirdness will be rewarded for their efforts because there’s a LOT to love here. The writing, when not being deliberately confusing, is very funny. There is a cunning mixture of the historical and plausible mashed into the blatantly fantastic and absurd, which I personally find charming and fun. The word play is clever, and the names of many of the characters are downright hilarious! (“Banana Nose” Maldonado, Mary Lou Servix, Dr. Vulcan Troll, Padre Pederastia, and Fission Chips (AKA Agent 00005), and so on. Great stuff!). However, if you think Game of Thrones has a few too many characters, you’ll definitely want to avoid this series.

Now, there IS a solid plotline to be found here—it comes in and out of the narrative for the first two books, but solidifies by the third. The gist goes something like this: one of the MANY competing secret organizations vying for world control plans to put together a large rock concert in Germany in an attempt to gather thousands of music fans together and kill them. The cosmic energy released by the deaths of so many people will fuel their nefarious, magical schemes, but luckily for humanity (and the talking dolphins), there is another group, led by a mysterious anarchist named Hagbard Celine, and this second group are either trying to STOP the massacre from happening, or maybe they are just going to use the rock concert to do something EQUALLY disastrous that furthers THEIR agenda. One of the things that this book is excellent at doing is pushing ambiguity into the red. Sometimes you think a certain character or group is evil, then you think maybe they’re good, then they’re evil again—until you eventually reach a point where you start to wonder if “evil” or “good” are inadequate terms. Motives are always in flux in this story, and the narrators are predictably unreliable, and then sometimes it’s just hard to keep the characters and plot threads straight.

Like I said at the beginning, this was my second time reading through The Eye in the Pyramid and The Golden Apple, and I still had a hard time following the story, (there are SO MANY CHARACTERS!!!), but I have to say this: the series is incredibly entertaining. It’s worth fighting through the confusion in order to get to the hilarious situations and weird philosophy that Shea and Anton Wilson have put together. If you have any sympathy for underground cultural movements (punks or the Situationists or the Discordians or rave culture or any REVOLUTIONARY activists) then this trilogy will probably be of interest to you. It’s not going to appeal to people who want a clear beginning, middle, and end to their stories, nor will it be an easy read for most people. The text is thick, recursive, and confusing. It might help if you’re already familiar with a ton of “higher consciousness” literature in the Tim Leary vein, as well as having the ability to swim in the conspiracy sea (Freemasons, Kennedy assassination, Atlantis, Rosicrucians, Theosophy, The Golden Dawn, etc…), but it’s still a bit of work to get through more than 800 pages of story PLUS the 20 or so appendices, which really do NEED to be read as well to get maximum closure. (The Roberts sneak plot development into the appendices! The dastardly fiends…)

The series is a crazy, drug fueled, sexually unhinged, magic infused, maddeningly paranoid, intentionally ridiculous trip, and one that I will certainly be taking again. I’ve already started looking for my next Robert Anton Wilson book to read, (so get ready for that.) Meanwhile, I’d say, if you’ve got the time and you think you’re mentally fit enough, give the Illuminatus! a try, although I can’t guarantee that you’ll come all the way back from this adventure!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)

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“Snake in the Holiday Headlights” by Richard F. Yates

snake in the holiday headlights (10 dec. 2017) by rfy - (peg)

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)

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“Even the Eyeless Ghoul Sees What’s Coming” by Richard F. Yates

even the eyeless ghoul sees whats coming (9 nov. 2017) by rfy - (peg)

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)

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“(Untitled)” by Some Little Hippie Girl

[My younger daughter, Elise, who works as a clerk at a local department store, said a family of “hippies” (her word) with deadlock hair came through her line last night, and the little girl in the group gave this little found materials figure to her. Pretty cool, if you ask me! —RFY]

untitled by some little hippie girl (9 dec. 2017) - (peg)

—(Artist Name Unknown)

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“Bigfoot (Part 8)” by Randy Long

[If you haven’t read any of Randy Long’s epic fantasy-adventure story, yet, you can start from the beginning HERE. Meanwhile, strap yourselves in. We’re heading back to Randy Land!!! —RFY]


The water from To-Wonga Falls seemed magical. It seemed to give all in our party new energy. I’m thinking the water has something to do with the anti-aging of that world, and To-Wonga Falls was the headway. That’s why the water glows there.

That planet has the Fountain of Youth. Only it doesn’t keep you a child, but it does keep you from growing old.

After drinking the water at To-Wonga Falls, we all emptied our water containers and filled them up again at the falls. We all felt better than we had in years. It had only been a day, but I already had more of a spring in my step.

So we were off to Oasis Village, the high desert village. We hadn’t seen any Bigfoot people in two days. The average days were 80 to 85 degrees, and sunrise was at 5:00 A.M., Twin Phoenix time. Sunset was about 10:00 P.M. The closer we got to the high mountain desert, the longer the days seemed to be.

What I wouldn’t have given for some kind of transportation other than walking, but as long as we had To-Wonga River water, we all had more energy.

We eventually ran across some humans heading west, and they said we were two days away from Oasis Village. One man pulled me aside and said, “Why are you with that Bigfoot lover?” And I asked him what he meant. He told me Tracy was a spy for the Bigfoot people and to watch out. She had gotten someone he knew into trouble.

She had told a Bigfoot about his friend, and from then on, that friend had to live in Bigfoot City and was watched constantly. I thanked him and told him I wouldn’t mention his name. And then I told Ed that Tracy couldn’t be trusted.

He got mad but understood, and he said, “I knew she had a secret. I just didn’t know what.”

I told him that we needed to talk to her. “Tracy, come here,” I said, “We need to talk. I was told that you’re a traitor to your own kind.”

She said, “Now that I know the real truth about what we discovered at To-Wonga Falls, and the Bigfoot people said they were the Ancients… Now I know that’s not true. I know I’ll have to earn your respect and trust in me. I will try by best.”

“Why did you tell on your own kind?” I asked.

“I was told that those humans were eating animals and trying to kill the Bigfoot.”

I told her I understood, and I asked if she was told to spy on us. She said, “Yes, but after getting to know you all, I wouldn’t. I consider you family and know you wouldn’t harm anyone.”

Oasis Village was just over the next rise. It was an all human village in the high desert. As we walked into the village, we noticed that is was huge and had a lake in the center of town with an inlet and outlet streams. The water in the lake glowed just like To-Wonga.

But we were still on a mission, and we talked to the elders, and that night we had a fish fry. The elders told me there were caves to the west, and they had heard there might be someone living there, but they weren’t sure if it was who we were seeking or not.

The next morning, I told everyone to stay there and stock up on supplies. I was going to the caves and would be back in 3 or 4 days. It was most of a good day’s walk to the caves, and I proceeded to look through the caves, but didn’t find any sign of anyone living there.

Well, two days had gone by, and I decided that, on the third day, I would head back to Oasis Town. I went to sleep that night, and about an hour before daylight, I was awakened by a sound. Someone was standing over me and screaming, “What are you doing in my cave! GET OUT! Don’t come back!”

I was half asleep, and I said, “Bill Johnson sent me.”

The man stopped screaming and said, “Do you know Bill?”

I said, “Yes, I do. Bill told me to find you.” I asked his name. Bill told me his name was Kermit the Hermit, and if he didn’t say Kermit, if he answered with anything else, he wasn’t who I was looking for.

He said, “George.”

“My friend Bill says, if you say anything but this specific name, you’re not who I’m looking for,” I said and turned to leave.

And he said, “Wait a minute. Bill taught you well. I’m Kermit the Hermit.”

“Wow! I’ve been looking for you for at least 6 months. I’m looking for the Golden Compass.”

In reply, Kermit said, “Show me the Golden Key.” From a cord around my neck, I pull the Golden Key out of my shirt. Kermit said, “I didn’t know it actually existed. Now the Golden Compass… Well, it’s like this. I couldn’t keep it on me, from fear of the Bigfoot, so I hid it in a dark place deep in the caves.”

I said, “Do you know about the Ancients at To-Wonga Falls?”

Kermit said, “Yes, we all do around here. Oasis Town and the surrounding area. Some of the people near Bigfoot City even know there, but they can’t talk about it. They’re afraid of the Bigfoot people.

I said that wasn’t how it was supposed to be.

“Well, let’s go in the cave and get the compass,” I said. We started walking.

After a while, Kermit said, “I have to warn you, I have a friend in the caves.”

I thought, “How bad could that be?” and as I turned a corner in the cave it opened up into a great big, giant room, and in the corner of the room was a Bigfoot sitting in a dimly lit area. I looked at Kermit and said, “What the…?”

And Kermit said, “Relax, it’s not what you think. This is…well, I call him Ralph, but his real name is Rafe-Gun, but you can call him Ralph. He’s actually the King of all Bigfoot, or he’s supposed to be, but there are too many Bigfoot that wanted to rule everyone instead of the way it’s supposed to be. If Ralph could become King again, like he’s suppose to, the Bigfoot people would be the protectors, not the rulers.”

“Hey Kermit,” I said, “about the—ya know…”

“It’s okay. Ralph knows, too,” Kermit says to Ralph, “He’s come for the Golden Compass.”

Ralph had it camouflaged, but he handed it to me. Ralph looked at me and said in my head, “I need help to get control of my people again.”

I looked at Kermit and asked, “Is he serious?”

And Kermit said, “Yes, and I trust him completely.”

“Okay,” I said, “with the Golden Key and the compass, we can make you King again. We need to go back to Oasis Town, so I can get back to the ones I came with and talk to the elders about Ralph.”


[So now it’s getting serious! Revolution!?!? Tune in NEXT WEEK for the FINAL PART of Randy Long’s “Bigfoot” adventure!!!! And if you made it this far into the story but haven’t read the beginning, you should go HERE and read the whole thing! —RFY]

—Randy Long

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