The Nature of Reality
This piece was last updated
03/18/99. It was dictated to me, over a period of six months,
then edited, proofread and approved by John during nighttime hours. --Melissa
What is original sin?
A. Infantile masturbation
Who got Sigmund Freud out of Nazi Austria?
A. The Nazi party.
How many varieties of the family Clemmeys live in
A. 4 (four)
How many varieties of the family Gopherus live in North America?
A. 3 (three)
What are the common names of the westernmost family members of
the Clemmeys and Gopherus geni?
A. Pacific Pond Turtle, aka the Mud Turtle (Clemmeys), Desert Tortoise
What is the largest turtle species in the world?
A. Leatherback Sea Turtle
we will discuss sex. Also, true anecdotes regarding Mahler,
Freud, Sibelius, Bruckner, Brahms and others.
New announcement, not an axiom:
Bruckner loved Wagner.
Wagner loved Wagner.
music, past present and future, is logically, not temporally aiming
at the conclusion of the second movement of Gliere's third symphony,
of trivia regarding Alexander Scriabin: Our boy wrote a final
symphony which when it was to be performed on the banks of the Ganges
River would cause the world to come to an end. Unfortunately Scriabin
kicked the bucket first.
Vaughn-Williams is best described as a Christian Pantheist or a
Dvorak's favorite leisure time activity was to listen to trains.
American composers with the exception of Roy Harris are New England
Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau and so forth). This is ironic
since Harris is usually described as a New England Transcendentalist
when in fact he is the only American composer who isn't.
Harris clearly writes music descriptive of big cities.
asked Virgil Thompson what he thought of Roy Harris' third symphony.
He replied "That's the one we were all trying to write."
The Ganges River is thought to be sterile. Believe me, it isn't.
What does the word swami mean? Answer: Lord
swamis, the leaders of orthodox Hinduism, all consider
themselves incarnations of God.
Bija (seed) mantra for the goddess Saraswati is SCHREEM.
Thank you. More will follow...
Perhaps I should explain what I am doing here, since I have not
previously explained it. In terms of facts, attributions, axioms, etc.,
I am merely in the early stages of announcing certain information which
you and I will need at a much later date in order to construct a "story"
or a connected series of statements which produce a "plot" and in fact
may produce several "plots". Comprendez vous? I should announce that
my girlfriend is typing this on the TV screen or the radio or whatever
this thing is. She is very nice to me and is providing inestimable help
in transmitting my investigations and my conclusions in regard to the
nature of reality.
to sex, I have just begun investigating this matter and have not
reached any conclusions yet.
What is the Uhrwort for Kaiser, Keizer, etc.?
What is the Uhrwort for Tzar?
A. Same as above
deity mantra for the goddess Saraswati is Om Sri Saraswataya Namah.
Translation: Salutations. I am the sound that the totality of reality
makes. I am also that reality, and that reality is me. This tiny ego
sends this sound to the name of the most wondrous and transcendent and
A Bija mantra is better translated as "incantation word".
if you really dig Saraswati you should add a jai to the above deity
mantra, thus Om Sri, Jai Sri, Saraswataya Namah.
Translation: Hooray for rah rah rah, YMCA doo doo doo doo, for he's a
jolly good fellow, take me out to the ballgame, bite bite bite, hail to
the chief, the bear went over the mountain. Deck the halls with balls
regard to human consistency in action, thought, emotion, intention,
performance, preference---consistency in these or in anything else is
impossible and any expectation of any consistency in these matters is
the root of all self-righteousness and hypocrisy.
our next series of announcements we will explain why this is the
case. We will also discuss the notion of the will, and "freedom of the
will" and the Nicene creed.
It began sometime in the previous century, probably about 1850 or earlier.
began in the United States, nowhere else, and specifically in the
southeastern United States, using the term broadly. I believe that it
began only in rural areas but I am not certain of this yet because,
information is coming in so loud and clear and fast and is so
extensive and has so many ramifications and implications and corollaries
of exclusion, and not only that but we are still moving and there are so
goddamn many things to do that we are both overwhelmed. But only
temporarily. We are definitely not overloaded. Fortunately much of the
information coming in from the Universal World Spirit was already
present in our "minds" long ago and so a great deal of what is occurring
is a matter merely of bringing the preconscious into consciousness.
incredible amounts of new information and syntheses are
also making their appearance.
a result, we cannot (yet) and we haven't had the chance to put any of
it into writing and cannot post it yet. But we will very soon.
was essential to enunciate all of the previous announcements in order
to get into the fray, which, as I have said, and I am not joking, is
extensive, and possibly infinite.
I can promise you this, all of you, in particular Tom Kremer, Sara
Press, Blair Miller, Dean Blackwood, and all the lovers of Revenant
Records, all the lovers of the Anthology of American Folk Music, all
lovers of Life, Truth, Clarity, all those who desire to know what life
is all about, that we soon will be able to tie most of these matters
together in a fairly neat, precise bundle.
example, we will be able to answer many questions which have already
posed themselves to you such as:
Sister O.M. Terril on Red Columbia plays guitar the same way
Blind Willie Johnson did, why is she so inferior to him?
If she was imitating somebody, who was it?
emotion is Bascom Lamar Lunsford displaying on "I Wish I was a Mole
in the Ground"?
is the song "Two White Horses" by the Two Poor Boys superior to the
version by Blind Lemon Jefferson and what inspired Dylan to record it?
do so many of the secular musicians sound more ecstatic than the
ostensibly religious ones? For example, why is Eck Robertson more
plugged in than Sister Mary Nelson?
is Jess Morris really singing about on his LC recording of "Goodbye
THIS POINT, I, THE GREAT KOONAKLASTER, COMMENCE HEREWITH TO SPEAK TO ALL OF
YOU LITERALLY. SARA PRESS PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS, MY OWN DEAR
DAUGHTER, IT WILL CLEAR UP EVERYTHING FOR YOU, BELOVED DISCIPLE OF THE HARRY
SMITH ANTHOLOGY. THERE IS MUCH, MUCH MORE. FATSO, ie. BYRON
COLEY, READ THIS AND SHUT UP.
Away with metaphor, analogy, allegory.
Now I, the Great Koonaklaster shall speak literally.
1. Not to denigrate metaphor et al...and
There is a prolegomena to this section written by "John Fahey",
which may or may not appear later depending upon whether "he" writes it
well enough or not.
is what I did. People had forgotten me, the Great Koonaklaster.
Great Pan was not dead. Some drunken sailors started this rumor and it
was repeated by every bad poet from Parecelcius through William
I was alive and well in Texas from 1863 until 1943 and I was happy riding the Frisco line
took it all the way to Baltimore once. Another time I took it all the
way north to Chi Town. Made some records for the
Brunswick-Collinder-Balke Company, manufacturers of billiard tables,
bowling alleys and all accouterments. It was I who taught Lester
Melrose about music.
before Henry Thomas could happen or the Carter Family or Blind
Willie Johnson or John Fahey or Bill Monroe I had to plant some musical
seeds around the Black Belt of the southeast.
you probably heard of a guy named Johnny Appleseed. You probably
heard that he ( I) was a missionary of some sort who traveled around the
Great Black Belt planting apple trees and proselytizing.
That was me!
But do you know what religion I was preaching?
I bet you don't so I will tell you.
I was preaching Swedenborgianism.
You didn't know that, did you?
There's a lot of things you don't know. Don't worry, I'll teach you.
I dictated everything Emmanuel Swedenborg wrote.
And that's one hell of a lot.
you know those apple trees I planted? I'll tell you one thing,
those were not ordinary apple trees, not by a long shot.
have heard of cranapple trees? These were Panapple trees. And
everybody who ate one of those apples I planted---just one---soon found
himself singing a new song in a new land.
those trees I planted were the trees of the knowledge of good
and evil music.
Once again you will note that I am one of the ancients.
I can assure you that correct knowledge produces correct action.
want to believe that music has only aesthetic qualities, that it is
Boy, have I got news for you.
I suppose you might be concerned about the similarity betwixt my
story and the one in the Bible with the snake and the rib and all that
Well, that was me too.
I am the Great Koonaklaster.
created music, poetry, dance, painting, sculpture, all the arts. I am
the Great Koonaklaster.
have performed the apple tree bit many many times in order to save the
human race from mediocrity and from
>From the Great Beast of public opinion.
>From the Great Beast of the middle of the middle.
>From the Great Beast of bad taste.
In short, I have performed the apple tree bit to save the world from evil.
What is evil?
Let me tell you.
It isn't me.
I know what the Christian Church has said about me. I know it all too
well. And I say to them as I say to you, if you insist in believing in
dualism, that's your problem. If you think I have a tail and green
reptilian scaly skin and horns, that's your problem. The hooves, I
grant you, are a problem at times. I AM DARK KRISHNA. I ALWAYS
PLAY THE FLUTE OR THE PIPES OR THE QUILLS OR THE HARMONICA.
I AM HENRY RAGTIME TEXAS THOMAS.
I AM BIG BOY CLEVELAND.
you listen to that one quill solo I recorded on the Gennett label and
on that piece by "John Fahey" called the Singing Bridge of Memphis
Tennessee---if you can listen to that music and not know that I am Pan,
that I am Krishna, then you should go and get psychoanalyzed as quickly
if you can't hear the music you ain't gonna have much fun in
this life. You ain't gonna have NO fun in this life, because everything
in this life including life itself is made out of music.
AND I AM THE MUSIC.
You didn't know that, did you?
was a time when everybody knew it, then they forgot. So I planted
the apple trees. Then they forgot again. So I planted more trees. And
what about Emmanuel Swedenborg, Johnny Appleseed, UFOs, demons, black
These are all side issues and we may come back to them, or we may not.
have to use certain polemical devices and rhetorical tricks and humor
in order to preserve the harmony while I tell you all this. Because it
is a very, very long story---interesting as hell---you'll see--- but it
requires certain axioms and background before I can tell you everything.
Here and there I'll also tickle your funnybone.
Now, where were we?
yes, many times I am simply going to say it doesn't matter, forget
it, I love you, I came here just to talk to you.
are abbreviations for the prolegomena I have just given you. It's
all true, I assure you, but I don't like to waste time because I AM THE
sometime I'll give you teasers too. They are statements which are
exhaustively true but do not, of course, exhaust the truth.
one you'll like. The Anthology of American Folk Music is a
gotta quit now.
See you tomorrow.
See you, fatso!
Good night, Sara.
This is the Great Koonaklaster.
is a continuation of last night's transmission which was
interrupted when "John Fahey" punked out.
Fahey" did not finish that prolegomena because "he" has the 24
As it turns out, that prolegomena is not necessary.
Once again this is Great K speaking to you literally.
What about Rheinhold Gliere's 3rd symphony? I love you.
about a Jerry Garciaism machine is finally? It doesn't matter.
And what about vampires? Not important. What about Greil Marcus?
Well, Greil got ahold of something of my extension, something of my
worship, my "religion". No doubt about it.
something got ahold of Marcus and Marcus, through bold acclimation,
through great intuition, unstated implication, guilt by association,
profound observation, tried to mesh my extension with
Bob Dylan qua himself
and Bob Dylan qua interpretation
of the corpus, the canon I created,
the music which I am and you are.
book is full of inconsequential trivial mistakes, omissions and
some ignorance. Remember I said trivial. It doesn't matter. I love you.
But just a couple of examples:
Page 116. The first stanza of Clarence Ashley's Coo Coo
Bird, "Gonna build me, log cabin, on a mountain so high. So I can see
Willie, when he goes on by."
thinks this is a meaningless isolate that cannot be meaningless,
ignorant of the fact that this is a boulderized version of the black
When you see me coming, hush your windows high (or turn your lights up
When you see me leaving, hang your head and cry (Bobby Grant)
When you see my man, he come a-easin' by
are many variations in black music of this stanza, and it is still
sung today in black nightclubs and on jazz records.
misinterpretation: Page 123. Smith's anthology is a "democratic
Not at all! It is my own self revelation for I am the Great Koonaklaster.
Page 125; "Somewhere there's a perfectly absolutely
I stated above, to grant all power to the metaphor, the symbol, the
allegory, etc., I invented these things myself, for I am the Great
I must add, that when I create things like America, I don't create
no gd metaphors. I create the whole damn thing literally and intact.
(Can't find pagination) "You can wait for a death God will
ignore; then you like so many others already dead but still speaking
will take your place in the bend of a note in 'The Coo Coo Bird'".
Absolutely brilliant, Truer words were never spoken, or broken.
p. 106: John Henry I. Blacks wanted nothing to do with this song
because it meant Whitey killed a black along with his integrity and
value with his, Whitey's machines. In a sense Whitey killed all Blacks
in this song.
The same is true of John Henry II.
two recordings of I were made by blacks on commercial records, one
by The Two Poor Boys (Evans and McLean) and one by me, as Henry Thomas.
recordings of I and II were made by whites before and after 1942.
John Henry thus became a hero, but a hero only of white folks.
Strange, this irony, but true.
53 - 61: Marcus takes up almost ten pages tells us all about the
West Virginia Coal Wars. Tragic and horrible they were. (Are they
completely over?) Then suddenly he starts talking about Frank Hutchison
who was indeed a very great white folk singer, guitarist, arranger and
composer of folk songs and guitar instrumentals on the OKEH label. From
about 1925 to 1930. His first recording was acoustic.
It sold so well, to blacks and whites, that OKEH had him re-record it
later, after they had acquired the right to use the Western Electric
was billed as "The Pride of West Virginia." He recorded many
ballads and blues which he learned from black worker on the Chesapeake
and Ohio RR, now part of the CSX Corp.
One of his best sellers was called
about the great amusement Park in Columbus, Ohio
Here are some lyrics:
Well, I went down to the Turkish Feast,
people were eating like big wild geese
I'm on my way, Coney Isle
Makes no difference of the time of day,
Everything is going my way
When I get ready to leave this Earth,
I'll look back, see my money's worth,
sang murder ballads, blues, RR songs but never sang one word about
coal, much less coal mines. He never worked one day in a coal mine and
never had anything at all to do with the war.
uses the dishonest writing technique here of implied and unstated
am the Great Koonaklaster and I do not approve of such crooked
rhetorical tactics. Furthermore, there is not one labor song on the
entire Anthology, except for Uncle Dave's protest against forced labor
on number 79.
am the great Koonaklaster and I do not allow any of the artists I
create to waste their time singing about politics, with the one
exception of Uncle Dave Macon for whom I gave carte blanche everything
in existence as permissible subject matter.
Macon a folksinger? He learned most of the songs he recorded from
entertainers who stayed at his parent's hotel in Nashville for
Vaudevillians on the road. He recorded many tin pan alley songs
including those of Irving Berlin.
this question is too large to cover here. We will return to
problem with Marcus and his informants is this: He fails to
point out that Smithville as he calls it is located in the Southeastern
United States. Every single entertainer on the Anthology is from the
Southeast. Not one is from the Western United States.
Smith was acutely aware of this.
writers on American folklore, especially those with political
axes to grind are quite aware of this fact but keep it a secret.
am the Great Koonaklaster. I created music itself. I created all
the musicians on the Smith Anthology and I created many others.
did not create Woody Guthrie. I did not create Jack Elliott, although
I did allow Elliott into the Koonaklaster Karas and tricked him into
eating one of my apples. Surely, you can tell that I did not create
anyone named Seeger.
But I admit, I felt sorry for Dave Van Ronk and gave him an apple.
did not ask a very important question: What exactly is the
connection between Guthrie, Elliott, Van Ronk, Pete Seeger on the one
hand and the Anthology of American Folk Music on the other?
many places Marcus implies or states openly that these guys, along
with Joanie Phoney and others, are residents of Smithville --- which, of
course and as we all now know is not true in any literal or allegorical
or symbolic sense or manner.
IS NO RELATIONSHIP. I DID NOT CREATE ANYBODY
NAMED GUTHRIE OR VAN RONK OR SEEGER OR ELLIOTT
NONE NOTHING NADA NIX NUNCA
the Great Koonaklaster needs sleep and I have been out in
the fields all day planting apple trees. More tomorrow.
Goodnight Fatso and Sara and everybody else.
I will demonstrate that Smithville does not exist.
wants us to believe that everybody on the Anthology has a
homogenous, or perhaps even an identical Weltanschauung. He wants
us to believe that all Smithvilleites live and think and believe independently
of the prevailing Weltanschauung and the Zeitgeist.
Not only that but he wants us to believe that they do this
yes, dear old Smithville, deep sunny south by the sea, you turn around
and in the distance you can see the beautiful mountains of self-deception,
crowned with the snow of ignorance, self-willed, the ice of forgetfulness, and
the bald trees clear cut and not much left no eagles and ospreys flying or
swimming around in the ether, around and around we go, where we are
nobody knows, and where we stop nobody -------
and where we go, like it say in de book, about de spirit
Once upon a time a man in England wrote a poem called
THE PLEASURE DOME OF KUBALA KHAN
poem, he and I noted, possesses very strongly a mysterious
undercurrent of strangely fascinating and occult symbols, metaphors,
which tantalize but do not submit to translation.
Another man made a bold and lengthy attempt to decipher, to make accessible,
THE PLEASURE DOME OF KUBLA KHAN.
spent hundreds of days and hundreds of pages examining all the books
and newspaper items and everything else the first guy had access to in the
belief that if all this stuff was exhaustively examined it could explain
PLEASURE DOME OF KUBLA KHAN.
But, no soap.
This book was called the Road to Xanadu.
read the Road to Xanadu and it gave me a great trip through a lot of literature,
histories of exploration, art, music, -------and it was a lot of fun ---- great travelogue,
of an imaginary country, but not the realm of KK.
Later, I deciphered the meaning myself by utilizing Freudís dream book.
AND I will present that to you one of these days.
I GOT IT!
AND IT WORKS!
I PROMISE YOU!
AND I ALWAYS DELIVER BECAUSE I AM THE GREAT KOOKAKLASTER!
Now, this book by Marcus has similarities to The Road to Xanadu. Unfortunately it is incoherent.
let us review. Please note that I am the Great Koonaklaster, as I have
told you before. My hobby is traveling around the countryside planting
magic apple trees.
I am Johnny Appleseed. I like to have fun just like you do.
Hell, I CREATED FUN.
Anybody who eats one of my magic apples gains the knowledge of good and evil music.
Smith, the great American Magus put together an anthology of
old 78 RPM records made by artists to whom I had fed one or more of MY magic apples.
the Smith was not an incarnation of the Great Koonaklaster, i.e., myself.
No, for people to whom I assign lotsa very important work I set up partial incarnations.
USUALLY THEY ARE INCARNATIONS OF THE GREAT KELVITRON. The whole thing.
Great Kelvitron has more mantras than I do, but then, too, it doesnít really
very much because I created the GREAT KELVITRON.
Iíll show you his mantras and mine in time. Be patient.
on the Anthology of American Folk Music.
But Harry Smith did.
whether you know it or not there is great mystery here. Whenever you
name Harry Smith, look out. Something heavy and fantastic is coming your way. But when
Harry Smith and Frank Cloutier get together, hell, anything can happen,and it usually does.
Because Harry Smith and Frank Cloutier drank a hell of a lot of my apple juice. I mean a lot.
arranged things so that they met each other. Because I knew that they
would pull lotsa
big weird capers. And they sure did.
example ------ | no Iíll tell you about that later when I tell
| the Pleasure Dome of Kubala Khan.
Anyway, there came into existence the Anthology of American Folk Music.
This was a great step forward for the welfare and well-being of all mankind.
The AAFM changed the world a hell of a lot.
know and I tell you this because I am the face behind Harry Smith, I am the
behind Frank Cloutier. I am the face behind Mississippi John Hurt, the face behind
Richard "Rabbit" Brown. I am the face behind Blind Uncle Gaspard, yea,
verily I am the face behind the entire AAFM.
I am nothing but a gigantic red apple.
yet, it is even I who make voices unseen and unheard --- voices from
the void, voices from the all and all, voices from the ether, voices from the
sun and moon and stars. Voices from the fog, voices from the asteroids and
the rings of Saturn and the rings of Jupiter --- you didnít know Jupiter had rings did you
--- but now you know. Voices from the dust, voices from underneath the sand, voices
from the mildew, voices from all the crushed turtles on the highways long forgotten, voices
from the passenger pigeons and all the other extinct animals, voices from the hoboes that
died in your bright blue city.
I am the voices of those you have neglected and allowed to die.
Those people and animals and other things --- they are all here with me.
THAT IS WHAT I SAID, ALL THOSE LONG FORGOTTEN VOICES
ARE RIGHT HERE WITH ME. AND WHERE AM I? I AM RIGHT HERE
BESIDE YOU, INSIDE OF YOU, BEHIND YOU, ABOVE AND BELOW YOU.
I AM EVERYWHERE.
I remove the veil.
voices speak through me. Voices indecent, full of shame, are clarified
and transfigured. For me seeing, hearing, feeling are miraculous events.
Nothing is ordinary.
matter where you are, near or far daytime or nighttime, I am there.
I make everything holy. You shall become what I am. You already are, in fact.
You shall be the sun, the moon and the stars. Come and look for me. You shall find me.
I am nearer than you think. Come out and look for me. I will meet you at the door.
And you will find that the door enters the sun and that you are the sun just as I am
because you and I are not two but one, and we always have been.
This will never change. Never. I give you my word.
some people like Greil Marcus, cannot handle all of my amplitude,
although clearly YOU can. This is sad because some writers like Marcus do notice
things that nobody else sees. And they become determined to write about such things and they get confused. They short out.
like Invisible Republic cause the suicide rate to go up and not only that,
the murder rate actually does go up, husbands leave their wives, wives leave
their husbands and there is much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Many wars are fought and many a good man will die every time a book like this
comes out. Because of the confusion.
fact, many people go insane.
Please put away this book and you will retain your reason.
Now listen to me. I will show you the way.
p. 95 - "The whole bizarre package (AAFM) made the familiar strange,
the never known into the forgotten, and the forgotten into a collective memory----.
Greil is trying to poeticize the dialectic by tossing around a few antimonies.
He bloops. He must not have read Kant.
96 - "The Anthology was a textbook -- an occult document disguised as an academic
treatise (demonstrating that) America is a mystery."
mystery Marcus attempts to explain by a construct. The construct
is a city called
Smithville which is the real world of the anthology.
104: Marcus contends that "Smith constructed internal narratives and
orchestrated continuities. He moved tunes about homicide into those about suicide.
Or he placed a performance so that it would echo a line or a melody in a preceding
number so that the repeated line might deepen its power of suggestion or the
doubled melody intensified the gestures of the actors on its stage. Linking one
performance to another, he ultimately linked each to all."
According to Marcus, Smith made a world or a town: SMITHVILLE
And here we find the center of the book.
this would have been a real neat trick if somebody had made such a
metaphorical world. Hell, I would have abdicated. I really would have
stepped down. But nobody did do it.
gives us a few examples of the supposed coherency and connection which
HE sees. But there are 84 goddamn songs on this compendium!
THE REAL NAME OF THIS TOWN IS NOT SMITHVILLE
BUT GREIL MARCUSVILLE.
Marcusville is inhabited by all the folks on the Anthology. They are
in some mysterious Weltanschauung and some unknown plot which is only hinted at by
an occasional verse in one song and not repeated elsewhere.
Marcus claims he knows the plot.
But he never tells us the plot.
He claims he knows the Weltanschauung.
he never tells us what it is. But I know what the plot is.
I know what the Weltanschauung is. I know what the Zeitgeist is.
I am the Great Koonaklaster. I will explain it all.
Listen! The fact is, everybody in Marcusville has identical faces.
They are all Greil Marcus faces.
is Marcusville: p. 125 - "A mystical body of the republic, a kind of
public secret: a declaration of what sort of wishes and fears lie behind any
public act, a declaration of a weird but clearly recognizable (?) America within
the America of the exercise of institutional majoritarian power."
It is time for us to ask a question. Is it possible to construct a description of
the character of a body of people from a group of the recorded performances
without being circular? That is, without discovering our own preconceptions?
I am going to attempt to do just that using the AAFM and "extensions"
thereof, that is, similar recordings by American folk musicians, including some of
the other recordings made by musicians on the AAFM. It will be coherent, interesting,
entertaining, informative, but whether there is any significant and overall truth in it
which enables us to make generalizations, I make no claim at all.
is a certain morbidity, a certain despair, realism, disappointment and cynicism
in American folk music that turns up again and again. The old American dream of
democracy, unity, and equality---the dream of the new Zion built through hard work,
agrarianism, populism, cooperation, camaraderie was gone by the end of the Civil War.
Nobody trusted any large institutions anymore be it church, government, union, factory.
No longer were railroads, electrification, large ocean-going vessels glorified.
In particular enormous devices of power and transportation were no longer worshipped
as they once had been. Giant harvesters did not yet exist. But in time they would.
These recordings conserve sentiments which began in the previous century.
and under, near and far, day and night, I am there. I make everything
What I am shall you be. You shall be the sun, the moon the stars. Come and look for me.
I am near and you will find me. I am closer than you think. Come out and look for me.
I will meet you at the door. And you will find that the door enters the sun and
that you are the sun just as I am because you and I are not two, but one, and
we always have been. You have always been mine. I have always been yours.
This will never change. Never.
some people like Greil Marcus cannot handle all of my amplitude,
although clearly YOU can.
is sad because writers like him do notice what nobody else
But they set about trying to write about it and they get confused. They short out.
like Invisible Republic cause the suicide rate to go up, and not only that,
the murder rate goes up, husbands leave their wives, wives leave their husbands
and there is much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Many wars are fought and many a good man will die because of this confusion.
Many went insane.
are still insane.
Put away this book and you will retain your reason.
Read me and I will show you the way.
Listen to this!
95 "The whole bizarre package [AAFM] made the familiar strange, the
into the forgotten, and the forgotten into a collective memory---"
WOW! All he has to do is add water and stir.
Poor Greil is trying to poeticize the dialectic by tossing around a few antinomies.
But he bloops. He must not have read Kant.
96: "The Anthology was a textbook ---- an occult document disguised
academic treatise (demonstrating that) America is a mystery."
optimistic sentiments of the great orators, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln
perceived as a pageant of sophistry driven by greed, dreamed up by rhetoricians to keep
the those of the underclass optimistic while at the same time starving them by paying
them slave wages. With the immigration of small farm tenants to the city, because of
electricity and the railroads, by 1900 the U.S. was a collection of giant city-states or the
where everyone is a stranger, an enemy, somebody to exploit.
Cities, as we now know, do not possess souls. The inhabitants do not have souls.
Cities are the home of psychic vampires, thought police and vampire vultures.
told the Americans of the cyclical nature of history. Nobody told them
of the vegetative essence. Nobody told them they only had so much time to establish
a culture, so much time before the inevitable soul-less mammonization ruled. Now the body
of the people is entirely and essentially urban in constitution. A formless mass, with no individuals.
Stone Colossus stands at the conclusion of culture where a herd of beings
together against the bleak, barren architecture seeking only to return to absolute vegetative
servitude through drugs, religion, politics, anything. Anything, that is, except the thought
police and the vampires.
new soul of the city speaks a new language which permeates everything and
everybody. Look at the architecture. These stone visages that
have incorporated the
eye and the intellect of the citizen---how distinct the language of form that they babble---how different from the rustic drawl of the landscape.
longer can the landscape figure dominate manís eyes. Once it gave form
to his soul.
Feelings and woodland rustlings beat together.
you still hear a gentle breeze drift through the great forest of oaks when
the sun is
high at midday? The splashing of the water in the brooklets, the kils, the creeks? Near the
shore of the lake can you still see a a ten pound trout break water for reasons known only to I? Vultures float along the skyways looking for clouds to sit on and, of course, just as
the-all-about-you is alive and growing unseen and unheard, the universal cyclicity demands
the decomposition of all above the earth below the earth, not announced itself, why
should it, itís there anyway, it goes on and on and on and on.
IT NEVER STOPS! NOTHING EVER STOPS!
BECAUSE THERE IS DURATION. AND I AM DURATION.
DONíT EVER FORGET THAT.
you know that you can see or hear parts of the nature process. But donít
you know that
every man has an organ to feel the never-ending process?
Donít you know that every man has an organ to feel the never-ending process?
the flowers at eventide as, one after the other, they close in the setting
Strange is the feeling that then presses in upon you --- a feeling of enigmatic fear
in the presence of this blind dreamlike earth-bound existence. The dumb forest,
the silent meadows, this bush, that twig, do not stir themselves, it is the wind that
plays with them. Only the little gnat is free Ė he dances still in the evening light,
he moves whither he will.
plant is nothing on itís own account. It forms a part of the landscape
a chance made it take root. The twilight, the chill, the closing of every flower Ė these
are not cause and effect, not danger and willed answer to danger. They are a single
process of nature, which is accomplishing itself near, with, and in the plant. The individual
is not free to look out for itself, will for itself, or choose for itself.
animal, on the contrary, can choose. It is emancipated from the servitude
of all the
rest of the world. This midget swarm that dances on and on, that solitary bird still flying
through the evening, the fox approaching furtively the nest Ė these are little worlds of
their own within another great world. An animal-cule in a drop of water, too tiny to be
perceived by the human eye, though it lasts but a second and has but a corner of this
drop as its field Ė nevertheless is free and independent in the face of the universe.
The giant oak, upon one of whose leaves the droplet hangs, is not.
and freedom Ė this is in the last and deepest analysis the differentia by
we distinguish vegetable and animal existence. Yet only the plant is wholly and entirely
what it is; in the being of the animal there is something dual. A vegetable is only a vegetable; an animal is a vegetable and something more besides. A herd that huddles together trembling in the presence of danger, a child that clings weeping to its mother, a man desperately striving to force a way into his God Ė all these are seeking to return out of the life of freedom into the vegetal servitude from which they were emancipated into individuality and loneliness.
Okay, now let us look at the goods, the items in the AAFM.
There is a story in these records. There is a Weltanschauung, lots of Weltanschauungen.
So why is there no discussion of Weltanschauung in Greil Marcus?
what about the Zeitgeist? Everybody knows that the Zeitgeist has a great
of influence on the Weltanschauung.
now here comes the story. Frank Cloutier, walking down the street one
with Harry Smith! Cloutier talked Smith into issuing his, Cloutierís "Moonshinerís Dance",
#41 on the AAFM.
this side is a crazy, contradictory, confusing collection.
It really doesnít fit on the AAFM. Itís a recording of a NORTHERN hotel band
with horns, banjos, tubas, castanets, clarinets, tambourines, steam calliopes, rhinoceroses,
elephants, jungle natives, multiple choruses and orchestras.
Why on earth did these guys perpetuate this outrageous, confusing tour de force on the public?
notes, correctly, that there is a great deal of humor in this performance.
Mixed together are songs from Ireland (Maggie), the USA (Turkey In The Straw),
a middle European polka an Alap from north India, a Brazilian tango, a South African
cremation ritual song, a gamelan, a hymn tune "Standing At The Cross", and several other
pieces I cannot identify, played quickly and in short order, with a surprising, unexpected
and eerie conclusion
"WHEN YOU WORE A TULIP AND I WORE A BIG RED ROSE"!
can we say about the notorious Frank Cloutier, confidant of Harry Smith?
As of this
day we do not know much about Cloutier. In the year 2005 Harry Smithís bio of Frank Cloutier will
be released by the Harry Smith Archives time release vault by the equally notorious --
Harry Smithís heir and curator of the archives.
we do know, if only from, infertile evidence that Cloutier was a Northerner,
a Populist, a practitioner of New England transcendentalism, a proselytizer of
Fredrich Hegelís Transcendental Idealism, and an avid student and believer in the
many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many,
many writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.
I do not say that Mr. Cloutier is a melting Populist. I do not say this
because I did
not know him personally or impersonally, and yet I think that it is easily inferable from
the melting populist sentiments expressed on this track where practically
every ethnic group is honored.
you will note, that I do not say that Frank Cloutier, is, in reality, Charles
No, I do not say this because I do not know either one of these spun characters.
And I do not know either one of them personally, or impersonally, individually or
in concert. Or in tandem.
I do say that the Cloutier piece is a precursor of some of Charley Ivesí pieces,
especially his Fourth Symphony.
I say that? Yes, I do say that, and not only that but I posit it as
a fact. Furthermore
I assert it. Furthermore I promulgate it. I do not merely sit back and imply or suggest it.
I insist upon it.
Granted the truth lies with some Ives maven.
Any Ives maven will do.
Go and ask this Ives maven if he thinks Ives would have liked the Cloutier piece.
I rest my case
Someone may well ask, was Cloutier a Schiller-lover.
certainly hope not. There is absolutely no evidence for this noxious
be it internal, infernal, or external.
Cloutier gives us the first part of the storyÖ. GIVE ME YOUR TIRED,
YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES YEARNING TO BREATHE
FREE, THE WRETCHED REFUSE OF YOUR TEEMING SHORE. SEND
THESE, THE HOMELESS, TEMPEST-TOSSED TO ME, I LIFT MY LAMP
BESIDE THE GOLDEN DOOR!
let us turn to the second part of the story of America: the Fatal Flower
by Nelstoneís Hawaiians.
really hate to say this but Harry Smith made a mistake here. Obviously
he got mixed up
here because Nelstoneís Hawaiians were quite dead by the time they made this recording.
Listen to it! Death permeates this record, and probably suggested to Harry Smith that the
little kid got killed or that somebody got killed.
in fact if you listen carefully to the words you will find that instead of
getting killed, the
little boy gets seduced by the evil gypsy lady and shacks up with her and writes phony goodbye
letters to his parents because he gonna stay there, baby, and go bangabangabangabanga all
night long, and all day long with the beautiful gypsy broad.
Oh yesÖlisten to the words...
theme of the Melting Pot, and the theme of loss of innocence is established
two songs. And not just the innocence of the little boy but the innocence of the whole nation.
Item number two is a warning against foreign, alien, aesthetic extremes especially of those of
the orient and southern latitudes., the occult the----
before we go any further, let us note that this collection is a very bloody
and a very nasty
compilation. Let us make a body count of all the people who get killed in this anthology of folk music.
Twenty people are killed or commit suicide on the domestic scene, and 1,513 people died when
the Titanic sank. If we add to that the 15 million people killed in WWI an event mentioned
by Blind Lemon Jefferson and Cannonís Jug Stompers we get a total 15,001,533 deceased.
If we average this figure out among the 84 selections, we get 178,587.67 people killed per song
in this collection!
I will further introduce you to The Great Kelvinator, the Kelvitron and their
relationship to me, THE GREAT KOONAKLASTER.
On that note Iíll say goodnight Sara, bye Blair! Fatso, come back!
forget to look for my new book SPANK. Itís in the stores right now,
published by Drag City Press, Chicago, IL.
Thatís a pretty big average. 178,587.67 horizontals per song on the AAFM.
around and thinking about all these previous corporeals the official thought
the USA had been judged by God and found wanting and was therefore under
(See Sister Mary Nelson, # 47)
And they said so again and again.
sins? Murder, suicide, infidelity, blasphemy and idolatry, especially
as in #23 where people
express worshipful sentiments toward gigantic engines, modes of transportation and electric power.
Where people like George Alley states that he "wants to die with for the engine I love, 143."
So Georgie dies, Kassie Jones dies, John Henry dies and others die who were involved in
Were these people nuts or what?
Do you want to go horizontal with some stupid engine?
is no optimism in these songs. There is no looking forward in any off
The story, or at least the public dream of America is seen to be baloney, a put-on, perpetuated
by both the powerful and the poor.
participated in these lies and false hopes and idolatry. For this reason
the "class struggle"
cannot be a central fact or even a significant causative factor in the amount of alienation in de laní.
is everywhere and although there is plenty of traditional preaching by these
they are seen as spokesmen for the official story.
with the government or any large powerful institution, the unofficial, the
folk, do not trust
or believe in the words or sentiments of the members of any religious organization.
They perceive the preachers as liars.
OK, then how can you tell what it is that the real folk do believe and trust?
Anything? Is there any kind of transcendence for them?
Yes, in a way.
believe in the possibility of the manifestation of their own wisdom based
on their own
experience, like the logo on the Missouri license plates "Show me".
Thus skepticism and cynicism and sense of humor and irony are essential as a defense against disaster.
American folk music is full of cynical lyrics. Thus American folk music
becomes a matter
of self defense, a weapon.
weapon against the despair that the official republic creates through its
and the ultimate disappointment amongst the proletariat when they discover that they have been
screwed---when they realize they have been trapped in self-deception awaiting the great payoff
which never comes, and franchizement. The cynicism is an important means of communication,
a secret language.
The lyrics must be self-revelatory to the other members of the KARAS, to THE OTHER.
can recognize THE OTHER through the irony and THE OTHER can recognize you
if you start talking about big things, government, religion, money , power---I
know you by
your language. You are part of the Official Republic. You are The Enemy.
The cynicism is also a mans of communication, a secret language.
The lyrics must be self revelatory to other members of the Karas, to The Other.
can recognize through my irony and I could recognize you through your irony,
but if you
start talking about big things, government, religion, money, power----I know you by your language.
You are one of the officials. You are The Enemy.
This folk religion is self- reliant but hopes for intimate communion with The Other.
it should be remembered that American folk music is essentially a martial
Its purpose is self-preservation. The preservation of the invisible karas, the mystical body,
the unofficial, invisible body.
cynical person will not worship or even honor any of the granfaloons in the
much less worship the entire entity.
of the invisible karas must of necessity stand outside the official social
must forever remain there. This is what genuine American folk music is, music of outsiders.
Since it is a self-preservative system it must never consciously acknowledge
a desire for
death and yet it can never completely escape from a desire to return to pure vegetation. For underneath
it knows that life is an unhappy affair, interrupted only occasionally by joy.
The folk never forget the inevitability of death and
THE OMNIPOTENCE OF THE VEGETABLE
folk religion is highly ethical and highly altruistic. It is an orchestra
of those who have been
wounded by members of the official combine and see through it.
is an orchestra of those who can see the members of the official and see that
they have sold out,
that they have bought into the Great Beast of the visible institution.
course the official must exist and must continue to exist out of its own necessity,
but also because
of its own complicity in the Great Scheme, the Great Game, so visible if one will only look: Like a
great red light shining brightly to show the members of the alternative culture by no
means of internal contradiction what is not authentic, not true, and in a sense not even real.
official society always appears to be strong. For the Great Beast the
alternative does not
have a chance of accomplishing anything of significance, much less of winning.
Therefore remember what I, the Great Koonaklaster taught you through my magic apples:
1. The official is appearance only. In the long run, the strongest are the weakest.
The official exists for the sole purpose of your edification, and making your
the more actual, enduring and real.
3. He who has ears let him hear.
4. The humorous cynicism I taught you in reason, science, and music----that the exercise
of this organ alone or in concert, is the greatest source of joy and wisdom short of the
forthcoming all-in-the-all and the altogether in the altogether, when we shall all be one.
5. Finally the source of daily strength and joy comes by chanting the mantras I have given
you in "John Fahey"ís book SPANK.
OM SRI, JAI SRI, KELVITRONAYA NAMAH
OM SRI, JAI SRI, KOONAKLASTERAYA NAMAH
And finally--- the strongest of all:
Consequently I, the Great Koonaklaster declare on this day the 13th day of December 1998,
There is a mystical and invisible body.
2. The mystical body is older than the institutional body. In fact it is ancient.
3. The unofficial and invisible body of the people of the USA is the culmination and the logical
goal of all the wisdom of all the wisdom and knowledge contained by or known by this
ancient body of people, most of whom did not know each other.
4. I knew them all.
5. There has been a form of unobserved, unacknowledged and even unknown method of
communication between the members of this mystical group.
6. Through me, through my mantram and through the indirect cynical communication, all of which
I have taught you above, you may remain
8. in my consciousness, and I in yours, and you may remain in the great happiness,
which I AM.
The Great Koonaklaster, hereby declare the Invisible Republic to be a frighteningly
and gigantic insane asylum, disguised as a city-state, consisting of streets that go around and
around and around and around in circles and lead nowhere, avenues which are dead ends,
roads sided by false facades of buildings which are nothing but different wards for various types
of diseased minds, sidewalks which lead to a gigantic maze, from which there is no exit, no
escape, and finally people milling about in great confusion and perplexity, all of whom have
been decided by the DIRECTOR as to their own identity and their own experience.
The director himself is insane.
The directorís name is Greil Marcus.
book about the visible insane asylum is dangerous to the public health because
it is full of
factual errors and half truths and full of confusion. It contains false implications. Its main thesis
is that there is a significant connection between AAFM and Bob Dylan, along with a collection of
his tapes, which he made in some basement, along with a group of musicians called The Band.
This contention is not proved. Furthermore, the hypothesis and its supposed proof, which does not
exist, is obscured by endless babbling about various folklore items and informants, Marcusí own
free-association regarding such people and items, and finally his own spurious interpretations of
his narcissistic and solipsistic and loony projections.
musicians on the AAFM sing with little affect. Bob Dylan sings with
great affect. He is much
more dramatic than the AAFM folk. He is personal, hypnotic, focused, charismatic, clever, very
often brilliant. He with premeditation uses any vocal or rhythmic technique or trick he can uncover
to get you under his spell.
Everything he does is designed to elicit an emotional reaction on the part of the listener.
Sometimes his songs are quite lengthy.
Bob Dylan is not a member of this insane asylum
The insane asylum exists only in Greil Marcusí Kopf.
think I shall disguise myself as John Fahey and enter my time machine and
THE ROCK OF ETERNITY. Maybe while Iím out there in space Iíll see Captain Marvel and
the Mole Men, or maybe Mr. Mind, president of the Monster society of Evil, or Billy Batson,
or maybe even Mary Marvel.
I always liked Mary Marvelís gams.
* * *
Har, har, you think Iím finished now. Har har you donít know me. I never stop.
Back to Greil Marcus. Is there anything good to say about Greil Marcus?
He likes Doc Boggs. He talks a lot about Doc Boggs. Without comprehension,
of course. Everybody knows that now. Boggs strikes a chord in Marcus. Marcus wrote lots of
words about him. So now Boggs, dead, is selling more records than he ever did when he was alive.
Boggs is a big dead.
Boggs is in last monthís Atlantic Monthly.
Now I, the real John Fahey, am gonnaí write about Doc Boggs.
Everybody else is.
Know what I mean?
Iím not gonnaí post it for awhile because I gottaí post some more axioms and
and short observations before we continue with the natures of reality.
But not right now.
I, the real John Fahey, am tired.
Gonnaí get some sleep
I love you, as the Great Koonaklaster loves me.
You know who I mean.
See you in my dreams
See yaí soon.
For your convenience
in reviewing this document's pivital junctures,
Please use the back button to return to this list again if you find yourself lost
in the document.
9/5/98 - What is original sin?
9/7/98 - Mahler loved Bruckner
9/8/98 - What is the Uhrwort for Kaiser, Keizer, etc.?
9/13/98 - It began sometime in the previous century, probably 1850 or earlier.
9/16/98 - AT THIS POINT, I, THE GREAT KOONAKLASTER COMMENCE HEREWITH TO SPEAK...
9/23/98 - This is a continuation of last night's transmission when "John Fahey" punked out.
10/23/98 - Marcus wants us to believe that everybody on the Anthology has a homogenous Weltanschauung.
12/13/98 - ANNOUNCEMENT more on Marcusville, concluding comments on Invisible Republic