Friday, December 09, 2005

SHEENA of the Jungle

Sheena was originally created as a comic book character by the Eisner-Iger, Ltd. Shop, an independent comic art studio. Which of the two partners was actually responsible for the creation of the character depends upon whose side of the story you choose to believe. There are those who say that Will Eisner created Sheena as a female counterpart to Tarzan, and that her name and character were somewhat influenced by H. Rider Haggard's character "She." Since Eisner is an accomplished artist and storyteller, and one can readily see at least superficial similarities between the imperious "She-who-must-be-obeyed" and our Queen of the Jungle, this version of the story has its attractions. On the other hand, S. M. "Jerry" Iger tells a somewhat darker story of Sheena's origins. According to Mr. Iger, he was asked by a publishing syndicate that he had a business relationship with to produce a Tarzan knock-off for sale overseas, and spontaneously came up with the idea to make the character a jungle heroine—with the name "Sheena" being no more than a minor variation on a local ethnic slur.

Sheena has been depicted by the luscious Bettie Page and most famously by Irish McCalla. Check out these pics: 1, 2, 3.

Hermes Trismegistus

Hermes Trismegistus (Greek for "Hermes the thrice-greatest", Greek: Ερμης ο Τρισμεγιστος) or Mercurius ter Maximus in Latin, is the syncretism of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth. In Hellenistic Egypt, the god Hermes was given as epithet the Greek name of Thoth. He has also been identified with Enoch. Other similar syncretized gods include Serapis and Hermanubis. Several Occultists, Hermeticiests and Alchemists have published under this name. The website 'Esoteric Archives' has at least on or two of those publications. Check out Wikipedia's concise little article on Hermes here.


Auroleus Phillipus Theostratus Bombastus von Hohenheim, immortalized as "Paracelsus," was born in 1493. He is perhaps the most well known Alchemist today and is occasionally called 'the father of toxicology'. Below are some links to easy to understand, brief axplanations of who he was and what he did.

Paracelsus: Alchemical Genius of the Middle Ages

PARACELSUS, Five Hundred Years: Three American Exhibits - This is an online version of an exhibit held at three sites in 1993 and 1994 (the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD, Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA, and Washington University, St. Louis, MO).

Paracelsus - The Wikipedia Entry

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Slender Fungus

Love and hope and sex and dreams
pride and joy, fast cars, ice cream
jet black hair, soft socks and shoes
let's fish around, free air again
golden madness, feed off dead meat
time not lost, but sold white teeth
we want victory, we want truth
a million stars move into view

slender fungus was a disc of shiny concrete
slender fungus was a disc, a shiny ball of meat
slender fungus sucks the toes that linger round your feet
slender fungus eats in bed before he goes to sleep

Feeling good here in the rain
worms dancing, dancing in our veins
I am you, but you're not me
bitter dolls, these always free
dance 'til it hurts, in a midnight glow
truth is simple, can't ever say no
flames fly higher, look up the moon
watching demons again,
neither are you

slender fungus was a disc of shiny concrete
slender fungus was a disc, a shiny ball of meat
slender fungus kissed a fish inside a stolen jeep
slender fungus eats

But we play all the things we are
bomb song, swan song, red hot jazz
burn ourselves out, just to please
back to a car, get on your knees
big, big bomb song, gets burnt out
light your fire, move into view
you can do better
you can do better
you can do better, that's only true

slender fungus was a disc of shiny concrete
slender fungus was a disc, a shiny ball of meat
slender fungus sucks the toes that linger round your feet
slender fungus eats in bed before he goes to sleep

Daniel Ash, what an exquisite madness he exhibits ~ E

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The problem with our representative democracy

A meaningful democratic order requires the elected government to have regard to what mandates it has received and has not received, and generally, to act according to the wishes of the electorate (us dudes out here ). The duty of an elected government is to conduct the affairs of the state in accordance with what public opinion perceives to be in the best interests of the nation. The elected representatives are therefore supposed to be responsive to the opinions of those who elected them.
In recent times these principles have been subverted by governments pursuing regulationist and vaguely socialist programs. The corporatist strategy of these governments is to make their policies work by making deals with powerful interest groups such as trade unions and big business and special interest groups such as environmentalists, feminists and peace groups. This is the basic strategy of "government by consensus". On questions of policy vitally affecting the public, the current government has repeatedly chosen not to consult with the electorate as a whole but with groups which, despite their power and influence, fail to represent the views of the vast majority of us. The government has thereby set up alternative consultative processes which circumvent the traditional institutions of democratic government.
Economic policy today is effectively determined by a process of trade off between big unions, big business and the big government. What passes for consensus are deals which accommodate the special interests of union bosses, big economic conglomerates, the ideological goals of the government and specially favored pressure groups (eg environmentalists, feminists, the education lobby, peace groups, the arts lobby, the multiculturalists, the gay rights movement and well-backed activists). The public is led to believe that decisions are made by public consensus whereas the truth is that they only reflect the interests of the powerful and the influential.
It is not difficult to understand why these powerful groups readily cooperate. The government for its part cannot hope to obtain popular endorsement for most of its policies. It must therefore seek to create alternative mechanisms which are ostensibly pluralistic but in fact take no account of public opinion. The unions provide this support. The latter not only share most of the government's policy objectives but stand to gain tremendous concessions at the expense of the public.
Big businesses on the other hand, are sometimes less willing partners, forced to co-operate in this process for the purpose of survival. In return for their acquiescence, they expect patronage and protection for their interests. The unfortunate aspect is that the interests of big business seldom coincide with those of the smaller entrepreneurs, farmers, the general public and the economy as a whole. The concurrence or silence of big business participants tends to foreclose further debate on economic issues by those representing the private sector interests.
It is clear that corporatism consists of an unequal bargaining process in which the economic and ideological interests of socialist governments and unions predominate. It is a masterful political strategy for imposing minority views on the majority under the guise of pluralism. It has substantially eroded the principles of democratic government which require the government to be responsible to Legislative Branch and house and senate to be responsible to the electorate.
The threat to representative democracy which arises from this type of corporatism is that the process, when institutionalized, can displace the principle of government according to popular wishes. The pursuit of this strategy has been so successful that it is almost presumed that once a deal has been struck between these powerful groups, it is no longer open to question.
Democracies everywhere are in danger of being hijacked by bureaucracies and special interest pressure groups. Public accountability is giving way to government by coercive deals. Political power has shifted from the populace to the powerful organizations. The inevitable victors will be the coalitions which seek to control society for their ideological or parochial ends or my name aint Nathan Arizona!