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Go find the shark yourself.

October 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Rick Paulas interviews Spencer McCall “San Francisco’s Baffling Jejune Institute Gets A Documentary”

Did you ever see The NeverEnding Story? What’s cool about that is, the people of Fantasia need a human being to give a new name to the Empress. And the only way they can get someone to come to their world is to create a story that someone can immerse themselves in, they can only come to this world and save it if they believe that the story they’re reading is essential and necessary. The story doesn’t matter. It’s just the tool to get you to come together and open up your eyes. It’s not the Holy Grail; it’s the quest for the Holy Grail. But everything that the Holy Grail would give you, you could gather on the quest. So that was the message. And that’s not necessarily a new message. You know, “it’s the journey not the destination.”

So that’s what’s really cool to me, is that you can believe in something more going on. You can believe in magic and you don’t have to attribute it to a God or whatever…

… or a corporation, or a movie…

… but at the same time, people love to say they’re spiritual but not religious, and this was definitely religious but not spiritual. Because it was all the tradition and story that religions have, but none of the necessity to believe in any of the magic. And I don’t know if that was really Jeff’s idea. His idea was to get people to stop looking at their phones, to explore the world they live in, not be afraid to go down an alley because they think it might be owned by someone. You know, don’t go robbing anybody, but explore it. It’s your city, too. That would be Jeff’s thing.

Mine would be just to question the media you’re presented with. I think a movie has the ability to make you open your eyes and linger and bounce around in your brain for awhile, but don’t take it too seriously. And if you do, be sure you really question it and get the answers. It’s like Jaws. If you’d seen the shark in the beginning, would it be that sharp or spooky of a movie? Probably not. You know at the end they do show the shark. I don’t think I ever showed the shark in this movie. But that’s the idea. Go find the shark yourself. You decide.

more on UFOs, science fiction, tricksters and tulpas

March 2, 2010 Leave a comment

All via Magnoia – cheers!

from Martin Kottmeyer’s Entirely Unpredisposed

An abductee in the 1954 movie “Killers from Space” has a strange scar and a missing memory of the alien encounter that caused it. The mysterious impregnation of women, including virgins, and the subsequent birth of intelligent hybrid children is the theme of the 1960 film “Village of the Damned”. Brain implants are featured in the 1953 movie “Invaders from Mars”. … “Earth versus the Flying Saucers” (1956) also precedes UFO lore in featuring an abduction in which thoughts are taken.

from Tangling With the Trickster: Myth, Magic and the UFO by David Perkins

Theorist Tom Bearden has put forth the idea that UFOs, cattle mutilations, Bigfoot, fairies, Motthman, etc. arise from “exteriorised psychokinetic manifestations of the collective unconscious”. Bearden called these manifestations ‘tulpoids’. Tulpas are reputedly the entities which can be consciously created by Tibetan spiritual masters. Obviously there is a big leap from unconsciously created materialisations to consciously generated entities. Borrowing from Jung, Bearden speculates that the materialised tulpoids have a “metapsychological” or prophetic function. Just as an individual’s dreams reveal his or her unresolved conflicts, tulpoids are thrust up from the unconscious depths to illuminate the unresolved conflicts of humanity. Depending on how skilful we are at interpreting and integrating these prophetic eruptions, this could be construed as a helpful therapeutic process.

From John Rimmer’s The Manhattan Transfer (quoting Stefula, Butler and Hansen)

“Both ufology and D&D allow direct, immediate involvement with powerful ‘other-world’ beings and mythological motifs. Both endeavors have been known to overtake (possess?) the participants, though only occasionally to their detriment. Most players are able to successfully detach themselves from involvement, but occasionally the game become obsessive and interferes with ‘real-world’ pursuits. This role-playing taps archetypal images that hold great psychological power. The archetypes can become immensely attractive, even addictive to those playing the game…”

from Peter Rogerson’s review of Rob Irving’s The Field Guide

For the tricksters of the 21st century there is quite a challenge, ufologists and paranormalists are just too easy a target, hoaxing them is like stealing candy from children. Its time to take on the big boys, could someone pull of a hoax which would cause genuine consternation in official circles, get the scientific mainstream making total asses of themselves, and persuade a sizeable chunk of CSICOP or whatever it is called nowadays, to defect and start believing in half a dozen impossible things before breakfast.

Categories: ostension

ufos and science fiction

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

from forgetomori on Nazi UFOs

One of the most interesting finds by Verga in my opinion is the image at the top of this post. The comment that it would be something very cool from a fictional point of view had a reason: pay attention to the signature.

The illustration comes from Amazing Stories, published in July 1943. That’s four years before the start of the modern obsession with flying saucers, and therefore way before anyone associated them with Nazis, much less Aliens.

As Verga remarks, in the 1950s that exact scene – a flying saucer fighting a squadron of Superfortress – would be depicted as a supposedly real event over Schweinfurt in 1944.

It’s not news to the psychosocial theorist that all and every allegedly real element from ufology can be found years before in science fiction. Some examples, however, can be quite impressive, and the Amazing Stories illustration foretelling later Nazi UFOs tales is clearly one of them.

From Mark Pilkington’s Screen Memories

What I intend to explore in this essay is the apparently symbiotic relationship between the representation of UFOs and aliens on screen in films and television, and the way they are perceived and described in reality. That films can directly affect the way people think, particularly about things they do not understand, is beyond doubt; people today are still afraid to swim in the sea after seeing Jaws. I hope to show that the borrowing of themes and imagery is a two-way process; some times the fiction follows the perceived fact, and at others the reported fact is quite clearly rooted in fiction. A clear example of this, rare in its extremity, took place in England in the late 1980’s. In the final episode of the Dynasty spin-off The Colbys, its main character, Fallon, was abducted by a UFO; she returned later in Dynasty and detailed what had happened to her. Soon afterwards a woman contacted BUFORA (British UFO Research Association) and related an abduction experience that was identical to the one on the programme; the date she gave for the incident was the night after the relevant episode had been shown and luckily the investigator recognised the connection. Though such literal transpositions of fiction onto apparent reality are uncommon, it is possible to trace many of the key elements of the UFO mythology, particularly those concerning abductions, back to images from science fiction film, television and artwork.

Categories: ostension

what is ostension?

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

from John Lundberg’s ostension.org

What is ostension?
The word ‘ostention’ comes from the Latin ‘ostendere’, to show.

It was used by semiotician Umberto Eco to refer to moments in oral communication when, instead of using words, people substitute actions, such as putting a finger on your lips to indicate that someone should be quiet.

Folklorists Linda Dégh and Andrew Vázsonyi appropriated the term in their 1983 article “Does the word ‘dog’ bite? Ostensive Action as a Means of Legend-Telling” to refer to ways in which real-life actions are guided by legends.

For instance, legends of contaminated Halloween candy predated the finding of actual contaminants in treats by at least ten years (Dégh and Vázsonyi, 1983). Individuals who placed needles, razor blades and other dangerous objects in treats as pranks engaged in a form of ostension. The theory of ostension explains how easily certain elements can pass from legend to ritualised action.

Entire legend plots can be reduced to an allusive action. If a narrative is widely known individuals may become involved in real life activities based on all or part of that narrative. This is ostension in action; when legend alters or shapes the behavior of people. Real events patterned on an urban legend, fact mirroring fiction.

In a nutshell?
To folklorists, ostension is the real-life occurrence of events described by a legend. Legends we live.

Categories: ostension