Posts tagged When The Stars Are Right
(the following is an excerpt from the chapter ‘The Unbearable Strangeness of Being: Sex and the R’lyehian’ which may be found in When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality by Scott R Jones. There are only 2 PRINT COPIES of this provocative title left to order, though the ebook version is always available. Details on how to obtain your copy may be found here… )
Sex is weird. Let’s be honest here: when you get right down into the squelchy, heaving, multi-limbed mass of the thing, sex is very weird indeed. Sex is weird, because just being is weird. The fact that we are conscious entities parading around in flesh, flesh that occasionally comes together to please itself and, when conditions are right, produce more flesh for other conscious entities to parade around in? Completely weird.
Most of the time, we simply don’t notice how odd this is, how utterly strange our existence as a species on this planet has become. We are long past the simple days of our animal bruting-about, and each moment we are engaging more and more with the thing that we are to become. For now, we are strange, soft, pulpy creatures moving about the surface of this rock in our cloths and armours, cloaked in ideas and studded over with glowing memes, parasitical hoardings of belief and faith, ignorance and obsession. Can we truly claim that our behaviours, our proclivities and preferences, are even our own? Our society itself, an epiphenomenal entity sprouting from the fevered bios of its fleshy host if ever there was one, has its own obsessions. In regards to sex, society’s primary obsession is with normative behaviour, and this is a symptom of that not-noticing, that willful ignorance of the outré nature of the human experiment. Of the life experiment.
Sex sells and is sold. Ecstasy and anxiety are its products. It cages even as it frees. Look to the multitude of labels given to gender expression, sexual preference, and lifestyle choice: we are given to understand that the current LGBQT-MNOP alphabet soup of possible roles and modes of sexual being is a progressive movement, a real step forward. And yet this proliferation of labels, each with their staunch and strident defenders and detractors, has contributed little towards any reasonable increase in sexual freedom, and resulted in no real decrease in the level of sexual anxiety in our increasingly fractured society. Labels are for the marketplace, and the marketplace is primarily concerned with cost, supply, demand, brand loyalty, and the act of consuming. Each brand merely serves to define what it is not: by their very existence they shore up and validate the sexualities they set themselves against, reinforcing the standardized behaviours of every other brand. Sexual ghettos are the result, cages in which individuals imagine themselves free.
The R’lyehian, then, sees through this commodification of our sexual nature, to the inherent Being-Strangeness at the core of our existence, and the attendant weird-tantra of the sexual act as an expression of that strangeness. Labels and gender roles flow from the R’lyehian’s skin like water: though they may enjoy and even prefer a primary sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, bi-, queer, and yes, even asexual[i]), they are not fixed there, pinned to the board like a common moth to be gawked at and then forgotten. The R’lyehian way is, again, one of camouflage and stealth, and so, as far as sex is concerned, the R’lyehian is, at her core, an omni-sexual being.
[i] In truth, ones preference here is an entirely surface presentation, as much a stealth cloak as the so-called personality: all modes of sexual expression are open to the R’lyehian and can and should be accessed at any time, should the situation call for it. That being said, the R’lyehian is not “in the closet”, so to speak, or, if they are, that closet is effectively infinite, and the multitude of personalities, ideations, and modes of sexual gratification within it are similarly endless. The R’lyehian is a thousand white-hot compartments. He makes no judgments regarding the modes of being within himself (the very definition of a Sisyphean task!) and extends that openness outwards to others as well. If there is a criteria of judgment at all vis a vis R’lyehian omni-sexual practice, it comes down to one thing: the bare wiring of the nervous system. To wit: all beings, if they are wired up at all, move towards pleasure and away from pain (a basic polymorphic approach), and the means by which this pleasure is attained is inconsequential, merely epiphenomenal. As far as the R’lyehian is concerned, sex is whatever turns you on, and this literally so. The wires must fire.
Scott R Jones’ When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality has been out in the world for a mere three months, but that’s enough, apparently, to get people talking. So we thought we’d round up a few reviews for easy tagging here on the MMP site. Excerpts below and links to the full reviews: see what the Weird Fiction community has to say about the book Laird Barron calls “sly, intelligent, and darkly entertaining. Jones gives Ligotti a run for his money in the Cosmic Horror Philosophy arms race.”
David Leingang of Unspeakable Gibberer: “What Mr. Jones has accomplished is beyond any Cult of Cthulhu or Esoteric Order of Dagon. It is not so much a practice of occultism, but rather a philosophical approach to what Lovecraft may have been hinting at in his writings. Taking a more poignant stance behind Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlathotep, and Dagon and unveiling a study in character of each of the gods, taking into account what they stand for and what teachings they have in store for those who are enlightened by what Jones identifies as The Black Gnosis.” > full review here
Allen Griffin of Innsmouth Free Press: “Once again, there is something here for everyone. At one point, the author states the whole project started as a joke. But I am reminded of Aleister Crowley’s famous pun in Chapter 69 of The Book of Lies, a pun which some claim laid bare the secret teachings of the IX degree of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a pun that would resonate with occultists over the course of decades, if not longer … When The Stars Are Right is a thought grenade and reading this tome may just send ripples through one’s thought processes. Contemplate these concepts at your own risk; you might just come out the other side a practicing R’lyehian.” > full review here
And a very well written Amazon review from Joseph Legander III: “Although relatively brief, it is in alternating turns wise, funny, insightful, practical, and a little scary. Like some exotic, eclectic cuisine, it’s full of hints of other dishes, but duplicates none of them. Traces of Buddhism, chaos magick, and shamanism are obvious. Bits of Ken Wilber’s Integral Philosophy appear (intentionally or not), and there’s even a soupçon of the author’s clearly less-than-happy Christian upbringing. But the odd alchemy at the heart of it creates something so strange, so alien, and yet so lovely that it never feels at all derivative or forced … When The Stars Are Right is simply light years beyond the typical scribblings of Necronomi-con-artists and Gothic poseurs. It combines the blackest insights of Gnostic imaginings with a beautiful, tear-worthy epilogue in the form of a letter to the author’s newborn baby daughter. Regardless of how deep in slumber great Cthulhu may be, I’ll bet he sits up and takes notice of this delightful, non-fictional addition to the Lovecraft canon.” > full review here
Jones recently appeared on the Miskatonic Musings podcast with Sean Thompson and Charles Meyer. Yes, When The Stars Are Right was talked about, but there was also discussion of embarrassing Halloween costumes, the possibility of a kind of chakra-based activation of Godzilla’s blue atomic-breath, why you should always try to include at least one giant phallus in any sculptural attempt of Cthulhu, and Jones waxing all fanboy-ish about Grant Morrison AND Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials. So, something for everyone and nearly two hours of it. Right here, weirdos > http://www.miskatonicmusings.com/episode-53-always-look-bright-side-life/
Laird Barron likes the book. Reviewers and readers like the book. But the best response we’ve seen so far? Jones sent us a photo of the little girl to whom When The Stars Are Right is dedicated: his 9-month old daughter, Meridian, who finds it a toothsome read indeed! Normally we shudder a little when Cute-thulhu things happen (looking in your direction, Plush Cthulhu manufacturers!) but in this case we can’t help but allow it!
You can order your copy of When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality here. NOTE: there are ONLY 2 COPIES LEFT of the original print run, but we will be making arrangements this month to create a Print On Demand edition of the book. Missed out on the paperback? You can still order your electronic copy from Amazon (instant delivery to your Kindle) or directly from MMP (slightly-less-instant but still under 12 hours delivery). And follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the PoD availability, as well as news and weird links to things our readers enjoy.
Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache!
Migraineers, we released Scott R Jones‘ When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality exactly one month ago. Print and electronic editions. Now, the ebook version, well… there’s an unlimited supply of those, obviously. Photons and code, basically. Same stuff of which the Universe is built: common as muck. But the print editions, constructed of precious inks and the rendered flesh of forest titans? Ah, rare materials indeed. The first print run came to 100 books, a number which we were told was pretty reasonable for a micro-press. A number which (IN OUR NAIVETE) we thought we’d have months and months of casual selling to do before we saw the bottom of the boxes they came in…Long story short: one month after the release date, When The Stars Are Right is sold out of the print edition. Or almost. We’ve got only 15 copies left here at MMP HQ. Here’s the breakdown of how these weird little tomes flew from our hands…
10 copies to contributors, the good folk who wrote advance reviews and blurbs, and Friends of the Show
11 copies in the pre-sale
25 copies regular orders (to Canada, the US, the UK, various spots in Europe)
37 copies at the three nights of book launches in BC (Victoria, Vancouver, and Salt Spring Island)
2 copies to the National Library of Canada for obligatory cataloging purposes
And since we haven’t mentioned it yet… thanks for Keeping It R’lyeh, Migraineers! We’re very pleased with the reception When The Stars Are Right has received so far. You’re all fhtagn in our books.
More updates to come in the next week: WTSAR review round-up, news on Justine G’s Blackstone series AND the second installment in the Lust Larvae books, and a possible new magazine project that’s going to straighten your curlies if we can get our act together enough to make it happen! Stay tuned…