The GSpot: Yony Leyser


Joseph Matheny in conversation with filmmaker Yony Leyser director of the documentary “William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

Listen to or download show here

Yony Leyser is a twenty-five-year-old filmmaker living in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He has directed several short films. After being kicked out of film school, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and began his passionate first feature film, William S. Burroughs: A Man Within,  about one of the most interesting icons of
the 20th century,

He also works as a curator, video artist and photographer, documenting people who are outside the mainstream of society. His photograph series have included Ida, a utopian transgender commune in Tennessee; Christiana, an anarchist village in Copenhagen; Kopi, Berlin’s largest
squat, and naked bike rides in the US. His work has been shown work in galleries and theaters in Chicago, New York, London, Berlin, Paris,
Vienna and Los Angeles. Yony Leyser brings a more personal perspective to Burroughs’ legacy, examining the private versus the public personae
of Burroughs and the effect this may have had on his most intimate

The GSpot: Richard Nash


Joseph Matheny in conversation with Richard Nash about publishing/e-publishing past-present-future.

Listen to or download show here

Utne Reader calls Richard Nash “One of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” ranks him him “The #1 Twitter User Changing the Shape of Publishing.” He ran Soft Skull Press, now an imprint of Counterpoint, from 2001 to 2007, and ran the imprint on behalf of Counterpoint until early 2009. Here’s why he left. The last book he edited at Soft Skull, Lydia Millet’s Love in Infant Monkeys, was just picked as a Pulitzer finalist.

Nash now runs his own consulting business (details here) and is developing a start-up called Cursor, a portfolio of niche social publishing communities, one of which will be called Red Lemonade.

The following is an excerpt of a longer, recorded conversation between Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny and Richard Nash that occurred on March 23, 2010.

(A text excerpt of this interview ran earlier on The Nervous Breakdown)

Hukilau’s Slate Application is available for the iPad and in the store today

Hukilau SlateHukilau Slate

By RightSprite

Open iTunes to buy and download apps.

View here


Version one is a simple and easy to use movie slate that allows you to type in the values for all the standard fields like “scene number”, “production name” , etc. Shaking the iPad will result in a realistic clapping sound. Version two, slated to come out in a week or so, will have a running LED clock, a scene incrementation button and few stylistic improvements. We encourge users to download it, try it out and send us ideas for features, design and improvements. (*created by Rightsprite from my idea and with my direction)

THE GSpot: Nick Belardes


Joseph Matheny in conversation with Nick Belardes about his new book, Random Obsessions and a new episode of Bound Up With Books, reviewing De Sade’s Valet by Nikolaj Frobenius.

Listen to or download show here
NICK BELARDES is the author of Random Obsessions (2009) a book of oddities where you will learn that Mothman might be your big brother, Napoleon had stomach aches, and Thomas Jefferson’s grandson was an ax murderer. In 2005 he released the dark novel Lords: Part One a fictional account of the mysterious “Lords of Bakersfield.” A writer, poet and author, Belardes turned TV/online journalist overnight after blogging his way to success on Bakersfield issues. His articles and essays have appeared on the homepage of and other news sites across America. Lately, he has started to write less journalism in order to focus more on writing books and performing activist poetry that might wake up some of the lethargic brains of California’s Great Central Valley. He lives in Bakersfield, which is in the valley’s southern end. You can find Nick on Facebook and Twitter.




Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny talks to TNB fiction editor and author Gina Frangello.

Listen to or download the show here
GINA FRANGELLO is the fiction editor of The Nervous Breakdown. She is the author of the novel My Sister’s Continent (Chiasmus 2006) and the collection Slut Lullabies (forthcoming from Emergency Press). She was the longtime Editor of the literary magazine Other Voices, and co-founded its book imprint, Other Voices Books, where she is now the Executive Editor of the Chicago office. Her short stories have been published in many lit mags and anthologies, including A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross Cultural Collision and Connection, Prairie Schooner, StoryQuarterly, Swink and Clackamas Literary Review. She guest edited the anthology Falling Backwards: Stories of Fathers and Daughters (Hourglass) and teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies. Gina lives in Chicago and can be found online at Facebook, and the Other Voices Books’ website, She has twin daughters, a wild preschooler son, and never sleeps.

For more information about The Nervous Breakdown check out TNB in the LA Times or ABC.

The GSpot: Richard Metzger


Joseph Matheny in conversation with Richard Metzger about publishing and the future of media. Also, a new In Your Ear, reviewing the Sex is Fun podcast.

Listen to or download show here


Richard Metzger (born October 25, 1965 in Wheeling, West Virginia) is a British television host and author. He was the host of the TV show Disinformation, The Disinformation Company and its website, He is currently the host of the online talk show Dangerous Minds.


The GSpot: Steve Peters



Joseph Matheny in conversation with old friend Steve Peters. Steve is a founding member of No Mimes Media, who produced the Why So Serious for The Dark Knight and  Year Zero for Nine Inch Nails ARG/Transmedia Experiences and a host of others.  Also, In Your Ear reviews John Hummel Blogs the Religions.

Listen here

Continue reading The GSpot: Steve Peters

The GSpot: Marc Maron


The GSpot: Marc Maron

Joseph Matheny in conversation withstand-up comedian and podcaster Marc Maron,. Also, an In Your Ear review of Marc’s podcast, WTF. It’s a WTF kinda day here at the GSpot!
Listen here Continue reading The GSpot: Marc Maron

Cup of TNB: Episode 6: Jonathan Evison


Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny talks to TNB editor and author Jonathan Evison.

Listen to or download show here

JONATHAN EVISON is the author of All About Lulu, which won the 2009 Washington State Book Award, as well as the forthcoming novels, West of Here, and The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. In 2009, he received a fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. He is the Executive Editor of The Nervous Breakdown, and an advisory editor at Knock. He blogs at Three Guys, One Book. He especially likes rabbits and beer.

For more information about The Nervous Breakdown check out TNB in the LA Times.


The GSpot: D.R. Haney


Joseph Matheny in conversation with D.R. “Duke” Haney, raconteur extraordinaire and  the author of the novel Banned for Life . Also a new  In Your Ear, Psuke reviews the  Brain Science Podcast.

Listen to or download the show here
BANNED FOR LIFE is a novel about punk rock written over the course of nine years, both in the U.S. and abroad. It was recently (5/09) published by And/Or Press in Vancouver.

Robert Anton Wilson: The Lost Studio Session and other titles

51k5t+1ylpl._sy355_ Robert Anton Wilson: The Lost Studio Session

By Robert Anton Wilson
and Joseph Matheny

UPDATE: All RAW audio and video titles now available for free on

First recorded in Chicago in 1994, this previously unreleased audio session with the renowned Robert Anton Wilson has been stored away for fifteen years…and almost lost entirely. If Bob knew how many synchronicities surround the rediscovery and release of this “lost” studio session, he would be chuckling in that half jolly, half mischievous way of his. If you believe in any kind of afterlife, maybe you can imagine him laughing right now. I like that image: Bob the laughing Buddha, still having one over on us from the great beyond. -Joseph Matheny (from the liner notes)

Continue reading Robert Anton Wilson: The Lost Studio Session and other titles

The GSpot:Brad Listi


Joseph Matheny in conversation with Brad Listi, author and founder of The Nervous Breakdown. Also, a new episode of In Your Ear reviewing the QN podcast.

Listen to or download the show here

BRAD LISTI (b. August 1, 1975) is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestselling novel Attention. Deficit. Disorder. and the founder of, an online literary community and publication featuring writers from around the world. He has a BFA from the University of Colorado and an MFA from the University of Southern California. He was raised in the Middle West, but his kinfolk are from the Deep South. He teaches creative writing and English composition at Santa Monica College, and he can be found online at Myspace, Facebook, and

The GSpot: Rachel Haywire


Joseph Matheny in conversation with Rachel Haywire about the good old BBS days, music, art and all sorts of goodies.  Since this is a special holiday show, they just talked and talked and talked, with no fascist concepts of clocks or calendars. Chaos Never Died! 

Listen or download the show here

Continue reading The GSpot: Rachel Haywire

I’m interviewed for the smallWorld

the smallWORLD: Joseph Matheny, Alterati

On the last edition of the small WORLD I announced that the small WORLD had found a new home on Alterati. But what is Alterati? That’s the topic of today’s show.

Our guest on today’s show is Joseph Matheny, the founder of Alterati.

Joseph has been on the small WORLD twice before: once to talk about The Incunabula Papers: Ong’s Hat and once to talk about Grey Lodge. Joseph has also worked for Adobe. Joseph has also written and contributed to many books and magazine articles, is involved in theater, television, film and video and will soon be launching Hukilau.

We’ll learn all about Joseph and more on today’s show. Stay tuned!

As always, you can reach me at or follow me on Twitter at

‘The Abattoir Pages’ photo album

‘The Abattoir Pages’ photo album

Written & Directed by John Harrigan
Produced by Lucy Allin, James Elphick & John Harrigan
Artistic Directors: John Harrigan & James Elphick
Sound Designers: Victoria Karlsson, P. Emerson Williams & Antoine Bertin
Graphic Designers: P. Emerson Williams & James Curcio
Program Editing & Layout: Tovarich
Set Design Team: Emma Tompkins, Ryan Laight, Greg Simpson, Sam Newman, Abbie Yaxley, Hannah Druckes, Guy Burnett, Faustine Leverbe, Anne Bengard, John Harrigan & James Elphick
Lighting Design by Big Bean Productions
Costume Designers: Syban V, Katie Beves, Johanna Elf, Charlotte Tofield & Tereza Kamenicka
Choreographer, ‘The Procession’: Ria Whitton
Production and Creative Team: John Harrigan, James Elphick, Lucy Allin, Tereza Kamenicka, Victoria Karlsson, P. Emerson Williams, Ruth Middleton, Ivan Tanda, Jan Kamenicky, James Curcio & Joseph Matheny
Stage Managers: James Elphick, Emma Tompkins, Hannah Drukes, Abbie Yaxley, Ivan Tanda & Jan Kamenicky
Treasure Hunt by Hunter-Gatherers & Emma Tompkins
Producer of Online Strategic Development: Joseph Matheny
Photographer: Yiannis Katsaris
Director’s assistants: Ivan Tanda & Kat Gillet

Space Engineering
Big Bean Productions
Grey Lodge
Mythos Media
Dark Mills Festival
The Slaughtered Lamb

The Gspot: John Harrigan


In anticipation of the upcoming performance of The Abattoir Pages, Joseph Matheny in conversation with John Harrigan about anything and everything that comes to their mind.

All music provided by Veil of Thorns

Songs, in order:

  • And the Beast of the Vision Still Roams in Dream
  • Intellectual Institutional Object
  • Thought Pollution Evolution

In Your Ear: Reviewing Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story


Download or listen to the show here

Continue reading The Gspot: John Harrigan

The GSpot: HipGnosis- Eric Young



Joseph Matheny in conversation with Eric Young of HipGnosis, talking about life as an independent musician and more. Also, an episode of In Your Ear, Reviewing The Leviathan Chronicles – an Audio Adventure ( or for high bandwidth – lots of animation, etc. Includes cast of characters, episode summaries, blog and all that kind of stuff). Also, a blurb from FoolishPeople about The Abattoir Pages.

Music in this episode provided by HipGnosis : Glitch 303 Rendered, Underground Loom Hight to Fly, DOC

Listen to or download the show here


Continue reading The GSpot: HipGnosis- Eric Young

The GSpot: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl)



Joseph Matheny in conversation with Jon Lebkowsy about the beginnings of the public Internet, hacking, phreaking and the rise and fall of the “C” word (Cyber) , social media and a host of other remembrances of recent history.

Listen to or download the show here

Continue reading The GSpot: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl)


Black Book OmegaBlack Book Omega

by Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D. Joseph Matheny, Nick Pell, Calvin Iwema, Wes Unruh, Antero Alli

Illustrated by P. Emerson Williams, Joseph Matheny and MobiusFrame

Product Information: 56pg Booklet

ISBN-10: 1-935150-75-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-935150-75-6

At Original Falcon

Someone put a digital copy up on Scribd.

The GSpot: Michael Mailer


Joseph Matheny discussed the state of independent film and ponders some solutions to the “Internet dilemma” with his friend and partner, Michael Mailer. Also, a new episode of “In Your Ear” with Psuke.

Download or listen to the show here


Michael Mailer (born 1964) is a film producer and the oldest son of writer Norman Mailer. He has produced over 17 films. He has one sister Kate and two brothers Matthew and Stephen an actor. He is the co-founder of Bigel/Mailer films. He is married to Sasha Lazard and they have one son Cyrus. (wikipedia)



The GSpot: Steve “Diet” Goedde


Joseph Matheny reunites with an old friend from Chicago, Steve “Diet” Goedde. They talk about old times and Steve’s new release: Goedde Concerto with Robert Waechter. Also, a episode of In Your Ear.

Listen or download here


Steve Diet Goedde was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and learned the basics of darkroom work and photography from his father, who was an amateur photographer. By the age of 13, Steve was obsessed with taking photographs and started educating himself about photographers that inspired him, most notably Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, and Diane Arbus.

He moved to Chicago in 1985 to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied filmmaking and painting. He refused to study photography stating that he had already acquired his aesthetic and visual style. Continue reading The GSpot: Steve “Diet” Goedde

Pilotlite/DPRGRM Bringing Podcasting to LAFF

Los Angeles, CA June 1, 2009–Award wining immersive media artist Joseph Matheny has announced that his companies, Pilotlite and DPRGRM will be producing the official podcast for the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival. Matheny, with his companies, Metalepsis and DPRGRM pioneered film festival podcasting in 2006, with the first ever “from the floor” podcast with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.  (Archive link:  The SBIFF podcast produced segments that were picked up by major media sources, like Variety, E! and Starz, putting SBIFF on the map.

“We’re proud to bring the ‘from the carpet and from the floor’ experience to Los Angeles and aim to achieve even better results than we did with the SBIFF” said Matheny. “Piltolite/DPRGRM strives to always be on the cutting edge of the evolving media landscape. We’ll be pushing out audio-video podcasts, click to play, and still image archives of seminars, talks and red carpet events. This will “virtualize” the event for those who attended to revisit their experience, as well as offering a taste for those who might not be able to attend this year, but hope to in the future. Virtualizing events lengthens the “knee” of the bell curve for live events. This will be the first year for a official podcasting station at the LAFF and we’re proud to be breaking ground once again and to be providing a valuable service to the independent film community.” Continue reading Pilotlite/DPRGRM Bringing Podcasting to LAFF

GSpot- Falcon, Falcon, Burning Bright?


Joseph Matheny talks to Nick Thacher and Linda Miller about Falcon Press and why there appears to be two Falcon’s selling virtually the same catalogs since the death of Dr. Hyatt.

Listen to or download the show here

Also in this episode:A new In Your Ear with Psuke, and a special bonus track at the end: James Curcio presents the first installment of the Join My Cult audiobook, and releases Join My Cult as a Creative Commons PDF that you may download at Original Falcon. Also, as a side note, we were contacted after this show was recorded by an organization calling itself the New EII. Keep an eye open for an interview with them in the future.

Farewell to a friend

Friend and long time supporter of Incunabula, El Centro, Greylodge and Alterati, Dave Szulborski has passed away after a long and incredibly courageous battle with leukemia. He leaves behind his wife Marianne, his baby son Tyler, and many many friends both on-line and in the real world.

As many of you know I collaborated on several projects with Dave over the years, sometimes playing characters in his productions, co-writing productions together and even contributed and collected pieces for his books. I considered him a friend and a stalwart individual and he will be missed in my life. Catch ya l8r bro.

The Gspot – The Philosopher’s Stone w/ Raymon Salvatore Harmon


In this very special edition of The GSpot, Joseph Matheny talks to Raymond Salvatore Harmon about the special release of his movie, The Philosopher’s Stone on Greylodge as a torrent to be followed by a “Press to Play” version being released on and, and then a podcast edition to be released on Alterati, Greylodge and Pilotlite. Joe and Ray discuss art on the fringe, how Ray came to film making, the Chicago art scene, and why the economy means nothing to artists working on the fringes.

Listen to or download show here


by Joseph Matheny

Published in Rebels and Devils: The Psychology of Liberation
– other versions of this story were adapted for the stage and performed by The Foolish People in The Abattoir Pages and also as the opening chapter of El-Centro & OMEGA

Multiple formats available for download via


Gil came to sitting at a dirty, crumb-infested table in a doughnut shop somewhere in the southern California desert. He shook his head in a vain attempt to clear the cobwebs. Somewhere in his mind, drifting up from a black, bottomless void, a metallic voice calmly said: “The warm, woolly, cotton brain of infancy.”

“Wha…?” he said out loud.

”What?” the woman working the counter snapped.

“Nothing” Gil mumbled back. He glanced suspiciously at a soda machine that sat buzzing in the corner.

“Now — to figure out where I am and how I got here.” he thought to himself.

He looked around the doughnut shop, at the dingy sparse atmosphere. Fluorescent lights hummed overhead in a 60-cycle symphony, like something composed
by Stockhausen after the helicopters had run out of fuel. The shop, although locally owned, looked like it could presently be, or have once been, a
franchise establishment. It had that Spartan, stamped-out look, like it was a replica in a long line of generic family- owned shops scattered across
the country. For a moment Gil had a thought-movie of a factory somewhere that made modular doughnut shops, beneath a gigantic sign that read: “Generic, One Size Fits All. Family Owned Doughnut Shops for the Americas.” This flash was accompanied by snatches of sales and
marketing types milling about in loud, shiny suits, gibbering inane bumperstickerisms while strange machinery made cartoon-like sounds of boinging and
bonking as it chugged out the pre-fab shop pieces.

He shook his head again in an attempt to clear it up and a single word spontaneously formed in the fore of his mind: JUMP. Immediately after the word
formed his subconscious found a link and dredged up the Pointer Sisters’ song, “Jump”, and began playing the chorus in his head in a constant loop. For
a moment, he disassociated from the theater of his head and heard his central ego voice say: “I wonder why I didn’t associate something else, like Van
Halen’s ‘Jump’, instead?” Shaking his head at such a silly thought, he again attempted to focus his being and escape this oceanic free associative mode
he seemed to be awash in. He

swiveled sideways in a bright orange, molded plastic chair that was attached by a pole to the bottom of the table, which in turn was anchored to the
brown tile floor. The floor was specked with small bits of paper from straw covers and flecks of pastry. He took a slow, even breath. An Ink Spots song
emerged from a tinny speaker overhead with a low crackle.

His vision was blurry and he narrowed his eyelids in an attempt to take stock of what was right here and right now. Lying in front of him on the grungy
table he recognized a dog-eared copy of a book that he had picked up two weeks before at a hostel on State Street in Santa Barbara. He vaguely
remembered the act of reading some of it, but could not remember what the book was about. A bookmark made from a folded Del Taco napkin marking a place
halfway through the thick tome told him that he probably should remember. He tried to focus on the title but couldn’t make his mucus-coated eyes
behave. He saw a gray and semi- transparent bacteria strand do a lazy swim across his right eyeball.

“El Centro,” the voice piped in again.

He saw some weird graffiti carved into the table beneath the book, the bumpy scratched edges protruding from beneath either side. He didn’t bother to
move the book to read the graffiti. He was too weary, too full of ennui to muster up the energy to perform even so simple a task.

“El Centro. That’s what the truck driver who dropped me off here said

this place was called,” he suddenly remembered.

It began to come back to him in snatches. Climbing out of an eighteen wheeler at a highway off-ramp. The walk from the off-ramp to the doughnut shop,
the yellow sign atop a tall pole acting as a beacon that he followed, shuffling, in a daze, like a moth to a flame. Then, upon approaching the door,
narrowly escaping a collision with two men who were leaving the shop, post haste. He remembered catching a whiff of sulfur as they whirled past him. He
waved it off as some sort of synaesthesia. He remembered nearly being run over by one of them again, a small peculiar looking little man, who had
suddenly rushed back in to recover some forgotten leftovers. Walking, as if in a trance, Gil had shuffled to a table and dropped himself into one of
the swivel seats, falling like a bag of hammers. He attempted to regain some equilibrium and focus. He had been sitting there…how long? Minutes? Hours?
Days? He doubted that it was hours or days by the looks of the counter girl, an attractive but resolute looking young woman of undetermined Asian
descent, possibly with a dash of Mexican thrown in. He was fairly certain that he would have received the bum’s rush if he had been sitting there more
than a few minutes. He suddenly noticed that he reeked slightly of stale body odor.


He didn’t have a map so he was uncertain of his exact location, other than he was somewhere in California. He only knew that because he vaguely
remembered having heard of El Centro in some other time or place. He wasn’t even certain of why he had been dropped off here. Had he requested it? From
the looks of the terrain through the gray smudged windows, he was somewhere in the desert, so it was almost certainly southern California. Possibly
near the Mexican border.

“El Centro” he heard the female HAL like voice in his head repeat and his mind pulled up two more relative links from his subconscious. “The Middle
Pillar” and “The Middle of No Where” floated up to the surface and bobbed there for a moment in his conscious mind, like a fish flashing to the surface
of a pond. Turning and diving back down, both thoughts were gone as abruptly as they had arrived.

“El Centro” the HALette voice said again, like the automated announcement voice on a commuter train as it reaches a stop.

“Maybe if I get some food in me, my blood sugar levels will stabilize, and I’ll be able to think straight,” he mused internally.

No sooner had this thought crossed his mind than the counter girl barked at him in a shrill, half-accented voice, “You gonna order some doughnuts or
are you just gonna sit there?”

“What happens if I say, just sit here,” he croaked not bothering to look at her.

“I have to throw you out,” she said matter of factly. Then, softening a bit, she asked with a semi-concerned voice, “You okay?”

“Okay?” he asked, wondering if she were more concerned with his wellbeing or the fact that he might keel over on her shift and cause her undue
headaches. “Yeah, I’m okay. Can I have a…something with some substance? Something that will stick to my ribs?”

“You want a ham and cheese croissant?” she asked, going back to her official drone voice.

“Yeah, ham and cheese…coffee,” he said, his voice getting more clear with every effort to speak.

“It’s a special price if you get ham and cheese and coffee together,”

she chirped with a voice that approached something akin to gaiety.

“What’s it called?” he asked, surprising himself at his level of interest in this banal conversation and in its grounding effect. It was helping him
reel into focus. Plugging him into mundane reality again.

“It’s a breakfast special,” she continued, while placing a white paper

mat on a bright red plastic tray straight from the modular family shop factory. “It’s called a Jump. Like a jump start or a jump outta bed!”

He started at the word being spoken so close to having heard it in his inner narrative. The synchronicity factor was still fairly thick and that


creepy paranoid feeling that comes with it began its creepy crawl around the edges of his consciousness.

“Jump,” he repeated flatly. “Yeah. Gimme a Jump.”

He pulled a crumpled twenty dollar bill from the right front pocket of his jeans and carefully smoothed it out on the counter.

As he stood, obediently waiting for his JUMP special he thought back to a conversation that he had with his therapist, Dr. Seager.

They were in Doctor Seager’s office in New York, in the Upper East Side. The office was decorated with a heavy Victorian-era flavor, as if the interior
decorator had been Richard Burton himself. The “Great White Hunter” effect was completed by a gazelle head and antique blunderbusses hanging on the
dark mahogany walls. African charms, masks and other Voodoun trinkets were scattered about, almost laissez faire in their placement. A mighty oak
bookcase lined the length of the longest wall and it was filled with handsome leather bound editions of rare books in many languages, most having to do
with metaphysics or esoteric religious subjects. Opposite this bookcase was a picture window with a decent view of the city. A leather couch, which
creaked in mournful protest whenever a patient wiggled, sat lengthwise against the window. At the head of the couch sat a red brocaded armchair with a
matching ottoman. It is here that Doctor Seager sat as he listened to his patients and took occasional notes. He had placed it in such a way that he
could look out the window at the sky as he listened to the tales that came pouring from the inhabitants of the couch. The room swam in the comforting
aromas of leather and wood polish intermingled. It was in this same chair that Dr. Seager sat on this particular day in Gil’s memory and listened to
his story of “the voice.”

“When did you first begin to hear the voice?” Doctor Seager asked, while twirling a pencil around in his fingers, like a heavy-metal drummer doing the
flourish between beats.

“It all came to me one day in the library,” Gil said from the couch. He moved slightly and the leather made a creaking sound, like a saddle. “It
whispered in my ear. No, that’s not right. Not exactly in my ear but in my ear drum, but like from behind it. It kinda tickled. Do you get what I’m

“Hmmm. Um-hmmm,” was Doctor Seager’s reply. He looked out the window at some distant point in the cloudless sky. “Go on,” he said as if to the space at

“The tone was…warm in the sound-tech sense of the word. Um, mechanical, but warm. Rich is what I’m trying to say I guess. It had a melodic, tonal
quality, like it had a slight, ever so slight, stereo chorus effect on it,” Gil continued somewhat uncertain.


“I didn’t know that you were into sound engineering,” Doctor Seager said, sounding only slightly surprised.

“I’m not,” Gil replied. “but I’ve been around a lot of studios when I was hanging out with bands and even in a few…” He paused for a moment. “Anyway,”
the voice said, “have you ever looked back in history and noticed that every movement of rebellion in recorded history seems to have been co-opted by
the vested interests of power relatively soon after their inception? Ever wonder why? Hopefully you’re not alone.” I kinda jerked my head ’cause it
tickled my inner ear and then I had this feeling that the phrase had all these other meanings attached to it, like it carried multiple layers of
information on top, that said so much more than the simple words could, like an echo. Is any of this making sense?” he asked the Doctor in a pleading

“Yes, the ancient Hebrews, the Babylonians, Sumerians, others, many cultures have ascribed multi-dimensionality to words and their meanings. Even down
to letters in some cases, but we won’t go into all of that now. Is there more to this story?” he asked, tapping his pipe into an expensive- looking
ashtray that had an ornate knob in the center of it.

“Well, then the words ‘relative database’ came to mind and I thought about it. What I had just experienced with the…multidimensionality…of the words,
is that what you called it?” he looked to Doctor Seager for confirmation and received it in the form of a nod so he went on. “Relative databases, which
I knew from working with Dr. Abrams, how data sets linked to other data sets, ad infinitum.” He paused again as he tried to reel his mind back in from
the enormous complexity of it all. Taking a breath he started again, “Indra’s net. I read about that in a reference book on comparative religion in the
library. In the margin, someone had scrawled a note in pen that said:

‘If you are reading this book, you probably think the following chapter is not addressed to you and maybe it isn’t. However, you may want to ask
yourself, after reading this essay, if you weren’t even a little complicit in the propagation of what I call the Rebel Industry would you even be
reading these words?’

and I swear the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I got a cold prickly sensation. Ok, back to the voice.” He fidgeted on the couch again,
clearly agitated by the retelling of this story. Doctor Seager made a note in his pad, without looking up. “Now the gears of my mind were making all
kinds of connections, like a spider web, but huge! I began to contemplate, no a better term would be to see, how we carry a complete
recapitulation of the planet’s memory, our own racial, genetic and species-oriented memories, maybe what Jung was getting at with the collective
unconscious, but bigger…” He trailed off, lost in the enormity


of the concepts again. He noticed that his T-shirt was beginning to stick damply to his shoulder blades.

“Yes,” Doctor Seager said firmly, “so this turned into a kind of epiphany.” He said it as a statement of fact rather than posing it as a question.

“Yeah, but then I heard the voice again,” Gil replied, “only this time it was cold and metallic, not warm and melodic and it said: ‘There seems to be
an observable pattern of movements of rebellion against consensus reality followed by a co-option of those movements by established cultural
institutions. Can this pattern be broken or should it?’” Gil sighed. “And then it was gone for a while.”

“Has it been back since?” Doctor Seager asked, raising his eyebrows and staring straight at Gil.

“Yes,” Gil replied. “The voice often comes in and reads off a list of names. Like: John Dillinger, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Henry Miller, Jack
Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, D.B. Cooper, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Robert Anton Wilson, punk rock, hip-hop, Hakim Bey, grunge, Colton
Harris-Moore, Bikers. Harley Davidson, The Rockstar, The Hacker. Other times it recites lists of movies or books like: The Ego and His Own; The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt; Rebel Without a Cause; The Wild One; Wild in the Streets; Easy Rider
; A Clockwork Orange; Taxi Driver; Fight Club; The Matrix; American Beauty…and it always ends by saying:
‘We have to stop looking to Hollywood, the music industry, Madison Avenue, Wall Street and even the publishing industry for our concept of rebels.’”

Doctor Seager sat still for a moment. “Do the words Culture Jammer

mean anything to you, Gil?” he finally asked after a pregnant pause. “No.”

“Have you ever read the life story or any accounts of the life of John

Nash?” Doctor Seager queried.

“No,” Gil answered again.

“Well, you should look into those things Gil. In the case of Nash, skip the movie and actually read A Beautiful Mind. He had a glimpse through
the media curtain, saw through the weave, if only faintly. Unfortunately, he let himself be convinced that he was going insane. I have a suspicion that
a part of you is talking to you from outside the wall of artificiality, maybe a future self, and a part of your psyche that dwells outside this
construct that many call ‘reality’. Did you know that several prominent mathematicians have very robust theories that seem to indicate that we do in
fact dwell inside a simulation of some sort?”

“You mean, like the Matrix?” Gil asked.

“Um, yes, sort of like that, but without the cheesy Maya effects and

crappy sequels,” the doctor responded dryly.


“I don’t understand,” Gil half spoke, half croaked.

“Let me read a few things from the dictionary,” the doctor said, picking up a dictionary from the desk.

“Co-option: To take or assume for one’s own use. Appropriate: To neutralize or win over (an independent minority, for example) through assimilation
into an established group or culture.

“Rebel: One who rebels or is in rebellion. Rebellion: To refuse allegiance to and oppose by force an established government or ruling authority. To
resist or defy an authority or a generally accepted convention.”

He closed the dictionary and fell silent, looking at Gil, who was on the couch, with his forearm draped over his eyes. The Doctor then reached into a
drawer of his desk and pulled down a worn and dog-eared spiral notebook that looked to be several years old. He opened it in the middle and thumbed a
few pages until he found what he was looking for. He proceeded to read from the faded and smeared blue-lined pages.

“The answer is simple. What we see in films like American Beauty and

t Club
is not actually a critique of consumerism; it’s merely a restatement of the ‘critique of mass society’ that has been around since the 1950s. The two
are not the same. In fact, the critique of mass society has been one of the most powerful forces driving consumerism for more than 40 years.

“What Fight Club and films like Rabbit, Run present, in a user-friendly fashion, is the critique of mass society, which was developed
in the late

1950s in classic works like William Whyte’s The Organization Man (1956), Vance Packard’s The Status Seekers (1959) and Paul Goodman’s Growing Up Absurd (1960). The central idea is quite simple: capitalism requires conformity to function correctly. As a result, the system is
based upon a generalized system of repression. Individuals who resist the pressure to conform therefore subvert the system, and aid in its overthrow.

“This sort of ‘anti-advertising’ was enormously successful in the

1960s, transforming the VW bug from a Nazi car into the symbol of the hippie counterculture and making the Volvo the car of choice for an entire
generation of leftist academics. Similar advertising strategies are just as successful today, and are used to sell everything from breakfast cereal to
clothing. Thus, the kind of ad parodies that we find in Adbusters, far from being subversive, are indistinguishable from many genuine ad campaigns.
Flipping through the magazine, one cannot avoid thinking back to Frank’s observation that ‘business is amassing great sums by charging admission to the
ritual simulation of its own lynching.’”


He stopped reading and closed the notebook and continued to stare thoughtfully at the wrinkled cover.

“Doc, you’re being weird with all this speech-making, even if you are reading it. Are you trying to indoctrinate me into something? Are you
anti-capitalist?” Gil asked taking his forearm off his eyes for the first time since the doctor had begun reading.

“No, not in the least, Gil,” the Doctor replied. “I simply wrote those words down several years ago, because when I read them and I admit, I forget
where I copied them from, I was making a note to remind myself that rebellion and the ‘spectacle’ as the Situationist International would have called
it, cannot go hand-in-hand without the latter absorbing the former.” He took a slow, deep breath and continued.

“Where else can you see a megastar like Brad Pitt railing against

khakis and duvets and all sorts of commercial crap all the time pulling down a seven-figure salary while doing it? I mean, some lines from the movie
and the book make brilliant stand-alone statements against the homogenized vacuum of consensus culture.” He moves forward in his chair and adjusts the
sleeves of his tweed jacket.

“The fact that we’re sitting here talking about this through the medium of a Hollywood movie only highlights how much the media trance affects all of
us.” He turns to look straight at you the reader as if through a camera lens. “Yes, even you, reading this, who think you’re above it all.” He quickly
looks away, coughs, adjusts his tie and recedes back behind the fourth wall.

After a pregnant pause, he began again. “People like Stewart Home, in his book The Mind Invaders makes some salient points about this type of
phenomena…” he started to say.

“Is all of the media on the take or something?” Gil interrupted. “I mean, yes, people like Brad Stone and Oprah are on the payroll, in the pockets of
corporate interests obviously, but everyone? I mean, c’mon. Next you’re going to start talking about controlled demolition and remote
controlled airplanes and shape shifting reptilians…” He trailed off. “You’re not, are you?” he croaked dryly.

“No, I’m not,” the doctor said briskly. “Look, Gil, you need to take

some notes on what we are talking about here, and go do some research before we go any further. Also I’m going to give you a book and I want you to
read it. Then come back here and we’ll talk about this some more.”

“A book?” Gil asked puzzled.

“Yes. Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Read it and then come back next week and we’ll talk
about this some more. I think this book can give some basis of understanding for what may be happening to you,” Doctor Seager said


solemnly, reaching for a white-covered book on the desk behind his chair.

“What a coincidence that he already had it on his desk,” Gil thought as he took the book from the therapist.

“You need to get your head around these voice phenomena, or you

could end up having a major break and spiral in dereliction,” said the doctor, with a tone of concern.


“I said, here’s your Jump!” The counter girl was almost yelling.

“Huh?” Gil’s head jerked up from his reverie. “Sorry. I spaced out. I

guess I’m stupid from hunger.”

The twenty-dollar bill was still lying on the counter where he had smoothed it out a few minutes before.

The counter girl looked down at the twenty and then back at Gil’s

haggard face.

“Tell ya what,” she said in a firm voice, “this one’s on me.”

“Thanks!” he said with genuine elements of surprise and gratitude in his voice.

He reached down and picked up the twenty, crumpled it in his fist and wadded it back into his front pocket.

“Coke adds life!” he suddenly said cheerily, as he laughed wryly, picked up his tray and smiled a peculiar smile.

Joseph Matheny is a writer, filmmaker and technologist that has played a role in establishing and evangelizing standards and practices such as CD ROM, PDF,
DVD, XML, RSS, Podcasting, ARG and digital video. He holds patents for prediction, recommendation and behavioral analysis algorithms and software design.
He is a published author of screenplays, white papers, technology, sci-fi, marketing and gaming books. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

ars est celare artem | Reality Hacker | Artisanal Legend Crafter | Feral Scholar | Collarless Dog | Gamecaller | Mytho-Poetic Bricoleur | Labyrinthos Mythologicus Architect | Transgressive Storyteller | Caput Gerat Lupinum

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