Sunday, December 3, 2017

Jabir Opens Wilsonfest 2017


Prolific local author and thinker Robert Anton Wilson died ten years ago at his home in Capitola, CA. I was one of the many friends who participated in Bob's hospice-assisted passage into the next realm and one of the celebrants at the fabulous Wilson Wake held at the Coconut Grove on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Ten years after his death, Friends of Bob convened RAW Day at the Santa Cruz Arts & History Museum, recorded the proceedings and made the videos available here at the RAW Trust Site which is also busy editing and publishing Bob's literary works in original new formats.

Among the various presenters on RAW Day at the Santa Cruz Museum were R. U. Sirius, co-founder of the Berkeley-based pioneering cyber-psychedelic magazine MONDO 2000, Richard Rasa, head of the publication arm of the RAW Trust, Adam Golightly, Discordian Historian, Erik Davis, author of The Visionary State and Christina Pearson, Bob's oldest daughter. Holding the proceedings together was the hyperenergetic British MC, Daisy Eris Campbell, whose father directed Illuminatus! while she later directed Cosmic Trigger, two big British theatrical productions based on the works of Robert Anton Wilson. The participants at RAW Day included many famous Santa Cruzites, notably Valerie Corrall, David Jay Brown and Suzie Wouk.

For reasons unknown, Doctor Jabir was chosen to open the festivities. In my five minutes I proceeded to tell the story of how I first met Bob and his red-headed Irish wife Arlen; the tale of something Bob stole from me; and a poem on creativity called Kiss My Bare Art -- all captured on video by Daisy Eris.

And sure as sin, Bob Wilson, tonight after uploadin' this wee post, I'll be drinkin' a Guinness in yer honor and hummin' Danny Boy. 

Robert Anton Wilson (1932 - 2007)
Die ewige Blumenkraft


Paul Hillery said...

Dear Nick,
I was pleased to see your tribute to Robert Anton Wilson. I read most of his books, fiction and non-fiction and found Prometheus Rising most helpful in my self-improvement (still finding quarters or euro coins on the street). He’d been on my mind for many other reasons and last weekend I sat with my wife and watched his rock-opera Wilhelm Reich in Hell on Youtube. I’d first seen it performed at Trinity College, Dublin in 1985 on my honeymoon with my first wife. Totally delightful. The Youtube version doesn’t come close, but should still be seen. Eleven years later I started summer trips to join my Druid group, camping at a place in NY called Brushwood Folklore Center, close to Lake Erie, a few hours south of Niagara Falls. While the rest of us pitched tents in the mud, Wilson had his special trailer decked out for his stays. It was a magical time. Wilson’s work as editor for Playboy expanded my mind in so many ways and was the heart of the magazine. I loved Erik Davis’s The Visionary State and try to visit those places each time we head to California. Unfortunately Druid Heights is closed to the public and Harbin Hot Springs burnt down the day before Birgit and I were going up there. I gave my son The Masks of the Illuminati a long ago and he said it was the creepiest book he’d ever read and that he would be suspicious of anything else I offered (of course he enjoyed it). It is nice you all gather to celebrate 10 years of the passing of an era. There’s no one like him.

nick herbert said...

Thanks, Paul, for your lovely comment about your relationship with RAW. Except for the title "MoI" is one of my favorite RAW books. James Joyce, Albert Einstein (before they were famous) and Alastair Crowley, the Great Beast: What's not to like? "Cosmic Trigger" is a poignant autobiography of the man during a most trying time in Berkeley. My friend August O'Connor & I sat with Bob during his last few months. My favorite RAW experience was watching the movie "James Joyce's Women" on DVD with him and August with running commentary from the Joyce master himself on each of the female characters.

Anonymous said...

Great books, loved them. Great writer, loved him.