Things continue to happen…
The biggest is the appearance of volume 8 of Darklore, on sale now.
The line-up is:
Mike Jay dives into the strange history of ‘sane hallucinations’
Martin Shough investigates the ball lightning enigma, and the way science has approached the mystery as compared to the UFO phenomenon
Joanne Conman discusses her revolutionary theory about ancient Egyptian astronomy
Daniel Bourke compares modern accounts of post-death consciousness with the descriptions of the world beyond found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Cat Vincent examines the rise of pop culture-based, hyper-real religions
Blair MacKenzie Blake revisits the strange history of the Shaver Mystery craze
Lucy Ryder explores the history of ‘corpse roads’ through archaeology and folklore
Ray Grasse asks the question: what does it mean when weird things happen?
Martin J. Clemens looks into reports of a 24,000-year-old pyramid in Indonesia
Robert M. Schoch explores the nature of death and consciousness
Alistair Coombs goes in search of the ‘Cult of the Cosmic Bull’
Greg Taylor reports on the ‘dying light’ witnessed by some people at the passing of a loved one
You can also read my article “Believing In Fiction: the Rise Of Hyperreal Religion” as a free sample here (pdf).
Also upcoming (hopefully 24 September) is the next post in my ongoing Spiral Nature column The Hype: This time I’ll be talking about a very personal experience in the use of pop culture symbology in magic, and issues of cultural appropriation. Hint:
Oh, that knife…
Finally, a reminder that my talk for the London Fortean Society “Searching For Slenderman” takes place in a couple of weeks. Venue is The Bell pub in London’s East End, on 8 October at 7:45PM. Tickets are £3/£2 concessions.
Here’s the blurb:
The Slenderman. Born barely five years ago in an online Photoshop competition, this faceless creature’s mythology rapidly spread across the internet, inspiring video series, Alternate Reality Games, stories… and nightmares. Earlier this year, its influence may have led to the attempted murder of a child by other children. A creature of pure fiction, drawing blood. Cat Vincent takes a look at the origins, evolution and implications of this most modern of monsters.
Hope to see some of you there.
It’s been a while since I put up a post – a lot’s been happening. For one thing, I turned fifty years old – and honestly, it feels pretty good.
I have a new monthly column at the venerable occulture site Spiral Nature: called ‘The Hype’, I’m taking a look at currents in occult-related pop culture which are sliding further into both the cultural mainstream and the ‘real’ world. The first piece sets up my angle of attack (using the perspective of sociologist Adam Possamai and his theories on hyper-real religion – hence the name). The second article considers the way True Detective brought the cosmic horror of The King In Yellow to a far wider audience and the third, up today, considers The-City-As-Character in urban fantasy – with a specific, personal focus on London.
(My interest in Possamai’s models will also be involved in my next piece for the Darklore journal, coming later this year.)
I’ve been doing more for Daily Grail, including my partial review/flag-waving for the upcoming stage adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s autobiography Cosmic Trigger which promises to be extraordinary (there’s a crowdfunding campaign for a planned 23 November premiere in Liverpool – get on that!). I’ve also done a review of the recent Current 93 gig at Halifax Minster church and the NSA’s facial recognition algorithm seen in light of the prescient (and excellent) TV show, Person Of Interest.
And then there’s Slenderman…
At this point, pretty much everyone has heard about the shocking events in Wisconsin: the attempted murder of a twelve year old girl by two of her friends, trying (allegedly) to sacrifice her in order to become Slenderman Proxies. News agencies across the world have been trying to get a handle on this ever since – I was interviewed for The Guardian a few days after it happened. Then, two more cases involving Slenderman happened – one was a similar attack by a child upon her mother, the second an aside in the multiple cop-killing in Las Vegas by a husband-wife pair, whose interests included right-wing extremism and cosplaying as Joker/Harley Quinn and Slenderman.
Two days after the latter attack, it was the fifth anniversary of Slenderman’s birth – I noted the occasion for Daily Grail.
And… I’ve been commissioned by Fortean Times to write a feature on Slenderman for the next issue. This is a big deal for me, to put it mildly. I hope to do the subject – and the fall-out from the Wisconsin tragedy – justice.
It’s a strange world, and getting stranger by the day. Be safe out there, folks…