Wednesday, August 3, 2011

100% Hypno: An Electric Mystery

 There's something strange happening in the underground, a wild lightning in the aether. I've learned to watch for the signs, to sniff the world's spoor for the new and the interesting. I'm telling you right now: there's something weird coming down.
 Perhaps, like me, you've been seeing odd, suggestive postings on some of the more interesting sites recently. Charmingly cryptic and satiric they hint at some important information that you could decipher if you just knew a little bit more. A tingling on the tip of your mind.
Take this one for example:
Or try this on for size:
 I get the reference, the heavily layered satire. They're coming on like Situationists with brains, but it seems to me that I can sense another flavor in these occluded messages.  What is that, a yearning for excitement, for something better?  Is that the effervescent taste of hope?
  Then these fascinating little brain teasers starting showing up offline. Encrypted fliers popping up all 20th Century like, stapled over a mass of tattered band posters on a light pole. Weird graffiti and half-heard phrases from the guy two seats down the bar. 
And most interestingly,  "HYPNOCRACY NOW!"
 Strange messages, not ubiquitous but consistently in my field of vision, if only the corner of my eye. Allusions to the Hypnocracy, or more simply, Hypno.  Which is what? A band name? A brand? some occult, fevered art style? Whoever is behind it has an impressive work ethic. They had something to say, however esoteric, and they weren't messing around in getting the word out there.
And then this appears:
Well, now. A scan glyph, isn't that clever? So very NOW. It's the 21st Century and when information comes fast we can beam it right up. That's bleeding edge innovation and the doorway to an electric mystery.
  The door opens and there is...well, there's a legion. The door leads you to this:

and to something they call the Hypnoplex
 A picture is revealed. A shape coalescing from strategically placed bits of information and imagery, a cloud of particles condensing into the form of a man, or is it a monster? That's interesting, that is.  That's 100%. 
How long has Hypno been growing around us? Take a look  at this work, this Hypno. Weird horror and beach blanket mash-up that works irrationally well. Hyper colored violent satire. Dreamy Art Deco, thought crime, pulp fiction.  This is the electric zap of hardworking creators  broadcasting something new.  The ozone tang of a new tomorrow that's mad and beautiful and terrifying.
 Clearly they've been at this for a while, building in secret, madmen in their laboratories, and now they're bringing something original onto the planet. Like anything new they're at a fragile time and they've put the word out for all who want tomorrow to be a bigger place.  A call to arms for the new myths we can use to construct our world.
  Those of you who are experienced will know what to do.





Saturday, July 16, 2011

Member Profile: Mademoiselle

Author photo by J.Campanaro for Yeah. No. Totally. Available at Perfect Day Publishing

Profile written by J.K.

Some people defy description not because there is too little to know about them but, rather, because there is too much. Such is the evocative mystery of  Lisa Wells, the creative powerhouse and 100% Club member known as "Mademoiselle". Poet, essayist, fiction writer, actress, tracker, performance artist, pulp writer, mistress of disguise and world traveler. Writer/Philosopher Derrick Jensen describes her as " extraordinary young talent". She's on the human adventure and she's hear to tell us about it.
   What is it she hasn't done? Vagabond days in Central America; enduring the Midwestern monotony and loveliness; West Coast decadent hedonism; training into the ways of wilderness living; working with Nicaraguan street kids and teaching drama; exploring a world full of strange, wonderful, dubious characters.
  Yet in all of her work, amidst the knowing, aching  human sadness there is joy, a sense of empathy and wonder at the mere fact of life, a gratitude for the offerings of the universe that made us.
   "My plan was to sit on a hill and think and ask a few questions of my own, "What the fuck?" being chief among them. I did it for three days. Just sat there without eating food or drinking water. What some people call a vision quest. I prefer to call it sitting. Whatever you call it the point has always been to die, the end the most profound experience was also the most expect: a longing for water. It was the first time in my life I'd been truly thirsty...I was in love with water.  No life without the god of water. I shoved my nose into the desert floor and dug my fingernails in the dirt, down until I located a premonition of moisture, and dragged my nostrils against it, greedily sucking up the scent. I wept without tears and apologized to the world for all of my ungratefulness".
- excerpt from Knell of the Worried Well  from Yeah. No. Totally (2011) Perfect Day Publishing

 Still, one identity and one way of being may not be enough for her. Is it a coincidence that she disappeared into the speaking tour of aging rocker Derrick Dean who, along with his drug addled reminiscences of his glory days as a B-level rock star, read from her work?
What's the connection?

Lisa Wells, at the same time mysterious and openly honest, blazes across our world making it better and more true.  She has many tales to tell and there is no doubt each one will be 100%.

Monday, December 27, 2010

100% Blaise Cendrars

One armed poet adventurer. World traveler. Novelist. Essayist. Playwright. Hero of the French Foreign Legion. Early independent film maker. Raconteur and friend to all.
  Blaise Cendrars was a world famous and yet enigmatic writer who blazed across the globe in the first half of the 20th Century. He would make up stories about himself until those stories became true.  He would forever influence the world of letters and inspire some of the century's greatest artists. He would laugh, brawl, drink, talk and travel over much of the planet.
   He was born in Switzerland as Frédéric Louis Sauser on September 1, 1887,  but he rose from the embers of a bourgeoisie  existence to take on a fiery new name and live a life of adventure and creativity.  He once commented "writing is being burned alive, but it also means being reborn from the ashes".   The man who would christened himself Blaise Cendrars personified living life as art and art as life.
  A yearning for a bigger, wilder world would lead a young Cendrars to mythologize himself and to claim things that are unverifiable and unlikely.  At the start of his career Cendrars would, in the off-hand manner of a true story teller, claim that he'd been raised by a gypsy governess or that he'd earned his living shoveling coal on a Chinese railroad, statements for which there is no proof.  These self-made myths would become the psychological training ground for the new persona and true adventures that would outstrip anything he'd ever imagined.   Cendrars would later comment  "No I'm not an extraordinary writer, I'm an extraordinary daydreamer. I exceed all of my fantasies- even that of writing."
   Cendrars would choose France as his spiritual home even if he never stayed there for very long.
This is where he would  befriend and inspire some of the greatest artists and creative minds of the 20th Century. He and Guillaume Apollinaire  would create Modernist poetry together, he'd drink with Erik Satie and Modigliani would paint his portrait.

   Cendrar's creativity and vision were always uniquely his own and frequently semi-autobiographical.  His "Prose of the Transsiberian and the Little Jehanne of France" describing one of his journeys was formatted on a long folded paper and accompanied by paintings by Sonia Delaunay-Terk.  Cendrars termed this the "first simultaneous poem".
  When World War I broke out Cendrars and the Italian writer Ricciotto Canudo put out a call to battle to inspire the ex-patriot writers and artists living in France to defend their adopted country.  Cendrars himself would join the French Foreign Legion and fight on the front lines until September 1915 when  his right arm was blown off at the battle of Champagne.  He would later write about his war time experiences in his  works "The Severed Hand" and "The Astonished Man". 
  Undeterred by his injuries Cendrars dubbed himself "the left handed poet" and he would continue to write, create and travel. He would embark on journeys to Africa, Central and South America and the South Seas.  He would author a set of novels chronicling the globe spanning adventures of the rich eccentric Dan Yack.  He would create the perverse anti-hero "Moravagine" who would lay bare  the cruelties of the human animal.  He would become one of the first independent film makers and he would author  journalism on such diverse topics as the early American movie  industry in his collection of essays entitled "Hollywood" or the history of levitation in his work "A Parcel of Sky". 
   Amongst this hectic and boisterous life Cendrars would always embrace the people and the world around him.  He would swap stories with South American peasants and flirt with Hollywood starlets.  He would drink and argue and laugh with poets and priests, mechanics and prostitutes, women and men of all descriptions.  His true tales of travel and realistic depictions of life all over the globe served as precursor to the works of Hemingway. Henry Miller would state that Cendrars' work was "...written in blood but blood saturated with starlight".
   Blaise Cendrars was a man of brilliant creativity and prodigious talent but his greatest work was a life fully lived.
   "...the truth is few enough people know how to live and the few that accept life as it is are still more rare."
                                                                                                      -Blaise Cendrars

Friday, November 5, 2010

A History in Hints and Traces

   Recently WikiLeaks made public an American government report that details the unauthorized internet wide release of algorithms for a Chinese missile system thereby making them obsolete. The report insinuates that this act was perpetrated by a mysterious, dark haired woman known only as Mademoiselle.   That there is a core member of the 100% Club with that code name and that her whereabouts during those events are unknown- which is entirely coincidental, probably- has once again piqued the interest of The Powers that Be into the Club's membership and activities.

  And yet it seems that the official interest may once again go unsatisfied. One reason for this is that the club is an organization that isn't especially organized.  There seems to be little impetus for carefully filed reports when the next adventure or project is right around the corner. What else is to be expected from a group of people who are essentially individualists and who often live at a somewhat hectic pace? 
   Even so it's not that the information on the club's past is entirely lost it's merely that it is scattered far and wide. There are clues and stories to be found for the diligent researcher. Here for example are some hints and traces of the Club's past and activities:

   Once while I was on the hunt in northern Spain I located a cache of documents hidden under the floor boards of a hotel in Basque Biscay. The papers and drawings (which have strangely disappeared from my files) connect the 100% Club to a notorious  headcrime in which over one night all of the McDonald restaurants in Madrid, Spain were fitted with holographic projectors so that instead of the Gold Arches passersby would see Dali's Corpus Hypercubus on Crucificixion.

   It's reported that a bar room wall in Caldwell, Idaho bears the graffito "% Club" one hundred times. The artist and possible import of this message is currently unknown.
  Club member codename Lady relates that she once had the necessity to wrestle a man who had the message "tnecreP 001 nahT sseL" tattooed across his chest.  This incident is merely a part of a longer exploit but it must be said that Lady rarely ignores an opportunity to display her skills at Jiu Jitsu or her abundance of true grit.  Once the fellow was subdued she forced him to admit that he had received the mark as a warning, one that was to be made fresh every time he looked in the mirror.   
   And what are we to make of this excerpt from "Burning up Burning Down" (1958) by Beat poet Whitman Gold
  "Spinning world hot-rod speed demon
   Big Bearded sons gone strange

   Long legged, wild daughters paint the hills
   Dig Agartha , Drink Atlantis,
   Big world, lovers, losers, finders,
   Anointed. 100 Percent or nothing"

    As you see researching the activities of the 100% Club requires a certain vision and can be as much an adventure as the escapades of the members themselves.  Fitting the pieces together can be both evocative and enlightening and lead one to discover the possibilities and romance of a life lived 100%.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Origins Unknown

The origins of the One Hundred Percent Club are shrouded in shadow and mystery. Not in a bad way like a body found buried in the backyard or a government conspiracy, but more like the exciting intrigue of a treasure hunt or the trail of clues that could unlock the secrets of a lost civilization. It can't be said with certainty what year the organization began, who were its first members or even the country in which it was instigated. Nonetheless there are tantalizing hints.
The annals of the French Revolution refer to a shadowy group of masterminds known as “L'association de Cent Pour Cent” that battled the injustices on both sides of the conflict.And an avant-garde group of decadent painters and performers that called themselves “The One Hundred Percentage Salon” turned the European art world on its ear in the early 1920s. And it is believed that in the 1970s a group of geniuses and scientists referred to as “The 100% Tank” brought a grateful public space-age fabrics that revolutionized fashion and several new Disco dance moves.
Were these variations of the same group transformed through time or merely different organizations with the same agenda of living a life of 100% passion and creativity? We may never know, but each glimpse into the Club's mysterious past offers us yet another way to live a life that is one hundred percent.