In the world of Chaos Magick, there is a commonly held belief that ‘nothing is true and everything is permitted’. These days, in the world of politics and media, it would seem that the same rule applies – minus any redeeming humour or irony. Greed and stupidity are apparently evolving to new lows, and the residual bad craziness out there is currently ubiquitous enough to make a sewer rat on ether look sane by comparison.
Speaking of sewer rats, Uncle Bill and the evil Redmond mob have recently taken the robber-baron tradition to a whole new level of stupidity. Amid a recent IP spree that has won the company patent protection for everything from XML dialects to video-game storage methods, Microsoft apparently made a successful grab for all the Intellectual Property rights associated with Apple. Or that’s what the headlines seemed to imply. As it happened, the US Patent Office made a cock up and Microsoft was mistakenly granted a patent for a new variety of apple tree.
The actual US Plant Patent 14,757, which was granted to Robert Burchinal, covers a new type of tree called the “Burchinal Red Delicious” which produces a deep-red fruit marketed as the “Adams Apple”. According to the patent, there are currently about 1,000 samples of the tree growing in the area of Wenatchee, a rural town about 90 miles east of Microsoft’s lair in Redmond. A Microsoft representative confirmed that the assigning of the patent to the company was a mistake, after the ‘apple’ paperwork was misfiled with a group of applications from a legal firm commonly used by the evil empire. Microsoft has apparently filed with the Patent Office for a certificate of correction to re-assign the patent to Burchinal.
Obviously, in this case, somebody’s smash-and-grab mentality mis-fired on a random key-word search and the ‘apple’ claim, however brief, is the first botanical entry in Microsoft’s patent portfolio since the Garden of Eden. But the software serpent has been a prolific patent generator in other areas.
Last year, Uncle Bill embarked on a campaign to generate more revenue from Microsoft’s patent portfolio. Once again, nothing is true and everything is permitted. The ultimate goal here is to ensure that people, in general, regard Microsoft dogma as empirical fact and to insist on an orthodoxy that consequentially seems incredible… if you care to give it a modicum of thought.
Fortunately, the real Apple is not so much about submitting to such a set of creedal propositions but more about simply behaving differently. While not claiming direct descendancy from the tree of knowledge (Steve Jobs hasn’t yet taken to wearing an eye patch), Apple has managed to retain much of the humour of what Discordians refer to as the original snub, while not falling completely into the noxiously marauding realms of the Microsoftian abyss.
And regardless of your views on what passes these days as magic or quantum physics, while often dismissed as embarrassing atavistic regression, such creative practice of will can also be understood as demonstrating its modernity by providing an alternative to the authority of Aristotle by anticipating many of the characteristics of what nowadays passes for scientific method. As Arthur C Clarke’s Third Law states, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Even quantum mechanics admits that the way the observer approaches sub-atomic entities determines the form in which they appear, whether as a compact particle or a fluid wave-form – providing contemporary validation of Kant’s proposal that instead of thinking of our thoughts as reflections of an independent world, we should instead think of the world of our experience as constituted in fundamental ways by our thoughts.
I’m told that Chaos Magicians and Discordians are avid Mac users and definitely adhere to a doctrine of thinking different [sic]. So while Microsoft continues to bark up the wrong tree, for the more mischievous among us there are a number of rather fun pranks that can be played on malign institutions of all shapes and sizes – if anyone really wants to test the power of will against perceived reality. For example, if you do a search on the Web for the Black Djinn Curse by Hakim Bey, taken from Nox 4/Chaos Magazine, you’ll find detailed instructions and a nifty sigil for invoking a terrible curse on greedy and morally corrupt corporate institutions or governmental agencies.
In what could easily be mistaken as a memo from the offices of Wolfram & Hart, you’ll find instructions for sending the company or government a package containing a bottle, corked and sealed with black wax. Inside you’ll be instructed to include dead insects, scorpions, lizards and the like with bag containing graveyard dirt along with other noxious substances such as an egg pierced with iron nails and pins, and a scroll on which is drawn a yantra or ‘veve’. This, we are told, invokes the Black Djinn, the Dark Shadow.
Of course, you must also include an accompanying note explaining that this hex is against institutions and not individuals – and doesn’t contain anthrax. But unless the institution itself ceases to be malign, the curse, like a mirror, we are told, will begin to infect the premises with noxious fortune; a miasma of negativity.
You’ll also be advised to prepare a press release explaining the curse and taking proper credit for it in the name of some invented society or order. Send copies to all employees in the institution and selected media and the night before these arrive, fly-post the premises of the institution with copies of the Black Djinn emblem where they will be seen by all employees arriving for work the next morning.
Although you don’t have to be a Buffy or Angel fan to suspect that maybe the apocalypse has already started without us, it only takes a little ethical thinking to realize that when it comes to The Powers That Be, that which oppresses us must be in some way destroyed.
Perhaps, somewhere, all forms of magical or quantum vengeance are aimed at the termination of the oppressor, by any means necessary. In a troubled world, nothing may be true and everything may be permitted. Personally… I believe nothing – and disbelieve even less. MW