The Maybe Logic Academy ran for three years with Robert Anton Wilson (the founder) at the helm (what’s with all these shipping metaphors that keep slipping into this blog?) I guess I like the Great Pirates model, with a cybernaut steering the vessel. (and who the hell 'is' Flemming Funch?)
Since RAW left the planet, oh the best part of a year ago, the Academy continues to function OK. The current incarnation of the forum seems a bit clunky, to me, compared with some of the previous ones we had (sorry, Admin!) but it is also more complicated (which could explain that). Rather than a separate forum for each course, the campus now includes meeting rooms, blogs, general and course forums, etc. Oh, and guests and visitors also have access, rather than just an elite of paying students, which has led to spam attacks and other such nonsense. Still, generally, it’s great to have new minds joining us.
Work & Play together
The long-term students (lifers) still work together, occasionally meet up, encourage each other, work collaboratively and so on. You might see this blog as the kind of thing that emerges from such teamwork with friends who have never met in the body.
Anyway. We have been learning Wiki by doing some collaborative fiction writing using the Wiki set up – and now I have a rough idea how it works, I would like to start working on a Wiki based around Illuminatus!
Although that book dates back to the early 1970s, it doesn’t seem to date. A bit like Bill Hicks’ routines.
Working in the early 90s he was talking about the folly of a President called George Bush, and the stupidity of a war in Iraq. He dies, finds some posthumous fame, and people play the routines back 15 years later and, guess what, the references to George Bush and Iraq sound topical. Quite eerie, really.
I find The Illuminatus Trilogy doesn’t seem to date, either.
- Firstly, it has a plot that sprawls all over spacetime, so it doesn’t appear stuck in the 70s.
- Secondly, things didn’t change much, although people have become far more aware and knowing about conspiracies, Government corruption, magick, alternative history, drugs, and many of the other themes it contains (ecology, sexism, sizeism, etc.)
- Thirdly, it has some real premonition hits (like blowing a hole in the Pentagon which lets out the demon – something that might have seemed improbable/impossible before 9:11)
- Fourthly, it is far more readable than (say) Foucault’s Pendulum, which covers much of the same material, and yet far less trivial than (say) The Da Vinci Code.
- Fifthly, the authors deliberately layered up references and teasers so that it deserves (and rewards) re-reading.
We had a lot of fun teasing out some of the material when we did a twelve week course with RAW about just that one book. I really enjoyed the chance to talk with an author about a one of my favourite books, and with people who felt the same enthusiasm as I did. We can't have the input of either him or Bob Shea any more, sadly, but the book remains to work with.
My model for a Wiki arises from similar spaces I have found online like the one for Gravity’s Rainbow, or concordances for Finnegans Wake and Ulysses. Illuminatus seems far more accessible (if at times confusing to straight minds) than any of those.
Anyway – no doubt, as busy people you can’t spend all day reading a blog. If you like the idea, have any knowledge of the legal implications for copyright, etc, any experience in setting up or contributing to a literary Wiki, or any other comments, please do use the Comments function below.
Thank-you for your attention.