Great Wizard Fights of History: Antichrist Harry Potter vs. Mary Poppins (Warning: NSFW. Or near your children. Also spoilers)

So I’m an Alan Moore fan. I suppose that’s no secret to anyone, as he has shown up in my blog before. When the final volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen came out I was not really excited, because the critics have a point and Moore can get up his own ass with this mapping of Fiction-Landhe has started up. Never the less, I like Alan Moore and was going to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe Century works better as a whole. I actually think that this may be the best example of the

But that’s not what I want to talk about. It’s not what you want to hear either. What you want to here is if Antichrist Harry Potter really shoots lightning from his penis.

Why yes. Yes he does.

So there was a lot of controversy, to say the least. I’m not really sure about this entire bit of Alan Moore’s oeuvre. I’m not sure what the point is, besides a general “our time period sucks,” thing, which I’m not really sure it communicates well. Maybe we’re a bit to close to the subject matter to tell, the Victorians would probably be offended by having Allen Quartermain be a washed up junkie, or Mina Murray be in charge of the League, or Allen and Mina boning each other in the woods. Having Harry Potter become the Antichrist may be a bit harsher on a cosmic level, but it’s not particularly different.

So yes, Harry Potter is the Antichrist, but what gets me is the Deus Ex Machina. Not that I’m complaining about Deus Ex Machina, that’s cliché to complain about Deus Ex Machina. We should have more Deus Ex Machina, if only because it will piss of those Strident Atheist Fuckers. What gets me is that God in this book is Mary Poppins.

So one could say that this is just Moore and O’Neil having a big pull on our leg, but there has got to be more going on here. Why Mary Poppins, and not some other fictional god figure. Heck, why not Aslan? If Harry Potter is to be the Antichrist, why not have the fictional aspect of Christ? Well, this is probably because Alan Moore is about as Christian as a snake-worshipping wizard. Aslan just wouldn’t fit. There’s also a certain gendered thing now that I think of it. Aslan’s nemesis is the White Witch, a female. In League, we have the female God figure against a male figure of evil.

(Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think the League Universe Harry Potter is strictly evil. He’s basically just an angry young man who was manipulated by forces of evil. He’s basically just a kid who needs to calm the fuck down, and probably needs more of a sympathetic ear then he was given. Still doesn’t excuse him for trying to destroy the world, but that’s what you get when you let evil wizards run your school.)

Anyways, back to Mary Poppins. I ended up finding an article that gives much to this. I have been looking around and reading that Mary Poppins is an embodiment of the Thelemic Goddess Babalon. This didn’t really mesh with me at first since Mary Poppins doesn’t seem to fit entirely well with Babalon. I then read this.

Amy: The question of who Mary Poppins actually is should be fairly easy to answer for anyone who slogged through the marathon Kabbalah lec..I mean story arc in Promethea. The clue’s in her first name…. Mary is a manifestation of the sephirah Binah, and with a little inspection it seems she embodies both of the sphere’s attributes. A nanny (read: mother) to all, she’s the bottomlessly compassionate Marie, but, stern house-frau that she is and consort to the filthiest and most ‘fallen’ of all the victorian/edwardian stock characters, the chimney sweep, she also doubles up as Babylon. Her stated concern for ‘the healthy development’ of childrens’ imagination just serves to underline this promethean connection (and Moore’s concern, if it was ever in doubt, that Harry Potter is the imaginative equivalent of poison). – Mindless Ones “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Century: Part Three

This makes sense. Skip past Babalon, and Mary Poppins is an emanation of the Sephirot of Binah. So I have that as my answer, and I’m sticking to it. I will now publish this post, because it has been taking to damn long, and I have not given any new information on this text.

Follow up from Last Post: eBay and the Occult

I have had more time to read about the whole eBay banning occult things, and I may have been mistaken. In my rage, which probably hade nothing to do with the occult items, I got carried away and did not do much research. eBay will continue to sell magic items (tarot cards, occult books), but actual services (tarot readings, psychic attacks on rival businessmen, fertility spells for the barren). There are still problems with this ban, which is dealt with in the Wild Hunt article below. I just felt it was best to alert you all to the current events.

Rune Soup – “Mere Words, No Matter From the Heart” – Also talks about the use of the word “witchcraft”

The Wild Hunt – eBay’s Magical Ban: The Problem With Selling Speech

Things that Piss Me the F#%& Off: eBay Dosen’t Care About Occult People, and The Media Dosen’t Care About Mexico’s Protests

Well, fuck me. Here I was, preparing to post a message on some stuff that was really toasting my onions when I lose the entire thing. I’m sorry if I sound rude, but my anger is starting to boil over and I need to express my rage with the, what, five people subscribed to my blog? I don’t know how to check.

Anyways, the first thing is that eBay will not be selling occult materials. This bothers me as an armchair occultist, which I admit is rather hypocritical considering I only buy occult stuff and don’t do much actual work, but this still falls into oppressing religion. I may be overreacting to the entire thing, but the fact is that banning this means it’s being pushed out of the cultural dialogue. Also, take a look at this little newsclipping

Indeed, the company knows not what it does, unaware that the hour of the dragons grows near. Not only has eBay banned the sale of spells, but it has also prohibited the sale of potions. Yes, that even includes the +2 Potion of Dragonslaying — the fools! Psychic readings are similarly forbidden. Your knights will no longer have the confidence of entering into battle with their victory guaranteed by a seer, nor will your anteater be able to tell you the outcomeof the NBA finals for a price.

The dismissive way this guy talks about the news really gets to me. It feeds into the fact that occult ideas are outside the cultural dialogue. Anyways, this just bothers me.

Along with this, there is the situation I just learned about in Mexico. It all started with a picture on Facebook, which had a huge sky-view picture of a million people in the streets of what I am lead to believe is Mexico City. It said that a huge protest against media control and that the mainstream media is ignoring it. This got me really angry, but also curious. Personally, I have not had many problems finding information about it, but I am a bit unsure about what constitutes “mainstream media,” as I have never really put my feet in that particular body of water in so much as it comes to news. Once for the election of Obama, but not really in any other situation.

As near as I can figure the problem is this. A guy called Enrique Pena Nieto bought the Presidency of Mexico because he had enough money and traction with one of Mexico’s two television companies (his wife’s a soap star). There has been talk that one of these channels, Televisia, has put out Pro-Nieto propaganda as news. He also belongs to the PRI, which is a conservative party that was kept in power for 71 years through corruption, patronage and vote fraud. Basically, it’s like Republicans and Fox, but with free grocery store vouchers if you vote for Mitt Romney.

In retaliation, a group called Soy132 has been launching protests against Televisia and the PRI and the whole sorry state which is the Mexican political system. The combined group of people has created the biggest protest the world has ever seen, and in retaliation the world media has apparently decided not to pay attention to this. A picture of the protest will be pictured, but even know I don’t know if I can take this seriously. When I look at the picture, I can see little squares, like the pattern of those papers you used in math class was overlayed. I don’t know if the picture is fake or it’s just some effect with the camera that makes it look like that. Either way, I am fairly certain that there is a protest going on in Mexico, and it is likely that it is the world’s largest, if only that Mexico City has a pretty large population.

I have had time to ruminate on these two stories, and as I type this up on my WordPress Dashboard I am not as angry as I once was. This gives me the chance to look over the affairs. The thing that comes up to me is that while these two stories don’t have much on the surface to begin with, there is a connection. Both involve a stronger discourse preventing a discussion of a discourse with less influence. In the case of eBay it was the elimination of “occult” matters, which reflects a wider cultural narrative that says the occult is either a) dangerous and satanic, or b) a joke for the gullible. The situation in Mexico, particularly with these PRI types, involves eliminating the voices of those who would disagree with the power structure. Ultimately, both of these topics come down to a matter of dialogue.

FOR DETAILS ON EBAY’S OCCULT BAN

Technoccult – eBay Bans The Selling of Magical Items and Psychic Services – has link to a Warren Ellis post on similar situations. Very good points about the ambiguity of what the word “occult” means.

FOR DETAILS ON MEXICO’S PROTESTS

Global Post – Mexico’s revolution will not be televised

Great Wizard Battles in History: Alan Moore vs Grant Morrison on the battleground of my adolescence

WIZARD BATTUL! GUHH!

In High School I read comics, I wouldn’t say a lot but I started picking up all this stuff by Vertigo. I read most of Alan Moore’s stuff, no Swamp Thing, but I did read “V for Vendetta,” and wanted to become an anarchist after that. I also got into Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles and I will say this right up front, that book has probably messed with my head more than anything else. While I didn’t really get far on the anarchist thing, I may give it a go after reading stuff on anarchism that isn’t a comic book (No offense to Alan Moore, but V for Vendetta is much better then just simple anarchist propaganda), I did get something else. The idea to become a magician.

Both Alan Moore and Grant Morrison wrote stuff on magick and the occult, Alan Moore wrote Promethea and Grant Morrison wrote The Invisibles. They were pretty different approaches to the subject. Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, is a soup of conspiracy theory, chaos magic and his own coolness wishes, while Alan Moore’s Promethea is a look through Western Occultism with Alan Moore’s theories and possibly a bit of wanking. Both of these impressed the shit out of me, and got me the idea that being an occultist would be really cool. Not a lot of people I know are occultists, and I could be that one guy who knows all the magic.

And in that I was pretty Grant Morrison, because Grant Morrison is very much into the hip. Grant Morrison is a hipster, and he has some preoccupations with being considered hip. Hence his whole rock star persona, and starting a comic convention in the Nevada desert, which is called MorrisonCon for fucks sake. To be honest, I wasn’t really bothered with Morrison’s ego at first, but what really got me on was the whole superhero thing. Sure, he wrote superhero stuff before, like Animal Man and Doom Patrol, but I liked him for stuff like The Invisibles, which I did not view as superheroes. You could make that argument, but that wasn’t how I saw it. I was a bit disappointed when I heard that it started from a thing called The Boy Commandos, which was essentially a child soldier thing done in the 1940s when it didn’t have unfortunate implications. He still had the whole vision experience in Kathmandu, but something about redoing the Boy Commandos as Burroughsian subversives doesn’t sit right with me. Of course, William S. Burroughs probably did the same thing, setting up a Boy Scout alternative for the angry young homosexual and then aiming them at the government sounds like the idea behind “The Wild Boys,” but I haven’t read that to make that specific call.

If Alan Moore has anything up on Grant Morrison, I think it’s that Alan Moore is a bit smarter. Grant Morrison is clever, or at least has the kind of clever that works well in the pseudo-fame he has in the comics world, but Alan Moore is intelligent, a bit wiser than Grant Morrison, and probably a bit more sure of himself. Alan Moore doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks of him, which is why he spends all his time in Northampton. The problem I have with Alan Moore is that he can sometimes disappear up his own ass. This can be seen in his latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which does concentrate a lot on the “how-many-sixties-fiction-refrences-can-we-fit-into-a-single-issue,” thing. This even extends to his magic, as some have accused Alan Moore of being distant from actual magic, preferring the whole “It’s all in your mind,” school. Despite this, Promethea had as much an effect on my developing wizard-brain as The Invisibles. More in that the heroine Sophie Bangs is a bit more relatable then Dane McGowan from The Invisibles, who alternates between little shit and buddha. Sophie is human, with human flaws and generally human goals, and we are given a much more straight-forward look into the magick of this world than in The Invisibles. At the very least, I had a better idea of where Moore was coming from. I don’t think it’s fair to say Promethea is basically Harry Potter, if only because Harry Potter never had a Sex Magick Ed class, but I think it is a pretty good piece of work and that Alan Moore shouldn’t be dismissed. Whether the points that were brought up are legitimate are something I’ll save for another post.

For most of my adult and adolescent life, I have had both of these guys hovering around in the back of my worldview and the sometimes serious, sometimes half-hearted idea “I should totally become a wizard.” These days, I’m a bit concerned as to why I should become a wizard? I’m not even sure how magic is supposed to work these days? Do I concentrate on the fulfillment of my True Will? Make deals with the loa? Both? I don’t know. Still, why become a wizard? Because it’s cool? I don’t think doing something as serious as becoming a magician really rests on being cool. And what does this have to do with being a writer anyways?

Harold Bloom talks about the anxiety of influence, and I think this is happening to me right now with Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. I’m not a comic book author, nor do I have any interest in writing about super heroes, but there is a general interest in the occult that I have picked up from both Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. At this point, I am getting the idea that I am going to need to learn to become my own magician, and more importantly my own kind of writer.

 

For Further Reading

Less is Moore, a rant about Alan Moore’s approach to magic from a practicing magician

Grant Morrison is Wrong About Alan Moore, an article on the hypothetical feud between Grant Morrison and Alan Moore

The Quest Begins

I should have mentioned this earlier, but I am on a quest. I’ve been on it more or less a week and a half, and my goal is to find a new poetic sound. This sound, despite being a new sound, is also an old sound, and should be representative of a rebirth of a bardic tradition where the poet was as much shaman and sorcerer as entertainer. My goal is to make poetry primal again, to make it as dangerous as a good rock and roll concert. I’m not foolish enough to believe that this is something that I am starting with, in fact I am purposefully going in the paths of people before me, mainly the one that has come from the Beat poets and those who came after.

This all happpened because for the most part I’m still not sure I’m as good as I could be. Yes, people tell me I’m good, but it’s a very small number of people. I also don’t get published, which could just be the machinations of the literary review publishers, but I’m not going to ask them why their secret cabal won’t publish my genius. The fact is, I want to write better and I’m not really sure I’m reaching that potential.

There’s also my interest in occultism and various magical paths, such as Voodoo and Ancient Bardic traditions. Sometime in High School I figured being an occultist would be really awesome, mainly from reading comic books by Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, and as I have done various armchair research into magickal paths, I have found that there has been a tradition of magickal poetry. This includes poetry most people know about, Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” has some positevly Thelemic elements about it. This worldview has been bouncing around, and I think that at least part of my poetic inspiration is coming from occult ideas. I’m not really sure if I’m going to become an actual magician, but that’s a blog for another time.