Friday, October 06, 2006

Around the Cosmos in 365 Days: Narcissistic Refractions in the Mirror of my Añoverbosary

It almost passed without my noticing it, but yesterday was the one year anniversary of this blog. I hope I can reflect on this occasion without getting all sentimental. That goes for you too, so watch out with the overheated rhetoric.

Where to begin this self-indulgent exercise.... Where else but with ME! One thing blogging has taught me is that I have a number of skills that I didn’t really know I had before I started blogging, for example, Islamophobic humor.

It all started with LGF, which is one of the most important news resources in the world. What Charles does there is a daily monument to the failings of the MSM, which is much more concerned about a pathetic old chicken hawk harassing young men than the Islamists who would kill every child--not to mention gay man--in America if they could. If all Americans were exposed to the stories Charles brings to light, I am sure that eighty percent of the country would understand the nature of our enemy and be solidly behind the war on terror. For the other 20% of doctrinaire moonbats in the reality based community, no amount of reality will ever suffice.

I just googled my name on LGF, so I know the exact day it all began: 8-9-03. That’s when I started posting on LGF under the clever name “Bob G.” That was in the days before registration, when Charles’ readership was quite small compared to today.

At first I was shocked and outraged by the stories Charles would post. But at some point I decided that it was pointless to get all worked up and respond with righteous indignation. So I started trying to come up with humorous one-liners. I still feel that, in addition to smoking the terrorists out of their holes, we should systematically joke 'em out of their holes. We should relentlessly mock them and their stupid theology, something that would have come naturally to Americans in the days before political correctness. It should have started no later than 1979, and should have only intensified when they issued a Fatwa on Salman Rushdie.

There are well over 1,000 posts under the name of Bob G. For example, some of Bob G’s early contributions included a historical observation about the Muslim world: “Did you know that Muslims discovered zero? The problem is, they’ve been discovering it ever since.” (Yes, I know, they only preserved the idea of zero, but you can’t let facts get in the way of a good joke.) I also mentioned some Palestinian bumper stickers I’d seen, such as: "Practice Premeditated Acts of Violence and Gratuitous Cruelty,” "Obey Authority," "My Other Car is a Truck Bomb," "Jihad is Not Healthy for Infidels and other Vile Creatures," "Follow Me, I'm Lost," "My Son Graduated Summa Boom Loudly from Arafat Hi," and "Pray for World Conflagration." After a bomb lab was discovered in the Palestinian territories, I asked, "Isn't qualifying it as a Palestinian bomb lab redundant, like Bozo the clown?"

Then, on 2-9-05, Gagdad Bob was born, when another reader on LGF suggested the name (obviously a takeoff on the haplessly grandiose Baghdad Bob.) Gagdad Bob still occasionally comments on LGF, and I see that the number is now up to 1883. I’m looking at some of his early contributions now. There was a story about money laundering in the Palestinian Authority, to which I remarked, “Sources close to Arafat say that money was the only thing he ever laundered.” There was another story about some terrorist apologist who was described as a “the Rosa Parks of Islam.” I said the description was accurate, because he insists on the right to blow up any part of the bus he chooses. I also commented on the media describing Bin Laden as a “Saudi dissident.” I agreed, noting that Arab society is mired in the 14th century, while bin Laden wants to bring them to the 13th. In response to some terrorist front group--probably CAIR--I said “Excuse me, but if Allah had intended Muslims to have civil rights, don't you think he would have given them some in the Koran? Maybe he knew something we don't.”

Then, at some point in the summer of 2005, I discovered ShrinkWrapped, and began leaving more serious comments there. Frankly, I was shocked to discover another non-moonbat mental health professional. I thought I was the only one. I emailed him immediately and offered my support, since he is still deeply closeted, whereas I am relatively “out” (although I do not advertise my proclivities; I’m guessing that only one coworker shares my dark secret--the rest probably assume that I am a normal Bush hating liberal.... well, maybe not normal, but not abnormal enough to be a conservative).

Then, one of ShrinkWrapped’s readers--I wish I remembered who it was--sent me an email saying how grateful he was for my comments there. He included about a dozen of them in the email, and suggested to me that I should start my own blog. I read through the comments, and thought to myself, “hmm. Those are interesting. Or, if not interesting, at least pretty damn weird.”

In the meantime, my book, which had come out in early 2005, was greeted with resounding silence. It was unanimous: this was not a book to be tossed aside lightly, nor even with great force. No, it was a book to be ignored entirely. So I thought to myself, why not use the blog to try to generate a little interest in the book? I knew full well that the book wasn’t for everyone. However, at the same time, I knew that it couldn't be for no one either. I just knew that somewhere out there was a small population of ontological guerillas, cosmic omsteaders, extreme seekers and evolutionary freedom fighters for whom this book would be just the thing, if only they knew about it. At least I could give people the choice of whether to ignore it.

The book still hasn’t made any money--or if it has, I haven’t heard about it. But--and not to congratulate myself, but it’s true--I didn’t write the book with any commercial motivations whatsoever. I’ve told the unlikely story of how it got published in a previous post, so I won’t repeat it here. But I really tried, insofar as I was capable, to write something with no “expiration date,” so to speak. Even where the book contains old perennially true ideas, I tried to dress them up in a fresh new way. I really wanted the book to be “relevant” forever.

Now, you have undoubtedly noticed that the so-called news, as filtered through the MSM, is not really news. Rather, it is the appropriation of an institution called “news” for the promulgation of a worldview. I, on the other hand, have an all-encompassing weltanthang through which I attempt to interpret the news of the day. This is what eludes my detractors entirely, because everything I write is the reflection of a vision of cosmic spiritual evolution. In truth, this is what anyone does who reflects on the events of the day, except the liberal media pretend they are free of their cheap paradigm a dozen. In other words, it is only your overarching paradigm that allows you to notice what is important in the first place and to put it in context. Therefore, it is no surprise that the liberal media constantly confirm the assumptions of liberalism.

Ultimately what I want to do is understand the events of time from the standpoint of eternity. I’m not saying that I do it well, only that I seem to have discovered a little muddle-world niche that no one else inhobbits. In a very real sense, the blog has become the center of my spiritual practice, after ten years of a very different kind of spiritual practice that primarily involved meditation, reading, reflection, withdrawal from the world, and “ascent.”

But in my 49th year, a number of events conspired to turn my cosmos upside down and inside out. I remember back in my 20’s reading a book that said that our lives run in seven year cycles. Furthermore, these cycles are fractals, so that each seven year cycle has the same deep structure as all the others. And one complete cycle is 7 x 7. In the back of my mind, I always had this idea that something big would happen in my 49th year, some kind of transformation, or culmination, or symbolic death and rebirth. I don’t know. Something.

As it so happened, I did die. In several ways. First was the publication of the book, which was a very real sort of death, after having had my entire being revolve around it for so many years. Then there was the birth of my son after having been married for 17 years and enjoying an altogether different kind of life. That old life was dead. Then there was the surprising discovery of type I diabetes, which is--if you play it right--to be constantly shadowed and tutored by Death.

Now, instead of a yoga of ascent and “escape” from the world, I practice a yoga of descent and engagement with the world. This is now much more consistent with the Judeo-Christian view, which maintains that the world is worthy of our being in it, even if not of it. But it is also entirely consistent with Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, which picks up where the old yogas leave off. Now I realize that it’s very easy to go off to some retreat, disengage from the world, and ascend into a blissful detachment from this vale of tears.

But if you are truly an extreme seeker and off-road spiritual aspirant, that path is for wimps. It’s like one of those freakish body builders who spends his days lifting weights. But put him on a baseball diamond or a basketball court, and he’s worthless. Now I am committed to truly making the word flesh, and in so doing, make the world fresh--every morning. It's a much bigger challenge to try to bring spirit down into the world than to flee up and out of the world into spirit.

In other words, we must embody our realization in everything we do. Nevertheless, everyone must approach spirit in their own way. Everyone is a unique “problem of God,” but with a unique gift as well. In my case, I can no longer even imagine writing anything without the background context of spirit. I feel like those medieval artisans who crafted the gargoyles on top of the cathedrals that no one would ever even see. Nevertheless, these craftsmen were acutely aware that God was looking, so that nothing less than their best effort would ever suffice.

Occasionally I write a gargoyle that gets gargoogled and generates a gaggle of traffic. It’s almost always something of the political “red meat” variety, such as my psychological takedown of Clinton. But whenever that happens, I make it a point to test the limits in a self-defeating manner by writing a post of High Cosmic Weirdness to immediately clear the room of those who do not understand the larger purpose of the blog. For in the end, this can never be a mass movement. Rather, we can only build the membership of the Transdimensional Order of the Friendly Sons of the Cosmic Raccoons the old-fishin' way: one lonely raccoon at a time.

*****

By the way, to my shock and surprise, some readers have been purchasing indulgences through Petey’s sad little tin cup. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude. Frankly it’s a little embarassing. To be honest, I have an issue with praise. I’ll have to run it by ShrinkWrapped, but I think he would say that it’s because my outward humility just masks my crass exhibitionism and sense of entitlement.

31 Comments:

Anonymous will said...

OC is a Libra!

However, OC has transcended the constraints of astrological influence, you know, like that star-baby Keir Dullea in the film 2001, ASO.

Happy B'day, OC!

10/06/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I came to your blog via VDH's link about Clinton and stayed and bookmarked because your spiritual blogs are exactly what I was looking for. And, I ordered your book yesterday since I believe that it is what I have been trying to find for quite awhile.

This is the place to be.

10/06/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Good on ya, Bob! The aerie of the avatars is missing you, I'm sure. But we count ourselves fortunate to have your blog, this berth of mirth and mystery, right here in the middle of the full-service-anarchy voyage that is the Internet.

Thanks for posting your funnies from LGF. They made my day!

Hoping you have many more blogiversaries.

-Joan

10/06/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Eeevil Right Wing Nut said...

It was through one of your political “red meat” posts that I was introduced to OC but it is the addition of spiritual conversation that keeps me coming back. I’ve thought about and examined my spirituality and beliefs more in the past month than I have for years. It has been a blessing.

10/06/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Here, here, and now! Congrats on the blog. It is definitely a part of each day for me and I cherish the insights spread by yourself and other Bobbleheads! You have really helped to inspire me to make some big changes in my personal and professional life. It ain't easy trying to be true to yourself and maintain the proper integrity and character to follow through in all aspects of my life, but you really do shine some light into deeper aspects that have been hard to discover and identify by myself. Thanks again and here's to many more years to come! L'Chaim!

Thanks also to your beautiful family for allowing you to continue and devote some time and energy to this blog. More pics soon, please!

10/06/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous looptloop said...

Bob, I caught you on the WIEUnbound talk and have hardly missed a blog since. Much gratitude for all your effort, wisdom, and talents. I never thought I'd get hooked on one of those new-fangled "blog" things - what could possibly be out there that would capture my interests - makes my wife laugh.

Since it's Friday I thought I'd share something strange I overheard in my half-dreaming sleep state this morning:

Cosmic
Sense:
knock knock

Moonbat: who's there?

Cosmic
Sense:
ego

Moonbat: ego who?

Cosmic
Sense:
ego where thee go…

Moonbat: huh…? L'Eggo my Eggo?

Cosmic
Sense:
…and know this ain't gnosis

Moonbat: ooooo-k?…
so… know the saint knows us?
hey… you don't know me!
but, whatever…
world's a calling,
and victims a balling,
no time to fritter away…
for I know that the lies,
will hide deep in the cries,
cause posing will save the day…
blah blah, mutter mutter,
it's my precious, Eggo, mine, all mine,
blah blah, mutter…

Cosmic
Sense:
knock knock

Moonbat: huh…? who's there?

Cosmic
Sense:
…sigh…

10/06/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

A deep and heartfelt THANKS to you Bob.

10/06/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Congratulations! Even if I haven't always agreed with what you say, I appreciate your honesty, directness and total 'non PC' approach. Thanks especially for the book recommendation 'Meditations on the Tarot - A Journey into Christian Hermeticism' - it is AMAZING!

10/06/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Love all of God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light! Love the animals. Love the plants; love everything. If you love everything, you will soon perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.
– Fyodor Doestoyevski

Best wishes in the second year.

In Christ
<><

10/06/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Happy OC birthday! Your work is really appreciated.

10/06/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bob:

I've always wondered about "Petey." Who, or what, is he? What does he do? What is his place in the overall scheme of things?

10/06/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...

more kudos,Bob.

keep up the good work.

10/06/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Bob
Thanks for this blog! It is so refreshing to read the writings of a fellow extreme seeker. Like C.S. Lewis, you are an intellectual voice of true spirituality, a continuing confirmation of the fact that intellect and spirituality are not mutually exclusive; in fact, one cannot truly be expressed without the other. For those who think that they only have a choice between airheaded, pretzel-logic secular pseudo-intellectualism or Fundamentalist anti-intellectualism and primitivism that make cargo cults seem logical, you are indeed the antidote.

Even though, as a Christian, I obviously don't espouse all the spiritual sources you cite, I am not so closed-minded as to ignore the deep truths that you have carefully extracted from those sources (heck, even Lewis cited Castaneda sometimes), and I am thankful for the clarity and the painstaking intellectual honesty with which you put forth those truths. With the sewage that passes for "news" and "truth" these days, I'll take my deeper truths and reality anywhere I can get them.

As I said in a previous post, I am thinking of printing out your posts from now on, and putting them in a binder, for posterity.

I also do lots of lol's at your jokes, puns and your newly invented words (such as Anoverbosary). Even Lewis Carroll and Cornel West can't outdo you in the word-invention arena.

10/06/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GB,

many thanks for your unique writings.

You continue to teach, inspire and comfort me.

Michael, Germany

10/06/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger John P. said...

Bob,

"appropriation of an institution called “news” for the promulgation of a worldview. I, on the other hand, have an all-encompassing weltenthang through which I attempt to interpret the news of the day"

Your expositons follow the Socratic rule of being grounded in truth. So you give us dialectic, not rhetoric.

To your everlasting credit your discourse is as Socrates says speaking to Phaedrus "The sort that goes together with knowledge, and is written in the soul of the learner, that can defend itself, and knows to whom it should speak and to whom it should say nothing."

John Hinds

10/06/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger geckofeeder said...

Happy anoverbosary Petey, and gratitude for the delightful daily booster shot of spiritual vitimans, and for keeping Gagdad persevering,and as Lisa mentioned the lovely Gagwife Leslie whose next book could very well be "Living with an Avatar" And thanks to all the Bobbleheads for the compelling conversation, most especially,recently, Will and Joan.
The early LGF blogs of Charles were what kept me sane and educated me out of my moonbatitus. It took a while after 911 for the jokes to flow but they sure were apreciated in our family. Hit the tip jar everyone for soul cleansing indulgences.

10/06/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Happy OC anniversary Bob! I first came across your blog last Winter and gradually became a daily reader. Now I’m hooked, yours is the only blog that I read the comments section and I even bought your book. You gave me quite a fright a few weeks back when it seemed you were going to quit blogging.

You probably needed that ten years you spent meditating, reading and reflecting. Consider it a spiritual boot camp preparing you for battle in the “Church Militant”. Though I agree with you about engaging the world, as a Catholic, considering the huge variation in Saints through out Church history, I believe there is a place and a valuable function performed by cloistered nuns and such. If only there continuous prayers on our behalf.

I was happily surprised to hear you making an appearance at the “Sanity Squad” pod cast over at Pajamas Media. I hope you become a regular with them. And keep up the good work here. I’m doing all I can to attract new readers to your blog and spread word of your magnificence. If I may steal a line Rush uses and apply it to you, I think you also have “talent on loan from God”.

10/06/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger LTA said...

Gagdad Bob,

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I found it via a link from Pajamas Media a few months ago and was hooked after reading a few posts. I appreciate the spiritual perspective you bring to your posts, and enjoy your humorous takes on life in the Cosmos.

Thanks for all the hard work you put in to make this such an interesting and insightful blog. It has become a daily read for me. Happy blogoversary and keep up the "god" work.

10/06/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Connecticut Yankee said...

Bob--

Happy blogiversary; I remember your posts from LGF too-- they're the reason I started reading this blog. I'd just like to suggest the foundation of an Order of Cosmic Cats, for those of us who aren't raccoon types. Something like the variety of religious orders to be found within Christianity. Fergus can be the official founder.

Anyway, many more happy years to you.

10/06/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Fergus the Cat said...

Cosmic Cats. Good.

I'll get to work on the manifesto.

Now feed me.

10/06/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Booger seconds that, Connecticut Yankee.;)
Congratulations Bob. Thank you for what you do. It has reached me. For my concern, this blog is the most important thing on the internet. And thank you Will, and Dilys as well.

JWM

10/06/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Ben usn (ret) said...

Well done, Bob!
Congratulations to your one year milestone (just don't ask me how many miles from the first post you have travelled)!!
I remember reading your comments at Shrinkwrapped, who I found via Dr. Sanity, who I found via an acquaintance at Goldtoken, over a chess game, and the political board.
I never expected this out of chess.
After reading some of your early post, I honestly didn't know what to make of you.
I found myself thinking, "is this guy serious or is he a loon"?
Not regarding your political views, but your spiritual views, some of which appeared bizarre or strange to me, but vaguely familiar.
So I dropped in occasionally, and left again, until last January.
As I have understood more of the truths you speak of, and became more capable of distinguishing the funny from the serious, or not, I realize thar be treasure in this here cosmic cave!!!
I am here to stay!
Thank you, Bob,
and thank you, Petey!
God bless you, and your family!

10/06/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Happy Anniversary.

You have a terrifically unique blog.

It's your take on things.

You and Anchoress belong in your own category. Two of my favorites.

10/06/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

Happy Anoverbosary to you, Bob.
When an almost-step-blogson has a birthday party, it makes you realize how fast time flies. Thanks for a unique and always thought provoking Blog and may you cerebrate many, many more.

10/06/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Mr Natural said...

Gag (may I call you Gag?? - I feel as if we must know each other in some dimension),

Thank you for your blog. I have been a devoted reader for about five or six days. Anyway, I forget how I got here but I haven't left since I read your blog the first time. I'm hooked.

Now, you may ask why I like this blog so much. Well, I was hoping you'd ask that, because I'll be delighted to tell you. You see, I am a recovering clinical psychologist. In fact, I was a practicing clinical psychologist for all of 4 years in the halcyon days of I'm OK You're OK, Esalen, and Carl "everybody's OK" Rogers. As a result of the ordination of clinical psychologists to the order of High Priest/ess of Postmodernism, I ran as fast as I possibly could back to graduate school and got myself re-educated and re-uh-grooved as a psychophysicist. And I've never looked back, as I am far too stiff-necked for that sort of frivolity.

That you exist as a clinical psychologist is - using the word in its full meaning - astonishing to me. I'm sure there is a special place in APA hell, with tortures unimaginable even in the fevered dreams of Dante on acid, just for heretics like you.

Anyway, thanks and keep up the good work.

10/07/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Fausta said...

Feliz Añoverbosary, Bob!
And many happy more!

10/07/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad,

To cause someone to look afresh at the most fundamental questions of who they are and what they believe and why, is a significant achievement in itself.

To cause a person to reexamine what they consider to be true, to touch the thoughts a person thinks, to cause them to see a connection between two seemingly separate thoughts which would otherwise have remained strangers within them, and so influence their thinking ever after, is to have a deeper impact on lives than nearly anything else possible between one person and another.

To have such an affect on a person without the imposition of a life shaking event, such as that of a 911, but only through catching their interest, wonder and humor is a rare talent - thanks for sharing it!

10/07/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

Thanks for a great blog, Bob. Yours is the only blog where I read every post, in order, even if I miss a couple of days. In fact, after reading your, many other blogs leave me irritated at their shallowness. So, hats off to you, and thanks to Lisa, Van, Joan, and the rest of the Bobbleheads. You folks contribute to the magic.

10/07/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Anonymous R. Simpson said...

Dear Bob,

I have been reading your blog on a near daily basis since its inception and can say without exaggertion that I have learned more from One Cosmos than any other website.

I am probably like a lot of others out there who appreciate your blog but rarely, if ever, leave comments.

I also want to let you know that I read your first book carefully (twice)and am still absorbing its teachings.

I'm impatiently awaiting your next book, which I understand will be more of a political discourse.

Keep up the great work and don't even think about quiting again. (Did anyone else notice that Bob's blog seems to get even better each time he threatens to resign?)

Lastly, is there any chance you could restore the archives? I really would like to look over a number of the earlier posts.

Wishing you and your family the best over the next year of blogging.

10/08/2006 12:19:00 AM  
Anonymous sehoy said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary!

I followed a post recommendation from a Gates of Vienna poster who linked to your "Liberal Ghost Dance" post. Your post was a revelation, and it was everything I had been trying to articulate for the last few years.

I did not realize you were Bob G. at LGF. I've been reading LGF since shortly after 11 September. It's been quite an education.

So has your blog.

Best wishes.

10/09/2006 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger andthenblammo! said...

Congratulations, man! As someone who tried to toss the occasional yok into the comments at LGF, I always knew that something great would be appunded to any post from 'Bob G'. I still plan on getting that autograph for my copy of 'One Cosmos' you promised me, although my visa to California seems to have been revoked. And don't worry; all of your emails have been deleted. (joke)

10/10/2006 06:12:00 PM  

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