SPECIAL AFTERWORD to the Loompanics Edition of PRINCIPIA DISCORDIA G.H. Hill, San Francisco, 1979 All Rites Reversed (K) Reprint What You Like INTERVIEW WITH NORTON CABAL by Gypsie Skripto, Special CorrespondentIt has been ten years since I net the mysterious Malaclypse the Younger. I was free lancing for the underground papers and went to POEE Hear Temple at 555 Battery Street to try for an interview.
I found him in the Temple PO Box busy wrapping up the new Fourth Edition of PRINCIPIA. He seemed impatient with me, insisting that he didn't have the time or inclination for foolish questions from reporters. Undaunted, I burst out with questions like whether he preferred Panama Red or Acapulco Gold and how the fuck did we manage to fit inside of a tiny post office box and other things apropos a naive young semiliterate dropout hippy writer. He asked me if I wanted to drop mescaline and fuck all night and said he knew how to turn himself into a unicorn and there might be room for a tiny interview on the cover of the PRINCIPIA if I wanted to work for the GREATER POOP so I said sure, OK, I've never dropped mescaline in a post office box before.
It turned out I was among the last to see Malaclypse. As subsequent issues of GREATER POOP revealed, he was to disappear and POEE business was to be assumed by his students at Norton Cabal. Professor Ignotum P. Ignotius, Department of Comparative Realities, was assigned the Trust of the POEE Scruple and Rev. Dr. Occupant became Keeper of the Box. The newly published copies of PRINCIPIA were distributed by Mad Malik, Block Disorganizer, who had distribution contacts with the Aluminum Bavariati. Practical relations remained in the hands of concept artist G. Hill.
When the 1000 PRINCIPIAS were gone the GREATER POOP stopped publishing, Head Temple closed down and the Cabal just seemed to evaporate. Finally even the box was closed. But over the years I noticed that copies were still circulating, and that independent Discordian Cabals would occasionally pop out of nowhere (and still do). And I would wonder what ever happened to Malaclypse.
When I read the ILLUMINATUS trilogy I resolved to again find and interview the denizens of Joshua Norton Cabal of the Discordian Society.
"Maya is marvelous" I was thinking when I rapped on the little metal door and was greeted warmly by a huge beard who introduced himself as Professor Ignotius. He ushered me into a spacious wood paneled and tapestry hung parlor where three others were laughing and passing around a wine jug. The sunny one in a tunic was the Reverend Doctor Occupant, the trim khaki and jeans was Mad Malik and the wine jug claimed to be Hill. I got the recorder on....
GYPSIE SKRIPTO [in response to a question]: ...1969 but only briefly. I guess I missed you guys.
MAD MALIK: No wonder, he was pretty much a one man show then. We were just his students and were usually off on errands. You worked for the POOP?
Gypsie: Well, for one night anyway. The interview is in the PRINCIPIA.
REV. DR. OCCUPANT: Malik was the only one he would ever let write for the POOP or get on the letterhead.
Gypsie: Did you [Malik] have higher authority than the others?
Malik: No, [but I was allowed to speak in the POOP] because [Malaclypse the Younger] hated politics. He was infuriated with Johnson and Nixon over Viet Nam because it was turning the renaissance into a political revolution and was stealing his sacred thunder. So he trained me in Zenarchy, which he learned from Omar, and I was the official anarcho-pacifist for the Cabal. Also I was liaison to The Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria, the Chicago Discordians. Later Omar activated the Hung Mung Cong Tong and ELF, on Zenarchist principles, and also Operation Mindfuck. I was also into those. Though at the time I was masquerading in GREATER POOP as a created cabbage to throw off the FBI.
Gypsie [to Hill]: Since you wrote it, I take it you are an anarchist?
G.H. Hill: Since then I have given up anarchy. Too many rules-- hating the government and all that stuff.
IGNOTUM PER IGNOTIUS: It's like hating your own fantasies.
Malik: [Anarchy] is also standing up and proceeding forward, fantasy rule or not. The condition is the same.
Occupant: Brother needs some wine!
Malik: We have had this argument before, Reverend Doctor Brother. But wine before platitudes, fill it up.
Gypsie [to Hill]: And pacifism?
Hill: I'm not sure I ever was one. Mal2 was not, Malik was. Personally I accepted self defense yet I could never reconcile that with the ideal. I finally gave up on that one too. Actually I just gave up on idealism.
Ignotius: Idealism lives with rules. Realism lives with rocks.
Hill: Yeah. I get along better with rocks.
Malik: Mal2 once told me that pacifism was a dilemma. If everybody was a pacifist then everything would be perfect. But nobody is going to be a pacifist unless I am first. But if I am and somebody else is not, then I get screwed. He said that there were five choices under that circumstance. The first was napalming farmers and the second was executing your parents. The third was hypocrisy, the fourth was cowardice, and the fifth was to swallow the dilemma. Zenarchists are trained in dilemma swallowing.
Occupant: So are other Erisians, like POEE.
Ignotius: That is characteristic of the Discordian perspective.
Hill: But of course training contradicts Discordian principles.
Malik: Oh so what. Contradictions are nothing to Discordians.
Occupant: Dilemma, Schilmemma. [to Gypsie]: What do you think of this, pretty ma'am? We don't get to hear your thoughts.
Gypsie: I'm reporting now, you talk.
Occupant: Later then?
Gypsie: Perhaps. Later.
Occupant: You are smiling.
Gypsie: Hey, guy, later. [to Hill]: Doesn't this leave you a little schizy?
Hill: It's OK, I'm half Gemini.
Gypsie: What's the other half?
Hill: Taurus. That makes me a stubborn schizy.
Ignotius: I'm a Whale.
Occupant: I choose Satyr.
Malik: Spirits don't have signs.
Hill: A character can have a sign if I want it so.
Occupant: Well I can have a sign if I want to and screw both of you.
Malik: Come on Greg, you just think that we are your characters....
Occupant: You were inhabited by Malaclypse the Younger. He caused you to create roles and those roles are being performed by us spirits.
Ignotius: A perfectly normal pagan relationship.
Hill: Well you can look at it like that if you want to, but I created Mal2 to my specifications just as I conceived all the rest of you.
Occupant: You didn't invent Eris. She caused you to think you created the spirit of Malaclypse.
Hill: Oh bull! Besides, I changed her so much the Greeks would never recognize her.
Occupant: That's what She wanted!
Ignotius: Deities change things around all the time.
Malik: What you don't realize is that a spirit has a self identity.
Hill: Nope. A spirit is a product of definition and the one who is doing the defining around here is me. Your identity is what I say it is. Just to prove it, I'm going to change your name.
SINISTER DEXTER: It's OK with me. Fate is fate. I never much liked "Mad Malik" anyway.
Ignotius: Besides people confused him with Joe Malik in ILLUMINATUS.
Dexter: I sort of enjoyed the confusion part.
Occupant: Doesn't prove anything anyway.
Gypsie: That name sounds familiar. Where is it from?
Hill: It's a name I came up with in the old days and never used it much. Its on page 38 of the PRINCIPIA referring to Vice President Spiro Agnew. I always thought I invented it but now it sounds like a Stan Freberg name now that I think about it. It may have stuck in my preconscious memory from early TV.
Gypsie: Can you use it without his permission?
Hill: If it is his? I don't know. I hope so. It means "left right" in Latin and is a perfect name for a libertarian anarchist. Actually in my kind of art the question of what can I use freely and what can I not is a very tricky problem.
Gypsie: How do you mean?
Hill: Well, take a collage for example. Like the early one on page 36 of the PRINCIPIA. Each little piece was extracted from some larger work created by some other artist and published and maybe copyrighted. I find them in newspapers and magazines mostly. Often from ads. With a collage you select and extract from your environment and then assemble into an original relationship.
The PRINCIPIA itself is a collage. A conceptual collage. All of it happens simultaneously. But visually it is a montage, passing through time, like a book does.
There is a lot of pirated stuff in the PRINCIPIA, especially in the margins. But also I sympathize with artists who must own and sell their works to earn a living. Art, like knowledge, should be free fodder for everyone. But it isn't.
It is perplexing.
Gypsie: Where did all the things in PRINCIPIA come from?
Hill: Well, a full answer would take another book in itself. Most of the writing credited to a name is a true person and almost always a different name means a different person. Most of the non-credited, you know, Malaclypse, text is mine although some things credited to either Mal2 or Omar were actually co-written and passed back and forth and rewritten by each of us. The marginalia, dingbats, and pasted in titles and heads and things came from wherever I found them--some of which is original but uncredited Discordian output, like the page head on 12 and other pages which is from a series of satiric memo pads from Our Peoples Underworld Cabal. All page layout is mine and some whole graphics like the Sacred Chao and the Hodge Podge Transformer are mine but mostly I just found stuff and integrated it. Mostly I did concept, say 50% of the writing, 10% of the graphics, all of the layout.
Gypsie: Specifically, what are some of the sources?
Hill: Well, the poem on the front cover is by Walt Kelly and was spoken by one of his characters in Pogo. The government seals starting from page 1 are from a book of sample seals from the U.S. Government Printing Office. Western Union on page 6 got into the act because I used to be a teletype operator and had access to blank forms. Rubber stamps came from all over the place and some, like the apple on page 27, I carved myself. A few I ordered to my specification, like on page 1. The quote on the top of page 8 might be from Barnum, I'm not sure. The jumping man on page 12 is from an advertisement. I recognize the style--a popular commercial artist--but I don't know his name. The Chinese on the page is a grocery ad, I think. The Norton money on page 14 is historic, plus my little additions. The apple on page 17, as well as the triangle on 23 and the Sacred Chao on 50 are, believe it or not, pasteups of mimeographs, from Seattle Cabal. That group produced the best damn mimeography I've ever seen. The Lick Here Box on page 23 is one of many tidbits making the rounds in alternative/underground newspapers in those days. Trip 5 page header on 29 was a chapter title in one of Tim Leary's books. The Knight on the bull with the TV antenna on his helmet on page 46 came from a very artistic magazine called Horseshit and put out by two brothers from Long Beach. I don't remember their names. Wonderful magazine.
Occupant: Eris told Mal2 what to use and where to find it.
Hill: Yeah, in a way that is right. That is why my name does not appear anywhere on the PRINCIPIA and why it was published with a broken copyright-- Reprint What You Like. I knew I was taking liberties and didn't want my intentions to be misunderstood. It was an experiment and was intended to be an underground work and that involves a different set of ethics than commercial work.
Gypsie: There are no real names at all?
Hall: Oh, some. Camden Benares is a real name because he legally
changed his original name to his Holy Name. Also, instead of using Mordecai
Malignatus I used Bob Wilson's real name on page 12 because Werewolf Bridge
was a work before Discordianism. And of course real...