Factsheet Five project

Possibly Subversive Flower Arrangements

by Kerry Wendell Thornley

Originally published in Factsheet Five № 29 (p. 59), February 1989. Errors in spelling and grammar are presented as they appear in the original publication.

Possibly Subversive Flower Arrangements I met a guy last night in Little Five Points who says he is Jane Pauley's cousin! (sigh) R_____ P_____ is his name — he's from New York, seems like a very nice guy. 29 years old. Rod Stewart haircut. Interested in anything you want to talk about. Not much of a sense of humor, though — one of those people you have to explain to when you're being satirical. Let me crash on his sofa last night.

He said, "I got in a fight with a cop once. He got mad because my vocabulary was more extensive than his."

Jane Pauley is the only woman I've ever become a groupie about. It isn't a sexual thing. It's just that for the latter half of 1978 and early '79 — isolated in Tujunga with no friends and a television — she seemed like my only friend. I'd wake up in the morning and turn on the Today Show — and there she'd be, all soft and fuzzy, making me feel that way at a time when no one else did. I even went to the library once to read up about her in Current Biography. (Her sister is a nuclear physicist, etc.) When Jessica Savitch was killed (allegedly) in an alleged traffic accident (allegedly by Walter Cronkite) and I was at Becky's, where I heard the news, I responded almost without thinking: '"Thank God it wasn't Jane Pauley!"

Maybe I should assassinate Reagan to get her attention, eh? (I've already thought about assassinating Jody Foster to get Reagan's attention.)

I dreamed about _____ last night. It seemed like a natural dream. She looked just like herself. Than, as I was waking up afterwards I said, "I love you, _____." And a voice seemed to say, "She is not ten miles from here". Last I heard she's in Ohio. (I've even thought of hitch-hiking up there and trying to find here — but you know how things like that go: the whole world would be talking about nothing else all the way up there and for weeks afterwards.)

How do you make people mind their own (obviously impoverished) business?

There would be women who looked like _____ — dressed this way and that — everywhere I went, etc.

I never found out what happened to Gerry Reith. There were hints before his death of fake suicides to avoid mind control, afterwards — from Bob Black — that I'd been involved in his murder and — from the media — that he was like Chris Wilder or a "beer sandwich." One night K_____ and I were talking across the kitchen in Fort Lauderdale. She was trying to interest me in some trivial problem in cant & I was in no mood to deal with a typical "beer" (one step beyond wage slavery in the direction of slavery) and, when I didn't, she said in cant, she (or whoever she was representing) was going to kill me. That is about when the FBI visited Gerry, then he allegedly killed himself. Then the insinuating letter from Black and the rumors of a "beer sandwich" and the "Wilder Kills Self" headlines (they call me "Self", sometimes). He was prolific, believed everyone should work selflessly for the anarchist cause — yet he was whimsical and quite fuunny — with a biting wit. Not more than a year or two did he write in the Fnord Generation publications — sometimes incomprehensibly, I'd say. (But then who am I to talk?) Then, with that all-too-soon James Dean always-leave-'em-wanting-more Janis Joplin showbiz exit, with no warning — no encores. I think more issues of more little journals and newsletters and more poems have been dedicated to his memory than anyone else whose death has been noted anywhere in the mail art junk mail network, famous or otherwise. Perfect timing, Gerry — wherever you are. Perfect timing.

A talented maniac arrives spouting incoherently about sometimes nearly incomprehensible urgent things and then is dead, and Joan Baez sings about that poor girl or everyone says in memorium — too fast to live, too young to die, bye-bye. The Jesus syndrome gets 'em where they live. (Jesus Campos, a professor of Dutch History at the University of Barcelona, that is.)

We spend most of our lives trying to solve problems accorind to the notions of leaders whose ideas, we find sooner or later, don't work anyway. we humble ourselves before these people and listen at their knees and then sooner or later we get fed up with them and they are officially discredited and we flock to someone else. What an enormous waste of time that could be spent instead examining and enhancing the quality of our individual lives, alone or in affinity groups, attackingthe same general problems, wrongly and rightly, from ten thousand different directions, learning from our mistakes and the mistakes of others, accumulating data about what works and what doesn't work at a dizzying speed — instead of spending a decade with this clique — of whom we are half terrified — and a decade with their enemies who've just proved them wrong — with good arguments and flimsy evidence — of whom we are also half terrified.

I suspect any plan — no matter how revolutionary (and no matter how libertarian) — including even the single tax — that aims at any goal besides simply allowing workers to keep the whole product of their own labor — disposing of it in the free market or donating it to the community as they themselves see fit.

Anything more complicated always winds up seeming like just new con games for old.

Q.W.N. — There was a section of town that looked like a ghetto to Quent — or that at least, with a little work, could be made into a ghetto

Aaron Burr founded the Manhattan Bank, which at sometime must have merged with Chase-Warburg Bank, and became Chase Manhattan! (p; 44, TREASON IN AMERICA)

I think about how the colonies objected to the quartering of British troops in American homes — they'd be turning over in their graves today if half of what I hear about electrical snooping is true.

R_____ P_____ indicated in cant I should be forgiven if I didn't understand R.A.W. was sabotaging L.B.J.s plans for a welfare state, I think if I'd known what was going on, I'd've sided with R.A.W., though. "The Great Society: Bombs, Bullets, and Bullshit!" Welfare states, according to libertarian historians, are nearly always destined to become warfare states. Notable exceptions I can think of are only in Scandinavia. Russia confiscates surplus value and spends it for weaponry, for the "good of the workers", of course. F.D.R. didn't get us out of the depression with the W.P.A., but with WWII — which created the Cowboy Southern Rim, which produced the L.B.J. presidency. Although what has happened to me since the publication of the ILLUMINATUS! trilogy has been horrible — with similarly hideous events like man-made earthquakes affecting others — I think the unimpeded triumph of the Great Society would've been something like Norma Mailer envisioned once, in reviewing Johnson's book.

What I must say for the most intelligent of the assassins — including the Texas faction — is that I think, figuring the Indochina War inevitable because of Nazi power, that they conducted a government secret probe of the domestic war structure in action, in hopes of preventing future wars. I guess that Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal was a summary of that investigation's results, a work written by someone who has since identified himself under the penname of William Torbitt. That is how we found out about D.I.S.C. and "Sam".

Anyway, I was probably mistaken earlier in how much of Wilson's thought I attributed to L.B.J. Johnson probably wasn't that weird. (Very few individuals are as weird as Robert Anton Wilkson — as I'm sure he himself would still readily admit.)