Robert Anton Wilson's Meat Capsule
January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007
Literary revolutionary, quantum psychologist, professional wise-ass, political op-ed crank, trickster philosopher, etc., etc. and Illuminatus! co-author, Robert Anton Wilson, after prolonged physical ailment and even longer mental expansion, has finally expanded his mental so much that left his body somewhere in Capitola, California. The man would, emphatically, not want to be mourned, but SubGenii, Discordians, potheads, skeptics, mystics, mathematicians, and disobedients everywhere may need to take a moment and give a laudatory round of applause. Somewhere in Atlantis, even an eye atop a pyramid is misting over. Wilson's escape from this plane is probably great for him, but a frustrating loss for the rest of us. Goddamnit, one of the good ones got away, and left us holding the check. That tricky son of a bitch!
On Wilson's website and blog, he would often share his thoughts on literature, television and film. Whatever else he was, Exploding Kinetoscope celebrates R.A.W. today as a perceptive and hilarious media critic with a bent toward locating powerhouses of mythological, political and sociological resonance in our pop landscape. In Illuminatus! the Greek gods watch the 20th century's history of man's inhumanity to man unfold through an extended Laurel and Hardy metaphor. A line of dialogue in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever gave Wilson a Joycian epiphany, and "summed up the world"; he traced our motivating drives from feudalism to Right Now (in one paragraph!), with the end result: "Shit, motherfucker! I want my fucking money, motherfucker!" Ha ha! Ugh...
Wilson loved Chaplin, Griffith, Eastwood, and George Carlin. He loved Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter cycle, and the films, and like me, but probably nobody else, he believed each Lecter book was more beautiful and truthful than the last. For that alone, damn him for leaving.
Sometimes on his website, Wilson would favor readers with a Movie Haiku. They were never definitive thoughts on a film, just fluttering musings. RAW, agnostic in all things, didn't believe in definitive evaluations. Except, perhaps, once:
Can't blame the big ape:
I, too, went a bit goofy
Over Fay Wray once
Hail Eris... Praise Bob.