Tuesday, July 04, 2006

23 Roads to Mythville
An apocalyptic journey across America and meditation on the imposition of order in space, both cyber and dirt real. By experiential author Douglas McDaniel, who explores the mysteries of American networked life. Read more

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Ipswich at War
A few days after Sept. 11, 2001, poet and essayist Douglas McDaniel moved to Ipswich, on the North Shore of Massachusetts. A collection of poems from that period of fear and anxiety, as well as the polemic essay, "Media Arts and War."
Read more

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Glasnost Lost
As an act of defiance after the botched election of 2000, experiential author launched himself into a journey into the underworld of American life, or, what he calls: The Science of Descent. Read more

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Godz, Cars & Cannon
Experiential author Douglas McDaniel launches drives into the networked thickets of American life, looking for signs of myth and romance in the age of automotive machines.
Read more

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Many Moons the Mythville: The Collected Road Poems
Poetry written during a 10-year span of criss-crossing America in a roving-eye view of the turn-of-the-century landscape of Mythville, or, as the author puts it: "It's all a bunch of Mythville." With work from four separate books by Arizona-based author and poet Douglas McDaniel, the bard-inspired voices of Milton, Blake and Yeats, as well as the saturnine streak of early beat poesy, ring through this collection of poems and essays. From the southwestern deserts to the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, "Many Moons to Mythville" is a foot-to-the-floor blast through the mythical roads of American life.
Read more

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Human Search Engine

The journey continues as the quest for myth in an age of information overload leads to online life as an editor for Access Internet Magazine. A story about all human search engines as they chase the ghost in the machine.
Read more

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

William Blake in Cyberspace

Experiential author Douglas McDaniel takes on the visionary art and poetry of William Blake, comparing an otherworldly worldview to that revolutionary, romantic era to our own wild, wired, mythic world.
Read more

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

The Kachina's Son

Poems about the Four Corners area written while author Douglas McDaniel was living in Telluride, Colorado.
Read more

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

The Road to Mythville
A collection of poems on the new millennium in America, drawing from decade of bouncing across the country as a journalist and Kerouac-style poet, from the Southwestern deserts to the shores of New England and back again.
Read more

Paranoia goes pop on the Web
Do you belong on the World Weird Web?
By Douglas McDaniel
May 7-May 13, 2000

Do you ever feel drawn to the dark, to the weird, to the hidden? When
channel surfing, do you stop at the sound of Leonard Nimoy’s voice
announcing that he’ll be “In Search Of ... " those ancient alien visitors
who taught astronomy to the Mayans? Do you watch “The X-Files"? Do you know
for a fact that a cabal of Freemasons established the United States and that
their mystic icon for the coming New World Order--the pyramid with the
all-seeing eye--now resides on your dollar bill? If you answered “yes" to
any of these questions, you already know where you belong: on the World
Weird Web.

Sure, normal people use the Web to shop for Pez dispensers and track their
stock portfolios, but the online world really comes alive when visionaries,
wackos, the slightly mad and the completely daft get to play show and tell.

In the new century, paranoia has gone pop, and the mainstream media is
advertising for qualified loonies to keep up with the demand. In a
FoxNews.com report, we are told fringe thinkers have a “new role as content
providers to the booming Internet economy." A newspaper in Maine recently
advertised for an online security and privacy reporter with the come-on,
“Are you paranoid?"
Well, of course you are. After spending time surfing the World Weird Web,
who wouldn’t be?

A leader in the “Truth Is (Way) Out There" category of Web sites is
Disinformation, which packages the high-weird subculture with link-heavy
dossiers on radical politics, “magick" and the unexplained. The site’s
operators recently held a conference in New York called Disinfo.Con 2000,
which was more familiarly dubbed “Cyberpalooza." Funny thing was, although
the reported attendance of 500 was as demographically significant as a bake
sale, the conference was nonetheless covered by FoxNews.com and The New York

Says Disinformation CEO Gary Baddeley, “The province of the conspiracy
theorist has been taken over by the mainstream media."
A host of similar paranoia portals--many of them well-edited, slickly
designed and adult-oriented--show how this subterranean culture is coming to
the surface. ParaScope offers a witches’ brew of conspiracy theories, UFO
tales and paranormal topics, while Conspire.com, The Konformist and
Steamshovel Press all serve up free-floating fear like popcorn.

One of the best of these sites, The Smoking Gun, is run by two crime writers
at the famous New York-based alternative weekly The Village Voice. The site
repurposes quirky items from official sources and explains them with glitzy

Real nutsavvy folk, of course, are beyond these tidily packaged products and
are digging ever deeper into the Web in search of the proverbial ghost in
the machine. They tease out releases from the CIA, the FBI or the National
Security Agency, or go to rich “open source intelligence" sites such as
Cryptome, which keeps a running tab on Echelon, a global electronic
surveillance system that reportedly monitors e-mail and is said to be
operated by the NSA.

My best advice is this: If you’ve read this far, make sure you bookmark the
site run by the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the
Paranormal, the group that publishes Skeptical Enquirer magazine. The site
pours cold water on just about every prairie fire of paranoid conjecture
raging out there. As any good cybernaut knows, when you’re exploring, it’s a
good idea to keep yourself firmly tethered to your capsule.

Douglas McDaniel is a senior editor at Access Magazine.
He can be e-mailed at e...@accessmagazine.com.

[And here's the original version Doug was kind enough to send endsecrecy
with some of the hyperlinks spelled out. Remy C.]

‘Truth is Out There’ sites
By Douglas McDaniel

Here is today’s new hope in human search engineering: The Web should always
be a safe haven for the dangerous idea that almost makes sense. Free society
depends on it. Sure, there are good reasons to sanitize the Internet for the
mainstream, but many of us need to feel a little danger, a little mystery in
our lives.

People went to the World Trade Organization anarchist sites, cropping up as
they did like revolutionary cells, to get a sense for the inside story on
the riots in streets of Seattle. They surf lunatic fringe sites where UFOs
and conspiracy theories are seriously considered. Places where a
self-proclaimed shaman can do a little astrology, where Chicken Little can
vent stress about strange contrails in the sky. Go ahead, get it off your
chest: Who do you think is the anti-Christ?
Indeed, as the Web exploded in the 1990s, it coincided with the “X-Files”
effect of proliferate paranoia portals. The Fox television series hit helped
to turn “The Truth is Out There” into a phenomenon on the Web. Sites such as
Disinfo (www.disinfo.com), Parascope (www.parascope.com) and Conspire
(www.conspire.com) hyperlinked the paranoids and wove the lunatic fringe
into slick pop-friendly fabric. Even a mainstream educational portal,
Space.com, played off the trend with its Area 51

It’s no coincidence that as the Y2K calendar event loomed, paranormal
inquiry reached a fever pitch. On New Year’s Eve, we went to the Web like
superstitious neo-primitives asking the medicine man for clues to a lunar
eclipse, to that strange star appearing in the sky, to the

End drawing near.

And then the invisible threshold passed and the sky was still up there …
being blue. So now, free of the pressure cooker of Jan. 1, 2000 on our
calendars and fragile belief systems, we are due for a shift in perspective.
The “X-Files” just isn’t as good anymore, it seems.

So what happens to all of that curiosity, to that deep desire to reveal “The
Man Behind the Curtain?” Well, if “X-Files” becomes “Y-Files,” then what is
“Y”? The answer may be this: The truth isn’t “out there,” it’s “in there.”

Meet the open source-erer.

He’s the geek that decided, hey, maybe I can’t use alchemy to manipulate the
cosmos, but maybe I can penetrate the secrets of cyberspace and therefore,
the practical world. It works on a lot of different levels, from hackers to
online spies.

At Stratfor (www.stratfor.com) you can find information that the spooks call
“open-source intelligence.” The site covers nations and corporations around
the world like an online CIA. Find out why Chechnya is really strategic to
the Russians, and had nothing to do with terrorism, everything to do with
geography, and why Iran is responding with diplomatic moves to the West. At
Strategic Internet Group (www.strategicsite.com), an outsourcing e-commerce
consultant for Fortune 500 firms, you can find links to strange stories
about French spies working at Microsoft, and how it connects to a worldwide
U.S. surveillance program called Echelon.

Sure, passionate hacromancers can spout as much wrong-headed thinking about
cyberphysics as wannabe wizards always did about metaphysics and the Knights
of Templar. But it sure makes more sense to go to Cryptome
(www.cryptome.org) and imagine the NSA reading electromagnetic waves off
your PC than to worry about 18th century Bavarian secret societies or who
shot JFK.
In the 21st century, paranoia and the very, very real seem to be converging.
The term “Big Brother” is experiencing a rebirth, and one can only imagine
what the final winner of convergence on the Web will be like. Already, Bill
Gates can make deals Goethe’s Mephistopheles could barely dream of.

So here’s my big prediction: the Netizenry isn’t going to be as interested
in tales about the ghost in the attic. But they sure will want to know about
the ghost in the machine.

DOUGLAS McDANIEL is senior editor at Access magazine.
He can be contacted at e...@accessmagazine.com.