Monday, July 14, 2008

Interview with BEAR: Sitting on Top of the World

(Originally published in one of my rags, HUMP Megazine)

For those of you who have never heard of Mr. Augustus Owsley Stanley the Third, I suggest that you start reading about recent history in other places other than Government issued text-books.

Owsley has changed the way humanity thinks about things and has been relentless in the way he advocates certain ideas. True to form I found Owsley to be impossible to nail down, but irrefutable in his ideas. If I had to sum up my two years of working on this interview, the one word that comes to mind when I think of Owsley is “persistent.”

Unrelenting in his tenacity Owsley comes through loud and clear as one of the clearest voices to come through the last 30 years, unchanged and focused. For those of you who still don’t know Owsley, also known in legend and myth as “Bear”, let me say these few choice words. Owsley made more quality LSD than anyone else on the planet. Owsley shaped the sound of the Grateful Dead more than any other man who twiddled their knobs. If you credit Gates and Job as reponsible for the way that we know ourselves and as creators of the future, you better add Owsleys name to that dynamic duo. For it was Owsley, who should be given some noble title for his efforts, who took the psychedelic bull by the horns and branded him with the three letters that all tyrannical governments (including our own) fear the most, LSD. But wait kids, Owsley is not here to say that the sugar cube will save the day, no, Owsley believes wholeheartedly that the Ice Age is upon us. It will start in the Northern Hemisphere during a winter season and will quickly, very quickly end our little sham, we call civilization.

So before we continue into our cyber quest let me say a quick statement to Owsley. “I apologize for any inaccuracies that you feel this interview or introduction might have. My genetic (you might call it lazy) inattention to details is prevalent all through my life and while I am trying to overcome this myopic disadvantage, you were caught in my windmill mind. Thank you for your time and I hope these words find you well and healthy.”

And now, like Poncho Villa at Don Quixote’s side, I sidestep towards the leviathan that awaits us at the end of time. A towering grizzely, jaws agape, hunger unsatiated, and ready to HUMP.

DNA- I heard that it was a lucid dream that provided the seminal nugget for your current overview of the
world. How do you feel that man’s role has facilitated the upcoming Ice Age?

BEAR- Sorry to disappoint you, but the dreams of 1982 were the first and the last examples of anything in
my nighttime pastimes that were in any way unusual. I have never at any other time had a dream more than once.
I am confused as to your query : "man's role in facilitating them", as I thought that I made it quite clear that man has no role in the Ice Age cycle, nor does any of his so-called "pollution" impact on the build up to the cyclone in any manner. No matter how much you would like things to be different, you must, if you choose to survive, leave the Northern Hemisphere.

Got this from a Graham Hancock book: “Albert Einstein investigated the possibility that the weight of the ice-caps, which are not symmetrically distributed around the pole, might cause a displacement. Einstein
wrote : The Earth's rotation acts on the unsymmetrically deposited masses, and produces centrifugal
momentum that is transmitted to the rigid crust of the Earth. The constantly increasing centrifugal momentum produced this way will, when it reaches a certain point, produce a movement of the Earth's
crust over the Earth's body and this will displace the polar regions towards the equator.”

BEAR- Nonsense!

Einstein would not have said anything of the sort. The mass of the normal polar ice caps is neither unevenly distributed around the poles, nor is it a significant size in reference to the mass of the continental masses. Besides, the continents don't move according to centripetal forces, although 600 million years ago the movement was indeed started by centrifugal forces from the single large continental mass in the south pole, they move by magma welling up in the mid ocean ridges. The continents are approaching the North Pole, not receding from it. Only during the ice age glaciation is the ice mass not evenly arranged around the pole. Even so, we are speaking of masses which are only around a ten-millionth of the mass of the planet, and no way would it affect the rotation.

DNA- Hancock talks about 'flash-frozen' mammoths as well as 90-ft. tall fruit trees locked in the permafrost inside the Arctic Circle. Hancock mentions Professor Charles Hapgoods theory that the landmass of Antartica was 2000 miles further north before the last ice age and was moved to its current
position due to a massive displacement of the earth's crust. Hapgood says that the layer of earth known as
the lithosphere- the thin but rigid outer crust of the planet-could at times be displaced moving as one piece.

BEAR- More nonsense.

Read my essay. The mammoths frozen by a mist of liquid air is an important proof of my storm
mechanism. Their location, which is in Siberia, not Anticarctica, has nothing to do with any shift of poles or ice caps. Antarctica has always contained the South Pole, and the Pole has not moved more than 300
miles in millions of years from where it is now. This is also bogus information you are handing me. Let's call him Hapless rather than Hapgood, if you ask me. Or rather:Clueless.

Excerpt from essay-
I have for the last 17 years been working out the causative mechanism for the initiation of the
glacial advance and retreat which has occurred for the last ~2 million years. I have shared some of
the theoretical musings with George Kukla of Columbia's Lamont-Doherty lab. He believes that
my concept of the causation lying with an atmospheric (meteorological) event is the only currently
believable one. All attempts to model theoretical climatic scenarios such as the Milankovitch have
failed to present any glaciation.

I believe the causation of the glacial masses (which, as we know were not distributed around the
North Pole in a symmetrical fashion, but were entirely confined to North America and Western
Europe--Siberia was essentially ice free, although quite a bit closer to the pole), came about
through a meteorological event, a storm of hemispheric proportions and cataclysmic intensity. I
must warn you: the extreme and unusual weather being experienced everywhere in the world at
this time is part of the build-up which leads into this "storm", which will result in the next period
of ice.

DNA- Well, we've been having our own ice age here in Northern California. We had temperatures 40 degrees colder than ever recorded this past winter. The spring had winter conditions when it's usually over a 100 degrees at that time. We've become the Seattle of California. According to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, "The energy is going from the Earth into the atmosphere. The earth is slowing down." Blame it on El Nino. The heads here are having El Greenio parties.

The bit about the atmosphere changing the Earth's rotational speed is a bunch of hooey. The total mass of
the atmosphere, including the water in the oceans is so small compared with the entire rocky mass of the planet, that no such effects would be possible. Think about it, the entire atmosphere and oceans combined depth is only about 6 miles, and the rock is 8000 miles in diameter, and more than 3 times as dense as water, with a massive metallic core. Somebody is stretching a point pretty far in my estimation. There have long been recognized irregularities in the rotation, but usually they are attributed to the sun and moon's gravitation effects.

DNA- Do you know much about ice caps in Antartica melting? I've read that the Larsens Ice Ledge and
the Pine Island Glacier melting could cause sea levels to raise 20 feet.

BEAR- Of course the polar ice is melting, just as I predicted.

No, there is not going to be any noticeable rise- like 20 feet, the Ice Age Storm will come first.

The floods and "heat waves" you have read about recently are the result of the heat moving to the poles.
The reason there is no global warming (the pan-global satellite readings show a decline in the average
global temp of 0.1C since 1979), is that this heat is melting the ice caps.

The time is growing short...

DNA- Any theories on the Moon harboring life?

BEAR- The Moon is the granite mantle of the Earth's crust, except for the bits left behind, which form the
continents. The amount represented by the ocean basins is identical to the volume of the Moon, and the
Moon has the specific gravity of granite, with no core. The Moon's present rate of regression in orbit, if
calculated back to the point of origin at the Earth's surface, calculates the date at 600 million years ago, at the end of the PreCambrian.

DNA- That was a very pragmatic answer.

BEAR- Is there something wrong with pragmatism?

DNA- The films "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact" both deal with asteroids hitting earth. I have a
headline from the NY Times that talks about a Giant Asteroid coming towards earth in 2028. It was the
front-page headline! I recently read Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock, in which he talks about
previous civilizations on Earth being destroyed by cataclysm. Seems we're all heading for a REAL cliffhanger...........


The Headline was the result of a miscalculation. I would not worry about rocks from space, the real story
is in my essay on the Ice Age. Cataclysms have always occurred, but we are still here. TV is
destroying out society, culture and civilization, it is going to be total, and it is happening without any rocks
from space. I outline this in my essay on "Children's TV".

Excerpt from Essay-

There are "windows" of time in which certain skills must be learned by children, and if these windows close, then the child will never learn those skills. So it is that we have all those kids out there who behave as though they were incapable of understanding how to live. They don't, and the scary thing is, it may not be possible now for them to learn. Most people don't understand this. The nearest thing to a description of the effect would be found amongst Marshall MacLuhan's works. So most think I am some sort of ratbag for being against children's TV. They have become dependent upon it to support their lifestyle, like an addictive drug. I have given the whole matter a great deal of thought.

I was a TV broadcast engineer for many years, and still hold the highest class of license the US gov't issues. I am old enough so that I first had a TV in my home when I was 13. NO kids in those days had what is now referred to as "dyslexia". Everybody could read. Of course some were much faster and better readers than others, But... EVERYONE could read. Nowadays they claim up to 40% of kids in the US and 50+% in Australia are extremely deficient in reading skills and a significant number can't read at all.

The Countess Montessori, who developed a complete structure for teaching based on careful observations of babies and small children, first noted the time slots, or windows, for learning different skills, and incorporated them into her system of schooling. The whole picture is sort of MacLuhanesque, in that it is the activity (or lack thereof), rather than the content which is at the core of the problem. Most people are too taken in by content and so don't understand the effect of the media itself, which as MacLuhan pointed out, is totally independent of content (cf. "Gutenberg Galaxy" and "The Medium is the Message").

I am increasingly sure that my ideas expressed in the children's TV essay are the correct reasons for the
obvious and widespread breakdown in society. Mothers neglecting or even torturing their kids, kids
shooting their classmates, various types of mindless vandalism. Basically these people are acting just like
animals, which of course we all are. We are supposed to have a culture laid on over that animal nature
which prescribes our behaviour. There seems to be an ever increasing lack of this acculturation, and I for
one am most concerned. What other causation can there be?

DNA-Since TV is out, are there any books that you find yourself returning to as touchstones?

BEAR- What is wrong with your TV?

DNA- I am pouring over all your essays again and agree that TV neutralizes children into passive
passengers on the bus. Having been weaned on the boob tube, I find myself often returning to its bright
colors for security and a way to kill an hour or two. Chris Carters shows (X-file[s] and Millenium) seem to
make the hour of viewing eventful, but, although not a child, I still feel that crucial social networking is
often wasted for the sake of a "good" show. The only thing "wrong" with my set is that I only get two
channels. I've broken down and ordered Cable and fear that many late nights may now be spent watching
Senate Sub-committee meetings.

BEAR- I guess my essay on kid's TV s is not clear enough. The tube doesn't make them "passive". Quite
the reverse, it seems to make them more active when not in front of the tube, but not in a way which is acceptable to our society (don't fidget, Junior). TV watching itself is indeed passive. It does not teach the very young, it steals the time in each of the child's learning windows from the things which must be learned in that time. This is not inducing passivity, rather it creates an unease, and that leads to increased activity, but without proper purpose. The "toolbox" which makes us human is not full of the tools of culture as the child matures, and the animal which we all have within is not suppressed, hence the vandalism and killings (noticeably without remorse).

Gangs etc. are also the result of increased lack of cultural restraints on behavior. This gang thing has
always been with us to some extent, but was minimal and transitional before the advent of children’s TV.
The TV's content and the violence of video games does not have the same effects on a person who is
completely acculturated. In that situation the violent actions is seen as a fiction (often humorous as in
Schwartzenegger films), and is not taken as a blueprint of a real solution, but as a play with actors. In the
unacculturated, the content and the activity of the games is accepted as viable alternative behavior. When I grew up (before TV), kids gathered in age-related groups and had games specific to that age. Now the only thing which gives a sense of belonging to the TV-damaged kids, who no longer know how to play the ancient children's games, is the gangs.

DNA- By the way, I found a site about politicians who were born or died on May 21st. In it is your
grandfather. They say that he was Governor of Kentucky, while other books that talk about your life only
mention your granddad as a Senator.

BEAR- My grandfather was one of the remarkable men of his generation. Perhaps the last of the true
statesmen, he had one of the most dramatic and accurate memories I have ever known. His knowledge of
the law was awesome. Called by many the "Last of the golden-throated orators of the South", his speeches
were legendary. Elected a member of Congress, he prosecuted the anti-trust case against Andrew Carnegie
of US Steel. Later, in the Senate, while serving on a Senate anti-trust committee, he wrote a new anti-trust act (called the Clayton Act, after the committee chairman). He was also Governor of Kentucky, a family tradition-- his maternal grandfather was Governor Owsley, after whom a county in the state was named.

Although a Democrat (he belonged to the now-defunct conservative "Southern Democrats" absorbed into the REpublicans now), he was appointed by Herbert Hoover in '31 to a prestigious international committee
for border resources between the US and Canada, the International Joint Committee, and was the "father"
of the St. Lawrence Seaway. He retired in 1953 at the age of 86 and lived to 91. He was at the time the most knowledgeable man on the life and philosophy of Thomas Jefferson. His books and papers are archived at the University of Kentucky. I went into court in '67 to remove the A and III from my name to quench the adverse media publicity which claimed I was trading (due to my name), on my grandad's reputation. I was quite fond of my grandfather, but there was no way that I was using him or his name to further my life.

DNA- During the recent election in the States, and here in Chico, certain politicians have chose to cling
to the bible tighter than to the Constitution. Any thoughts?

BEAR - Well, I am not an authority on such things, but you must realize that the Pilgrims (emphasis on
"grim") were the founders of the United States of Prejudice. They were so uptight that they were run out of
England. Anyway, religious bigotry goes back to the early days of Christianity when they burned people
for claiming that Jesus had blue eyes, or some such nonsense. Anyone who hides his or her personal
prejudices under the cloak of religious belief is a terrific coward. So far as I know, any sort of mad
superstition fits in well in the definition of religion, which is mostly about belief in things which the study
of science tells us are falsehoods, so the adherents are immune to any sort of intelligent refutation. I mean, virgin birth? Resurrection? Water into wine? Bodily ascent into "heaven"? if you swallow that stuff, you are ready to add whatever else you like, as none of it has to be provable in any way whatever. It is also a fortress from which to foist your own perversities on others. The best way to deal with people like these is to expose them as pedophiles or some other repugnant aberration. Most of them usually have something to hide, and the quickest way to find out is to hire a private eye to turn it up. One thing heavy Christianity does is twist people up.

DNA- When did you know that the Grateful Dead were to be the monsters of rock we now them as today?

BEAR-When I first heard the Dead, at the Muir Beach Acid Test, I thought: "They're going to be bigger than the Beatles". And they were.

DNA- I am a huge Jorma Kaukonen fan, where do you feel that he exists in the realm of guitar heroes?

BEAR- I am old and close friends with Jorma. I have suggested that he and Jack (why not two bassists? Phil plays
mostly a baritone line anyway) be added to the remaining band members to revive the Dead. In my
estimation he is the best qualified to step into the vacuum left when Jerry died, and is every bit his equal in magic.

DNA- I know you helped design the Steal Your Face logo, but did you design the bear with the third eye?

BEAR- I didn't design the Dancing Bear [or the Three-eyed Bear], Bob Thomas did both as part of the design for the Bear's Choice Album jacket art.

DNA- Do people have garage sales on the weekend in Australia?

BEAR- We have all the same sorts of things like yard (same as garage) sales, but our weekend markets are
unique, a sort of fleamarket and farmer's market combined, which is held in each town in the region on a different weekend. There are more permanent daily ones in the cities.

DNA- How long can one visit in Australia?

BEAR- The longest visitor's visa is six months. I think even if you could get a "backpacker's working visa"
(not the official name), it might be only good for six months, but you would have to ask the Australian
Consulate in LA if you really want to know what sort of visas are on offer at this time. I am a citizen, so I
don't know much anymore about visas. You are not allowed to work on a straight tourist's visa.

DNA- I wasn’t a big fan of the Other One’s.

BEAR-I thought the Shoreline shows were very good, in spite of the poor performance by Kreutzmann.
I personally, I think you missed the whole thing, the show was better, than any with Garcia in it for
at least the last ten years of the Dead. This band is already better than the last years of the Dead, and will
only get better from here on.

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