Humourless Marxist Reviews – Rolling Blackouts C.F. (French Press)

Worker's Spatula


Following the Melbourne outfit’s recent release of a song about the refugee crisis, Worker’s Spatula’s local correspondent was immediately dispatched to be the first person to listen to an entire EP of music by this white Australian hipster band stone cold bloody sober.

Furthermore, the fact that their 2016 release Talk Tight mocks a bourgeois white Australian man who abandons his past life of fighting the bourgeoisie in favour of careerism boded extremely well for the listening session. Could it be that Worker’s Spatula have finally stumbled upon an indie rock band for the post-2008 crisis era, an era of renewed imperialist contradictions and class struggle?

It is true that like every rock recording carried out in the greater Melbourne metropolitan area, the basic message of French Press is that life under capitalism-imperialism is inherently alienating. But do the Rolling Blackouts C.F. embrace the historical Gramscian mission that Australian…

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‘What we believe in waits latent forever through all the continents’: The Paris Commune and the Poetics of Martyrdom in the Fin de Siècle Socialist Print Culture — Salvage

by Owen Holland. On 30 November 2016, Le Monde, and several other French newspapers, reported that the National Assembly had voted posthumously to rehabilitate the victims of the repression of the Paris Commune. Jean-Marie Le Guen, the Minister of State for Relations with Parliament, supported a text that ‘promotes the transmission of the memory’ of…

via ‘What we believe in waits latent forever through all the continents’: The Paris Commune and the Poetics of Martyrdom in the Fin de Siècle Socialist Print Culture — Salvage

Debating the pro-Assad “Left” — oaklandsocialist

I had an online debate with a long time former friend and comrade about Assad and Syria. Important enough as the issue of the disaster in Syria is, there’s a deeper issue too: In following the simplistic conspiracist theories like those of Michael Chussodovsky (quoted below), socialists and others have completely lost their way; they […]

via Debating the pro-Assad “Left” — oaklandsocialist

A quote from a terrible and overrated novel

Years ago I tried reading Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder and hating it, finding it to be unintentionally pretty creepy-why would a 40 year old man be sending a nearly 15 year old girl lots of weird letters out of nowhere, and why didn’t she tell her parents some stranger she didn’t know was sending her unsolicited mail, demanding that she meet with him secret? SOUNDS LEGIT TO ME.

Recently I searched for critical reviews and they do exist, I just wish more were on blogging accounts than just GoodReads and Amazon. One that was semi-critical I won’t link to but they did quote a part of the book that brings back memories, I always hated it-

Where does the world come from?
She hadn’t the faintest idea. Sophie knew that the world was only a small planet in space. But where did space come from?

So is the author implying that the educational institutions of Norway aren’t teaching their kids science? Like they never discuss the Big Bang, the formation of our Solar System, the history of this rock that we live on? MAYBE Astrophysics needs more Philosophy but you’d think that a character with an Middle Class educated background in a country w/higher and better educational standards than mine would have taken at least a few Science classes and knew how to check out books from a library or something.

And yes, I know, there’s still TONS of unanswered questions about the origins of the Universe, but at least Sophie would have had to have been aware of the origins of our Galaxy and Solar System.

I might order a used copy of it just for the sake of giving it a new hate read.





The Standardization of Islamophobia in Germany — Muftah

Anti-Muslim and anti-refugee hate crimes are on the rise in Germany. According to official government data, there were 2,219 attacks against refugees and refugee shelters in 2017. During the same period, at least 950 attacks against Muslims and Islamic institutions were registered, though the real figure is believed to be higher. These attacks on minorities are part of an…

via The Standardization of Islamophobia in Germany — Muftah

Assad’s rape victims break their silence — News Of The Revolution In Syria

Yvonne Ridley: ‘The torture victim stood in front of her tormentor wondering what treatment would be meted out this time in the notorious Branch 215, also known as Raid Brigade run by military intelligence in Damascus. Would it be a merciless beating or would it be another sex assault on her already broken body? The start of…

via Assad’s rape victims break their silence — News Of The Revolution In Syria

Horror Music Soundtrack without the film

I have forgotten how I discovered this label, but it’s my current favorite for releasing consistently good music.

This YouTube only Horror Ambient Music Mix is appropriately creepy, anyone complaining about feeling unease listening to this is missing the point. Listen to it while writing your horror fiction.

If you like this as a taster, there’s more great music to be haunted by at the Cryo Chamber label’s wonderful BandCamp page.

Women recount torture in Assad regime prisons — News Of The Revolution In Syria

‘Pleading for help for their fellow detainees, women who once languished in Syrian regime-controlled prisons are recounting their torment in an effort to raise awareness. A.H.Y., who was incarcerated for six months from 2015 through 2016 in a prison in Homs run by the Bashar al-Assad regime, said she faced torture and as a nurse was…

via Women recount torture in Assad regime prisons — News Of The Revolution In Syria

There some types of books which I like to call neo-grimoires, some of which can suck in various ways, and be difficult and frustrating at times, but I find myself having to recommend them anyway because of otherwise great material in them that you might not get elsewhere, especially outside of the English Language. I am currently tempted to call the category Grey Area Recommendations w/Loads of Listed Caveats but I will patiently wait until the upcoming Mercury Retrograde cycle is at least over before I try making up my mind on this.

President Trump Says Canonical ‘Just Not Rich Enough’ to Be Stealing Peoples Data — Sudo Satirical

Amidst the drama of Canonical announcing they would be introducing data collection in Ubuntu 18.04, President Donald Trump has weighed in on the debate, stating that the public should be very concerned, despite seemingly having no idea of “what an Ubuntu is”. As Mr. Trump was speaking to the press about the latest matters in…

via President Trump Says Canonical ‘Just Not Rich Enough’ to Be Stealing Peoples Data — Sudo Satirical

“Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?” — Fake Buddha Quotes

This one was just passed on to me, and is also found as: “Life is so very difficult. How can we be anything but kind?” “Life is so very difficult, how can we be anything other than kind?” The version that I’ve used as the heading for this article is perhaps the definitive version of…

via “Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?” — Fake Buddha Quotes

Review: Edmonds on Pachoumi, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri — :: Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity

Courtesy of BMCR: Eleni Pachoumi, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum, 102. Tübingen​: Mohr Siebeck, 2017. Pp. xvi, 258. ISBN 9783161540189. €79.00 (pb). Reviewed by Radcliffe G. Edmonds III, Bryn Mawr College ( Preview Pachoumi’s study of The Concepts of the Divine […]

via Review: Edmonds on Pachoumi, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri — :: Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity

The Irish and Indo-European Astrology that never existed

As much as I like to bitch about a bit too much of the Neopagan Blogsphere, Peter Berresford Ellis has a LOT to answer for than they do because he enabled him.

It’s not like it was a big secret that the roots of Western Astrology was mostly in Babylonia (Hindu/”Vedic” Astrology was STRONGLY influenced as well), but this nationalist decided to pull bullshit hypothesises out of his ass as though he never heard of the impact of Alexander of Macedon’s invasions and the following Hellenistic Age.

Sure, the Gauls had a calendar, but having calendars is not the same as having centuries of written records, the math to predict future planetary and rising sign placements, and wasn’t it funny the Coligny Calendar was written in Latin?

But he does try making the case that because of linguistic similarities and that the Irish had their own words for Astrological and Astronomical terms thus means that they had an indigenous Astrology, which is ludicrous. All cultures and languages have words for Planets and Stars, even constellations, it doesn’t mean they have a type of Astrology specific to their culture.

We do however know that the literate peoples of Mesopotamia, China, and MesoAmerica have created roots of their traditions due to textual evidence. Celtic much less Irish, no, no way in hell was that possible especially due to the fact there was very little if any record keeping at the time Ellis alleges happened.

This isn’t to say Ireland was free of Astrology anymore than Britain, at least by a certain time period when writing was much more part of the culture, but I have a problem with this idea of any Astrologer among the Irish using methods and techniques were that different from William Lily.

Early Irish Astrology: An Historical Argument by Peter Berresford Ellis.








On Ivo Dominguez’s book Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans: Using the Planets and the Stars for Effective Spellwork, Rituals, and Magickal Work

Published by Weiser Press, presumably to cash in on the Astrological Magic trend.

Pre-ETA: Just to make it clear, I am angry at the Publisher, not the author of the book himself, I’m sure he’s a very nice gentleman. Weiser/Red Wheel however should have NEVER published this thing and I am very disappointed in the fact they did so, I have seen better and well researched self published works in comparison.

A critical comment of mine was deleted from a Patheos Pagan review that was favorable to it-and it isn’t like that review is the only one there, it got a positive review from Eric Dupree on that channel too, a self proclaimed male feminist who lectured people that he is the matriarchy in defense of transphobic Pagan elders.

I will not cry censorship over deleted comments, but I’ll say here the book is crap and that I regret not working on a negative review early because I was working on a crtique of Cath Thompson’s book on more or less the same subject, which was in many ways worse than his.

This is not a review of that piece of crud but for now this post is a response Coby Michael Ward’s review Integrating Astrology Into Classical Witchcraft, amongst other things-

The book sucks but damn I forgot the Indo-European angle on that, I need to reread that thing again for the first time in awhile because damn not only is it incorrect it is stupid to imply that Western Astrology’s roots were PIE. At the risk of over simplifying-Western Astrology’s roots are well documented and they came from THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST, NOT Proto Indo European Culture. First starting with what we know as Celestial Omens by the Sumerians with later important additions from the Babylonians, then the natal chart and a few other types of Astrology as we know it today thanks to a synthesis of Babylonian, Egyptian, etc. Similarly the same can be said about Astrological Magic and Electional Astrology, the roots being Near Eastern.

The mythology of the planets are more akin to Babylonian than I’d say Greek or Roman but it’s clear Dominguez and this reviewer never even bothered to do a simple Google search, instead they wish to perpetuate misinformation.

Comparing Astrology to language is to me at least also ridiculous, Astrology is a discipline with a vocabulary. In losing themselves to the language metaphor these Neopagans are disregarding the Grimoire and Traditional Astrology revivals completely in detriment to discovering of powerful magic because eww Christian cooties. I strongly suspect this is partly why the Neopagan community is still full of fluffy ideas about the practice of a few Metaphysical Arts, but Astrology and Magic especially.

The Signs and Houses-No, they are not the same,  and the 12/twelve have NOTHING to do with Indo-European tripart and Three Worlds and whatever they’re trying to pigeonhole into this practice, stop doing it. The Babylonians were a Semitic culture, a branch of the Afroasiatic language family, and THEY came up with the Signs that they derived from the Constellations.

Planetary and Zodiacal glyphs and sigils-The ones mentioned Dominguez as discussed in that book are new, derived from older ones sure, but new nevertheless. They will probably not be that relevant

There’s also little or no mention or understanding of what is known as Electional Astrology, which is about the timing of events, usually in accordance with one’s own birth chart. After a few decades of Grimoire and Astrology revival I guess its ignored because people like this are too invested in Neo or Genero Paganism in order to do research themselves because how else could have they not know of Three Books of Occult Philosophy or the Picatrix?

Some other stuff about the book I do recall-

-Since it’s been awhile since I’ve read I am not writing this as a review. I was however VERY bothered by how the author used Modern Planets in the Tree of Life, that makes absolutely no sense. Funny how Eric Dupree, who speaks out against Cultural Appropriation, didn’t notice or care about THAT.

-Contrary to Dominguez’s claims, Astrology has changed a LOT over the centuries, and that Modern Astrology has little in common with say, the average Hellenistic Age or Medieval Arabic guide to that subject matter. Today’s Modern post-60’s Astrology is much more personality based (poorly, in my opinion) and has little or nothing to do with fate, worse the rise Evolutionary Astrology has much to do with Self Help Cult Bait.

-The Modern Rulership schema sucks and makes no sense, the Essential Dignity System is the bedrock of Western Astrology, and its abandonment is tied to the New Age, Self Help, and other travesties latched on to it the past few decades.

If you actually want to learn about Astrology and Astrological Magick that works you will have to avoid these books whose target market are Neopagans and hopefully I will have a nice references and citations Page within the next few months.

To be further edited, because I’m not done with this yet, but I will reread this damn thing for a future review. In the meantime I’ll say I’m pretty sure there’s an agreement between metaphysical publishers and certain metaphysical writers and publishers to not write anything less than positive.


Followup on Lecouteux’s Traditional Magic Spells — Papers Falling from an Attic Window

I had a nice discussion in the comments with Frater A. P. regarding my review of Lecouteux’s Traditional Magic Spells. He’s been looking over Lecouteux’s translations in the book taken from Dr. Heinrich von Wlislocki’s Volksglaube und Volksbrauch der Siebenbürger Sachsen. What he’s found – and I’ve checked on some of his conclusions – is […]

via Followup on Lecouteux’s Traditional Magic Spells — Papers Falling from an Attic Window

Alas, I can only read English. That said however I’ve noticed a pattern in his books on Lapidaries and Talismans that aren’t quiet right, he doesn’t seem to understand how to construct these things nor attempted to ever do so, just translates random snippets and unfortunately some of his works get hyped as “complete”. (I may eventually upload some passages on my Instagram)

This is NOT to say that the works of Claude LeCouteux are worthless, but I find myself telling people over and over that his books on grimoires, talismans and amulets, and lapidaries should only be used as supplements for the fully translated materials that are already available, neo-grimoires, academic books & publications, as well as the occasional online lecture or course, and NEVER as newbie how-to books.

If you know what you’re doing and know these traditions better than he does, that’s great, just don’t give them to a newbie Occultist who doesn’t even have a translated copy of Three Books of Occult Philosophy or the (Latin) Picatrix yet.

More here for references.