Some 60% of the world is covered by water, with underwater mountains taller than Everest, and places of immense pressure where sunlight never reaches. I mention this for no other reason than to remind of the pretty weird and alien creatures lurking in our oceans. They have some online too.
Founder of this cult-like ‘gateway to the underground’, Richard Metzger, said a long while ago, ‘New media is a great way to make money out of old media’ & seems to be finally reaping ye olde rewards. In other words, the Disinfo site which boasts a vast collection of links to ‘news, politics, conspiracy & weirdness’ has been busy moving into print publishing and broadcasting. ( Note – the site was edited until recently by Melbourne’s Alex Burns ( www.livejournal.com/users/alexburns). And so we see spawned : a series of investigative anthologies, distribution of a range of provocative books, and even a Channel 4 UK series focussing on counterculture interviews, also now available on DVD.
The Disinfo DVD bites nicely, rabidly, weirdly, charmingly. Like some sort of psychedelic car salesman, presenter Richard Metzger guides interviews through a range of New York’ s twisted underbelly. It’s typical Disinfo seduction : sex, drugs & rebellion – ranging from the freaky carnivalesque to counterculture esoterica, from investigative and confrontational journalism through to some kind of darkened, voyeuristic showbiz. Illuminatus! author Robert Anton Wilson is the sharp-witted interview subject you’d expect and there’s even a John Safran McDonald’s piece thrown into the mix. (Apparently Richard saw the unaired in Oz piece, and loved it ). The two discs contain more than six hours of viewing, and the companion book of interviews is also pretty classic, complete with colour photos.
You Are Being Lied To: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes & Cultural Myths, edited by Russ Kick, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Howard Bloom, Douglas Rushkoff, Peter Russell, and other boys tackle hallucinogenic toads, hacking, bible codes, big bangs, species extinction, George Bush, female serial killers, the Columbine massacre and the cloning of humans.
Abuse Your Illusions: The Disinformation Guide to Media Mirages & Establishment Lies, edited by Russ Kick
Neglected information regarding the September 11 attacks, antidepressants & suicide, Mormon racism, Panama & Wall St, Islamic censorship, flouridation, resurrection and government-sponsored anti-drug ads and the real story about the founding of United Nations & more.
The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, edited by Richard Metzger
Aims to ‘redefine occult anthologies and a huge array of magical essays for a pop culture audience’. And so the usual suspects are lined up : Terence McKenna asking about alien contact through the smokable drug DMT, Mark Pesce exploring the relationship between spellcasting and computer programming, Grant Morrison explaining how YOU can become a practicing magician, Erik Davis dissecting H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Anton Wilson reflecting on the similarities between Crowley and Leary, Genesis P-Orridge recounting personal memories of his magical education under William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, Hakim Bey on Sorcery and Occult Terrorism etc etc.
Some of the more tenacious deep sea critters are also the smallest, and at www.microcinema.com they digs deep in the service of independent short films. Browsing the site you’ll find a ‘totally sick’ range of short films that Microcinema exhibit and distribute on behalf of artists to festivals all over the world. Particularly successful are their ‘Independent Exposure’ compilations ( available on DVD ), which are regularly scheduled to screen at International venues the year round. Alongside the festival circuit, Microcinema have started a fledgling DVD Label which has already started to release collections of short films. Two discs I’ve managed to glimpse through their site, ‘Urban Visions’ & ‘Signal Drift’, are a mixed bag. Signal is a meandering audiovisual portrait of a ‘day’ with old colorisation and chroma keying tools that tires quickly, but Urban is a better compilation of shorts – with the inventive panoramic by Pierre-Yves Cruaud & fantastic squidgy animation by GG Tarantola as stand-outs. More micro to come.