King of Kingston

Fifty years ago, in April 1966, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie visited Jamaica for the very first time. Selassie was a controversial statesman. He is also the figurehead of the Rastafari religion which views Selassie as the returned messiah of the Bible. Here’s a bit about the man… Among the Rastafari movement, whose followers are estimated [...]

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Flashback: The Acid Tests

This year we look back on half a century since the first Acid Test at The Fillmore in San Francisco. The psychedelic initiations came courtesy of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters whose exploits were immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s countercultural histoire, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test… With that in mind here’s to another 8 miles-high-stone [...]

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Professor Ginsberg

I love the Open Culture site and I’m always anxious to share a good find. The other day I fell down a Beat rabbit hole at the site before stumbling upon this set of recordings of Allen Ginsberg teaching the history of Western poetry at the Jack Kerouac School for Disembodied Poetics in 1974. There [...]

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Candy-Colored Cult

I love fringe cultures and strange religious beliefs, and the world of contemporary cults is like the overlap of their Venn diagram. The Cosmic People of Light Powers have a great name, an out-of-this-world UFO-centric belief system, and a wild candy-colored aesthetic that’s on full display in their promotional videos. Here’s a bit about the [...]

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Truly Hallucinating

Yesterday I posted about chimpanzees in Guinea who may be displaying certain worship behaviors involving ritualistic rock throwing and building little cairns out of stone all next to one particular tree. If you haven’t seen the post check it out and watch the video. The chimps might be in the throes of some mystical ecstasy, [...]

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Rise of the Ape God

So just another Sunday night sitting down to get a post together for Monday morning when I stumble upon this science story that has researchers wondering if chimpanzees are worshiping a god in Guinea… The discovery defied explanation. A researcher studying chimpanzees in the savannahs of the Republic of Guinea was baffled by a strangely [...]

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Austin Osman Song

Chaos magic is the emergent discipline of the occult revival of the 21st century, and chaos magic pioneer Austin Osman Spare is its spotlighted personality. Spare died in mostly-anonymous squalor in 1956, but in this new era his cult of personality is second only to Crowley, and his magical concepts and haunted art continue to [...]

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Bye, Bye, Bobby

Today we remember the death of Bobby Sands following a hunger strike by Irish republican prisoners at the HM Prison Maze which began on this day in 1981. Sands and his fellow Provisional Irish Republican Army inmates were afforded what amounted to POW status (Special Category Status) determined by negotiations between the IRA and the [...]

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Hattie’s Leap

On February 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award…. Stay Awake! Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia. Click here to check out more Counter Culture posts.

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Huey’s Day

On February 17 we celebrate the 1942 birthday of the founder of the Black Panther Party, Huey P. Newton. Anyone paying attention to Black Lives Matter can’t help but see parallels to the same challenges that faced the Black Panthers way back in the 1960′s. Here’s a 1968 documentary film made by the Panthers: Huey! [...]

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