warning: we now control your television set

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— never @ 1:05 pm

Honestly, I don’t even know how it all occurred. It’s a blur, really; a twist of psychedelic schism. The intent always seemed to be there, but the activity leading up to the conclusion/beginning you see before you was less controlled by forcible action and more a result of flowing through the currents of wu wei wu - action through non-action.

When madghoul.com first went live, I was stuck looking for intelligent, like-minded web sites with syndication feeds that I could scarf up for a specialized section that I was developing. Through some happenstance of direct inaction, I stumbled upon Klint’s Technoccult site and sought to syndicate it for my own purposes.

Along the way, I became an avid reader…

It was through Technoccult that I met Wes, during his heydays under the pseudonym Zen Werewolf. With the exception of author Donald Michael Kraig, Wes was the first person that I had an intelligent exchange with on the Internet concerning occult matters. I communicated with him sporadically through emails until one day he just disappeared.

As Wes went on hiatus, I feverishly pounded away at the terminal to produce lasting content of interest to the esoterically inclined. I also occasionally dropped a few lines on The Disinformation Company’s web site, interviewed their co-founder Richard Metzger, and reviewed a few of their publications.

The Disinformation Company allowed others to find me, as opposed to my wrenching search to “find the others.” I was deeply interested in finding out about those that read my web site, and as such, I would find myself checking out who linked to me through Google’s handy search features.

The first site to ever link to me on their own accord, was The Corridor of Madness. Lapo - another avid poster on Disinformation - quoted my Quantum Immortality essay, and had me linked on his blogroll. I returned the favor.

At this point, I wasn’t the only one noticing Wes’ absence. Klint set out to “page” Zen Werewolf to determine his whereabouts; and I contacted Klint to drop him a “Stop the FCC” petition as well as inquire on his search.

It was through this communication that Klint offered me a guest blogging stint on Technoccult while he was in Europe. I accepted, and strangely enough Wes came out of seclusion to also jump on board as a guest blogger.

Things started to meld together after that point. Wes - who had decided to abandon the Zen Werewolf moniker because he thought that his work didn’t mean anything unless he was willing to put his name on it - and I had become fast friends, making posts and shooting emails back and forth regarding comments, Internet discoveries, etc.

To show my appreciation to Lapo, the first snippet I ever posted on Technoccult linked back to his weblog. And in fact, come to find out, we had both attended the Disinformation event at CUNY in New York, almost sitting close enough to hit each other with spit balls.

Meanwhile, back on Technoccult, Sauceruney - a former guest-blogger himself - was busy commenting (and commending) up a storm to support my and Wes’ postings, and LVX23 became a permanent fixture in both of our blogrolls.

The idea began to fester slowly but surely; and I think the meme may have been set forth by accident in the maniacal pages of Jason Louv’s web site. Jason and I had become somewhat acquainted through Douglas Rushkoff’s online class: Theoretical Perspectives on Interactivity. Jason had participated briefly before having to drop it in favor of his heavy school schedule at the time.

It was through a snide comment I left about his yellow and white candy stripe background that prompted him to ask how Rushkoff’s class was going. At that point, he had traded his candy stripe design (way too many complaints, I’m guessing) in favor of the current design, and had added annotated links to his blogroll.

Apparently Jason had noticed Klint’s coverage of Generation Hex, my picking up of his post about the Book of the Law anniversary, and the post recognizing Generation Hex contributor Bianca Lee, because Technoccult soon found it’s way into his links section.

The accidental meme drop came from Jason listing Technoccult as “a group blog regularly updated with fringe news[…]“, which, in fact, it isn’t. Technoccult is Klint’s blog with occasional guest contributors.

This comment by Jason had me thinking fiercely of the prospects of an actual group blog, especially with the minds that regularly scoped out Technoccult.

Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines. When Klint returned from Europe, one of the first things he mentioned was the potential of a group blog… Things spiraled out of control from there.

What is Key 23? Key 23 comes from author Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles graphic novel. Originally termed Key 17, and then remonikered with the 23 later in the series, Key 23 is a chemical substance that forces the person under it’s influence to confuse words with the concepts that they represent, ultimately leading to a blurry line between reality and the written word.

That is our attempt here: to blur consensus reality with the concepts and ideas that you’ll be reading about… and we’ve assembled a team like no other to accomplish this task.

There are six founding members of Key 23 in total. I guess (if you want to be all occult-like about things) you could equate that with one founder for each of the six elements in Bianca Lee’s Nysidra elemental divination system: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit, and Knought; each individual possessing there own unique outlook and creative talent.

Klint reminds me of a techno-savvy Terrence McKenna - a new breed of shaman for the digital generation.

Wes is what would have happened if Grant Morrison grew up in Midwestern America and was adopted. His genius is unmatched by any other writer in this generation. Trust my words on that one.

Lapo - who has garnered praise from Antero Alli - for all intents and purposes, should be working for The Disinformation Company. His avid journalistic integrity outmatches many “print” journalists.

Chris Joseph is more than just “that UFO guy.” He remains a steady discoverer of bizarre phenomena, and lets his design skills draw you into a strange little world of aliens, technology, and the occult.

And LVX23 (the first to recommend the Key23 name, and the originator of many of the design concepts) reminds me of a cross between Hakim Bey and Israel Regardie - just the right mix of several portions of the metaphysical spectrum.

You could probably term this “The Key 23 Project” much like a musician trying something new and slapping that “project” label at the end of their stage name. I have no clue where it will all lead, and to be completely honest… I’m rather glad for that.

  1. Michael, thanks for the fantastic introduction. I’m thrilled to be a part of this project and look forward to getting to know all of you better. Now I just need to start writing more… Cheers!

    Comment by lvx23 — 7/23/2004 @ 3:54 pm

    Yes. Thank you, Michael. And I’m in total agreement with you, LVX23. I need to start writing designing more…

    So, this goes live on Monday, right?

    Comment by sauceruney — 7/23/2004 @ 9:11 pm

  2. On Monday, I’ll list this site on Google and announce it on my weblog. I’m guessing that all of you guys will do the same. You’ll only have to point your browser to http://www.key23.net though, not the extended url.

    Comment by never — 7/24/2004 @ 7:44 am

  3. I added it to the “23″ button under my logo, but won’t say anything about it till Monday.

    I knew I had it there for a reason, I just hadn’t found one until now!

    Comment by sauceruney — 7/24/2004 @ 11:55 am

  4. Great introduction. Will announce it on my blogs tomorrow as well. I’ll be pretty busy the next few days, I have to go to Austin on Wednesday and this was just decided today.

    Comment by Klintron — 7/25/2004 @ 6:02 pm

  5. wow thanks. what an introduction! the synchronicities are aligning, & the gate is unlocked

    hail eris

    Comment by wu — 7/26/2004 @ 3:00 am

  6. Thanks for all the kind words. It’s all too much really, but what I found most flattering was the bit about the spit balls. :)

    It’s great to be here. Bring it on!

    Comment by mindwarp — 7/26/2004 @ 12:46 pm

  7. Jason Louv just posted this comment at Technoccult: “That’s funny–I used to run a similarly themed webpage called Key 23 back in uh 98 or 99, what a small world indeed”

    Comment by Klintron — 7/28/2004 @ 10:06 am

  8. Check out the upcoming revamp of the Grey Lodge Occult Review this next month. Announcement due out on El-Centro blog.

    Comment by Antiq. Illum. — 7/28/2004 @ 12:44 pm