Hello. Today is the birthday of a one Robert Downey Jr., who turns 55.
Now, in the 1990s, it was commonly assumed by the mass media that Robert Downey Jr. was going to end up dead of substance abuse. In fact, I think they almost reveled in the possibility just a little bit. RDJ was a punchline, much like Lindsey Lohan etc. would later become.
After a series of not-insignificant (for celebrity standards) stints in jail, RDJ started the road to recovery. In 2001, he starred in the Elton John music video “I Want Love,” which is probably one of the most “naked” art-meets-reality bits of film I’ve personally seen.
In 2008, RDJ starred as Tony Stark in the movie Iron Man. Now, Stark in the comics famously had a storyline dealing with his alcoholism. While the first “Iron Man” movie didn’t address that topic specifically, it was very much in meta-textual synchronicity with RDJ’s own life struggles; which was probably why, in part, it was such a huge success as a role and as a movie.
And now RDJ’s 55 and seems in reasonably good physical and mental condition, with 3 kids. And he’s also the mentor for Peter Parker, which is pretty neat.
I have started a new blog in addition to this. It is called GO ASK VALIS.
For those who have followed my now-closed site BUTTERFLY LANGUAGE, you may be wondering why I just don’t reopen that one instead, rather than start something new that’s time-consuming.
Well, originally the name “Butterfly Language” had a dual meaning. It referenced a famous Timothy Leary essay, but it also was a nod to a comic book I wrote over a decade ago for Marvel Comics called PunisherMAX: Butterfly.
Now, to back up, when I was a child, I was a HUGE Marvel fan. In fact: the first appearance of the Punisher, in Amazing Spider-Man #129, came out the month and year I was born. So getting a chance to work on an actual legit Punisher comic book should have been this really wonderful experience. And it actually came out pretty good.
But instead, it became this really abusive experience. That was an ironic situation, because the comic was actually about my own abuse. (I—and others—have written about this extensively in other places, but this is the Reader’s Digest version.) And I think this pattern has sort of continued for longer than it should have.
I was already prone to alcoholism and depression, so getting threats of violence and being basically humiliated in front of the community I loved was very problematic for me. Feeling like it was an issue of me being abused by sexist males, I turned to the community’s feminist sector as a means of emotional support. But I was largely (and often publicly) rejected by them, because I just was too…what’s the word…”weird?”
And so I ended up finding support from a very odd place—from the very sector of males from which my original trolls emanated. (The full story of which is more than a simple Reader’s Digest summary can handle; but probably should be written out one day, because it’s really batshit insane in the most gonzo way possible.)
This was all very confusing to me. And while all this noise was going on, NONE of my issues of abuse and trauma and actually diagnosed PTSD were being properly addressed. And a good chunk of that is on me. I let myself be distracted. I was driven by this constant need to be embraced by a community that had more than enough of their own unaddressed festering problems to deal with. It’s like constantly turning to a dysfunctional parent who is just not capable of giving you the love you want.
You have to start by giving yourself the love. You have to be your own parent. You have to be your own “fan.”
Anyway, because of this connection the word “butterfly” had with my trauma, I always felt, to a degree, disempowered by it being part of the name of my website.
And the name “VALIS” felt much more empowering.
GO ASK VALIS is a repository of my most esoteric work. Some of it reprinting earlier material, and some (like my Arcanium series), just sheer stream-of-consciousness work.
And it may or may not surprise you that a portion of that writing is, on the surface, not about esotericism at all—but rather, science and technology. Though, as the author/philosopher Robert Anton Wilson noted, “biology is much more mystical than theology.”
I will still publish pop-cultural esoteric musings and rants and riffs on this site. Please feel no obligation to read it all; I’m just pushing it all out the door because what else can I really do?
There’s a lot more I can comment now on many things, but I think this is a good place to leave it for today.
Have a good day.