ZPi Logo "Serving the Paranoid
since 1997"
Lyle Zapato

Narcissus: An Anatomy Of Clothes

Lyle Zapato | 2015-11-16.1540 LMT | Fashion | Technology


Is fashion an extension of architecture, or vice versa? Is a fancy car a type of suit in which to strut around the road? Are clothing and housing phenotypical traits that natural selection is now acting upon? In the future, will we wear our homes like hermit crabs wear shells, our bodies whittled down by evolution and surgical manipulations to the barest essentials? These are some of the questions Gerald Heard raises in Narcissus: An Anatomy Of Clothes (1924).

The thesis of this book is that evolution is going on no longer in but around the man, and the faster because working in a less resistant medium. Man becomes like a wireless valve, a transmitter which in the process immensely amplifies the current that he receives. When the Force that shaped all life evolved man, it seems that it kept him henceforward un-specialised, gave him, strangest of gifts, no vocation and equipment but, if not at one blow, freedom, innate opportunism. This was reserved for the favourite. To all the others their function and place. They sink into their groove, deeper, ever deeper; they run their appointed race; they become every generation more perfectly adapted to be what they are. Vague Trial and Error pass into the exquisite precision of instinct: restless wandering, physical preparation for doubt, distress and conflict, settle into a functioning so appropriate that by all to whom it befalls Nirvana is attained. Desire becomes ever obviously compassable until it follows unrest beneath the vast sea-level of indifference, and Life is justified in all her children: she has rounded their day in perfect completeness. But man she has not completed. That is her supreme bequest to him: he shall finish the story as he likes.

While the short book consists mostly of a history of clothing trends and their relation to architecture and the cultures that produced both, Heard's real goal, laid out in the final chapter, is a manifesto of fashionable transhumanism: we will reshape ourselves, both culturally and physically, through our most intimate of all technology, clothing.


Lyle Zapato

Les Pieuvres de Paris

Lyle Zapato | 2015-08-10.6821 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment

Decadent Parisian women partying on the back of an octopus.
Cliquez pour agrandir.

Les Pieuvres de Paris ("The Octopuses of Paris") is a French novel by Pierre Zaccone. Sadly, it's not about giant octopuses hosting drunken parties on their backs as they float down the Seine. Much like the equally misleading Trail of the Octopus, these octopuses are only metaphoric.


Lyle Zapato

Congolese Brain-Sucking Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2015-06-29.4390 LMT | Cephalopods | Food

In 1902, English language newspapers brought word from the Congo, via a rather dubious source, that an unknown freshwater cryptopus with a hankerin' for human thought-meat was prowling the Uele river (from the Sept. 7 San Francisco Call, also reprinted elsewhere):


It Hunts the Natives and Feeds Upon the Brains of Its Human Prey.

A Belgian officer just returned from the Congo Free State reports that in the caverns of the Uelle River there dwells a species of octopus that presents a grave danger to all who navigate the river in small boats.

The strange beasts are called "megwe" by the natives, and are very numerous in the neighborhood of the station of the Amadis, owing to the number of rocks and caves in that region. They attack the native canoes, capsizing them easily with their tentacles and, according to their state of hunger, seizing one or two men.

The octopus drags his human prey to his cavern and there, without inflicting the slightest external wounds, feeds on his victim's brains by inserting the points of his tentacles in his nostrils. He generally keeps his prey fifteen hours, then lets the body float out on the river.

"I was an eye witness to a disaster of this kind," says the Belgian. "A canoe was capsized in the river and one of the three occupants disappeared. When the survivors swam ashore they told us that an octopus had turned their boat over and carried off their companion.

"The next morning about 9 o'clock the body was found floating and no trace of any wound could be found, while the only abnormal appearance was the swollen state of the nostrils. On examination it was found that the brains had been extracted. The natives of the Uelle all dread the 'megwe.' while those of the Itimbri know nothing of its existence."

It turns out this report was over two years old -- the officer hadn't "just" returned (and wasn't "Belgian", but that's another matter). It went viral, 1900s style, because everything old is new again.

However, I'm leading the post with it since it's pithy and things are about to get more wordy, ambiguous, and French.


Lyle Zapato

Indian Teleportation Accident, Circa 1878

Lyle Zapato | 2015-06-19.0880 LMT | Technology

Was the plot of the original The Fly ripped from the headlines... of 80 years previously?

In 1878 a report from Bombay reached Australia describing an amazing and terrible new invention (reprint from The Brisbane Courier, July 27):

The Teleport.

The telephone and the phonograph are no doubt very wonderful examples (says the Melbourne Daily Telegraph) of the purposes to which the power of electricity may be applied, but these novelties begin to sink into insignificance before the still more recent strides of science. The newest contrivance is called a teleport, and is described by a Bombay paper "as an apparatus by which man can be reduced into infinitesimal atoms, transmitted through a wire, and reproduced safe and sound at the other end." The apparatus, according to the Indian paper, consists of a powerful battery, a large metal disc, a bell-shaped glass house, and a large iron funnel connected with the wire. An experiment is described as follows:—"A dog was placed on the metal disc, and a 'powerful current' was applied to it. After a while the animal disappeared, and was found at the other end gnawing a bone, just as it was doing before it was 'transported.' Afterwards a boy was experimented upon. Under the glass house, it is reported, the inventor of the machine placed a Goanese boy, Pedro—who was grinning as if he thought it a good joke—and we suspect it was not the first time he had been in that house. The current was again applied to the under part of the disc, and the same effect was observed as with the dog. The house was instantaneously filled with a vaporous man, whose features and parts were quite distinct until they disappeared. Even the grin was discernible as a mere film of vapour—in fact, it seemed to us that the grin remained even after the body had disappeared. In fifteen seconds Pedro was gone; but they found him also at the end of the wire. It was then attempted to send the boy and the dog along at once, but by an unfortunate accident the 'infinitesimal atoms' of the boy and those of the dog got 'mixed' in transitu, and the result was that they both looked dreadfully unnatural creatures." At least, so says the Bombay paper in its account of the first experiments with the "teleport." It says that by means of the teleport a man will be able to travel from India to England by submarine cable in a few minutes, but unfortunately there is always the danger that the "disintegrated atoms" of one man may become mixed with those of another, as in the case of Pedro and the dog, and for this reason it is feared that the teleport will not supersede the railways—at least, not so far as the passenger traffic is concerned.

Left unanswered, fortunately, was "How does Pedrodog eat?"


Lyle Zapato

Prof. E. L. Scharf's Negative Gravity

Lyle Zapato | 2015-06-17.9681 LMT | Technology

Will levitation be a public utility like electricity? Will flying battleships patrol the skies, or sea-borne ones be forced aloft by submarine subterfuge? Will city planners move skyscrapers around like chess pieces, lifting them into the air with ease and plonking them down in better locations? Will famous monuments tour the world for everyone to see? Will we execute criminals by electrically charging them and humanely propelling them into space to a Saganian poetic fate? Will our enemies try to secretly do the same to us against our will?

In 1903, all these possibilities seemed tantalizingly within reach.


Lyle Zapato

Tinfoil Wrapping Hats

Lyle Zapato | 2015-06-14.4860 LMT | Aluminum | Mind Control | Fashion

The above is from Popular Mechanics, Oct., 1927. As per my previous post, Julian Huxley is believed to be the first to depict "tinfoil hats" in fiction, however he did not invent them. Paranoids have been using deflector beanies since the early 1920s when aluminum foil became widely available to the public in the form of food packaging. The Mind Control Elite, whom Huxley rubbed shoulders with, have known about them for far longer.

While the article is from over a year after Huxley's first publication of "The Tissue-Culture King" (Apr. 1926), it illustrates an already mature paranoid culture of deflective headwear use. Of course, paranoids had to pretend they were merely decorating their hats, hence the inclusion of "other fancy wrappings" with no deflective properties -- their true purpose of freeing themselves from the psychotronic grip of the Forces of Mind Control would obviously subject them to increased attention from same. That this "decorative" fad ceased shortly after it was covered in the popular press is not surprising; paranoids started putting foil wrappings under their hats to ensure discretion.

Lyle Zapato

Julian Huxley's "The Tissue-Culture King"

Lyle Zapato | 2015-06-13.0810 LMT | Mind Control | Aluminum | Entertainment | Fashion

Hascombe shows off his incredible animal monstrosities.

"The Tissue-Culture King" is a short story by Julian Huxley first published in The Yale Review in Apr. 1926, and later in Amazing Stories, Aug. 1927. It's notable for containing reputedly the earliest use in fiction of an anti-mind-control foil deflector beanie -- colloquially known among orthonoids as a "tinfoil hat".


Lyle Zapato

Alexander Belyaev's The Lord of the World

Lyle Zapato | 2015-06-03.8860 LMT | Mind Control | NWO | Fashion

Would-be global mind-controller Stirner, in anti-mind-control
mesh-suit, confronts his Russian nemesis Kaczynski, seated.

This illustration is for the 1926 Russian novel The Lord of the World (Властелин мира) by Alexander Belyaev (also transliterated as Beliaev or Belyayev). I'm not sure what edition the image is actually from; it could be a later reprint. The story is about a man who tries to take over the world using mind control.

Although Belyaev is well-known in Russia, most of his work (see the end for more examples) doesn't appear to have been translated into English until recently, if at all. Someone named Maria K. has been releasing translations since 2012, including this one as Ruler of the World (I haven't read her version so I can't comment on the quality). Because it may not be that accessible to English speakers, here's a detailed synopsis based on a machine translation of the original (or skip below for my analysis):


Lyle Zapato

Of Bees And Men: The Riddle Of The Flying Saucers

Lyle Zapato | 2015-01-27.0490 LMT | Paraterrestrials | Technology | Cascadia

(Click for full dustjacket.)

Did super-intelligent Martian bees visit Earth in flying saucers to observe us and examine the stockpile of gold at Fort Knox, concerned that we were on the verge of destroying the Sun? According to Gerald Heard in his book The Riddle of the Flying Saucers: is another World watching? (1950), that is the only conclusion that agrees with the facts surrounding the riddle of the saucers.

I have the original UK edition; there's also a US edition with the title and subtitle flipped. (The 1953 Bantam edition has two new chapters covering sightings outside the US and up to '53, among other changes -- full text here).

This was the second nonfiction book ever published on the flying saucer phenomenon, the same year as The Flying Saucers Are Real by Donald Keyhoe. Although Keyhoe's book was more influential among UFOlogists, Heard's cover art matches more closely what became the popular image of flying saucers, even if his theories about the saucers' pilots were more unconventional.


Lyle Zapato

The Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club

Lyle Zapato | 2015-01-11.6510 LMT | Hollow Earth

Special Correspondence to The Press.

NEW YORK, April 13.—The Wm. Reed Hollow Earth Exploring club has just been incorporated. The purpose of this strange organization is to prove by experiment that the earth is hollow and that such a thing as a north or a south pole does not exist.

It is the theory of the men planning the trip to the inside of the earth that there's a hole where the north pole ought to be. By means of balloons, submarine boats, gyroscopes and high explosives they expect to slip over the edge of the earth's crust into the inside of the shell and there find continents and kingdoms yet unseen.

The executive committee of the club has talked of two starting points for their explorations. One is in Norway and the other in Greenland. Roy Knahenshue, the aeronaut, has been asked to take charge of the balloon experiments.

Wm. Reed, the former insurance man who heads the club, says it is prepared to spend $1,500,000.

"It's time for action now—not a time for mere talking," said Reed when seen at his home. "But the earth is hollow and our investigations will soon prove it. The poles so long sought are but phantoms. There are openings at the southern and northern extremities of the earth. In the interior are vast continents, oceans, mountains and rivers. Vegetable and animal life is evident in this new world. And it is possibly peopled by races yet unknown by dwellers on the earth's surface."

"Our equipment is to be nothing but the best," said W. S. Rookey, the business manager. "We shall use Holland boats, dirigible balloons, wireless telephone and telegraph and the gyroscope—in fact anything that will be of value."

The gyroscope is to be used in place of a compass for the reason that the compass has been proven unreliable by previous explorers. John P. Holland, inventor of the submarine, and Hiram Maxim, the maker of explosives, have been asked for their opinions on the expedition. Holland believes his boat can operate under ice, and Maxim says it can be liberated by the use of nitrogelatin.

[The Spokane Press, 1908-04-13, p.4.]