Journey to Vapor Island

Having known artist Robert Stark for about two years (he is still the only person from the political edge-o-sphere that I have met in real life,) I was anxious to finally read his long awaited novel, Journey to Vapor Island. I was of course interested to see how he might creatively incorporate his many personal obsessions, social observations and utopian visions into the storyline. On these grounds, he certainly did not disappoint:

As they approach the Galleria, they drive under a giant pink neon archway which leads to a corridor lined with Roman columns and statues. Noam wonders what the location looks like at night and wants to further explore the architecture of the Galleria, but Harry explains that the entrance to the Erotic Emporium is VIP only.
Carlos jokes, “Noam, you’re still such a nerd. The only architecture I’ll be exploring is that of the male anatomy.”

Frequent listeners to his long running podcast will instantly recognize his favorite topics when they make cameo appearances in the book or manifest themselves as part of the underlying themes: architecture, city planning, neon, Alicia Silverstone, Pepe the frog, “Israeli-Aryanism,” blonde Jewish girls, aristocratic individualism, Leisure Suit Larry (I’m proud to say introduced him to this game,) Roger Blackstone, futurism, vaporwave, Sarah Michelle Gellar, new urbanism, etc.

Before I start this review, I just want to say that this book is not for anyone that is squeamish about sex, and that includes probably most people that make up the current crop of the “AltRight” (aka the SquareRight.) If you’re an uptight prude, NoFap weirdo, LARPy tradfag or just use the term “degeneracy” unironically, you will probably not enjoy this book. Then again, maybe you will pull a dark sense of humor out of your ass for a hot minute and enjoy it…but if you decide to read “Journey to Vapor Island” don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The sexual scenes in the book strike me as being akin to the “random battles” in old school Super Nintendo RPGs like Final Fantasy IV. It’s like when you’re walking across the overworld toward the next town, eager to see advance the story, and every few steps you take on the map, there is one of those annoying random battles. “Ugh, not another of these stupid Were-rats.” Even though the battles feel like tedious chores, they still serve a purpose as part of the journey, in terms of leveling up the characters and making you feel that much more accomplished when you finally reach the end of the game. So, though the sex scenes are sometimes graphic and painful to read through (they definitely don’t seem intended to be arousing,) at a certain point in the story you realize their significance as part of an overarching, satirical social commentary on contemporary society’s obsession with sex. Their presence is a reminder of how central sex is to people’s motivations, and the overall perception of status in society. Now, on to the review.

BIG SECRETS, HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD!

The story itself could probably best be described as a “not quite AltRight,” hypersexed and homoerotic (to put it mildly) adult variant of The Neverending Story. Journey to Vapor Island chronicles the misadventures of “Noam Metzembaum,” a precocious young Jewish man with a dirty mind and delusions of grandeur. Another central figure in the book (but one who never actually appears) is Roger Blackstone, a wealthy and controversial outsider political figure whose bold ideas and futuristic visions align with Noam’s. It would be easy to say that Blackstone represents a Trump-like figure, but it could just as easily be a Ross Perot or even Willy Wonka. Roger Blackstone is in the same vein as these types, but really his political theories and ideas bear very little to resemblance to Trump’s aside from the public’s hysterical perception of them being “fascist” and all the rest.

The “journey” begins with Noam as a socially inept yet intelligent student at a ghetto public school, where he is bullied and tormented by brutish minority students. He thinks so little of them, that he often refers to them in animalistic terms like “beasts.” When these minority thugs see Noam striking up a friendship with a nice black girl named Vanessa, they promptly beat him up.

Noam develops a crush on a wealthy blonde Jewish girl named Natalie Bloom while attending a bat mitzvah and convinces his mother to let him switch schools to attend the prestigious “Chadsworth Academy” (the book is peppered with these kinds of meme references) where Natalie is going to school. Noam’s mother is too poor to afford the tuition, but luckily he is able to obtain an academic scholarship. While at Chadsworth, Noam finds that the girls have no interest in him, and he once again finds himself being relentlessly humiliated and bullied, this time by the “Chads,” a group of handsome and stereotypical 80’s-style, Aryan looking jock assholes (although their dialogue often more closely resembles that of 90s wiggers.) Stark seems unaware (or doesn’t care) that this archetype is itself a bit of a Jewish film invention…stemming from ethnic insecurity and resentment. Revenge of the Nerds (by Jeff ((Buhai,)) The Legend of Billie Jean (produced by ((Rob Cohen,)) written by Mark ((Rosenthal)) and Lawrence ((Konner,)) Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless (both directed by Amy ((Heckerling,)) Just One of the Guys (written by Dennis Feldman and directed by Lisa Gottlieb) and The Karate Kid (written by Robert Mark ((Kamen)) are all quintessential examples of this. I still maintain a nostalgic fondness for these films, but understanding writers’ and artists’ subconscious motivations and insecurities allows one to view their work with a cold eye and minimizes their capacity for emotional manipulation.

Noam’s humiliation by the Chads seems limitless, and he comes off as such a pathetic figure he seems irredeemable. While reading the first third of the book I often just wished Noam would just put himself out of his misery and off himself. One of the highlights of the Chadsworth portion though is the scene where they conduct a mock debate in class. Several students roleplay as candidates from various political parties, with Noam assuming the role of Roger Blackstone. What’s remarkable about this scene is the way the characters authentically argue each side. There is no straw-manning here. The participants state their case almost exactly the way they would in real life. It is impressive the way Stark manages this level of objectivity in crafting this scene.

Noam’s conflict with the Chads comes to a head (literally) when they defile the girl he is in love with at a party. Enraged, Noam actually murders and beheads several of the Chads. He then burns down the entire house. For me, this is where the book begins to get more interesting.

After a bizarre trial and a sympathetic judge (Noam had noticed a Blackstone bumper sticker on the judge’s car,) Noam only ends up being sentenced to about 15 years. The book devotes very little to the time Noam actually spends locked up. It is treated as a dreamlike, abstract blur (this time utilizing the familiar “pill” memes.)

After Noam is released, he discovers the world has changed dramatically. Roger Blackstone is now in charge and has since implemented many of his visions for society. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say the US has become a lot more retro-futuristic and sexually open minded. Much to Noam’s surprise, Noam also discovers that he himself has become viewed as a folk hero, with many people having been inspired by his manifesto. This is another part of the social commentary. Ahead of his time, Andy Warhol once remarked that even people like Charles Manson were considered “up there” in terms of celebrity status and stardom despite their fame arising from the perpetration of gruesome and heinous crimes. We now live in a world where spree shooters like Elliot Rodger have a substantial posthumous following and live on in memes. Twenty years after Columbine, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold have their fans. Some of the fandom phenomenon is just teenagers being edgy, but the darker part is that on some level there are a great deal of people that sympathize and identify with their struggles (even if most people wouldn’t go as far as to throw a violent public temper tantrum and murder people.)

In Noam’s case, he had unquestionably genuine grievances, as he was the victim of not just basic bullying but sexual assaults and torture. Whether or not his level of retaliation was justified though is up for debate. Of course, it doesn’t take long for Noam to continue his violent acts once released. He brutally attacks an old bully he recognizes from his ghetto high school and castrates a well-known Israeli pick up artist that goes by the name of “Moosh” (hmmm I wonder who could have been the inspiration for that character.)

In any case, the story continues with Noam traveling to “Vapor Island,” where a movie is being made about his manifesto and life. Constructed by Blackstone’s company, Vapor Inc, the island is a futuristic, fantasy city with an eclectic mix of architectural styles, from Greco-Roman to Art Deco to 80’s neon. The movie about Noam’s life is being directed by Ari Meschel, a greedy and sleazy director/producer cast from the same mold of Harvey Weinstein (Stark also claims he actually did have Weinstein in mind while writing this, even before the allegations recently came out.)

As Noam explores, Noam begins to notice that everything on the island isn’t quite what it appears to be. It was at this point in the book that I began to appreciate what a work of genius “Journey to Vapor Island” is. A cohesive, overarching narrative begins to emerge in what I had initially written off as a chaotic product of Stark’s often juvenile and depraved imagination. Many of the attractions and destinations on the island turn out to be large scale business ventures, which are based upon the tragic events in Noam’s life and ideas from his journal. The shameless, opportunistic, economic exploitation and commodification of horrific crimes and personal tragedies may seem absurd in this context, but they are all too familiar. How
many films have been made and books been written about The Manson Family or the Zodiac Killer? You can buy Charles Manson coffee mugs and Elliot Rodger t-shirts. Journey to Vapor Island is stacked with plot developments that at first glance seem totally unrealistic and off the wall, yet upon closer inspection are just slightly exaggerated caricatures of genuine phenomena that can be observed all around us, in the world we live in today. This is what the book gets at, the commercialization of everything pure (or impure for that matter.) Noam is disgusted by the commercial exploitation of his journal entries and actions as a young man, which he felt came from a private and genuine place in his heart.

In a bizarre turn of events at The Erotic Emporium (my favorite scene) Noam receives a map, which he follows and eventually finds his way to meet a bizarre ancient civilization of frogmen that are secretly living beneath the island. Weird, huh?

Noam gets wind of the fact that Meschel’s plans to twist the meaning of Noam’s manifesto and completely misrepresent Noam’s actions in order to substitute Meschel’s own narrative. Noam determines that he must prevent Meschel from making the movie. After one lengthy final humiliating femdom ordeal at the hands of Meschel’s sadistic teenage daughter, everything culminates in a climactic (albeit brief) battle between the frogmen and Meschel’s security forces. The island is essentially destroyed.

I won’t give away the ending, but ultimately Noam has to decide whether to stay in a state of fantasy or return to the “real” world. Noam is told that the longer he stays in “Vapor” the more difficult it will be for him to return and function in the world. He has no idea whether his life will be as pathetic and humiliating as it was before if he returns, or whether his experiences will have improved/altered it in some way. He decides to return, and we can only speculate as to what is in store for him.

I did not expect much from Journey to Vapor Island when I began reading it, but I will say this, it is not a misleading title. I definitely felt like I had completed a journey when reading this thing, and like a classic SNES rpg game, when I finally got through it, I didn’t want the adventure to end. Journey to Vapor Island is one of the most creative, imaginative, and depraved books I’ve ever read. It is a true contemporary classic that is plugged in to all the ills and frills which make up the surreal world young people are trying (and usually failing) to navigate their way around.

Journey to Vapor Island
By Robert Stark
340 pages

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Interview With Anthony Hamilton on The Stark Truth

I first heard about Anthony Hamilton when I stumbled onto one of his videos a couple years ago called, “Secret to Time Travel: Your Mind as a Time Machine.” I’ve been intrigued by the idea of mental time travel ever since seeing the film, “Somewhere in Time” back on TNT’s Monstervision (which included some memorably hilarious, biting commentary from host, Joe Bob Briggs about the film) back in 1999.

Anyway, while on the surface Anthony Hamilton seems like another self-help marketing guru and motivational seminar speaker type, he actually incorporates a rather bizarre and interesting theory on time travel into his advice. He posits the idea that when you think about events in the past and the future, your mind actually connects to that place and time, much like computers connecting to websites on the internet.

“The new model of the mind that neuro-scientists are using now to understand consciousness, is that the mind is really a kind of time machine, that has the ability to gather information from the past, gather information from the future and to use this information, and this is in fact what thinking is, now traditionally we have this view of time that says that there is the past, present and the future and Newton in his writings talked about a river; a time like a river that flows from the past into the future, but Einstein in 1904 with his theory of relativity was written described time as the field.
Now the difference between a river and the field, a river carries things along with it , with the field you can move around in it like a field of gravity.”

I’m of course somewhat skeptical of this theory, as I think the mind acts as a kind of computer simulator that attempts to create simulations and recreate scenarios, attempting to calculate how they could possibly or potentially play out. Hamilton does make a great point about memories though, and how they’re much more complex than the mere “recordings” most people think of them as being.

..if you remember some situation that happened to you for example maybe you are attending a party sometime in the past you can remember that party as though you were remembering it from your own perspective or you can remember it as though you’re looking down on it from 10 to 15 feet above where you can remember, so you’re fifty feet away from it watching it like a movie, so the fact that you’re memory is flexible like this indicates what’s going on something different that simply playing a recording,

I would be curious to know more about his sources or the studies he references for these ideas on “future memory” and the mind as a sort of time machine, which he discusses briefly in the interview with Stark. You can also check out Hamilton’s book, Mind, Time and Power.

Click here to listen.

Topics include:

Background in linguistics; linguistics as a cognitive science
The unconscious thought process and how to better utilize it
The Functional MRI
Neuroplasticity; the science of changing the mind
The Law of Attraction
Mental Time Travel
Future Memory
Quantum Consciousness
Dealing with past traumas, fears, and negative thoughts
Goal setting and successfully utilizing future memory
Visualization
Meditation and mindfulness

An Aversion to Quagmires – A Collective Desertion Toward Our Future

When I wrote Beatnik Fascism a year or so ago, I never anticipated that we would be organizing and participating in actual anti-war demonstrations, but here we are. The book was mostly a quirky attempt to reconcile my own peculiar affinity for 1950’s and 60’s beat culture (and the associated Hollywood caricatures of it) with seemingly paradoxical tendencies toward identitarianism and futurism. I chose to convey these thoughts meditatively through the medium of poetry rather than as academic essays or “manifestos,” because I wanted the book to be abstract and avant-garde, as opposed to yet another one of those McReactionary ebooks railing about “feminists and SJWs” that Alt-Bro hucksters are always marketing. Like most people, I cringe when Paul Joseph Watson or some right wing media figure declares “conservatives are the new punk rock!” or whatever. So, though there are similarities I did not really want to write a book that was like “neo-fascists are the new beatniks.” To do so would be to overstate the activist component of the beat generation, which was in fact minimal compared to what often amounted to vaguely philosophical travelogues, artistic memoirs documenting a lifestyle of exploration, experimentation, heightened consciousness and curiosity. The idea for “Beatnik Fascism” for me began as kind of an inside joke and only accidentally became more genuine as I began to get caught up in the fevered frenzy of late night writing (much like I am now.)

The more idiosyncratic identitarians like myself lead extremely detached lives. Most of us seek a kind of escape from what passes for everyday life for most people. We travel around to meet up with each other, often exploring the world but seeing the sights through our own radically tainted viewfinders. When Robert Stark and I met up and wandered the streets of Las Vegas, admiring broken old signs and seeing majestic beauty in what normies would write off as the dumpiest, tackiest casinos….we traversed the town not strictly as tourists to Vegas from our respective cities, but as visitors from another time and place. We might as well have been from the moon, or maybe even another dimension entirely. When some lonesome, off-color traveler hikes around no man’s land in the mountains of some third world country, vlogging about transhumanism and HBD after being inspired by the sight of some weird looking leaf, it is in this sense that you might understand how so called crypto-fascist, degenerate bards could find themselves identifying with zany yet brutally authentic characters in works like “On The Road” and even the exploitative Hollywood bastardizations of them.

There is also the irresponsibility, or to put it more accurately…the realization that what is advertised as “living responsibly” is often a scam to manipulate us away from that which we sense a greater responsibly towards. To be “responsible” both in post World War 2 America and transnational, post cold war America requires going along with a whole bunch of bullshit and living a lifestyle that for some, isn’t true to one’s self. John Updike once claimed in an interview with Penguin Classics that he wrote “Rabbit, Run” in response to Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road.” Updike said:

Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” came out in 1957 and, without reading it, I resented its apparent instruction to cut loose; “Rabbit,Run” was meant to be a realistic demonstration of what happens when a young American family man goes on the road – the people left behind get hurt.

Yet, despite Updike’s intentions, while reading Rabbit,Run as a young man, I identified much more with the character of Rabbit. Sure, the people he leaves behind do get hurt, but it didn’t appear to me to be any huge loss for the world. After all, his wife was an alcoholic that made him miserable, and his girlfriend was a prostitute, not exactly the type of people you’d feel like he owes some huge commitment to. There are his young children of course (one of which dies as a result of a careless accident committed by the drunken wife.) Yet, Rabbit would have been unable to prevent this even if he hadn’t ran out. It would have probably happened anyway while he was busy at work one day, in his totally meaningless sales job that Updike implies should have been his duty to remain at. Rabbit meanwhile points out the hypocrisy in all the people who attempt to tell him how to live. “Everybody who tells you how to act has whiskey on their breath.” This is the problem with Updike’s world. He frowns upon the runners, reformers and rockers of the boat for what he perceives as the messes left behind and the plight of the abandoned, the weakening of the church…etc yet beneath the forced facade of cohesion which he insists is imperative that we maintain at all costs, those who look closely still see an outline of the same puddle of puke, obscured only by having been swept partially under the rug.

“Staying at your shitty job where you spend the last years of your youth selling meaningless gadgets that people don’t need, and staying with your wife that drinks all day and yells at you constantly are necessary to keep up the appearance of a healthy, functioning society. It’s all in your interests. Just stay put.” Well, no it isn’t, and no I won’t. One can sense when they’re living a life that isn’t in their best interests (though some lack the will or inclination to act on it.)

“Check your privilege, keep your head down and train the overseas replacement we’ve brought in to take over your job at half of what we’re paying you. You might feel boxed in, but it’s in your best interests to import people from ethnic groups that express hostility toward you and openly boast about how disenfranchised you will be once they’re fully in charge. It might cramp your style, but just sit tight.
” Well gee dad, that transnational capitalist diversitopia sounds swell, but I gotta run…I’m off to find an abandoned mall to convert into a retro-futuristic identitarian living space where we conduct wild scientific experiments on ourselves, learning, loving and disinclining in peace.

Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism

Beatnik Fascism (Advertisement)

beatnik_fascism_book_cover

Available in paperback and ebook here

Beatnik Fascism is a book of poems by Brandon Adamson that incorporates white identity, futurism and transhumanism. The theme of the book is that the race realists, identitarians and other assorted thought criminals are the curious and creative non-conformists of the post cold war, globalized era. It conveys through poetry the alienating experience we face in daily lives (even within pro-white movements) and throws around ideas about dealing with the challenges we face for the future.”

New York Neon

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Robert Stark and I interviewed Thomas E. Rinaldi, author of the book, “New York Neon.” It was a fascinating discussion about the history of neon signs, their decline, and what future they might have. Thomas has devoted a great deal of time to photographing and documenting remaining neon signs while they’re still here. I was very impressed by the dedication Thomas had to putting together this project.

You can listen to the show here

Discussing Robert Heinlein on The Stark Truth

robert heinlein

I was a guest on The Stark Truth podcast to discuss author Robert Heinlein’s philosophical and political views. We talked about various themes in his work like democracy, sexual liberation, censorship etc. We also contrasted the science fiction in Heinlein’s era vs that in the 1980s as well as today.

Interview can be found here:

Robert Stark interviews Rabbit about Robert Heinlein

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.” -Heinlein