Robert Anton Wilson Remembered: Interviews with Douglas Rushkoff, RU Sirius, David Jay Brown, Phil Farber, and Antero Alli, by Propaganda Anonymous.
My favorite memory of Bob, hmmm. Late one night during one of many infamous Discordian Salons that Bob and Arlen hosted for their fellow writers, scientists and misfits, I found my gaze drifting to the window and out to the blackened sky beyond. There I saw a steady light hovering in the distance like some planet or star until, that is, it slowly dropped, made a ninety-degree angle turn and then, sped away at a 45 degrees angle out of view. I recall my mouth opening speechlessly thinking, "I just saw a UFO". At that moment, I looked across the room where I saw Bob looking right back at me, smiling with that Irish twinkle in his eyes. -- Antero Alli
January 11, 2012 marked the fifth anniversary of the passing of Robert Anton Wilson. January 18, 2012 also marks the 79th anniversary of Bob's birth, so this is a very good time to post this interview. For those who do not know who Bob Wilson was, he was an icon for being an iconoclast; as well as the author of over 35 books, including the Illuminatus! trilogy (Co-authored by Robert Shea).
Wilson described himself as a "model agnostic," who utilized "maybe logic." In other words, Bob was of the opinion that the maps we create -- i.e. mathematical formulas, words written down or spoken, pieces of art, etc. -- are more telling of the individual interacting with an experience, than the experience acting upon an individual. Therefore, it made very little sense to him to speak about this universal "law" or that absolute Truth. Bob believed that everyday language should and could integrate the 20th Century scientific discoveries in mathematics and physics, that it would be most wise to drop our attachments to Aristotelian either/or logic, the Euclidean "left/right" dichotomy applied to politics, and all the other medieval philosophic detritus clogging perceptions and causing confusion. Hence, a model agnostic, utilizing maybe logic.
Five years after his death, Wilson's work may now be heading towards the threshold of greater recognition. Wilson often reproduced the quote, "It is dangerous to understand new things too quickly," attributed to the 19th Century American Anarchist Josiah Warren. Perhaps these increasingly dangerous times are calling us to understand all the new things Robert Anton Wilson had to say, and to do so quickly.
I have interviewed five writers who knew both Robert Anton Wilson, the satirical philosopher, and Bob Wilson, the laid back husband and father who managed to find the time to write such mind-blowing and hilarious treatises as Prometheus Rising and Natural Law: or Don't Put a Rubber on Your Willy. Douglas Rushkoff, RU Sirius, David Jay Brown, Phil Farber, and Antero Alli are all accomplished thinkers in their own right, and have been kind enough to reminisce about the man they considered a mentor, teacher, and friend.