Friday, July 27, 2012

How I Met E. J. Gold (part IV)

It was the last chance to ask the question burning up inside of me.  In the morning I would catch a flight back to New York City.  My mind was made up to ask it no matter what happened.  Of course, as fate or Coincidence Control would have it, the circumstances couldn't have been worse.   Despite what was going on, I absolutely had to ask my question.  When it seemed a break point had been reached, I cautiously asked a question - the wrong one!  I said, " can I ask a question?"  Gold went into a satirical impersonation Of Johnny Carson's Carnac the Magnificent routine where he hilariously divines the answer without knowing the question.  After some minutes of this when it seemed I wouldn't get a straight answer to the question of asking a question, I interrupted and asked what I really wished to ask.  "How can I get a job that requires the ability to access the waking state at will in order to work at that job?"

 Carnac the Magnificent

Gold's first response was to say that was a good question.  Then he looked directly at me and said that answering that question was like trying to explain nuclear physics to a bushman from Borneo.   The rest of the reply seemed addressed to the group as much as it was to me, sometimes even moreso.  Most of the following discourse didn't sound like a direct answer to the question, sometimes it seemed only tangentially related.  The talk wasn't recorded and I wasn't taking notes.  I wrote down what I could remember on the plane the next day but don't have access to that notebook at this time.  However, some things I'll never forget, such as:

"If you want the truth you have to tell the truth.  If you lie to yourself then you'll teach the whole Universe to lie to you."

Another direct moment came when he asked, "Who are you? ... who are you?"  The same question the hookah smoking caterpillar asked Alice in the Wonderland adventures. I didn't have an answer in that moment.  I'd done the Buddhist "neti neti"  ( not this, not that) exercise enough times to know what he was asking.  I knew that I was not "Oz Fritz," not a sound engineer, not a magician, yogi or spiritual seeker, etc. etc. - these are all masks, activities, or relations, they are not who I am at the deepest level.

Gold started taking about Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land book following that question.  He knew Robert and Virginia Heinlein through his connection with Galaxy Magazine.  E.J.s father, Horace L. Gold was the founding editor.  Apparently, they were very conservative.  Gold held that Heinlein intended SIASL as a satirical comment on the hippie lifestyle.  I still find this hard to believe though having read it again recently, I do find the free love section over the top and can see how that might be a parody.

At one point Fortrean type phenomena was mentioned particularly architectural structures that couldn't have been built by any known technology  at the time they were constructed.

Toward the end of the talk he brought up the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation, found in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy story.  I don't recall the context but remember him finally saying, "they're real ... they're out there ( points up to the right), well, no actually they're over there ( pointing down to the left) ... or maybe they're over there"( pointing horizontally to the right) amongst laughter, and that's how it ended.  Claude Needham said, " to be continued..."

I felt in a very altered state when the talk was over and had no idea how long  had been.  It seemed like a really long time but in consensual clock time probably lasted for 60 - 90 minutes.  I still felt altered 2 days later at Laswell's Greenpoint studio when I helped Jason Corsaro record the best drummer alive at the time, Tony Williams, for an album called The Word by Jonas Helborg.  After Tony left, I told Bill everything that had happened in California.  Bill said that he felt a strong contact high just hearing about it.


  1. Hi Oz, I sat down and read all of your E.J. Gold entries in one sitting. I was confused when you talked about Gold's "Galaxy" magazine connection, as I am a longtime SF fan and knew the editor's name was H.L. Gold, so I looked H.L. up and discovered he is E.J's father. The Wikipedia article on E.J is interesting and helped me tie together several of your blog entries in my mind.

  2. Thanks for the feedback on the blog Tom, and pointing out where it could use some clarity.

  3. It wasn't meant as a criticism. After I read your latest entries, I realized that I discovered your blog well after you began it. So I've bookmarked the beginning so I can read it from the start and see what I've missed.

  4. Oh no, I didn't take it as a criticism. I truly am grateful for the feedback. Thanks for reading!