By Kyle B. Stiff
We all know that turning on the TV to any random channel is the art-appreciation equivalent of forcing someone to throw up into a bowl and then eating that soupy slop right in front of them; it helped you pass the time, but you didn’t really enjoy it, now, did you? Human culture on Penal Colony: EARTH is a total mess right now. We have high-paid dudes with MBAs trying to find “the next big thing” by trying to duplicate “the last old thing” which results in lame, uninspiring books and movies while there’s pretty much an endless supply of great artists spewing out all kinds of amazing stuff… but they’re handling mops and barely scraping by!
My point is: There’s some great stuff out there, and I’m going to tell you about one really entertaining dude who woke me up and really helped me through a tough period of my life. His name is DUNCAN TRUSSELL. Remember that name! Mark it on your calendar, because if you’ve never heard of this guy, then you can now divide your life between the time when you didn’t know about Duncan Trussell and the amazing period that followed after you started listening to his podcast and found your life changed forever.
And believe me, you need this podcast. Life doesn’t have to be an endless slog through a gray wasteland. The world is an amazing place and we don’t even know where our most creative ideas come from. Right? But then… how do we balance those two ideas about the world?! That’s where Duncan’s help comes in. He’s the complete and total master of casting a critical eye at a gray world devoted to death versus gazing in wonder at all the possibilities that come from being alive in a place that exists without explanation.
So who is Duncan Trussell? He’s kind of a Gnostic hippie who gets really excited about human potential and loves to stumble onto crazy ideas and bounce them around with other interesting nutballs. Technically he’s a comedian, but what does that really mean? Sure he’s funny, but what that really means is that his brain is as sharp as a tack and he’s rabid when it comes to tearing down the stupid things that society has left in place only because we were too lazy or stupid to tear them down ourselves. Like any true hero, he denies being a hero. He’s humble as fuck. He tries to stay away from negativity, but he’s also honest enough to throw himself into a bout of negativity ass-first if he has to. So sometimes he’ll be spinning theories about reality being the Atari-level video game of God into which we all incarnate for unfathomable purposes, and he’ll be completely on fire with the amazing potential of such a mind-blowing theory and how we can use it to take charge of our lives and confront our inner demons and become next-level human beings, then later on he’ll admit that he’s a depressed piece of shit who lies around on a bare mattress in a basement, unable to summon the will to blow his brains out as he stares at some video game’s menu screen with its “pause music” playing on loop. Like any person sensitive to the great things in life, he’s been bent over and ram-rodded by soulless cretins who should, by any reasonable standard, be rounded up and executed but are instead in charge of running our planet’s affairs.
He’s also a real eye-opener. It turns out I have problems I didn’t even know I had until I started listening to Duncan Trussell. Problems with my ego, problems with fear, problems with being a lazy coward. And realizing that about myself (and realizing that there’s a wellspring of suffering blowing agony-snot out of my soul because of those things) is awesome because it gives me a place to start working. Don’t be afraid, my fellow lazy cowards! Listening to Duncan Trussell’s podcasts always leaves me with the feeling that the world is even more magical and mysterious than I already suspected, and if I’m going to earn the right to deserve to live here, then I better do some work on myself.
I mean, we’re shuffling around so freaking sad all the time – sad and scared! The situation is especially fucked when you consider that human ingenuity is responsible for all kinds of fun stuff, like space ships, comic book superheroes, new drugs that can get us in touch with our inner pantheon, and even new mediums that can record and transmit completely new kinds of art – and all of those things are based on ideas people had while taking a nice, relaxing shit! How do you explain such a strange situation?! Most of us would look like fools if we even tried! And that’s why we need help from a man who must surely be the incarnation of the Horus-child and harbinger of the new Aeon of Aquarius (to put it in layman’s terms)… Duncan Trussell.
So are you ready to check him out? You can go http://duncantrussell.com/ or even HERE if you want to dive ass-first into some of his podcasts. I suggest skipping around. His best stuff comes out when he has guests that can play along with his shamanic insanity rather than clench their assholes when he mentions mushrooms and the Bhagavad Gita and just suffer in silence until they can bring the conversation back to their ego-oriented identity which is based more on happenstance and fabrication rather than anything of real substance.
Uh oh, I didn’t make him seem like some kind of New Age dipshit, did I? Sorry if I did. Or did I make him seem like an annoying self-help guy with a big smile who wants to talk about how you need to deal with that time when you were a kid and you walked in on your dad whackin’ off to a video of another guy whackin’ off? Sorry, he’s not that, either. He’s the kind of entertainer that’s difficult to define. He’s a pioneer with an unfettered mind and no bullshit agenda. Some of his greatest comedy comes from picking apart the sacred cows that milk our teats every day without our knowledge. Duncan Trussell talks about God and believes that the universe was shaped by an intelligence field (both the rapidly spinning kind and the pulsating kind) even as he makes fun of the bearded Republican from the Old Testament who fights an unending war against the rainbow-colored weeds that keep cropping up in his own creation. If you spend your weekends handling snakes in a church or stroking your chin while reading Dawkins’s Wikipedia page, then Trussell is the Shatterer of Paradigms. On the other hand, if you’re someone who has fun trying to understand a world that most likely can’t be understood, then Trussell is like an archetypal animal companion who will throw you a vine when you get stuck in quicksand, or perhaps warn you about an earthquake long before your human senses can pick up any danger, or maybe even just get into your backpack and smoke up all of your stank-o just to show you that you’re in the middle of a lighthearted comedic scene during your otherwise tense hero’s journey.
Also, while we’re on the subject of archetypes, Duncan Trussell plays Merlin to Joe Rogan’s King Arthur. They’re an amazing combo, no doubt about it. I would say that they have the “power” to “change the world”, but fortunately they’re both smart enough to realize that the world is probably better served by getting out of its way rather than trying to change it into something else. Truly some high-level Entertainers!
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Hey readers! If you like to see the veil of reality pulled aside, even if only temporarily, then be sure to check out my piece about Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and its basis in the tarot. That piece can surely suck a bowling ball through a garden hose!
You should probably check out my books, too. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now. For anyone who gives a shit, I’m currently working on the cover for the sequel to Heavy Metal Thunder, which is called SOL INVICTUS.