The Ellis/LS/Linking Sigil working by the Marauder’s Underground is at least a step in the right direction - making sure magic is explicitly involved, treating it as a real Working rather than just throwing around a lot of glitter and some cheesy sayings, finding a way to link smaller acts together into a larger whole to expand the effect further than any of them could hope to achieve individually, etc. They’ve taken their work with the sigil to the point where it is at least an egregore if not an actual godform and have begun creating supplementary sigils to work with the same current in different aspects.
Has the otherkin glamourbombing set ever done anything on that scale? Have they considered joining forces with the Marauders? Are they even aware of other work being done in the same vein, much less standing at the cutting edge of such work as they should be after more than a decade of glamourbombing? Hell, do most otherkin glamourbombing discussions even mention charging anything or the explicit use of magic, or do they pretty much just talk about things like “Glue strange and wonderful arrangements of pennies to the sidewalk” and leave it to the reader to intuit that magic should in some way be involved? Has the phrase “leaving in our wake freshly haunted sites” ever been heard in a discussion of glamourbombing, as it has in the Ellis material?
I really like the phrase “leaving in our wake freshly haunted sites.” *sees a good idea and steals it*
FWIW, I think a good deal of the beginning of the glamourbomb list on my site, including that “strange and wonderful arrangements of pennies” one, may be attributable to sade, but I can’t swear to it. That list has been edited somewhat over the years, but like You Might be Otherkin If, there was a time I was basically taking any and all possible things to add to it. I can certainly say that that line item is old and harks back to the original compilation of the list in, I guess, 1999.
But as for “leave it to the reader to intuit that magic should in some way be involved,” I think that this used to be taken as read, that of course it would by default, so not needing of explicit mention. Perhaps nowadays it ought to be made explicit since the community ain’t what it used to be and the idea of glamourbombing is no longer in the hands of a few people who all have some shared cultural (by which I mean the culture of the online ‘kin community of the 1990s) language and background.
If I may quote myself in the foreword to the list (emphases added):
Glamourbombing, in a nutshell, is faery poetic terrorism. It is acts of enchanted art or performance intended to raise ambient magic levels and crack people’s heads open a little to admit the idea that Faerie exists and might even be interacting with them. It isn’t random acts of kindness (but do those anyway!), making people feel warm and fuzzy or cheering them up, or just “inspirational” platitudes with glitter added. While these things can have a subtle glamour to them, glamourbombing should above all be magical, and as intense as you can make it be - and magical and intense doesn’t necessarily mean happy or comforting!
Remember that faery folk are not the cute, sweet, giggly things the modern popular imagination portrays. A glamourbomb is meant to make someone (or someones) wonder, to feel the magic in the world, to raise the world’s ambient glamour levels. Don’t just make a pretty piece of craft - invest some actual enchantment into it. “Program” it to implant the suggestion that magic is real or that faeries exist into the mind of whoever happens to touch it or get in the “blast radius”.
Be daring. Try to attract attention and be willing to be stared at. The exchange of energy that occurs between a performer and audience (even if the performer happens to be unknown or absent) will greatly feed your purpose. Try not to stray into “empty” acts which are just a few words and a sticker, or meaninglessly surreal things which are only amusing to you. To be properly surreal you have to be just at the edge of what the “norms” can grasp. If you’re too far afield, your message will fizzle out utterly un-received. The same if you’re just too cute and silly - that may be personally satifying (in which case go for it!), but unlikely to affect adults, who tend to need it most.
Most of the glamourbombing I’ve seen done in the community - doesn’t actually incorporate magic. Even to the point of charging the objects left for people to find.
Don’t believe me? Take a good look at the glamourbombing communities on LJ and the discussion there. You’ll find things like “Magic potions (water, food colouring, herbs)” and grocery lists with “bat wings” and “thistledown” and recruitment posters for the “Anachronistic Anarchistic Rebel Fairy Army”. You’ll even find the ever popular Goblin Markets since the experience project alerted people to the idea. What you won’t hear much of, if mentioned at all, are actual magical workings or advice on magical technique to make your glamourbomb stronger in an esoteric sense.
I wonder if maybe many people who post in such forums (I would say “these days” but really, they’re moribund and have been for some years) are not actual magical practitioners, certainly not necessarily otherkin.
This is my overall impression of glamourbombing in the community. It may not accurately describe every individual glamourbomber. But if there are glamourbombers out there explicitly using magic and working to get actual, tangible results from them and to make their workings more effective over time - I’d sure like to hear more about it, and less about painted pennies or seed bombs.
As for seed bombs, so long as one takes care not to plant something in a place where it would be invasive or otherwise detrimental to the local flora and fauna, I can see an opportunity there for making enchanted hollows, faerie rings, a spot like a magical glade…
Just had a thought.
Sometimes, in terms of impacting the outside world, I feel this is what can give it weight for some people? Seeing other people reacting to your act of magic or glamour, so that it exists outside of yourself and not in isolation. In that way it would be the effect on the outside world (or knowing it may affect someone) that is most integral to glamourbombing being effective catharsis (etc) for some folks.
I would be curious if for those who do use it for feeling closer to magic, or to be closer to/ express an aspect of yourself, etc, if the public nature of glamourbombing is important to that, or if it is just the act itself, or something other?
I think it’s essential that it be public for it to be actually “glamourbombing”. The point of it is to affect other people. By all means work on yourself and your own private environment, but that’s something different, although it may also add to the goal of higher ambient magic in the world. Actually I guess that is really what Rialian was arguing for - what he calls hearthfires and wells - going that route instead of the “outer” way of glamourbombing.
I don’t think it’s so much an issue of ‘if man weren’t meant to fly’ as it’s a question of ethics. To paraphrase, ‘you call it science, we call it magic, where I am from, they are one in the same’. It’s plagued by the same questions of ethics as a lot of scientific things, but. Lets take a step back from the macroscopic for a moment.
I can’t answer for that persons motives, and nor is it any of my concern who, when, where or why they feel what they do. That being said, they were a levelheaded practical person as an aside, and to quote again, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls”… sometimes an honest cautionary word doesn’t come from a booming voice in the sky.
Yes, it is also important to consider the environmental ethics of the situation. We might want more gates to Faerie or whatever, but doing that willy-nilly is irresponsible. Not everywhere is an appropriate place or time. “Even the wisest cannot see all ends,” but doing something more major like that should represent a significant investment of thought and converse with the local spirit world and etc.
Also Dhel BB in case you didn’t know it was me I’ll give you a hint; you know me from OKA. ;)
*wince* … “Dhel BB”? seriously? (What is it with people shortening Jarin’s name in all kinds of weird ways?)
I guess there has been some seemingly long running debate going on throughout the Tumblr universe concerning the value of glamour bombing and whether or not it has a place in this world. Or that’s what I took away from it, anyway. I didn’t bother to read through the whole thing. (At any point when it popped up on my dashboard.)
No, I think there’s just been a few posts. Swanblood mentioned it a few days ago, and Jarandhel responded with a quote from something Rialian (not on tumblr) wrote back in 2004, and then I responded to that.
Or if magic is meaningful to someone, and that someone has found that glambourbombing is actually a way that personally makes them feel a bit closer to it in a symbolic or otherwise way, I don’t see why that should be called superficial even though it looks kind of silly to some people.
This is also a good point. The main thrust of glamourbombing is to have an effect on the outside world, of course. But even if that fails (whether through poor/shallow design or what have you) then it can still produce some kind of change in the practitioners themselves, which may also be valuable. Yes of course there are other deeper techniques, similar to how Rialian talks about other deeper techniques for environmental/ambient change (and childofmaeb is right, Rialian’s paradigm is very environmentally-oriented in nature, with his threads of permaculture and everything) and I would not normally prescribe a course solely of glamourbombing for this, but like chocolate it can still be part of a balanced diet.
maybeimnoangel recently reblogged this, the original (AFAIK) piece defining poetic terrorism. As I say on the glamourbombing page on my website, glamourbombing is basically faery poetic terrorism, so this is pertinent reading for anyone interested in glamourbombing. Not everyone will be up for the more anarchic, law-breaking extremes, of course (myself included), but I think the points about trying to produce a strong reaction are good to take to heart. Not every venture will succeed, of course, but it’s an ideal to aim at.
WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they’re the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune—say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. Later they will come to realize that for a few moments they believed in something extraordinary, & will perhaps be driven as a result to seek out some more intense mode of existence.
Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc.
Go naked for a sign.
Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty.
Grafitti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public momuments—PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement…
The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror— powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst—no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is “signed” or anonymous, if it does not change someone’s life (aside from the artist) it fails.
PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now.
An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life—may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE.
Don’t do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don’t stick around to argue, don’t be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives—but don’t be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you.
Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don’t get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
That leaves glamourbombing which is, frankly, one of the shallowest approaches to bringing magic back into the world ever. I generally agree with what Rialian wrote in his 2004 essay:
===Glamor-bombing does not really do this. It is a flash in the pan, a quick burst of sparkle, that the “average” mind forgets or associates with something else. It is not making something enduring. It is not opening gates to the Otherworld, and making the environment better.
===It does not stand up. It does not endure. It does not dive deep into the psyche and make things wake up.
===These bits of magick (and I use the spelling intentionally) do have their place…they can inspire, they can affect things that are already of the mindset that will accept that they are. But they do not make an environment that is more likely to allow for the fey-touched to survive and thrive. They are not of the deeper Fae touch…they are ephemera that hints, but cannot deliver.
===We do not need more “flashes”. We need more deep and burning flames. We need more cowled figures that walk unnoticed, but energise and comfort. We need to have more hearths lit with the everlasting flame of the Otherworld. We need to have more depth….more wells into the deep land of the Fae that we can drink from…that are hidden from those that would despoil them.
The one thing I really disagree with is the hidden portion. Because I find hiding it from “those that would despoil them” also hides it from the very people that need it - the newly awakening. Instead, I believe they should be defended.
Well! It’s good to know you find something I value to be shallow and silly. :P It’s probably no surprise I don’t agree with Rialian here. Sure, glamourbombing can be unsuccessful - but that’s not the same as “it never has any effect ever, so you’re an idiot who may not even be Real Otherkin if you do it.” I don’t think it’s right to blanket say that glamourbombs are “never of the deeper Fae touch” - that would depend on the nature of the act and who was doing it and with what intent. I think affecting “things that are already of the mindset that will accept that they are” is valuable - some people just need that little push. As for those more “greyfaced,” even they can get that little “huh - wtf?” moment. The more people that have more of those, that is what would add towards “an environment that is more likely to allow for the fey-touched to survive and thrive.”
It’s true, however, that it’s really a question of a “tipping point” phenomenon. There are not enough of us doing it, it never really caught on, so as it sits now, yes, perhaps it’s shallow and ineffectual, partly because isolated. Still, though, I would rather have that little extra “poof” of faery magic around in the world even if it is not the deepest most amazing thing. We also need those other grander deeper things, yes - hearthflames and wells of stars. So maybe if you only glamourbomb and never do anything else then that is detrimental in the sense of using time that could maybe be better spent. But I think devaluing glamourbombing as necessarily shallow (when there can definitely be more to it than “hee hee, here’s a jar filled with glitter and a pretty saying”) and therefore always worthless is not cool.
If our ways scareMage: the Ascension
you perhaps you
should ask yourself why—
is it OUR passion
that frightens you
or your own?
Conjuring things that have never been and walking among them, touching, feeling, and responding: Imagining allows you to fancifully sail into the future to explore and to bring back the gems - the thoughts, feelings, ideas, and concepts - that are waiting there, that are waiting there just for you. Remember: Always imagine. Always imagine, and always cherish your ability to do so.Lazaris
(an old fragment I wrote)
see through the veil
and truth in the sight
inner gates open
and let in the night
and starlight abide