One guy was all about the cautious, scientific approach, and the other two guys were like, yeah, let’s pack it into a squirrel and light it!
My husband, Larry, is a science geek. It is genetic, his dad was a chemistry professor. I told him about the episode, and Larry recognized many of the details, but he didn’t realize the depth of Parsons’ psychological problems or the incest. I finished this dark little fairy tale, there was a dark silence, then he said, and I quote,
See if there’s a picture of that black box online. I want to see that box.
Larry, ladies and gentleman.
Class A consists of works that are not to be changed, even to the letter. The Holy Books fall in this category.
Class B consists of works of scholarship and enlightenment.
Class C consists of material that suggests things other than the obvious.
Class D consists of official rituals and instructions.
Class E consists of manifestos, broadsides, epistles and other public statements. (source)
- The Gnostic Mass
- Crowley’s idea of the Holy Guardian Angel that Parsons fixed upon.
- GALCIT: Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratories California Institute of Technology
- Hercules Powder Company, founded by DuPont
Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons * John Carter and Robert Anton Wilson
Book of the Law * Aleister Crowley
A crater on a moon was named for Parsons the year I was born, 1972. It’s on the far side of the moon; I bet that is where they are hiding the black box of sex films.
I told you everything was connected: Parsons ended his science career at Hughes Aircraft Company. HAC (1932-1997) was founded by another spooky genius who also lived in his own spooky abode, Howard Hughes. Speaking of spooky abodes, Jimmy Page, Mr. Led Zepplin, lived in Crowley’s house, Boleskine House (which I keep reading as Moleskine, so I imagine it as an upturned black notebook, tent-shaped, on a lovely Scottish lawn, bats swooping about and such). Page has pictures and info at his official site.
Oh, and: Crowley is one of the many people depicted on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. (Wipe that blank stare off your face. Yes, I can see you through your phone screen. Momma Carla sees all. The Beatles. Just nod and smile and act like you know who they are.)
And more: In 1938, Parsons was invited by the horror movie Dude of Awesomeness Forrest J Ackerman to lecture on static rocket motor advances at Chapter Number 4 of the Los Angeles Science Fiction League (LASFL). Although he never joined the LASFL, he occasionally attended from then on, at one meeting having a lovely talk with a teenage Ray Bradbury.
It’s all connected!
And now, in honor of all the people in this weird American saga with multiple names: Marvel/John/Jack, Betty/Sara, Helen/Polly, Marjorie/Candy/the Babalon. . .a song from my Girl Scout days. It’s apparently also a German Oktoberfest drinking song, which highly amuses me. Here we go, repeat the only verse as many times as your companions can stand, in varying volumes. (We Brownies thought it was hilarious to sing the actual song softly then shout out the dah-dahs, and vice versa.)
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,
His name is my name too.
Whenever we go out,
The people always shout,
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.
Dah dah dah dah, dah dah dah
Band names from this episode:
- Momma’s Boy Marvel
- Jack Rocket
- Candy Angel
- Porch Lab
- Red Rocket
Cultural references from this episode: