Fast Trains deliver extra copies of Combat Diary 12 to all points of the compasses of belief
Fast Trains: Panzerben's Combat Diary 12,
Thoughts of Panzerben
Zen Consumer’s Poem: When we Imagine we Create a Form of Life
“An advertisement is a form of life. The product is irrelevant. It is merely a catalyst for a state of mind.”
“If they say you are stupid, you know that you’re on to something.
If they say you are mad, you’ve got there”
“Whenever I hear the word harmony I know I’m going to get ripped off”
“Perhaps the aliens are baffled as to how we made the Big Brother TV show as we are baffled by how the Egyptians built the pyramids”
“When the Mundane is eliminated, what remains must be the Truth”
“Mundane claims need Mundane evidence.”
Dear Beloved Escapees,
Welcome to Panzerben's Combat Diary 12
The Alternative Fortean Times
Warning: Statement of Editorial Policy
|All straight factual goody two-shoes beware: there is no fair play,
democracy, political correctness, and certainly no blessed
objective balance in
Combat Diaries. Now
having clasped that oxygen mask thankfully to your profoundly grateful
21st century head, breathe deep,
and prepare for rescue from those who are after the ass of your fertile
imagination. And remember that
are not here to educate, inform or convert you. Their sole object is to
greatest intellectual sex you have ever experienced.
If you want to scream and scream again brother and sister bears, this is the place to do it, and don’t let the skeptics tell you there ‘ain’t no Santa Claus, aliens, and nothing behind the veil of the temple, or even Batley Boiler House for that matter.
Treasure your fantasies, your illusions, your self-deceptions, hopeless desires, ridiculous thoughts, precious silliness, your dreams, and all your nonsense, because without them you are under control.
And you would not want that to happen, would you?
Because once they’ve got you under control, you are dead.
Genuine (“real”) photo of heroic UFO believers fighting mechanical skeptics raiding out from Brentford Leisure Centre looking for beliefs, wishes, and daftness and silliness and wasteful thoughts and nonsense to destroy. The Brentford Polonius is in the middle. Photo is Authentic, Verified, Valid, and Peer Reviewed. Assessed by qualified observers. Sworn documents vouched for. Objectivity guaranteed. Credible witnesses. Sane testimony. Sound evaluation by experts. Fully researched by proper sensible folk of good family and education. Scientifically credible. Guaranteed sterilised, demythologised, and de-subjectivized. Factual, politically corrected, free of all fantasies, illusions and mythological filth, the anus of this photograph is clean enough for Carol Vorderman’s kitchen top and Magonia magazine’s germ-free hysteria.
So you’d better believe it.
PS That’s Murk, Prod’s FT Controller in the left background, and the Big Girl’s Anorak (as Patricia Farson calls him) cowering behind him, guarding a bagful of sterilized wierdness as cover for an attack on all New Age beliefs.
Chapter 1: What are the Triangles? Richard Dolan.
Chapter 2: The Adventures of Panzerben, Part 2 The Bad Man
Chapter 3: Another One that Never Were: Goss-Custard.
Chapter 4: The Fortean Times and the New Cromwellians Patricia Farson.
Chapter 5: Getting it in the Neck Boyd Tonkin.
Chapter 6: Anatomy of an Enquiry Mac Tonnies.
Chapter 7: Daddy’s Little Princess Robert Sterling.
Chapter 8: Boarding the Astral Plane Brian Allen
Chapter 9: Fort's Fat Monks Part 2: Oerstedt and Objectivity The Bad Man
Meet the Team of Panzerben:
FortWatch: Dr. Patricia “Arson” Farson. A street magician, a magical vampire person, and UFO Contactee. She acquired her middle name in an incident that South Kensington remembers to this very day. Now lives in the House of Panzerben, visited by a stream of her many social workers and/or probation officers. Still hard at work on her autobiography, Memoirs of a Fallen Programmer, parts of which may soon appear in the Combat Diaries. Reckons she's an immortal. Manager of Dream Echelon, a Portobello group that's been rehearsing for n years. Trendy. Upper-middle-class. Parents long in despair. Had great hopes after the public launch of their debutante daughter, but she proved to have brains, always an English upper-middle-class nightmare. As a brainy person, she avoided the usual British fate of being locked up in the west wing like a misshapen dwarf. She escaped also the other universal family hazard: the 3-foot wide-screen Nikon by assaulting a Chief Constable, thus ensuring a behind-bars situation where les anglais broadcast channels could hardly reach her. In her brilliant article in this issue, The New Cromwellians, issue, she reveals in detail the full extent of the secret take-over of the Fortean Times by Magonian skeptics, and requests that the magazine be re-entitled The British Sceptical Enquirer because now, in her opinion, it has as much to do with Charles Fort as the inside of her whats-it. Wants to write like her mentor, Julie Birchall, and has a passion for Dr. David Clarke. Wants to come between him and the Great Mastodon of Ilkley Moor. We wish her luck. Watch this space. It’s all true.
The Adventures of Prod and Tonto: Many Combat Viewers expressed particular interest in Prod and Tonto, and asked for more. Unfortunately, we cannot find Brother Albertus Magnus, the original writer, in the length and breadth of our trendy ghetto, now as full of film sets as it was once full of designer-hippies. Therefore the raw Neanderthal Prod of last month’s portrait by Brother Albertus is followed in this July/August edition of the Combat Diaries by a very different portrait by Brother Alan “foxter” Goss-Custard (the latter pronounced as the “a” in “hard”), an over-privileged waster from Adelaide. This sometime Fleet Street hanger-on and pit-bull rocker can do only one episode because of what he calls his sleeping sickness. When he is awake he spends most of his time in conference with lawyers trying to convince Social Security that sleeping sickness (Radio Four style) is a valid occupational hazard within the South of England. His case might go to the Lords, of which more later.
Where did I found him? Well, I don’t ever find anybody. They come to me. You see just one of my problems in life is that I don’t quite know how many rooms I have in the house of Panzerben. When I count, others count differently, and even a pooled average appears on occasion to be wide of the mark. An even greater wonder is the number and type of occupants in the rooms themselves. Even after a careful spring-cleaning we find the rooms full almost immediately of the most curious folk. I found Goss-Custard one rainy afternoon after spending three days and nights in isolation examining in detail the Randle/Friedman dialogues. He was asleep of course, curled up like a Kafka dormouse on a deep pile of strewn litigation papers and letters from his lawyers. As you will see, to earn his shelter I shot him full of Prod DNA, and put him to work writing for us. By the way to the right is the hand of a fan pulled away quickly after an attempt to shoot Goss-Custard in Australia.
Investigations: Dr. Betty “Shackster” Baxter from Darkest Knightsbridge, the greatest computer hacker since the great Fred Klaxon of Wakefield (RIP). Left her signatures at Sellafield, CERN, and Los Alamos. Has now moved in to the House of Panzerben, although she has not come down for dinner yet. This sister was always difficult to find at any one time, seemingly in permanent hiding. Her custom-built Faraday Cage (in which she writes) arrived last Friday with a crane, bricklayers, plasterers, and scaffolders. Most magnificent piece of personal furniture we have seen to date. When she is inside this apparatus, her NSA implants go wild on occasion, but apparently probing Remote Viewers cannot get to her.
Of late, she has proved herself equally adept at Remote Viewing herself. Here she is seen going into an Alpha Residual State, watched carefully by Sister Patricia Farson (above) in the background in case she starts to freak. Betty is said to be Fifth on the CIA kill-on-sight list. IQ off the scale. Very posh. Pre-war drawling accent. Overbred, with good blood from somewhere. Double First in Greats. Turned down Christchurch History Fellowship. Fine bones. Manchester girl, of course. Great Grandmother Captain Mary (WAAF) was Ultra Liaison Officer with Fighter Command Link at Bletchley. Racial memory all over the place. Mother remembers Turing smiling at her in her pram. Professors and Fellows of All Souls right through the family. And of course, member of the SPR. Dreams about Churchill, Watson-Watt, the old Navy, and T.E. Lawrence weeping in the old Tank Corps sheds at Bovington. Guardian of British mysteries. What a tripper!
Other than that, she’s quite nice to talk to. When you can find her, that is. Trying to get her to write something for us, but can’t promise anything.
Defence and Security: Mr. Moon. Cheap, user-friendly, sleeps outside because he is not yet house-trained. Has to be kept concealed from the general public not only because of his appearance, but because he is an escapee from a well known mental hospital, freed by covert libertarian teams because he was being used for illegal military experiments involving lobotomies and chemical castration. He replaces Arfer Cadaver, who unfortunately died in a knife fight some weeks ago after being pursued to the Channel Ports by friends, enemies, his family, the Special Branch, and his many creditors. We hope to tell his story soon on the Combat Diaries.
We hose Mr. Moon down each day, after which he makes the beds, and keeps the Seething Elmon in order, because that eternally sad cook tends to fret. Dedicated to the Panzerben team, and a jolly good defender when skeptics raid and try to convince us that there are no such things as fairies, or Easter bunnies. Going to be a permanent fixture. But what a pity we can’t send him out to do the shopping. We tried it once, but he emptied Tescoes in two minutes flat. Meanwhile, his toilet training proceeds apace, and we have made his official hunters look the other way using means that I will later describe in the Combat Diaries.
Retreat, Counselling, and Confessions: run by Jim “Sapper” Fish (ex Parachute Regiment) and his new girl-friend Elizabeth Barton, an ex-nun from Liecester (portrait below). I am afraid to say that Jim is a terrible ladies man, and a string of broken hearts follows him everywhere, from the Yukon to the Hammersmith flyover. His Sceptical Rescue & Reform Scheme for UFO Unbelievers (K&C grant applied for) has long been the bane of all Magonians, and it is to be hoped that Elizabeth will cope with the troubled milieu of her new boy-friend. This scheme cares for all manic-depressive nail-biting po-faced pelicans, dazed and confused rationalists, and all those suffer from exposure to deadly fundamentalist media and consumer radiation from the wide-screen Nikon. The pair run a 24-hour emergency service for confessions from casualties from all the sceptical chapels. Camp beds reserved in the houses of Panzerben for difficult moments of doubt about the Real. Cold Turkey isolation, hot cocoa and sick bowls available free of charge for all crises of belief in Fact and “concrete evidence.” The pair provide special care facilities to treat the nightmares of garage-rationalists, Utilitarians, and the fear of over-educated, fallen left-liberals, and any other suchlike who come to the House of Panzerben for holistic relief. I trust Elizabeth is strong enough to cope when crises of Belief occur and Magonians try to snatch back doubting pelicans, as Christians try to snatch back converts who have wandered into infamous "cults" and happen to be having the time of their lives. It is the time of their lives that must be stopped first of all. The change of belief comes a bad second. They must be replugged into the wide-screen Nikon immediately, as if it were a life-support machine. Of course we are prepared for an attempted come-back from his previous girl friend, her Royal Highness .xxx and have had the door frames reinforced. We heard sounds on the roof a few nights ago and have hired two Taliban from the Job Club as night watchmen. They have sworn to pray silently, since otherwise the chickens don’t lay any eggs, the cats disappear for days, complaints from Betty about her NSA implants going wild.
Cook, Domestic and Manservant: The Seething Elmon (so called because he is in a permanent bad temper). He is seen here with the rest of the domestic staff of the house of Panzerben at his fiftieth birthday party. His constant complaint is that he was thrown out of what he calls "the big house on the hill" to do the domestic work of the house of Panzerben, whom he has the good grace to refer to in private as "that fallen kike." What he does not tell you is what he was thrown out if the big house for. Neither do I dare tell in case of losing readers of this site. Still, he makes a good communal pot for the Panzerben Team, and comes in handy with his frying pan (salvaged from the old Ark Royal), whenever serious metaphysical doubts occur and threaten to run out of control in the small hours. Favourite team: Manchester United. Ex-Royal Navy cook out of Liverpool. I have heard him called Dorothy, though I do not know why. I think I should not enquire too closely.
And many others too numerous to mention whose faces cannot be shown due to many issues and considerations and mishaps extraordinary. These mainly involve Social Security, Probation officers, Social workers, the banks, the police, the judiciary, psychiatrists, the Law, alien abductors, Men in Black, the Security Services, and in certain cases Parents, film & TV producers and parents. Many of these young escapees are suffering from bad liberal burn from the everlasting idiot’s lantern, and conversations about gear boxes, DIY, sport, and something called the Economy. Unfortunately we have to hand back many of those who have made it successfully over the perimeter wire, if only to see living screens that offer better viewing and in most case at least, have no license fee.
All live within a square mile of the Martyr's Memorial, Portobello Road, and only leave it on pain of death. Come night, and we all pull the beautiful devastation over us like a magical cloak of forgetting.
Watch this space, and send your articles, books for review, cartoons, poems, ideas and letters to email@example.com
Panzerben drills his A-team of flying warthogs prior to an assault on Brentford Leisure Centre. See those pelicans fly!
Hello and Greetings to all Combat Viewers,
Many letters of praise and appreciation for Combat Diary 11 have been received from viewers from all over the world, for which I thank them. The first episode of Prod and Tonto and the short story the Latex Princess were appreciated in particular, letters being received from America and Britain, and even France and Sweden, with many enquiries about the phonetic spelling. There have been a number of smelly bags received of course, and these were duly disposed of by the Seething Elmon in the interests of hygiene and democracy.
Many apologies for the late arrival of this Combat Diary 12. The Bad Man has been finishing a book surrounded by the high summer anarchy within the house of Panzerben. My book, An American Demonology, will appear in the New Year.
First I would like to thank Richard Dolan for allowing us to reprint his article on the flying triangles. We are reaching a stage in planetary culture where technology and conspiracy are so united, that they represent a newly evolved Estate in human affairs. No longer are the processes of creation and production clearly outlined in terms of objective mechanical output equals input. A “product” is now very much in the head as well as in the kitchen, garage or in the air. As Boyd Tonkin’s article Getting it in the Neck shows, mythological engineering is now as important as mechanical. Therefore the aircraft Dolan describes may well now not be separable from a nest of carefully manipulated suggestions as well as being mechanical devices. Media is now inseparable from every aspect of our thought; we are all watching TV from the cradle to the grave whether we possess a set or not. Our very perception of what constitutes the material changes as images replace mechanisms, and our ideas of substance change from the molecular to the idea of the limitless changes of cultural theatre.
Tonkin’s article show how deeply powerful image-agendas as a new and unprecedented form of life have penetrated our culture. He talks about the Buffy series as if they were as important a moral reference base as Shakespeare, although where Shakespeare’s transcendental poetry is in Buffy, goodness only knows. Notwithstanding, these media agendas that are being pumped into our brains are indeed alien forms for all intents and purposes. Perhaps we don’t need the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis if we regard alien life as evolved into tissues of mass-suggestibility such as Tonkin outlines in his discussion of Buffy. Here truly is information as a form of image-life.
I would like also to thank Mac Tonnies and Brian Allen for their articles on the Mars face and the astral plane, both their arguments not being all that far removed from the postmodern argument. The article Getting it in the Neck by Boyd Tonkin appeared originally in The Independent and is here reproduced without permission. Telephone calls, telephone messages, e-mails and indeed letters were all ignored, and so if Mr. Tonkin wants to be nasty to me for praising and re-publishing his work, no doubt he will let me know and bear in mind that this site is a non-profit-making site.
We had the same difficulty regarding the article Daddy’s Little Girl by Robert Stirling. This first appeared in the Winter 2000 issue of Paranoia magazine, but though the magazine is still current, all attempts to contact the editors have failed, their e-mail addresses being invalid.
Since we never venture out of this British Dreamland, lest we die of grief, we suppose that our Blessed Brother is lost forever somewhere beyond his native loo in Westbourne Grove. This, by the way, is the same loo where Martin Bormann was an attendant somewhere around 1954. To follow in such dread footsteps, if only with a bucket, mop, and plunger, is a guarantee of fame.
I do hope that Brother Albertus is not trying to escape. He should know better than anybody that no one has ever escaped from our designer-ghetto, Notting Hill. The last person to try was Brother Fulcanelli the alchemist in 1947, and he only got as far as the gas showrooms in Shepherds Bush. For all we know, he’s still trying to get past there, heading for Acton. Some say Bormann escaped, but I doubt it. Rumor has it that he has had extensive plastic surgery and has been seen working at Paddington Bin Depot.
The response to the story of Prod and Tonto has been such that we have decided to launch a series of Prod and Tonto. Since we may not find poor Brother Albertus Magnus again, each episode will be drawn and scripted by different writers. Of course as you will see from Brother Goss-Custard’s effort, the style will vary, and so we will have the interesting effect of a series of Prod and Tonto seen through different perspectives as our intrepid pair pursue their enemy, Professor Moriarty of Ufology (alias the Bad Man), whose problem is that he thinks non-belief is hilarious, and believes in a thousand impossible things before breakfast, such as UFOs and aliens and much else of the like.
Using the verbal equivalent to raw vegetable dyes and natural washes, Combat Viewers will remember that Brother Albertus lit Prod as a kind of Pre-Raphaelite ale-from-the wood figure with a hint of Durer’s woodcut street characters. A lot of Combat Diaries enthusiasts liked this Prod the Grotesque, and we will be asking Combat voyagers in inner space to vote before Yuletide on which Prod they like best, and we may commission a series of portraits. Who knows, we may get a mediaeval Prod, a Byzantine, or even a Picasso or Dali Prod, or even a chapel-Protestant Prod straight from Magonia magazine.
Brother Goss-Custard sees Prod in what might be called “polytech” light. This was left-wing intellectual sunlight so natural and so what was then called life-enhancing and nourishing that it was plainly phony as out-of-register primary tints from early color versions of Health and Efficiency magazine. As children we squinted at the air-brushed genitals just as Kevin Randle now gazes at the Ramey memorandum. This was a time of the holiness of proletarian affections and things called communities, a time when at last, Prod’s “reality” was expected to cast the corrupt and decadent bourgeois fantasies that had kept the working class in chains for centuries.
Fortunately, the working class and everybody else had other ideas and were careful to keep their illusions, fantasies, self-deceptions and fact-defying mental tight-rope walking quite intact, if only because they would cease being human beings without such things. They kept their inspired daftness quite intact as a final defence against the agendas, Marxist, Skeptical, Rationalist, Eugenic, Scientific, Alien, or otherwise.
The end of the series will of course come when Prod takes the wafer and admits he has had a UFO experience. In a sense, Prod is neither right or wrong. He is out of time, That is a very different thing altogether. Agenda-protein works that way. As Boyd Tonkin points everbody every mind is now a TV series.
But judge for yourselves. Meantime, enjoy Another One that Never Were by Brother Goss-Custard!
Sister Patricia “Arson” Farson has contributed a fine piece The New Cromwellians. This is a piece about the sad demise of the Fortean Times as Fortean journal proper, and about the transfer of its image to the English Skeptical Show, for which they take a certain risk with the audience ratings, if only because media is about erections and in that psycho-sexual region, doubt never had a chance. I think again that Patricia could have been a somewhat more postmodern in her view. Both Rationalism and Science are pure media; they are in turn TV shows, like everything else. The rows between what is false and what is real make up the great moral comedy of our time. As flip-top instantaneous throw-away junk, Prod and Tonto are now Stars, and as such, their statements mean precisely nothing. They are now shapes in the media strata like Patrick Moore, and being pieces of pure performance-art and little else, that elevates them to a different category of human being altogether. What they say is no importance compare with seeing their Fortean Times puppet-strings, although the strings are now digital, and Prod and Tonto are actors in the sceptical pantomime.
I do not think therefore that this pair will be happy with their new position. For one thing their beloved “facts separated from the fictions” show dates them back as media to Muffin the Mule, Richard Dimbleby and Marxist Polytechs, from which both probably learned their routine of “objective factual analysis,” now about as naff a trip as Doris Day, meals on wheels, the Twist, or the British Advanced Passenger Train. However, since The Flowerpot Men has just been revived, they might stand just a chance as Golden Oldies. By the way, I must admit to my eternal embarrassment I once mistook this pair for Dave and Doug, the two ancient pistols who made corn circles with boards and rope. I was severely (and most rightly) corrected on that occasion by the Brentford Polonius himself.
It all boils down to this. If they get a good agent, a good Raunch and Launch for their “facts from fictions” show, then that might do the trick. But as an act they need a concept. Po-faced factual sobriety is about as welcome as a gramophone recording of Arthur Scargill’s major speeches, or a Butlin’s Bingo prize of a plastic model of Ena Sharples’ hairnet.
I use to bash folk like Patricia does, but now I use satire and irony, which I find much more effective. Sister Farson’s painful conversion to postmodernisation might well progress now she has moved into the house of Panzerben, though for the life of me I do not know which room she is in.
For those who have asked for a portrait of “two webs one mind” Murk, Prod and Tonto’s FT puppet-master (and Buffy-style Controller) we have at last found one, shot from a previous Fortean Times Unconvention. Here it is, probably shot whilst Murk was uncovering a “fraudulent mystic,” a corn-circle “hoax,” a “false” UFO sighting, or getting ready to attack, in accordance with the Magonian Agenda, the next New Age book in line. The same testimonials apply to this photograph as to the shot of the Brentford Polonius above. It is as “real” as a government denial, or a statement from the Security Services about suicides, unfortunate accidents of rather prominent people, or the gunman who is always alone.
And that’s real enough.
Chapter 1 click here