Monday, February 29, 2016

Whiplash Extremes of Human Behavior: From The PK Man to Primates of Park Avenue

I believe that through narrative we become more human; truth is beauty; exploration is infinite. Some years ago, in my literary explorations, I encountered Jeffrey Mishlove's The PK Man and found it astonishing. Well, because it is. (Read it if you dare.) 

Last week I had occasion to reread Mishlove's The PK Man, and now, as the author myself of a book about another astonishing book-- Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual, I found it even more astonishing, for I understood what courage it must have taken to not only write The PK Man, but to publish it. Never mind read it twice, cover to cover. When it comes to this sort of material, most people, including myself back when, encounter a block of cognitive dissonance oh, say, the size of Greenland.

What prompted the reread of PK Man was that I flew to Las Vegas to be interviewed about my book on Jeffrey Mishlove's show, New Thinking Allowed. (Stay tuned for the video links.) It was honor indeed. Of course I brought my copy of The PK Man for him to sign.

But whoa, after all the metaphysical talk, as I was about to get back on the plane, I really needed to do a sharp turn on this teacup ride-- I mean, read something grounding, something very focussed on the materialistic. Anthropologist Wednesday Martin's personal memoir Primates of Park Avenue did that trick. Highly recommended.

Somewhere in between The PK Man and Primates of Park Avenue would be, oh, say, a plumber in Peoria? (And if you think The PK Man was more than a little weird, I point to Ms Martin's Park Avenue apartment which, by her own testimony, features an entire closet devoted to her handbags, including a much-coveted "Birkin" that has a markup over cost akin to the price of a small car.) 

(How was Las Vegas? Well, apart from the interview, the only thing I did was to go hiking in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. I did pass the Trump casino on the highway, which made me wonder, as I often do whilst perusing the news of the current presidential campaigns, whether I haven't slip-slided into some alternative universe.)