The Apocalypse Pantry

A Survivor's Guide to Happiness in the Urban Armageddon

Oh So Noisy On My Eyeballs

Lets get it over with, the ubiquitous etymology of a word thing that begins so many a poorly written self published internet article… ahem- The word “symbol” is an amalgam of the Greek words syn- "together" + bole "a throwing, a casting or“that which is thrown or cast together”.   The mythology behind the etymology references the Greek myth wherein Hermes, Greek God of transitions and boundaries, had just learned to walk. He was toddling along on the seashore and began speaking with the animals but they spoke back in a different language. He came across a turtle who did not speak at all and from the turtle Hermes made a lyre so that he could speak the same language as the animals.  This “casting together” of meaning across the divide of language lends man the concept of symbolism with music as its most powerful messenger.  

The myth aptly follows human cerebral development in neuro-typical children- first a mastering of gross motor skills with the benefit of cerebral development that provides, then taking on the far more complex task of language development.  Ultimately opening the human up to the realm of meaning, the capacity to connect and communicate with other humans beyond physiological emotional attachment.  

Before Greek civilisation we just sat around staring at each other until we spontaneously combusted with the intensity of our unexpressed meanings, hence the short lifespans (insert sarcastic face emoji).  The use of pictorial symbolism long predates man’s ability to capture their myths with language and writing.  Oral traditions across the globe have used symbols in the same way since the dawn of man.  So basically shit is deep. Deeeeeeep inside our DNA.  Our brains have evolved alongside and intertwined with our creation of symbols to express ourselves.  Go ahead and marinate on that… then add a dash of Heinrich Zimmer:

"Concepts and words are symbols, just as visions, rituals, and images are; so too are the manners and customs of daily life. Through all of these a transcendent reality is mirrored. They are so many metaphors reflecting and implying something which, though thus variously expressed, is ineffable, though thus rendered multiform, remains inscrutable. Symbols hold the mind to truth but are not themselves the truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them. Each civilisation, every age, must bring forth its own.

Aside from the Abrahamic monotheistic symbolism being carried forward from Agrarian cultures that set about desertifying the fertile crescent some few thousand years ago, we too are “bringing forth” our own symbols we just call them brands.  And before brands became a massive industry unto itself, they were called Logo’s.  In the days of hot metal typeset a logotype was when a single piece of type would be made for words that always came together, as in the name of a company/ country/ organisation, etc… so to save the typesetter from having to spell them out every time, a logotype was cast.  There’s that casting again…hmmmm…. brings to mind Joseph Campbell who said “A symbol is an energy evoking, and directing, agent”.  So like…casting a spell.

The much misunderstood world of witchcraft (hard to learn something from someone when they’re on fire) relies heavily on the casting of spells which are groups of symbols created specifically to express the caster’s meaning.  Think of it as really technical wish making.  And the belief there (as it would have been inherited from pre-historic cultures that practiced naturalistic shamanism) is that reality is a materialisation of spirit.  This idea persisted all the way through to aforementioned Abrahamic religions in that the Torah begins with God’s creative process; first the word then the heavens and the earth were formed.  

Now imagine this very powerful tool, this ancient creation mechanism in the wrong hands.  Like picture how things would have turned out if Gollum got the ring orrrrr if say a multinational conglomerate got it written into international law that their logo shall be-ith protected by justice systems throughout the land… and that the logo shalleth be granted to bedazzle the masses and used as a distraction from what actually goes on in the dungeons and boardrooms of said corporation.   This little tricksy move plays our own neuro-processes against us and its not by accident.  

In his book Exodus to the Virtual World, Edward Castronova writes:

“In the mid-1990’s Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass conducted a series of experiments establishing that the core structures of the brain interpret media and reality in the same way.  the brain’s basic structures evolved when there were no media. The earliest part of the brain, the “old brain”, regulates basic processing and drives, including split-second decisions about what information is relevant and what can be ignored. Your higher thinking, your consciousness, is handled by later structures, the “new brain”, the frontal lobes.  The new brain understands the difference between a symbol and the thing it represents; the old brain does not.  Because of this old brain/ new brain structure, media processing follows a specific path. The old brain treats what it sees as absolutely real, unless and until the new brain steps in and says ‘No, that’s just a picture on TV.” The acknowledgement of difference between media and reality does not come from instinct. It rather is something we see, recognise, take note of and process. [This] distinguishing reality from symbol is not free. In fact, no act of cognitive processing is free. Processing is thinking, thinking requires mental resources…”

This stealthy manoeuvre of grabbing the old brain’s attention and using those nano-seconds of cognitive processing time to implant information was deduced long before the Reeves/Nass study by the propaganda industry and its mutant spawn, the advertising industry. WATCH THIS BBC DOCUMENTARY to find out just how that whole mess happened.  

So here we are, our landscape littered with logo’s all fighting for our cognitive processing nano-seconds- no wonder we are so damn tired! Its connnstaannnttttt. And because it works so well, the logo’s of our landscapes find their way into our homes and our hearts.  Brand loyalty where I come from was the instigation of many a playground brawl between farm boys fighting over who makes better trucks- Ford or Chevy.  Take into consideration how the Cola war’s played out in post-apartheid South Africa and how that resulted in a transition from a tea culture to a cool drink culture.  The resulting rise in obesity causes the death of one South African's passing every hour.  Casualties of brand brawls become far more life threatening than the occasional black eye when corporations are absolved of accountability in their quest to create culture with impunity.  

What’s an urbanised human to do when our global leaders simply allow these predatory profit mongers to inhabit our very brain functions?  You clean house that’s what.  

The logolessness of my kitchen and bathroom came as an unforeseen bonus to making my food and cosmetics from scratch, a decision prompted more by the chemicals in said commodities than the cerebral content of their packages.  One day I was in my bathroom and noticed somehow (was prolly high lets be honest) that I don’t look at my stuff.  Such a subtle thing, the not looking at stuff, the not processing visual information. I caught a glimpse of it and realised that ya, logo’s pull at my attention and so not having them around means I can get down to the more important tasks of noticing stray eyebrow hairs.  Then I looked at my fridge, same story.  Not a lot going on in there other than the chilling of food.  Food that doesn’t wave its hand in my face but is content to hang back until my body is asking for it.  

Small things guys, small things that make big fucking differences.  

A Small Collection of Recipe Odes to Oh So Noisy

eyeball cleanliness is next to Godliness

1) Toothpaste

-get a little bowl, toss some bicarb and fine ground salt, a couple drops of peppermint and a couple drops of teatree oil, mix em up, then smoosh in some coconut oil and blend it all together into a paste.  Dip toothbrush in there and brush.  Keep your tongue out of the way because this is irony free toothpaste (the irony included in store bought toothpaste is that it can contain sweeteners to make it palatable that ultimately fuck with your teeth)

2) Hair Care

-mix a tsp of bicarb with a litre of spring water or rain water, stick some whole spices and/ or herbs in there (rosemary brings blood to areas it contacts so stimulates follicular growth if that's your thing).  

-when bicarb is fully dissolved, soak your scalp with it and work it in with your fingers then comb through your hair (get a comb that suits your hair- fine teeth for fine hair, wide teeth for thick) and rinse. 

-blend apple cider vinegar with spring/rain water in a 1:5 part ratio.  Store in a spray bottle and once the baking soda mix is out, spray your head with this, comb through and go about other shower business for about 5 mins then rinse until the smell is gone (doesn't take long).  

-I'm not gonna lie, my hair on the first day is not as sexy sleek as it was when i used commercial shampoo and conditioner but come talk to my hair tossing self on day two? Different story.  I also don't need to wash my hair as often as i did- less water wasting apocappropriate bonus points ping ping ping!

*ammendment - too much of this routine can make some hair types thick with buildup (from the bicarb) and/or can dry some hair types out (from the apple cider vinegar). So mix it up with a 50/50 lemon juice/spring water rinse which is gentler.  Also it deserves mention that washing hair need only happen every few days to a week, for water conservation reasons and for giving your own scalp oils the chance to regulate themselves.  

3) Exfoliation Nation

-same fine salt that goes into the toothpaste so buy bulk, put in a glass jar, fill jar with oil of choice (something liquid at room temp) and imbibe with essential oils (just a few drops).  Use post-soap down or sub for soap down altogether, leaves skin oh so silky smooth and moisturized, just ask Charlotte Rhys who charges a fuck lot of money for this exact fucking thing

4) Moisturise It Don't Criticize It

-same oil that goes into salt scrub just omit the salt.  when you come out of the shower, just dab yourself with towel so you leave a layer of water on your skin then anoint yourself like the Queen of the Nile you are.  The oil traps the water in your skin for further moisturising (a trick cosmetic companies know about hence water being one of the main ingredients in moisturiser, tho they also add a dash of irony by adding alcohol which dries the skin)

5) Yoni Tea To Go

-make an herbal tea custom for your lady bits (see Vaginablez article for combo ideas), keep in a glass jar in the shower and if need be give yourself a rinse with insertion tool of choice (turkey baster, syringe, etc. It will flow out of you whilst you do other showery things. 

Disclaimer: douche is for addressing specific concerns and shouldn't be overdone ESPECIALLY if you've gotten it into your head by some logo-packing profit perv that your vagina should smell like air freshener.  It can help in warding off yeast infections but too much can fuck with the oil/ ph balance of your vaginal canal and never ever never use commercial douche ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY if they are claiming "natural" because fuck them.