God Rock Radio #205 – The Jewish Autumn Festivals -Part 1

In a special two part holiday program, GRR travels back across the sands of time to the days of ancient Palestine. As Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the mysterious origins of the Jewish autumn festivals (Succos, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah) .  When nomadic Israelites settled in Palestine they rapidly absorbed cultural influences from the indigenous Canaanite city states, including the worship of nature and fertility cults – something the Hebrew bible not only confirms but complains about.  Part of that spiritual assimilation was the Canaanite  in gathering Pilgrimage festival , a two month long combination Harvest time , New Year celebration that was in homage to the vegetation god Baal and his three consorts (Anat, Asherah and Astarte).  As the Israelite tribes begin to merge into a united people (an imperative for survival) they break with near eastern cosmology and the ideal of one God fully develops.  The Hebrews transform the ancient Canaanite pagan ode to nature into their own unique celebration (Succos) the feast of the booths or tabernacles . Infusing the 9 day long holiday with historical significance as an ode to the ancient nomadic patriarchs.

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God Rock Radio #204 – The History and Mystery of The Rosary

In the season 11 premiere GRR gets back to its spiritual roots as Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines a central part of Christian spirituality, the veneration of the divine feminine via The Marian Mantra (Hail Mary) and the rosary ritual.  First off ,  its the blessed Mother of Mercy in Roman Catholic theology and the parallels to other personifications of the Divine feminine found within Patriarchal religions (The Skehinah, Fatima and Kwan Yin).  Then  its the evolution and development of the Hail Mary prayer and the Rosary throughout the centuries as monks, hermits, mystics , theologians and popes keep adding stanzas and procedures to this ancient form of christian meditation. Next up, Jack gives step by step directions on how to pray the Rosary and how to unlock its amazing spiritual power (something anyone of any faith can do).  And last but not least Jack examines the Symbolism and spiritual meaning behind the 4 sets of Marian mysteries (glorious, joyful, sorrowful and luminous) 20 important biblical events that act as a spiritual backdrop to insights and reflections as we pray and meditate.

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God Rock Radio # 203 – Hong Kong Horror Films Part 2 (1959-1984)

 

In part 2 lover of genre movies, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the development of the horror film industry in Southeast Asia during the post World War 2, post colonialism era. As Hong Kong cinematic influences and financial investment penetrate into Malaysia , Thailand , India and The Phillipines.  Igniting young indigenous filmmakers who combine westernized genre traditions and themes with native superstitions , spirituality , myths and legends into a viable commercial formula. Next up, its the New Wave of Hong Kong filmmakers whose work featured a more sophisticated visual style , technical competence , extreme choreographed violence , sensationalism and a more westernized consciousness.   Directors like – Tsui Hark – whose forays into horror cinema combined action scenes , deliberately anarchistic shocking violence with grotesque elements of poetic horror and darkly comic sensability.   And The Shaw Bros. steadiest contract director – Gui Zhihong – whose erratic and gory thrillers mixed horror with magical , spiritual and  folkloric elements into box office gold (again and again). And last but not least its – Movies, Movies, Movies – as Jack provides descriptive analysis on a slew of Hong Kong New Wave era horror films – from obscure gems that have seldom been seen in the West , to the better known and loved cult classics that have devoted followings all over the world.

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God Rock Radio #202 – Hong Kong Horror Films Part 1 (1954-1974)

Noted film historian and lover of genre movies, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues the GRR tradition of definitive programs detailing world wide classic era horror cinema.  This time out its the chopsockey , scripture spouting and swordwielding Asian adventurers who battle evil in the inventive and entertaining films from Hong Kong. Movies often based on classical Chinese literature, legend, folklore and myth.  First off, its a historical overview of the Chinese film industry from its beginnings during the early silent era to the golden age of the 1930’s Shanghai cinema (a remarkable hybrid artform).  Next up , its the development of the Hong Kong film industry during the post World War Two years and the rapid rise of mega movie mongols – The Shaw Brothers. Whose massive film studio (Movie Town) modeled after the old Hollywood factory system ruled the roost for 30 years.  And last but not least , Jack provides in depth and detailed analysis of some of the great classic era Hong Kong horror movies including such gems as – The Enchanted Shadow (1959) , Vampire Woman (1962) , The Painted Skin (1966), Four Moods (1970) , Ghost In The Mirror ((1972) and Blood Reincarnation (1974).

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God Rock Radio #201 – Fathers of Fake News

With tongue firmly in cheek, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the roots of fake news and some of the past masters of mass media manipulation.  First off, its founding father and printer’s devil – Benjamin Franklin , who immensely enjoyed concocting fake news stories to mischievously harass his publishing competitors, confound the British during wartime and shine a light on his own progressive social theories.  Then its bally-hoo publisher Benjamin Day who creates a new kind of newspaper designed for the masses filled with lurid reports of crime, sex and scandal combined with outlandish fabricated fairy-tale like yarns presented as factual news.  Next up its the cultivator of mystery and the macabre in fiction – Edgar Allan Poe , who in desperate need of cash crafts his own fake news story. An imaginative tale about a balloon crossing over the Atlantic ocean that causes a sensation but does little to alter the course of his tragic fate.  And last but not least, its the Granddaddy of yellow journalism , mega wealthy media mogul – William Randolph Hearst , who ruled over a vast journalistic empire and had no problem inventing evidence or fabricating proof of stories that would either sell more newspapers or advance his own economic and political agendas.

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God Rock Radio #200 – The Moon Landing Part 2

In the second installment of GRR’s epic 200th program – Jack “The  Agnostic” Garcia examines spirituality in outer space , and in a descriptive step by step “You are there” segment – joins the crew of the Apollo 11 moon mission as they brave the cosmic void. First off, its the coexistence of science and spirituality in space as some of  the astronauts who venture into the vast unknown sea of stars begin to find their thoughts turning towards the divine.  The other worldly experience of space exploration becomes mystical and transcendent – deeply touching their souls and changing their lives forever.  Next up, Jack travels back to July 1969, when the United States was at the peak of its ingenuity, power and technological innovation.  As the team of space cowboys at NASA are about to undertake humanity’s greatest scientific achievement.  The hazardous voyage into outer space and a landing on the Lunar surface – transforming a cherished dream and literary fantasy into a reality.

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God Rock Radio #200 – The Moon Landing – 50th Anniversary Part 1

In the milestone 200th GRR program – part 1 of a special 2 part show celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Apollo 11 moon landing. Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia an expert on early science fiction and the pulp magazines charts the long history of the lunar voyage in the genres of speculative fiction. From it’s beginnings as satire – a way to lampoon traditional political, scientific, social and religious values, flights into outer space accomplished via flocks of birds , gargantuan springs, gunpowder, balloons and demon powered spacecrafts. To the more realistic and scientific portrayals of the lunar voyage written as the imminent possibility of spaceflight draws nearer and nearer.  Jack also examines some of the great moon landing movies including the works of George Melies , Fritz Lang , George Pal and Stanley Kubrick.  Next, its the often neglected contribution of the Soviet Union to space exploration.  As the Russians ignite the space race and kick America’s butt for years until a series of disasters and tragedies (kept secret for decades) turn billions of rubles into dust and ashes, causing the Soviets to lose momentum and fall behind.

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God Rock Radio # 199 – Native American Myths & Legends Vol 7 (The Haida)

Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the culture of the Haida peoples of the Northwest Pacific coast and also recites two of their sacred stories. Expert sea raiders and traders – the Haida have often been compared to the Vikings.  Among the wealthiest of all Indian nations, the Haida practiced slavery and were ruled by powerful chieftans who placed a high value on personal wealth and property.  First off , Jack examines the Haida’s complex social system (Clans) societies that were linked to various Guardian spirit animals via family lineage and elaborate ceremony and ritual.  Next, its the Haida’s intricate splendor filled art (Totem Poles) exquisitely carved pillars engraved with elaborate heraldic designs that turned Haida villages into a type of surrealist forest.  Jack also examines the Potlatch ceremony – a competition between rival chieftans in which goods and riches were given away or destroyed.  Then Jack plays storyteller and recites – The Bear and his Indian wife  and  The origin of the Gnawing Beaver – magical and mystical tales that tell of the beginnings of the clans and their spiritual link to the animal realm.

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God Rock Radio #198 – Philip K Dick (The Sage of Science Fiction) Part 2

Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues GRR’s epic examination of the Life, legend and legacy of Philip K Dick , the deeply spiritual but doomed literary genius of our time.  As the 1970’s begin P.K.D , after writing at an almost supernatural, supersonic speed for 20 years begins to suffer from unprecedented cycles of writers block.  Seeking inspiration he welcomes into his home a much younger circle of  friends , college students who immerse the author in the hippie, counter culture movement.  Always a man of religious faith , P.K.D starts to have a series of  paranormal experiences and becomes convinced that an otherworldly divine intelligence has entered his mind.  An entity which communicates via telepathy and reveals to him sacred and eternal truths.  The sci-fi author will have these intense supernatural epiphanies for the rest of his life and tries to rationalize these mystical experiences by keeping an extensive journal and formulating his own unique and elaborate cosmology.  A type of spiritual history of the universe that is derived from or influenced by Gnostic Christianity- and channels it into his last great literary works.

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God Rock Radio #197 – Philip K Dick (The Sage of Science Fiction) Part 1

Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia an expert on Pulp Fiction magazines and genre literature continues the GRR tradition of definitive programs about the great writers of Gothic, Horror , Fantasy and Science Fiction. This time out its Philip K Dick who cranked out quickie short stories and novels before transforming himself into an intellectual humorist and satirist. Becoming the master of surrealistic sci-fi with deeply intelligent and paranoid works that are both terrifying and funny.  In his dystopian visions advanced technology will not save us because basic human malevolence, money grubbing greed and officially sanctioned violence will never change or go away.  The world is ruled  by a demoralized cooperate elite and inhabited by a deluded population and only fleeting moments of loyalty, decency, tenderness and desire can illuminate the darkness.  An obsession with godhood and the nature of reality runs through much of his work which is often overflowing with mystical and transcendental themes and imagery. His amazing and prophetic prose confronts ancient speculative issues and fuses them with his scientific knowledge and religious faith.

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