The 21st Century

Encyclopedia of Surrealism

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Emanations: Third Eye anthology by International Authors introduces Surrealmageddon of Davao surrealist BIENVENIDO BONES BANEZ

By Phillip Somozo

Surrealmageddon (surreal + Armageddon), a term Banez coined to describe his phantasmagoric vision of the final battle between good and evil, was picked up by books author Carter Kaplan who used it as introductory title for his anthology Emanations: Third Eye, third of a series. This reviewer is motivated by Kaplan's reception of Banez's Surrealmageddon to scrutinize the former's introduction to Emanations: Third Eye.

Carter Kaplan is an American professor who had taught English and Philosophy for 30 years in many U.S. Colleges and in Scotland. He is a poet and had written a number of novels with philosophical and mythological themes.

Describing Banez as "pioneering philosopher of Surrealmageddon," Kaplan considers the Dabawenyo's vision of apocalyptic psychedelia as "a catalytic spec floating in the global crucible of morphing civilizations." What shapes the future, Kaplan rationalizes, is the global consumerist culture and he admits it doesn't seem very bright. Self-destruction, he elaborates, is built-in in the Homo s. sapiens because of greediness which, in the civilized world, is considered "not insanity." Kaplan's introduction, in effect, also concludes his interpretation of the anthology (subtitled Art of Ecstasy and the Ecstasy of Experiment) in the context of collective human thought deciding its own destiny. It is remarkable Kaplan corroborates Banez's cataclysmic semanticism.

The union of the terms surreal and Armageddon, a brilliant etymological updating, by Banez, modernized its semantic significance by redefining modernism's pinnacle to which society prophetically (and now affirmed by Kaplan's sound psychosocial arguments) is heading. The term could had been invented by Saint John the Apostle two millennia ago, if only John had knowledge of modern behavioral psychology and social dialectics. Bridging the gap between Prophet John and hermeneutic surrealist Bienvenido "Bones" Banez is artistic evolution.

Yet, I am sure not everyone agrees with Kaplan and Banez, not the inventors of artificial life-support systems (e.g. biotech, genetic engineering, transhumanism) who aim to perpetuate human life regardless if they have to alter nature, and the vested corporates who tweaked the nostril of the planetary Tao so that it has been desperately sniffing for the vanishing direction to its future since Modernism dawned.

There is more, much more, all of it somewhat obscure, though discernible with some effort, but I've received no website address, so I've nothing to link to. Part of my interest is that some of my poetry appears in the anthology, which can be ordered here.

I suppose this is less obscure for me than for some of my readers because I'm familiar with the individuals and their ideas -- and also because I've been reading a bit about "biotech, genetic engineering, [and] transhumanism" lately . . .