Boyd Rice InterviewReview of Recieve the Flame
Article: "And to the Devil They'll Return" A Personal Quest, and Brief Genealogy by Boyd Rice
Non/Boyd Rice Links
Dagobert's Revenge Articles Written by Boyd Rice
Boyd Rice, Lord and ConquerorInterview by Tracy Twyman
DR: Were you an ambitious kid? Did you have aspirations, things you wanted to accomplish? Boyd: My aspirations were almost kind of negative aspirations. I remember walking to Elementary School one day, and seeing in this guy's window. I saw this man ironing his shirt on an ironing board, and making his lunch and putting it into a paper bag, and getting ready to go off to work. And I just looked at that, and it horrified me, and I though, What an empty, meaningless existence. Is this what I have to look forward to? To grow up and have to pay bills and have to go to a boring job where you do the same thing every day? You might as well be dead! And that really creeped me out, as a third-grader, or whatever. So my main aspiration when I was a kid was to figure out how I could attain my desires and live my life exactly the way I wanted to without becoming involved in that other world. To see if you could reach that point where you were grown-up and you could still maintain this purity. Some kind of Peter Pan syndrome.
DR: What lead to your dropping out of school?
Boyd: I'd made a habit out of antagonizing people and it eventually just reached a point where it seemed unhealthy. I mean, I literally was getting beat up by football players, I was getting the tires on my car slashed, people were threatening to kill me, and I just kind of thought, I'm not really learning anything here. It's just sort of an arena to play games with people. And that's what it was for me. I'd go to school every day thinking What can I do to make people do something funny that will entertain me? And the moment I dropped out of school, I feel like that's when I started really learning. That's when I started studying and researching things that truly interested me. Learning became pleasure and joy instead of something tedious.
DR: So you would recommend it to other people?
Boyd: Absolutely. Get out as soon as you legally can.
DR: What was your first experience with drugs, and did it affect you a lot?
Boyd: L.S.D. was fun, but it didn't have any profound impact on me. Although I had a few remarkable experiences that involved telepathy while on it a few times. Me and a person I took it with saw the same visions at the same time, which has to be akin to telepathy. One time I had taken some acid with Christiane F. and we were walking late at night along a street paved with square bricks, & as I looked down at the bricks I saw that each one had a large inverted swastika embossed on it. So I told Christiane to look down, and instantly she said, "Oh my God! A street paved with swastikas!" She saw exactly what I saw with no verbal clues from me. I've had incidents even wilder and more unbelievable sounding than that. But that's kind of emblematic of my drug use at its best: other people take L.S.D. and see the face of God - I see swastikas.
DR: When did your interest in the occult start?
Boyd: At the age of 13, it's hard for people to believe this now, but in the late sixties there was kind of this weird occult renaissance going on. There was this magazine called Man, Myth and Magic,. When this magazine came out, there were literally ads on television where they said, "Finally there's a magazine dedicated to black magic, voodoo, necromancy, the tarot.." The first issue had an Austin Osmond Spare painting on the cover, it was a painting of a goat, and in Lemon Grove, CA, where I grew up there was a billboard for Man, Myth and Magic with this big Spare painting. And at the same time there was a TV show on called "Dark Shadows", and that was my favorite show on Earth. So I went down to the local library and got every book I could find about black magic and alchemy. I had a deck of tarot cards. I had a crystal ball. When the Satanic Bible came out, I got it.
DR: You're still on the Council of Nine (Church of Satan), right?
Boyd: That's correct.
DR: Well, not being a Satanist myself, I don't really understand the concept. I don't understand what the Church's purpose is, so maybe you can tell me. I mean what are they doing exactly?
Boyd: Well, what I'd like to say is that I think that we've been hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years into a very one-sided philosophy. We've been denied all the dark aspects of Man, his psyche, his soul. I think that in this day and age the path to God is Satan. I think that before a person can understand the nature of God, they have to get a counterbalance. They have to go back and delve into the dark side before they can unite the dark side with the light side. Because contrary to what people may think, I'm not a devil-worshipper. I'm not into the devil. I'm into God. It's just that my understanding of God differs totally from that of orthodox religion.
DR: So you don't think that Satan is the Devil?
Boyd: No. I think that Satan is just an archetype.
DR: What is your view of God then?
Boyd: I think Christ is a feminine archetype and Satan is a masculine archetype, and that God is a union of the two. I think that God represents the creative/destructive force that created the universe, and governs all the laws of the universe. I think that Man hasn't understood it for a long time, and his misunderstanding of it is responsible for his divided nature. I think this false duality of light vs. dark, God vs. the Devil has kind of created an Abyss in Man's consciousness. Especially since all of the religions of the world basically posit that all is One. And they all have these symbols representing that, and yet none of them really believe it, because they all say that you should go to the Light, or that you should transcend matter and go to the spirit. If all is One, then nothing exists outside the One. Therefore how can the Devil be opposed to what is One? It doesn't make sense. `Cause I mean, if you look at alchemy, if you look at the Star of David, that's what that represents, the qaballah, that's what that was all about, the balance between the pillars of creation and destruction. The Yin and Yang. All of these things represent this concept. People still use the symbols, and they just don't follow through with what the concept actually means.
DR: You said that God is this force in the universe. Is it like a blind force, or do you think it's an intelligence that you can contact?
Boyd: In a sense it's a blind force, and yet operates according to what seems to be an intelligence. It's the same intelligence evident in the balance between a proton and neutron, or a positive and negative current in electricity. It's that same process in its most absolute, all-encompassing terms. You might well call it a blind intelligence. It would appear to be very, very purposeful in its operation; yet I think it would be a mistake to imagine it in human terms, as though it may be possessed of a conventional consciousness that we could somehow contact. Imagine for a moment that the ocean possessed a consciousness. It would be a waste of time to communicate to a single water molecule. The simile is the same regards God and man. The most we can hope to do is understand this force, to recognize how and why it operates, and what our role is in relation to it.
DR: Can you use it?
Boyd: Yeah. Absolutely. You can align yourself with it. I think that's how people become connected to the Divine. That's what constitutes power. There are patterns within the world, and there are patterns within you, and when you align those inner patterns with the outer patterns then everything's easy. I think when you decide to contradict those patterns, that's when everything seems to go awry. That's why nothing goes right in most people's lives.
DR: So you think that aligning yourself with this force is how you accomplish things. Is that how magick works, then?
Boyd: Yeah. I think that's one aspect of it.
DR: What's the most spectacular result you've ever gotten from a magick ritual?
Boyd: I put a curse on a race in San Francisco that happened every year. I hated this race, and I was held up in traffic because of this race, and I just said, "I wish something ugly and horrible would happen to just destroy everybody's fun and just cast a shadow over this whole race. And I go to sleep, and I wake up, and the second I woke up I turned on the TV and the first thing I heard was, "There's been a horrible tragedy today which casts an ugly shadow over the entire race." And it's like a couple of people had just dropped dead while they were running this race.
DR: For no reason?
Boyd: Well one guy had been up all night doing cocaine. The second guy was in perfect health, and his death was inexplicable.
DR: But you think it was you?
Boyd: I'm absolutely convinced. I have never put a curse on someone and had anything less than stunning success. I started at the age of 13, putting witches ladders on the chair of a teacher I hated. He fell ill, and we had substitutes for most of the rest of the year. The following year he never returned. I have no doubts as to the power of magick, because I've seen its results far too often for it to be mere coincidence. Douglas P. wrote a song as a curse against a neighbor of his, called "The only good neighbor (is a dead neighbor.) It came out on a compilation, and within a few months, the woman was gone. I've seen it time and again. LaVey did a destruction ritual on August 8th, 1969, and that same night the Manson murders happened in Hollywood. You read the text of the ritual and it absolutely sounds like he's describing the lifestyle of the victims. I did the same ritual 20 years later, at a concert called 8-8-88, and there was a race riot outside the venue where it occurred. Coincidence? Magick is very real, and even people with very little power or occult knowledge can do things like cloudbusting or staring at the back of a person's head on the bus until they turn to look. You can easily prove it to yourself just how real it is by simple experiments like these. The problem with magick is that you have to be very careful about what you ask for, because you will undoubtedly have to live with the results of your desires. Believe me, I know. Oscar Wilde said that there are two great tragedies in life: the first is not getting what you want. The second is getting exactly what you want. When I was younger I would have dismissed this idea and thought that Wilde was simply trying to sound clever, but in recent years I've had to deal with that second bit to such an overwhelming degree, that I'm afraid I know exactly what he means.
DR: About the Church of Satan, what do they do as an institution? What's their purpose? And what do you do on the Council of Nine?
Boyd: Well, when Anton LaVey was alive I would go on television shows as a spokesman for the organization, or I'd go on radio talk shows, or I would go to Universities and lecture about it. Frankly, I've grown weary of discussing Satanism. I've come to despise all the intellectual creeds that masquerade as religions. All these pagans and Wiccans and Odinists are playing the same game of let's pretend. They tell you they follow the old gods and they proceed to explain what the gods symbolize, that they're archetypes of this or that. That's not religion.. It's atheism with deities. It's a modern intellectual conceit. And I'm sick to death of it all. These people talk about the solstices and how they celebrate them, but what does a solstice really mean to people living in a modern industrial society? It means absolutely nothing. When Winter comes you put another blanket on the bed and turn up the heat. Summer isn't harvest time. You need food and you go to the supermarket, whatever the time of year. Celebrating winter solstices and summer solstices could hardly be more bereft of meaning. While I still think that Satanism is valid as a philosophy and can be a functional world view for a great many people, 99 out of a hundred Satanists bore me to tears. LaVey was one of the best people I've ever met, and I love him dearly, and always will. I think that the creed of Satanism still has an important role to play in the world. But being a spokesman for the Church has become something of a distraction for me in recent years. I no longer have the patience to explain it, or argue it, or ever discuss it. It's the sort of thing that you either get, or you don't. If you get it, no explanation is necessary. If you don't get it, you probably wouldn't understand the explanation anyway. Explaining things to people who are too lazy to go out and get a book about it and read the fucking book is simply not a good use of my time.
I've been discussing this in public forums for 13 years now. Enough is enough. The exoteric doctrines of Satanism don't bear further discussion, or at least not by me. And the esoteric doctrines of Satanism are for the inner circle only, so I'm not at liberty to discuss them publicly anyway. All this leads me to the feeling that it's time to move on. My studies of the Grail lore have lead to some amazing discoveries. I feel I've decoded some of its key mysteries and its fundamental secrets, and they have very little to do with orthodox Christian doctrine. I think that I have evidence of a string Luciferian element to the Grail, and if I'm correct, the ramifications are nothing short of flabbergasting. I need to do further research, but I'm already compiling notes for a book on the topic. I've discovered things that no one has ever even hinted at. And though it's far too early to discuss the details of my findings, if my hunches are right, I may well have discovered where Christ and the Magdalen are buried. But, like I said, I need to study this all in a bit more depth before I go around shooting my mouth off.
DR: You know that rune thing that you sign your name with? I've seen pictures of you wearing it on your clothes. What does it mean?
Boyd: It means kind of what I was discussing earlier. It's the 13th rune, and it represents the balance between light and dark, creative force and destructive force, good and evil. And the interesting thing is that I started using this symbol before I even knew this. I had kind of a Jungian epiphany. I started using that before I knew it even existed as a symbol.
DR: What did you mean by it in the beginning?
Boyd: That's precisely what I meant by it! Because that was how I always thought, and how I always felt, and I thought, I need to come up with some kind of symbol that can symbolize all these things that I'm feeling, and I don't really know how to express them. And that looked like the symbol to me. About the same time I created another symbol, which I was going to use, which was a kind of Christian cross superimposed over an upside-down cross, and I was going to use that because that kind of meant the same thing to me. Before I could print it anywhere Genesis P-Orridge started the Temple of Psychic Youth, and his Psychic Cross looked so similar to that, I decided not to use it. I just thought that people would think I was stealing his image and modifying it or something. But what I have recently found out is that symbol is the same symbol created by Rene d'Anjou, which is called the Cross of Lorraine, which is a symbol used by the French Resistance in WWII. And there's an old poem about the Cross of Lorraine.
DR: By Charles Peguy? Boyd: Is that the one that says "the arms of Satan" and "the arms of Christ"? So again the symbol means exactly what it meant to me and it had existed for centuries. And that too was created by somebody that I'm related to. So it's like, what are the odds of that?
DR: Are you still doing the Arbaxas Foundation? What was that about? What were you guys trying to accomplish?
Boyd: We wanted to create a new paradigm. We wanted to synthesize certain very specific ideas, and create a schematic people could apply to life and living and the world. We knew that ideas, once released into the world, take on a life of their own. So what we were doing was like the philosophical or ideological equivalent of creating a virus, or letting a genie out of a bottle, or conjuring up demons. And we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams, because our ideas have taken on a life of their own, and essentially given birth to a whole new subculture. I can't go anywhere in the world without encountering people who've taken our ideas to heart. And they have all the cultural and philosophical points of reference, down to the tiniest detail. Twenty years ago no one entertained these ideas. Now its a phenomenon in the underground. And every underground phenomenon invariably seeps into the mainstream sooner or later. It's inevitable
DR: What were all of the subjects that you were interested in?
Boyd: Well, I think the main one was Abraxas, which is this Hermetic Gnostic deity that combined good and evil in balance, which is basically what I was discussing before. Just a kind of monistic view recognizing dualism but recognizing that the extreme aspects of dualism are just different aspects of the same force. So it was basically certain occult ideas, or certain Social Darwinist ideas, things like that. Because we felt that there was a certain strong Darwinist element in the occult. I always felt that there was a strong Social Darwinist element in Satanism, but it was never overtly referred to, and I felt that it should be. As far as I know I don't think Anton LaVey ever used the term Social Darwinist prior to having met me, and now you read things in Satanic magazines, and they're constantly talking about Social Darwinism, which I think is a sensible aspect of Satanism. Of course, Social Darwinism to me is sort of a kindergarten topic. I've only discussed it ad nauseum for the last ten years because it took that long for people to cotton onto it. And frankly, if I never had to discuss it again, that would suit me just fine.
DR: So do you see this as a political movement, per se?
Boyd: No, I'm not at all interested in politics. Politics at one time was when somebody had a unique vision, had a gift for communicating that vision to people, and they could sway people's minds and gather all these people into one will to try to make that vision a reality. Today politics is just telling people what they want to hear. So it's like the person who's the best politician is the bwho can tell people lies that flatter their conceits the best. But I think for kingdoms to change, men have to change. I think that eventually things are going to mutate and evolve to the point where these things are going to manifest.
DR: Are you envisioning some kind of totalitarian society, or an aristocracy?
Boyd: I don't really know what form it would take. What I'm envisioning right now is a massive stratification where the middle class disappears, and there's one class of rulers, and one class of workers.
DR: And you like that idea.
Boyd: Yeah. That's perfectly fine with me. I mean that's not my ideal, or anything. It's just that's what I expect to happen.
DR: You told me before that you would support the idea of monarchy, so could you kind of restate that and tell me why you think that it's a good idea?
Boyd: I think monarchy is a good idea because I think the notion of dualism kind of creates this divisiveness within society, where people are either right wing or left wing, conservative or liberal, and I think that in monarchy or even in totalitarianism, where you're focusing on one thing, where you have one individual who's gathering the people into a single will, you can move mountains. When you have any society that's divided against itself, nothing is going to be accomplished.
DR: Would you like to see a monarch who was also kind of a spiritual leader, like a Priest-King? Do you think that there should be a separation between the two, or would that be good to you.
Boyd: I think that would be good to me. I think that's what original tribal leaders were. They were kind of the Chieftain of the tribe, but they were also spiritual leaders. I think separation of church and state makes sense as long as the church is just some superstitious thing run like a bureaucracy.
DR: So if there was a fledgling monarchist movement would you throw your support behind it?
Boyd: Are you kidding? I'd like to see a return to the Byzantine Empire. The problem, of course, is that there don't seem to be many men around these days who possess the qualities of a Louis XIV, or a Constantine. I quite like Prince Charles. Whenever he cares enough about something to make a public pronouncement, it's invariably something that's one of my pet peeves as well, like bad architecture or the trashing of the English language. He gave an incredible speech about architecture in which he singled out a particular building as being especially loathsome, and the last time I was in London, the place was being demolished. Now that I admire.
DR: What if you found out you were heir to a title? Would you like that?
Boyd: The only title that I would conceivably be entitled to would be that of "Lord." If I'm not mistaken, all male heirs that can prove descent from persons known to be a bastard son of a British monarch are automatically entitled to be called Lord. I might consider accepting that title, if I lived in Britain, just because in the context of British tradition it still really signifies something, and I could hang out at the House of Lords. But there's no House of Lords in Denver, Colorado
DR: Let's go over your Angevin heritage. Can you tell us how you found out about that and what exactly it means to you?
Boyd: Well, basically I got invited to this place that was once a plantation, the ancestral home of the Rices, and an uncle of mine gave me all this genealogical material. And I got home and I was looking at it, and it said the Rice's of the United States came from a Prince of South Wales called Griffith Rhys, and that the Rice family in the United States could claim Plantagenet descent from this guy. And evidently he was a bastard son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, he married a Plantagenet, and his mother was a Plantagenet. So I recognized that name and that got me interested in researching the Plantagenets. I researched them, and all the books about them traced the Plantagenets back to the Angevins of France, and Geoffrey Plantagenet came from a guy named Fulk the Black. He ran the Saracens out of Jerusalem, he was King of Jerusalem, and he was one of the first members of the Knights Templar, although he was only a titular member. And he married a woman named Melusine She was the daughter of Godfroi de Bouillon, who was one of the founders of the Knights Templar, and one of the founders of the Priory of Sion. I read everything I could find out about these guys, and then I was thinking, Why does this sound familiar? And then one day I thought, This sounds like some of those people that were in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and, y'know, I read that book I think the year it came out. So I went and I dug up my copy of it, and I started looking at it, and the book was just full of Angevins, and it had all sorts of stories about all of these people. And then taking clues from that I researched the Angevins, and found out that they had been really good friends with the de Medicis, Leonardo, Columbus and Nostradamus. The list of who they knew, or patronized, reads like a Who's Who of the Renaissance. And I appear to be related either directly or indirectly to about a third of the former Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion.
DR: Do you like the fact that you might be related to Jesus?
Boyd: Yeah, well, I mean, it seems perfectly poetic to me that I'm like, a Satanist but I have the blood of Christ in my veins. It seems to me the perfect poetic metaphor for Abraxas.
DR: Is that what the "Sangraal" song is about on your latest CD?
Boyd: Yeah, it's about the Merovingian dynasty, in an abstract way, about the bloodline and the underground stream.
DR: What interests you about the Merovingian dynasty?
Boyd: Well, the whole thing is just fascinating, because when you study that, you're studying the whole history of Europe and Western Civilization, which casts everything you know about that in a totally different light.
DR: Do you think this underground movement to bring the members of the bloodline back to their thrones has any power or any chance of being successful?
Boyd: I don't know. I have thought of that. It seems like on the one hand they are the most patient people on the face of the Earth if they've just waited such a long time and done everything so slowly and incrementally. I think they would've had more chance of doing something maybe 20 or 30 years ago, or some earlier time. Because now it seems like they are faced with this whole globalist network of vested interests that wouldn't allow that to happen. I don't know what it would take for it to happen, if it would take the public finding out about it and being totally in favor of it to such an extent that no vested interest could oppose it. Because reading between the lines it seems like at one time they were working in conjunction with the forces of the United States who were probably in favor of them doing something like that, to create a union with the United States of Europe. But now the United States of Europe is a reality. It's obviously not in the favor of those guys who run financing and stuff to have it run by any kind of a monarch, whatever their pedigree. Because it has to fit in to a larger picture, and if you had one whole continent ruled by some spiritual monarch, and the rest of the world is ruled by capitalist democracy, it wouldn't fit into the one-word government that seems to be emerging..
DR: What do you think about their claim to possess secrets about humanity's past, or God, or the Ark of the Covenant. They have a lot of claims like that. Do you buy into that.
Boyd: Yeah, I buy into that, because I think there's been a whole secret history of the world where things have gone on that we still don't know about. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me, because when you look at these things like the Knights Templar, no matter how much you study it, it doesn't seem to make sense. There's just no sense of internal logic to it. They're supposed to be the Knights of Christ, and yet they had statues of Baphomet in their temple. And they were supposed to be these good Christians, but they were supposed to be devil-worshippers too. How do you reconcile that, unless there's some secret doctrine that explains such paradoxes? I have a good reason to think there is.
DR: Why do you think Hitler was interested in the Holy Grail?
Boyd: Wasn't Himmler more interested in the Holy Grail? I know that a lot of what exists about the Holy grail now, historical documents and so forth were all collected by Himmler, because he was fascinated by it. A friend of mine in Switzerland was just saying he saw a special about the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail and all that, and then at the end of it, it listed where a lot of the information came from and it was all from the archives of Heinrich Himmler. Because he saved a bunch of this stuff that had been scattered to the four winds. He had troops of people that just worked seven days a week going around and collecting this stuff. But Hitler's interest in it I think came from his interest in the whole Parzival thing and his fascination with Wagner.
DR: Are you into that stuff? Do you like Wagner?
Boyd: Oh yeah. I like just the mysticism of it. I like the music, just the whole myth of the blood, and warrior values. I must admit that I never found Parzival or Lohengrin his most interesting works. I've seen The Ring Cycle, and when you actually see that performed on stage it's like a mystical experience, because it has so many layers of meaning at once that you could base a whole religion on it. I mean, it's based in myth, so it's an opera based on religion, but it is like a religious event that happens. It's powerful enough that it can move you to tears at points. There aren't many things that exist these days on the level of art or music that can touch you that profoundly.
DR: You were telling me before about experiences with genetic memory that you've had. About your son saying something...
Boyd: Well, I've always been interested in ancestral memory and genetic recall, because I've always felt certain things very strongly. I've always felt like I knew certain things but I didn't know how I knew them. I felt like this must be something that's in my blood. This must be something that I was born with. Because I've never had any influences that caused me to make the choices I've made. So I'd always had an interest in that. And I was visiting my son a few months ago, and I was talking to him about how things were when I was a child, how things were much different then. It's like, "When I was a kid, like this and this", and after a week of this he kind of got tired of hearing these stories, and he just looked at me exasperated and he said, "Yes I know, because when you were a child, I was a man, and now I'm a child, and you're my dad." And I said, "What did you say? What do you mean by that?" And he said it again, word for word, exactly the same, and it was like he couldn't understand why I didn't understand what he was saying. It just made me feel really weird. For days I had this strange, haunted feeling. And after a certain point I started remembering things that I had remembered when I was his age. Some of them I'd remembered my whole life, some of them I didn't remember until after this experience with Wolfgang. I remembered when I was a child I had distinct memories, visions of places that I had never been, and I asked my parents, "What does it mean when you remember things that you know never happened?" And they said, "Oh, that was probably just a dream", but I knew it wasn't a dream. Because the visions I had as a child weren't normal kid dreams, they were just these images I had of just different scenes. Like I remember one had a tower, and another had a cave, and there was a certain field with a weird tree in it, and these images just kind of haunted me until two or three years of age. And when I reached a certain point I just forgot about them. But I remembered them after this strange occurrence.
DR: So you think that we're not blank slates when we come into the world, that we're carrying all this stuff with us from our ancestral past.
Boyd: I think so. I mean there are theorists who say that the events of a single lifetime can genetically alter a person, and that they will have acquired all of these new characteristics, which are then passed on genetically. Genes account for how you can put a spider in a box without a mother or father, and he's never seen a spider web in his entire life, but he can build a perfect spider web. The knowledge is in you. Some secrets are slumbered in the blood.
DR: Do you think that someday we might be able to use genes to trace the ancestral history of the human race back to it's origins, find out where we came from, kind of like reading a book?
Boyd: Yeah. That seems probable. But I've always wondered at people's obsessive need to understand where we came from, as though where we came from will explain everything else, or how life came into existence.
DR: You don't think that's important?
Boyd: Don't you think it's more important to understand who you are now, to understand what the world is and how it operates and why it operates that way, and to understand what your relationship is to that?
DR: Well, that's important. I personally don't think that you can understand that without understanding the past.
Boyd: I think the past is infinitely important. I think the past and future are intimately connected. There's nothing that separates them.
DR: So you don't really know or care whether we came from apes or aliens or Atlantis. It doesn't really matter to you?
Boyd: Well, any of those things would be interesting to know, but I think that people put too much emphasis on how we got here as being an explanation for why we're here and what we can do now. And I think that, y'know, we're here now. I think that there's a danger in feeling a need to definitively know something like that as a precondition to understanding what meaning or meanings life has. I think a lot of people sort of put life and living on hold to a large degree because they don't fully comprehend what it's all about. As a result, the very act of not getting out there and living life for all it's worth becomes in itself a process which prevents them from understanding it. There's an old saying: PRIMUM VIVERE, DEINDE PHILOSOPHARI. It means: First live, then philosophize.
DR: Then what do you say? What is your explanation for why we're here?
Boyd: Geez, well, it's so broad it would be hard to pin it down to one thing. Basically I love life, but I see it as a biological process where the species perpetuates itself, trying to survive. How much meaning can you attach to that? But at the same time I don't mean to be totally cynical and say it's absolutely meaningless because obviously my life has meaning to me.
DR: So you make your own meaning. It doesn't have any intrinsic meaning in itself.
Boyd: Why does it have to? I mean, what would the intrinsic meaning be? Idealists think that man is capable of evolving into a god.
DR: Do you think that?
DR: You think this is it? This is the end of our evolution?
Boyd: I don't think it's the end of our evolution, but I think it's idealistic to think that mankind can perfect itself, because there doesn't seem to be any such thing as moral or spiritual evolution. What would man do if he was God? Would the TV shows be better?
DR: I hope so. That's what I hope heaven is like. So even if the human race were to overcome the basic problems of surviving, y'know, if there was like, free energy and an abundance of food and people didn't have to work like dogs...
Boyd: That would create further problems, because it would lead to rampant population growth. I mean, if you had free food, think how bad it is now with millions of people starving to death. What if all those people had all the food they needed, free energy. I think everything that man comes up with as a solution to all of his problems evolutionarily leads to more problems.
DR: If everyone's fed and housed, then what's the problem with having all those people?
Boyd: If they're in your parking space when you want to go to the movie theater, they might get there first. They're all on the Internet and you want to make a phone call and all the lines are busy. So you can't make your phone call `cause a bunch of people are downloading pornographic images and playing Dungeons & Dragons. I don't think that most people can deal with leisure time. I can do whatever I want, but I always have things that I want to do, and I'm productive, but most people really need some sort of structure in their lives.
DR: Yeah, I used to just assume that it would be better if no one had to work, because then they could use their free time for something more constructive. But the fact is that they wouldn't.
Boyd: What would be more constructive than work? I mean, if they're working at least they're fulfilling some kind of function or rendering a service to somebody. What would they do that was constructive otherwise? Work really does set you free. I'm happiest when I'm working. That's when I get the most satisfaction. But I might not say the same thing if I was a fry cook at McDonald's or something.
DR: What do you think was the height of civilization, because you told me before that it was declining, so when was it better?
Boyd: Byzantium was better. Alexandria was better. 1963 was much better. I think there was a time when people were more grounded in reality because they had to deal with a lot of things that we don't have to deal with.
DR: You're saying because a lot of things are easier for people now that they're becoming weak and indulgent.
Boyd: Not becoming, they are weak and indulgent. Because I think people were heartier in the 1850s. I mean look at what they had to live with. But if I'd lived in the 1850s I'd have been dead 20 years ago when I had to have my appendix out. I wouldn't have made it. So there are lots of pluses and minuses there. I mean really, it seems like during the 1950s and early 60s that I just remember what a wonderful world it was, and people still believed in progress. When's the last time you heard somebody talk about progress?
DR: I haven't heard any young people say that, but I've heard scientists say that. Y'know, they talk about scientific progress.
Boyd: Yeah, it's ironic that in the last few years, technologically things have progressed at this exponential rate but people still don't have this concept of progress. When I was a kid, everybody talked about progress and how great the future was going to be. We had this kind of shared optimism
DR: Well, all the things we were told were going to happen haven't. I mean, yeah, there have been a lot of technological changes, but we haven't been to the moon in thirty years, and there aren't flying cars, and all this neat stuff that was supposed to happen just didn't. I think it would be possible to have these things but it just hasn't been developed out of lack of interest.
Boyd: No, the technology is there, it's just that in the 60s everybody was of a single will, that they wanted for man to go into space, they wanted to send a man to the moon. And it's kind of like that desire on the part of the public made these things happen, made this new technology.
DR: When is that movie [Pearls Before Swine] coming out?
Boyd: Well, the last I've heard is that we're supposed to go to the Stockholm International Film Festival and it's supposed to be premiered there. It's like a quarter million dollars budget. It looks like a real movie, but according to real movie-making standards, it's like a poverty row production.
DR: Yeah, well it looks pretty slick from the poster you sent me. It looks like a Jackie Chan movie, or maybe a Lethal Weapon, y'know, it looks like this action adventure movie.
Boyd: That's funny because Jackie Chan was filming in the Melbourne right when we were filming and he used all the same sets that he did.
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Boyd and Albin Julius in Germany