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Aspiring Master of Curiosity

Rob Brezsny is an aspiring master of curiosity, perpetrator of sacred uproar, and founder of the Beauty and Truth Lab. He writes "Free Will Astrology," a syndicated weekly column that appears in over a hundred other publications and on the Web.

His next book will be published late this summer. It's called Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How All of Creation Is Conspiring To Shower You with Blessings.

As much a storyteller and prophet as astrologer, Brezsny brings a literate, myth-savvy perspective to his work. When Utne Reader named him a "Culture Hero", it observed: "With a blend of spontaneous poetry, feisty politics, and fanciful put-on, Brezsny breathes new life into the tabloid mummy of zodiac advice columns."

In its profile of Brezsny, the New York Times quoted a reader who compared his writing to that of the novelist Tom Robbins. The horoscopes "are like little valentines, buoyant and spilling over with mischievousness. They're a soul prognosis."

Brezsny's docufiction memoir, THE TELEVISIONARY ORACLE, was published in 2000. Coincidentally, Tom Robbins had this to say about the book: "I've seen the future of American literature and its name is Rob Brezsny."

Before The Televisionary Oracle Brezsny's enduring artistic artifacts were music albums, one created as a solo artist and three with the "Jungian beatnik funk" band WORLD ENTERTAINMENT WAR. One of the latter was nominated for a "Bammie," California's version of the Grammies, and benefited from the promotional wizardry of rock's top impresario, Bill Graham, who managed World Entertainment War until his death.

Brezsny also released an album in 1983 with Tao Chemical, a band that twice opened shows for author William Burroughs, made three command performances at the Soledad Penitentiary, and once performed for 71 consecutive hours.

In 2000, after years as a rock musician, Brezsny branched out to develop "Sacred Uproar," a pagan revival show featuring uproarious prayers, chaotic meditations, ritual antics, and musical elixirs. He's currently at work recorded a CD featuring this material.

In one of Sacred Uproar's signature performance art pieces, Brezsny offers revelers the chance to get married to themselves. "Let's all just admit," he says early on in the wedding ceremony, "that none of us is ever likely to find our perfect partner or create the juicy romance we deserve until we first master the art of loving ourselves with great ingenuity."

Working with three freaky collaborators, Brezsny married hundreds of people to themselves at the Plastic Chapel during the Burning Man festival in the summer of 2001. The ecstatic ritual culminated just an hour before the Man himself was burned on Saturday night, September 1. As the moon rose over the black rocks, the desert air shivered with the sounds of hundreds of blissed-out rapture hounds shouting out the vow "I am a fucking genius" as per Brezsny's instruction.

The Televisionary Oracle, is Brezsny's second book. Images Are Dangerous, a gem of poetry and experimental prose, hatched back in 1985. Sales were hindered, however, when the publisher neglected to pay the rent on the warehouse where the books were stored. The landlord relocated thousands of Brezsny's masterpiece, as well as those of other authors, to the county dump.

Brezsny's political career can't go unmentioned. In 1988 he ran for city council in Santa Cruz, CA. In his manifesto, "The Yellow Book," he promised to seek solutions to the homeless problem in his lucid dreams, impose yuppie immigration quotas, and stage mudwrestling rituals between liberals and conservatives as a way to settle disagreements. He financed his campaign by sponsoring 25-cent-a-paper-plate breakfasts in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven. A week before the election, a growing groundswell of support made him worry that he might actually win, whereupon he took out a half-page newspaper ad listing reasons why people probably shouldn't vote for him.

Among Brezsny's other performance art extravaganzas is his "Reverse Panhandling" show. At least once a year he enjoys standing at the exit ramp of a major highway holding a handful of five-dollar bills and a cardboard sign that reads "I need to give; I love to help; please take my money." To date, he has in this manner distributed $935 to rich and poor motorists alike.

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