Maynard James Keenan

What is Puscifer?

What is Puscifer? (Besides being the International Multi-Media Project I've been developing since 1995?) Good question. We usually respond with the very dismissive and obviously evasive answer: "What is Puscifer is what Puscifer is." A less evasive version of the answer is that it is an "uncertain creative space where almost anything goes." In keeping with that moving target sensibility, I will attempt to go the long way around with yet another one of many possible elusive answers.

Stow away all your baggage and get cozy. Your in flight cocktail for this Air Bus cruise will include ingredients such as sarcasm, grossly unsubstantiated conclusions, assumed facts not in evidence, smoke, mirrors, and a dash of improvisational hogwash. Seat belts on. Electronics off.

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A quick note before we go wheels up. If you happen to be one of the .001% of the worlds traveling humans that was able to arrive at an airport with a valid plane ticket in your name with proper id and all that, but you don't know how to use a seat belt, do us all a favor. Go back thru the security check point. Place all of your reproductive organs on the screening tray in a manner that will compel the extremely alert, understanding, hospitable TSA agents to run them through the X-Ray several times to get a better look. Once they've finished finger banging your personal effects, collect them all up. Go find your gate, and then go ahead & take a seat on the actual wing. Great views. Plenty of leg room.

So begins your in flight entertainment. At some point in human history we became aware of our own mortality. When confronted with the death of a companion, we had the epiphany that this was simply no longer just a pile of inanimate meat and bone. This was our companion and whatever energy made them who they were is no longer present. And then reality sinks in: Someday I will no longer be here. And for the first time we asked the question. Why? Why are they no longer here? What can I do to prevent that from happening to me? Or at the very least, "what can I do to put off the inevitable?"

We were now aware that our very survival was directly connected to and contingent upon how creative we could be. Our instincts to Fight or Run were not enough. We weren't as fast or strong as our larger and ferocious opponents. Instead, we needed to use every fiber of our imagination, every spark of our creative energy to stay ahead of these daily threats on our lives. Otherwise the ever-present realty was this. Today could very well be our last.

Peanuts? Peanuts? Peanuts? Peanuts? Would you like a beverage? So here we were, clever little talking monkeys trying desperately to type war and peace before the ink runs out. We began to observe, interpret, and chronicle what we began to recognize as patterns. Through trial and error discovered the appropriate responses to these challenges and threats to our lives. And we rehearsed these responses, these movements, these actions and reactions until they became skills. And in an attempt to keep these new found skills fresh, we would execute them daily. Not only in but also out of context. We rehearsed them in the form ritual and dance and prose. In essence, we would hunt, cultivate and build by day. And by night, around the central fire, we would rehearse, recount, re-live, and perform as well as celebrate another day of our survival. This was a time when the artistic and the utilitarian were in perfect balance. This was a time when we as a culture recognized the importance our creative power. So, what is Puscifer? Clearly Puscifer is a multifaceted structure with multiple cornerstones, 3 of which we'll admit.

1.An attempt to reconnect with that seemingly lost balance between the Artistic and Utilitarian.

2.An attempt to reawaken our inner storyteller, and our ability to Observe, Interpret, and Report all the fun stuff we've witnessed.

3. An attempt to remind us all to dance before the inevitable End of the World. (Make checks and money orders payable to Chicken Little C/O...etc.)

Because we at Puscifer feel that Life is too short not to create something with every breath we draw.

Please return your seat to its upright and locked position. (Unless of course you're one of those thumb-less hopefully now sterile types seated out on the wing.)

Chicken Little out.

Follow Maynard James Keenan on Twitter: @caduceuscellars, @mjkeenan, @puscifer. Read his column every other week on Up on the Sun.

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Maynard James Keenan