Oops, looks like you missed it. Missed what, exactly? How about the dawning of a new age? No, not ‘the’ New Age, with all the cliché hemp trousers and floppy-haired fools, but a new age nonetheless. Last weekend, Tupac Shakur performed at a music festival in the USA, a fact that is perhaps on its own of very little interest to anyone here. But from a Necromantic point of view, this is a true watershed moment. For the first time in such a public arena, no pun intended, the Dead were passed off as the living through the use of cutting edge modern technology, and as such walked among those who still draw breath.
Don’t misunderstand; I may be a cynical old Fox, and inceresingly questioning of the actual reality of the world in which I live, but even I realise that it was not a real Ghost. Nor was it billed as such when the explanation finally came after the show. But that is not important. All that matters is that the lines have been blurred, and the Veil thinned in the minds of the general public as a result. Suddenly Dead isn’t necessarily forever, and the gone need not be forgotten. As long as you like non-interactive 2D holograms that is.
Now I realise that a few of you may not see the connection between the ripping-off of a deceased rapper’s likeness to sell a few more no doubt prohibitively priced gig tickets and the real legions of the Dead, yet Magick is a mindset, a way of viewing the world, and the type of lense that you see through will ultimately be coloured by the Path that you walk. As a Necromancer, the first paragraph of this article neatly sums up what I chose to take from this otherwise unremarkable event. Perhaps those of a Cybermagick persuasion will instead interpret Tupac’s second coming as a partial fulfilment of their prophetic merging of man and machine, while Thelemites might be more intrigued by the idea of holographic Crowlies spouting his trademark brand of dubious wisdom from behind a table in their local opium joint. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, and the far from impartial expectations of the crowd always call the tune.
Intriguingly technology and Necromancy have a relatively long history together, Life After Death being a perennial human preoccupation for as long as we have been sentient creatures, and the internet has spawned a brand new breed of Ghost unique to itself; the Dead Account. Essentially, we may well all have one or two of these floating around cyberspace, games we no longer play but registered for, websites we never visit, passwords forgotten and fresh user names chosen to replace them. While we live they are nothing special. but once we die they could become a permanent anchor point in the digital world for those who would wish to work a little Cybermagick into their Necromantic Practice, or visa-versa. Not that such technological dabbling is really my thing, nor would I know how to harness such energies for use by my fellow Gravehounds, but the idea is theoretically, if not practically, sound.
And yes, barring some global catastrophe or mass restructuring of the internet that involves the deletion of old, unused accounts to free up ‘cyber’ space, the deceased will very soon outnumber the living in this way, and as such give birth to the Necronet; a true place of dead names and even deader Memes. Garbage in and garbage out, as the old programmer’s saying goes, but this time feet first in a virtual pine box. Flesh rots, bones crumble and gravestones weather away, yet in the digital realm the epitaph remains as fresh and vibrant as the day it was last accessed, and our final status update becomes our last words. I just hope mine is something mildly amusing, because deep and profound is so 20th Century.