Author Archives: Roy

Want

Are you jealous of people who always seem to know what they want? These people who have set their mind on becoming somebody important in some company. People who work hard to have the money to buy their dream house or -on a smaller scale- their dream holidays? People who at a young age already know they want to have children? I am not.

I am rather the opposite, I want annoyingly little and what I do want, I do not really know…

When I was at middle school and it became tough towards the end, I already had an interest in things religious, in these days mostly the darker side of things (I was adolescent eh). I could not figure out what to study and nor could anybody around me. So I decided to close my school career with an easy and short education.

There again I was asked what I wanted to study after, but nobody still seemed to know what would be fitting for me. Nobody told me about interesting studies at Dutch or foreign universities and I doubt I would have tried to reach these if they did. I figured if I just started working, I would have the money to buy the books that interest me and the rest would come or they would not.

When I was 17 or 18 or so, I read the works of Helena Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner, etc. and quite a few times I had this strong feeling ‘I already know this, this is how things are’. Still I shifted away from these circles and this way of thinking.

Already then I was quite a hermit. The few friends I had I hardly saw. I did go to concerts and meet people, wrote for a few magazines, corresponded with many people and eventually started the first version of the website you are reading now which did at some points bring some new friends (that I seldom see). Still, in spite of living together for 18 years or so by now, I am still quite a hermit.

When I met my girlfriend my interests had started to shift from Western esotericism to ‘heathendom’ yet in these days I knew about the new Hermetic chair at Amsterdam University (if only it had been there when I had the choice!) and directed my girlfriend there for a short while when she was still going to another university.

Together we became involved in a Flemish ‘heathen’ group with an enigmatic foreman who shortly became some sort of ‘guru’. It was amazing. He had similar interests to mine including the weird combination of esotericism and heathenry, but he seemed to know it all and even more, understand it all. If there is something that I have wanted for a long time, it could be this sense of ‘knowing’ or at least inspiration.

Things were not to last. Events led our paths in quite similar, but still separate ways and another fairly directionless period started. I read more Traditionalist books that do inspire me, ran into new subjects and new ways of thinking that fascinate me, but it is mostly just book-knowledge.

Knowing that it does not fit my ‘scheme’ me and my girlfriend joined a co-Masonic (mixed gender) lodge. I hoped to meet interesting people. I also hoped that the symbolic structure would bring structure to my own studies. Then I hoped that the rituals would inspire me or even sparkle some sort of insight.

I did and do meet interesting people, but none who share my interests. Studying the history and the wild varieties of Masonic rituals is wildly interesting, but it hardly structured my studies. I enjoy the ritualistic meetings, but Freemasonry being an organisation, there also came a lot of other new uninteresting things such as meetings, functions in the organisations (lodge and grand lodge), evenings with subjects that I do not care much about and even arguments, infighting and split-ups.

So after all it is still mostly me doing my own thing while being involved with groups at some distance.

What do I hope for in life? What do I want? In spite of growing years, I still do not care about a ‘career’. Work that seems meaningful somehow and work that allows me to invest energy in other interests is enough for me.
Neither do I care for a ‘Masonic career’. As a matter of fact, I fear that higher up the functional ‘ladder’, administration versus content will even be more out of balance. It would be nice if some degree would “sparkle some sort of insight”, so I do follow ‘higher degrees’.

Meeting people that are interested in my way of thinking and the other way around inspire me to explore new paths would be nice. Something that I actually enjoy. And maybe something that would make life in general a bit more inspiring too… And inspiration. I can only ruminate what I found with others. When will some original thinking come out of my grey mass (or another source) again? What would that require? Illumination?

Ah yes, that ‘goal’ that I do not know what it is or how to work to reach it. Do I sound like I am in a midlife crisis? I do have that age, but I have felt like this most of my life. Perhaps it is an existential crisis. Too bad I do not care about philosophy! Philosophers seem to have something to say about that.

Still writing

Believe it or not, but I am actually still writing fairly actively. As I have said elsewhere, I have been working on other websites for several years now. They are aimed at another audiences or at least, I hope to present some subjects to readers that would not read Gangleri.nl because of the rest of the content.

I suppose you know about Farwerck.nl, which is all about Franz Farwerck. That information used to be on Gangleri.nl, but it became too much and too hard to present properly. When I just launched that website there was a lot of work to be done to it. Now my new sources of information start to dry up and the website is getting more static.

Quite a couple of years ago, 2014, I started two websites about mixed gender Freemasonry. I joined a lodge, was looking for information and found out that there is not all that much information about the subject. Plenty of sites about ‘normal’ Freemasonry and also some about the mixed gender version, but all very scattered. I figured I would bring the information together. There is a world-wide and a Dutch/Flemish one.

Then there are two more Masonic sites about very specific approaches. I made these with the hope that people with similar subjects may bump into each other. One website is about about a subject you will also find on Gangleri.nl, the heathen approach to Freemasonry, the other is in Dutch (and is quite new) and about esoteric Freemasonry.

Just as Gangleri.nl the audiences to all websites are limited. The international co-Masonic website may have 1000+ Facebook “likers”, but very inactive (the website is static too). The other websites have even more limited audiences.

Several websites, hundreds of reviews of books, films and music releases, 100+ shorter and longer articles. In almost 20 years of website making I have quite an output and all that just for a handful of people. It is what it is. Hopefully my scribblings may every now and then help somebody looking for information.

Besides writing, I also manage other websites such as that of my Grand Lodge and some of its lodges. I also used to manage Militia.be but the website suddenly disappeared. The band apparently stopped. I did not hear a thing about that. Then there is this inactive website of my girlfriend that needs an occasional update…

Man, I should think of hobbies that do not require a computer screen! My hobbies and my work are too much alike, but of course my hobbies are more interesting, so I guess that is it.

What a lousy job

“His or ours, Hank?”

Mine!

I used to use a plugin to pull post titles from other websites under the domain (all ‘sections’ are separate websites) to show in the “widgets” on the sides to get some ‘interaction’ between the different ‘sections’. That plugin had not been updated for over two years, so it is only a matter of time before something changes and it stops working.

So I looked around for an alternative and could not really find anything that made me happy. Then I noticed that WordPress itself has a new widget that has that very functionality. Great! Another plugin that I can ditch. This widget works great in the “sidebars”, but I used the abandoned plugin for the archive pages too.

So I turned off the old plugin to see what would die and believe it or not, it was that old / ‘simple’ plugin that added the hip and ‘new’ widgets that I just discovered. Argh!

So after an entire day of making something fancy with the new tools, I was back at having to look for a plugin that would do what I want. It does not really sound that strange to me. It should be able to make lists of posts of other sites and it should make a list of posts of the ‘section’ website itself for the archive pages. It seems that there is no such thing any more…

WordPress itself now has a “block” to show recent posts, even by category. That would mean that I ‘only’ had to find a plugin that is not abandoned to show the latest posts of other ‘sections’. I soon noticed that it can only list up to 100 posts. I have categories in the book reviews with 170 entries and I have film categories going up to 370!

Then I found a plugin that can make lists of posts and even group them by category. Great for the archive pages, but useless for the widgets since it can only access one site.

So this morning I started experimenting with yet another plugin. It is good in pulling posts from anywhere around, it can present hip carousels and has plenty options, but… It is not good at making archive pages with hundreds of posts…

So I ended up with replacing one old plugin with two new ones. Sigh.

But what do you think of the fancy news page?

The Oa

Another Netflix series that I do not agree with the IMDb rating (7.9). As a matter of fact, I am not planning on watching further than the two episodes that I saw so far.

Brit Marling has a part quite like that in “The Sound Of My Voice” and “Another Earth“. She is the mysterious and pretty woman, but also the melodramatic and (to me) unconvincing woman.

In “The Oa” is Marling is a Russian girl who turned blind after an accident after which is she is adopted by an American family. She suddenly receives back her sight which will undoubtedly lead to all kinds of mysterious adventures, but the teen-approach and the vastly uninteresting first two episodes made me conclude that I rather spend my time in another way.

18 Years

I’ve ran a website since 2001 (Sententia) which changed names twice (Monas.nl (2002), Gangleri.nl (2007)). Quite a period, 18 years. I guess that makes me an internet dinosaur.

Currently, there are exactly 100 articles. The last one is from 10 May 2019. My longer texts can lately be found on more specific websites that I made. I do not often have a subject to write an article about here.

626 Book reviews can be found in the book reviews section. I just keep on reading. Not everything I read finds its way to Gangleri.nl, but much of it does. This does not have the speed of the next section of course.

1163 Film reviews. Watching a film is just sit and watch for two hours which goes much faster than reading a book. Many films I see are not all that interesting, so reviews are usually short.

The music reviews are almost taken over by the film reviews in number. Currently there are 1205 music reviews.

From the few new additions on the website, you can see that my focus has shifted a bit in the recent years from heathenry to Freemasonry. I still study heathenry, but more in combination. Also Traditionalism is still in my reading list, but lower. I still see a lot in that way of thinking, but as it is too restrictive for my own path, it landed lower on my list. Also there do not seem to be a whole lot of new books or initiatives in that field. However, also here a combination with Freemasonry (and that is an interesting one) pops up in the works of Fabio Venzi or that of Angel Millar. Currently I am reading a book that I am not supposed to have, so it will not find its way to these pages. It is one of the few studies of the Northern European origins of Masonic symbolism. With less priority I am also reading a Manticore Press book and an Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (transactions of the first Masonic study lodge). When time comes, you will be able to read what I think about them.

Films prove to be a ‘problem’ recently. I do not hear of many films that I want to see. There is not all that much dark and weird. Besides, my DVD rental has made it more difficult to get me ‘enough’ films, so I have opted to fall back to Netflix for film nights for which I do not have anything. Netflix does not have really good films, so watching films has become mostly ‘brainless past time’. I do still enjoy watching films, but I rarely see anything really interesting.

I no longer keep statistics. This website has never been really popular. Who reads a website with book, film or music reviews these days anyway? For myself, there is one website with reviews that I follow (Noise Receptor) and one with film reviews (Filmofiel, which is in Dutch). For the rest, I probably have the same alternatives as everybody else. Ratings on websites (IMDb for example), information in webshops and newsletters. I use my own website mostly as archive. When I want to know if I saw a film or if I have an album, I check Gangleri.nl. If there is anything that helps anyone, good.

Sincely,
Roy

Gogo Google

While playing with Firefox I got annoyed that Ghostery finds trackers on this website. One of them is Google. I used Google Custom Search to allow visitors to find something in the entire network (there are different sites which only allow searching ‘themselves’). Looking for a replacement I found the DuckDuckGo option. No plugin needed, no results page to add and a somewhat customizable result page at DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo is not my favourite search engine, but it is one of the private search engines, so I have killed another tracker.

Web radio

When I am home I virtually always have music playing. More and more often it happens that I don’t feel like chosing something particular and I can’t keep on playing my own Spotify playlists over and over again. I find almost no Spotify playlists of other users that I enjoy and the Spotify radio function sucks, so do the discover weekly and personalised playlists.

I’ve had some webradio station for many years. Some just disappear all the sudden, others keep playing the same music. A while ago I was looking for interesting radio stations. Perhaps the list can be of help to you too.

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WGT 2019

With late Easter we also had a late Whitsun and thus a late WGT this year. Having booked a year in advance we had our usual apartment arriving on Thursday. Even more warm-up parties this year and again something that I wanted to see, so this day of driving, picking up ribbons and getting to the concert made quite a busy day again. Next year we are going again a day earlier.

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R.I.P. Keith Flint

When someone famous dies, everybody suddenly is a fan and people start to dig up memories. Let me chime in for the colorful face of The Prodigy.

In 1992 the debut album “The Prodigy Experience” was released. My younger brother already knew the band. I guess “Charlie” or “Out Of Space” had been released as singles before the full-length album. He has this massive “The Prodigy Experience” poster which stuck on the wall of our shared room.

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