The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 10.2

February 2, 2007

“The unspoken goal in Iraq, "victory" if you will, can be
measured purely on the balance sheets of corporations
which are doing business inside Iraq.”
- The Burning Blade 10.1

"There are only two things we should fight for. One is the
defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.
War for any other reason is simply a racket."
- General Smedley D. Butler

Although the recent Iraq Study Group report appeared to be what the majority of Americans desire: an exit strategy that involves concessions, diplomacy, and a timetable for withdrawal; it must be noted that the objective suggested by the report is in no way different than that of the current strategy. All that the study group accomplished was to put forward an alternate approach to "victory" in Iraq and in the process revealed what was posited in The Burning Blade 10.1, that billions of dollars in profits for American and British corporations must be achieved in Iraq, even if it costs their respective governments trillions of dollars in the process. Our soldiers are truly making the world safe for Corporatocracy.

When breaking the ISG report down into its numerous recommendations a familiar recipe takes form. First, the U.S. needs to unify Iraq by creating a strong, centralized government and by outlawing, disarming, and eradicating, if necessary, any militias or opposition to that government. This is due to the fact that it's far more economical and convenient for the U.S. to deal with a single governing entity rather than several ones, and the more powerful and unopposed it is the better, since it must impose numerous neo-liberal economic reforms upon the country's economy. Secondly, the ISG recommended that the U.S. should state that it is not to be interested in controlling Iraq's oil, which is nice for PR purposes. However, it also recommended that the U.S. should instead control all foreign investment and direct all reconstruction funds going to Iraq well into the foreseeable future. This wide-sweeping power will allow the indirect control of Iraqi oil by U.S. and U.K. oil companies who will rebuild Iraq's dilapidated oil fields via partnerships in exchange for a large share of future profits. Given the large number of U.S. troops in Iraq and the need of many Iraqi government officials for protection against either the insurgency or some of the numerous militias, one might expect the U.S. and U.K. corporations to get some pretty sweet deals during the partnership negotiations. Indeed, recent reports suggest that the terms appear to be that Iraq will hand over up to 75% of the profits from its oil sales over the next 30 years to foreign companies. Not a bad deal indeed, unless you're an Iraqi.

Despite the Bush administration essentially ignoring the ISG report, the privatization of Iraqi oil fields is currently in progress since that part of the Iraqi strategy is what the ISG authors and the Bush administration both agree upon. It remains to be seen if the Iraqi government can hand over so much of Iraq's future wealth to an occupier and still cling to what remains of its legitimacy, but the question is being put to the prime minister very firmly regardless of how he feels about it. A reading of John Perkins book, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" is suggested as a way of understanding what is going on in Iraq as well as why it is not being widely reported in the media.

Another thing that the ISG report has brought to light is the current struggle for power in Washington D.C. It is not between the Democrats and Republicans as one might think, but between the Neo-liberals and the Neo-conservatives. These are not two rivals in the sense that liberals and conservatives are rivals, but rather these are two very similar ideologies with only a few minor, but significant differences in policy. Neo-liberals are believers in neo-liberal economic policies and also support the imposition of those policies upon foreign countries, and generally those rich with exploitable natural resources, using dictators and military force if necessary. The recent deaths of Milton Friedman (the father of neo-liberal economics), Augusto Pinochet (the Chilean dictator who imposed Neo-liberalism on his country), and Jeane Kirkpatrick (Reagan's foreign policy advisor and vocal advocate of Neo-liberalism) brought the policies of imposing Neo-liberalism by force into the light once again as critics and apologists once more argued over whether torture and murder were justified by economic progress in Chile during the 1970s.

Neo-conservatives, on the other hand, are not directly opposed to Neo-liberals. In fact, many Neo-conservatives are very much in favor of neo-liberal economics. But Neo-conservatives and Neo-liberals differ in that the Neo-liberals emphasize realism when conducting foreign policy while the Neo-conservatives are characterized more by head-in-the-clouds idealism. Neo-liberals see dictators and oppressive governments which violate human rights as acceptable as long as their countries implement neo-liberal economic policies. They believe that over time a dictatorship will make the transition from despotism to true capitalism easier than a country which has fallen to communism. Neo-conservatives, on the other hand, no longer see the intermediate step (dictatorship) as being necessary and even view it as being counterproductive. Instead, foreign nations should be transformed into democracies directly and as fast as possible, and leaving a country as a dictatorship is undesirable since oppression will often give birth to terrorist groups (Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia) or totalitarian regimes (Iran). Neo-conservatism appears to solve one of the problems with Neo-liberal policy, that of U.S. support for dictators and human rights abusers, but as Iraq is proving, the leap from hostile dictatorship to compliant democracy appears to be too great, which is lending more support to the Neo-liberal camp.

From the perspective of the Fireaxe theory, Neo-conservatism is an ideology which splintered from Neo-liberalism which itself grew out of traditional conservatism. Each ideological mutation occurred after a failure of the past ideology. Conservatism fell out of favor after Nixon due to the Vietnam war and government corruption, but was reborn as Neo-liberalism with Ronald Reagan, who embraced neo- liberal economics and ushered in the age of borrowing and spending trillions of dollars (which gave and is still giving Americans a false sense of prosperity). Neo-liberalism fell out of favor after the September eleventh terrorist attacks when it became apparent to many that making deals with dictators and extremists simply invited disaster. Neo- conservatism rose up to take the fight to the enemy and sought to convert their countries into subservient capitalist democracies. At this point, the Neo-conservatives' failure in Iraq doesn't appear to be leading to another ideological mutation, but rather a retreat back to Neo-liberalism with many Democrats supporting what used to be Republican policies of years past.

The most troubling aspect of the feud in Washington D.C. between Neo-liberals and Neo-conservatives is the fact that those who don't fall under those categories, such as liberals, moderates, conservatives, and the religious right for the most part, are simply left out of the equation. The majority of us here in the U.S. wants our country out of Iraq but our leaders have yet to make any sort of move in that direction. In fact, many of them want more engagement. Tell me something, it's still "We the People", right?

As America comes apart, "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess" comes together. A full twenty minutes of music has been converted from rough to final form with the rest to follow quickly in the coming months. Rest assured that quality is not being sacrificed for speed and also that excessive perfectionism is not causing undue delay. However, if a few newsletters go by without a release, you can expect another rough cut to find its way into your ears.

A big ‘Hello’ to anyone receiving the Burning Blade for the first time. This is the Fireaxe newsletter.

Problems with Fireaxe CDs - Free Replacement

It's been three years since the "Food for the Gods" and "Victory or Death" CDs were burned and although it was done at a professional shop I've been receiving e-mails that the some of the CDs have been deteriorating and no longer play. This is disappointing since one of my main reasons for having a professional shop burn the CDs was to avoid this kind of problem, but it appears that there are few good solutions when it comes to CDRs. No matter how you make them, sooner or later they deteriorate and you will no longer be able to rock hard to Fireaxe.

This doesn't mean that you are out of luck. I stand behind my music and I will replace any deteriorating CDs free of charge with freshly burned ones. Also, feel free to rip any Fireaxe CDs to your computer and burn as many backup copies as you like. Giving them to your friends and others is acceptable too. It isn't possible to steal Fireaxe music. The only violation that I care about is if you start selling my music for a profit.

Also, if you are having problems playing "Food for the Gods" or "Victory or Death", the problem may not be deterioration, but with the sticky labels, which have been known to bubble up when they get warm and throw the CD out of balance. This happens more frequently when playing the tracks near the end of the CD (which are at the outer edge). If this is happening, try squishing the bubbles flat by hand, which usually makes the CDs play more reliably. Also, some CD players handle unbalanced CDs better than others, so you may be able to rip and burn the CD using another PC to make a backup copy of a CD that your PC or CD player will no longer play.

In the future I plan to press Fireaxe CDs from a glass master regardless of the added cost. This will sidestep the problem with CDR deterioration as well as the problem with bubbling labels. I won't be passing much of the cost on to you, but I may have to charge a couple of bucks per CD more than I have in the past. Of course, another solution is for me to simply distribute Fireaxe music exclusively over the internet, both in MP3 and AIFF format. This would get around all of the problems associated with CDs, CDRs, labels, booklets, and jewel cases as well as eliminate the need to mail CDs all over the world. Still, I think that for now, printing real world CDs is the best option as I like to be able to hold my music in my hands, but that may change going forward.

The Fireaxe Theory: Some Questions and Answers:

Questions are often raised about the Fireaxe theory either during discussions I have with others or when I'm re-reading or writing essays for the newsletter. Since many of the questions do not require long answers I'll handle some of them here and in future editions of The Burning Blade. Feel free to send in your questions.

Regarding Ideological neutrality:

Q. How can you call people moral cowards if your stance is "ideologically neutral"?

A. In a number of editions of The Burning Blade I've referred to the leaders of my country and other influential people as "moral cowards" due to their failure to live up to their own moral code, or at least what I would perceive as being their moral code. I have to admit that it is difficult to label anyone as a hypocrite in this regard since most people will simply twist their moral code and actions into whatever shapes that are necessary to forge agreement between the two. However, when it comes to the conduct of the war in Iraq and the recent war in Lebanon it would seem that the case for moral cowardice is pretty clear cut. Torture and infanticide simply cannot be argued away. To take a pragmatic approach, that those actions, while regrettable, are being done for the greater good, does not change the fact that they are immoral, it only seeks to rationalize them.

The second part of the question is more interesting, and that is: can anyone proclaiming to be ideologically neutral go around calling others "moral cowards"? My answer to this is that morality is not necessarily dependent on ideology. To say that there are no morals without ideology is to make the same mistake as saying that there are no morals without a god. The general argument for this fallacious claim is that morals are absolutes regarding human behavior and that this implies that there must be a creator and arbiter of those absolutes. Thus there must be a god. This type of argument capitulates rapidly for the usual reasons associated with claiming that there exist absolutes, and that is that those who claim that there are absolutes are completely unable to demonstrate them. Believers in absolutes will usually resort to fallacies such as shifting the burden of proof ("prove that there are no absolutes") or by stating the most reprehensible thing they can think of and forcing you to either agree that it is "evil" or that you in some way condone the horrible act by saying that it is not. ("So, you don't believe that 9/11 was evil? So you think that it was okay then? So, it's alright to murder thousands of innocent people!")

In the absence of any proof of moral absolutes there is no other conclusion but that all moral codes are a product of moral relativism, and no, that's not and excluded middle fallacy, it's just a tautology. The key issue is deducing the purpose of morality, and for that the Fireaxe theory comes in handy. I think that it is clear that ideologies grew out of simpler, more ancient moral codes, such as the code of Hammurabi, and that the more complex that they became the more those codes required abstract concepts, such as gods, life after death, and faith, to hold them together. Also, in the days before the separation of church and state, the moral code was the law and vice-versa, and so the moral code essentially dictated how a society functioned. In this regard, the survival of a society was very much dependent on its moral code. If that code made people happy and more productive, the society would thrive, but if it did the opposite, the society would likely collapse. In this way, morality follows the rules of natural selection in that those who follow a successful moral code and thrive will pass it on to their children and those who follow failed codes do not tend to pass them on. Therefore, the purpose of morality is to ensure the survival of a morally behaving society.

This definition of morality is not dependent on an ideology or a god, instead it is grounded in objective reality. Extending this logic it is clear that having an "absolute", or rather, an unchanging moral code is potentially detrimental to a society since it will be unable to adjust to widespread changes in the world which alter the rules of survival. History bears this out as cultures with strict moral codes often have a very short lifespan, usually less that two generations before dying out or become much less strict, when compared to more flexible cultures. It is for this reason that successful and enduring religions are surprisingly flexible when it comes to morality despite claims that they are based on absolutes. While holy texts are said to be the unerring word of a god they must always be interpreted by humans, and humans differ greatly in their interpretation of scripture. Furthermore, the texts themselves are often full of obvious contradictions and can be seen as giving widely differing advice for similar situations depending on which part of the texts you read. The many books of the Bible show this clearly, and there is no more starker difference in morality than that between the Old and New Testaments. The god of the Old Testament is harsh, strict, and often brutal while the god of the New Testament is tolerant and forgiving. Is one supposed to love thine enemies or destroy them? It all depends on which part of the Bible you read. The Bible can support war and the Bible can support peace. By being both ambiguous and occasionally duplicitous, scripture can be flexible when it needs to be yet still claim to be morally absolute. Being open to interpretation in this manner is a survival advantage for an ideology.

One can have morals without subscribing to an ideology and thus one can call others moral cowards while still remaining ideologically neutral. Even an atheist, such as myself, can not only have morals, but hold them strongly, meaning that I tend to stick to mine in the face of changing cultural trends. To me, the September eleventh terrorist attacks did not change the world, they only brought home the threat that most people in the world live under to those who believed that they were comfortably secure from such a violent death. To me the attacks were a moral challenge which asked those in my country if we could remain faithful to our high ideals while ensuring that the attacks would never happen again. In my opinion, we, as a country, have failed, and failed pretty miserably. While there have been no follow-up attacks, in the United States at least, our high ideals have been trashed both at home and abroad, and watching the right of habeas corpus get discarded by the paranoid cowards who lead my country was as sick of a sight as I ever want to see. Now, I must say that I am not naïve. I know that there are dangers lurking in the world and that we need to be vigilant against them. But I do not forget that I live in danger every day due to the rights I insist upon and the freedoms that I enjoy. I know that giving people the right to buy both guns and liquor at the same time increases the chances that I, or someone that I know, will be injured or killed, but I will gladly accept the risks along with the rights to which all my fellow Americans are entitled. To me the far greater danger is the threat to my nation as a result of moral regression out of fear rather than that from any enemy. A lot of people have forgotten what true strength and courage really are.

Acting morally is not easy, and as any believer will tell you, devotion means nothing if it is never put to the test. It is from this position, of one who knows that he is putting his life more at risk by doing so yet thinking that the benefits outweigh the risks, that I insist that those leading my country do so morally, and when they fail, I reserve the right to call them moral cowards. Maybe if enough people do so the result will be positive and our leaders will be able to make the difficult choices.

Q. If you are conditioned by an ideology from birth can you truly be ideologically neutral?

A. In theory, yes. In practice, the ideal of true ideological neutrality is probably unattainable. Does this nullify everything that I've written about the Fireaxe theory? Of course not, it just means that I'm not infallible and that there may exist systemic problems that are caused by my ideological upbringing. By this I mean that although I strive to see issues from all angles and resolve inconsistencies in my arguments, the ideological conditioning which I've received could be creating blind spots in that vision even though I no longer embrace an ideology. One cannot simply "undo" one's conditioning, and discarding a belief in a god or ideal does not leave one a blank slate. The well conditioned parts of one's neural circuitry are mostly fixed in place and the best that one can do is try to observe one's self when thinking or acting along well conditioned lines. By being so aware, one can catch one's self in assumptions and strive to rethink things along alternate lines.

Self-examination is essential for any academic or, I would add, artistic pursuit. When you know yourself, it enables you to see your own tendencies and prejudices better, which is one reason why The Burning Blade contains some often revealing and intimate pieces regarding its author and his personal life, and not always in a positive light. Examining one's self can be therapeutic, and criticizing one's self can set one along the path to growth. All that is truly effective in psychotherapy involves enabling a client to see himself and see his own mistakes so that he can make adjustments. Being able to be your own analyst is both helpful and cost effective.

As an artist I need to grow in order to produce creative new works. As an amateur social-psychological theorist I need to examine and re-examine my theories to make sure that they are sound. In both cases, opening up my works to criticism from myself and others helps to make my subsequent works stronger. However, whether or not this makes either my art or my theories better or more correct is, regrettably, a matter of opinion. I say that because at my day job, there does exist such things as right and wrong. No, I don't work at a church. My day job involves both computer programming and hard science, and thus, right and wrong are not value judgments, they are objective evaluations that everyone can see. If I don't get the code which I write correct, it will fail to compile, or it will crash, or it will not give the correct answer when it runs. It doesn't matter how confident I feel about the code when I write it, or what methodology I use, or how many times I've debugged it, if it's right it works, if it's wrong it doesn't. Emotions mean nothing. I can be optimistic or pessimistic, I can be excited or depressed, I can threaten my computer or I can plead with it to make my code work, but nothing that I feel inside will affect the final product of what I've written. The computer, the math, and the physics objectively judge the validity of my work and tell me when it is right or wrong. I'd love to have the same sort of feedback for the Fireaxe theory, but it is far away from any objective testing in present form and exhaustive testing for many parts of it would probably border on the unethical anyway. As a result the Fireaxe theory can only be judged by the hopelessly subjective world of popular opinion, and given how harsh the theory is towards ideology and especially towards hope it does not test well with audiences. For this reason it generally appears to be wrong.

In my opinion I have not gotten anywhere near sufficient feedback on the Fireaxe theory to be confident in the many conjectures that I've made using it. I'm also not sufficiently well read to speak with authority on the numerous subjects that the Fireaxe theory touches and I doubt that I ever could be even if I did nothing but read for years. So for now I will try to flesh it out as best that I can and decide what direction to take with it in the future. So far it's given me some very useful insights as to how the world works, which has benefited me directly, but I can't say that it has let me penetrate as deep into the murkiness of our modern world, or as deep into the opacity of my own mind, as I would like or need.

Q. Isn't truth in the eye of the beholder? That is, don't we seek out and eventually find a worldview that suits our psychological conditioning?

A. First to explain that bit of mumbo-jumbo. It essentially suggests that the way in which we view the world reflects our natural tendencies and upbringing. In other words, optimistic people will tend to have a worldview where everything works out for the better, people raised in a strict environment will tend to have a world view based around laws and order, and so forth. In essence, objective truth is unattainable and how we see the world reveals more about us than it does about reality.

I can understand this perspective coming from someone who has never practiced hard science or experienced the humbling way in which the real world can lay waste to one's best theorizing. But there is objectivity in the world and the truth isn't simply a matter of opinion. However, in many cases the answer to a certain problem can simply not be known in advance and thus we are left with "worldviews" or rather, different perceptive strategies, for reducing large amounts of information into a manageable sum which can be analyzed and used towards predicting the future. In this sense it is correct that we will tend towards perceptive strategies that match with our inherent psychological conditioning. This is because our conditioning determines what our minds are good at doing and our perceptive framework will reflect our strengths and weaknesses. However, it is also true that the objective reality of the world can cause our perceptive strategies to change if reality refuses to match how we predict it will be. The trouble is that this is often not the case. It must be pointed out that our perceptive strategies will only lend themselves to change if they are both internally consistent and are reliably dependent upon facts.

Internal consistency may seem like a given, but the human mind is fully capable of holding two completely contradictory ideas and seeing no conflict between them. This tendency is common among people who were raised in a strict religious environment, such as Catholicism, and is referred to as "cognitive dissonance". For example, a person can believe that only bad things happen to them and nod his head knowingly every time something goes wrong in his life. The same person can also believe that whenever something good happens to him, that it was because his god is rewarding him for his faithfulness. Note that there is no back and forth consistency between these two conflicting beliefs, that is, if something bad happens to the person, he will never say that it was because his god was punishing him, and if something good happens to him, the person will never admit that good things do happen to him simply by accident. It must have been his god. This inconsistent perceptual strategy is completely resistant to change. No matter what happens, the outcome can be explained with one belief or the other with perfect agreement with the perceptual system. The absence of change also impedes the individual's growth, although it does reward the ideology when the person's faithfulness leads him to support it. Thus, when it comes to personal growth, it is important for one to find and remove any instances of cognitive dissonance in one's perceptual strategy and to keep an eye out for inconsistencies and hypocrisy in one's thinking. I suggest to all believers that discarding religion is a good start in this regard as religion is full of meaningless adages that explain nothing but which serve to soothe a doubting soul and make one more dependent upon irrational beliefs.

Reliable dependency on facts also seems like a given, but the human mind is very dependent upon strength of signal when conditioning is being laid down, and the strongest signals in the mind come from intense emotions rather than factual certainty. It is here that self discipline in one's thoughts is critical. One has to be mindful of one's own psychological tendencies to embrace things which are presented in a way that appeal to emotions rather than those which are presented with a rigorous review of the supporting facts. Being disciplined in this way prevents emotionally supported ideas from displacing factually supported ones in the mind. It also ensures that one's beliefs are based on the weight of the evidence and that facts are competing evenly with other facts. Now, many ideologies embrace self-discipline as a tool for its members that helps them to remain devout and faithful against the appeals of rival ideologies. It helps one's faith to be able to turn ones ruthless critical faculties upon ideas which contradict those currently held. However, there is also a second side to this discipline, one that most ideologies decline to teach, and that is that one's current perceptual strategy must be structured in a way so that it can only stand upon facts and cannot rest upon emotionally established beliefs. This discipline of self-criticism is important because most of us adopted our ideological thinking when we were at an age where we did not know enough about the world to tell facts from opinion with reasonable certainty. Thus, an ideology can impose itself upon a young mind through emotional arguments, and then teach that mind to be disciplined and resistant to the same types of emotional arguments that established it in the first place. Although this is inherently hypocritical, it is effective because it makes a mind nearly impenetrable. Such a mind can debunk emotionally based arguments through disciplined thinking and fact based arguments simply do not have the strength to overcome that mind's beliefs since they were established through strong emotional conditioning long before. Furthermore, people are not always aware of why and how they believe the things that they do. Often people only have a general perception of why they believe something, a perception that is associated with a strong feeling if the belief is well supported, or a weak feeling if it is not. It is here where beliefs established with facts and those established with emotions can become confused. If one feels that a belief is well established, they will sometimes assume that it is well supported by reliable facts, even if one does not remember them, and then argue to that effect whether they are right or not. Thus, one needs the discipline of being able to question how one believes the things that one does and to make changes to those beliefs when they are no longer adequately supported. One cannot simply rely on how one feels about a certain perception, one must be able to back it up with facts or concede that such a belief needs to be further investigated.

If one can force one's perceptual strategy to be both internally consistent and reliably dependent on facts, then the act of being exposed to the world and making predictions about it will slowly bring one's perceptual strategy more in line with reality rather than with one's own ideological conditioning. In simpler terms this is called gaining wisdom, but not everyone grows wiser as they get older. The key to getting wiser is to make sure that your brain is able to function efficiently as a perceptive tool which brings your body into equilibrium with the rest of the world and not as a tool which is being used to ensuring the survival of an ideology.

The Fireaxe theory - Outline

I. Basics - well established theories

  • 1. Emergent systems - that complex systems can arise from the interactions of simple things
  • 2. Natural selection - that organisms mutate, proliferate, and compete, with the "losers" becoming extinct
  • 3. Behavioral science - that neurological systems, at their core, function according to the rules of conditioning
  • 4. Entropy - that within a closed system, entropy always increases, which limits the amount of transformation that can occur

II. Extensions

  • 1. That consciousness is an emergent system: a complex system arising in the human mind from the interaction of simple neurons.
  • 2. That civilizations are emergent systems arising from the physical interactions of humans whether conscious or not.
  • 3. That ideologies are emergent systems arising from the psychological interactions of conscious humans
  • 4. That emergent systems follow the laws of natural selection in much the same way that organisms do
  • 5. That the universe is, by definition, a closed system

III. Contentions regarding consciousness

  • 1. That consciousness is a survival advantage
  • 2. That being a member of an ideology is a survival advantage
  • 3. That making its members conscious is a necessary part of an ideology's survival
  • 4. That consciousness is created by instilling within a person a permanent sense of inadequacy - in essence a state of constant fear
  • 5. That the deeper the sense of inadequacy, the stronger the person is motivated - generally to serve their ideology

IV. Contentions regarding ideological struggle

  • 1. That ideologies fight for survival using many methods including, but not limited to, war and enslavement
  • 2. That aggression is a survival advantage
  • 3. That aggressive ideologies make members of rival ideologies feel afraid and inadequate which in response become more aggressive, thus creating a vicious circle
  • 4. That aggressive ideologies must continue to grow or face internal strife as their aggressive members will feed on each other to satisfy their needs
  • 5. That internal struggle results in ideological mutation

V. Contentions regarding the future

  • 1. That internal strife is inevitable since the laws of entropy imply that continuous growth is not sustainable
  • 2. That the abstract bases for ideologies transcend mortality and thus suicidal aggression is not restrained by fear of death
  • 3. That ideological mutation will eventually result in the creation of a suicidal ideology which will attempt to save the human race by destroying it

How to order Fireaxe CDs

Ordering Fireaxe CD's is an informal process as I am selling them personally out of my apartment. Simply mail me a letter which contains the following:

  • 1. The names of the CDs that you want to buy.
  • 2. The address where you want the CDs sent.
  • 3. Cash, a check, or a money order for the total cost.

Here is a price list. The first number is the cost for U.S. based customers, the second is for outside the U.S. The prices include shipping and handling.

Food for the Gods: $12 / $14
Victory or Death: $5 / $7
Lovecraftian Nightmares: $5 / $7 (SOLD OUT)
A Dream of Death: $3 / $5 (booklet out of print)

Send everything to:

Brian Voth
1301 Medical Center Dr. #415
Chula Vista, CA, 91911 USA

If you review CDs on a website or in a magazine, any one of the single CDs (Not "Food for the Gods") is free of charge in exchange for the review. In this case all I need is a request by e-mail. Please send me the URL of your review site or copy of your magazine with the review in it when it is done. If you want to exchange CDs, tapes, or stuff of equivalent value, make these requests via e-mail and we'll arrange a trade.

The CDs come with a booklet filled with awesome art, a letter about the project, and some information about the CD which can also be found on the Fireaxe site.

Lastly, if you want to print and distribute Fireaxe CDs I can send you an additional CD which contains tiff files for all the booklets, tray cards, and labels for each project. The tiff disk is free so just say the word.

The Future

For the rest of this year and part of the next I will be recording the next Fireaxe CD entitled "Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess". I'd like to have it complete by the end of 2006. The new CD will dig deep into the dark crevices of our society and our minds, pull forth the myths that we cling to and hold dear, and expose them all for what they are. While “A Dream of Death” explored the madness of dreams, and “Food for the Gods” described the chaos wrought upon the earth by ideologies, “Eternal Devotion to the Dark Goddess” will depict the psychological enslavement of the individual in modern times. It will be the darkest Fireaxe work ever.

My goal is to deliver music to whoever wants to hear it in whatever way is necessary. Whatever the market demands, I will supply, but I do want to avoid the mass marketing channel. Exposure is fine, but in the modern business, the substance of the music must be altered to match the demands of the marketplace. This would totally defeat the purpose of why I write music in the first place. I write music because it is a way to express my emotions. What I both think and feel goes into the songs. That is the power, Fireaxe is the channel, and any diversion diminishes the emotive effect. Thus I try to avoid such diversions. That is how art should be.

Rights to duplicate Fireaxe materials

Currently Fireaxe is not for profit. I sell the CDs for $5 each which covers the production and mailing costs. For CDs sent out of the country, I'll have to charge $7 per disk to cover the additional mailing cost. If you write reviews or put samples on your website I'll give you a CD for free. Since I am not making any money with the current recordings, you are free to make duplicates of them to distribute as long as you obey the following guidelines:

  • 1. You can only sell the duplications for the price of the medium or less, plus any delivery cost. You are not allowed to make any profit with the music.
  • 2. You should tell me how many copies you gave out and who got them so I can keep track. Also, if they have an e-mail address I'd like that as well so I can add them to the mailing list.
  • 3. You are likewise free to adorn any webpages or duplications with the gifs and jpgs on my website as long as you include an obvious link back to my website. This includes putting Fireaxe song samples on your site as well.
  • 4. You are free to play any Fireaxe songs (in unaltered form) provided you are an unsigned band without a marketting tie-in. You are not allowed to record those songs onto anything that you will sell.
  • 5. You are food for the gods.
  • 6. You are required to crank the song "Hounds of Tindalos" as loud as you can as often as you can. It's your only defense against THEM. Be warned, they come through angles. Note that the CD is round. Are your speaker cabinets square?
  • 7. Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, Hastur the Unspeakable, and all other mythos creatures are purely the inventions of Lovecraft and other fiction authors. None of it is real, at least that's what I'm going to say in court if you try to sue me for destruction of your property, house, city, or soul as a result of listening to the "Lovecraftian Nightmares" CD too much.
  • 8. You are free to play "The Rack" in school or church or any other institution bent on crushing your will and turning you into a mindless zombie slave of the corporate dominated world. Try not to develop a bad attitude about it.
  • 9. You are not free to commit suicide while listening to any Fireaxe song. I'm sorry, I'll have to prosecute. On a serious note, if you are thinking about doing it, please e-mail or call me if you have no one else to talk to. When I was in my teens the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd used to really get to me. Just hearing songs like "Comfortably Numb", and "Hey You" would get me pretty depressed and mildly suicidal. I'm just trying to say that I've been there. If my music is having that effect on you, please get in touch. You aren't alone.

The gist of it is that you can do just about anything with the music as long as you don't profit from it and that I get some sort of credit for having written it. I'm open to any methods of distributing my music, such as compilation tapes or CDs, radio play, or recording label distribution. However, you will need my direct permission to do so or some kind of legal agreement.
Brian Voth - Creator of Fireaxe

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