Franz Anton Mesmer (May 23, 1734 – March 5, 1815) discovered 'magnétisme animal' (animal magnetism) which others often called 'mesmerism'. The evolution of Mesmer's ideas and practices led James Braid (1795-1860) to develop hypnosis in 1842.
I was sent to Fort Lauderdale in early November of 2005. The city was just barely recovering from Hurricane Wilma, and I was reminded how quickly the 'First World' glow comes off a place. My day were full, but I was left to my own devices in the evening - so naturally - head for the gay bars! Unfortunately, most of them were closed due to electrical blackout, but I did find one still open.
I entered Club Cathode Ray with few expectations. I'm well past forty, and nobody talks to anyone over forty unless they're a drug dealer. But I did expect a show - Florida's beefcake is some of the finest - and I wasn't disappointed. Perched on a bar stool nursing my beer, I marveled as one well-muscled body after another strutted by. The club is a video bar - dozens of screens all pumping out the same image, the same beat, the same song. For a while I resisted, but it feels good to go with the flow. Everyone moving to the same signal, the image becomes stronger than reality.
Between the video, the beer and the boys, my consciousness sank into another place - a receptive mood. First up was Faith Evans - Mesmerized. Gay bars are special places, with special dance mixes. We get the good shit. On MTV this video is lackluster, but the dance mix is something else - something else entirely. I saw it so clearly...
Faith had become a high priestess, calling the acolytes to worship. Her stage is a Greco-Roman temple, and the four muses do dance before her. Above her is the white light of Lucifer, flashing it's radiant neon sign. Behind her... what the hell IS that behind her? A golden idol? The temple prostitutes dance, and suddenly I'm in Babylon - 2005 BC.
Then the credits - the Freemasons Edit. My eyes bug out, and I furtively glance around the ersatz Temple of Marduk, wondering if anyone else had seen it. But no one had.
Video: Faith Evans - Mesmerized