Shane Bugbee has been an underground art and culture legend for over 30 years now – having been involved in such wide range of activities as book publishing (through Michael Hunt Publishing), fine art, apparel, managing (with one of Shane’s most noted clients being underground comic legend Mike Diana), events, soda pop salesman (with his brand Ely Elixir), filmmaker, and a whole lot more.
Recently Shane Bugbee was reborn – his long-term relationship ended and he moved from Portland, back to his hometown of Chicago. Changes in human connection and physical location that have had a spell-like effect on Shane driving him to create, connect with others, and share.
As a result of all of this activity Shane has been making art at a furious pace (much of it in the mediums of fabric and textiles), established a new podcast (The Speak of The Devil Podcast in collaboration with Nannerl), curated an upcoming counter cultural speaking event to be held from October 8th to 11th 2019 in Chicago (The Days of Rage Part Two), and published two books (The Joys of Satanism – a mixture of poetry and prose concerning Satan and Satanism; and The Tangible Formula for Love and Loss Despair and Joy and the Triumph & Failure of the Collective Will – a mixture of free form prose, poetry and art.)
A wide variety of projects from one of the hardest and most innovative people working in the scene – read all about them, and a whole lot more in our interview with Shane Bugbee, below…
Any major news, life events or projects you want to let our dear readers know about?
The major news as far as my life, which I consider my creative self, that is where I live, in creation and thought & that is the life that drives me and, in that life, the major news is that I have begun podcasting again, an art I have loved for close to 20 years & and while podcasting has become something different for the whole of society than it was when it first sprouted, podcasting is the same to me – a way to tell stories and add to them on the next podcast & it is an audiobook of sorts, where it grows and breaths and changes but the character of the podcast remains & much like a person, they grow but their character remains.
The new podcast I’m involved in reflects the WAS and brings forward the IS.
My partner in podcasting is young and in touch, she goes by Nannerl and is more than a podcast partner to me, she is also a friend and guide and I do not say guide lightly & when I take a person as a guide it is because of their wealth of knowledge and the size of their heart & and our deep connection & the feeling that you’ve known them for ever.
I have never taken a younger person as a guide, it is always the elders I take as guides & maybe this is different due to my older age or maybe Nannerl really is 500 years old as she claims.
Taking a guide usually has the obligation of returning the gift of wisdom, a mentorship so to speak, the elder guide and I think that is our relationship& we learn from one another – I think that comes through on our podcast.
The podcast is named SPEAK OF THE DEVIL POD. Our first season is up starting July 11th. We’ve started to record the second season & Nannerl does all the production and music and she does it brilliantly.
You are currently planning the Days of Rage Part 2 event to be held in Chicago from October 8th to 11th 2019.
* Please let us know the who (is involved), what (the event is), and why (you are holding it) of the event?
WHO: Bill Ayers is involved so that is fucking huge!!! Bill was the founder of the first DAYS OF RAGE.
We are still in the planning stages so who is involved is scant but honorable none the less & we have an original Black Panther whom I can not name yet due to contractual issues, we have Barrett Brown and the art collective indecline.
Presently we are inviting activist groups to join us in Chicago from Oct 8th to the 11th 2019.
Groups like extinction rebellion and femen, code pink, the pink triangle & groups that are on the front lines of activism.
WHAT: The event is a speakers series, I want to say it is non-violent but, speech can be violent, so can art & perhaps what I should say is its a non-breaking up shit, no bleeding event & though periods can happen, so maybe non-breaking property or bones event?
The idea is to bridge the generation gap between the older activists and the younger activists & I think the youth movements of today might be able to gather some wisdom from the elders and use that gained wisdom to progress their cause.
I sometimes feel that the same mistakes the older generations made can be repeated purely because the information isn’t out there, activism isn’t taught in schools and activist seem to be excluded from much of the history taught in schools.
For instance, I learned about Fred Hampton at a bar as a bartender in Chicago and recall arguing with these old men who were White Panthers about the fact that the police murdered Fred Hampton & I told them there was no way that happened & the next weekend I worked, these old men brought in person after person to present the case, even a photographer the black panthers let in to document the scene & by the end of their presentation I was in tears.
And I was enraged I was never told this history, it was a huge moment in my ignorant life & I had not only, not been taught this history, it seems most of what I was taught was so biased, you might consider it a lie.
That was the moment I decided to dedicate my life to growing as an underground artist.
And maybe DAYS OF RAGE PART TWO only serves to be more inspirational than educational and that’s cool too.
WHY: Certainly the politics of the day.
It is distressing to read the news.
I have an understanding that voting, while very important, isn’t the only thing we all must do & we must all be engaged in action, maybe as simple as planting a garden, or writing a poem & feeling is a decent start & maybe getting to know your neighbor? Helping the cause you might donate to, like asking them how you can help beyond the donation.
I think we all must act beyond the simple acts of voting and donating.
So, when I had a brush with the Bill Ayres it was inspiring, and Bill and his partner, Bernardine Dohrn’s history, dedication and sacrifice washed over me & I felt so inspired, inspired beyond writing and sculpting and I asked myself what could I do in a larger, less about me way.
I have also been equally inspired by the youthful movements of today and wondered if we couldn’t use the DAYS OF RAGE’S 50th anniversary as a soap box, for the ideas of today. The ideas that might move a progressive agenda forward & so why not Chicago, why not meet up and talk about how we might care together?
This is at the least an act of presenting history, ignored by those who write the history books.
Please do come to Chicago October 8th – 11th 2019 and make progress ring.
* Why did you decide to name the event after the infamous original Days of Rage series of actions carried out by the Weatherman aka Weather Underground Organization?
Well, I had the luck of attending a sale at Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn’s home & it was incredible. I wept afterwards.
I now own their copy of the Communist Manifesto and their hand written cookbook and a boot knife and items owned by two Americans I hold as a source of major inspiration.
Immediately I re-watched the documentary the Weather Underground (from 2002) and thought, we need another Days of Rage and, I’m just the person to spark that fuse.
When I looked into the history of THE DAYS OF RAGE I found out that this year will be the 50th anniversary of the original & so I knew it had to happen.
I reached out to Mr. Ayers and he agreed to participate & so it’s on!
* What outcomes are you hoping to achieve both in the short and long terms with the event?
Short term: For the events that transpire between Oct. 8th and Oct. 11th to happen without governmental interference or self debt.
And for it to be fun and educational.
Long term: For most who walk away to be inspired to make the world better for all of its inhabitants and to inspire change and growth in the realm of dignity, compassion, care and respect for all beings and the environment we exist within.
If you wanted to get some recently crash-landed aliens to buy a copy of your recently published book The Tangible Formula for Love and Loss Despair and Joy and the Triumph & Failure of the Collective Will what would your sales pitch be?
Uhhhh & I hope you are okay – use this book to heal your broken heart.
Take this book and feel from it?
I don’t know man that’s not a book I’m trying to sell.
It’s hardly a book, it’s more a work of art that looks like a book.
The selling of my art is a byproduct of capitalism and not something I feel right about. Art is to be shared & not sold or owned. I’d rather let the book lay and be taken in by those who want to take it in.
That being said – I would tell the recently crash-landed aliens that if they wished to probe me, to get to know me, this book will certainly show my heartbreak, the pain of loss and the attempt at understanding what love could be and the illusion of love most fall for, including myself.
You recently moved to the city of Chicago, Illinois and we wanted to ask you some questions about your new hometown…
* What s the current state of the Chicago art scene?
I m a Chicagoan, I was raised up in Chicago and its outlying suburbs so Chicago and the Chicagoan is who I am and what I’ve projected even when I lived in Portland, Oregon.
Chicago’s art scene is so different than when I had a few galleries here in Chicago some 25 years ago…
I remember bringing the art of screen printing concert posters to Chicago, and now, there are so many doing it, this year there was a print crawl! That was really neat to see and attend.
To sum it up Chicago has a vibrant and very large art scene, it is exciting but seems to be very commercial as in, it needs to sell or there isn’t a place for it.
I’m excited to get to know Chicago and its new and youthful art scene again!
* What are some of your favorite Chicago places / venues / sights?
Darkmatter Coffee’s Star Lounge was a welcoming place when I first arrived – I’m sure I was quite scary back then, as I was super sad and didn’t speak too much… and yet the Star Lounge welcomed me.
They have the best coffee too. I’m coffee spoiled purely because of the Star Lounge. Hard to believe a coffee venue in Chicago can top the PNW (Editor: Pacific North West of America) as far as coffee culture but they do.
I totally dig Pilsen Outpost, a gallery that you feel and, that is rare when it comes to galleries. The folks running it love what they do and it comes across in the vibe of everything they do.
The Intuitive Art Museum is rad! It’s cool to see a place for the brut, I feel as if I’m with my kind as far as the art there & I feel I understand the art well.
I enjoy walking my new neighbor hood, it’s very ethnic and that is something I’ve missed living in Portland.
I enjoy the summer in Chicago, the green of the city, the leafs.
When I first arrived it was winter and there were no leafs so I didn’t enjoy my walks as much as I do when the green of nature if shown – the PNW and its fine greenery are quite addictive.
I’m presently in a mourning / rebirth phase of my life so it’s hard for me to find pleasure in a place or certain locations. For me it s the squirrels that are abundant and wildlife that is different than what Portland offered, the squirrels and the doggies are where I sprout a smile.
* And what about the people?
The people here are my family, as I said earlier, I m a Chicagoan, when I tell folks its been about 15 years since I’ve lived in Chicago, they say welcome home and a lot of times I ask, how do you know I m from Chicago? They always tell me they can hear Chicago in my tone. Ha!
The people in Chicago are all Chicago, nothing like them elsewhere, if they wear a mask it is a mask of defense, like a tuff guy / gal projection vs. that of the pretense I’ve noticed in Portland and the PNW in general.
* What are the major differences you have found between living Chicago and your old hometown of Portland, Oregon?
Factory culture vs. Croissant culture.
Chicago is an actual city and by that I mean it is diverse.
Portland is an extension of the suburbs that surround it.
Chicago influences the suburbs and states that surround it.
It’s a world class city and one I took for granted. It is wonderful when you live in a diverse multicultural world. Multi-ethnic diversity makes for an exciting walk around the block.
Last walk I counted a dozen or more flags flying of differing states of location and mind. Thrilling.
I miss the progressive nature of Portland, the non-violent communication and the level of intelligence not afforded to a factory culture. The healthy culture, the fresh air. Portland is cool too.
I hope to find an intellectual click before winter or I might have to leave Chicago.
How and why did you first come to become interested in Satanism?
It was a progression, and something that seemed to be ever present in my life stream, at least once I started to become an adult at around the age of twelve.
At that age I started to notice and seek out knowledge that wasn’t in books and wasn’t what my family presented as a rule.
I’ve always been the black sheep of that family and was always a problem child asking the questions that received scorn or a smack, hindsight that tells me I might have been born into this Satanic life.
I think the reason I notice Satanism surrounding my life stream, not the philosophy of but the fashion of satanism, Hollywood satanism or, satanism as defined by a devil on a t-shirt, is that there is a low class attraction to power or, I should say, a misunderstanding of what power is, most lower class folks see power as a tool of defense, as a way out of being constantly victimized and Satan represents power well.
Too many, both rich and poor see power as something you can obtain or climb rather than only being something that is self obtained, realized and defined.
From a lower class perspective satanism is a tool of defense and I’d say even the higher class person, if they come from ANY form of abuse looks to the satanic imagery and philosophy as a way to ward off the bully, to project power and fend off abuse.
I like the Satanist who is non-violent in their heart but uses the imagery of Satan and Satanism to project the possibility of violence.
About 1980, when Ozzy Osbourne released the song Mr. Crowley my interest was instilled in the fear that song seemed to elicit in the older folks around me.
The first time someone spoke to me about what satanism was, was about four years later, I was in a county jail with them, handcuffed to them, in a patty wagon on the way to court. The person was a murderer and part of the serial killing team known as the Chicago rippers. He told me satanism was a way to take power from others in order to get what you desire. They blamed their murders on satanism.
When I was released from jail, I looked into Satanism and found theistic Satanism and I wasn’t too interested in any sort of religion, I had just been thrown out of a catholic school, the skeptic and questioning character I was, took over, and religion of any sort didn’t fit.
In my my early 20s Last Gasp books sent me a stack of Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible for my galleries’ book store and I sold them hand over fist, I eventually read the book and found it fit my angry self at the time.
I think when you go without for so long you become selfish and I interpreted LaVey’s work in a selfish way, in a separatist way, as in I was number one, I came first, I was separate from all else rather than we are all one, both universally and most certainly in an earth based all one coexistence.
Your recent book of Satanic poetry The Joys of Satanism contains many memorable images, themes and quotes, and we d like you to elaborate on a few of them in detail…
* Please elaborate on the notion that “All artists are occultists, but not all artists are artists.”?
(From the poem ‘All art is Satanic. Satanic is all art’ – page 32)
As simply as I can, all artists, even the low-end art school artists are on a quest for knowledge, knowledge that can’t be found in a book, making that quest a search for occult knowledge.
Artists must gain their knowledge, not thought words but by looking and observing the teacher, the master matters in art and, the master, through action, gives occult knowledge, so all artists are occultists because they seek secret knowledge, which again is a layer of occult workings.
As far as ‘all artists aren’t artists’ refers to my belief that you might have the talent to paint a bowl of fruit but that is far removed from being an artist, though most non artists might title you an artist, because of your talent and, you yourself might like the title of artist and even boldly use that title; an artist is someone who doesn’t let talent stand in their way.
They are triggered by a deep inner search for truth, empirical truths, truths that tear them apart, destroy them, break them down to nothing and at the same time truths that cause growth, rebirth& a stronger, taller, quicker, faster self – always with depth.
The master artist can convey a look of worldly lessons with a single glance, they are magic and can wield magic at will. Most master artists understand how powerful magic through art is and, make effort to use their powers for betterment of all life.
No matter the self-promoting and self talk, art is life and art is what is being promoted thought the promotion of a master artists name.
I think most great artists allow themselves, in name and reputation, to be tacked to a cross just to propagate their art when in actuality they are willfully propagating THE ART.
* If “the constant quest for success, is slavery”, what is freedom? And what is true success?
(From the poem ‘Satanic Success’ – page 66)
Well, I think the entire work speaks for itself but I ll give it a go and try and simplify it.
Success is self defined.
The pursuit of success is perverse.
Success is luck.
Accomplishment through struggle can feel like success.
So success is after the struggle of achieving accomplishment feeling. The struggle to learn a dance move and than dancing without error, that feeling after accomplishment is the feeling of success, much like might is a feeling after survival, might is often confused with strength. Strength is something you can obtain, might is a feeling based largely in luck.
Success is the same, it is a feeling and it is based largely in luck.
Accomplishment is something you can obtain. Success is something you feel.
You also ask what is freedom, well, I can’t see freedom as anything other than being able to be the person you want to be and that is a struggle.
* Why to you, is Buddhism similar to Satanism?
(As discussed in the poem ‘Similar to Buddhism. Tastes Like Chicken’ – page 79.)
I’m not sure you can take that piece as a statement of fact. It is more of an observation.
It’s an observation that many Satanists I’ve known gravitate towards Buddhism.
The little I know regarding Buddhism seems to be embedded within modern counseling and mental health therapy and, as far as Satanism goes, I’d say the be here now concept, live for the now, live in the moment concept are items from Buddhism that Satanists cling to.
Hell, I don t see much in modern religion or mental health care that isn’t taken from middle eastern practices and retold with a European spin put to it.
* Care to elaborate on the idea that “revenge, anger, violence are, power attempted, frustrated and, exhausted”?
(From the poem ‘Power’ – page 87.)
It is frustrating to try and elaborate on a concept without trying to make it a rule.
These are words for the reader to elaborate on, for the reader to contemplate. They are meant to trigger their thoughts on the subject, for them to answer.
The answer is held with in the entire context of the book and, in the book, I speak often of the illusion or, I should say, the idea that – power is obtainable vs. power is only self realized.
If your think you can suck the power from an elephants tusk, you will become bitter and jaded and frustrated with life. I find satisfaction in a true attempt at finding the ebb and flow of power within yourself.
Satanism today, like every over religion before it, can readily be split into many similar, yet inherently different philosophies and beliefs. What are your thoughts on a few of them?
Well first let me state that I think religion is where philosophy (thought) goes to die.
And I find the idea of satanism alive and well and a concept to ponder and ponder again. It is a tool to use to make others fear you and a tool to make the whole of society consider the ridiculous nature of religion.
Satanism at its best is an artistic movement, mocking society at large.
* Satanism as propagated by Anton Szandor LaVey (1930 – 1997) aka LaVeyan Stanism.
LaVey created modern satanism, that was and is exciting and others propagate it through that excitement.
I’ve stated my thoughts about satanism above. Most of that is based in LaVey’s concept with my individual study and interpretation tacked on.
* The Satanic Temple founded by Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry in 2013 or so?
My comments on this attempt at a political lobbyist group are housed within the podcast series SPEAK OF THE DEVIL POD season 1, that is being released as I type. It is in-depth and of consequence.
The most I’d say here is they are not anything more than a lobbyist group looking to gather the depressed, goth, cutter vote.
* Early occult pre-Satanism as can be seen to have existed in the Thelema religion founded by English occultist Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947)?
Thelema seems to be the dominant philosophy as far as mysticism goes. If my book goes anywhere or is rooted anywhere it would be a higher percentage of Thelema vs. LaVeyan Satanism.
I appreciate the self, but I find focus on the self first can create ill health.
It is the appreciation of the ALL that should bring the individual to realize where they fit within the ALL. Once you find your place the self can be realized.
In my own life, once I found creativity was my place, art is my place, my self became clear & the bitterness I held became less and less It’s almost like fading into the landscape of the all rather than the effort at standing out but that’s not to say you can not stand out.
The effort at intentional attention makes one food or a target for others to use as they will.
The thorn doesn’t make effort to stand out, it blends in with the rose but you certainly feel the power of the thorn when you run across it individually.
Consider the thorn and the rose as a sample of the all, working together yet very opposite in ascetic and feel, one attracts and one repels and yet their oneness is their survival.
The rose stretches and stands out and is eaten by the deer & the thorns remain.
* The Temple of Set founded by ex-LaVeyan Satanist Michael Aquino in 1975?
A group founded in the shadow of LaVey and almost solely because LaVey rejected them and their theories.
Its funny how the exclusive nature of the Church of Satan has created so many satanic off shoots. Tells you something about those groups and something about why so many gravitate towards joining a group Satanic or not.
* The seemingly pro-violence and pro-chaos Satanism as followed by groups such as the Order of Nine Angles and one-time-members such as David Myatt?
Another political lobbyist group, much like The Satanic Temple, looking to use the imagery of Satanism to move their politics forward.
As I’ve stated earlier, Satanism is a philosophy that attracts those seeking power, usually power for defensive measure. Those attracted to Satanic imagery are usually insecure kids who have suffered a life of abuse and marginalization and are still growing, making an effort at survival.
Satanic imagery, for these kind of political groups, is the bait to attract the weak minded and easily swayed person. It’s certainly not for the self-help and betterment of the human being like LaVey or Crowley attempted.
The motivation behind these politically minded groups is always an attempt at climbing power.
The political aspects of these kind of groups is anti-satanic.
There is no we in Satanism, their isn’t even a w. hehehe.
Satanism is an I thing.
Politics is a we thing.
While I m a very political person, that is far removed from my appreciation of Satanism, a self-help, value the all kind of concept.
And while the very act of wearing a baphomet on your tee-shirt is a political act, it s the same kind of political act that voting is, a personal and individual political act.
Any collaborations on the horizon?
A witch-house record with nannerl!!
The REAL Anarchist cook book and revolutionary recipes from the home of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn!!
Unreal but really fucking real – I found their handwritten cookbook and bought it in a sale& later I tweeted at Mr. Ayers and asked if I could make a book out of it, he said YES – next I replied thank you and asked Microcosm Publishing if they d publish it, they also said yes!!!
So expect the Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn cookbook this November from Microcosm Publishing!!!
Any major projects you want to hype?
I think we covered it… the project that is blossoming right now is the SPEAK OF THE DEVIL PODCAST. A lot of work has gone into that and I am very proud of it.
- Shane Bugbee – Site
- Shane Bugbee – Instagram
- Shane Bugbee – twitter
- Shane Bugbee – Online Store
- Creative Class Trumps Ruling Class – Site
- Days of Rage Part 2 – Site
- Speak of the Devil Podcast – Site
N.B: The header art of Shane was done by Tim Smith.