A Pan-Neoist Manifesto
by Mark Bloch
If you have not heard of Monty Pansin, you have probably heard of one of the following: Monty Cantsin, Monty Hall, Monte Video, Istvan Cantor, The Royal Canadian Monties. Roger Maris Kundzins or DJ at MONT.
All of these curious names are mixed up in the Monty Pansin affair It is the task of this Issue of C NILE to decipher these strange goings-on in an attempt to find out WHO is Monty Pansin and WHAT is Neoism.
My own involvement with the Pansin-Neoist concept began when I was just a small boy growing up at the Pan-M'bwebwe institute of Technology in Akron, Ohio. USA I spent my youth surrounded by scientists and inventors, with no one my own age to play with. One of the professors there tried to ease the pain by thinking up an affectionate nickname for me: Martial Panterel. I don't know why he picked this strange moniker, and I'm afraid it will remain a mystery forever, as the good doctor, Leonard McCoy, disappeared in a bizarre accident with a time machine in October 1967.
Life continued pretty much normally for me until some 20 years later. It was then that I learned of Marcel Duchamp's fascination with a certain French writer named Raymond Roussel. At first I confused Roussel with Henri Rousseau and then Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Things became slightly clearer when I found one of RousselŐs books in an anti-aquarian book shop one day. But it was only one piece in a big puzzle.
This was just the beginning of a series of coincidences that continue to boggle my mind even today, and is the reason behind this issue of C NILE. It seems that LOCUS SOLUS, the name of Roussel's book, inspired a play called BLOCUS SOLUS. I am often called Marcus Blocus by friends. Furthermore, when I thumbed through the pages of LOCUS SOLUS, I noticed that the main character was named Martial Canterel, unbelievably similar to my other childhood nickname. It was all a little uncanny.
Only a week later, I met the world-reknowned art critic and cello virtuoso David Zack at Jerry Dreva's LA Mail Art Show in Los Angeles. Zack mentioned a strange concept: The Open Pop Star. When I pressured him to tell me more, he explained that he was sworn to secrecy by the 14 Secret Masters of The Universe He said that he could only reveal one fact: the name of the Open Pop Star was Monty Pansin.
A few weeks later, when I tried 'o contact Zack for more information, I learned that he had moved to Tepoztlan, Mexico. My attempts to locate him there were to no avail. But in my travels, I did hear of another controversy involving pseudonyms: The Mystery of B.Traven. Traven was an author with enigmatic roots. He was suspected of being Jack London, Ambrose Bierce. Jimmy Hoffa, the son of Kaiser Wilhelm and at one time even me pre-dada poet-boxer Arthur Craven. Craven was also known as Fabian Lloyd and was married to poetess Mina Loy, who is often confused with the actress Myrna Loy.
Anyway, Traven appeared in Mexico at the precise moment that Zack disappeared from LA. Could David Zack be Traven? (All this was complicated by the fact that my rock and roll band at the time was called The Beat Ravens.)
I needed to trace B. Traven back and forth through his cryptic evolution. He had been a Hollywood script consultant on the film TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE named Hal Troves. This could have been the Zack connection I was looking for. But moving backwards, I learned that Traven had previously called Traven Torsvan and before that, a German anarchist by the name of Ret Marut. (Could this also be the tamed Dadaist R. Mutt?) Finally I learned that Traven/MarutŐs given name was Otto Fiege and that he originally came from a small village in Hungary. Since Monty Pansin is rumored to have originated in Hungary, I began to feel very close to a solution.
It was about that time that I learned that Monty Pansin was the figurehead of a strange new religion called Neoism. It seems that Neoists confuse the public by drinking human blood, and wearing cats, fish, and mushrooms on their heads. These so-called Neoists had certainly managed to confuse me. On the one hand there were parallels to my own life: Martial Panterel. Blocus Solus, The Oh Pan Pop Satyr, and now this Neoism. My own religion is known throughout the free world as One-ism. The similarity was just too much. On the other hand, there was this blood-drinking and fish-habidashery nonsense.
I decided that in spite of the myriad instances of synchroniclty, I was NOT the fulfillment of the Monty Pansin Prophesy, as told by the 14 Secret Masters. Just who this God of Neoism is or was remains a mystery, even to this day. I have compiled some documents on this matter that are enclosed herein. You will find rare archival material from Zack, Sno White Jung, Arthur Berkhoff, Stewart Home, David Cole, Al Ackermancy, Peter Below and others too humorous to mention. I hope these documents and this concise essay will shed some light on just WHO this Monty Pansin is, as well as answer the question WHAT THE FUCK IS NEOISM?
This essay originally was published circa 1985 in C NILE: The Journal of Pan-Neoist Psychology. It was called "What is Neoism?" and began, "In this gala issue we explore the mysterious case of Monty Pansin."