These Are The “End of Days” MJK’s column from Phoenixnewtimes

Maynard James Keenan: These Are The “End of Days”
By Maynard James Keenan
Published Mon., Sep. 10 2012 at 4:00 AM

I suppose a quick introduction is in order. My name is Maynard James Keenan and I am currently a Verde Valley winemaker in beautiful Northern Arizona in my Small Domestic Farm Winery known as Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards. I’m also co-owner and founder of Arizona Stronghold Vineyards. My current and former life also includes the international recording acts and multimedia projects known as Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, and Tool.
For some reason I’ve been asked if I would take up space in the New Times with my Zippy the Pinhead-esque blitherings and meanderings. Not sure why they would ask me of all people, but my wife said I should do it. So as a good spouse does, I said yes dear, in that cadence, and without punctuation or quotations. So we begin.

The inherent problem with being a Chicken Little-type person is that if or when the sky ever falls, I’ll be too flattened to snip “See? I told ya so!” And although I live near Sedona, I possess no crystal ball, and any Tarot cards I may have owned have certainly all been shredded in the spokes of my long retired banana seat Huffy.

And yet, these last few years, I’m seeing some truth to all these Earth Changes stories my hippie neighbors keep interpretive dancing about. It’s only the first week of September and we’ve already harvested 80-85 percent of the 2012 vintage. That’s 111 tons of a possible 130-140 tons. Historically, my first red to be picked was the Merkin West, Judith’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon. Usually between the 8th and 12th of September, but last week I barreled down this finished wine. Done. Picked, processed, fermented, pressed, settled, barreled. That’s pushing roughly 3.5 weeks ahead of schedule. Truth be told, we have several sites that appear to be only slightly ahead of schedule and much more aligned with previous vintages. But they’re still a tiny bit ahead of schedule overall. So screaming, “I told you so!” might be a bit premature without a bit more due diligence.

My copy of the Mayan Calendar appears to have expired, so it is currently of no use to me. I got on the Bunker bat phone to Tim White at Arizona Stronghold and Todd Bostock at Dos Cabezas Wineworks to see if they were witnessing a similar trend. Turns out they are. Todd is 84 tons in. Tim is 200 tons in. Confirmed. All ahead of schedule. All of that painstaking groundwork resulted in a significant drop in my overall energy level and pleasant demeanor. I did the only logical thing a high performance mental athlete such as myself would do. I reached in the freezer for a Buster Bar. None. Surely this is yet another sign.

There’s an old saying I like to mumble under my breathe during psyche evaluations. “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I’m not being followed.” Conclusion: Based on my clearly tireless and thorough research stretched over tens of minutes, I have come to the following daunting conclusion and well thought out suggestion. These are in fact the “End Of Days” and people need to know about it As Soon As Possible! Obviously the only rational thing to do is to clear out all of your bank accounts and send me a cashier’s check for the full amount. These funds will assist in further delivering this message to the rest of the world. There isn’t enough time to sell all of your possessions. So along with that cashiers check, I’m gonna need to you to go ahead and send along a detailed list of all your assets, toys, deeds, to any real estate, patents pending, etc. Please include high resolution photos. I can’t be bothered to Google image each and every one of them. Not enough time.

Chicken Little out.

Follow Maynard James Keenan on Twitter: @caduceuscellars, @mjkeenan, @puscifer. Read his column every second and fourth Monday of the month on Up on the Sun.

Being Wrong Sucks By Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan: Being Wrong Sucks
By Maynard James Keenan
Published Wed., Jan. 2 2013 at 3:00 AM

Editor’s Note: With a tip of the cap to the man, we bid Maynard James Keenan adieu. This is MJK’s final column for Up on the Sun, as he’s devoting 2013 to more music and more wine. You won’t have to wait too long to hear some of the fruits of his labor: On Tuesday, February 19, Puscifer will release Donkey Punch The Night, featuring two new songs, Queen and Accept Covers, and exclusive remixes. I spent some time on the horn with MJK about the record, so stand by for that feature in our January 10th issue.
Check out Maynard’s New Times archive, and follow him on Twitter, @Puscifer. Adios, Maynard!

This is dangerous. I’m pre-writing this column so I can submit it pre-holiday for publication in January. This is assuming January will arrive. So far so good. There’s nothing obviously hurtling towards us from space, such as a comet, meteor, or very large impenetrable minimalist sculpture.

Not that we’re aware of, anyway. No unusual spike in geological activity. No increased sun spot shenanigans. Snooky’s spawn has no anti-Christ markings or disturbingly evil powers. Yet. Maybe we’ll be OK. Maybe you’ll actually read this and we’ll all giggle with some modicum of humility over our collective paranoia. On some unconscious level I’ll be more than a little disappointed if nothing semi-tragic happens. All that buildup and no money shot. Bummer.

20th Century Fox
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Think of all that wasted end-of-the-world disaster footage: Tommy Lee Jones ass whooping some Beverly Hills lava (Volcano); John Cusack fleeing from the whatnots in a bunker submarine ship thing (2012); Charlton Heston battling plastic surgery disasters (Beneath the Planet of the Apes); Liv Tyler actually dating Ben Affleck. As if. (Armageddon). Bill Murray apologizing for breaking the seventh seal of the apocalypse by agreeing to do Garfield and then DYING (Zombieland); Jake Gyllenhaal surviving Brokeback Mountain (Day After Tomorrow). The list goes on.
I had a thought. What if our understanding of the airwaves borders on knuckle-dragger? I mean, what if our flippant transmission of invisible signals isn’t bound by our understanding of time? What if satellite transmissions go up into space and slip through black holes and fissures of the space-time continuum? We’ve only been broadcasting these various forms of sounds and images for less than a century. We’ve had no real time under our belt to measure the damage or far-reaching effect of these actions. What if these images reach back in time?

Universal Pictures
Somewhere in Time (1980)
Let’s say that by some divine intervention or even random chance, a handful of individuals from way back when received some crude dental work. Bear with me. Let’s say that this crude dental work chanced upon a perfect combo of precious metals that actually received signals such as those transmitted. And now add the ability of said individual to “see” these transmissions and write them down as if they have been divined unto them.
The concentration of Doomsday films in the latter half of the 20th century would surely scare the shit of these poor saps. So of course they wrote it all down and of course they would be persecuted for being a few shovels short of a load. Yes? Maybe Nostradamus, the Maya, Bill Miller and the Millerite Band, John of Patmos, etc., were accidentally turned into makeshift ham radios by a clumsy quack of a dentist and were all victims of the interdimensional hypothesis.

It reminds me of that Superman film, Somewhere in Time. (I wasn’t crying at the end. I had something in my eye.) Familiarize yourself with the film before proceeding. Q: Where did the watch originate? It’s like the chicken and the egg head-scratcher. A: It has no origin. It’s cyclical. It’s a self-contained paradox. “We” wrote these scripts and screenplays in response to the above-mentioned dental disasters. They wrote their ticket to the funny farm in response to our time-traveling blockbuster disaster images. Pop on over to Colorado and indulge in the locally legal tender and ponder that shizzle for a mo’. You may find yourself in temporary total agreement.

I realize all of this is a stretch, but I’m scrambling here. The world didn’t end. I was wrong. How embarrassing. Not even a globally recognized elevation in irritable bowel syndrome or naked-first-day-of-school nightmares. Being wrong sucks. All of this hoarded food, ammo, and duct tape was for naught. (Had the end of the world occurred, you would be thanking me for the duct tape tip.)

In light of this extreme level of embarrassment, this will be my last column. Of course I’ll continue ranting over at and, but not here. I’m too so ashamed.

Chicken Little Present but Over and Out.