And now, some of that weird and wacky shit.

What’s a 30/30 challenge without an apocalyptic vision of mankind?

Is Jay-Z a member of the Illuminati? If that means he’s getting into the VIP while you wait your ass outside, then sure he is. Ah, but your boy Yeats was a real life actual member of a secret society: The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He maintained a lifelong interest in the occult, and he studied mystic texts from dozens of world religions right up until his death. Among the Golden Dawn members with whom Yeats feuded (to the point of fights and cliques and cold shoulders…sound familiar?): Aleister Crowley, whose ideas were later studied by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

So Jay-Z is Illuminati, and one of the greatest Irish poets of all time was a member of an occult society. And y’all thought Jay was original.

Here is one of the most famous poems of the 20th century. You might recognize the “gyre” as the wheel of humanity, a concept expanded upon by religions and cultures from the ancient Maya to Tibetan Buddhism. This is Yeats’ theory that humankind (as represented, presumably, by European civilization) was spinning toward apocalypse on a cycle precipitated by the appearance of Christ. By the time the poem was written, his home country of Ireland had experienced a civil war, and World War I had shown the planet the horrors of trench warfare. Shit, you’d be pretty pessimistic, too.

(And yes, if you’re wondering: Both the Roots album and the novel by Chinua Achebe get their name from the line: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”)

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
-William Butler Yeats