Saturday, June 9, 2018

Bob Dobbs at a Church in Halifax, 4 July 2001

How the Web was Whupped

Is he a genius or a nut? Only Bob Dobbs knows for sure.

by Jane Kansas
[published 30 June 2001 in The Coast]

It’s is difficult to know how much of this to accept but believe me: You have never met anyone like Bob Dobbs in your life. I’ll bet big bucks.

I have my reasons:
a) I know I'm right.
b) Bob Dobbs would probably pay off any bad bets because he is wealthy. He has a black box bank account, a left over from his days as an intelligence agent.
c) He is a loon.
d) He is a genius.

Bob Dobbs says he was born in 1922, but allows that he looks 45. I say he looks 57. The man I meet in a Barrington Street café is thin, tallish, quick, jabbing the table for emphasis during wandering extended-mix answers to simple questions. He samples the knowledge of everything: economic theory, Middle East intrigue, Frank Zappa's xenochrony. He is near-sighted, wearing black metal-framed glasses, dressed in a white T-shirt shorts and runners. He is drinking a V-8 fruit cocktail after a failed energetic and extensive rooting through the cafe's cooler for tomato juice.

He is fresh from the library. A newspaper reproduction in the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal caught his eye. The Chronicle-Herald of August 17, 1971 reported on the extensive flood damage caused by Hurricane Beth, and Dobbs was intrigued: Did this have a connection with Richard Nixon allowing the American dollar to float, a move which had caused havoc for currencies, only two days before? At the library Dobbs was happy to see the accompanying flood photo showed two road signs on a pole-one for the number seven, and one for 322. That's because 322 is on every document relating to Yale University's Skull and Bones fraternity. The flood, therefore, was metaphoric.

Photo: Scott Munn
But let's move on.

He was born in Paris into a family of butlers. He met Gurdgieff when he was 14. Knew James Joyce, Marshall McLuhan, Salvadore Dali and Krishnamurti, among a great many. He introduced Prince Charles to Princess Diana. The movie The Martix was made about him.

But let's move on.

Bob Dobbs had a show on Toronto's radio station CKIN. He was an intelligence operative He's in Nova Scotia from his home of New York City because his wife, Carolyn Dean, is here for a conference relating to health. They were sent here to a listening post in the 1960s as a tesult of the alliance of oligarchic power and Bob decided in would be nice to visit again.

But let's move on.

The talk he'll give on July 4, "How Zappa, McLuhan and Joyce Whupped the Web," will have something to do with virtual reality, and the miniaturization of technology. He will speak in a brilliant stream of consciousness about economic theory, conspiracy, international power struggles and the beauty of numbers. Searching the Internet will not clear much up: There is another Bob Dobbs out there, this Bob Dobbs says that Bob Dobbs springs from a photo of his father someone got a hold of. The entire concept of hyperlinks seems created for looking into Bob Dobbs.

His lecture will be like a trip on a fast train. Scenes will flash by your window too fast for you to finish thinking about them before the next comes along. At any given point you will not know exactly where you are. Dobbs says he'll take questions. He'll leave you with more.

Bob Dobbs lectures on July 4, 7-9pm at The Church, North Street at Fuller Terrace. Free. 422-0281

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