In this episode, I play a song by Five Eight; I update progress on my weight loss; I give my final word on the “end of days” debate with Steve Webb; I talk about WREK, the Beatbox, Jerald Dotson and being one of the few white kids at early rap shows; I let the cat out of the bag prematurely for a project I haven’t even started yet.
Tomorrow morning Westboro Baptist will bring their silly hate carnival show to my little town. It’s been disappointing to me how effectively they can play the local media, which has been running news stories about them pretty regularly. They also are playing the people who counter-protest. Their goal is to get people to take them seriously, and the minute you try to refute them, you lose. To argue with them as if their position was one worthy of argument is to play into their hands. To paraphrase Dr. Pauli, “They aren’t right. They aren’t even wrong.” They just are plain acting out for attention, like the troubled kindergartener that pisses his pants to get attention.
It occurs to me that their primary influence is not any other protest groups but Andy Kaufman. I ain’t linking to it, but it’s not hard to find their page with the picket schedule. The entries all contain screeds full of weird typos and the assertion that “God hates you” if you are in one of the groups they hate. As you know, Hate Jesus told his followers “Hate your neighbor as you hate yourself.” Well played Westboro Baptist.
I have years of experience with an attention craving joke religion, namely The Church of the Subgenius. This suggests to me how you might try to counter them. Debating them is the wrong move, you have to fight them on the street theater level. I’d suggest making your own signs and joining their picket line. Some ideas:
God Hates Tolerance/God Loves Stupidity and Outrage
Gramer and Speling Are Tools Of Teh Devil
You Fags Can Suck It (smaller letters) Tonight at the Travelodge, Room 117
Repent And Spend Eternity with Assholes Like Us
Over at Laughing Squid, here is an example of a dada absurdist counter-protest. In this case, by making the signs funny the newspeople passed by WBC and took photos of the counter-protest. Attention is their oxygen supply, so cut that off and they lose their breath. I like the idea of trying to infiltrate but that might not be physically possible. There are only a few of them in the road troupe so surely they all know each other. I think swamping them is a fine tactic.
I’m planning on swinging by their protest tomorrow. It’s close to my house, and I’m going to try to get some footage of them. I will possibly use it in the documentary or maybe just to try to make fun of them.
Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for July 26, 2009. I play a song by Wolf Parade; I play a sponsorship announcement from Bob’s Institute of Time Control; I talk about vacationing in the North Carolina mountains and trying to refocus on what is important; about enthusiasm for and history of new media as it waxes and wanes; I talk about conventions I have and will attend; once again I take a dump on podcasting awards and then play some angry lo-fi punk from Pissed Jeans to seal the deal. Take that!
I attended my first gay wedding in 1993 and it was a beautiful event. That couple is still together and is as strong a union as any married couple I know. When I was a child, I remember one of the main reasons provided for homosexuality being wrong was the high promiscuity associated with it. Never mind this was the mid 70’s and promiscuity was pretty high for everyone. The rationale being used was the homosexuals sought many partners and thus were not fit for polite society.
Flash forward 35 years and now that many homosexuals want nothing more than to settle down with each other and get equal protections under the law for their marriage, that makes them bad. Any time the underlying evidence becomes opposite but the conclusion remains the same then you’ve got a rigged game. I personally don’t understand how there can be any constitutional grounding to the banning of same sex marriage. The objections come from religious arguments, not civil ones, so any form of law against banning gay marriage is supporting one religion over another. My religion has no problem with same sex marriage, and in fact encourages it. “Bob” doesn’t care who you marry, he just want you to increase your slack. Oh, and he wants your money! If my religion is cool with it, then making this a legal issue is elevating your religion above mine in the eyes of the law, violating the constitution. Suck on that, the Church of the Subgenius is a useful legal strategy!
I agree with the below video that I found via my friend Nicola. This is an issue that when you are lying in the hospice living out your final days (I hope many many decades from now) if you were on the wrong side of it you will not feel good about yourself. Do yourself a favor and get good on this now to keep your conscience clean. Fiery preachers condemned the intermingling of whites and nigras 50 years ago. Time to realize where you stand in the flow of history, neighbors.
This evening we had a visit from a couple of “elders” from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints. Any religion that sets loose 19 year old kids on the public and calls them “elders” is one I find a little hard to take seriously from the git go.
These young gentlemen asked me if I believed in Jesus, and I told them no. They then asked if I had any particular beliefs and I said yes. I told them ‘I believe in J. R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the Subgenius.’ The guy in front remained stoic, but the guy in back cracked a big smile at that. They asked me if I’d like to learn more about Jesus and I said “No thanks, I think Bob has got me covered.” And that was that.
I have before threatened to move my copies of The Book of the SubGenius, Revelation X, and The Subgenius Psychlopaedia of Slack: The Bobliographoninto the front room just so they are handy when missionaries come calling. That way, I can try to counter-missionary-ize them. I do believe this is the first visit we’ve had from Mormon missionary teenagers. Usually the people we get are elderly black Jehovah’s Witnesses. All of them could benefit from learning the word of “Bob!” It’s easy to remember our credos as there is only one commandment: “Let he who is without humor mount up upon himself.” At least, that’s the King Ivan translation. The modern English version is edgier.
Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for Septemer 14, 2008. I play a song from Abney Park; I talk about my Dragon*Con experience; I play a song from Doctor Horrible and then boogie my nerd self into the con suite. This is a long show, so be forewarned citizens of the podosphere.
Driving home from work, listening to a Reverend Bleepo Abernathy rant on the Hour of Slack, a quote occurred to me:
One man’s doomsday is another man’s payday.
It seems like about 2/3 of the current news here in the USA could be something that quote applies to, be it economic meltdown and bank takeovers or bailouts, the war in Iraq as a profit center for KBR, you name it. Use it at will, I know I will be.
For those of you interested in such things, my personal clergyman Rev. Ivan Stang will again be teaching his online course on the history of the Church of Subgenius. This allows the students to download huge amounts of Subgenius media, audio and video and text. Even better, you are given the opportunity to create your own cult for fun and profit. What’s the Church of the Subgenius without a little schism action? At $135 course isn’t so much more expensive than a continuing education course at a college. I think I paid a similar amount for my Spanish course in Evanston IL, and unlike Spanish the Church is something that no matter how hard you work will never be decipherable.
I’m thinking about taking the course. If I create my cult, it will be quite something I’m sure.
Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for March 7, 2008. Lightening up from the previous episode, this one is all Subgenius. I play a song by K. McCarty, I do a little bit of Subgenius preaching for the first time ever, and then I play my interview with High Church Muckitymuck Doctor Philo Drummond of the Puzzling Evidence program. Philo’s interview starts slow but really cranks up to overdrive when it gets going.
It looks like the custody case for the oppressed Subgenius young mother Reverend Magdalen has finally been resolved in her favor. That’s the good news, and very good news it is. The bad news is that this has racked up $140,000 in legal bills in the process. I’ve given in several rounds of the fundraisers, and I can only ask those of you who enjoy the antics of the Subgeniuses or who believe that America should have a commitment to freedom of speech to give. Click the little banner below. Bob gives slack to those who give to Magdalen, and you my friend need slack. The world ends tomorrow and you may die so you need the slack more than the money, bub!
This course is really Volume Two of The Subgenius Psychlopaedia of Slack: The Bobliographon, a new SubGenius book from Thunder’s Mouth Press which will be in stores by November. This material — basically a behind-the scenes history of The Church of the SubGenius and an investigation into the nature of belief — requires way too much multimedia to work as just a book. But it’s perfect for an 8-week online course.
At the end of the course, students will have designed and developed their own religious cult to the point of marketability.
I have no problem with plunking down $95 for such a thing but I really don’t have any extra time to devote to it. It sounds like fun, especially since you get access to exclusive Subgenius multimedia. Fun stuff.
Workety work, work, eat, workety work, work, sleep, work. The only thing breaking the routine is that right now I’m working while listing to last week’s Hour of Slack, which was a rerun from 1987 of Rev. Ivan Stang interviewing Robert Anton Wilson about Subgeniusism, the Illuminati, the 24 conspiracies that rule the world and all the weirdness you would expect. Ahhhhhhhh.
I play a song by Mutandina; I let slip a hidden secret about “streaming only” URLs; I tell the story of the worst days I have experienced with the AmigoFish project; I play a song I lifted from Bob’s Slacktime Funhouse which is by Evolution Control Committee; it’s dead, Jim.
On this show, I play a song by the late Nikki Sudden; I go ahead and run the table on our interview with Reverend Ivan Stang of the Church of the Subgenius, playing that for the remainder of the show. Refusing to break this up any more is me trying to increase my slack.
On this show, I play a song by Coconut Monkeyrocket; we have the first part of our talk with the Reverend Ivan Stang of the Church of the Subgenius; I play a song by Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners; I talk about the spirit of punk and the idea of “that ain’t punk” and from there segue into discussing criticism with words where a little action would do better; I play an unreleased track from Jill Sobule and limp out of the show.
Now I see on there his post about this horrible story about Subgenius parents losing custody of their child because of their participation in X-Day. This is a pretty weird case of a judge who has developed an amazing hatred of the church and is choosing to punish the Bevilacquas for it, despite no evidence of any unfitness as parents and a shaky claim of jurisdiction in the case, even. Follow that link, read the story and at the bottom is a Paypal link to donate to the legal defense fund. I’m off to send them some of the EGC war chest.
Overnight, I got a comment spam from the name “Norco Sasquatch.” If that isn’t the name of a Subgenius, it should be. I think Norco would be comfortable standing side by side with Philo Drummond and Norel Pref and Papa Joe Mama. I just got my papers recently for joining the church, maybe I should use it. Although, the name I was thinking of taking was Stig Matters.
I play another song from Michelle Malone’s upcoming album; I play a clip from Jimbo Wales on Better Bad News and talk about Wikipedia; I play a song from Harvey Danger; I explain why I won’t be at Podcastercon this weekend after all; I have decided I want to be to podcasting what the Church of the Subgenius is to religion; Kill Rock Stars doesn’t mind you playing their music in podcasts! I play a song by Phranc and head it out.
I talk about the talk at the Portable Media Expo; I play a remix of uplifting quotes with the Thievery Corporation; I play the best interview question I have ever heard; I talk about my semi-secret project; I play a song from the Dresden Dolls appearance on Radio Open Source; I’m on my way.