What the hell is up with the Church of the Subgenious? (NSFW!!!)
June 17, 2005 9:49 AM   Subscribe

What the hell is up with the Church of the Subgenious? (VERY NSFW!!!) I have found some really odd, frightening, and disturbing images. Also, what is their connection with Slackware Linux?
posted by Livewire Confusion (150 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Messed up that first link. Here it is.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 9:54 AM on June 17, 2005


Bob Dobbs is a false prophet. There is only one true god
posted by keswick at 9:56 AM on June 17, 2005


See the Wikipedia article about the church. The name of "Slackware" actually comes from the religion, the central belief of which is the pursuit of "Slack", essentially synonymous with "total freedom".

And has anyone seen that zombo.com thing? WOW.
posted by Plutor at 9:57 AM on June 17, 2005


Are you asking what's up with the Church of the Subgenius lately or just in general?

Oh, and Praise "Bob."
posted by Loser at 9:57 AM on June 17, 2005


*wonders if he should post AYBABTU or Get Your War On*
posted by eyeballkid at 9:58 AM on June 17, 2005


Where's that stark fist of removal when you really need it?
posted by postmodernmillie at 10:00 AM on June 17, 2005


Plutor...zombo is great! Strange, but great for 4 or 5 mins
posted by peacay at 10:02 AM on June 17, 2005


As a card-carrying discordian I wholly endorse the church of the subgenii. I've always wanted to formally join up but it sounds like a lot of work and I really just want to take it easy for now. Besides, I spend so much time worshipping at the altar of the Beer Church I might as well join that one.
posted by illuminatus at 10:05 AM on June 17, 2005


None of these comments are addressing the total RED WING issue. Bizarre.

Sorry for the typo in the first link. My bad.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 10:06 AM on June 17, 2005


Hey, has anyone heard of that guy Robert Anton Wilson? What's up with him, huh?

and that somethingawful.com! did you know they do photoshop contests over there? they're really funny! but sometimes nsfw!!!

personally, I get all my links from boingboing!
posted by shmegegge at 10:06 AM on June 17, 2005


RED STAMP
posted by Josh Zhixel at 10:07 AM on June 17, 2005


Remember, Bob offers the only triple your money back guarantee amongst religions if you go to hell.

On yeah, the world ends this July 5!!!
posted by valis at 10:08 AM on June 17, 2005


I just ran accross this. I know nothing about it. Sorry if this being posted ruins your day, shmegegge.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 10:09 AM on June 17, 2005


X-Day was fun. I liked watching Stang waiting for everyone (mostly bobbies) to 'get it'. They really didn't. But what, they're going to riot? Collectively go 'Awwwww!'? Mostly just follow the leader, which is funny to watch as a Life of Brian "how shall we fuck off oh lord?" sort of thing. I wonder if he caught that....seemed like a nice guy either way though. And there was a pig roast, Jesus was there and Stang's wife belly danced. Those Texans know how to party man.
Lots of SCAers (who are always fun to watch). I brought a buddy of mine who was not a Sub-G, but definately not pink. Bushwood is a beautiful campground. Pretty much spent the day slacked out in a lawn chair watching the whole thing with a nice mellow and a slow buzz.
HighWeirdness is fun man, what has to be 'up' with it?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:11 AM on June 17, 2005


You haven't heard of the Church of the Sub-Genius? What are you, 12?
posted by keswick at 10:12 AM on June 17, 2005


Smedley: Bushwood? ... heh .... how appropriate for a typo.
posted by devbrain at 10:13 AM on June 17, 2005


You haven't heard of the Church of the Sub-Genius? What are you, 12?

Yes, that's it, I am 12. Which makes me prime dating material for you.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 10:14 AM on June 17, 2005


ha! no, it's not ruined. but, um... maybe it would have been better off on askme? you know like "I don't understand this website. what on earth is it with this one dude's drawings and pictures of menstruating women?" other than that, hey, great post.
posted by shmegegge at 10:14 AM on June 17, 2005


"I just ran across this. I know nothing about it." (sp)
Dear 'Bob," you're SLACKLESS!!!??? You should sign up right now!!! Particularly if you have no clue as to what is going on. You'll be much much better off.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:14 AM on June 17, 2005


Yeah, devbrain. It's just a simple Freudian slip, like when you say one thing but mean a mother.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:16 AM on June 17, 2005


Smedleyman, I am JUST CURIOUS about it. It is very bizarre. Some would call it the best of the web.

Explain this to me, insider, what's up with the imagery I linked to above? Seems everyone is avoiding that like the plague.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 10:17 AM on June 17, 2005


I think its something nerdy.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by spilon at 10:17 AM on June 17, 2005


BOB IS GOD
GOD IS HOPE
GOD IS BOB HOPE
posted by 23skidoo at 10:17 AM on June 17, 2005


shmegegge and keswick, you're being dicks.
posted by Specklet at 10:21 AM on June 17, 2005


seriously, what you found was the personal art pages of a handful of slack insiders. That one guy happens to have a red-tipping fetish, it seems. I don't know if there can be any further explanation than that. Heart_Ignition is some guy's handle.
posted by shmegegge at 10:21 AM on June 17, 2005


specklet, you forgot plutor, eyeballkid and postmodernmille.
posted by shmegegge at 10:23 AM on June 17, 2005


The lost me at "Church of.....". Is there anything worth seeing here or is this just the guy who no one wants to sit next to on the bus with his insane rantings website? Wow.

The imagery is about shock value. Did it shock you? Then it worked. And now I'm firsty so I've gotta go to the bathroom.
posted by fenriq at 10:23 AM on June 17, 2005


There's pink, and then there's Livewire Confusion.
posted by item at 10:25 AM on June 17, 2005


I love their cross. It's just loverly.
posted by metaculpa at 10:25 AM on June 17, 2005


[fixed fpp link]
posted by jessamyn at 10:27 AM on June 17, 2005


What the red wing thing is all about: Deep down, the slackers know they're worshipping a false idol. One day they will be swallowed up by the bloody, all consuming cunt of Our Lady of Discord. They will dwell within the womb of the Holy Queen of Chaos and there they shall dwell forever, partaking of no hot dog buns.

Really, I thought it was obvious.
posted by LeeJay at 10:27 AM on June 17, 2005


Hail Eris.
posted by shmegegge at 10:28 AM on June 17, 2005






YOU ARE ALL EDUCATED STUPID!



(except quonsar)


posted by jdroth at 10:29 AM on June 17, 2005


Kill Bob!
posted by Hlewagast at 10:30 AM on June 17, 2005


I am JUST CURIOUS about it. It is very bizarre. Some would call it the best of the web.

The thing that no one has bothered to explain, Livewire, is that it's been around for appx 20 years (if not more). Basically an indie-underground-nutjob in-joke. When I discovered it (probably via zines) in the mid-80s, it seemed like everyone knew about it already. So that could explain the snark outburst you're getting here.
posted by scratch at 10:30 AM on June 17, 2005


Smedleyman, I am JUST CURIOUS about it. It is very bizarre. Some would call it the best of the web.

Explain this to me, insider, what's up with the imagery I linked to above? Seems everyone is avoiding that like the plague.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 10:32 AM on June 17, 2005


The Church of the Sub-Genius is, of course, a spoof religion. The basic idea is to show how, objectively, traditional religion is full of nonsense, mumbo-jumbo, and weirdness by spewing forth torrents of newly-minted nonsense, mumbo-jumbo, and weirdness, and behaving like it all makes sense -- or it would, if only you had enough faith slack. The point seems to be that the only difference between the authors of the Sub-Genius canon and the authors of other holy books is that the authors of other holy books have mostly been dead for centuries (Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, and L. Ron Hubbard excepted).

Read the book and all shall be revealed.

Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo is a long-time Sub-Genius.
posted by kindall at 10:32 AM on June 17, 2005


Oh yeah. This all started in 1981, so it's well on its way to being a real religion.
posted by kindall at 10:34 AM on June 17, 2005


"what's up with the imagery"

Most of the art started as cut and paste from 50's ads with bizarre text - sort of post modern, William Burroughsish, but it seemed to be aiming towards something else ( I have the original book, including the floppy vinyl record, nifty!) but progressed on the web into a sort of full blown zen-dadaist thing. Most of the amatuerish stuff is just a Dobbs head (ostensibly 'sacred') superimposed on various bizzare things, sacrelegeous areas, etc. etc.
It's pretty much dada (which, I suppose, doesn't tell you anything really)
sans the pretension (yeah, that's right, 'sans') but with the occasional nihilsm. Mavrides work is fantastic on most of this, full of self-reference, etc. I'd suggest picking up a copy of the book of the sub genius or looking through the copies of the older work, most of it is on the web.
Lots of crap in there of course. But tastelessness is part of the gag.
Naturally I'm lying about all of this.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:35 AM on June 17, 2005


welcome to the internets!
posted by glenwood at 10:35 AM on June 17, 2005


Thanks Kindall.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 10:37 AM on June 17, 2005


All hail "Bob!"
posted by nlindstrom at 10:38 AM on June 17, 2005


I started reading the Illuminatus! trilogy and ran out of steam most of the way through the second book. Are there ideas in the Sub-Genius thing that are not in there? A brief perusal of subgenius.com hasn't shown me anything new yet.
posted by gurple at 10:43 AM on June 17, 2005


Sorry for the typo in the first link. My bad.

remember, they may be pink, but their money is green.
posted by Hat Maui at 10:47 AM on June 17, 2005


For my money this is his best work, and it adorned my desktop until a tragic hard drive crash last month.
posted by bunnytricks at 10:48 AM on June 17, 2005


All the following words are true.
Jaynorists the lot of ya! Pull the lever and down you go! Help me preacher my legs are on fire!
kindall: Heinlein has also not been dead for centuries.
(mad props to Eris)
All the preceding words are lies.
[see also Church of All Worlds, Cthulhu, Illuminati, Freemasons, etc.]
posted by YurikoKinje at 10:49 AM on June 17, 2005


Hallelujah! All praise "Bob," for I have found eternal salvation! For a mere thirty of Ceasar's dollars, I have assured my heavenly reward!* Oh, and as a SubGenii, I get to leave all you sorry pinks behind on July 5th, when the Earth is destroyed. Maybe.

* Or a refund of $90 in hell, whichever comes first.
posted by nlindstrom at 10:50 AM on June 17, 2005


I'd tell you, but POEE would have a fit. I have to get back to the Dealy Llama now, one of the Dillingers wants to have a word with me and the robot who calls himself "Sullivan".

There is but one god, He is the Sun god, Ra, Ra, Ra, Ra, RA
REMEMBER FERNANDO POO!!
posted by modernerd at 10:51 AM on June 17, 2005


We cut you no SLACK, normal!!

The Normal scumbags who are a snare, do not BREED with them, do not WASTE your GENES! They have NO Nental Ife! And they are the FAILED PATH, the REJECTS! Yes, they are leechlike! The REAL SubGenius is one in a thousand. All around him are the Normals who are DOOMED, their souls will be tasty TREATS for the godLIKE one, the Anti-"Bob"! They will FLEE before that Stark Fist, but TOO LATE! They wallow in their pits of False Slack and think they're HAPPY!

RAINS OF PRAIRIE SQUID!
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:51 AM on June 17, 2005


When the pope converts this thing is going to be huge.
posted by WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot at 10:52 AM on June 17, 2005


PINKO!!
posted by loquacious at 10:53 AM on June 17, 2005


Livewire Confusion: the only point of the images is to be shocking and weird. I think.

The whole entire thing is a spoof, a joke, etc.
posted by delmoi at 10:54 AM on June 17, 2005


Has anyone heard of the band U2? They're awesome!
They invented a new sound, and it's called "alternative rock".
posted by 2sheets at 10:55 AM on June 17, 2005


Don't feed the trolls
posted by Livewire Confusion at 10:57 AM on June 17, 2005


See the Wikipedia article about the church

Wow, hey, what's up with this Wikipedia? The link may not be safe for work, because somehow the page seems to get updated between my visits. I don't know who's changing it or how, but it seems like just about anybody might add something weird on there. How about that, huh? Just posting this on the front page because I'm curious!

Oh, and, some would call it the best of the web.
posted by soyjoy at 10:57 AM on June 17, 2005


I'd never seen that before. It seems really similar to the weird figurine cult in Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron by Daniel Clowes.
posted by cloeburner at 10:58 AM on June 17, 2005


five tons of flax
posted by nightchrome at 11:02 AM on June 17, 2005


Livewire, just FYI:

Netta Gilboa: What is the Church of the SubGenius?

Ivan Stang: That is a damned good question. We’re still trying to figure that one out, ourselves. A lot depends on who is asking. The Church wears many hats; it has to, just to survive, since it doesn’t really fit into any one known genre or category, and it infuriates devotees of MANY known genres, categories and denominations.

Here’s what we tell people:

In 1953, the holy salesman "Bob" Dobbs discovered that there was a Conspiracy of Normal Humans insidiously robbing away the Slack of the SubGeniuses (the abnormals and nonhuman bipeds) and repressing their vital powers of abnormality — the ir Slack. In response, Dobbs created this disorganized religion — although he didn’t go public with it until 1980, when he thought the world might be ready for it. It was a "cult" for mutants, misfits, disbelievers, and those who’d believe anyth ing... a fellowship for gimps, perverts, dope addicts, hippies, those who still read books, sex fiends, victimless criminals, and all the for-real, down home people... the SubGenii: those who look, but aren’t, human. And, unfortunately (at least un til some rich sucker becomes our "sugar-daddy"), this has to include numberless slogan-spouting, immature, obnoxious nerds, fanboys and geeks — for without them, we wouldn’t even break even.

To some people the Church is salvation. Seriously. They honestly say that just knowing that the Church EXISTED AT ALL saved them from suicide. To others it’s just a really good joke, though an endlessly complex one. To others, it’s a really bad joke, and to yet others it's a dangerous cult, potentially right up there with the Branch Davidians, the Satanists, the Masons and the Southern Baptists. They think we’re some kind of devil worshippers, even though we don't even believe in the Devil. The overly politically correct sometimes think we're not good, politically correct warriors against the establishment, because our stuff is funny and takes vicious swipes at all who are most certain their cause is the morally right one. Others — especially doctors and lawyers — seem to know professional bull-slinging when they see it, and enjoy that aspect of it. So it's a What-Is-It.

At least we don’t hate minorities. We only hate the majority — the NORMALS.

We proclaim how tolerant we are of everything weird, different, fringe, and shunned, and then turn around and advocate enslaving all Normals — the Mediocretins, the Pink Boys, the Barbies and Kens, the Box Dwellers. (After all, they’ve already enslaved themselves under the money-grubbing Conspiracy anyway.) This proves that we embody the first principle of any successful religion: hypocrisy.

For artists, it's a great vehicle for collaboration with other talented sickos; Dobbs created a wonderful framework on which one can hang almost anything, a skeleton that anybody can help flesh out. It’s a hell of an excuse for pranks on the straight-laced. Our first and only real rule is, "F--- em if they can’t take a joke." (Or in more polite terms, "Let them mount up upon themselves, if they cannot see the humor in it.")

Those who think it's some kind of primitive fertility cult, a throw-back to Paleolithic days, using the underground art scene as an excuse, are probably closer to the truth than anybody else.

There really is a Conspiracy of Normals, though, and we ALL definitely need more Slack. Let there be no doubt about that.

GA: How is it different from other churches?

IS: All the rest are liars. We are liars too, for sure, but we’re the only ones that are halfway honest about our lying.

posted by digaman at 11:03 AM on June 17, 2005


Any beginners guide to the Subgenius should also include Bob Black's critique of the organization and it's founder.

I suspect that Black is madder than a box of frogs as well, but his critique definitely has resonance with me -- and my Kibo geek code is K+++, so I should know!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:05 AM on June 17, 2005


"So that could explain the snark outburst you're getting here."
That and the in-the-know and in-joking. Which is akin to fundimentalism. Which the Church incorporates (yet another reason I like it).
I wouldn't let it quash your curiousity Livewire Confusion. The overall schtick does open your mind a bit, like any good exercise along these lines (post-modern koans perhaps). In retrospect it is somewhat anti-climactic, perhaps purposefully, like the Illuminatus series (amusing/somewhat illuminating on first reading, trite afterward, like many gospels).

Misses the spontaneity of sufism, say, or good improv. But it does scratch that subversion itch & goofiness for goofiness sake.


(no spell check on this computer)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:06 AM on June 17, 2005


Don't feed the trolls

dude, did you just buy a copy of "the internets for dummies"? i mean, i know your screen name actually has the word "confusion" in it, but jaysus.

speaking of confusion, have you guys heard of that crazy thing called napster? apparently, you can get like every limp bizkit song on there! for free!
posted by Hat Maui at 11:06 AM on June 17, 2005


Surely these quotes will help you understand:

"I'm going to ask you to exercise glands you never knew existed." - J.R. "Bob" Dobbs

"Don't just EAT a hamburger... eat the HELL out of it." - J.R. "Bob" Dobbs

"Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke" -J.R. "Bob" Dobbs
posted by birdsong at 11:07 AM on June 17, 2005


Got Slack?
posted by eriko at 11:07 AM on June 17, 2005


What the hell is up with the Church of the Subgenious?

What the hell is up with the pinks? (This means you)

NSFS! ==> not safe for slack
posted by nervousfritz at 11:12 AM on June 17, 2005


oh, fuck it.


posted by shmegegge at 11:14 AM on June 17, 2005


and yeah Livewire Confusion, read the wikipedia article.

Because you know, me and all the rest of the BEKEs here know everyfuckingthing about everyfuckingthing already. Therefore we can take the time to point out your post sucks as legitimate comment as opposed to just ego-driven self-important noise which gets in the way of communication.

Noise like, say, digaman's lousy post which is NOT entertaining, nor tells one anything about the church in a humorous way from one of it's founders or nightchrome's post which does NOT illustrate in an incisive manner the both the underlying zen like humor nor the early derivations and related themes to the church.
Why someone would bother to take the time to post like that I don't know. Must be socially inept and new to communicating on TEH (remeber how funny that is how we misspell 'the' and stuff?) internets (like remember when Bush said that? How dumb!)

...wow, hurt just to type that. Had to be done, like shooting a wounded animal.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:20 AM on June 17, 2005


Because you know, me and all the rest of the BEKEs here know everyfuckingthing about everyfuckingthing already. Therefore we can take the time to point out your post sucks as legitimate comment as opposed to just ego-driven self-important noise which gets in the way of communication.

Spinning the response to this post as elitism is foolhardy. First of all, if ANYTHING this is a askme post. And it would be a pretty terrible askme post anyway considering the reams and reams and reams of information dating back 10 years on the internet that is freely available using tools you may or may not have heard of.

I mean jesus folks, let's take it up a notch around here, eh?
posted by glenwood at 11:31 AM on June 17, 2005


Livewire Confusion is obviously Papa Joe Mama.
posted by solistrato at 11:32 AM on June 17, 2005


glenwood wins.
posted by shmegegge at 11:37 AM on June 17, 2005


I'm with Smed. The majority of response to this FPP has been elitism. Wow, you don't know something I know? Let me rub your nose in it a bit and see how bad I can make you feel. Listen, if this had, say, ever been posted about before on MeFi, you'd have a point. As far as I can tell it hasn't.

Yeah, there's a point at which something is so commonly known that it's not worth posting about. I don't think SubGenius hits that point; obviously a lot of folks here do. Why not just back off and let the rest of us learn about it?
posted by gurple at 11:37 AM on June 17, 2005


Yeah what a riot. I am certainly sorry I made a post about it.

It's good to know we have class assortment of jerks on here.

In any case the post was a success if only due to the fact that it gave a bunch of morons a chance to exercise their fringe religion's inside jokes in the form of abusive comments.

YOU GUYS ARE ROCKSTARS, THANKS!

BTW, I hope this thread didn't steal too much time away from you masturbating to Farscape.

(for those who were helpful: thank you)
posted by Livewire Confusion at 11:39 AM on June 17, 2005


13013
posted by Pollomacho at 11:40 AM on June 17, 2005


BTW, I hope this thread didn't steal too much time away from you masturbating to Farscape.

LIVEWIRE WINS
posted by solistrato at 11:43 AM on June 17, 2005


gurple: The majority of response to this FPP has been elitism.

I didn't read every post, but it should be noted that the Church of Subgenius, the Principia Discordia, the works of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Anton Schadd, have a strong element of inside-joke and hipsters-vs-normals to them.

And some of what makes high wierdness fun, is being wierd in a way that some people recognize, but most people go "what the hell, they can't all be schizophrenic, there seems to be a pattern but WHAT THE HELL IS IT?!"

Livewire Confusion, if you read the Church of Subgenius site and the Principia Discordia, and it makes you laugh, you're "one of us". If it makes you recoil in fear and horror, then hey baby, don't stress.

These pseudo cults are the cheerleading clubs and student governments of those-of-us-who-were-labeled-uncool. Fnord.

Did the cheerleaders in your school treat everyone equally and with compassion? Cuz I know in my school, the cool kids were total dicks to those of us who didn't "get" it.

This is our way of fraternizing, seeking out our own. If you don't "get" it, don't feel bad or left out. Find something that you "get".

It's not just elitism. Although I'm not ruling that out.

You're as welcome as anyone. Just realize that there's nothing behind the curtain... the curtain IS the show.
posted by modernerd at 11:53 AM on June 17, 2005


hay guyz, i'm not as clued into on teh pulse of teh intarweb as i thot i wuz so im going 2 flame j00 now.
posted by keswick at 11:54 AM on June 17, 2005


Whatever, glenwood. I suppose I must concede since I haven't commented on any post being worthless so I have no experiance. I just tend to, you know, skip them. Much like the latest Tom Cruise post to which you quipped - twice - was crap. That clearly so much helps doesn't it?

I posted garbage a few times and got maybe 8 comments, reason enough to not post stuff like that again. Even though several comments were positive.

Anyway, I did like discussing this topic. Here. With these people. It amused me. I like reading what many others had to say. I'm unclear why, if that offends ones sensibilities, one sees the need to disrupt my personal amusement.
It pisses the fuck out of me when self-avowed trolls like PP do it and attempt to disguise it as discourse, I see no reason to tolerate it when it's naked.
It reminds me of people who show up at parties and complain about the beer or whatever. You don't like it, don't drink it. If you can't live with it talk about it on metatalk or send Livewire Confusion a message - whatever.
I suppose I'm defeating my own argument in simply addressing it.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:02 PM on June 17, 2005


Yeah, I was gonna just pretend I didn't see this thread until I got to this: In any case the post was a success if only due to the fact that it gave a bunch of morons a chance to exercise their fringe religion's inside jokes in the form of abusive comments.

It's a joke, kid. It's not a fringe religion. It's a joke. It's always been a joke. I'm sorry that you don't think it's funny, or don't have the world view to understand how and why the joke came about, or that you don't have the google skills to look something up before you get all defensive because you get called out...but Jaysus onna stick...it's a joke.

I think you deserve to be piled on because of your "I hate you losers, how dare you correct me!" attitude. You could have avoided almost all of the snark by responding "Oh...huh...new to me, thanks for the links...my bad.", and the incident would have closed and people would have made Bob/Dada/Dystopian jokes for a while.

But, you had to get your dick out and wave it around, making yourself look not only incapable of using a simple tool like Google, but positioning yourself as a prime example of the reason that Mefi is emptying of intelligent folks and filling up with clueless children.

That said, Hail Bob, from whom all slackness flows.
posted by dejah420 at 12:05 PM on June 17, 2005


First: What dejah420 said about the poster's attitude problem. Exactly. I wasn't going to say anything until that started up.

And: Just in the interest of factual accuracy...

Listen, if this had, say, ever been posted about before on MeFi, you'd have a point. As far as I can tell it hasn't.

Point: Elitists.
posted by soyjoy at 12:09 PM on June 17, 2005


This is why I Never Risk Inquiry.
posted by everichon at 12:20 PM on June 17, 2005 [1 favorite]


Hey, you know what? I think this thread finally did it. I've been trying for a while to undo the programming I received in grade school, and now, after all this time, I can finally see the s. Man, they're everywhere. Something big must be coming.
posted by gurple at 12:23 PM on June 17, 2005


alright, since this has, in a matter of surprisingly few hours, turned into a half-sorta-maybe snark fest to which I have certainly contributed, allow me this retraction/apology:

If I have offended Livewire Confusion with any of my comments, then I apologize. Such was not my intention.

That said, I would like to offer the following advice that my Dad offered me when I was still a growing, over-sensitive boy:

Lighten up. This is the world. Yes, people will make fun of you when you do something dumb. No, it's not always a nice thing to do, but this is how people are. Oscar Wilde once said that "Brevity is the soul of wit," but Oscar Wilde was also the only person in history who could keep a party moving solely on brevity. Everybody has to get by with wit's stupid younger brother: humor. Humor's soul is usually not brief, and often at someone's expense. Consider the words of Mel Brooks: "Tragedy is when I get a paper cut. Comedy is when you fall down a manhole and die." This is what people laugh about, sir or madam, and no amount of tantrum throwing will change that. I'll spare you the with you/at you line.

Scenario: Right now there are 20 people at a bar, called Howie's, and you're coming back to our massive table with drinks. You commit some faux pas on the way, perhaps you spill the drinks, and we all laugh. To all of us, it's light hearted and jovial and we're enjoying one another's company in the manner fate has provided. Suddenly, you start crying and stamping about screaming "It's not funny! You jerk off to Farscape!" Suddenly everyone shuts up, looks awkwardly around, (I, being one of the people there, feel especially ashamed since you've revealed that I secretly masturbate while watching some of the fine original programming developed by the SciFi channel.) and the evening is ruined. Later, no one will even remember what you did that made us laugh, just that you flipped out and made us uncomfortable. Put another way: We all laughed because you fell down a manhole, and you flipped out because you got a papercut.

None of us want you to feel bad, sir. We're just trying to enjoy one another's company in the manner fate has provided.
posted by shmegegge at 12:26 PM on June 17, 2005


keswick, 2sheets, Hat Maui, are examples of people being dicks.

The rest is not elitism. The In-jokery is the answer to the question you asked. What the hell is up with the COSG?
Wierdness for the sake of wierdness, fraternity with fellow "we used to be the out-club but now we have our own in-joke" types.

We're not being elitist, we're sharing the love.
^----- this is a flat, normal statement of fact, I'm not f'ing with your mind. Really, some people are into this stuff. I know I am. Your only apparent mistake is that you're looking for some meaning beyond the wierdness. That's another level. Get to appreciate the wierdness, then you're on the wavelength to appreciate stuff like "the cunt of Eris" etc. Until you love the wierd, it's all going to look like people are being "elitist". There are so many possible explanations that the only worthy one is to give you a taste of the strange brew.

Have you ever done LSD, mushrooms, mescaline, robitussin, etc? How would you explain that to someone who had never tried anything, even alcohol?

Please understand that we're not assholes. We're just having fun WITH EACH OTHER, our fellow initiates in WIERD. It is NOT at your expense, unless you choose to hate us for our wierdness.

Hope that clears it up a bit. You're welcome to join us, but we're still going to be wierd. The wierdness doesn't end, it's the point.
posted by modernerd at 12:26 PM on June 17, 2005


that last sir should have also been a "sir or madam."
posted by shmegegge at 12:27 PM on June 17, 2005


keswick, 2sheets, Hat Maui, are examples of people being dicks.

Bob must be smiling on me today, to have not made that list.
posted by glenwood at 12:33 PM on June 17, 2005


I think the only reason I'm not on that list is because no one reads my posts.
posted by shmegegge at 12:38 PM on June 17, 2005


Get more slack.
posted by PuppyCat at 12:38 PM on June 17, 2005


I agree with dejah. There really wasn't that much "elitism" in the initial response. It was mostly discordian/subgenius jokes. Which, yeah, no shit: a post about the church is going to be filled with jokes. Hell, I'd say the jokes are a more appropriate response to Livewire's Confusion's confusion than a straight answer. At least they give him a sense for what's up. Which he, apparently, was uncomfortable with.

Personally, I enjoyed his discomfort. It reminded me of why the joke was fun to begin with; reminded me of the time I found a copy of "High Weirdness by Mail" in my dorm's common room all those many years ago....
posted by mr_roboto at 12:40 PM on June 17, 2005


Love is the Law, Love under Bob.
posted by Balisong at 12:43 PM on June 17, 2005


"We're just trying to enjoy one another's company in the manner fate has provided."
shmegegge nailed it.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:44 PM on June 17, 2005


yay!
posted by shmegegge at 12:47 PM on June 17, 2005


gurple: if you can't see the s, they can't eat you. Slavery=Freedom. The police are there to help you.

Smedleyman, Schmegegge, right on.

Livewire Confusion: we still love you man. Thanks for bringing this up. Totally lightened my day (I repeat: We're just having fun WITH EACH OTHER, [...] It is NOT at your expense!)
posted by modernerd at 12:49 PM on June 17, 2005


"High Weirdness by Mail"

A classic of the genre.

Mean Mr. Bucket: Where's Rev. Sternodox? I command everyone reading this to scream as loud as you can.
posted by gramschmidt at 12:50 PM on June 17, 2005


yeah, modernerd's head is where his heart is: the right place.

spread the love y'all.
posted by shmegegge at 12:52 PM on June 17, 2005


i may be a dick, but at least i can spell "weird."
posted by Hat Maui at 12:56 PM on June 17, 2005


I like to think we've emmanentized the eschaton just a little bit today
posted by gurple at 1:03 PM on June 17, 2005


Alex, I'll take Hat Maui for the win, please.
posted by shmegegge at 1:06 PM on June 17, 2005


Livewire: I love you, Eris thinks you're pretty when you make that face, and I can type AND masturbate to Farscape at the same time, so no hard feelings, eh?
posted by LeeJay at 1:08 PM on June 17, 2005


does anyone know what the connection with slackware is? the wikipedia article just says slackware was named after slack. so is pat V a member of the church or what?
posted by mcd at 1:13 PM on June 17, 2005


All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense. A public service clarification by the Sri Syadasti School of Spiritual Wisdom, Wilmette.
posted by signal at 1:15 PM on June 17, 2005


I [heart] dejah420. Not that that should surprise anyone.
posted by ook at 1:16 PM on June 17, 2005


"AND masturbate to Farscape"
Ah, see I thought that was directed at me because of the Onanism thread. Phew!
posted by Smedleyman at 1:16 PM on June 17, 2005


"I think you deserve to be piled on because of your "I hate you losers, how dare you correct me!" attitude. You could have avoided almost all of the snark by responding "Oh...huh...new to me, thanks for the links...my bad.", and the incident would have closed and people would have made Bob/Dada/Dystopian jokes for a while."

Dejah, generally you're one of the posters I most admire on MeFi, but I have to strongly disagree with you on this one. L.W. didn't display any bad attitude until near the end of the thread after he was subjected to various idiotic snarky comments ("You haven't heard of the Church of the Sub-Genius? What are you, 12?"). You're confusing cause and effect. He also, more than once, thanked those who actually provided information rather than abuse.

I suspect that a substantial majority of the population is not familiar with the Church of the Subgenius (or discordianism or the work of Robert Anton Wilson), so a post on the subject could certainly be FPP worthy. A little more googling by L.W. would have made it a much better post. A good response would have been to gently point out that more information was readily available and to provide links to some of that info. Some folks actually provided such a response and were thanked for it. Others chose to be abusive, elitist or in-jokey, and did nothing to promote a productive conversation. I'm afraid that ridiculing someone for not knowing about your in-group doesn't really help anyone to "get the joke".

L.W., I think your post as it was composed would have been better on Ask MeFi. Some extra googling would have given you some of your answers and helped you to set up a better MeFi front page post. As far as the COS goes, I've always been left cold by their particular brand of dadaist humor, but I know a number of subgeniii who are not jerks, so don't let this introduction sour you towards checking out the group if you ever have the urge to join a satirical flying saucer cult.

On preview - modernerd, mr_robot, et al, I don't have so much problem with the in-jokes, and I don't really know whether L.W. did either. (His/her initial reaction seemed to be pretty much confusion, which is largely what the joke seems to be about.) I'm thinking that comments like "What are you, 12?", "Has anyone heard of the band U2? They're awesome!", "dude, did you just buy a copy of 'the internets for dummies'" were not "just having fun with each other", they were definitely at L.W.'s expense, and probably contributed towards making him/her think that the rest of the in-joking was likewise mean-spirited.
posted by tdismukes at 1:25 PM on June 17, 2005


I still like saying "teh internets", and I've known about the church since 1988, thanks to college radio. The station I worked at regularly played "The Hour Of Slack", produced by the church on a, I think, weekly basis.

Side note: I had a radio show for a while that crossed the lunch hour, so I would put on an entire album side and go eat lunch, which technically was an FCC-nono (can't leave the transmitter unmanned, or at least you couldn't back then) -- I called it "The Hour Of Snack".

Yeah, well, it was funny back then.

No it wasn't.

Teh internets.

heh.
posted by davejay at 1:29 PM on June 17, 2005


tdismukes has made some very reasonable arguments, here. (yes, this is my 50 billionth comment in this thread. Why do you ask?) however, some of his/her concerns have already been adressed.

maybe it would have been better off on askme? you know like "I don't understand this website. what on earth is it with this one dude's drawings and pictures of menstruating women?"

Point: Elitists. (it's already been a mefi post, so no amount of googling would have saved this one.)

And some of what makes high wierdness fun, is being wierd in a way that some people recognize, but most people go "what the hell, they can't all be schizophrenic, there seems to be a pattern but WHAT THE HELL IS IT?!"

see, the whole church of slack and discordian thing is that you don't really try to explain it straightforwardly. Hence the zen koan reference above.

also Livewire's first childish response was actually, "Sorry if this being posted ruins your day, shmegegge." It's passive agressive, so it might seem innocent, but it's not. Everything else came after that.
posted by shmegegge at 1:41 PM on June 17, 2005


"I still like saying "teh internets" "

Exactly what I mean, davejay. There is the harmless in-joke stuff and then there is snarking. Attacking someone or demanding some rigidity there destroys the simple pleasure of it.
I communicate poorly when I'm upset. Hopefully the sarcasm was apparent in the much earlier post.
But I suppose Mefi needs the "numberless slogan-spouting, immature, obnoxious nerds, fanboys and geeks" for differentiation.

+ tdismukes
posted by Smedleyman at 1:42 PM on June 17, 2005


keswick, 2sheets, Hat Maui, sorry, should have said "offensive".

tdismukes: yeah, keswick, 2sheets and HatMaui were clearly not "just having fun", although I see where they were coming from they made it unclear whether the rest of us were ripping on Livewire or not. The problem with understanding both sides views is the line you draw without looking wishy washy.

See also Abbie Hoffman's "Steal This Book" and Hakim Bey's "Temporary Autonomous Zone"; neither directly relate to COSG or Eris/Discordia, except for the common thread of anarchism/chaos.
posted by modernerd at 1:43 PM on June 17, 2005


shmegegge, et. al. Double post, trippple - whatever, lets go back to talking about freaky sex with prairie squid, bizzare culty things, freaking the norms and laughing at the fanatics.
F'rinstance:
I enjoyed the SubG coverage of the Heaven's Gate cult. It's precisely the sort of thing it was created in response to (retroactively).
http://www.ibiblio.org/subgenius/hellsgate/HELLSGATE.html

...or kill "Bob"
RIGHT NOW!!!!
posted by Smedleyman at 1:51 PM on June 17, 2005


I was ripping on Livewire. Anyone else?
posted by eyeballkid at 1:52 PM on June 17, 2005


HA! I fucking told you, specklet!
posted by shmegegge at 1:56 PM on June 17, 2005


If you don't jerk off to fnord Farscape, perhaps Metafilter's Not For You.
posted by cookie-k at 1:57 PM on June 17, 2005


PULL THE WOOL OVER YOUR OWN EYES!!1!
posted by birdsong at 1:57 PM on June 17, 2005


kallisti! (tosses golden apple)
posted by moonbird at 2:02 PM on June 17, 2005


schmegegge: see, the whole church of slack and discordian thing is that you don't really try to explain it straightforwardly. Hence the zen koan reference above.

Exactly. I was hyped when I saw the zen reference. Because discordianism has zen aspects. Partly why I said "The In-jokery is the answer to the question you asked."

To explain the joke doesn't just kill the joke, it misses the point. The point isn't to be found in any of the explanations. The point is in the joke, but not any of the explanations.

The first principle of zen can't be expressed verbally. It can be learned through koans and parables, but not through their explanations. The principle can be understood, but only through direct grokking.

Some of this is deep stuff and not getting it the first time around isn't really a failure.

What is the buddha?
posted by modernerd at 2:03 PM on June 17, 2005


and so it was that the L33T did eat each other, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
posted by nola at 2:06 PM on June 17, 2005


115!
posted by shmegegge at 2:08 PM on June 17, 2005


i feel so ashamed for my snarkiness. i'm going to say thirty "hail bobs" as penance.
posted by keswick at 2:08 PM on June 17, 2005


shmegegge - I agree with most of your points, which is why I mentioned that the in-joking wasn't necessarily that bad. I was going to give you credit for first mentioning that the post as constructed would have been better in Ask Mefi, but I missed that comment when I went scrolling back to see who had said it first.

As far as Livewire's first "childish respose", I should point out that it was in response to

"Hey, has anyone heard of that guy Robert Anton Wilson? What's up with him, huh?

and that somethingawful.com! did you know they do photoshop contests over there? they're really funny! but sometimes nsfw!!!

personally, I get all my links from boingboing!
"

which comes across not as a deliberately confusing koan, but as the sort of "passive aggressive" snark often used on MeFi to inform the poster that their new post was on Memepool and Fark weeks ago, and all the really cool kids knew about it last year. From the outside, it looked like L.W. was giving with about the same intensity as he/she was getting. (Most of your later comments I don't have a gripe with.)

Of course, it's legitimate to point out that a post is a double-post or that it could have been better researched. Mostly, though, I was seeing what amounted to "cool kid" putdowns for not knowing this stuff already (as opposed to not having googled well enough.) Once again, I'm referring more to the comments I quoted above rather than the in-jokes, but I wouldn't be surprised if L.W. came to interpret the in-jokes in light of the snarky comments.
posted by tdismukes at 2:10 PM on June 17, 2005


This all started in 1981...

Yup. I have an original Church of the Subgenius questionaire from thence.
posted by y2karl at 2:14 PM on June 17, 2005


In a nutshell, all you really know about the Chruch is this: Bleeding head--good. Healed head--bad.

But then' you'd pay to know what you really think, you normal!
posted by mds35 at 2:20 PM on June 17, 2005


*hits modernerd with fan*
posted by everichon at 2:21 PM on June 17, 2005


tdismukes has made some very reasonable arguments, here.

Anyone making reasonable arguments here must be in the wrong thread. Next time, maybe we can all have a serious and rational discussion about whether it is or is not a sign of moral weakness to masturbate to Farscape.
posted by sfenders at 2:32 PM on June 17, 2005


Oh, and what is this Farscape thing? Where can I get some?
posted by sfenders at 2:33 PM on June 17, 2005


*boggles* wow, I'm not the only one having a slow, sorta boring day, am I.

This thread is amazing. On so many levels.

*continues to boggle*
posted by zoogleplex at 2:40 PM on June 17, 2005


tdismukes: fair enough.

zoogleplex: did I mention I was laid off a week ago? Yeeeeaaahhhhh, lots o' free time.
posted by shmegegge at 3:05 PM on June 17, 2005


sfenders:Oh, and what is this Farscape thing? Where can I get some?

First, you must come to peace with your inner 23. Then, and only then, will the erotic mysteries be made clear to you.

(Wait, Far*scape*? Sorry, I was thinking Far*side*.)
posted by dejah420 at 3:09 PM on June 17, 2005


livewire confusion shouldn't be so jumped upon for his lack of knowledge of '90s internet culture ... innocent ignorance is somewhat excuseable ... outdated hipness, less so ...
posted by pyramid termite at 3:11 PM on June 17, 2005


I have spent many hours in the Art Mines and all I have to show it for it is poor vision. Yet I can see better. That's the Bob way. Vive le Slack.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:23 PM on June 17, 2005


everichon: *hits modernerd with fan*

<hans moleman>Thank you teacher!</hans moleman>
posted by modernerd at 3:30 PM on June 17, 2005


prepare the stark fist of retrieval!
posted by stenseng at 3:45 PM on June 17, 2005


"Bob" Dobbs is the enemy. Mos def will explain.
posted by Snyder at 3:51 PM on June 17, 2005


crap. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. Fucking fascists messed with my post!
posted by Snyder at 3:53 PM on June 17, 2005


First, you must come to peace with your inner 23.

23. 2+3=5. But then again, doesn't everything?

55555
posted by gurple at 4:15 PM on June 17, 2005


God, I got to this thread late. But Jesus, isn't it an unwritten rule of Metafilter that if you post something that is widely known on the internet people will make fun of you?
posted by Tesseractive at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2005


God, I got to this thread late. But Jesus, isn't it an unwritten rule of Metafilter that if you post something that is widely known on the internet people will fnord make fun of you?

Hey, isn't that widely known on the internet? Everyone pile on Tesseractive!!
posted by gurple at 4:20 PM on June 17, 2005


i had not heard of this. i wasn't missing anything.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 4:20 PM on June 17, 2005


The church is just another Texas sex & death cult. Since the Branch Bobvidians got taken out by the ATF in '93 they've toned it down a lot, at least for the stuff that's in print. It's hard to say if they are actually still dangerous in meatspace or not.

On the Internet I consider them the equivalent of jellyfish. (AOLers are krill, I myself rate somewhere around minnow.) They are beautiful, colorful, drift about in groups, and are only dangerous if disturbed. (reference their severe beating of Mike Enlow after he unwittingly spammed one of their spawning grounds.) I don't know if they have any connection to slackware besides the name.
posted by Ken McE at 4:23 PM on June 17, 2005


Wow, Ken, that would sound really informed if it weren't so completely off base. Good job! TRULY YOUR KIND SHALL TRIUMPH!
posted by gurple at 4:29 PM on June 17, 2005


Those images aren't disturbing. These images are disturbing.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:45 PM on June 17, 2005


"Two plus three equals five: everyone knows what that means."
--Alfred North Whitehead
posted by moss at 5:00 PM on June 17, 2005


"Two plus three equals five: everyone knows what that means."
--Alfred North Whitehead

i don't...although i DO know that 3 + 4 = 5. first thing i learned in physics class.
posted by mcd at 5:16 PM on June 17, 2005


A little more googling by L.W. would have made it a much better post.

A little googling period (what do you mean, "more"?) would have told LW everything LW needed to know and hopefully saved LW the embarrassment of making this incredibly foolish post. Hell, the Wikipedia article is the second thing that comes up in a Google search. I feel a little bad for LW and wouldn't have made the dickish comments some people did, but I completely understand why they made them. Look, this isn't some truly obscure cult thing you have to be In the Know to know about (like that stupid Filepile, which I'm sick of hearing snotty we're-so-cool references to); I'm no supercool hipster, and I've known about Bob since the early '80s. If you come in here all wide-eyed and post about "What the hell is up with the Church of the Subgenious? (VERY NSFW!!!)," it's like walking into a bar in Dodge City and asking for a Shirley Temple (especially since "SubGenius" is misspelled and there's nothing remotely NSFW on the linked page). It may not be fair, but you're going to have a bad experience. That's life. And like dejah, I started feeling a lot less bad for LW once LW started reacting like a spoiled brat.

Now, to follow up on shmegegge's little video, for those who haven't seen it here's the real translation. Turns out "All your base are belong to us" should really be "Thanks to the cooperation of the UN forces, all of your bases now belong to CATS." Now aren't you glad you read this far?
posted by languagehat at 5:33 PM on June 17, 2005


*Partakes in sacrament to bob through pipe-baloon-N2O*
posted by Balisong at 8:03 PM on June 17, 2005


Repent!
posted by homunculus at 8:12 PM on June 17, 2005


Tesseractive: great nick.
posted by moonbird at 9:42 PM on June 17, 2005


Summer solstice. Time slows to a near stop.

I've poked my head into a number of Metafilter threads the last few days. It's like we have all paused long enough to notice that the world is full of other smelly human beings.

Hi there!
posted by tgyg at 5:40 AM on June 18, 2005


languagehat also wins.
posted by shmegegge at 9:00 AM on June 18, 2005


"what's up with the imagery"

If you think the Church of the SubGenius has weird imagery, I hear that there is another religion that has elaborate rituals where they pretend that they are consuming the flesh and blood of the religion's founder.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 12:10 PM on June 18, 2005


I am old too, I remember reading the three fisted tales of bob. The one by Ivan Stang was the best.

The eternal trickster is a common figure, maybe Livewire Confusion is just another incarnation? Fnord.
posted by asok at 3:57 AM on June 19, 2005


This thread makes me happy in my pants...
posted by schyler523 at 4:06 PM on June 19, 2005


The Church of the Subgenius IS weird imagery. Just stare at it longer nad longer until ......


yikes.


They just don't know.
posted by jefeweiss at 5:36 PM on June 19, 2005


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