i gave me that old time religion


You wouldn’t know it to look at me now, but I’m an ordained minister. Back in the day I feared “Bob” and wanted to kill him, and believed in launching the bleeding head of Arnold Palmer and all the other tenants of the one true religion. I was called Pope Unholy Protuberance III. I still dabble in SubGenius ritual on occasion when the need arises.

Anyway, it was my duty to rant, so I wrote the rant below prior to a Seattle area Devival in 1999. There is still some ass-holiness in these words, so read at your own risk. This is not a religion to be trifled with, even though its membership grows long in the tooth and the whole mess transmogrifies from living gospel to fossilized legend. Beware. My rant begins:

“At the beginning of that wretched Ed Wood movie, Plan 9 from Outer Space, a man named the Amazing Criswell looks into the camera and shares some words of wisdom with movie-viewers. ‘Everyone is interested in the future,’ he says, ‘because that is where we will spend the rest of our lives.’

“Stupid? Of course. But pay attention, because buried deep within movies like this one are messages from Higher Powers. If you didn’t know that the gods speak to us in this way, then you haven’t been paying attention. Much of what I know about life and the future has been transmitted to me through cheap science fiction movies of the 50s and 60s. That’s why a visit to Scarecrow Video is much like entering a cathedral. As I ascend the stairs to the second floor and enter the room labeled ‘Psychotronic,’ I feel life’s burdens becoming a little lighter.

“But back to Criswell. His dumb remarks enclose a message from the mischievous deities who run our universe. He’s telling us that the future is born every second, and therein lies our salvation. You can choose this second to throw off the chains that enslave you to your movie, which is probably a modern Hollywood formula comedy–every bit as loathsome as Plan 9.

“Dear readers, there is a way to direct, produce, and star in your own designer destiny. It can be yours quicker than you can say, ‘klaatu barada nikto.’ Trust me when I tell you that all the wisdom flowing from ridiculous old sci-fi films and their doomed third-rate actors point to just one path. That path is the Church of the SubGenius and the word of ‘Bob.’ That’s right, I’m here to tell you about my religion, which is reaching for your throat and wallet at the same time.

“This church will hurl you into the harsh green radioactive illumination of Truth. The Truth is brutal, but the path to it is easy and littered with greasy taco wrappers that will slide you into the hairy arms of redemption. Are you still with me, friends? I hope so, because I will now present you with the ultimate irony. The future really is a cheap science fiction movie.

“I’ll tell you what the Church of the SubGenius promises…no…guarantees will happen. One day in the not-so-distant future, an alien species will invade and conquer the earth, mowing down everyone in their path, just as those idiotic movies have foretold. These aliens will run amok–their ray guns on the ‘puree’ setting. Sound like an Ed Wood movie? Of course it does. What do you think he was trying to tell us? Why weren’t you paying attention? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, ANYWAY?

“Well, get down on your knees and say, ‘thank you, Dan,’ because I have information here that may save you. The Church of the SubGenius just might rescue your sorry butt. Many will fry, but some will escape. Read all about it and send money.”

That’s enough to start you on a backwards path to a burned-out religion. Stand over the embers and watch a white-hot claw emerge. It’s the last thing you’ll see before entering paradise. Make a joyful noise unto the slack master.


tangled brains


Go ahead and name your band “Tangled Brains.” No charge.

Went to the WARP show at the Seattle Center last night and parked near the Church of Scientology. Somehow I missed that they had spent $14 million refurbishing a building in Lower Queen Anne. But it’s hard to miss when you’re in front of it. The facility opened in July. Last night when I walked by there were men in suits coming in and out. Scientologists believe that people are immortal spiritual beings called Thetans and that we need to be cleared of negative energies via purification techniques that can be extremely expensive. In my opinion, this is utterly insane and the whole Thetan concept, and the even more fascinating Xenu story, sounds very much like pulp science fiction from the 1950s.

A few blocks later I walked past a parked van that had evangelical Christian messages all over it. It spoke of Judgment Day; which begins May 21, 2011, in case you were blind to this obvious fact. “The Bible guarantees it.” I found the explanation right here. May 21 is the day the Rapture happens. This Web page is fairly incomprehensible, but let’s go with it for now because it will be fun to see the awkward explanations of why it didn’t happen. My guess is that even before May 21, this group will start dropping hints that maybe, just maybe, the calculations could be off.

I’ve seen this type of back-pedaling before. July 5, 1998, was when the Church of the SubGenius promised the Rupture. All devoted SubGenii were going to be carried off by the flying saucers of the sex goddesses while the earth was fried by men from Planet X. I was there in Brushwood, New York, at the X-Day festivities when the great event didn’t happen. At least as far as I could tell. They may have gotten the numbers upside down, and the actual date is the year 866,157. Another perfectly reasonable explanation, however, can be found right here.

Getting back to last night, as I passed by Key Arena, there were thousands of people pouring into the building, hepped up on Jesus. Buses everywhere, unloading church-goers from around the region. I’m guessing that some of them had rarely or never come into Seattle due to the density of liberal heathens and other demon-possessed city dwellers. The big event was centered around a visit by Pastor Greg Laurie. Here’s the Web page.

At this site I learned that Pastor Laurie believes that gay people are not born gay. Given that he is utterly clueless or willfully ignorant on this topic, who  knows how reliable he is on other subjects? It makes you wonder what other false information he’s promoting. I encourage you to visit this site, where you can find videos of people weeping, people singing along with evangelical rock bands, fireworks blasting off, and Pastor Laurie asking you to bring your unsaved friends to the event.

Christian or Scientologist: religious dogma makes you crazy. The SubGenius, by the way, proudly acknowledge that they are liars, lunatics, and  just want your money. You can trust them.

images of the gods: praise them and sing worship songs!


In this holiday season, the diversity of deities fills me with joy and awe. So many to worship, so little time in our short lives. If anyone wants to sing their praises, please do so now. Post a link to an audio file of your song or your favorite recording.

Goddess Amoeba Divine
Favorite hymn: “Thy Genome is Huge”

Flying Spaghetti Monster
Favorite hymn: “Flying Spaghetti Monster Hymn #1”

The Hypnotoad
Favorite hymn: “Electric Eye”

Master Nashwan
Favorite hymn: “My Cup of Used Bathwater Runneth Over”

“Bob” Dobbs
Favorite hymn: “We All Come Out Overmen
(song starts at about 1 minute, 20 seconds into tape)

the holy month of ramalamadingdong, and other amazements


Only have time for some links here.

Here’s a wonderful video pastiche that makes you wonder about what your television is really telling you.

Except for a missing image at the top of the page, this wiki contains an entertaining history and description of my religion of choice, the Church of the SubGenius. Did you know there was a picture of “Bob” in every episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse? I didn’t. Did you know that September 19th is “Hate for the Sake of Hating Day”?

If you don’t know Spanish, practice your Spanish language skills while watching this Bollywood satire featuring Natalie Portman. Found the link on Pharyngula. Wait for the very end if you want to see the octopus.

Rep. Tim Walberg, from my home state of Michigan, member of the House Education Committee, wouldn’t vote for Head Start because of witches.

out on the street (with discussion questions)


Street incident #1
I was waiting at a stoplight this morning, and when I got the “Walk” light there was a car temporarily stuck across the pedestrian walkway, backed up behind other cars. A pedestrian (young man) standing next to me decided to walk up on the car’s hood and down the other side instead of going around. The man driving the car ignored him.

Discussion questions:

Did the pedestrian teach the driver a valuable lesson?
If the car had contained a couple guys who looked like ex-convicts instead a mild-looking older man, would the young man still have had the courage of his convictions?
WW”B”D? What would “Bob” do in this situation?

Street incident #2
On another occasion I was walking to the bus and two women were walking in the opposite direction, towards me. One of them approached me, stopped and said, “Howcumyiamnotdrunkyet?” I replied, “What?” She responded, “How come I’m not drunk yet? Ask her.” She pointed the other woman, who was several feet away and looking embarrassed. I asked the other woman, “How come she’s not drunk yet?” She only giggled as I continued on my way and they on their way.

Discussion questions:

Should I have offered to buy them a drink?
Should I have answered the question with, “Because you haven’t prayed to Jesus hard enough?”
Do you think the women were travelers from the distant future who were still perfecting their 21st century vernacular?

the hour of slack and the perfect saviour


The Hour of Slack radio show has been added to my podcast subscriptions just in time to receive the 1,001st broadcast. It started in 1985. To listen is to enter a carnival funhouse where clowns hold you upside down, shake the change out of your pockets, and drop you on your head. Background music is provided by the Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo fame), the Swingin’ Love Corpses, Einstein’s Secret Orchestra, and other sub-bands while Rev. Stang, Lonesome Cowboy Dave, and an array of illuminati hold forth on matters beyond the ken and barbie of the ordinary fleshbag.

I should mention, for full disclosure, that years ago I sold my soul to the Church of the SubGenius and became Pope Unholy Protuberance III. Maggie and I were there with the faithful in Brushwood, New York on X-Day, July 5th, 1998 at 7:00 a.m. when the world didn’t end, the Xists didn’t arrive, and the Pinks were not cooked in their own juices. “Bob” still has his teeth in me and holds on like a stubborn rabid dog, which is a quality I like in a savior.

What makes the perfect savior?

– the tenacity of a crazed dog (won’t let go of your soul, even when offered a tempting biscuit)
– the gleeful, raving “I know more than you” temperament of a Tom Cruise (a bloated ego to enfold you)
– the persuasive power of a top-flight Amway salesperson (gathers other inductees for fellowship)

That’s why Dobbs seems perfect, but I can also recommend, as I have before, Master Nashwanthe God-Man who lives in West Seattle. If you don’t love him now, you’ll be forced to later on, so why not get started?