Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Many people wonder, "What do SubGeniuses do about Christmas?"  The answer is, "Whatever they wanna do, shuh!"

Of course there is an official SubGenius holiday during this festive time of year, X-istlessnessmess, a movable feast whose date varies according to different sources.  X-istlessnessmess commemorates the mess that is the doleful state of the SubGenii as they endure life on Earth in a state of X-istlessness, still unable to enjoy the X-ist pleasure saucer technology promised by J.R. "Bob" Dobbs for all dues-paying members.  When the X-ist pleasure saucer fleet eventually arrives, this holiday will become X-istmas and will be celebrated every day from then onward.

Many SubGenii also celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yalda, Yule, Kwanzaa, Solstice, etc.  In fact most SubGenii actively research on the internet to find NEW holidays they can start celebrating in an effort to book the entire "holiday period" completely full of Slack.  A holiday where you exchange gifts, eat feasts, and use a whole lot of glitter is not one to be ignored!

Although some fundamentalist loudmouths try to paint Christmas as a Christian holiday being attacked by secularism, this is in fact simply a misunderstanding.  Nobody is trying to change Christian Christmas at all.  That's a religious holiday with traditions and meanings laid out by various Christian churches, and it's nobody's business but theirs what it means to them.  However, Christmas is more than just a Christian holiday.

Christmas is a secular United States federal holiday that just happens to take place on the same day as the Christian holiday of the same name.  The United States federal holiday is open to be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of religion, and the traditional meaning of this day is that it is when businesses close, workers exchange gifts, and the sum of the value of the gifts is tallied up so we can determine whether or not it was a good year for the economy.  It is also traditionally a time when Coca-Cola releases special advertisements, and networks play certain culturally revered animations.

Secular Christmas is awesome!  Happy Gift Man Santa brings presents overnight! A boring old pine tree, inexplicably brought into the house, is transformed into a glittering object of wonderment, and then overnight a bare patch of floor becomes a treasure trove of glorious new prizes!  Some random guy came in and gave you all this stuff just because you were good all year!

These secular festivities are every bit as worthy of respect as their religious counterparts.  They inspire us to dream and encourage us to plan to delight others.  The Christmas surprise lets us experience the natural miracle of transcendence that some see in a crucifix, but others see even in the chrysalis of a butterfly.  Sudden, amazing, wonderful changes that you could never predict happen all the time in this world, and Secular Christmas reminds us of that.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cross-Dressing for Freedom: We are All Majid!

Most people are probably aware of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's infamous comment that there are no homosexuals in Iran.  Some know the darker truth behind that statement: homosexuals in Iran must submit to forced gender reassignment or be executed.  An offshoot of this brutal policy is that it is actually illegal for men to wear the "hijab" or headscarf, the gender-identifying garment for women.  I presume costume-party hi-jinks with men stuffing the largest bras they can find and prancing off in an evening gown for a night of good-natured ribbing are right out.

But when you're a charismatic student leader like Majid Tavakoli, who gave a fiery speech to a crowd of 1,500 at Monday's Student Day uprising, and you're running for your life from Iran's notoriously brutal security forces, you wear whatever you can find that might help you escape, even a hijab.  Anybody would.  That's why the Iranian regime's recent plot to ruin Tavakoli's "street cred" among Iranian youth by displaying the mug shot of him arrested in drag, has backfired and actually created a worldwide wave of support fueled by YouTube and blogs.

A call has gone out over the internet to all men who support the Green Movement to "become Majid" by taking a photo of themselves wearing a headscarf, the forbidden garment the regime thought would shame Majid Tavakoli forever.  This regime is so out of touch with the modern population of Iran they actually thought they could ruin a person's reputation with one scrap of cloth draped over his head.  Instead, a wave of young men inside Iran and all over the world are switching their social networking avatars to their "woman pictures" in solidarity.

If you support human rights in Iran, or even just an end to discriminatory forced-clothing laws in general, let the Iranian regime know it's hip to hijab!  It's easy and free to support this cause.  Simply find a piece of cloth, preferably green, large enough to drape over your head (previous submissions have included towels, blankets and sheets).  Then, drape it over your head and take your picture (cellphone or webcam quality photo is fine).  Email your picture to to submit it to the online gallery, and don't forget to share the link with your friends, who no doubt will want to see the picture anyway.  With the power of the Internet to bring people together, this is one dictatorial plot we can thwart using only cell phones and household linens!

A Bittersweet Baby Step Toward Justice for Native Americans

By: Rachel Bevilacqua
Library of Congress photo 

CC BY 2.0

On December 8, 2009, a lawsuit that had been in litigation for 13 years finally ended with the largest settlement of its type in history, $3.4 billion.  Cobell v. Salazar was over at last.  Many in the media raced to paint it as a groundbreaking move for reconciliation of Native American human rights and tribal rights issues, but a deeper look casts doubts on that rosy assessment. 

Since 1996, nearly 500,000 plaintiffs have been asking for compensation for the devastating effects of the 1887 General Allotment Act, or Dawes Act, passed as part of an ongoing United States policy of "Americanizing" Native Americans.  Concerned with promoting the values of "real Americans" even back then, Republicans in Congress succeeded in privatizing tribal common lands.  Each qualifying tribe member was allotted ownership of a 40- to 160-acre parcel, and the extra tribal land left after allotment was simply sold off to the highest bidder.

Too bad if anyone in the tribe had been subsistence hunting and fishing on those unallocated lands or had a religious or cultural connection to them; the federal government determined those lands were superfluous to the new and improved tribal identity as property owners and shareholders.

The Cobell settlement will attempt to make up for this blatant cultural imperialism, and subsequent federal mismanagement of tribal funds, by spending $1.4 billion in direct compensation for plaintiffs and $2 billion to buy back tribal land sold off after privatization, hopefully letting tribes use their land for the collective benefit of all members as they did before the cultural "improvements" were made.  However, as President Obama stated, this is merely one step toward repairing the damage done by a Victorian-era Congress obsessed with imposing its own worldview on the Native population.

How helpful is this step?  An estimated 90 million acres of tribal land were lost in the aftermath of the Dawes Act.  The settlement hopes to be able to recover approximately 4 million acres.  According to Ms. Cobell's website, most plaintiffs can expect to receive about $1,500.  A nice little surprise windfall.  A bauble of compensation, hard won, to atone for a deliberate plan to eliminate hundreds of unique and vibrant traditional ways of life.

The significance of this decision depends on Washington's next steps in taking responsibility for settling America's debts, and paying meaningful restitution for the frauds and failed social experiments that have harmed so many for so long.  This decision was an historic achievement, but as Ms. Cobell stated, it's "a bittersweet victory, at best."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stand Up for Iranian Protesters at the UN

 When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the disputed president of Iran, addressed the United Nations in late September, Green Movement supporters and members of the Iranian Diaspora came from all over the world to the Green NY rally to show their solidarity with the protesters in Iran struggling to establish true democracy answerable to the people through fair elections.

It's time to turn the Big Apple green again as the Solidarity Committee for the Advancement of Democracy in Iran (SCADI) has announced a new rally this weekend to raise awareness of the Green Movement and express its demands for the Iranian government to free all political prisoners, allow new elections and freedom of speech, and end the brutal treatment of prisoners in the Iranian justice system.

Political prisoners in Iran have been subjected to beatings, torture, and, as alleged by reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi, even rape sanctioned by prison authorities.  The Green Movement is determined to continue protests until this type of atrocity comes to an end.

Please show the Green Movement that they do not stand alone.  Come to the UN at Dag Hammarsskjold Plaza, First Ave. and 47th St., Manhattan, New York from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 12 and let the Iranian Greens know we hear them and our hearts are with them.

If you can't make it, you can still help by spreading the word.  Share this rally's facebook Cause with your friends and encourage them to pass it on.  Those of us who live in countries where we're free to protest nonviolently without risking death or worse owe it to the Green Movement to raise our Green banners high and speak out against the human rights abuses taking place in Iran.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Iran's Green Protesters Rise Again

By:Rachel Bevilacqua
Photo by Getty Images CC BY 2.0

Last summer millions of people all across the world became swept up in the story of Iran's Green Movement filling the streets of Tehran to protest the June 12, 2009 disputed election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  With severe restrictions on journalists, many people joined Twitter for the first time just to follow one of the few sources of unfiltered news out of Iran, and turned their avatar icons green in support for the protesters.

As the regime became more brutal in its response, and the months went by without a 1979-style escalation into larger and larger protests, many pundits concluded the movement had been "quashed," as Time Magazine recently wrote.  It must have been quite a shock to them to find large-scale protests breaking out once again on December 7, "16 Azar" in the Persian calendar, or "Student Day," a holiday which memorializes the deaths of three peaceful student protesters, brutally killed in 1953 by the then-Shah of Iran for protesting a visit by Richard Nixon.

This Student Day, the Green Movement continued its strategy of erupting from seeming dormancy to take over official holidays in massive displays of peaceful solidarity to demonstrate that they have not forgotten, and they will not go away.  Committed to nonviolence, the Greens are composed of people from all ages and walks of life.  Their numbers are hard to estimate because in addition to the able-bodied people out on the streets, it's previously been reported by livebloggers on the ground that those who can't join the protests often open the doors of their homes for protesters to find refuge during violent clashes.  There is no way to tell how many Iranians secretly support the Green Movement.

Despite a brutal crackdown by the Basiji militiamen described by the Washington Post, protests continued on for a second day, and even a third, according to YouTube channels that have hundreds of protest videos captured by cell phones.  More large-scale protests are planned for December 18, the start of Islamic month Moharram and beyond, but smaller university-based protests may well continue every day until then.

If you only watch one December 7 protest video, make it this one showing students tearing down a massive iron gate that security forces had locked them behind to prevent them from joining with others in protest.  When you see it, you'll realize there's nothing "quashed" about these people.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Free Iran: The Time is Now

Posted by: Rachel Bevilacqua

This time tomorrow, the streets of Tehran will be filled once again with Green Movement protesters  committed to nonviolence in the face of certain brutality.  Students will go to sleep tonight not knowing if Ayatollah Khamenei's private army, the Revolutionary Guard, will trap them inside their universities tomorrow to prevent them from joining street demonstrations.  Mothers will go to sleep tonight not knowing if this is the last night their children will be safe at home.

Why do they do it?  Why keep on fighting after innocent, peaceful demonstrators like Neda were shot down in cold blood, and hundreds of others have been "vanished away" into the darkest recesses of the medieval Regime prison system, to be tortured, raped, and even killed, or allowed to die through medical neglect?  Why go on?

The Green Movement fights on because their victory is inevitable.  They are the overwhelming majority, and they fight for the noble cause of taking back their birthright to free speech, free assembly, and free thought.  An old saying goes, "Whenever people fight for Justice, they are never outnumbered, because there is Another who stands with them."  Maybe that Other is the collective consciousness of the planet, as we scan the net for information, waiting and thinking of those risking their lives.  Maybe it's a real deity who can intervene for Justice.  I don't know, but I know that history tells us people fighting to free their own land from oppressors always win in the end.

Iran News Now has an excellent analysis, "Why the Green Movement Will Prevail," in which the author states:

Let’s be clear about something right here and right now: the movement that is called the Green Movement in Iran, is the Iranian people! The Green Movement belongs to all Iranians who stand for fundamental human rights and dignity. The Green Movement, at is core, wants the same thing that all free peoples have: freedom, dignity, respect and representative government. It is not ideological. It is at its heart, a civil rights movement.
This is so important for the world to understand, that this is about more than just an election.  This is about the rights of the Iranian people to exercise their basic freedoms.  For 30 years the Regime propped up a facade of being an "Islamic Republic," and being at least in part answerable to its people.  The June protests, and the brutal crackdown that followed, shattered that facade, and caused the Green Movement to spring up, as Iran News Now goes on to explain:

Via the social networks, telephone, e-mail and other means, people communicated this phenomenon back to the ground level in Iran, and via broadcasts from the outside captured by satellite dishes on the rooftops of homes, people in Iran saw what was being done to them, saw their own people out in masses in the streets, saw that the world is aware of what is going on and realized their shared collective rage. This led to the realization that millions of them shared collective values and vision. This was the birth of the Green Movement. The entity became self-aware, but it did so in every single person who took any action in opposition to the repressive regime, however small. Everyone took part in they own ways, inside and outside of Iran, and their cumulative efforts was a gut punch to the regime.
That collective realization, and the power it brought to the Iranian people, shattering the illusion that each of them was alone in wanting change, is what formed the Green Movement and what will carry it through to victory.  As you go about your daily life, please spare a moment to think of these brave people, choosing to use nonviolence in the face of the utmost brutality, standing up for the rights that people in the West take for granted.   The story of Iran isn't about nukes.  It's about the people.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Repeal Day!! Time to End Prohibition AGAIN!!

On this anniversary of the Repeal of the Prohibition against alcohol
, many people can't help wondering when it will be time to repeal our nation's current Prohibition and allow our adult citizens the right to choose for themselves what they would like to ingest, with no government coming between them and their bodies.  Back in the Reagan Era, our nation was caught up in a frenzy.  I was just a kid when Nancy Reagan appeared on Diff'rent Strokes to reveal her brilliant anti-drug strategy, "Just say no." 

Soon all my favorite TV friends were getting with the program, even Punky Brewster!  Police started coming to our school to tell us about this plague that was taking over America, and how we had to do our part to stop it.

It's been a long time since those clothes were in style, and the ideas in these videos are equally outdated.  Drug abuse is a huge problem for our nation, but it's a public health problem, not a criminal one, just like alcoholism was back in the days when a wave of fanaticism took over the United States and caused us to ban all alcohol, even though some of our Founding Fathers were brewers!

Every day we pour a vast treasure of taxpayer money into the effort to identify, prosecute, and jail countless people whose only crime was selling their fellow Americans products they wanted to buy.   Without a victim, there can be no crime.  Our Founders never envisioned a nation with police actively investigating citizens, with no complaint from any accuser, for the imaginary crime of harming "the State".

Meanwhile, in Central and South America, and even within our own cities, violent gangs have sprung up to supply the market that will always exist for the mind-altering substances, which many adults enjoy responsibly.  The lives saved by repealing drug prohibition and ending gang violence would far outweigh any self-induced drug-related deaths that might result from legal drug use.  When poppies, hemp, and coca are grown legally by free entrepreneurs, rather than produced by violent thugs as a stepping stone to brutal power, adults could enjoy recreational use of whatever they feel would help them pursue happiness, without supporting real violent criminals.

Marijuana, or cannabis, in particular could flip from being a huge national problem that sucks our state treasuries dry with the expense of investigating and incarcerating people, to being a cash crop that could pull people out of poverty.  It is so easy to grow, even in confined spaces, that many living in our inner cities, supported by benefits programs, could easily become professional horticulturalists running their own businesses and paying into the treasury instead!

These dire economic times are our best reverse our current drug Prohibition and start providing jobs, new business opportunities, and a huge savings to the taxpayer.  We simply can't afford the cult of "Just say no" any longer.  Too much has been spent, and too many lives have been ruined pursuing the imaginary goal of keeping all Americans sober (except on alcohol of course).  But don't take my word for it, visit the site of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, where police officers and prominent individuals from all over the world explain in greater detail why we need to end prohibition now! 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Word of the Day: Memeplex!

Recently in the discussion about Iran, someone brought up a very interesting blog post from the Citizen Warrior blog, in which the author deconstructs the "memplex," or collection of memes, found in the religion of Islam.

The author compares memes and genes, highlighting several tenets of Islam and explaining how they contribute to the religion's spread by inducing certain behaviors and thought processes, just as genetic traits promote the spread of a gene.  The author is adamant on the fundamental point that a successful meme or gene is not always beneficial for its carriers, and in fact can often cause great suffering even while spreading the gene or meme far and wide.  Just because millions of people adhere to a memeplex, or carry a gene, that doesn't mean it's good for them.

As a reader points out in the comments section of Citizen Warrior, this method of deconstruction could be used for all religions, and in coming posts I hope to have some thorough deconstructions of all the major religions, and, of course, the Church of the SubGenius as well!

Dr. Euphonium suggested in IRC discussion that a thorough study of this type should allow us to create an ultimate "antiviral" memeplex to combat any harmful memes currently spreading across our globe.  I contended that the Church of the SubGenius already is such a memeplex!  Without being trained in the science of memetics, Ivan Stang and Philo Drummond instinctively crafted the SubGenius memeplex to revolve entirely around the success and happiness of the carrier, not the success of the memeplex's propagation.  This explains the Church's perpetually dire financial straits!   

Monday, November 30, 2009

Free Iran: We Watch That Others May Live

After hearing many responses to my previous posts about Iran, I've decided it might be helpful to do a post about it using more multimedia.  I'm not saying Americans have drunk so much fluoride they can't understand long detailed word posts, I'm just saying "Hey look! It's Jason Jones from The Daily Show explaining by Canadian Podcast what's the deal with Iran!"

Then watch this video, the latest of many to come out of Iran.  Each day new videos pop up on YouTube, detailing the latest university protests, promoting the next big protest on December 7, or "16 Azar" in Persian months, or, like this one, paying respect to those who have already given their lives for the fight for freedom.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Because Goats Are Funny.

This is the official story of why I happened to be caught on film wearing a goat-head mask, among the many other bizarre costumes I have worn as part of the hip, controversial, cutting edge performance art group known as The Church of the SubGenius. Here's what really happened:

One day when he was a little boy, my son asked me what kind of religions people believed in before the modern ones came along. I said that they believed all kinds of things, depending on where you were, but that mostly the ancient religions were stories people told each other to explain natural phenomena. He asked me for an example.

I said, "Oh, like they might say the reason the moon wanes every month is that the Great Sky Goat eats it." He asked me, "What makes it come back each month then?" I said, "It grows back. The goat waits for it to be ripe before he eats it." And we all had a good laugh.

Every once in a while one of us would bring it up in a funny context, like, "Where is my matching sock?" "I don't know, maybe the Sky Goat ate it!" And again, we all had a good laugh.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ask Magdalen: How to Actually ENJOY Twitter

I've heard a lot of responses from people saying, "Oh  man, Twitter?  I don't get the point of that thing!"

I didn't either for a long time.  I first got on Twitter when the saintly Anonymous Donor who contributed the gorgeous Lost Souls painting to my legal fund suggested it might be a good way to raise awareness about my case and raise donations for my legal bills.  I was really excited by the Twitter concept, but when I started using it I just saw my friends' tweets, and it was basically the same as my Facebook feed, only truncated and with no pictures.  So I was like, well, why don't I just stick with Facebook then?  And I basically stopped tweeting.

But then #IranElection happened.  If you weren't following the news this summer, Iranian authorities ominously shut down the internet and phone lines after their June elections, and ordered all journalists to remain in their offices and not cover anything taking place in the streets.  However, they were not smart enough to block Twitter, because it can be accessed in so many ways, and news still got out through that medium.  It became a lifeline for access to news on the ground, and was able to successfully show the world the whole truth that the Regime would have liked to keep hidden.

I followed the Twitter feed avidly, and after a while I realized hey, I have a Twitter account!  I should participate in this!  And since then, 14,000 tweets later, I've learned a whole lot about Twitter that was not obvious when I first signed on that makes Twitter WAY more fun than I originally thought it was.  If you'd like to have Twitter fun too, just follow these handy tips!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ask Magdalen: Vegetarian on Turkey Day

 [Note: Because of a court order preventing me from actually possessing any SubGenius books, all my "Ask Magdalen" pronouncements will be strictly from memory and whatever I turn up on a web search, but do not be alarmed; the Doctrine of Erasibility ensures that however flawed these pronouncements may be, you can be sure they are official doctrine according to a SubGenius Reverend.]

I received this question about an important issue that comes up for all new vegetarians at some point, so now's the perfect time to answer it:

Dear Magdalen,

I have just recently become a Vegetarian but my family does not know this. I have a large and traditional family that will be having Thanksgiving dinner. There will be 20 - 30 people attending and there is no way they will not notice that I am not eating meat. Food is very important to them and they would not understand and be offended if I didn't eat the food they spent days preparing. This would be the absolute worst time to reveal being vegetarian and it would very possibly ruin the entire day. Explaining it to just my parents would be difficult enough but to scores of relatives... I just don't want to go through that. Am I justified in eating meat this one time to protect everyone's holiday and allow myself to "come out" in my own time?

Please help, quick!


 Dear Tofuducken:

    The Word of Dobbs tells us that as fully paid SubGenius Members, we hold an official, all-inclusive Divine Excuse.  This means that whatever you ultimately decide to do, you should DO THE HELL OUT OF IT and not look back.  Guilt is the most slack-stealing state of mind of all.  Try your best to be a good person, do what seems right at the time, learn from the past but let go of the guilt and move on. If you choose to fake being a carnivore to avoid a huge drama that you just can't handle right now, leave the guilt on the plate with the bones.  This ethical decision is clear, because you actually have no control over the fate of the turkey that will be served to your family.  There is no way you could have saved that turkey no matter what you did.  So do what's best for yourself.  Here are some options: 

    Ask Magdalen: Iran?

    This is a question that I've received a couple dozen times so far now from different people, so even though this is not a typical "Ask Magdalen" question, I'll go ahead and answer it.

    The Iran student protests have been going on since 1979. Some experts have called it the longest civil unrest movement in all of history.

    What makes you think something new or different is taking place this time? Are there any signs that this won't just carry on to 2019. Maybe protesting and uprising has become a way of life for the passionate Persians, not unlike France at the turn of the century... the only difference being the French revolution was only a measly 10 years.

    Your Devoted Fan


    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Ask Magdalen: Zombie Eschaton?

    [Note: Because of a court order preventing me from actually possessing any SubGenius books, all my "Ask Magdalen" pronouncements will be strictly from memory and whatever I turn up on a web search, but do not be alarmed; the Doctrine of Erasibility ensures that however flawed these pronouncements may be, you can be sure they are official doctrine according to a SubGenius Reverend.]

    I recently received the following question via email, concerning the Eschaton, or "end of the world" which many students of Forbidden Science avidly study and speculate on:

    As the world appears to be at the beginning of it's ultimate collapse, many are speculating on what will finally do us in. Nuclear destruction, Financial Collapse, Super Viruses, Global Warming, 2012... the list seems almost endless. It occurs to me that all these apocalyptic diversions are simply avoiding the only real threat to the end of civilization. Of course I'm referring to the Zombie Apocalypse.

    With the advances in Stem Cell research including reanimating dead tissues, DNA synthesis, as well as countless other areas of study we are quickly approaching the end-of-days. So my question is not what, or even when, but HOW. How will the rising/animation of the dead finally occur? Science, Brain Parasite, Alien Virus? What areas should we be looking at and can it be prevented or maybe just postponed?

    Boomstick at the ready,


    Dear Bill,

    Although this is not strictly the type of question this blog section was meant to answer, which is ethical dilemmas in daily life, zombie preparedness is so important that I definitely think it's worthwhile to address the issue.

    The grim answer is that no one knows HOW or WHEN the Zombie Apocalypse will come.  It might not even be within our lifetimes, if we're lucky.  However the sobering facts are that it could occur at any time, especially since we have no way of knowing what research is being conducted at any secret labs on the dark side of the moon.  Therefore, it's best to stay prepared at all times.

    Here are a few handy tips to help you stay safe and Slackful during the coming Zombie Apocalypse:

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Ask Magdalen: Facebook FaceDouble?

    [Note: Because of a court order preventing me from actually possessing any SubGenius books, all my "Ask Magdalen" pronouncements will be strictly from memory and whatever I turn up on a web search, but do not be alarmed; the Doctrine of Erasibility ensures that however flawed these pronouncements may be, you can be sure they are official doctrine according to a SubGenius Reverend.]

    It has come to my attention that there is a popular new Facebook app called FaceDouble, which matches a user's photo to a database of celebrity photos, to find look-alikes.  I have heard rumors that other apps soon will have the power to do this over a database of all public photos, allowing users to find their doppelgangers all over the world.

    Naturally, as scholars of Forbidden Science this presents a number of interesting questions, but as a matter of scriptural guidance we must first ask, is it RIGHT for a SubGenius to use this application?  Naturally any SubGenius CAN use it, and they of course have a Divine All-Inclusive Excuse if it turns out to be wrong, but the question remains: is there any Dobbsian reason why a SubGenius should not submit itself to having its image scanned and compared with thousands of other photos?

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    The Green Movement: Countering Objections

    These days it's become pretty popular for pundits to say the Green Movement is a failure and insist that only war and sanctions can change the Iranian Regime.

    When teenyboppers on Twitter started saying this in late summer, I just laughed at their impatience. The 1978-79 Revolution in Iran took about a year of demonstrations and protest to bring about change, so of course it would be ridiculous to think that the Green Movement could completely reform a corrupt de-facto military coup, whose legitimacy is based on the flawed anti-democratic concept of rule by supreme leader, in only a few weeks. The internet is amazing but it is not magic.

    Since it seems that now even respected grown-ups, who may or may not have investments in the military/industrial complex, are jumping on the bandwagon of calling the Green Movement finished, I'd like to counter some of the objections these people bring up to defend their gloomy predictions.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Free Iran: For the Duration

     Posted By: Rachel Bevilacqua

    The Webby Awards recently recognized the Iranian election protests and their use of Twitter as one of the top ten Internet moments of the decade, so it's no wonder I became interested in the topic, like millions of other people, in June 2009 when major protests were flooding the streets with millions of Iranians demanding their rights.

    Since then, the vast majority of people who were interested in the story have moved on, and some have even mistaken this loss of popularity for the actual cessation of Iranian protests themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every single day since June, some kind of protest has gone on in Iran, even if it's "only" hundreds of people chanting every night from their rooftops loud enough to be heard from within the walls of Evin prison.

    The Parable of the One Person

    [This parable was written for the #IranElection online community's Alternate Friday Prayers, a nondenominational live-tweeting goodwill effort for Iran that takes place each Friday at noon Tehran time, to provide an alternative for those who find the official Regime sermons less than inspiring. The archive of these tweet-sermons, written by a huge variety of people and translated into many languages, is available here. Obviously, superior mutants may substitute "Yetinsyn" for the word "human" in this parable]

    I go by parables, so today’s prayers will be in parable form.

    This is the Parable of the One Person

    Once there was a Person. This was in no way like a human person, not a He or She, but we can’t say this Person was a “creature” either because this Person was not created. This Person has always been. Not everything has a beginning and end, you know; some things are outside time and have no gender, but English has no pronoun for a Person in such a condition.

    This Person was all alone. The Person was lonely and wanted to interact with some other People, but everywhere the Person looked outward was just empty space. Then the Person looked inside the Person’s own body, and lo and behold there were miniature fractal versions of this Person, immature and tiny but identical in basic structure, conscious and aware, but bound by time. These are human people.

    Because of this basic structural feature and this Person’s innate abilities, this Person discovered it was possible to not only trace the stories of these miniature people through time, from outside time, but this Person could also become them, see out through their eyes, and live through their lives. Being outside time, this Person could do this over and over many times, becoming intimately aware of every detail of every human life, as a lonely castaway might know every detail of a DVD library he possessed in exile.

    This Person watched with joy as within time these human people grew and learned, always getting a little more like this Person as time went on, until at the intersection between this Person’s insides and this Person’s outer surface, what humans would see as the End of Time, but which this Person wears as a face, each of these people become one with this Person. They all turn out to be this Person at the end of time, the beginning of the Person’s outsides.

    This Person realized that in a sense, it was each of the fractal versions of itself, simultaneously and individually, and in another sense, they were the substance from which this Person’s body was structured. And in turn, each of the fractal Human People eventually realized that He or She was, in fact, this one Person, and so was Everyone Else, because in human terms there is only the one Person animating each of Us simultaneously from outside time.

    Because of this, it’s important for human people to stop hurting each other. Nobody needs to be worried about his brother’s moral state, because they all turn out to be the Person no matter what. Nobody needs to be forcing other people to believe or say anything; every human person has a right to express their true thoughts freely.

    In this dark age it’s sometimes necessary to use force to restrain people who want to be violent, but there are more and more active voices for nonviolence and cooperation.
    The important thing is to keep working for the kind of society that moves forward in time to a place that’s nice for people to live in, the good part of the stories in the Person’s collection, the happy and funny times with love and laughter and song. Those are the parts of human life this Person likes best.

    When all humans work together, they can achieve those happy times, much more easily than humans think. If humans all keep walking together, nothing can prevent them from making a humane world.

    Ask Magdalen

    Sometimes you're faced with a dilemma in your daily life. Maybe it's a complicated ethical situation, maybe it's figuring out which dishes to buy. Why decide these things for yourself when you can ask someone else and accept their answer?

    Actually that sounds horrible to me, but apparently people like it, or at least they like hearing opinions about their problems, so I am hereby dedicating this section of my blog to answering any pesky ethical or Dobbsian theological questions for anyone who wants to know what I, as a Doktor of Forbidden Science, think about their problem.

    I got the idea for this feature from the Ayatollahs of the Middle East, who perform this service for their congregants, so I'll also just modify the rules laid out by Ayatollah Sistani for what type of questions I'll answer:

    1) I do not reply to questions related to organizations, companies and institutes whose names have been mentioned in the question.

    2) I do not reply to lengthy messages containing many questions due a heavy load of tasks.

    3) I do not reply to suppositional and purely scientific issues – ones that are not dealt with by people in their daily lives – or questions that deal with the explanation of the terms used in the Book of the SubGenius.

    4) In matters of dispute between two individuals, it is necessary to know the opinion and arguments of both sides; to hear the view of one of them is not sufficient.

    5) Questions on X-Day and the settlement of disputes by Thunderdome must be sent with existing related documents which must be enclosed or attached with the mail [fees apply].

    6) I do not reply to sensitive questions as there is no expediency in answering them. Make of that what you will.

    7) I do not reply to questions about individuals or people whose real names are mentioned.

    8) I receive emails from all over the world everyday from important Nigerian widows who have big business opportunities for me, so it may take me a long time to answer your question, or I may never answer if it is not expedient under Dobbsian thaumaturgy.

    To submit your question simply ask it in the comments below, or send an email to!! At last your uncertainty is over, Praise "Bob"!

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    What's this blog about?

    This is a blog about whatever I'm interested in at the moment, and my various philosophical ramblings. I'll use labels on the side to organize the topics so you can just jump to what you like to read about.

    I've been very interested in the events in Iran since the June elections there, much to the consternation of many of my friends, who want to know, "Why Iran? Why not..." any of the many other areas in the world afflicted with oppressive dictatorships. I've never been an activist for anything but Slack before, so people are surprised and confused about all this Iran ranting.

    All I can say is, this story has truly captured my interest and my heart. I genuinely want to know what the people of Iran are doing, what they're blogging about it, and I hope with all my heart that they succeed in throwing out the dictators and getting true democracy. It's a very, very intricate and complex story unfolding though, so I completely understand that not all my friends want to take the time or effort to get into following it, which is why I plan to tag all my posts about Iran with the label "Free Iran" so you can just skip those if you don't want to hear about that, or go straight there if that's all you want to hear about.

    Welcome to My New Blog!

    The last time I wrote a blog, it was to discuss some very sad subjects, so I decided to start a new blog to reflect my new perspective on the world gained from all those troubles, and a variety of thoughts on various topics.

    A lot has changed in the years since I had to stop updating my old blog, and I find myself spending a lot of time writing lengthy comments in other people's blogs and sites all the time, so it just seems natural to start my own blog where I can choose the topics! ;-)

    So whether you know me from my previous troubles or from the Church of the SubGenius, or an online community I participate in, or just found this page randomly, welcome to my new blog, I hope you enjoy reading it!