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!