Last week, this brave, cleverly-named fellow, email@example.com (Rapeman), posted a reprint of Bob Black's letter in winter 1991 issue of Mondo 2000. Black's letter was complaining about how Mondo had let themselves be duped all unknowing into printing my review of my own book (*titter* -- giggle -- snort -- HYAH HA HA HAW HAW!!), and about how evil and insidious all us SubGenius old-timers are in general. What's interesting is that Mr. Rape Man (I can't get over the sheer originality of that name) didn't include Mondo's short, very sarcastic reply, which clearly stated what was probably obvious to everybody but Black and Rapeman from the git-go -- that OF COURSE I was reviewing my own book, that that was part of the WHOLE JOKE and perfectly appropriate for SubGenius, and also that they thought Black was making an idiot of himself for the millionth time. Their response was something along the lines of, "OH, REALLY? No wonder there was a check for $20,000 included with that review! Some people will do ANYTHING to get their names in print!"
Why RapeBoy would dredge this crap up is beyond me, unless he just wanted to get me riled up so I would finally start telling JUST WHAT I REALLY THINK about Bob Black. But I'm not gonna let myself be lured into that sort of low waste of time. The last thing I need is to spend more of my limited time responding to some JEALOUS DUMBASS.
AH HELL. WHY NOT? It's about time; that asshole has been trashing people senselessly for long enough. I just have to be careful not to say anything untrue or exaggerrated, because Black had a little law school training in the past and likes to sue any chance he can get. I suppose he has lots of free time for that sort of thing.
Below is Black's letter, with my comments [[in brackets like this]].
Warming over the SubGenius one-joke, ten years tired, for the
techno-nerds? [["Techno-nerd" in Blackspeak = anybody who can afford or operate a computer.]] In your case, you might as well. [[Compare this snide intro to Bob's ass-kissing statements at the end of the letter.]] Like your model reader, SubGenius might well be defined as a white male who didn't date in high school. [[As if this were BAD! It's a nice one-liner, but not entirely accurate. It doesn't even describe ME. Sure I'm ugly, but I dated plenty in high school; they just weren't SUCCESSFUL dates. (At first. And I won't even comment on my current "dating" opportunities, EH EH EH!!) Despite the stereotype, I'd say that while half of the SubGenius males probably DID have frustrating high school sex lives, the other half are handsome, studly, smart go-getters who hate Normals because they're IMPATIENT with them, not because Normal chicks wouldn't fuck 'em. For every Stang-like Ex-Nerd Triumphant, there's a Pope David Meyer. And Black doesn't appear to even KNOW about the SubGenius UBERBABES. Now why would that be?]]
Somebody has to be the last to "get it," and SubGenius is ideal for the system's Walter Mittys, its docile drones who suppose their technical skills and off-hours hobbies somehow set them above all the other suckers and, by this very supposition, confirm that THEY'RE suckers too. [[Is this why Bob Black was the loudest, most irritating hard-core Bobbie fanboy for 5 years prior to his "falling out"?]]
Editorial corruption reaches a new low as Douglass St. Clair Smith ("Doug St. Clair") reviews, favorably - suprise, suprise! - Three-Fisted Tales of "Bob" edited by Douglass St. Clair Smith ("Ivan Stang"). [[ Gee, you can tell I must've been trying REALLY HARD to FOOL somebody!! How would ANYBODY but Black be BRILLIANT enough to connect "Doug St. Clair" with "Douglass St. Clair Smith," my all too commonly-known human name?]] SubGenius is so devoid of talent and energy that Smith is the only Sub competent to review himself, although understandably he'd rather not say so. [[Hear that, everybody? You're ALL talentless, according to masterful writer Bob Black.]] I too wrote a book - "Ivan Stang" ecstatically introduced it [[ A slight exaggerration; Black had to convince me he wasn't guilty of ARSON before I'd review his little booklet of old rants; and I was dumb enough to BELIEVE him, against the advice of everybody who'd known him in San Francisco!]] - but I was never reduced to writing my own reviews. [[He's just mad because he didn't THINK of it!]] Why did you make room for this odious instance consumer fraud? [[DUH!!! The whole thing was MONDO'S IDEA, a perfectly acceptable SubGenius inside-joke, and only BLACK would be vile-minded enough to think it was some kind of TRICK! Black also doesn't mention that, while I raved about how great all the other authors' short stories were, I described Stang's story as a real disappointment and surprisingly low-brow. (It was meant, actually, as an homage to the Doc Savage pulp novels of the '30s.) So I wasn't exactly jacking myself off, although I was giving the worthy other authors a good reach-around!]]
Incidentally, there is no reason to pay $40 for the SubGenius video when quality bootlegs are readily available for half the price. Freedom of information! [[ Yeah right. This refers to Bob's little buddy who sold 3 bad dupes of ARISE through an ad in Factsheet Five for $15 "to hurt Dobbs where it counts -- the WALLET!" The guy spent more on the ad than he made in shitty mono bootleg sales. Incidentally, ARISE costs $20 these days.]]
If Lewis Shiner, whom I greatly respect - whose novel Slam credits me as a "major inspiration" [[Bob Black used to be a fairly witty writer, long ago]]- had not gone to prep school with Smith, I doubt if some of the other cyber-punks would perpetuate their compromising connection with the SubGenius scam. He needs them, they don't need him. Lew Shiner and I were 4 grades apart and didn't know each other then -- and I wasn't a rich kid, as Black is implying. It's as if Black thinks there's a "cyberpunk cabal" that gets together and has policy meetings about trivial crap like this. And don't you know he wishes he was in on those meetings!]]
Why, who thinks for a moment there is anything radically challenging, politically or culturally, about this SubGenius sole proprietorship (you guessed it, "Stang")? [[Sorry, The SubGenius Foundation, Inc., is a corporation, jointly owned by Stang, Smith and Drummond, with a couple of dozen others who get royalties. And I could go into just who DOES think there might be something good about the Church, but those names have been dropped for years by Simon & Schuster, and I don't feel the need to drag out that roster of major cultural innovators again... a lot of them are listed in the credits of REVELATION X and the other books.]]
I would refer you to that photo on pp. 154-155 of Puzzling Evidence (Doug Wellman), assassination the fictive "Bob." (Seconds later I myself "killed" Wellman, yes I write from inside knowledge.) [[Whoa! Big man! One minute he's talking about how bad we are, and suddenly he's BRAGGING about how he got to be in a show with us once!]] Let your readers, especially in the Bay Area, be tempted to smoke a little 'Frop as Subs call it (and as I have) [[WOW!!! HOW COOL!]] with Wellman, they might like to know he's an Oakland police officer. [[This was told to Bob Black as a JOKE, and he decided not only to BELIEVE it, but to REVEAL it! (The fact is, Wellman is a FEDERAL narcotics agent, not some dinky city cop!)]]
SubGenius, which started out as a parody of a cult, has turned into one. [[He has it backwards... or does he? Or... could it have ALWAYS been BOTH, and Black NEVER QUITE CAUGHT ON to that??]] Once a middle-management SubGenius hierarch, [[not exactly, since there is no such thing to MY knowledge.]], I, then "Mahatma Propagandhi," broke with the Church and published criticisms of it. [[Funny what Bob leaves out here. He decided I was an evil mastermind after we didn't print all his rants, after I showed alarm instead of support when Black wrote me saying he was going to kill Nenslo and then himself, after it finally sunk in that we didn't REALLY intend to commit hate crimes for his revolution, and after his girlfriend threw him out for being a mooching, tiresome whiner. She continued to hang out with some of the other Boston SubGenii, and the only explanation that Black could come up with was that I must have "directed" all these people to turn against him! Now get ready for the real whopper:]] A year ago, an inner-circle Texas SubGenius, John Hagen-Brenner sent me a mail bomb. [[Yep, the Hellswami sent 4 Black Cat firecrackers through the mail to Black, because he was pissed at what Black had (ostensibly) done to a defenseless kid (no details here because Hagen may have been being lied to about what Black actually did). And this had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with any aspect of the Church of the SubGenius, except that all these people happened to meet each other through the Church. Black likes to tell people that because Black wrote a bad review of High Weirdness, I "directed" Hagen to send this deadly "mail bomb."]] He pleaded guilty on August 20 and will be sentenced on November 1. [[Hagen had to pay a fine of $1,000 because it is technically a crime to send 4 Black Cat firecrackers through the mail.]] SubGenius is now a lowing herd of consumers [[ that's YOU, folks!]] with an upper crust of yuppie snobs who tell them what to laugh at and when. [[ Vreedeez! Sterno! Philo! Janor! Gordon! Nenslo! Hal! Hear that? We're not redneck poebucker hippies anymore! Now we're rich snobs! And YOUNG!]] As my readers know I press the boundaries of humor to their limits [[sure, if not being very funny is the limit]] but really, is an attempt on my limbs or my eyesight risible?
[[Note how Black takes a firecracker mail prank caused by something entirely unrelated, and turns it into an attempt on his life by the gigantic Church conspiracy. I'll tell you what IS risible. Bob Black's liver.]]
Very sincerely, [[Oh, we can TELL!]]
P.S. This will be published in my next book, [[Notice he doesn't say WHICH book]] so why not avert well-publicized contempt, evince a modicum of integrity and publish it yourself?
I say this as a friend. [[Most Hilarious Line of the Whole Letter.]]
Here's what kind of person is poor, noble, put-upon Bob Black. When he decided I was the antiBlack (which would probably be true if I GAVE A SHIT), he took the insulting put-downs I wrote in HIGH WEIRDNESS BY MAIL about the white supremacist hate groups, xeroxed 'em, and sent them WITH MY "REAL" NAME AND MY FAMILY'S STREET ADDRESS to those self-same hate-groups! -- one of which actually PUBLISHED an exhortation to their readers to locate "the Jew Stang" in Dallas and "remind him what some of our readers did to a certain other smart-ass Jew talk-show host in Denver!" Do you wonder why someone fighting the born-agains, fascists and racists, while living in the Bible Belt, might want to use a pen name that sounds more real than the REAL name, with folks like Black and the Racial Loyalty poebuckers sharing information? (Although they STILL got my religion wrong!)
If you doubt the veracity of anything I'm saying, you're welcome to ask any SubGenius old-timer, or damn near any publishers of so-called "alternative" or underground stuff in the 1980s,what they might happen to know about it. Even better, GET TO KNOW BOB BLACK YOURSELF. Yeah! Take him out for a few drinks. Be his GOOD PAL. You'll learn all manner of terrible things about all the rest of us. I'm not saying Bob Black doesn't have supporters. I know of two fanzine-article-writing pudge-boys-in-black who STILL think he's God's gift to gossip -- and they also seem to expend a lot of energy hating my guts, without having ever dealt with me personally or professionally on any level.
Gee, it's great being "famous" for making fun of everything famous.
Now for some responses to the comments that followed in that thread:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Modemac)
"The mail bomb incident is interesting - it just shows how far gone some
"Bobbies" can be."
[[No, it shows how easy it was for a reasonable person to believe a TOTAL LIE based on nothing but a lone nut's word in a crank letter.]]
"Blaming "Bob" and Stang for some asshole trying to kill you in the name
of a JOKE like the Church of the SubGenius doesn't go very far." [[What's this "JOKE" business??]]
"All I can say is, Stang has no need to explain or defend himself in the
mail bomb incident, because he and the Foundation had nothing to do with
it." [[Sometimes I almost wish we HAD sent him a REAL mail bomb!]]
"HOWEVER, there is a serious issue there - the claim of Stang writing his
own review of THREE-FISTED-TALES for a magazine." [[SERIOUS?!?!? Mondo 2000 and I thought it was a pretty FUNNY IDEA! But what's REALLY funny is the idea of us giving a rancid poot what ANY professional "reviewer" says, period!]]
The journalistic integrity of "Mondo 2000" isn't on the same level as the New York Times, [[probably a lot higher]] and it may be that they were in on the joke all the time. [[MAY be...!]] But I can't make any assumptions based on a single accusation. [[Whaddya mean "ACCUSATION"? You should've CONGRATULATED me when you even SUSPECTED I wrote my own review!]]
Seriously, thanks for alerting me to the post in the first place.
>"That's how the Net is - there are some people who get a kick out of making other people's lives hell, and I'm sure you've gotten more than your share of it trying to pass off the Church of the SubGenius as a religion."
Whaddya mean "pass off"? It IS a religion! Among other things.
What REALLY surprised me was Nenslo's mellow reaction.
Ironically, I've only met Bob Black a few times, and he never said much, he usually just hung back and sipped and "observed." The last time we had a conversation was at the Boston Bobylon in 1985. He'd been watching me deal with people and he came up and said, "Stang, you don't REALLY hate everybody, do you?"
I said, "Hell no! Are you kidding? I don't even really HATE the NORMALS. If I REALLY HATED EVERYBODY, do you think I'd be working my ass off in the name of SLACK? If I HATED like THAT, I'd be a heroin addict, not a fucking PREACHER!!" (I think perhaps the doctrine of Hate-Squared grew from this.)
And Bob Black said, "That's the difference between us, then. I really DO hate everybody." And that was pretty much the last thing he said to me.
I was lying; there have been 5 people that I can honestly say I hate. One is Black (not just for what utter crap he says about me, but for everything ELSE he's done to SubGeniuses); one is Bob Dean, the fake Bob of the "Media Ecology" trash cds (and if you ever meet THAT slimy, smarmy asshole, you'll know JUST WHAT I MEAN); an ex-neighbor I call Crank Poebucker; a guy who's dead now (which is one reason I hate him) so it doesn't matter; and somebody else whose name hasn't come up in alt.slack SO LET'S KEEP IT THAT WAY, SHALL WE??
And that's it! But I don't use the term "hate" lightly. Some of you may be surprised that I left out (CENSORED), (CENSORED) and (CENSORED), but it's hard for me to HATE people who are simply MENTALLY ILL.
So now you know. I'm a HYPOCRITE in MY HATING!!
Rev. Ivan "Six-Faced Lying Devious Bastard" Stang
Setting the Record Straight
-- from "MY" (i.e., "The Only Correct") Point of View...
... at least until Dobbs gets tired of it and kicks ALL our miserable asses!
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