STANG REPORT 8-21-01 -- DEVOtional and BMs

Aug. 21, 2001


HAHAHAHA! "You know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans." (-- from "Foundation's Fear" by G. Benford)

Guess what? My Mac went down.

Actually it only half died. I can operate programs and use my cable modem, but I can't attach my CD burner or other externals. (Luckily I can attach via Ethernet to my elder Mac, which still CAN run those things, albeit in a dreadfully slow and indirect manner.)

Man. I mean, "Dude." I had my new toy, the 60 gig LaCie hard drive, up and running smoothly with my system for TEN MINUTES... TEN MINUTES before something evil broke it and all my other toys. And that evil was named DEVO. Literally.

It was Friday and the DEVOtional was the next day. I wanted to, at the last minute, transfer some recordings from some projects I worked on with Rev. Mark Mothersbaugh in the 80s and 90s, and some unauthorized concert recordings, so I'd have swag to trade for other similar stuff from my fellow DEVO fanboy geeks.

I set up my reel to reel tape player -- well actually I discovered that the reel to reel is dead so I was about to do it from cassette back-up copies instead -- opened up the sound recording prog I use, PEAKII... then suddenly remembered a rant I had written about DEVO and had an urge to print it out before I forgot again that it existed. Couldn't find the text file on my computer immediately so I did a search. That was my undoing. I opened the search prog Sherlock 2 and told it to fetch me anything with "DEVO" in it. My friends, I should have typed " DEVO " with a space before and after it, because there are a LOT of files and words with those four letters imbedded somewhere. Enough to instantly overfill the memory of the search prog and create a System crash (Syst. Finder Error 41 specifically.)

And after that, nothing was the same... the Mac system re-install disks would not boot to fix it with... the SCSI drives were invisible, so my JAZ repair and ORB and ZIP system backups were useless... to make a long story short, I restored my system by copying last week's backup into it.

But now, even after 3 days of extension conflict tests and hardware prodding, my god damn motherboard appears to be FRIED in the area of the PCI Bus Controller. (This might explain the death of the original drive that prompted this entire rigmarole in the first place.)

But my friends. the bigger lesson here might easily escape the less discerning. DEVO IS NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH.

Oh yeah. You can trade your bootleg DEVO tapes... you can make your little fan boy compilations and cover-band collections and backstage secret recordings, you can do that for YEARS... but the spirit of DEVO is almost as powerful as the spirit of "Bob," my friends. (After all, "Bob" invented DEVO in the 50s.) The DEVO spirit will sit and wait patiently, biding its time, humming "Red Eye Express" to itself, or perhaps "Going Under" would be more appropriate, and finally, JUST WHEN YOU ARE AT THE PEAK OF HAPPINESS AND JOY, SO GLAD TO BE RICH ENOUGH TO BE DUBBING AN UNAUTHORIZED DEVO BOOTLEG CD... *THEN* is the moment that the DEVO spirit and its attendant SEARCH PROGRAM GLITCHES will STRIKE!!


Round on the ends, high in the middle....

That said....

After a Friday night of UTTER HELL and about 3 hours of FITFUL sleep indeed, I forced myself over to the DEVOtional at Starwood Center... didn't want to go... all I wanted was for my precious machines to be fixed... but I was expected to "speak".

The minute I got there and saw the first straggling geeks in Power Dome Hats, my bad mood vanished and my joy returned.

I spent the rest of the day in a DEVOLVED HEAVEN. Honestly. It was SUCH a relief to go over to SOMEBODY ELSE'S CULT for awhile! For, my friends, I am an unabashed, shameless DEVO FANBOY GEEK. I was one before Mothersbaugh was saved in "Bob" and became a pal, and I'm still one. AND FOR GOOD REASON! Their stuff is TIMELESS. (Made more so by the fact that they were so widely "borrowed from" by mainstream bands and art designers over the years since). And... their message is TRUE.

I ranted on that fact later on, and what makes one a DEVOtee or a SubGenius... much like what I sermonized on at 4XD and Starwood. About our DISGUST with the DUMBASSERY around us, most especially OUR OWN (Thus the admission that we ARE all DEVO or we are indeed *SUB*genius.)... about being just smart enough to know how dumb you are, which puts you one jump ahead of many a spud on the street... about how, when Mick Jagger sang, "I can't get no girly action," it didn't ring true, but when you saw those spaznerds on Saturday Night Live in those yellow radiation suits jerking back and forth, and THEY said "I can't get no girly action, and I tried, and I tried, and I tr-tr-tr-tr-trtried," YOU BELIEVED IT.

About how "Ohio" I realized DEVO is, having lived here as a transplanted Texan long enough to have pinned down the particular smart-ass, unflappable, skeptical wise-guy accent and attitude common to Northern Ohioans.

But that was late in the evening. During the day we got to see TWO RECENT DEVO CONCERTS projected on video on a huge screen, with great sound. One was shot by a Mutato Muzika employee just a week ago when the Devoes played at a very VERY fancy private party for the opening of some big animation company, "kerchoo Productions" I think it was... oh, they looked 50, and red faced from singing and dancing, Mark huffed and puffed a bit, but THEY STILL HAVE IT!!! These prosperous-looking middle aged gents, PUNKED OUT!!! (Also they wisely stick to their older numbers, the real lively stuff from their heyday.)

And we saw a professionally shot and edited DEVO performance from the Sundance film festival.

Now get this.

It was a great show, performed in striped JAILBIRD SUITS... must have been their thing that year... at the end, for the encore, "Beautiful World," Booji Boy emerged. Wearing DIAPERS under a raincoat. At the climax of the song, HE REACHED DOWN INTO HIS DIAPERS AND, EXTRACTING HANDFULS OF POO-POO, FLUNG IT AT THE AUDIENCE. For like a MINUTE he was flinging "shit". (Hard to tell on the video, it was probably Tootsie Rolls or something like that.) I almost cried, I was so "moved." It reminded me of how GWAR ends concerts with Oderus singing "Sick of You" while urinating on the audience as if through a yellow-water fire hose.

But.. BEFORE the song... the forever-infantile Booji Boy made one of his quavery-voiced, uber-sincere heartfelt inspirational speeches. To paraphrase...

"Spuds... someday, we will go to a better place... a wonderful place called DEVO ISLAND. And... and we want to take ALL of you WITH us to DEVO Island! But... before we go... we want to do one thing... WE WANT TO *KILL* ALL THE NORMALS!!"

(immediate launch into "Beautiful World.")


Anyway... besides the movies, and the interview out-takes, and the incredible tables and cases of memorabilia, stuff that puts the so-called "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" to SHAME... we also got to dance to THREE live bands, ending with a wonderful KARAOKE set that many joined in on (not me). I was SHOCKED to see that my old friend Rev. Toth Wilder has a BEAUTIFUL VOICE!

The main concert was by DUTY NOW FOR THE FUTURE, Earth's Best DEVO Research and Emulation Band. They sure know their DEVO. Their usual lead singer couldn't make it, so the Mothersbaugh position was filled by Rev. Scott Orsi, the SubGenius who was the host of this particular DEVOtional. Michael Pilmer, who set up the first one last year, has an AWFUL voice, incidentally. (But god DAMN he had some good 'frappy.)

AND, I and volunteer swaggartist Rev. Thea (now Rev. GirlUWant) sold a Membership! Welcome aboard the good ship Dobbs, REVEREND SPAZZTECH LUXX!! (Temple of the High-Velocity G-String).



Since then I have been trying to fix the computer. Just gave up and called the warranty place. I may have to part with it, maybe while I'm at Burning Man all next week. God damn it... all this forced partying, and equipment breakage, I'm not getting any work done.

Now I am going to attempt to make HOUR OF SLACK (THREE SHOWS) on this crippled gear. Somehow I must also update SubSITE. Hell, a SubGenius DIED since I was last able to deal with that site. I have until Friday. I also have to pack and get our DIVINE NEW BURNING MAN-"BOB" LOGO DECALS made. The a.b.s. arteests whipped out some KILLER "B.M.-Dobbs" logos, and I'm gonna print all of them, on decals, magnetic sheets, T-shirt transfers, any weird printing medium I can find at Office Max.

If you happen to find yourself at Burning Man, we'll be in the Dobbshead-festooned RV somewhere near the "town center" alongside a group called "TECHNOMANIA."

Look for


We will have a small outdoor theater with free refreshments and free all night badfilms.

Also, Dr. Howll always MCs the Burning Man Fashion Show, so we'll surely be there. And, whenever the Bicycle Breast Parades happen twice a day, look for me there -- I'll be that one guy with the video camera.


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