Rev. Ivan Stang, Jan. 11 '03

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Because Christ the Lord died so very dramatically, receiving such good WoM, and doing it for our sins and all, He, of all His prophet rivals, became so famous that folks the world over celebrate His Birth by giving each other cool presents.

We, the SubGenii and Tripodists of Earth Farm One, enjoy the presents as well. But we know the REBORN Jesus and, though we can't remember His birthday offhand, we're sure it wasn't Dec. 25.

So, to justify presents on Dec. 25th, we celebrate Xistlessnessmas, the non-arrival so far of any Men from Planet X, as prophesied by "Bob."

And I got a surfeit of great presents, which I want to brag about, just to remind the miserable wretches among you that Slack can find even the most Slackless. Slack, and SNOT.

The greatest of my Xmas gifts in terms of size was the Ocean of Snot. Since returning from Xistlessnessmas vacation, I have been swimming in a self-recreating SNOT SEA. The volume of snot that I have been producing by the hour exceeds my own weight, plus everything I ate and drank during the entire 2 week vacation. In other words, for 2 weeks, I did not SHIT as much as I am snotting, PER HOUR, right now. It's the SubGenius Head Cold, a gift that comes with horrible racking coughs yet incessant tickling of the air-tubes, and shriekingly explosive sneezes. It comes every year, regular as fruitcake, from an anonymous giver. I, in turn, always try to pass it on, to as many people as possible, by traveling in crowded airplanes. Spread the Involuntary Slack.

Because the quantity of snot defies the laws of physics, we theorize that perhaps this disease uniquely turns one's mucus membranes into a trans-dimensional floodgate, through which sluices the snot of some next-door universe. Perhaps the snot is a merely a byproduct of quantum foam churning just the other side of my leaking sinus membranes.

The snot is worth it, though, because I really needed that vacation, to recover from getting ready for the vacation. I am starting to recuperate now from the vacation's aftermath.

The plane tickets for the vacation were a gift from the President, or a bribe rather -- the $600 tax "refund" that Wei and I each were given by that generous man in return for our not deeply questioning his possible usurpation of the Presidential throne. She has family in San Francisco, and I have family in North Texas, so we visited both, and caught up with some oldest and eldest SubGenius pals along the way.

We/I stayed in an ornately decorated antique residence-hotel, the Belvoir Hotel in Fremont. Charlie Chaplin and co. used it while filming movies in the surrounding hills (now given over to malls). We speculated whether our room's toilet seat once hosted the bum of the great actor, but decided probably the toilets were new. The drainpipes might've had The Chaplin Experience.

For the first two nights, Wei partied with her brother at jazzy modern go-go bars, these "meat markets" you hear about, while I studied Church Lore at Dr. Philo Drummond's Fifth MegaFisTemple Lodge. Puzzling Evidence joined us and for two days we caught up on future history, monster movies, and filled in more gaps in the new Foundation project, a Church TIMELINE. One night we got messed up and tried to crack the "Bob" corpse out from the lucite block so we could try to make it talk, but all we managed to do was put ugly gouges in the lucite.

I am trying to cram the History of the Church of the SubGenius into a book, with accompanying or separate video program, movie and web pages. This might take a little while. It took Philo and Puzzling and me half a day just to figure out when the first Dokstok was. We could remember EVERY DETAIL -- albeit each DIFFERENTLY -- but nailing down the actual YEAR in which those details happened was devilishly tricky. Every single second was taped, BUT NONE OF THE TAPES WERE DATED! (It was Sept. 9-11, 1983) Just as an example.

When I first went through my old calendars and typed out the first draft of the timeline, I found HUGE GAPS around 1985-90 where practically nothing seemed to have happened in SubGeniusland, at least compared to the incredible density of events in the early 80s and the 90s. There were devivals and Stark Fists and two books, but it seemed THIN somehow, and worst of all, I couldn't seem to REMEMBER much of the Churchly life in those years. At first this worried me, and I was about to chalk it up to brain damage from injudicious partying in my youth, when the simple real reason sunk in.

During those years, I WASN'T paying much attention to SubGeniusly things -- I was having a life. My two kids were in elementary school during this period and, as any of my fellow parents will attest, the BRATS get rather HIGHER PRECEDENCE than "BOB" in one's attention span. My best memories from that time aren't wild SubGenius funfests at all, but FAMILY VACATIONS, SCHOOL PLAYS and the like.

Also, I edited several feature length documentary films during that time, as Doug Smith.

Here's another weird thing about that Timeline. I am doing it in two columns. Column 1 is Dobbs-related history only... his Emaculation, the founding of the Foundation, dates of book and Fist and media barrage publication, etc. Column 2 is the Stang History side, which includes for chrono-reference stuff that happened in my own non-SubGenius life.

Ya know, I had THOUGHT that I had done a pretty good job of keeping Ivan Stang and Doug Smith fairly INTEGRATED during these past 25 years.


When I printed out the crude Timeline and scanned down those two columns, I realized queasily that I was seeing those overviews through TWO MEMORIES. Stang can't remember working on the films "China Run" or "The Cu Chi Tunnels." Doug Smith can't remember working on "Arise." (Both vividly remember making "Let's Visit the World of the Future" in 1973, though!)

But apparently there's yet another "I" that can stand back and see that Stang and Smith have two different memories.

I'M SCARING ME. Let's get back to the Xmas Vacation Report.

I rode BART from Philo's to my in-laws' and found that Cafe Press had finally gotten my swag to me there. I had ordered a lot of our new products from them to give away as Xmas presents. But I wanted to see and photograph them first. Quality control. I hadn't actually seen some of these marvels I had written such excited ad copy for.

Praise "Bob," it all looks great. It isn't overpriced junk. It's reasonably priced quality junk. I hated giving any of it away. We weren't ripping anyone off after all. Whew.


Wei and I spent Christmas Eve singing Christmas carols with her Jewish family at a Unitarian church. Bolting them out like Michael Bolton. I'm a sucker for mutated versions of the basic Norman Rockwell - Frank Capra holiday scene. (*Incidentally, we saw that Jim Carey Grinch movie on the plane... "nice sets" is about all I can say for that one.)

We spent all Xmas day eating rich things like Dutch Babies. I could go into a lot of detail about the piggy overkill, but suffice it to say that we really did gluttonize pretty much nonstop for 2 weeks, and every bite was unbelievably good, almost sickeningly yummy. We didn't stop swallowing until we got home. Then we got head colds and drank only chicken soup and remedy serums.

One place we ate was at Palmer Vreedeez' house in darkest San Francisco. Turns out the great artist is as daftly deft with cuisine as he is at creatively deforming religious figurines (of which he has a new series so original that he wisely wouldn't let me photograph them). Following a true Gut Blowout of home made paella, his girlfriend Mimi, third most patient woman on earth, provided us a ride into Berkeley for the Puzzling Evidence radio show on KPFA. By this ruse we managed to trick the normally reclusive Palmer into participating in the marathon show.

Don Joyce of the Over the Edge show (aka Negativland show) kindly merged his show with the SubShow which follows it every Friday a.m., allowing a FIVE HOUR LIVE RADIO MARATHON which was broadcast all over Northern California, for better or worse. The Drummondianated theme of this epic:


taking the form of a SubGenius Executive Retreat at Sulfur Pond Resort, reported by Bud Good of Universal Media Netweb.

Participants at the Retreat included LIES, Puzzling Evidence, Gary G'broagfran, Rev. Michael Peppe, Bishop Joey from the First Church of the Last Laugh, Don Joyce, Princess Wei R. Doe, Dr. Philo Drummond, Col. Sphinx Drummond (by phone), Rev. Rob on live music. (Dr. Howll was out of town.) Various other worthies including Famous Callers and the legendary "Pedro" dropped in and out. God only knows what tuned and turned in and out.

The first KPFA SubGenius show, with me, LIES and Puzzling Evidence, was in June, 1982 (thanks to Bob Nelson). This was a 20th year reunion. Jesus fucking Christ.

I have listened back to the first hour and it's pretty good, if you're on cough syrup. I have no idea about the other 4 hours. Don't remember any of it. I never do. When I play back the tapes it's like I'm hearing it all for the first time. Luckily, that makes it easier to tell which parts suck and which parts don't. I'm supposed to be mailing out Hour of Slack 872 TODAY, Saturday, so it looks like Hour 1 of the Executive Retreat is it.

I haven't answered any emails or phone calls. Wei and I have been blowing our noses and slowly unpacking, that's about it. And, you know, recovering. The way we do.

From San Francisco, we ate our way to North Texas, to inspect the cows on the Stang ancestral cow farm, along with my siblings, their families, my Mammy, Pappy and my kids and their respective fiancees. The place was crawling with Stang DNA.

While showing Princess Wei around the back 40, what should we literally stumble upon but a HUGE FOSSIL "PIPE". Finding a fossil in this particular landscape is not unusual. The area is known for not only dinosaur tracks but, among Creationist circles, for Yeti tracks dating from the Cretaceous, the late Age of Dinosaurs. But a huge fossil PIPE..! Measuring at least 30 inches across... simply astounding. Foundation scientists have it now; we're still awaiting the findings. Meanwhile, teams are searching the creekbed in question for traces of fossilized 'Frop, which we hope will provide clues to the Great Extinction.

We even made it into god-forsaken DALLAS ITSELF, BRIEFLY, with my sister, C-! the RubGenius, who now IS a large scar, just as she predicted in Book of the SubGenius. Saw my daughter's strangely neat and uncluttered abode. Funny, when she lived at home, she used her clothes and toys as a kind of 2 foot thick CARPET over everything.

Dok Frop and Sister Decadence escorted us south to Austin for NEW YEARS WITH JESUS. Magdalen and ConBo had flown north for the winter, unfortunately, but we got to finally see the new 6th (or is it 7th?) MegaFisTemple Lodge, which sure beats the hell out of the last one, in doomed Big D. Bashar and Mrs. G. Gordon Gordon, and Colonel Sphinx Drummond, joined us for barbecued, paid reminiscing, filling in burnt-out gaps in the Timeline document, which I now drag everywhere with me.

We also saw the Geddyns during a productive and belly-filling stop at the Minitru HQ, and kind of half-met numerous SubGenii who I only LATER was able to "place" with the email handles by which I knew them. People must introduce themselves to me by SubGenius name or e-handle. Your human names are meaningless to me. I don't remember them and I don't REALLY even hear them. I can only keep you weirdos straight by your weirdo names. Your straight names are all too weird.

At no point did we STOP eating.

I saw a gated community where one of my relatives lives, one of those ultra-Pink complexes harboring zillions of Norms and Normas, called... "THE VILLAGE."

You are Number Six.

Anyway we ate and ate and ate and got on an airplane in sunny warm Texas and flew home with swiftly developing head colds to snowbound Cleveland, where I slowly read through alt.slack while SICK, sick as a DAWG, horking up lungers and sneezing out sprays of goo from nose, ears and EYE-CORNERS, coughing like a dog trying to dislodge a flea in his throat. Now THAT'S the way to read alt.slack.

Wei and I broke out the GOOD serums for alt.binaries.slack. A MONTH of alt.binaries.slack. It was EYE-JACK-OFF. One can "CREAM" on a strictly visual basis, the brain squirting endorphins in a paroxysm of aesthetic glee upon viewing this incredible TRIPPY "BOB" SHIT!! Codini had posted a porno-Dobbs theatrical "go to the lobby for soft drinks" countdown leader movie that will of course be inserted HEAD FIRST. Then there's the three REALLY CRAZY GUYS, Heart Ignition, Fernandinande LeMur, and IMBJR. Oh, and now a fourth guy, ESPIRA. Rev. Espira's apparently in full-fledged possession by the SubGenius Art Devils. But then there's these other ARTEESTES who aren't yet spending EVERY waking second doing fucked up Dobbsheadism in Photoshop,
ignatz topolino

I downloaded my email and there were only 275. When I removed the spam there were maybe 40. I will get to those. I went to the PO and there must have been half a dozen people sending me up to 6 CDs each of their noises and compilations. I will get to those.

But then we had to UNPACK. Jesus had given me a passle of CDs and tapes and letters that had been sent to Austin but meant for me... I will get to those... and boxes of documents from The Day that didn't need to be in Texas, we sorted through all that stuff... AND THEN WE STREWED OUR PRESENTS ALL ABOUT AND REVELED IN THEM! We drenched ourselves in our new swag n junk n stuff. We could forget how much we'd SPENT. Because this stuff was so WEIRD. We get WEIRD STUFF from people. Gee, I... I wonder why.

My DAD gave us a complex wooden CRANK that he made himself. It has two handles and you crank it. That's all. It's a layover to catch meddlers. My dad has excelled at creating those since I can remember.

IrREV. FRIDAY JONES gave us the COOLEST GOD DAMN WEIRD COLORFUL PSYCHEDELIC SQUID-SEX-VIOLENCE SHIRT. And a BOX full of candy filled cockroaches, bug gut pills, bug sex sci fi novels, and BUG GUT CHOCOLATE SEX MONEY! But the damn SQUID shirt... seeing is believing. Wei suspects that this bizarre fabric was not ALWAYS a SHIRT. THANK YOU, FRIDAY JONES!! (I still think of her EVERY TIME I DON'T SMOKE, and I haven't in 6 years. That's a lot of times not smoking.)

Then there was the TRANSLUCENT BLOCK OF SOAP WITH THE IMBEDDED RUBBER CHICKEN from my niece. The FROP ABUSER 1st ANAL FROP CUP AMSTERDAM T-Shirt from the EuroSubs. The SEX BUDDHA STATUE with two people fucking under his butt, from Puzzling Evidence. The various futuristic knick-knacks of glasslike substances, with angels and devils laser-etched inside, or unearthly cat's-eye flaws leading to tiny alternate universes-within-universes. Apparently. THE HEAD-SCRATCHING OCTOPUS! The Witch Shaped Lollipop. The Ever-Changing Trippily Lit-up Flying Saucer Spinning Top. The Stealth Fighter Shaped Pencil Sharpener. A Huey Succubus. As seen on alt.binaries.slack.

Santa gave Princess Wei the Princess Wei Fan Club purse, tile, T-shirt and postcard set. Doug Smith gave us the "Bob" and Connie Wall Clock and the 45 Dobbsheads Mouse Pad! I'll be able to smash EVERY mouse with that.

And... thanks to Sis Dec and Dok Frop, we now have the X-DAY AT BRUSHWOOD TOY SET! Actually it's "The Island of Misfit Toys" set of painted figurines from the olden stop-motion puppet "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" TV special. The Island of Misfit Toys has always held a special place in our hearts because of its similarity to X-Day as seen from the Brushwood stage, a resemblance pointed out by Jesus at our very first X-Day Drill in 1996.

Anyway, then, as heard by Nenslo and Legume, I was killed in a tragic car wreck. I did my first live ESO radio show the other night from my open casket while TECHNICALLY DEAD, perhaps a show business first.

I am starting to feel better now, though, thanks. I can't wait to inspect all the keen CDs that have accumulated, and answer all that email. Thank you everybody for everything. EVEN NENSLO!

As long as I'm next to Princess Wei, I am the happiest guy in the world. Next to "Bob". Happy Next New Last Year!

Rev. Stang