by Rev. Ivan Stang
from the "Sizzlin' Hot" Stark Fist, 1993
If all this sounds "big-time" to you, keep in mind that little of this provide us with 'advance royalty checks' to speak of. FAITH fuels our banging of our heads against the wall. When you run across a mention of the Church in the New York Times, or Newsweek (I am told they just said we were a 'big college fad' -- !! Yeah, sure), don't let that trick you into thinking we've BEEN ABLE TO SELL OUT yet. We WILL, someday, BUT ON OUR OWN TERMS -- for enough, perhaps, to then do a 'hostile takeover' and BUY OUT the CONSPIRACY ITSELF!!
I reproduce here a sample "Hour of Slack Sermon Script" -- written for the spoken word, much different from a rant for print, punctuated and vocabularized for the radio speaker... but... what the HELL.
This is my rant on SELLING OUT.
We suspected that when MTV started running this slick, bold surrealist commercial for the Church of the SubGenius, that a certain type of person would be HORRIFIED and would accuse us of selling out. But I wasn't prepared for how QUICKLY we'd recieve a letter that PERFECTLY REPRESENTS that kind of... well, let's call it thinking. For convenience. Actually it's a knee-jerk, preprogrammed reaction that reveals far more about its writer than he might guess. According to Rev. 3.0 and Rev. the Swede, who monitor these SubGenius computer bulletin boards, a whole lot of the computer-nerd gimme-Bobs -- the REAL armchair SubGeniuses, you might say, whose ONLY reality is VIRTUAL -- are also all up in arms.
But let me read you this letter, and so as to not sound too peevish I'll try not to drop in my own editorial comments until the end. Stay with me here, because this IS all leading to something way above and beyond whether or not I as director of the SubGenius TV commercial can take a joke, ok?
My withered and dying Church,
Could you be any more pink? I innocently flipped my holy Tube box to MTV a minute ago in pursuit of some decadent pinkism. Can you imagine my disgust when I heard the phrase "pull the wool over your own eyes" and as the screen flickered to life, the visage of my high holy god of Slack appeared before my eyes? Can you relate to the shame I feel, knowing that the Church has taken out ads on MTV? What's next, Nickolodeon? How about an appearance by "Bob" on the Simpsons. Is nothing profane anymore? I remember the pride I felt when I showed people my card, proclaiming myself to be a Doktor of the Forbidden Sciences. I remember the frenzy I'd achieve preachjing the good word to neophytes and initiates. Now when I approach a latent SubGenius, they'll just think I'm some MTV generation poseur. Many Subs have accused me of being pink for sending you my $20. What will they think now. "Hmmph, a preacher from some religion that advertises on MTV. Bet he's pink!"
In the book of the SubGenius it is stated that letting the pinks into the Church is the only thing that will destroy it. How are you going to weed out the pinks and leave the true Subs if you advertise on MTV? It is likely that the Church will be destroyed not by Pink members but by Pinks at the top of the Hierarchy. Have you forgotten about the casting out of false prophets? It seems more like you welcome them.
I am torn between firing up on the religion now more than ever and casting out the false prophets, or burning my card and turning to Discordianism, which will never advertise on MTV. Please redeem yourselves.
The Reverend (His Name Omitted to Spare Him the UNSPEAKABLE EMBARRASSMENT He so RICHLY DESERVES).
Well --- Congratulations, Reverend Your Name Omitted to Spare You the UNSPEAKABLE EMBARRASSMENT you so RICHLY DESERVE. Your ill-thought letter has every listener over the age of 17 laughing their butts off, and moreover has inspired this whole new rant.
In his letter he asked, "How are you going to weed out the pinks and leave the true Subs if you advertise on MTV?" Well, his letter is proof that it's doing just that. With this guy we've certainly weeded out one abject Bobbie.
I showed this letter to somebody last night -- someone fairly new to SubGenius, not a fanatic -- and he was shocked. He said, "Bob preserve us from SUBGENIUS FUNDAMENTALISTS." And that's exactly what this letter represents. Might as well be Southern Baptist kooks or Islamic fundamentalists. Or Wiccan fundamentalists for god's sake. They're AFRAID to see anybody fight the Conspiracy in any NEW ways that aren't like the good old comfortable OBSCURITY they're used to, the "underground hip with-it SCENE" they can HIDE the Church in where they'll only encounter their fellow WHEY-FACED MEALY-MOUTHED INTELLECTUALS. Just about anybody with Brain One would recognize the MTV spot for being the STUPIFYING, MAGNIFICENT COUP THAT IT IS, and would be JUMPING UP AND DOWN with INSANE GLEE to see us FIX IT to where the Conspiracy PAYS US to EVACUATE OURSELVES SPECTACULARLY in its FACE, thereby PROVING BLATANTLY OUR NUMBER ONE POINT. But apparently this guy MISSED that number one point. Ehh, Maybe he just didn't READ that first pamphlet. Maybe he SKIMMED PAST the first BOLD FACED PROCLAMATIONS in the Book of the SubGenius. And he SURE as hell didn't pay the SLIGHTEST attention to the LAST chapter of the Book of the SubGenius. Which I might recommend several of you to reread... Chapter 20. The one "BOB" wrote.
This letter is a vivid illustration that the worst Bobbies -- that is, mal-aligned normals who WANT to be SubGeniuses for all the wrong reasons, believing all the wrong lies -- are always the first ones to suddenly start screaming "Pink!" whenever they see another SubGenius who isn't wearing THEIR particular pseudo-nonconformist's UNIFORM. (Just like I'm doing now!) The ones who THINK they know who's PINK and who isn't by WHAT CHANNEL THEY WATCH or HOW OLD THEY ARE or HOW THEY DRESS. EFFETE SNOBS, in other words. Always casting the first correctly culturally incorrect stone. The BOBBIE is the one who's yelling the loudest, "Cast out the Bobbies! ...And start with that guy! He's not a REAL SubGenius... I CAN TELL!!" Taking everything at FACE VALUE. Too SHALLOW and SHELTERED and NAIVE, and PROGRAMMED, to understand anything but the most Nazi-like, bristling chameleon camouflage SURFACE SKIN of the Church of the SubGenius. SOME YOU JUST NEVER DID CATCH ON TO "BOB'S DEAL, DID YOU?? You really do think that YOU can outguess "BOB" DOBBS as to who's WORTHY and who ISN'T.
Well, let's reread what he wrote here:
"Many Subs have accused me of being pink for sending you my $20. What will they think now?"
-- He CARES??
He isn't using the Church for "Bob's" glory OR his own spiritual advancement down the path of Least Resistance! He's a SubGenius because he THINKS it'll make him.... "COOL."
But oh, boo hoo hoo, the evil Church old-timers have gone and MESSED EVERYTHING UP for the poor neglected SubGenius. Now he won't be the only one "in" on the "inside joke" anymore. !!
-- Oh no! What if the captain of the football team joins the Church!?! Then the SubGenius girls will NEVER go out with him! (Heh... and I bet you thought the Church was gonna lead you to finally gettin' LAID, DIDN'T ya?? Gee, SORRY about that, kid.)
YOU POOR DELUDED FOOL!!! This Church is for SUPERIOR mutants, not WIMPY CRYBABIES!! HAS NOT DOBBS STATED ALL ALONG THAT THE CHURCH IS THE ONE TRUE SALVATION FOR ALL THE SUBGENIUSES, not just the cloistered nervous dweebs, AND THAT WE MUST NOT STOP OUR OUTREACH UNTIL THE CONSPIRACY IS SMASHED AND EVERY POSSIBLE SUB HAS IN FACT PAID its Sacred $20 so as to be ELIGIBLE for a TICKET to the WAITING LINES for a SEAT on the ESCAPE VESSELLS OF THE SEX-MEN FROM PLANET X, ON X-DAY July 5th 1998 at 7 am????? What'd you think we're gonna do, refuse to allow the image of Dobbs to appear anywhere but politically correct mimeographed handouts at colleges?? "Oh, don't run COMMERCIALS on MTV!! Let the CHRISTIANS run commercials on EVERY OTHER CHANNEL, but oh, (huh huh) "BOB FORBID" letting the Word of Dobbs indiscriminately go out to MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF IMPRESSIONABLE KIDS all over the GLOBE!! Because... because... MTV just isn't FASHIONABLE anymore. See, I hate everything popular, that means I'm not a slave to fashion!!"
What's the difference? NOW you're a slave to what's NOT fashion... but according to WHO?? -- STILL according to the dictates of the NORMALS. Hey, snap out of it. There ARE some things that are good for both normals AND SubGeniuses to have. Like FOOD. SEX. and MONEY. Even CATTLE need these things.
For your information -- unlike your amateur "bizzare fake religions", this Church is FAR from satisfied with wallowing in underground obscurity -- because PREACHING TO THE SAVED IS FOR COWARDS. We're here to UNBUCKLE THE BIBLE BELT!! Dobbs commissioned this Church to impart the CONCEPTS of Slack, "Bob", and the warning about the Conspiracy far and wide, to every clime and shore, to every possible potential SubGenius. If some Pinks join up, FINE, we get their money and ignore them, or occasionally compose RANTS about how stupid they are, like this one. The other Pinks will be either offended or confused, depending on if they're smart Pinks or dumb Pinks, respectively, and the newly-saved SubGenii will bust a gut laughing and recognize with tears in their eyes that if the Church can even EXIST, that there is STILL HOPE no matter how... well, absurd it might be. "It's just SO crazy, it just might work!" But those BOBBIES .. oh, those Bobbies will get JEALOUS.... SO jealous that their -- quote their unquote -- little `secret coded inside joke' might GET AWAY FROM `EM and might even be shared by someone THEY HATED AND FEARED... mayhaps, someone... BETTER than them? Someone... LUCKIER? Someone... YOUNGER?... with more... GUTS and ORIGINALITY?? Or even someone so WEIRDLY ADEPT that they HAVE to LOOK NORMAL in order not to get CAUGHT??
And this guy talks about "Casting out the false prophets..." He's gonna do it `cause we aren't. I suppose a false prophet is anyone and everyone you see on TV. Before you saw Frank Zappa on TV, he was a true warrior for the mutants. Now you see him on TV so now he must be a false prophet. But just exactly where do you draw the line? If it is EVIL to have MTV finance and show your mutant public service announcement, then is it ALSO evil to have NIGHTFLIGHT show the SubGenius video ARISE in installents? Or is that somehow OKAY since NightFlight is 33% LESS PINK than MTV, and PAYS less, or is it OK because ARISE is an el-cheapo low-budget 90 minutes while the commercial is an intense and professional one minute? Would it be okay if we'd made that commercial on Super 8 film and only shown it on local cable access shows that 25 people watch? Would THAT serve "Bob" better -- or would it serve YOU, keeping YOU the "big stinky fish" in the tiny local SubGenius POND? EH?? What IS your REAL MOTIVATION for wanting to keep the Word of "Bob" out of the hands of 20 million teenagers?
What the hell does he think will happen when those millions of kids see that spot on MTV?? NOTHING, for the most part. The dumb ones will be confused and the smart ones might be tempted to actually purchase The Book of the SubGenius... if they ever accidentally enter a bookstore someday. But some would rather the Church sit around like themselves, masturbating to its own hidden coolness. Somehow I get the distinct impression that this is a high school kid who has never had to support himself, or he'd INSTANTLY REALIZE that the commercial a) rapes the minds of normals, b) makes more MONEY for "BOB", and c) being well-done, drags in more mutant members -- NOW WHAT IN THE SWEET NAME OF "BOB" IS WRONG WITH MORE SAVED SUBGENIUSES AND MORE MONEY FOR THEM?? I know what's wrong. Then the BOBBIES don't feel SPECIAL anymore. Oh lord, what in heaven's name would they ever DO if suddenly there were SubGeniuses around who were SMARTER, FUNNIER and BETTER (or WEIRDER) LOOKING than them?
Why, their little circle jerk just wouldn't be as "underground" anymore.
Well you can take THAT whimpery attitude and stick it where "Bob" don't care to LOOK. Mabe you didn't HEAR what we were SAYING. We won't rest until EVERY LIVING THING ON THIS PLANET BOWS DOWN BEFORE "BOB" DOBBS IN TOTAL SUBMISSION!!!! We'll force "BOB" down the CHOKING THROATS of every BABY in the UNIVERSE. We won't stop until we've peeled the very SKIN back from the SKY ITSELF and make it SQUIRT OUT THE WORD of the NAME of "B-b-BOB"!! WE WILL BURY YOU!!! Your infidel mothers of treason will howl in anquish at the torture of your SKELETONS at our hands, and the oceans shall HEAVE with the BLOOD of your DESCENDENTS!! And you better believe it won't just be MTV, it'll be ABC, NBC and CBS and PBS and every local affiliate and independent! And it won't just be a one minute SubGenius COMMMERCIAL, Oh NO!! It'll be nothing BUT "BOB" on TV ALL THE TIME, and you won't be allowed to TURN IT OFF!! By the time we're through, you'll be SO SICK OF "BOB" that THEN you just MIGHT FINALLY UNDERSTAND, and you'll want to KILL "BOB" YOURSELF!! And then you'll know why WE were the first ones to TRY to do just that!! Oh, we're WAY ahead of ya boy. But then, just like we did, you'll learn that, try all you want to kill "Bob", it's the ULTIMATE exercise in futility. For "Bob" CANNOT DIE. It's out of our hands and yours, pal. "BOB" DOBBS is loosed upon the world and is even now slouching towards Bethlehem whether you or we like it or not. If he wants to SUPPLANT the Conspiracy, he WILL!! So you might as well get used to it, and continue OBEYING HIS EVERY COMMAND -- and SENDING MORE MONEY TO THE CHURCH would be as good a place to start as ANY!! Believe me, you people who think you are SO SOPHISTICATED are but the first FEW TENTATIVE INCHES down what you'll find is a LONG LONG PATH... But until that time you are demonstrably NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer. You are three cubes short of a tray. You're three bricks shy of a building and your cylinders aren't all firing. Your box is definitely missing a few crayons, MA'AM. You have a read-only memory and are badly in need of an upgrade.
And I hate to say it dear friends, but JEALOUSY, not pure and honest HATE but filthy JEALOUSY, plays a BIG part in this. If you've been around the `hip scene' as long as I have you'll agree that the people who most stidently criticise pop culture and rock stars and so forth, are very often the ones secretly most DESPERATE to gain exactly that level of attention and notoriety. But since they're afraid to maybe make a fool of themselves by trying to go out and GET it, in ANY manner besides getting drunk and obnoxious, they dislike anyone ELSE who happens upon even a LITTLE bit of stardom. Anybody who's ever been in a band for very long should know what I mean. And by the same token there are SubGeniuses, so called, out there who PROJECT their own deepest desires on us -- who assume we actually WANT to be puffed-up famous sold-out STARS as much as they secretly do -- which is WRONG, believe it or not; we have FAMILIES, we KNOW what's IMPORTANT -- and then DIS US when we get slightly ahead without hardly TRYING.
"If somebody gave ME a million dollars, I'd certainly do better than THAT."
"Well, if somebody made ME a big rock star I wouldn't be so PINK!"
"Oh, if somebody would publish MY masterpieces of poetry, I'd NEVER sell out, I'd speak out AGAINST the unethical treatment of sensitive artists, and all those fascists in the government who won't give me free money for my new performance piece, "Presumption in B!""
Oh yeah... you THINK you've been HATIN' like "Bob" said to. But you're still just mired in that silly, localized, pathetic kind of hate. That diddly-fiddly, trivial, antifashion-enslaved kind of hate. "I hate MTV. I hate Pinks. I hate anything popular." Once again... the CONFORMITY of NONCONFORMISTS rears its ugly head. You gotta LAUNCH that filthy pimple-head, get that coke bottle out of your BUTT, and get down to some for-real, all-inclusive, WARRIOR style UNIVERSAL HATE!!! Go ahead, HATE us!! HONESTLY -- PLEASE DO HATE US if that's what it takes to get you to show some GONAD and THINK FOR YOURSELF!! And maybe that is INDEED, JUST WHAT IT TAKES!! Because "BOB" ISN'T THE ANSWER, AND NEITHER IS ANYTHING ELSE!!
....And then he ends his letter saying he doesn't know whether to fire up on SubGenius and cast out the false prophets like me, or to join the Discordians who QUOTE "will never advertise on MTV" UNQUOTE... and who also, for that matter, won't be heard of much of ... anywhere else... maybe science fiction conventions. Where the REAL HE-MAN RADICALS hang out, uh-huh, yea. ((NOTE: No offense to the Discordians. In fact, "Bob" has said, "If it were not for the Discordians, I never would have set the Church loose on the world -- for I know that they will always be around to DESTROY IT if it gets OUT OF HAND."))
Well, listen pal, if seeing a KILLER spot for the Church on MTV makes you want to withdraw your membership, PLEASE HURRY UP AND DO SO!!! One more psuedo-Sub-poseur and jargon-babbling ninny will be removed from the mailing list. The AILING list, I should say. PLEASE QUIT THE CHURCH AND JOIN THE DISCORDIANS!! I'm sure you'll feel MUCH MORE SUPERIOR there. For one thing, there won't be anybody else around who might make you look ... unoriginal.
By the way, we didn't `place an ad' on MTV. They do these things called "art breaks" where they give weirdos a pittance to do `artful' one-minute thangs. THEY PAID US TO MAKE A COMMERCIAL ABOUT OURSELVES AND THEY RUN IT FOR FREE. In other words we got the Conspiracy to PAY US to BITE ITS HAND while it FED US. Now we have the fine piece of film to show for our efforts and plenty more new SubGeniuses, hopefully not a bunch of mincing snobs like this guy. Not only that, Mr. "Slacker Than Thou," if you'd paid any attention you'd notice that MTV itself is actually TRASHED in the video. A saucer piloted by "Bob" blows up the MTV building which is shaped like pyramid-with-eye and blinking MTV logo. Later in the spot when the harried Sub kicks ass and then relaxes on the beach to watch TV, he CLICKS PAST MTV and stops on a CHEESY MONSTER MOVIE. It's subtle but then I always figured the goal of the Church was not so much to PICK ON that EVIL EMPIRE of uncool mainstream music, MTV, but to PRAISE "BOB" AND OVERTHROW THE CONSPIRACY IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF ALL BIPEDS. That's what I heard. But then... maybe we just have a different sense of PRIORITIES.
But all that's a moot point. What this guy's REALLY saying is, "DON'T BE A SUCCESSFUL weirdo! Don't actually DO what you talk about -- like showing the WORLD that you CAN ACTUALLY, in REAL LIFE, EXPLOIT your abnormality, make money and SLACK OFF by doing something totally WEIRD, PERSONAL, CREATIVE and above all FUN -- because if you DO -- if you actually succeed in doing the impossible-- then I'LL have to explain to myself why I HAVEN'T!!"
The fact is they're FEARFUL because they're JEALOUS because they're LAZY and AFRAID to QUIT READING OUR BOOKS ABOUT IT in the safety of their dorm rooms, and GET OUT THERE and ACTUALLY DO IT: BE WEIRD and DIFFERENT for ALL THE WORLD TO SEE, not just the other gimps. THAT's the difference between this Church and all the other so-called anti-establishment geek clubs -- WE do it on MAIN STREET, and they do it in CLOSETS.
Like... PINKS. AFRAID to risk looking DUMB to THE OTHERS.
Guess they just sorta... MISSED... that first WORD there:
Well, FUCK `EM if they CAN'T TAKE A JOKE.
Me OVERMAN! Me SUBGENIUS!! Eyiyiyiyiyiyi.....
And one more thing. If MTV is going to "TAINT" the Church... then what was this guy doing watching it? Oh, but HE was "in pursuit of some decadent pinkism." Everybody else, they're just mindless consumers... only HE can withstand their deadly mind control, uh-huh, I see, yes.
Besides, SINCE WHEN is the super-elite, highly trained, dues-paid, squid-humpin', black-eye-pea-eatin', face-fucking bat-sperm-antidote-pudding-injectin' HIERARCHY of the Church of the SubGenius, the ORIGINAL APOSTLES OF DOBBS, beholden to the mewling whines of common, unannointed, riff-raff "street" SubGenii -- that is, IF WE DON'T WANT TO BE? What do you think this is, COMMUNISM??
I'm THROUGH. In fact, my sermon.. is THROUGH. Good BYE. Brother Will, would you play the closing benediction? Well, are yew gonna do it or NOT??