Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Another Discordian Saint Lost To Us

This is the PUREBRED ARTICLE, people.  Alan Abel was a man who rolled those golden apples into crowded train stations and recess yards JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT.  The ace prankster never achieved ANYTHING serious by creating the Topless String Quartet, by spearheading the advocacy efforts of SINA, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, or by that old standard, faking his own death.  He just brought smiles to us all and sometimes made us think for a moment before lighting a cigarette and going for a brisk walk around the block, to get ourselves back to not thinking any more. 
We were lucky to have him for 94 years.  If there is ever another one like this one, WE SHOULD CELEBRATE.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I Never Knew This Before!

It says here that when the Crash of 2008 finally happened, after years and years of finagling by the nation's bankers in a market RADICALLY DEREGULATED by Republicans who prefer to be NAMELESS in this blog, the stock market dropped all the way to...


Doesn't that seem awfully significant to you?  Yeah, it does to me too.  We've all seen movies with someone nattering about how that's the Number of the Beast, meaning SATAN.  It can't be wrong if we saw it in a movie, am I right?

Except that if you read the Book of Revelations, Chapter 13, where Dave Seltzer found that number and MADE A GREAT DEAL OF FOLDING GREEN WITH IT in a once-famous novel called The Omen, it doesn't say it's the number of Satan at all.  It says it's the number of a man, and some people who ought to know say that the book is about the depredations of the Emperor Nero.  Among other things, he blamed the burning of Rome on the Christians, used them to make bonfires to light Nero's garden parties, and fed them to wild animals in the Coliseum.  So any hostility directed against that guy was bound to sell well with the Christians, am I right?

If I mentally add horns to this statue I can even see the resemblance myself:

But the real point I wanted to make is about how much people read into numbers and superstition-forming patterns.  It certainly matches up nicely that this guy, a TOTAL ASSHOLE by almost anyone's standards, is at the bottom of the whole 666 thing.  And he was even a politician, and it was a bunch of politicians in a party named after Nero's government -- the Roman Republic -- that caused the crash of 2008.  Which brought the stock market all the way down to 666.


Yeah, totally.  But still!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Discordian Saint Goes To The Great Wherever

The disaster I've been waiting for all these years has finally happened.  Koko, the gorilla who redrew all the boundaries between humans and other species by learning American Sign Language, has died in her sleep.  She essentially devoted her entire life to SCREWING WITH EVERYTHING HUMANS THOUGHT THEY KNEW. 
Sleep well in the Great Wherever with all the kittens you've loved and lost, Koko, starting with Barney Google and going all the way down the line.
I am going to miss you so much!
Spare a thought today for Penny Patterson, who must be utterly devastated by the loss of her lifelong co-researcher.

Koko's life was essentially prophesied in the Sacred Writ, Illuminatus!, when a gorilla confided to a human that they'd been able to speak all along but hid it from humanity "because if they found out they'd kill most of us off, then put the survivors to work operating machine lathes.  Who the hell wants to operate a machine lathe?"

(I'm obviously paraphrasing.  I don't have the book at hand to quote from accurately.  That's the gist of what he said.)

Friday, May 18, 2018


This is just a quote from Saki's only novella-length publication, drawn from Short Stories And The Unbearable Bassington, ISBN 978-0192831699.  He is one of our great Discordian writers, and this quote, about the dynamic between two cousins, could not be any more Discordian:

"No quarrel of any description stood between them and one could not legitimately have described them as enemies, but they never disarmed in one another's presence.  A misfortune of any magnitude falling on one of them would have been sincerely regretted by the other, but any minor discomfiture would have produced a feeling very much akin to satisfaction.  Human nature knows millions of these inconsequent little feuds, springing up and flourishing apart from any basis of racial, political, religious or economic causes, as a hint perhaps to crass unseeing altruists that enmity has its place and purpose in the world as well as benevolence."

Indeed it does, Mr. Munro.  Indeed it does.


Saturday, April 14, 2018


Wow, what a great read this was!  

Tanith Lee's novel of a future dystopia (available under ISBN 978-0553581300) is a gaudy vision of human society that's been placed under firm orders from their robot masters to ENJOY THEMSELVES ANY WAY THEY WANT, IN A CONSEQUENCE-FREE ENVIRONMENT.   This world has no crime, no want, no danger.  If you want it, and if you can imagine it, you get it.

What are you frowning about?  Doesn't that sound dystopic enough for you?   It should.  With no challenges to overcome, no meaningful connection with anyone, no conflict, and not even a job to slouch off to in the morning -- in short, NO DISCORD -- people in this society , hemmed in by Order, spend a whole lot of time KILLING THEMSELVES.  Not just once, but OVER AND OVER.  And why isn't once enough to finish the job, you ask?  The robots have figured out a way to rescue you from death and they just slot you back into a new body.  Then you go back to Square One.  Welcome back to despair!!!

The story really begins when one of these people starts to seriously CHAFE, wondering how life could somehow become, I don't know, maybe the right word is MEANINGFUL.  The protagonist's efforts to find anything to do that is really worth doing starts the story rolling.  

And oh, the wonders we get to see!

This book is a wonderful process of CLEARING AWAY THE COBWEBS and walking away from everything you know.  If everything you know is 100% PHONY, you can hope that the new territory you're entering somehow turns out to be REAL.

Sighted along another axis, this is about discovering that your perfect, universal Order is screwing you up six ways to Sunday, and what you need is a serious dose of Chaos to make it right again.

This would be a great story, not just for Discordians to read, but soto Zen Buddhists, scientolators, chronic drunkards, fanatics, general-purpose hedonists and anyone else who could benefit from a little head clearing.

I want to draw your attention to what the woman in the cover illustration is doing.  She's standing in a garden...

...Plucking an apple off a tree.

That's the whole story in a nutshell.  When she rolls that apple it will change everything.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

A Thought From "Bling Ring" Attorney Sean Erenstoft

"I'm a righteous guy.  I feel like I see justice...I believe I have the pulse on what is right and wrong...I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHAOS AND ORDER and I have a complete sense of how it should be helped...I am pompous enough to think that I have a greater sense of justice here."

OK, what is he saying here?

>> That he feels the difference between Chaos and Order needs help?  Why?  How?

>> Can you really "have the pulse on what is right and wrong"?   Doesn't he mean he has his finger on that pulse?  Does "what is right and wrong" even have a pulse?  Even on a purely metaphoric level?  If it's a metaphor, it's a pretty scrambled one.  

>> So, as far as having his finger on the pulse of Chaos?  Check.  But where's the Order in this paragraph?

>> If he knows the difference between Chaos and Order -- and when you start to pick at it you quickly realize that they're interpenetrating ghosts that bleed invisibly into each other at all times -- why doesn't he show us what the difference is?

>> And what in the name of everloving blue funk does any of that have to do with the famous case he worked on?  This quote was take from page 196 of the trade paperback edition of The Bling Ring,(ISBN 978-0-06-224553-3).  It's the story of a bunch of teenagers -- every one of them a refugee from reality TV -- who decided to burgle the homes of as many celebrities as they could think of so they could wear their watches and shoes and stuff.

I admit, there is a great deal of CHAOS in TV, especially reality TV, but in a scripted, flavorless-potato-pancake form boring enough to put Speedy Gonzalez into a coma.  It certainly feels CHAOTIC to have your place broken into and your stuff stolen, at least usually, but these kids did most of their crimes in such an ORDERLY way that a lot of the victims didn't realize anything had happened until the criminals confessed.  And many would see the intervention of the criminal justice system as the restoration of ORDER, but with excelsior like this falling from the lips of the attorneys involved -- these people are supposed to be articulate sellers of ice to Eskimos! -- I'm not sure it didn't generate more CHAOS than anything else.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

And So the Tax Follies Begin!

I answered a call from my tax preparer this morning.  They'd left me a message saying they had "a question."  I had already dropped off my information for them to work on.  There was no question they wanted to ask.  They warned me that I need to withdraw $920 immediately from my Health Savings Account because, according to my HSA statement from the HSA bank guys, I had paid in far too much, and if the IRS got wind of it they were going to want to PUT ME ON THE RACK AND TORTURE ME WITH HOT POKERS. 

Now, this is IMPOSSIBLE because I always put the exact amount of my insurance deductible in there -- about half of the yearly maximum contribution -- and I generally use it all up by July, so that when the next January comes I can start over fresh refilling the empty account.  My first, worrying thought was that I'd somehow SCREWED UP my yearly enrollment paperwork at the office.  There's a box to check and a row of empty slots to fill out on your computer regarding this sort of thing, and I wondered if I'd asked my employer to deduct money from my paycheck and route it to the HSA without realizing I'd done it.  I've even done this once before in the past, so it seemed possible despite all my doublechecking.

Nope.  They printed everything right out for me, and it all matched up with my information.

So I went to the HSA bank's web address and -- after a desperate search, because they keep rearranging the site so you can never find anything -- looked at the contributions made in 2017.

It said exactly what it should say.  I paid the full deductible amount in November and that was all the money I had in there.  Minus a few shekels, because I've already used some of it.  There was no thousand-dollar surplus.

So all I could think of to do was click on "Contact Us" and tell them what was going on.  They claim they will respond within 2 business days.  You click "SEND" and it vanishes; there's no way to document that I contacted them at all, which really grinds me.

So now we wait.