“Donald Trump’s hair should not be.”

Molly CrabappleThat’s the opening sentence of a piece by Molly Crabapple for Vice. She was in Dubai to learn about the situation of workers in the world’s richest city. There, she met The Donald at a media briefing for the Trump International Golf Course. There, she took the opportunity to ask a real question. Which, as she notes, in the Emirates can land you in jail.

Molly is to me the contemporary Heiress to the Throne of Gonzo. Hunter S Thompson and Ralph Steadman, sans the machismo.

You should go over there, read the article and see the art.


One time offer for all our space alien friends

The new Pope of the Church of Rome has said, when asked about it, that he would allow space aliens to be baptised and become member of the Church. So, here at the Mystic Order of the Black Sheep, the first thought that comes up is, can we top that? One-upmanship is a Discordian core value, after all.

Hell yeah, we can! We’re no speciesists, and in the spirit of Saint Bob, we’re willing to offer the papacy to anything sentient from anywhere in this universe or any other.

Why would we? for TEH LULZ. To see the Papacy spread across the Multiverse like smallpox across Turtle Island after the Spanish invasion would be too funny.

Now, there must be a catch, right? Yes, there is. As a Pope, you are the highest spiritual authority. That is, you can turn to no one for spiritual guidance. You must understand that first.

If you’re a baddie, you may try and convince others of your spiritual authority. Good luck with that. Alternately, you may pontificate any sentient being.

Whoever or whatever you are, you can become Pope of the Mystic Order of the Black Sheep by asserting your Papacy in the comment thread. If you do, however, I will have to excommunicate you immediately, because the one thing I can’t abide is anyone else’s spiritual authority. You found your own goddamn church.



Can punching a nerd be a good thing?


Douglas Rushkoff is a nice guy and a bright philosopher, or media theorist as he puts it. His thinking is always a couple of years ahead of the curve. If you’re not familiar with his work, this solo performance for Dutch TV will bring you up to speed with his current thinking. It’s worth your time, I think.

Doug put this post up on his blog this week. He took issue at a joke by comedian Joel McHale. Quote:

“America still has amazing technological innovations. Google Glass has hit the markets. Now, just by walking down the street, we’ll know exactly who to punch in the face.”

[T]he notion, even expressed jokingly, of punching people in the face for wearing Google Glass — as if the device somehow signals a traitor to the cause of humanity — pushes things over the top. Yes, we can all imagine how people wearing an augmented reality device might be annoying: They can surf the Web while pretending to converse with us or, worse, record us when we don’t know it. No sooner had the very first prototypes been spotted last year than TechCrunch reported a new, purely apprehensive moniker for its wearers: Glassholes. But it’s as if the public is now being primed to go after early adopters — almost to a point where one might be reluctant to put on the device.

Doug, I love you man, I even agree with you most of the time. But not today. I think there’s a point you’re missing.

Google Glass is a device that has a mic, a camera, GPS, wireless connectivity, and a closed OS. That last point means that the wearer does not know what it does when, and why. It’s a surveillance device that one volunteers to have sitting on one’s face.

Wearing Google Glass is how one puts one’s contempt of one’s own privacy, and liberty, and that of everyone who enters one’s field of vision, on proud display. That includes me, as soon as the fucker enters my field of vision. So, it does indeed signal a traitor to the cause of humanity. Now I’m a gentle soul, and I can abstain from punching the fucker in the kisser, probably. Better smile while you’re on camera. But I will take it personally, and I certainly won’t talk to the fucker till he puts the damn thing away.


David Graeber: BoE let the cat out of the bag


The Bank of England just put out a pdf called Money creation in the modern economy. It details how the sausage gets made, and that’s nothing like what you learned in economy class – it’s not called “economy class” for nothing.

David Graeber, the writer of the essential Debt: The First 5000 Years, took note. Here’s his column at The Guardian.


Good news from Reverend Billy

I received this message by email:

Today, Earthalujah! we celebrate a victory — with an improbable turn of events.  The New York District Attorney dropped charges of Riot and Menacing against me and Nehemiah. We still face charges of Trespass, but the threat of one year jail is gone. Upon viewing the actual evidence, the District Attorney decided our “Riot” is actually a “Musical Presentation.”  Well, the extinct Golden Toads who sang inside Chase that day…we are touched.

Our legal struggle continues. Our attorneys filed motions to dismiss all the Trespass charges in the interest of justice. Our next hearing is on February 27th, 2014.

Many of you gave money and signed the petition, which was presented in court today.  You are climate activists with us.  Our New Year’s resolution to you, ourselves and our children (not to mention the life forms all around us) is to defend our First Amendment rights and expand our Earth Cry throughout the land.

Earthalujah! Thanks for supporting the petition, if you did.

If you still have some money to spare in these hard times, please consider funding the good Reverend’s good works. Thank you.

Here’s a registration of the choir’s Christmas party. Happy whatever you may be celebrating this time of year.


A word from Charles Stross

Charlie Stross, a favorite writer of mine, posted this epic trollbait over at Antipope.org:

1. Justice is a religious cult.
2. Law is holy scripture.
3. Judges are priests.
4. Judicial capital punishment is human sacrifice.

Further down his post, he notes three corrolaries, and ends on this note:

1. Justice-as-religion implies a seat of absolute authority from which judgements may be passed—naively, a God (or goddess, or symbol) of justice. (In reality, it’s a shared human cognitive process: the natural non-human world has no justice mechanism. But human-centric processes are, well, human-centric.)
2. Anarchism is hated and loathed by the followers of the Cult of Justice because it occupies a role equivalent to Atheism in the context of religions: it’s corrosive of certainty, and a large subset of humanity simply can’t cope with uncertainty.
3. Governments embody mechanisms for creating and enforcing laws. It follows that all governments are theocracies.

Discuss point (3).

A quite interesting comment thread ensued.


Historia Discordia


Adam Gorightly, aka the Wrong Reverend Houdini Kundalini of the Church of Unwavering Indifference, is historian and archivist of the Discordian irreligion. He just started a new website about the history of the Discordian Society. It’s called Historia Discordia.

For now, it opens with a timeline of Kerry Thornley’s life in the wrong place at the wrong time. What to make of the connection with the JFK assassination, I have no idea. Fifty years on and that whole business still could mean pretty much anything.

It wasn’t me, honest. I was a wee Roman Catholic baby back then.