Archive for July, 2005

Clown Wanted!

July 30, 2005


I really expected a roomful of clowns to be louder than this, I thought to myself as I shifted uncomfortably in my plastic seat. For some reason I hadn’t thought people trying out for clown jobs actually wore their outfits to the auditions, and showed up in t-shirt and jeans. I was, in fact, completely wrong.

There must have been fifty clowns crammed in the room which, believe me, wasn’t that big. The guy on my left kept turning and staring at the side of my face. I could see him out of the corner of my eye. He was making me very uncomfortable. A couple of times I looked over just past him, pretending to look at something else, and he would look away but as soon as I looked back down at my feet he’d be staring at me again.

He had a tiny, tiny top hat perched at a cocky angle on his bald, white head. Two large blue tears drops dribbled out out of his right eye. The man looked ridiculous. Even by clown standards.

I mumbled this to him, to break the tension: -How many of the people in this room, do you think could fit into a Volkswagen Beetle?

He didn’t answer me at first, not until I looked over at him, even then it wasn’t truly an answer. -Did you go to Clown College? he asked me.

I kind of laughed. -No.

-Yeah, he spat, and turned away. -I somehow didn’t think so.

He turned back to me. -You really think they’re gonna hire YOU?

-Maybe, I said.

-Maybe? You don’t even dress like a clown.

-That’s my schtick, I lied, just to see if it would piss him off. It did.

He turned slowly. -That’s your schtick, eh? Huh? That’s your schtick? Man, you don’t even know what schtick means. Who ever heard of a clown that dresses like you? That’d be a pretty depressing clown. A pretty sad party, I should say . . . yeah, that’d make a lot of children pretty sad. You make me sick.

-I’m funny, ok? I countered.

He leaned over, I could smell onions on his breath. I could just imagine him eating onion sandwiches all by himself in his trailer. -It takes more than just . . . ‘funny’ to be a REAL clown.

-Yeah? I asked.

-Yeah. It takes stamina, man, OK? It takes character . . . timing. DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING? It takes heart. OK? HEART!

-Yeah, I said.

-I mean, I mean, it takes a daily commitment. A daily commitment to look in the mirror every morning and say, “Ok, no, I’m not going to be a doctor like mom wanted. I’m not going to even be a garbage man, like she begged. I am a clown. But. I am going to be the best damned clown I can be! I’m going to make Billy’s party today the best party anyone ever saw . . . does that make any sense to you?

I hadn’t been listening fully ever since he made the comment about the garbage man. -Who’s Billy? I asked.

-THERE IS NO BILLY! he screamed. -I made him up to illustrate a point, son, don’t you see that? How can you ever be a clown if you can’t even see THAT? I work my heart out, day in day out to scrape together a living as a clown and I took the time and money to get my credentials, my PhD in Clownology, and you . . . you waltz in here, no diploma, and think you can just take over. That’s what your generation is like, all of you. YOU MAKE ME WANNA PUKE!

At that moment an executive opened a door at the other end of the room. I thought he was coming in to see what the ruckus was, but instead he called out: -Baron Von Hoopla?

I stood up. -That’s me.

-BARON? bellowed the clown to my left. -Baron Von Clownsky? Yeah, that’s cute, Mac . . . that’s real GOD DAMNED CUTE!

I didn’t even try to say anything as I made my way through a roomful of clown eyes all glued to me, there was nothing to say. I just walked up the to executive, who appeared confused. Just as I passed through the door I heard the clown shout out: -You SUCK, man!

Then the door snapped shut behind me. I looked at the executive, and shrugged. That clown had a chip on his shoulder the size of a cream pie.

Hail Eris.

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George Clinton On ‘Doing Your Thing’

July 29, 2005

“When it came to the radio, they could tell us our new thing was too white for the black people. Then, the others would say it was too black for the white people. Truth is, it was too FREAKY for all of ’em.”

Discordian Influenced Writing

July 28, 2005

Discordianism has finally crept into the writing of my novel, Tigers On Vaseline. There were sprinkles of it before, such as mentions of Emperor Joshua Norton I, and basic anarchistic thought, but now the entire novel is being reinterpreted through Discordianism.

What I mean is this, up until now, on every go I gave writing the book I have held back. I have held back how I would like to write certain parts, I have held back certain descriptions, I have held back certain revelations about key characters and I have held back on fully enjoying myself while writing.

The reasons for the reservations were a fear of being labeled as ‘pretentious’ or ‘artsy-fartsy’, worrying what my friends would think when they read parts, or over-thinking how a publisher and/or agent might react to this part, or that part. The idea of how the novel will be received by others has always been foremost in my mind.

Now, however, I am writing the book how I want to write it, and everyone else be damned. If it doesn’t get published, it doesn’t get published, it’s not the end of the world. I would rather have a book I wrote, and loved, which never got published, than a book that got published, but that in retrospect could have been me, but was not.

My pineal gland has shown me the way.

Hail Eris!

Relativism?

July 27, 2005

I was reading, this morning, about the merits (or lack thereof) of Relativism in philosophical thought. The author of the book actually considers this mode of thought as ‘wrong’, which surprised me. I could easily imagine someone claiming that Relativism doesn’t work for them, or isn’t as helpful as other ways of thinking, but to actually refer to it as wrong, and logically inconsistent seems strange to me.

Relativism is, for those who don’t know, the theory that there is no absolute truth, and that, therefor, all truth is relative.

Presently, I lean much closer to that way of thinking than many others. Discordianism seems to me to be a way of grasping with the inconsistencies of the world, and there are many, in a way that is more realistic. I know, I just claimed Discordianism is more realistic than other ways of thinking . . . horror! But, in the sense that the world is full of inconsistencies and contradictions, yes, I think it is more realistic. Discordianism teaches us that things can be both true and false at the same time. How many of us can say we truly loved our parents with all our hearts and never once despised them while growing up? There were several times I hated both my parents, and yet I still loved them. The love doesn’t override the hate to me, though, as some would claim; I believe both existed at the same time. I loved and hated my parents at some points. The mind is a complicated contraption. Or, we can pull out the old standby argument in favour of E-Prime, that in certain circumstances light can be both a wave AND a particle. Light is not one, or the other, it is both. Or, what about colour? Is a Granny Apple really green? No. To our eyes it appears green, but to a bird it might be a completely different colour . . . and when you consider that a green apple appears green because green is all that is reflected to our eyes you are forced to consider that the apple is actually the opposite of green: red.

So, is a Granny Apple really red? Yes and no, unfortunately. If truth be told, the apple has no colour at all. Colour is just a way our brain interprets what we are looking at. An apple is made up of molecules, and molecules have no colour. So, rightfully NOTHING has colour. And, yet, it appears to us that they do.

So, until further notice from me I am still putting stock in Relativism.

Hail Eris! – All Hail Discordia!

Dummy!

July 26, 2005

I started reading a book on ways to think today . . . a very basic book intended for someone with a somewhat soft, malleable brain like mine. The book is Philosophy For Dummies. The other night I had people over and a couple of them picked the book up, with what seemed like thinly veiled disgust. Note that I say ‘seemed’, nobody said as such, and it could certainly be some form of projection from me, but I noted a sense of dismay. One said, jokingly, “So, are you a dummy, then?”

My answer was, of course. The level of my ignorance is staggering.

I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to admit it. I never took philosophy, and I would like some groundwork before I go onto individual thinkers. Hell, if I don’t know anything about the subject, how would I even know what thinkers I want to read?

Why are people afraid to appear stupid or ignorant?

I don’t personally feel that arrested blissful ignorance with no intention of changing is probably a good or healthy mindset, but admitting you are ignorant and wanting to learn seems to be noble admission in my eyes. Too many people I know seem to be all too sure of everything they ‘know’. Parroting facts, figures, and formulas is NOT knowledge.

And, so, it begins.

Hail Eris.

Vacation Reflections

July 25, 2005

I feel like I keep restating the same thing over and over lately, what with my reflections on Apostasia Gloriana and Smug Hank’s wedding recently, and now this . . . but if it’s true, it’s true.

Spent an amazing week near the water . . . collected my wits, relaxed, got sunburnt, talked, laughed, ate, smoke, drank, and was merry. The older I get, those are the only things that seem to matter. I haven’t spent that much time with St. Ray and St.Babs since I lived with them, and it made me sort of miss it. It would be worth considering if Dharma Jam was able to be there, as she was last week.

To close, let me say that if you ever wish to view chaos in its most obvious form, look no further than your closest beach. Watching the waves splash in over and over was mesmerizing, and chaos was evident in each and every wave. Just try to guess where the next one will hit, or how tall it will be. I dare you.

No, I triple dog dare you.

Hail Eris.

Oh, Happy Day!

July 15, 2005

It’s Friday, my favourite day. For more of my feelings on Friday please see “An Open Letter To Friday”, or don’t. I already read it, so what do I care?

Last day before vacation. This cannot be put into words, but would best be expressed as a Bob Fosse dance number, including white gloves and jazz hands. A full brass section would be nice, and perhaps children tossing flower petals to the wind. Some young lovers staring at each other whistfully in front of a huge grapefruit moon. A frog dancing with a bamboo cane. A comedy act including a real cream pie, not just a pie-plate filled with whip-cream. Violins at the end swelling into something ear-splittingly heartbreaking yet wondrous.

In short, nothing spectacular, but devilishly grandiose nonetheless.

ONE. WEEK. OFF.

Hail Eris All Hail Discordia

Muses On The London Bombings

July 13, 2005

Today, while reading about the London bombings, I began to consider that for those of us fortunate enough to live in the West there may be a benefit to the terrorism of recent years; namely that it has forced us to awaken somewhat from the idealistic Norman Rockwell small town mindset that is hammered into our brains from the day we are born.

We have been raised to believe that “our” world is a peaceful one, where bombings and death happen on television, or in the movies, not to us. Wars come to us through a tiny screen, we’re told they are happening ‘somewhere else’ . . . one of those places where wars happen . . . but to many (myself included) these wars don’t hold the weight of our reality; the guns don’t even sound ‘real’ like they do in our war movies, the blood isn’t red like in our war movies, and where’s the love story?

September Eleventh sliced through our layer of protection, but not completely. Even then, myself and most people I knew watched the horror huddled around tiny television screens and described the events as being ‘like something from a movie’. These events still had no bearing on our lives, we had nothing to compare the situation with in our lifetimes except for Hollywood entertainment.

We have been shielded from the realities of our world. The fact is terrible things happen everyday all over our world to both the innocent and the not-so-innocent, making no distinction between the two. Nature has no morals or ethics. We decide to name certain events as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but in an objective reality there are simply events.

Taoism teaches us to watch nature to see how we should try to live, because nature is as close to perfect as we are ever likely to witness; it’s been doing fine since before we were around, and will do just fine after we are gone. To witness nature in its truest form people need go no further than your closest toddler, as they are still unshaped by our conventions, and as a result often act in a manner we find barbaric. Watch about five toddlers play almost unsupervised sometime, and see how they treat one another. That, my brothers and sisters, is true nature.

The world is a scary, vicious, beautiful and funny place. Sometimes we tend to forget about the ‘scary vicious’ part. People in most of the rest of the world don’t have that luxury.

It’s not often that quoting songs written by Alan Thicke are relevant in something written about terrorism, but in this case the first few lines of the theme song to the Facts of Life seem to fit:

You take the good / You take the bad;
You take them both, and there you have,
The Facts of Life . . .

Hail Eris. All Hail Discordia.

The Book Of Generations

July 12, 2005


The book of the generations of the unfortunately named Baron Verulam von Hoopla the Fowler; Episkopos of the Kaufman Cabal; Grand Wazoo of the Esoteric Order Of Eris; Ruler of the Toads of the Short Forest; King of the Booze, and still cooler than a polar bear’s toenails; the son of St.Ray, the son of Camel Toe.

Camel Toe begat Slappy; and Slappy begat Little Ron-Ron; and Little Ron-Ron begat Big Horse; Big Horse begat Ozias; Ozias begat One-Eye and his brethren;

And One-Eye begat Ostrich Boy; and Ostrich Boy begat Susan; and Susan begat Wiley Willie; and Wiley Willie begat the Hamhock; and the Hamhock begat Little Zeke of her that had been the wife of Uranass;

And Little Zeke begat Roboham; and Roboham begat Jo-Jo the Sinning Sinner; Jo-Jo the Sinning Sinner begat Jim-Jim the Singing Singer; and Jim-Jim the Singing Singer begat Captain Rubik; Captain Rubik begat Tic Toc and his brethren;

And Tic Toc begat Stubby; and Stubby begat Fucked Boy; and Fucked Boy begat Fudgee-O; and Fudgee-O begat St. Ray the husband of St.Babs of whom was born Von Hoopla, who is called Verluam.

So all generations from Camel Toe to One-Eye are five generations; and from One-Eye until Little Zeke are five generations; and from Little Zeke until Tic Toc are five generations; and from Tic Toc unto Von Hoopla are five generations.

Verily, I say this unto you, the bullshit doesn’t fall very far from the horse’s ass. Fnord.

Hail Eris.

What’s In A Name?

July 11, 2005

It would never cross my mind to attempt to judge other Discordians on how Discordian I believe they are, since the very nature of the beast is that Eris is different to each person. The brilliance in this, to me, is that this is a beautiful parable of not only religion and philosophy, but absolutely everything – Discordianism is just more honest about it. Not a single person out there looks at a can of Campbell’s soup and thinks the same thing. Not a single person out there looks at an Andy Warhol painting of a Campbell’s Soup can and thinks the same thing. Not a single person out there looks at the ‘singing asshole’ in Pink Flamingos and thinks of the same thing, not a single person; it’s a hell of a Rorschach test.

So, Discordianism, like anything else, is different for each person, but even more so, since permission is granted to mould the very concept to fit the parameters of your own mind. This, obviously, gives a lot of room for interpretation to the individual. To compound this, the central Discordian text, the Principia Discordia suggests that a Discordian should never believe what he or she reads, thereby causing a paradox, wherein the Principia renders all of its own contents moot. This has resulted in many people, considering themselves Discordians, giving practically no credence to any of the contents of the Principia whatsoever. Which is fine, if that wasn’t the intention then why claim so in the first place? I myself only given credence to a handful of concepts in the Principia and see the remainder as amusing filler, but I ask this . . . if you consider yourself a Discordian and think that Gregory Hill and Kerry Thornley were hippie-dippy crackpot peaceniks who wrote a load of nonsense and thought the world was simply an amusement park, then why do you even choose to name yourself after the concept they originated? If you seem to loathe all their ideals, why do you align yourself with them?

I would ask any person who falls into this category to sit down somewhere quiet and look deep within themselves as to the motives of taking on the name Discordian. Was it because you truly felt you were a Discordian, or was it because you could fuck shit up on a regular basis, screw with peoples minds, and generally act reprehensible with what you consider a license to do so?

Hail Eris – All Hail Discordia