Discordian T-shirt

April 19, 2007

Envy, Gummo:4, 6006 YD

I love this t-shirt. I stumbled across it on Flickr, and am seriously considering contacting the photographer to inquire where I could get one.

This image was originally posted on Flickr by heartbeaz. The original caption is reprinted below exactly as it was on Flickr.

“Das 23c3-T-Shirt von vorne, Aufschrift “23rd Chaos Communication Congress” und “Who can you trust?”, hinten ist nichts.”

The Real Story Behind The Creationist Museum

April 18, 2007

Lust, Gummo:3, 6006 YD

Hoopla:

As instructed, I have managed to obtain a position within the Creationist Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, and Hoopla, it is almost exactly as you had predicted – how do you do it, you wiley bastard?? You were completely half right. How do you see through these scams? Yes, the Christian Creationist Museum is -indeed- a front for The Discordian Society: The First Church Of The Wholly Chao: and yet it isn’t. The ingeniousness of its creation is remarkable . . . it is a Discordian organization pretending to be Christian, but it is genuinely creationist. There are actually Creationist Discordians, can you believe it?

These Discordians take Eris seriously -quite seriously- and consider her ‘She What Done It All’, in the most literal sense. These bastards are Fundies, you had better believe it. They believe Eris created the world last Thursday, and that all the memories we have as a collective society were implanted by the Goddess to give the illusion of a rich history. For what reason, they don’t say.

When chatting with a security guard one day he pointed out that there were several theories of evolution that go against Darwin . . . I didn’t have much to contribute since I hadn’t done much of anything in a few weeks so I asked him to elaborate. He pointed out that Dr. Rupert Sheldrake proposed a completely different theory of evolution which involved cataclysmic disasters as major factors in our development . . . in addition to Sheldrake there was also Prince Peter Kroptokin, Tielhard de Chardin, Dr. James Lovelock, Lamarck, Dr. Gregory Bateson and Henry Bergson who all proposed theories of evolution different than Darwin’s. After he finished, and there was a lull in the conversation, I asked him what that had to do with whether Tyra Banks was a lesbian or not, (which is what we had been discussing at the time) he answered: “Everything is connected, asshole.” He might be right.

The museum itself is intended as a surreal experiment in cognitive dissonance, by showing things like T-Rex’s and human children playing hopscotch together, but the actual lessons of the First Church Of The Wholly Chao will be implanted in a more subtle manner: pamphlets.

The pamphlets will be handed out by a Discordian agent outside who will be continually ‘asked to leave’ and escorted from the premises, only to sneak back on again. That Discordian agent? Yours truly. A bona fide double agent.

I have a big problem, though, Hoopla . . . these Last Thusradyite people from the First Church Of The Wholly Chao . . . they’re chiseling me out of pay . . . I’ve been here for two months now, moving around styrofoam rocks, polishing stegasaurus statues, handing out pamphlets and whatnot, but have yet to get paid a red cent. Everytime I ask for my paycheck they keep telling me I haven’t put in a full week of work yet. Their reasoning is since Eris only created the world last Thursday that means I haven’t worked a full week yet . . . I’m down to my last pair of clean-ish gitch, Hoopla . . . can you send some? Any kind will do, even Underoos.

Hurry. It’s not pretty.

-Count YooHoo, K.S.C., S.H., H.M.
Esoteric Order Of Eris, Van Vliet Cabal

World’s Oldest Known Magic Text Translated Into English For The First Time

April 17, 2007

Greed, Gummo:2, 6006 YD

After lying almost untouched in the vaults of an Italian university for 500 years, a book on the magic arts written by Leonardo da Vinci’s best friend and teacher has been translated into English for the first time.

The world’s oldest magic text, De viribus quantitatis (On The Powers Of Numbers) was penned by Luca Pacioli, a Franciscan monk who shared lodgings with Da Vinci and is believed to have helped the artist with The Last Supper.

It was written in Italian by Pacioli between 1496 and 1508 and contains the first ever reference to card tricks as well as guidance on how to juggle, eat fire and make coins dance. It is also the first work to note that Da Vinci was left-handed.
Although the book has been described as the “foundation of modern magic and numerical puzzles”, it was never published and has languished in the archives of the University of Bologna, seen only by a small number of scholars since the Middle Ages.

The transcription has taken eight years, involved several translators and cost thousands of pounds. William Kalush, a magician and the founder of the Conjuring Arts Research Centre in New York, who financed the project, said: “This book is the first major manual that is primarily concerned with teaching how to perform magic.”

“Sources of magic methods go back at least to the first century, but this book teaches not only the methods but also gives a glimpse into how one might perform them with an eye to entertaining an audience.”

The book was rediscovered after David Singmaster, a mathematician, came across a reference to it in a 19th-century manuscript.

“It’s the foundation not only of modern magic but of numerical puzzles too,” he said. “We don’t know why, but this huge thing has been hidden away in the University of Bologna we presume since the time of Pacioli.”

Experts believe it will give a greater understanding of magical history as well as insights into Da Vinci’s life and work. Carlo Pedretti, a leading art historian, studied the original Italian text in Bologna in 1954. He said: “It’s a very important document. It shows how much Da Vinci liked games and tricks – but only if they had scientific foundations. It’s also a very important document from the viewpoint of his work as it mentions The Last Supper.”

The manuscript contains a previously unknown anecdote about Da Vinci.

Dr Pedretti said: “Leonardo was working as an architect and general engineer for Cesare Borgia – the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI – who wanted to establish a new state in Italy in 1502. On their journey they came across a river and Da Vinci very quickly figured a way to use tree trunks to build a bridge – this is the first time we hear this story.”

Pacioli was born in Tuscany in 1445 and was a travelling mathematics tutor. He is often called the father of modern accountancy because his book The Summa (1494) contains the first published description of double-entry bookkeeping, accountancy’s basic technique.

He lived with Da Vinci in Milan from 1496 for several years and taught maths and geometry to the painter, scientist and inventor. They collaborated on many projects including a book, De Divina Proportione (1509), which Da Vinci also illustrated.

De viribus quantitatis is divided into three sections: mathematical problems, puzzles and tricks, and a collection of proverbs and verses.

Tricks include how to write a sentence on the petals of a rose, wash your hands in molten lead and make an egg walk across a table (“commoners will consider it a miracle”.) It also contains some of the first known European examples of numerical puzzles, which are similar to those printed in today’s newspapers, such as Sudoku.

There is also a diagram of a moving piece puzzle – such as those found in Christmas crackers – which was the medieval version of the Rubik’s cube.

Elsewhere in its pages, Pacioli explains a technique for writing in code, which may have been inspired by Da Vinci, whose left-handedness meant he sometimes wrote backwards making the words decipherable only with the use of a mirror.

No originality attaches to this work and Pacioli himself called it a compendium. Some of the problems are found in the notebooks of Da Vinci and although he never mentions Pacioli directly, experts believe that De viribus quantitatis shows their relationship was mutually beneficial.

Lori Pieper, the manuscript’s main translator, said: “There’s one particular case when Pacioli describes a mariner’s clock or compass.”

“He writes, ‘Well Leonardo, you can do more of this on your own.’ It implies that Pacioli also gave inventions to Leonardo and it wasn’t just a one-way street. They learned from each other.”

Although Da Vinci was a polymath interested in everything from art to anatomy, and Pacioli was a man obsessed by figures and logic, some believe both were enchanted by the magic of numbers.

“Maths and magic are intertwined,” said Eddie Dawes, the Magic Circle’s historian. “There are a number of magic tricks done with maths which date back a long time – like prediction tricks. The means by which magic is produced has obviously changed since Pacioli’s day but the basic effects remain much the same.”

De viribus quantitatis was written at a time when people were burnt at the stake for witchcraft and in the manuscript Pacioli seems to want to demystify trickery and to prove it was more about sleight of hand than supernatural powers.

Mr Singmaster said: “Perhaps he wanted to help rid us of our superstitions and make the world more rational and understandable.”

The translation of De viribus quantitatis will be published next year to coincide with its 500th anniversary. Until then, Da Vinci aficionados and aspiring magicians will have to be content with visiting the Conjuring Arts Research Centre where a copy will be kept.

Some of Pacioli’s tricks:

WASHING HANDS IN MOLTEN LEAD:

Take cool well water and soak your hands for a while; then shake them, you can put them in a pan full of melted lead over a flame, and it will not cook you. It is even better if you put some ground rock alum in the water … to the uneducated … it will appear to be a miracle.

FLOATING COIN IN WATER:

Take some magnetic powder and rub it on a copper coin before putting the coin in some vinegar. Then take a little bit of the magnetic powder between your thumb and index finger and tap the glass of water, where the coin is, and it will come up and go down … with your hand.

CARD TRICKS:

You will be able to teach the said boy, since he is closed [in a room] or at a distance, to guess which card some people have touched without seeing it, by way of the numbers you have agreed on with him: that is, by placing a number on the figures and cards according to the trick, and according to the agreement made between you … since it always appears to those who do not know the way … that all these things are done by the magic art of divination. And thus with spots on dice, and the ring, so you will always be able to do stupendous things with him … but you must do it cautiously, so that you might not be embarrassed, since the more secret things are, the more beautiful they are.

WALKING AN EGG:

Take an egg that has been emptied through a hole made with a pin, and then filled in with white wax, so the hole cannot be seen. And get a hair from a braid, the longest you can, and attach it to the shell with … solid wax. Fasten another bit of wax to the other end … placing the egg on the table, with the nail of your middle finger, pick up the said wax, and by moving it here and there … it will follow. This must be [done] in a place not too brightly lit, with onlookers at a distance.

Tales Of The Unexpected

April 16, 2007

Pride, Gummo:1, 6006 YD (later)

Well, you’ve gotta give them that – it is unexpected . . .

In The West Malaclypse The Elder . . .

April 16, 2007

Pride, Gummo:1, 6006 YD

Discordian scriptures on a sticker at the corner of Albion Road and Stoke Newington Church St.

posted originally on Flickr by acb

The Landlord

April 14, 2007

Wrath, Groucho:72, 6006 YD

Thanks to Dharma Jam for finding this:

For Anyone Who Think Pagans And Discordians Get Along…

April 13, 2007

Gluttony, Groucho:71, 6006 YD (later)

This is from Episkopos Cain’s blog, and was written by him. If you would like to read the original, with applicable links, please click here.

Episkopos Cain:

Now I am not normally one for internet drama, unless its particularly funny, but this is a special situation and deserves some scrutiny.

Now, I’ve been on the internet, in a regular sense and as a Discordian, for about 3 years now. And each time I have tried, as a Discordian, to interact with Pagans, it has failed miserably except for a very few exceptional people.

First off there was the jack-offs at the now defunct Obsidian Mirror. To be fair, it was only really two admins out of the three who were the real problem and neither of them was the owner of the site or the forum in question (the forum was hosted elsewhere), but it was a flavour of what was to come.

Next was Mystic Wicks. A few of us from PrincipiaDiscordia.com decided to help out Verthaine with some work he was doing over there. At first, it all went well and we were integrating well with, I thought, the majority of Pagans there. Boy was I wrong. The owner and his minions came down on us like a ton of bricks, pretty much based on our irreligion and refusal to be impressed by their admin powers. However, there is much more to that and if you want the full story you can sign up at Eris Bar and Grill to read up on the events.

After that, a few of us became suspicious. It seemed like most times we tried to interact in a non-hostile/O:MF way with any other religion, we became public enemy number one. Kind of flattering, in a way, but not when you really have no ill intent. I suppose it just goes to prove how threatening our irreligion is to conventional order, even of supposedly open and permissive religions with a history of persecution (both real and imagined).

So, I was thinking of giving Paganism at large another chance and went over to Spiritual Forums. At first it looked good, maybe a bit strict with speech for my liking (no swearing etc) but otherwise fine. However, after I was asked to explain my religion by a forum regular, my links to POEE and Subgenius.com were deleted for being “commercial” and “mocking real religions”. I was also informed that Discordianism was not a real religion and that if I insisted it was, I would end up banned (you wont find this thread by the way, it has been deleted, because it shows the admins breaking their own rules).

I tried to reason with the admin, with sensible debate. However, all Discordian threads were locked down and we were told to go discuss them in the Lounge, which is sort of the main chat area of the forum. Anyone who did so, however, got banned. I tried to mediate with a PM to one of the moderators, however when I tried to log on the next day, I was informed I had been banned for the High Crime of being a Discordian. A proxy got me back on, where I found this lovely little message awaiting me:

To all SubGenius, Pastafarian, Last Thursdayism and Discordians, you are not welcome at this forum, and any new members suspected of being such will be banned.

I know this is harsh and drastic, but if this is left unchecked, they could very well destroy this forum. I hope our long term and regular members understand the need for such action.
Now, I know I was foolish for trusting the benevolence of such an obvious Greyface, but even I didn’t expect this harsh a response. There was some trolling, I admit, but it was in response to the unfair banning of several people, who had the audacity to stand on their hind legs and act like they had a spine.

To date, they have banned every new member, claiming they are a Discordian, or abusive, or without any reason at all.

I think that its fair to say that interaction with the vast majority of Pagan religions is now pretty much impossible for me to do. These jackasses should know better, but their CoN programming means when they get hit by a bigger religion, they find someone smaller and weirder to retaliate against. Predictable, really. To quote the Good Reverend Roger on such matters:

I am getting just a little sick and tired of being the whipping boy for every two bit wannabe “Pagan” that comes down the pike. It occurs to me also that I really don’t feel the need to keep patiently explaining things to assholes who have had their minds made up by their masters.

I think I’ve really had enough of their shit, and it’s high time I did something about it. Indeed, I think it’s high time I SHIT MY HATE. Never liked those fuckers, anyway….Sorry, I guess I’m just an asshole. Or even a Discordian. A badwrong Discordian that really doesn’t feel the need to put up with their bullshit, anymore. I never signed up to be anyone’s fucking doormat, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to put up with this…

The fucking Wiccans want to hate on us? Okay, no sweat. But don’t be shocked when I hate right back. Fuck them AND their hypocritical fucking “karma rule”.

That was written after MW, but it still applies. I have no problem if you want to debate or discuss or even not believe in Discordianism. Thats not the issue. What is the issue is that the Pagan world seems to need a new whipping boy now Christianity has some teeth again and Islam is even more crazy. Sorry, this religion wasn’t made for persecution. And unlike certain Pagans, we don’t whine and try to be morally superior, or find a smaller religion to pick on. We fight back.

If you do want some sites where Discordians are welcomed, but not in the majority, then I suggest either Mystic Awakenings (where the owners are friendly and there is a Discordian/Subgenii mod) or Questing Spirits, where the owner herself is very much a Chaote.

But as for the rest of you, you may wanna watch out. This latest incident has pretty much proved Discordianism cannot seem to coexist with elitist windbags and two bit wannabes. I think its safe to say in the future, we wont be as nice or as forgiving as we have been…

Bizarre Courtroom Story

April 13, 2007

Gluttony, Groucho:71, 6006 YD

Words cannot describe. Click this link to read Episkopos Cain‘s courtoom story from Sondra London.

Hail Eris.

Viva St.Vonnegut!

April 12, 2007

Envy, Groucho:70, 6006 YD

NEW YORK (AP) – Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Cat’s Cradle,” died Wednesday at age 84, his wife said.

Vonnegut, who often marvelled that he had lived so long, despite his lifelong smoking habit, suffered brain injuries after a fall at his Manhattan home weeks ago, said his wife, photographer Jill Krementz.

The author of at least 19 novels, many of them best-sellers, as well as dozens of short stories, essays and plays, Vonnegut relished the role of a social critic. He lectured regularly, exhorting audiences to think for themselves and delighting in barbed commentary against the institutions he felt were dehumanizing people.

“I will say anything to be funny, often in the most horrible situations,” Vonnegut, whose watery, heavy-lidded eyes and unruly hair made him seem to be in existential pain, once told a gathering of psychiatrists.

A self-described religious skeptic and freethinking humanist, Vonnegut used protagonists such as Billy Pilgrim and Eliot Rosewater as transparent vehicles for his points of view. He also filled his novels with satirical commentary and even drawings that were only loosely connected to the plot. In “Slaughterhouse-Five,” he drew a headstone with the epitaph: “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”

But much in his life was traumatic and left him in pain.

Despite his commercial success, Vonnegut battled depression throughout his life and in 1984 he attempted suicide with pills and alcohol, joking later about how he botched the job.

His mother had succeeded in killing herself just before he left for Germany during the Second World War, where he was quickly taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge. He was being held in Dresden when Allied bombs created a firestorm that killed tens of thousands of people in the city.

“The firebombing of Dresden explains absolutely nothing about why I write what I write and am what I am,” Vonnegut wrote in “Fates Worse Than Death,” his 1991 autobiography of sorts.

But he spent 23 years struggling to write about the ordeal, which he survived by huddling with other prisoners inside an underground meat locker labelled slaughterhouse-five.

The novel, in which Pte. Pilgrim is transported from Dresden by time-travelling aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, was published at the height of the Vietnam War and solidified his reputation as an iconoclast.

“He was sort of like nobody else,” said Gore Vidal, who noted he, Vonnegut and Norman Mailer were among the last writers around who served in the Second World War.

“He was imaginative; our generation of writers didn’t go in for imagination very much. Literary realism was the general style.”

“Those of us who came out of the war in the 1940s made sort of the official American prose and it was often a bit on the dull side. Kurt was never dull.”

Vonnegut was born Nov. 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, a “fourth-generation German-American religious skeptic Freethinker” and studied chemistry at Cornell University before joining the U.S. army.

When he returned, he reported for Chicago’s City News Bureau, then did public relations for General Electric, a job he loathed. He wrote his first novel, “Player Piano,” in 1951, followed by “The Sirens of Titan,” “Canary in a Cat House” and “Mother Night,” making ends meet by selling Saabs on Cape Cod, Mass.

Critics ignored him at first, then denigrated his deliberately bizarre stories and disjointed plots as haphazardly written science fiction. But his novels became cult classics, especially “Cat’s Cradle” in 1963, in which scientists create “ice-nine,” a crystal that turns water solid and destroys the Earth.

Many of his novels were best-sellers. Some also were banned and burned for suspected obscenity. Vonnegut took on censorship as an active member of the PEN writers’ aid group and the American Civil Liberties Union. The American Humanist Association, which promotes individual freedom, rational thought and scientific skepticism, made him its honorary president.

His characters tended to be miserable anti-heroes with little control over their fate. Pilgrim was an ungainly, lonely goof. The hero of “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” was a snivelling, obese volunteer fireman.

Vonnegut said the villains in his books were never individuals but culture, society and history, which he said were making a mess of the planet.

“We probably could have saved ourselves but we were too damned lazy to try very hard…and too damn cheap,” he once suggested carving into a wall on the Grand Canyon, as a message for flying-saucer creatures.

He retired from novel writing in his later years but continued to publish short articles. He had a best-seller in 2005 with “A Man Without a Country,” a collection of his non-fiction, including jabs at President George W. Bush’s administration (“upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography”) and the uncertain future of the planet.

He called the book’s success “a nice glass of champagne at the end of a life.”

Vonnegut, who had homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons in New York state, adopted his sister’s three young children after she died. He also had three children of his own with his first wife, Ann Cox and later adopted a daughter, Lily, with his second wife, the noted photographer Krementz.

Vonnegut once said of all the ways to die, he’d prefer to go out in an airplane crash on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. He often joked about the difficulties of old age.

“When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon,” Vonnegut said in 2005.

“My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide.”

“And I’ll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children.”

Original Story here.

*****St.Vonnegut was canonized by the First Church Of Discord in 5965 YD (1966 CE). -BVH

Elephant Day

April 11, 2007

Lust, Groucho:69, 6006 YD

Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, died in his sleep -supposedly of suffocation- at the age of 33 on this date, in 1890. By odd “coincidence”, the Los Angeles Examiner of April 11th 1955 reported that two dead elephants had been washed shore near Wellington, New Zealand.

None had been reported missing and the nearest land was 1,200 miles away.