New Years Day, 1997

(sent days later, after "sleep on it" session)



For snappy wisecracks, improv porno, trance Dobbsspew Spouting and light

one-sentence spew, tune in by IRC on Sunday nights at 10 EST to: (or port 6667)

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since cuthulu owns and controls it.




Everything is okay. A newly discovered decent Hendrix bootleg is on and so

is my 21mg Nicoderm patch. The weather is balmy and so am I. I ate smoked

mussels and eggs for breakfast, took a shower, walked into my office and

noticed that it REALLY smells different now. It truly is a New Year.

Usually it doesn't seem that way, but this time it did.


This IS a special year, for the planet. This is the last year on which

there will be a July 6. This is the last year to host an August. There

will never be another September after 1997's. And 1997 will bring The Last

Christmas, and The Final New Year's Party. (Hmmmm.... yessss.....

possibilities aplenty there...)


Thus it is the Dobbs-bound DUTY, yes, I say DUTY, of EVERY SUBGENIUS, to

CELEBRATE WILDLY EVERY DAY AFTER JULY 5 1997, for every day shall be The

Last of That Day.


But for me personally it's been a rough transition over to yet another New

Way. The fact that it came around New Year is mostly coincidence.

Because let ol' Rev. Stang tell ya -- IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE when you

realize you're CRAZY after all, and it really wasn't anywhere NEAR that



Just at the last minute, this Angel took me and showed me what the world

would be like if I'd never been born. Bob Black was dictator. Bob Dean was

his mouthpiece, masquerading as Dobbs. The Bobbie you hate the most was

your boss. My wife had been divorced 7 times. Philo Drummond was an

embittered homeless drug addict and G. Gordon Gordon, Sterno, Wellman,

Vreedeez had all died in Vietnam. All this because I had never been born.

Only Janor's world was the same.


Naw, just kidding. However, yesterday somebody said to me, in the middle

of my screaming, "To tell the truth, man, you actually sound like you're

crazy right now. Like you've lost your mind."

A little while later, as I was replaying every word in that conversation

from memory, searching for backmasked between-the-lines unspoken clues as

to how badly they were secretly shafting me, which sort of thing I had

been discovering EVERYWHERE lately, that one phrase bubbled up. "You sound

like you're crazy."




Suddenly realizing that you have been depressed, in the clinical sense,

the classic sense, not just the usual SubGenius hate-the-Pinks alarm-clock

and drive-to-work, depression, but the real thing -- suddenly realizing

that you're just plain NUTS can be a JOYOUS MOMENT INDEED. It means that

you ARE crazy, and They're NOT out to get you! A refreshing reversal of

the usual (and often no less valid) SubGenius outlook.


That I might be insane seemed, well, SANE. I did, after all, stop smoking

3.5 weeks ago, which was like self-amputating an arm. We're talking one of

the meanest, most vicious, most deeply entrenched death-wish cig habits

you will ever HEAR of.


I also had a string of bad luck that seemed to dribble on all month.

Nothing I hadn't dealt with before, just the usual... you know, life not

being perfect; don't you just HATE that? But this time it was different.

WAY different. I didn't realize just how far out onto a narrow little

ledge of a brink I was getting. Sure, I knew to expect intense crankiness,

from previous serious cold turkey and Nic-patch attempts. But I forgot

that for every new trick you learn, the Tobacco Demons learn two.


I have not TOUCHED a smoke. But I'll tell ya. As bad as the third day is,

the third week is WORSE. The obvious physical withdrawals that you can get

your HANDS on, and GRAPPLE with FAIR AND SQUARE, are over. The Demons, in

fact, WANT you to become SUPREMELY CONFIDENT. "Hell, that was EASY," they

want you to say. Because then they can pull out the BIG guns. The

psychological approach. And sirmaam, the Tobacco Demons ARE SMARTER THAN

YOU ARE. They still control your unconscious mind. You can clean 'em out

of the forebrain easy enough, but SINCE WHEN could any SubGenius ACTUALLY

RULE OVER ITS SUBCONSCIOUS using that weak lever? Well, actually you can.

I have done it before and will do it again. I'm pretty sure. But it's HARD AS HELL.


That ol' subconscious is SHITLOADS smarter than what you're using to READ

THIS with. It can figure out answers to problems you'd NEVER work out by

TRYING. However, it can also work up bizarre imaginary scenarios to

justify ANYTHING, and trick your forebrain into ACTING on them.

First it was the visions of 7-11 counters. That started about the first

week. They'd hit me with that one on the rare occasions that I left my

office/cell. But I was on to that old scam. Pretty soon the Demons

realized it wasn't going to work.


So they moved up to Phase 3. Let you FORGET the cigarets COMPLETELY... but

get you SO FUCKED UP and OBSESSED over SOMETHING ELSE that you start to

feel like NOBODY could be expected NOT TO SMOKE under SUCH UNFAIR

DURESS!!! They just take what dissatisfaction happens to be bottled up,

and then milk it for all it's worth. One's wild hormonal and internal

chemistry changes can be used to jack up and exaggerrate every little



And that's just the FIRST week. The third week is worse. If I remember

correctly, the third MONTH is somehow even worse than that. Hardly anybody

makes it past the third month. Most prefer to die 5 or 10 or 30 years

sooner, instead.


Sometimes I DO want to JUST DIE. I'm a SubGenius. It's a Pink planet.

'Nuff said.


However, I HATE WASTE and I hate being a slave to a fucking Conspiracy

street drug. I could FEEL that it was time to choose, AGAIN, between Life

with a capital L and Death, to shit or get off the crapper, and besides,

for ONCE I had no pressing deadlines, terrible backlogs, upcoming shows,

godawful debts, or physical illnesses, so... I put on the patch and REALLY



Well, a 21 mg patch is no match for 3 packs a day even of UltraLights. The

patches are HELPFUL in getting you through that physical withdrawal

period; heck, the first couple of days are downright NOVEL, TRIPPY and

SORT OF PLEASANT. But it gets WORSE and WORSE and WORSE, in the most

insidiously subtle ways.


Before nicotine patches were invented, and you just went cold turkey, this

shit tended to be worse right at the beginning and then ease off. The

patches actually POSTPONE and DIFFUSE the emotional turmoil. But it's

still there. One otherwise minor problem can set it off, and you start

lashing out, but not necessarily at what's really fucking you up. What was

fucking me up was that I shoulda just said "NO" that one time when I was 18.


I'm not sure if hard core heavy duty nicotine withdrawal should be

combined with any other self-help steps. You'll be DAMNED lucky just to

quit smoking, and not also ending up quitting your job, divorcing your

wife, beating your kids and having car wrecks.


If this helps anybody else who follows along this same path:



If you break a habit, be careful that that's all you end up breaking.


I suppose this is an addendum to the INVOLUNTARY SLACK doctrine. You can

find yourself trying to FORCE INVOLUNTARY SLACK to happen. Now talk about

a contradiction in terms! Involuntary Slack is what saves your ass when

what you've tried for is SO fucked up and out of reach that you find a NEW

and BETTER answer in the process of being forced to GIVE UP.

What I learned is, you can't CHOOSE your Involuntary Slack. Even the old

"expert" had to be reminded of that. You try deciding what your

Involuntary Slack is gonna be, and you'll end up just adding to the False

Slack Overload.


The fact that I can even pursue such a string of logic indicates that my

brain cells are functioning better -- but TO WHAT END?? Infinite pointless

philosophies, rules, formulae? NO!! MUST... NOT... THINK.

NOW is not a good time for me to THINK, I think. I'll think I've FIGURED

ANYTHING OUT. No, I should just DO what seems DOABLE and ignore the Type A

Coffee Achiever urge to YEARN FOR MORE HOURS IN A DAY. NAY! I will merely

ACCEPT that I just have to spend FOUR TIMES AS MANY DAYS INSTEAD. What's

the hurry? Hell, I quit smoking. By the time I'm 60 it'll be as if I never

smoked. That means I'll LIVE FOREVER! Besides, FUCK that shit. Why am I

fretting about it??!? X-DAY!!! REMEMBER X-DAY!!!



Here's another thing to avoid: ACCIDENTALLY GOING WITHOUT THE PATCH.


The second night of my Lukewarm Turkey, somebody called and told me

something thoughtless. Normally I would have blown it off. Shoulda ended


I woke up SHAKING WITH RAGE, SWOLLEN with fury that I had "backed down" so

easily. I had been WRONGED!! I was owed JUSTICE!! Long, profuse apologies!

I made an incredibly nasty phone call or two, making everything far worse.

Then went for a walk to blow off more steam.


It was then that I realized I was FUCKED UP. I mean, REALLY fucked up. I

got DIZZY. I couldn't FOCUS on objects. The sun was FAR too BRIGHT. I

practically was hearing the mocking voices of my enemies (friends up till

then) inside my head. I must have looked funny to any neighbors watching

from behind their curtains as I started frantically feeling myself up,

looking for the patch.


Put a new one on. Head cleared some. Apologized to the guy I'd reamed out.

Had a brainstorm about a handy metaphor for Quitting -- divorce -- and

wrote a radio rant about it. That turned into a VERY weird show (#558) a

few days later... I ended up at times actually CHEWING the MICROPHONE

while SCREAMING HATE into it at the audience at FULL VOLUME. Very



I never did find that lost patch. You don't want to leave 'em lying around

-- if a child or dog EATS one, they'll DIE. That shit is DEADLY POISON.

But THAT day was, to quote Janor, "THAT was a big ol' COCAINE PARTY

compared to that time they SHOCKED THE LIVIN' GHEEE OUTA ME!!"


You cannot know what depression, in its clinical sense, IS, really, unless

you've both HAD it, and gotten OVER it, or else dealt very closely with

someone who has. The Catch 22 of depression, is that you literally CANNOT

pull yourself out of it. By definition. That's what it IS. Smoking, hell,

I got myself into it, I can get myself out, or not. Depression isn't like

that. It's bad brain, bad chemistry. You sometimes need replacement

chemicals to oil the stuck-shut hinges on the Mental Slack Shack door, and

you need psychological support to get the door cracked open again at ALL.

I am a big believer in antidepressants combined with counselling. For some

people. The counselling doesn't have to last forever necessarily but the

pills might. The pills are fucking MIRACLE DRUGS, in my opinion. In the

old days they frequently didn't work or even did damage, but more and more

I'm seeing people who REALLY ARE FAR BETTER, but without losing any of

their 'spunk' or "righteous SubGenius Hate" or creativity or anything;

indeed, all that improves. They regained their ability to HAVE FUN again.


I am not saying that Conspiracy Mental Health Programs are suddenly DOBBS

APPROVED now. I'm saying if some pill can fix you, TAKE THE DAMN PILL! If

somebody trained to circumvent your self-deluding bullshit can actually DO



If you need 5 bags of Habafropzipulops a week to keep from becoming a


When I started to suspect that I might be crazy, crazier than everybody

else I was dealing with anyway, I started a list. Of SYMPTOMS. Just a

little ways in, I could see it. It was just TOO OBVIOUS to deny. I wasn't

JUST having a bit of a nicotine fit. I was also looking at a textbook

description of depression.



1st Week

LOSING THINGS: common objects like keys, wallets, appointment books,

jackets, Fropcans, lists of passwords. Imagine picking up a tape deck,

getting distracted, putting it down, spending 10 minutes LOOKING FOR A



familiar. I missed the SAME EXIT twice running one day. And did it again

two days later.


FORGETTING WHAT YOU JUST GOT UP TO DO. All SubGenii are absent minded to

some extent, going to another room to fetch something and then forgetting

what it was. Professional froppers even more so, but we overcompensate for

short term memory loss by keeping careful notes and schedules. The

Secondary Memory notes are of NO HELP when you forget what you were doing




I dub Hours of Slack. I flip tapes when I cross the room. Have done that

for 10 years. Yesterday I recorded side one on one tape, side two on

another tape, and kept doing that for 3 sets before I realized it.

Inability to distinguish right from left without long and careful study.



2nd Week

Subtle insanity creeps in. The act of thinking, "That was EASY!" triggers it.

Repeating yourself in conversation -- or, THINKING you'd be repeating

yourself, and thus never actually saying anything to begin with.

Inability to hear anything said to you the first TWO times.

Ability to read 30 pages in a novel without any comprehension whatsoever.

Reading the same paragraph 6 or 7 times.

Even though you can't remember what you did 5 minutes ago, you can vividly

recall every broken or forgotten promise ever made to you since childhood,

every small slight or insult, especially by close friends. Perfect

recollection of everything ever borrowed but not returned; inability to

see best friends as much better than common thieves. Interminable mulling

and moping.


Vividly imagining painful and unfair arguments, down to every nuance and

detail. Perfect, photographic recollection of completely imaginary fights.

A tendency to laugh off cigarets, yet become hideously bitter about

everything else... for 5 minutes to an hour at a time. Then, a favorite

tune plays on the radio and suddenly everything is fine for awhile, until

the next frothing suicidal rage.

Calling people by other people's names. Transposing important phone

numbers and addresses.

Physical clumsiness. Greatly increased sex drive. Greatly reduced sex

drive. Completely confused, right off the road and crashed into a tree sex



3rd Week

Mistaking vividly imagined arguments and painful scenes for actual events

that really happened. And holding grudges for them.

Looking for incredibly creative work done in the computer the night

before, and then realizing that you only DREAMED that you did that amazing

work. (Nicotine patches cause heavy dreaming because you're jazzed all

night long.)

Fretting and fuming for 5 hours a night, sleeping for 3.

Inability to remember anything good ever happening to anyone except those

you most envy.

Inability to accept the existence of anything good even when it's being

shoved in your face.

Suddenly conviction that you have been KIDDING YOURSELF during all

previous times of happiness. Screaming to self, "All this time I've been a

SAP!!! A CHUMP!! ONLY NOW can I finally see the BITTER TRUTH I was hiding


HOODWINKED. Oh, I know now that they've all been LAUGHING at me behind my

back this whole time and I was too much of a TRUSTING FOOL to SEE it."

Etc. ad infinitum.

Any single statement that might be construed as less than HIGHLY

FLATTERING, interpretted as a snide insult. Reading between the lines of

the most innocuous pleasantries and personality quirks, and finding EVER

MORE PROOF of a general unspoken conspiracy against you. Seeing everyone

else as venomously jealous while displaying the most venomous jealousy.

Setting conversations up with such evil Moriarty-like twisted logic that

no reply anyone makes could be taken as anything BUT total betrayal, or at

best the most callous insensitivity.

Forcing arguments and ultimatums over inconsequential things, insisting

that they have taken on undeniable symbolic significance. Screaming on the

phone. Hanging up on people.

Extreme time distortion. Mulling and festering over how that person

borrowed this thing you now desperately need, WEEKS ago, and despite your

weeks of reminders, they TAUNT you with procrastination and excuses, and

never give it back. You happen to notice that in reality it has only been

four days, and you never DID ask for it back, but then you find some other

reason to be pissed off.

Screaming the most vulgar, childish insults at your boss, quitting your

job, telling your spouse it's ALL OVER FOREVER, writing inforgiveably

nasty letters and THEN SENDING THEM, etc. etc. etc. ...


and somewhere in there, if you're REALLY LUCKY, somebody says "Seriously,

you sound CRAZY," and something clicks, and it sinks in, and it's... well,

it ain't exactly over, but at least you can CRY again, breath freely again

and holler out:



And that IS a gigantic relief. If it happens on New Year's Eve, IT'S A


'Cause there are pills and tricks that'll help cure all but the borderline

schizophrenia, and if you're a SubGenius you probably want to keep that.

And I dunno about you, but as much as Normals disgust me, SHIT... forgot

what I was saying. OH! It was that, fuck... what was it... OH YEAH... as

much as Normals disappoint me, I'd still rather think that it was me being

an asshole than that LITERALLY EVERYBODY ELSE is one. Because I can DO

something about ME.

So far, knowing I'm crazy seems (SEEMS!) to be keeping me "sane." I can

probably keep the lid on... at least, until the THIRD MONTH!!!

Luckily we won't have to WORRY about the THIRD YEAR; on the Escape

Vessels, smoking is HEALTHY!

I type all this mainly to get it out of my system and hopefully to

pep-talk and WARN the next poor bastard of some hidden dangers I found. I

figure if what, 10% of Americans smoke, 20% of SubGeniuses do or have.

That means a fifth of you can sympathize and maybe even gain a useful tip

or two. No, you aren't alone, and YES, you ARE CRAZY. The Conspiracy

REALLY IS to blame, but only you can exercise the Slackify your Fate, THEY

WON'T, and someday you'll quit just TALKING about it, and QUIT. And

perhaps go TOTALLY FUCKING NUTS like I have.

There is nothing in Dobbs' Word that prohibits self pollution of any kind.

Rather, Strength Through Disfigurement is preached -- that one might need

to IMMUNIZE oneself against a toxic environment by GRABBING THE BULL BY

THE HORNS, so to speak. I swear that I will never act like the "former

smoker," that most vile of hypocrites. I shall strive to remain

nonjudgemental about the drugs I no longer consume like a fiend.

But man... I HAD to quit. No sense to risk MISSING X-DAY at this point.

Plus, Jimi told me to, in a secret message, in lyrics only I can

understand, on the version of Midnight Lightnin' that he does in the

middle of VOODOO CHILD SLIGHT RETURN in the Berkeley '70 concert.

But that's not the point. Also the point is not that I want you miserable

wretches to call me up for "counselling," or to counsel me. The point is,

by definition you can't know when you're depressed, so it sneaks up on

you, and the Tobacco Demons can use Sudden Adult Clinical Depression

Syndrome as a weapon... so watch out. THAT'S the point.

Besides, you HEARTLESS INGRATES are always accusing me of DRIVE BY

POSTINGS and while it's true that I don't get a chance to stop here much

between the radio, IRC, email, rant jobs, job jobs, blow jobs, snow jobs,

personality crises and nervous breakdowns, at least when I do, it ain't to

make some wisecrack about some DUMB TV SHOW or the next Bobbie's

PERSONALITY FLAWS. SEE?? Poor rev. stang, the only one who ever has to

work, who ever suffers, yet who is PERSECUTED and hounded SO UNFAIRLY...

Oops. Sorry.

I shoulda just said no. I really just shoulda said, "NO."


This has nothing to do with any arguments with Sub-IRC characters, in case

anyone wondered. That was one tiny droplet in the giant bathtub full of



On a cheerier note:

ALT.BINARIES.SLACK. (Also the SubSITE Art Mines.)

SubGenius super-heroes Atom Funway, Fernandinande, Poindexter, and many

many more are duking it out like CRAZY DEPRESSED PEOPLE LETTING OFF STEAM


SLACK shows every week or so.



Socks. Every person in my wife's extended family gave me gray socks

Shirts. I have shirts now. And a pair of pants. Now I have TWO that WORK!

Someone else gave me a very weird looking doll made by a 10 year old,

which I intend to sell under false pretenses to some art gallerly as a

David Lynch sculpture.

She got a new TV and a phone line installed near her computer. My dad

made her an ENTIRE CLASSIC GRANDFATHER CLOCK. (Everybody loves Mrs.


My son got accepted to NYU for film school(!!).

My daughter got new speakers for my car. For her. I hardly drive now that

the kids can.

Friday Jones filled the stockings of the whole Dallas Clench with hot

sauces, candies, condiments and a book called BAKED POTATOES, A Pot

Smoker's Guide to Film & Video. Surprisingly, the list in that book

corresponds almost EXACTLY to the videotapes on my shelf.

Lou Duchez made sure that when the Frop Drought ended, it ended for us

too. Lou probably saved lives of homeless drifters somewhere in Dallas

with that gesture. There's at least one less corpse hidden in the Trinity

River Bottoms tonight because of Lou.

I got a bookstore gift certificate which got me THE BRYCE BOOK. I'm

MUSKIN'. I'm MUSKIN' on that shit. If only there was more time... I have

ideas and sketches now for ACTUAL PLANNED SCENES, all I have to do now is

learn the fancy gimmicks and DO THEM. -- WHOA!!! WHOA! STOP STANG STOP.

It'll just take FOUR DAYS LONGER. (It took 4 days longer than I expected,

to send this message!)

And I got a $20 gift certificate that allowed me to hit the Hendrix

bootleg basket at the secret CD store for my tri-yearly mining excursion,

where I listen to bits of every CD in the basket to sort the shit out from

the gold. Luckily there's usually only one worth buying and that's all I

can afford. Bootlegs (also known as "foreign live imports") run from $25

to $50 depending. The Hendrix bootleg market is obviously gonna be limited

and fraught with repitition. The same illegal concert recording can be

available under 10 different titles. A TAPE is not GOOD enough, even

though half the boots are terrible audience tapes to begin with, made on

those little glitchy 5-inch reel to reels. But EVERY NOW AND THEN one

stumbles upon a KEY FIND, a bunch of studio out-takes and rehearsals with

good sound, or an entire concert recorded off the soundboard that's not

too far from the original. Or collections of same. The one I picked up is

called OH MAN, IS THIS ME OR WHAT and contains particularly well performed

songs from several different European concerts and Miami... stuff that

justifies the half-assed recording quality, at least for hard core Hendrix

nuts. This particular bootleg CD is so illegal that the back cover of the

box is a hand-cut-out xerox, glued on crooked.

My son bought himself a guitar and amp. But he's more of an REM kind of guy.

We went to my folks' place way out in the boonies and made concrete

stepping stones for my Ma with all the 6 grandkids' handprints imbedded in

'em. (Concrete's only $5 a bag). Went to one of those Animal African

Safari Drive-Through theme parks, Fossil Rim in Glen Rose. Jesus was with

us, and delivered a fervent anti-animals rant that I would not have

expected from the Prince of Peace.

This whole time I was insane, but hiding it FAIRLY well from my family.

Last night we threw a small New Year's Eve party. A dozenSubDallasians ate

and blabbered and drank stuff. Nickie had purple vodka-impregnated Jello

made in human Brain and Heart molds. I took two Melatonins. Nickie and

Jesus got drunk and bickered over every little thing -- too many Moes in

one place, heh heh. Frapped. Watched videos -- VIDEO PSYCHOTHERAPY, great

Cleveland cable access violence collage show, some hard core bug porn I

taped off a NOVA special (about the bugs that live ON YOUR VERY BODY!!!)

and some Three Stooges. At midnight we watched a whole building in Las

Vegas get blown to shit by fireworks and then DYNAMITED TO THE GROUND.

I got Slack because I had realized, in time, that I was insane.

As long as I keep in mind that at any given second what I'm thinking might

well be TOTALLY INSANE, I think I'll do fine. Gotta just keep it simple

for awhile. Recuperate. Just let this one cut of "HEY BABY (NEW RISING

SUN)" from the Copenhagen '70 concert loop over and over again. Keep

flipping the HOUR OF SLACK tapes for the stations. (Reran HoS #75 --

classic from 10 years ago.) Do some Bryce, write stuff, edit job stuff.

Art will keep me pure until X-Day.

Rev.Psych told me I don't know what this Church of the SubGenius is really

all about, that I am too removed from what the young people, like him, the

future, are into, which is of course his IRC stuff. FINE! Leave that world

takeover shit to Dobbs! That's HIS job, not mine.

ART will keep me PURE.

And I don't need to tell YOU that by "art" I don't mean just GRAVEN IMAGES.

If you want to make me real cheery, be a Mac user with WAREZ I need!

(Poser 2? Vector Effects? LogoMotion? 3d Web Workshop? Got 'em? I need

'em. Can... pay.


For snappy wisecracks, improv porno, trance Dobbsspew Spouting and light

one-sentence spew, tune in by IRC on Sunday nights at 10 EST to: (or port 6667)

That's the new SubGenius Online Chat Devival home. Should be permanent

since cuthulu owns and controls it.


Copyright 1996 by Rev. Ivan Stang / 1st Orthodox Stangian

MegaFisTemple Lodge of People's Covenant Church of the

Wrath of Dobbs Yeti, Resurrected / The SubGenius Foundation,Inc.

PO Box 140306 Dallas TX 75214 / Fax 214-320-1561 / PRABOB -- SubSITE of Slack