This might be in SubSite somewhere. If not, it should be.

Ivan Stang wrote:

Well, my job for Saturday is done. Show finished and dubbing, log typed.

It was a relief to pause in my website tweaking for awhile. Last night was

my 25th high school reunion. I went. 5 other guys showed up. (Guys because

this was a private all-male school.) I can't fucking believe it. I had

less "class spirit" than ANYBODY in my class. I have report card comments

from teachers to prove it. And yet there I was, eager to "touch base" with

all those (mostly) Pinks I went to school with... and ALL THOSE

CHEERLEADER HALE-FELLOW-WELL-MET CLASS SPIRIT ASSHOLES STAYED HOME for the

fucking 25th year REUNION!!! Man. What is this world coming to.

 

The five other guys who showed up hadn't changed much at all. 4 of the 5

were fellow bad hipster frop-boys like myself. They all work for the Con,

but at least they mostly seem to work in somewhat anti-Con Con jobs... an

eco- conservation group, a company for finding jobs for homeless bums,

stuff like that. Liberals. They were the ones who showed up.

 

When one goes to a high school reunion one of course hopes to find

everyone balder, fatter and more depressed than oneself. That hasn't been

the case at my high school reunions. The guys who show up, like me, still

have all their hair, aren't unhealthy looking, and have very presentable

wives or girlfriends. Makes you wonder why the other guys hid out. SHAME??

I sure hope so.

 

Oddly enough, all 5 guys commented that I don't LOOK any different than I

did in high school. And that doesn't make sense. I'm covered with scars,

patches, swaths of gray hair, wrinkles. I mean I'm a city boy, I don't

look like some weathered cowboy or biker. But I do look 43 and I did NOT

have vitiligo or diskoid lupus when I was a kid. I also had short hair. I

look like a back-up bass player for some nostalgia band now. My fucking

hair is so huge now that I sometimes think possibly of cutting it. Very

few women has as much god damned hair, and they express their envy all the

time. There was an article about the X-Day Drill in Rev. Groovy G's

subzine, and the ONLY THING it focused was how DUMB my HAIR looks to the

reporter. Hey, I know I look like a human cartoon of a mad scientist

SubGenius weirdo, that's the WHOLE IDEA! (That and the fact that old

hippie chicks (and Miss Friday) LOVE it!) I'm in show biz, I'm SUPPOSED to

look memorable and goofy. Mrs. Stang trims the top and sides every few

months, but in 1990 I started JUST LETTING IT GROW, partly to see what

would happen, partly because my DAD made an idiotic comment that my hair

was getting too long (YOU'D THINK THEY'D LEARN!!) and partly because I was

entering my second childhood/midlife crisis and having hair like my high

school rock star heroes JUST MAKES ME FEEL COOL. I am fully cognizant that

this is no different from guys 10 years older than me still wearing

ducktails and greaser hairdos. SO WHAT! Fuck the norm. I wish I could be

MORE of a "hippie" than I am. Hippies may look stupid to you youths, but

keep in mind it's in retrospect. You weren't there. There was a brief

period when we thought we actually had a chance against the Conspiracy.

SURE, as Zappa and MYSELF for that matter pointed out, we WERE just the

Alternate Conspiracy, but yet... but yet... the HOPE was there, and it

ain't hardly anywhere now... for good reason.

 

I drove to that high school reunion listening to a RAGE AGAINST THE

MACHINE (modern day punk-rap-like stuff) and wondering if my classmates

were listening to SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES, the song I most hate out of all

songs in the world.

 

A high school reunion is an emotional event. Just before I got to the

school I pulled into a nearby BORDERS bookstore to assuage my

potentially-damaged ego. (Actually I mainly pulled in there to PEE, since

Borders stores have coffee shops and BATHROOMS.) At first it was a bad

move. I looked in the humor section and there were NO SUBGENIUS BOOKS

there. I thought, "Well that's it, if Borders isn't even carrying the Word

anymore, that's the end... it's doom... I'm a loser and my highly paid

Conspiracy-employed classmates were right all along." (Not that that's

actually the case anyway, but I was in that sort of mood.) I was shuffling

to the exit when what should greet my eyes but REVELATION X on DISPLAY,

with the COVER SHOWING, and copies of BoSG next to it -- in a SPECIAL NEW

SECTION called "Eccentric, Weird and Essential." Other things in the

section were the ReSearch books and all the other books by people who are

now my friends and, like me, don't make much in royalties but at least can

lay claim to a little STATUS. The uncategorizable but "hip" stuff.

 

Not only that but there was a woman there adding new stock to the shelves,

and noticed me, and I said, "I SURE am glad to see this section. I busted

my ass on that book there" -- tapping REV-X -- and she said, "I thought I

recognized you."

 

I am not a person who lives from compliment to compliment -- if I was, I'd

be dead by now -- but I am human enough that that made me feel good, so I

went into the high school class reunion WITHOUT a chip on my shoulder.

 

My two kids still live at home, but just barely, and their Homecoming game

was last night. They're sociable kids so this weekend is a big deal for

them too. They're TOTAL WEIRDOS, that's for sure, but their Ma and I have

gone to some trouble to make sure as best we could that they were always

able to pass for normal and function in normal society. I'm sitting here

typing this while waiting for the Homecoming Dance to end and for a bunch

of kids to come over here for a party. We try to make our house a

"hang-out" for them damn kids... not very successfully, 'cause what

teenager wants to hang out at its own house? -- but at least when they do

choose to utilize the facility, we can keep tabs on 'em. I don't have to

worry much about my kids and DRUGS. They're fuckin' prudes, it's their

form of rebellion.

 

****

 

THEY JUST PILED IN. The SubGenius Foundation office facility is now full

of teenagers all dolled up in Prom Dresses and tuxes. I must say, those 16

year old girls certainly do look different in make-up and dresses than

they do in their usual slob garb. The lads all look laughably square.

They're heating pizzas and drinking soda pop. Jesus just arrived from his

temp job and is down there scarfing pizza and doling out sage advise. He's

only 26 so he can get away with that. Mrs. Stang and I are trying to stay

out of their hair. We're "parents," it'd be uncool for us to hang around,

and besides that Mrs. Stang was the FIFTH GRADE TEACHER of half of these

kids.

 

I value these times because my boy leaves the nest next year, and Sivet

will follow soon after. Even though they've made it plain that they

consider me a brain-damaged old bum, we still have better relations than

most modern day parents and kids do. (That's the upside of freelancing. I

was home a lot.)

 

This is another irony. The evil and depraved SubGenius house is the safest

place these teenagers can be while also being left alone by oldsters. And

another thing. I spent the morning at the elementary school. This nearby

school where Mrs. Stang teaches is the first school in Texas to be

officially "wired for the Internet" a la Clinton's big promo. Whoop te

doo. The horrible thing is that not one teacher there besides Mrs. Stang

knows what the Internet is.

 

As far as they know it's just a sewer of child pornography. The school

will have a website, but the principal has declared that no child's name

or picture can be displayed there due to the evil cyberstalkers who lurk

everywhere. The fact that there's a school yearbook and phone book

available at the library has no bearing on this. It's an insane situation,

and I have volunteered to help put their website together, since the

computer teacher at the school doesn't know what the Internet is, either.

 

Mrs. Stang and I spent the other evening examining elementary school

websites. They were mostly pictures of principals that took half an hour

to download. One would think that displaying the dopey artwork and goofy

stories by the children, and links to educational/fun kids' websites, and

little email pen-pal thangs with kids from other countries would be the

OBVIOUS things to do. And Mrs. Stang's class will have just that. But the

sorry fact is that she has to do this DESPITE the paranoid directives from

above, and for a year or so she'll be the only one of 20 teachers who'll

take advantage of the jillions of bucks worth of equipment that the

school's been given. PINKNESS!!! Pinkness creeps into every nook and

cranny of human society. Timidity and sloth. We shall make them all look

as FUCKING DUMB as they FUCKING ARE.

 

But they STILL won't get it. Our hope is that maybe some of the STUDENT

CHILDREN will pick up on the fact that if they bother to lift a finger,

they might conceivably be able to direct their own lives in the direction

they want to go.

 

While I'm bragging my ass off... just before the dance my daughter's

clique of pals and dates came here to get their pictures taken by all

their parents. We figured, why not get it done all at once in one place.

They spent $25 each on the corsages ALONE. So all these (honestly) Pink

moms and dads were in my back yard snapping away and making the kids pose.

Our back yard is photogenic, it looks like a jungle and there's no fence,

so it looks as if they're in the woods. I forced Sivet upstairs to pose

for a special digi-picture -- snapped a PICT shot onto my Mac from my

video camera. After she left I dropped that crappy low-light pic into a

Mac program called KAI'S POWER GOO. This program is designed entirely for

fucking up pictures of people's faces and making them cartoon-like. It's

brilliant. (I did 6 Legume-face distortions last night just for fun, but

then Legume already looks like he's been GOOed. He has a GREAT FACE.) I

took the picture of my daughter's face and caricatured it -- like me she

has a weak chin and small mouth, so I shrank those down to nubs, and then

made her eyes just like Keene paintings -- great big huge soulful cartoon

eyes. The amazing thing is that this program lets you do this kind of

distortion very easily and intuitively, and maintains a photographic

reality. Photoshop, Illustrator and other art programs have similar

features but this one's specialized for FACE-WARPING. I printed out the

funny pictures of Sivet and left them in her room.

 

AND HER BUDDIES WERE REALLY IMPRESSED! She was showing them off proudly.

 

You may be thinking, "JESUS! Stang is more insecure than I THOUGHT!" But

you're not a parent. If a parent can do ONE or TWO THINGS that actually

IMPRESS their teenage kids and the kids' peers, it's a FUCKING MIRACLE.

Teenagers are inherently built to think their folks are dumbasses. (In

MANY cases it's TRUE.) I can all too vividly remember my teenage years,

and I PITY my old P and M. I pity myself, too. Those years were

unspeakably horrible for the most part but let's not get into that, it's a

Bonobo thing. I guess I wasn't too bad of a kid -- I only got jailed for

drunk and disorderly once, and they didn't suspect a THING about the drugs

until I was 18 and off at college... but I sure did everything I could to

express my disgust at their failure to raise me as a PERFECT BEING. (TALK

ABOUT AN UPHILL BATTLE!!) By comparison, my kids, for all the insulting

shit they say to me, must not hate me nearly as much as I hated my parents

back in the day.

 

My Mammy and Pappy are still alive and they're both good pals of mine.

Thank God... we buried all our resentments, and we all understand that the

Human taint fucks EVERYBODY up, and nobody's perfect, and we all did the

best we could. I deliberately exagerrate my son's rebellion level to my

dad, just so he can feel vindicated. It's the least I can do. He was a

Nixonian Naval Intelligence officer and corporate lawyer while I was a

dope-snorting, radical hippie filmaker weirdo. I can scarcely imagine his

anguish. On the other hand, when I started working for Dobbs I think he

began to understand that on a certain level we were in total agreement, as

best he could considering the generation gap. He read the Book of the

SubGenius and declared himself a SubGenius, bought his Membership and put

his Excuse on his law office wall. He got kinda pissed off when we did

that STARK FIST that had all the begenitalled Jesuses in it, and he still

thinks a lone nut killed JFK and that the CIA is his friend and that the

media is controlled by Liberals, but by Gobbs the old bastard has accepted

the Truth of Dobbs and seems to understand the basic fact of the

Conspiracy, our polarly opposite politics notwithstanding. In fact he's

probably the one who unwittingly prepped me for Dobbs' message. From the

time I was a small child he made no bones about the fact that some people,

such as us, were vastly more intelligent than most others. What he left

out was the possibility of total self delusion in this regard, but that's

like wondering if you're crazy or not -- HOW WOULD YOU KNOW ANYWAY?? But

his definition of intelligence was never class-based nor test-score based,

but VALUES-based. (It could hardly be class-based, since we weren't eactly

in the Queen's entourage.) I recall once he said, "Ivan, what makes a

poebucker a poebucker is that they have no sense of VALUES. They don't

value what they have. They get something and then let it go to shit, they

let it rot. (Pappy rarely actually uses profanity around me, but you get

the idea.) They don't make the effort to preserve what good they have."

Think about the pick-up that's been up on blocks at your trailer-court

neighbor's lot for the last 5 years and you know what he was talking

about.

 

ABSOLUTELY it's an elitist attitude, AS WELL IT SHOULD BE. We could be

WRONG that we're the superior race, but one must have PRIDE. And one must

KEEP ONE'S SHIT TOGETHER. It's a tall order in this day and age but WE CAN

DO IT. These conservative fucks rant about VALUES day in and day out, but

actions speak louder than words. I'm the cartoon equivalent of a liberal

pinko anti-establishment liberal hippie weirdo liberal sex fiend prevert

cultist god-hating destroyer of American Values, but I made time to attend

my high school reunion, and I made sure my kids and their crowd of pals

had a proper after-Homecoming Dance hang-out to hang out in. I would

vouchsafe that many of my SubGenius Over-40 peers are in the same

position, maintaining through effort and thoughtfulness a family

environment that's merely the FANTASY of the redneck dumb-ass conservative

Limbaugh-heads who TALK BIG about family values but have had 3 spouses and

never quite paid that child support... the anti-abortion fanatics who've

had 3 abortions. FUCK THAT SHIT!!

****

 

 

MAH GAWD! My 16 year old daughter was MAKING OUT with a BOY... Jesus saw

it, peeking out through the upstairs window, they were down in the street

by the streetlight. Heredity... dammit.

 

Mrs. Stang is now driving the gang of kids to a hotel party and thence to

another girl's house party... apparently, at 3 in the morning I will have

to go pick them up and ferry them home. Normally we would never be so

accomadating, but Homecoming is special... I guess...

 

Everybody in the Stang family seems to be determined to drive everything

NORMAL, to the very HILT, AND also to drive everything WEIRD to the very

hilt. An agitated crew. We're the kind of people that Valium was invented

as a CURE for, and WE DON'T TAKE THE VALIUM.

 

At least one doesn't feel like one has wasted one's time.

 

SURE this world's going to hell, I'd be the last to deny that, but humans

have been known to pull themselves out of the worst possibly nosedives at

the very last minute by sudden flashes of brilliance brought on by stress.

That's the ONLY time their flashes of brilliance ever come on, granted --

when they've painted themselves into a corner and are faced with certain

doom. THEN they act like SubGeniuses and the day is saved. More or less.

We can look down upon them, but never underestimate them. They CAN pull

through if galvanized out of their stupors. Christ, think how many

competing species "we" wiped out or drove into the Himalaylas. Ever see a

Gigantanthropus jawbone? That Javanese Yeti thought he knew the score, but

he ended up on his head ,just like you, me and every common Pink will.

They Always End Up On Their Heads, you can take that to the BANK,

brother/sister. The great equalizer of Death renders us all rats in the

same maze. That "THE ONE WITH THE MOST TOYS WINS" is sensible on the

surface, but a fallacy. The one that gets nearest to the end of the maze

wins. But even then, its somewhat moot, since nobody CAN get to the END of

the maze. That's the beauty of the maze. We should appreciate it rather

than curse it and try to conquor it. But then... what else is there to do?

Sit on our butts watching Mystery Science Theater 3000? I THINK NOT. I

think that pursuing any halfway attainable dream within reason, and then

some, is the way to go. Get off your butt and fight The Man By Any Means

Sensible. The WORST thing you can do is FAIL and GO BROKE and be

HUMILIATED. SO FUCKING WHAT?? They've ALREADY done THAT to you, the minute

you applied for the job.

 

 

That's probably been your fate all along, anyway. It's when one shoots for

the IMPOSSIBLE that one seems to succeed... according to physical laws

that must've been set by NHGH Itself, so cruel are they. But by the same

token, the very impossibility of a task is just what makes it possible,

DUE IN FACT TO PINK DUMB-ASSEDNESS. Their complete acceptance of reality

at face value as defined cooperatively, is exactly their ACHILLE'S HEEL,

or opening, our venue for gaining access to the PRIME CODE by jimmying the

lock.

 

Perhaps the key to it all is being able to adjust to the IRONY of it, the

Catch-22 nature of it. But is seeing the world through Vonneguttian eyes

simply another cop-out, a cheaper 'Frop? (WHO FUCKING CARES!?!?) But still

one must wonder, and press the issue while gazing contemplatively upon the

bellybuttons of the stars. Are we the SubGenii not meant for BETTER

THINGS? Is our fate merely to strut and fret our brief hour upon the

stop-motion puppetry platform stage, before the motion-controlled cameras

that cost millions of dollars, our pathetic displays of angst to be rented

on video and then heard no more?? Once again, if I may dare to repeat

myself, FUCK THAT SHIT. We're here, we're "queer," get used to it. If we

ACT like we KNOW WHAT WE'RE DOING, the Pinks will acquiesce. They'll move

out of the way just as if a cop told them to. We underestimate OURSELVES.

We, every one, even Tiny Tim, that little crip, have vast mind control

powers over The Others. We have but to suggest something and the dumbasses

will do it, for lack of anything better. By default. Not always, but

usually, if you use any discretion. The only thing that's more disgusting

than how easily fooled they are is how easily we fooll ourselves. Our

Moriarty-like cleverness at fooling ourselves would confound a Sherlock

Holmes. And the REAL B-4 level kooks among us take on Sherlock's job as

well, constantly explorting every possibility of self-delusion and

trickery. We detectives only want to EXPOSE them, not REPLICATE them...

but that's the trick, isn't it? Knowing thineself from the Conspiracy.

 

Well, SHIT. If you're even WONDERING THAT, you're probably NOT the CONSPIRACY.

 

In the meantime, we must wonder... aww, forget it.