Subject: Re: Translation of first major article in Japanese on SubG -Paid for by Shining Path of Least Resistance
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 02:13:18 GMT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Sven Serrano
Organization: (Shining Path of Least Resistance)
Newsgroups: alt.slack, alt.binaries.slack
[REPOSTED ON REQUEST OF YETISYN (and well worth it, too)]
When I met Paul Mavrides and Hal Robins, prominent in-house (and
outhouse) artists last July, they told me that a Japanese magazine had
sent a guy over to interview them. The mag, Studio Voice, is a mass
market trendoid publication, similar to say the American Raygun or
Bikini Kill. I told them I'd keep an eye out for it. When it
appeared in September, with full color shots of Paul's and Hal's work,
I had little choice but to get the piece professionally translated
from Japanese to Englsih. My translator, a symp to our cause, gave me
the friendly rate of 30,000 yen, which still meant a $260 tip to
"Bob". So be it, I paid so that you may consider the following piece.
(of course if every reader sent me $1....) SubG dogmatists can easily
see the errors and misinterpretations of the Japanese author but at
the same time enjoy Mavrides and Howell's efforts to pull their wool
over his eyes.
STUDIO VOICE MULTI-MEDIA MAGAZINE VOL.261 9/97 Tokyo, Japan
Series column 'California Shock Hunter'
JAPANESE BOY VIOLATED BY COMIC CULT "THE CHURCH OF THE SUBGENIUS"
by Naohiro Ukawa
The term "SubGenius" means "hidden" or
"unmeasurable." the word was coined by cult members, and apparently
means "an unmeasurable intelligence." The center photo shows the
studio of P. Mavrides. At left are: P. Mavrides, the author, and H.
Robins. Mavrides is a well-known artist who has done jacket designs
for the Butthole Surfers and posters for "Repo Man" and other films.
The Church of the SubGenius is a religious organization with its
headquarters and proselytation base located in Texas. As it's guru,
the cult has adopted Bob Dobbs, and American comic character. In
America the cult is popular enough to rival "Papa" LaVey's Church of
Satanism, and has a huge number of adherents. In a moment we shall be
speaking with Paul Mavrides -- the comic artist who designed the cult
character "Bob" -- and Harry S. Robins, another cartoonist who
supports the group. When I took the offer of meeting them over the
phone, I was surprised to find that they both lived in my
neighborhood. There's some dangerous people hanging around here! The
SubGenius are lifting their middle fingers with a big FUCK to all
recieved ideas and the entire social conspiracy. I immediately set
out to get raped by these people, who are prowling around the
borderline between humor and seriousness in a state of totally
SV: First of all I would like to ask about this character Bob, which
you drew and which the SubGenius regard as their guru. Was there an
actuall person who Bob was modeled after? Also, I've heard that Bob
appeared at one ti;me as an extra in various exploitation films.
What, for example were these films?
PM: Well, it's like yu say. Bob acutally existed. It is thought
that he was born around the middle of the 1930's. But nevertheless,
Bob wasn't a specific person. He's an icon symbolizing the style
of 1950's America. For example in advertisement in the '50s, almost
all the designs had models with a style like Bob. Bob also exists as
a clip art model for the Bell Corporation, and has appeared as an
extra in many movies, including "Panic in the Year Zero" and "Zontar
Thing from Venus." We simply re-excavated this characher and brough
him before the world. Bob is a guy with this sort of style who was
hanging around American culture at that time.
SV: Well it's definitely true that a guy with a pipe and this sort of
hair-style was widely used in car and TV ads in the '50s. Or in old
back issues of Playboy you see ads with a guy like thisw relaxing on
the couch and watching TV. But how did you end up raising a
charachter like this to the status of a symbol for a religious
PM: It was 1979... At the time I was working for an underground comic
publisher called Rip Off Press. There I was working on the "Freak
Brothers," a comic of Gilbert Shelton which became a huge hit. A
phamplet from the SubGenius Foundation was sent there and that was the
start of everything. In the pamplet it said "We promise to save your
soul." The group wanted our publishing company to publish their
pamplets. They probably felt it would be easier to proselytize with
comics. We were completely takne in by them, gradually got involved
and published "Pamplet No 1." And I, who created it, am now living on
the path of the SubGenius.
SV: The only pamplet I have is "Revelation X" which was issued later
by Feral House, but in there is a bleeding Arnold Palmer effigy, and
it says the initiation ceremony involves hitting this Palmer effigy
with a golf club (laughs). Is that true?
HR: Yes. Apparently Arnold Palmer feels uncomfortable about this,
but I've heard that one of his golf rivals, Lee Trevino, thinks it's
funny and supports us (laughs). Apparently Palmer talked with his
attorney about filing a suit against us, but the attorney told him it
would be better to leave us alone because suing us would undoubtedly
just cause the situation to escalate.
SV: "Revelation X" also contained things which seemed to be more
about humor than salvation--like Jehovah I, the invasion of aliens
from Planet X, the fact that Bob has already been assassinated. So
what is the point of your religion, what is your 'creed?'
PM: That the god of this world is an insane alien, whose name is
"Jehovah I." He's a cosmic-level mental defective. Jehovah I has a
contract with Planet X. He's trying to sell the earth. The date is
July 5, 1998. That's right, next year. Before that date, the entire
human race must join the Church of the SubGenius. That is, before
July 5, 1998 when the aliens from Planet X come en masse in their
UFOs. The reason why is that Bob is supposed to save the earth and
all mankind. So what do you think? That's more rational than other
religions, isn't it?
SV: Well, yah... but... Well no, I don't know (laughs).
PM: Anyway, what you should do is just try to believe in everything
on a momentary basis. And it's also okay to just keep changing your
beliefs. One day you can believe in Elvis, and then the next day you
can believe in Hello Kitty for just two hours. We also recommend
short-term marriages. Get married for 3 days, immediately get
divorced, and then get married again for two weeks! Jehovah I is
crazy so everyone is afraid of him, and I mayself don't even believe
in Bob. For example, as they say in Zen, "If you meet the Buddha on
the road, kill him." It's the same thing. If you really revere Bob
from the heart, then you should immediately assassinate him in a
spirit of benevolence. Actually Bob was assassinated in the SubGenius
documentary "Arise." There is a live murder in the video!! BOB IS
DEAD!! To have a religion somebody has to get sacrificed. So we
killed Bob. But killing Bob just casued the number of our believers
to double. People believe that Bob is alive. The more you kill him,
the more he exists.
SV: At the moment I feel like believing simultaneously in Sid Vicious
and G.G. Allin for 10 minutes and then believing in 5 years in
"Kerokeroppi" and Patty and Jimmy. So does Bob transmigrate? Is that
the idea? Or is it that he multiplies like an amoeba? I don't get
HR: Bob is like a cockroach!! Even is you kill him and kill him, he
just proliferateds even more. Bob has low intelligence, but he also
has the most powerful luck of anyone on earth. It's dangerous to be
in the vicinity of Bob. The reason is that disaster doesn't strike
Bob; it strikes everyone around him.
SV: That's interesting, but I don't understand it in the least
(laughs). Maybe the sense of humor is just too different between
Japan and America. You can say the same thing about "Revelation X."
There's so much wordplay that it may be hard for a foreigner to
understand. But you can see the influence of Dada and in some of the
"dangerous" illustrations used ther, you can also see the influence of
Psychedelic Culture. Are these movements at work within the Church of
PM: There is a solid background behind all the language used for the
text, and although we can't say it falls completely under the genre,
in some points we have definitely incorporated a Dada approach. The
same can be said about the translated version from our Paris Branch.
Eight years ago, a Japanese publishing company bought the translation
rights and hired 3 or 4 translators to try to translate it. All of
them gave up halfway through, and a translation was never published.
SV: I wonder, is it similiar to the reason why "Farmer Yaboo" is
untranslatable... For instance, which parts are particularly
PM: There are large number of coined terms which are imporatnt. The
word "SubGenius" itself is one, and "slack" is another. There are
various interpretations of "slack" but basically it means the "power
to control your own life yourself." It is a movement to take back
this control from authority. this is the true freedom which we
advocate. For example, it a certain person doesn't want to do
anything, they don't do anything. Or, for example, you can live by
working for a company and getting a low salary every month. If that's
what you really want to do, then there is no need to question it. The
reason is that society is a huge conspiracy which is constantly trying
to eliminate everyone's slack. Then they sell fake slack to the
people and make and easy profit. People who watch their slack being
continously consumed and have completely lost sight of themselves are
all little more than pigs. Unsaved people = pigs (laughs). Thant is
why you must join the SubGenius.
SV: Pigs? That's really extreme!
HR: No, no, That's not it. Acutally a real SubGenius wouldn't join
up (laughs). The Church teachings say: You should not belong to any
organization and you shouldnot have any contact whatsoever with
PM: Furthermore, these teachings aren't correct, and they aren't
incorrect either. The fact is, we simply want your possessions
(laughs). Also -- and this answers a question you asked earlier -- I
myself have been influenced by Psychedelic Culture. And naturally
I've also been influenced by a variety of substances. However, this
does not mean that the SubGenius acknowledge drugs, and it does not
mean that we deny them either.
HR: One of our slogans says "It is better to do too much than not
enough." So we recommend that everyone do too much. Other important
"Quit your job!!"
"The world ends tomorrow and you'll die too!"
"If there is no eternal salvation after your death, we offer triple
your money back." AND
"Fuck!!!them if they can't take a joke!!!!"
SV: By the way, is it true that the SubGenius were involved in the
demonstrations in Tianamen Square?
PM: Yes, that's right. The reality of the demonstrations in Tianamen
Square is that it occured in order to stop the influence of the
SubGenius on communism. And of course there was the case of the San
Diego cult who tried to ride a UFO by commiting mass suicide. Hey, if
you join the SubGenius, we'll promise a whole bunch of even bigger
UFOs (laughs). The People's Temple was also a poor imitation of the
SubGenius. By the way, people who have joined the SubGenius are
definitely a lot happier than people who are going to go join Aum
Shinrikyo. That much is certain (laughs). You have to take believing
in the SubGenius seroulsly. You must not entrust yourself to everyone
else. In particular, absoulutely never believe in the SubGenius!!
SV: Oh, I see, I feel like I've finally understood the SubGenius.
Finally, could you say a word to people in Japan who would like to
join the SubGenius?
PM: Everyone, quit your jobs at once!!
SV: By the way, supposing they do quit, what then?
PM: That's their problem.
SV: Of course, I thought you'd say that (laughs). Maybe I'm already
a memeber of the Subgenius. (If you don't understand, you maybe never
If you would like to join the Church of the SubGenius, please sent the
$30 membership fee to the following address. The SubGenius
Foundation, PO Box 140306, Dallas Texas USA 75214. You will recieve a
member's card and Church Bulletin
SPLR, October 5, 1997
Shining Path of Least Resistance
SubGenius Ministries for all of Western Japan
2-14-22-18 Shimanouchi, Chuo-ku Osaka Japan 542