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: shinpath@gol.com Sven Serrano

Organization: (Shining Path of Least Resistance)

Newsgroups: alt.slack, alt.binaries.slack

References: 1

 

[REPOSTED ON REQUEST OF YETISYN (and well worth it, too)]

-- Lady.One.Eighty

 

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

intoxicated derangement.

 

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

organization?

 

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

the image.

 

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

the SubGenius?

 

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.

It's untranslatable.

 

SV: I wonder, is it similiar to the reason why "Farmer Yaboo" is

untranslatable... For instance, which parts are particularly

impossible?

 

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

gorups.

 

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

slogans are:

 

"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

will.)

 

Bottom blurb:

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

shinpath@gol.com