Newsgroups: alt.slack

Subject: Why Things Eventually Suck

From: (Dr. Derek Robb)

Date: 12 Nov 1997 11:24:35 GMT

Dave Lynch <> wrote:

: >were. Rap music once expressed rage, now it sells fast food. Jack

: >Kerouac is a curio. "Hippie" clothes are on sale at a mall near you.

: Here we come to the bottom of your complaint, and why any philsosophy

: you latch onto is bound to fail you. In fact the thing you are averse

: to is popularity itself; you seek things for their novelty rather than

: for their functionality.


Not necessarily. It's not *precisely* the popularity which "corrupts"

these things *directly*. From what i've observed, these things go through

some fairly consistent patterns. This pattern can pretty much be found in

the jazz record stores of the 40s, the coffeehouses of the 50s, the

longhair and unsanitary demeanor of the mid to late 60s, probably

something in the 70s, the punk clubs of the early 80s, and the internet



First, someTHING occurs, or exists. Almost by accident, some odd people

stumble across it, are attracted to it, find it resonates with 'em, what

have you. As they pursue this THING, they find others who are in pursuit

of this same THING. As time bores on, a social climate develops. This has

a rather peculiar quality about it, as in this social environment, ANYONE

you meet already has a high probability of having a certain set of things

in common with you, otherwise they woldn't be there in the first place.

So, friendships develop faster, people are more prone to talk to

strangers, arch-nemesis are found, social interaction generally takes on a

higher level of severity.


As time continues to do it's thing, this environment starts to grow, and

starts to be noticed by the rest of the world. People start coming into

these environments not for the same reason as the initial participants,

but for the purpose of the social interaction itself. As a consequence,

the odds of having that set of things in common with anyone else in that

environment decreases, the number of people increases, and the social

interaction is not notably different from interaction in the mundane

world/meatworld/normalvania/whatever you choose to call it.


An interesting side effect of this almost invariably pops up.. People

recognize the value it once had, recognize how the numbers of

participation grew and the value decreased, and fallaciously decide that

it's a *direct* effect. IE, if we accept fewer people, it can be made Good

Again. Just Like In The Good Old Days. So, these people become snobs, and

by doing so actually turn away people who would've been drawn to it before

this cycle really started taking off.


: "underground" "art thing" and an excuse to act weird. We're STILL an

: excuse to act weird

Who needs an EXCUSE to be weird?

: ways, we're called "sell-outs". Because the Church makes money, it's

: accused of becoming commodified. Hellfire, boy, the Church was a

: commodity in the FIRST PLACE! It's SUPPOSED to be rich and famous and

: popular. You think the stuff about wanting money is some sort of



This particular feature is one thing particularly interesting about the

Church of the Subgenius.. the fact that . . . to a large extent, it was

'corrupt' by DESIGN.


As for the special social qualities retained in its more obscure days,

come now. Prove yourself WORTHY of the giant orbiting spinning salvation.

Sure, a dobbshead t-shirt isn't enough anymore. But, a dobbshead t-shirt

accessorized with a SHEEP'S HEAD on a STICK will pretty much do it.

Before, in the Good Old Days, just having his piped visage on your person

was evidence that you're "weird". Now, you have to make your weirdness

SELF-EVIDENT. I certainly can't consider this a bad thing.


One thing I did for plumage was paint "I will not obsess" 189 times down

the length of my leather duster jacket in tiny 1/4" letters. Sure, you can

rip off my idea and do it yourself, but you'll have to sit with a

paintbrush painting "i will not obsess" over.. and over.. and over.. and

if you weren't weird to begin with, that'll do a healthy bit of damage to

your head.


Lighting should be dramatic but not shadowy. |

Locations should be beautiful but not weird. |

Clothing should be contemporary but not punk.|

We can go out of the ordinary, but CAN'T LIVE THERE