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The Principia Discordia LIVE!
written by Malaclypse the Younger; adapted for the stage by Scotto
This play was originally performed as a one man show at Timothy and Erica Cunningham's wedding reception in Iowa, May 22, 1999. It is an adaptation for the stage of the original Principia Discordia by Malaclypse the Younger. The original Principia Discordia is an anti-copyrighted work, as is, of course, this adaptation. In 2004, I turned the script into a five-person show, which I directed as a summer late night for Annex Theatre. Although there's a certain manic charm to the one man show version, fleshing it out with a full comic troupe produced a much more engaging experience. Reviews were split down the middle. The Seattle Weekly described the show as:
...50 minutes or so of Monty Pythonesque nonsense that levitates on the charm of its own silliness. The show is a quick jolt of guerrilla theater made by and for geeks. It's played as a series of brief skits, each punctuated by a Harpo-like toot on a horn (brawp! brawp!) and all revolving around an imaginary cult worshipping Eris, the Goddess of Confusion (played by Betsy Morris). The idea of the cult, it seems, is to combat the dangerous chaos of the world with yet more chaos, to "wipe thine ass with what is written and grin like a ninny at what is spoken." The show gathers a kind of weird, zany momentum, helped along quite a lot by the performers' own infectious enthusiasm for the absolute nonsense they're spouting. The five actors are all excellent physical comedians, and the slapstick bits are superbly choreographed. The end result might not add up to much—and, really, it only pretends to want to anyhow—but it's a lot of fun to watch nonetheless.Meanwhile, The Stranger, ever more curmudgeonly, wrote:
By and large, the actors had good comic instincts, some raw talent, and enough energy to give the audience a contact high, but the show itself was never inspiring and only occasionally interesting. Based on the “magnum opiate of Malaclypse the Younger,” Principia is a goofy, pun-filled tour of yet another ironic anti-religion of the SubGenius genus. The Discordians trace their roots to the Greek goddess Eris (played with hilariously bitchy asides by Betsy Morris), who crafted the golden apple that eventually precipitated the Trojan War. The religion is a gleeful mishmash of pop Nietzsche, cafe pedantry, and Merry Pranksterism, and its evangelists make liberal use of bicycle horns and citations from the Book of Uterus. Principia has lots of shouting and a little wit, but its precious nonsense gets repetitive and dull pretty quickly. There’s only so much you can do with a mock religious tract that’s best read while stoned, sitting on some commune crapper in southern Oregon.Of course, that last statement definitely elucidates a prejudice against the original work that clearly I don't share, so your mileage, as always, may vary.
Written by Malaclypse The Younger
Adapted for the stage by Scotto Featuring:
ERIS, GODDESS OF CONFUSION
MALACLYPSE THE YOUNGER
LORD OMAR RAVENHURST
THE REVEREND LADY MAL
ZARATHUD THE INCORRIGIBLE and many others too numerous to note
MALACLYPSE: Sometimes I take humor seriously. Sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way it is irrelevant. REPORTER [ZARATHUD]: Maybe you are just crazy.
MALACLYPSE: Indeed! But do not reject these teachings as false because I am crazy. The reason that I am crazy is because they are true. REPORTER [LADY MAL]: Is Eris true?
MALACLYPSE: Everything is true.
REPORTER [LADY MAL]: Even false things?
MALACLYPSE: Even false things are true.
REPORTER [LADY MAL]: How can that be?
MALACLYPSE: I don't know, man, I didn't do it. REPORTER [ZARATHUD]: Why do you deal with so many negatives?
MALACLYPSE: To dissolve them.
REPORTER [ZARATHUD]: Will you develop that point?
MALACLYPSE: No. REPORTER [ERIS]: Is there an essential meaning behind POEE?
MALACLYPSE: There is a Zen Story about a student who asked a Master to explain the meaning of Buddhism. The Master's reply was "Three pounds of flax."
REPORTER [ERIS]: Is that your answer to my question?
MALACLYPSE: No, of course not. That is just illustrative. The answer to your question is FIVE TONS OF FLAX! ALL: Suspended annihilation! [DING] 2. The Discordian Society
POEE, the Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric, is one manifestation of THE DISCORDIAN SOCIETY about which you will learn more, and understand less. We are a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns, and similar maniacs who are intrigued with ERIS, GODDESS OF CONFUSION, and Her Doings. [DING] 3. Nietzsche ERIS:
As Nietzsche once said, "I tell you: One must still have chaos in one to give birth to a dancing star!" [DING] 4. Five Commandments (The Pentabarf) LADY MAL:
We will begin your indoctrination, then, with the Five Commandments, otherwise known as the Pentabarf. The Pentabarf was discovered by the hermit Apostle Zarathud in the Fifth Year of the Caterpillar. He found them carved in gilded stone, while building a sun deck for his cave, but their import was lost for they were written in a mysterious cypher. However, after 10 weeks and 11 hours of intensive scrutiny, he discerned that the message could be read by standing on his head and viewing it upside down. ZARATHUD:
Know ye this O man of faith! The First Commandment: There is no Goddess but Goddess, and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement, and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm. The Second Commandment: A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System. The Third Commandment: A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animals), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns). The Fourth Commandment: A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub. The Fifth Commandment: A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing What he Reads. SIGN IT IS SO WRITTEN! SO BE IT. HAIL DISCORDIA! PROSECUTORS WILL BE TRANSGRESSICUTED. [DING] 5. TopangaCabal LADY MAL:
And now, a quick test question from TopangaCabal, the Twelve Famous Buddha Minds School: If they are our brothers, how come we can't eat them? [DING] 6. What We Know About Eris (not much) MALACLYPSE: Here's what we know about Eris: not much. The Romans left a likeness of her for posterity – She was shown as a grotesque woman with a pale and ghastly look, Her eyes afire, Her garment ripped and torn, and as concealing a dagger in Her Bosom. ERIS: Actually, most women look pale and ghastly when concealing a chilly dagger in their bosoms. OMAR: Her genealogy is from the Greeks and is utterly confused. Either She was the twin of Ares and the daughter of Zeus and Hera; or She was the daughter of Nyx, goddess of night (who was either the daughter or wife of Chaos, or both), and Nyx's brother, Erebus, and whose brothers and sisters include Death, Doom, Mockery, Misery, and Friendship. And that She begat Forgetfullness, Quarrels, Lies, and a bunch of gods and goddesses like that. MALACLYPSE: One day I consulted my Pineal Gland, which is where each and every one of us can talk to Eris, and asked Eris if She really created all of those terrible things. She said-- ERIS: I always liked the Old Greeks, but they cannot be trusted with historical matters. They were victims of indigestion, you know. [DING] 7. Emo Phillips LADY MAL: As Emo Phillips once said, "I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this." [DING] 8. The Myth of the Apple of Discord ZARATHUD: I present to you now the Myth of the Apple of Discord. It seems that Zeus was preparing a wedding banquet for Peleus and Thetis. But he could not invite Eris, because of her reputation as a trouble maker. This is called the Doctrine of the Original Snub. This made Eris angry, and so She fashioned an apple of pure gold – SIGN ZARATHUD: --there is historic disagreement concerning whether this apple was of metallic gold or acapulco – and inscribed on it KALLISTI, meaning To The Prettiest One, and on the day of the fete She rolled it into the banquet hall and then left to be alone and joyously partake of a hot dog.
(ERIS enacts the rolling of the apple, then discovers a hot dog in her pocket.)
ERIS: A hot dog – right on! (she exits)
ZARATHUD: Now three of the invited goddesses, Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, each immediately claimed it to belong to herself because of the inscription.
ATHENA [LADY MAL]: Clearly it's mine, since I'm the prettiest one.
HERA [MALACLYPSE]: Are you serious? You're about as pretty as a Young Republican convention!
APHRODITE [OMAR]: Oh please, I'm the only one here who would last thirty seconds on America's Top Model.
ZARATHUD: And they started fighting, and they started throwing punch all over the place and everything. Finally Zeus calmed things down, and declared that an arbitrator must be selected. This was a reasonable suggestion, and all agreed. He sent them to a shepherd of Troy, whose name was Paris because his mother had had a lot of gaul and had married a Frenchman… (stops, laughs hysterically at his own joke, which no one else gets; returns to dialogue) …but each of the sneaky goddesses tried to outwit the others by going early and offering a bribe to Paris.
ATHENA [LADY MAL]: I offer you Heroic War Victories!
HERA [MALACLYPSE]: I offer you Great Wealth!
Aphrodite [OMAR]: I offer you The Most Beautiful Woman on Earth!
ZARATHUD: Being a healthy young Trojan lad, Paris promptly accepted Aphrodite's bribe and she got the apple and he got screwed. As she had promised, she maneuvered earthly happenings so that Paris could have Helen (the Helen), then living with her husband Menelaus, King of Sparta. Anyway, everyone knows that the Trojan War followed when Sparta demanded their Queen back and that the Trojan War is said to be The First War among men. And so we suffer because of The Original Snub. And so a Discordian is to partake of No Hot Dog Buns. Do you believe that? [DING] 9. A Zen Story ERIS:
A Zen Story.
A serious young man found the conflicts of mid 20th century America confusing. He went to many people seeking a way of resolving within himself the discords that troubled him, but he remained troubled. One night in a coffee house, a self-ordained Zen Master said to him,
ZEN MASTER [MALACLYPSE]: Go to the dilapidated mansion you will find at this address which I have written down for you. Do not speak to those who live there; you must remain silent until the moon rises tomorrow night. Go to the large room on the right of the main hallway, sit in the lotus position on top of the rubble in the northeast corner, face the corner, and meditate.
ERIS: He did as the Zen Master instructed. His meditation was frequently interrupted by worries.
SERIOUS MAN [ZARATHUD]: What if the rest of the plumbing fixtures fall from the second floor bathroom to join the pipes and other trash I'm sitting on? How will I know when the moon rises on the next night? What are the people who keep walking through the room saying about me?
ERIS: His worrying and meditation were disturbed when, as if in a test of his faith, excrement fell from the second floor onto him. At that time two people walked into the room.
PERSON1 [LADY MAL]: Who is that man sitting there?
PERSON2 [OMAR]: Some say he is a holy man. Others say he is a shithead.
ERIS: Hearing this, the man was enlightened. [DING] 10. For deposit only! ALL: For deposit only! [DING] 11. To Jehova Yahweh MALACLYPSE:
To: Jehova Yahweh
Care: Celestial Hotel (Suite #666), Presidential Tier, Paradise Dear God, This is to inform you that your current position as deity is herewith terminated due to gross incompetence - stop - your check will be mailed - stop - please do not use me for a reference Respectfully,
Malaclypse the Younger [DING] 12. The insurance business OMAR:
You're right, son! It would be a waste of your kind of talent to go into the insurance business! [DING] 13. The Earth quakes and the Heavens rattle ZARATHUD:
For it is written in the Book of Predications, "The Earth quakes and the Heavens rattle; the beasts of nature flock together and the nations of men flock apart; volcanoes usher up heat while elsewhere water becomes ice and melts; and then on other days it just rains. Indeed do many things come to pass." [DING] 14. The Revelation LADY MAL:
And now, the Revelation. Just prior to the decade of the nineteen-sixties, when Sputnik was alone and new, and about the time that Ken Kesey took his first acid trip as a medical volunteer; before underground newspapers, Viet Nam, and talk of a second American revolution; in the comparative quiet of the late nineteen-fifties, just before the idea of RENAISSANCE became relevant… Two young Californians, known later as Omar Ravenhurst and Malaclypse the Younger, were indulging in their habit of sipping coffee at an all night bowling alley and generally solving the world's problems. This particular evening the main subject of discussion was discord, and they were complaining to each other of the personal confusion they felt in their respective lives. OMAR: Solve the problem of discord, and all other problems will vanish.
MALACLYPSE: Indeed, chaos and strife are the roots of all confusion. LADY MAL: Suddenly the place became devoid of light. Then an utter silence enveloped them, and a great stillness was felt. Then came a blinding flash of intense light, as though their psyches had gone nova. Then vision returned. The two were dazed and neither moved nor spoke for several minutes. They looked around and saw that the bowlers were frozen like statues in a variety of comic positions, and that a bowling ball was steadfastly anchored to the floor only inches from the pins that it had been sent to scatter. The two looked at each other, totally unable to account for the phenomenon. The condition was one of suspension, and one noticed that the clock had stopped. There walked into the room a chimpanzee, shaggy and grey about the muzzle, yet upright to his full five feet, and poised with natural majesty. He carried a scroll and walked to the young men. CHIMPANZEE [ZARATHUD]: Gentlemen, why does Pickering's Moon go about in reverse orbit? Gentlemen, there are nipples on your chests; do you give milk? And what, pray tell, Gentlemen, is to be done about Heisenberg's Law? (pause) SOMEBODY HAD TO PUT ALL THIS CONFUSION HERE! LADY MAL: And with that, he revealed his scroll. (CHIMPANZEE reveals Sacred Chao scroll) SCROLL And then he exploded, and the two lost consciousness. Over the next five days they searched libraries to find the significance of the chimpanzee's scroll, but were disappointed to uncover only references to Taoism, the Korean flag, and Technocracy. It was not until they traced the Greek writing on the apple that they discovered the ancient Goddess known to the Greeks as ERIS and to the Romans as DISCORDIA. This was on the fifth night, and when they slept that night each had a vivid dream of a splendid woman whose eyes were as soft as feather and as deep as eternity itself, and whose body was the spectacular dance of atoms and universes. Pyrotechnics of pure energy formed her flowing hair, and rainbows manifested and dissolved as she spoke in a warm and gentle voice. ERIS: I have come to tell you that you are free. Many years ago, My consciousness left humanity, that you might develop yourselves. I return to find this development approaching completion, but hindered by fear and misunderstanding. You have built for yourselves psychic suits of armor, and clad in them, your vision is restricted, your movements are clumsy and painful, your skin is bruised, and your spirit is broiled in the sun. I am chaos! I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos! I am alive, and I tell you that you are free. LADY MAL: During the next months they studied philosophies and theologies and learned that ERIS or DISCORDIA was primarily feared by the ancients as being disruptive. Indeed, the very concept of chaos was still considered equivalent to strife and treated as a negative. OMAR: No wonder things are all screwed up. They have got it all backwards!
MALACLYPSE: The principle of disorder is every bit as significant as the principle of order. LADY MAL: With this in mind, they studied the strange yin-yang. During a meditation one afternoon, a voice came to them. ERIS: It is called THE SACRED CHAO. SIGN ERIS: I appoint you keepers of it. Therein you will find anything you like. Speak of Me as DISCORD, to show contrast to the pentagon. Tell constricted mankind that there are no rules, unless they choose to invent rules. Keep close the words of Syadasti: TIS AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NO MINDS. And remember that there is no tyranny in the State of Confusion. For further information, consult your pineal gland. OMAR: What is this? A religion based on the Goddess of Confusion?
MALACLYPSE: It is utter madness!
(They look at each other in awe. MALACLYPSE begins to giggle. OMAR begins to laugh. MALACLYPSE begins to jump up and down. OMAR begins hooting and hollering to beat all hell. Amid squeals of mirth:)
OMAR: I hereby appoint you the high priest of your own madness!
MALACLYPSE: And I appoint you the high priest of ridiculousness!
OMAR: Let us declare ourselves a society of Discordia –
MALACLYPSE: -- for whatever that may turn out to be… [DING] 15. Momomoto ZARATHUD: Momomoto, Famous Japanese, can swallow his nose. [DING] 16. The Battle Hymn of the Eristocracy OMAR: And now we present for your listening pleasure The Battle Hymn of the Eristocracy. ALL:
(to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Mine brain has meditated on the spinning of The Chao
It is hovering o'er the table where the Chiefs of Staff are now
Gathered in discussion of the dropping of The Bomb
Her Apple Corps is strong! Grand (and gory) Old Discordja!
Grand (and gory) Old Discordja!
Grand (and gory) Old Discordja!
Her Apple Corps is strong! She was not invited to the party that they held on Limbo Peak;
So She threw a Golden Apple, 'sted of turn'd t'other cheek!
O it cracked the Holy Punchbowl and it made the nectar leak;
Her Apple Corps is strong! Grand (and gory) Old Discordja!
Grand (and gory) Old- [DING] 17. George A. Custer ERIS: As General George A. Custer once said, "The tide is turning… the enemy is suffering terrible losses." [DING] 18. We Erisians seldom pray DISCIPLE [LADY MAL]: Do you often pray to Eris?
MALACLYPSE: No, we Erisians seldom pray, it is much too dangerous. Charles Fort has listed many factual incidences of ignorant people confronted with, say, a drought, and then praying fervently – and then getting the entire village wiped out in a torrential flood. [DING] 19. Heaven is down ZARATHUD: Heaven is down. Hell is up. This is proven by the fact that the planets and stars are orderly in their movements, while down on earth we come close to primal chaos. There are four other proofs, but I forget them. [DING] 20. The Answers
MALACLYPSE: And now, the answers. Number one-
LADY MAL: Harry Houdini!
MALACLYPSE: Number two-
OMAR: Swing music!
MALACLYPSE: Number three-
MALACLYPSE: Number four-
ERIS: 8 months!
MALACLYPSE: Number five-
LADY MAL: Testy Culbert!
MALACLYPSE: Number six-
OMAR: It protrudes!
MALACLYPSE: Number seven-
ZARATHUD: No vocal cords!
MALACLYPSE: Got it? [DING] 21. Robert Anton Wilson OMAR: As Robert Anton Wilson once said, "Of course I'm crazy, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. I'm MAD, but not ILL." [DING] 22. Wipe thine ass with What is Written LADY MAL: For it is written in the Book of Predications, "Wipe thine ass with What is Written and grin like a ninny at what is spoken. Take thine refuge in the Nothing behind Everything, as you hurry along the path." [DING] 23. Firm belief MALACLYPSE: It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs. [DING] 24. The Law of Fives ERIS: The Law of Fives is one of the oldest Erisian Mysterees. It was first revealed to Good Lord Omar and is one of the great contributions to come from The Hidden Temple of The Happy Jesus. ZARATHUD: POEE subscribes to the Law of Fives of Omar's sect. And POEE also recognizes the holy 23 (2 + 3=5) that is incorporated by Episkopos Dr. Mordecai Malignatius, KNS, into his Discordian Sect, The Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria. OMAR: The Law of Fives states simply that: ALL THINGS HAPPEN IN FIVES, OR ARE DIVISIBLE OR ARE MULTIPLES OF FIVE, OR ARE SOMEHOW DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY APPROPRIATE TO 5. The Law of Fives is never wrong. LADY MAL: And of course, do you all recognize this? (flashes "peace" sign with fingers) Of course – it's the Numeral V sign, used by Old Roman Discordians, Illuminatus Churchill, and innocent hippies everywhere. [DING] 25. Meanwhile… MALACLYPSE: MEANWHILE, at the Chinese laundromat…
(long, tense pause) [DING] 26. John Kenneth Galbraith ERIS: As John Kenneth Galbraith once said, "You will find that the state is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly too." [DING] 27. The Book of Uterus ZARATHUD: For it is written in the Book of Uterus, "An Age of Confusion, or an Ancient Age, is one in which History as we know it begins to unfold, in which Whatever is Coming emerges in Corporal Form, more or less, and such times are Ages of Balanced Unbalance, or Unbalanced Balance. "An Age of Bureaucracy is an Imperial Age in which Things Mature, in which Confusion becomes entrenched and during which Balanced Balance, or Stagnation, is attained. An Age of Disorder or an Aftermath is an Apocalyptic Period of Transition back to Chaos through the screen of Oblivion into which the Age passeth, finally. These are Ages of Unbalanced Unbalance." Which Age do you think this is? What have I been telling you for years now? [DING] 28. Momomoto has been exposed LADY MAL: Mr. Momomoto, famous Japanese who can swallow his nose, has been exposed. It was recently revealed that it was Mr. Momomoto's brother who has been doing all of this nose swallowing. [DING] 29. The Five Fingered Hand of Eris MALACLYPSE: The official symbol of POEE is here represented. SIGN It may be this, or any similar device to represent TWO OPPOSING ARROWS CONVERGING INTO A COMMON POINT. It may be vertical, horizontal, or else such, and it may be elaborated or simplified as desired. The esoteric name for this symbol is THE FIVE FINGERED HAND OF ERIS, commonly shorted to THE HAND. OMAR: Note: in the lore of western magic, the ( is taken to symbolize horns, especially the horns of Satan or of diabolical beasties. The Five Fingered Hand of Eris, however, is not intended to be taken as satanic, for the "horns" are supported by another set of inverted "horns". Or maybe it is walrus tusks. I don't know what it is, to tell the truth. [DING] 30. Orson Welles ERIS: As Orson Welles once said, "Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch." [DING] 31. POEE MALACLYPSE: POEE is an acronym for the Paratheo-anametamystikhood Of Eris Esoteric. The first part can be taken to mean "equivalent diety, reversing beyond-mystique." We are not really esoteric, it's just that nobody pays much attention to us. I, Malaclypse the Younger, am the High Priest of POEE, and POEE is grounded in my episkopotic revelations of the Goddess. I am called the Omnibenevolent Polyfather of Virginity in Gold. The POEE Head Temple is the Joshua Norton Cabal of the Discordian Society, which is located in my pineal gland. POEE has no treasury, no by-laws, no articles, no guides save my pineal gland, and only one scruple, which I keep on my key chain. POEE has not registered, incorporated, or otherwise chartered with the state, and so the state does not recognize POEE or POEE Ordinations, which is only fair, because POEE does not recognize the State. LADY MAL: If you like Erisianism, then you may wish to form your own POEE Cabal as a POEE Priest and you can go do a bunch of POEE Priestly things. A POEE Cabal is exactly what you think it is. There are no particular qualifications for Ordination because if you want to be a POEE Priest then you must undoubtedly qualify. Who could possibly know better than you whether or not you should be Ordained? [DING] 32. Momomoto's Expose has been exposed ZARATHUD: The recent Expose that Mr. Momomoto, famous Japanese who can swallow his nose, cannot swallow his nose but his brother can, has been exposed! It is Mr. Momomoto who can swallow his nose. He swallowed his brother in the summer of '44. [DING] 33. The POEE Mysteree Oath OMAR:
And now, the POEE Mysteree Oath. ALL:
FLYING BABY SHIT!!! OMAR:
Members of the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria sect may wish to substitute the German: ALL:
FLIEGENDE KINDERSCHEISSE! OMAR:
or perhaps ALL:
WIECZNY KWIAT WTADZA!!!!! OMAR:
which is Ewige Blumenkraft in Polish. [DING] 34. An old POEE slogan LADY MAL: An old POEE slogan: When in doubt, fuck it. When not in doubt… get in doubt. [DING] 35. The Discordian Society has no definition MALACLYPSE: The Discordian Society has no definition. I sometimes think of it as a disorganization of Eris Freaks. It has been called a guerilla mind theatre. Episkopos Randomfactor, Director of Purges of Our People's Underworld Movement sect in Larchmont, prefers "The World's Greatest Association of What-ever-it-is-that-we-are." Lady Mal thinks of it as a RENAISSANCE THINK TANK. Fang the Unwashed, WKC, won't say. You can think of it any way you like. OMAR: If you want in on the Discordian Society, then declare yourself what you wish, do what you like, and tell us about it, or, if you prefer, don't. There are no rules anywhere. The Goddess prevails. [DING] 36. Brother Reverend Magoun ZARATHUD: Will whoever stole Brother Reverend Magoun's pornography please return it. [DING] 37. The Beatles ERIS: As the Beatles once said, ALL: When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride, then I get to the bottom and I see you again! Helter skelter! [DING] 38. The Gospel According to Fred ZARATHUD: For it is written in the Gospel According to Fred, "The Hell Law says that Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it. Further, the Lowest Rung in Hell is reserved for them that believe in it on the supposition that they'll go there if they don't." [DING] 39. The Golden Apple Corps ERIS: The Golden Apple Corps is an honorary position for the Keepers of the Sacred Chao, so that they can put "KSC" after their names. It says little, does less, means nothing. [DING] 40. Dull but sincere filler
OMAR: And now, for some dull but sincere filler.
(cast improvises) [DING] 41. Desperate advice MALACLYPSE: One day I requested the Goddess' presence, to ask for some desperate advice. Shortly afterwards the radio came on, and an ethereal female voice said ERIS: Yes? MALACLYPSE: O! Eris! Blessed Mother of Man! Queen of Chaos! Daughter of Discord! Concubine of Confusion! O! Exquisite Lady, I beseech You to lift a heavy burden from my heart! ERIS: What bothers you, Mal? You don't sound well. MALACLYPSE: I am filled with fear and tormented with terrible visions of pain. Everywhere people are hurting one another, the planet is rampant with injustices, whole societies plunder groups of their own people, mothers imprison sons, children perish while brothers war. O, woe. ERIS: What is the matter with that, if it is what you want to do? MALACLYPSE: But nobody wants it! Everybody hates it. ERIS: Oh. Well, then stop. MALACLYPSE: At which moment She turned herself into an aspirin commercial and left me stranded alone with my species. [DING] 42. AOL disks LADY MAL: What to do with AOL disks? Donate disks to charity. Tell IRS that
each disk contains $100 worth of software. Use resulting deductions to buy Lichtenstein. Move there. [DING] 43. The Curse of Greyface OMAR: In the year 1166 B.C., a malcontented hunchbrain by the name of Greyface, got it into his head that the universe was as humorless as he, and he began to teach that play was sinful because it contradicted the ways of Serious Order. GREYFACE [ZARATHUD]: Look at all that order around you! OMAR: And from that, he deluded honest men to believe that reality was a straightjacket affair and not the happy romance as men had known it. HONEST MAN [LADY MAL]: You're kidding.
GREYFACE [ZARATHUD] No, man, I'm serious.
HONEST MAN [LADY MAL]: (pause) Damn. OMAR: It is not presently understood why men were so gullible at that particular time, for absolutely no one thought to observe all the disorder, around them and conclude just the opposite. But anyway, Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and were known even to destroy other living beings whose ways of life differed from their own. The unfortunate result of this is that mankind has since been suffering from a psychological and spiritual imbalance. Imbalance causes frustration, and frustration causes fear. And fear makes a bad trip. Man has been on a bad trip for a long time now. It is called THE CURSE OF GREYFACE. ERIS: To choose order over disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and the destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all-creative trip composed of both order and disorder. To accomplish this, one need only accept creative disorder along with, and equal to, creative order, and also be willing to reject destructive order as an undesirable equal to destructive disorder. [DING] 44. Bullshit MALACLYPSE: Bullshit makes the flowers grow, and that's beautiful. [DING] 45. The Turkey Curse ERIS: Revealed by the Apostle Dr. Van Van Mojo as a specific counter to the evil Curse of Greyface, the TURKEY CURSE is here passed on to Erisians everywhere for their just protection. To perform the turkey curse: Take a foot stance as if you were Brad Pitt in Fight Club preparing for fisticuffs. Face the particular greyface you wish to short-circuit, or towards the direction of the negative vibration that you wish to neutralize. Begin waving your arms in any elaborate manner and make motions with your hands as though you were Mandrake feeling up a sexy giantess. Chant, loudly and clearly: ALL: GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE! ERIS: The results will be instantly apparent. [DING] 46. The Sacred Order of the Defamation League LADY MAL: Not much is known about the Sacred Order of the Defamation League, but they are very ancient and quite possibly were founded by Greyface himself. It is known that they now have absolute domination over all organized churches in the world. It is also believed that they have been costuming cabbages and passing them off as human beings. [DING] 47. J. R. "Bob" Dobbs OMAR: As J. R. "Bob" Dobbs once said, "Put a dog in a cage and he'll run in circles. Put a man in a cage and he'll run for president. And it's the same thing!" [DING] 48. Zarathud and the Sacred Chao MALACLYPSE: Before he became a hermit, Zarathud was a young Priest, and took great delight in making fools of his opponents in front of his followers. One day Zarathud took his students to a pleasant pasture and there he confronted The Sacred Chao while She was contentedly grazing. ZARATHUD (in his commanding voice): Tell me, you dumb beast, why don't you do something worthwhile. What is your Purpose in Life, anyway? MALACLYPSE: Munching the tasty grass, The Sacred Chao replied, SACRED CHAO [ERIS]: MU. SIGN LADY MAL: "MU" is the Chinese ideogram for NO-THING. MALACLYPSE: Upon hearing this, absolutely nobody was enlightened, primarily because no one could understand Chinese. [DING] 49. Latin
ZARATHUD: Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
ERIS: What's that mean?
ZARATHUD: Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound. [DING] 50. The Los Angeles suburb of Whittier OMAR: In the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier there lives a bowling alley, and within this very place, in the Year of Our Lady of Discord 3125 – or maybe it was 3124, I forget – Eris revealed Herself to the Golden Apple Corps for the first time. LADY MAL: In honor of this Incredible Event, this Holy Place is revered as a Shrine by all Erisians. Once every five years, the Golden Apple Corps plans a Pilgrimage to Brunswick Shrine as an act of Devotion, and therein to partake of No Hot Dog Buns, and ruminate a bit about It All. ZARATHUD: It is written that when The Corps returns to the Shrine for the fifth times five times over, then shall the world come to an end: ERIS: And Five Days Prior to This Occasion The Apostle The Elder Malaclypse Shall Walk the Streets of Whittier Bearing a Sign for All Literates to Read thereof: (MALACLYPSE presents sign reading "DOOM" around his neck) ERIS: as a Warning of Forthcoming Doom to All Men Impending. And He Shall Signal This Event by Seeking the Poor and Distributing to Them Precious MAO BUTTONS and Whittier Shall Be Known as The Region of Thud for These Five Days. OMAR: As a public service to all mankind and civilization in general, and to us in particular, the Golden Apple Corps has concluded that planning such a Pilgrimage is sufficient and that it is prudent to never get around to actually going. [DING] 51. ERIS spelled backwards is SIRE MALACLYPSE (reading a telegram; the cast holds up individual letters to illustrate various spellings and jump back and forth as rapidly as they can to keep up with the narrative):
Dear Brother Ram, Your acute observation that ERIS spelled backwards is SIRE, and your inference to the effect that there is sexual symbolism here, have brought me to some observations of my own. ERIS spelled fore-part-aft-wards is RISE. And spelled inside out is REIS, which is a unit of money, albeit Portuguese-Brazilian and no longer in use. From this it may be concluded that Eris has usurped Eros (god of erotic love) in the eyes of those who read backwards; which obviously made Eros sorE Then She apparently embezzled the Olympian treasury and went to Brazil; whereupon she opened a chain of whorehouses (which certainly got a rise from the male population). I figure it to be this in particular because MADAM reads the same forwards and backwards. And so thank you for your insight, it may well be the clue to the mystery of just where Eris has been fucking around for 3125 years. FIVE TONS OF FLAX! [DING] 52. A split beaver magazine
ZARATHUD: When I was 8 or 9 years old, I acquired a split beaver magazine. You can imagine my disappointment when, upon examination of the photos with a microscope, I found that all I could see was dots. [DING] 53. The POEE Astrological System LADY MAL: Here's the POEE Astrological System. On your next birthday, return to the place of your birth and, at precisely midnight, noting your birth time and date of observation, count all visible stars. When you have done this, write to me and I'll tell you what to do next. [DING] 54. The theorem to be proved
(While OMAR describes this scene, rest of cast attempts to act out what increasingly becomes an impossible scene. Imagine musical chairs gone horribly wrong.)
OMAR: (blissfully ignorant) The theorem to be proved is that if any even number of people take seats at random around a circular table bearing place cards with their names, it is always possible to rotate the table until at least two people are opposite their cards. Assume the contrary. Let n be the even number of persons, and let their names be replaced by the integers 0 to n – 1 in such a way that the place cards are numbered in sequence around the table. If a delegate d originally sits down to a place card p, then the table must be rotated r steps before he is correctly seated, where r = p – d, unless this is negative, in which case r = p – d + n. The collection of values of d (and of p) for all delegates is clearly the integers 0 to n – 1, each taken once, but so also is the collection of values of r, or else two delegates would be correctly seated at the same time. Summing the above equations, one for each delegate, gives S – S + nk, where k is an integer and S = n(n – 1)/2, the sum of the integers from 0 to n – 1. It follows that n = 2k + 1, an odd number. This contradicts the original assumption. I actually solved this problem some years ago, for a different but completely equivalent problem, a generalization of the non-attacking 'eight queens' problem for a cylindrical chessboard where diagonal attack is restricted to diagonals slanting in one direction only. (By the now, the cast is completely baffled and irritated…) [DING] 55. A Primer for Erisian Evangelists MALACLYPSE: And now, a Primer for Erisian Evangelists. The SOCRATIC APPROACH is most successful when confronting the ignorant. The "socratic approach" is what you call starting an argument by asking questions. You approach the innocent and simply ask,
LADY MAL: Did you know that God's name is ERIS, and that He is a girl?
MALACLYPSE: If he should answer
INNOCENT [ZARATHUD]: Yes!
MALACLYPSE: then he is probably a fellow Erisian and so you can forget it. If he says
INNOCENT [ZARATHUD]: No!
MALACLYPSE: then quickly proceed to THE BLIND ASSERTION and say
LADY MAL: Well, He is a girl, and His name is ERIS!
MALACLYPSE: Shrewdly observe if the subject is convinced. If he is, swear him into the Legion of Dynamic Discord before he changes his mind. If he does not appear convinced, then proceed to THE FAITH BIT.
LADY MAL: But you must have Faith! All is lost without Faith! I sure feel sorry for you if you don't have Faith."
MALACLYPSE: And then add THE ARGUMENT BY FEAR.
LADY MAL: (in an ominous voice) Do you know what happens to those who deny Goddess?
MALACLYPSE: If he hesitates, don't tell him that he will surely be reincarnated as a precious Mao Button and distributed to the poor in the Region of Thud (which would be a mean thing to say), just shake your head sadly and, while wiping a tear from your eye, go to THE FIRST CLAUSE PLOY wherein you point to all of the discord and confusion in the world and exclaim
LADY MAL: Well, who the hell do you think did all of this, wise guy?
MALACLYPSE: If he says
INNOCENT [ZARATHUD]: Nobody, just impersonal forces.
MALACLYPSE: then quickly respond with THE ARGUMENT BY SEMANTICAL GYMNASTICS and say
LADY MAL: You are absolutely right, and those impersonal forces are female and Her name is ERIS.
MALACLYPSE: If he, wonder of wonders, still remains obstinate, then finally resort to THE FIGURATIVE SYMBOLISM DODGE and confide that
LADY MAL: Sophisticated people like yourself recognize that Eris is a Figurative Symbol for an Ineffable Metaphysical Reality and that The Erisian Movement is really more like a poem than like a science and that you are liable to be turned into a Precious Mao Button and Distributed to the Poor in the Region of Thud if you do not get hip.
MALACLYPSE: Then, put him on your mailing list. [DING] 56. The Game of Sink SIGN OMAR: The game of SINK is played by Discordians and people of such ilk.
ERIS: The PURPOSE is to sink an object or a thing in water or mud or anything you can sink something in.
ZARATHUD: Sinking is allowed in any manner. To date, ten pound chunks of mud were used to sink a tobacco can. It is preferable to have a pit or water or a hole to drop things in. But rivers – bays – gulfs – I dare say even oceans can be used.
OMAR: Turns are taken thusly: whosomever gets the junk up and in the air first is first. It shall be the duty of all persons playing SINK to help find more objects to sink once one object is sunk.
MALACLYPSE: Upon sinking, the sinker shall yell "I sank it!" or something equally as thoughtful.
LADY MAL: Naming of objects is sometimes desirable. The object is named by the finder of such object and whosoever sinks it can say for instance, "I sunk Columbus, Ohio." [DING] 57. The Bavarian Illuminati SIGN OMAR: And now, a Paid Advertisement from the Bavarian Illuminati.
ERIS: The Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria invite YOU to join the World's Oldest and Most Successful Conspiracy!
MALACLYPSE: Have you ever secretly wondered why the great pyramid has five sides (counting the bottom)?
ZARATHUD: Is there an esoteric allegory concealed in the apparently innocent legend of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves?
OMAR: What is the true secret sinister reality lying behind the ancient Aztec legend of Quetzlcoatl?
LADY MAL: Why do scholarly anthropologists turn pale with terror at the very mention of the forbidden name Yog-Sothoth?
ERIS: Who is the man in Zurich that some swear is Lee Harvey Oswald?
MALACLYPSE: What really did happen to Ambrose Bierce?
OMAR: If your IQ is over 150, and you have $3,125.00 (plus handling), you might be eligible for a trial membership in the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria. If you think you qualify, put the money in a cigar box and bury it in your backyard. One of our Underground Agents will contact you shortly.
ZARATHUD: I dare you!
MALACLYPSE: Tell no one! Accidents have a strange way of happening to people who talk too much about the Bavarian Illuminati!
LADY MAL: May we warn you against imitations! Ours is the original and genuine!
ERIS: Nothing is true! Everything is permissible!
OMAR: Death to all fanatics!
MALACLYPSE: Illuminate the Opposition! [DING] 58. Woodpecker OMAR: How come a woodpecker doesn't bash its brains out?
ZARATHUD: Nobody has ever explained that. [DING] 59. Mr. Momomoto's brother LADY MAL: Despite strong evidence to the contrary, persistent rumor has it that it was Mr. Momomoto's brother who swallowed Mr. Momomoto in the summer of '44. [DING] 60. The POEE Baptismal Rite MALACLYPSE:
And now, I offer you the POEE Baptismal Rite. The Baptismal Rite is typically performed completely nude, so that initiates can demonstrate they are truly a human being and not something else in disguise like a cabbage or something; however, I will assume if you are savvy enough to have shown up to this shindig, you are probably A-OK. To begin, all those wishing to participate, please rise. Now sit. Now rise. Now sit. Now rise. Now sit. Now rise. Now sit. Now rise. Now sit. This dance is symbolic of the humility of we Erisians. Now then. I, Malaclypse the Younger, KSC, Omnibenevolent Polyfather of Virginity in Gold and High Priest of POEE, do herewith require of ye: Are ye a human being and not a cabbage or something? SIGN
That's too bad. Do ye wish to better thyself? SIGN
How stupid. Are ye willing to become philosophically illuminized? SIGN
Very funny. Will ye dedicate yeself to the holy Erisian Movement? SIGN
Then swear ye the following after me:
Before the Goddess Eris,
I do herewith declare myself a POEE member
of the Legion of Dynamic Discord.
Hail hail hail hail hail
Eris Eris Eris Eris Eris
All Hail Discordia! Then I do here proclaim ye POEE Disciples, Legionnaire of the Legion of Dynamic Discord. Hail Eris! Hail Eris! Hail Eris! (long pause) ERIS: The ceremony generally degenerates. [DING] 61. Cosmogeny
LADY MAL: In the beginning, there was VOID
VOID [ZARATHUD]: I'm not really here.
LADY MAL: who had two daughters: one
ERIS: the smaller
LADY MAL: was that of BEING, named ERIS, and one
ANERIS [OMAR]: the larger
LADY MAL: was of NON-BEING, named ANERIS. To this day, the fundamental truth that Aneris is the larger is apparent to all who compare the great number of things that do not exist with the comparatively small number of things that do exist. Eris had been born pregnant, and after 55 years--
ERIS: Goddesses have an unusually long gestation period, longer even than elephants.
LADY MAL: --Her pregnancy bore the fruits of many things. These things were composed of the Five Basic Elements, SWEET, BOOM, PUNGENT, PRICKLE, and ORANGE. Aneris, however, had been created sterile. When she saw Eris enjoying Herself so greatly with all of the existent things she had borne, Aneris became jealous and finally one day she stole some existent things and changed them into non-existent things and claimed them as her own children.
ANERIS [OMAR]: (exclaiming) My babies!
NARRATOR: This deeply hurt Eris, who felt that Her sister was unjust--
ERIS: being so much larger anyway
LADY MAL: --to deny Her her small joy. And so She made Herself swell again to bear more things.
ERIS: I swear that no matter how many of my begotten Aneris will steal, I will beget more.
ANERIS [OMAR]: Oh yeah? Well, I swear that no matter how many existent things Eris brings forth, I will eventually find them and turn them into non-existent things for my own.
LADY MAL: And to this day, things appear and disappear in this very manner. Now at first, the things brought forth by Eris were in a state of chaos and went in every which way,
ERIS: Whoa, hey, slow down there!
LADY MAL: but by the by She began playing with them and ordered some of them just to see what would happen. Some pretty things arose from this play
ERIS: Wow, amoeba! Trees! Microsoft!
LADY MAL: and for the next five zillion years She amused Herself by creating order. And so She grouped some things with others and some groups with others, and big groups with little groups, and all combinations until She had many grand schemes which delighted Her. Engrossed in establishing order, She finally one day noticed disorder (previously not apparent because everything was chaos). There were many ways in which chaos was ordered and many ways in which it was not.
ERIS: Hah, here shall be a new game.
LADY MAL: And She taught order and disorder to play with each other in contest games, and to take turns amusing each other. She named the side of disorder after Herself,
LADY MAL: because Being is anarchic. And then, in a mood of sympathy for her lonely sister, She named the other side "ANERISTIC"
ANERIS [OMAR]: (flattered) Oh, you shouldn't have!
LADY MAL: which flattered Aneris and smoothed the friction a little that was between them. And so the Hodge-Podge of the Erisians, the Sacred Chao, shows us instead of a Podge spot on the Hodge side, a PENTAGON which symbolizes the Aneristic Principle, and instead of a Hodge spot on the Podge side, it depicts the GOLDEN APPLE OF DISCORDIA to symbolize the Eristic Principle. Now all of this time, Void felt somewhat disturbed.
VOID [ZARATHUD]: I feel unsatisfied for I have created only physical existence and physical non-existence, and have neglected the spiritual.
LADY MAL: As he contemplated this, a great Quiet was caused and he went into a state of Deep Sleep which lasted for 5 eras. At the end of this ordeal, he begat a brother to Eris and Aneris, that of SPIRITUALITY, who had no name at all.
(SPIRITUALITY [MALACLYPSE] emerges.)
LADY MAL: When the Sisters heard this, they both confronted Void.
ERIS: Please do not forget us!
ANERIS [OMAR]: Your First Born!
LADY MAL: And so Void decreed this:
VOID [ZARATHUD]: Your brother, having no form, will reside with Aneris in Non-Being, and then will leave her and, so that he might play with order and disorder, reside with Eris in Being.
LADY MAL: But Eris became filled with sorrow when She heard this and then began to weep.
VOID [ZARATHUD]: (demanding) Why are you despondent? Your new brother will have his share with you.
ERIS: But Father, Aneris and I have been arguing, and she will take him from me when she discovers him, and cause him to return to Non-Being.
VOID [ZARATHUD]: I see, then I decree the following: When your brother leaves the residence of Being, he shall not reside again in Non-Being, but shall return to me, Void, from whence he came. You girls may bicker as you wish, but My son is your Brother, and We are all of Myself.
LADY MAL: And so it is that we, as humans, do not exist until we do; and then it is that we play with our world of existent things, and order and disorder them, and so it shall be that non-existence shall take us back from existence, and that nameless spirituality shall return to Void, like a tired child home from a very wild circus. [DING] 62. Laurie Anderson MALACLYPSE: As Laurie Anderson once said, "Some people walk on water. Some people walk on broken glass. Some just walk round and round in their dreams. Some just keep falling down." [DING] 63. Entropy OMAR: Entropy comes from physics. It is the assertion – established logically and experimentally – that the universe, by its nature, is "running down", moving toward a state of inert uniformity devoid of form, matter, hierarchy or differentiation. LADY MAL: That is, in any given situation, less organization, more chaos, is overwhelmingly more probable than tighter organization or more order. ZARATHUD: The tendency for entropy to increase in isolated systems is expressed in the second law of thermodynamics – perhaps the most pessimistic and amoral formulation in all human thought. MALACLYPSE: It applies, however, to a closed system, to something that is an isolated whole, not just a part. Within such systems there may be parts, which draw their energy from the whole, that are moving at least temporarily in the opposite direction; in them order is increasing and chaos is diminishing. ERIS: The whirlpools that swirl in a direction opposed to the main current are called "enclaves". And one of them is life, especially human life, which in a universe moving inexorably towards chaos moves toward increased order. [DING] 64. The Golden Secret
MALACALYPSE: And finally, the Golden Secret. ERIS: The human race will begin solving its problems on the day that it ceases taking itself so seriously. OMAR: To that end, POEE proposes the countergame of NONSENSE AS SALVATION. Salvation from an ugly and barbarous existence that is the result of taking order so seriously and so seriously fearing contrary orders and disorder, that GAMES are taken as more important than LIFE; rather than taking LIFE AS THE ART OF PLAYING GAMES. LADY MAL: To this end, we propose that humanity develop its innate love for disorder, and play with The Goddess Eris. And know that it is a joyful play, and that thereby CAN BE REVOKED THE CURSE OF GRAYFACE. ZARATHUD: If you can master nonsense as well as you have already learned to master sense, then each will expose the other for what it is: absurdity. From that moment of illumination, you begin to be free regardless of your surroundings. You become free to play order games and change them at will. You become free to play disorder games just for the hell of it. You become free to play neither or both. MALACLYPSE: And as the master of your own games, you will play without fear, and therefore without frustration, and therefore with good will in your soul and love in your being. ERIS: And when you become free, then humanity will be free.
LADY MAL: May you be free of the Curse of Greyface.
ZARATHUD: May the Goddess put twinkles in your eyes.
OMAR: May you have the knowledge of a sage, and the wisdom of a child.
MALACLYPSE: The Goddess Eris prevails. Hail Eris. All Hail Discordia. ERIS: Thank you for watching our show. Good night.
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