You Created A Joke Religion And It Became Real. Now What?

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I’d like to talk about the concept of the Joke Religion—something created by you, somebody you know, or somebody you know once-removed—that is utilized to ridicule traditional religion, some pop-culture thing thought to be banal, or both.

Half our online culture seems to be proudly a Joke Religion. A tongue-in-cheek sacredness and meaning is invested in the the cheap and tawdry. What author Philip K. Dick might have referred to as “the trash.”

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“Meaning” Is Not Life

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There is no meaning in life. The meaning is in sentences, meaning is in symbols that symbolize life. Life itself does not have a meaning because that’s what meaning refers to, meaning refers to life. To look for meaning in life is like looking for trees on a map. You can find squiggles that represent trees but you won’t find the trees there. The squiggles only represent the trees or the rivers. You can’t wash in a river on a map, you gotta find a real river.

—Robert Anton Wilson

More to read about on Butterfly Language:
Born On This Day: Robert Anton Wilson
I Say “Meow” And You Say “Bow-Wow”
How Robert Anton Wilson Changed My Life

Crisis On Infinite Realities

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I finally got around to read the first part of this discussion between R.U. Sirius of Mondo 2000 fame, and Douglas Rushkoff—entitled, “Operation Mindfuck Was Too Successful.” And they touch upon something here that I have been thinking a lot about lately: that irony seems to be dead, and that some of the memes and colorful theories (some invented from whole cloth simply as a method for fermenting chaos) seem to be “coming to life.”

An offshoot of this is that there seems to now be multiple realities, “infinite realities,” swarming through the general population; the same bottle of Coke is simultaneously half full, half empty, and also boasting a logo that had mysteriously changed sometime after the Large Hadron Collider was first activated.

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Soul Detours

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This is the first of what might be more sort of autobiographical stuff. I do want to get all this stuff down, somewhere. We’ll see how it goes. Well, here it is:

Do you know that old joke where somebody is asked if their parents dropped them on their head when they were a baby? In 1974, that actually happened to me. My father accidentally dropped me on the floor. He had even momentarily thought I had died. That’s how the story goes, at any rate. I don’t really remember what happened, of course; I mean, obviously.

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Reality Tunnels, Religion, And You

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“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”
—The Dude

In 2015, the Christian groups One Million Moms and the American Family Association protested FOX’s then-upcoming television show Lucifer because, well, The Devil.

Said One Million Moms:

“The program previews mischaracterize Satan, departs from true biblical teachings about him, and inaccurately portrays the beliefs of the Christian faith. By choosing to air this show, FOX is disrespecting Christianity and mocking the Bible.”

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The Eternal Weirdness Of Jim Carrey’s The Number 23

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As an aficionado of the “23 Enigma,” I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never actually seen the 2007 movie The Number 23. I’m not sure why I’ve avoided it, exactly. I mean, it was sort of panned when it was released, and I’ve managed to put the fact that it was directed by Joel Schumacher out of my mind until I finally spun the DVD last night (and thus, couldn’t back out of it).

But I’ve now indeed seen it…and while I can’t say it is an especially great movie, it is certainly chock full of esotericism and general weirdness. I might even classify it as a “cursed” film, though I need a little more follow-up and evidence to officially make that claim. So let’s take a look at The Number 23, released ten years ago on my birthday, February 23.

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