638 – White Smoke Mountain • 07

The Friday Blog

I have been saving this very special news for Friday, because it felt like it needed some ceremony. But Friday is here, and it’s time to share.

Inspired by several of you who have already begun worshipping me, I have gotten myself legally ordained as a Minister in the Universal Life Church, or ULC. As the Reverend Kevin, I have the right and obligation to tend to all of you, my flock, in exchange for your obeisance. Also, in keeping with the rather… open… nature of the ULC, I get to make up all my own rules and laws.

To begin, I feel that “Minister” fails to fully capture my majestic magnificence. Instead, I will be called Hierophant Kevin, or as the Hierophant of the Universal Life Church, I will be the HULC. For those of you concerned, the reasons behind this move are entirely held in the mysteries of the divine, and have nothing to do with the fact that my ex-father insists on me calling him “Judge Shore” and I think it’d be really funny for me to insist that he in turn call me “Hierophant Pettway”.

Though we fall under the aegis of the ULC, our church shall be known as the House of Liturgical Equanimity, where everyone is equal except me, who is better. It shall be the HULC’s HOLE, and everyone is welcome within. (If they can fit.)

As for sins, it seems only fair that I should demand belief in my HOLE to the exclusion of the millions of other religions in the world. I think that’s only expected. All other religions are just rackets set up by self interested muggles (normal, non-divine humans) in an exercise to make themselves look more important than they are, and to showcase the absurdity of creating a new religion from whole cloth. We will have none of that here! While people oughtta be nice to each other and junk like that, the last guy to really press the issue didn’t have it turn out so well for him, so I’ll just say use your own judgement.

Once the Heroes of Lesser Earth comic is finished, (six months to a year from now) the whole of it will become our bible. Except we can’t call it the bible… we have to call it something else, like the Grand Repository of Everything Anyone Would Ever Want to Know. We’ll just call it the Repository for short. That sounds snappy. See, all the information you need to live a happy and productive life in there, but it’s all in allegory… and here’s the best part… it’s always up to the individual reader to figure out what it means! (I thought about doing it myself, but decided it sounded like too much work.) Don’t worry though, there’s no way that multiple interpretations of the same holy book could go wrong.

Now, don’t think that just because I am the Hierophant and you are the sheeple I’m not expecting any work outta you. I need a hand with the most important part of ANY religion… holidays! I need creative names, histories, and observances. These have to look good, since we’ll all be taking them off from work. Some possible examples follow:

  • Birthdays: The day the magic spark of the divine ignited your first breath is a day of rejoicing and festival. Presents are given to the one who’s birthday it is as a recreation of their first divine gift. Also, in remembrance of the entrance to our magical world, everyone at the birthday party should be naked.
  • Star Wars Day: May 25th shall be held as sacred to commemorate the opening of Star Wars: A New Hope. This original telling of the trials and triumphs of Luke, Ben, Han, Leia, Chewie and the droids mirrors closely the tale of the Hierophant himself, and should be treated as a gospel. Viewings of the “real” trilogy (4-6) are to be held on this day, as well as themed feasting and drink. (“Death Star” popcorn balls, spicy “Y-Wings”, and the famous “Another one for my friend” drink.) To show faith in the Force which moves through us all, Star Wars Day festivities should be conducted naked.
  • Thursdays: As the Hierophant himself doth game every Thursday, so too shall all the members in his mighty HOLE. Thursday shall be called Gaming Day, and observed with gaming and junk food. (Everyone should keep their clothes on for this one. No one wants to see gamers naked.)

As you can see, we clearly need more holidays. There should be one with ice cream, and probably one for beer, and porn too. I’ll leave the rest to you guys to figure out. Anyone who gets a holiday is a saint!

63 Responses to 638 – White Smoke Mountain • 07

  1. Let me be the first to ingratiate myself to thy holy presence. To welcome the renewed celebrations of our individual days of birth and the proper form of celebration at last assigned to the true first of the star wars movies. I must say that HULC has a much snappier ring to it than MULC with that out of our collective selves let us rejoice and drink much beer.

  2. Clearly there needs to be a holiday devoted to telling the most outlandish lie possible, this one should be observed in groups of believers from 3 to 20. The beer comes in where each believer votes for anyone else but themself as the most accomplished liar in the group by giving them beer and participants are not limited to voting only once or only for one person in this way; if the recipient believes they are too drunk or otherwise should not imbibe they may pass on this beer. Then a ceremonial closing round of one drink–not necessarily beer but at least something worth toasting with–for everybody in the group ends the ceremony, which is ritually toasted with, “Thanks Kevin!” since anything longer would get in the way of the beer.

      • First thoughts… if we include a rule about no food during the ceremony I’d call it the feast of religious truth, but I don’t want to be that harsh and repressive of our believers–particularly the lightweights who need those nachos to make it through an entire pint without passing out. If that doesn’t inspire someone else around here to coming up with a good name for it first I’ll keep thinking about it.

            • We could all assemble and re-elect a *new* Heirophant in a democratic manner, out of a pool of all existing HOLE Heirophants!

              This would assure the fairness of the democratic process is preserved. And we all get to put forward righteous discussion and extravagent promises that would act exactly like New Year resolutions (except backwards, as it’s more a list of things that we would under no circumstances actually ever achieve.) And in the bests Amercian traditions the faithful would sponsor the leader (Heirophant) with much lobby moneys and air time.

  3. Oh I’d love to enter your HOLE, Grand Hierophant! *giggle*

    Are we supposed to do the whole “persecute the unbelievers” rutine? Because I find it to be the best part of any religion.
    And hey, if we get to scam some money as a commandment, $cientology style, then all the better.

    I hereby motion to amend the nakedness rules on certain of the holidays to apply only to those of sexy disposition, as ugly people are no doubt hated by the Lord, which is why he made them ugly in the first place. Plus, I don’t wanna use that exfoliating cream.

    • It’s hard to turn your back on such a venerable and respected religious custom. I would like to amend “persecute” to read “make fun of”, however. That’s just more HOLE style.

  4. Worst news ever: “Once the Heroes of Lesser Earth comic is finished, (six months to a year from now) ”

    Proposed holiday – Sept. 26th (date subject to revision based on actual end)
    Sadness day

    In honor of the end of the HOLE comic. Since it will be a high holy day, we will actually take the entire week off.
    This weekly observation will begin with everyone dressing as their favorite HOLE character and reenactments of the holy repository. This will continue until the official Day of Sadness when we must imbibe in the sacred nectar (beer) and observe the sacred acts (porn) while clothed in the sacred rainment (naked) in order to relieve our sadness. The remainder of the week will be spent wearing the sacred rainment while parading around town apostlatizing the greatness of HULC converting non-belivers as we encounter them.

    • This is my favorite one so far. (though I can’t shake the image of a bunch of naked crying people standing in the street!)

    • While I have no trouble with blasphemy of any sort, it would make me sad to steal Doulas Adams’ thunder. Therefore, in the grand tradition of changing holidays to fit the most convenient places in the calendar, (and according to Noodlebug’s reasoning below) we shall move Star Wars Day to the FOURTH of May.

  5. Far be it from me to question the Word of…. does this religion actually have a god or does the worshipping just extend as far as officers of the church?

    But anyway, in light of what Ken said, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to appropriate 4th May as Star Wars Day? Then we could all have countless hours of fun greeting each other “May the Fourth be With You.”

    • “May the Fourth be With You.”

      I see it’s already overlapping with the “Painful Puns” Day. Or is that the movement’s new martial art?

    • I’ve thought a bit about this subject, Noodlebug, and Lena has provided me with a bit of Inspiration here. (She has really been stepping up to the plate as the Mother of our religion!) Within the House of Liturgical Equanimity, in addition to worship of the HULC, each congregant shall worship themselves. (As many times as is comfortable.) Instead of looking outside of yourselves to a god for grace and enlightenment, you should look to yourselves for the same. And if you don’t feel particularly Kevinly that day, then worship your potential. The potential you have within yourself to improve and be happy and make the lives you touch happy and better as well. (And ridicule the non-believers. That is EXTREMELY important.)

  6. Let us not forget The Great Conjunction. For a two week period centered 9 months before the great Herophants birthday, let there be copulation among the faithfull, and let us bring those good looking newbs into the folds (of the gamers.)
    Durring the two weeks of ‘The Great Conjunction’, rest should be given on the wholy Thursday when the faithful may gain energy from the great Mountain of Dew and plains of Dorito.

    Side note: Shall the Great Gary Gygax be named ‘Saint’ or ‘Shining One’ or what? We the faithful wish to know.

    • The Great Conjunction is IN! (My birthday is September 12th.)

      Yeah… Gary needs a real place of honor. I think we should make him a superhero or something.

  7. Is copulation among the faithful mandatory? Its just that, ya know, 95% of the faithful are likely to be erm… nerdy guys?

    • Well seeing as I am also a minister though the same church, I will happily take on the burden of the copulation with those nerdy guys so no one is forced to participate against their will. You should probably watch though so it will count as part of you religious duty, providing free beer should take care of most of the rest of your duty as well as making the live action more palatable.

      • Not sure if I’m up for the watching John, though I’m sure many of us appreciate you shouldering the extra “burden”.

        You shall be John the Fornicator. And the HULC did see it, even though he was trying to look the other way, and it was good.

  8. May 22 should be celebrated as a day to enjoy everyone’s interpretation of the HOLE and how we can better fit in it together to appease the HULC.

    It is also my birthday!

    HULC for PRESIDENT! FOR THE HOLE!

    • May could be getting a little holiday-heavy. Perhaps it would be best to just take the whole month off of work.

      (Oo! We should come up with a holiday for EVERY DAY of May!)

      • I can’t believe nobody suggested May 1. May 1 is Outdoor Fucking Day. The day starts with a “hymn” by JoCo and take it from there.

  9. me thinks is there is far to much actually real truth for the religious dogma to be allow to continue as written.It must be obsticated for the layfolk, lest they are consufsed by it clarity and simplicity (or was that duplicity)

    • You’re thinking that Heroes of Lesser Earth is too clear as a religious text? Maybe it should be printed backwards so everyone has to read it in front of a mirror!

  10. I dunno.
    I understand perfectly well your feelings toward religious thought, yet… Well, one of religions problems is their lack of tolerance for others. And it’s starting to maybe feel like that. I mean, if I were a… Whatever, maybe I’d be hurt by you ridiculizing me and my beliefs time and time again. Not that critisizing religion from time to time ain’t good for brains and free speech, but I was all “Oh, he’s doing it again

    I’m telling you this, because, while I don’t think you intend to hurt anyone, I think you may be oblivious to this.

    That being said, if I had to chose a holy day? It’s be the Lazy Day. Hell, if even the judeo-christian god took 1 day to do nothing, the least you could do is to have one!

    • Oh Lazy Day is so in!

      Actually Vincent, I think I was of the opinion that most people of faith pretty much blew off the blog on days when I went down that road. However, since we’re discussing it, my feelings are this…

      Obviously, this blog is a venue for me to express my feelings. In it, I talk about things that are interesting to me, and that reflect where I am at in my life. Now if I were a Christian, I would talk about that. If I were a woman, I’d talk about that. What I am in fact is an atheist who thinks that religion is ridiculous, and who enjoys pointing that out. Yes, I could be more considerate, and yes I could try harder to respect the beliefs of good people who believe in god and may feel personally attacked by my derision. However, since the actual message I wish to convey is the ludicrousness of religion it would be antithetical to my purpose to do so. I suspect that very few people would think that there was any incentive for me to respect the beliefs of people who think that their car keys went missing because a fairy stole them, or that a gremlin living in their TV set prevents proper reception of the Home Shopping Network, but to me the only difference between these beliefs and Christianity is number of people gulled into thinking it’s true.

      Besides, a personal blog that I can’t feel free to discuss my personal feelings in is ultimately worthless. And I LIKE it here!

      • I suspect that very few people would think that there was any incentive for me to respect the beliefs of people who think that their car keys went missing because a fairy stole them, or that a gremlin living in their TV set prevents proper reception of the Home Shopping Network, but to me the only difference between these beliefs and Christianity is number of people gulled into thinking it’s true.

        😆
        Very good point.
        Note, however, that few people would try to kill you for this (not that they should)

        • Lena mentions this to me from time to time. However, if I am silent in the face of religious extremism, then the Baptists win.

      • I suspect that very few people would think that there was any incentive for me to respect the beliefs of people who think that their car keys went missing because a fairy stole them, or that a gremlin living in their TV set prevents proper reception of the Home Shopping Network,

        Yet when you’ve learnt the ways to accost the fairies to revealing your keys and also to seduce your gremlin into improving the picture on an 80%+ (and for them to achieve other helpful things as well) then it gets easy to believe in and one goes what-the-hole it’s a fking big universe, what is belief of one little bag of polluted water on a teeny rock in the outreaches of nowhere really actually know? And it’s also easy to be on time when said keys start materialising on the dresser the spare room (where no-one has been for 3 days), or the neighbour returns them (and you’ve driven home, got into the house and had no neighbour contact), or a favourite, having given up and decided to walk to the neighbours for a lift to work, fit them sitting smack in the middle of the path out to your street gate. (at which point one is supposed to laugh at how “funny” the “joke” was and thank them for being so helpful as to return find your keys for you.)

  11. July 27 should be the Feast Of St. Gary.

    It should probably not be conducted naked.

    But you should definitely serve Rolls For Initiative.

      • Rolls for Initiative.

        If you roll a 1, you must put in it Butter Fingers.
        If you roll a 20, you must cut it in twain, as this is critical.
        If you roll between 2 and 6, you must serve it with jam, as that is what you will find yourself in.
        If you roll between 7 and 11, you must serve it with syrup as it is likely to be a sticky situation.
        If you roll between 12 and 15, you must serve it plain as your attack was of little note.
        If you roll between 16 and 19, you must serve it with butter as that is a good result.

      • I have 3 or 4 ideas right now for the next thing I might do, it’s just kind of a matter of picking one out of that bunch. Regardless of what I end up doing next, I will almost certainly continue writing the blog here, that’s been way to good to me to stop now.

  12. I’ve been a minister (non-practising) with the Universal Life Church for 13 years. But now that I have something to do with my title I feel like a whole new door has opened for me. I believe I shall go forth into the streets and tell the people of the glory of HOLE. Can I get a cardinalship or something by the way? I love those red robes.

  13. October 9th shall be known as the Day of the Dork in honor of Saint Connell the Outcast. This is a day of reflection for those whose life has been lived outside the norms of society and has suffered for it. Those whose ostricization led to success and prosperity (no social life = more time to make something of oneself) are allowed to lord it over the jocks and preps who made their lives misery in their youth. Those of …less significant success are to take the day to meditate on where their path has lead them and what step are needed to get to a place that we may torment our erstwhile (or current) tormentors.

    • Yay for pie-in-sky projects. Cut up the task list into chunks that look sane and I might even overlook the, “Has an actual character level stat,” flaw long enough to finish one of the smaller ones. That is not a binding promise, although I would generally recommend that many people like prefer performing volunteers tasks of a knowable size and length versus open-ended ones.

      Perhaps that’s a commandment for the HULC’s HOLE? Everybody must always have at least one project on the go they can’t see the end of? Sounds to me like it’s an easy one for geeks to fulfill.

      • Completion represents an end to striving, which means failure and death. You must endeavor not to complete any of life’s tasks, lest you get run over by a taxi and drink no more.

      • How can it be an homage to the RPGs of yore WITHOUT levels? Not to sound snarky, but, well, you know. It’s just part of the nostalgia / powergamery combination. (It at least gets bonus points for not being a class based system, right? :p)

        Let’s see… conditions / a few common buffs, how combat actually works, explanation of 3D tileset, GUI, weapons (quick), plan for non-linearity, figure out a dialogue tree format (have not done mentally but hey, a dialogue tree’s a dialogue tree)… Yep, still a bunch to do. Not to mention finishing the skills (SO MANY), equipment, and the mapping alone…

        Yay pie in the sky! Pies are delicious.

        Also I’m impressed that you even considered partaking in it. Actually getting guarantees from strangers for volunteer work is as foreign and unlikely sounding as me waking up tomorrow with the sudden insight on how to do it all myself. Your interest is appreciated, if nothing else.

  14. I move that any volcanic eruption be treated as a local holiday, to be celebrated with feasting, drinking and dancing-naked of course-in the vicinity of said eruption, and topped off with some *ahem*eruptions of your own or with a partner

    Also, because I live in the greatest place on earth:
    http://www.mila.is/um-milu/vefmyndavelar/eyjafjallajokull-fra-thorolfsfelli/
    and
    http://www.mila.is/um-milu/vefmyndavelar/eyjafjallajokull-fra-fimmvorduhalsi/
    (keep in mind that if you view this during night, the fire may look more like white smoke)

    Apricot smelling brain? Is that discouraging to zombies or mindflayers perhaps?

  15. ‘ That sounds snappy. See, all the information you need to live a happy and productive life in there, but it’s all in allegory… and here’s the best part… it’s always ‘

    I WANNA BE WITH YOU
    AND MAKE BELIEVE WITH YOU
    AND LIVE IN HARMONY HARMONY
    OH LOVE

    yes, I am zany

      • I’d offer to do rhythm guitar and harsh vocals, but I doubt you need those.

        I mean, from a Canadian, at least.

        Plus my musical message is slightly… different… than yours.

  16. my vote is for hedonism day june 9th (6-9) of which i hope to be the patron saint .all hail saint clavdivs patron saint of hedonism…kinda catchy dont you think? as a firm believer in the god cygnus (god of balance) we should establish more religions in this world to offset the control imposed on the world by the current ones. after all balance in the world is key to the survival of the species.

    all praise the glory of H.O.L.E.

    as for the rock band idea im in (i play bass and sing)

  17. Hierophant damn you! I’m reading this at work an I just snorted Coke Zero out my nose. Do you know how much that smarts (and fizzes!?) Two of my coworkers just stopped by to ask if I was OK, because my face is red from holding in the laughter.

  18. May I suggest a name change for the Grand Repository of Everything Anyone Would Ever Want to Know? “Repository” sounds too dull… How about the “Super Repository”, because everyone knows Super means Better. If that’s too longer, we can just cut it down to Sup-ository; we would sit around in HULC’s HOLE and discuss the Sup-ository.

    Ok, that was totally funnier in my head.

    For holidays, I suggest:
    1) A “Day of Thanks”, where we thank the networks that Shatner is no longer doing SciFi.
    2) An “It’s OK to Cry when watching Princess Bride” day, because, you know…