World Domination Update
“Alice through a Looking Glass Darkly”
vol. IX, iss. i

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness”
                                            —Matthew 3:3


Quote of the Moment:  “Exposing your ideas is like exposing your body: some people just shouldn’t do it in public.” — saint
Secret Word of the Day:  H-Bomb
Site of the Week:  Who would you kill?
Barbecue Sauce of the Month:  Chez Robert’s *Special* Camel Kick Sauce

In this issue:

·  Cyber-Compound Migration
·  Soda Machine Sports
·  2005 Whore-o-Scopes
·  The Lord’s Prayer
·  Bothered by Wagner
·  Ask Evil Matt
·  Military Hedgehogs


Hi, Boys & Girls!!!

    First and foremost, today is Raid Day, the “Dozenth” Anniversary of the inept doings of our beloved Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on a certain church in the plains of Texas that ended in a fiery finale fifty-one days later.  So celebrate with shame—Branch Floridian style!  I plan on flinging flaming donuts at the Tempe police department, but y’all don’t have to follow my cue—think for yourself(!) and celebrate in your own unique fashion.

Speaking of assaults on humble cults with the word “Branch” at the beginning...


  The Valentine’s Day Massacre! 


On Valentine’s Day, Brain Police agents infiltrated our web host at Angelfire and shut down the Cyber-Compound.  This is by far the most brazen attack against our humble cult by those opposed to Thinking For Yourself.

The “official” reason given was that the account was suspended for “terms of service violations.”  


  Subject: Re: Angelfire: Conduct & Defamation (KMM24257414V67593L0KM)


Thank you for contacting the Lycos Network Abuse Department.

We received reports of you defaming other individuals as well as having images of pornography in your account.



Lycos Network Abuse Specialist


To that, I can only say WHAT THE PHUQ?!?

“Defaming other individuals” is a bit subjective, but yeah, I can see that.  But porn?!?  No way (unless you count the scene of a Henrí the Hedgehog getting it on with a Spontex pad...)

We know the real truth, of course.

The only reason you’d say I was hosting porn would be because you knew it would get me shut down.  Angelfire was a big and basically free site, so if they hear you have porn, they pull your account.  Some Brain Police agent made up the lie just to get my site taken down.  That was a deliberate blow to take down the Branch Floridians. 

I am damned curious to know the story behind this.  Obviously it was the Brain Police, but who was the minion behind the mail?  Someone narced us out, but I have been unable to find out who.  I offer up a reward of Φ1,000,000 [yep, you read that right: one million tons of Flax!] to anyone who can find out the culprit behind this.  

Whatever the case, the Cyber-Compound is now up and running again, and in many ways better than before.  I’m sure y’all noticed we’re now  I am very pleased with the virtual domain hosting deal saint and I worked out, and I think y’all will agree that it looks a lot more professional. 

I’d like to single out Flaming Faggot for going above and beyond in helping get this transition done.  Ol’ Boy deserves the coveted Mr. Eagle Award (and possibly an evening with Mr. Eagle himself!) for his assistance in all this.  A nice Bort-hide plaque will be put up in the Halls in his honor.


Anyway, back to “basic” World Domination,,, 

Well, what can be said about the current World Domination situation that isn’t a repetition of past rantings?  How about some onomatopoeia for various vomiting sounds....

Actually, I’m thinking a barf bag might come in damned handy over the next four years, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Halliburton starts pumping them out in advanced anticipation of the retching that will doubtless occur due to what Dubya has in store for us.

I had planned to start off this issue with an analysis of Bush’s Coronation speech—I’m sorry, I meant Inauguration—but I noticed that when I downloaded the transcript, Norton Anti-Virus immediately popped up with a warning that it was chock full of Massive_Bullshit, Gullability.Exploit, and Secret/Agenda.Trojan_Horse cooties; curiously, when I tried to just print it out, it kept spontaneously combusting. 

Bush is barely back in office with his self-designated mandate from the majority, and already is set on digging us a hole it will take an extra 20 years for his successors to climb out of.  I’ve already called that next on the menu is Iran, which his new flunky and gender-crossing-“yes” man Connie Rice has already publicly declared fair game: “Iran must live up to its international obligations to halt its nuclear program or the next steps are in the offing.  And I think everybody understands what the ‘next steps’ mean.”


I don’t think this is posturing or grand-standing, though if it is, it’s bluffing with a nervous tic in the eye and a low card showing in the open.  Bush has already stretched our military resources damned thin, so if he plans to implement his “next steps” in that direction, it’s not a pleasant thought to contemplate where the manpower will come from.  And don’t even get me started on how he means to pay for it all...

Perhaps he plans to pull a page out of the Janet Reno Handbook and solve both problems by dusting off all those neutron bombs developed back during the Reagan days.  After all, the money was already spent on them, and the only way to get a return on the investment is to, well, use them.  I can see the PR campaign now: “neutron bombs: kills pesky arabs, not precious oil wells.”

Given the over-all pattern that’s developed—saber rattling inside the enemy’s guts—we should also expect Bush to turn his attention to Antarctica some time soon.  It’s my understanding that the Antarctic continent actually has some of the largest oil deposits outside of the Middle East, but the cost of getting to it massively offsets the return.  Then again, fiscal competence has never been Bush’s strong suit... actually, nothing has been Bush’s strong suit, but I digress...  Anyway, we can expect to get reports of penguins with ties to Al Qaida in the next few months, along with the “miraculous”—and of course purely coincidental—development of a good ice core drill bit and some half-assed logistical solutions for pumping frozen petroleum...

I can see the sound bites now: solemnly delivered to the U.N. General Assembly by Bush with a straight face...  “These penguins hate our freedom.  They are evil-doers, terrorizing the fish and krill of the Ross Ice Shelf. We have reliable proof that they have developed weapons of mass destruction, and are planning on strapping them to hapless Skua gulls and flying them into our outposts there.  We must act at once.”

So expect the naval base at McMurdo Sound to become an internment camp for rebellious penguins as we rescue the oppressed oil reserves from their tyranny.

Al Qaida Penguin
advanced copy of anti-penguin propaganda,
courtesy our kindred spirit


...meanwhile, in other news...



New Recruit

How’s about giving a hearty, heart-warming howdy-do to our newest recruit, !  Flame R’ comes to our ranks from up in Michigan with an impressive repertoire of sarcastic ripostes.  Her portfolio includes being a bona fide spy—I’m sure she can contribute to the Fast Food Shit List because of it—so it only seems natural that, given her experience and location, we’ve already set her to work infiltrating that hideous heresy from her neck of the woods, The Ranch Peninsulars.  

Rumors that she and saint are working on defusing an H-Bomb in the Breakfast Nook fall under the “Deny Everything!” clause.

Aside from sarcasm, espionage, and H-Bomb omelet’s, she has also offered to handle this year’s Whore-o-Scopes.  

She is also a staunch supporter of that age-old Shakespearian axiom, There Is No Honor Without Pie.


Reader Feedback


  Subject: 9-11 anomalities

I tend to disagree with you on this one. Something rather rotten happened in Denmark and the Pentagon and WTC and Shanksville. Read this link:

Remember the movie Capricorn One? Well maybe all those passengers from the Pentagon flight are being held incommunicado somewhere. All I know is the pieces just don't fit together.

of the Copper Zippo
(PA Mountain Chapter)



shade’s peshar


Interesting link; thanks.  Curiously, the author makes a better case that Bush was aware of the 9/11 plot and did nothing than he does that Bush was actually behind it.  My two main problems with the latter: ‘what happened to the real Flight 77’ and ‘why fake one hijacking but not the other three’ are asked in the piece, and the author says “I don’t know.”  Like I said, he makes a better case that Bush knew about 9/11 but did nothing to advance his PNAC agenda, much in the same way FDR knew about Pearl Harbor.

However, at this point we’re still in speculation, and I have my misgivings about both camps.  I sincerely doubt anything like a smoking gun will ever show up, so it is unlikely this will ever be resolved.


Slang Update


In our continuing quest to create cutting-edge slang, I offer up the following serving:

“Cotton Candy Christian”

I toss this one on the table much in the same vein as an earlier one, “Cotton Mouther,” in that it applies to specific situations, or in this case, specific types of people.

I have coined the term “Cotton Candy Christian” to apply to that most annoying breed of benevolent faithful, the ones who don’t put any real effort into their belief system but just float along thinking “everything will be just fine!”

You know the type.  Minimal effort into exploring their religious system, with an emphasis of focusing on the good, not the bad.  Avoidance of anything complex, or anything time-consuming—such as (gasp!) reading the Bible.  The types who would rather read something simple and quick like Dr. Dyer than something complex and challenging like, oh, the Gospel of John.

In other words, those who like fluff.

The cotton candy metaphor is most appropriate here.  Cotton candy is airy and has little actual substance to it.  It quickly dissolves to nothing under any outside stimulus—such as pouring (holy) water on it.   It is sweet—almost sickeningly sweet, I think—and a steady diet will rot out parts of your body: in the candy aspect, your teeth; in the religious aspect, your mind, and maybe even your soul.

Cotton Candy Christianity as a whole is anathema to Branch Floridianism, as C3 is the exact opposite of our self-professed goal of Thinking For Yourself.


...speaking of “fluff” that is potentially deadly...


Pokey Butter Update?!?


Flaming Faggot passed on the following article:


Semenly Inappropriate

In an item cleverly headed Butter Be Startin' Somethin', the British website Popbitch says that when Michael Jackson's hanging with his special little friends, he refers to semen as "duck butter." (Maybe that's "Duck! Butter!") But why he would even be referring to semen at all when he's around the youngsters is a mystery. It seems inappropriate. Guess we'll have to wait until it comes up in court.



shade’s peshar


I would normally pass on pesharing something like this, preferring to save my attention and talents for important things (like World Domination and hedgehogs) but the piece did make me ponder into pre-charted territory as potentially being the Tie-In Continuity Clue that brings to completion a past boogey-man previously exposed in the WDU annals...

Pokey Butter

I’m sure y’all remember our continuing war against the scourge that is Gumby’s Pizza, and how we recently uncovered one of their sinister plots, the vicious (and viscous) concoction they market under the name “Pokey Butter.”

Well, given the insight into Michael Jackson’s mind and how (allegedly, at least) “duck butter” equals “semen”, maybe—just maybe—we have the final piece in the Pokey Puzzle...  Pokey Butter is Duck Butter mixed with Ranch Dressing.

[Nods grimly]  Yeah... it all makes sense now...


...and on the subject of “edible” confections...


Vending Machine Wrestling


True story:

Back in January, I stopped by a sinister little locale known by its own peons as The Grammatical Sweat Shop.  It’s a publishing house in Phoenix, and the Cyber-Compound out-sources some of its larger jobs (such as physically-print editions of the World Domination Update) to it.  I needed to make sure they’d be okay with the next run of this very issue you now have either on screen or in your hot little hands.  Just after I showed up, I headed in back and hit the vending machine to pick up some liquid refreshment.

Let me digress a second to describe this machine, as its actually relevant to this exciting anecdote horror story.  It has a transparent plastic front, so you can see the contents.  Inside, is an admittedly impressive array of offerings: everything from the expected sodas (12 oz. cans and 20 oz. bottles), to iced teas, Gatorades, fruit juices... even several varieties of Starbucks Frappuccinos and Red Bull are represented.  With me so far?  Good.

Now, y’all know me: I’m all about Mountain Dew.  It is Shai-Hulud, the Water of Life.  I’ve looked into getting an i.v. drip of the stuff.  So anyway, I plunk in a buck, and press C-8, expecting to be rewarded with a big bottle of the green fluid.

Nothing happens.

Okay, I try again.

Still nothing.

I do a reality check, and find that I’m hitting the right squares, but the avarice rat bastards running the machine had jacked the price up to a buck twenty-five.  I don’t have a quarter on me, so cursing their greed, and still needing my ’Dew, I decide to settle for a 12-oz. can, which costs 60 cents.

By the way, I am a bit puzzled by that.  Do the math: you can spend $1.25 to get a 20-oz bottle, or $1.20 to get 24-ounces in 2 cans.  From that, I can only assume the’yre relying on a a strategy that the consumers thirst will be inversely proportional to their mathematical aptitude.

...but I digress...

Anyway, I hit the selection entry for a can.  I hear the change drop, but no clunk of the can falling.

A quick check reveals why: the restraining arm holding my prize back had only partly retracted, and the can was wedged against it, stuck.

I give it a half-hearted shove, but nothing happens. Given the weight of the machine, fully loaded with heavy liquids, it easily resists my efforts.  Cursing my luck, I stomp back to the main production area of the Sweat Shop, a litany of poxes and plagues trailing in my wake.  Scottie-too-Hottie hears this, and asks me what’s up.  I tell him.

“Did you try shaking the machine?”

I hold my arms out, exposing my scrawny frame.  “Dude, look at me: I’m worthless and weak, and that thing is like the Rock of Gibraltar.”

Scott grins in sympathy, and says, “Well, let me give it a shot.”

Now Scott’s a pretty big guy, and goes back, grabs the machine, and absolutely shakes the crap out of it.

The machine immediately begins beeping like a pinball machine in TILT! mode.  Still, stuff begins falling left and right, knocked loose and over the restraining tab.  Neither of us can believe it.  Nor can we believe that the original culprit, my Mountain Dew can, was not one of the items dislodged.

Still, we quickly split of the fallen prizes; I got two of those 6-oz double-espresso latté cans, and a gatorade.  Booty in hand, we quickly head back to production, laughing our asses off.  At this, Aaron asks how it went; we show him out armload of plunder, but quip that the damned Mountain Dew was still there.

Outraged, Aaron goes “What?!?  Here; let me give it a try.”

For those who don’t know, I should point out that Aaron is huge.  Big, beefy, black muh’hunker who’s totally buff; coolest dude in the world, but if you saw him in a dark alley, you’d run.

Anyway, so Aaron and I head back; I point out the offending culprit can, and he nods grimly.  Aaron took hold of the machine in those two big meaty mits of his, and then just phuqing manhandled it.  We’re talking Richter Scale 8 here.  Stuff is falling all over the place from the bins, like it was a slot machine jackpot.

But the damned Mountain Dew can I was after actually popped back into place!

The machine was beeping it’s little S.O.S. distress beacon like mad at this point, so we quickly divvied up the spoils, and got out of there a.s.a.p.  So I never did get my Mountain Dew, but between everything else that fell, I was willing to call it even.  


By the way, it occurs to me that you can actually make a sport out of this.

Get a bunch of guys to take turns with the machine.   Shake the shit out of it, and see what falls.  Add up the cash value of what drops, and the highest dollar-total wins.


Turning our attention to what’s in store for the rest of 2005...




Aries: (March 21 – April 19) This month is all about making cash, and lots of it. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Stop talking about it, and do some business. According to the stars, (yeah, like they know sooooo much), your romantic life is crazy right now. Kneepads, ankle weights, goldfish, the whole enchilada, and this might stop you from doing what you need to do. Stay focused on bettering your situation. Don’t get caught up in all the spanking and gyrating, even though you might really, really want to.

Taurus: (April 20 – May 20) You should REALLY clean your house this month. You’ve been putting it off, picking up a little here, and a little there, but that’s just not cutting it. You have intelligent life growing between your couch cushions. Remember the cheetos you ate there on the 26th of October?? Well there’s still one down there, and it’s become it’s own eco-system. Not to mention the toilet. Don’t you ever get sick of dumping giant buckets of water into it just to get it to flush?? Well everyone ELSE does. This is also a good time to take risks and ask for what you want. See that hot chick at the bar, next to the really big bearded guy? If the planets are right, he’s just her gay friend from work, and it would be in your best interest to go ask her for her underwear. If the planets are not right, then you’re an idiot for believing a horoscope. There’s only one way to find out, right? Sucker.

Gemini: (May 21 – June 21) Slow down there, Tiger. You’re moving way too fast. Someone, or a group of someones might be trying to “put one over on ya”, if you know what I’m talkin about. Yeahhh I think we both know you do. Stay away from pyramid schemes, candle parties, boob enhancers, and penis growers. Stop being stupid! Not everyone is your friend. Remember? Trust no-one. Except me. I have some stuff to sell you. Call me.

Cancer: (June 22 – July 22) I know this sucks dude, but you gotta stop smoking, at least until you can afford cheese. You’ve lost 48 lbs, and your hair is falling out. Don’t you think it would be wise to start EATING at least once a day? Plus, your cat smells like the neighbor’s trash. That should tell you something. Also, you should change everything about your life, based entirely on what I tell you here. You’re getting stagnant, my friend. Look, there are 17 mosquitoes, just in your tear ducts. If you keep doing the same thing every day, your life is gonna go nowhere. Call your significant other’s mom all those horrible things you’ve been thinking about her. That should mix things up a bit.

Leo: (July 23 – August 22) Well, Leo aren’t you just a cocky little bastard? Sure, go ahead, show off. Flex your muscles, flash your bum. Everyone wants to see the great and powerful Leo. This month, you should take the extra time to put on your nicer shoes, or maybe get those calf-implants you’ve been wanting. Wear a little bronzer. Spend an extra 30 seconds fixing that cowlick in the middle of your head. It’ll do you good. If you start bossing people around like the leader you know you were meant to be, AND you look hot, people will follow. Soon, you’ll be in a position to take over the planet Earth, and who knows what planets will follow??

Virgo: (August 23 – September 22) You betta watch yo’ self. You’ve been wandering around in some kind of purple haze, doing things JUST to pass the time and for no other reason whatsoever, but it seems to me that things are clearing up a bit for you in your little self-inflicted Mental Dental Office. You’re not in the waiting room of your brain anymore. Seems like the floss is finally getting rid of those big ol’ chunks of CRAP you keep in there, and you’re finally seeing what it is you need to do, and that you need to do these things ASAP. Stop being so impatient with the people around you though. It’s not their fault they’re idiots. Other people are trying to start some fights with you, so you might need to use your diplomatic skills. Come on baby, you know you got it goin’ on. You’re gonna be president some day. If the feds don’t get to you first.

Libra: (September 23 – October 22) This month, you are a sexy bitch. That’s right. You are chock full of all the ingredients needed to make a kinky pie of lust and instant gratification. This is a damn good time to shake what your mama gave ya. A good time to work your negotiating skills, if you know what I mean. It would also be a good time to grant OTHER people some dirty little requests too, since you’re gonna be a little more open-minded this month.

Scorpio: (October 23 – November 21) Stop being a schmuck. You’re letting other people walk all over you, and aren’t getting what you need in return. Or at all. Do you want to be someone’s bitch?? Cuz you’re on your way. Other people aren’t going to step up and say, “Listen.. you really need to stop giving me money and doing all my laundry. It’s not good for you.” You’re gonna have to do it yourself, my friend. Get mad as hell, and don’t take it anymore. If you’re still too scared of your friends to do that, shut the hell up. I expect NO WRINKLES this time, or you’ll have to watch your stupid cartoons by yourself.

Sagittarius: (November 22 – December 21) You are a busy little beaver this month. Yes, you have gi-normous amounts of energy, so don’t spend it all at one place. Unless I’m with you, and specifically instruct you to do so. I do have control over your horoscope. If I say jump, you say potato, or something. Anyhow, get to work. You’re good at what you do, so do it. And do it well. Maybe you’ll get a raise, or at the very least, some kind of favor.

Capricorn: (December 22 – January 19) This month, you’re going to be showing everyone how artsy and “natural” you are. Who knew you really wanted to be a nudist? Now’s the time to break the news, so put on your hemp, and your unisex mumu, and get busy being woodsy. Also, you’re finding your Martha Stewart side. Dig through the trash, and see what you can make out of an egg carton and some petrified twinkies. You’ll be delighted at your newfound skills. You could probably make a fortune if you showed this to the right people.

Aquarius: (January 20 – February 18) You should be getting a whole bunch of new junk soon, so start throwing away your old crap to make room. But don’t just throw it away. Stop and look at each item, and think about the experiences connected to it. Really bond with it. Make a relationship with it before you fling it into the recesses of the city dump like so much ex-girlfriend. And please.. don’t make excuses. They’ve heard it all before.

Pisces: (February19 – March 20) Being practical is very important this month, so don’t screw things up by being a dumbass. The 6th is a great day to stop cowering like a jackass and tell someone how you really feel about them. If they don’t like it, tough crap. This is a good time to take a look at your life and decide whether it’s good enough or not. Are you happy sitting around by yourself watching stale re-runs after a long day of the same old shit? If not, get UP and do something about your sorry-ass situation. If you ARE happy, then by all means, keep on truckin’.

* Disclaimer: Anything you read here is crap. By crap, for crap, about crap. If you are reading it for laughs, good for you! If you’re reading it for advice, you’re an idiot, because I don’t know anything about anything. Ever.


...meanwhile, moving on to less-celestial matters...


saint’s sermon:
the Lord’s prayer


All but the most hardened atheist have prayed at one point in their lives or another, most likely with less-than-stellar results.  Prayer is a very abused and misused means of communicating with what I will arbitrarily call The Divine.  My grandmother once said something to the effect that ‘prayer only works when you pray for someone else.’  I suspect there is great wisdom in her words.

Jesus actually took time out from telling his followers how to live to tell them how to pray; his words are worth pondering:


“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your , close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

—Matthew 6:5-8


He then goes on to give what he considers to be the ‘ideal’ prayer, a short, succinct little ditty that has become known as The Lord’s Prayer, or occasionally the Pater Noster (the first two words in the Latin translation.)  Almost everybody knows this prayer; I feel that a self-professed Christian not knowing it is the equivalent of someone claiming to be Islamic not knowing the shaddah (“There is no God but Allah, and Muhammed is His messenger.”)

Surprisingly, there are two slightly different versions of the Prayer: one from Matthew, and one from Luke.  When deople do use this Prayer, they seem to invariably pick the Matthian version, and in the King James vernacular.  A comparison of the two is somewhat interesting:

Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

Luke 11:2-4

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.


Late manuscripts of both versions include a doxological coda:

  For yours is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.  

However, this last bit is a later tack-on that is missing from all the earliest textual witnesses.  Early Church fathers such as Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origen all wrote exhaustive commentaries on the Lord’s prayer yet omit this final portion, which is further proof that it is a late development.  Still, most people include it when they say it.

Sadly, it seems to me that when Christians recite the Lord’s Prayer—especially Cotton Candy Christians—they are doing so through rote, without actually pondering the meaning in these words.  This is truly too bad, because if you actually analyze it, it is a wonderful prayer.  

It is also profoundly confusing on a theological level.

So allow me to exegese this puppy, to show you what I mean on both counts.  By the way, I’ll use the Matthean variant, both because more people are familiar with it, and (for inside reasons most of you already know) I am especially fond of the Gospel of Matthew.

Our Father.  The first difference between Matthew and Luke’s version is the opening: Matthew includes “Our” in referring to God.  [By the way, I’ll skip any analysis of referring to God as ‘Father’: that’s already been done to death.]  I am quite surprised at Luke’s lack of this, for it is a subtle yet crucial term to all this.  “Our” is a reminder that we all are children of God.  Saints and sinners, pious and irreverent, Jew and gentile, everyone has this same Father.  This concept is very Pauline, which is why I am surprised that Luke—Paul’s biggest admirer—dropped it.  Also recall that Luke traces all of humanity back to God: in Jesus’s genealogy, he reminds us that everyone is ultimately descendant from Adam, and Adam was the Son of God [Luke 3:38].  Conversely, Matthew’s inclusion of “Our” underscores that we are all ultimately one People.

Who is in Heaven.  This is where the problems begin.  There are ample examples throughout the Bible that God is everywhere.  Why is God suddenly restricted to Heaven?  Admittedly, God seems to spend the majority of His time up there, but also with God all things are possible, so He can presumably be in more than one place at the same time.

Hallowed by Your Name.  This is no exaggeration: the real name of God is so holy that Jews of antiquity (and even many today) considered it blaspheme to say it aloud.  They’d stone you to death if you did.  The dangers of saying this piece of hallibut was good enough for jehovah Only the High Priest of Israel was permitted to say the Name, and even then only once a year: inside the Holy of Holies of the Temple on Yom Kippur while asking The Lord to forgive Israel its sins.  Even then, there seems to be great confusion over just what this Holy Name is.  Allegedly it was first revealed (in Exodus 3:14) to Moses, who asked the Burning Bush by what name He was called and getting the answer back “Yahweh” (יהוה). This is no answer at all, because in Hebrew “Yahweh” means “I am what I am.”  Unfortunately, the term stuck, and people took it literally.

Your Kingdom come.  Just what this “Kingdom” is was the subject of much speculation, debate, and even a few wars among various sects in the first few centuries.   The term—and the concept behind it—is highly subjective.  Making matters worse, Jesus frequently spoke about the Kingdom, but in odd metaphorical manners such as describing it as a mustard seed [Matthew 13:31-32].  Much of the Gospel of Thomas is devoted to similar metaphors alluding to what the Kingdom is, the most interesting of which are these:


Jesus said, “If your leaders say to you, ‘Look, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will get there before you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will get there before you. Rather, the Kingdom is within you and it is outside you.”

—Gospel of Thomas 3:1-2




His disciples said to him, “When will the kingdom come?”

[Jesus replied] “It will not come by watching for it.  It will not be said, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’  Rather, the Father’s Kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don’t see it.”

—Gospel of Thomas 113:1-3


In other words, the Kingdom is already here, but people just haven’t realized it.  Therefore, I take “Thy Kingdom come” to be a call for people to become aware of this.

Interesting side note: there are several textual variants to the Lucan version of this line, dating from the eleventh century: rather than read “Your Kingdome come,” they say “Your Holy Spirit come and cleanse us.”

Your Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.  It is telling that Luke’s version of the prayer omits this line: I suspect he saw the potential dilemma it entails.  This to me is the most confusing, perplexing, and theologically troublesome part of this whole piece.  First of all, what is God’s will?  More simply put, what does God want?  Most people will probably tell you, “God wants us to love both Him and one another.”  Although I’d like to think that, I suspect it’s a lot more complicated than that.  Even then, this part of the prayer brings up an even deeper conundrum: if God can do anything, why is it necessary to pray that His will be done?  If ‘His will’ is as simple as the above mentioned ‘love one another’ hypothesis, then we have a good proof of Free Will’s existence in the free will versus fate/predestination argument [see my commentary on Calvinism for more on this.]  Making matters worse, Matthew saw to differentiate God’s will in Heaven versus God’s will on Earth.  This gets back to the conundrum touched upon above in the “who art in Heaven” section.

Give us today our daily bread.  A minor variant between versions: Matthew uses ‘today’ as opposed to Luke using ‘each day.’  The Greek adjective of both texts (επιουσιον) is a rare, and somewhat obscure and ambiguous term; although usually translated as “daily,” it can also mean “[the bread we need] for tomorrow.”  I have heard it suggested that “bread” here is a metaphor for some sort of spiritual sustenance, but I am inclined to disagree.  I take this at face value: it is a prayer of short-term survival: without food, you will die.  It is important to put this in context: back in the first century, it was a very real problem for people to get food, and quite frequently one simply did not know where or when their next meal would come.  Also, recall that Jesus sent his disciples out on evangelizing missions with no possessions or money: they were to live off the kindness of strangers.  Praying for one’s daily bread is asking God to help continue your existence lest you starve to death.  It strikes me as a reasonable request.

By the way, several cynical scholars do not at all seem surprised that this is included.  A great many of the incidents in the Gospels concerning Jesus involve food, and indeed one of the charges against him by his detractors was that he was a drunkard and a glutton (Luke 7:34)—a charge which Jesus did not actually deny.  Many people have speculated that Jesus had a weight problem; in the insidious yet amusing and insightful Ken’s Guide to the Bible, author and armchair theologian Ken Smith refers to this as the “Tubby Jesus” syndrome.  Such cynics casting their lot in this camp no doubt are not surprised that Jesus would pray for food...

Forgive our debts.  I think Luke comes closer to the intent here by using the word “sin” instead of “debt.”  I have also heard the term “trespasses” used.  The end result is all the same: we have done something—intentional or not—that has displeased God, so please forgive us.  In the list of Things Thou Shalt Not Do (ie: the Commandments), there are actually 716 verboten, and it’s almost impossible not to break one despite your best efforts.  Paul, despite his problems, was smart enough to realize this, though his commentary expounding upon this in Romans 5-6 (which ultimately led to the doctrine of Original Sin) goes into some strange tangents I find highly suspect.  Whatever the case, this part of the prayer is a nice follow-up to the preceding portion: we have just asked for short-term survival, now we ask for long-term.  

As we also have forgiven our debtors.  This is probably the most overlooked and least-followed part of the Prayer.  People frequently do wrong to us, but we are supposed to forgive them for it.  Surprisingly, this part of the prayer is not original:


Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done you, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.

Sirach 28:2


Still, it’s nice to have it a part of the prayer, and it’s sad that most self-professing Christians overlook this aspect.  Our supposing to forgive those who do us wrong was an integral part of Christ’s message.

Lead us not to temptation.  Another request for God to help look out for us, but the undertone is troublesome. Why would God lead us to temptation—after all, we’re praying for him not to do so, so obviously the potential exists that He will otherwise do so.  When Jesus was tempted, it was s by Satan, not God.  I am actually reminded of the Book of Job, where Satan tests the poor guy to within a hair of his life, but ultimately was doing so with God’s approval.  It’s nice that Jesus would have us pray for us not to be that guy, but it’s troubling that we should have to do so at all.

But deliver us from the evil one.  This strikes me as tautologically redundant with the previous line, which is perhaps why Luke omits it.  However, it does solve—or at least lessen—the conundrum that it would be God who leads us to temptation by potentially shifting the blame away from God and onto another.  Unless, of course, one recalls an infamous passage from the Old Testament:

  I form light and create darkness,
I make weal and create woe,
I am the Lord, who do all these things.

 —Isaiah 45:7



The structure of the Lord’s prayer is interesting: the first half is dedicated to God, and it is only half way through that the focus shifts from the divine to the personal.

The Lord’s Prayer is almost a poetic work of art in terms of brevity: it hits the major points that one needs to hit, it is humble, and not auspicious or greedy.  Putting aside the first half, in which God is the focus, the latter half is a personal petition for provision, pardon, and protection.  It is basically a prayer for survival: short term (daily bread), long term (avoiding future sin) and eternal (forgiveness of sins we commit anyway.)  It is also a prayer of humanity and compassion: we are asked to forgive those who do wrong to us.

Prayer is a much-abused medium: Jesus seemingly made a mistake—or at least a questionable judgment call—by writing a blank cheque with Matthew 21:22’s “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”   Even more abused is Matthew 18:19 (“If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”)  If people stuck to the basics of the Lord’s prayer, they’d probably get better results.


...meanwhile, moving from the sublime to the absurd...


The Teutonic Plague


Richard Wagner is one of those rare composers whose personal life sparks as much debate as his musical catalogue.  Reaction to Wagner’s music is extremely polarized: some people find the Wagnerian opera to be the ultimate expression of creativity and genius, while others—such as myself—find them ponderous, pretentious, and predictable.  Much of the time, he pushed chromaticism to the brink of atonality, and I have a very low threshold for that sort of crap.  Worse, he suffered from what I call “compositional incontinence”: he’d shit out 15 notes where 1 would suffice, the end result being some of the longest pieces of music in history.

Actually, I should cut ol’ boy some slack; there are certainly worse composers out there, such as... um... uh... that guy... ... who wrote... the stuff that... sucked.   Maybe I should say there are individual pieces of music that are much more detestable than anything in Wagner’s catalogue, such as Dance of the Sugar Plum Faeries or The Pachelbel Canon.  I couldn’t write an opera like Wagner, but then again, I wouldn’t want to.  Admittedly, he did come up with some original stuff (rather than rehash or rip off others) so maybe Mark Twain was right: “Wagner’s music isn’t as bad as it sounds.”  I guess I’m inclined to toss in my lot with Gioacchino Rossini: “Wagner has good moments but bad quarter hours.”

That’s not the point here.  

After all, musical taste is highly subjective, and if you think the Ring cycle is the best thing since sliced bread, then more power to ya.  By the way, might I suggest some ranch dressing to go on that slice of bread?

No, let’s look at the man behind the music.  After all, it’s just too easy to pick on a guy who liked to wear pink silk underwear(!) and who composed his last opera, Parsifal, in a heavily perfumed bath.  You see, there’s so much more to pick on if we expand beyond his catalogue and examine the man himself, and believe it or not, some of it is even relevant to World Domination.

Wagner, hard at work torturing his audience

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was born on May 22, 1813 in Leipzig, Germany.  When he was only six months old, his father died, and his mother quickly remarried longtime friend Ludwig Geyer.  Curiously, young Richard bore a suspicious resemblance to Geyer.  Wagner had a troubled childhood: he would often wake up in the middle of the night, screaming at the top of his lungs.  His nickname was “Cossack.”  He frequently played hooky from school, at one point not showing up for six months straight.

At first, he wanted to be a poet or playwright, but his first attempt at a play, written at age 14 and called Leubald, showed little promise: by the forth act he had managed to kill off all 42 characters, and then realized he would have to start bringing them back as ghosts to advance the plot.

Unfortunately, the next year, he heard Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and after that decided he wanted to be a composer.  He enrolled in the University of Leipzig, majoring in music and minoring in juvenile delinquency.  He drank (heavily), gambled (poorly—once losing his mother’s entire pension but managing to get it back on a lucky double-or-nothing), and challenged people to duels (which, sadly, no one ever took him up on.)  Eventually he dropped out of school when he realized that he was actually expected to attend classes.

Despite this less-than-auspicious start, he managed to land a gig directing a small opera company in Magdeberg.  There he met and married one of the singers, Mina Planer.

In 1836, he was able to convince the company to premiere a performance of one of his own pieces, an opera called Das Liebesverbot which I will politely call a comedy and whose plot is by and large plagiarized from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.  The opera was not a rousing success, having only two performances.  At the first, the lead tenor forgot most of his lines.  The second show was even worse.

A failure at music and heavily in debt, Wagner and wife decided to skip town.  They resettled to England, and it is frequently believed that the stormy boat ride across the Channel served as the inspiration for Der Fliegende Holländer (aka The Flying Dutchman).  Unfortunately, England received Wagner favorably: Dutchman and another opera, Rienzi, went over well, and he was soon offered a job as kapellmeister at the Dresden Court Theatre.

In Dresden, Wagner’s writing went into overdrive, especially since he began writing non-musical essays on subjects he knew nothing about.  For example, consider this excerpt from Religion and Art:


On the swampy margins of Canadian lakes animal species allied to the panther and tiger still live as fruit-eaters, whereas upon those desert fringes the historic tiger and lion have become the most bloodthirsty of all the beasts of prey. That it must have been hunger alone, which first drove man to slay the animals and feed upon their flesh and blood....


 When Wagner wasn’t writing about the vegetarian panthers inhabiting the swamps of Canada, he was churning out tracts on politics and economics.  Thus begun the curious anarcho/anti-capitalist period of his career.  Wagner became increasingly nationalistic—indeed, he would later refer to himself as “the most German of German composers”—and became friends with leftist radicals like August Röckel and Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin.  Unfortunately for him, he picked the wrong political party to side with, and when the revolution broke out—and was suppressed—in April 1849, he and Mina again skipped town, reportedly only hours before police broke down his door to arrest him for sedition. 

Wagner would spend the next twelve years in exile, and although he continued to write music, he also continued to churn out social diatribes.  For instance, Wagner was a vegetarian—though he would sneak meat when he thought no one was looking—and one essay suggests that if everyone became veggies themselves, world peace would ensue.  However, probably the most notorious piece of literature he wrote was Das Judenthum in der Musik (Judaism in Music) which is a scathing anti-Semitic diatribe attacking Jews in general and especially contemporary Jewish composers like Felix Mendelssohn, whom he called “shallow and artificial, a parroting of true music.”  Wagner called Jews “freaks of Nature” and said that the “German people were repelled by Jews due to their alien appearance and behavior.”   He says they secretly scheme to rule the world through money: “...the Jew in truth... rules, and will rule, so long as Money remains the power before which all our doings and our dealings lose their force.”  Further, “with all our speaking and writing in favour of the Jews’ emancipation, we always felt instinctively repelled by any actual, operative contact with them.”  Ultimately, he concluded “Without once looking back, take your part in this regenerative work of deliverance through self-annulment;... only one thing can redeem you from the burden of your curse: the redemption of Ahasuerus—Going under!” 

This idea would strike a resonant chord, so to speak, with an Austrian paperhanger named Adolph half a century later, but that’s getting ahead of the story.

 While in exile, Wagner read the works of philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, and it really hit home.   Schopenhauer’s works are arrogant, deeply pessimistic, and thoroughly confusing, so one can see the influence.  

Wagner finally hit paydirt in 1864, when Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm von Wittelsbach assumed the throne of Bavaria.   The new King had been a fan of Wagner’s since childhood, and decided to be his financial patron.  For those who don’t know, Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm von Wittelsbach was universally known as either Ludwig II or more commonly just as Mad King Ludwig.  

Why was he mad?  Well, he liked Wagner’s operas, for starters...

While under Ludwig’s aegis, Wagner had a cushy palace set up at Triebschen.  There, in 1869, he met and befriended a young Fredrich Nietzsche.  Nietzsche’s first book, Die Geburt der Tragödie (The Birth of Tragedy) was dedicated to Wagner.  However, when two egos as great as these collide, only bad can happen, and the inevitable falling out ensued.  Nietzsche became increasingly disillusioned with various aspects of Wagner’s thought, such as his pacifism and anti-Semitism.  Eventually, Nietzsche began a literary assault on In Der Fall Wagner (The Case of Wagner) and Nietzsche Contra Wagner (Nietzsche vs. Wagner), where he condemn Wagner as decadent and corrupt.  Indeed, he wrote “Is Wagner a human being at all?  Is he not rather a disease?”

Couldn’t have said it better m’self.

After finishing his final opera, Parsifal (written, as I have said, during extended soaks in a hot tub full of expensive perfume) he sat down to write his autobiography, Mein Leben.  He dedicated it to the illegitimate daughter of his friend and fellow composer, Franz Liszt.  This is hardly surprising: Wagner and Cosima Liszt had been having an affair for years, and had even produced a few children together.  All this, plus Wagner’s numerous other affairs, were amply bragged about in his book.  In all fairness, though, when his “real” wife Mina died, Wagner quickly married Cosima.  

Wagner died on February 13, 1883, apparently of a heart attack.  Sadly, his legacy lived on, both in music and ideology.

Even people who dislike classical music have had the misfortune of being exposed to at least a sniplet of his works: the Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin is now universally known as “Here comes the Bride.”  Alas, his complete works also get airings, and occasionally they cause irrevocable damage.


At the age of twelve, I saw ... the first opera of my life, Lohengrin. In one instant I was addicted. My youthful enthusiasm for the Bayreuth Master knew no bounds.

Adolph Hitler
Mein Kampf


Given the rabid nationalism and anti-Semitism Wagner displayed, it is only natural that he was Hitler’s favorite composer.  During his ‘washed-up artist’ days in Vienna, Adolph attended a performance of Parsifal with a friend, who reported that the opera had a profound impact on the future demagogue dictator, who apparently read intense hidden symbolism in it.  This is hardly surprising: there are numerous dissertations on the ’Net that offer extensive analysis of Parsifal as revelation of various occult secrets, as well as delving heavily into the mysteries of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism.

Intrigued readers are referred here for a random sampling of such occult exegesis.  I honestly don’t know how true all that is, because quite frankly I would rather crawl naked through five miles of broken glass than sit through the damned thing to find out.  


“One cannot judge Wagner’s opera Lohengrin after a first hearing and I have no intention of sitting through it a second time.”

Gioacchino Rossini



Ask Evil Matt

 The Evil One fields your queries, as channeled by Sister Ob’dewlla ‘X’.


Reader Feedback


  Oh. My. God.

Just listened to your Manson clips. Did you ever hear the similarity between his speech patterns and Dubya's? If that's not a terrifying juxtaposition, I don't know what is!


Evil Matt’s Peshar


Interesting call.  Not only is the speech similar, but some other obvious (or not) similarities: both are phuqing nuts, con artists, and have others do their killing for them.  But back to the speech thing, both also have tendencies to spew babble.  Dubya’s is well-documented; click here for some of Charlie’s delving into glossalalia.


Anyway, on with the questions...


Q:  Dear Evil,

Are you absolutely sure about that nail/hair growing thing being an illusion? If true, I find this very disturbing. It would mean the reconfiguration of all of my suicidal ideation’s that include my rotting body in a casket...

A:  You dare question the Evil One?!?  Bad Djinn!  (spank spank)  

Anyway, I double-checked with Sisbooomba, who teaches life science.  She confirmed my answer: the appearance that your hair and nails continue to grow post-mortem is an illusion caused by surrounding tissue (ie: the rest of your body) dessicating and shrinking.

By the way, never pegged you for a casket type; figured you’d donate your body to a voodoo ritual or something.

Q:  What countries have "The Bomb"?

A:  Eight countries are known to have nuclear weapons: The United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan.  North Korea has claimed several times that they have just entered the club—as late as last year but reiterated only a few weeks ago.  They may very well have a couple, too.  Numerous other nations are also angling to either pick one up on the black market or make their own, but as of now, the above eight (not counting North Korea) are the only ones known to have an atomic arsenal. 

Q:  Where does Sandalwood come from?

A:  There are variants of Sandalwood trees all over the world, but traditionally the one used for incense and perfume (Santalum Album) comes from India.  In the past hundred years or so, logging on the subcontinent to make way for population growth has caused a shortage of authentic sandalwood, and a shift has been made to use an Australian variant (Santalum Spicatum).   They do have slightly different scents, though in my opinion only an expert aromatherapist or fragrenceophile can tell the difference. 

Q:  What is the difference between a hotel and a motel?

A:  To an extent the amenities, but largely the architecture.  A hotel usually has more built-in frills,” such as a restaurant, lounge, gift shop, etc. on site.  However, the defining characteristic is the design: at a hotel you have to go in the building to get to your room, where-as with a motel rooms are accessible from the outside.  Think of it this way: if your suites door opens into a hallway, its a hotel; if it opens out to a parking lot, its a motel

Q:  You once told me there was a specific tip to leave at a restaurant if you receive bad service, one that lets them know they pissed you off.  I can't remember what it was, though.  Please advise.

A:   A penny.  This is better than leaving no tip, as ensures there is no confusion that you didn’t forget (or someone swiped it) yet are upset with how they treated you. 




Got a question?  .


    And finally,,,

The Hedgehog Corner

By Harriet the Hedgehog



Military Hedgehogs
(part 3)


Continuing our exploration of Military Hedgehogs, we turn to (gasp!) an actual document unearthed via an FOIA request by the good people at

The Sunshine Project was a DoD experiment to release pheromone variants over an enemy position, with the intention of riling up and enraging the wildlife into attacking the enemy.

This is actually nothing new; the Romans used to keep bee hives on their boats, and catapult them at enemy fleets; enemy sailors would be swarmed and quite likely jump in the water, where they’d either drown due to their armor, or end up dinner for the sharks that habitually trailed the boats for the scraps thrown overboard.

However, the Sunshine Project attempts to up the ante and use newer scientific methodology in this age-old tactic.  The proposal called for “Chemicals that attract annoying creatures to the enemy position and make the creatures aggressive and annoying.  Stinging and biting bugs, rodents, and larger animals would be candidates to be drawn to the enemy positions.”

I am presuming they mean rats, plus maybe skunks and such... but we all know the real intention was to get hedgehogs involved.

After all, there is nothing more ferocious than a marauding ’hog!



    That’s it for now, folks; and y’all know the drill:


      Trust no one
      and always keep your lighter handy!


© 2005 (IX, i)



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