"Discordians Must Stick Apart!"
That's what the scripture tells us. It suggests a few things:
- Discordians are generally disagreeable and have trouble cooperating
- When human beings gather up, they're unable to get anything done without a leader, and all leaders are tyrants
- Why split up? To quote the great sage Peter Venkman, "We can do more damage that way."
I propose that all three of these assumptions are false (in some sense). When we do manage to coordinate our efforts, we are capable of giant hilarious things. And to quote St. Mae, "Sticking apart is more fun when we do it together!" In my experience, this is the correct motorcycle.
It's not like we have a census or anything, so it's hard to tell how many Discordians there are. Most of us are isolated, disconnected from the greater imaginary society. But the society is there (in some sense)-- Boston and Providence both have growing Discordian communities which regularly prank and jake and shake it up. San Fransisco and Portland, Oregon also have surprisingly large collectives of irreligious nutjobs. (Portland even has two Discordian operated coffee shops) Tuscon now has a Discordian cabal which reports over 60 members, and there's at least fifteen of us here in Connecticut.
I was at EsoZone in 2008, in which 20+ Discordians actually managed to have a caucus and not strangle each other. I gave everybody print outs from PosterGASM, but there was too much noise to try and coordinate anything. Johnny Brainwash suggested that when planning gatherings, we should look at how college clubs organize themselves. After all, clubs at a university tend to have many people with many different motivations, and often adopt a democratic process for deciding what project to tackle next.
I've never made it to Kallisticon, St. Mae's Discordian convention, but I did participate in some cross-continental ceremony she planned in which we buried Eris's corpse in the earth. Take that, you confusing bitch!
The Day of Discord never fails to disappoint. Our new Discordian tradition, initiated by Rev. St. Synaptaclypse Generator of poee.co.uk (the guy who publishes those awesome hardcover copies of the Principia), involves seeking out other Discordians in your area and doing something cool. Two years ago I went a'postering in White Plains NY, and when I got back to my car, I found that I had been counter-postered by other friendly pranksters. Last year I met another awesome spag from Australia. This year, I'm going up to Providence to meet a whole bunch of hilarious malcontents. Hail Eris and Hail Yes!
I've run with a number of meatspace 3D cabals over the years. I started off with the Fairfield Cabal of the Headless Chicken, which consisted of about five jerks who spent nearly all their free time creating pranks and conspiracies at our high school. Years later, I'd form the OBNOXIOUS JERK CABAL, a sect of over-the-top ne'er-do-wells who found enlightenment through screaming at the top of their lungs all the goddamn time. Three of us lived at the OBNOXIOUS JERK CABALHOUSE in Stamford, CT, and two others regularly visited for costumed mayhem. We spent many a Saturday jousting on bikes in front of the mall, or handing out dada sheets and pope cards to innocent bystanders.
I'm also a member of the FOOP cabal, a three person group which is cloaked in mystery and silly hats and watching the movie Labyrinth over and over again until we bleed from the eyes.
You never expect to meet other people who identify with this crazy Discordian thing, but sometimes you find yourself sitting next to one at a wedding, giggling behind your hand. I guess in-jokes are our equivalent of churches. Whenever you are snickering inappropriately, you are in Eris's house.
There's a bit of a paradox in coordinating Discordian meet ups. On one hand, you want to let the fun emerge from the mix on its own. On the other hand, you want to channel that collective energy into something kick ass. I was at a Discordian party last year (in Middletown CT) in which we filled out hundreds of those "business reply mail" cards with absurd answers and mailed them in. It was a good activity because you could do it mindlessly while drinking and it didn't turn the party into a forced absurdity sweatshop. I think there's some wisdom there.
We're out there. Way out there. You should come out and join us at the greatest ongoing party of the decade. Speaking for myself, it's really been a nonstop adventure. If you seek out other people who are into Eris, Eris will take you on some really absurd journeys. You can be a spectator, or you can be a participant, the game's already started and we're all taking home the trophy. Hands up if you bought the t-shirt, you know the one with the smiley face? Stand up if you're going the distance, the finish line of the human race.