Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nothing To Read Here Folks...

The below is taken from the above: Gods and Goals, written by Kenneth L. Patton from the "Meeting House Series, Religion For our Time" written ca. 1952.

This publication was taken from the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood NJ, where it was safely kept in a cardboard box in the unfinished attic, covered in a thick protective coating of dust.

When I inquired of the current minister if any of Ken Patton's books were lying around, I sensed an admixture of glee that someone was coming to get rid of that clutter and concern that I might take Kenneth Patton's writings as representative of Unitarian Universalism, or the Ridgewood Unitarian Universalist Society in particular.

"God forbid" as it were; in the paraphrased words of the current minister "Um, well, uh, Ken didn't really have an editor...and, well, sometimes he needed one..."

For some reason, I don't think the current minister's Humanist knickers were in a twist over Minister Patton's spelling. Indeed, when Kenneth Patton passed away, it took every bit of sadness possible (contrived or otherwise) to hide the long nascent glee that finally, maybe, a new, fun minister with an easier, less threatening message might take the podium--someone who might make the wait for "coffee hour" that much easier.

Because the parent society in Ridgewood New Jersey gets what that parent society in Ridgewood New Jersey wants, Kenneth Patton and his pointed questions were replaced by an increase in May pole wrappings, clog dances and significant capital improvements to the infrastructure--things that more closely speak to the consciousness of the congregation, their prevailing concerns and surrounding, nay, suffocating "culture."

Real estate maneuvers are in, meditations Nietzsche's ideas regarding the death of God and the poetry of Huang Po is out.

One of my last memories of Kenneth Patton was seeing him in the frozen isle at the supermarket. He had neither the focus nor the sartorial splendor of the other shoppers (a crime in Ridgewood New Jersey for which no punishment is too severe.) This I imagine is another reason why neither he nor his significant body of written work were given much celebration in the years that followed--he didn't have the right clothes.

But this is neither about the rampant consumerism nor the capitalist pride felt by so many in that charming and oh so desirable hamlet, what with its "excellent schools" and proximity to "the city". No, this is about corporate boppers and performance art poseurs.

That such an entirely applicable treatment of "clinamen" should come in the form of a tirade against God from as huge an intellect as Kenneth Patton is just a little nostalgic icing on a cake no one really gives (or gave) a fuck about in the first place.

Help your self to seconds.

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What is here written is the declaration of a personal faith. that it should be framed in terms of a denial of what would be the groundwork of faith for many persons, namely belief in God, is unavoidable. The purpose of so framing this statement is not mere idol smashing or a desire to give offense. Rather a universe without God is a positive necessity for the type of human salvation herein conceived. I believe that only when men are free of God are they ready to accomplish their own maturity as men.

It would indeed be ironical if the source of human salvation should lie in the discarding what men have for millenia considered to be the source of salvation, a God or divine Saviour. The reason I believe this to be the case can be announced in a simple statement: Men are saved only when they save themselves, for it is in the activity and growth of saving themselves that their salvation is accomplished. No man can be saved by the intervention of a power from without. It is the creation and development of powers within man himself that accomplish that fullness of life and maturity of abilities and personality which we would call the conservation and realization, or the salvation of human life...

But when all this is said and done, the start fact remains that if this growing human being is ever to be "saved," he must save himself. If he does not grasp life in his own hands, become himself identified with and involved in the adventure of living, and take the major responsibility of his own self-realization upon himself, he will never make the grade. And this latter factor in his conservation as a human being is much more important in the long run than any other factor. Without this latter urge to live and grow within the individual, all the other advantages will be wasted.

We have often seen the child born into a privileged home, who received every ministration that money can buy, somehow miss out. There did not seem to be the will or conviction necessary for him to take these opportunities and build upon them. Whereas other children born into poor and even delinquent homes, have had the drive to wrest from a reluctant society the education and the opportunities for the making of their lives. Ultimately every person saves himself, creates himself, by taking the life available to him, even as a plant extends its roots into the soil and builds the moisture and food into the fibers of its own stem foliage and fruit. The salvation is finally within the seed, within the self, and every man must be his own savior.

This is so much the case, that when a person allows himself to become a parasite, to merely absorb the teachings and services of his environment, instead of being his opportunities, these gifts become the virus of a disease of personality. Instead of himself living a life, he becomes a receptacle for the overflow of other peoples' lives. The unused materials of life become a corruption within him, just as undigested food decays in the stomach and intestines and poisons the body. A life that is not being lived quickly begins to rot, even as a corpse quit of life...

Let us project the foregoing evidence of the nature of man and the means of his becoming a creative personality into the framework and language of religion. I sincerely believe that the idea of God is a symbol of the parent who would dominate the life of the child. Instead of, "Mother knows best," it is "God knows all." Instead of, "I am your father and you must obey me until you are 21," it is, "I am your Creator and you must obey my laws forever." Instead of, "If you are a good little boy I will give you some candy and read you a story before you go to bed," it is, "If you obey my commandments I will reward you with eternal life." and most important of all, instead of, "Honor thy father and mother," and "You would never treat me that way if you loved your mother as a good child should," it is, "The chief duty of man is to glorify God."

My advice to any young person, caught in the toils of dominating and suffocating parents would be for them to free themselves. And just as children cannot become mature until they become their own authority and guide, so men will never be mature until they rid themselves of their authoritarian and dominating idea of God. God continues to exist only because mankind continues in its way of childish insecurity and dependence. Man's belief in God is not the mark of his salvation, but the mark of his inability to assume his full stature and responsibility as a man. When men have rid themselves of God it will not mean that they are then saved. Their state of development will then be similar to that of the youth who has just determined to quit his parents' overlordship and be his own master. When men make their declaration of independence from God, they will then be ready to enter seriously the task of saving themselves and their society by their own abilities and efforts...

Man's salvation will depend upon his own recognition of his own nature, and the use of his powers to further his grown and accomplishments. Just as many children can never manage this until they escape from the parents that have overshadowed them, so man will not be able to accomplish this until he escapes from the over-shadowing and belittling presence of God...

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I bet you didn't know the drummer from one of my favorite Cecil Taylor records (occasionally) attends the Ridgewood Unitarian Universalist society.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sniff 'n' the Tears

From Plato Jesus:

"If you're going to be an Aussie perv, don't cry about it. Show some pride, man!"

(click to watch video)

copyright, © 2008 Plato Jesus

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Josh Alan Friedman Talks Dirty.

It's quite a thing when a cable television program called Sex: The Revolution can't use the word "come" without getting bleeped. But any program hip enough to get the great Josh Alan Friedman as a talking head gets a lot of leeway with me.

There's so much to say about Josh Alan Friedman's books and music but too little room to say it here. Besides, nothing speaks more eloquently about the man's work than the work itself. So watch these videos, then go buy one of his books or CDs.

Better yet, go buy all of them.





Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New photos by Wyatt Doyle

A new series, "Mister Iceberg," now on New Texture.

Click here to view, or on Mister Iceberg himself, below.

copyright © 2008 Wyatt Doyle

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tosh Plays Tosh


Legalize It

Rastafari Is

Pick Myself Up

Coming In Hot

Johnny B. Goode

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"I am going to kill the fuckery out there, and people are going to be in demand for the truth. People are sick and tired of hearing bumboclaat get down shake your fucking booty, seen? People are sick and tired of hearing "Darling I Bloodclaat love you." You turn on the fucking radio 24 bumboclaat hours a day you hear "Darling I love you..."


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sad news.

Rest in Peace, John Phillip Law.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Devil Made Her Do It

The legendary Georgina Spelvin is a true friend of New Texture.

I met her while she was completing her autobiography, The Devil Made Me Do It, and along with a few other folks from NT, lent a hand in her efforts to get it out to the people. But make no mistake: The Devil Made Me Do It is 100% her book, from the first page to the last. Fiercely independent, she wouldn't have it any other way.

That she's not only a gifted actress but also a talented writer who is publishing her book herself makes her a kindred spirit, and the fact that her book is so frank, entertaining and moving makes her part of the family.

Visit the BOOKS section of her site to order your copy now.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

Who's Feeling Newstastic?

Mr. That's Newstastic! himself, the great Plato Jesus, can rest easily this weekend, secure in the knowledge that thanks to his hard work and diligent research, none of us will be able to.

Here are a lucky 7 new installments, so fresh off the Newstastic Desk they're still steaming:

A Surge in Iraq Gasbags

Chasing Jose

Formula One's 'Nazi' Sex Scandal

Gone Kurtz, on the Burma Border

An Empirical Analysis of Street-Level Prostitution

Illinois Man Designs Beer Can Coffin

Father Kills Son During Turkey Hunt

Click the headlines to read on...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

No Doofus Mutha

When Melvin Van Peebles is talking, I'm listening. And you should, too.

Click the link below to view a new video interview with the man himself:


Monday, May 5, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Skrowaczewski / Zappa on Live Constructions


This Sunday

May 4th

9pm (Eastern Standard Time)

"Live Constructions"

With your host Ben Young

Listen over the internet (or radio if you're near.)

Nick Skrowaczewski / Stanley Jason Zappa

Drums / Tenor Saxophone

Recorded July 2007

Friday, May 2, 2008

A lovely read

It may seem strange to call an event where the stage lights blew out mid-performance an unqualified success, but the fact is, the theater went black not once but twice during Wednesday's reading of Moby Pomerance's new play, The Good Book, and an unqualified success is exactly what the reading was.

If you missed it, you missed something very special. Sandee Curry thinks so, too.

Congratulations, Moby! And congratulations to the gifted people of the Circle X Theatre Company. Outstanding work.