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"The Religion of Democracy: Seven Liberals and the American Moral Tradition"
Historian Amy Kittelstrom shows how religion and democracy have worked together as universal ideals in American culture.
Simultaneously operating as a religion and a parody of religion, the Principia Discordia has acquired a cult following which I was surprised to discover is well-deserved.
The Principia's juxtaposition of seemingly incompatible elements encourages confusion on the part of the reader. For instance, religious anecdotes and revelations are absurd to the point of idiocy; the constant didacticism intentionally contradicts itself; serious concepts are riddled with toilet humor. As a whole, the text seems like a cleverly constructed joke, yet it does contain moments of compelling insight.
In short, I'm still not sure whether to take any of the Principia seriously. Even if it is possible to take seriously, it is impossible to decode.
Regardless of its intentions, the Principia comes across as an ingenious text without so much as a hint of pretentiousness. The text meaningfully addresses complicated ideas while undercutting them with humor and paradox - it's all painfully clever AND a fun read. In this age of shallow post-modern tricks, that alone is a noteworthy achievement.
NOTE: The entire text is available online. If, however, you intend to purchase a copy, buy the black-cover edition published by Steve Jackson Games - it is the most recent and contains additional content not found in the yellow-cover or purple-cover editions.
I was sent a copy of this twisted beauty by a penpal, who accompanied it with the note 'I think you'll like this'. It has gone on to become the most borrowed book (and thusly the most creased) in my sizable collection and various phrases from within have crept into daily usage. Very funny, very clever, very Robert Anton Wilson and only-just-less-than very hallucinogenic, I love this book. A quick qualifier - I have a strong degree of revulsion towards the most organised of the religions, and this takes the (...) most admirably. The conversion 'what to say to convert a passer-by to Discordianism' is beautifully observed. There is a lot of insight behind the overt silliness, but you needn't bother with looking for insight if you're not inclined. That's kind of the point, anyway...and it isn't. The lighter side of Chaos magick, for those familiar. As I said earlier, I've lent this book to many people (around 40, I think...gods), only one of whom didn't enjoy it. Hail Eris! Consult your pineal. Fnord.
It's a holy book. Therefore, holy folk of the appropriate persuasion are going to give it the full five stars or none at all, just to be contrary and suchlike. They are more enlightened than I am. As many of my fellow Gracious And Fancy Popes of the Word were prior to encountering Eris, I thought I was simply posessed of a sense of humor about the cosmic absurdity of It All. It is not so: I was a Discordian, and a Pope to boot. It's like getting a can of green beans for free when you buy one at the store. As fiction, the Word is tripe. Hideous, slovenly stuff, written without care for typography or the quality of reasoning or illustrations. Bad bad bad. Naughty. This is a good thing. If it made *sense*, it wouldn't be Erisian, would it? No. This is a Zen Surrealism haphazard cut-n-paste history and chronicle of the early days and times of our forefingers Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Khayyam-Ravenhurst, and how they met the Monkey who had Met the Goddess in a bowling alley, and how things happened beforehand and afterwards. The character of Eris Herself is intimately probed with loving gentleness for the first time, and the various signs and sigils related herunto explained in more or less detail. The Thing About Hot Dog Buns comes to light: a Discordian shall consume no hot dog buns for it was with a hot dog that Eris consoled herself after the Great Snub during the banquet of the gods at which the seeds of the Trojan War were planted. Therefore, on Fridays, a Discordian shall Go and Joyously Partake of a Hot Dog to thumb the nose at five of the world's major religions, thusly: 1. Catholicism: No meat on Fridays. 2. Hinduism: No meat of beef. 3. Judaism: No meat of pork. 4. Islam: No meat of pork. 5. Discordianism: No hot dog buns.Read more ›
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Before I read this book I thought I was simply an agnostic with a strange sense of humor. Now I see the Truth, that all along when I saw all that was wrong with organized religion, and that any god of this universe must be a superb joker- it was Our Lady of Holy Discord speaking to me through my pineal gland! I just didn't know how to listen. Fortunately, a (now ex-) roommate introduced me to this wonderful tome of clear thought, and I saw the muddy existence we live through with new eyes. Buy this book. Read this book. Open your eyes to the Truth. then open them to the other Truth. Then, try the one after that, and after that one, try the one over there- and while you're at it, look over in the corner underneath it- hey, there's another! Plus, it was simply heinous that the number of reviews stopped at 22. There simply HAD to be a 23rd- so I wrote this! I always was Discordian, and simply didn't know what to call myself. Suffice to say, I now do. Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia! fnord.
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