Category Archives: fez stuff

shriners

so, we went to wilsonville, yesterday, to play for a bunch of shriners. rather predictably, we ROCKED THE HOUSE, which, also rather predictably, resulted in the entire band being, essentially, offered membership in the shriners club.

from what i’ve been able to ascertain from external sources (google), it normally takes an "average" male person about four to eight months to achieve the status of "master mason", which is the requirement for joining the shriners. this is, of course, lacking the essential "recommendation" without which none of this is possible anyway, and it’s definitely a “men only” club, as, as far as i have been able to tell, there aren’t any female masons of any variety – females are not "allowed" to become masons, and have to make due with "The Order of The Eastern Star" or some such other nonsense.

among the "requirements" for becoming a mason of any variety, once we’ve done away with the gender and recommendation requirements, is that one has to believe in a "Supreme Being"…

that’s not a problem for me, but i suspect that it’s a matter which the masons might take exception, given the opportunity… or, at least, the masons with whom i am most immediately familiar, i.e. the "master masons" of the Al Kader shrine center — as an aside, i must notice the distinct similarities between "Al Kader" and "al-Qa’eda"… while they probably think that they are about as far away from the term "terrorism" as one group of people could get, my impression is, whether right or left, an extreme is still an extreme… and, in my opinion, they are, most definitely, extreme, in more than one way.

but, back to the issue at hand…

the requirement that one "believes in a "Supreme Being"" will, i’m fairly certain, begin to rub people the wrong way. i “believe” (have absolute knowlege, which i can’t “share” with anyone, even if i wanted to) in a “Supreme Being” who both exists, and doesn’t exist, at the same time; who is both personally, intimately involved in the minutest details of everyday life, and doesn’t care about you, or me, or the evil that is being done in the world, or anything else… when it can be said to exist at all.

requiring this kind of God to be capable of being labeled “male” or “female” is pointless, meaningless and a waste of time. this kind of God, can (if it can be said to exist at all) be male, female, all-sex and no-sex, all at the same time…

which raises a distinct question when the "Illustrious Chaplain" commenced yesterday evening’s celebration with a prayer to “father god”, which was echoed with vehement reverance by a lady who was standing next to me, who kept saying “praise jeezis” over and over during the prayer…

it is this kind of behaviour which makes me suspicious of the shriners, especially when they make a point of saying things like “While our backgrounds and interests may be diverse, what binds us together are shared values…” there have been too many times in my past where that kind of language meant “what binds us together are shared values, which if you don’t happen to share, in whatever detail, we are bound to make your life more miserable than it already is”…

this was driven home to me when i was thinking about postulating to the clampers, a few years ago, and discovered that, among other things, the people that i would have been forced to hang out with were the most foul-mouthed, disrespectful, low-life, ignorant rednecks i have ever had the pleasure of meeting. while the al kader shriners are definitely not the clampers, or the eagles, it appears to me as though the only significant difference is the amount of money in their checking accounts, and the fact that there are more elected civic officials in the shrine temple than there are in the clamper hall.

okay, so, ASSUMING that we can overcome that hurdle, the first degree is apprentice, which is all about moral character… and if i don’t “believe” in the same kind of “supreme being” that they do, it comes as no surprise that i don’t have the same morals they do… except that i do, for different reasons, which are going to be another big hurdle to overcome. to top it all off, there is a catechism that i am already, really NOT interested in memorising, because, if nothing else, i have limited enough brain-cells as it is, and i’m very likely going to be A LOT more interested in using them for memorising other bits of useless trivia which i’m not going to be able to use in six months. if joining their club with the cool hats means memorising anything i don’t already know, then i’m probably going to give their club with the cool hats a miss. sorry.

so, once again, ASSUMING that we can overcome those hurdles as well (the word that i was given last night is that we could “very easily become shriners”), one of the aims of the organisation is to have a group of people with whom you feel comfortable hanging out. i have that! i don’t need an artificial organisation that claims to be oriented towards the arts and sciences when i am part of an extremely natural, non-organised group of people whose entire lives are a part of the arts and sciences… and i feel comfortable hanging around with them, whereas i’m very definitely NOT comfortable hanging around with a bunch of fat, filthy rich old men, horny, sleazy young men who want to be fat, filthy rich old men when they grow up, and their “ladies”… the reason we ROCKED THE HOUSE last night was because there wasn’t another musician in the house. sure, there were people who had played musical instruments when they were in school, 40 years ago, and people who play musical instruments as a hobby, but there wasn’t a single current member of a band or soloist in the entire house, with the exception of Accidental Rhino. i really don’t want to join a club just so that i can play for their events… my impression is that i wouldn’t get paid as much or as frequently…

honestly, this club with the cool hats doesn’t really have much that attracts me — cool hats and cool jewelry are about it — so why… fucking why am i so drawn to them? 😐

it hasn’t been all bad, though…

111021 fez-up seattleyesterday we had a fez-up (left to right: Fez-Monger, Howlin’ Hobbit, yours truly, and Henrik Van Tiki who was visiting from hawaii) and the few days of not having anything specific to do gave me the time to do some research on where to get the next step of turning ganesha the vehicle into an actual vahana for ganesha, which resulted in my getting the stereo installed today… seriously, the people at car toys wanted $400 to install it, and the people at Foss Car Audio did it for $250, but it took me three days of calling people, driving around and getting estimates… anyway, the next step is getting it ready to paint, and getting the windows ready to tint.

also, there are some photos of my wanderings in tacoma, while i was waiting for my car to be done. the photos are from my telephone, so they’re not as good quality as i’d like, but… 8)

social notworking

listen to this while reading the following post: Have Sex and Die! from Mothra! an opera about insects by Pliny Keep

i got a “connect” message from LinkedIn today, for someone i know only vaguely. i thought about it for a long time before i acceded to their request, and almost immediately i discovered that one of my customers, a guy who, previously, i had only known because he was a repeat customer of my business, was now a “2nd degree” connection. it’s this kind of connection that makes me really wonder about the whole concept of “social networking” and whether, ultimately, it will be good for us, both as individuals and as a society…

not that i can do anything about it, of course… 😐

but i still dislike the idea of facebook, principally because most of the users are unaware of how they are being blatantly, obviously, manipulated, mislead and spied on at the same time. i was talking to a stranger this afternoon, and the subject strayed to the ubiquity of smart-phones. she commented that she doesn’t know most of what the smart-phone can do, and, although she has a facebook account and a twitter account, she doesn’t know “how they work”… and yet she has a smart-phone, and isn’t worried about how much information is out there about her, specifically, because she “has a boring life: nobody would want to know about it”.

if that were only the case, these days… 😐

and yet i can’t help imagining that i’ll eventually sign up for a facebook account, or something like that. so far, i haven’t drunk any of the new water, and i still have a plentiful supply of untainted water, but the desire to connect with other humans tempts me at times. one of those times was last night, when i went to a fez-up with hobbit and fezmonger and his wife, and i was left out of the conversation when i was the only person without a facebook account.

tempted, but, as i said, i still have a plentiful supply of untainted water…

hats and pictures, in no particular order

101103 dark seattle
this was taken at approximately 6:30 in the afternoon, on state highway 99, south of the duwamish river, looking north.

here is a krampus fez if any of you out there are interested in getting me a xmas present. also i still haven’t gotten the abraham lincoln top hat that i was lusting after in may. either one (or both) of these would earn my eternal gratitude, and whatever i make or sell of equal value in return… just mentioning it… πŸ™‚

speaking of fezzes, this is #FezFriday for @fezmonger who, of course, won’t be able to find the hashtag, because it’s not on twitter, or whatever infernal machination is in charge of that sort of thing. nevertheless, Fez Friday this week is augmented by Zora, the Queen of Cute, and the Fourth Fastest Dog IN THE UNIVERSE, which will, hopefully, further influence the arbiter of such things to decide in my favour when awarding a 50% off coupon for a fez order, later in the month.fez friday with the queen of cute