by Scared Ignoramus Fellowship Leader Akim Reinhardt
You don’t have to fuck me. Or give me any money. You don’t have to shave your head or adopt a peculiar diet or wear an ugly smock or come live in my compound among fellow cult members. You don’t even have to believe in anything.
Actually, that last bit’s the key: don’t believe in anything.
Do you believe in anything? If so, stop.
My Church of Sacred Ignorance implores followers to embrace their dunderheadedness. You don’t know shit. Neither do I. Let’s stop pretending.
Yes, we all know some basic facts. Sun go up, sun go down. Ice is cold, fire is hot. Chocolate makes you happy (unless you’re one of those people). But the rest of it? Mostly make believe. And it’s time to face up to it. Let us come together in our dumbness and sit quietly beneath the stars, waiting for big cats to eat us. Through such acts of honesty and modesty will we find salvation . . . which doesn’t actually exist, but maybe we’ll trick ourselves.
But I don’t wanna be pushy. I understand that choosing to join a cult is a Big Decision. You probably have some questions. It’d be weird if you didn’t, even if we accept that you won’t understand the answers, and that the questions themselves are largely random, inadequate expressions of anxiety and confusion. Nonetheless, I’ve prepared the following FAQ to help ease your towards your destiny.
How much will this cost?
There are many ways to answer that question, most of them Socratic. For example, once you stop believing in money, what will you do with yours? Will you give it all away? Will you destroy it? Will you smother it in gravy and eat it? Will you hand it out to those poor schlubs who still believe in it? Will you gather it up in a big pile and stare at it, wondering why you ever cared?
Does truth have a cost?
Or I could just say $49.95 + tax if that sounds better.
Do I have to read your manifesto?
There’s no manifesto. There’s just this FAQ, and I guess you’re reading it, but you don’t have to. Indeed, you never need read anything ever again. And besides, written words have no more meaning than spoken ones or even unspoken ones. Actually, non-verbal communication, with all its fuzziness and yearning, is closer to being real than verbalized language. Although, ultimately, it still reflects nothing more than our relentless failure to suitably express nothingness.
So no, there is no homework. In fact, it’s probably best to just sit there silently and wait for the big cats. But it’s entirely understandable if you scream now and then.
Can I proselytize at airports?
You know you can’t actually fly, right? It’s the plane that flies. You just sit in it, a passive, fleshy appendage strapped to a clump of technology. Which, when you get down to it, is probably the core human experience ever since we started getting clubbed over the head with mastodon bones. You could also jump off a cliff or out of a window, other illusions of flying that encapsulate human failure as well as just about anything else.
Does that answer your question? No?
Get used to it.
Should I quit my job so I can devote more time to the cult?
That’s really two different questions. Should you quit your job? Almost certainly. Should you devote more time the cult?
The paradox of actively pursuing nothingness sounds like an insightful riddle from a real religion. But for cult members, it’s just another fork in the endless road-to-nowhere, a shrug-inducing signpost on the path to realizing there’s nothing to realize. There is no enlightenment, only the pathetic desire to attain it and the illusion that it is attainable. But be careful! Recognizing that there is no enlightenment is not itself a sign of enlightenment. It’s merely an acceptance of the endarkment that surrounds all existence.
However, if you wanna find some new recruits, knock yourself out. Maybe cruise around town on one of those electric scooters, handing out brochures, until you finally hit a pot hole and hurl headlong towards our ultimate destiny. Either way.
Also, I don’t have any brochures for you to hand out.
Will my family hate me?
I don’t know, do they already hate you? If so, this probably won’t make it better. If not? Hard to say. Are they the kind of stupid people who know they’re stupid, or who deny it? If they know they’re stupid, they might be down with you joining this cult. But if they deny they’re stupidity, they’ll probably be really angry and/or sad. And if they’re smart?
No one’s smart. Try to keep up.
Will we be breaking any laws?
Laws are make believe words and customs that most of us agree to pretend are real. You don’t have to break any of the pretend laws, you just shouldn’t pretend they’re real things like chairs or pretzels. You can sit in a chair and eat a pretzel. That’s real. But “stealing” the pretzel isn’t a real thing. You took the pretzel. You didn’t give the pretzel person any money. Now you’re a “criminal” and they’ll put you in a cage. The law’s not real and being a criminal is not real. But the pretzel is. And so is the cage, if they can catch you. Do what you’re gonna do or not do. I once walked into an Aldi, bought nothing but a plastic, blue Adirondack chair and a stale, not-so-hot pretzel, walked out the door, placed the chair on the sidewalk in front of the store window, sat down in it, and ate the pretzel on a hot summer day. You do you.
Should I keep reading 3 Quarks Daily?
Why did you ever start? Did a friend recommend the site? Did you stumble across what seemed like an interesting article, one of the countless thousands that 3QD has aggregated over the years? God help you (I know, there’s no God, but we should not fight lazy clichés) if it was one of these grasping, uppity Monday columns that got you hooked.
I’d say reread the above FAQ about the Manifesto, but then we’d really be going in circles. Yet, the fact that you’re still reading this far into it tells me you’re a bonafide tail-chaser. So here are another couple hundred words that can serve as the rear license plate you blindly chase into the road:
Words/Word + (Words x Words)2
Are you sure I don’t have to fuck you?
I don’t wanna say no one’s ever gonna have sex with anyone. Seems like lots of people like having sex. Who knows who’s gonna have sex with whom? But you definitely don’t need to have sex with me or anyone else. If you don’t wanna have sex with me, then don’t. Furthermore, I may not wanna have sex with you. And even if we do wanna have sex with each other, there’ll probably be a whole bunch of anxiety and awkwardness that keeps it from happening.
But if we do end up having sex, and you’re a fertile woman, I promise not to impregnate you with a new god. Or an old one who’s demanding to be reborn. I will never, ever plant a god in anyone’s womb. Or in anyone’s anus from whence they can sprout fully formed like a lazy, uninspiring, dung-covered Athena from Zeus’ head. I’m lazy and uninspiring, and any god I sire would probably be likewise, so I won’t sire any on you or anyone else. Promise.
Great! Where do I sign up?
Are you fuckin’ kidding me?
Akim Reinhardt is giving away some of his meaningless money to someone who will redesign his pointless website. If you want to see what it has looked like for about 14 years before it looks like something else, go to ThePublicProfessor.com and be stunned at over a million meaningless words. Well, maybe not a million, but why bother counting?