Friday, October 21, 2005

When Dada Blood Flows Through Your Veins

I don't know how much it shows, but Dada blood flows through the Jingo veins. Seriously -- I was in a terrible car accident, arm ripped off (it's OK, it grew back), they checked my blood type in the ER. I'd scratched out "A Positive" on my driver's license and written in "Dada." Luckily they had several quarts of Hans Arp on hand -- burnt umber, my favorite flavor -- and my worthless life was saved.

When Dada blood flows through your veins, oh, what a wacky life you lead! You want to ├ępater les bourgeoises like it's going outta style -- which it is, of course, but never mind.

When Dada blood flows through your veins, you can't help noticing how churches have those minister-configurable signs with the chirpy mots on 'em: "Come on over to my house before the game! -- God" or "Satan subtracts and divides, God adds and multiplies." I'm as surprised as the next Art-Nihilist to find that there's a whole cottage industry dedicated to churning out these little slogans, an occupation that must be akin to working in a fortune-cookie sweatshop but without the free duck sauce.

When Dada blood flows through your veins, it takes the self-denial of Alfred Jarry not to undertake a late-night guerrilla campaign to sneak into the churchyard and rearrange the letters on the signs into something a bit more, shall we say, challenging. In these days of the Anagram Server it's child's play to do; that "Come on over to my house" thigh-slapper quoted above -- taken verbatim from the Hillsboro United Methodist on Charles Town Pike -- might more profitably be rendered:


or perhaps


or, keeping with the Sunday football theme:


When Dada blood flows in your veins, these are the things that tempt you.

But: I am large! I contain multitudes! (Although the Thorazine helps keep the number down.) Another belief I profess, besides the Dada principles of deliberate irrationality, anarchy, cynicism and the rejection of laws of beauty and social organization, is an abiding belief in Karma. This is why I haven't as yet actually blacked up my face, donned the turtleneck sweater and longshoreman's cap of the traditionally garbed cat burglar, and skulked off into the night my mischief to perform.

Which is why I was so overjoyed to find the Church Sign Generator, obliquely referred to by Bobby Lightfoot in this hellfire-guaranteeing post. I immediately sent the link to a friend at work, but she ho-hummed and said she'd seen it eons ago, really (her favorite sign was "God Wants Pie," in case you're curious), so maybe it's not all that fresh, but it's fresh to me, and frankly, chez Jingo, that's what counts.

Here's the before-and-after on our little anagram-prank:

Not long ago I was appalled to see a family walking to St. John Newman in flip-flops and belly shirts. I really don't think a dress code is too much to ask, in these degraded times:

Advice that's good in both the secular and sacred walks of life:

Ah! I like a minister who's hip to what the Sartrean Existentialists are layin' down. This shows some moxie!

Years ago, back when I still wrote checks for stuff (I'm now on the No-Pay Plan), I remember seeing "A canceled check is your receipt" stamped on a check that came back from the bank. The construction suggested the first phrase so strongly that the two have become inextricably entwined:

Officially running out of gas, now:

When Dada blood flows through your veins
You govern your own airspace, man
Yellow ochre on an IV Drip:
A drunk descends a staircase, man!


XTCfan said...

Help clarify this for me, Ned ... given what the sign-lovin' Christians have been doing lately to us and those around us, exactly how is a belief in Karma keeping you from donning the traditional garb of a cat burgler? Don't you think you will be rewarded many times over in the next life (and the next, and the next...) for taking up the battle against the Religious Wrong?

gmdlhb (excuse me)

Neddie said...

You have much to learn, Gracehoper:

"In Buddhist teaching, the law of karma, says only this: `for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.' A skillful event is one that is not accompanied by craving, resistance or delusions; an unskillful event is one that is accompanied by any one of those things."

Or, in crass western-speak, Two wrongs don't make a right, Chester, so kick back an' pass the ketchup.

Or, in even more crass western-speak:


PS: The five paragraphs behind that hyperlink up there are all you know, and all you need to know, about How to Act in the World. No God. No angry man in the clouds hating on your choice of sex partners or obessing on your choice of seafood. Just the way the world behaves, discovered by a person, and told to other people. Why aren't we all Buddhists?

fgfdsg said...

I saw a Dada exhibition when I was 15 years old at the national gallery. When you see a pair of combat boots filled with banana custard called 'Pus In Boots', or a Landscape made completely out of slices of jam rolls at that age, it instantly appeals to you.

I remember studying the 'Jamscape' signage and seeing that it was a recreation of an earlier installation - the national gallery had paid to have it recreated.

Funnily enough, the artist was Sir Barry Humphries, (better known on your shores as Dame Edna Everage - the characger was originally created as a well-observed satire of Suburban Melbourne Housewife Values).

Man, that sounds like a band name.


Employee of the Month said...

My senior independent study paper was on Marcel Duchamp's "The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even"

Genius, shot through.

kterqzd (Kurt Scwitter's security measure, O Urizal!)

Neil Shakespeare said...

Funny stuff, dada dude!

WHAK'D OUT said... is another group of great sign makers too.

XTCfan said...

"A skillful event is one that is not accompanied by craving, resistance or delusions; an unskillful event is one that is accompanied by any one of those things."

But Master, is it not necessary sometimes to resist those who cause and perpetuate acts of hostility against others? That is, to use bad Karma as a force of good against a more-evil or far-reaching bad Karma?