Sunday, March 23, 2008

Toppling Theocracy:

Ever since I first saw the image of The Statue of Liberation Through Christ, it has stood out to me as an almost impossibly 'on-the-nose' symbol of the Religious Right in this country.

It captures both the galling inappropriateness and the blatant arrogance of trying to impose a Christian spin on all aspects of American life. It is a direct analogy of the cognitive dissonance that leads to theories like Intelligent Design and causes millions of Americans to vote against their own best interests time and again.

And the worst part is, the palpable irony is completely lost on these Evangelical Conservatives. I mean, the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World in NY is the Most Liberal Icon of Americana Ever:
She's French. She's a chick. She's a New Yorker. She welcomes immigrants. She is NeoClassical Goddess image, a homage to the pagans of antiquity. She has nothing to do with Christianity...

There is no appropriate reason that this image should be remade as a Christian icon. I mean, where in the Bible does it mention anything about a female spirit of liberty, or about America for that matter? This image has nothing to do with anything described in either Testament, yet that doesn't stop today's breed of Born Again NeoCons from committing the sin of Idolatry in it's presence.

These people don't even understand their own theology, so they can't be trusted to control any aspects of Public life.

Image created with Adobe PhotoShop.

[This post was included in the
Blog Against Theocracy Easter Weekend Blogswarm]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pan-ifesto: Jesus for sale!

Even before I started creating logo parodies as Pan Demonium, I noticed that they were becoming increasingly popular as t-shirt designs. And I also noticed that they were particularly popular as Christian t-shirts! This trend has continued, and there are scores of different designs available. Here are samples of some of the best ones I found online:
Now, I didn't read much into this phenomenon until recently. I tend to see these designs as slightly humorous, and actually appreciate them on an aesthetic level, although their message is lost on me. But as I continue to see more of them, I must wonder, why?

Instead of making a simple joke or a comment on the product being parodied, this a more conscious use of the format. Here, the logo is actually being subverted, and used for a completely different purpose. The artist is, in effect, stealing the power inherent in the brand identity and repurposing it for their own ends.
This works in a couple of ways: first, it presents the message (i.e. "Jesus") in a form that has proven to be a successful visual style that is readily accepted by the general public; also it normalizes the message, conveying it in a way that is consistent with the aesthetic of the dominant consumer culture. Thus, the message becomes a product which can then compete in the 'marketplace of ideas' as well as in a real, retail sense.

This realization has been very influential on the way I approach my own work, and is a key component of my current direction.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rival Cult Watch #1: The Church of Reality

This one of the new breed of upstart religions which I have found on the Web. The Church of Reality is one such religion whose doctrine I totally support. Though I am a fully ordained SubGenius, I consider myself a de facto member of the Reality Church as well.
The tenets of this faith basically fall in line with scientific, atheist, or secular humanist philosophy, but with one important distinction: they are expressed in the form of real religious doctrine.
From the website, Church of

The Church of Reality is a religion based on the practice of Realism, which means believing in everything that is real. Our motto is, "If it's real, we believe in it." Since no one knows all of reality, the Church of Reality is a religious commitment to the pursuit of reality the way it really is.

The Church of Reality is a new breed of religion that is based on reality rather than mythology. We answer the great questions that other religions address, like what is right and wrong, how do
people live together in a community, and what are our responsibilities to ourselves and to each other. We address these concerns in the context of our evolutionary history, our present reality, and our future evolution.

We do not focus on fiction. We focus on what is real. We do the hard work of answering the big questions as best we can. We are a people who want to learn. We want to make life work. We want to create solutions in the real world. So I say to all Atheists reading this, why waste your life focusing on what isn't real when you can focus on what is real? Christians and Atheists are alike in that they both focus on a fictional God. One asserts that God does exist, the other asserts that God doesn't. Realists don't focus on God. God is a waste of time. God is irrelevant. Reality is relevant. That's why being a Realist is better than being an Atheist. Being a Realist is about something. Being an Atheist is about nothing. I choose to make my life about something.

The power of religious conviction, free from faith in fictions.
Amen to that.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Starfucker Connie

I've been thinking about the Starbuck's logo lately, what with all the recent news about this mega-corporation. The logo is actually derived from an old-time nautical illustration:
Over time, this image was sanitized, censored, streamlined and simplified, until it became the present-day design:
There is an interesting story about the evolution of this symbol, which is covered in greater detail here and here.
Anyway, this logo has just the right ubiquitous nature to make it ripe for my type of visual parody. In fact, I am not the first to do a humorous turn on the mermaid. I found this terrific bit of parody on the web:
And, of course the Christians have taken their own turn at interpreting this graphic:
So, I decided that I had to my own mutated version of the Starbucks logo. And here it is, Starfucker Connie:

It is, of course a tribute to Connie Dobbs, Sacred Wife,Virgin & Whore of the SubGenius religion.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

La Glorieuse Pipe Gun

The unique curiosa cartridge gun, with select briar root bowl marked:
LA Glorieuse/Patent 203/Select Briar Root.

.22 rimfire caliber, the cartridge inserted into front of stem,
then screwed onto pipe bowl.

A button on bottom of pipe acts as a trigger.

This little beauty first came to my attention on alt.slack.
I think one should be included in every Ordainment Kit.

It could be the perfect SubGenius weapon!
Actually, I envision a utility belt of sorts, containing a variety
of different pipe-shaped weapons:
A pipe-taser, a pipe-grenade, a Swiss-Army-style pipe...
The possibilities are endless!

Pan-Demonium by Rev. Scalpod

The brilliant text artist and fellow SubG, Scalpod, has added me to the roster of names for which he has created an ambigram:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Friends of Ro-Man

One of my favorite cheesy movie monsters has always been the lovably ridiculous Ro-Man from the psychotronic BadFilm classic Robot Monster.

Recently, I was doing a little research on Ro-Man for this new design:

Well, little did I suspect that Ro-Man has not one,
but three MySpace pages!!!
2.Robot Monster
3.Ro-Man the Robot Monster

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Satyr of Satire!

In this Zippy strip, that rascally pinhead has become a satyr of satire...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The first new logo for Pan's Pipe Bomb.

Here it is, my new Blog Logo (or Blogo?):

As with most of my current work, it is a parody of a well-known corporate logo: