Pharyngula

Our local school boards tend to be institutions of endless tedium punctuated by madness. One bold innovator seeks to change this situation by increasing the insanity.

“Our schools are orderly, sanitary places where students dwell in blissful ignorance of the chaos that awaits,” West said. “Should our facilities be repaired? No, they must be razed to the ground and rebuilt in the image of the Cyclopean dwellings of the Elder Gods, the very geometry of which will drive them to be possessed by visions of the realms beyond.”

I like it! It definitely beats the usual creationist lunacy.

Comments

  1. #1 Angel Kaida
    March 2, 2009

    Why should creos get to have all the madness? They have appropriated our culture for long enough!

  2. #2 Parker
    March 2, 2009

    The font alone gave me a migraine head, and then the message? PZ, you are a terrorist of the worst breed.

  3. #3 c-law
    March 2, 2009

    “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

    Who wants to get eaten first?

  4. #4 Glen Davidson
    March 2, 2009

    Nobody has ever shown that rationalism is more correct than madness. Particularly not to the mad.

    Ergo, give madness a chance! It is completely unfair to ExpelTM madness, when even science suggests that it’s all going to end in cold, lonely, incomprehension.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  5. #5 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 2, 2009

    oh oh oh

    Me first!

  6. #6 PGPWNIT
    March 2, 2009

    *sings:

    All we are saying…..is give Shuggoths a chance.

  7. #7 E.V.
    March 2, 2009

    Now there’s a stimulus plan I can believe in! Surely you can find Valhalla decor accessories at Ikea.

  8. #8 Tully
    March 2, 2009

    This is why I love the Onion so much.

    Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

  9. #9 The Biologista
    March 2, 2009

    Let me just be the first to exclaim:

    “Cthulhu fhtagn! IA!”

    I shall be favoured when the Great Old Ones return. Fingers crossed.

  10. #10 Dennis
    March 2, 2009

    Hah, I knew something was up when I saw that the font wasn’t comic sans.

  11. #11 Menyambal
    March 2, 2009

    Give me that old time religion. Singing:

    “Do the rites of old CTHULHU, you and me and Mr. Sulu,
    Howling like a drunken Zulu, but it’s good enough for me.”

  12. #12 Ouchimoo
    March 2, 2009

    XD !!!

    The Onion does it again!

  13. #13 Sniper
    March 2, 2009

    Yeah! Teach the controversy!

  14. #14 Holbach
    March 2, 2009

    I also sensed there was something amiss when I read the town name. There is no such town in Massachusetts.! Good choice though, but perhaps better named Beeelzebub or Bedlam.

  15. #15 Tulse
    March 2, 2009

    The signs of insane design (ID) are everywhere, because as the scriptures tell us: “The Great Old Ones […] filtered down from the stars and concocted earth-life as a joke or mistake? (AMM 25).

  16. #16 Vic
    March 2, 2009

    I don’t really see a difference from Creationist proposals. They want to destroy our schools, too.

  17. #17 Bunk
    March 2, 2009

    The saddest part was the caption under the photo of Cthulhu:

    “Artist’s rendering of the Cthulhu, a hideous demon borne of pure malice that fewer than 3 percent of high school sophomores can identify.

  18. #18 Steve_C
    March 2, 2009

    I love that edwardian typeface. It just need to be 8 points bigger.

  19. #19 Randy
    March 2, 2009

    I was going to comment… but then I read #11 and couldn’t stop laughing… You guys are hard to keep up with!

  20. #20 MikeD
    March 2, 2009

    Charles West? I wonder if he is related to the famous reanimator, Herbert West.
    http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/reanimator.htm

  21. #21 Nix
    March 2, 2009

    Boyoboy is the Onion ever in trouble. Misspelling the name of Nyarlathotep? Oh dear oh dear. (Of course, with the fall of the Republican Party into disgrace, he has less power in the mortal world than in times past: but still he walks.)

  22. #22 marcus
    March 2, 2009

    @#9 Biologista
    I think that you are more likely to be “flavoured” at that time. You should be fine with a touch of curry.

  23. #23 Alex Besogonov
    March 2, 2009

    This thread needs more tentacles to be relevant!

  24. #24 Cthulhu
    March 2, 2009

    @Nix

    Boyoboy are you ever in trouble. Mispelling the name of Nyarlatothep. Oh dear oh dear.

  25. #25 Sili
    March 2, 2009

    Tentacles, you say?

    (I used to love Broomhilda when I was a kid, but I’ve been much disappointed by the product I’ve found on the web. Either I or the artists have grown old. At least Arlo and Janis is still good.)

    While I’m at it: Via Zap! (in Space)

    And this is prolly more relevant over at Plait’s place, but now you get it first.

  26. #26 phil
    March 2, 2009

    On a slightly different topic: looking back in history, I see that another wingnut’s predictions have failed. See: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/02/prophecy.php

  27. #27 sam
    March 2, 2009

    Can you use a different front for the quote? It’s almost impossible to read.

  28. #28 Stephen Wells
    March 2, 2009

    @27: that’s for your protection. Direct exposure to the frightful inscriptions of Yoggoth can be lethal.

  29. #29 rnb
    March 2, 2009

    #14

    Next you’ll be telling us there is no such place as Innsmouth.

  30. #30 Tulse
    March 2, 2009

    Boyoboy are you ever in trouble. Mispelling the name of Nyarlatothep. Oh dear oh dear.

    At least he didn’t misspell “Hastur” — as I understand it, The King in Yellow gets really angr

  31. #31 Jaycubed
    March 2, 2009

    Join Today,

    The CAMPUS CRUSADE For CTHULU

    IT FOUND ME!

  32. #32 Sarcastro
    March 2, 2009

    But #14, you were AT Cthulhucon 23 in Arkham Mass! It’s understandable that you forgot, what with the hash being so good and all.

  33. #33 Tulse
    March 2, 2009

    The CAMPUS CRUSADE For CTHULU
    IT FOUND ME!

    I have a T-shirt from college with that very slogan.

  34. #34 Mrs Tilton
    March 2, 2009

    How bizarre. I was just looking at the post on the desktop upstairs, and the school board member’s typeface was all caps and looked a bit like the typeface Led Zeppelin used to use. Then I shfted downstairs and am now using the laptop, and the typeface is totally different: no longer all caps, easier to read, broad and rounded and looking slightly “handwritten”, though not to the same extent as Comic Sans.

    Thing is, I’m looking at the page with the same browser and under the same operating system.

  35. #35 Prometheus
    March 2, 2009

    I recently read in Forbes Magazine that The Mad Arab Abdul Alharazed recanted and converted to a Jehovah?s Witness on his deathbed.

  36. #36 Rob
    March 2, 2009

    Next you’ll be telling us there is no such place as Innsmouth.

    Duh, of course there is. It’s about 50 miles from Arkham, IIRC.

  37. #37 xebecs
    March 2, 2009

    Boyoboy are you ever in trouble. Mispelling the name of Nyarlatothep. Oh dear oh dear.

    Wikipedia has it as Nyarlathotep, and that’s the spelling I remember from my misspent youth, as well as my misspent early adulthood and misspent recent years.

    So I can only conclude that you are trying to drive me crazy with this mistaken correction. Oh. You really are. Very clever.

  38. #38 Tulse
    March 2, 2009

    I’m looking at the page with the same browser and under the same operating system.

    But I bet both machines don’t have the same fonts — specifically, I bet that the second machine doesn’t have “Eccentric Std”.

    (I’d have actually preferred if PZ had specified one of the HPLHS fonts…)

  39. #39 NewEnglandBob
    March 2, 2009

    hehe:

    Arkham is a fictional city in Massachusetts, part of the Lovecraft Country setting created by H. P. Lovecraft and is featured in many of his stories, as well as those of other Cthulhu Mythos writers.

  40. #40 CyberLizard
    March 2, 2009

    Cthulu: Teacher of the Year!

  41. #41 Pete Rooke
    March 2, 2009

    The give-away is the phrase “elder Gods.” It’s not a monotheism.

  42. #42 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 2, 2009

    Monotheism is for sissies.

  43. #43 SLW13
    March 2, 2009

    “…the Cyclopean dwellings of the Elder Gods, the very geometry of which will drive them to be possessed by visions of the realms beyond.”

    It’s like they stole the decor straight from my living room. It’s done primarily in creams and blues. Very soothing.

  44. #44 Wowbagger
    March 2, 2009

    I want one of those college shirts made up with ‘Miskatonic’ on it…

    Pete Rooke wrote:

    The give-away is the phrase “elder Gods.” It’s not a monotheism.

    Hell, no it’s not. It’s far more interesting and entertaining. Put down your bible and grab yourself some HP Lovecraft to find out why.

  45. #45 Tulse
    March 2, 2009

    I want one of those college shirts made up with ‘Miskatonic’ on it…

    You mean like the various Miskatonic U. wear available here?

  46. #46 Jaycubed
    March 2, 2009

    I have the Campus Crusade bumper sticker myself, but I don’t own a car so it decorates my TV monitor.

    I do have my Miskatonic U. Parking sticker on my motorcycle.

    Go PODS Go!

  47. #47 Robster, FCD
    March 2, 2009

    This may help…

    “Our schools are orderly, sanitary places where students dwell in blissful ignorance of the chaos that awaits,” West said. “Should our facilities be repaired? No, they must be razed to the ground and rebuilt in the image of the Cyclopean dwellings of the Elder Gods, the very geometry of which will drive them to be possessed by visions of the realms beyond.”

    ——

    A friend had the shirt, Campus Crusade for Cthulhu – Our God can eat your God for breakfast.

    Someone once asked him, “What if my God doesn’t eat breakfast?”

    His response, without missing a beat, “Would you really follow a god that skips the most important meal of the day?”

  48. #48 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 2, 2009

    Edwardian typeface? I’m getting this in a Star Wars font. Where can I download the right one?

    Boyoboy are you ever in trouble. Mispelling the name of Nyarlatothep. Oh dear oh dear.

    WRONG!!!

    It is Nyarlathotep. Nyarlat-hotep, you see. Like Imhotep. Sort of like Joseph Smith’s Reformed Egyptian.

    Also, all of those who cannot spell Iä shall be eaten next-to-last.

    So I can only conclude that you are trying to drive me crazy with this mistaken correction. Oh. You really are. Very clever.

    Sounds logical. Good observation, xebecs.

    I recently read in Forbes Magazine that The Mad Arab Abdul Alharazed recanted and converted to a Jehovah?s Witness on his deathbed.

    While The Mad Monk Abdul Alhazred, on the other hand…

    Well, it’s still mad either way, because of the double article in the middle. Shame on Lovecraft.

  49. #49 Tulse
    March 2, 2009

    Well, it’s still mad either way, because of the double article in the middle. Shame on Lovecraft.

    Double article?! Why that’s…insane!!!

  50. #50 Robster, FCD
    March 2, 2009

    Is the spelling really important, when with only one mouth and one set of vocal cords, humans are unequipped to properly speak said names? Also, the pronunciations vary widely through the cultures, including Klooloo, so I would be less concerned with spelling and more with keeping an eye on the movements of Aldebaran in the sky (which oddly enough, my spellcheck had the correct spelling for).

  51. #51 Sastra
    March 2, 2009

    I read an interesting article in, I think, Skeptic Magazine, which argued that the works of H.P Lovecraft were the inspiration for Von Daniken and Sitchin’s pop pseudo-archaeology — Chariots of the Gods and The 12th Planet. They basically took their beliefs about “ancient astronauts” from Lovecraft, as evinced by some suspiciously similar quotes and timelines. If so, I find that interesting, because my dad was a serious follower of Von Daniken, and that’s what jump started my skepticism.

    Ron Hubbard deliberately created a pseudoscientific religion, and HP Lovecraft may have accidentally started up a pseudoscience.

    (In high school, I was a huge fan of HP Lovecraft’s works — and never met anyone else who had even heard of him. I thought him beyond obscure. Then I came on the internet, and he’s a familiar part of the cultural landscape. No internet back then; pity.)

  52. #52 Ted Powell
    March 2, 2009

    The style of the blockquote in the article lists these fonts: eccentric std, papyrus, fantasy. My browser (Firefox 3.0.6 on Fedora 9) recognizes one of these, and renders it nicely. But the “creationist” style used with some blockquotes only lists “Comic Sans MS” which is not recognized. As a result, those blockquotes end up simply as Times.
    Could you add one or two font alternatives to “Comic Sans MS” for the “creationist” style, for the benefit of non-MS-users?

  53. #53 llewelly
    March 2, 2009

    My browser (Firefox 3.0.6 on Fedora 9) recognizes one of these, and renders it nicely. But the “creationist” style used with some blockquotes only lists “Comic Sans MS” which is not recognized.

    You can configure X (or gnome, or KDE) to substitute the font of your choice for comic sans, or you can install the microsoft fonts.
    (I apologize for being too lazy to google up the specifics for you, but I suspect it’s not hard to find.)

  54. #54 Felix
    March 2, 2009

    And now, all in unison, to go to… interesting… places:
    HASTUR HASTUR HASTUR!!!!

    …hm?

  55. #55 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 2, 2009

    which argued that the works of H.P Lovecraft were the inspiration for [v]on D[ä]niken

    <Spanish>¡¡¡RRARRJ!!!</Spanish>

    Horrible.

    <headdesk>, <CRASH>, <headfloor>, and so on…

    You can configure X (or gnome, or KDE) to substitute the font of your choice for comic sans, or you can install the microsoft fonts.

    The Mac in the lab displays Comic Sans MS — except when it’s in italics, when Times or something is substituted –, but then it has MS Office for Mac installed…

  56. #56 Rob
    March 2, 2009

    You mean like the various Miskatonic U. wear available here?

    I have a few of their shirts. The designs are awesome, but the quality, to be frank, sucks. The “what part of” shirt is fading after not many wearings. The “bibliophile” shirt design has been OK so far, but the material is thin.

  57. #57 Phrogge
    March 2, 2009

    Just after reading this thread, I Stumbled!Upon Lawrence Yang’s depiction of Cthulhu at http://www.suckatlife.com/cthulhu.html

    I’m sure PZ & friends will enjoy his other cephalopodic visions, and perhaps even be charmed by the li’l bunnies and other denizens of his watercolor world.

  58. #58 Mobius
    March 2, 2009

    Hail Cthulhu!!!

    Schools in the image of Ryleh. I like it, too.

  59. #59 The Thomas
    March 2, 2009

    Bah, The Onion got me this time, didn’t see the publisher until after I finished the article. That was the best kind of funny. The “I’ll be smiling for the next hour” kind.

  60. #60 Nemo
    March 2, 2009

    Ted Powell #52, get you the msttcorefonts package. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

  61. #61 GILGAMESH
    March 2, 2009

    I quit worshiping Cthulhu after I graduated Miskatonic U. I now follow the sweet Discordia.

    All Hail Discordia!

  62. #62 Pohranicni Straze
    March 2, 2009

    I went to a school run by Pentecostals. Trust me, the Elder Gods have nothing on that bunch. Principal Shub-Niggurath would have been an improvement.

    For anyone with a little time to kill, here is a nice Mythos-themed card game:
    http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/458568

  63. #63 Shadow
    March 3, 2009

    I still have the Campus Crusade for Cthulu button I used to torment that other crusade on campus.

    I loved the sound of eyeballs clicking as they rolled up inside their heads when they started conversations with “Campus Crusade for Christ — what the hell is Cthulu?”

    I usually answered that He promised and end to war, hunger, poverty — well an end anyway.

  64. #64 TheVirginian
    March 3, 2009

    I have a Campus Crusade for Cthulhu – It found me! bumper sticker.
    What I don’t have is a T-shirt I once saw that said: “Miskatonic University Culinary School – Serving Humanity since 1786″ [I think I have the date wrong, but you get the idea.) A friend who is a colonel in the Marines was with me and got the joke.
    He’s the one who sent me a link – http://www.hello-cthulhu.com/ – I think is the link – to a Web site titled “Hello Cthulhu,” which was a funny cartoon parody of Hello Kitty but with Cthulhu and other beings (such as the Color out of Space, etc.) added in.

  65. #65 Vidar
    March 3, 2009

    Now picture PZ dressed as a spartan and going:

    “Madness?

    THIS!
    IS!
    PHARYNGULA!!”

  66. #66 Masks of Eris
    March 3, 2009

    All Hail Discordia!

    (And Cthulhu. Definitely Cthulhu also. Go away, Wrathful Tentacle of Apostasy!)

    Actually, I remember once thinking that the Azathoth/Nyarlathotep explanation of all was at least as plausible as the ‘usual’ religious ones…

    (In some ways better. ‘Wait, if mankind was created the Old Ones, who created the Old Ones?’ — ‘Summon byakhee! Sanity check! No more questions!’)

    (Oh, and there wouldn’t be any problems with this omnibenevolence stuff.)

    Good old atheist H.P. Lovecraft.

  67. #67 Moggie
    March 3, 2009

    “Our schools are orderly, sanitary places…”

    Either schools have changed drastically since I was there, or teenagers have.

  68. #68 HawkOfMay
    March 3, 2009

    Given the current collapse of the markets maybe he does have something about preparing the students for “the chaos that awaits” for them upon graduation.

  69. #69 Aliandre
    March 3, 2009

    Is it too early to talk about 2012?

    “Cthulhu for President – Why choose the lesser evil?”

    (Bumper sticker my husband has up in his office)

  70. #70 David Marjanovi?
    March 4, 2009

    Ah, here in the lab the font seems to fit.

    And yes, Hello Cthulhu is awesome.

  71. #71 varlo
    March 4, 2009

    It isn’t just a scientific group boycotting Louisiana. y formal training in the sciences consisted of two freshman biology courses. I have been a frequent New Orleans visitor in the past. Not any more. The fundie crowd gives eugenics a good name.

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