Sunday, August 07, 2011

Mill Avenue Nights: Saturday, August 6th 2011

A few nights now, there have been drummers set up in front of the Post Office and that had displaced the evangelical preachers across the street. However, this evening there were no drummers and thus they set up in front of the post office.

We saw a few of the usual folks standing around, including Marcus,

That’s when Arienne and I were approached by an older gentleman of notable more than average height. He attempted to offer Arienne a Way of the Master fake-money tract depicting President Cleveland. (Of course, after I got home and examined the tract, I discovered it’s in Spanish.) After introductions, we learned that his name was Ken.

Like most of the Way of the Master evangelicals his approach is decidedly deep in the propaganda training than it was much personality. It took me a while to determine that this was his first time on Mill Ave and that he’d come to the Ave with the other evangelicals after meeting Tom.

He spent some time using a lot of different elements of propaganda on me and even held a long conversation with Arienne. He seemed a little bit ignorant of the history of his religion but has spoken about tightening up on his understanding of the lack of historical evidence for mythological characters like Jesus (even going so far to repeat a common canard that suggests that there’s more evidence for Jesus than Abraham Lincoln. A slogan that’s as patently false as absurd.)

After many minutes of absorbing his knowledge of Way of the Master propaganda, and letting Arienne converse with him, I decided to see if I could speak to him as a person. As he was new to Mill Ave, he seemed pretty zealous about selling his viewpoint; but none of it is anything that anyone extracultural would want to buy. As Arienne actually belongs to his religion, I figured that I’d best observe his interaction with her to get a baseline, especially if all I was going to get happened to be mirror-speak.

Eventually, something unexpected happened and Ken started talking to Omni (the Reverend √úbermensch Omnicynic) and that conversation became interesting. Not a person to sit down in front of a challenge, Omni cultivated a discussion of Christian mythology that painted YHVH as an ineffective deity who fled in the face of rivals and needed his followers to do everything for him. I couldn’t quite follow along with everything discussed; but I did hear Omni speak about much of the comparative mythology.

After some lively discussion, Omni tired, claiming that Ken had begun to repeat himself. He quit both the conversation and the Ave at that point.

Eventually, however, after Crystal arrived on the scene Ken actually sat down with us and held a much more personal conversation bereft of the propaganda that advanced a personal dialogue. We ended up in a rather lively conversation about the origin of birthmarks, freckles, and the pigment mutation in recent European ethnic descent that causes us to have much lighter skin tone than African ethnicities. The conversation wound on to discussing aberrant psychology such as schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Ken revealed to us that a relative worked in a mental hospital and spoke a little bit about the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome patients and its apparent prevalence in the population. Elaine Mercer from Black Hat Magick exhibits some of the spectrum of Asperger’s syndrome—as similar and fantasized about in the geek community—but even these examples don’t well reflect the reality of the condition.

I enjoyed the time I got to actually sit and speak with Ken as another person. I don’t know that I can adequately approach his cultural propaganda; he lacked the apparent cynicism and paternalistic simpering of many of the other preachers who speak down to passersby and could actually be an asset to the culture of the Ave.

Chicago Still on Mill Ave

Glad to see that Chicago is still bringing his interesting bottle-tab outfit out to the Avenue. He’s laconic, but smiling black neo-punk who fashioned his wardrobe out of metal bits and bottle-tabs; the effect produces a chainmail armor and coif effect as it’s a hoodie, a shirt, and a pair of pants.

When I hit the bricks, I often find him sitting near the clock.

Don’t Know Where I’ll be in a Month

I’ll miss the Ave the most.

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