Let's start a Bartcop Cult
Who likes this idea?
A proposal by Marc Perkel
Publisher of Bartcop
A proposal to start a cult
I (Marc Perkel) registered the domains bartcult.com and bartcult.org with the idea of starting a cult after the death of Terry Coppage AKA Bartcop. Thousands of people are grieving over his death on March 4th 2014 and a lot of us want to continue his work. There are a few ideas being kicked around and this is one of them. Bart was the father of liberal blogging. Most if not all liberal blogs were directly or indirectly inspired or influence by him. His motto, "A Modem, a smart mouth, and the Truth" meant that he was a champion of a reality based philosophy, not just a mouthpiece of a political party. Bart told it like he saw it and said what he thought without holding back. Many of us would never have survived the Bush presidency without him.
In some ways we aren't really starting a cult as much as acknowledging that we're already in one. Think about it. We've had a cult for a long time and now here we are looking at the crowds of Bart followers gathering and - WOW! OMG! I'm in an F-ing Cult! In your heart you know it's true.
Why Bart deserves a cult
Bart had a unique style and has quite a following. When you look at his body of work he lived a life worth living, an example worth following. He wasn't just a guy with a blog. Bart was a movement. He was dedicated to reality as it really is. Many people, including me, want to continue his work. There is enough material on his web site to fill a Bible. Not that any of it should be followed as gospel, but that he dedicated his life to making the world a better place and he did it with humor and having fun.
So - cutting to the chase - here's what I have in mind for a cult. I'm not thinking of a Church of Scientology kind of cult or anything like the Moonies. No mass weddings/suicides, space aliens, or worshiping the Invisible Cloud Being. I'm thinking more like Flying Spaghetti Monster or Beetles fans - cult lite, but yet has a deeper and important meaning. Something that captures the essence of who Bart was and what he stood for. Something the reflects the energy and flavor of "A modem, a smart mouth, and the Truth". And - most importantly - we should have fun with it.
The Essence of a Bart Cult Philosophy
Bart is best explained in his theme song he used in his Bartcop Radio, the theme song from Blazing Saddles.
He rode a blazing saddle
He wore a shining star
His job to offer battle
to bad men near and far
He conquered fear and he conquered hate
He turned dark night into day
He made his blazing saddle
a torch to light the way
When outlaws ruled the west
And fear filled the land
A cry went out for a man with guts
to take the west in hand
They needed a man who was brave and true
with justice for all as his aim
Then out of the sun rode a man with a gun
And Bart was his name
Yes Bart was his name
Bart was a real life hero who embodied the essence of the above song. And for those of us who want this to continue we have to make his mission our mission. We have to be Bart. I am Bart. We are all Bart.
So - you might be asking yourself, "OK Perkel, WTF are you talking about here?"
First of all, it has to be fun, and it has to be funny,
It has to be about the Truth, the real Truth, the one with the big T in the front. Reality the way it really is.
We have to have a "smart mouth". Not only speaking truth to power, but doing it effortlessly. Where it just flows out our mouth.
Bart was a humble man. He took his name Bart from his cat (named Bart). Yes - true story. And he identified himself as a redneck with an IQ of 64.
He took on the role of a hero as depicted in the Blazing Saddles song. He was a torch that lead us through the long dark years of the Bush administration. Many of us wouldn't have survived it if not for Bart. A time of endless war, where truth meant nothing, where peace was called "The P word", where nuclear war in Iraq was contemplated, where we set up torture prisons, where America became a nation of barbarians.
It was a time when the Bushies claimed ownership of reality itself stating, "guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Bart was a hero as depicted in Blazing Saddles. So he inspires us to be heroes too. To turn dark night into day, to offer battle to bad men near and far, to be the torch that lights the way. When outlaws rule and fear fills the land, and they cry out for a person with guts, it is us, in Bart's name, carrying out his mission, to be brave and true, and be that kind of hero, to swing the Hammer of Truth. So that we can all laugh, have fun, drink Chinaco, and party.
Here's a link to Bart's Laws.
Bart's Afterlife - the mystical story
Normally when one starts a cult one has to start with some supernatural story that we all choose to believe. In this case some of this isn't literally true, but like the Flying Spaghetti Monster it's symbolic. However in the process of putting this together a lot of it is much more true than you would expect. So - for future generations - if you're throwing virgins in volcanoes to appease the deity Bart you have missed the point.
If you go to Bart's Facebook Page you will notice that he set his role to "Supreme Being" and he did that before he died. How did he know the future in advance? He must actually be a deity! I'm calling this a miracle! He knew he was going to be a deity proves he is a deity and therefore we should make him one.
And on the 6th day he rose from the dead. That's the number of days between when he dies and the domain name bartcult.com was registered.
In the reality based world the afterlife is cyberspace. So Bart trancended from meat space to cyberspace. Like Elijah ascending into the heavens in a flaming chariot, he will ascend into the next life on a blazing saddle.
The interesting thing about an afterlife is that is actually doable these days. It's not the same as being alive - more like a catepillar transforming into a butterfly. Much of the essence of Bart exists in cyberspace as a virtual life form. This life form consists of he words and ideas, his values, his morals, his style, all still exist, and it still speaks to us and to all the world through the Internet. Bart built his afterlife while he was here in meat space with us and he has transformed from bartcop.com to bartcult.com.
In addtion to his static virtual existence will be his active virtual existence in that forums, email lists, online communities will be created and as the Internet evolves those capabilities will increase over time. Bart will become more powerful in the afterlife than in his meat space life. So the essence of who he is is not dead, but very much alive and growing.
In addition to his cyber existence he still has a foot in this world. We here in meat space are forming a cult to continue his work. His life inspires us and we accept that his cause is just, so his spirit lives in us and we do Bart's work in the real world. We are Bart. We all are Bart.
We all knew that as computing power increased that at some point the Internet was going to become a life form or will be a rich enough environment where life can exist and evolve. Think about Bart as now a hybrid being. He's part virtual, but his virtual existence is defined by his writings and his radio programs that came from his life here. And that virtual part includes the meat space part, this cult, acting in his name, sharing his vision. His human side is now part of multiple people with his virtual side keeping the humans networked together. And as long as we are doing his cause, Bart lives!
So - what should have been a supernatural origin story is looking far more like a reality based story. This is plausable. This is doable - and we can make it happen. This idea of a hybrid life form can catch on.
And - the good news is - if we follow Bart's path and build our afterlife on the Internet before we die - we too can live forever on the web. As technology continues to grow when we die we will be uploaded to the cloud where we will live forever. (Does this sound familiar?)
What do Bart Cult Member Do?
This isn't a completely thought out plan and it doen't involve wearing orange robes. So - looking for ideas. My initial thoughts:
Make the song Blazing Saddles your ring tone.
Bart Cult T-Shirts
We publically acknowledge that we are a cult and we're having fun with it.
Humor must play a central role in the Bart Cult culture.
Someone other than me needs to build a community.
Afterlife with 144 Virgins
Since we have to compete with other religions for the afterlife we're offering 144 virgins in the next world. In our case the next world is the Internet and the virgins are all virtual. And the thing about virtual virgins is that after you're done with them, you just click on the RESET button and they go back to beng virgins.
And - women can have 144 virgins too. And you can customise them any way you want in software settings.
For those of you who say, "I don't want virgins, I want someone more experienced. We offer the choice of substituting Orion Slave Girls from Star Trek. Once you've gone green you've made the sceen.
Never in my life have I ever wanted to join a cult. Now I can't wait.