Tokyo Damage Report

the SECULAR SAINT theory

Many religious functions – explaining where we came from or when to plant crops – have been replaced by science.  But even these days, science can’t explain the meaning of life or provide comfort to people who have lost a loved one.

 

But so what?  Why even let religions have a monopoly on those two things?  Fuck it, it’s time for secular saints.

 

By this I mean:  make a list of people who are dead, who influenced your life greatly, who you wish you could be more like, or who you still think about a lot. . . .  Then build a little shrine in your living room, and on the day they died, put their shit in the shrine (their books they wrote or albums they released or a picture of them or whatever), and take a little time throughout the day to contemplate:

 

a)   All the happy times you had while listening to them or reading their book or going to see their movie or what-all

b)   how you felt when you realized they were dead

c)    what did they stand for? What did they make their fans do? how did they change things?

d)   all the lessons you can learn in daily life from being more like them

e)    and fuckin’ read their book or listen to their music or whatever it is, if they were a political martyr, I guess you could youtube their speeches or something?

 

I mean think about it:  learning to be more like our idols helps us make our own meaning of life, and contemplating their death – and their legacy – helps us face our own.  It’s like religion, but more practical, plus you can listen to some sweet jams and make the rules up as you go along. Plus as you get older, there will only be more people you can add to your list.  It makes getting older fun, in a morbid way.

Plus, as I mentioned in a previous post on the word “spiritual”,  you don’t have to be a religious believer to be appalled at how shallow, materialistic, and ad-driven our society is.  Having a little shrine is a way to enjoy your favorite people *without it being mediated by some big corporation*,  just you and them, without anything being bought or sold or tweeted or favorited or memed.   If nothing else it’s a way of saying “not everything can be reduced to a transaction or an advertisement or a fucking number or a social media post. there is still more to life, there are still private things, even private connections between me and dead people.”

 

There are a few problems in the system which I haven’t worked out:

 

1 )  Should you also include “secular devils”? ( i.e.  people who made you  really happy when they died?) Do they really deserve their own entire day of hate?  Like Ronald Reagan?  Answer :  sure!  One whole day of walking through the living room and flipping him off every time I pass?  That question answers itself.  After all the misery people like him or Thatcher or OBL caused, why not have a little fun with it? God I can’t wait until Mariah Carey or Oliver Stone or fucking Eric Clapton dies.

 

2) should you include historical dead people who influenced your life and outlook? Or just dead people whose death you experienced, whose death affected you when you heard about it? It’s a lot more personal if you can actually remember where you were when you heard, “Hey Jam Master Jay got murdered.” “He WHAT?”.

3) Where do you draw the line? I can only think of half-a-dozen deceased people that are serious role-models, but hundreds of dead folks who I love their work but if I’m being honest haven’t really changed my outlook on life or nothing. But maybe if I had them in the shrine and really contemplated what they stood for, maybe they COULD still become role-models? (I’m provisionally handling this by putting all the really high-powered fuckers in glowing yellow type, thereby giving them official Saint status)

But anyway, here is my semi-complete calendar of fake religious holidays:

 

I know I’m missing hella important people, so please leave your suggestions for secular saints in the comments:

 

Hank Williams                     (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953),

St. ROBERT ANTON WILSON                        (January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007)

Yves Tanguy                                  (January 5, 1900 – January 15, 1955),

Dali                                      (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989),

Gustav Dore                      (January 6, 1832 – January 23, 1883)

 

Kirby                                    (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994),

steve gerber?                     (September 20, 1947 – February 10, 2008)

Charles Schulz                          (November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000)

Hunter Thompson              (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005)

bill hicks                              (December 16, 1961 – February 26, 1994)

 

Biggie                                  (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997)

Jean Giraud  AKA MOEBIUS               (8 May 1938 – 10 March 2012)

Nate dogg                           (August 19, 1969 – March 15, 2011),

Hp lovecraft                        (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937)

Joy division                                   (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980)

Eazy                                    (September 7, 1963 – March 26, 1995)

 

Stravinsky                           17 June  1882 – 6 April 1971)

ST. WENDY    O WILLIAMS                   (May 28, 1949 – April 6, 1998),

Vonnegut                            (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007)

ST. JOEY     ramone                       (May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001)

thor Heyerdahl                   (October 6, 1914 – April 18, 2002)

Ballard                                 (15 November 1930 – 19 April 2009)

el duce                                (March 23, 1958 — April 19, 1997)

George Herriman                          (August 22, 1880 – April 25, 1944)

St. poly  STYRENE                     (3 July 1957 – 25 April 2011)

 

 

Jeff  Hanneman                           (January 31, 1964 – May 2, 2013)

ST. DIO                               (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010)

 

 

quorthon                             (February 17, 1966 – c. June 7, 2004)

seth Putnam                       (May 15, 1968 – June 11, 2011)

Zelazny!                              (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995)

george carlin                                  (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)

 

dave insurgent (reagan youth)              (September 5, 1964 – July 3, 1993)

Bob ross                             (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995)

Dennis Flemion (the Frogs)     (June 6, 1955 – July 7, 2012)

 

Burroughs                           (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997)

lenny bruce                                      (October 13, 1925 – August 3, 1966),

Hieronymus Bosch                       (. 1450 – 9 August 1516)

Euronymous AKA Øystein Aarseth (22 March 1968 – 10 August 1993),[

 

Tolkien                                    (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973)

ST. DAVID FOSTER WALLACE        (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008)

 

 

Duchamp, of course                     (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968)

Walt kelly                             (August 25, 1913 – October 18, 1973)

Rudy ray moore                 (March 17, 1927 – October 19, 2008)

Jam master jay                   (January 21, 1965 – October 30, 2002),

 

Odb                                     (November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004),

Big joe turner                                 May 18, 1911 – November 24, 1985)

 

St. ZAPPA                          (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993)

richard pryor                       (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005)

Vassily Kandinsky                       (16 December 1866 – 13 December 1944)

carl sagan                           (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996)

St. James  brown            (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006)

3 comments

3 Comments so far

  1. 古山田咲郎 January 25th, 2014 9:25 am

    Isn’t most of what you describe already realized in Shinto? I mean, just as an example, the spirit of Toyotomi Hideoshi is enshrined at Osaka castle, that of George Washington at a shrine on Hawaii, General Tojo (and another 3 million folks) at Yasukuni. At least my view of Shinto is, that you may regard whatever you like as a kami.

    Still, I’d like to add following secular saints:

    Leonardo da Vinci

    William Blake

    Joe Yamanaka

  2. Tzench January 25th, 2014 4:29 pm

    Many members of Joy Division are still alive.

  3. ernie February 1st, 2015 6:19 am

    This kind of already exists about Robert Burns http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burns_supper

    I would start one about Iain Banks (who died recently) and Douglas Adams

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