The nonsense above is a brief outline of the central tenets of The Church of the SubGenius, a religion that worships a 1950s vendor named “Bob,” and involves numerous aliens, sub-deities, bizarro iconography, and saints of pop culture. The Church was born out of an outsider’s resentment of the mainstream, a general hatred of organized religion, and an abiding fondness for kitsch. Its members include Mark Mothersbaugh, Nick Offerman, Paul Reubens, Penn Jillette, Alex Cox, David Byrne and R. Crumb.
One might be able to sense right away that there’s something of a little “wink” about The Church of the SubGenius, and one might be right. The Church of the SubGenius – a real organization you can join – has been dubbed a “parody religion”, founded by modest punks Ivan Stang and Philo Drummond (real names: Douglass St. Clair Smith and Steve Wilcox) in 1979 The Church was founded as a deliberate mockery of the rise of evangelical Christianity and many New Age spiritualist movements, but also contained in its deliberate jargon, a philosophy of self, in which the individual would be allowed to “slack off”. and to realize – in a Nietzsche sense – their own will to power. This will, however, manifest itself in someone’s ability to reverse the prevailing paradigm and playfully thumb their noses at “normals”, referred to as “roses” in SubGenius lore.
Directed in 1992, “Get up!” was a satirical recruiting video along the lines of what one would find at a Scientology outlet on Hollywood Blvd. The video is an expansive montage of pop footage – what we used to call culture scrambling – that introduces the uninitiated to the crazy and almost incomprehensible thought processes of the Church.