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Reverend Billy’s Revelations

Issue 274

The good reverend reflects on the new fascism, totalitarian consumerism and whether nice guys finish last.

Reverend Billy Talen Oct 12

Dear Rev, 
Who calls this NEO-fascism? What does that mean — its the old kind come back again. Fear immigrants and LGBTQ+ people and fear everything that moves. Fear difference. Vote your fears. How do we get out of this very old trap?

 — Maura

Dear Maura, the Left is beginning to notice that when you live in Totalitarian Consumerism as we do, then all of life becomes the “Other”. The idea of celebrating diversity is the kind of Human Justice that is also Earth Justice, because this is a matter of life and death — the Sixth Extinction, a hundred dead in Florida, 1500 drowned in Pakistan, 30 million homeless, the Himalayas and Greenland melting, hundreds of species disappearing weekly. We’re all the Other because the corporate colonizers are investing in direct mass murder. The scale is by orders of magnitude greater than any time in our history. It is not just moral. And the alternative to fascism is not just a feel-good thing. It is not just ideologically the right thing. If we resist fascism we seem to be saying no to racism, sexism, classism, able-ism. These are all the normative habits of the violent monoculture. So it can appear to be ambitious and complex. But it’s simple, too. We want to live. 

 — Billy

•  •  •

Hey Billy, 
I’m an easy-going guy who doesn’t anger quickly and prefers to defuse tense situations with a light-hearted joke or comment. It’s all good except I have people in my life who think they can act like jerks to me because they know I won’t lash out. Is it time for me to toughen up and embrace more conflict? 

— Robert

Greater self-awareness is always a good thing even if it leads to hard-to-face truths. Listen above all to the people who you trust, who care about you… But Robert stop pursuing static human types. Just discover who you are and go from there, expand that self. And you might be unlikeable to most. You have to practice being unlikeable, Robert. When on the subway, stand up and shout “THE NYPD WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU THAT BACKPACKS AND LARGE CONTAINERS AND YOUR BEST DREAMS AND YOUR DEEP SUBCONSCIOUS AND YOUR STINKY LITTLE PRIVACY WORLDS ARE SUBJECT TO RANDOM MASTURBATION”… I say this because lots of abusive sameness can be traced to our pretending-we’re-not-marching-to-one-drummer. And that drummer has a gun. Or maybe these jerk friends who criticize you are carrying something even worse than live ammo, like shame. Don’t change your identity Robert, change your fucking species. See yourself as an Orangutan on the beauty contest runway, in a hoopskirt made of spiders and vomit and neon bite-size drones woven in your hair. You think I’m kidding? 

— Rev

Reverend Billy Talen is the pastor of the Church of Stop Shopping. Have a question for the Reverend? Email Revbilly@revbilly.com and unburden your soul.

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