Stang Sermon at Starwood 2020 –
Starwood Festival is usually like a mini-Woodstock. But in 2020, like so many great weirdo festivals, everything had to happen in the Matrix, with all attendees and presenters looking at each other in little boxes on little screens. But, at least we could hang out! Starwood is the one annual venue where Stang is paid to blabber for an hour straight without fear of interruption — so he tries harder then. He saves the year’s best “Bob” quotes and crazy personal stories for Starwood, and even gets intermittently serious. 2020 was a BAD year, and this is Stang’s most earnest pep-talk about that. A highlight is the pinpointing of various predictions “Bob” made back in 1982 and earlier, which were published in THE BOOK OF THE SUBGENIUS, and which in too many cases have suddenly come RELENTLESSLY AND UNCANNILY TRUE, ALL AT ONCE. Stang also gives his testimony on “HOW I INFILTRATED THE PROFA MOVEMENT” and reads some carefully selected important excerpts from Neal Stephenson’s recent novel FALL, specifically addressing the coming fallen and dangerous culture of rural rednecks who live 24/7 in tailored realities delivered by their portable devices, via a feedback loop that tracks their eyes, blink intervals, and pulse rates — in other words, how the Internet now is making dumb people much dumber so quickly. There are also some funny parts.
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