Saturday, November 06, 2004

The McSweeney's Saga: Becoming a Cult


Setting: The McSweeney's Temple in San Francisco.

An unknowing writer wanders down winding halls.

In a sideroom: Plans for a Massive Cathedral in northern California dedicated to the Great One.

Outside a thick window: On the sidewalk below, brainwashed celebrants bang tambourines. No sound of this drifts within. The writer who has incautiously entered this inscrutable postmodern madhouse realizes the building is sound proof. Bars over the windows indicate escape is impossible.

No noise inside the building either. But wait-- soft murmurs drift through the unlit passages, an undertone of a person reading phrases from a holy book: The Memoir.

Another room: More mad people constructing a magazine appropriately named, THE BELIEVER.

Small children wander throughout this Neverland with vacant eyes and vague smiles on their faces, then vanish. The Workshop mind-control method of literature, begun ten years early.

A twisting maze of hallways and rooms filled with mysterious giggling crazy people.

A woman with long hair and longer fingernails cackling as she plunges a knife into photos of known Cult enemies. She's dressed entirely in black. "A ha ha hahahahahahaha!" she screams. The writer closes the door, insane laughter cut off; muffled into non-existence. His wife?

Somewhere deep within, the leader himself. Is this a neurotic dream? His dream? Psychotic? A nightmare?

(To be continued.)

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