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Banananarian ban debated. February 27, 2004

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Odd icon.

At a public meeting on Thursday night, Plymouth residents expressed their views to City councillors regarding the proposed ban of what some have termed “odd religious representations of dubious taste.”

The ban would specifically prohibit members of the Join Us (Or Else) Cult from wearing or displaying in public a picture of their leader, Monkeyboy.

Some Plymouth residents have also expressed dismay at the tendency of cult members to, without warning, drop to their knees in public places, press their leader’s photograph to their foreheads, and scream, “Yes!”

But there has been strong opposition to the ban from Plymouth�s Banananarian cult members, who number roughly 2,000.

Bianca Bowen, a 14-year-old Banananarian convert who attended the meeting with her family who are also cult members, spoke first.

After complaining that the practice of holding public meetings on Thursday was “evil,” Bowen read a poem:

An Ode to Monkeyboy

So if your life is going bad —
If teacher keeps you after school —

Store’s got no nanners they once had —
Flat’s cold ’cause Dad di’n’t pay for fuel —

And then your mom nags at your dad —
Dad’s boss is negative ‘n’cruel —

Are you always so frus-tra-ted?
Join us! Or else! You’ll be uncool.

Though some may think you raving mad —
Wear his picture like a jew-el �

He’ll keep your heart from feeling sad �
I say HURRAH! For My Guru!

“I didn�t know what iambic quadrameter was, until I met Monkeyboy,” Bowen added at the end of her reading.

“Reason enough!” Said a man in support of the ban.

Unable to elicit any further comments from those assembled, Council leader Ham Ward ended the meeting two hours early.


Get your Conspicuous Religious Display here. February 20, 2004

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Do It Yourself Monkeyboy Icon:

A rich text format (.rtf) file – 3,035K (Sad, but true).

An Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file – 97K.

Be the first in your neighborhood to Feel the Glow.

(& Trust Us. The file contains no malicious code. We would not harm you or your computer, unless paid handsomely for it.)

Plymouth to consider “conspicuous religious display” ban. February 20, 2004

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Odd icon.

A majority of Plymouth City councillors on Thursday endorsed proposed legislation that would prohibit “conspicuous religious displays”, particularly of “odd icons.”

The measure echoes recent European bans of Islamic head scarves and contradicts statements by Foreign Office Minister Mike O’Brien that the British government supports the right of all people to display religious symbols.

“Previously I said that the British are comfortable with the symbolic expression of religion,” Mr O’Brien said in a statement. “It was not my intent to include unconventional imagery which exceeds the bounds of common decency and good taste.”

The offending symbol, a large photograph of a hairy man in yellow robes surrounded by bananas, is worn by members of the Join Us (Or Else) Cult on yellow strings tied around their necks.

Cult members, also known as Banananarians, believe that all life originated in West Cornwall, and that they are “sympathetically attuned” to their spiritual leader, Monkeyboy.

Very little documentation exists about Banananarianism because adherents believe a supernatural understanding of the faith’s tenets can be gained simply by standing in close proximity to their guru’s photograph, which is available on the Banananarian website.

Fiona Pfillingsley, a cult member who offers spiritual and nutritional advice from the Banananarian Learning Centre recently opened on Union Street in Plymouth, confirmed that she received her education in the faith primarily from “channeling Monkeyboy�s intense animalistic aura.”

Plymouth has roughly 1,000 recent converts to Banananarianism, most of them teens.

This trend has contributed to both an increase in reports of school truancy on Thursdays and a paradoxical improvement in converts’ overall scholastic performance.

Jimmy Combes, a 17-year-old Plymouth boy who recently embraced Banananarianism, believes that the faith has “saved” his life.

“My grades are up, I�m not getting into fights anymore, and I haven�t been before the magistrate in over a month.”

Combes’ mother, while agreeing that her son’s behaviour has improved, has mixed feelings about Banananarianism.

Said Mrs Combes: “He ate nothing but chips before, and layed about. Now he lays about on Thursdays, eats nothing but nanners. Says he has to wear his strange yellow clothes and nothing else will do. Mounds of yellow laundry! And you can’t mix it with other colours, can you? Or everything turns orange and green. A big pain in the arse is what it is.”

Damn. McGruder beat me to it. January 23, 2004

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Boondocks, by Aaron McGruder, Los Angeleno.

Saving Plymouth, one banana at a time. January 23, 2004

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Banananarian Learning Centre dispatches delighted disciple.

Recent government figures show recorded crime in Plymouth has quadrupled in the past two years, with the biggest increase recorded in violent assaults.

Victim support groups say they have noticed significant increases in racial assaults, domestic violence, and violence linked to alcohol and drug abuse.

A spokesman for the charity Victim Support in Plymouth said: “There is in this city a nightly ballet of mutually assured carnage.”

Linda Gilroy, the MP for Plymouth Sutton, despite her recent appeals to the Home Office for more support in the fight against crack cocaine, said she remains optimistic.

Ms Gilroy points to the increasing number of charities in Plymouth offering assistance to the poor.

Housing charity Shelter says it wants to help homeless people.

Volunteers from the Mustard Seed Charity have delivered a van full of wooly hats.

In addition, religious charities have established assistance centres throughout Plymouth.

One such charity, the Banananarian Learning Centre, recently opened on Union Street.

Fiona Pfillingsley, who has dedicated her life to the Banananarian organisation and its leader, Wood N Monkeyboy, is thrilled to be offering spiritual and nutritional advice from her “mission in a shop.”

Enthused Ms Pfillingsley: “I really, really think I can clean up this town!”

“Just … not on Thursdays,” she added.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Monkeyboy! January 22, 2004

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You know what this means, don’t you?

C’mon, now… January 20, 2004

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Binoculars will now be used by Redlands police after a pet housecat, mistaken for a menacing mountain lion, is shot with an assault rifle.

Mountain Lion.

Kitty Cat.

The mistaken shooting of a domestic cat is prompting Redlands police to issue binoculars to officers involved in the hunt for a mountain lion that is believed to have been menacing residential neighborhoods for at least 2� years.

“We’ve issued binoculars to help them identify … the animal,” Redlands Police Chief Jim Bueerman said Friday, a day after an officer killed the wrong animal. “It was a big cat, but it was still a house cat.”

Suggestion: issue spectacles. We’d all feel safer.

“Banana Bomb” cover-up denied January 17, 2004

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The Ministry of Defence has denied claims that it has “covered up” a link between an alleged unarmed bombing in Yorkshire and the bizarre Banananarian cult.

Witness at banana bomb blast site.

The United States Air Force (USAF) previously claimed responsibility for a bombing at about 1715 GMT on 8 January.

An USAF spokesman said that an inert training bomb dropped from an F-15 fighter jet landed in an airfield owned by Allied Grains, six miles south west of Market Weighton in East Yorkshire, causing an 18-inch crater in the airfield’s landing strip but no injuries.

However, Reg Teller, of Market Weighton, vehemently denied the USAF�s statements.

Mr Teller claims to have seen an enormous “Banana Bomb” hit the airfield.

He said it caused several craters and spread squashed fruit over a large area.

“They came out and cleaned up most of the banana. But they didn’t get all of it. Then they came up with this story. Everybody swallowed the lies they told. It’s easier for them to blame somebody far off than to look at the threat at their own front door.”

The Anderson Institute, a US think tank specialising in conspiracy theories, concurs with Mr Teller.

“The Pentagon and the UK Ministry of Defence are keeping mum that it was a Banana Bomb.” Said a spokeswoman for the Institute.

“They think if they just shut up about it, the crazed banana fetish that is sweeping Wales and the south coast of England won�t infest the northern parts. But Yorkshire is way up there, so the Banana Bomb is proof that this isn’t just a small insurgency of whacked-out wanna-be monkies! Oh, no! Banananarianism is becoming a worldwide phenomenon, more strange and scary than Al Qaeda, and far more threatening to the British and American powers-that-be than even they realise.”

An MoD spokesman dismissed the cover-up claims as “utter nonsense”.

He said: “I’m at a loss for a response. Where did you come up with this rubbish?”

Santa Monica December 13, 2003

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Photo credit: Bob Morris of Polizeros.com

The thin, dangerous line. December 4, 2003

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A lynch mob storms the Duluth, MN jail.

They�re selling postcards of the hanging
They�re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They�ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they�re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row
��Desolation Row,� by Bob Dylan

(At the time of the lynching, Dylan�s then ten-year-old father lived in a third floor apartment at 221 North Lake Avenue in Duluth.)

On June 15, 1920, a mob of approximately 10,000 beseiged the Duluth, Minnesota jail, where six black circus-workers who had been accused of gang-raping a white woman were being held.

Incited by cries of “What if it was your daughter? “What if it was your sister?” the crowd battered the jail for hours, finally breaking in and seizing three of the prisoners.

The 11 police officers guarding the jail had been ordered by the Commissioner of Public Safety to refrain from using guns to defend the jailed suspects.

The mob dragged their victims, Isaac McGhie, Elias Clayton and Elmer Jackson, to the corner of First Street and Second Avenue, tied their hands, and hung them from a lamp post.

They then gathered around the bodies and took a group photo. Postcards were made of the picture — they quickly sold out.

No one was prosecuted for murder. Two men were convicted of rioting, and served a little more than two years.

There was no physical evidence to support the woman’s claim.

Ten percent of Duluth residents participated in the lynching.

And, it was not the first lynching in Duluth.

Two years earlier, Olli Kinkonnen, a Finn who was suspected of being against the first world war was tarred, feathered, and hung from a tree on the outskirts of town. A headline in the Duluth Herald read, “Knights Of Liberty Tar And Feather Slacker.”

Historian Joel Sipress says anti-Finnish sentiment was powerful in this region in 1918. “He was an anti-war Finn. In northeast Minnesota, to be an anti-war Finn at that time was to be perceived as a subversive. Mr. Kinkkonen probably received this less for what he did, than what he symbolized in the eyes of so-called patriotic Americans. ”

Mr. Kinkkonen’s grave, in Park Hill Cemetery in Duluth, is just a few rows down from those of the three black victims of the 1920 lynching. The grave remained unmarked until 1993, when The Tyomies Society, a Finnish cultural group, placed a marker on it. It reads, “Olli Kinkkonen, 1881 to 1918, Victim of Warmongers.”

Why do we bring this up? Because police last month snatched peaceful, law-abiding protestors off the streets in Miami, and beat them. Because army reservists surrounded Father John Dear’s church in the early morning, and, incited by their commander, screamed “Kill! Kill! Kill!” Because of the extraordinary madness of mobs meting out politically-motivated vigilante “justice.”

There is a very thin line between inciting and killing. Shall we next have death squads and “disappearances”?