I decided to go for a new look for THE SLASH web site and logo. I couldn't resist using some art from an old-time sci-fi magazine cover.
As it happens, this image is almost a perfect illustration for a scene in the slash story that Bernadette and Sharon are writing, when Una, the daughter of the rogue StarQuest officer who has set himself up as the ruler of a cargo-cult society, pulls a "multi-beamed discombobulator" on Captain Clark and Mr. Quirk. Una has a thing for Mr. Quirk.
the new web site
What is a cargo cult? Marvin Harris, an anthropologist whose work I greatly admire (I created a web site devoted in part to Marvin Harris) spent a chapter in his "Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches" on the phenomenon and it's really mind-blowing. But I'll let Harris explain:
... in the New Hebrides, the people decided that a G.I. named John Frum was King of America. His prophets built an airport at which American Liberator bombers would land with a cargo of milk and ice cream. Relics left over on Pacific island battlefields show that John Frum was there. One group believes that a U.S. Army field jacket with sergeant's stripes and the red cross of the medical corps on the sleeves was worn by John Frum when he made his promise to return with cargo. Small medical corps red crosses, each surrounded by a neat fence, have been erected all over the island of Tanna. A John Frum village chieftain interviewed in 1970 noted that "people have waited nearly 2,000 years for Christ to return, so we can wait a while longer for John Frum."
During 1968, a prophet on the island of New Hanover in the Bismarck Archipelago announced that the secret of cargo was known only to the President of the United States. Refusing to pay local taxes, the cult members saved $75,000 to "buy" Lyndon Johnson and to make him King of New Hanover if he would tell the secret.
In 1962 the United States Air Force placed a large concrete survey marker on the top of Mt. Turu near Wewak, New Guinea. The prophet, Yaliwan Mathias, became convinced that the Americans were ancestors and that the cargo lay underneath the marker. In May 1971, after a night of prayer to the accompaniment of pop music on their transistor radio, he and his followers dug up the marker. No cargo was found. Yaliwan explained that the authorities had taken it away. His followers, who had contributed $21,500, did not lose faith.
I borrowed some of the details from this chapter for the slash story that is being told as part of the play - the story within the story.
As soon as this production is over I will finally get around to revamping the Cultural Materialism web site.