Monday, November 13, 2017

Local Masonic Lodge 'Steals Away' Elks Lodge Secretary

DAYTON, OH—In a surprising move, Dayton Lodge No. 167 has now elected the longtime secretary of Elks Lodge No. 76.

"We can not be happier," Worshipful Master Rod Fordham said. "We got Brother Plackett through the degrees as fast as possible. Anyone who has dealt with finding a good secretary knows you need someone with talent, patience, and above all, longevity. I know the Elks are furious with us but we did offer something more."

"I cannot believe those damn Masons," Elks President George Kiwolski fumed. "I've been a member of both for decades and I thought we were square. The Masons had their silly costumes and the Elks had their lunch specials. But no, they go and do this. Plackett was the best secretary we've had in decades. I'm so mad, I even quit the Masons."

Kiwolski continued, "I mean, you'd think the Masons would learn how to share. We already perform the same programming. Both organizations give out scholarships, both organizations have fish frys, and both organizations have American flags in their respective lodge rooms. We both have ritual that, even though we have competitions to show which lodge is more proficient, we really don't take all that seriously. You'd think that would mean something."

Fordham seemed undeterred, "how could you not want to join us? We have better ritual and a beautiful Scottish Rite Temple with its own office. Any secretary on the planet would love to work here. If the Elks want to compete, they'll just have to find a way to be more relevant."

"Ultimately, we did what we had to do because no one else wanted to do the job. Margaret had the best qualifications for the job and we are lucky to have her."

-The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Local Brother Denied Masonic Wedding Cake

DODGE CITY, KS – Local Freemason Kevin Leavens has found himself entirely without a Masonic Wedding cake after having been denied by yet another local bakery. 
“It just seems unfair,” bemoaned a visibly troubled Leavens. “I mean, I spend thousands of dollars on local businesses and to be denied something because of the Fraternity I love is hurtful. My wife will be so disappointed that I was unable to get the cake for our Masonic Wedding. I feel, well, discriminated against. Why should being a Mason prevent me from enjoying my special day with my future bride.”
A Masonic wedding is a ceremony performed by a lodge to renew its commitment to the new couple. Many countries perform these weddings, which are becoming more frequently performed in the United States. 
“I feel really bad for Kev. He’s a good guy,” said local baker Pamela Berlow. “I didn’t want to say no to him but his fiancĂ©e called me before he even got here. She said a lot of things on the phone, ‘don’t you dare bake a cake for another stupid Masonic event,’ ‘It’s not my damn club—why does he always have to drag me into this crap,’ ‘Seriously, it’s like he loves that men’s club more than he loves me.’ You know, stuff like that. I’ll respect the bride but I could tell Kev felt terrible. I didn’t have the heart to tell him.”
As of late, all bakeries in Dodge City have refused to bake a Masonic wedding cake. 
“At least I know that even though these local bakeries may discriminate me based on the Fraternity I love, I can still wear my apron over my kilt during the wedding," said Leavens. "And when we start having kids. She and I can head to the Valley to have the kids receive a Masonic baptism. She’ll just love it.”

-The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI° 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Report: Freemasonry provides "little to no opportunity" for baby boomers

Fort Wayne, IN - Despite a push for baby boomer recruitment in recent (non) peer reviewed Masonic scholarship, The Past Bastard has learned that baby boomers--those Americans born roughly between 1946 and 1964--are definitively not interested in joining Freemasonry as the organization provides little to no opportunities for baby boomer members to make it worse off. In his recent powerpoint slide ramblings-turned-book Reclaiming the Soul of Freemasonry, brother and notable baby boomer John William McNaughton cites survey data to argue that Masonic recruitment efforts should center on the baby boomer generation. The Past Bastard, not content to take any information strictly at face value, conducted its own detailed survey of the baby boomer populace to determine whether or not baby boomers were even interested in joining Freemasonry in the first place. Turns out, they aren't.
According The Past Bastard's comprehensive baby boomer survey, 87% of respondents stated that they had "little or very little interest" in joining Freemasonry; however, the detailed responses of those respondents shed light on why exactly boomers aren't interested in taking up the trowel. Overwhelmingly, respondents felt that Freemasonry "provided little or no opportunity." One respondent in particular elaborated: "We boomers take pride in how much we've screwed up the world for our posterity. I mean, look at the housing market, student loan debt, the o-zone layer, and the national deficit! We've certainly made our mark. Freemasonry isn't appealing as it simply doesn't afford us 'boomers' any opportunity to make it worse. It's got it all--rampant racism, homophobia, misogyny, Christian fundamentalism--I mean, I could go on for days. There just isn't much for us to play with here."

Another respondent remarked: "The organization is already practically bankrupt. There's no way for me to suck money out of it, and, while I love the idea of collecting pompous titles to give my life meaning, I'd simply rather stay at home collecting social security and posting on the facebooks about how the neighbor kids keep running through my lawn." Many survey respondents mirrored these responses.

So there you have it. Even if baby boomers are the correct target market for future Masonic recruitment efforts, this writer for The Past Bastard remains unconvinced of Freemasonry's appeal to boomers given the clear inability of the baby boomer generation to plunge the fraternity into darker depths than it has already reached. Perhaps we could bait them with pins?

-Exalted Patron Dr. Dorian Dalton

Monday, October 23, 2017

Big changes coming to the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, and you'll never guess what they are!

Lexington,  MA - Scottish Rite members have been on the edge of their seats since the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction began pushing out cryptic videos last month. These videos tease something just around the corner, “Not just a man, a Mason” fades in and out. The words, “We’ve done a lot of Historic things…” and “The Story continues...” flash across the screen. The anticipation was just too much for us here at The Past Bastard, so we sent one of our faithful reporters on assignment to the NMJ to get the scoop on what's really going on up in Lexington, MA:

Reporting for The Past Bastard, I met an informant recently in the parking garage of a local shopping mall, who went by the name of “Shallow Throat.” What our informant revealed about the big plans and the videos that the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction has been pushing--which have been shared tens of times--was shocking. “We’ll see ourselves differently…” our informant began, "and NMJ members certainly will when they announce that the NMJ will formally announce a full blown re-dedication to the Pike Scottish Rite ritual, for starters."

According to Shallow Throat, the NMJ has suffered widespread criticism related to its constant changes for far too long. "The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction has decided to listen to its 'most intelligent members' and revert back to the core mission of being the "College of Freemasonry." I asked more about what was to come, and to my amazement, our informant dropped the following bombshell:

"Women." Shallow Throat stated plainly. I stared in disbelief. When I asked for further clarification on whether or not women were going to gain admission into the NMJ, Shallow Throat answered: "Well, not quite. Instead, the 33rds up in Lexington are planning to create a Scottish Rite spin-off for ladies called 'The Knights of KaDeuche.' But that's not all," our informant continued, "...these changes are all just a setup for the biggest change of them all--the proposal of a merger with the Southern Jurisdiction."

My blood ran cold. I asked our informant to clarify, to make sure I hadn't misheard. The informant went on, “The reason why Lexington has been hoarding money for so long, and deliberately choosing not to spend it on education or publications is because there's already a repository for those things in the House of the Temple in DC. If the Southern Jurisdiction agrees to the merger, the NMJ is ready to front the money to completely restore the House of the Temple so it can continue to provide light for all."

So, there you have it. When the NMJ finally releases the news, try to act I didn’t already tell you what was going to be announced. 

-W:. Dr. Chaz Nagler, Esq. 49˚

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lodge turns to psychedelics to enhance Masonic experience

Memphis, TN - A local Masonic Lodge has turned to psychotropic substances in an effort to enhance its members' Masonic experiences. Worshipful Brother Joe Snow, Master of Acacia-Ayahuasca Lodge No. 9, suggested his Lodge members imbibe Dimethyltryptamine (also known as "DMT") prior to Lodge meetings in order to make meetings more tolerable.

According to Wor. Bro. Joe Snow, "...our Lodge meetings are dreadfully dull. We pay the bills, listen to committees, and read the minutes. Almost nobody comes anymore. When I saw the success Colorado had in using psychotropic drugs to bolster attendance at pancake breakfasts, it gave me an idea. All these books are coming out about how this DMT stuff used to be used in Masonic rituals way back when, and I decided that, if anything, we here at Acacia-Ayahuasca could use it to distract our members from how boring our meetings are. With DMT, we open the Lodge, take a trip, and the effects start to wear off right as we're about to close. Neither my secretary nor I can comment on whether attendance has increased because of this experiment, mostly because we can't remember what happened during most of the meeting, but I'm confident that it's been a raving success!"

When The Past Bastard inquired as to why Wor. Bro. Snow didn't just expend effort to make Lodge meetings more interesting, he replied: "Sure, we could dump a bunch of time and energy into Lodge education programs or guest speakers, but our brethren start to get twitchy if the meeting lasts longer than an hour. Besides, we can't not read the minutes! It's been a tradition as long as the Lodge has been around! It's just plain easier to let each brother embark on his own 'special Masonic journey' during our meetings than to demand they learn something new in the name of Masonic education."

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Monday, October 9, 2017

Grand Lodge Ontario goes metric

Hamilton, ON -- In what many see as one more step in a separatist movement within the province, the Grand Lodge of Ontario has declared that it will formerly adopt the metric system. While this was unclear at first how it would impact Freemasonry, spokesman RWB Jacques Robespierre, District Deputee Grand Master consented to an interview with The Past Bastard.

"Well, this has been a long time in coming, I'll let you be told, " said RWB Robespierre, "And many of us in the Grand Loge are vair' excitement about this move forwaird. Our first item on le agenda, as you say, will be to stop using le vingte-quartre gage because it is all in the inches. From now on, our Francmasons Apprenticees will be instructed in the using of the Rule de Metric, by which they will have trente-trois centimetres pour sairvice, trente-trois for les usual vocations, and trente-trois for le sleep and dinnaire."

We noted that this only adds up to ninety-nine, but assumed that they would be forgiven the rounding error. However, The Past Bastaird then pointed out that the thirty three centimeters does not correspond to the twenty four hours in a day, and therefore destroys the symbolism. RWB Robespierre responded by lapsing into crude French, and then pretending as if he could not understand us. He then ended the interview.

Attempts at further communication by Le Past Bastaird have since gone unanswered.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, October 2, 2017

New Junior Warden disappointed with lack of appreciation for meal

Mason City, IA -- Earl Daneheart, the new Junior Warden at Benevolence Lodge in Mason City, was tired of the same old chicken dinners with green beans and potatoes, so he tried something new.

"I was walking through Sam's Club a couple of days before the meeting, you know? And I walked past the frozen green beans, then then I thought to myself, 'Well, this might be a nice change from those old canned beans,' so I went ahead and bought a few packages. Then I served them up with dinner at the last meeting."

Sadly, nobody seemed to notice the difference.

"Yeah, I sat there, hoping someone would notice that the green beans looked greener, or tasted better, but nope. They'all just glopped tons of butter and salt on'em like they always do," said Earl. "I mean, they ate'em, and it seemed like there was less that I tossed out, but it would have been nice if they had noticed, you know?"

Despite that, Earl is not discouraged, and plans to try something new again.

"Next month, instead of using the same old chicken spice that we always use, I'm gonna try one of those Italian spices that I saw at the grocery store. I'll bet that'll make them notice," he said.

--Conte Calvino Gliostro