Monday, February 29, 2016

Georgia sends Tennessee bushel of peaches in show of appreciation for deflecting criticism

Nashville, TN - In a show of appreciation for deflecting widespread criticism for its decision in September 2015 to vote into Masonic Code an edict prohibiting, among other things, homosexual behavior and fornication, the Grand Lodge of Georgia shipped a bushel of peaches up to the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. Last week, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee became the subject of much online debate for its decision to expel a homosexual couple for being too fabulous for membership, and to place a gag order on Tennessee freemasons to keep them from discussing the matter in public. 

The couple, Dennis Clark and Mark Henderson, were apparently active Masons, and well liked by the other members of their Memphis lodge. According to reports, Clark supposedly wrote a revision to the Tennessee Masonic Code which would have removed the clause prohibiting homosexuals from joining, but was expelled before being able to present it to the next Grand Lodge session.

Regular readers will of course remember that the Grand Lodge of Tennessee came under scrutiny for their decision to follow through with a Masonic trial against Clark and Henderson during the summer, but publicity was deflected by the news that the Grand Master of Georgia at the time had issued an edict which specifically banned homosexual behavior. The Grand Lodge of Tennessee had sent a barrel of Jack Daniels to the Grand Master in a show of appreciation for deflecting mounting criticism of the Grand Lodge actions during that time. Hopefully, Tennessee will get as much enjoyment out of the peaches as Georgia got from their bourbon.  

--Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, February 22, 2016

Forbes Magazine Names Masonic Lodge 2016's "Best Place to Retire"

Citing its low dues climate, stable government made up of repeat officials, and its abundance of cold sandwiches, the Masonic Lodge was named the best place to retire in 2016 by Forbes Magazine.
"Masonic lodges are often labeled as an old men's club and after traveling to a few of them, we absolutely agree. The environment is so staid, stable, and oftentimes boring, we had no choice but to award the Masonic lodge with this distinction."
Men have been retiring at Masonic lodges for centuries
Other qualities mentioned were the Masonic lodge's accessibility for older members--where minutes are read not once, but twice--and its first-rate funeral planning services.
"This should come as no surprise to anyone," says Richard Pendleton of the United States Chamber of Freemasonry. "Masonic Lodges provide so many accommodations for someone on a retiree's fixed budget. Whether it's a free or highly discounted life membership just for being a senior citizen or the nearly endless supply of coffee and doughnuts, Masonry has a lot to offer the active senior. And let's face it, you could be in Belize dressing down a cabana boy for a damp towel, but isn't it much more fun to yell at a forty year old heart surgeon for mispronouncing the word, 'superfices?'"
- The Honorable Reginald Farquar, XVI°

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mason Mistakes Masonic Week for Geek Convention; Disappointment Ensues

Washington, DC - While almost all of the brothers (and sisters) at the annual AMD Masonic Week convention were pleased to be there and enjoyed meeting famous Freemasons and listening to various lectures, Bro. Bryan Bursar of Raceway Lodge No. 286 in Raceway, Indiana expressed some disappointment. 
“I was really excited at first because I heard that Masonic Week was like a big Masonic geek convention, you know? Like, a MasoniCon, right? So I wore my Starfleet shirt because I had expected to be meeting Brent, the guy who played Data on The Next Generation.”

Commander Data was not played by Bro. Brent Morris.
Bro. Bursar had driven from Raceway, and took the week off from work, and said that he slept in his car. When asked to talk about why he was so upset, he went on to explain, “I got in the line for this book signing, and I couldn’t believe that I was the only one wearing a Starfleet shirt. I mean, a lot of the Masons I know are LARP addicts and gamers, so you’d think that there would have been more of them at MasoniCon.

“The worst part was when I got up to the table, and there was this old guy in glasses who was signing some kind of orange book. I waited in line for 45 minutes, and that’s when I discovered that the guy signing was named Brent Mortis, or something like that. Turns out, the guy who played Data was named Brent Spiner.”
Bro. Bursar went on to say that because he’d never heard the name “Brent” before, he figured that it was a stage name unique to the Star Trek actor. 
“They really should warn people before they go wasting their time on stuff like that,” he said ruefully.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Thursday, February 11, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: North Korean Press Announces Creation of the Democratic People's Grand Lodge; Reportedly Modeled after Unnamed North American Grand Lodge

Pyongyang, DPRK - On Wednesday, the Korean Central News Agency (KNCA) announced that Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), had officially declared his intention to create the first ever Masonic body in the country. Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was quoted as saying: "Greetings to the great people of the mighty and magnificent Korea. Today we stand together, as workers, working together to defeat those that oppress us and our families. We are the builders of this great, powerful, mighty, and magnificent nation! It is only fitting that we remember those great builders that went before us, the Masons of old. To do this, we are creating the Very Much To Be Worshiped Democratic People's Grand Lodge (DPGL), to aid us as we continue to live in this, the greatest, most mightiest and magnificent nation!"
MVMTBWGM KJU Practices For An Upcoming Degree

The KNCA further explained the rich and glorious history of Masonry that existed within the DPRK: "As all true followers of the Wonderful Dear Virtuous Supreme Leader know, Freestone Masonry [sic] began in this great, glorious, virtuous nation. Freestone Masonry's first Most To Be Worshiped Supreme Grand Master was our beloved ancestor King Dongmyeong of Goguryeo. He passed down the ancient mysteries of Freestone Masonry for generations until they were buried by time. It was only after the recent discovery of the great and mighty unicorn lair by the Academy of Social Sciences that we rediscovered our Freestone Masonry history. Buried inside the great lair were tools and stones, carved by the beloved ancestral King Dongmyeong himself, explaining the great mysteries. These mysteries now belong to the people."

The KNCA further reported that the self-installed Most Very Much To Be Worshiped Grand Master and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un took inspiration on how to govern the new Masonic body from an unlikely muse: an unnamed North American grand lodge. Reaching out through the Embassy of Sweden, MVMTBWGM Kim Jong Un was impressed by this grand lodge's ability to repress independent thought, stamp out immoral behavior, and censor those arrogant enough oppose the grand lodge's supreme, albeit antiquated and arbitrary, rules. The supreme leader was reportedly most impressed with how the grand lodge in question handled a very recent case of member cohabitation and insubordination. Kim Jong Un pledged his support of this governing Masonic body, stating: "We have looked out across the vast oceans at Freestone Mason lodges at nations near and far. Through the embassy in Sweden, we have reached out to this 'Great Liberator of Troubled Nations,' a beacon shining amid the wretched United States, to assist them in bringing morality and retaining order. As a sign of our support, we will be sending them recordings of our Most Very Much To Be Worshiped Democratic People's Grand Lodge 're-education' materials to help them in their journey."

We may never know to what specific grand lodge body the supreme leader's title of "Great Liberator of Troubled Nations" (GLoTN) refers. While the DPRK arguably remains among the most closed-minded, repressive societies in the world at present, perhaps mutual autocratic rule can serve as a unifying factor to strengthen relations between our two nations.

-Exalted Patron Dr. Dorian Dalton

Monday, February 8, 2016

Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees Creates New Degree System to Restore Masonic Week Elitism

Every year, the annual York Rite Masonic Week in or around Washington, D.C. draws Masons from around the world in celebration of Freemasonry; more especially in celebration of the York Rite appendant bodies. In fact, 2015 had record attendance due to the influx of members and the depth and breadth of Masonic presentations. Citing the recent popularity of Masonic Week, The Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees has decided to rectify this lack of elitism by instituting three new degrees to re-introduce exclusivity in the craft.

Titled "The Royal Sovereign Order of Damascus," the three-tiered degree system is now the most exclusive body of Freemasonry. So exclusive, in fact, that the original degree author had to be felled by the penalties of the newly created degrees before completion in order to preserve secrecy. As usual, these degrees are invitation-only, with the additional challenge of trying to figure out who is actually a member of this "invisible college."

Should you be lucky enough to receive an invitation this week, say nothing, destroy all of the evidence (including your gilded parchment letter), and await your initiation on the last day of Masonic Week, Sunday, February 14th. The Society of The Royal Sovereign Order of Damascus assumes you are already elite enough to not have any plans set aside for Valentine's Day because Masonry comes first.

-Knight Kadeuch, Kennedy MacFaulty, 69˚ of the Mediocre Elu

Monday, February 1, 2016

Grand York Rite Bodies Announce Sweeping Website Upgrades; Unveil Partnership with GeoCities

Greenfield, IN - On Monday, the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, in concert with the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International and the Grand Encampment of the Knights Templar, announced their intention to modernize a collection of over twenty York Rite-related websites in order to better reach young Masons across the United States. These Grand York Rite bodies also announced, as part of this modernization plan, their intention to move past utilizing HTML editor to build their websites by partnering with GeoCities.

Bro. Joe Snow, spokesperson for the General Grand Chapter, explained the announcement further: "We have realized that the key to the future of our organizations lay with the masses of young Masons on the world wide web. That's why we've taken such a drastic measure to make sure that the glory of the York Rite is showcased as much as possible; we can't think of any better way to do just that than to partner with GeoCities for all of our future webdesign needs."

When asked why the Grand York Rite bodies chose GeoCities vice other webdesign applications such as WordPress or Dream Weaver, Bro Snow replied that it was the longstanding York Rite webmaster's idea. "We approached our webmaster about modernizing our websites using FrontPage 97, but he didn't feel that most Masons would be able to navigate a page constructed by such an advanced program. He was adamant that GeoCities should be the way of the future as far as York Rite websites are concerned, and we wholeheartedly agree." 
While the Grand York Rite bodies are looking to modernize their websites in the short term, they are also looking to expand their social media footprint. Bro Snow continued, "We're working on creating a social media presence next. We toyed around with the idea of Friendster, but our webmaster informed us that the best place on the information superhighway to reach young people today is Myspace, and we're looking forward to joining that community as soon as possible!"

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster