Monday, May 30, 2016

Grand Master Conducts Masonic Survey by Polling Self; Unable to Find Anything Wrong with Craft

Lexington, SC - Officers of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina are ecstatic after getting the results back from an "unprecedented effort" to survey the Craft within the grand jurisdiction. Spurred on by recent "wildly successful" efforts by the Scottish Rite and Masonic podcasters to utilize surveys to ascertain the cause of membership decline, Most Worshipful Joe Snow, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina created his own survey to poll the Craft.
"The results weren't shocking at all.," said Bro. Howard Wisenstein of the Grand Lodge Committee on Membership. "According to the survey results, the Craft is overwhelmingly supportive of the Grand Master and his initiatives."

When pressed further about the survey's sample size and polling practices utilized to conduct the survey, Bro. Howard explained, "...The Grand Master wanted to do this right, so he took a page out of the Gallup playbook. Understanding that Gallup's nationwide political polls only capture 1 in 200,000 Americans, and given the grand jurisidiction's total membership of a little over 35,000, Most Worshipful only needed a sample size of 1 to provide a representative cross-cut of Masonry in South Carolina. Naturally, he chose at random based on who happened to be in his office at the time and ended up conducting the survey on himself."
"The Grand Lodge Committee on Membership is still analyzing the results of the survey effort, but preliminary data suggests that this is the best year that South Carolina Masonry has ever had!," MW Snow exclaimed. "Based on the overwhelming satisfaction on the part of the Craft, I'd expect our membership numbers to increase significantly over the next several years, especially if my successors continue my initiatives. We could very well see the resurgence of Masonry for the first time since the 1960's!"

The Grand Lodge of South Carolina will be writing up a comprehensive after-action plan once the results are fully analyzed, but has already begun to budget funds for two "must have" programs according to the survey: expansion of area Masonic youth groups and the funding of the Grand Master's Lady's book club. 

-SK Bro. Mason Burhmaster

Monday, May 23, 2016

Silicon Valley Lodge Bans Wearbles from Stated Meetings

San Jose, California - San Jose Lodge No 10 in San Jose, California has banned all wearable technology from Lodge meetings effective immediately, according to the sitting Worshipful Master, Steve Gates.  Although the rest of this Silicon Valley town is very progressive on culture as well as technology, Worshipful Gates has cited privacy and security concerns as reasons for the ruling.

"It's not the fact that the Brothers carry audio and recording devices into the Lodge room," Worshipful Gates explains, "we can kindly ask the brothers to turn those off.  The challenge arises when you take into account that it records your every move."

He continues to state that the accelerometers used in these devices can accurately record masonic signs and hand gestures, as shown in the figure below.

The ban will be effective until the Worshipful Master's successor has been elected and installed.  The Senior Warden plans on continuing this tradition until more information is available.

Last year, Luddite Lodge #1899 in Vortex, Kentucky had a similar ban on fitness wearables.  Although no significant security benefits have been realized to date, the Lodge has noticed an average member weight gain of 12.4 pounds since the ban.

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Past Masters disappointed that new members have too many ideas

Santo Alberto, CA -- After a number of initiatives to attract younger, new members, the lodges around Central California are beginning to see some results. Men in their 30s are beginning to join the lodges in small, but increasing numbers. This has led, however, to some unforeseen issues in many lodges.

Members of Temperance Lodge No. 9744 don't understand
how to handle newer members with ideas. 
“These new kids are driving us nuts,” complained WB Ron McArnold of Temperance Lodge No. 9744.  “All they do is talk about stuff. They talk about Freemasonry. They talk about fellowship. They talk about all sorts of ideas. We can’t keep up, anymore.”

Indeed, that has been among the biggest complaints coming back up the hierarchy to the Grand Lodge officers: the new members are obsessed with Freemasonry, and their constant stream of ideas are getting on the nerves of the older, more established members.

“They’re constantly asking if they can try some new thing. One week it’s emailing the newsletters. Another week it’s having guest speakers in lodge. Another week it’s getting a blood drive at the lodge,” agreed WB Juan Flavian. “It’s crazy. I don’t understand why they can’t just sit there and just do things like we’ve always done them. What was the Grand Lodge thinking when they started trying to get all these new guys in here, anyway?”

The Grand Lodge of California has not responded to inquiries about these issues.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, May 9, 2016

NMJ discusses replacing working tools with image memes

Crystal City, VA -- In one of the more revolutionary concepts to come out of the 2016 Masonic Week convention, Bro. John McNaughton, SGC for the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, floated the idea that the working tools associated with the lessons of Freemasonry are old-fashioned, and could easily be replaced by more approachable forms of symbolic communication.

“... far too many current Masonic leaders do not understand that some traditions which served the needs of the fraternity in the past have very simply become outdated technology. For example, their insistence of stressing memorized ritual above all else in the craft, along with their edicts and rules, do not seem to be working very well in mostly empty 21st century lodge rooms.”

The 33ยบ SGC went on to describe how it might be better approached.

“The younger guys, today, are familiar with Facebook and Twitter, and they’re always passing along pictures that have been altered to have pithy or inspirational messages on them. Instead of trying to convey some kind of moral lessons with a few tools, like a square - which nobody uses in real life, anymore - we would be much better off showing them picture memes with the appropriate messages. It will be faster, and less prone to misunderstanding.”  

Although the SR has no authority over the Craft lodges, many Grand Lodge officers hold the various Supreme Grand Commanders in awe, and it’s not unusual for them to take those ideas and pass them along at the various Blue Lodge educational seminars. While there was little discussion over the idea of replacing the working tool lectures with Facebook memes, the fact that most of the Grand Masters and other officers present did not denounce the idea shows that at least some of them will be considering the move.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lodge Updates Musician Officer Position to Lodge DJ

Great Kills, NY - In an effort to make Freemasonry more relevant to today's youth, Sixth Liberal Science Lodge #8 has decided to update their Lodge Musician office to Lodge DJ.  Hardly an innovation in Masonry, the Lodge has kept the term "musician" in the officer lineup to keep Grand Lodge Officers at bay.

"We frankly got tired of the traditional organ and piano music, you know?" Worshipful Master Jesse Pinkman quipped.  "No one knows how to play the organ anymore and you can do a lot more with a pair of turntables."

Today, Lodge Officers can enter the Lodge room with a prelude of dubstep, candidates can take their obligations accompanied by Notorious B.I.G., and Officer Installations are a sight to see, resembling more of a rave than a solemn procession.

The Lodge has added a new line item in their budget to stock the DJ's  Musician's record crate based on listener requests and fresh jams.

Apathy was not available at press time for comment.

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