ShorDurPerSav (Short Duration Personal Saviors)

Anyone who knows me is aware of how I feel about organized religion, especially and in particular all religions based somehow on a certain angry desert god. However, if you know me really well you would have insight into my complex feelings about mysticism, myths, and some kind of hardwired brain function that requires the ritual and types of peak experience that religion attempts to offer (read some Sam Harris for an intelligent discussion on this).

The point being that we all need not just inspiration from a higher source. Not from heroes like sports figures or celebrities. I believe humans indeed require an entity larger than themselves to turn to in times of need or celebration to find salvation or give thanks for making things happen. However I do not believe in a one true god to rule them all, therefore the thought of an all encompassing lifelong personal savior is not only silly but simply unrealistic. It is with this mindset that I offer to you the unitiated (if you know what a ShorDurPerSav is then you can just skip all this) the concept of the Short Duration Personal Savior, hereafter referred to simply as a ShorDurPerSav.

The idea of the ShorDurPerSav was born in the Church of the Subgenius and first introduced in the original Subgenius Pamphlet still available for ordering (excerpted from here):


The SubGenius knows, bulldadaistically, that each human should do Jehovah’s work exactly as He reveals it to them, and that He has wildly varying messages for different people in different situations. By the same token, it is madness to accept any one ‘personal savior’ – even Dobbs – as a permanent guide. The greatest of the inventions of the SubGenius is the SHORT DURATION PERSONAL SAVIOR, or “Shordurpersav.” The True SubGenius accepts into his heart, as his own personal savior, anyone or anything with which he happens to be impressed at the moment. Shordurpersavs change from hour to hour, whim to whim. It could be the hero of a show you just saw, the author of a filthy book, a bottle of Thunderbird, a good pal, a car, a dog, a sex object, a friendly croaker who scripts for you. Not professional gurus you are locked into believing, but temporary ones according to the need of the “Now. ” They change so fast that it never gets embarrassing, you aren’t inclined to ‘proselytize’ them off on disinterested others who will later laugh at you; you know their effects will wear off in minutes (even though the very idea is unthinkable while under the Influence). One needs not mention them at all – a superb Tenet, since one is sometimes deeply ashamed of oneself for having a particularly unsavory Shordurpersav: some few can be Personal Saviors and False Prophets at the same time.

With this plethora of recombinant philosophies and Personal Saviors, the SubGenius is well-fueled, stoked to the fusion-point with spiritual fodder. Once he has “decided” whether to attack life through the REWARD SYSTEM (“Oh, Well”) or the EMERGENCY SYSTEM (“Oh Shit!”), he is primed up and ready to plunge, with or without the consent of Dobbs (who he will probably never meet) into the Slack-Search through the Short Wave Activities or Minor Fluctuations of the Stoogely Arts which make up the daily life of the Practicing (as opposed to Latent, Rogue, or Renegade) SubGenius.

And while X-day has come and gone and those practicing Subgenius’ who remain are merely worshippers in the dark arts and a false prophet, the wisdom that the real J. R. “Bob” Dobbs and other ministers of the Church of the Subgenius lives on. The need for and reality of ShorDurPerSavs has not changed before or after X-day.

I share with you here many of the Short Duration Personal Saviors I have turned to wash away my sins (and give me new ones). Those beings beyond the human fraility so common among this weak accidental species who I have entrusted (for no more than 15 minutes at a time typically) with the very fate of my soul, nay everyone’s souls.

And in sharing some of my ShorDurPerSavs with you I hope that you too can give up this delusional thinking in a one-size-fits-all personal savior concept that has pretty much left the world in the dark ages since the dark ages and keeps us fighting over the dumbest things instead of being truly great, and find a new hope in ShorDurPerSavs.

Send me your ShorDurPerSavs and stories of how they have changed your afternoon.


Archive of my ShorDurPerSavs


ShorDurPerSav: Evan Roth (aka fi5e)

I became familiar with Evan Roth long after being introduced to his work. For this reason Evan was my first vicarious Short Duration Personal Savior. His main themes are free culture, open source culture, and a fun better world. | read on »

ShorDurPerSav: My sister

My sister has many times over been my ShorDurPerSav. Not because she is perfect, but because she knows she isn't yet somehow manages to convince you everything will be. | read on »

ShorDurPerSav: Poppa Neutrino

It is unclear if he was a direct influence in my desire to build the caRV and take the Better World Tour. There is no doubt however that during the actual design and construction of the caRV and my travels thus far in it Poppa Neutrino was my ShorDurPerSav on more than one occasion and no doubt will be again. | read on »
J. R. "Bob" Dobbs

ShorDurPerSav: J. R. “Bob” Dobbs

I have chosen J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, the high pontiff and salesman for the Church of the Subgenius as my first documented Short Duration Personal Savior because, well, he was my first. | read on »