Jan 23

Ah.. the chicken flute... a noble instrument...Click for full image

Bibliomancer Comments: And after only a few dozen sessions on the E-meter you will so far exceed normal human ability that you can eat a turkey drumstick wearing a bear suit and not feel stupid. Honest!
Published 1989

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.94 out of 10)

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52 Responses to “The Creation of Human Ability”

  1. rev Says:

    Independant Scientologist mkmrmny says:

    “This is the one book I would want with me on a desert island.”

    I say:

    “Hahahahahaomghaha” and “chucklechucklehohoho”

    There isn’t any electricity on a desert island, Mr Scientologist Man.
    Or drumsticks, bearsuits, women, chairs or curtains. You are gonna be sooo frustrated.

  2. Ae7flux Says:

    It’s a pity that GSS doesn’t support exponent notation because I want to WTF this to the power of infinity. Admittedly, I felt the same way about the last cover but I’m glad I resisted my impulses. This, at least must, must represent some sort of ultimate in WTFery.

  3. THX 1138 Says:

    “I’ll never eat porridge again! In your face, Xenu – er, Goldilocks!”

  4. Tag Wizard Says:

    Here’s the 1974 original plus notes on Benndorf’s later (and more recognizable) art style:

  5. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    What’s behind the curtain? Discuss.

  6. Anonamouse Says:

    @DSWBT –

  7. RachelJ Says:

    @ Tag Wizard. Some distinctly odd opinions in those notes:
    “The image below [i.e. this one] is LRH and his book cover designer at their best.” – said with no apparent trace of irony. Weird.

  8. Adam Roberts Says:

    I propose a font tag here, too. The ‘E’s are especially outrageous. Like a square-set C sieg-heiling. Or a k.

  9. fearofmusic Says:

    tom cruise’s next wife, once she completes her ot3 audit.

  10. Tag Wizard Says:

    @RachJ, surely the lack of self-evident irony is only proof that the bearstare is capably confronting your mind, as intended.

    More from beverlysutphin:

    “The idea was that the image of a woman in a bear suit sitting on a chair on a stage eating a turkey leg was supposed to stimulate some long-buried past-life memory that would make you irresistibly compelled to buy the book and become a Scientologist. Totally not a joke.”

  11. Tom Noir Says:

    OH yeah, I’ve had THIS dream.

    Amirite, fellas??

  12. HappyBookwyrm Says:

    @DSWBT – I think behind the curtain is the rest of the cast of the children’s
    theater group, impatiently waiting for the woman playing Mamma Bear to hurry up and finish her lunch break.

    Explains everything except what that has to do with anything.

  13. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Thetan Trainer (or whatever the f . . . they call it): “So you see, Bear, the creation of human ability requires that you lift your pinky as you chow down a disgusting, greasy drumstick. Keep at it, and soon you’ll cross the bridge.”

  14. Kwyjor Says:

    I heard the various covers used for Dianetics (such as the erupting volcano) were supposed to evoke deeply-buried racial memories of some sort, but this?

  15. fred Says:

    And man did feel the need come upon him. An urgent need, greater than all the others that had come before. Greater even than the need for the art deco font, and that was a very great need indeed. And man did consider his present need. Was it greater even than the need for the chair?

    Excerpt from “Laundry detergent, zipper, roast turkey. Which came first? A doctoral thesis on the origins of mans creative abilities and its relationship to avant garde theatre.”

  16. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Adam Roberts — I believe that font is called “Stiffee”

  17. A.R.Yngve Says:

    All that brilliance, talent and mind power on display, with the tag “L. Ron Hubbard”…

    …where’s the problem? The cover couldn’t be more accurate.

  18. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Ae7Flux — wtf^∞

  19. B. Chiclitz Says:

    By the way, this is not a woman wearing a bear suit. It is a bear wearing a woman’s mask. I think that is the source of the deeply felt need the image taps into. The deeply felt need to find ever more gigantic ways of saying {wtf^∞ googolplex}.

  20. Mongoose Says:

    So last weekend, Further Confusion (A furry convention) and HempCon (guess) shared a convention center.

    I think their powers combined retroactively birthed this cover.

  21. RachelJ Says:

    Now I’m wondering how many furry Scientologists there are…

  22. Bibliomancer Says:

    Backstage at the Renaissance Faire’s bear-baiting reenactment.

  23. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Congratulations, Tom. You’ve reached the highest Operating Thetan level! Now put on the ceremonial costume. And you may taste the Sacred Turkey Snack of Xenu, food of the gods!”

  24. Tom Noir Says:

    This book actually describes a revolutionary new weight loss plan! With this diet, you can eat any food you want, no matter how unhealthy, as long as you wear a correspondingly ridiculous outfit while you do so! Here we see a woman who has decided to swap one drumstick for an hour in the bear suit. She’s already lost fifty pounds!

    Granted, that was just the price of the weight loss book.

  25. A.R.Yngve Says:

    I suppose the cover works as a riposte to every author who ever complained about not getting the cover he/she asked for…

    [Cue “Have A Banana” jingle]

  26. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    …or it could be that the woman is BEHIND the curtain while an act is going on, and she is sitting having her lunch….blew your mind, didn’t I?

  27. Phil Says:

    Wait a minute! This isn’t an SF or fantasy book! (Well, it IS total fantasy, but both the author and the publisher consider it to be non-fiction.)

    Suddenly, somehow, we have a book which is neither SF nor fantasy LEADING THE SCOREBOARD for “GOOD SHOW, SIR: Only the worst Sci-fi/Fantasy book covers”.

    This means… we have… an existential crisis on our hands. Run for your lives!

  28. Tag Wizard Says:

    It’s the ultimate crossover, science fantasy!

    Let’s see if the good name of GSS ends up in a seal of approval on the next edition’s cover.

  29. Elrond Hubbard Says:

    @Phil — You seem to be a troubled and confused person. Please visit your local Scientology center for a free session of counseling and reprogramming.

  30. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Careful now — I think I can hear the rhythmic tromp-tromp of marching lawyers…

  31. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Tag Wizard — Could we add a tag for artist “Henning Benndorf” here. Apparently he is willing to claim credit for this artwork.

    And a side order of “drumstick” tag to go! Yum.

  32. Bibliomancer Says:

    Hey GSS Admin. Your voting system is the pits. I just watched some clown bomb my cover submission with a dozen “1” votes in a row to pull it down in the rankings.

  33. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Bibliomancer—Was it this clown? or this one?

    Either way, I say cry “foul!”

  34. Tom Noir Says:

    Oh *I* get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No, wait.

    I don’t get it.

  35. RachelJ Says:

    There’s something really, really wrong with that title- but what? I mean, it’s actually perfectly good English, yet somehow it gives an overwhelming impression of having been machine-translated from Chinese.

  36. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @RachelJ: ah, so you’ve read Hubbard’s fiction too! 😉

  37. THX 1138 Says:

    Here’s hoping Shelley Duvall gets the help she needs. Seriously.

  38. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Wait, wasn’t Thanksgiving supposed to be yesterday?

  39. fred Says:

    ‘What does a Scientologist wear under a bear suit?’ the Scotsman asked.

  40. Bibliomancer Says:

    @DSWBT – On Thanksgiving you sit at the table and eat a turkey dinner with the family. On the day after you sit alone in a bearsuit eating a leftover drumstick.

  41. JuanPaul Says:

    This cover made me both horny and hungry at the same time. I think I might be a Scientologist.

  42. Tat Wood Says:

    I’m having flashbacks to ‘The Singing Ringing Tree’. And Bungle Don’t have nightmares.

  43. JuanPaul Says:

    @tw. You might as well have dropped a hit of acid in my drink

  44. Vyrmis Says:

    First thoughts (after “Buh… huh?”) – scientology hazing?

    Tat Wood: is that the deeply buried racial memory, then? Is Zippy a deep and multilayered metaphor for Xenu?

  45. Tom Noir Says:

    Remember, if the bear suit itches it’s just those pesky thetans. Keep working on that drum stick and the feeling will soon pass!

  46. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I’m expecting this to show up on next week’s episode of “Twin Peaks” redux. Except the curtain will be red and the floor black and white zigzags, natch.

  47. Bibliomancer Says:

    Where in the World is Bibliomancer?
    I had to leave Hungary but it’s OK because now I’m looking at Turkey.

  48. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Bibliomancer—By all means do not respond to the flyer under your hotel door in Constantinople inviting you to high tea at the Consulate.

  49. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: Too soon?

    And of course it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople…

    You’re all welcome for the earworm.

  50. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @GSSxn—”Constantinople” is part of the code language Bibliomancer and I converse through when he is on assignment (I can say no more); also, I was hoping somebody’d pick up that cue.

  51. Bibliomancer Says:

    You are both acting so Byzantine.

  52. anon Says:

    @JP: …and a furry…

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