GREETINGS, fellow Woodites everywhere.
And to all you non-Woodites out there, a very special welcome indeed. At the moment that I write this 28th holy Lesson of Wood, and I know that I say the exact same thing at the beginning of almost all the Lessons lately but it really does feel like only days ago that I sat down to write lesson 1, it is currently nearing the end of a frighteningly cold January of the year 2004 or, to put it in Woodian terms, Woodian Year 56. And when I say "frighteningly cold" I don't mean the weather outside because it's about fifty-six degrees INSIDE my house right now. In fact, it's probably warmer outside, which is a pretty sad statement.
As I write this 28th lesson, to be a bit more specific, I'm sitting here in my frightening cold kitchen in front of my frighteningly cold computer eating Rocky Road ice cream and eating popcorn and drinking Coke and watching re-runs of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, part of the Adult Swim lineup on Cartoon Network, one of the few networks that isn't evil and going to hell. For the past year, my entire life has revolved around Adult Swim. This happens usually once a year, I find myself deathly obsessed with some show or some cartoon or something. They come and go usually - Invader Zim, Jackass, Spongebob Squarepants, South Park, Clone High - but Adult Swim has yet to let me down or hurt my feelings. Aqua Teen, Home Movies, and Space Ghost. That is almost my entire life right now. It is my entire life besides the two girls in my life, my Naleen and my little Emerald, and everyone really should go check it out.
This lesson has to do with the legally binding Woodian Holy Days of Obligation, a list of holy days of worship for Woodites that was originally written wa-a-ay back in 1994, two years before Reverend Steve created the Church of Ed Wood or, for that matter, before Reverend Steve was a Reverend at all, back in the dark, dark days when he was simply Steve. I've been a leader of a religion since November 1996 but I've been a fan and follower and historian and apostle of Ed Wood since the early eighties when I first heard about Ed and his films. I've been a fan of Ed Wood and I've seen his true message of happiness and acceptance way back when other kids were first discovering Sesame Street. That's just the way that I grew up.
Now I see these twentysomethings all in love with Ed just because they like Tim Burton's films or they think that Johnny Depp is sexy and I don't feel like I'm in any way superior like those muscial elitists that you see working at your local used record store or your local "Hot Topic" who think that they're superior to everyone else because of their knowledge of obscure bands that no one has ever heard of. The way I see it, any way for anyone to become aware of Ed Wood is good to me. I did it the lengthy, hard way but that doesn't mean that I expect everyone else to. Be a fan in your own way. You don't have to be the grreatest, most hardcore fan of what you're into. All you have to be is a fan and that's good enough.
So when I was in high school I got upset that there were all these religious types that got days off school when I had to stay in school and work my brown ass off. All these catholics and christians getting the day off because of the Holy Feast of Saint Jayhoobah Alderan of Entitilitis and all those mormons and jews out there getting days off to go pray and stuff while I still had to sit on my stupid desk and listen to stupid teachers drone on and on about stupid laws. That was a ripoff in my point of view. I wanted days off, too!
So I made a list of important dates in the life of Ed Wood and his fellow actors so that I could get a few days off school. The same went for when I got my first job, a horrible video store job that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy or even on Michael Jackson, that young cancer-patient-molesting freak. So once I created my own religion I made this old list of important dates legal holy days so that those that claim Woodism as their official religion could flip off the christians and the catholics and get few days off of work for their OWN religion.
Since that time that I created the list oh so long ago I've occasionally gone back to the list, done a few updates and re-writes, adding a holy day here and there. But for the most part, the list of holy days has been a sort of stand alone list with not a lot of help with the dates and their meaning. So hopefully this 28th most holy Lesson of Wood will shed some light on these most holy of days.
Mosy days have their own unique actions do perform, much like Ash Wednesday when people have to go to church and get ashes on their forhead. For example, October 25th is known as "Casual Company Day" and on this day you must go and see some theater, especually a sub-standard play, in remembrance of the day Ed's play "The Casual Company" premiered in Hollywood. However unique each day is, each and every holy day must be a day of happiness and fun.
Originally it was stated that these days must be days of drinking and smoking and frivolity but that has since been changed since I don't smoke or drink anymore. So if you want to drink or smoke or do drugs or dress in the clothes of the opposite sex or take yourself to the movies or pleasure yourself or pig out on junk food, then you do whatever you want to do that makes you feel better while trying to gain spiritual acceptance within the spirit that is Ed. A woodian holy day is all about being happy and making yoruself happy, so get drunk, get high, read a good book, go to the movies, buy yourself some comic books or that new Groovie Ghoulies cd you've been meaning to go out and buy, WHATEVER makes your ontos happy for that is what Ed would do if he were there with you.
So, lets go through a few of these holy days. It goes without saying that this list is in no way a full list of each and every holy day.
For the full list of Woodian Holy Days, you should go here and check it out.
May 12th: Tor Johnson's Death (aka Tor Johnson Go Bye Bye Day)
Tor Johnson, the now legendary star of Ed Wood's "Bride of the Monster" and "Plan 9 from Outer Space," died on this day in 1971 in the San Fernando Valley Hospital in San Fernando, California. Tor's cause of death was listed as congestive heart failure, which shouldn't be such a big suprise seeing as how incredibly HUGE of a boy our Tor was. He was huge. Some people die of a big heart. Andre the Giant did and so did Tor. He was 67 years old when he died. This is a dual sort of holy day. First off, it's a day of death and there are a lot of "day of death" holy days in the list of Woodian holy days. Death rememberance days are both a sad time for quiet reflection on the person's life and also a happy, joyous festival of life, a day not unlike the Mexican Dia De Los Muertos where death is emberaced as a natural part of life. And on this particular day, the day that Tor Johnson died, Woodites everywhere should remember and celebrate Tor's life by watching some bad movies, perhaps even some of HIS works, and you can even watch pro-wrestling, seeing as how Tor was known worldwide as "The Super Swedish Angel" of professional wrestling.
MARCH 22nd: Reverend Steve Galindo's Birthday (aka Galindomas)
It's difficult to talk about the social and spiritual importance of your own birthday. You just try it sometime. I'm not going to get up here and talk about how important I am and how I represent the modern day whatever and the importance of a spiritual whatnot. I'm not going to sit here and play with myself by stroking my own ego. This is my birthday. I was born in 1977 in Prestcott, Arizona as the only Latino in a town of people with a shotgun and a banjo. I moved to Phoenix in 1984 and stayed there for a really long time. This is where I eventually created the Church of Ed Wood and Woodism. I came up with the idea in front of a computer at the main computer lab at Arizona State. Now I'm in Sacramento trying to start a family and promote Woodism as a major mainstream religion. My birthdays used to be huge when I was a kid and the older I get the smaller they are. So go play some video games or watch an Ed Wood film on my birthday. Feel free to tell work you have to take this day off because its the "Feast of Galindomas." You can thank me later.
JUNE 1st: "Plan 9 from Outer Space" is released (aka "The Day of Plannos")
Possibly the greatest Ed Wood film ever created, probably the most well known of all Ed's film, this is the day that Edward D. Wood Jr.'s science fiction epic "Plan 9 from Outer Space" was released. This is the day when your entire existance, from when you wake up in the morning to when you go to sleep at night, should be all about Plan 9. You should worship Plan 9, celebrate Plan 9, drink a toast to Plan 9, talk Plan 9, think Plan 9, watch Plan 9, and talk to your friends and family members and pretty much everyone you see about Plan 9. Then, and only then, will you reach a state of Plannos, a Woodian term I created meaning that you are totally and absolutely submerged in "Plan 9." This is a celebration of all things Plan 9. Torment your girlfriend and terrorize your family with an entire day of non-stop referencing of Ed's magnum opus. "Hello. Did you know that today Ed Wood's film 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' was released?" It's Plan 9 all damn day and it don't stop until your head hits the pillow in blissfull Plannos sleep.
OCTOBER 10th: Ed Wood's Birthday (aka Woodmas)
It's the Woodian Christmas! It's the holiest day on the Woodian calendar! It's the biggest day of the year for Woodites and casual Ed Wood fams worldwide! It's Woodmas, the Ed Woode Christmas, and it's a day of utter happiness for on this day our savior Edward D. Wood Jr. was born onto this earth a human sent to preach and promote his messages of love. It is customary on each and every Woodmas to wear the clothes of the opposite sex as a ritual to remember Ed throughout the day. It doesn't necessarily have to be full on drag. Maybe it can just be a pair of panties or a jock strap or a nice cotton thong. Or it could be full on drag. It's up to you, however you want to remember Ed Wood best. No one who is either a legally baptized Woodite or a casual Ed Wood fan should have to work on this day. This is Wodmas. It transcends religious beliefs and cultural barriers. This is a holy day of the biggest order. Some people might laugh at you or call you a freak and the people at your work might not believe you and your family might think you're insaine, but this is the day that we thank the fates that allowed Ed Wood to be here on this earth. Gifts are usually given for Woodmas and, like Ed's films, they should not be that great. They should come from the heart but also be very cheap like Ed's films. And if you drink, this is the day to get ripped out of your damn mind. Ask for the next day off as well.
DEC. 10th: Ed Wood dies (aka "Woodwane")
Along with Woodmas, this day should also be a national holiday. As for me, I never work or go to school on BOTH dates. This day, to me, is a day not to be sad or depressed because that is not what Ed would have happen. Ed would like you to remember this day and remember his life and legacy by going out, watching a movie, taking yourself to eat, maybe go on a road trip or buy yourself that one DVD you've wanted for a long time now. Ed would want you to remember the day that he died but in a joyous way. That is how I would like to be remembered, with an air of joy and not sadness. This day is called "Woodwane" because, I don't know, it just sounds pretty badass, doesn't it? I think so. So you tell your boss that December 10th is "The Feast of Woodwane." Damn, that DOES sound good.
NOV. 15th: Ex-Day
A day to remember the ex-es of your life, be it ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, or both. This day is a rather touchy subject, so lets get into this ... this is Saint Debby's birthday, Debby being my ex-fiance. Originally this date was Debmas, just as Ed Wood's birthday was "Woodmas" and my birthday was "Galindomas." And in many ways it still is. I am not one of those people who is angry and bitter at the relationships I've had in the past. I'm not one of those people who burns all the photographs and writes sad poetry while drinking coffee and smoking cloves at a Denny's when a relationship ends. Debby is a wonderful person and even if we're not together she still IS a Woodian saint and she still is a really important person in my life. So when I made this ex-day, I didn't mean it as some sort of bitter move on my part, a sort of religious f-you. No. I meant it as a day that you can think about the ex-people in your life, the people that aren't around anymore, not just your ex-girlfriend that turned all drunk militant lezbo and lives in Flagstaff now, but also those friends and family members who are not with us anymore. Again, a day of happiness and thoughtful rememberance, not sadness. Such is Ed's will.
AUG. 16th: Bela's Death (aka "Farewell Bela Day")
Now, this date really does go way beyond Woodism and beyond Ed Wood and beyond cardboard tombstones and the "Wood Spooks." Bela Lugosi was in hundreds of motion pictures in his long and illustrious career. Before Bela fell in love with our savior Ed, Bela did so much, made so many films, and acted in so many places all over the world. Bela has a really incredible life. So on this day when Bela Lugosi died, try and remember Bela and his lasting legacy by going out and seeing some of his work, either Wood-related or otherwise.
OCT. 25th: Ed's Play "Casual Company" Premieres (aka "Casual Company Day")
It's impossible for anyone to say that Ed's play "The Causla Company," based entirely on his experiences fighting in World War II, was bad. Pretty much no one that's out there right now has ever seen the play or saw it way back when it first premiered. So its really easy for people to say that Ed's play was bad and that's why it didn't last too long when it started doing shows in Hollywood. But it didn't last long in a theater and it was soon shut down. And now, Woodites everywhere remember this date, the premiere of Ed's play, by going out on this date and culturing yourself by going out and seeing a play or a concert or some sort of drama. To further remember Ed's legacy, it's usually customary when chosing a play or a concert to go to on this day to go to one that, for lack of a better word, sucks.
AUG. 18th: Criswell's Birthday (aka "Criswellmas")
Charles Jerome Criswell King had an incredible life, one that seems to have been almost forgotten before Tim Burton's film "Ed Wood" sparked renewed interest in this strange, mysterious character. Born in the back of a mortuary, Criswell was known to sleep in a coffin instead of a bed. He grew up to be a news reporter on television and was known to humorously predict what would be news the next day. One day he apparently predicted the death of a local politician. Flooded with calls and sudden "believers," Criswell decided to make a career out of false propheceering and became known as the Aamazing Criswell, nationally syndicated collumnist and television show host. And August 18th is his birthday. This is his day. One thing that you can do to make "Criswellmas" a fun and exciting one is, throughout the entire day, predict and prophecize to your friends. Predict the future. See visions. It's fun to pretend you're Criswell for a day. Who knows, maybe you'll make a career out of it just like Charles did.
SEPT. 27th: Woodian Day of Happiness
I cannot explain the Woodian Day of Happiness without also talking about the Woodian Covenant of Happiness. The Covenant of Happiness is a period from the beginning of August to the end of October during which ten of the holiest holy days fall. I decided to make this period from August to November the Ed Wood version of Lent, a period of time when a person who is fully in tune with the ways of Woodism tries to honor Ed by living one's life in an extended party. Not like Lent where its all sadness and prayer and fasting. Screw that. Our Lent is a time of happiness and joy and fun and frivolity. It begins with the Ed Wood Day of Remembrance, a day for preaching, a day to spend with friends, and a day to not be afraid to be yourself, all the while remembering Ed and all that he did. The Woodian Day of Happiness is the day in which all Woodites and Ed Wood fans are to be happy, jpoyous, and fun-filled in everything they say and do. So many other holy days from so many other religions are nothing but downers, you know? This day you pray, this day you kneel before your lord and master, this day you are to blah blah sad. Not Woodism. Woodism, like Ed's life, is about happiness and this day is the happiest of them all.
SEPT. 12th: Ed Wood Film Appreciation Day (aka "Film Day")
Ed Wood was an artist and his films, warts and all, were directly taken unedited from the dark recesses of his brain and placed on the screen in a way that, despite the mistakes and the flubs, was perfect because it is Ed's vision, unedited, directly from his head and his heart and his soul. Ed's films are unlike no other and each and every film that Ed made in his short career should be appreciated. And that is why we Woodites celebrate this day as "film Day" where we watch Ed's films and celebtrate his unmitigated artistic visions. This is a perfect day for you to host an Ed Wood film festival or an Ed Wood party. Show "Glen or Glenda" and "Bride of the Monster" or "Plan 9" to your friends and family, but also don't forget some of Ed's lesser known films such as "Jailbait" and "Night of the Ghouls." This is our day to tell Ed that we here on earth still appreciate his films and his vision.
MAY 12th: Ed's film "Jailbait" released (aka "Jailbait Day")
This is the day when Ed's film "Jailbait" was released. This was a strange film for Ed and that is really saying a lot. There seems to be set in society an arcetype Ed Wood film, one with a rubber octopus and cardboard tombstones and angora sweaters and spaceships on strings and men parading around in drag. This is society's idea of a typical Ed Wood film and these are all the things that "Jailbait" isn't. When you think Ed Wood, you don't think dark, haunting crime noir films. You think mad scientist and aliens and not understated, quiet, dark, gritty crime dramas. And yet somehow, someway this film exists as the black sheep of Ed's films, the extension of Ed's directorial skills. This was probably a direct attempt of Ed's to try to broaden his horizons and sort of show off as a director. It is obviously not as personal a film as "Glenda" was for him and yet it is probably his most mainstream, most normal work right next to the a-typical mad scientist film that "Bride" is. But this film, the movie that we celebrate on this day, is still an incredible film and it is one that we honor and remember every year on this holy day.