Poppa Neutrino died in January. He’d raised five children, invented one football play and sailed across the Atlantic on a raft made of garbage. Homeless by choice for most of his 77 years, Neutrino (born William David Pearlman) is the subject of “Random Lunacy,” a documentary he co-produced in 2007.
His was a kind of freedom that I fantasize about. Like the Australian aborigines who it’s said inspired him, I sometimes want to torch my home and walk away from it naked. Nothing more to lose.
Neutrino believed that rent ruins a man. By this he meant that we become slaves to our possessions … as I am to mine. His “three deepest desires” were freedom, joy and art. Crazy, huh?
Until recently, my understanding of “est” seminars was that people paid to be locked in hotel conference rooms by the hundreds or thousands for day-long sessions of screaming and crying. Guided catharsis or something. Sounded suspicious.
Now I’m thinking that Werner Erhard, who founded the est movement, might be worth looking into. Maybe he was a huckster or maybe he was a charismatic savant. The documentary “Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard” makes a strong case for the latter.
Redemption World Outreach Church, or RWOC (which I pronounce “ARE-wok” … just a guess) is a pentacostal megachurch here in Greenville. Its founders are Apostles Ron and Hope Carpenter.
I visited RWOC a few years ago and left the two-hour service thoroughly impressed, not only by Ron Carpenter’s spellbinding homespun oration, but by the diversity and enthusiasm of his congregation. As tempting as it is to condemn him as just another evangelical con man hot on the heels of Jim Baker, Ernest Angley, Jimmy Swaggart and Reverend Ike, there’s no question that he’s lighting up people’s lives.
So do the ends justify the means? Of course they do. Ask Werner Erhard. Ask Poppa Neutrino.
Dinner last week with Johnny Price was as pleasantly thought-provoking as I had expected it would be. I didn’t ask him whether he still thinks I’m going to hell, though. That might have been pushing my luck.
Chris White and Jeter Rhodes have been holed up in a basement editing suite since we broke camp at South of the Border almost two months ago. I visited with them yesterday to watch pieces and parts. Note to self: Next film, work out more and then wait for the final cut.
J. Michael Craig has been released on bond. High strangeness.