BROTHER THEODORE: Fate Conspires with Destiny to Do Me Dirt: LP

If you’re young enough, you might associate the term “monologist” with, god forbid, our current tweet-farting, blubberheaded skintag of a president. Or perhaps any of the insectoid denizens of the cyber world who think of themselves as “influencers.” If so, your gooey, social-media addled mind needs expanding. Let me introduce you to Brother Theodore—the Rumpelstiltskin of monologists, the sideshow shaman of the sinister and absurd. Despite his claim of being “just plain folks,” Brother Theodore was poetically darker than Poe, more eldritch than Lovecraft, more comfortable with unease than Gorey, more grim than Ayn Rand, more teutonically truculent than Nietzsche, more unhinged than Artaud, more socially ill-adjusted than Rondo Hatton, and more intimately acquainted with putrefaction than Baudelaire; part gargoyle, part troll, part human jack-o-lantern: Theodore came across as some kind of brilliantly demented avuncular forbear to Borat. But one that left you even more uncertain about the answer to “how much of this is a put-on?” Unlike Borat, many things about Theodore—like his German accent, for one—were not affectations and his peculiarity was unquestionably organic. Wedged like a fungus between fact and fiction, he was a liminal character par excellence. If you know of Brother Theodore at all, it’s most likely as the squash-like uncle in The ‘Burbs. But if you’re lucky, you might remember his contentious and exuberantly strange appearances on the Late Night with David Letterman show in the ’80s. If you’ve never seen those appearances, go to Youtube right now and look up his “food sermon.” It is pure gothic genius and you may never look at your Chicken McNuggets the same way again. In this gas-lighted era where truth is speckled with mushrooms and decomposing before our eyes, this brilliant, hilarious, ranting toadstool of a philosopher might be more relevant than ever. In fact, he’s probably the only philosopher who matters anymore. –Aphid Peewit (Omni, worldwentdown.com/omni)