Without any exaggeration I can honestly say the biggest influences on my life and my personal perspective on the world as a whole has come from the various kooks and cranks who are often ridiculed by the world at large.
The spiritual leaders, artists, philosophers, etc., who shaped me and my mind are usually the butt of many jokes at their expense because most people are just "too normal" to understand anything beyond their own reasoning.
The book "Kooks", by Donna Kossy (pictured far below) has Ruth E. Norman on the cover, who was famous in her day as the "space granny" Archangel URIEL (Universal Radiant Infinite Eternal Light). As URIEL, Ruth led the Unarius Academy of Science through a renaissance period where they channeled and wrote numerous books on spirituality, science, philosophy, the arts, self-improvement and healing. And the festivals and artwork created under her tutelage was absolutely wonderful. Two years ago I was fortunate enough to visit the Unarius Academy of Science and I was given such a great tour. Some of the best art, I feel, is created when you don't have all the necessary parts you need to construct what's in your mind; limitations force imagination to work harder.
The costumes, props, models, etc., put together by the students at Unarius blew my mind. I love Unarius, URIEL, and all the students. I admire them because they were brave enough to be different, and I respect them as artists. So for the "Kooks" cover to have URIEL on it, if feel, is a bit too exploitative of a loving and good-natured woman. There are ill-intentioned organizations in the book that I feel would be better represented as a "kook".
But this train of though I don't feel is too uncommon for those who are a member of the Church of the SubGenius. Although I can't say this is true for every card-carrying member, but I'd say there's a sense of admiration for anyone who goes against the grain. Oh sure we make fun of assholes who take advantage and who hurt other peoples for the sake of gain, but there are other socalled kooks who deserve our admiration and respect.
Reverend Ivan Stang often cites Stanislav Szukalski as the greatest kook of all-time because of his work on his homemade science, Zermatism, as well as his beautiful artwork which was mostly lost during WWII. There's something inspirational about someone who puts 100% into something they want, especially a belief system and the arts, that truly opens my mind to what the possibilities of the world could be in some sense.
ANYWAY, that was a longwinded way for me to say I was digging through my books and found my SubGenius collection, as well as "Kooks". I guess it all just got me thinking about why I enjoy the things I do. I'm just always trying to figure out what lurks under my admiration for the offbeats, and I guess I found a certain root cause.