Q&A: The Cult of Inconnu

The staff do their best cult impressions in honor of our fall/winter 2015 theme.


November 23, 2015 | Cult | Fall 2015


What is your favorite cult classic of TV? Film?

Emily: All those movies that are so widely loved that our entire culture subscribes to their values without even realizing it. Sinking ships are okay if they produce eternal love.

Kellie: The Goonies, Wild at Heart, Blue VelvetFreaks and Geeks… there are so many.

Sadie: Nothing will ever top Buffy the Vampire Slayer for me. That universe meant so much to so many. It taught an entire generation of young women to pun like pros in even the deadliest of situations.

Joanna: The Room.

Megan: Safe (the Todd Haynes film, not the Jason Statham crime thriller).

Taylor: I could lie and say that it’s something other than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Marianne: I gotta go with Twin Peaks. Only David Lynch could convince me that I want to live in a demonic backwoods town for the cherry pie.

Ellie: Veronica Mars, Battlestar Galactica, Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development.

Asia: Buffy the Vampire Slayer for television. A Nightmare on Elm Street for film, but you bet your ass it’s the original. Young Johnny Depp in a crop top is important.

Ariana: Gilmore Girls for sure. Since appearing on Netflix has started to have more of a cult following. Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog by Joss Whedon. Veronica Mars. The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Victoria: Mean Girls all the way! So many classic, timeless moments. SO. MANY.

If you could lead your own cult, what would you call it?

Ellie: Scientology.

Emily: Girls Hanging Out and Being Witches.

Sadie: #GirlSquad (My cult needs to be identifiable on social media.)

Joanna: Champagne & French Fries

Megan: Dogs Are Cute And So Are You. Wanna Cuddle? (Really, just group therapy for the emotionally starved.)

Jillian: Sleepy Teens

Marianne: Haven’t thought about this at all.. brb trying to formulate my own space opera philosophy

Asia: Fake Punks

Kellie: Kindergarten Vogue.

Ariana: The Gilmore Girls

Victoria: Stay Home Cult.

Lydia: Zayn Malik Lovers

Do you side with Tom Cruise or Katie Holmes?

Kellie: Suri. Always Suri.

Emily: Due to the “Tom-Cruise-has-no-front-teeth-only-a-single-middle-tooth” situation, I am with Holmes.

Joanna: Katie, for sure. I feel like Tom makes a little too much eye contact.

Sadie: Katie Holmes. Always bet on the sane ones.

Megan: Tom Cruise’s two other kids that no one ever remembers.

Jillian: Katie Holmes’ hair is the real MVP.

Taylor: My girl Katie.

Marianne: I’ll say Tom just to be the token contrarian, but also because of Top Gun. And Eyes Wide Shut. Cocktail, too.

Asia: Nicole Kidman?

Ariana: Katie Holmes. I will always have a soft spot for Joey Potter.

Victoria: Katie. No, Tom. Damn. Do I have to pick a side?

Lydia: Suri is #1 so I gotta go with my boy Tom Cruise

Adele Nazeem: real or staged?

Ellie: Staged Realism.

Emily: Adele Nazeem is Idina Menzel’s alternate ego who sings the AU hit “I Will Never Let It Go I Have Crippling Anxiety.” (Real.)

Joanna: Smh. What would Vincent Vega think?

Sadie: I’m more concerned with why he was touching her face so much.

Jillian: Mass hallucination

Marianne: Part of me is still convinced that John Travolta is not a real person. He falls more into the category of a talking thumb.

Ariana: What is reality really? Real or not, it was a brilliant moment.

Victoria: I see your question and raise you another: Illuminati: real or real?

Lydia: John Travolta is and forever will be Edna Turnblad.

If L. Ron Hubbard were alive today, what would he think about Hamilton the musical?

Emily: I still don’t understand what Hamilton actually is. I’m from Canada.

Sadie: I have no idea what LRH would have to say about Hamilton, but I do know what Hamilton would have to say about LRH, which is “YO, WHO THE EFF IS THIS?” or alternatively, “Talk less, smile more.” Or really, “Frankly, it’s a little disquieting you would let your ideals blind you to reality.”

Joanna: Needs more aliens.

Marianne: “Beep beep boop potato.”

Asia: I don’t understand Hamilton, and I don’t really understand musicals. I went into Les Mis expecting to hear talking at some point, but no… I was very wrong.

Do you have a favorite book (or essay or comic) on the topic of cults?

Kellie: Helter Skelter: The True Story of The Manson Murders.

Sadie: The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo, which isn’t actually about specific cults but rather about cult mentality and what people are capable of when you strip away their individuality.

Joanna: No book, but “Going Clear” the Scientology documentary was a lot to take in.

Jillian: Ok, so, Kim K’s Selfish totally isn’t about cults, but the connection I feel to everyone else who bought it and obsesses over Kim’s old selfies is honestly kind of cult-like.

Ellie: Dianetics.

Marianne: Anything on the rhetoric of fervent collectivism / mob mentality / the hivemind is so terrifying and fascinating.

Asia: Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

Ariana: This book isn’t specifically about cults but I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The main characters perform in the Rocky Horror Picture Show each weekend. It was my first introduction to the cult status something could reach.

Victoria: The Secret History by Donna Tartt. READ IT.

Jocie: This book isn’t about cults, but it’s a book that’s a cult classic (hey hey!) and it’s Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann.

Do you think Lizard Gods are kind to the masses? Or only the rich?

Marianne: Lizard Gods subscribe to a kind of hybrid feudal-meritocracy of intellect where only the sharpest, most powerful minds would enjoy the reward of material wealth. Material wealth for its own sake is vulgar and common – thus it must be distributed in proportion to an individual’s intelligence and the manifestation of their ethics and morals to be ‘meaningful.’ It is not a matter of favoring the rich – it is about incentivizing individuals with money to pursue the objective value of information and critical thought. The higher your demonstrated intellect, the higher your standard of living. This is a fun thought experiment.

Ellie: I mean, to be fair, Marianne is from New Zealand. Isn’t that like a haven for Lizard Gods? I’m not saying she’s a Lizard God, but there is definitely the possibility.

Victoria: I’m a staunch believer in the concept that they’re all Lokis in disguise.

Favorite cult beauty product, real or imagined?

Kellie: Fucking Avène Thermal Spring Water. I hate how much I crave constant mist upon my face.

Emily: Those stupid matte liquid lipsticks that cost $30 and make your lips feel like sandpaper. I need them all!!!!

Joanna: I don’t know anything about makeup but I moisturize with this Alba mango papaya lotion religiously.

Sadie: Jojoba Oil

Megan: Sharpies and raspberry juice.

Jillian: Fresh lip balm. Use it. Love it. Treat yo self.

Marianne: Oh man I bought all kinds of weird crap when I went to South Korea earlier this year. I got this snail slime face gel substance thing which interestingly smells like oranges. Not sure how effective it is at achieving anything but I like the novelty of smearing snail slime all over myself. But I usually don’t bring that up until the third date.

Asia: Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. Please, for the love of god, everyone buy this. You’ll be able to basically fly with the lashes this shit gives you.

Victoria: Urban Decay’s Perversion Eyeliner. Literally will not budge and leaves a line sharp enough to kill a man every time

Jocie: I’m going to be that person and say Lush. Everything Lush.


How would you explain Donald Trump to a 4-year-old?

Ellie: Toupees in the wind.

Emily: Man who hates everyone but loves Twitter.

Kellie: Like the movie Richie Rich, but sadder. And more racist.

Sadie: The opposite of Santa Claus.

Joanna: Money doesn’t solve everything.

Marianne: Tronald Dump aka everyone’s favorite screaming steamed carrot.

Asia: I would just show this vine.

Ariana: The guy with the awful haircut trying to run for president.

Victoria: A saggy potato sack with a combover.

Jocie: The reason freedom of speech needs to be reconsidered. (That’s a JOKE. I’m joking. Sort of.)

Lydia: The Devil

Who’s your favorite celebrity Scientologist?

Ellie: Elizabeth Moss.

Emily: Beck. I only learned who he was via the 2015 Grammys. He seems alright.

Sadie: Everyone at work keeps talking about how that one guy from Pretty Little Liars joined up. I pick him because he represents the millennials.

Joanna: Elizabeth Moss, WHY Peggy?? :-(

Marianne: Gotta go with the Cruise. It’s pretty badass to be so literally insane that Christian Bale based his entire American Psycho performance on your David Letterman appearance. Seriously! The video of that interview is up on Youtube, you need to watch it if you haven’t already. It’s hilarious but like, for all the wrong reasons.

Victoria: Beck, by default. I’m not a huge Cruiser ever since I began associating him with hearing “Into the Danger Zone” too many times while watching Top Gun.

Lydia: Definitely Elizabeth Moss, I loved her as Torch in Girl Interrupted.

Kellie: Laura Prepon.

If a cult called your phone, would you answer? And if you did, what would you say?

Ellie: The Church of Scientology has called me multiple times and left voicemails. “Kevin from the Church of Scientology” seems like a nice guy.

Sadie: I made the mistake of considering joining Lifetime Fitness in 2013. That cult hasn’t stopped calling me since. And no, I don’t answer the phone anymore.

Jillian: I’d let them leave a voicemail.

Ariana: I wouldn’t answer.

Victoria: I’d pick up and troll to my heart’s content.

Kellie: I feel like that would be the OG hotline bling.

Fill in the blanks: Cults are to society as ________ is to __________.

Marianne: Cults are to society as society is to cults.

Victoria: Ronald McDonald is to McDonald’s.

Lydia: Troy is to Gabriella.

* * *

Illustration by Dyl Moss.

This is a post by the editorial staff.

1 Comment

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