Category Archives: News

Myspace Brian Repents

November 20, 2016
 Hello again Normal Bob Smith,

I just wanted to send you a quick thank you. I happened to be one of the many many people who sent you "hate" mail 10+ years ago. 
I was 16 sending you myspace messages about how real God is and how wrong you are. I randomly thought about the time I sent you those messages and googled my way to find and read them and of course they're more ridiculous than I remembered.

Myspace Brian 16I came to terms with being an atheist about 6 years ago now and I honestly think messaging you 10+ years ago was a beginning to my questioning. You ended the last message with 
 "I'm glad you're at least thinking about all this stuff. That's what got me started questioning, and eventually led me to what I believe today" and it's crazy how right you were.

Anyway, reading back at those messages, you could have easily shrugged those messages off and replied back "hail satan. see you in hell kid.", which may have been funny. I think what really struck me back then was how calm, collect, and informed you responded and I wasn't expecting your messages to actually make me think. So yeah, I'm 25 now and becoming atheist years ago was one of the best things that ever happened to me, so thanks for responding to a 16 and making him think. 

Take Care,
 Brian

 

Well that's pretty amazing.

Now if I'm correct I never got a responce from you after that final long letter I sent. I'm curious what sort of reaction you had to that letter about Koko the talking gorilla and me taking back evolution to single celled parents and their babies. Or did 16 year old Brian see the length of it and just skip it?

I'm also curious, can you put your finger on what finally changed your mind and swayed you to atheism.

I'd love to see a picture of you now if you don't mind. I plan to post this on my site if you don't mind.
 Thank you!
Normal Bob

 

Myspace Brian 26It's hard to remember exactly 10 years back but I know I read the last message and took it serious. I just don't think I was ready to start seriously questioning everything I ever believed yet. I think when I was 16, it didn't even come across my mind that I could be wrong and it's easy to pass off every scientific explanation as "God is so powerful that we just can't comprehend how he's working". What led me to come to terms with atheism wasn't so much an overnight decision but just 4+ years of doubts and questioning along with simply getting older.

I grew up in a small conservative town where every kid was involved in a church and as I left and got involved in different communities, my mind just opened up to other points of view. There is one odd moment though that I give some credit to which seems pretty random now. I came across this image of an uncontacted south american tribe aiming a bow and arrow at a plane flying overhead.
South African tribe aiming arrows at plane
Something about this image and story really hit me with the amount of diverse people that are currently living and have lived on earth. If even today there are tribes aiming arrows at a plane, showing how out of touch they are with the modern world, how can I assume that the God I believe in is the only answer. The world is so much bigger than each of us individually and to think that every single member of every non-christian tribe since the beginning of time is in hell for not knowing about the Christian God, couldn't be more ignorant. 

Even though there are now countless reasons I don't believe in a God, I do think that realization was one of my turning points. 

I was watching "Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life" by Richard Dawkins yesterday and when he started reading his hate mail, that's what reminded me of my 'burn in hell, normal bob!!' messages. Whoops.

Brian

Now I’m not one to brag, but after going back through Brian’s and my 2006 conversation I’m impressed with my responses. I didn’t remember it being this good!

Also, here’s that Richard Dawkins video he mentioned.

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The Jesus Dressapp

UPDATE: Sept 25, 2016 – The Jesus Dressapp has been deleted from Google play, but is available, uncensored here at Evil Apps.

Jesus Dressup crownhanger logoIt’s here at last! The Jesus Dressapp for Android. But not without it’s share of drama… Already!
This is actually the 2nd version of this particular design posted within the last 48 hours. The first one removed for being too sexy explicit with the BDSM clothes. Those have now been removed. (btw, if you downloaded that first version you can still download the new one without disrupting the one you have. You’ll just have 2 versions on your phone.)

Jesus Dressup App for Droid samples
Jesus Dressup App for Droid samples

Anyone who’s followed the Jesus Dressup app story for the last 6+ years has witnessed the constant struggle to get it & keep it available to the public. And there’s a story to go with each desperate attempt made.

Jesus Dressapp Attempt #1

Apple FAIL image

The first big attempt was in 2010. A fan of the site from Scotland came to visit at Union Square. He offered to make the app for iPhone. He’d mentioned it when we met, hung out a few days without talking much more about it. Then I happened to be walking by him on Astor Place the day he was flying back home and he shouted from the distance, “Do you still want me to make that iPhone app for you?”

“Sure! Go for it! Just put a link to the fridge magnets on it and it’ll be worth it to me!” I shouted back.

Knowing it was a lot of work to make, in haste I said, “If you can put a link to my store on it it’s yours to do whatever you want with!” Or something of that nature.

Many months passed and I had already forgotten about it. Then low and behold he messages telling me it’s done and ready to go. I was impressed.

The next step was getting it approved by Apple itself, which much to my surprise they did! We were both visibly shocked and excited.  Unfortunately, the other thing I was quick to find out was he’d made the Apple account entirely under his name, and all purchases of the app were going to him. I’d been shut out of it completely. And there wasn’t even a link on it to promote the magnets I sell.

I called him and explained how this wasn’t an acceptable setup. He immediately got defensive, saying “You said I could have it if I made it!”
After several more minutes of angry words I told him if he doesn’t change the situation fast I would contact Apple and tell them he’d stolen my product and have them take it down. He yelled back at me “Fine! I’m taking it down myself!” And hung up on me. It was removed seconds later.
Then this guy from Krapps emailed me wanting the full story…

Jesus Dressapp removed banner

Jesus Dressapp Attempt #2

Attempt #2 happened about a year later (2011). Inspired by the acceptance by Apple from the previous attempt I started asking around for possible programmers. Having an iPhone App appeared to be a venture that could be quite lucrative. This time I’d pay someone to make it again, and I could have full control, beginning to end.

Union Skaters w/jesus dressup flyer
David, Shiva, Greg & Tom burning a hole through Jesus Dressup flyer

A friend of mine from Union Square, one of the skateboard kids I’d known since he was 15, was now going to school for programming. He was happy to figure out how to make an iPhone app while getting paid. It took the better part of winter 2010/11 and a lot of headaches, but after several months we had our iPhone App ready to go. We submitted it to Apple, and about a week later they rejected it. I tried to appeal the rejection but they didn’t care. I belly ached to them how they approved it a year earlier when it wasn’t me who submitted it, but they stood firm. “Too controversial.”
It was spirit-breaking.

In an amusing side note, below is the image they sent us with the rejection letter. And yes, someone on their end had to dress him up like that before concluding it was too offensive for Apple.

March 14, 2011 image included in denial email after contending the Apple app rejection.
March 14, 2011 image included in denial email after contending the Apple app rejection.

Anyhow, this particular rejection really took the wind out of my sails for a Jesus Dressup app any time in the near future. Having it approved for the guy who stole it, and rejected after putting so much time and money into it was the deathblow. Tom and I parted ways, and I didn’t feel like getting into app making ever again.

Jesus Dressapp Attempt #3

Then in 2013 I was contacted by a Facebook friend who said he wanted to make the Jesus Dressup app for Android. Let me say that he was making a very generous offer of doing it for no charge for the experience, and credit on the app itself. I warned him of the troubles in the past, the difficulty & time involved in making it, and the very real fact that it’s probably not worth it financially for either party involved. Still, he offered to do it while in school, for no pay.

A year later the progress had been minimal and I realized again, it was way too big a job to be worth doing at all. I seriously don’t know how making these free apps is worth it for anyone.

Jesus Dressapp Attempt #4

Finally earlier this year, around March, I was contacted by another Jesus Dressup fan, Mirko Bonasorta from Italy, offering to make the app for Droid as long as he could get named credit. I did the usual “It’s a bigger job than you think, and afterwards it’ll be rejected for being offensive” speech. But as long as his name could be credited for making it he was willing to give it a shot, no charge. He sent me video of how it’d play, and several months later it was done. That was last week.

Less than 24 hours later it was deleted from Google Play for being too sexually explicit. So we removed the BDSM option, and just in case we also removed the Nazi stuff from the Final Justice version, and now it’s back up. And that is where we stand.

Playthrough of the 2016 Jesus Dressapp for Android

It has almost every version of Jesus Dressup I’ve ever made included, it’s FREE, and it even has a link to my fridge magnets in it!
I have an iPhone so I haven’t played it yet, but after watching the play-through (above) I really wish I had a Droid instead. And the reviews it’s getting are astounding!

Jesus Dressapp Batman screenshot

“Even more fun in app form!”

“I have the magnet set, but now it’s on my PHONE! No more carrying my refrigerator around wherever I go”

“Hilarious”

Even more fun on app form. I love the magnets so the app is even better! I love the villains option, it’s my favorite! Easy to use and fun.”

“Instant classic. Brilliant”

So race to Play Google, download it before it’s deleted again, pass the link onto friends and write a nice review before I’m writing about the Jesus Dressapp 5th Attempt!
Just click on the link below. And if that one’s been deleted you can always get the completely uncensored one here at Evil Apps.

Jesus Dressapp for Droid on Google Play

Hate Mailer Repents

July 22, 2016
Hi Bob,

Once, a few years ago, when I was younger and not nearly as clever as I thought I was, I stumbled across your Jesus Dress Up site and was outraged. I sent you an email and told you that I was not a Christian (which was a lie) but that you shouldn't mock or belittle the beliefs of someone else. You drew a sketch of Hitler thanking me for not judging him.

I didn't find it amusing, at the time. I was even more deeply scandalised, and troubled, but after growing and learning and getting a few life experiences under my belt, I remembered this just the other day, and was wondering if you could send me a copy?

I now run events which are designed to help people unpick their belief systems and discard what doesn't make sense (which, when it comes to religion, usually means all of it); I'd love to show them this sometime and use it to provoke some discussion.

If memory serves, I even made a typo, which I was perhaps more upset about being published publicly than the fact that I'd been so quickly and blatantly shown to be illogical.

Hope you're well,
Luke.

 

Luke’s email to me from 10 years ago…

Sep 2006

How small minded and retarded do you need to be to create a site mocking someone elses religion. I am not personally a Christian, but I would never go as far as to openly scron and poke fun at something other people strongly believe in and hold dear.

Get a fucking life
Luke

Hitler Thanks Luke – 2006

Hitler: “Thank you Luke. At least there’s one person who wouldn’t have scorned me!”
Luke scorns no belief
© 2006 normalbobsmith.com

July 22, 2016

 Hey Luke,

I always love it when I get to hear back from "Hate Mailers" years later no matter if they changed or not. I'm always a little happier to hear there's been a change of heart however. I rarely get appreciation for the sarcasm I once responded with. Here's the page it appeared on then, and remains to this day.

I'll be sure to update it with these emails. I hope you don't mind. I'm sure others will find it just as fascinating as I do.

How old were you when you sent that?
What lead you to change your beliefs?
Do you remember how you stumbled across my site in the first place?

Thanks for the email! I'm happy there weren't any long lasting hurt feelings.
Normal Bob

 

July 26, 2016
Hi Bob,

Oh wow. That message was worse than I remember. I must have thought that swearing would increase my chances of being taken seriously. Ha.

I was seventeen when I send that email. I was what you might call 'on fire for Jesus' at that time, and I literally would have just been Googling 'Jesus' and noticed the website. I still remember how incensed I felt about it.

Broadly speaking, I guess my beliefs shifted due to a gradual conflict between what science had to say about the world and what was being sold to me on Sunday; though, that probably wouldn't have been enough without a host of other personal relationship factors in that environment taking some pretty bizarre turns.

If it ever looks like I'll make it to NYC, I'll be sure to send you a message and we can have a drink and I'll tell you the whole story; even as 'deconversion' stories go, it's a doozy. If you ever find yourself in Australia, let me know. There are certainly no hurt feelings here.

Yours, Luke.
barredsubjects.com

Jolly Cat

goofy man cartoon
Hat In The Cat Matchgame Postcard art

It seems even when I’m far far away the Amazing Strangers continue on with their lives, and the drama of Union Square moves forward without even the slightest bit of nudging from yours truly.
Last Christmas I got a distressed email from the one and only Jolly Cat himself accusing me of slander for the videos I’d been posting of him over the years. He emailed me years prior about removing them and I politely obliged. But then he kept showing back up at the park and doing the exact same show for us again and again! So I put them back up.  Then finally,  back in December he sent me another email, and it went something exactly like this:

Hi Bob,
I noticed after you deleted my videos you posted them back up. This is slander and here is why. My characters actually bring lots of laughter and joy to many ppl and receive big applauses but on some days like when you caught me in the park ppl weren't laughing and I looked really bad. It is a false representation of what I do.

I am letting my manager know about this and if you don't delete all my videos he will contact you with the next steps we must take. I hope we can handle it now.

Sincerely, Vinny Hat in Cat
Dec 29, 2015

In response to this I decided that the videos weren’t all that important to me, so I took them down and replied:

Jolly Cat
Good to hear from you! I don't believe it's slander to show video of you not making people laugh. Maybe if you were making them laugh and I edited it so they weren't. But showing exactly what happened isn't lying, or slander, or any kind of deceit at all. It's showing what happened. There's nothing illegal or protected about showing video of public performances.

The problem is that you're blaming the audience instead of your act. I thought that was the joke? Apparently not.

Normal Bob
Dec 29, 2015

Despite all of this I granted his request.
Now, 6 months later, what do I see? Jolly Cat performing his trademarked act on America’s Got Talent with exactly the same results I witnessed every single time at the park. And here is that amazing video.

The way I found out about this AGT video was Shaggy calling me up frantically asking “Where are all your Hat in the Cat videos?!? I can’t find them!”

After explaining why I took them down Shaggy showed me Jolly Cat’s television debut. My jaw dropped, and then I put them all back up again.

I’m sure I’ll probably hear from him again, but none of what I filmed was edited or taken out of context. It’s what Shaggy, I and many others had to bare witness to when he chose to perform in front of us. So with great pleasure I bring you back to the Original Hat in the Cat, more famously known as “Jolly Cat” as we all know him from Union Square NYC!

And to Jolly Cat – I think the burden is on you (or better yet, your manager) to produce and distribute video of you making people laugh. It is not my responsibility. I mean, if I do not witness it, it is impossible for me to film it. Right? And portraying your show as something other than what I see would be committing High Perjury! Then I’d have to let my manager know about this so he could contact your manager about taking the next steps in regards to all of this. Anyhow I’m also happy to promote the video you asked me to promote in this video.

Jolly Cat’s “A Wacky Love Story” feature he promoted in the previous video.

And this is the first time I ever saw and recorded Jolly Cat back in Feb 2009.