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  [note: the last time this was updated was 9/6/97 - if some of it is stale now, well, what do you expect?] FAQ

Who is Art Bell?
Why does this group exist?
Who can post to this group?
What is "The Quickening"?
Where can I get more information on Art Bell?
What are "Art's Parts"?
IRC channels
Bell's advertisers
Why can't I find Art's book in a bookstore?
Notable contributors
The creed

Who is Art Bell?

Art Bell is a nationally [U.S.] syndicated talk show host. He'll tell you his show is heard worldwide (via the internet), but the recent addition of a "Toll-free International line" has yet to produce one coherent call, and has been all but abandoned.

There are actually two Art Bell shows, Coast to Coast AM, and Dreamland. Coast to Coast is heard weeknights from 10pm to 3am (Pacific time), and Dreamland is heard on Sunday nights from 6pm to 9pm. The show deals with such hard-hitting topics as "Earth Changes", "UFO's", "The Government Hates You", "Bad Computer Advice" and "The Quickening". In covering these topics, the sub-groups of paranoia, fear and ignorance also crop up very frequently.

Art is quite proud of the fact that he has no call screener, though one listen to the show will make you wonder about the wisdom of this decision.

The program is broadcast from the spare bedroom of Bell's mobile home in the desert of Nevada (Art says, "The way they build these things nowadays, they're just as good as a real house..."). There is no truth to the rumor that he does the show naked. The recent addition of a live in-studio camera has put an end to any such speculation (though nudity may be preferable to his seemingly endless collection of cheesy t-shirts). It's also rumored that Bell is often drunk when he does the show, though it's unlikely this could be proven in a court of law.

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Why does this group exist? began as a place for Bell fans to congregate and discuss the fascinating topics presented on his show. Bell would post an occasional one line message from his America Online account (riddled with misspellings, horrible grammar and the occasional threat):

>Date: 4 DEC 1995 11:47:18 -0500
>From: Art Bell (
>Come see me in person. Your a total fucking JERK.....come see
>me....or let me know where you are and I'll come see you.

The choir would greet these little gems like manna from heaven.
This blissful state was unceremoniously shattered when several people began pointing out the many flaws in logic and truth that litter the show. Soon the detractors outnumbered the supporters, and a few of Bell's mindless followers started a private, censored mailing list, and proceeded to try to kill the group.

Enter Tim Hill, a brave young man who took it upon himself to keep alive, and make it a place where free speech could be exercised and celebrated. In late January of 1996 he drafted a proposal for the re-creation of, and his efforts were successful. A general feeling of well-being spread over the earth, and all was well again. Or so it seemed.
Bell and his ragged army of anti-free speech brownshirts have targeted Hill in the past, threatening (do you see a pattern developing here?) the ISP that originally housed his hilarious parody pages with a lawsuit that eventually resulted in the cancellation of Tim's account. The "list-nazi" (see "Where can I get more information about Art Bell?") has also rallied his pack of drooling, knuckledragging thugs to mailbomb and generally harass Hill and other prominent a.f.a-b contributors.

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Who can post to this group? is a free and open group, accepting opinions from all sides. Disagreement with the prevailing attitude is not only welcome, but encouraged. You may want to read the group for a couple weeks before deciding to crash the party, defend Bell and set everyone else straight.

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What is "The quickening"?

"The Quickening" is a postulation put forth by Bell that maintains that the negative events in the world are escalating at a frightening rate, soon to wipe us all out in an orgy of drive-by shootings, massive earthquakes and Democrats being elected to congress. Callers pointing out that "everything seems to speed up as you age" have been brushed aside by Art, who clings to his beliefs like a frightened child clings to his mother's skirt on the first day of kindergarten.

The guests on Bell's program all have their own twisted little doomsday prophecies that dovetail quite nicely with the "Quickening" theory. The fact that 99% of his guests are certifiably insane doesn't seem to phase Bell in the least.

Anything can become a part of The Quickening, from the smallest news report ("A teenage mother discarded her newborn in a dumpster...a sure sign of 'The Quickening!'"), to the most ridiculous quasi-religious claptrap ("The numbers 666 came up in the California daily lottery...I wouldn't cash in that ticket! Have you noticed how often these numbers appear lately? It's a sure sign of 'The Quickening'!"). The novice listener may tend to become alarmed at the constant state of doom Bell predicts. Just keep listening and soon you'll realize that Art is a few ants shy of a picnic, then you can enjoy the show for it's unintentional humor.

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Where can I get more information about Art Bell?

The first place you'll want to look is the Art Bell web site. This is the "official" web site, maintained by a cleverly trained monkey who communicates with sign language and marginal HTML skills (recently enhanced by the purchase of an expensive HTML editor that does a lot of the thinking for him). The same simian also runs the mailing list, and dispenses tips to the subnormals on the censored list on how to harass and shut down anyone that publicly disagrees with Bell.

The "official" bell web site ("my web page", as you'll hear Arty say fifty or sixty times a night) is home to dozens of snapshot-type photos of bell, his family and his cats (yes, his cats), and links to the pages of the half dozen recurring characters (a.k.a. guests) on the show. Especially compelling are pictures of an actual "chupacabra", spontaneous human combustion and ghosts. All things that couldn't possibly be faked photographically...

Two other web sites of note are Tim Hill's "Art Bell parody page", an archive of top secret photos and information, and the "airstream chronicles", the true stories of life in an airstream trailer (which may or may not be parked out behind Art Bell's double-wide trailer, depending on whether Bell's crack legal staff is on the warpath).

Be forewarned that the latter two sites offer information that many may consider to be somewhat detached from reality, but a closer look will prove that the truth is represented on these sites in just as great an abundance as it is on Bell's radio program.

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What are "Art's Parts"?

"Art's Parts" is Mrs. Bell's pet name for Arty's genitals (a.k.a. "Little Big Man", "The Angstrom", "Mighty Mite" and "Dr. Tickle").

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IRC channels

There are many Bell-related IRC channels. Protracted battles have been waged on and between the channels, the details far too gruesome and voluminous to detail here. Suffice it to say if you log on to IRC during the hours Bell's show is broadcast you'll doubtless find kindred spirits no matter which side of the Bell fence you're on.

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Bell's advertisers

Art has a few steady sponsors, most notably a mysterious electronics company that is virtually unknown outside of Bell's realm. They sell radios, fax machines and antennas at prices that may or may not be just this side of larceny (debate on this subject is ongoing and inconclusive). According to Bell, everything they sell is "built like a tank", but apparently they are very rare tanks, since they always seem to be "just about to run out" of almost every item they offer.
The same company is the manufacturer of a doomed-from-the-start "video phone" computer device that only worked over regular phone lines - not on the net. Apparently no one in Research & Development ever considered the fact that dialing someone long distance just to look at grainy, jerky pictures of them was a bad, bad idea. Heralded as "a paradigm shift", and "the greatest invention of my lifetime" by Bell, the "video phone" device seems to have died a quiet death.

Also available from one of Bell's favorite advertisers is a $600 set of magnets that the unfortunate buyer wing-nuts onto the water pipes leading into the house. These magnets exhibit some magical properties that "actually change the molecular structure of the water" (though Bell has recently backpedalled and dropped this often-used hyperbole). There was a caller who claimed to have sold the shady magnets at one time and tried to warn people away from them (saying the only thing they even negligably worked on were PVC pipes - like those leading to mobile homes), but Bell hung up on him saying that he "had an agenda".
The water magnet company has recently offered "dealerships". Yes, for a small investment, you too can peddle worthless voodoo crap to your friends and family.

Various other items include a spray on aspirin product (recently offered in a roll-on version - apparently for people with sore armpits), a flower company that will ship you a "mugungous" box of "miniature carnations" (whatever the hell they are), a series of painfully ridiculous Mayan-themed new age records (you'll hear them used as "bumpers" on the program), and various shady investment schemes that prey upon gullible people who's fears of "The Guvamint" have been fueled by Bell and other reactionary lunatics populating the AM (or for the terminally paranoid, shortwave) dial.

Depending on where you're listening, chances are most of the ads you'll hear will be public service announcements. Apparently no large, reputable companies are willing to advertise on Bell's program, even though he has at times claimed to have as many as 20 million listeners.

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Why can't I find Art's book in a bookstore?

Arty's book, "The Art of Talk", is available only through an 800 number, direct from the strip-mall print shop where it was "published". Theories vary as to why it wasn't published by a real publisher (Bell claims he had offers from "major" publishing houses), with the likely reasons being greed (bigger piece of the pie for Bell, going the vanity press route) and fear of public failure (four foot high stacks of "The Art of Talk" in the remainders section of your local Barnes & Noble for a buck each).

Bell didn't really write the book, but talked into a tape recorder for an hour and a half and sent the results off to a transcription service to be typed up and sent to the print shop. People who have actually read the book say the proof-reading process seems to have been completely bypassed, as the book is riddled with typos and grammatical errors. For $28.95 (plus $5 for fourth class postage!) you too can own the hefty 168 page masterpiece.

The Quickening - is Bell's second book, and while he went with the same "publisher" and mail order distribution, he's now reporting that it will be available in regular bookstores. While we've had no reports of anyone actually seeing it in a bookstore, we believe Art is telling us the truth. Art always tells us the truth!

Monday October 20 - news flash! bell reported tonight that "The Quickening" is now #4 on the New York Times list! Is that the Non-Fiction bestsellers list? no. he's referring to the NYT "business" list. What the hell is that? If anyone has information re: sales required to make the list as bestseller "business" vs. bestseller Non-Fiction, let me know...

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Notable contributors

This section is admittedly dated, due to the fact that I don't read the group much anymore, nor, apparently, do many of the people named below, as a lot of them have been absent lately. If a miracle should occur and the group should become interesting again, this section will be updated.

Everyone is welcome to join in the fray, and while no one voice carries any more weight than the next, there are some regulars who you'll be seeing a lot:

Tim Hill - The patron saint of the group and a very effective spy. He always seems to be turning up information that he has no business having access to. Author of the dangerous (it must be, since Bell and his pet chimp threatened legal action and once actually succeeded in shutting it down) "Art Bell Parody page".

Ross Bench - MIA, but he touched off the war that almost killed the group with his infamous "love you long time" post, which referred to Bell's wife Ramona (we're still looking for a copy of the original post).

mjp - posts the 100% true stories of life on the Bell compound called "The Airstream Chronicles". If you think Art is weird on the air you should see what he's like when the microphone is off.

Maverick - Vicious and very funny. Caught up in the storm that spun around Ross Bench's "long time" post, he made the mistake of defending Bench to Bell. Maverick says:
He and his fans responded to it with a mass email campaign to my school to delete my account. Bell sent this response to Maverick's defense of Ross Bench:

>Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 15:53:03 -0500
>Subject: Re: your wife
>Try this,
>If you thought that was a free exercise of speech then I DONT WANT YOU

LVScott - abducted by aliens on the way to Bell's book signing in Portland. There are those who doubt his story and try to provoke him at every turn.

Jerry Watson - perhaps the only person on earth who's both obsessed with statistics and numbers, and also has a sense of humor.

joel parrill - Father of the "freecats" and prolific author of twisted Bell-related poetry and prose that must be written under the effects of LSD, mushrooms or "Natron's Healthy Trinity". This is only my opinion, and joel would probably deny it. Don't believe him.

GLENN QUARNSTROM - a frustrated, cantankerous old man (see also: "Buzz the radio spy" below) who began as a staunch Bell supporter, posting nothing but spelling and grammar flames. Now you may see posts from GLENN that actually disagree with Bell - these are recognized by the longtime defenders of the group as a sad attempt to curry favor, and are dismissed as weak, unconvincing propaganda.

Kristine Campbell - a relative newcomer who earned her stripes by regularly kicking QUARNSTROM's ass after being on the n.g. for only a few days. prolific and opinionated, and like the best posters, funny.

Elvis Hanson - continues to stress the fact that Ramona will "love you long time" for $5. there are those who contend that Elvis has first hand knowledge to back up his assertions. Thank Onan.

APostman - "Avenging Archangel of the IRC" and king of the wicked follow-up post.

Gone but not forgotten:
Kevin "forrest" Gumm - young diaper enthusiast who was so easily wound up it was hard to resist pushing his buttons. His misguided adolescent diatribes were extremely amusing, but he left in the exodus to join the list-nazi. Occasionally his rants can be found on his web site - exceptionally dull, but usually good for a laugh.

MJ-SETI - passed himself off as a woman in the group (after joining the mailing list he came out as a male). Incapable of posting a message of less than 150 lines, often quoted imaginary publications to back up his (her?) outlandishly stupid ideas.

Buzz the radio spy - another of the "gray panthers", Buzz would rant about god and country, ham radio and how the neighborhood kids wouldn't stay off his lawn. Vehemently anti-welfare, it was discovered that he himself has been living on the government dole for some eight years after falling off a ladder and breaking his little finger.

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The Creed
- Tim Hill

1. The Net-Nature is very simple. Usenet is not dominated by the smartest people, the most interesting people, or the most learned people. It is dominated by the people who want to tell other people their opinions. To expect anything else is absurd.

2. Similarly, the topics that dominate any given newsgroup are not the most interesting, the most helpful, or the most useful. They're the most acrimonious and the most dissent-laden. How else could things possibly turn out?

3. If you are an Art Bell fan, you will notice that many people who post to do not share your feelings. You will be tempted to appear on this newsgroup and point out to everyone the error of their ways. Please keep in mind that you are the 4,000th person to do so.

4. You, personally, are a unique, exciting, vibrant, intelligent, wise, and self effacing individual with a great deal to contribute to the newsgroups you select on the Net. So is every other schmuck who posts. Get over it.

5. The demise of the Net is imminent--and always will be.......

6. It's not a super-highway. It's not a fishnet. It's not a surfable ocean, a maze, a 3 dimensional space of lights, a city, a chupacabra, or a game. It's not a cocktail party an argument or a home. It is, what it is. You will never prove yourself "cool" or an "insider" by using the "hip" metaphors or slogans of your group to try to control or impress other people. This interlinked computer system of the world doesn't need names, judgments, explanations, or justification---it just is. The playing field is level and if you don't like it, you must not be used to equality.

7. Internet gurus on a specific topic are a dime a dozen. It is the people who don't know much who are rare.

8. Beware the "goodtimes virus". You should e-mail everyone you know to warn them about it.

9. Art Bell is a Geek.

10. Ramona will love you a long time for $5

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back to the airstream

                   NOTICE TO CROSSPOSTERS!

This group is called  It's for talking about Art
Bell, his radio show (and replacement hosts), his/their guests, and
whatever else we choose to discuss.  We've got more than enough
foolishness right here in this group without having to go trolling
for more.
Unfortunately, every nutcake crystal-rubbing, bunny-hugging, tree-
sitting, tofu-eating, Volvo-driving, whale-watching, New-Age,
backyard-preaching, Bible-thumping, god-bothering, bigfoot-chasing,
spoon-bending, remote-viewing, star-gazing, reverse-swearing,
reptile-fucking, carpet-munching, fudge-packing, toad-licking,
goat-sucking, Clinton-loving, flame-trolling, pamphlet-peddling,
horoscope-reading, alien abductee seems to think it's fun to post his
or her dreck into afa-b.

Not only that, but we're also plagued by every goddam hypocritical,
brain-dead, mega-dittoing, Reagan-worshipping, Newtie-following,
Clinton-bashing, Hillary-hating, gun-hugging, miltia-joining, bunny-
bopping, forest-raping, earth-paving, river-damming, species-
exterminating, ozone-trashing, pickup-with-gun-rack-driving, Medicare-
killing, tax-avoiding, mind-controlling, urban-legend-quoting,
trickle-downing, "liberal"-hating, gay-bashing, femiNazi-spewing,
hate-spouting, Bible-quoting, Moral Mafia, jack-booted, cross-burning,
Klan-joining, Commie-baiting, conspiracy-theorist, neo-Nazi, crypto-
Fascist, radical-right-wing ditto-head that comes down the pike.

Then, when a few of us shred these fatheads to bits by debunking their
favorite fantasy, they start whining.

Please lurk before you make an ass of yourself, then:

If you can't stand the heat, stay the hell out of our newsgroup.

"This is not a gentle place."

In the interest of evenhandedness, and to enjoy one of our
favorite kooks rants, we also present The Woo Woo View:

"AFAB = newsgroup.  It is a prime example of
a gathering place for hooded, cowardly, government/media
disinformation agents who operate behind multiple aliases as they
prey on others, intimidating and misdirecting attention away from
those who engage in serious dialog.  It is a meeting place of
ignoramuses who seek to promote the Bassackward societal traits
of  irresponsibility, violence, human degradation, and ignorance
under the guise of Free Speech."  By Ray "Linenoise" Karczewski

If STILL you ask "Where the hell is the FAQ" then go read
that poor old outdated relic from our earlier days here:
[same as above--sh]

Hope This Helps.

(Revised 4/30/2000)
(Posted in Memory of Glen Quarnstrom)

[Wed, 10 Apr 2002 17:59:04]
(DIR) Jump back to my main menu.