Saturday, September 20, 2008

Devilish things

It's Saturday morning. I was awakened by a large black cat doing this. It is so cold in my house--I finally broke down and turned on the heat. I hate doing that before October, but this morning was ridiculous. Now that things are warming up and Shiva is sufficiently baffled by the sound of hot water moving through the baseboards, I feel like I can sit down and write.

I've gotten two invites on Facebook to the John Foxx and Louis Gordon show in London, and it just makes me more bummed that I can't go. The music is great, the shows are supposed to be amazing, they're selling limited edition CDs, and John is gorgeous, so I feel like I'm missing a lot. Continental is offering seriously cheap fares to London during October, and I have been really tempted to blow off teaching classes and to stay with Sherri for the weekend to see the show. Alas, he is playing on October 16, which is midterms week. If I bail on that, I'm in trouble. This isn't the first time I've been faced with such a dilemma, and it's times like this that I hate my tendency to be a responsible adult. However, if you are reading this and in the UK, you might want to go; the info is here. Write and tell me about it if you do. If it's really awesome, don't rub it in.

Last night I went out with Liz again, for her birthday. After dinner we watched a 70s horror flick she'd gotten through her Netflix queue called "The Brotherhood of Satan". We agree on our assessment of the film: "What the hell was that ABOUT, anyway?" Like most ill-made horror movies from the 60s and 70s, there's a lot of bad acting, poor uses of tempera paint ("is that supposed to be blood?") and an extremely disjointed plot. In some perverse way, that's what makes these movies appealing; you already know they're going to be bad, but somehow the incredulity that anyone would commit something like it to tape makes you want to watch it. There's a reason why shows like MST3K were so popular. In any event, what I took away from the movie was that apparently all children in small towns between the ages of 6 and 9 are evil. This seems to fit in with the tacky horror movie milieu, and the theory probably carries weight with primary school teachers. There is a website of bad album cover art called Show and Tell Music that features a creepy children's Bible album cover on its home page. Those children are definitely evil.

Show and Tell Music has all kinds of bad album art, but I'm always intrigued by the Christian records. To say that I am not a fan of proselytization is an understatement, but the same perversity that makes me want to watch bad movies also makes me curious about these rather absurd attempts to evangelize. They make Tammy Faye Baker look sophisticated. After looking at them and hearing some of the sound clips, I am convinced that if there are real Satanists, they must be making this albums. No self-respecting Christian who wants to convert people would make albums like these. They either talk about Jesus in a way that sounds creepy and disturbing, or they try to scare the shit out of kids (and adults) with eschatalogical warnings and visions of hell. My favorite one is "Pip Pip the Naughty Chicken", a story written for children by a Seventh Day Adventist. It talks about Pip PIp, a little chicken who wouldn't obey, so he ends up rotting in hell with Satan and all his minions. As the owner of Show and Tell Music put it: "It's cute." I no longer wonder why kids exposed to this type of Christianity have a tendency to become serial killers.

Speaking of evil things, I came across an article in my RSS feeds regarding a black fox that was sighted in a graveyard near Chorley in Lancashire. Black foxes are mentioned in Gaelic folklore, but apparently no one has ever seen one in Britain, at least until now. Like black cats and dogs, they are associated with the devil. Personally, I think the opposite--black creatures are good luck. I have 2 black cats, and I've seen no ill effects on my life (other than one of them peeing outside the litter box). We have a number of Indian students who work with us at the university library that I work at full-time. When they look at my Facebook page and see my black cats, they always ask me how I can live with black cats. Since they are believers in jyotish, I pointed out that black creatures are very auspicious for Shani or Kethu dasha. Plus, they make great "basement cat" pictures. Here is the latest one of those.

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