People are people so why should it be…

Before anyone goes all “Stereotypes!” on me, let me say that yeah, it is a little different when a group points out things about its own members than when an outsider does it. And yes, it can still be problematic in those instances (though I’m not saying anything below is or isn’t). And I’m not implying any joke stealing in either direction.

I’m just saying here’s another example of how people can be more alike than different that works on multiple levels that one can examine at their leisure.

The Ballad of Baphomet with the Broken Horn

The public laundry rooms in my apartment complex have glass doors, and when I walked past one on my way to the bus to work the other day, I caught this little guy sitting on the freebie table out of the corner of my eye. I thought to myself, “That can’t be what I think it is.” and I doubled back.

Times are tough when the devil can’t get a break.

I stopped to stare at it. Not because of leftover Satanic influence from my Dungeons & Dragons days (at least I hope!), but because of the total absurdity of its existence in this room.

There’s a story behind that statue, and it began with a person or persons who decided, for whatever reason, “I need a graven visage of the Evil One, the Horned Beast, the Lord of Lies, the Prince of Darkness!” Maybe I have neighbors who are genuine Satan worshippers. Or, maybe just dark metal wannabes. Maybe contemporaries from my D&D days, or someone who just wanted to shock and amaze their roommates with a gag gift.

In any case, the tale ends when this person or persons decide, presumably after its right horn got busted off, “Eh… the rest of it is still good. Maybe someone else might want it.”

Twenty+ consecutive years of Catholic education during my formative years makes this repulsive at a gut level. But those days are long past. Not only am I dying to know what the middle of its story is, it’s kind of a pathetic end for anything to get discarded on a freebie table in an apartment laundry room.

Come to think of it… maybe a prop would be useful for the horror panels I’m on at Boskone next week… hm…

Now I wonder if it’s still there…?

Some Catching Up

Happenings on the “life outside writing/blogging/anything artistic” front have been flying. News on those if/when things germinate. For now, here’re some things I’ve been meaning to post for the past month…

Now what am I supposed to watch on Sunday mornings?

[Michael] Chabon defends mass entertainment against the accusation that it is merely a formulaic product. At times it is; yet commercial culture’s focus on deadlines and profits can also act as a “quickening force” on an artist’s imagination. He demonstrates this with discerning essays on Arthur Conan Doyle, Will Eisner and Howard Chaykin, all of whom, like Chabon himself, attained the ultimate goal of the “pop artisan”: a delicate balance between “the unashamedly commercial and the purely aesthetic”. He disagrees with those who equate literary entertainment with mindless escapism, passive consumption or unproductive activity (“guilty pleasures” is “a phrase I loathe”). Instead, he finds that different forms of writing offer distinct satisfactions to an alert reader.

It’ll probably still be a while before you can neurointerface directly with the internet or your friends and lovers, but psychologists are testing implantable brain ‘pacemakers’ that regulate brain activity and so far appear really useful for treating the most stubborn forms of depression.

But we can dream, can’t we?

Some people may think that a monk is somewhat reclusive — kind of isolated, in a bubble, meditating all day. But it’s quite the opposite. I’m on the computer, e-mailing. I’m driving, using cell phones and using Facebook. I have my own Web site.

Maybe becoming a monk isn’t so bad after all.


Oh, come on…read this and tell me you wouldn’t have blogged this with the same title.

Apparently science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, who penned wrathful classics like A Scanner Darkly and Man in the High Castle, is very popular with bookstore thieves. His books are number three on the list of top-five most-stolen book authors, at least according to one thief who was interrogated by a writer for a recent issue of Seattle free weekly The Stranger.

Who Needs People, Anyway?

I never got around to seeing Lars and the Real Girl when it was out. I’ll have to catch the DVD. I heard whisperings about this documentary, shot in the UK, called Guys and Dolls. Apparently, these folks are the real deal…

You’d think my first inclination would be to laugh my ass off, and that my second would be to pity some of these folks. Somehow, I managed to suspend all of that, at least through the first half of the video.

What Do You Say to a Mocha?

“Going down?”

Isn’t it amusing that one can frequent a particular café so much that the baristas actually start calling your name out loud just like Norm on Cheers?

Today, I buy this replacement coffee tumbler to replace one I just lost. It’s the exact same model, which causes one barista to remark, “That’s so Don!” But hey, like Nick Nolte said in Another 48 Hours, unapologetic for buying the same make and model car that got destroyed in the original movie, “I get used to things.”