10 Books that Stayed With Me

This list is bogus.
Choosing Ten Books that had an impact on me is hard, as many books impacted me in different ways. In many ways, this is a stupid internet meme, sort of like Rick Rolling for intellectuals. As such, there is an element of randomness to these books. The criteria for this project are highly subjective, and I will do my best to explain why these books were chosen.

1. The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Beverly Clearly
The Mouse and the Motorcycle   I’m not sure if I ever really read The Mouse and the Motorcycle, but I absorbed the stop-motion film versions as a child. Ralph was, and I guess to some extent still is, my first and strongest imaginary friend, and would become the focus for my own fantasy world of Mythania, a sort of cross between The Chronicles of Narnia/The Neverending Story/Digimon, the first two of which I could have placed on this list, but Ralph was the first fixture of my fantasy world.

2. The Marvellous Land of Oz, L. Frank Baum
The Marvelous Land of Oz       The Oz books were also a recurring interest of mine, and Mythania had some Oz correspondences. I choose this one because it was probably the book that got me really kicked on the Oz books. It was the second of the Oz books, and had nothing. On another note, the book has one of the earliest transsexual characters in fiction, Tip/Princess Ozma, who was born a woman but was turned into a boy by an evil witch to prevent her from becoming Ruler of Oz. The full extent of this is not completely understood at this time, but I’ll keep you posted.

3. Dune, Frank Herbert

Dune   This is when we get into the books that really got me. I many ways, Dune is a gateway drug into the world that would await me. It has strange religious philosophies with esoteric practices and environmentalism, all tied up in an adventure story about a young man trying to get revenge on the people who killed his father, and becoming Emperor of a gigantic interstellar Empire. The entire Dune books became a focus for me, becoming part of the Second Version of Mythania, a more streamlined world inhabited by supermen and Tolkeinian world building. I’m pretty sure that Dune still affects me more than I know.

4. The Invisibles, Grant Morrison
The Invisibles Grant Morrison
Supercool Occult Anarchist Freedom Fighters The Invisibles fight against totalitarian intelligence from beyond space and time, the Outer Church. Featuring time travel, the Marquis de Sade, Psychedelics, Paranoia, Shamanic Drag Queens, A Satellite In Orbit of Earth That Loves You, Aliens, Secret Military Bases, Subcultures, Occultism and the 2012 Phenomena.
I read this in high school when I was young and impressionable. This should explain a lot about my life.
Of all the books I list here, the Invisibles is the closest thing that comes to a Bible, a myth that has become the focus of my life. Even now, when I look at it and see the weaknesses, that Grant Morrison can be too self-consciously hip, that the characters are two-dimensional and that his writing of minority characters has some serious problems, it is still the book that has gotten the most under my skin. I can’t imagine myself without The Invisibles. One day, I will probably rewrite this, with better characterisation, especially for the minority characters. (the concept of a rapper who practices voodoo was horribly misused. Grant Morrison’s knowledge of black people comes exclusively from MTV, and his knowledge of voodoo seems to come mostly from Michael Bertiaux’s Voudon Gnostic Workbook.) Essentially, I want to write a combination of The Invisibles and The Wire, but that’s another time.

5. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
165px-Invisible_Man    I used to hate “people stories.” This would generally be anything on the side of general realism or naturalism. Invisible Man was one of the first books I willingly read that I count as “people stories.” I would argue that Invisible Man is the greatest American novel of the 20th Century.
This was a book that made me realize things outside me, namely what it is like being African-American. I knew on some level that being black wasn’t the greatest, I knew about racism, I’d seen the very special Saturday morning shows. Invisible Man gave me a window about what being African-American was like, and what I saw was an absurd, nightmarish reality where a man’s voice and desires are undermined by the very nature of society. The techniques of control are everywhere, from the racist old men who force the Invisible Man to a boxing match for their entertainment just so he can give a speech, only to gently remind him that, naturally, blacks and whites cannot be equal when he brings it up, to the education system that ties him into the power structure. Even the people who are nominally on the side of equality, the Brotherhood, are merely using the Invisible Man for his ability to make speeches. Throughout the novel, we are met with beautiful prose, a wide panorama of characters, and a simply stunning work of art.

6. Mumbo Jumbo, Ishmael Reed
Mumbo_jumbo   This was a tricky one. Reading Mumbo Jumbo was a deeply comfortable experience. While Invisible Man helped me understand what it is like being an African-American, Mumbo Jumbo helped me realize just how angry African-Americans can be. While I understand that Ishmael Reed, in particular, is a very angry man,  this was probably one of the biggest shocks I have ever encountered as a reader.
Mumbo Jumbo, probably the first occult conspiracy novel (predating Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus Trilogy and Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles) takes place in the 1920s when the white establishment was terrified of the black virus known as Jazz that was infecting the population. Papa LaBass is a voodoo priest in New York, who with his partner Black Herman (who was a real person) fights against the Wallflower Order, a secret conspiracy dedicated to Monotheism, European Culture, and not dancing. This is a very Afrocentric book. There are no sympathetic white characters, it is violently against the institutions of white culture, and even goes far to retell the Bible, the central text of Western culture, to turn Moses into a charlatan. As a young, white, monotheist this book fucked me up good.
Unlike most books on this list, this hangs on me like a ghost. It’s like I’m always followed by the ghost of a black man who occasionally comes up to me and says “You are guilty. Even though you yourself did nothing, you are guilty by being a complacent part.” Recently, I have come to understand and accept this. I feel it’s time for me to reread this, and see what I can bring back from it now.

7. Cities of the Red Night, William S. Burroughs
CitiesRedNight    Generally, I favour writers as compared to independent books, so in some cases a book on this will represent a writer. With William S. Burrough’s, it’s hard because his books are a sort of odd continuum of William S. Burrough’s strange psychic journey on the underbelly of America, and like it or not, we do live in America’s world. Thankfully, we have William S. Burroughs to remind us that America is a horrible, ugly place, filled with horrible, evil people, who would see you dead if it meant a quick fix. I love you Uncle Bill.
My personal favorite William S. Burroughs is the work known as The Last Trilogy, consisting of Cities of the Red Night, The Place of Dead Roads and The Western Lands. They feel like they have stories, unlike Naked Lunch which is largely the meandering drug ramblings of an American expatriate in Tangiers. The Last Trilogy is Burroughs as sorcerer, which is the Burroughs who stuck with me. Also, it dosen’t hurt that this has the illusion of a plot, which is more than I can say for Naked Lunch. Technically, Cities of the Red Night has like four, there is a plague of a sexually transmitted disease (before AIDS was a thing mind), tales of a Pirate Utopia, an investigation featuring Private Asshole Clem Snide, and stories of a pilgrimage to seven cities that will end in immortality.
I am proud to consider William S. Burroughs a literary ancestor, and it pains me that while we were both alive at the same time, I could never know him. I was eight when he died in 1997, and I would not even know who he was until I was in high school, which is always a good time to discover Burroughs. He was the outsider, the person who just didn’t fit into society, and as someone with autism I knew how he felt. In my final yearbook, in the section were you give an inspiring quote, my choice was one by William S. Burroughs. “I know I’m some kind of interplanetary agent but I don’t think my signals are decoding properly.” Burroughs taught me to stay strong even in the face of a world that seems, and in some cases is, malevolently against you.

8. The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolano
200px-LosDetectivesSalvajes    So I read On the Road in high school. It was alright, I can’t fault Kerouac’s use of language, but it didn’t really get to me. I didn’t become an instant Kerouac devotee, as an author I struggle with him which is probably one of the greatest complements you can give an author in my opinion. I still kind of think of Kerouac as a really messed up Catholic with alcoholism, a fear of women, an embarrassing romanticism about black people, and someone who bought into the toxic myth of the American dream, a mass delusion I would personally like to see die slowly in a fire. So yeah, I was never really that into the whole Kerouac thing, the whole guys going on a road trip to find themselves was not the story I latched onto.
For me, the story of bohemian poets mad to live did not come from Kerouac’s 50’s Americana, but from  an exiled Chilean punk kid from Mexico. Maybe it’s something to do with my generation. When Kerouac was a novelist for baby bombers, it was a time to expand, to write ecstatic prose about road trips. I’m a Millennial, economically I’m watching a shrinking, and the sense of apocalyptic nihilism that pervades my time period is one that also pervades The Savage Detectives.
When reading it, during the early years of my university career, I realized this was a book I would read again. Not in the sense of “I like this book I should read it again,” but that it was a book I had to read again. It starts in the world I was in, the world of a university student with bohemian tendencies, with maybe a foot into some less than savory worlds. It then goes into the lives of the two poets, Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, as they meander across four continents, lost and directionless, without the romance (or self-delusion) of Kerouac. Unlike Kerouac, Bolano became an adult, kicked his own addictions, and managed to write about it all without Kerouac’s obsessions with sin and sainthood.

9. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
200px-The_Man_in_the_High_Castle  If you live in the 20th or 21st century, you need to read Philip K. Dick. If you haven’t, you already live in one. You won’t get out of it once you read Philip K. Dick, but you will at least know that you live in a Philip K. Dick novel, and that’s something.
I had read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep before, but it didn’t click. This book did. It was like nothing else I had ever read. It was a science fiction novel, but it was also, fundamentally a much dreaded people story. It just takes place in an alternate timeline were the Axis won World War Two and the United States was split into two zones run by the Japanese and the Germans respectively.
The thing about Axis victory novels is that you’d expect them to be about politics. You’d expect it to be some Harry Turtledove story about an alternate Cold War, or people leading a resistance against the Nazis and overthrowing them, but that’s not what The Man in the High Castle is about. It’s about antiques dealing. Antiques dealing and the I Ching, and in Japanese occupied San Francisco. That just blew my mind, and made me instantly fall in love with Philip K. Dick.
Another thing I would like to mention here is his book The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, which is a tale of inter planetary war between two drug dealers, one of whom is the Antichrist. This was what really clicked for me, but I’m listing The Man in the High Castle for the gateway factor.

10. Tay John, Howard O’Hagan
Tay JohnTay John is probably not a very well-known book, but it’s one of my favorite books as a Canadian. It combines my love of the epic and mythological with my love of things that are obscure and mysterious. Tay John has the qualities of a mythic origin story, while also being sceptical about them.
I came across Tay John in a Canadian Lit class at University, and it quickly became the novel I was most glad to be forced to read. It was a highly enjoyable story about a the son of an insane preacher and a First Nations woman, who after abandoning his tribe becomes a fur trapper of mythic qualities, based on a historical figure known as Yellowhead, who’s name would become that of the geography of Canada. In some ways, it annoys me that this is the only novel by a Canadian on this list, as it shows a certain cultural colonialism that has become a deep concern of mine, but unfortunately I am only know beginning to examine the literature of my country. This book, however, along with Robertson Davies The Rebel Angels and Marianne Engel’s Bear, has struck me as a powerful work I am proud to have in my national tradition.


Why You Shouldn’t Use the N-Word

Alright, let’s be clear. I’m white. My ancestors were, if not actually involved, involved by association in the slave trade, and if not the slave trade then some other repression of non-whites. I probably have white guilt, but I realize that reveling in it is pointless, and hubristic. I cannot ask someone to forgive what my ancestors did to them. I am also not directing this at black people. The use of the N-word in black communities is not my responsibility. In my opinion, it should stop being used by black people as well, but I realize that as a white person my opinions on what black people should do are at least automatically suspect, so I have no real right to police black language nor do I feel I should. What I can do is tell white people to stop because really, we have no damn business using it as casually as I have had the misfortune to hear it used. White people, this article if mainly for us, so shit down and shut up while I tell you a thing or two about language.

Someone once said to me “Why shouldn’t we use the N-Word. It’s just a word and word’s aren’t important.” To that I would like to explain that statement without words. Words are important, and make up the basis of how we understand and communicate reality. While the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis may be putting it to strongly, words do have certain associations that make up our understanding of the world. As such, language has power.

White people shouldn’t use the N-Word because it’s a racial slur. Really, it should be that simple. It’s a word that has been used to demean an entire group of people as part of a wider social attack on them that includes kidnapping, slavery, theft and pretty much every other form of abuse you can care to name. The N-Word is tied up in all that, and that alone makes it wrong. I think that the main problem is that white people don’t really have a slur that affects us. If someone were to call me a honky, I would probably be surprised and a bit uncomfortable, but generally it’s not something that is repeated. I don’t think I have ever been called a honky in any manner that wasn’t a joke. I do not have the word nailed in as anything that should make me feel bad about myself. It feels more like a joke to me. As such, I can’t understand what it is really like to be called a racial slur. I can imagine it, and I have a pretty good imagination, but that is the extent of my ability. (For the record, I imagine it is pretty bad).

Also, something I realized about the N-Word, is that it is not only been used to describe people of African decent. The word has been used to describe other ethnicities, usually by adding an adjective (Prairie for First Nations people, Sand for Arabs, etc). My own Irish ancestors were once referred to as N-Words by a member of the British Ascendency. While some people may think that makes the N-Word up for grabs, the truth is much worse. By adding an adjective, they are merely adding a characteristic to the N-Word. The exact subject matter of the N-Word remains, in this case “someone who is less than me”, and is merely being added to. To make it clearer, to demean other races they are made black.

The N-Word is not just a racial slur. It is the racial slur. It is probably the single most horrid word in the English language. Murder, cannibalism and rape are all words that have been made for an action that we all know is horrible, and naming it puts it into a social context. The N-Word was designed to denigrate an entire people, and it is still used in that manner. It is a horrible word and we should all stop using it.

Review: Django Unchained

WARNING: There are spoilers for people who haven’t seen Django Unchained. If you still want to see this movie, don’t read this article.

I wasn’t expecting Django Unchained to have a very advanced view of race relations in America. I expected it to come down as “slavery is really bad,” and in that respect I wasn’t disappointed. I will also say that it is a very well-put together movie. Quentin Tarantino knows how to put a movie together, the problem is that he is not as deep as he’d like to think he is, and the movie left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

The problem with Django Unchained is that it is a revenge story. The plot of the revenge story is as follows. Somebody does something really, really bad. The Hero corrects this by killing the bad guy. The hero wins and order is restored. Django Unchained takes the revenge plot and places it within the context of the slave plantations of the American south. In this, we are given a thematic sequel to Inglorious Bastards, which I didn’t really like. I liked Django Unchained a bit more, but it still has much off the problems with Inglorious Bastards in that it has a troubling view of history. Quentin Tarantino is obviously shocked at the crimes of the Holocaust and the slave trade, but I don’t think he’s handling it in the best way. It’s easy for us to get angry about this and want to kill the sons of bitches who were responsible, but it is not for us to do that. My ancestors were not interned in death camps or shipped across the ocean like a sardine, then have their entire identities stripped away. I don’t know what it’s like to be socially repressed, and I am fully aware of how problematic it would be for me to do it.

There’s also the fact that, for a movie ostentatiously about black people, there is an awful lot of white person driving the plot. Dr. Shultz is probably the most engaging character in the movie. He’s articulate, has most of the best lines, and is the closest thing the movie has to a decent white guy. He also “frees” Django, but only because he needs him to track down his bounty. He openly says that while he finds the institution of slavery distasteful, but he takes advantage of it any way to meet his own ends. Django, for his part, isn’t really that developed a character. He’s basically a Nat Turner, an archetype of the Black Man’s rage against the White Man. Despite that, he is still lacking in agency of his own. He exists in the White Man’s world, despite the fact he is an agent against that world. Django is quite simply, not a very engaging character, despite the movie being about him.

The thing about Quentin Tarantino is that really, he’s not writing these stories for Jews or Black People, he’s writing them for the ancestors of the oppressors. Our culture has come to the realization that our institutions are based on a history of violence against all kinds of people, such as Jews, people of African descent, Hispanics, Asians, women, homosexuals, First Nations, forgive me if I miss anybody here. As a straight white cisgendered male, this brings up questions of my own identity. This is not to belittle the discrimination of others, quite the opposite in fact. We simply don’t know how to process being “the bad guy.” Some of us ignore it completely, and some of us make Django Unchained. Neither of these is a healthy way to come to terms with this, and I think the best thing is just to move on. We should acknowledge what happened in the past, and we should get over it. Again turning to Django as Nat Turner, we have the archetype of the unruly black man fighting against the tyranny of the White Man, in service of the White Man’s guilt at being the White Man. There is a bit of displacement with Stephen, the Uncle Tom house servant, but Stephen’s status as part of the White Establishment connects him thematically to the White Establishment. To take this to its most troubling conclusion, we have Stephen so we don’t have to see Django kill the powerful white man. Sure we see him kill a lot of white guys, but when it comes to the man we are lead to believe is the most evil man in the South, the dead is done by his white partner.

If you’re expecting a look into America’s dark heart, this is probably not the best movie, it’s too one-dimensional for that. Quentin Tarantino is, at the end of the day, an exploitation film-maker who has somehow managed to get into the big leagues, and has somehow gotten the idea that he’s got something deep to say about the human condition. In the end, Django comes off as highly problematic, but again, I was expecting it to be. If Quentin Tarantino wanted to bring up issues of race, he has only done so in as much as we can all agree that Quentin Tarantino is not cut out to be bringing up the question of race.


Surviving “Django” by Roxane Gay

Feeling Pretty Psyched


So here it is, the Mayan Calendar has hit the end of the 13th Baktun, the Blue Kachina will be born to dance in the pueblos of the Hopi, our plane of existence will merge with the Supercontext and we will all know ourselves as what we are, pure spirit, that life is a game and God loves us all. I’m going to hang out with friends, jam and probably get a bit drunk.

December 21st, 2012 has been a special date for me for a while now, mainly because it was such a prominent plot point in Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, a comic about chaos magicians fighting ancient conspiracies run by eldritch abominations. It sort of became the charter myth of my adolescence for a while, still kind of is though Mage: the Ascension has been mixed in with it. So I’ve been pretty focused on this date, even coming up with an entire trilogy of novels as a teenager based on this date. It would have been bad and silly, would have ripped of the plot of Seven Samurai of all things, casting it against the backdrop of Apocalypse, and involved a man trying to do a musical version of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. I’ve worked out what I hope to be a better 2012 novel, which won’t be dated by Saturday. It involves a rag-tag group of magicians trying to align humanity’s chakras or whatever before the Mayan Calender runs out. It’s Magic Realism and it’s a comedy.

So besides the Mayan Apocalypse I have had something of an interesting time. I had my first romantic relationship, which wasn’t so much a relationship as a long fling, which ended in disaster and heartbreak. It’s been awhile so I’m fine talking about it, but not in great detail. To put it into some perspective, I spent the last few days after meeting her with my heart-broken more than it has ever been broken before, before realizing with the help with my parents that this woman couldn’t love me in any way that would have helped me. I bring this up because I see a certain resonance between the emotional breakdown I just went through and the alleged upcoming Doomsday.

Back to said Doomsday, I believe it’s  only fair to say that the Mayans don’t think it’s the end of the world. Yes, the Mayans are alive. I was surprised as anyone to hear that. They’re doing alright everything considered, since they have experts to deal with their calendar, such as it is. Observe the following article, found on CNN.

“It’s an era. We are lucky to see how it ends,” said wood carver Santos Esteban in Yaxuna, a sleepy village of fewer than 700 Mayans, located in a territory that once belonged to the ancient kingdom founded around 2000 B.C.

He feels it is a momentous occasion and is looking forward to the start of the new age. He is not afraid.

“Lots of people say it’s the end of the world, but we don’t believe that,” he said.

I’ve been aware of this interpretation for a while. It’s been the one I’ve favoured for the most part, since Doomsday is kind of a downer. At the very least, the Mayans are restarting their calendar and Terrence McKenna shouldn’t have taken the voices of aliens he meet via psychedelics so seriously. The fact remains as to why the Mayan Apocalypse is said to be the end of the world by crazy survivalists and jokers on the Internet. I’ve been getting all kinds of memes that say Galactus is going to eat us or there will be zombies eating us (Will people just shut up about the zombies already), but it all comes down to us being devoured by something or other. Meteors are popular too, in which case we will all be devoured in flame I suppose.

Basically, people want to world to end because we all kind of know our current system is fucked. I mean really, the environment is going through drastic changes and we’re saying that God wants to punish us for gay marriage. If God is going to punish us for anything, which Divine Love will probably prevent, it’s going to be messing with the balance of the ecosystem. I found an article on this sort of thing on Boing Boing.

And that aspect of human nature exposes the real impetus behind our childlike fascination with end times. People everywhere yearn for inner change – for a way to detach from the cycle of routine daily existence, with its conflicts, habits, addictions, worries, and boredoms. We’re surrounded by therapeutic and religious ideas – yet the wish for change and personal fulfillment is almost always unfulfilled. So, in our frustration, we look without. We hope that some kind of seismic shift will rescue us from the inability to alter ourselves. Scary as it may be, the end of what we know promises to rupture old patterns and push us toward something new.

So there it is. We want something to shock us out of the sink hole of a civilization we have found ourselves in. We’re to cozy and we know it, so we try to come up with stories about a sharp enough shock to get us out of the funk materialism and capitalism has put on us. I include myself in this, I will probably shortly revert to my usual ways of fiddling around on the Internet and generally screwing around.

After the break-up with the girlfriend, a relationship that was a huge mistake looking back, I believe I have come out stronger, knowing more about myself and my desires. I have gone through a change, but considering it all now I don’t know how big of a change this actually is. I remember her saying something about spiritually awakening me, but I am doubtful she ever had that capability and was just saying that to keep me around. I do feel, after going out with her and the disastrous emotional break down she put me through, that I have undergone a change, and I feel better for it. All in all, I am expecting 2013 to be a very good year for me.


Ben Brumfield, “Some believe Friday is doomsday on the Mayan Calendar; the Mayans don’t”

Horowitz, Mitch. “Once More Awaiting ‘The End'”

Needs more Antonin Artaud: The New Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp’s Racially Insensitive Bird Hat


So they’re making a Lone Ranger movie, which I wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t have any reference to “Alejandro Jodorowsky” on the internet immediately sent to my email inbox. Yes, I do that.

So for all you people who are like me and are slowly phasing the mainstream out of your life, apparently the guys doing Pirates of the Caribbean (i.e. Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer) are making a Lone Ranger movie. Armie Hammer, who I’m not familiar with and sounds like a porn star name to me, stars as the Lone Ranger, and Johnny Depp is Tonto. Yes, Johnny Depp is Tonto. There are problems here, mainly by casting a white man in a red man’s role. The only reason it’s not red face is because Johnny Depp is wearing so much face make up. Admittedly, he looks pretty cool, especially considering he has a bird on his head, but couldn’t they find an Indian guy?

Alright, let’s place the unfortunate implications thing aside and say that they just couldn’t find a Native guy who wanted to play Tonto because of some of the controversy around the character speaking in a pidgin dialect. It should be brought up that Johnny Depp does not really have that good of a history playing First Nations guys. I have only heard rumours of The Brave, a movie Johnny Depp directed and stared in about an Indian guy who volunteers to be part fo a snuff film so that his wife and children can get out of the sickening poverty he lives in. Admittedly, the character in that movie is more the horrible reality for First Nations people, where as Tonto is more of a white man’s idea of what the First Nations were like during that time period; mystical warriors in a world that is moving on from them. Basically that makes them the American version of elves. Make of that what you will.

Also, why the hell does Tonto have a bird on his head? This has not been sufficiently addressed in my opinion. Why is he wearing a dead bird on his head? I looked up the whole feather-headdress thing. They’re supposed to be eagle feathers and your supposed to take the feathers off. WHY IS THERE A DEAD BIRD ON HIS HEAD? I’ve also checked the Wikipedia page on the Potawatomi, the tribe Tonto is supposed to be from, and they have no dead birds on their heads.

So asside from the whole issue of a white guy playing Tonto, there’s the whole accusations of Jodorowsky similarities. To be honest, beyond a certain level of Tonto being somekind of shaman in a funny hat I’m not seeing it. The trailer looks good, but I’m not planning on seeing this in theatres.

Houston Press: Will the Lone Ranger be the Alejandro Jodorowsky Summer Movie We Didn’t Know We Wanted but We Do?

Jezebel: Johnny Depp Takes Tonto Character from Racist to Merely Culturally Insensitive


That hat.

That fucking hat.

Goodbye to Slam

Some of you may be wondering “Dylan, what ever happened to the Ontario International Poetry Slam? That thing you blogged about.” Well, I lost. I didn’t lose miserably, unless you consider coming in fifth to last miserable, but other than that I had a good time. It’s also made me decide that the Poetry Slam just isn’t for me. It’s taken me awhile, but quite frankly I don’t like it that much. I thank it for getting me into poetry, but I honestly think we can do better.

Aside from that, I enjoyed most of the poets, and while I disagree on who got past. I would have voted for other people, but ultimately I feel that the winners deserved what they got. Good luck to everyone, and I hope you enjoy yourselves.

Great Wizard Fights of History: Antichrist Harry Potter vs. Mary Poppins (Warning: NSFW. Or near your children. Also spoilers)

So I’m an Alan Moore fan. I suppose that’s no secret to anyone, as he has shown up in my blog before. When the final volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen came out I was not really excited, because the critics have a point and Moore can get up his own ass with this mapping of Fiction-Landhe has started up. Never the less, I like Alan Moore and was going to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe Century works better as a whole. I actually think that this may be the best example of the

But that’s not what I want to talk about. It’s not what you want to hear either. What you want to here is if Antichrist Harry Potter really shoots lightning from his penis.

Why yes. Yes he does.

So there was a lot of controversy, to say the least. I’m not really sure about this entire bit of Alan Moore’s oeuvre. I’m not sure what the point is, besides a general “our time period sucks,” thing, which I’m not really sure it communicates well. Maybe we’re a bit to close to the subject matter to tell, the Victorians would probably be offended by having Allen Quartermain be a washed up junkie, or Mina Murray be in charge of the League, or Allen and Mina boning each other in the woods. Having Harry Potter become the Antichrist may be a bit harsher on a cosmic level, but it’s not particularly different.

So yes, Harry Potter is the Antichrist, but what gets me is the Deus Ex Machina. Not that I’m complaining about Deus Ex Machina, that’s cliché to complain about Deus Ex Machina. We should have more Deus Ex Machina, if only because it will piss of those Strident Atheist Fuckers. What gets me is that God in this book is Mary Poppins.

So one could say that this is just Moore and O’Neil having a big pull on our leg, but there has got to be more going on here. Why Mary Poppins, and not some other fictional god figure. Heck, why not Aslan? If Harry Potter is to be the Antichrist, why not have the fictional aspect of Christ? Well, this is probably because Alan Moore is about as Christian as a snake-worshipping wizard. Aslan just wouldn’t fit. There’s also a certain gendered thing now that I think of it. Aslan’s nemesis is the White Witch, a female. In League, we have the female God figure against a male figure of evil.

(Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think the League Universe Harry Potter is strictly evil. He’s basically just an angry young man who was manipulated by forces of evil. He’s basically just a kid who needs to calm the fuck down, and probably needs more of a sympathetic ear then he was given. Still doesn’t excuse him for trying to destroy the world, but that’s what you get when you let evil wizards run your school.)

Anyways, back to Mary Poppins. I ended up finding an article that gives much to this. I have been looking around and reading that Mary Poppins is an embodiment of the Thelemic Goddess Babalon. This didn’t really mesh with me at first since Mary Poppins doesn’t seem to fit entirely well with Babalon. I then read this.

Amy: The question of who Mary Poppins actually is should be fairly easy to answer for anyone who slogged through the marathon Kabbalah lec..I mean story arc in Promethea. The clue’s in her first name…. Mary is a manifestation of the sephirah Binah, and with a little inspection it seems she embodies both of the sphere’s attributes. A nanny (read: mother) to all, she’s the bottomlessly compassionate Marie, but, stern house-frau that she is and consort to the filthiest and most ‘fallen’ of all the victorian/edwardian stock characters, the chimney sweep, she also doubles up as Babylon. Her stated concern for ‘the healthy development’ of childrens’ imagination just serves to underline this promethean connection (and Moore’s concern, if it was ever in doubt, that Harry Potter is the imaginative equivalent of poison). – Mindless Ones “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Century: Part Three

This makes sense. Skip past Babalon, and Mary Poppins is an emanation of the Sephirot of Binah. So I have that as my answer, and I’m sticking to it. I will now publish this post, because it has been taking to damn long, and I have not given any new information on this text.

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