Happy Halloween ladies, and I mean that in the same way that Clancy Brown’s character in Highlander meant it, when he said it to those nuns. It’s gonna be a busy one and I’ll probably turn in the last of my Spooktobers tomorrow, though they are in the works. Tomorrow also the first day of NaNoWriMo, and I’m gonna be hella busy that day too. In the meantime, allow me to share with you an example of my random thunks, from when I was on the john yesterday.
My cat came to meow for pets. I called him “little duder” though he is little neuter. As cat names spin out, I called him “Little Duderonomy,” a reference to “Old Deuteronomy” from Cats, which I’m only familiar with from videos mocking the film. That got me thinking about Judi Dench playing Old Deut in the scary movie, and about the old testament book of Deuteronomy.
I don’t know from the bible, really. I feel like Deuteronomy was a close neighbor of Leviticus, in the whole “this is still a religion of abject patriarchy and genocidal xenophobia” part of the works. In that context, where “priestess” is a dirty word that will get you filleted like a salmon, Judi Dench as a cleric for cat religion becomes a bit amusing.
And that got me thinking about the differences between judaism and xtianity in how they approach their holy writ. In studying demonology, I strayed into some rabbinical texts, and was struck by how much more scholarly they were than the xtian ones. But that very density of thought, the layers and layers of analysis and (motivated) reasoning, was all in the service of adding mystique to harmful bullshit. Bullshit that was, at its core, as simple as a total ass-pull.
As much as Agrippa would look like a basic bitch next to some of those rabbis, his system of categorizing and breaking down everything in the world into labels and spirits and numbers, it was just more appealing to me. And that makes sense, because it was at least an indirect influence on Linnaeus, and subsequently all that ongoing work of piecing together the tree of life – the real tree of life, not the kabbalah – which is something I love to reflect on.
And that got me thinking about my own work in demonology, how I went searching for something like a canon of demons, found out it was a bullshitting free-for-all, and then hatched a foolish dream of bringing it altogether in a modern synthesis that irons out the contradictions. If I did that, I would be putting reason and thought and structure onto a cartoonish mass of nonsense, which would make me better than those rabbis only in that I’m not also enforcing violent patriarchy. I mean, that’s not nothing, but I wonder that I should be reiterating the errors of judaism and xtianity in my precious spare time.
That’s it, enjoy!