Julie Gentron and the Lady League (Vol. 1, Ep. 7): Karate Chop!

19 10 2012

In the last episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League, the ladies were blown away by the exhaust fumes from Plastica’s subterranean Parisian spaceship. After the plastic witch escaped into space with a horde of unlucky fashionistas, including their charge Simpson Oswald, the ladies were forced to return to London empty-handed. Furious at their failure, Lady Fairfax, the ladies’ boss and Chief of the MI6, forced her girls to undergo a rigorous martial arts training session.

Swerving round nimbly in her wicker wheelchair, Fairfax whipped the ladies into shape like a sadistic lesbian prison warden, a cane in one hand and a gin-and-tonic in the other: “Right, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and left, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and right, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and—”

“–Ugh, Lady Fairfax, I can’t keep up,” groaned Donna flailing in exhaustion and panting like a pregnant cougar. “My knees are sore and my pants are stuck in my crotch!”

“It’s your awkward bosoms getting in the way, girl, not your knees,” snapped Fairfax in her prim British accent.

“Wh–what?? I can’t believe you actually said that!”

“Silence, you shrieking sow! For every moment you spend protesting”–Fairfax wheeled her way behind Donna–“the fiend strikes at your heel!” She crouched like a viper, tripped Donna to the ground under her cane, and resumed her stiff position in the wheelchair. “You may be able to move objects with your mind, Donna, but you had better learn to concentrate, lest an old, wheelchair-bound coot like me should stab you in the back from behind. If you want to save this daft fashion critic from the demon’s clutches, you must think fast! Our time is limited!” She raised her cane perpendicular to the ground and gave a toffy-nosed grimace. Rosalind suddenly grabbed her from behind in an effort to retrieve the cane, but Fairfax deftly smacked her backwards in the face with it, swivelled her chair round, and grabbed her opponent’s thighs in her arms, dragging her to the ground. Rosalind had to use above-average force to extricate herself from Fairfax’s unusually strong grip.

“That wasn’t fair!” cried the proud Zaghawa tribeswoman.

“What do you mean it wasn’t fair, you unwieldy oaf?” countered Fairfax. “You possess super-human strength, Rosalind; hence, I rely on skill. Why, I could barely even do what I did!” Rosalind nodded apologetically, and Fairfax placed her gin-and-tonic gracefully on a nearby table with a gruff harrumph. “I look ahead, anticipate your next move, and prepare to strike”–Rosalind threw a punch at her, but the feisty sexagenarian blocked it with her newly free fist, clipping Rosalind on the side of the cheek with the other, cane in hand–“and thus emerge the victor! And next time, Rosalind, remember that MI6 protocol strictly forbids the use of mutant powers against a superior officer. Learn to govern your reflexes, you ill-bred country-woman. Carry on, ladies!”

Rosalind and Donna ganged up on the aging martial artist, but in a sudden swirl she knocked both to the ground with her cane and a fist. Julie intervened, pressing forth her large trunk and flexing her sinewy muscles. A tango ensued between the two, and Julie showed unusually precise movements in response to the cane-thrusts of the crippled but nimble woman. Fairfax darted about like a cat in a wheelchair for disabled pets, but Julie made few advances, finally surrendering in exhaustion.

“You have beaten me,” said Fairfax.

“What do you mean, Lady? I have not,” replied Julie, pacing about like an African lioness.

“My loss was inevitable. You have surrendered too soon; you have far too much integrity to give up so easily. You are being lazy because you are fighting an old coot in a wicker wheelchair. You must always stick it out till the end,”–she made a jabbing motion with her cane–“and that end is the triumph of the British people!” She gave her cane a stomp. “We shall proceed with a rematch.” She retrieved her gin-and-tonic, took a long, delicate sip, and set it back down on the table, noticing Julie’s discomfiture. “You are far too serious, my dear. Lighten up.”

“H—How can I keep going unless I use my powers?” asked Julie. She swiped at Fairfax, who dodged the blow and parried it with the tip of her fabled cane.

“Charisma, uniqueness, nerve, talent–and lady essence!” replied the crone. “A hard-hewn tool no muscle-bound man can out-manoeuvre. All one needs to topple a locomotive is a misaligned railway track—a single trip, a well-timed block, a clip to the jaw. Do not succumb to fear or distraction, girl. Focus on your goal.” She took another sip from her drink, returned it to the table, and swayed her cane at the ladies. “Lady essence consists of real-life epigenetic phenomena combined in a virulent concoction with supernova gamma ray bursts and high-galactic ectoplasm!”

“Huh?” said Donna in her annoying California accent. Her painfully contorted face belied her brainy potential. “Madam Fairfax, if genes are the script for human behaviour, how can anybody control what they do?”

“They control what they do because they realize they can,” said Fairfax, simply. There was an awkward pause as the ladies gave each other funny looks. “Genes are subsidiary to consciousness and environment. Volition is an inherent part of the lady essence, passed down to us by the cosmic rays of the universe and the many unseen lady-dimensions beyond. All that is required of you is to stop screaming like banshees in heat and focus on the task at hand. That is why you spit and sputter like a Model T Ford, Donna! You abandon yourself to destiny. And yet, with enough focus, you can do such mighty things. I almost fear you.”

Madam Fairfax,” interjected Julie, “respectfully, your observations sound to me like junk science.”

“What, you untrained vessel of womanhood? Are volition and self-awareness ‘unscientific’ to you? You talk like a maladaptive cretin. Never would allow some Stone Age brute to throttle me to the ground and drag me screaming back to his cave, forcing me to pop out a few more babes with random scraps of leftover wooly mammoth meat flung my way as modest incentive!” She raised her cane in the air with a queenly conviction. “Never would I sanction the violation of the yonic temple to satisfy the lusts of monsters who wage war over mates and resources only to mock their female prize with the scant remnants of their winnings. I take my life in my own hands! I am a lady of the future!” Once more the matron gave her cane a thund’rous rap, and this time it went home. In sudden silence, she delicately laid the unassuming weapon across her lap and clasped her hands there like a venerable grandmother. The ladies, stunned, tried to collect themselves.

“You are right, Madam Fairfax,” said Julie, bravely breaking the silence. “How remiss I am to forget my own passion for your cause. I myself gave a speech not so long ago enumerating the many necessities of female empowerment, and how we musn’t bow to biological determinism. All I know is that something inside me–this ‘lady essence,’ as you call it–drives me forth in an endless quest to secure justice for all humankind. Why, something–something makes me want to punch that plastic bitch square in the jaw, grab her by the wig, and toss her unnaturally pretty corpse into the Old Bailey–if only to defend the women and men of Britain, of Earth, and of the galaxy!”

“It is there your sentiment should lie, my dear,” said Fairfax. “Hopefully when it comes to that you’ll have prised poor Oswald from the witch’s clutches unbruised. The daft old queen is so delicate. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it; for now, my worries are soothed. With your fierce conviction, Julie, you have only demonstrated my weird hypothesis, which is that you have control over your destiny. I can tell that in your heart resides true nobility.”

“That doesn’t mean I’m not going to give up common sense, Madam! It’s the only way I can gauge a threat in my environment. Why, if I didn’t have my wits to rely on—” Julie suddenly grabbed the tip of Fairfax’s cane, spun the wheelchair round, and pulled the cane securely against her boss’s neck with both hands. Almost as soon as it happened, she mercifully released Fairfax, who spun back round, regained her composure, and gave a stunned, weird look of awe and delight. The old woman deployed a swift cane-strike at Julie’s kidney, but the technopath grabbed the weapon in her palms and broke it in two over her knee, throwing the pieces to the ground. Bereft of her cane, and with a maniacal look in her eyes, the crippled woman siezed her wheels, swirled round in a circle to gain momentum, and charged at Julie with wheels and legs in the air. Julie leapt up, catapulted herself over the wheelchair foot-holds, and landed crotch-first on Fairfax’s face, squeezing her thighs together. She sat there snugly until her mentor mumbled something along the lines of surrender, and she peeled her buttocks away to reveal a happy face.

“Spectacular!” boomed Lady Fairfax, repositioning her wheelchair with her strong arms and whipping blood from her nose. “You have passed the test! You have mastered the use of a most formidable weapon—the lady strike—a powerful repository of female ingenuity. But you had better know not only when to strike, but whom! Take that to heart. Now let us break and relax. I have some dark secrets about Plastica to tell you girls.”

Find out what those little dark secrets are in the next episode of Julie Gentron and the Lady League!

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Jiz! Is Not Safe for Work!

30 12 2011

OK now that we’ve established that it’s not safe to watch this post at work, let’s talk about Jiz!

Jiz is a video parody of that slutty ’80s cartoon show Jem, which used to air every Saturday morning at 9:30. (Yes, my memory is that good. I watched Jem devoutly in my boyhood. Just like I watched She-Ra: Princess of Power. Shut the fuck up.) In the original Jem series, this cool, big-hearted chick called Jerrica Benton, voiced by British-American singer and voice actress Samantha Newark, forms this cool girl group called The Holograms. Jem uses her rock stardom for selfless purposes—to help local troubled youth. (By the way—Samantha Newark has just released her debut album, Somethin’ Good, which has this really cool, fresh electro-pop sound. I’m impressed! See the above link.) So, Jem had this fucking bad-ass super-computer/synthesiser called Synergy, and when Jerrica rubs her magic star-shaped earrings (which have micro-projectors in them), she can command Synergy to create a hologram around Jerrica which disguises her clothing and enables her to assume the image of Jem! I know, totally fucking trippy, eh? With her earrings, Jem can also create holograms in her environment which trick her enemies. One time she created a hologram of elephants to scare her enemies away! And Jem and the Holograms’s nemesis is the Misfits, this cool, trashy-looking group of bad-ass rocker chicks who want to steal Jem’s career!

Anyway, the Jiz parody totally turns everything around—except somehow Jiz still has this sort of well-meaning “I’ll take you under my wing” kind of persona. Which makes it creepy. So, Jiz runs this sex trafficking operation and illegal abortion clinic where she pimps under-age prostitutes and then gives them abortions when they get pregnant. That’s how she makes her income. Oh, and she loves shitty panties. Whenever anybody shits their panties, Jiz, she comes a-runnin’. In addition, Jem’s super-computer/synthesiser Synergy becomes Jiz’s “Electronic Drug Dealer”. All Jiz has to do is rub her magic star-shaped earrings, and Electronic Drug Dealer zaps her with her cools lights and gets Jiz high. Oh, and Jem’s mansion becomes Jiz’s brothel, where she peddles her jiz-whores (some of whom are kidnapped), and the Misfits become the Shitfits! And they talk like unintelligible apes and monkeys and stuff.

I know! It’s totally tasteless! But fucking funny! “I could’ve been the toilet of your dreams!”

Normally I would say this kind of thing is sexist and racist, but I actually don’t think it is. I think that Sienna D’Enema (the anonymous artist who acts as the deus ex machina behind the Jiz series) takes very disturbing topics and makes light of them in order to take away some of their power over us, which I think serves as a coping mechanism. The less seriously we treat these things (in a comedic context), the less we are enthralled by them. Some of the things that happen in Jiz are so outrageous that they can’t be taken seriously. Besides, I have a strong hunch that Sienna D’Enema is a drag queen, and, well, drag queens are known for their cynical, irreverent, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, and she makes fun of everybody anyway, without discriminating. Like Lisa Lampanelli. It’s understandable why some people would be incensed by such material, but I think that if we understand the creator’s intent, we must accept that it is supposed to be ironic. And that is when the absurdity of all of these horrible things becomes exposed.

That’s my take on Jiz, anyway. But, seriously, seriously! It’s just too fucking funny not to watch. So I implore you, as a newly-ordained Jiz fan, watch this wonderfully crass, tasteless parody and judge for yourself. Or I’ll kiiilllll you.

(Oh, by the way, you should visit Jiz’s Twitter page!)





What Does It Mean To Be A Drag Queen?

28 10 2011

What social purpose does drag serve? Do drag queens reinforce gender stereotypes, or challenge them? I would wager the latter.

I once took a women’s studies course in university called “Introduction to Gender Theory”, or something like that. Oh my god, I was in heaven. For me, it was like going to church and singing, “Hallelujah! I have reached the Promised Land, and it is full of all sorts of delicious fucking freaks.” The course was basically an introduction to, well, gender theory, but from a poststructuralist perspective. That basically means when you look at identities and what makes people who they are in a critical, sceptical light. Anyway, at one point in the course handbook the professor discussed drag and explained how some people see drag as reinforcing gender stereotypes by embodying what they think women should be, which is traditionally feminine. The flip-side of this argument, however, is that drag queens are actually challenging gender stereotypes by mocking traditional feminine expectations placed on women.

The latter argument makes more sense to me, and here’s why. Drag is an incredibly complex form of art. It sends out so many messages at once that it is easy for the untrained eye to miss the ultimate point. It is so sophisticated, so full of so many layers of meaning, and so wrought with irony that it is almost too difficult to distil its essence in words. You can’t simply say, “Oh, it’s a man with fake boobs and high-heels, so he must be saying, ‘This is what women are like'”. That kind of answer is just too pat, and it’s an intellectual cop-out. Drag deserves a more nuanced explanation. When men do drag, they do so with a subversive goal in mind: to satirise the crass feminisation of women.

OK, so there are many different types of drag, and each has a unique purpose, but I believe the one I described above is probably the commonest or most salient of them all. And while most drag queens might not be able to articulate what I have just stated, I think they’d probably agree. For them, it is a highly instinctive and subconscious act. It usually is with artists.

To illustrate my point, let’s take a look at drag queen Tammie Brown (who I believe was a contestant in the reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race). Do you really think she is saying, “This is what women should be like”? She looks like a cross between Tammy Faye Messner and Faye Dunaway’s version of Joan Crawford, for goodness’ sake. Tammie Brown’s art is so absurd that you cannot seriously think she is saying that women should have 1940s hairstyles, Joan Crawford lips, skin the consistency of puddy, and eyebrows in the middle of their foreheads. It’s satire. Drag queens are not stupid; they are socially savvy, culturally perceptive, and very streetsmart. I haven’t met an autistic drag queen yet (although that would be fucking awesome). What drag queens like Tammie Brown are doing is creating an over-the-top caricature of feminine standards of beauty placed on women. By embodying a cartoonish femininity, they are saying at least two things: “The feminine expectations placed on women are so aburd as to merit the sharpest satire” and “As a man, I will relieve women of this ridiculous ‘duty’ by placing it on my own shoulders”. Drag queens—at least the highly abstract and conceptual ones like Tammie Brown and Raja—are all about confusing people with regard to what men and women should be and do, and they achieve this by transferring traditional responsibilities from one sex to the other.

Sometimes, the drag community’s mockery of sexism is accompanied by a mockery of racism, too. This is a delicate subject, and it deserves the utmost sensitivity, but I do think some forms of racial drag actually satirise racism. Consider Shirley Q. Liquor, a.k.a. Charles Knipp, a white man from the American south who dons blackface in drag. Now, she’s controversial. She’s been on CNN, and leaders in the black community have vilified her as racist, but other black people have defended her in praise of her mockery of racism. One of these is RuPaul, who included Shirley on her album RuPaul RED HOT. In RuPaul’s own words, “[c]ritics who think that Shirley Q. Liquor is offensive are idiots.  Listen, I’ve been discriminated against by everybody in the world: gay people, black people, whatever.  I know discrimination, I know racism, I know it very intimately. She’s not racist, and if she were, she wouldn’t be on my new CD”. Now, just as one woman cannot speak for all women, one black person cannot speak for all black people, but it helps to know that some black people see a certain satire in Shirley Q. Liquor’s art. And I think RuPaul sees the sweet irony in Shirley Q. Liquor’s absurdist blackface. From my perspective (and please correct me if I am misguided), Knipps mocks racism by donning blackface and showing how absurd racial stereotypes are. And when it isn’t clear that he is mocking racial stereotypes, I sort of think he is expressing a deeply human affection for the quirks he recognises in the black women he knew growing up. That said, I highly recommend against doing blackface unless you are absolutely certain of the purpose and context of your art and you have support by a sizeable contingent of the black community, and if you fail to heed this warning and proceed to do blackface in a messy, thoughtless way, you are probably an ignorant fool.

Just in case some of you still think Charles Knipps is racist, let me share with you a horribly beautiful video of him impersonating Barb, the stereotypical “narthern” Great Lakes housewife with an obnoxiously twangy, vowel-fronted North-Central American English accent:

I know. Now he’s doing drag in whiteface. So that’s just in case you think his racial drag is mere racism, and not an ironic mockery of racism. Now, we might be able to say, “Oh, look. He’s racist toward white people, too.” But I don’t think we have to say that he’s racist toward anyone. In every face he does, he is mocking some stereotype or another by exposing its absurdity as plainly as possible. It’s hard to take patent bullshit seriously.

Drag queens are inscrutable creatures; they create a disturbingly comical image of beauty, challenging our assumptions about what is pretty, who should be pretty, and why. The simple-minded philistines among us, with their intolerance for irony, will view drag queens as horribly sexist, racist monsters, but those of us with a capacity to think critically and apprehend the intent behind the art will think the exact opposite—they will view drag queens as highly perceptive cultural critics of sexual and racial stereotypes, as people who have been to hell and back and have something to say in defense of the underdog. The purpose of drag is to mock feminine expectations placed on women, it is to toy with our cherished notions about who can be feminine—women, or men?—and it is to defuse racist stereotypes through crass caricature. At the same time, though, drag queens seem to exult in a certain bizarre, twisted, exaggerated beauty in the very femininity they satirise, perhaps because they value it for its own sake regardless of which gender is performing it. You can have crazy eyebrows or an overdrawn lipline whether you’re male or female. It’s all supposed to be messy, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. At any rate, drag challenges our deepest assumptions about who we are, who we should be, and who we can be, and this is an invaluable tool for deepening and enriching our understanding of what it means to be human.





Fun with Foxgloves!

2 08 2011

What are foxgloves good for? They’re not good for foxes—they’re good for fingers!

First there was nail lacquer, then there were French manicures, but, honestly, I find both of these trends boring and passé. They have fingerless gloves, so why not love-gloves for the fingers? Ha ha. I know. Silly idea, you say. But guess what? It works! Let me show you how—it’s very easy.

With foxgloves, you can fondle a climbing clematis…

…or explore the hidden beauty of a rose.

You can pet kitty “Hello!” wearing foxgloves (she may wonder what you’re doing)…

…and bid her goodnight with the flick of a switch 🙂

Wearing foxgloves, you can take up genealogy and tell your guests about the history of your ukulele-playing Canadian family from Madoc, Ontario. Soon, you’ll be the talk of Belleville—you may even get an offer for a speaking engagement at the Quinte Mall. And after that, who knows? Maybe Oshawa, or even Toronto!

With their delicate texture, foxgloves are perfect for cleaning house. You can easily vacuum-clean your nice hardwood floors wearing foxgloves, even with a hand-to-floor module…

…just as you can give a good scrub-down to that old toilet bowl wearing foxgloves (I call this one Fleur de Toilette).

Wearing foxgloves is ideal for crushing little girls’ heads—I mean creating fine art (this one I call Fleur au-dessus de Vanité)…

…or pointing at paintings with particular panache while curating second-rate art exhibitions.

Smurf hats. Ha ha.

With foxgloves adorning your dainty fingers, you will be able to transcend the sublunary world by drumming in meditation rituals…

…or conquer the world with them, bahahahaha…

…or, instead, you can lend a magnanimous  helping hand to the poor and needy.

See? There’s really nothing you can’t do wearing foxgloves. You can knit, bake brownies, change a baby’s diaper, or show your lover that you really care. With foxgloves, you do whatever you want and stem the spread of disease. They’re that effective! In fact, they’re pretty foxy. Ha ha! So, practice safe fingering, folks, and wear foxgloves!

You can donate to the Somalia famine relief effort at the CARE Web site. CARE is a secular, non-governmental, non-political humanitarian relief organisation dedicated to fighting poverty in the poorest countries in the world by helping them become stable and self-sufficient.





Christians vs. Witches: the Atheists Arrive

3 07 2011

Previously, we discussed how the armies of Republican Christian politician Sarah Palin and pagan high-priestess Laurie Cabot were bearing down on one another. After an initial onslaught, they decided to withdraw and hold a match between the choicest champions of either side. Palin was not impressed with “losing” her champion to the side of the witches, and called on her forces to resume the onslaught against Cabot’s pagan forces. It is the ultimate duke-out. Thus, we continue.

Palin assumed the form of a huge and matted grizzly bear, wielding a Bible in one paw and a shotgun in the other. Cabot assumed the form of a flying cat-woman with a sleek, black body and batlike wings, wielding a staff in one paw—the staff, made of yew, was etched in an ancient Ogham incantation and glowed white—and a ball of blazing blue fire in the other. Palin levelled her gun on her shoulder, aimed at the flying witch-demon, and fired, but the shot was deflected partly by Palin’s own poor marksmanship and partly by the ball of fire, which shot from Cabot’s fist and burnt Palin’s paw, sending the shotgun a-flying.

“You’ll never best me, you Satan-worshipper!” cried Palin, rubbing her burnt paw.

“Satan?” asked Cabot, quizically. “I don’t worship Satan,  because I don’t believe in him. How can I worship something I don’t believe in?”

“Oh, he’s real enough!” cried Palin. “And he’s seducing you with his pretty words! He is the ultimate sleuth!” She was reading a page in her Bible when she said this. “Ever read C.S. Lewis?”

“Actually”, responded Cabot, “I think evil is the work of man, not some demon scapegoat. Satan is just an excuse humans use when they don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions. Humans cause evil, so humans should correct it. All evil comes from humanity, and it is the obligation of humanity to correct this error, not foist it conveniently on to some other force. It’s all about personal responsibility.”

“Lord in heaven above”, pleaded Palin, scanning a page in her Bible, which boasted a pastel-coloured, floral-print book-jacket edged with lace, “smite mine evil enemy as you would have an innocent babe of Canaan for being the child of a tribe occupying the land that your chosen people sought to conquer!” With those words, a stream of blood shot forth from the book and knocked Cabot to the ground—well, not quite to the ground, but she crashed into the Christ Church Cathedral spire. From the mass of crumbling roof she rose upright to meet her nemesis.

“You may abide in such a bloodthirsty lord”, spoke Cabot in a ringing baritone, “but I cannot!” With that, she pointed her staff at Palin, spoke a series of strange and mystical words, and shot a ray of pure light at her enemy, blasting her through a rooftop in the city-centre below. Her enemy struggled to her feet and found herself inside an Oxfam shop, asking, “What curious thing is this?”

“It is a shop where one selflessly donates to the poor and needy by buying things, such as books”,  cried the shopkeeper, a surprisingly spry old matron, “you know, those things one reads—without feeling the need to invoke capitalism or the myth of trickle-down economics in order to protect one’s wealth! Not that you would know what that means, you daft old chattering voicebox”, she snapped, pushing the bear-woman out the door and slamming it shut in her face.

“Curious indeed!” pondered Palin pawfully. “I never thought of that.”

“Chief-witches”, cried Cabot, “let us gather at the site of your fallen foe!” With that, Cabot and her chief battle-witches descended through the spires and steep roofs till they reached the cobble-stone street in a cluster before the pitiful Palin, who pawed vainly at the doorstep of the Oxfam shop. “Here”, said Cabot, “we must consider our next course of action while the armies battle above, given her”—and here she pointed at the bear-woman—“temporary disadvantage.”

“Well, we can’t just kill her”, said Doreen Virtue in a sweet voice. “At the very least, we have to judge her, but we have little time to spare at the present moment. Let us incarcerate her for the time being.”

“Ugh, such minor tasks use up my power”, sighed Cabot, considering both the army above and her fallen foe below. She could not await any further assaults, nor the re-ascent of Palin, either. She waved her staff in the air above, and the crystal atop the staff glowed with a beam of bright, opalescent, blue-white light. When this had acquired a sufficient luminosity, she pointed the crystal at the she-bear and blasted her with a cold ray of light, freezing her where she lay in a giant heap of ice. This task accomplished, she returned her glace to the enemy’s host above. They had metamorphosed into a bevvy of flying, braying moose-women. Startled by this spectacle, she raised her staff in the air once more, this time holding it horizontally with both hands, and recited a mysterious, arcane incantation. There was a brief pause.

“Witches, assume panther mode!” she bellowed. With that, a purple mass of light burst forth from her, weaved through the spikey Oxford skyline, and showered her soldiers above, transforming them into a throng of giant black cat-beasts.

“We still haven’t enough numbers!” yelled evolutionary psychologist Nigel Barber from the side.

“Nigel Barber?”, mused Doreen Virtue with a soft but quizzical expression. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

“Oh, I don’t know”, he responded dully. “I guess I kind of like you guys!”

“Great!”, she said. “We’ll need all the help we can get. General Cabot, perhaps we can summon some friendly non-pagan forces with our psychic abilities!” she beamed, bloated with the soul of Michele Bachmann inside her.

“We are already here!” squawked Richard Dawkins, landing on a perch above in the form of a giant pteradactyl. “I have brought my forces to assist you, lady, as I see a need to protect humanity from the forces of evil.” Behind him hovered philosopher Daniel Dennet and evolutionary psychologist Susan Blackmore, in their normal human forms, as well as a number of other hardcore classical materialists.

“The atheists!” rejoiced Cabot. “I never thought you’d have come to my aid, given our differences on spirituality, the afterlife, and the mind-brain relationship. Your reputation for being cold, mean, stubborn, and blindly egotistical does precede you. Obviously it is not entirely deserved!”

Stay tuned to find out how the witch-friendly atheists fare against the Christians, and how the atheists are able to cope. Also, stay tuned to find out how the Christians and witches begin to employ their greatest assets against one another. The battle is peaking, and we need some serious forces to ensure that it is as tumultuous as possible. Expect the oddest things to transpire.





Christians vs. Witches!

30 06 2011

Oh my god. The other day I wrote the driest, most politically correct blog entry ever. The sad thing is that it was on one of the coolest and funniest things ever. I wrote about this blog on motherhood called Circle of Moms that was hosting a “best blog” competition for its subscribers. Basically, subscribers would vote on one another’s blogs through the Circle of Moms site–Circle of Moms was sort of the meeting place for voting on the blogs of its subscribers. (It’s a SEO strategy—everybody benefits when sites interconnect with one another through a site they all have in common.)

The competing blogs were categorized according to topic. One of these was “faith”, and it had a lot of stuff about “Biblical womanhood”, Biblical patriarchy, home-schooling, premarital sex, and all of that crap that Christian American soccer moms eat up like Starbucks protein bars. Anyway, a pagan mother submitted her blog, Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, in the competition, and it was put in the “Faith” category, and boy, oh, boy, was there a shit-storm over that. Basically, acting as if they owned the “Faith” category, some of the Christian mothers descended on her like a flock of flying wolf-maidens and tore her apart, sending her nasty comments on her blog—after all, it is about witchcraft, magic, potions, and all of that scary stuff.

Ironically, however, the pagan mother won the blog competion. Guess why? The rest of the Christians defended her, sending her messages of support like “Oh, shit! We’re sorry! Christians shouldn’t act that way! We respect you and your faith tradition!” and even voting for the pagan mother’s blog as well as other pagan blogs. In fact, six of the top ten winning blogs were related to paganism. Now, six out of ten Americans are not pagan, so obviously the figures reflected this dispute. But in the end, people came together despite their different backgrounds. How about that for solidarity, girls?

Anyway, my blog entry on the whole debacle had to be polite and respectful-sounding, and I couldn’t tease any religions or make fun of anybody, because, well, it was a professional blog entry, and that makes sense—if I want to keep my job, I can’t do any dirty writing. But here and now, I can do what I want. And what I want to do is re-write that entry. I want to re-imagine it. I want to tell you what really went through my mind when I read about this hilarious catfight between Christian and pagan soccer moms, and the superbly elegant defection that led to an ultimate pagan victory. So read on.

The twilight slowly gave way to a lurid reddish haze which silhouetted Oxford’s innumerable stern spires, illuminating the soft, curvaceous, cottony English hills of the surrounding neighbourhood. On the town’s eastern border, with the rising of the sun, stood the daughters of Christ, and on the western border, the daughters of Earth. The former were servants of Yahweh, blood-god of the Israelites, and the latter, defenders of Nature, idol of the pagans. Both forces steamed with a heady passion and an impetuous lust. A hush fell over the gracious, still-sleeping city. The grizzly-mommy Sarah Palin, word-mangling publicity whore and leader of the Christians, flew forth to parley with her dread adversary, the numinous Laurie Cabot, leader of the pagans and high priestess of witchcraft in America.

“You will not refudiate my claim to the Throne of Morality!” clucked Palin in her grating Minnesota twang.

“I beg your pardon?” responded Cabot. “That isn’t a word. You cannot win the Throne of Morality with such illiteracy. Such neologisms are entirely ill-conceived.”

“Whaaat?” responded Palin. “I don’t care what you say, smarty-pants! I believe in Jesus Christ! He saved my soul from damnation when I accepted his sacrifice!”

“Well, yes”, replied Cabot with a roll of the eyes, “he did—by killing himself to propitiate himself for the imperfection he himself planted in you, so that you would no longer have to slaughter goats to propitiate him for your sins. Makes perfect sense.”

“Huuuh?? Stop trying to impress the people with your big words, you…you expert! It’s not as though people need to be treated like—”

“—like intelligent interlocutors? No, we wouldn’t want to treat the people with dignity, to address them as ladies and gentlemen. We wouldn’t want to hold them to such a high standard. Let’s talk to them like the retards we want them to be.”

“Grrrrrrr!” roared the angry grizzly-mommy. “I’ve had enough! Grizzly-women, attack!!”

Like a hive of wasps, the daughters of Christ ascended with the giant orb of the rising sun and flew like hawks at their enemy, through the spires of thriving schools and the steeples of long-empty churches, which jutted up mercilessly into the lightening sky. The daughters of Earth rose with the sinking moon as their harbinger of doom and shot at their opponent like a spray of arrows—a cloudy mass of horned bats and sharp-clawed cats. The two armies clashed with the bray of a shrieking eagle.

The leaders, Palin and Cabot, met each other head-on, their hosts crashing in behind them. Palin headed a phalanx of angels and grizzly bear-women that mauled and clawed at their opponents; Cabot’s vast host of flying cat-women and nature-spirits mauled and clawed and beat and savaged their aggressors. A frenzy of claws, bear-swipes, cat-strikes, bat-wings, and angel-wings blurred Oxford’s spikey skyline in a dark cloud against the early sun.

As the day dragged on, there was a temporary halt to the melee, and the two armies chose to employ their greatest champions. Palin submitted Michele Bachmann, U.S. Republican representative from the state of Minnesota, and Cabot submitted Doreen Virtue, PhD, doctor of counselling psychology and angel-whisperer from Laguna Beach, California.

Bachmann flew like a dragon toward the cloudy mass of light that was Virtue, and the light swelled to a near-blinding brilliance. Bachmann resorted to her chief power first, frustrating the light by constantly stating factual errors and making repeated, vacuous invocations of Jesus and God. For a moment, the light stood stunned and dizzied. At that point Bachmann lunged forth and slashed at the light with her bear-claws, but with effort the light regained its equanimity, invoking the angels. Gradually, like a trickle turning into a stream, a vast host of angels defected from Palin’s army and zoomed through the mass of clashing bodies to join Virtue, who absorbed them. The enlarged mass eerily invited Bachmann’s onslaught, unobtrusively absorbing and transforming the evangelical mommy into something like itself—a giant mass of bright, peaceful forgiveness.

“Fuck that New Age shit!” roared Palin. “I believe in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus! That sort of magical mumbo-jumbo is evil!”

“Why?” responded Cabot. “It was fair, and your champion was not killed; her consciousness merely melded with that of her opponent.”

“It’s the work of Satan! It says so in the Bible! Grizzly-women, draw now on the power of your Lord!”

“Seriously, you are one paranoid bitch. I have no choice—cat-women, attack!”

The rest will be conveyed to you in the following series of instalments, which will include such famous figures as Jesus, Stephen Hawking, and an assortment of individual angelic and divine personalities, among them the Archangel Gabriel and the Irish goddess of war and death, Morrígan.