HP Lovecraft and Religion, a few thoughts as I drove to work.

Posted in Literature, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2015 by urbannight

HP LovecraftHPL often makes the religious most susceptible to madness in his stories. They turn into absolute wrecks when confronted with things out of the ordinary. These things are not supernatural in nature and the person’s religious actions to protect them do not work. His creatures are natural but either ancient, alien, or trans-dimensional. So he is basing his monsters/creatures on science (or science fiction) that we don’t understand. The implication is that religious people are weak minded to start with.
Yet many times he has people who were more rational and non-religious go to religious authority figures for help when strange things start to happen to them or around them. It is like he is saying that it is human nature to turn to religion when confronted by the unknown or the unknowable. Of course, anything suggested by or provided by these religious figures always fails. HPL’s views of religious are well known.
His stories reflect a concept that those who are religious and depend on religion to start with are weak minded individuals but even those with stronger mental fortitude will turn to religion when faced with the unknown, that it is basic human nature. But since God doesn’t really exist, religion cannot solve the strange problems caused by life forms that science was unable to identify or that came from other places. But people’s reliance on religion makes using religion an easy way to take over a community in order to control people for ulterior goals.
In fact, as I sit here running stories through my head, I can only think of one that uses a supernatural horror instead of one that could be considered natural if unknown or unearthly. That is Dreams in the Witch House. There may be others that I would find if I sat down and flipped through more stories. That’s just an off the top of my head recall.
The fact that his horror seldom uses magical causes actually increases the horror. The idea that the world is much bigger and stranger than we can see in our ordinary reality and those things have no care for the structure of the world as we see it and have created it for ourselves is a more terrifying concept than supernatural horrors.

Longest names

Posted in Baptismal Name, Baptized, Fundraising for charity, Ian Fleming titles, Just Strange, Long Names, Longest Names, Names, Pablo Picasso, Strange on January 7, 2015 by urbannight

The other day I saw Picasso’s full name written out.  I never knew it was so long.  So I got the idea of looking up the longest names ever.  I found an interesting list of 5 people.  Oddly enough, Picasso is listed as number 5.  I would have to disagree.  I would list him and number one.  He is the only one with that name at birth.  The others named themselves.

The person with the longest name on record has since died.  But his last name is a paragraph in German that translates as:

A descendant of one who prepared wool for manufacture on a stone, living in a house in the mountain village, who before ages was a conscientious shepherd whose sheep were well tended and diligently protected against attackers who by their rapacity were enemies who 12,000 years ago appeared from the stars to the humans by spaceships with light as an origin of power, started a long voyage within starlike space in search for the star which has habitable planets orbiting and on which the new race of reasonable humanity could thrive and enjoy lifelong happiness and tranquility without fear of attack from other intelligent creatures from within starlike space

I just don’t see that as being his parents’ name.  It seems like this would be a name change.

Number Two is a woman who changed her name, from Dawn McManus, to bring attention to her charity for fundraising purposes.

Number Three is for a man who changed his name from David Fearn to a list of Ian Fleming titles with the name James at the start and Bond at the end.

Number Four is a man with a long name who also went in and had it changed.  It looks as if he strung together all the more unusual names that he liked.  As if he couldn’t make up his mind so he picked them all. He started out as Barnaby Usansky.

Number five, Pablo Picasso was actually baptised Pablo, Diego, José, Francisco de Paula, Juan Nepomuceno, Maria de los Remedios, Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad, Ruiz y Picasso.  His name looks positively short compared to the people above.  I admit, I didn’t list their full names because I just don’t think they really count.

How did my mom KNOW?

Posted in Activities, Childhood, Childhood Development, Craft Time, Daddy's Girl, Hobbies, Library, Little Lady, Mothers, Parenting, Princess, Story time, Tee Ball, Tomboys on January 6, 2015 by urbannight

My sister and I are very different.  She was a total tom-boy and a daddy’s girl.  I was the little lady but I wanted to run around and do all the boy’s stuff in skirts and dresses.  So I was part tomboy and part princess.  (I remember finding boards and sheets of wood and we would build tree forts and then turn around and have tea parties and picnics.  Boys and girls together.)

But what really gets me is how did Mom know, when we were not even in school yet, that my sister would gravitate towards sports and I would be the bookish, crafty one?  My sister was in tee-ball at the earliest age that was allowable and I was dropped off at the library for story time, film strips, and crafting sessions.  How did these traits make themselves known as such early ages so parents can put kids in programs that suit their personalities.  I vaguely remember, in kindergarten, begging to teacher to teach us to read.  But that was partly because I had already been in so many library programs that I really wanted to read the books on the shelves.  So what triggered my mom to send me to the library so much but not my sister?

I did ask her, once, years ago.  She didn’t really have an answer, other than she just knew.

A strange strange dream….

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on December 22, 2014 by urbannight

Here is another one of my bizarre dreams.

(I’m typing this at 3:00 am and am not inclined to edit and fix the errors until after I go back to bed and get some more sleep.  But I really want to share the craziness of it.  So if you read an early copy of this, know that I will be fixing the horrible errors in it soon.)

The ice-maker woke me up from a dream that I knew was a dream but couldn’t seem to stir out from. Thank you, Lucid Dreaming, for making me able to know it is a dream but why wouldn’t you let me wake up from it?

It started out where I am at a hobby event working on crafts of one type or another and shifted and started to get darker. So I decided to change the dream and leave the hobby gathering.

Only now I’m driving around a small town I’m not from and no one wants to talk to me and someone seems to be trying to kill me, only I have no proof of it. So I try to change it by leaving the town. Only it turns to winter and there is too much snow and my car gets stuck. I try to get out of the car and it turns out that the driver’s door is stuck in snow. So I try to get out the passenger side, only there is a drop off.

This makes me cranky because I can’t think of a way to alter it. Only I’m asleep and dreaming so thinking up options isn’t really my strong suit. I seem to think up one and suddenly that is what happens but I can’t think up multiple options to choose from. I can’t make another alteration until I get ‘stuck’ again at a point I don’t like.

Anyway, manage to jump into a snow bank only it is at the edge of a lack and this edge is mostly cliff. I manage to work my way around it without getting too wet and make it to the road. It turns out that someone really is after me. It is my father. (NOT my real dad) He is trying to capture me.

Apparently the crazy lady in town, who said he was a bad person for years, was right. Apparently he nor she were natives of this small town. So now one knew or believed the crazy lady when she said he had been her husband.

Apparently there was another daughter who died at birth and he has been trying to capture both of us for years to gather living tissue from us to use in a spell that would enable him to bring back this dead baby. And getting away wasn’t going to work because he was on the police force.

Every time I tried to alter the dream to get out of it or onto something different it got worse. At this point I didn’t know what to try. I must have been sleeping lightly because the ice crashed out of the tray and into the bin and woke me up. I was rather glad at that point.

The Mark of Cain. The obvious thing no one noticed….

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2014 by urbannight

The other night I was reading/watching things online.  Somehow, I ended up on an article about the various possibilities for the mark of Cain.  This is what I remember.

Cain kills Abel and God is sending him away.  But Cain is worried that everyone will know what he did and try to kill him.  So God promises to put a mark on him that will show everyone that he is protected by God.

Some of the various things that have been suggested for the Mark have been Black skin, Red hair, and Left-handedness.

Everyone seems to  be ignoring the elephant in the room.  If Cain killed Abel and they were the only children of Adam and Eve at this point, who does Cain think might kill him?  He is being sent away, so it can’t have been Adam or Eve.

Since a lot of Christians are never taught about Lilith, or her monster children, it probably isn’t any of them.

There are some writers out there advocating that genetics were still ‘pure’ back then and Cain marries an unnamed sister and, in fact, Adam and Eve had a lot more children of both genders and the world is populated by one inbred family.

Since he was worrying about being murdered before he even found a wife, I won’t really worry about that one too much.  I just had to mention that one theory because it was way out there in terms of strangeness.

Back in the day, when I was going to church, teaching Sunday school, reading the Bible through about 4 times a year, and doing a lot of study and research on the things I really thought were odd, this story was one of the oddest to me.  When there are only four people on the planet, if you believe a literal interpretation, then who did Cain think would murder him?

Either mystery people who came from someplace else or a whole tribe of brothers and sisters that are never mentioned.  The only other named son being the one born to replace Abel.

And, why in the world is God protecting a Murderer anyway?  Did no one ever think to ask this?  It seems a very bizarre course of action.  Another one of those questions where all attempts to answer it are so bizarre that you wonder why that question alone does not drive people away from Churches.

Horns, you know, that book.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2014 by urbannight

I decided to read Horns because I had been hearing that the book was pretty good.  It would have been if I thought it was actually aimed at the YA audience instead of adults.  I am a bit let down by it.

All the characters are in their 20’s and acting like they are 10 years younger, about early High School years.   This is why I thought maybe it was supposed to be a YA book.  But it turns out it wasn’t.

I also thought it was supposed to be set in England but it isn’t.  It is in the U.S.   I didn’t come to that conclusion because Daniel Radcliffe was playing the lead character, Ig.  I came to that conclusion early in the book when Ig is thinking he needs to get some medical help with his horns.  And, more importantly, by the way the characters sound in my head.  They only make sense to me if I imagine that they are all middle to late 20 somethings who were not able to go to University and who were all on the dole because of too many people and not enough jobs to go around.  Everything makes more sense that way.

The first section of the book, Hell, has been the most enjoyable.  I really liked reading how people started telling the truth about everything to Ig and didn’t seem to be completely aware of it.  They saw the horns, know it was somehow off, and then it slipped on by and they forgot.  So far, it is the best part of the book.

Part two is Cherry, named for Cherry bombs, virginity, and I think there was a third

Official movie poster.

Official movie poster.

reason but I forget now, just like people forgetting those horns.  It tells the entire back story about the time when Ig met the love of his life, nearly drown, became friends with the guy who really kills the girl, (that is not a spoiler as the book reveals that before the start of this section), and sets up the relationships between all the characters.

I don’t remember the name of the third section.  It bounces back to the present and explores how Ig handles finding out who killed his girl, how Ig is dealing with the knowledge that his girl wanted to break up with him the night she died, and starts to explore the really bad things Ig did the night before he woke up with horns.  He also explores more of the boundaries on what he can or can not do with the new abilities the horns seem to give him.

And that is where I am at with the book.  It has been relegated to the bathroom to read when I’m stuck on the toilet.  The concept is a good one but the execution is not. Oh, the writing isn’t bad, other than the fact that I think the writer was going for an adult audience and yet the characters feel and sound like teenagers and the overall feeling of the book is Young Adult in nature, despite the language sometimes used in book.

You know you are getting old when…..

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2014 by urbannight

. . . you use a cultural reference and the person with whom you are talking doesn’t understand it.

Vinyl records

Vinyl records

I told someone a bit younger than me, “Catch you on the flip side.”  He didn’t know what I was talking about.  I wouldn’t necessarily assume he would have known the cartoon by that title.  It was pretty short-lived.  But I didn’t realize he was too young to be familiar with cassette tapes.  The term referred to the track on the reverse side of a record but it still worked for the Walkman/tape cassette era.

I guess far to many young adults, out of high school no less, only have practical memories of CD’s.  They know what a cassette tape is but because they don’t remember having or using them, the references go over their heads.

It just makes me feel old.


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