midnight in the garden of my brain

i just had another nightmare about evil, and the devil in particular.

i dreamed a co-worker and i were sent to a huge luxury house in vancouver for something work-related. we arrived and had a hell of a time finding our way around the place. it was a labyrinth of opulent dining halls, bedrooms with views of an ocean painted red by the sunset, staircases going this way and that. eventually we realized that whatever we were sent there for must have been some kind of error, but the charming, gregarious people (all between the ages of 40-70 years old) at the house were having a lavish get-together with mountains of incredible food and invited us to stay and join them, so we did.

we ate a bunch and chatted with them and they were all really nice. then i wandered around the place and started getting spooked — something about it was creepy, ominous, but i couldn’t figure out what. then a kid i used to look after in summer camp (in real life) was there and did something to piss me off so i slapped him across the face, hard. i couldn’t believe what i’d just done. then i noticed he had a large, old bruise on the same side of his face already, and i realized i must have hit him before, that i had some sort of weird rage problem i had never been aware of. i was beside myself, i was so ashamed. eventually the party people came in the room and i thought, “that’s it, now the police are going to get involved. what an absurd thing i’ve done,” but the party people couldn’t have cared less. they laughed about it and that was that. on one hand, i was relieved, but on the other i was shocked by their lack of concern.

my co-worker and i were finally leaving the fancy house and the old couple who lived there were thanking us for coming. they had the glass i had drank water out of at dinner and asked me to hang it up on a weird, wooden chandelier-like thing before i left. i thought it was odd but said ok. when i climbed the step ladder to hang the glass, i saw that each spot on the chandelier for hanging these glasses had a different symbol that reminded me of markings i’d noticed before in the symbol of baphomet and on the cover of the necronomicon, like this:

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like the symbols at the points of the star

at this point, i became alarmed. it suddenly became clear to me that this old couple had lured me into their home to acquire this item that now had a personal connection to me, and were going to use it to seriously fuck with me somehow. i don’t remember the rest of the dream well but i think i was too chickenshit to say or do anything about it. i think i just left with my co-worker and was terrified for my immortal soul.

it was a vivid dream, and definitely the scariest i’ve had in a long time. i think it’s weird that most of my dreams revolve around abstract evil. i’m so legitimately obsessed with it that i think about it in my sleep. that’s pretty nuts.

but i can already see some inspirations for this dream that have come from my recent life:

  • ben read rosemary’s baby while on his honeymoon (he said the book was underwhelming, which i always thought was a distinct possibility — i figured polanski turning it into a film would be tantamount to kubrick making the shining), and the mansion and party people in my dream were basically rip-offs of the satanists in rosemary’s baby.
  • the mansion itself was quite similar to the venue of ben and madeline’s wedding last month. not identical, but it had the same sprawling opulence and incredible views.
  • i’m not as confident about this one but i think the slapping of the boy has to do with my recent efforts to try to be kinder to the people closest to me. it’s amazing how we get comfortable — too comfortable — with those people, and allow ourselves to treat them in ways that we would never dream of treating anyone else. or at least, that’s me. i have a suspicion that most people are better at this than me, but i’m aware of it and have added it to my laundry list of things i need to improve at unless i want to die alone.

i wonder if people who read these posts hate hearing about my dreams as much as jenn does. huh.

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further musings on the nature of satan

today i wanted to read an old blog post of mine called ‘omnipresent devil.’ i figured that was a fairly unique title so i just searched the web for that. to my amazement, i got a ton of results, all focused on the very idea i had put forth in that post of mine.

in case you’re too lazy to click the link above and actually read that post, the jist of it is this: if i believed in the devil, i would imagine that all the things i loved and trusted the most were actually tools that the devil was using to corrupt me, to lead me astray. wouldn’t that be the perfect plot? friends, family, co-workers, religious leaders, politicians, doctors, whatever — anyone and everyone would be a suspected minion of the dark one’s. so if i believed in the devil at all, i wouldn’t be able to trust anyone or anything. i would quickly become a paranoid lunatic, even more so than already.

well, it turns out i’m not the first to wrestle with that idea. turns out lots of christians have asked their pious superiors if satan is omnipresent. guess what all the responses i’ve read so far have been.

“no way.”

which sounds suspiciously like something the devil would say to trick people, to lull them into complacency while he leads them down the left hand path!

how asinine. additionally absurd are some of the arguments used to support their point of view. like this:

Satan is powerful and influential, but he is not omnipresent. Omnipresence is a characteristic of the Divine only…it is clear that the Devil is not everywhere at once. The Devil “roams” and “walks”. If he was omnipresent, he would not have to “move”, because he would already be there. If the Devil is a fallen angel (as the Scriptures describe him), then the same limitations of an angel are the same limitations of the Devil. An angel cannot be everywhere at the same time, nor is an angel “all knowing”…

and this:

Satan is most assuredly not omnipresent, Satan was and is an Angel (although he be a fallen Angel) and you must remember two things.

  1. Satan (Lucifer) has no more power or ability than any of the other Angels.
  2. When Lucifer was ejected from Heaven one third of the Angels were ejected with him

explanations like that sound like 12-yr old kids explaining dungeons & dragons to a newcomer. it’s a bunch of people taking fantasy shit way, way too seriously — the differences being these are adults, and they actually believe in their hocus pocus fairy tale. these people are clearly insane. lock them up, for god’s sake! (lol.)

on top of that, i’m still not convinced. to me, the explanations i read for why satan is not omnipresent are just playing the semantics game. they’re choosing to conveniently interpret the bible in a simplistic way that allows them to keep going about their day to day lives without much worrying. i think the bible paints satan as a darn powerful liar who mixes lies with the truth to confuse his prey, and i think believing he is a slouch would be ‘playing with fire,’ so to speak. (that’s two religious yuk yuks now, wowee. i’m on a roll.)

no, if you actually believe in the devil, you better also believe he’s constantly trying to subvert you in the sneakiest, most underhanded ways possible. in which case, you should live as far away from humans as possible since you can no longer trust them. but then he’d probably try to subvert you using air, water, land, animals — even inanimate objects like your cutlery and clothing. better get rid of that stuff too. but wait — what if he’s in your very mind, swaying your every decision, controlling your every move?

only one solution then, my good christian soldier.

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boy, do i hate organized religion.

god, i hate religion

when i was a teenager, i was your typical angsty, anti-establishment, greasy-faced dummy. i really just enjoyed shocking people so while i spouted lots of anti-christian rhetoric, i never really gave it much thought or actually cared about it. i mean, i stole my brother’s copies of the necronomicon and anton lavey’s satanic bible and felt pretty cool about it but i happily celebrated xmas too.

now i’m middle-aged and feel like i should be mellowing out but instead i find myself harbouring an ever deepening grudge towards christianity. it’s been getting pretty bad lately. i keep thinking about different aspects that really bug me — like how asinine it is to believe that your god is real while the gods of all the other religions in the world are not. that’s arrogant and hypocritical as all hell. it’s like claiming you have an invisible blue tiger for a pet and he’s REAL, but if anyone else says the same thing, you think they’re a fucking idiot. guess what, you would BOTH be idiots.

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i call him ‘jesus.’

something else i really hate is how christianity uses fear to indoctrinate people, especially when they’re young. i am a perfect example of this. when i was a kid, my parents took me to sunday school, and i went to a lot of christian summer camps too. every time they talked about the devil, about hell, about eternal suffering if i didn’t do what they said, i was absolutely terrified. i can still clearly remember some of the paintings and depictions they showed us of satan, that’s how much they impacted me. and now here i am, a full grown adult, and there is still nothing i find more frightening than the idea of satan. it’s pure luck that this phobia never manifested itself by molding me into an avid church goer.

why would anyone want to do that to a child, to scar them for life with fear? well, i think the adults who showed that scary stuff to me probably weren’t intentionally trying to scare me. they likely really believed that stuff and thought they were educating me, saving my immortal soul. they were probably indoctrinated by the generation before them with the same techniques. it’s just like any other abuse cycle, except this abuse is institutionalized.

i also hate how many denominations of christianity there are. catholic, protestant, orthodox — and within those, literally hundreds of sub-denominations. so which is the right one? each person will tell you their denomination is, of course! how lucky for them. horse shit.

i also hate how i never hear christians talk about the crusades and all the other horrible things that occurred because of their faith.

i hate how when a muslim attacks people here in north america, it’s called terrorism, but when a christian does the same thing, it’s called a ‘shooting.’

i hate that so many pedophiles are associated with the christian church.

i hate that christian churches and symbols are all over the place but if i tried to open a church of satan anywhere, i would face a mountain of backlash.

but it’s not just christianity that’s the problem — it’s all religions. any fairy tale that inspires so much hatred, fear, ignorance, war, terrorism, child abuse, and all other manners of psychopathic behaviour, should be tossed in the trash. it seems like that should be common sense yet inexplicably, humans are addicted to this harmful shit — the term ‘opiate of the masses’ really nails it.

i think all of my beefs are legitimate but i can’t help feeling like i’m being childish to be so anti-establishment at age 37. it seems like i should have gotten this out of my system over 20 years ago, but i guess i didn’t think about it enough to get appropriately outraged back then.

better late than never, i suppose. hail satan.

from scary to stupid

here’s yet another spoiler alert. i’m going to bitch about the witch and the conjuring so if you haven’t seen them and don’t want me to ruin them for you, move on. or if you have seen them, liked them, and don’t want me to ruin them for you, you might also want to move on.

here’s the problem i have with both of them. they are both ok — decently dark and scary — up until they go too far and get super stupid.

in the conjuring, there is a scene where the kid hears a sound in the armoire. the kid approaches it, then sees some sort of demon on top of the armoire.

that scene should have stopped right there. that would have been scary and left me wondering what evil befell the kid. my mind would have run wild.

but it didn’t. the next thing that happened was the demon jumping down on the kid and engaging in some kind of wrestling match/struggle.

that’s so fucking dumb. a wrestling match is the least scariest thing i could think of. supernatural beings don’t need to wrestle with anyone to overcome them, and if they did get into some sort of physical altercation, you know that their strength would be otherworldly. they’d rend you limb from limb effortlessly. evil demons aren’t skinny fucking wimps, man.

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the demon from the conjuring goes to the beach.

the witch didn’t live up to the hype i’d heard about it but it was still pretty good…up until the ending. there is a scene where thomasin is talking to black phillip, trying to determine if he really is the devil, where he finally speaks back to her.

great. that’s fucking weird and creepy. they should have ended the film right there. did the goat speak or did it turn into a man or some other form? did thomasin get taken to hell? did she become the devil’s concubine? or was her goodness incorruptible? we would never have known. it would have been an excellent cliffhanger.

but nope. black phillip turns into a man with a fashionable goatee (i know, har har), a cowboy hat, and black cowboy boots with spurs. he looks like a fucking member of nightwish.

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no joke, he looked just like this fruitcake.

then thomasin is naked out in the forest, watching a bunch of other naked women dancing wildly around a fire. then they all start floating in the air. then thomasin does too! and she’s laughing like crazy! WHOAH, SHE REALLY MUST HAVE FLIPPED HER WIG.

i’d love to talk to directors who are responsible for scenes like these ones and ask them wtf they think they are accomplishing when they over-explain things, when they tear the veil away to expose the ‘true horror and evil,’ but that horror and evil falls flat, is silly and childish. i don’t understand how film makers have not learned that leaving some details to the viewers imagination is usually far more effective than whatever image or definitive conclusion they can put on a screen.

i’m convinced that even without any training, i could make a better horror film than most of the shit i see. i should hire myself out as a professional horror flick consultant.

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“as you can clearly see, your films suck shit. not scary.”