There’s a good argument to be made that the pagan god Saturn mutated into Santa Claus. As a Capricorn, I’m also a fan of Saturn. But as a sane person I must say he has a creepy backstory and seems like a very ancient type of god from a very violent world.
These “uses” seem eccentric to us, but the information about the fruit is valuable and yeah, the smell is wonderful. The price cited is way exaggerated by now — about $5 a pound is more like it. Ours goes out about a week after New Year’s and here’s a tip about making sure yours lasts until that time —
when you buy a Buddha’s Hand, make sure there is no hint of a black tip on any of the “fingers” — because that means it’s old and will not last more than a couple weeks before rotting. If we do it right, ours has black tips when we chuck it, but the perfume is still working.
A Japanese serial killer. The piece notes the utterly low rate of homicides in the country. I wondered about that context, and so read the stories of a couple of Japanese multiple-slayers. Most chilling: they were exactly like the sexual-sadist psychopaths from the US, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, you name it. This is a poisonous combination of characteristics, nothing special to do with the environment. One biggest advantage for a serial killer in Japan is that murders are so rare the police aren’t looking for them. I mean, they found this creep out almost by accident.
Frank Henenlotter’s Basket Case (1981)
Stuart Gordon’s Dagon (2001)
Sam Rami’s Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In (2009)
Various, Technicolor Dreams and Black & White Nightmares (2014) A collection of rare cartoons from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, all of which are strange and some downright frightening.
I have one I got in Las Vegas many years ago:
Trot it into a window for Halloween. But the boneface-rocker is a remarkably durable image:
And finally, one of the most famous …
When I was a kid, the fourth of July was my favorite holiday next to Xmas and my birthday because little old Livingston went all out for it. The day before there was a parade that was the only sure parade of the year. Ran through all of downtown, involved almost all the businesses and institutions and citizens as marchers or watchers. The day of featured an outstanding rodeo with fireworks immediately following. Especially when I retained that childhood sense of time where a day could feel as long as years do to me now, I flat loved it. The 4th of July incarnated summer. (Of course, didn’t hurt that it was the only holiday out there when you could be assured of a nice warm day.)
I still love fireworks. (I disappear into them and time stands still while they go off. It’s just an urge I’ve always had and I’m glad it did not go away. But the day after the Fourth is the one nice warm day I’m sure to have at least a small bought of depression. There’s the weird business where I feel winter earlier and earlier. But beyond that, today is one of those days I envy anyone who lived before the shadow of nuclear weapons existed. So the Cold War never turned Hot. So what? Means nothing.
Oddly what most brightened my day was Laura Miller writing about death. The message that includes the bad news is the strongest. I have to take a walk outside now.