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It may well be behind us as this sees print, but I will comment again on the fascination this part of the country has with the macabre at this time of year. Between Halloween — which really lasts weeks here — and Day of the Dead, we are possibly closer to our prehistoric roots than many other parts of the country.

By this, I mean that — assuming harvest festivals, dancing around bonfires, and rituals were the origins of All Hallows’ Eve and what have you — we seem far closer to that tradition than an East Coast tux party with feathered black masks meant to decorate rather than conceal.

One theory (and I am no anthropologist) is that the sun-worshipping cult of Southern California has a genuine, underlying fear of the cold and dark. This may well be born of the cold, long winters from which we have emigrated or, in the case of the native San Diegan, a fear of the little known. I am among the former, having arrived from Chicago via New York, but my superstitions are more along the lines of what I call a duty-free set of Catholic sensibilities.

I am not suggesting that San Diegans believe much of this stuff: goblins, red-painted devils in store windows, or (and I saw this on a window mannequin in Hillcrest) a life-sized woman wrapped in bloody bandages, suggesting extensive plastic surgery to the point of the grotesque. A fear of aging among the wrinkly adolescents of our town? Or is it all just playfulness in a town that loves to party?

I am suggesting that San Diego may well rival New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro when it comes to an enthusiasm for at least informal Mardi Gras sensibilities.

My own idea of a good time on a late October or early November night is to, first off, keep warm somewhere and to read something not only frightening but convincing and done with care. I refer not strictly to things that go bump in the night, the undead, or ghosts, but more often to works dealing with the truly horrible ways we can misunderstand each other, abuse each other, or the inexplicable kind of evil that seems endemic to our world. It is this last that will send me for metaphoric and spiritual cover.

Homelessness frightens me greatly...it is something of which I have had some experience. Hospitals, jails (where so many inmates seem to genuinely enjoy themselves), and insanity are always good ones. I am no doubt more than halfway arrived at insanity, but like so many with types of “unsoundness of mind,” I can remain oblivious to it until some horrendous consequence to some particular madness results.

An online commenter asked me for some recommendations for weird and seasonal reading, and I have done enough of it — just not lately. Not too many columns back I mentioned Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. This certainly is the single most frightening piece of fiction I have read in years, particularly for fathers of young boys.

As for Stephen King, I have enjoyed several of his books and stories but have little to recommend to the more discerning reader. His stories (and this is undoubtedly me speaking with some age) seem to take on more of the quality of white bread as I try one after another.

H.P. Lovecraft is an obvious choice and more reliable than many others who come to mind. Lovecraft himself was a fan of Edgar Allan Poe — consistently capable of creeping one out — and Robert Chambers, author of The King in Yellow. If you haven’t read it, give it your time and don’t forget your patience.

Finally, when I was 25 years old, I happened upon The Philosopher’s Stone, by Colin Wilson, with an introduction by Joyce Carol Oates. The sense of fear and intellectual excitement was extraordinary. A sequel, the unfortunately titled Mind Parasites (like a 1950s Roger Corman film), was equally disturbing. Both are Lovecraft pastiches and possibly more appropriate to intellectual entertainment seekers in their 20s.

Still, I recall how all of these stories have moved me in appropriately frightening ways at various times in my life.

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Comments

PistolPete Nov. 12, 2009 @ 1:58 p.m.

I've had a hemorrhoid that's been kicking my ass for about 5 days. I've decided to name it goatttfish. :-D

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rickeysays Nov. 11, 2009 @ 4:39 p.m.

I think that was an academic bitch slap.

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David Dodd Nov. 11, 2009 @ 4:41 p.m.

  1. Graham is not so famous as you want him to be. He is a mouthpiece of the NAACP, which is perhaps a nice thing to be, but otherwise has no researchable attributes on any other platform.

  2. I am tired of you promoting your "blog", I consider it SPAM at this point.

  3. If Dr. Graham is your mentor, then you insult him. Your comments are stupid and childish. You cannot spell and have absolutely no command of syntax. No one is going to take you seriously. Ever. Give it up.

Seriously, just give it up.

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or Nov. 10, 2009 @ 12:19 p.m.

goatttfish, It's so nice that you can actually climb 96 feet above the 29,035ft peak of Mt. Everest. You truly ARE a SPECIAL individual. As Harry said, "you're a legend in your own mind".

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Josh Board Nov. 11, 2009 @ 12:42 a.m.

I'm grabbing some popcorn (and a dictionary) and watching the smart (and pompous) folk fight.

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SDaniels Nov. 11, 2009 @ 4:49 p.m.

Yeeaah, I'm pretty much tired of this crap, too. Clearly, you are incapable of carrying on a rational conversation, goat3fish. I worked with most of the people you mention, know of them all, and wonder if they can stand to be around you, frankly. Consider this conversation over. Oh, and rickeysays? If you consider that an "academic bitchslap" has been administered, you'd probably best find that bottle of lithium lurking in the back of your own medicine cupboard.

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SDaniels Nov. 10, 2009 @ 12:30 p.m.

"Self flattery and pompousness and mean spiritedness you wear well..."Yes I."

Look in thy mirror, Goatttfish. You've got me wrong as a Marxist, but your garbled rhetoric has not gone far toward correcting my first impression of you. I'll add that you sound like the self-hating Marxist you are. Dang, a little college went a long way toward feeding your delusions, didn't it? Have fun biting the hand that fed you--and be sure to read sinister racist intent into this small missive, will ya?

Now, with no more time for your tomfoolery, I'm off to work on a project--not on an old DEAD white guy, but a YOUNG one. My, aren't I progressive? smooch

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Russ Lewis Nov. 10, 2009 @ 12:34 p.m.

Face it, SD, you been bested by a streetcorner philosopher with a busted spellcheck. Hang it up.

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Russ Lewis Nov. 11, 2009 @ 4:52 p.m.

Goatfish, you can't write, spell, or punctuate. Do you think anyone takes you seriously when your writing is riddled with mistakes?

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SDaniels Nov. 10, 2009 @ 12:45 p.m.

Sob--you're correct as usual, russl. I have no godgiven right to exist, much less hurl Fanon at whiteys like a snarling, rabid dog. I guess I exist no place, and any work I've done as an activist and thinker is for naught. Guess I'll crawl back to my essentialist, linear, flawed thinking, and try to learn my ABCs, though that might be difficult for a "racist azz bitch" like myself. Sob--hic!

Pathetically yrs,

Mistuh SDaniels, (he dead!)

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PistolPete Nov. 10, 2009 @ 12:45 p.m.

If it's any consolation, Mr. SDaniels, I still love ya! ;-D

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SDaniels Nov. 11, 2009 @ 1:47 p.m.

Ok, I have a lot of work to do, but am going to take this a little more seriously, because I think goat3fish's theses deserve some attention. I’ll ask that in return, the invective, namecalling, and accusations of racism and academic ‘puffery’ stop, as they are not only way off the mark, they are more importantly, of no use to a productive discussion.

Some people here might not be aware that there is an underlying tension between goat3fish's and my own points of view ;) Goat3fish, let me know if I have not characterized this situation to your satisfaction: I think you were a student at UCSD, whether you were enrolled or not. Perhaps you rail against academia because it was not a good fit for you, and you felt that your struggle against what you see as institutionalized racism in literary discourse went unheard or was perhaps criticized. Perhaps you did not receive the kind of feedback you wanted for your work—I can only guess. It’s up to you how far you want to contextualize your attitudes toward academia, and your own history.

I’ll lay all of my own cards on the table, as I have absolutely nothing to hide, and am proud of my activities and achievements at UCSD. I write under my real name, and you can feel free to research my activities there: I belonged to a group called “Diversity in Action,” and we lobbied hard for stronger, better articulated affirmative action programs, as well as institutional changes to the literature department, to make it more open to non-canonized works. I also worked as a tutor for the OASIS center, and for the UCSD Bridge program, where we taught and mentored students of underprivileged or underrepresented backgrounds, so they might gain entrance to the university, in the programs of their choice.

It might interest you to know that while my general education included a full range of literatures and theory taught under the aegis of generally Marxist-flavored “cultural studies,” I ended up as a kind of bricoleur, or literary jack of all trades, because my interests in a wide variety of literatures and critical perspectives led me outside of any traditional department’s confines. I won the highest possible departmental honors, and my thesis on the nouveau roman won the department prize for the undergraduate honors thesis. I am currently a grad student in comparative literature at NYU; though serious illness has prevented me for some years from even starting my thesis, I am recommencing work on it now (on the 1960s-early 70s writing of American artist Robert Smithson, specifically his play with boundaries of genre).

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SDaniels Nov. 11, 2009 @ 1:49 p.m.

I'm not sure if the battle rages on in the Literature department at UCSD or not, but when I was there as an undergrad, there was a struggle for power between well-meaning parties of differing pedagogical opinion, and basic ideology over what a literature department should constitute: Some felt that literary theory should not be taught, and that it would be at the expense, and even ghettoization of literatures of indigenous peoples, such as native Americans, and the burgeoning bodies of work, of non-canonical writers (meaning, non-American and non-British). Because literary theory derives not only from a tradition of criticism of drama, poetry or prose, but from perspectives from philosophy, anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, translation studies, and history—I believe now, as I did then as an undergrad myself, that it is important to continue teaching, and to teach more of these perspectives, as they have evolved over time. Goat3fish may abhor narratives of the so-called “Enlightenment” era, beginning with Descartes and continuing on through the southern poets who did great damage to our idea of what works should be “canonized,” namely, the “New Critical Poets,” who favored “old dead white guys” and poetry over prose, but I think they should still be taught, and contextualized, so that students may understand, at the very least, how contemporary writers effectively challenge these narratives, and incorporate struggle against them to form new poetics. A program that is inclusive of as much as possible can better prepare a student to evaluate for him or herself where s/he would like to take a stand in society and in the realm of literary study.

To denounce all of academia is not only easy, it just makes no sense. Goat3fish, the irony here is that your only possible audience is academic—not many others are likely to pursue your own theses, or be able to contextualize them meaningfully, in the way you would like.

Here is a link to Poe’s prose poem, “Eureka,” which contains his theory of the “cosmos,” and his theory of vision, which has influenced artists and writers beyond his role as the so-called ‘grandfather’ of the detective story, or mystery/horror story. While it is important to be aware of intellectually inherited racism, or “subliminal” racism, as goat3fish is calling it, and to trace out such themes within any piece of literary production, we need to keep ALL of the themes of its philosophical heritage in mind:

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/poe/eureka.html

A question for goat3fish: Have you ever considered using elements of the ‘deconstructive’ reading method of Jacques Derrida as a tool to uncover “subliminal racism?” What other methodologies or ways of reading have you explored, and can you perhaps lay out the basic features of your own methodology for us?

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 12:53 p.m.

"Circle the wagons, here cums tha injuns!"You boys and girls are so typical of your ilk. You are "preaching to the comeback choir" and accusing me of it. How silly and feeble minded.Very,very weak indeed.nYou have no substance just superficial rhetoric.

Ohhh..them is fighting words goatfrog!

Now-prepare to die a thousand deaths infidel!

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Duhbya Nov. 11, 2009 @ 4:47 a.m.

That was a lively "discussion", eh, Josh? For me, Splifffff, um, Goattttt, posited his reason d' être with this statement in post # 25: "You boys and girls are so typical of your ilk.".

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SDaniels Nov. 13, 2009 @ 9:03 a.m.

Your name, goatttfish. What are you trying to hide? I would like to make that call, and don't have all day, so let's have it.

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Russ Lewis Nov. 13, 2009 @ 9:06 a.m.

Don't I get some abuse too?

It's time for a blog of your own, Goat. I know I'd read it. I bet other people would too.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 12:58 p.m.

Woof,woof,woof,woof!LOL!You "barking" dumb dogs! SDaniels you sound so intellectually weak and feeble just like F. Scott Fitzgerald's characters in the Great Gatsby. Self flattery and pompousness and mean spiritedness you wear well. Youre not a good sport now arent ya you bad doggie?And you really dont know how to read either.Youre just mimicking "reading" which is very typical of your bad doggie "type."

All of you are "barking" like a bunch of dumb dogs as if youre really saying something of substance.Woof, woof,woof,woof!LOL! Just silly and weak.

By Goatttfish

Hahhahahah....I'm sorry SD, but that is pretty damn funny, especially the "Woof, woof, woof, woof" part!

In fact I am going to put that into my little witty black book for future use.

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David Dodd Nov. 11, 2009 @ 5:19 a.m.

I had no idea I had an ilk. Should I add that to my resume?

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PistolPete Nov. 10, 2009 @ 1:04 p.m.

The best thing about being around a pack of wild animals on these boards? I've got my trusty pistol. :-D

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 12, 2009 @ 5:13 p.m.

That confiems it- Goatttfish is a Fumbler sock puppet account!!!!

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David Dodd Nov. 12, 2009 @ 5:29 p.m.

Actually, SP, Goatfish makes fumber look brilliant by comparison.

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SDaniels Nov. 13, 2009 @ 9:21 a.m.

Which chapter and verse of the 120 Days would you like, russl? ;)

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SDaniels Nov. 10, 2009 @ 2:55 p.m.

Wait, Goat3fish, you can't leave without impressing upon us your particular brand of transcendentalism. After all, what shall we do with the large gap left, now that we are no longer allowed to read Poe? ;(

Oh, and could you please give us a list of other books we should burn? Thx.

One last request: Will you be my personal fumber, and follow me around like a parasite, and troll all my comments? It would do much to reignite the sense of self worth that you have so badly damaged today with your stunning denouncements of "weak" and "feeble." Folk here might appreciate it if you are a little more succinct, but I say, rant on! Being a poor scholar, I can't pay you, Goat3fish, but of course, being a gentleman scholar yourself, you understand. Wink, wink, nudge nudge.

Yours hopefully,

Mistuh SD

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David Dodd Nov. 10, 2009 @ 2:59 p.m.

Wow, all I can say is that I'm immensely impressed at how quickly and thoroughly that someone can demolish any last shred of their own credibility. Well done, goatfish.

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SDaniels Nov. 10, 2009 @ 8:16 a.m.

And if by some strange mutation, Duhbya, Goat3fish, and Cuddlefish were to parthogenetically combine, we'd have twins:

Goatduh and Fishtya

O what Caliban has been loosed upon our fair city!

Hey Goat3fish, I said "Caliban!" Hopefully you are off hammering at my blogs, but maybe you'll come back and give us a 5 paragraph-er on racist themes in Shakespeare (I can hook you up with two fantastic scholars, btw., one who wrote the definitive thesis on Shylock, and the other Caliban).

Stick around buddy! We need voices like yours on this site! :)

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antigeekess Nov. 10, 2009 @ 9:08 a.m.

Re #23, "the definitive thesis on Shylock."

Dat sounds vewwwwwy intwesting. :)

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Duhbya Nov. 11, 2009 @ 8:20 a.m.

Gunfight? You mean AMBUSH. Go ilk yourself.

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Duhbya Nov. 13, 2009 @ 3:31 p.m.

Jah is very sad tonight, Goatttfish. You have let him down.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 3:45 p.m.

I cant flatter myself as much as you doggies do. By Goatttfish ====================== Who you calling a "doggie" bud????

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 12, 2009 @ 8:13 p.m.

Actually, SP, Goatfish makes fumber look brilliant by comparison.

By refriedgringo

Hahahha.........Goatfish will never recover from that!

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xians421 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 5:34 p.m.

Could it be, Goatwad, that the reason for such black and white charachters in fiction and non, boils down to the comparison of light and dark (not skin, foo). Some people are afraid of the dark, and for good reason: it can get so dark that one cannot see the danger that lurks beyond. Sometimes it gets so dark, I can't even see white people . . . ;o)))

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antigeekess Nov. 10, 2009 @ 10:26 a.m.

Daniels, I think you've found a playmate.

How fortunate. :)

"Iron sharpeneth iron..." -- Proverbs 27:17

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rickeysays Nov. 11, 2009 @ 5:03 p.m.

Sd my comment was supposed to come after yours (#57). More comments had been posted while I read. Wanted to make that clear-I don't want to encourage goatboy.

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Duhbya Nov. 12, 2009 @ 4:46 a.m.

Re #51: "This is an important public announcement! This is an important public announcement!" Ladies, especially those thinking of partnering with a goat, please re-consider. The result can be disastrous.

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antigeekess Nov. 10, 2009 @ 10:39 a.m.

Goatttfish, if you're still swimming about, could you please give a little more info as to this statement:

"Stephen King is consciously using and reworking a "form" of subliminal racism developed in the 1830s by a Unitarian minister from Charleston South Carolina."

Do you have a name, here? This doesn't sound like Unitarians (now merged with Universalists) at all.

You're an interesting individual, Goatttfish. I hope you stick around.

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David Dodd Nov. 11, 2009 @ 11:01 a.m.

Goatfish, you are like that Black Knight in the Python skit that keeps getting limbs hacked off...

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antigeekess Nov. 11, 2009 @ 11:19 a.m.

Gringo, that's a certain Reader staffer. You know that. ;)

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David Dodd Nov. 11, 2009 @ 5:43 p.m.

"Ive been trained and have over 20 years experience."

In what? B.S.?

You are a certified hack! Go away! No one believes you! You don't know how to write! I've tried to be nice about it, and now I'm telling you, you are a total nutjob looking free publicity! No one is buying. Sucks to be you.

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SDaniels Nov. 9, 2009 @ 2:16 p.m.

Goatttfish, clearly you are an undergraduate of cultural studies--there is no need to trot out this week's lecture notes on the great chain, atavism, craniometry, etc.--though you might want to sort out your notes and fill them in a bit further, you are at least beginning to think of subtext and to some extent, metanarrative.

If I seem to be lecturing you as one of my students, it is because you sound exactly like one of them--a sophomore, in fact; touchingly fervent, but also too willing to follow a single ideological path, at the danger of becoming the village (idiot) voice for someone.

Example:

"smugly missing the point as many often do because they dont "question" these "details" in a piece but maybe you think the many external evidences of Poe's virulent racism is ok because he is a "great white" writer, huh SDaniels? I dont know Im just asking."

No serious scholar of any branch of cultural studies would judge a text in such facile, moralistic manner, --but it isn't office hours, so you won't be getting a lecture on Poe from me today.

The reason I use the "worn out phrase" witch hunt is because while your anger is sharp, your thesis is quite worn, and I can't imagine why you think someone's exposition of "subtle racism" in literature, based on dichotomies of black/white, to be "new."

I also refer to your quest as a witch hunt because signs of "subtle racism" seem to be all you are capable of seeing at the moment, in any text you read. If you are pursuing literary study as a career, I strongly advise that you do not limit yourself to this methodological mode; you will need to study all the "old dead white guys"--including the philosophers-- as well as the exciting young and new Carribean writers. To be an analyst of literature, and a good reader and thinker, you need to be able to contextualize from a variety of directions and sources.

Btw, I am not a "Mr" SDaniels--time to own your own "subtle" biases, eh? ;)

I'll leave you with one piece of advice: Don't assume at any given moment that you 'understand' allegory or allegorical narrative, not at the least till you've explored Benjamin, and a few others. Take as much theory as you can, and do not settle for a one-sided conversation--ever again.

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SDaniels Nov. 9, 2009 @ 3:20 p.m.

re:#11: That is so hilarious on so many levels.

Goat3Fish: Instead of preaching to the choir, why not preach to the nonchoir? Here is a conversation you might like to join on definitions of the N word. I look forward to your commentary:

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/normal-heights-through-the-blue-and-white/2009/nov/02/boo-yah/#c43180

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SDaniels Nov. 10, 2009 @ 10:54 a.m.

re: #26: Nope, I don't think this person is capable of "playing," even with supervision in the sandbox.

re: #25: Huh? Goat3fish, there isn't much to say here to your inarticulate outburst except, I wish you luck --and please, do remember to take your meds.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 9, 2009 @ 3:24 p.m.

SD-what kind of baby fish would Goatttfish and Cuddlefish produce if they ever hooked up????

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David Dodd Nov. 9, 2009 @ 3:36 p.m.

I've read this critique of King over and over, and I can't wrap my head around it. It's as if we're discussing a record that we've all listened to hundreds of times, and now goatfish comes along and says, "Look, if you play that record backwards and listen very carefully, you can clearly hear the words, 'We are Satan, we are Satan' over and over again." My primary point is, the record wasn't meant to be played backwards. Secondarily, you can listen to something in a way it wasn't intended to be listened to and pull out anything that pleases you. It does not usually reflect the intentions of the songwriter, not even subliminally.

This reminds me of a joke that Robin Williams did about a Scotish musician/activist. In the middle of his performance, the crowd became very quiet and the performer raised his hands above his head and began to clap. He then approched the microphone and said, "Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies."

Somewhere in the crowd, a Scotsman stood up and yelled back, "Then stop clappin' yer hands!"

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SDaniels Nov. 9, 2009 @ 4 p.m.

Well, if you are really interested, gringo, Goat3fish gives his/her link info here:

"The Goatttfish Show page on wordpress.com and read my latest entry 11/03/09 "Is Stephen "King of Terror" King guilty of White Paternalism and Subliminal Racism in "the Shining?""

I do not have a copy of any King book in my home library, but have no doubt that GF has performed an explication pitting opposites in King's work against one another to create tensions and contradictions that reveal what s/he would like to prove. It is very easy to find a general paternalism in anyone's writing, and "subliminal" racism is just plain old subtextual racism, I imagine.

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David Dodd Nov. 9, 2009 @ 4:51 p.m.

SD: I saw it, I'm just not interested in persuing it. I've read three or four King novels. He's not a very good writer (I'm not by a longshot the first to notice this), he's simply a great storyteller. As I noted, the only series (or book, if you combine them) that I enjoyed was "The Green Mile". Otherwise, I'm not a King fan.

By paternalism, I can only assume that GF's reference is from a more feminist definition of the term, sort of in the context of male superiority. There could be multiple reasons for this. Primarily, male authors tend to write using male protagonists because it's more comfortable for them to do so. Second, us males are simply products of our upbringing - for most of us, dad ran the show. Any subliminal messages from an author tend to be simple reflections from their upbringing.

So far as the racism of King, I can only say that if one has to dig so deep in order to reach such a conclusion, then one is vastly overestimating the writing ability of Stephen King.

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SDaniels Nov. 9, 2009 @ 5:09 p.m.

"By paternalism, I can only assume that GF's reference is from a more feminist definition of the term, sort of in the context of male superiority."

It goes much deeper than this, refried. The kind of paternalism GF would be referencing would have to do not specifically with a critical feminist p.o.v., but with a history of imperialism and colonialism, whereby the oppressor is paternally authoritative toward the oppressed, in a manner similar to say, a Kim Jong-il, a dictator as paternal leader, or 'father' of his people. It is a common discourse at the foundation of literary cultural studies and the social sciences, and one that is very important to understanding some of the major tactics used by colonialists to keep the colonized in line. A typical tool of paternalism would be the inculcation of Christianity, wherein the figure of Christ and god the father are identified with the ruling colonizer, who is white, male, and usually British.

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David Dodd Nov. 9, 2009 @ 5:45 p.m.

Well, then, SD, we are no longer discussing literature, we're discussing philosophy. GF's complaint against King is better hurled toward all of American and most of World politics, which still endorses paternalism in the context you describe, the broader one. Liberalism entrusts government at the Federal level to know what is in the best interest of the people, Conservatism does the same thing at a more local level, ostensibly. Both oppress accordingly, both are paternalistic.

In literature, then, one could assume that an author either purposefully endorses paternalism, is an unwitting tool for paternalism, or simply reflects paternalism in their society. In this context, I have no idea how King could be slotted anywhere but in the latter.

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antigeekess Nov. 4, 2009 @ 5:43 p.m.

Nice photo.

Hint: Staying warm is easier with clothes.

:)

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SDaniels Nov. 9, 2009 @ 5:56 p.m.

"Well, then, SD, we are no longer discussing literature, we're discussing philosophy."

Not exclusively, nope--unless you are using the term "philosophy" very loosely, as in "philosophy of..." Meaning, philosophy of most of the social sciences, refried. I did my doctoral work in a field called "comparative literature," which is a department heavy in theory deriving from many different fields. All of the humanities and even some of the hard sciences come to roost here, and yes, philosophy, from classical to contemporary, is an integral part of literary theory.

GF's 'complaints' should, and most likely are, leveled at society in general. However, it is important to study particulars, and literature serves not only as a performance of and repository of changing aesthetics, but also as a historical record of the ways in which our thinking changes--or doesn't, over time. There is much complex work done on how aesthetics carry out subtextual sociopolitical ideology, and vice versa.

You arrived at the right conclusion for King very quickly, gringo ;)

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David Dodd Nov. 9, 2009 @ 6:22 p.m.

Somewhat off-topic, it occurs to me that some authors are great storytellers and maybe not so good writers, like King and Rowling for example. But what great films! I couldn't get through a single page of any Harry Potter novel, but the movies are fantastic. With King, while I'm not a fan of horror, his stuff makes for great movies.

On the other hand, Twain was both a great writer and a great storyteller, and while movies have been made from his novels, none compared to the books. Vonnegut, who I consider to have been a contemporary version of Twain, has only had shorts made into film.

I still believe that "Cat's Cradle" would make a great film, but I doubt that anyone would pursue it.

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SDaniels Nov. 6, 2009 @ 8 a.m.

"... more often to works dealing with the truly horrible ways we can misunderstand each other, abuse each other, or the inexplicable kind of evil that seems endemic to our world. It is this last that will send me for metaphoric and spiritual cover..."

Borne out by recent, tragic events of human misunderstanding, to be sure.

...I remain a staunch Poe and a Hoffmann fan. One spooky fall semester, I taught both, including "The Sandman" and the versions of "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" in the first course of my devising--"Mesmerism and the Literary Imagination."

Needless to say, it was a popular course for this time of year! We also covered Hawthorne, who can creep out with the best of them, Hitchcock (39 Steps), and Werner Herzog's film "Herz au glas," in which all actors were under hypnotic influence for the entirety of the filming. The result is an odd prophetic cadence in the voice, and an underlying tension that is all the more menacing for its dreaminess, and unpredictable openness to the unconscious.

Glad to see you back, in any state of dress or undress, Mr. Brizz! :)

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NotQuiteADiva Nov. 8, 2009 @ 7:04 p.m.

Yo, Goattfish, you are frightening!

But not nearly as frightening as the reports of our hero's untimely demise! Live long and prosper, Mr. Brizz!!!

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David Dodd Nov. 8, 2009 @ 7:52 p.m.

Goatfish,

You should read The Green Mile series. It pretty much negates your argument about King using subliminal racism - in fact, The Green Mile is almost the opposite of your hypothesis. I am not a fan of Stephen King because I'm not a fan of horror, but The Green Mile was at least one exception.

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SDaniels Nov. 9, 2009 @ 5:15 a.m.

Goatttfish, why King or Poe over any other text using a poetics based on a dichotomy of dark and light? King is using a traditional opposition found, as you say, in the texts of the bible, and you can find it at work not only in classic horror genres, but in just about anything you pick up written in the Western world. I agree that correlating of the color black, and darkness with evil or negativity is something we can rethink. If you look at the work of Teresa Hak Kung Cha (Japanese American), or Jessica Hagedorn (Phillipines), you will find fruitful questioning, and

Angela Carter and Salman Rushdie (both contemporary novelists and short story writers) both with serious knowledge of Western and nonWestern views in philosophy, sociology, and anthropology, also challenge traditional, stereotypical dichotomies of black/dark as conceptually negative in a social sense. Of course, you are probably familiar with Edward Said's groundbreaking work "Orientalism," as well as many texts following in his tradition, as well as Gates' also seminal "Signifying Monkey."

Witch hunts are often conducted at the expense of vital, forward-directed thinking. I think you should also consider that a "thinking" kind of darkness or negative space has been a theme in non-pragmatic philosophy for a lonnnnnggg time, and yes, there is a condensation of thought around a sense of dark/empty/negative as a useful, working conceptual space within much existential philosophy and beyond. I hope you can begin to expand your focus and give up the arbitrary attacks on writers like Poe or King, who cannot be treated together for obvious reasons, unless you discuss a literary heritage in King, deriving from Poe.

PS: If you really want to go on a witch hunt, why aren't you attacking the devastating and exclusionary rhetoric wrought upon our American "canon" by the "New Critical" poets in the 1950s? This territory is well-trodden, but it's probably a better place to start than King or Poe.

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SDaniels Nov. 13, 2009 @ 12:34 a.m.

Well, goatttfish, I see you are still about, carrying on a level of discourse that would make all of the professors you mention very proud. In fact, you've given me the idea that it might be nice to reconnect with a couple of them, and I do believe I'll give a call to the department tomorrow.

Would you like to provide your real name here, so I might recommend you to them, hmm?

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SDaniels Nov. 13, 2009 @ 12:17 p.m.

So I'll take that as a 'no' on stating your name as clearly as the ones you've invoked along with a tide of garbled filth and confused ideation. You'd rather hide behind paranoid invective and spam-promotion of your links (which no, I don't intend to read), rather than verify genuine relationships with the academics whose names you've been tossing out amidst your wholesale denouncements of academics. In other words, you are the fake, goat3fish, and what a hysterical poseur you are, full of excremental and canine-speak (Could you like, for example, manage without the word "dog?") I sincerely hope that you find some counseling and medication, and that you do not have plans to stalk any of these good folk. Bye bye, now.

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Fred Williams Nov. 14, 2009 @ 7:52 a.m.

I just looked in the mirror, Goatttfish. You're right. I'm fake and phony.

So I'm off to focus on the means whereby I'll autotelate myself, which for me is really an end in itself...thanks for the new vocabulary.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 14, 2009 @ 9:25 a.m.

I just looked in the mirror, Goatttfish. You're right. I'm fake and phony.

By Fred_Williams

Wow, that is so weird-I just looked in the mirror too, and I saw the splitting image of George Clooney!

Who would have guessed?????

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 14, 2009 @ 9:26 a.m.

And will someone, ANYONE, get goatfishy to STOP spamming the board with his book long diatribe posts.

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Ponzi Nov. 14, 2009 @ 10:04 a.m.

I can't read anymore, my head is going to explode.

Honestly, I wish if people were going to go on such diatribes or have some persoanl statement or crusade, they create their own blog and then just furnish a link to it in here. The if anyone is interested they can follow it.

I agree with SurfPuppy, this is spam when it reaches this proportion.

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Russ Lewis Nov. 14, 2009 @ 11:23 a.m.

(#91) Truly, Goattttttttttttttttttttttttfish, you have this much to say, start your own blog. It's that simple. Maybe call it "The Masturbation Olympics." Oh wait, Fumbler's already got that.

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magicsfive Nov. 14, 2009 @ 3:17 p.m.

goatfish, STOP spamming the board with your book long diatribe posts.

how's that, surfpup? you said ANYONE ;)

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 14, 2009 @ 5:12 p.m.

goatfish, STOP spamming the board with your book long diatribe posts.

how's that, surfpup? you said ANYONE ;)

By magicsfive

THANK YOU !!

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 14, 2009 @ 8:02 p.m.

Goatnads has been banned it appears-all his posts have not only been deleted-but entirely removed!

Now, if we can only get the Fumbler banned life owuld be good......

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PistolPete Nov. 14, 2009 @ 8:37 p.m.

It's possible he asked them to be removed. Doubtful but possible.

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David Dodd Nov. 14, 2009 @ 8:45 p.m.

"It's possible he asked them to be removed. Doubtful but possible."

Actually, that's probably what happened. Admin did not remove and leave a little note about it, so he probably simply decided to annoy some one else and leave this scene of the crime with no fingerprints.

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PistolPete Nov. 14, 2009 @ 9:08 p.m.

That's what I was thinking but you guys have been here longer than I have so I figured you've this before. I too figured the admins would leave their tell-tale calling card.

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SDaniels Nov. 14, 2009 @ 9:50 p.m.

Interesting. How is it possible? I didn't think anyone could remove their posts like this--especially on someone else's thread. For the record, I did not request that any of his posts be removed (or anyone's, ever).

SurfPuppy, you cannot be serious about banning Fumbler. He is an integral part of our media diet.

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David Dodd Nov. 15, 2009 @ 7:28 a.m.

I can't imagine that anyone asked to have his responses removed. They were harmless. Uninformed, but harmless.

Speaking of which, I'm waiting for my brother-in-law to get up. We're supposed to be out the door by now. The bars in Centro de Tijuana open at 10 AM. I'm supposed to be teaching this guy how to do Tijuana right, but apparently they're a bit slower in Mexico City. Damned Chilangos.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 15, 2009 @ 9 a.m.

I have never seen entire posts removed, just deleted with the usual "This post has been removed by the admin" comment.

I have to admit his long posts were annoying and distracting though.

Fumbler, his schtickt is so old my grandma used it in her prime......

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 15, 2009 @ 9 a.m.

BTW-I have been sick for 16 days now, with what I think is the H1N1/swine flu.....does anyone have any suggestions to kick this nasty bug?????

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SDaniels Nov. 15, 2009 @ 9:13 a.m.

Ahh, poor baby. You need to go to the doctor, SurfPuppy! They might want to give you Tamiflu, do some cultures, maybe even some IV fluids, if you are really dehydrated. You really should go.

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CuddleFish Nov. 15, 2009 @ 9:41 a.m.

No chance of you kicking the bucket, SurfPuppy, is there?

Dang that swiners, it just refuses to believe it doesn't exist.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 15, 2009 @ 9:42 a.m.

Thanks......I cannot afford to go to the doctor-no health insurance-but if this keeps up I am going to the ER......this is the nastiest flu I have ever had-ever.

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SDaniels Nov. 15, 2009 @ 10:54 p.m.

Puppy, I thought you were a high-powered attorney with connections--no health insurance?

Here's the thing: You'll be miserable in the ER, and swine flu will NOT put you at the top of their list. They'll just make you wear an uncomfortable mask for the three to five plus hours you'll be sitting there.

Pound the lukewarm fluids tonight, and go to urgent care first thing tomorrow morning.

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PistolPete Nov. 16, 2009 @ 1:01 a.m.

Bourbon! Buy a bottle of bourbon. Look at it this way....if you kick the bucket, will you be sober enough to notice? :-D

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SDaniels Nov. 16, 2009 @ 1:20 a.m.

A hot toddy can be a good thing, but it's safe to say that a whole bottle of bourbon is just going to dehydrate one further, not to mention the horrendous hangover waiting, on top of the misery of the flu ;)

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PistolPete Nov. 16, 2009 @ 1:27 a.m.

LOL! Why ya always gotta get so damn technical? ;-D

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 16, 2009 @ 10:56 a.m.

Bourbon! Buy a bottle of bourbon. Look at it this way....if you kick the bucket, will you be sober enough to notice? :-D

By PistolPete

LOL @ the Bourbon........I remember when I was a kid and partied pretty hard, we drank "Ancient Age" bourbon (along with Barcardi, Seagrams and everything inbetween).

I stopped drinking over 20 years ago....which may explain why the Vicks NyQuil Cold Medicine puts me to sleep 15 minutes after drinking it

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xians421 Nov. 16, 2009 @ 2:40 p.m.

Well Pup, you're off the wagon. Nyquil is 50 proof. They do make a non-alcoholic version though.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 16, 2009 @ 3:24 p.m.

The NyQuil I bought says 10% alcohol, which would make it 20 proof.......it puts me out fast, I can tell you that.

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xians421 Nov. 16, 2009 @ 10:38 p.m.

I guess they changed the formula. It was 25% a few years back.

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