Thursday, October 30, 2008

Devil's Night

I just finished reading a book on self-mutilating. Just carrying it around sort of shields you from all but the truly strange. When I got my nails done the other day (I love this time of year because you can pick the darkest shade of black and people assume it's for a costume) and the woman asked what I was reading, and I told her about the case study I had just read where a woman poured gasoline on her jeans and set herself on fire. "Why?" she asked. I shrugged, because the only answer I could give was "Fuck if I know" and the woman spoke limited English, and I could not be sure if it would translate. "In my country, sometimes men eat the heart of snakes --very expensive and sometimes they still beating when you hold them. They think it good for sex." And then she launched into a truly horrific practice where people eat a four to six month old fetus to improve their health and skin. "In China. People very strange. Baby girl cost much less than baby boy. I see picture of one in bowl once."

Anyone who knows me knows I'm pro-choice, but this was beyond the fucking pale. I probably turned a lighter shade of white. I've been reading and seeing all sorts of horrible things lately; I blame this on writing a book about trauma. You draw it to you by the simple fact of remembering. In a very real way, we stay stuck in time when something terrible happens even on a chemical level since it's proven that the body never really recalibrates entirely. I'm glad to be done with the self-mutilation book. Its stories stay in my mind like the worst kind of cautionary tale. Whatever cruelty someone does to us, we can usually do better or at least more often, a self-perpetuating hell that goes on like our strands of DNA; they all look alike and yet everyone is different.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"It's happening right now... it's just not on film, it's not being recorded." Rodney King

Cocktail Hour
Drinking television suggestion: Celebrity Rehab -- This is my big guilty pleasure of late. What's not to love about a show that stars the sanctimonious Dr. Drew Pinksy, Gary Busey (sent by the angels according to him to minister to other addicts -- favorite moment on the first episode -- extremely attractive model addicted to opiates talks to Gary for a minutes, grows weary of his voice, and says in the most succinct take on the whole encounter, I know he means well, but I don't want to get help from someone crazier than me), and Rodney King? So far, Rodney King is the most sympathetic person, Rod Stewart's son Sean, the least, but there's many episodes to go. As they say in Hands On A Hardbody, we'll see what transgresses through the night.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Devil's Night! I'm still sorting through contest entries, most of which will be posted tomorrow along with the winners. To lovely Lana of the Dreaming Tree -- for some reason (probably my demonic computer), I can't pull the images off my e-mail. If you send them again, I promise I will do an exorcism and get them on this blog.


laughingwolf said...

damn, came close to upchucking there :(

Scott said...

Hi Michelle!

Trauma does stay with us...and it's true, we can often do worse to oursleves than others can do to us.

Hope you have a good Halloween weekend. Take care!

Scott said...

Happy Devil's Night!

Is that a contradictory salutation?

jodi said...

Hi Cutie, While visiting Korea, my sister ate a delicious, yet unknown appetizer. The waiter told her he was surprised at how much she enjoyed the sea snakes. Needless to say, she ate peaches the rest of the trip and lost 9 lbs.!! Things are pretty quiet so far out here in suburbia--devil's be damned!!! xoxo

YogaforCynics said...

Hmmm...suddenly have that old Billy Bragg song going thru my head...may have to get up and put it on, actually..."she's gawt a new spellll, that's how I knoooow..."

I once went to visit some friends who'd just had a baby and ended up taking part in a ceremonial placenta burial...and they told me about some of their really out-there friends, who were in a five person group marriage, who actually ate it...just thought I'd share that, though it's certainly not quite in the same league as what you describe.....

the walking man said...

The Chinese are brutally serious when it comes to population control. That they eat the aborted is a pretty strange thing even for them who ascribe mystical sexual properties to everything exotic. Personally I think they are as a race, overcompensating for other...err shortcomings.

All emotional growth stops at the point of trauma. Keeps thousands of therapists employed.

And those cat ears are close enough to self mutilation.

Cheri said...

Michelle if I was a man.. I'd have to walk with something blocking my crotch after looking at that picture hahaha.

Totally weird conversation to have. I know some Asian people and they have some very strange practices. On my birthday, one woman was breast feeding and the baby didn't want it, so she squeezed her boob juice into a glass and offered it to everyone in the room. I held the glass, it was warm, but I did not drink. Ugh.

Charles Gramlich said...

Real life will always be more horrible than fiction. Man that cannabilism thing is so horrific. Geeze.