The Baby Devil

The Baby DevilI always enjoy movies about evil children–The Omen, The Bad Seed, The Other and, of course, The Exorcist, featuring Linda Blair painting the local clergy from scrot to throat with green puke.

I love this kind of stuff.  Village of the Damned and Children of the Corn also set me off into fits of laughter.  In fact, all of the devil shit is hysterically funny to me.  When I was a kid, there was a grade-Z stinker called Mark of the Devil.  It might have been a Corman movie that got made for about six dollars.  They had an ingenious marketing campaign of handing out barf bags at the drive-in and the commercials cautioned the moviegoer to keep repeating to him or herself, “Remember, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie.”  Damned if the thing wasn’t a hit.

The old drive-in movies were chock full of evil kids and toys, as were the comics; Creepy and Eerie especially.  Decades before Korn, Slipknot, and Marilyn Manson, the comics were full of satanic little fuckers doing evil at the drop of a hat.

The best bad guy is the Devil.  Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub.  Whatever you call him, he leads the league in evil.  He is the catchall for all of the shit that men actually do to each other.  Here and there on cable there are shows where they have real-life exorcisms, always somewhere in East Bumfuck where the foreheads get wide, the chins disappear, and shit-kickers wave snakes around and drink battery acid as a testament to their faith.  Our country clings to its guns, religion, and hatred of those unlike them, and ascribes the wrongdoing in the world to the Devil.

Communists are the Devil.
Gays are the Devil.
Illegal Immigrants are the Devil.
Civil Libertarians are the Devil.
Non-whites are the Devil.
Anyone who opposes the NRA is the Devil.
Anyone who is pro-choice is the Devil.
Muslims are the Devil.
Atheists are, for damn sure, the Devil.
Rock and Roll is the Devil.

You get the picture. All of my peeps are, you guessed it, the Devil.  Years ago my pal, Penn Jillette, gave me a T-shirt that said “Team Satan 666.”  I loved this shirt.  It made your whack-job, bat-shit variety X-tian crazy.  They would walk by me with their mouth open slack-jawed and oafish and say to each other, “Can you believe what that shirt says?”  It was funny as hell.  I even had one guy roll up on me and scream in my face that I was a Satanist and that he was going to report me to the authorities.  I told him that I really wasn’t.  I just wore it to piss people like him off and, even if I was a Satanist, it’s not illegal to be so.  And he insisted that “it most certainly was against the law to worship Satan.”  I told him, “No pal, it’s not.  Sorry.”  He then said, “In Indiana it is.”  And I said, “Look, I realize you’re from Indiana, so I’ll speak slowly and try not to use any big words like “Constitution,” but Bunky, it’s perfectly legal to worship Satan in Indiana, if you so choose.”  He then pointed in my face and said that he was going to pray that I go to hell.  I gave him the Ronnie Dio devil horns and told him, “You have a pal in Satan, my man,” and he walked away cursing.  This T-shirt launched many encounters like this and finally I had to stop wearing it.

Needless to say, I don’t believe in the Devil, or his competition.  I don’t have an imaginary friend in the sky.

I believe nothing is more capable of evil than mankind.
I believe nothing is more capable of decency and kindness than mankind.
It’s that simple.
And it is that complicated.

Published in: on June 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Devil’s Songbird

The Devil's SongbirdThere is a part at the end of No Country for Old Men, where Tommy Lee Jones’ character, a sheriff, gives up and, over his morning coffee explains to his wife, that he is out-matched by the evil in the world.  It is a weary, resigned and grim assessment of the world around him.

In my Catholic upbringing, all evil was neatly ceded to the devil or the Communists who, of course, didn’t believe in god.  Years later, reading philosophy. I was told that evil is a small, banal thing.  I think one must become a grown-up to realize that it is volitional; it is a choice, and it is very human.  In nature, I believe there is no right or wrong, merely consequences.  With us, it is an action and we know it when we do it.

I kissed off the idea of a merciful god in about 4th grade.  I’d found a skunk that had been hit by a car and was suffering and dying.  I picked it up and brought it into the  Catholic  school I was attending (there were a few).  I rushed down the hall to find a nun or better, a priest, to bless the skunk before it died.  I believed all of the horse-shit the brides of Christ had said about “all god’s creatures. . . yadda, yadda. . .”  At the entrace of the church, I found Sr. Anisia and presented the skunk to her, explaining that he needed to be blessed before he died  so god would know he was a solid skunk and let him into heaven.  I was sincere.  I wanted this skunk to latch onto a little mercy on his way off this mortal coil.

The nun lost her fucking mind, screaming at me to remove that filthy creature at once.  I told her that I would after she blessed his ass and said “Really Sister, how hard is it just to bless him?”

She had the custodian carry me and the skunk outside and I decided right then they were liars; the whole merciful god fairytale was one big hand-job.  They tossed my ass out of school and the nun called my mother and had another melt-down.  I told my mother I thought Sister Anisia was a lying sack of shit and that the skunk deserved a little kindness and Christian treatment.  My mom didn’t say anything, but I’d noticed I didn’t get punished at home for this.  My mom and dad had to go up and meet with the twat nun to get me back into school, and this crazy old bitch would light me up every chance she got.  I didn’t take it laying down though.  Many a bag of dogshit found its way into her Chevy Impala; usually under the driver’s side seat.  Her side.

I started to make drawings of naked devil girls and leaving them out on my desk and also pictures of nuns being attacked by eagles only to be carried to a great height before being dropped like a bad sack of guts.
Needless to say, this would make the nuns spot their shorts and they sent me to the school shrink, who would leave his pack of Newports on his desk, only to have them stolen by me.  He was also a religious dip-shit of some kind.  A brother or friar or some shit.

I came to the decision that if this group of fuck-heads were God’s  ‘A’-team,  then he was truly screwed.

This piece is called, “The Devil’s Songbird.”

Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 1:26 am  Comments (2)  
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