Rejoice, Wonketeers, for Halloween is nearly upon us! In keeping with the spirit of this sexy witch-burning holiday, Wonkette World o’ Books is going to try something a bit different this week. Instead of reviewing one shameful/inept book, we’ll simply recommend a few different books, none of them explicitly about politics but all helpful in illuminating the Horror and Devilry of our nation’s public life. Read on, and questions will be answered! Questions like: What can studies of witchery teach us about Christine O’Donnell? Also: if Tea Partiers and other folks want to cut government spending so badly, why doesn’t our military save money by becoming more like Dr. Fu Manchu?
The world is full of strange and wonderful ghost stories and tales of the uncanny, and Hallowe’en is when you want to read some of them. But no one has the time for too much reading, what with dressing up as The Situation and trying to impress various Christine O’Donnell witches with one-arm push-ups that end with you vomiting your Black Widow cocktail all over their broomstick-vibrators.
It’s a shame, because some of these spooky tales can even tell us a lot about the life-draining vampiric terror of American Politics.
What are we talking about?
Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath, by fancy Italian scholar Carlo Ginzburg, is a treasure trove of weird lore about pagan cults in medieval Europe, featuring witches galore. If we are ever to understand Christine O’Donnell, this is the place to start. According to Ginzburg:
Male and female witches met at night, generally in solitary places, in fields or on mountains. Sometimes, having anointed their bodies, they flew, arriving astride poles or broom sticks; sometimes they arrived on the backs of animals, or transformed into animals themselves… There would follow banquets, dancing, sexual orgies. Before returning home, the female and male witches received evil ointments made from children’s fat ….
Is it any wonder that Christine O’Donnell’s neighbors can’t get any peace?
This has understandably caused some controversy within the feminist movement, but we’ve recently discovered that Christine O’Donnell is also a zombie. If you happen to be a romantic elf-warrior with a huge crush on the Born-Again Virgin Witch of Delaware, you’ll surely win her heart by writing her some zombie haiku, modeled on the poetry in Ryan Mecum’s Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry For Your…Brains.Eventually you can move on to zombie sonnets. This scary monster haiku stuff is a series, apparently; there are also “Vampire Haiku” and “Werewolf Haiku” editions.
Moving on …. SO, it looks like the Tea Party and assorted libertarians and Republicans wish to cut the publick expenditure. Fine. Why not start with our armed forces and our terrible, useless and dumb Transport Security Administration? We could turn the whole operation into a leaner, meaner force by giving the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor copies of The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu.
Beloved mad scientist/warlock Fu Manchu — a man “with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan” — disdains expensive weaponry systems. Instead he uses classic weapons like knives and spider armies and the evil powers he picked up in the Thuggee cult (that’s the one from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom). If the military and the TSA could learn some of Fu Manchu’s insidious ways, there would be no need to spend piles of government money on missile shields and nekked-body-scanners and robot death-planes.
Yes, the Fu Manchu novels and comic books were terribly racist, but that doesn’t negate the fact that Fu Manchu the character kicks major ass. Many Real Americans think Barack Obama is a Kenyan Fu Manchu anyway, so why not start acting like it, Barry? OWN this “exotic master criminal” persona! Become the Insidious Dr. Barry “Manchu” Obama, specialist in the Dark Arts of the Luo Tribe and Socialist Warlock. Send spider armies into Pakistan.
Now, if you’re at all like your book reviewer, you regularly check under your bed for signs of Rand Paul’s sinister friend Aqua Buddha. It looks like Rand and his head-stomping fans (who represent Freedom) are going to win big next week, so it’s probably a good idea to learn more about this “Aqua Buddha” to whom Dr. Paul swears allegiance.
Lucky for us, American master of the weird tale H.P. Lovecraft wrote about Aqua Buddha way back in the 1920s:
There lay great Aqua Buddha and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults and sending out at last, after cycles incalculable, the thoughts that spread fear to the dreams of the sensitive and called imperiously to the faithful to come on a pilgrimage of liberation and restoration. All this Johansen did not suspect, but God knows he soon saw enough!
I suppose that only a single mountain-top, the hideous monolith-crowned citadel whereon great Aqua Buddha was buried, actually emerged from the waters. When I think of the extent of all that may be brooding down there I almost wish to kill myself forthwith.
This particular story ends with “Aqua Buddha…loose again and ravening for delight.”
OK, that’s it. Happy Halloween, kids! Your reviewer hopes that Wonkette’s DC faction has a splendid orgy tomorrow night! One note of caution, though: be very careful when walking by the fountains in Dupont Circle. We wouldn’t want Aqua Buddha to leap out and drag you to a slimy, watery grave.
Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath, by Carlo Ginzburg, University of Chicago Press, 368 pages, $19.80.
Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry For Your…Brains by Ryan Mecum, How Press, 160 pages, $9.99.
The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer, New Millennium Library, 232 pages, $11.95.
Tales by H.P. Lovecraft, Library of America, 850 pages, $23.10.
Email reports of Aqua Buddha sightings to email@example.com.