Monday, January 16, 2012

Hen Politics, And Passages Between Worlds




If you’re feeling supportive and constructive about hen politics you can:

VOTE BE HEN

And if you’re feeling contrary and destructive about hen politics you can:

VETO BE HEN


With the same set of letters you can be for or against something.


It’s not really about hen politics, of course. Both phrases are anagrams for “Beethoven.”


*


So Beethoven walks into a bar and the bartender notices that Beethoven has a chicken on his head.

The bartender says, “Do you have a chicken on your head?”

And the chicken says, “No, I have a composer growing out of my ass.”


*


On Sunday night I walked to the grocery store. Walking back home, I noticed that the sky was pretty clear. The stars of Orion were bright in the south. I looked just little to the east of Orion and right above the ground clutter on the horizon the star Sirius was even brighter. I looked a little farther east and a bit higher up in the sky and I could see the stars Castor and Pollux in the zodiac constellation Gemini.


I wasn’t really thinking about Beethoven or anagrams or old jokes when I left the house.


I was thinking about notebooks and journals and blogs, and a couple of quotes from J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books. I haven’t read the books, but I’ve read a little about them at Wikipedia. Early on, the villain of the saga uses magic to put a piece of his soul into an enchanted diary. Later, when a young woman finds the diary and thinks it’s a blank book, she starts writing in it. The piece of the villain’s soul then is able to take possession of her. (Harry Potter eventually saves her and destroys that piece of the villain’s soul. The girl becomes Harry Potter’s girl friend, then, in the saga.)


To Rowling, a diary is a very scary object, having said in an interview: "The temptation particularly for a young girl, is to pour out her heart to a diary." Rowling's little sister Diane was prone to this, and her great fear was that someone would read her diary. This gave Rowling the idea to have a diary that is, in itself, against the confider.






My sister used to commit her innermost thoughts to her diary. Her great fear was that someone would read it. That's how the idea came to me of a diary that is itself against you. You would be confiding everything to pages that aren't inanimate.


Now, the diary to me is a very scary object, a really, really frightening object. This manipulative little book, the temptation particularly for a young girl to pour out her heart to a diary, which is never something I was prone to, but my sister was. The power of something that answers you back, and at the time that I wrote that I'd never been in an Internet chat room. But I've since thought "Well it's very similar." Just typing your deepest thoughts into the ether and getting answers back, and you don't know who is answering you. And so that was always a very scary image to me, in the book, and I thought it worked very well in the film. You could understand when he started writing to see these things coming back to him, and the power of that, that secret friend in your pocket.





So I went shopping and saw some stars and when I got home and put the food away I randomly starting jotting down some thoughts and it just occurred to me that Beethoven’s name contained some interesting letters and, almost immediately, the VOTE BE HEN anagram suggested itself. Then because that sounded like a joke to me I wondered if I could think of any other Beethoven jokes that involved chickens and that variation of the head/butt thing occurred to me.

I can’t say a magical diary took possession of me and inserted the thoughts into my brain.

But I did think for a moment that it was as if my walk under the stars was a walk through a passage between worlds—I started in a world where I didn’t know anagrams for Beethoven, where I didn’t know a joke about Beethoven with a chicken on his head, and I walked under the stars through a passage between worlds into a world where I did know those things.

It’s a passage to a pretty silly and trivial different world, as different worlds go, I guess.

But it’s good to go places. And, anyway, down in my deepest secret soul I enjoy chicken jokes more than stories about evil witches.


So that’s how my week is starting.







. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



An Unclear Story About Walking To Mars


Pamela At The Doorway To Atlantis


Passages Between Worlds


















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