George Williams’ Gardens of Earthly Delight: Hieronymus Bosch vs. American Dream

Gardens of Earthly Delight

George Williams’ short story “Miss September,” in his collection titled Gardens of Earthly Delight, is the story of a Big Con. A rich eccentric, Kip, heir to a family fortune derived from patents for smelting and manufacturing alloys, becomes the prisoner of a neighborhood “witch” (Esther) and her “coven,” who proceed to drive him crazy with the kinds of psy ops used by the ATF against David Koresh in Waco, or against Noriega at the Holy See’s embassy in Panama, or against prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. (Most of the horror in these stories is inflicted with weapons and methods we now routinely have our governments use on other people.) Continue reading George Williams’ Gardens of Earthly Delight: Hieronymus Bosch vs. American Dream

David Barbee’s A Town Called Suckhole – The South after Civil War II

This book, if I may borrow from Henry Miller, is a gigantic gob of spit shot straight into the face of the South. Since this is not a blog of academic criticism, where I’d have to hide behind a bunch of jargon about semiotics or Marxist theory, I’ll be frank about my feelings toward the South, and start by disclosing that I’m a Yankee. I grew up in Michigan, moved to San Francisco and lived there for decades, then moved to Las Vegas at about the same time as all the rest of the North.

I admit I’ve never understood the South. Why the water cannons and police dogs turned on Civil Rights demonstrators? Why the Confederate flags? Why the TV evangelist con artists?  Why the Dukes of Hazzard? 

Continue reading David Barbee’s A Town Called Suckhole – The South after Civil War II

I Knocked Up Satan’s Daughter: Carlton Mellick III vs. Thomas Aquinas

Those of you not deeply indoctrinated into the Roman Catholic faith (and by “deeply indoctrinated” I mean you studied for the priesthood, or at least took graduate- level theology courses) probably know little about “succubi.” Even many devout Catholics are unaware of these demons, as the Summa Theologica is not studied in catechism classes for the laity. But it’s okay. That’s why I’m here. I spent a critical formative year of my adolescence in the Holy Ghost Fathers Seminary in Ann Arbor, Michigan, so let me clue you in. Continue reading I Knocked Up Satan’s Daughter: Carlton Mellick III vs. Thomas Aquinas