Save the Children

I was 14 when I first traveled to Europe. It was the summer of 1991. I had gone with my mother and brother to visit two exchange students who had stayed with my family in the U.S. in recent years. Puberty pressed within me in those days with all the urgency of a volcanic fissure.…

On Parricide

The customary repertoire of motherese among the semi-nomadic Penan Geng of Borneo includes what is, to our Western ears, a rather grotesque element. Penan Geng mothers regularly coo to their babies and small children such epithets as “no-mother,” “mother-dead,” and “decomposing mother.” In the unfortunate event that the mothers should actually die, these macabre names…

A Satanic Duty to Disavow?

A while back, Vice published a piece that brought attention to some increasingly frequent and uncomfortable cozying up between prominent members of the Atheist community (such as it is) and members of the alt-right, neo-nazi community (you’ll note I consistently refuse to grant those benighted terms the privilege of capitalization: that choice is not mere…

Mansplaining Satanism: The Church of Rational Satanism offers its thoughts on why The Satanic Temple are “no true Satanists”

The name of the Church of Rational Satanism (CoRS) would seem to imply, via the linguistic principle of markedness, the existence of irrational or at least non-rational Satanism. Personally, I’ve always taken the phenomenon of so-called theistic Satanism—you know, the folks who believe in and worship an existent being named Satan—as exemplary of a non-rational,…

Satanic Belonging

I had an awkward and uncomfortable experience when I was about 19 that I have never written about or spoken of to anyone. This experience taught me a lot about the behavioral lengths to which desperation pushes folks, in particular the desperate need to belong and be with other people in some capacity, whether romantically…

Unscrupulous Hugs

I’ve written several posts on here about transgender identity. Not being transgender myself, my choice of topic prompts the obvious question of why I should choose to write on the subject and what authority I have to do so. I don’t plead any specific authority or expertise on the matter, not even from personal experience,…