Neophilia & Neophobia, Fear v. Wonder: Differential Effects of the Sublime on Closed and Opened Minds

When I was younger and entertained more grandiose pretensions of becoming a literary light than I do now, I wrote the following would-be aphorism about the difference between “intellectuals” and true-believing “fanatics”: An intellectual submits the narrowness of his mind to the breadth of experience; a fanatic submits the depth and breadth of experience to … Continue reading Neophilia & Neophobia, Fear v. Wonder: Differential Effects of the Sublime on Closed and Opened Minds

Not Today, Santa: I Have Seen the Father of Lies, and He is Us

“You sit on a throne of lies.” —Buddy the “Elf” It being the Christmas season and all, this past Friday Family Movie Night found my little nuclear family all huddled in obeisance before the flat-screened iconostasis, watching the 2003 Will Ferrell flick Elf.  Part of what makes the movie so brilliant to me is its … Continue reading Not Today, Santa: I Have Seen the Father of Lies, and He is Us

“The Devil’s Fane” origin story: The phrase, dummy, not the website

In case you missed the memo, the phrase “the devil’s fane” is kind of important around here at—well—The Devil’s Fane. I all but fetishize these words because they encapsulate the heart of Satanic religion for me. Yet the true nature of this connection should be pretty non-obvious to those unfamiliar with the character of much … Continue reading “The Devil’s Fane” origin story: The phrase, dummy, not the website

Wretched Writ: The Dirty Apologetics of Bad Religious Writing

There’s good reason why polite company is expected to exercise studious avoidance of the topics of religion and politics. No other areas of human concern turn so quickly and viciously polemical. Whole books have been devoted to explaining and understanding our extraordinarily ugly groupishness when it comes to these domains. I’ve recently been reading two … Continue reading Wretched Writ: The Dirty Apologetics of Bad Religious Writing