Thursday, 28 August 2008
I attach for your delectation a picture of Amy Adams, because she really was the only one who was perfectly cast and, bless her, she's another ginger. And Lee Pace, because when he appeared on screen we all cheered up immensely.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Thursday, 7 August 2008
Fortuna, goddess of, unsurprisingly, fortune. Known aliases include "Lady Luck"; aspersions are cast on her fickleness (qv O Fortuna by Carl Orff, staple soundtrack to horror films and aftershave ads). Famous for not often being a lady, and maybe not having been a lady to begin with (qv Guys and Dolls). You can do what you like to please her, but you'll never know if your luck was favourable because she liked the cut of your jib, or not. Unpredictable. The only thing you can guarantee is that there are no guarantees. To paraphrase what Pascal said of God, it's best to worship her, because if she exists you're covered, and if she doesn't, you've lost nothing. Aptly enough, even worshipping her is a gamble.
Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel. Bear with me a little on this one if I tell you his main alias is Lucifer. Worshipped pretty much exclusively by the Yezidi, a tiny ethnic Kurdish minority in Iraq. They believe that God made man and told the angels to bow down to him, which they duly did, but Melek Taus refused, saying that surely the angels were the finest of God's creations and shouldn't bow down to a creature made of mud. So far, so Biblical. The Yezidi reckon, however, that at this point rather than casting him out for insubordination, God said "Well done, that was exactly the answer I was looking for, and unlike all these yes-men you alone have the pride to recognise that you are my most beautiful creation..." and other encouraging noises. God then disappeared to create other universes, leaving Melek Taus, the Devil, in charge of this one. Given the extraordinary persecution the Yezidi have suffered over the years, that sounds about right.
Legba Atibon, voodoo god (or loa) of the crossroads. He represents humility, comprehension, and the ability to see and appreciate the potential in others, which in itself facilitates communication. Definitely the god of the internet and libraries - and of any conversation or exchange of information. How could you not worship him? The kindest and most affectionately-regarded of the loa, he has relatively simple tastes for a god, and rather than demanding expensive tribute and sacrifices is happy with a cup of coffee and some tobacco. So also the god of booksellers then...