Monday, July 21, 2008

18 Tammuz 5768: The Three Weeks/National Get Out of the Doghouse Day


Today’s news and commentary:In lieu of today’s weird thing is the second installment in our H. P. Lovecraft series for the Three Weeks, “The Nameless City”.


Theological review of “The Nameless City”:

This is the story of a traveler’s visit to the ruins of a city in Arabia held in dread by the natives. This story is carried almost entirely by emotion, being virtually without a plot.

The maltheism encountered in “The Doom That Came to Sarnath” is continued here, only more lame fashion. The city, we are told, is where Abdul Alhazred (of Necronomicon fame) long ago wrote the famous couplet:

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons death may die.

The traveler walks the ruins and interprets the pictures of inhuman creatures found on the wall, seeing in the story of the prospering and decline of a civilization. Eventually, hearing many strange sounds and encountering a “phosphorescent abyss”, he realizes that the the inhabitants never died off and actually sees many nightmarish creatures. He has the heebeejeebees scared out him.

The message: what is strange and not human is evil. Considering that the message is carried entirely by emotion and has no rational aspect to it, it is an utter failure for anyone the emotional language does not affect as desired. Furthermore, the strange creatures do not actually harm the traveler, so judging them as evil is not justified.

Theological rating: D (for insufficient evidence).

Scariness rating: My pants remained on the entire time I listened to this story—twice.

Next up for tomorrow: “The Hound”.

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