Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Pavilion of the Links (Petit Guignol)

It's astounding what you'll turn up online when you spend a few hours without proper adult supervision. Today, in search of thrills and chills (without pills), I turned up the following:
  • I've been using the term "Grand Guignol" for years (as in "That's rather Grand Guignolish") without precisely knowing what it meant. Nobody challenges you when you use a French expression in passing, especially if you lay on the accent knowingly, so I didn't know that I didn't know exactly what I meant. (French theatre, blood, melodrama, something, something.) Perhaps people were nodding because that's what people tend to do by the time I'm bringing out the French expressions, prior to announcing they must "check on dinner." Then again, perhaps everyone except for me took a detailed college course in the subject, and knew far more about the topic than I did, perhaps to the point of exchanging meaningful "He's so full of shit" glances that I missed so caught up was I in elaborate exposition. In any event, I now know as much as I'll need to about Grand Guignol.
  • The lair of the white worm revisited.
  • There's a great story implicit in all of this (or a preposterous one, which often amounts to the same thing), and I haven't the slightest idea what it is. I found myself speculating, though, for a longer period of time than is strictly healthy. It's about a bloody vampire, anyway.
  • I wish I could work up a breathlessly insinuating prose style like this. The upshot is: Don't go to Disneyland.
  • Some of these folks survived Disneyland; some of them didn't. Either way, they thought it was all over. They were wrong.
  • The insidious Dr. Fu Manchu did that sort of thing years ago, however. ("'You see,' he continued, peering across at me in his oddly nervous way, 'one never knows, does one? If I thought that Dr. Fu-Manchu lived; if I seriously suspected that that stupendous intellect, that wonderful genius, Petrie, er--' he hesitated characteristically--'survived, I should feel it my duty--' 'Well?' I said, leaning my elbows on the table and smiling slightly.'If that Satanic genius were not indeed destroyed, then the peace ofthe world, may be threatened anew at any moment!' He was becoming excited, shooting out his jaw in the truculent manner I knew, and snapping his fingers to emphasize his words; a man composed of the oddest complexities that ever dwelt beneath a clerical frock." - The Return of Fu Manchu.)
  • The lair of the green worm.
  • Before there was blue Monday, there was Black Sunday. (Warning: explicitly Christian symbolism may be offensive to school administrators and others of neuraesthenic bent.)
  • The cult of the cute. (Via Zembla.)
  • Tonight's CD recommendation. Scroll down and you can listen to bits of it.