READ THE TERRIBLE TWELVES VIA TAPASTIC!

READ THE TERRIBLE TWELVES VIA TAPASTIC!
A YA fantasy by Emily Devenport and Ernest Hogan

Saturday, July 11, 2009

COMMERCIALIZED PAGANISM ONLINE

SanFermin.com is becoming one of my favorite Fiesta websites. If you wrote this sort of thing as science fiction twenty years ago, you may well have been burned at the stake.

In Pagan Spain, Richard Wright said pagan influences "lingered strongly and vitally on, flourishing under the draperies of the twentieth century." And new communications technology-inspired rites are emerging:

The PETA protesters have developed what was originally a "Running of the Nudes" into a street-filling spectacle. The New York pseudo-naked event is recreated on larger scale in Pamploma. The black undies and nipple-obscuring signs are still here along with the fake blood and banderillas. The Spanish architecture makes it look like a scene from a European horror film from the late Seventies. Nobody seems the least bit intimidated into stopping La Fiesta.

The protest has become part of the opening ceremonies. A new tradition is born.

PETA also doesn’t realize that trying to stop La Fiesta De San Fermin with pseudo-bloody public nudity is like trying to fight a forest fire with a Molotov cocktail. In Puritan America, people are embarrassed by bare bodies, but La Fiesta is all about testicles. Adding exposed breasts only makes it more powerful.

Which brings me to SanFermin.com's incredible Mister Testis,who seems like a typical sports mascot, a big blue bull. But between his legs is something no other mascot has: a large scrotal sac housing the organs that he is named for. In his cartoon manifestation they are represented by two perfect blue circles.

I’m reminded of my first artistic controversy: back in grade school, after a field trip to a farm, we were given crayons and paper and asked to draw something we had seen. I drew a bull – an anatomically correct bull. Not everybody appreciated my powers of observation.

So how would the sort of tradition that could create Mister Testis react to "naked" protesters?

Young women, who are not in town to protest, caught up in the celebration of the reproductive instinct, have been showing themselves in the manner associated with New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Instead of being repressed by police state tactics, this bit of cultural cross-pollination (in my novels High Aztech and Smoking Mirror Blues I called it "recomboculture") has been encouraged. SanFermin.com and Playboy co-sponsor a photography contest, offering 3,000 euros and a free trip to Los Angeles for the best erotic image.

It’s getting difficult to tell where the sadomasochistic vegetarian guerrilla theater ends and the commercialized pagan ritual begins. This synthesis of opposites is what I hope is the direction of the emerging global civilization of the 21st century.

The future has been painted in shades of noir for far too long. It’s time to let the Sun rise.

1 comment:

  1. I can't agree more. This isn't the time to fight to keep all of the old ways, no matter what and no matter how irrelevant they may be. Neither is it time to throw away everything and build some synthesis of barely heard and definitely misunderstood lore. It's time to realize that hybrid vigor works for sociology as well as genetics.

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