Freedom Rock—My eternal gratitude to everyone who came out for the Alibi's Festival of Opinions last Saturday on the Fourth Street mall. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, it was hotter than a crotch out there, so the folks that participated truly showed their dedication to free speech and the First Amendment. I lost four pounds in sweat, one pound for each hour in the heat, but the music was especially fantastic. Thanks to Selsun Blue, Fast Heart Mart and Daddy Long Loin for the tunes. And a big burlap sack stuffed with gratitude for the drummer from Selsun Blue who climbed up the light pole to plug in the extension cord. That was impressive. As you all know, freedom without electricity really isn't worth celebrating.
My personal vision of hell pretty much matches that network sitcom about a bunch of white-bread “friends” living in grotesque intimacy with each other in a nightmarishly sanitized New York. Kobo Abe's vision of eternal damnation shares the title of that horrible show but is starkly different in almost every other respect.
As Algonquin legend would have it, the frozen forests of Canada are home to the Wendigo, a malignant Yeti-like spirit that heaps fear and misfortune upon all who encounter it. Stephen King touched on the Wendigo in Pet Sematary and Marvel Comics based a villain on it, but Algernon Blackwood’s “The Wendigo” remains one of the most interesting fictional treatments of Canada’s best-known monster next to Céline Dion.
Last week on vacation we stumbled across this funny street sign depicting a dude holding a book with a lightning bolt on the cover. The message was either something like, "Reading will spark your imagination" or "Danger! Books electrocute."