Sunday, August 12, 2007

SALEM, MASSAWITCHHUNTS

The Crucible is my favorite play.
Written by Arthur Miller in 1952, The Crucible was based on the mass hysteria sh*ts that overwhelmed so many people in Salem, Massachusetts, during the witch trials in 1692.

Take it away Brothers Gibb,

"And the lights all went down in Ma-ssa-chusetts
The day I left her standing on her own."


Where was I..oh yeah.


Miller’s allegorical work shone the harsh, bright, light of day on the hypocrisy and mass hysteria sh*ts that nutjob, arsehole, Joseph McCarthy spearheaded upon the American public. Many screen writers in Hollywood, including Miller, were singled out as purveyors of 'Komminizm' and as secret agents of the evil empire and Cold War adversary, the godless Ruskies.

If you recall, c'mon we all had to read The Crucible in High School, in an effort to save his wife the guilt ridden John Proctor confesses to his affair with the foul, teenage, temptress, WiNOna Ryder, I mean Abigail. He of course pays dearly for his 'roll in the hay' and ends up heading off to the gallows. According to Wikipedia, the actual trials resulted in the executions of 20 people (14 women, 6 men) and the imprisonment of between 175 and 200 people.

In 1976, Linnda Caporael claimed in Science Magazine that the hallucinations of the afflicted girls could possibly have been the result of ingesting rye bread that had been made with moldy grain. Ergot of Rye
is a plant disease that is caused by a fungus that contains the chemicals used to synthesize ACID, Man!
You know, LSD.


"Convulsive ergotism causes nervous dysfunction, which Caporael claims are similar to many of the physical symptoms of those alleged to be afflicted by witchcraft."
Then again, so does convulsive egotism.

The same hysteria would happen today in many parts of the world where the supernatural is still feared such as Texas or Kansas. Unlike the scene in the Monty Python's Holy Grail, the Neo-Puritans would not be allowed to burn the witches..


even if the 'witch' weighed the same as a Duck..

or if someone came forward and claimed to have been turned into a Newt

... but “got better.”


In the Crucible Judge Danforth boldly declared,

"This is a sharp time, now, a precise time-we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God's grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.”


Unfortunately, we still seem to live in that dusky afternoon over 300 years later and most people on Earth are still convinced that supernatural entities wreak havoc on us pitiful mortals. As a matter of fact, I see an unnerving resemblance to Dubya's vitriolic call to arms to fight supernatural EVILISM in Iraqistan, Afghanistan, and Iranistan.

I say that the shining sun is NOT yet up and that mass hysteria sh*ts are still causing turmoil and human suffering.

29 comments:

  1. Funny how Bush of all people is the one fondest of the term "evildoer"... if ever the pot called the kettle black...

    But I digress...

    As for your post? FABOO FO SHO!!! FO SHO!!!

    So the women killed off were 14 to 6? 7 to 3? Figures!

    As for the trippy rye, ooooh, don't go givin' the young un's ideas now HE! Dios mio! ;-P

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  2. "The same hysteria would happen today in many parts of the world where the supernatural is still feared such as Texas or Kansas. Unlike the scene in the Monty Python's Holy Grail, the Neo-Puritans would not be allowed to burn the witches.."

    Progress then!

    Just trying to walk on the sunny side of the street, lol...

    It must be lousy to be a Texan these days if you're a normal person, which I believe most are. But the Dubya association has become so strong, and frankly there have been other noteworthy cowboy-like figures, at least in their own minds, that hail from there. So to be from Texas must make a lot of people from there feel kind of like they need to apologize to the rest of the world, even when they don't need to, like I would as an American if I could travel abroad.

    Think I'd get myself a T-shirt: "Didn't vote for him - either time" on one side and "Please don't shoot me" on the other.

    I know only one Texan and that's from blogging. Happy to report she's normal...

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  3. miz bohemia,
    The entire episode of the witch trials was a morbid reflection of the Puritan's religious license to blame the woman 'Abigail/Eve' for tempting 'Proctor/Adam'. This made perfect sense and cemented the supernatural idea that Satan can operate more efficiently through women since they are the weaker vessel.

    As for the gettin' high on Rye theory I think that makes for a more realistic interpretation of events..alongside of all the ridiculous repression.

    The Puritan's strict, suffocating, culture of denial and repression was a tinderbox to begin with. Especially now that we know so much more about human nature and all of the chinks in the armor.
    Yikes!

    paul,
    Quit tryin' to stir up trouble mister! Are you sayin' that I am all HAT and no CATTLE!

    Texas is now famous as the 'Mecca' for them thar SUPERchurches and Kansas has that Creationism millstone to carry around. That being said, I agree that atleast 50% of the citizens are probably normal just like every other State.

    ptooey ((DING))

    I know a few bloggers from each and they are modern, forward- thinking, individuals who are as dismayed and embarrased with the unfavorable and perhaps unwarranted reputations of their State thanks to a few knuckleheaded politicians.
    The connection between the past methods of dealing with the supernatural and modern society are inevitable when scientific advancements are legally challenged in the State Assembly and foreign countries are invaded because of lies.
    Go Dixie Chicks!

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  4. Oh, I loved The Crucible. The texts you have to read when you're thirteen at school tend to make a big impression on you, and this was the first one that I really liked. I'm not even sure that much was said about the context of the McCarthy trials at the time.

    I suppose the best literature has a resonance with whatever is happening at the time you read it.

    A pity that the superstitious idiots seem to have the loudest voices and the most power.

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  5. My wife practises witchcraft. George Bush practices being a President. Which one do you REALLY think needs to hang? Huh?

    Hint: No one has ever been harmed, much less horses, in the casting of my wife's spells.

    The blood on Dubya's hands continues to flow.......

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  6. WE found a witch may we burn her?

    I am also very excited about SPamalot the musical starting its melbourne season very shortly:)

    Paranoia is still alive but changed forms now its terrorism.

    People: WE found a terrorist may we burn him.

    Bedevere: How you you he's a Terrorist.

    Villager: He looks like one ***cheering**

    Terrorist: I'm not a terrorist.

    Bedevere: But you are dressed as one.

    Terrorist: They dressed me like this.

    Villager: We we did do the turban.
    err and the Beard, but he has got a camel.
    And so on:)

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  7. HAven't read the book but I saw the play and the movie (in that order). It was one of the most powerful play/movie that I have seen.

    I don't know about mass hysteria but I'd say mass hypnotism is still happening.

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  8. but supernatural evilism is still here in asia...i dont know how far true it is, but its pretty deep stuff. people can die with it. black magic womannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

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  9. "NO-ONE, and I want to make this perfectly clear. NO-ONE is to stone anyone until I give the word! Even if they do say Jehovah!"

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  10. betty,
    It is a marvelous expose of how we let things get completely out of hand. Unfortunately this play will continue to resonate with the idiosyncratic flaws in the human condition until the 6th Extinction Level Event finally wipes us out.


    THE michael,
    Listen I still can't comment on your blog dude is the CIA involved?
    Your better half must have studied the tragic history of her foresisters in America, is there something else about the trials that we should know about?

    aidan,
    HaHaHa!
    He turned me into a Republican!
    I got better.

    menchie,
    Mass hypnotism indeed. We are getting verrry sleeepy.

    keshiroo,
    I take it that you are a fan of that scene from the Grail? It is one of my alltime favorites.
    Hooo do you know she's a witch?

    ghosty,
    Yes indeed evilism is rampant in almost every corner of Asiastan.
    ((Put a spell on me baby))

    whitesnake,
    Are there any women here today?

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  11. if the cap fits . . .

    you don't need any rye bread to encourage mass 'hysteria' - you find it everywhere a bunch of people are massed together with one focus - it's natural not supernatural, a tad worrying just the same when used for nefarious purposes - isn't that how religion works?

    cackle cackle

    goes off humming Black magic Woman

    ReplyDelete
  12. In some parts of India, like interior West Bengal or Bihar,there are instances of killing so-called witches. Mostly older widows who don't have any kind of family support are taken to be witches and tortured and sometimes killed.

    This is done on the behest of those powerful people who want to take away whatever little possession the woman has such a bit of farming land.

    Has anything changed?

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  13. gautami,
    That is horrendous.
    Can you get any lower than that?

    I hope that there are vigilantes at work in India avenging the wrongful deaths of widows and delivering retribution to these lowlife, pondscum, perpetrators.

    Yes, slow, lingering, painful, deaths, full of agonizing torment and suffering...
    Mmmm...
    Monday Morning Vengeance! ((drools))

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  14. Come defend the men on that last post of mine. You esteemed friend WW dared me to write that.

    After reading some of the responses, I think I shouldn't have.

    ReplyDelete
  15. gautami,
    Male Bashing Mondays are back!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ziggi's bang-on with the natural comment.
    And damn! I only have Black Magic Woman on an old vinyl.
    Adds Santana to shopping list...

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree. Mass hysteria is what drives the media. GLOBAL WARMING! TERRORISM! JIHAD!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!

    I never had to read that play though. I guess they change the curriculum every 100 years or so...Oh snap.

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  18. I never read or saw The Cricible. I may have to rectify that situation.

    ReplyDelete
  19. zzzzzz... :)

    Keshi.

    ReplyDelete
  20. dinahmow,
    ((gasp))
    They have turntables that you can hook up to your PC now!

    masshysteriablogger,
    OUCH! I'm not that old..am I? They do still teach Literature don't they?

    miss cellania,
    How can that be? The aftershocks of the Puritan heritage in your political system are still rippling through the government as we speak..although ROVE IS GONE!!!
    Oh what a beautiful morning...

    keshtar,
    Are you completely underwhelmed?
    Gee I had better hurry up and finish my post on inventive methods of reproduction in the post modern era.

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  21. I say its all pathetic. The world is going to hell and very few even see it coming.

    When in the year 2007 we can murder because of fear we are all lost. I believe in protecting ourselves but someone needs to sit me down and give me a double expresso because I am losing faith. I see so much hate and wonder where we are going with it.

    Before governments know everything they attack, before people get all the facts someone is guilty.... can I get an AMEN!

    Homo escapeons my dear, I want to believe that love is the saving grace of humanity and I will continue to spread it until people become so covered in it they will be like the ghost busters when they sprayed the statue of liberty with love based goo and everything it touched loved everything it saw. It may be sappy or whatever people want to call it but dangit something has got to change.

    ReplyDelete
  22. hello? hello?

    testing testing

    1 2 3

    Testing

    (bugger I've turned invisible again haven't I?)

    ReplyDelete
  23. inside our hands,
    Wow I never saw that one coming. The ghostbuster analogy was very interesting.

    I like the way you think and totally agree that something has to change. Your idea of spraying the world with love goo is much more realistic than my idea of dragging every tedious person on Earth behind the barn and introducing their skull to Mr Shovel.

    ziggi,
    Walk towards the light!

    I am so sorry that my inner editor failed to acknowledge your practical summation of the danger of humans acting in groups and your defense of rye bread. I was positive that oh never mind what is done is done.

    If I ever do that again, how rude, please feel free to administer a suitable punishment.

    Might I suggest that you take me out to the centre of stonehenge in the dead of night while I am dressed in a tattered loincloth and manacles suggesting that I was a runaway slave...
    hmm, maybe the slavish garb is a bit too Chippendales?

    You will be backlit by a glorious, full, moon, wearing something pitch black and very witchy. May I remind you that a Fortrel Jumpsuit with your 2" cuffs stapled would do quite nicely with the right music.

    As you circle me chanting Cliff Richard songs in gaelic, swahili or whatever the Werewolves are howling in the nearby forest ((Owwooooo)) as they watch and wait..mainly watching.

    Then as a sudden gust of wind shoves a cloud over the moon you can begin to administer your punishment. I've been a very naughty boy so go ahead do your worst..and do it several times if need be, atleast until you think that I fully understand the consequence of my actions.

    Just remember that you don't have all night because the college kids will be out making crop circles and the UFOs fly by every couple of hours.

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  24. All you need is Mass...
    All you need is Mass...
    MASS is all you need to start a perTURBATION...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Interesting juxtaposition. I have been pondering this too. The Salem witch hunts are to the McCarthy era, as The Bush regime is to... Cesare Borgia? ... Louis XIV? ... Torquemada?

    "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise! Fear and surprise. Our two chief weapons ...."

    How's that for a segue, aidan?

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  26. This is uncanny. This is one of my favorite plays, too. I'm VERY interested in the history of such. Years after reading "Scarlet Letter", I realized more when I taught it, then when I first read it..

    I never thought I'd meet a blogger who'd like the Crucible, too.
    I'm not a witch, although I have met blogging witches and find the blogs interesting.

    I am into some "witchy" things, like I LOVE "Wizard of Oz" and "Wicked", besides the song "Witchy Woman."
    I'm also a fan of many other plays, like Tennesee Williams "Glass Menagerie", "Streetcar Named Desire" and I forgot who wrote "Our Town."

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  27. you know, this makes me think of your post on passive aggression and how it came about...
    obviously something's gone horribly wrong in terms of human development if we still succumb to something as laughable as mass hysteria!
    its like when south africa put itself into a fuel crisis recently because somewhere someone mentioned the possibility of there being a shortage due to a strike...

    as for ergotism... i saw something about it on an episode of x-files once, so it musta been what made people think they were witches! x-files is based on real events you know!

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  28. cream,
    Ha! You naughty boy, now you must be on the lookout for a large albino with bleeding thighs. If you start now I give you a week.

    breakerslion,
    On many levels it was quite similar to the panic and kneejerk reactions following 9/11. The Patriotism angle was so over the top..especially all of the you are either with us or against us.
    Verrry scary stuff.

    gel,
    Ah yes nothing like the test of Time to measure the value of Art..will it transcend the limitations of the creator's world and touch future generations.

    I love good witches but I am scared of werewolves and vampires.

    angel,
    Our species absolutely succumbs to mass hysteria..in the blink of an eye. That's why crowds make me so nervous.
    Do you miss X Files? Did you like the movie?

    ReplyDelete

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