Happy Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft!

The Wall Street Journal reminds us that today is the 125th birthday of a man who unleashed so much unreasoning terror as a writer that his name is now an adjective: Lovecraftian.

The Journal suggests 5 ways in which we might celebrate H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday — from viewing movies made from his stories to drinking Lovecraft Beer to actually reading his weird tales.

As a boy, I had the pimples scared right off my face by reading such meta-creepy Lovecraft stories as The Color from Outer Space and At the Mountains of Madness.

Nobody can write in Lovecraft’s intense mannered style anymore, although writers keep trying.

Even TIME Magazine had one of its reporters try his claw at emulating the terror meister’s style, with doleful rather than horrifying results. Here’s a sample:

“The graveyard bristled with baleful intensity. Strangely colossal bats beat the air around my face, and chittering hordes of toadlike things chortled in infandous rhythms of ululation in dissonances of extreme morbidity and cacodemonial ghastliness. As I somehow anticipated, the cowled figure, his face ever hidden, approached and tugged my pajama sleeve, pulling me toward the openLovecraft tomb. Forgetting danger, cleanliness and reason, I ventured into the yawning Stygian recesses of the inner earth, down inclined passageways whose walls were coated with the detestable slimy niter of the earth’s bowels. My whole being choked on the stinking confluence of incense fumes, and a cancerous terror clutched my chest with strangling tendrils. Penultimately we reached a vast vaulted room lit with a gangrenous green glare from an unknown source, while all around pulsed and crashed a monstrous noise not unlike a machine malevolently crunching great living trees to pulp.”

Rather than keeping a shotgun by your bed while you read the above, you probably would want to keep a dictionary.

Of course, if you really want to get to know about Howard Phillips Lovecraft you should attend the Necronomincon this week in Providence, Rhode Island. According to Rhode Island Monthly, there will be over 40 panel discussions on the author’s works and life.

And perhaps something obscene and eldritch will rise from the ocean’s abyss to join the concatenation and cause everyone’s hypothalamus to implode . . .

Now H.P. Lovecraft was a guy, could really write a story;

Filled with goblins hobbing and all sorts of life force gory.

In grim New England swamps and hills, where ancient sin abode,

he conjured up a strangeness that to madness was a goad.

His creatures had no use for man, except as ghastly relish,

as they prowled the night and burrowed into graves quite hellish.

If you want real terror, with his books you should relax —

or else try filing early on your yearly income tax . . .

cthulhu

In the USA, A Woman Earns 81.9 Cents for Every Dollar a Man Earns

Women earned 81.9 cents for every dollar a man earned in the second quarter of the year, 2015.

Labor Department data out this week showed the pay gap between men and women but little changed, or even taking a step back. Full-time women workers earned almost 84 cents for every dollar a man earned in the second quarter of last year,2014.

Overall, median weekly earnings of all full-time workers were up 2.7% from a year earlier to $801. Men got bigger paychecks, with wages and salaries going up 3.4% from a year earlier to $886. And for women, the increase was a more modest 1.4% to $726.

One item that hasn’t changed much recently is the difference in pay between genders. Women have been slowly closing the pay gap with men, and by some calculations may need another twenty years to achieve equal pay. The problem has caught the attention of the White House.

(Wall Street Journal)

AND SO TO VERSE:

Men get more than women; that is a fact of life.

It isn’t very decent, and causes lots of strife.

If women want more money, they ought to act like men —

crow just like the rooster and not lay like the hen.

hen-and-rooster-md

The Marriage of Nephi and His Brothers. (1 Nephi; Chapter 7)

The story is familiar to the saints of Latter Days —

how Lehi taught his sons to marry in the proper ways.

They traveled to Jerusalem, a final trip to find

brides that to their hearts and souls they would etern’lly bind.

Man and woman make the only pair that God ordains

to fill the earth with children and replenish his domains.

Today the marriage compact stays the same and has not changed, 

though all the world perverts it with new laws that are deranged. 

Lehi's Family

Alma: Chapter 5.

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To Zarahemla Alma went to bear his testimony.

Reminding all of their divine and righteous patrimony.

He spoke of chains unlinking and of hearts burst into bloom,

Of garments washed in sacred blood to wipe away sure doom.

 

He warned of pride and envy, twin devices of the devil –

Who wants to bring all mankind down to his own sorry level.

Mocking others for their humble lives and steadfast living

He explained would not persuade their God to be forgiving.

 

Alma saw the future, and the past, as prophets do;

He testified a Savior the whole world would have to view.

Whether they accepted him or turned their back in scorn

Decided if they were to die or rise as newly born.

 

 

 

Alma; Chapter Four.

GoldCalf

Scarcely had the blood and bones of Sidon washed away

When the Nephites left their duties and rose up to play.

The orphans and the widows, the fields of grain laid waste,

Were but a temporary check upon their wicked haste.

 

For soon their fine twined linens and their showy wealth

Sickened and immobilized their religious health.

Those who bore the brunt of war and did not soon regain

Their lands and gold were treated like an undesirable stain.

 

Inequality directly caused the Church to lead

Others from one folly to another without heed.

So Alma left the judgment seat to see could he repair

With testimony pure and sweet the cancerous despair.

Alma: Chapter Two. The Amlicites.

amllicites

The Amlicites did revel in the mark upon their head;

A dot of paste compounded out of clay and blood so red.

It was a sign of kinship with their fellow Lamanites;

Who also claimed revenge for the great theft of all their rights.

 

They battled with the Nephites on the river Sidon’s shores,

Rejecting peace as folly and embracing death and wars.

Twelve thousand men with dots of paste upon their heads were slain.

Twelve thousand souls were sent to God to plead with Him in vain.

 

Their refugees fled to the hills of Hermounts, where wild beasts

Chewed their wounds and bit their flesh in predatory feasts.

No sign is ever left upon the whitened bones of sin

That is the heritage of those who let the devil in.

A King Who Did Not Tax His People.

mosiah

(Based on the Book of Mosiah, Chapter Six; from the Book of Mormon.)

King Benjamin grew old and in his wisdom so increased

That he never thought of tyrannizing man or beast.

Instead he called his son Mosiah to a meeting grave,

And gave him charge the kingdom to take over and to save.

 

After giving utterance to all his loving nation,

Benjamin retired to a peaceful meditation.

He lived three years before called back to silence and to dust,

Having walked in godly fear and tenacious trust.

 

Mosiah reigned but didn’t rule with money from the masses;

Instead he grew an orchard and fed his herds on grasses.

A king who tills the earth to keep his people free from taxes

Will never feel the angry blade of his subject’s axes.