Monday, September 7, 2009

"Flowers of Witchery Abloom"

I usually like to title these posts with a snippet of my own phrasing, but a jarring research digression took me from the variations of zydeco band names - Zydeco Playboys, Zydeco Outlaws, Zydeco Gamblers - to a song titled "Flowers of Witchery Abloom" by Finnish black metal band Thy Serpent.

Does anyone else see George Washington peering back from the middle of those trees?

I like everything about this: the gloomy woods, the lyrics, the extra reductive music that I still say sounds like the Cure from 1981 no matter what pact with the powers of darkness these corpse-painted, church-burning monster men might have*, but most of all, I like the title. "Flowers of Witchery Abloom." It's a phrase I will forever wish I had come up with.

Like, if I would have barged into a room where some sort of foolishness was going down and loudly declared "Flowers of witchery abloom!" ... that would have been something. But I didn't, and to adopt it as my own would be a falsehood, possibly one punishable by demon infestation, or infestation by Finns who think they are demons. I'd resolved to have given up my black metal dalliance as of late, but a phrase like "flowers of witchery abloom" might drag me right back into the pit.

So, while I'm on the subject, it seems there was a write-in campaign to elect Tasmanian black metal entity Striborg, a favorite of mine, to Pennsylvania's office of State Auditor General in 2008. There are a couple of key flaws that led to the campaign's failure, though "he" (see second point) did fare better than the Libertarian candidate.

First of all, Striborg is not even a well known commodity in underground metal circles, much less on the streets of the Keystone State, so there is the name recognition factor.

Second, a stickier syntactic issue: Striborg is actually the one-man band of Sin Nanna, and while the distinction between one's adopted demon name (Sin Nanna is a Mesopotamian moon god) and the demon name of one's one-man band (Striborg is a variant on Stribog, a Slavic wind god) may seem a little pedantic or even silly to the average Pennsylvanian, it is a distinction nonetheless, and you cannot elect a collective, even a collective of one, to a public office. I have not checked the actual laws on this, but its a safe bet Pennsylvania has a one-person-per-office seat rule.

Third, Striborg's thematic material does deal in gloom, hatred and depression, things that one can find as easily in Pennsylvania as anywhere, but also a strong environmental concern, that humanity should be wiped clean from the earth to allow nature to prosper. I just don't know how well that would resonate with the average voter. I mean, the guy that won, Jack Warner, is not so sure about the elimination of lifeguards in Pennsylvania's public beaches and state parks (PDF) That doesn't sound like the people want a misanthropic eschatologist in that seat.

Lastly, Sin Nanna, and thereby Striborg, is Tasmanian. After the whole "birther" thing, you might want to go with a reliably documented resident for a state office.

And maybe, in a way, this whole thing is a way for me to express how much I like the new Mount Eerie album (listen), which is not black metal, though it kinda is.

* I do not know if the members of Thy Serpent have ever burned a church. I am playing with generalizations here; my own little flower of witchery, if you will. Thy Serpent does however, rock the paint.

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