Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Ubiquitous FAQ's

Why is this site called The Pantheon Outcast?

Simply because I’m fascinated with religion and theology and the motivations behind people worshiping one god or another. I may not be able to walk on water or toss thunderbolts around, but I believe that what I have to say is just as significant as any divine being.

Your name isn’t really Valannin, is it?

No, it’s not. I thought it would be clever to write from the point of view of a lesser-known deity as he observes human behavior.

But you don’t write that way anymore.

It stopped being clever.

What is that symbol next to your name supposed to be? And where is the quote under the title from?

The symbol is a phoenix, the Egyptian mythological bird who immolated himself and then rose from the ashes. I kind of adopted it as my personal motif, to reasons known only to a select few. It has nothing to do with a penchant for Harry Potter, I can assure you. The quote is from Maid of Orleans by the poet and playwright Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, an aesthete and friend of Goethe. His play, An die Freude, was the inspiration for the fourth movement of Beethoven's Ode To Joy.

Geez, I'm sorry I asked.

You should be.

Why do you hate religion so much?

I hate any kind of organization that attempts to breed fear and awe and at the same time preaches peace and tolerance. Religion is just one of the many institutions I despise. I also don’t like soccer, reality TV, or dancing.

So what do you do for a living? You can’t possibly make money off blogging.

Thanks for your vote of confidence in my chosen art form. In order to relieve my mounting credit card and student loan debts, I teach English Literature, American History and Creative Writing to a gifted and talented junior high school class in the Bronx. I also steal cutlery from restaurants and resell it on the black market.

You mention scotch a lot in your writing; are you an alcoholic?

I don’t believe in alcoholism. Drinking is an intentional act. So is eating, talking, and walking around in circles. People like to give medical labels to their actions to free themselves from responsibility. It sounds so much better to say, “I can’t help it, I’m an alcoholic”, than to say, “I’m an reckless asshole who needs attention.” Same goes for Anorexia, ADD, and any other self-anointed syndrome. You want to talk about compulsive behavior, let’s discuss those people who perpetually carry around little bottles of water like we all live in the fucking Sahara.

You’re kind of angry all the time. Were you beaten up a lot in school?

Yes. And then I took Karate lessons and bought a gun. You'd be surprised how often this simple solution eludes us.

Are you married?

Just to the sea. But currently accepting applications . If the last book you read was on tape, or you habitually eat soy anything, then I'm not interested. Please include a listing of your favorite Russian writer, Scotch Whisky, and Italian opera, along with a recent photograph that doesn't include cats or children in the foreground.

So, do you have any hobbies?

What is this, a first date? Yes, I enjoy launching high-speed ballistic projectiles toward an assortment of non-sentient targets. I also love leaving this country as often as possible by flying off to places with lots of K’s and Q’s in their names. Consequently, I have taken over twenty thousand photographs of native people wearing sheets and selling fruit. As noted above, I take pleasure in my single malt scotch and cooking elaborate dinners for myself using obscure ingredients from questionable sources. I also collect medieval edged weapons, play bass guitar, and am currently training my three hermit crabs (Rory, Weena and Clark) to be my unholy army of the night.

You know, you’re one hell of a writer…

Thank you.

You didn’t let me finish you arrogant prick. Have you written anything else that’s not web-related?

As a matter of fact I have. I’m an award-winning playwright and have been produced off-Broadway, my Master’s Thesis on Freudian Symbolism and Jungian Archetypes in Shakespearean Tragedies has recently been publicly published, and I’m currently working on a book recounting my experiences in the New York City Department of Education. If you know a literary agent, feel free to send him my way.

Are you a Democrat or Republican? Who did you vote for in the last election?

Fascist. Democrats are too radically stupid and Republicans have their heads too far up the Church’s ass to be taken seriously. Communists and Marxists are just pretentious college students in unwashed T-shirts. Libertarians would get a nod from me if they gave it a rest with the hemp agenda already. We get it, you’re trying to establish a voting bloc of 18-30 year old college educated males. I don’t vote because I think the idea of Democracy only works when you have an informed populace, which we clearly do not. If you put a WMD to my head and forced me to pick, however, I’d go with the GOP. They might be jingoistic megalomaniacs, but at least they’re not hypocritical, tax-wasting entitlement pimps. In all honesty, I think America would benefit from a good solid decade of Intellectual Hegemony.

Normal people don’t talk like this. What, do you do, sleep with a thesaurus?

No, a stuffed anteater named Maurice.

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