Deep wisdom from Hozuki no Reitetsu

We still haven’t seen a significant appearance from the cute office-lady who has a prominent place in the opening. She got a little screen time during Episode 2, but given her position in the opening, I would expect her to be a major character.

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Episode 4 is mostly about wise proverbs, some of which are deeper than others.

Continue reading Deep wisdom from Hozuki no Reitetsu

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Pet Shop of Horrors Ki-Rin are not really horses, but happy Year of the Horse anyway

The Lunar New Year is upon us. It is the Year of the Horse.

A Ki-Rin is a mythical creature with some slight resemblance to a horse, and there’s a Ki-Rin in Pet Shop of Horrors, so the Year of the Horse is a good time to discuss Pet Shop of Horrors.

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Continue reading Pet Shop of Horrors Ki-Rin are not really horses, but happy Year of the Horse anyway

Wizard Barristers Episode 3: No, BOOM!

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Stress-activated super-power awakening is a celebrated stereotype of 20th-century fiction. The excellent textbook Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga names this trope “No, Boom,” because a potential super-heroine is put under stress, to which she screams, “NO!” and then her telekinetic super-powers awaken and destroy the bad guys with a huge “BOOM!”
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Hermetic magic is often just a method of focusing willpower on fine-arts projects — as seen in Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles


“You know in the twenties Magicians still had style. Turbans, tuxedos and tarts in tiaras. Smashing times. Now it’s all Sigils, stubble and self abuse.”

-Alan Moore, probably making fun of Grant Morrison

[Moore saw himself as similar to the Golden Dawn occultists of the 1920s, and Morrison’s style is notorious for its use of sigils.]

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Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles starts out rather strongly, but quickly becomes self-indulgent.

It starts off with a working-class, blond Cockney boy – kind of like a young John Constantine with longer hair.
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Continue reading Hermetic magic is often just a method of focusing willpower on fine-arts projects — as seen in Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles

when we get a gift from the spirit, we don’t choose which gift we get, and we don’t design our own blueprint

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Vulture writes:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

When we do carpentry, we see the wood we are working with, and we can draw up a blueprint well in advance. We have a range of tools laid out on the bench – hammer, saw, sandpaper – and we can choose which tool we want to use.

Conversely, when we get a gift from the spirit, we don’t choose which gift we get, and we don’t design our own blueprint.

A lot of Christians worry about “magic” or “occult” studies, because it seems to them that the “magician” is trying to choose gifts of the spirit, when he ought to simply accept whatever spirit gives with great passivity.

http://vultureofcritique.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/signs-and-wonders-dont-mean-trustworthy-but-they-sure-beat-a-whole-pile-of-hot-air-and-mob-psychology/

Continue reading when we get a gift from the spirit, we don’t choose which gift we get, and we don’t design our own blueprint

Altair and Vega and an awesome analysis of gratitude

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Altair and Vega wrote a really great post last year, and I feel the need to quote it at length

http://altairandvega.net/2013/08/07/the-guilt-of-consumption-the-responsibility-of-dominion/
 

In this season’s The Eccentric Family (Uchōten Kazoku | 有頂天家族), we follow a family of shape-shifting Japanese raccoon dogs. Yasaburō, the narrator and main character who poses as a young human, spends his days avoiding and cavorting and playing with Benten, the powerful and dangerous psychic woman seen in the image above. The dialogue between the two is brisk and spry, with a back and forth that moves at a nice clip. But none of that is remarkable on its face to me, until we understand that she ate the young raccoon dog’s father in a year-end ritual meal and that it is common knowledge in their community.

She is an antagonist of sorts, but she isn’t villainous. From our (and Yasaburō’s) perspective she did something monstrous, but she isn’t hated. No one holds a grudge or any malice toward her, despite the love and esteem everyone at large held for the eaten tanuki. Instead, our protagonist seems to find her dangerous yet alluring, a sentiment that I and the show share. Part of what fascinates me about her is that despite her power and de facto rule over the creatures of Kyoto she seems plagued by doubt, apprehension, guilt, over actions committed and desires unacted. In a memorable scene in episode five, she laments the fact that she will at some point eat Yasaburō. Proclaiming that both despite and because of her affection for him, she wishes to eat him, but that once that happens, he’ll be gone.

It’s a moment of capricious whimsy from a fickle deity that seems inherently contradictory, but not entirely.

Continue reading Altair and Vega and an awesome analysis of gratitude

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