When God spells Dog

Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1 by Armen Melikian
This is sillier than A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but the jokes are hyperpedantic and theological rather than technical and sociological — OK, a bit of literate silliness can be fun. But this is the kind of copophragic humor and irreverence I remember from 1st grade, when we thought "underwear" was a terribly funny and naughty thing to say. Here the naughty joke is that "Dog" is "God." And maybe Satan isn't so bad.

Other reviewers have loved this book (see the publisher's Journey to Virginland page), so maybe you will too.

I didn't.


Taking our minds off real-life woes

We're in the midst of a silly annual festival here in Carboneras, when townspeople dress up as "Moors" and "Christians" of some vague earlier age and, after days of mock-solemn processions (the kids love getting into the costumes, but the adults look like they're having the most fun), stage two battles on the beach and negotiations between the opposing leaders (who have to stay steady on horseback, while all dressed up in stage armor with plumes and capes) in front of a mock-up of a local castle. Tomorrow we will get to see the battles: in the morning, the Moors "invade" by landing on the beach in a little boat and threaten the Christians with stealing their image of St. Anthony. After a lot of elaborate speeches, the two teams run at each other, waving toy swords, and some of the Christians are supposed to fall down, and the Moors celebrate their triumph. But in the afternoon the Christians regroup and, again running at each other on the beach, they win. This is supposed to be a re-enactment of a real historical event, probably in the 17th century.

Here's a clip from 2010 to give you an idea. It's a great way to take everybody's mind off the deepening economic crisis. The great thing is that, unlike real life, everybody who participates gets to win: the "Moors" in the morning, the "Christians" in the afternoon, and the costumes are fun.