This evening Cait and I took a break from papers to go listen to some presentations about Halloween. One of my friends from the lab had recruited me for this (more on that later), and I had in turn recruited Cait. Apparently the evening is one in a series of events put on between the University and the City of Cork at various historical buildings where they talk about holidays, the building, and other historyish stuff. Since it is nearly Halloween, the topic for this week would be a ghoulish and devilish, which ranged from one presenter talking about the history of executions in Ireland and Europe to another, who chose to speak extensively on witchcraft.
The former one was quite interesting. The latter one was filled with Cait elbowing me in the ribs and me pointing out that nearly all of these things have proper and practical explanations all while this woman went on and on about the role of the witch and her benefits, although I’m fairly sure any of the daughters of Gaia would have cringed (contrary to popular opinion, Wiccans are not the original witches–they’re actually an amalgamation of ideas put forward in literature in the early 1900s and canonized by the forming of secret societies mainly in the 1940s and 1950s if I remember correctly. Other than that the two are quite different and that Gaia is also the grandmother of Zeus, I’m not sure how any of that actually connects, and I’m not sure I’d care to invest the effort to find out. Also, the whole Gaia thing doesn’t make sense because it’s Greek mythology and I’m fairly sure somewhere in there Zeus ends up being his own step great-grandfather, son in law, and eighth cousin twice removed, so please let’s not get into that and find out way out of this parenthetical paragraph of doom).
There, end parenthesis. All is good in the world.
Anyway, the executioner began the presentations and pseudo witch–
Ok, I’m sorry, I have to interrupt myself again. I mean, really. Ireland, home to the birthplace of Halloween, home of the Druids. All sorts of rich, twisted, frankly scare-the-pants-off-of-you history and folklore, and she goes with the whole Wiccan thing? Why? She started off explaining that they really have nothing to do with Halloween, and she’s completely right, but that’s about where it stops. Why not talk about the Druid priests, who were very much connected with Halloween? Why not talk about all of the creepy folklore perpetuated about the evilness of the Druids on Halloween, and how there’s a huge schism between the folklore human sacrifice and the real deal? (Hint: don’t be a bad king if you’re ruling over Druid people. They’ll kill you ritualistically if the crops are too bad for too long.) Why Wiccans?
–the executioner began the presentations, and the pseudo witch finished them off, and then everyone got up and began moving around. There were a variety of exhibits around the periphery of the presentation area, and Cait and I had been set up in one of those. You see, my friend from the lab had discovered I do moulage, or blood guts and gore makeup. Since Cait had seen this photo, she really wanted me to do a combination of that with a porcelain doll, so the cracks and missing porcelain pieces would reveal the icky gicky underneath it. So, since I had been invited to do a demonstration at this event, we went ahead and did a trial run of her face. Overall, it made me miss having Kryolan products at my disposal, but it still looked pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
The real test will be how well it will last on Halloween. For now, however, it’s time to get back to that pesky Government paper.