Odious and Peculiar

Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.



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Saturday, May 19, 2007
 
A public service announcement. Somehow we have avoided commenting on the efforts of various outbreaks of penis-stealing. I meant to say something in March, but life was going on and now the Nigerian Daily Independent article seems to be down.

"But Odious," I hear you say (yes, the devices I had installed have audio), "what on earth can you contribute to this issue, so vital in our troubled times? If true, can you prevent this atrocious supernatural crotch-yeggery? If false, what else can be said on the subject?"

You've got some nerve, mister. And anyway, you're wrong! As an eternal Scarlet Letter on the breasts of those who claim that a liberal arts education, particularly a truncate one, is useless, I can reliable reassure the victims that privy-pinching is only an illusion.
There is no doubt that certain witches can do marvellous things with regard to male organs, for this agrees with what has been seen and heard by many, and with the general account of what has been known concerning that member through the senses of sight and touch. And as to how this thing is possible, it is to be said that it can be done in two ways, either actually and in fact, as the first arguments have said, or through some prestige or glamour. But when it is performed by witches, it is only a matter of glamour; although it is no illusion in the opinion of the sufferer. For his imagination can really and actually believe that something is not present, since by none of his exterior senses, such as sight or touch, can he perceive it as present.
Straight the horses'... mouths of Messrs. Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger. Let the Malleus Maleficarum be your guide, gentlemen; let not this genital jiggery-pokery bring you anxious days and restless nights. This sort of thing goes on for pages.

The Hammer, by the way, is among the worst reading material I've ever come across. I take a pretty sunny view of the Middle Ages (so far as centuries of heterogenous human existence permits of summary judgment), but the Hammer is the sort of thing that makes me reconsider. Imagine Aristotle on an off day, writing justifications for Stalin. That's the Hammer. The Papal Bull (oh! I faint for aptness!) that begins it does not bring ease, either.
And although Our dear sons Henry Kramer and James Sprenger, Professors of Theology, of the Order of Friars Preachers, have been by Letters Apostolic delegated as Inquisitors of these heretical pravities, and still are Inquisitors, the first in the aforesaid parts of Northern Germany, wherein are included those aforesaid townships, districts, dioceses, and other specified localities, and the second in certain territories which lie along the borders of the Rhine, nevertheless not a few clerics and lay folk of those counties...are not ashamed to contend with the most unblushing effrontery that these enormities [straying from the Catholic Faith, abandoning themselves to devils, incubi, and succubi, by incantations, spells, conjurations, and other accursed charms and crafts slaying infants in the womb, calves, grapes, beasts of burthen, orchards, meadows, pastureland, corn, wheat and all other cereals--you get the idea. O.] are not practiced in those provinces....
Thanks for clearing that up, Innocent VIII. People claim there aren't any witches around here? The effrontery!

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