Friday, March 27, 2009

The 'uncultured fop' speaks again: Ban Good Omens

Good Omens
Ban The Book?
(Image from

Faithful readers know that I have previously called for banning John Milton's writings for inciting violence, and I must now also call for a ban on the book Good Omens.

I realize that a mere three days ago, I was praising the book for its positive portrayal of a character with the good name of Hodges, but I have since come to see darker aspects to this book. In my opinion, it encourages suicide bombing. Consider this scene depicting the death of Agnes Nutter:
Thirty seconds later an explosion took out the village green, scythed the valley clean of every living thing, and was seen as far away as Halifax.

There was much subsequent debate as to whether this had been sent by God or by Satan, but a note later found in Agnes Nutter's cottage indicated that any divine or devilish intervention had been materially helped by the contents of Agnes's petticoats, wherein she had with some foresight concealed eighty pounds of gunpowder and forty pounds of roofing nails. (Good Omens, page 109)
As Hillary Clinton might say, "it takes a village" out entirely! The problem is that are intended to like Agnes Nutter. Why, her name even appears in the book's subtitle: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Granted, she's called "Witch" . . . but that seems to be intended in a positive sense, else why would her 'prophecies' be called "nice"? Kind of like how my paternal grandmother was a water witch. But unlike my grandmother, not all witches are nice! Agnes Nutter's final act hardly seems nice at all! Yet, she is portrayed positively, even more so than Mary Hodges! We should therefore not be astonished to discover a statistical correlation between the publication of this book and an uptick in suicide bombings.

Unconvinced? Then, go read Scott Atran's article, "The Moral Logic and Growth of Suicide Terrorism" (The Washington Quarterly 29.2 (Spring 2006), 127-147). See especially page 128 for Table 1, and note that for the decade of the 1990s, the annual number of suicide bombings shot up from 4.7 for the period from 1981 to 1990 to 16 for the period 1991 to 2000.

Good Omens was published in 1990.

In calling for a ban on this book, I realize that I shall no doubt once again be called "an uncultured fop, a boob, an imbecile!!!" Such are the slings and arrows of outraged ill humor.

I can do no better than to quote myself on this:
"I'll continue tilting the windmills of my mind as I call on my partron saint, Don Quixote, that great knight beatified for ultimately recognizing the danger of unregulated books."
May other noble knights of Don Quixote's order join me.

Labels: , , , ,


At 4:16 AM, Blogger writtenwyrdd said...

Honestly, can you not perceive the inherent usefulness of this book? Think of it as genetic chlorine!

At 4:38 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'm not sure about that putative 'usefulnness'. Agnes Nutter had descendents, after all.

Fictional ones, anyway...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your note that Grandmother Nora Hodges was a water witch:
That is the hillbilly term for dowsing, or searching for water sources with rods.
At one time practically every well was "dowsed" to find the best water source in our area of north Arkansas.
I don't know much about this, but I did have an experience years ago.
Brother Woodrow, some other men, and I were remodeling a motel just north of the Fulton County (AR) hospital at Salem. Niece Velna was working there at the time.
We were needing to find the water line before the backhoe could dig.
One of the men said he could find it.
He cut two metal clothes hangers, bent one end at 90 degrees, straightened out the long end, held them in front of him, and started walking.
Sure enough, at one point the pieces crossed. He laid a rock down, and walked back and forth. After awhile he had a line of rocks.
Sure enough, the water line was there.
He said, "Here, Cran, try it." I didn't want to, but he finally persuaded me. Sure enough, as I walked, the pieces crossed!
Woodrow said, "Hey, Cran's a water witch." I put them down and haven't tried it again.
But my son Kevin, a licensed Civil Engineer said he and his associates did some of that, and it worked.
Don't ask me how or why.
But I didn't care to be called a "water witch," so my career in that field ended with one endeavor.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I recall hearing that story from Aunt Pauline . . . or possibly from Grandma Nora.

Speaking of stories, we're still waiting for that tornado tale.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon Cran,

Not such a bad fraternity. I suppose now we have at least three things in common.

Strange as it might seem, phone lines can be "witched" too. At least the old-fashioned copper wire ones could be. I never tried it with fiber optic though.

And rather than coat hangers the person who showed me insisted that I always use #6 AWG uninsulated ground wire (the size that one uses to ground less than 600 volts nominal). Other than that, the method is as Cran describes, well except that instead of rocks we used what is called "marking paint" bright orange.

The color I always imagine Cran's hair to be.

"Genetic chlorine!!??" Oh, my.


At 9:49 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, there's a worldwide brotherhood...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brother JK:

So we are ESP brothers, but not in the same coven, evidently.
My hair is childhood days was bleached white from the sun.
Later it became what little I have is again white.
There were a lot of supestitious beliefs in the generation prior to mine among the hill folks, often fervently believed. To express doubt about them could cause an angry reaction. And every community I know of has a legend of a lost gold or silver mine...and often a buried cache of money hidden. And there were always those who "almost knew" the location. One book I was reading that recorded some of these legends concluded by saying the real treasure was the tale itself.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

"There were a lot of supestitious beliefs in the generation prior to mine among the hill folks, often fervently believed."

I've also noticed this, even in close relatives among the hillbillies just one generation prior to mine, Uncle Cran.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't, won't even dare to approach the ESP thing Cran.

Too easy for some who read here to say something like, "Then why the two ex-wives JK? Didn't you know that guy was gonna jerk a knot in yer tail?"

I can witch water and phone lines though. I don't think it really has anything to do with anything "supestitious" though.

I think it has something to do with flowing electrons. That is, if I was asked.


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK and Uncle Cran, since you are both 'witches', maybe we all could sit for a spell next time I'm in the Ozarks.

I don't mean a seance. I mean talk.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Superstitions still prevail among some of the folks in our area, but it seems to be fading.
Unless you look at the current administration, who seem to think we can borrow our way out of debt.


At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think what the problem "might be" is that they've never looked in a horse's mouth before they bought one.

However, of course it is not "they" who're buying this one, it's us. So, apparently when using our dimes (multiplied by whatever constitutes a gazillion maybe?) there is no need to check the horse's teeth.


At 6:49 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

If we're entering into the realm of politics, JK and Uncle Cran, then we're no longer talking superstition but religion!

Let us therefore walk carefully in this realm where angels fear to tread.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Still waiting for that tornado tale."

My wounds haven't totally healed from the scourging following "The Great Watermelon Heist."
They are scabbed over, but another true, honest and thrilling tale so soon, and the resulting verbal beating would bring pain and bleeding.
I need more time.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Whining so soon? Well . . . we'll wait.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home