The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'folklore'
Seen in the comments for a blog piece about the renaming of a London Underground station, this piece of trivia and/or folklore:
The name Surrey Quays was coined by civil servants as a way of embarrassing the then Minister of Transport, Cecil Parkinson. The name alludes to his deserted mistress, Sarah Keys. It would be a pity to lose this snippet of history.I have no idea whether or not there is any truth in this, or whether it's one of those things that somebody made up because the world would be more interesting if it were true.
The Sussex Police are deploying extra officers in Brighton on nights where there is a full moon after the force's research showed a correlation between full moons and the frequency of violent incidents. No corresponding increase in lycanthropy has been reported, though an increase in violence has been found to occur on paydays (presumably because of people drinking portions of their paycheques).
The BBC has an thread, inviting readers to recount their favourite April Fools' jokes, and other miscellany, such as this almost Zen story:
Many many years ago, my cousin, a gullible young Factory Apprentice, was sent off to a distant corner of the plant, having been told to "ask old Joe for a long weight". Of course, Joe said "Hang on here, while I go and get it". Some two hours later, Joe returns, empty handed, cousin asks him where the long weight is. "You've just had it, mate".... (John, England)
The story of Stagolee (also known as Stagger Lee or Stack Lee), the 19th-century black pimp from St. Louis (real name: Lee Shelton), who became a legend and inspired every American musical genre from folk to gangsta-rap, not to mention cinema and the civil-rights movement:
The screen Cave adds to Stagolee tradition tells us more about the culture of the singer than it does of the culture of the song. Stagolee as African-American tradition is the screen that allows the projection to take place. "The reason why we [recorded it] was that there is already a tradition," said Cave. "I like the way the simple, almost naive traditional murder ballad has gradually become a vehicle that can happily accommodate the most twisted acts of deranged machismo. Just like Stag Lee himself, there seems to be no limits to how evil this song can become."
Amazing: A look at the folklore of homeless children, as handed down from child to child in streets and homeless shelters in Miami, kept secret from adults. The stories show a dark world of cosmic war, where God has been forced into exile by hordes of demons, Satan and the terrible Bloody Mary are at large, and outnumbered legions of angels are hiding in the Everglades; an angel named the Blue Lady is on the side of good, but can only help you if you know her true name, which nobody does. Very archetypal, and existing in very similar form.
No one knows why God has never reappeared, leaving his stunned angels to defend his earthly estate against assaults from Hell. "Demons found doors to our world," adds eight-year-old Miguel, who sits before Andre with the other children at the Salvation Army shelter. The demons' gateways from Hell include abandoned refrigerators, mirrors, Ghost Town (the nickname shelter children have for a cemetery somewhere in Dade County), and Jeep Cherokees with "black windows."
There is no Heaven in the stories, though the children believe that dead loved ones might make it to an angels' encampment hidden in a beautiful jungle somewhere beyond Miami. To ensure that they find it, a fresh green palm leaf (to be used as an entrance ticket) must be dropped on the beloved's grave.
Research by Harvard's Robert Coles indicates that children in crisis -- with a deathly ill parent or living in poverty -- often view God as a kind, empyrean doctor too swamped with emergencies to help. But homeless children are in straits so dire they see God as having simply disappeared. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam embrace the premise that good will triumph over evil in the end; in that respect, shelter tales are more bleakly sophisticated. "One thing I don't believe," says a seven-year-old who attends shelter chapels regularly, "is Judgment Day." Not one child could imagine a God with the strength to force evildoers to face some final reckoning.
Folklorists were so mystified by the Bloody Mary polygenesis, and the common element of using a mirror to conjure her, that they consulted medical literature for clues.
Darkness, despair and street violence. I'll be surprised if this isn't picked up as a Vertigo comic (or butchered into a dire Hollywood popcorn flick). (via Rebecca's Pocket)