Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Them Wolves Are Howlin'--BOO!

The scariest thing about Halloween or any time of year, for that matter, are not goblins, ghosts, witches, lost souls, in-betweeners, black cats, or any other creature mythic or otherwise. Y'all know as well as I do that the scariest creatures on earth are people. And scary people are scary all year round. (Although, it is funny that election season is just right around the corner from Halloween, isn't it?)

In magic and in some mythologies, it's popular to align oneself with an animal "familiar." In the Harry Potter series these creature-alter-egos are summoned as a "Patronus", which wards off evil or acts as a counterspell. Each character wields a different Patronus; one young wizard is a rabbit, I think Ms. Granger is an otter, and Harry I believe is a unicorn or some other large hoofed animal.

Anyway it would be interesting to see what animals we might align ourselves with. Back several months there was an internet quiz rash among bloggers who wanted to find out what animal they were in a past life. Evidently, the highly scientific and foolproof method for determining this is simple: you enter your birth date and year, and voila, your secret self revealed.

I was a horse. "You can't be fenced in - you long to run free.You are good at overcoming obstacles and realizing your potential." Well, true enough, even for a gimmick.

Halloween brings to mind other animals, though, like wolves and howling things. Wolves are truly majestic beautiful animals -- at least to their own kind, and to the rest of us from a distance, on our Sierra Club calendars or favorite sweatshirts. It is sometimes easy to forget that by nature they are vicious killers along the food chain. That's their lot. They stop at nothing to destroy whatever they perceive to be in the way of "protecting" their "pack," and take whatever they need to survive. They have to be in charge of their domain. Lone wolves are often portrayed as unhappy campers; the term even refers to renegade personalities who can't seem to fit in anywhere despite their contributions (the rest of us might call some of these folks, "entrepreneurs".) Poor Professor Lupin comes to mind -- the despairing werewolf.

We are surrounded by wolves. You can hear them howling over gas prices as they load up their big honkin' SUVS, crooning as they buy up land to develop, circling the next small group of free thinkers, trading up, trading sideways, trading off. Greed, power, aggression, and narrow-mindedness (they might say, "singularity of purpose") are the hallmarks of these wolves.

They're everywhere, and their closing in.

I wish I could forget about them for a while by getting to the Bruce Molsky/Nickel Creek show tonight at the Renaissance in Mansfield, about an hour away. I'm guessing that he would play this tune since it's fitting for a spooky night. Maybe after I'm done tricking and treating any little goblins who come to my door, I'll open a Great Lakes Nosferatu ale and try this tune myself.

I especially like the high cry on the fiddle in the first half of the tune. I'm not likely going to be able to get that right anytime soon, but it will be fun to try.

So, enjoy your night, hope it brings more treats than tricks. Remember to beware the wolves...

One on the hill and two in the holler,
Their gonna get you, bet you a dollar

Wolves A Howlin'

**UPDATE #1: 8 p.m.: Hot diggity dog, I do believe it's in A! Yeeehaw! I can do that!**

**UPDATE #2: 8:35 p.m.: DAMMIT! It IS in G. Bastards....time for that beer...

**UPDATE: #3: 9:26 p.m.: Ok, it's not that bad. Then I learned an A tune called "Buckin Dun". I'm going to get my jams on, finish my beer, and read HP VII. The ministry just fell. Trouble is coming. Probably, wolves.


At October 31, 2007 2:56 PM, Anonymous other said...

society raises carnivores. Only a few step out of the mainstream and quit.

"...There are always gonna be a lot more dumb people than there are smart people, and we ain't many" ~ Ken Kesey

At October 31, 2007 3:43 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

The wolves are counting on the very thing Kesey aptly points out. They know most folks are either too stupid, too busy, or too tired to know what's happening or to defend themselves with a little extra effort. Sometimes we're too kind to make a fuss.

So I remind myself that, as noble as a wolf may appear, or as much right as he has to be on the planet as I do, he'd just as soon slit open my belly to feed his family as let me live my life my way, or anyway.

At November 01, 2007 6:13 AM, Blogger Blueberry said...

I believe that we are surrounded by the wolves, and are the wolves ourselves.

My Patronus would probably be a Wildebeest. purpose in life: fast food for predators. [sigh]

At November 01, 2007 4:01 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Good point, Blueberry. At some point we're all defending our territory. I guess the distinction would come in how much territory each of us feels they need to gain control over.

LOL, wildebeest? Are those beer drinking herbivores?

At November 02, 2007 4:51 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

Wildebeest = Gnu. They may as well knock a few beers back given their lot in life. They are "good gnus" for crocodiles, hyenas and lions.

At November 03, 2007 9:28 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Owwwww! I gnu that was coming.


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