I’d like to say Thank You

For those who don’t know, today is the day in history in which Anton LaVey shuffled off this mortal coil in 1997, but that’s not what I’m here for really focus on. Instead, I’d like to say thank you.

Something that really amazes me is that LaVey created Satanism and was able to pull me into a religion 20 years after his death! (I joined last year). Talk about some strong lesser magic. I remember looking through the various pages on the Church of Satan site and being entranced by the pictures of LaVey in these dark, interesting photos, surrounded by imagery that many would call “creepy”.

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Photo Credit: Church of Satan Archives 

Well, I thought they were damn cool! I was drawn further into the Church of Satan because this man was presenting himself as confident, dark, and creative, which was something I saw in myself as well. I wanted to know more.

I realize now that this is the second layer of defense that LaVey had against those he didn’t want in the Church of Satan, the first being the name. If you can hear that title, see the Satanic imagery and still want to learn more, then you might be a Satanist. Probably not, but maybe. Once you allow yourself to sink into the darkness and have fun with it, you can get down into the beliefs into the Church of Satan, which are nothing more than (seemingly) obvious.

Some people say that they find themselves within a religion and I just gotta say, that’s total bullshit. I didn’t find myself within The Satanic Bible, but I saw me. I saw LaVey sitting down with a glass of red wine, creating a religion for himself that was able to reach past his death, 20 years into the future, and touch me. I didn’t need a name for how I was living my life, because I was always going to be living in a Satanic manner, but I had the name Satanism because of Anton LaVey.

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Photo Credit: Church of Satan Archives

I saw those people around me worshipping an idea that never seemed to actually do anything but was still given all the credit and that pissed me off. I saw people harming others and forcing their ideas onto others in the name of this idea and that pissed me off. LaVey saw this, too, and created something else. I am the god that must be worshipped. I am the god that can change tides and move mountains and I WILL be given credit where credit is due.

So, thank you Dr. LaVey, for seeing clearly. Thank you for taking what I was feeling my whole life and putting it to paper, decades before I was a glimmer in my mama’s eye. Thank you for being unapologetic about who you were and what you enjoyed. Thank you for creating The Satanic Bible and the Church of Satan so that I might eventually wander through its proverbial doors and discover I was already there, leafing through the pages.

There are various hats I wear in various times in my life. Downtown Party Lauren isn’t the same as Teaching Children Lauren isn’t the same as Lighting Designer Lauren, but one thing I always keep with me is the words written by Anton LaVey, as the teachings of Satanism, the ones I felt but never had the words for, will always inform my decisions.

So, thank you to Anton LaVey, and also to the rest of the founding members that have taken up the torch since LaVey passed. It is because of them that young folks, like me, were able to finally have the word to describe who we are: Satanist.

Have a wonderful rest of your Monday, my Darling Devils, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hail Anton LaVey!

HS!

LH

I Hate Nazis

I can’t believe I have to say this. Honestly, I haven’t had anybody say that I am connected to Nazis since my school years when kids would make fun of my extremely german last name. Back then I would just laugh at them for being unoriginal and shrug it off. I knew the kids didn’t think I was hateful or a murderer.

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A few weeks ago I was poking around on Twitter when I saw that somebody was making comments on my friend Sophie’s tweet, trying to say that the Church of Satan and its members were Nazis. It was really pissing me off because I am not a nazi. I am a Democrat and also not a monster.

Now, the Holocaust is interesting in a “peek into the mind of a maniac” sort of way, but the acts committed by Nazis and in the name of Hitler were astoundingly cruel and horrific. That makes me a student of history, not a Nazi.

But this person decided to go on and say that since the Church of Satan may contain members with Nazi sympathies, it is a Nazi organization. Um, no, that’s not how anything works. If we were to apply the same logic to everything else, the world would fall apart. Organizations all over the world have members that may have ideas or values that the organization doesn’t share.

An example: Most Nazis are Christian but Christians would take offense if you were to say that being Christian makes them a Nazi because they don’t kick the Nazis out of Christianity. An easier example: A square is a rectangle but not every rectangle is a square.

I am a very firm believer that people should be able to make their own choices in life. This may be because I had an abusive stepdad who wanted to control me and my mother and due to him, I put a lot of value in freedom. I dye my hair different colors because I don’t want to be constrained to black, brown, or blonde. Sometimes that means living in a world where I disagree with others.

Now, does that mean I would condone the banning of non-halal foods because Muslims decided that they don’t want them on the shelves anymore? No. Just like I don’t agree with Nazis that white people are the master race or whatever. I think that’s a disgusting ideal and I’m horrified anybody would compare me to a Nazi.

Maybe there are Nazis in the Church of Satan, I don’t know, because I am not responsible for who the Church of Satan decides to allow into their ranks. Nor do I have the power to kick Nazis out of the Church of Satan. If low-level members like me had that power, I’m sure the Nazis would have used it by now.

The members of the Church of Satan are not one hive mind. Sure, there are some values that we share such as The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth and The Nine Satanic Statements, but they mean something different to each individual Satanist. If you were to ask Reverend Campbell to interpret the Seventh Satanic Rule of the Earth and then asked Citizen Nero to do the same, their answers would probably be different.

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Humans consume the world through different filters. These can be race, religion, socioeconomic status, childhood experience, privet vs public school, city vs farm living, and so much more. Because of these lenses, information is processed differently from person to person and no two people’s experiences can be the same. To say that all Satanists are one thing because you saw one Satanist do the thing is a sign of a small mind.

So, what can I do if I don’t want to be labeled a Nazi? The guy who prompted this post said that I am appeasing the Nazis because I’m not doing anything to get them out of my Church. That is if there even are any because I really haven’t looked into it. That’s not a productive way to spend my energy.

Well, I’m a teacher and I am using that influential position to make a better future. I am introducing them to plays and scripts that make them think and challenge their world view. We learn about the ways theatre was shaped in different regions of the world and how culture is a huge part of putting on a production. I am working on creating a world where Nazis can’t exist.

Reverend Campbell posted a video today where he discusses The Satanic Warlock of the Year award and what he is looking for in candidates. One thing that was on my mind a lot today was looking at what you’ve done in the real world and not within the world of Satanism. I really recommend watching the video because he’s spot on. I’m not just trying to drive Nazis out of the Church of Satan, I’m trying to drive that sort of thinking out of the entire world. To focus on JUST changing the little Satanic bubble you live in would be short-sited. I am focused on much larger prizes.

So go change the world, my Sweet Satanists, whatever that means to you.

HS!

LH

I Had a Choice of Chairs

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Conferences have begun. For my school district, this means the middle and high school teachers line the edges of the gym, all at white, fold-out desks with two white, fold-out chairs facing us. It’s a drab, depressing scene. We wait for hours during the week, all trying to busy ourselves between the parents. Of my 40 students, I may speak with 5 families over the week. There are only two unique aspects of each desk during conference week; the names taped to the side and the rolling chairs each teacher brings from their classroom.

The name on my desk is spelled wrong. For some reason, they’ve switched the ‘E’ and the ‘I’ around at the end and while this may not be the end of the world, it is an annoying mistake at a school. Another issue is that my classroom is located far away and would make for an overly difficult trip with my rolling chair. Because of this, the women who work in the office kindly allowed me to grab a chair from the conference room.

I was presented with a choice of three chairs. The first chair did not roll or adjust in any way, nor did the cushions on any of them look particularly healthy anymore. In fact, they were in various states of disrepair, appearing to have been purchased over 30 years ago. The second was your average rolling chair. It appeared to have serviced many butts over the years, though not as old as the first chair, and the cushions were still in fair condition. It was an unassuming chair that would do just fine. I nearly took that one before considering the chair at the head of the table.

It was the only one in the room and very obviously where the Principal would sit during meetings. It was a beautiful chair. Its cushions were plump and colored a rich black. There were no obvious wear and tear marks on it yet and the back support and height adjusted. It was a big, comfy chair.

I thought about how long I would be sitting in that stuffy, loud gym and my butt begin to ache. I took the big chair. The Principal won’t be needing it while we are in conferences because he doesn’t have a desk in the gym and could just grab the chair out of his office right next door. I deserve to be comfortable while I’m taking time out of my day in order to sit around waiting for parents who will never come.

I think any Satanist would pick the big, comfy chair. It suits us to be comfortable.

I’m Afraid

Life is scary. There are a lot of ways to get hurt and killed out there, and we are more aware of that these days than ever before due to how quickly information can spread. Every day I look at my Twitter feed and see numerous headlines such as “Texas water resort closed, tested for ‘brain-eating amoeba’ after man’s death“, “Facebook just had its worse hack ever — and it could get worse“, and “Seven parked cars set on fire in Redmond” and my brain instantly goes “well, what would we do if that happened?”. Well, I don’t know, but maybe I should know.

My day is filled with dangers. I could slip in fall in the shower or just be straight up murdered in my sleep. Every day I drive 45 minutes to and from work, either on the freeway or the nerve-wracking Chuckanut Drive. It’s a wonderfully beautiful area

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From the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

right edge of the Puget Sound and surrounded by forests, but the road has a lot of twists and turns. The lanes are very small and the road follows a steep cliff, which makes passing large trucks very scary.

The best part is that my car is one of the deadliest to drive these days. To be fair, I’m looking to buy a new one soon but I really needed a new mattress. I know that doesn’t seem as important as a new car, but you should have slept on my old mattress.

Back to danger. So, I work at a school and that makes me nervous due to the school shootings that have occurred. I worry about keeping my students safe and what we would do if something were to happen. I have a plan, but I worry anyway.

If I go out, I could be drugged (that’s happened twice to me), I could get hit by a drunk driver, I could be raped or murdered for denying a man, or sold into the illegal sex trade.

When I’m in the theatre, I could fall from the ladder, lift, or catwalk, which range from 10 feet up to 60 feet up, depending on the location. I could start a fire and die

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From McIntyre Hall. This is one of the theatres I work in. See the catwalk above the house?

from that in various ways. I could be electrocuted. I could get hit by something coming in from the fly system. Also you can just be murdered anywhere, so just add that mentally from now on.

There are many, many diseases all over the world that could destroy my life and leave me in agony for my raining days. There are animals that can sting you, bite you, poison you, paralyze you, brutalize your body and/or murder you. I’m looking at you, Australia.

My greatest fear in the world is dying before my mother followed closely by getting in a violent car accident and burning alive. My phobias are spiders, bees, and clowns/mascots.

The thing is, I still drive to work every day to teach children. I still go 60 feet up onto the catwalk in the theatre and lean five feet out to gel a lamp. I still want to travel and eat new foods! There’s too much to do and see for me to say, but my bucket list is long. There’s a lot I’ve already done, too, like driving across country in 18-wheelers and performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

I live my life aware of the possible hazards and I think about what I would do in situations, but I don’t live my life as if it will happen every time I step out of the house. That’s no way to enjoy what the universe has to offer.

Go for a drive down Chuckanut if you’re ever in Bellingham, but pay attention to the road and wear your seatbelt. Have a belt-cutter and a way to break your window in case you crash into the water. If you’re prepared, you’ll be okay.

Case in point: Last winter my boyfriend and I were driving home from a party in Seattle. It was really, really snowy and he’s driving slower, but we came to a big hill on I-5 (just past the Starboard road exit if you’re familiar) and at the bottom, I felt the car start to slip. Dylan started to panic a little and I watched the trees and the lights of oncoming traffic as we spun towards the median. He was trying to correct

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and hit the break, so I very calmly said to take his foot off the break and keep his hands still. Eventually, we came to a stop facing traffic, though it was really far up the road. After a breath, we continued. This time, much slower. We passed other cars that night that had spun out. Some had gone into the trees, others into guard rails or just straight off the road. When we made it home, I almost cried.

My point here is that I was able to be calm because I was prepared. I wasn’t afraid, even as it was happening. I distinctly remember feeling a crisp, chilly weight in my stomach and feeling very even. I was the calm within the storm and we didn’t go off the road.

So, what I’m trying to say is to go out and live your life, just be prepared.

Okay, off to school. I’ll talk to you later, my Darling Devils.

HS!

LH

 

I Hate Lady-fied Words

In the Theatre, we have sort of moved away from using “actress”. Some people still use it if a bunch of actors are in a room and they need to point at a lady next to a bunch of dudes and need to distinguish her from the others, but normally we’d just describe the actor.

People very obviously get irritated when people say things such as “Female Prosecutor” and “Woman Professor” because it indicated that having a woman as whatever is being described is abnormal. For example, “I was driving to Wal-Mart and this fucking lady truck driver cut me off!”. Now, I’m not saying the speaker hates women, it just implies that truck drivers can’t be ladies and people get pissed at that.

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So, can we just all agree to stop lady-fying words that are perfectly fine as they are. I was on Twitter recently and somebody had tweeted something that called a woman a “Shero”. They had mixed together “Hero” and “She” in order to lady-fy it and I’m sure they meant to do it in order to fight the patriarchy but here’s the thing: Hero is not a gendered word. I’m a lady and if ever anybody calls me a hero for some reason, my reaction would not be “excuse me, sir, but I am a woman”.

Hero comes from the Greek and meant “Protector” or “Defender”, though I did find one definition that translated it as “Safeguard”. It’s just a word and a word that doesn’t contain, at least in my eyes, any sexism.

Another example of this is “Shemale’ which is an informal, offensive way to describe a guy who looks feminine, a masculine woman, a trans woman, and more. This does have an offensive, sexist definition and is a word that I do not use. It’s a word that is meant to hurt people and separate them into something not normal.

So, this blending of words in order to make them feminist is very strange. I know some words were created with the idea of “women are lesser” in mind, but I don’t think we should be gendering somebody’s greatest moment.

Let’s say you’re a woman and you’ve done something amazing. You’re a firefighter who saved a kid from a burning building and the news is interviewing you and they ask you “What does it like to be a Shero?”. That would irritate me because it’s taking attention away from the incredible act. It makes people think about “wait, Shero. What’s that. Oh, because she’s a woman who is a hero”. I don’t want them thinking about that! I would want them thinking about how I’m an amazing firefighter! I’m not, but ya know what I’m saying.

So, let’s maybe focus on some more important shit like how a lying sex-offender is controlling The United States.

I’ll be back later, my Lovely Lucifers.

HS!

LH

This is my “Me Too”

Listen, if this post isn’t something you want to hear about, click away now. I don’t want shitty comments on here because it isn’t productive. So if you’re going to be a twat, find the nearest exit (which may be behind you) and exit the plane.

So, I had a man force himself on me. I know, I’m being very blunt but I don’t want to sugarcoat this in any way.

Two years ago I was on the bus home from University and, as we were rounding a corner, the bus made a really scary sound and everybody’s eyes snapped up. I happened to make eye-contact with a guy we will call Jackson. Jackson had really pretty blue eyes and made a little worried face that made me laugh a bit, so we started talking.

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When the bus stopped, we got off and started walking the same way. Then we kept walking the same way until we were at my apartment door and, as it happened, so was he! Jackson was my across-the-hall neighbor. We spoke a few times and I found out he was a Marine and was a business major. He wasn’t somebody I saw myself with, but I thought he was nice enough.

Not long after meeting, he invited me over to watch Aladdin. Though, we didn’t watch it in the living room because “his neighbors get jealous when he brings women over” so we watched it in his bedroom. Whatever, I understood hiding from my roommates because I, too, had roommates that preferred their privacy.

Well, that’s when he started trying to have sex with me. I said no and it happened anyway. That’s all I’ll say about that. After, I ran home and went to sleep. I think I had a drink and a cigarette before sleeping. I just wanted to go to bed and wake up and move on. Nobody would believe a sailor could do such a thing, right? And girls made stuff up all the time… right? So I was told.

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I went to great pains to avoid Jackson and my grades and work suffered. I was often late because I was hiding away. Eventually, I stopped seeing him and figured he had moved out. Later, I met a girl in a Technical Writing class who had been one of his roommates. It turns out he had done the same thing to her that he did to me.

I also found out he had killed himself.

When I googled his name, I found his obituary and real all the loving comments below. I thought about saying something and revealing the monster that had ruined my life but I didn’t. There was no point anymore, was there?

I still don’t trust everybody and I have a hard time with some sexual things, especially near the anniversary. I’ve moved on a lot and I know it’ll be okay later, but the scars are still there.

I’m not asking for sympathy or whatever, I just wanted to tell my story and let those who may be going through this now that you’ll be okay and to urge them to report it. You’ll be okay. I promise.

The thing is, he could have gone somewhere with me if he had been patient.

Have a good Sunday, my Darling Devils.

HS!

LH

I Love Horror Movies

Oh my goodness, do I love myself some horror movies. They’ve been an important part of my life ever since I was a little girl and my Dad showed me Scream, which Mom wasn’t super happy about. Though Ghost Face still scares me to this day, as does the girl from The Grudge, I watch a horror at least once a week with my boyfriend. He actually has a blog, Jurassic Massacre 3, that reviews and delves into various movies that fall into horror/thriller genres.

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All that being said, I’ve seen a few horror movies in my time and I thought I’d share with you some of my favorites and why I love them. I meant to have this posted yesterday, but I found it too hard to pick just 10. It’s time for:

Lauren’s Top Ten Horror Movies*

* For now

10) Scream (1996)

As I said before, this was the first Horror movie I ever remember watching and it still scares the crap out of me. I think that’s because I saw it when I was so young. I, now, appreciate it for what it is: A scary movie that pokes fun at scary movies while still, purposefully, falling into those tropes. It’s a fun film that you don’t have to take seriously but still manages to scare. I like to watch this one a lot during Halloween Month (October) as it puts me in a spooky mood and allows me to hide from the rain.

9) The Grudge (2004)

J-Horror scares the crap out of me because of the types of spirits depicted and their use of atmosphere to creep out the audience instead of falling back onto the jump scare. This movie gets me more than any other in the genre because of the damn sound the woman makes. That long, choked inhale will stick with me through the night and I’ll end up scaring myself more than the movie scared me as I imagine where she might be hiding.

8) The Thing (1982)

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The most impressive part of this movie is the practical effects. I have a deep love for practicals because they just look so much better on-screen and age better than CGI and others. I come from the theatre community and we don’t get the luxury of adding or taking away whatever we want in Post because it’s all, obviously, live! That means we have to work extra hard to trick audiences into believing whatever world we are creating. If theatre can, movies can. The Thing is a prime example of what a movie can look like when practical effects are used. The 2011 version is the opposite.

7) Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Now, don’t come at me saying the original is also better. Trust me, I know the argument. I like this one more because it has more replay value, to use video game terms. There’s a bit of humor, some amazing set pieces, and gore that will make your stomach try to escape your body. This is also a great example of a movie not treating its audience like children as there’s very little explanation as to what’s going on or who we should care about. Well, other than the text scrolling in the beginning but I let that slide because it was in the original.

6) Sinister (2012)

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Damn, what a creepy movie. As I have said before, I’m not a huge fan of jump scares because I think they’re a cheap way to scare people and this movie has very few of them. Every detail of the movie is designed to make you feel off. The entire movie takes place in the house (until the end) in order to make you feel claustrophobic; the movie is generally quiet and the music to enhance the terror, not be the scare. I really like the use of color and darkness, too, as everything seems to have a grey wash to it and there are times when the lack of light makes the viewer feel closed in upon.

5) 1408 (2007)

This movie has a crappy rating on Rotten Tomatoes for some reason but I really like it! Basically, it’s John Cusack v An Evil Room. The effects didn’t age well and there are parts that seem a little silly, but I really love the concept presented as well as how they are executed. This movie is also able to make you really sad as you follow the main character through the torture he endures within the room. What’s really cool about this movie is that the set never gets boring, even though the action mostly takes place within the room.

4) Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Alright, I know I already put a horror/comedy making fun of horror movies on this list but I don’t care what you say because this movie his amazing. I really love the overall concept of this movie and if you haven’t seen it, go give it a watch, especially if you’re a horror fan. This movie tips its hat to the horror movies that have come before while also screaming for change. There are also characters worth rooting for and a bunch of tiny details that show just how much thought went into the script. Well, except the eagle part.

3) As Above, So Below (2014)

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So, this movie made me nervous at first because it is shot like a documentary and I was worried I was going to be thrown into shaky-cam hell, which, other than a short piece at the start, I wasn’t! The movie takes place in the catacombs under Paris, which is actually where they filmed a majority of the scenes, so the production value of this movie is astounding. The real human bones in each shot, combined with knowing they are far underground, adds to the feeling of being trapped. Basically, these people are looking for the Philosopher’s Stone and get trapped and have to go through Hell to get out. “The only way out is down”.

2) Night of the Living Dead (1968)

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My grandma and I used to have something called Crappy Movie Night when I was young. We would go the used book store and get an old horror movie. This is how I saw Night of the Living Dead and instantly fell in love. This was great! The zombies weren’t scary alone but as they grew in numbers, the living inside become the real threat. Man, it’s a great film! I loved zombies ever since then and still plan different ZA escapes depending on where I am. Plus I love sad endings. The best part about this movie? I got to meet Barbra.

1) Tusk (2014)

This is the best horror movie ever made. I watched it for the 7thtime last night and I noticed two more details that I hadn’t seen before. I really don’t want to spoil this movie so I’m just going to tell you what it does correctly. First of all, it’s a great idea. There’s something believable about the plot, even though it seems insane. You, as a viewer, feel the pain of the main character on physical and emotional levels and it’s impactful because the movie takes the time to round out its characters. Second, the camera work is perfection. The angles, frames, and close-ups aren’t frivolous and tell you exactly what’s going on and who’s in charge… if you pay attention. Third, IT’S SO FUCKED UP. This is my favorite movie.

Here’s all you need to know: Justin Long gets turned into a walrus.

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That’s all for now, folks! Please, take a few hours and watch one of these (Tusk) and let me (Tusk) know what (Tusk) you (Tusk) think (Tusk).

HS!

LH

(Tusk)