Sunday Curiosities: The Exorcist Effect, a Satanic Cross, and the Disturbing Movie Iceberg

Sunday Curiosities is the weekly series in which I share interesting, controversial, or thought provoking things that caught my attention from around the web. Do you have any suggested content for this series? Do you have any creative work you’d like me to check out? Please email me.

Twitter Destroyed a Young Trans Writer

A young trans writer named Isabel Fall wrote a brilliant short story titled “I Sexually Identify as An Attack Helicopter.” The internet responded badly. Emily VanDerWerff of Vox explored the story. Special thanks to reader Azura for the submission.

In January 2020, not long after her short story “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” was published in the online science fiction magazine Clarkesworld, Fall asked her editor to take the story down, and then checked into a psychiatric ward for thoughts of self-harm and suicide.

The story — and especially its title, which co-opts a transphobic meme — had provoked days of contentious debate online within the science fiction community, the trans community, and the community of people who worry that cancel culture has run amok. Because there was little biographical information available about its author, the debate hinged on one question: Who was Isabel Fall? And that question ate her alive. When she emerged from the hospital a few weeks later, the world had moved on, but she was still scarred by what had happened. She decided on something drastic: She would no longer be Isabel Fall.

Lucien Greaves on The Blandensburg Satanic Peace Cross

The Satanic Temple (my own religious community) recently declared the Blandensburg Peace Cross to be a Satanic symbol. In an article on his Patreon, Lucien Greaves explains why.

In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a large cross erected in 1918 to honor World War One veterans on public grounds in Bladensburg, Maryland. The majority opinion, penned by the deranged Justice Alito, predictably asserted that the cross is a secular icon and deserves preservation “for the sake of its historical significance or its place in a common cultural heritage.”

Like the 10 Commandments and “In God We Trust” before it, the cross now stands as a symbol of secularism, a relic, an homage to veterans, and an all inclusive icon to pluralism. If we are to take this ruling at face value, the Bladensburg cross seems outright Satanic, not only for those reasons just mentioned, but also for the apparent Christian blasphemy in defining the cross in this way.

We have decided to take this particular ruling, for this particular public cross, at face value.

You can watch the ritual for the cross here.

The Exorcist Effect

from an article titled, “Will the Conjuring 3 Influence Real-Life Events Via The ‘Exorcist Effect’?” by Erik Harrelson and Joseph Laycock:

Have you heard rumors about a cult called The Disciples of the Ram? Ever hear of Katie Lincoln, the young girl from Danvers, Massachusetts, who was stabbed 22 times by her friend in a Satanic slaying? If you find yourself struggling to keep straight actual crimes, religious beliefs and practices, and plots from horror movies, you may be experiencing a phenomenon we call “The Exorcist effect.” This is a cycle in which horror films based on true events come to shape the way we interpret the world; this leads to more reports of paranormal experiences, which become fodder for more horror films. It’s an endless mobius strip where the line between film and history becomes increasingly blurred.

Nyx Fears on The Disturbing Movie Iceberg

If you aren’t familiar with Nyx Fears, you should be. She delves deep into the darkest parts of human nature by way of horror films, and she’s outdone herself with a 3 part series about the disturbing movie iceberg. She manages to plumb the depths of human depravity with hilarity, gentleness, and wisdom. She is the perfect Virgil for a trip to Hell.

What are your thoughts on this week’s curiosities? Do you agree? Disagree? Please let me know in the comments. And to quote your English teacher: don’t forget to do the reading.

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