Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Ineffective Fallen Angel

Long ago, most people could apparently conceive of monsters only as mix-and-matched composites of existing animals. I don’t find this aesthetic particularly scary. Actually, it seems kind of fun. Can I place an order for a sea otter with eagle wings and a panda face? Because that would totally rock. But whatever — back-in-the-day folk lacked imagination, and this failing is especially obvious when you consider the form they gave to the Adramelech, a Biblical boogeyman supposedly worshipped by the residents of Sepharvaim, which doesn’t sound like a place that has nice restaurants.

Of all the terrifying animal parts to mash together to create Adramelech’s body, did they have to pick the body of a human, the head of a donkey and the tail of a peacock?


Not scary, right?

Granted, this is only a depiction of the demon per Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal, so we have to assume that de Plancy jazzed it up a little. But still — disregarding the fact that Adramelech is not wearing any pants, doesn’t he look more like some goofy thing Alice would meet in Wonderland than he does a demon of hell? (According to this page, he’s actually both president of the high council of the devils and keeper of the wardrobe of the demon king, which sound like a pretty important jobs.) Yet children were allegedly sacrificed to Adramelech, even though he looks like a thing that might have entertained them on their birthdays.

Of course, it does not help that a description of his appearance could literally be given as “ass-face, cock-butt.”

Hell, you’ll have to do a lot better than this.

7 comments:

  1. I'm also a fan of the dictionairre infernal. Have you seen the illustration for belphegor, demon of lust? Dude looks like a one-man petting zoo.

    I'm Sammy, by the way. :) My journal is built up of random thoughts and indefensible opinions, a little like yours ...

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  2. Personally, I like Asmodeus. Which is actually pretty close to the name of the Great Gazoo parody on The Simpsons.

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    1. He is more repulsive. My guy is just kind of silly.

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  3. You're actually pretty close to the mark with "ass-face cock-butt". A lot of these chimerical creatures were amalgams of symbols, assembled to create a statement of some kind, usually a stealthy way to make a political statement without getting in trouble for saying something explicit.

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    1. I can only dream that someone would hate me enough to invent a demon to mock me... and then have nerds talking about it centuries later.

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  4. Have you ever seen Adramelech? Do you think these people made it up? There are people who summon the Devil, and you can do it yourself tonite, just summon this demon and see it for yourself ass-face with cock-butt! Call his name, ADRAMELECH aloud!

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    1. Yeah... I'm not too worried about running into him.

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