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.

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