Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Piper: Herald of Dagon

Greetings, Strangers.  I'm back after a successful trip to visit my Grandma, Glenn Beck notwithstanding.  Allergies have produced the salty taste of mucus in my mouth (my parents have a cat), I have a pile of laundry that keeps toppling over, and I have an old hard drive that requires defragmenting.  Back to stupid reality.

During my brief travels, I was able to visit with my dear old pal, Ghost Dogg.  I went over to his crib and warmed up my dice rollin' wrists, ready to fight a rematch of the Battle of Stalingrad in Squad Leader.  In the process of setting up the game, his eight year-old girl Piper came into the room.  Ghost Dogg grinned and said to the boy, "tell Jonny about Dagon."
My chief familiarity with "Dagon" is from reading the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft, specifically, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and about half of the eponymous, "Dagon."  The former is a horror tale about a seaside hamlet in Massachusetts whose citizens all worship a hideous, gigantic fish-god named Dagon that dwells in the deep and demands that live, human sacrifices be offered to the sea.  Now Ghost Dogg is a quality dad.  I know for a fact that he does not allow his kids to see anything that might disturb them or cause them any undue strife at such an early age.  So no, he is not reading Lovecraft's collection of Tales of the Macabre to the kids as bedtime stories...although I will grant you that would be his dark style of humor ("And this is Cthulhu...worship him...worship him.")  So how exactly, I wondered, did this bright-faced, baby blonde girl ever come across something like Dagon?  
"In the Bible," Piper said plainly.
She then ran to get his Illustrated Bible for Children.  After flipping a few pages, she came to a story in the Old Testament in which the Philistines were worshiping Dagon.  The Ark of the Covenant was placed next to a statue of Dagon and the icon crumbled into pieces.  
"See?" Piper said, pointing to a picture of the broken humanoid fish-god icon.  "He was a monster."  
Having attended Catholic school for the elementary years, we never read much of the Old Testament.  We learned about Moses, the Exodus, the Ten Commandments, and that was about it.  There endeth all a good Catholic need know of the OT.  So I never encountered Dagon in that form.  Turns out that Dagon was a sea entity worshiped by the Amorites.  He was part or perhaps the head of the Philistine pantheon and...shocker...wasn't especially evil.  That is until the Hebrews got a hold of the myth.
"I felt so dumb," the scholarly Ghost Dogg confessed.  "I thought she was just mispronouncing something since I couldn't see how Lovecraft could be involved in anything Biblical.  Then I realized it's probably where he got the idea."
Well that makes two of us, Dogg.   Your girl schooled me as well and perhaps spared me from exposing an embarrassingly glaring oversight in conversation one day.  "And the children shall lead..."   

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2 comments:

  1. Scott on Facebook said:

    "I saw that in a movie. Speaking of movies, Dagon is a good one to watch; & don't forget the special features for some serious brain candy"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dr. Rich said:

    "Don't mess with no Ark of the Covenant. It'll fry y'all chump MCs like a pound of bacon. Word."

    Brilliant, isn't he folks?

    ReplyDelete