Friday, August 13, 2010

Curse of the Hidden Mirror

Relatives who suspect a family member needs a curse lifted should consult experts, a Wellington coroner has said.
Just saying, it does not require special cultural expertise to tell someone that "Your 'curse' is total bullshit that could only be taken seriously if you are less intelligent than topsoil."
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UPDATE: Bonus Lion
A kaumatua said an evil spirit had possessed her and linked it to the theft of a concrete lion statue from the Greytown Hotel.
The elder believed the statue was a historic taonga but the jury would hear it was bought new at an auction in the 1990s.
A convoy of cars took the lion back and prayers were said upon its return.
[...]
The concrete lion statue at the centre of a demon possession claim looks less angry now than it did when it was at the Wainuiomata flat where Janet Moses died, a jury has heard.
Bonus Water Abuse
"During the ceremony, so much water was used that the carpet had become soaked, and so a small hole in the floor had to be made for drainage."

The moral here is that one should consult properly-qualified experts before following any advice gleaned from The Third Policeman.
On another occasion [de Selby] had to face the curious charge of hoarding water, the police testifying that every vessel in his house, from the bath down to a set of three ornamental egg-cups, was brimming with the liquid. Again a trumped-up charge of attempted suicide was preferred merely because the savant had accidentally half-drowned himself in a quest for some vital statistic of celestial aquatics.

It is clear from contemporary newspapers that his inquiries into water were accompanied by persecutions and legal pin-prickings unparalleled since the days of Galileo.
[...]
The story is one of a long succession of prosecutions for water wastage at the suit of the local authority. At one hearing it was shown that he had used 9,000 gallons in one day and on another occasion almost 80,000 gallons in the course of a week. The word ' used ' in this context is the important one. The local officials, having checked the volume of water entering the house daily from the street connection, had sufficient curiosity to watch the outlet sewer and made the astonishing discovery that none of the vast quantity of water drawn in ever left the house.
[...]
Hatchjaw (in his invaluable Conspectus of the de Selby Dialectic) has described [de Selby's] house as ' the most water-piped edifice in the world.' Even in the living-rooms there were upwards of ten rough farmyard taps, some with zinc troughs and some (as those projecting from the ceiling and from converted gas-brackets near the fireplace) directed at the unprotected floor. Even on the stairs a three-inch main may still be seen nailed along the rail of the balustrade with a tap at intervals of one foot, while under the stairs and in every conceivable hiding-place there were elaborate arrangements of cisterns and storage-tanks. Even the gas pipes were connected up with this water system and would gush strongly at any attempt to provide the light.

12 comments:

Willy said...

I think religious belief is a mental illness, a form of socially transmissible psychosis.

It's odd that the DSM specifically excludes believing in God or hearing God's voice as a sign of psychosis, although the more general believing in invisible people and hearing voices no one else can hear is a ticket for a buttload of haldol.

Perfectly cromulent, I am told by the experts.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Five members of the family were found guilty of Ms Moses' manslaughter after she drowned during the attempt to lift the curse. Community sentences were imposed and four of the killers were ordered to take a Maori culture course.

Good, I mean bad, grief!
~

mikey said...

Actually, when I last struggled with a curse, I retained Topsoil to manage the problem. The curse was lifted in short order, so I'm going to suggest you might consider an apology to dirt and mulch everywhere...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Damn, I was really hoping this would be about a newly-discovered John Bellairs' manuscript!

Substance McGravitas said...

Dr Taonui also said total immersion in water would be required for something really bad.

Pink and green pants?

Another Kiwi said...

When confronted with a mental illness the option of magic spells is far more attractive to the families involved as opposed to getting treatment from a lot of "Doctors".
1)Because "Doctors" don't know anything, everyone knows that and
2)the treatment might implicate said family in years of bossing around which was for the deceased own good.
I'm not sure if it's dumbness or "Ooh fuck, what'll we do now?"

Smut Clyde said...

Not only were the family convinced that the poor woman was afflicted by a curse, they believed that the act which had set the curse in operation was the theft (by some other party) of a cheap concrete lion from the entrance of a country pub. In their minds, this tacky chunk of moulded concrete was a tribal treasure of great spiritual power.

If they'd been living in the UK they would have sought advice from some self-proclaimed Druid or Wiccan Priestess. If it had been the US they would have ripped off some misunderstood fragment of Native American custom. This being NZ, they found someone who called himself a Tohunga and claimed to know all manner of Maori spiritual traditions.

This is why cousins shouldn't marry cousins.

The newspapers have variously consulted the "head of Canterbury University's School of Maori and Indigenous Studies", and "a professor in te reo and tikanga at Waikato University" and similar academics, who have all sucked their pens thoughtfully before advising that curses "could be lifted by karakia, or prayers, with small amounts of water, usually sprinkled on a person." Also, anyone else worried about stolen-concrete-lion-involved curses should consult "someone respected and knowledgeable within the wider Maori community".

I hold to the minority view that what the family need is not so much "a Maori culture course", but a reintroduction to the real world.

Another Kiwi said...

Yikes, mess with concrete lions from outside pubs at your own peril!
Is this, one asks knowing that one knows next to bejesus about it all, similar to all that Jungian stuff about myths and such? Do our sad little lives need a bit of jazzing up so that they do not seem so inconsequential and thus we put our misfortune down to The Quest for the Concrete Lion?
When, in fact, we should actually say "Yes it is a meaningless existence but I shall take comfort form the poetry of Mary Oliver and jeering at Sarah Palin. Also I'm not Simon Cowell"

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I hold to the minority view that what the family need is not so much "a Maori culture course", but a reintroduction to the real world.

I hope that Reintroduction To The Real World C.D.™ will be a resounding success, and that it will be eagerly adopted by many idiot Americans.
~

mikey said...

Meh. I occasionally vacation in the real world. It's got precious little to recommend it, certainly much less than my home universe. It has an odd and inconsistent set of rules and taboos, and just when I start to get comfortable there they start pointing and gibbering frantically about "inappropriate behavior".

Obviously, you should try not to leave a trail of death and carnage behind you wherever you happen to live, but that mostly results from becoming overly invested in your worldview. Simply put, perhaps all extremists should be taken out and shot....

Smut Clyde said...

Went looking on the innertubes for a photo of the lion but found this instead. The case is on the Wackyweedia now so it all must have really happened.

Willy said...

Maybe they should have used Mrs. Woody Martin's Blood of Jesus Oil

It got rid of the snakes.