Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good Story 021: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Episode 21: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Also, Julie and Scott race to the barber pole, go trick or treating, and barely mention zombies.

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  1. The section Scott quoted from early on in the podcast was one of my favorite parts of the book in a book with lots of favorite parts. Bradbury's prose is just so enjoyable to read as it is so descriptive without just adding words upon words.

    I really loved the treatment of Charles Halloway. There is quite a dearth of heroic fathers in fiction and the movies. Fathers are rarely given much credit and are usually a doofus compared to the mother. Charles Halloway comes across as wounded with his own worries, but he is not totally self-absorbed. There is a genuine love of his son that is so evident. Plus when the time comes he is able to resist the temptations related to his age and to defeat evil in such a magnificent way. The half-moon that is really a smile on the bullet is such a master stoke and of course the same goes with the mirror-maze and the other battles.

    As for Bradbury's faith - he is Catholic. Though with a syncretistic streak, a sort of all paths lead up the mountain approach. This is a common error and understandable, but like most errors it takes a truth and runs with it to the exclusion of other truths. That all can be saved is a truth taught by the Church. Yet the Catholic Church contains the fullness of truth whereas other religions will contain parts of it. While the dogma of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is often misunderstood when interpreted in a rigorous way; the truth is that anybody who is saved is saved through the working of Christ through his Church. People of other faiths can be certainly saved, yet I wouldn't want to rely on invisible ignorance myself. This is an area though of why I have come to love the Church so much in that she has rational explanations that include the edge-cases and her desire is that all our saved.

    Now on to the 3 AM part. This as Julie noted is suppose to represent an hour the opposite of Christ's death on the cross and is sometimes called the witching hour. If you recall from the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose, this played a part in that move. The movie itself was quite good.

    As for another subject to touched tangentially on when referencing a podcast by a Protestant concerning the origins of Halloween. Many Protestants and Catholics think that All Saints Day was an attempt by the Church to baptize a Pagan celebration held by ancient Celts. This is a case of what Mark Shea calls Pseudo-Knowledge, something everybody knows but is simply untrue. The celebration the Celts had on Oct 31st was a rather minor one among many months Pagan feasts. The actual history of All Saints Day is much more complex. I covered this in a blog post some years back

    My own childhood memories of Halloween are quite fond. In my neighborhood store-bought costumes were more rare and homemade ones were the norm. Growing up in a theatrical family and being able to sew I always looked forward to creating a costume. My geekness was evident in my childhood as one year I went as a robot and I believe cardboard, paint, and paper mache was involved.

  2. Wowie zowie! What a great comment ... and how I loved reading it.

    In your post there is a link to Mark Shea's comments about Christmas and the pagans coming up with their sun ceremony to negate Christmas, rather than what is usually taught to us as it being the other way around. That link now just goes to the new Patheos spot for Catholic and Enjoying It but I recall being very impressed with him making that same point in his trilogy about Mary. I've been meaning to reread it ... must move it off the shelves and onto my "to read" stack.

    We also made homemade Halloween costumes, though, not coming from a "crafty" family, ours were not nearly as wonderful sounding as yours. My most praised costume was as a witch, using my mother's striped bathrobe. However, because it was freezing that year and I had a parka on underneath it, it looked as if I had a wonderfully hunched back. Most effective and it was commented on by many people. I'd forgotten that. Thank you for bringing that memory back! :-)

  3. I just listened to the podcast and it was great, thanks!

    For me, the person who most often comes to mind at 3 a.m. is my four-year old son Jacob, but that's because he actually comes to our bed and wants help going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I pray for him, mostly that he learns to go by himself!

    I did have a zombie (the cocktail) last night and enjoyed it a lot while I watched Evil Dead II, which I also enjoyed a lot but can't really recommend. I guess that's the definition of a guilty pleasure.

  4. Your comments about too many choices in our lives reminded me of a really good TED video by Barry Schwartz (

    Your podcasts are good. Keep it up!

    Also, if you are open to suggested stories, I recommend Dean Koontz - just about anything really, but especially the Odd Thomas or Frankenstein series.