The Zen of SILVER BROWN

My Homemade Get Well Card to Civilization

It’s fall in this here Northern Hemisphere. Or autumn, if you’re fancy. A season of transformative molting, of dispensing with that which is no longer necessary. Certain anatomical structures withering away to preserve the life of the organism as a whole, the useless structures in question becoming bombastic and colourful before they are ultimately cast aside, wilted and impotent. It was out of this ancient rhythm of Nature that the time-honoured autumnal tradition of the wicker man was born.

In the spirit of getting rid of things that are no longer needed, every year I customarily dress my wicker man in old clothes of mine that are far too shabby and tattered to be worn in polite company, adding to its bulk by stuffing it with handfuls of the ever-present dry foliage. A significant part of this tradition calls for all participants to compose a handwritten list of everything they would like to lose in the coming year, to be affixed to the effigy moments before the great sacrifice. This year’s list was augmented with a special attachment, of a type I would not normally include.

It goes without saying that this past year has been an exceptionally trying one for the human species. Among other things, there is an irritating pimple on the sphincter of the world that is all but certain to rupture and cause a life-threatening infection if it is not promptly removed. To that end, I incorporated a conspicuous image of said pimple into the construction of my wicker man…

The pointed hood visual effect was not something I originally planned, but it works.

In addition to a hideous mug, I also festooned him with a tiny camouflage penis, which I probably made too big…


…and somewhere on the back of the figure’s head, I did a little Sharpie doodle of the other Lovecraftian abomination that is actively threatening human civilization…

This is hands down the ugliest wicker man I’ve ever built.

Dousing the effigy in some kind of flammable liquid before the party starts is highly recommended, speaking from personal experience. Any kind of distilled spirit is ideal for this purpose; the higher the proof, the better. Fittingly enough, this year I went with Trumplethinskin’s national beverage. Vodka.

The stage was now set for the main event. It took several attempts to get the show on the road, because the wicker man’s sleazy “fixer” The Wind kept trying to persuade the High Court of Nature to delay the sentencing. But once things got underway, it was a magical mystery tour from start to finish. I present it here in spectacular GIF-o-vision™ for the viewing pleasure of the good guys and ghouls of Planet Earth…

“You cursed brat, look what you’ve done! I’m melting!”

The face fell off when it was about half-melted, landing nearby. It gave me the most menacing stare (highly reminiscent of filmdom’s Chucky, minus the charm) as it laid on the cold stone, the flames engulfing it and reducing it to embers. Obsolete, irrelevant and scientifically debunked embers…

“I’ll get you, my pretty! And your little democracy, too!” [manic cackling followed by abrupt shortness of breath and involuntary sniffing.]

Occasionally you see ghouls manifest in the flames when these things burn, like that time a dragon peered out into the land of the living a few years ago…

The Draconis Lux of ’17, who has no platform and probably won’t be the next Bigfoot.

This year it was the orange phantom with the big eyes staring at me from what remained of the wicker man’s head, shortly after the face fell off. It resembled either C-3PO or Gonzo the Great. Or perhaps Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama. It’s a highly subjective thing, really. I’m leaning towards Gonzo myself. A fitting interpretation, on account of his subordinates being all chickens.

Miigwetch.

The Zen of SILVER BROWN

Autumn Pagan Rituals For The Whole Family

Every October for the last four years (time and the availability of a suitable location permitting), I have taken to constructing a makeshift effigy of myself for the purposes of offering it as an erotic sacrifice to the dying sun. Raw materials used to build the wicker man include three or four long thin pieces of wood to form the skeleton and plenty of dry foliage to stuff it with, and several items of clothing I own that have since become unwearable on account of being threadbare or having gaping holes in the crotch or what have you. The whole thing is held together with twine. A small log of rotting wood typically serves as the effigy’s head, preferably a log in such a state of decomposition that one can easily bore a hole in it without any special tools, but not so rotten that it falls apart the second you try to mount it on the effigy. This year I was unable to find such a log, so I had to improvise a bit…


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Part of the tradition of building one of these wicker men is the inclusion of a handwritten list of everything you would like to lose in the coming year, which gets burned along with the effigy. This year I killed two birds with one stone and wrote my list directly on the effigy’s head. You can make out the words “WHATEVER CAUSES WRITER’S BLOCK” in this next picture if you tilt your head just right…


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After dousing the whole thing in booze (this year’s poison: Bacardi), the magick happens with one flick of the Bic. It’s always a hoot to see what kind of eldritch ghouls manifest in the flames. Here’s the Grim Reaper peering out from the effigy’s innards…


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Several ghouls can be seen in this next shot, if you know where to look. Methinks the prominent one on the bottom right bears an uncanny resemblance to the late great musician Nash the Slash. If you haven’t the foggiest who that is on account of the fact that you’re non-Canadian and/or millennial (or simply because you’re among the untold millions who wouldn’t know good music if it came out and bit ’em on the arse), you know what Google’s for.


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The smoke had a distinct fruity smell to it. I’m not sure if that was because of the Bacardi or because of the discarded exoskeleton of last year’s soul, but the way it hit my nostrils definitely killed something in me. Something I needed to have killed. I found myself spiritually naked. Naked is good. Always. Walking around in the nude is most certainly liberating.


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