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In the news of the weird-going-to-weirdest, you may have heard of the upcoming collaboration between The Teletubbies and Li’l Nas X. Or else you haven’t been on twitter. The story, more “cute quasi-human interest” than “hard-breaking news”…the Teletubbies Actual account dropped Li’l Nas X a note where they’d reinterpreted the album art from “Montero” to be…well…more Teletubbies. And pretty soon they were discussing a collaboration. Awesome. Of course the far right needed to chime in by saying the Teletubbies are “little gay demons,” which…well, we can’t really argue either side of that. They probably are.
In more “in keeping with the tone of this podcast” news, Austin morticians were pouring fluids from corpses and embalming processes into the city’s drains, which is in all likelihood something that would happen…but no-one told the city.
Ancient Egyptian ancient evil, and a proud member…maybe a founding member…of the category of “unruly chaos beasts” that contains Leviathan, Behemoth, Tiamat, and others. Apep. or possibly Apophis, was the ancient foe of the Egyptian gods, at least “ancient” from the year 1200 or so onward, Apep may be a new kingdom invention.
As the big thing that the gods have to overcome to help the sun rise, Apep figured into a number of rituals and spells to help bind Egyptian ritual life to the cycle of the gods. Among these spells we have “spitting upon Apep,” “Defiling Apep with the left foot,” and “putting fire upon Apep.” At least a few of the rituals involve jumping up and down on drawings of Apep. The sun usually rose, so they worked pretty well.
I think we had some time to talk about Ma’at, the principle of balance and harmony. Isfet, or Asfet, is the opposing principle, injustice, disorder, violence, chaos. Isfet is evil, in a sense, but it seems like that evil is opposed to order, not necessarily evil in a “moral depravity” sense of the word. Egyptian rituals, and the whole “pharaoh” arrangement, were built on holding back disorder and enforcing a little bubble of order. Set/Seth was a part of this chaos, his symbol, the Set Animal, represented disorder, destruction, and breakdown. Predictably it was pretty common in hieroglyphics.