In other news, my mother tells me that my three-year-old brother Max is trying to cast magic spells after exposure to Harry Potter (which he loves), which I find deeply amusing. Particularly since I sent them the first book. Muahhahah! All of Falwell's worst fears, confirmed! Of course, the fact that none of my family believes that a small child wandering around waving his hands and going "Poof!" is a sign of the imminent arrival of Beelzebub and cohorts helps. I mean, sheesh.
Which reminds me...has believing that there are Satanists everywhere become uncool, or have I just started wandering in different circles and no longer hear about it? I remember when my mother was making her valiant last-ditch effort to cling to Christianity, we'd go to these seminars where they'd tell us that Satanists were the largest religious group in America and dedicated to wiping Christianity out and were constantly sacrificing babies and puppies and kitties and goaties and controlled the recording industry and were responsible for KISS and so forth, and the fact that we'd never seen any of them just proved they were really sneaky. (I dunno, KISS wasn't that subtle...) These days, of course, I never hear anything about that, other than the occasional Harry-Potter-is-a-tool-of-the-devil rant. Did that die out with the 80's and the repressed memory fad, or is it still going strong and I just miss out on it because I'm a godless heathen? I recall going "My, somebody sure wants to feel persecuted!" at the time, but I was a jaded little puppy even then. My mother, who is fundamentally an intelligent and well-meaning person seemed embarassed by it all, which I think is usually the response of normal, reasonably sane Christians when confronted by such profound rabid silliness.
Come to think of it, if there's a universal emotion that almost never gets touched upon, "that sinking embarassment when someone who professes to be of your group/ilk/type begins doing and saying horribly embarassing things, which you cannot in good conscience denounce completely because, y'know... (There's always a y'know. It may vary from group to group, but there's still always a y'know.) but really really really want to, and so find yourself sitting with a fixed grin of horror while hissing "We're not all like that, I swear," under your breath" may be it. Whether it's christians with Jack Chick, pagans with people who call themselves Lady Starmoonsilverwolfravengoddessfeather and wear over a metric ton of silver jewelry and dances nude in the woods (a really bad idea with most climates/body types) furries with people who think they're unicorns, Lord of the Rings fans with people who recite their wedding vows in Elvish...well, y'know. If we could just tap that universal embarassment and harness it towards something constructive, it'd probably be a better world.