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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dr. Strange, as written by Hunter S. Thompson (or possibly Warren Ellis)

We were in the Sanctum Sanctorum on Bleecker Street when reality shattered like a cheap mirror dropped from the top of the Empire State Building by some bored tourist who wanted to see if he could dent the sidewalk with it, and the air was filled with the frenzied wailings of a thousands kittens wired to the gills on cocaine and LSD being shoved into a blender and set to "frappe". I was worried that the Master had summoned something beyond his ability to control before I realized that this was Greenwich Village and these kind of things are par for the course here.

My name is Wong. I'm the manservant for Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, which sounds like a plush gig until you realize that whenever a genuine shit-yourself event occurs, it's my job to clean up the shit afterwards. The problem with cleaning up after eldritch events is that there are no OSHA-approved mandates for it. Toxic waste is one thing, but a hazmat suit won't protect against the Crimson Crotchrot of Cyttorak. I try to take the long view regarding my situation; namely, if things ever get so bad that Master can't fix them, I will either die quickly or be in a key position to cozy up to the victor and trade Strange's secrets for a life of obscene comfort. So, there's that.

The only thing that really worries me is the theurgy, and I knew he'd gotten into the strong stuff when I opened the door to his chamber. The room was full of used grimoires; they were hanging everywhere, casually tossed aside like used condoms after a night of frantic, drunken sex with Clea.

But what kind of magick junkie would need all these athames and bolines? Would the presence of a theurgist account for all the uneaten manna? These piles of burnt incense on the bureau? Maybe so. But then why all this mandrake root? The Book of the Vishanti open to ancient Faltine invocations? The Orb of Agamotto being used to scry on sunken R'lyeh, where sleeps dread Cthulhu? and I sincerely did not wish to know what the Wand of Watoomb was doing there, in the corner with the Cloak of Levitation.

No, this was not the behavior of your typical power-hungry sorcerer. It was far too aggressive. There was evidence, in this room, of excessive consumption of almost every type of magick known to civilization since Lemuria fell. It could only be explained as a montage, a sort of exaggerated museum display, put together very carefully to show what might happen if twenty-two seriously disturbed arch-magi —each with a different magickal 'kink' — were forced to watch nonstop showings of "The Craft" and "Practical Magic" until, in an effort to Make It All Stop, used every mote of their power to smite Hollywood from the face of the earth using God's own cigar, with the L.A. Basin as the ashtray.

"Gone," came the slurred, shaken voice of my master. He was in the fetal position inside a sofa-cushion fort. "All gone... reality rebooted... Vishanti don't answer... the In-Betweener looks like Frank Gorshin... all gone... no more magick.... all gone..."

I sighed. There's nothing more disgusting and irresponsible than a Sorcerer Supreme in the depths of theurgical withdrawal.

2 comments:

  1. ^^ Oops, that's me...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the links, but I've read everything by HST that I can get my hands on... It just doesn't have any of the gonzo feel of a Thompson piece. It doesn't have the fear, the loathing, the paranoia, the almost slanderous accusations, none of that. The Dr Strange piece is just too sedated for Thompson. And for a story about sorcery, it should be easy to connect with Thompson's drug-fueled hallucinations.

    I like the writing, but I think you're off on your comparison. I haven't read anything by Warren Ellis, so perhaps that's a more accurate comparison.

    ReplyDelete

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