Thursday, January 28, 2010

Off-Topic: Howard Zinn, 1922 - 2010

Howard Zinn, Historian, Dies at 87

I read A People's History Of The United States in 2000 and it completely turned my head around. Professor Zinn will be missed - not by everybody, but certainly by me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Well, that's about it for Deciphering Hob's Hog, believe it or not. I plan on keeping it up on the net (for as long as Blogger lets me, anyway) for those who are reading/writing about Voice Of the Fire, and on putting up occasional posts regarding any news I get regarding VOTF, Alan Moore's "sequel" prose novel Jerusalem (still a work in progress the last that I've heard), and any other Moore-related items I find interesting enough to post. But as the stated mission of Deciphering Hob's Hog is, well, deciphering "Hob's Hog", and said mission is completed, you can consider this blog to be, at present, in semi-retirement. I'll continue to post my reviews at Amazon, and may start another blog in the future (probably through Blogger again, because they're so easy to use), but for now I'm taking at least a week off from doing anything net-related that's more complicated than checking my e-mail. Many thanks to those of you who came along for the ride, especially those who commented. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun - I hope you did, too.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Page 46, Paragraph 4 - 7; Page 47 (Entire); Notes ***SPOILER ALERT!***

***SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the end of "Hob's Hog" yet, you probably won't want to read this post, as the ending of the chapter is revealed here. Don't say I didn't warn you.***

Page 46, Paragraph 4:

The girl stands up and takes the clothes off her breasts. The clothing is thick, but her breasts are now really small. White there in the light of the fire, it's like there not breasts at all. The rat-noise becomes a hissing now, and it's warm beneath me and in the hill of branches. There's a lot of smoke rising from it.

Paragraph 5:

The warmth becomes hot on the backs of my legs, and the heat becomes pain - wherever I move my legs, it's hot. I now smell hair burning; it's my clothes; I try to make a noise, to cry out in pain, but my voice has become thick and wet. There's blood on my mouth. There's blood on my chin.

Paragraph 6:

I don't want to be burned to death like this. It's not right. It's more pain than I can take. There's fire on my back, fire beneath my head, and little bright sparks rising all around between all of us and the dark sky. I can't breathe. It's so hot that the girl takes off the rest of her clothes. She's naked. In between her legs is...

Paragraph 7:

She puts her hand to her head, where the frightening tear of skin is, below her hair, and puts her finger to the edge of the skin, where she now pulls and...

Page 47, Paragraph 1:

There's smoke and blood in my mouth. Bright hair falls in the dark, with a scalp falling next to it. Her dick, bigger than mine, that I couldn't smell because of the flowers. I don't have the breath to make another sound. The girl's changed to a boy, as the rat became stones and the pig became logs. It's this change that's in things. It's this frightening change that makes the whole world wrong. Smoke rises and falls like a grey river around me, and the pain becomes as big as the sky. I can't breathe, and my vision darkens.

Paragraph 2:

In the darkness there are many strange things - many little visions hanging in the smoke. I see fiery-haired men that can make fire run like blood from stones. I see a place where human skin falls black from the sky. I see a path that runs from sea to sea, where lights now go back and forth, faster and more numerous than the fish. I see a building like a skull, big, and black, and made of [?] fire. In its mouth sits a man with fire coming out of his hair, filled with pain. Now I see women held to a log, with fire all around their feet. We look at one another from our fires. There's no pain now. Only smoke.*

Paragraph 3:

Behind the smoke I now see dogs with eyes as big as tree-stumps. Now I lift my hand, to hit them away from me, and my hand is on fire. The skin is rising up in blisters and hissing; it's all black underneath. Through the smoke I see Hob. The boy sits by him, the firelight on his short-cropped dark hair. Hob is finding little circles of flattened grey earth, and he has a stick in his hand to mark them. It's not good to make marks.

Paragraph 4:

My hair's on fire, and it comes this way into my head, and into my belly, so that a thought comes into me with the fire. It's not a thought of mine, but a thought of the fire's, full of strange words that no tongue can make. Phror. Becadom, sissirishic and huwf. Hob sits closer to me, to hear. He makes a mark in the grey of the earth with his stick, and now another, across it.**

Paragraph 5:

I open my mouth, to make a noise in my pain, and the voice of the fire comes through me, and rises, and rises, with sparks of light, beneath the old black sky.

*If you haven't read the rest of the novel yet, you're going to want to remember this paragraph.

**Or "across from it"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Page 45, Paragraph 6; Page 46, Paragraphs 1 - 3 ***SPOILER ALERT!***

***SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the end of "Hob's Hog" yet, you probably won't want to read this post, as part of the ending of the chapter is revealed. Don't say I didn't warn you.***

Page 45, Paragraph 6:

Hob walks away from the hill of branches and from me to the little fire in front of the hut, where he stoops. His shadow rises high and black on the whiteness of the aurochs skin, and he picks up a burning stick from the fire. Now Hob turns to come back to where I am, holding the burning stick in his hand that makes drops of white light move on his belly, on his arms, and on the edge of his black cheek.

Page 46, Paragraph 1 (first full):

I look to the girl, and don't understand why she isn't helping me. She stands far away from where I lay on the hill of branches, and now takes the aurochs wrap from her hair, and doesn't look at me. The skin-band falls, a bit of white in the dark. The girl turns her head toward the light, and I see that she wears the band to hide a bad mark on her head. Above her eyes there's a big tear. There's no blood, but the skin lifts up at an edge, along and beneath her hairline.

Paragraph 2:

Now my arms and legs start shaking so hard that I can't stop them. My ass makes a noise, and shit comes from it onto my legs. I don't want the girl to see this. I don't want to look at her. I turn my head slowly and look up. Hob's come back here and is standing above me. White eyes. White teeth below an empty blackness where there is no face, with antlers rising above it.

Paragraph 3:

"All good," he says to me, and now puts his burning stick in the hill of branches. From the wood beneath me comes a noise like bugs whispering "quick," and "hit," and "set," and so forth. Now the noise of bugs becomes the noise of a rat, and the rat says "scratch," and the rat says "stick-it-back," and so forth. I smell blood. I smell smoke. Oh, now. Oh, where is the girl?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Page 45, Paragraphs 3 - 5; Notes ***SPOILER ALERT!***

***SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the end of "Hob's Hog" yet, you probably won't want to read this post, as part of the ending of the chapter is revealed. Don't say I didn't warn you.***

(btw - I'm honestly not trying to tease this out - I just haven't had a lot of opportunities to sit down and work on this blog for more than a half-hour or so.)


Page 45, Paragraph 3:

I cry hot tears and try to say I'll do anything for Hob if he doesn't hurt me. I'll go away. I won't see the girl. I try to say all of this, but my mouth is full and I can't say anything. Hob takes me around the pigpen, in front of the white-skin hut, where there is light as from a little fire, and now I see his black face and his wooden horns, and see that there's blood on him.* As there is with me. Oh no.

Paragraph 4:

Now he lays me down, like a baby, on the prickly thing in front of the aurochs hut. I feel a lot of pokes on my back and legs, which is where I understand he's putting me on the hill of branches that I saw him make. Now he takes his hand off me. I lie on the hill of branches with nothing to hold me, and I try to get off, but I can't move. There's no strength. I don't have the strength. I can't move anything, just my hand to rub my neck.

Paragraph 5:

There's a hole in my neck, where liquid's coming out, where blood's coming out, which isn't stopping. Hob. Hob put a hand-axe to my neck while I wasn't paying attention [?]. Oh! All of my blood is coming out onto my belly, my neck, and the branch hill beneath me. I don't smell flowers. I smell nothing but blood.**

* And just who is Alan Moore trying to evoke with his depiction of Hob? (Dana Carvey voice) "Could it be... Satan?" Baphomet? Cernunnos? It's interesting to look at the history of the Horned God archetype in terms of this and speculate as to whether Moore had a particular deity in mind when he created this image. It's also interesting to note that "Old Hob" is apparently another term for the Devil.

**And that's almost never a good thing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Page 44, Paragraph 9; Page 45, Paragraphs 1 and 2 ***SPOILER ALERT!***

***SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the end of "Hob's Hog" yet, you probably won't want to read this post, as part of the ending of the chapter is revealed. Don't say I didn't warn you.***


Page 44, Paragraph 9:

Arm around my neck. Man-smell. Hot skin. His arm is strong on my neck; his belly is against my back. I can't breathe. I can't speak. I'm scared. I'm scared, and I can smell the man, and smell [?] his hot penis. My feet are off the ground. The girl looks deeply into my eyes. His big arm hurts with a hard pain and keeps me from breathing (oh Mother) and now something comes, bright and quick, and makes a little cold sensation on my neck, followed by a big sensation of warmth.

Page 45, Paragraph 1 (first full paragraph):

I think the man has thrown warm water down my belly to make me wet, but I don't understand how. I move this way, now that way, but oh! It's no help, and more warm liquid falls on my belly and all the strength goes out from me. His arm moves away from my throat so I can take a breath, and arms comes below my back and my ass to lift me. I'm lying now in his strong arms. I look up, and eyes, all white, look down upon me, but there's no face. Now below the eyes comes another white shape. Teeth. Hob is smiling.

Paragraph 2:

Oh, he found us. He knows we're planning to leave. I turn my head to look at the girl, so I can tell her to run, but a bad taste comes into my mouth so I can't say anything - I can only spit. She doesn't look frightened, nor does she look like she's going to run away. She doesn't move, and her face is expressionless. Now Hob walks with me in his arms. All my strength goes from me, like I'm sick. I can't get away. The girl stands there so she can quietly follow Hob and I. I smell flowers. I smell man. I smell blood.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Page 44, Paragraphs 1 - 8 ***SPOILER ALERT!***

Back at it.

***SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the end of "Hob's Hog" yet, you probably won't want to read this post, as part of the ending of the chapter is revealed. Don't say I didn't warn you.***


Page 44, Paragraph 1 (first paragraph after the break):

...but darkness.

Paragraph 2:

And flowers.

Paragraph 3:

I open my eyes. My face is cold. A greyness comes into the dark opposite the river village, as though a long time has passed. I smell flowers, and hear the girl's whisper from outside the pigpen by the open gate.

Paragraph 4:

"It's not dawn yet," she says. "I'm here. I've got a lot of food. Come out," she says, "so we can eat. After we're done, we'll go away."

Paragraph 5:

Now I think about all we talked about doing, and it gives me butterflies in my stomach. Walking around the world with the girl. Finding food with the girl, and lying with her. Ah - more good times will come than I can imagine. "Quickly now," she says. "Quickly now."

Paragraph 6:

I stand up and walk across the pen to the open gate. I think it's good that she found clothes for me ; it's so cold, with fall changing slowly to winter. I can now see better in the dark, which is where I see the girl. She's down on her knees outside the pen. In front of her, she's set apples, bread, and many kinds of meat. I smell the food, and smell the flowers, and am filled with desire, as I always am when I smell them. I want the girl to stay with me my whole life, and not to go away like my people. Like my mother. She looks deeply into my eyes. "Come out," she says. "Come out."

Paragraph 7:

Now I walk out of the gate and out of the pen. I'm only a couple steps away from her. I smile at her, but she doesn't smile back at me - she just looks into my eyes. Now I hold out my arm - I don't know if it's to get food or to take up her long bright hair to rub it.

Paragraph 8:

There's a hand on my back.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Off-Topic: DESTINO

This is wonderful - just discovered it on YouTube.

It's like walking around inside a Dali painting!

You can find more information on the film here.

Muchas gracias to Mr. Door Tree of the fantastic Golden Age Comic Book Stories for the heads up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Page 43, Paragraphs 4 and 5; Note

Wow, I've really been slacking off on this blog. I'll try to do better in the future.


Page 43, Paragraph 4:

Now the poultry is all gone, and the sun, likewise, is gone from the sky. Now there's only darkness, and chewing on bones.

Paragraph 5:

Because there's nothing to see, I can hear the sounds of things better. The sound of a rat running across the hay of the pen. The sound of the river that says, "quick-lick, quick-lick, quick-lick" away in the dark. Now there comes a faraway noise like the settlers as they walk by the river. They're all laughing, and must be doing it loudly for me to hear them at all, because they're very far away. Far away, I can hear the high sound of someone blowing into a bone-pipe, and a drum beat, and they're singing, like the girl did to me. The wind comes and goes, so I can't hear all they're singing, but there's one song I hear.

Make a fire and make it hot
And bone he'll be, and bone he'll be
The path is long, but we are not,
And by the valley go we...*

There's more to the song, but the settlers go further downriver, so that there are many huts between them and I and I can't hear their song or their drums or their bone-pipes. Off downriver, the village's many fires make a little red light in the sky, up on a high, dark cloud
[?]. I put one hand and then the other in my clothes, to cover up my penis and warm my hands, and I shut my eyes. There's nothing at all...

*I got the rhyme and cadence again, I think.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Off-Topic: In Case Keith Richards Isn't Available...

I saw this on CNN this morning:

NYC heroin pamphlet -- is it a help or a how-to guide?

Not sure how I feel about the brochure, but it was sure cool to hear them play "Dead Flowers" as a lead-in to the story.

Ah, the Mick Taylor-era Stones - THAT was a great fuckin' rock band.