The phenomenon of gods continuing to exist outside children’s books has baffled me since I was little. Fairy tales serve their purpose but to go on believing in flying, morphing, deathless entities guiding lives seems like a sick joke.

Strangely, I enjoy stories about believers. The more outlandish the better. Larry Cohen’s 1976 classic, God Told Me To, is a good example. I chose to revisit it this week with Mallory. Tony Lo Bianco plays a tormented Catholic cop trying to figure out why a bunch of random murderers (including Andy Kaufman, in his first film appearance) are terrorizing New York City. The invocation of the movie title as their explanation is the refrain throughout.

Cohen tacks on an extraterrestrial subplot/reveal, but fanatical faith is very much the product of creatures down here on planet earth. Mass murder in the name of metaphysical belief is thriving despite advances in science, technology, etc. Why do gods keep telling people to kill and why do those people keep on believing anything/anyone that commands them to do that?

The day after talking to Mallory about the Cohen flick, I recorded a conversation with the novelist/screenwriter, Bruce Wagner. I’ve been a fan since seeing Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, which Wagner wrote. His books are filled with phantasmagorical monsters and he pushes boundaries of all kinds. We didn’t get into religion, though I’d hoped we might. It’ll have to wait till our next conversation. His new book comes out early June and I’ll post our talk then.

The closest I ever come to any feeling of higher powers is through art and the most efficient delivery system is music. Saturday night I got to see Mute Duo and Emily Rach Beisel cast some spells at Constellation.

That’s all the god I need in my life. You can keep your Zoroasters, Yahwehs, Vishnus, Jesuses, et al to yourselves.

Now I’m off to see a storefront production of a play in which a Danish prince talks to a skull.

The signs and wonders never cease.

Just ten Duck Inn zines left, so grab one now.