Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Therianthropic – Wordplay Wednesday™ 10/25/17

Howling into Halloween! 

Who is your favorite werewolf actor? Venerable horror genre thespian, Lon Chaney Jr in 1941’s The Wolf Man? The adorable Michael Landon in 1957’s I Was a Teenage Werewolf? How about Butch Patrick as cute little Eddie Munster in our favorite ghoulish 1960s TV series The Munsters?

A more recent hairy guy with a sense of humor, might be more your cup of howl-lar-i-ty with beloved Michael J. Fox in 1985’s Teen Wolf. Scott Howard, the bumbling basketball player-turned-werewolf made us howl!

While all showed considerable talent in the roles … or at least, a certain je ne sais quoi for the part … my endearing and enduring nationally beloved werewolf Rocks On. Can you guess who is my annual Halloween …

TherianthropIC (thir ē an thräpʹik) adj. – 1) conceived of as being partly human and partly animal in form; 2) designating or of deities of this kind. [WW #135]

In some form or other, each October, I cherish the memories of Rock & Roll’s most iconic therianthropic werewolf, Wolfman Jack.

Generally a staple in my Blast from Your Past writings, I featured the beloved and bedeviled disc jockey here, for Halloween, 2015. It took two years to stumble on another fun word besides that Wordplay Wednesday’s lycanthrope, to bring back the best therianthropic of them all.

We Californians and insomniacs with a good radio receiver, were acquainted with Wolfman Jack’s raspy growl and reverberating howl, several years before American Graffiti (1973) helped make him into a reality star.

It was just before his death in 1995, however, that we learned of his accidental metamorphosis into a bona fide therianthropic entity. His rambling memoirs, Have Mercy! Confessions of the Original Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal  He introduced us to his early familial incarnation.

Long before Wolfman Jack sat behind a studio mic, Uncle Bob (Robert Weston Smith) pulled a blanket around his shoulders for a cape and chased his young nephews around the house, pretending to terrify them with a wolf howl that made them giggle and hide. So begat the therianthropic werewolf destined to change Rock & Roll Radio forever.

XERB the Mighty 1090 gave voice to the Original Soul Monster in the mid-Sixties. From radio to TV in the Seventies and beyond, Wolfman Jack’s howl turned every day into Halloween. Aoooowwww!

Word Challenge: TherianthropIC. Of course, part human and part animal beings are not limited to werewolves. Explore the legends and lore of shapeshifting as you fit therianthropic into your week of inhuman writings.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

Wordy Witch of the West 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Energumen – Wordplay Wednesday™ 10/18/17

All of our slightly skewed and odd October words will relate to the fine line that fascinates, titillates, and may terrorize our consciousness—that which we call Life.

Scary or Sacred? 

As Halloween sneaks up on us, some of you may wonder how its ancient rituals and meanings fit into our modern society.

For all our pseudo advancements, individually, we are still affected by centuries of beliefs—or not—in the spiritual symbols of Halloween

ENERGUMEN (enɘr gyōōʹmɘn) n. – 1) a person supposedly possessed by an evil spirit, demoniac; 2)* a fanatic, or enthusiast. [WW #134]

*Well. That explains the actions of a lot of crazy celeb fans! But for the most us, think The Exorcist. There is no better—and frightening—example in entertainment. Every decade since its 1973 release has produced its own twisted brand of energumen

Zombies displayed their graceless soul-stomping in 1981’s Evil Dead debut; and in 1995, even the popular daytime soap, Days of Our Lives got in the act with an energumen in a lead character. Fast-forward to today, and we still find energumen storylines in the long-running horror/drama, Supernatural. Yep, gotta love our inner demons!

While a Hollywood film and TV series favorite, spirit possession has plagued history practically since humans took up residency. Whatever your interest—religious history, psychological research, or simply to terrorize on Halloween—the energumen of All Hallow’s Eve and the Irish Samhain (pronounced sah-win), is a spirit to be respected, as the veil lifts between the living and dead.

No doubt, Halloween will spawn its fair share of startling energumens walking the streets, pumpkin bucket in hand, begging for treats. Just don’t let them get too close.

Word Challenge: ENERGUMEN. Demonic possession—is it real or a psychological aberration? Consider its origins, research, and ponder its abject place in society, as you fit energumen into your week of spooky writings.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

aka Wordy Witch of the West