Today was all about research. I spent about six hours at my favorite coffee place, surfing the internets for crazy shit. This can be incredibly time-consuming but if it sparks an idea, it's terrific.
There is a luxury to being on a show -- most shows have researchers, people writers can bother with those pesky details that seem simple but can take hours to chase down. A researcher on a show can be a help or a hindrance. I've experienced both. If you need something real -- the hierarchy of the LAPD's threat management unit, or how crime was dealt with in Renaisssance Florence, it's a pain in the ass to track down. But if you're looking for more general information, the internets can be very helpful. And if you're looking for crazy, which is about 99.9% of the information on the internets, there's no better place to begin than Wikipedia. You're aghast, right? Wikipedia?!?!? Everybody knows how inaccurate it is! Sure, if you've got to provide a bibliography. But if you're trying to figure out which crazy person said what about the Raelians, Wikipedia rocks.
Today, I read about the following:
Jack Parsons, the founder of JPL and an occultist with ties to L. Ron Hubbard (in that Hubbard stole his girlfriend and a large sum of money from him)
Nommo and the Dogon tribe (Beware -- this will lead you to the notion that there's life on a planet near the star Sirius)
Palo mayombe (darker than Santeria)
Warren Jeffs (good grief, what a creepy mofo! If he's shivved in prison, no big loss)
Irish Travelers (check them out -- very interesting culture)
Michelangelo's pieta (the first one)
All except for Michelangelo are for the same story. The weirdest thing I read was about the otherkin. These are people who believe that they are in the wrong bodies. The wrong HUMAN bodies, that is -- they're trans-species. So they have a spiritual identification with another species. Cats, dogs, various animals. Those with a spiritual identification are apparently called Therians (see? Even though I love Wikipedia, I don't believe EVERYTHING). Some otherkin identify with mythological or legendary creatures. The Elenari believe they are from an elvish species from another planet. And then there's Draconity. These kids believe they're dragons.
It's my favorite thing ever. Now, gentle readers, how is that not a goddam story??? Bless you, Wikipedia and your links. There will be a lot of research done over the next few days but I just know I won't find anything cooler than the dragon-people.
Beyond that, I sort of followed the Harlan Ellison/Connie Willis brouhaha (Google it if you're curious). The furor surrounding it is rather fascinating. I love how everybody on the internets is entitled to his opinion. It's magic. I feel as if I should say something provocative, just to see if that will lead people over to this readerless blog.
Maybe tomorrrow. Yes. Definitely tomorrow. Or Sunday. Yes. Sunday.
And if anyone has any insight on how crime was handled in Renaissance Florence, please drop me a line.