Posts Tagged: Salem witch trials
Radiohead is no stranger to anxiety. A tense tone—like a taut cord reverberating—runs through the high-energy opener “Burn the Witch,” from their latest record, A Moon Shaped Pool. Thom Yorke’s delicate wail floats over the brazen guitar and strings as the tempo speeds up and the anxiety mounts....more
The response to [the Handmaid’s Tale] was interesting. The English, who had already had their religious civil war, said, “Jolly good yarn.” The Canadians in their nervous way, said, “Could it happen here?” And the Americans said, “How long have we got?”
For Lit Hub, Grant Munroe interviews Margaret Atwood on seemingly everything, touching on the Salem witch trials, Donald Trump, Canada as a place of refuge, and some of her million projects: Hag-seed, her adaptation of The Tempest; her graphic novel Angel Catbird; and the forthcoming Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, among others....more
At The Establishment, Annie Theriault discusses the allure of witches and witchcraft for girls that has lingered since the 17th century, musing on how witches both subvert and uphold gender roles:
Beneath all that glossy packaging hums the same idea that has tantalized girls for millennia: the fact that to be a witch is to be a woman with power in a world where women are often otherwise powerless.
One thing that has become clearer and clearer in recent years is that violent extremisms are not created in a vacuum, but rather by human beings whose moral thresholds have been altered, often by resistance to societies that are failing them.
Rachel Kincaid writes for Autostraddle on the twisted power dynamics inherent in witch trials, both in history and fiction, in the past and in the present day:
But what rings most dangerously prophetic about Salem is the ideology that suggests imagining the most helpless and vulnerable in our communities as the most powerful, in a kind of 1984-esque doublethink that provides a rationale for causing as much harm as one wishes to that group.
In the new Penguin Book of Witches, Katherine Howe assembles documents from three centuries of witch hunts—including arrest warrants, trial transcripts, and even apologies from a judge and jury in Salem. Per Genevieve Valentine at NPR, the historical record opens up to reveal that, far from being a spooky anomaly or simple mirror of McCarthyism, the echoes of the witch hunts are immediately present in coverage of the unrest in Ferguson, MO, where journalists struggled to present nuanced reporting amid a wave of impassioned social unrest....more
We like to think mass hysteria about black magic in the US died with the Salem witch trials, but 300 years afterward, starting in the 1980s, childcare providers across the country were accused of “Satanic abuse.”
One such case involved Fran and Dan Keller, who ran a daycare center in Austin and went to jail after being accused of using children in outlandish “Satanic rituals” involving murder, cannibalism, grave robbery, and sexual abuse....more