Welcome back heathens! This week I’m continuing on from last week’s post about some of LaVey’s quick reads. Today I’m covering Satan Speaks!, a collection of essays published in 1998. LaVey unfortunately died in 1997 while this book was being compiled. But as is written the foreword by Blanche Barton, “We live; we entertain pompous illusions about ourselves; we die. Too bad. And yet, if we mesmerize, irritate, inspire, or terrorize enough people, our names will be remembered. Dr. Anton Szandor LaVey has earned that right” (p. XII).
This book is filled with pretty short reads, more so than The Devil’s Notebook. I’ll be sharing some of my favorites, but this entire book is quick to get through if you want to take it all in.
The Tasmanian Devil (p. 17)
In this essay, LaVey recounts a time when he was a teenager working at carnivals, and how he first learned about Tasmanian devils. He learned a great lesson from them about self-awareness – I’m not going to spoil it, read it yourself!
Entertain Me (p. 23)
There are some times when I’m reading LaVey’s writing that I really identify with what he’s saying in a deeply personal way, and this essay is one of them. In “Entertain Me” LaVey laments about interaction with the world and other people.
“You say it’s good to get a change of scenery. What scenery?…I saw a tree once. The new ones look the same, which is fine. I even remember what the old ones look like” (p. 23). LaVey continues this wonderfully grumpy piece with discussing how he hates interacting with others, because he always becomes the entertainment. Why waste time stimulating others with stories and information when it’s rarely, if ever, reciprocated? Big mood. I completely agree and identify with this sentiment.
The Witch’s Shoe as Weaponry (p. 51)
Did you ever consider what an impressive weapon a stiletto heel can be? Luckily for all of us, LaVey did.
This surprisingly detailed essay discusses the many ways a sharp pointy-heeled shoe can be weaponized. He considers questions like “is it better to remove just one heel, or both?” and emphasizes the value of callused soles. Witches, quit getting pedicures!
LaVey also discusses how Velcro could modify shoes, making them suitable for combat, and also how the shoe could be used as a holster. Valuable information you never knew you needed.
No Minors Allowed (p. 54)
As I’ve mentioned previously, LaVey was a professional musician, and had many opinions and observations about music.
In this essay, LaVey discusses how he was able to predict the musical selections of bar patrons or other guests in places where he performed. Some of his most profound observations were about the musical selections of women in their 40s and older. He understood what they wanted to feel, and was able to match his selections accordingly. His review of these trends in music requests from different social groups is pretty fascinating.
Why Walk? (p. 76)
This is one of my favorite essays! Here, LaVey discusses the social concept of something that is pretty fundamental to all human beings – walking. And, furthermore, why do we do it? I really don’t want to spoil this one for you so please read it yourself!
The Sneeze (p. 103)
You know how good it feels to sneeze. In this essay, LaVey really dives into that feeling of pure satisfaction that comes with a good a-choo, and takes it to a place that I never thought I would be when thinking about ‘just’ sneezing. He highlights the sheer power of a sneeze, and discusses all the things it does to your body that you may not even realize are happening.
Don’t Bathe (p. 134)
In this essay directed to Jules Goldschmidt, LaVey discusses how and why he never bathed. Here, LaVey’s belief in man as just another animal is very apparent. He discusses the reasons why bathing is unhealthy, and what it does to our naturally-produced bodily scents. He delves into why natural scents are so important, and how both humans and animals can identify each other by them. It’s slightly hyperbolic in LaVey’s trademark way, which makes for a delightful read.
Some other favorites from Satan Speaks!:
- The God of the Assholes (p. 1)
- To: All Doomsayers, Head-Shakers, Hand-Wringers, Worrywarts, Satanophobes, Identity Christers, Survivor Counselors, Academia Nuts, & Assorted Tremblers (p. 4)
- Sleepers, Orphans, and Scarcity (p. 41)
- Child Abuse (p. 43)
- Good Sportsmanship (p. 45)
- My Enemy (p. 97)
- The Satanic Murderer (p. 99)
- Sound Retreat (p. 106)
- Why I Can’t Make Money (p. 132)
That’s all for this week. See you next Sunday!
Interpretations and opinions are my own; I am not a spokesperson for, nor endorsed by, the Church of Satan or any other entity.