Passed a favorite graveyard today (it has family crypts like mini-temples amidst the headstones; very horror movie-riffic) and like most graveyards in town it's actually a churchyard. Anyway, someone had knocked over and broken some of the headstones. In a city I would just write such events off as inevitable urban vandalism, but in a small country town I grasp for specific socio-economic explanations of such activity, just as I assume aggressive driving in a small town is connected to economic frustration, but in the city it's just inevitable that dense populations mean more jerks. Only today does it occur to me that I'm applying different expectations to different environments. It's irksome that some stupid person besmirched some grave markers, but it's fun to imagine the aggrieved dead rising to haunt our anonymous defiler.
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Reading The Golden by Lucius Shepard; it's a political thriller set in a Gormenghastly vampire palace. The vampire stuff is used as metaphor and MSG. Shepard's short stories are more subtle, but he lets the Gothiness of it all justify some extravagant excess; then he finds the nuanced shadings within the excess. Ken Russell should make the movie.