BSCC 028 - Jessi and the Superbrat

Think of Stoneybrook (if you don't already) as a lovely, welcoming bird's nest. Now imagine that a wicked cuckoo has passed its boundaries and laid a great big vile, impostor cuckoo's egg right inside that sacred nest. That's literally (LITERALLY) what happens this week when an entity called JOHN (aka The Superbrat) hatches inside our beautiful home and sets about destroying dear Jessi's life. Of course, if we'd only paid attention we would have known, because, as is ever the case in the Baby-Sitters Cycle, it was foretold. 

Music credits:

"The Inner Demon," by Lionel Schmitt & ProjectSamCC 

MidiWorld.com

"Rituals," by WarrioCC

"Crystal," by Zerryx & MidgrangerCC

BSCC 027 - Claudia and the Sad Goodbye

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today – Claudia, Janine, Mr. and Mrs. Kishi, the members of the Baby-Sitters Club, the Baby Nation, Jack, and Tanner – to say goodbye. To who (or what)? Well, we've got a lot of theories about that. You'll have to listen along and decide for yourself.

Music Credits:

"Upbeat Ukulele” by MorningLightMusic

"Demonic Chorus” by Procrastination Pictures

“Unison" by Translucent

"Please Return” by Brian Lowe

BSCC 026 - Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger

Everybody, in one way or another, is searching for a "Tigger" in their lives – for some people, the Tigger they are searching for is true love, for others, it's success, and for still others, it's a more inscrutable "meaning." In Mary Anne's case, it's her cat. Who went missing. We think Logan stole it. 

Music credits:

Robert Austin, "Carnival Lament”CC

Phyrid, “Don’t Cry”CC

Rikato, “Nebula”CC

The Flash Music, “Eternity”CC

Alexy Papazian, “Sympathy for Love”CC

And of course, thank you to the original Baby Boy, Scott Lamb, for our theme music. 

BSCC 025 - Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise

The prophecy foretold of one that would unite the tribes. A being born of two worlds... of two clans, who would unite the people under her banner. Will this Mother's Day surprise fulfill the omen and seal the blood pact? Will the Seven become the One? Will Jackie Rodowsky ever find his way back to the present time? Find out this week when Jack and Tanner sit down to discuss "Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise."

Music credits:

“Upwards” by Jake R. Sanderson

"Kosmos Music Score" by Sarah Fogg & Simon Horrocks

“You Gotta Have Theremin and Ukulele” by SquidLord

"Entrance to the Queen of Sheba for Two Oboes, Strings” by Georg Friedrich Händel

“Air in F major, BWV Anh. 131” by Johann Sebastian Bach

“Chosen” by Ross Bugden

BSCC 024 - Dawn on the Coast

Dawn is forced to choose between the grey purgatory of Stoneybrook and the breathtaking paradise of California. Which is upsetting for Jack and Tanner because they frankly didn't realize they had a choice when they decided to spend every passing moment living, breathing, and dreaming about Stoneybrook. Besides, how can any of us think about leaving when we're still not sure whether Mr. Spier can get it together and tell Dawn's mom how he feels BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. 

Music Credits:

Sadness, by Vak KarapeshianCC

Holy is the Lord of Host Union ChoirCC

Love You Forever, by Yu Hsing JowCC

Manslaughter, by Irish Zombie PiratesCC

Distorted Mirrors, by Moritz DemmerCC

And of course, Scott Lamb for our theme music.

BSCC 023 - Jessi Ramsey, Pet Sitter

It's CIVIL WAR, which means it's time to pick sides, Baby Nation. Are you yearning for change like the Jacks and Mary Annes of this world? Even if it leads to corruption and incompetence? Or are you looking for a strong leader like Tanner and Kristy are? Even if it means giving up some of your civil liberties? Or are you more of a Jessi, just trying to do your damn job while the club crumbles around you? Where do your allegiances lie?

Music Credits:
"Cute" by Bensound (CC)
"Never Dying - Ambient Orchestral" by Scott Buckley (CC)
"Overture" by Lionheart (CC)
"You Gotta Have Theremin and Ukulele" by squidlord (CC)
"Phantom Sage" by Silence (feat. Byndy)

And of course, Scott Lamb for our theme music.

BSCC 022 - Mallory and the Trouble With Twins

Come play with us! Mallory's babysitting twins this week and it promises to be a fun, wholesome time that's not rotted through with any sinister evil at all. Plus, the boys discuss the gory ritual of ear-piercing, the troubling spectre of new babysitters on the horizon, and the frankly insane ensemble Claudia put together for this installment. There's also a bit of bad news about Mark Markson, who's on an increasingly desperate hunt for a new job ...

Music credits:

Overture, by Lionheart / CC

Acoustically driven instrumental, by Hyde / CC

Let the Beat Drop, by Anton Markus / CC

Mallory and the Trouble With Twins

The Manichean heresy is probably best known to the world through the writings of Saint Augustine, who adhered to Manichean beliefs before converting to Christianity in 387. The dualistic worldview that it embraces – that the spiritual world and the material world are in constant opposition, as of light and darkness – is at the center of the twin conflicts between Marylin and Carolyn Arnold and between Marylin and Carolyn and the rest of the world in this novel. The world of Stoneybrook would have us believe that these twins are two sides of the same coin, and the twins want the world to see that they are fundamentally different, opposed – two opposite interpretations of the nature of their twinship that are encapsulated in the "mirror" bedroom they inhabit: 

“Well, I’d been prepared for identical twins and identical clothes, but not for two identical halves of a bedroom. That was how the girls’ room looked, though. Again, it was as if someone had placed a huge mirror in the center of the room, and it was reflecting one side.”

BSCC 021 - Kristy and the Walking Disaster

This week, the boys are in their element talking about the classic "American Sports" themes of football men, baseball men, and TIME TRAVEL, as well as Kristy's massive, unquenchable CRUSH on a beautiful brown-eyed boy named either Bart or Brad. Can Jackie Rodowsky hit a home run for Kristy's Krushers? Can Kristy get through the season without falling in love? Can this podcast pass the Bechdel Test? Find out in episode 21, "Kristy and the Walking Disaster."

The Bechdel Test Theme song is "Let the Beat Drop" by Anton Markus

The Burn of the Week song is "Tell Me" by Killercats

The Tearful Moment song is "Energetic Beat Drop" by Kevin Boydston

Show notes:

Kristy and the Walking Disaster

The word "Bash" is from the Old Norse Basca, meaning "To Strike." "Crush" is from the Old French Cruiser, possibly from the Frankish *Krostjan, meaning "To Gnash." The sense implying an object of infatuation is first recorded in 1884.

The Spot in MLB Lineups Where Managers Are Still Ignoring Sabermetrics

Kristy is in good company. As the above article shows, a lot of MLB managers are ignoring the stats that say you should have a strong hitter in your number 2 slot and putting their own "Baseball Man" versions of Claire Pike at a place in the lineup that would be much better filled by a Jackie Rodowsky or a Matt Braddock.

Also well worth a read, if you're even a little bit interested in sabermetrics: The Only Rule Is It Has To Work. Highly recommended. 

Kristy's Boys Quadrant is illustrated below, as discussed in the episode.

BSCC 020 - Claudia and the Bad Joke

This week, Jack and Tanner meet to discuss the very complex mechanical and metaphysical implications of traversing the Planes of Chaos, also known as the Immaterium, from the Warhammer 40k universe, and whether or not the human mind is capable of making sense of a senseless reality where the laws of motion and energy do not apply. But, then we cut all that out, so I guess you'll just have to listen to them talk about The Baby-Sitters Club books instead.

Jack's re-cap song is "Touch" by Mattia Cupelli

The Burn of the Week song is "Tell Me" by Killercats

The Signs and Signifiers music is by Paul the Trombonist

Show notes:

Claudia and the Bad Joke

The Commedia del'Arte of the cinquecento is known primarily for its stock characters, many of which appear in evolved forms in the plays of Shakespeare and other Elizabethan playwrights. It probably owes its characterizations to the Roman playwrights Plautus and Terence and the New Comedy tradition that preceded it in Greece (viz., Menander). Martin nods at this tradition through the "Slapstick film festival" the girls attend at the beginning of the novel and by populating Claudia and the Bad Joke with peripheral characters (Trip, Logan, Janine) who have stock traits that will be instantly recognizable to anyone who is familiar with the form.  

The Warhammer 40K universe focuses primarily on a series of wars and territory disputes between The Imperium of Man, the Orcs, the Eldar, and the Daemons. The universe contains an alternate dimension called The Immaterium, which facilitates faster-than-light travel for The Imperium and acts as a source of magical and psychic powers within the universe. Most importantly, IT HAS FUCKING NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING, TANNER

Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy (again!)

What Claudia wore this week: "The shirt was one I'd made myself. I'd taken a shirt of my dad's, painted it, and sewn sequins all over it. It had taken ages to do, and the shirt was very special to me." And then Betsy Sobak went and ruined it with one of her pranks. Which is WHAT YOU GET, CLAUDIA, for taking yourself so damn seriously. Who the hell paints their own T-shirts? It's preposterous behavior. 

BSCC 019 - Stacey's Mistake

Great! Everything is so great! Definitely no major catastrophes this week. Just your typical, high-energy, enthusiastic Jack and Tanner having a lively discussion about the next book in the Baby-Sitter's Club series: "Stacey's Mistake!" Stacey certainly made some mistakes this week, but not ole' Jack and Tanner. Those dudes have everything all figured out. Haha! So great! Just... great.

Show notes:

Stacey's Mistake

As discussed in Boy Crazy Stacey, the previous Stacey installment, the Stacey books are often a deliberate nod to the great epistolary novels of the 18th century, and this one is no exception. In addition to format, Stacey books share with the early epistolary novel a deep concern with social order that is enacted by putting a relationship in moral peril for the ultimate purpose of upholding the social values that underpin it once the danger is overcome. I'm thinking particularly of Richardson here, whose Pamela follows this formula directly (and whose Clarissa is a more complex variety of the same set of themes), but also of Smollett's The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, which also shares with Stacey's Mistake a travel narrative and a consequent appraisal of urban versus country values. In Martin, of course, these paradigms are subverted, with the moral peril introduced by Stacey's physically and morally dangerous New York working its dark magic on the girls in a way that brings about a full reversal of the individual characteristics that had hitherto acted as their moral true north, much like what happens in a later, infamous epistolary novel that introduced the world to vampires

Rosemary's Baby

What Claudia was wearing this week: What wasn't Claudia wearing? She brought a whole trunk full of clothes for a two day trip, because she knew that if anyone thought to peel back all those layers, to remove all that armor, they would find nothing at all on the inside. 

 

BSCC: Little Sister - Karen's Witch

In this very special bonus mini-episode, the boys discuss the first book in the BSC-spinoff Little Sister series, "Karen's Witch." Feast your ears on an intoxicating (intoxicated) journey through a magical land where the baby-sitters hold no sway, and the babies are running the asylum. DO NOT listen to this if you are afraid of witches. 

Show notes:

Little Sister #1: Karen's Witch

The "Purrow" is referred to in The Posthumous Works of the Late Rev. John Newton (1725-1807). Newton talks about the Sherbro people of Sierra Leone, who have an order of powerful druids called the Purrow. Their mysterious rituals are unknown, but they control the entire island. Here is the relevant quote:

“The different districts, which seem to be, in many respects, independent of each other, are incorporated and united, by means of an institution which pervades them all, and is called the Purrow. The persons of this order, who are very numerous, seem, very much, to resemble the Druids, who once presided in our island. … Any man, whether bond or free, who will submit to be initiated into their mysteries, may be admitted of the order.”

It is to be thought that Midnight, in her human form, began life as a member of this order in Sierra Leone, which is why she speaks its name when she approaches Karen's porch. 

Karen’s witch name: Samantha Twitchit (Hannie’s is Witchy Witch)

BSCC 018 - Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery

It all goes down this week: Claudia loses herself, Logan reveals his true self, Mary Anne finds her faith, The cat-people have taken Louisville, and Jack and Tanner spend WAY too much time talking about 6th century philosopher Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius. But that's what you tune in for, right?

Music Credits:

Haunted by Ross Bugden

Triple Threat by Eliminate, INF1N1TE, & Nato Feelz [Creative Commons]

Overture by The Lionheart [Creative Commons]

MIDIworld.com

Thanks to:

Scott Lamb for our theme music!

Andrea Hickey for our cover art!

Show notes:

Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery

Boethius wrote his Consolation of Philosophy around 526 C.E., while imprisoned for treason and "engaging in magic" after attacking the corrupt policies of the emperor Theoderic. The Consolation is a "prosimetrum" (prose with verse interspersed), and it deliberately avoids a theological outlook, despite the author's devout Christianity, focusing instead on metaphysical lessons imparted by a personified Philosophy. Boethius writes about the rota fortunae (Wheel of Fortune) therein: 

"I know how Fortune is ever most friendly and alluring to those whom she strives to deceive, until she overwhelms them with grief beyond bearing, by deserting them when least expected. … Are you trying to stay the force of her turning wheel? Ah! dull-witted mortal, if Fortune begin to stay still, she is no longer Fortune." 

This would doubtless have been of some consolation to Mary Anne had she been aware of the text. 

The Parable of the Mustard Seed is Matthew 13:31-32

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

As always, I recommend Ricoeur for a thorough exegesis, though you can't go wrong with Crossan either. 

Artemidorus, Ὀνειροκριτικά (On the Interpretation of Dreams) is a delightful 2nd Century insight into the Greek view of dreams and dream interpretation. 

On Witchcraft, by Cotton Mather, was published in 1692. 

Sadly cut out of this episode for brevity reasons was a fairly important analysis of Anne M. Martin's theory of "Powermasters," alluded to in a discussion between Jessi and Kristy about the origins of their misfortunes. I will leave it here and allow Baby Nation to draw their own conclusions: 

“Hmm,” said Kristy. “I see what you mean. Like, is it someone we know? Or is it someone evil and unknown — an evil powermaster, or maybe just an evil force?”
Jessi shivered. “Evil powermaster. You’re scaring me, Kristy.”

Here's the insane ensemble that Claudia wore this week: “It was her vegetable blouse: an oversized white shirt with a green vegetable print all over it — cabbages and squashes and turnips and stuff. Under the blouse was a very short jean skirt, white stockings, green anklets over the stockings, and lavender sneakers, the kind boys usually wear, with a lot of rubber and big laces and the name of the manufacturer in huge letters on the sides. Wait, I’m not done. Claudia had pulled the hair on one side of her head back with a yellow clip that looked like a poodle. The hair on the other side of her head was hanging in her face. Attached to the one ear you could see was a plastic earring about the size of a jar lid.”

BSCC 017 - Jessi's Secret Language

Your wise-crackin' hosts Jackie and The Weasel are back again with more hilarious banter about their favorite topics from the wide world of "American Sports." And if that's not appealing to you demanding little monsters, they also spend a good chunk of time talking about the BSC's brand-new babysitter Jessi Ramsey, the infinite sadness of Claudia Kishi, and their own deep, heartfelt feeeeeeeelings. And dolls. Demonic, soul-swallowing dolls. Something for everybody in this one. 

Show notes: 

Jessi's Secret Language

The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code is the best book out there on the decipherment of Linear B. Tragically, Alice Kolber didn't live to see the full decipherment of the language, even though she laid groundwork that would prove essential to cracking the code. 

The 1988 New England Patriots were abysmal. 

A synopsis of Coppélia from NYC Ballet: "Infatuated at the sight of the inventor's new doll, Frantz sneaks into Dr. Coppélius' workshop, and mayhem ensues." 

Here's a sketch of my attempt to understand the workings of Jessi's baby brother Squirt's secret language. I believe that the language is inflected, and that the phonemes "Bliss," "Bloo," and "Bla," as well as "Go," and "Ga," point to a system of declension with "a," "o," and "iss" endings, though without additional context there is no way to know more. 

 

 

BSCC 016 - Little Miss Stoneybrook ... and Dawn

Kind of a segment-heavy week this week, but what do you expect when you're trying to impress the judges of the Little Miss Stoneybrook Pageant? The babysitters each Dance Mom their own contestant in the pageant in this book, and things get (surprise, surprise) a little fraught. Don't worry too much though, because there's plenty of dangerous occult action and Marxist subtext to help ease the tension.

Show notes:

Little Miss Stoneybrook ... and Dawn

The mystery of Sabrina Bouvier is one of the enduring riddles of the Sitterverse. Anne M. Martin has never officially weighed in on this, but it is an undeniable fact that Bouvier appears in this book as a 7-year-old pageant queen, and then pops back up in Mary Anne's Makeover #60 as a popular 8th grader with no explanation of how she aged and changed while everyone else stayed the same. Speculations abound. For real. Here is a lovely piece of fan fiction I found on the topic.

The Grapes of Wrath

As always, I recommend a hermeneutic approach to addressing the more religious elements of this text. As ever, you can't go far wrong with Ricoeur

Not mentioned in this episode, "Little Miss Stoneybrook and Dawn" is an anagram of "Trinity Books Tells Me So." So, fucking eat it, Tanner

BSCC 015 (KII 001) - Hello, Mallory

Welcome to Kids Incorporated Inc.! Out with the old, and in with the new! Stacey is gone, but not forgotten and forgotten, and there's a NEW baby-sitter in town now, which you probably could have figured out from the title of today's episode. Think you're pretty smart, don't you? Well, smart guy, did you know that there's actually TWO new babysitters? You did? Oh, okay.

Show notes:

Hello, Mallory

Forbes: "Differences in Selling B2C Vs. B2B

ʾĒl is the Old Aramaic word used by the Canaanites to mean "God or Deity." It has come, likely through an erroneous etymology, to be associated with the Elohim of Hebrew, and hence with all the related abbreviations for God in the Old Testament, (EL, ELOI, ELAH, ELOH, ELOAH, ELOHIM, ALAH). This delightful article points out, fascinatingly, that the Hebrew name אל (El), transliterated into Greek, forms Ηλ, which constitutes the first syllable of ηλιος, (helios), for sun, which derives from a proto-Indo-European root. As all good things do. Anyway, the carving of "EL" on Mallory's desk is highly significant, and if we could only ask him, Logan would have a lot to say about it. 

What Mallory (adorably) wore to her BSC initiation ritual: “My red jumper that said Mallory across the front, a short-sleeved white blouse, and white tights with little red hearts all over them.”

 

BSCC 0014 - Goodbye Stacey, Goodbye

Stacey is moving out of Stoneybrook, and 4 to 10 new brides of Satan are moving in to take her place, so it's up to two undercover French witch-hunters to eradicate the evil threat looming over the town once and for all. Also, the dolls are in control, and Jack and Tanner make a bet that the Baby Nation is going to have to hold them to, because they're DEFINITELY going to forget.

Show Notes:

Good-Bye Stacey, Good-Bye

Triangulation - In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is used to determine a precise location by measuring the angles leading to the point from other known locations on opposite ends of a fixed baseline.

The process of measuring distances to the point directly  is known as "trilateration." Through triangulation, the relevant location is fixed as the third point of a triangle with one known side and two known angles.

Williamsburg, Virginia:

 

Jack, pictured here with his best friend Summer (in Austin, TX):

Live - Lightning Crashes

Bonnie & Maude - All of Them Witches #3: The Brides of Satan

Pierre de Lancre - "Pierre de Rosteguy de Lancre or Pierre de l'Ancre, Lord of De Lancre (1553–1631), was the French judge of Bordeaux who conducted a massive witch-hunt in Labourd in 1609. In 1582 he was named judge in Bordeaux, and in 1608 King Henry IV commanded him to put an end to the practice of witchcraft in Labourd, in the French part of the Basque Country, where over four months he sentenced to death several dozen persons."

Goodbye Stacey. Hello Mallory.

BSCC 013 - Super Special #1 - Baby-Sitters on Board

Don't forget to pack a lifejacket for this Super Special, because the boys are steering this cruise ship through a storm of passion, heartbreak, and Kristy being even more insufferable than normal. Jack and Tanner are joined by a very special guest to try and make sense of the maelstrom of action that is Baby-Sitters on Board, and to help them decide once and for all whether these mysterious baby-sitters are people ... or bees. 

Show notes:

Baby-Sitters on Board

Ways of seeing and knowing the world: Claudia’s cathectic gaze is a key point of this novel, apparent in that she structures the world through her viewfinder. People, including her fellow baby-sitters, are reduced (or, if you prefer, elevated) to mere objects of aesthetic appreciation, a paradigm that is underscored by the structure of the very book we are experiencing, which, in an arch, postmodern gesture from Ann M. Martin, is being created as a gift for the babysitters to give to their parents at the end of their journey. 

The Old Man and the Sea

The Mayor of Casterbridge: A Study of a Man of Character

What Claudia wore this week: “I put on my new blue-and white bikini and over that, a pink sundress with spaghetti straps at the shoulders and big blue buttons down the front. Then I accessorized. I tied a pink-and-blue scarf around my waist, knotting it in the middle, added my snake bracelet and feather earrings, wound my hair up on top of my head, and finally put on these white sandals with long laces that you crisscross up your legs and tie in a bow.”

BSCC 012 - Claudia and the New Girl

There's a new girl in Stoneybrook named Ashley Wyeth, and she's captured the attention of a certain young babysitter named Claudia. But, more importantly, there's a newcomer to the podcast as well named Goliath Hardbody, and we think you listeners are really going to like him. (But please don't fall in love with him and leave the podcast. We need you. You're all we have.)

Show notes

Claudia and the New Girl

Haunted Doll Watch: The 7 Deadly Sins

As outlined in this episode, the significance of Martin's Stoneybrook dolls is starting to come into focus. At least some of these dolls stand in for (and possibly generate in the people who are influenced by them) the Seven Deadly Sins. We have identified two with certainty thus far:

Doll - Mrs. Refrigerator = Gluttony

Doll - Mrs. Xerox = Envy

We'll keep an eye out for the other five in future episodes. 

Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

While Hegel doesn't specifically refer to what has come to be known as the Hegelian dialectic (Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis), Phenomenology is nonetheless a useful way into Martin's neat dialectical progression in this book, namely that:

1. Art is Truth

2. Baby-Sitting is Truth

3. Baby-Sitting is Art

Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic

Andrew Wyeth: Christina's World

Andrew Wyeth: Christina's World

BSCC 011 - Kristy and the Snobs

Nothing matters. Everyone is afraid. We're lucky we've even lived long enough to see today, and in another hundred years, none of us will be here. This one is kind of a bummer. Sorry.

Elizabethan revenge tragedy has its roots in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, arguably the first early modern play that has all the elements we've come to associate with the genre, viz. a character with a serious grievance against a dangerous foe, a play within a play, an angry ghost, and just so much gore, evident in Kristy and the Snobs in the form of all the sick burns and wicked cutdowns between our heroine and the titular snobs. 

The Duchess of Malfi

Five Revenge Tragedies: The Spanish Tragedy; Hamlet; Antonio's Revenge; The Tragedy of Hoffman; The Revenger's Tragedy

Dante's Justice: A Reappraisal of the Contrapasso

So much for revenge and justice, but what of death? Do we take comfort in a Heideggerian account, which tells us that we are all always, already being-unto-death? Or can we look to Sartre, who finds ways to humanize and individualize death, ripping some of its mystery and terror from it? It is not, perhaps, in the scope of this particular book, Kristy and the Snobs, to provide answers to these questions, but merely to point out that we are all but grains of sand in a vast desert; drops in an uncaring ocean; dwindling stars in a night sky whose primary characteristic is not light but darkness. RIP, Louie. We will never forget you.  

 

 

BSCC 010 - Logan Likes Mary Anne

There's a snake in the grass in Stoneybrook this week, and he's got his treacherous eyes on our sweet Mary Anne Spier. Loads to discuss this week including: the X-Men's Wolverine; negging; terrifying, mind-flaying demigods with surprising anatomies; and of course, the blossoming love between Logan and Mary Anne.

Show notes

Logan Likes Mary Anne

Martin's Logan is at once ominous and immensely charming. His slick Louisville accent, his apparent tender concern for Mary Anne, his otherworldly gift for babysitting ... all add up to something quiet and deadly (and in its own way, beautiful) that we somehow can't bring ourselves to look away from – a snake in the grass. This quote is from Milton's Paradise Lost, but you could easily see it as being pulled directly from the opening pages of Logan Likes Mary Anne:

"As when of old some Orator renound
In Athens or free Rome, where Eloquence
Flourishd, since mute, to some great cause addrest, 
Stood in himself collected, while each part, 
Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue
Sometimes in highth began, as no delay
Of Preface brooking through his Zeal of Right. 
So standing, moving, or to highth upgrown
The Tempter all impassiond thus began..."

Interested readers could also do worse than spending some time with Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell – a less obvious source than Milton, but more nuanced in its depiction of Lucifer, who, like Logan, is a character of vastly more complex motivations and intentions than a simple opposition of dark to light.

More on the portentous significance of the number 216 in the Left Behind series. "216" is also the area code for Cleveland

What Claudia wore this week: "Short, tight-fitting black pants and a big white shirt that said BE-BOP all over it in between pictures of rock and roll dancers. She had fixed a floppy blue bow in her hair." 

And here's the insane, off-the-wall shit she tried to make Mary Anne wear: 

"In the junior department I tried on a green sweater dress that made me look like a mermaid, and a yellow sweater dress that made me look as big as a house. Then Claudia handed me a full white skirt with the words Paris, Rome, and London, and sketchy pink and blue pictures of the Eiffel Tower, the Tower Bridge, and other stuff scrawled all over it. She matched it up with a pink shirt and a baggy pink sweater. I would never, ever have tried on that skirt, but with the shirt and sweater it looked really cool.

In the shoe department we found white slip-ons with pink and blue edging that matched the pink and blue in the skirt. I'd never have looked twice at those shoes, either, but with the rest of the outfit they were perfect."

William Blake's "Temptation of Eve," 1808

William Blake's "Temptation of Eve," 1808