Podcasts/Sacred Tension-Horror And Halloween with Simon Widdop6rnrr

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Horror_And_Halloween_with_Simon_Widdop6rnrr SUMMARY KEYWORDS horror, people, satanism, films, watch, fucking, movie, world, book, read, supernatural horror, talking, happen, wrote, influenced, feel, turned, cathartic, satanic, called SPEAKERS Stephen Bradford Long, Simon Widdop

00:00 You're listening to a rock candy Podcast. I'm Erica Michelle, I host a voice diary called brown sugar diaries on the right kick network where I spill all the tea about my dating experiences life lessons my journey to healing and wholeness my life as an entrepreneur, student, doctor, CEO of a nonprofit, and I give my opinion on the current happenings of the world. You see why I have a lot of stuff to talk about Tim into brown sugar bands wherever you listen to podcasts and listed on this team or while you cook your business should okay.

Stephen Bradford Long 01:03 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long and we are here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one go to rock candy recordings.com All right, well, it is October which means it is spooky season maybe in more ways than one Trump as we are recording this has Coronavirus and, you know, societal breakdown might be eminent, but it is also spooky season in the more fun way. And so I will be talking to Simon Widdop about that very soon to celebrate Halloween to celebrate Satanism and everything dark and spooky and scary. But before we get to that, I first have to as always thank my patrons. My patrons are the lifeblood of this show, especially right now because I am working less I manage the grocery store, I am working fewer hours there to reduce my exposure to the public to stay safe. And I'm not teaching yoga anymore. So one of my jobs is now non existent. And the other job has been drastically cut short. And so that means that I'm now relying on my patrons now more than ever, and every little bit helps. So for this episode, I have to thank Brock, Melissa, Nate, Chrissy, Helena, and rich, you are all my personal lords and saviors. And I really could not do this without you. But maybe you want to support the show. But you are in a difficult financial place right now, as many of us are a lot of people are in a similar situation to me, maybe you aren't working at all. The economy is trashed right now. And I totally understand if you're unable to give to an artist right now. If you find yourself in that situation, then there are several ways that you can still support the show. One is to just subscribe wherever you listen, be it on Spotify on Stitcher on Apple podcast. No matter where you are, no matter where you're listening, go ahead and just subscribe to the show. And that tells our digital overlords that this show is worth recommending to others and and that will help the show grow. And then another way to do it is to leave a five star review on Apple podcast. Now I will read a five star review right now on a hotter Moon 78 says his podcast has become my favorite one out there. I just can't get enough and it seems that it doesn't matter what the topic is or the release date. Stephen is equal parts intelligent and down to earth. He is so well spoken and funny, articulate on the right side of history and so open and honest, it's simply refreshing to listen to someone who seems so very authentic. I would give more than five stars if I could, between the host the guests, the CO hosts and the range of subjects. jumping on board sacred tension was the best decision I've made in a while hail this podcast and hail satan. Very, very sweet review. I really feel like after reading that one out loud though I need to I need to get a negative review. I need to get a really nasty review and read that one out loud to kind of balance it out. So if you leave a review I will read it on the show every little bit helps. All right. Well with all of that finally out of the way I am delighted to welcome Simon Widdop up is that right Simon, "Widdup"? That's right Steve. Okay, beautiful. Simon went up to the show. To talk about his newest project, the poet from the Black Lagoon. He is a poet he is also a satanist and a horror aficionado. How's it going?

Simon Widdop 04:55 Well, all things considered Stephen. Things are going to all right

Stephen Bradford Long 05:00 All right, yeah, you know, it's super weird because I feel and I've been feeling this way all year long where it's like there's this dissonance between my personal life and then the world because my personal life is actually fine you know, like things are pretty good in my personal life. And then I turn on the news and I look at the world and it just feels totally overwhelming and awful and so there's like this weird dissonance between my personal life being pretty great and then the world feeling like it's on fucking fire.

Simon Widdop 05:34 Yeah, it's like the whole sounds like a cartoon you know where the character wait so go downstairs the having the breakfast having the coffee. It's all pleasant and lovely. And then it just opened the curtains and smashed coats when nuclear wasteland they were not there. Yeah.

Stephen Bradford Long 05:50 And the zombies are coming. And you know, before we know it Coronavirus is going to mutate into something horrific, and there will be actual zombies on the streets. So you are a poet and you are a Satanist. And specifically, you, you focus a lot on horror and kind of horror pop culture. What got you into horror? What? What sparked this love inside of you

Simon Widdop 06:19 like most nine is kids, I was just brought up on VHS. So from a very early age, aliens, the Terminator, Terminator two, again, very sci fi horror, but just those gateways in. And even from an early age, I wasn't scared. I wasn't bothered by them. I want to know how they were made. So seeing the work that Stan Winston used to deal with that Rick Baker used to do that Tom Savini was seeing that and seeing how that all came together. That's what pushed me further in. So as I got older, finding the Hammer Horror stuff, find the classic Universal Monsters stop being movies, slashes, it's just an addiction.

Stephen Bradford Long 06:57 It is an addiction. So I only watch horror. I just did a solo ama episode and someone asked me so what do you what do you what do you and your partner enjoy doing together? And really, like one of the foundational cornerstones of our relationship is horror. It really is. And I remember John, this was this was recently I mean, this was in the past year, I remember John and I, we were on the couch watching some terrible splatter B horror movie. And, and he just turned to me at one point and was like, I love how at the beginning of our relationship, we thought that the thing that brought us together was Jesus, because we were both Christians at the time. Yeah, you know, he was like, you know, I thought that, you know, I love how when we first got together, we thought that what made us compatible was Jesus, when in fact all along it was this. It was bladder movie, it was it was, it was terrible be horror movies. And like that was actually the sub current beneath it. It was our love of horror and our love of Sherlock and our love of just terrible movies. And you know, of course, we also love good horror movies, but we have a we have a special fondness for really, really bad are. And that has been the consistent thing through our entire relationship. And now neither of us are Christians. And we look back and realize no, actually it was horror all along.

Simon Widdop 08:33 That's it. I mean, that's the same for me and my partner cows. We we just love horror and the, the the book and I will probably come onto it. But that's where this collection actually started. Last year we basically last summer I it was a really weird time for me because I was made redundant from a job in retail. And I sort of went from there straight into doing my debut, one man show over in Manchester. And it was just such a buzz. You know, I just won my first award for the show. I'm doing a week long run. And then I came home and sort of reality hit a bit because anyone that works in theater in the arts and musicians know you're booking six months down the line. So coming back in the summer, I'm emailing venues, I'm just getting out there as much as I can. All I'm getting back is we're not doing for this sort of six month period getting ready for spring summer 2020. So one weekend, she just turned around and said, right, you pick a horror film that I've never seen, or people that you've never seen, and we'll do a double bill one weekend and I hold my hands up. I had never seen the original poltergeist original Toby who

Stephen Bradford Long 09:47 you know what I have also, I have never seen the original poltergeists aid. Really, I've seen I've seen bits and pieces of it here and there. So I feel like I have enough to kind of make a mosaic yet have the movie in my mind. But I've never actually seen the movie from beginning to end. It's

Simon Widdop 10:05 brilliant. Again, you look at the behind the scenes stuff and see how terrifying it could have been. And, you know, did Steven Spielberg really direct it and all that sort of thing. And from there that's sort of perked me up and a couple of weeks later, a row one called Baby my poltergeists, because she shares her name with the little girl. And she has had people say to her, Oh, Carolyn. Oh, like, like the little girl from Poland? Yeah.

Stephen Bradford Long 10:30 Now, this is your part. Yeah. This is your partner who shares the name with. Okay, cool.

Simon Widdop 10:34 So I wrote baby my Poltergeist, I wrote another couple of others went off to my publisher and with the idea was it we're going to be a very short collection of chat book that we're going to bring out last year. And I thought, Well, no, we'll see what happens with the show. We'll try and do the show instead, obviously, 2020 They hit. So instead, me and my publisher editor, we sat down, we I just kept writing and writing and writing, and we hunkered it all down narrow date. And it turned into the collection that it is now and we said right. Fuck it. Let's get it out for Halloween this year. No matter what happens, let's just get something out. Because the world needs a bit of relief.

Stephen Bradford Long 11:13 It does. And so the book is called The poet from the Black Lagoon, which is a fabulous title. I was reading it today. And last night I was I was flipping through it. And it's super fun. It's like super campy, it's it's like Rocky Horror kind of Camp is the vibe that I was getting from it. And so what are what are all the influences that went into this particular book of poetry.

Simon Widdop 11:40 So it was a mix of just watching sort of films that never seen before. So after doing that week, and we kind of did it for sort of through the rest of the summer. But then at one point, I had to go into the loft to sort of sauce boxes out and in there I found all my old Cannibal Corpse CDs, all sort of cradle fill CD, and it just sat there and just sort of re listened to some of these old albums and that just spurred on more stuff. I was rereading some Edgar Allan Poe stuff, rereading some of the Lovecraft stuff something Zulu with us.

Stephen Bradford Long 12:14 Which is your favorite Lovecraft. By the way, because I recently worked through the complete fiction,

Simon Widdop 12:19 I still need to rework through it, but I do have a fondness for the mountains of madness. Me too,

Stephen Bradford Long 12:25 I think because that was my my first one. That was that was, I think the first the first Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos story that I really delved into. And so that was really formative. For me.

Simon Widdop 12:38 It's a it's a favorite one of mine and I, again, being the sort of hominid that I am. It's that what if of if del Toro had got to make his version back in 2012? Yes, there's little tidbits that come out. And if you Google it, there is an image of the muon penguins. They built a full sort of puppet. Yeah, he's that he's got on display and it just looks so grotesque and brilliant. And it's a shame we haven't got to see that on the big screen yet. It really is.

Stephen Bradford Long 13:08 Yeah, we really, I was so sad when deltora wasn't able to make that. I'm going to look that up real fast. Del Toro penguin just out of curiosity. Oh, man, that does look incredible. Yeah, that's great. Okay, cool. Um, yeah, so mountains of madness is great. color out of space, I think yes. My favorite shadow

Simon Widdop 13:35 stage film was brilliant. Did

Stephen Bradford Long 13:37 you like that? Well, either way actually. I enjoyed it. Enjoyed it? Yeah,

Simon Widdop 13:41 I can't wait for the next one. Same

Stephen Bradford Long 13:43 and cool. So go on you're going through through the various inspirations

Simon Widdop 13:48 Yeah, so I just went through all that and then then we discover twin temple and we just love twin temple we love their stagecraft What the do I sort of then delved into the law around ghost so

Stephen Bradford Long 14:06 that when temple for people who don't know twin Temple is this amazing satanic doowop band and so it's like satanic jazz do up and I love it and the lead singer has like this very Amy Winehouse kind of voice and anyway it's great sorry go on.

Simon Widdop 14:24 If you're honestly if you haven't listened to twin simple yet you need to eat an experience when live show start back up again Go and sit and

Stephen Bradford Long 14:32 watch their watch their stuff on YouTube as well because they do ritual performances and it's just super cool. So you're going to mention Ghost Ghost happens to be my personal favorite. I fucking love ghost.

Simon Widdop 14:47 Although we we had a bit of back and forth on Twitter about this other day don't wait. The what Tobias is done and again, I know there's stuff that's happened with past studio band members. Yeah, there's a bit of well, there were better before this album. But you know what, I just love it. I love what Tobias because I love well building. That's why I loved my chemical romance. And I still do because of the world bill that Gerard Way did. I just appreciate being able to sort of delve into just more than the music. But again, that's just the nerd. That's just the nerdy.

Stephen Bradford Long 15:20 I get it. So I am often asked, what is it about horror that that draws me to it? Why do I just watch horror? And I struggle with this question, because to me, it's so intuitive that the joy that I find in horror is is deeply visceral, but it's also kind of inexplicable, it's really, really, really hard to put to words. And so people are mortified when they find out that I just watch horror. They they are absolutely horrified. And you know, they will say, oh, you should watch, you should watch someone's you know, you should watch, you know, call me by your name or whatever. And I'm like, Well, it isn't a horror movie. So I probably won't watch it. It doesn't matter how good of a movie it is. If it isn't a horror movie, I just don't want to see it. And so that's kind of where I'm at. That's where I've been for like the past five years. I will almost watch and I'll pretty much not watch a movie unless it is a horror movie. Or if it's a really bad movie, like I'm I'm a big fan of terrible Christian movies. That's that's another soft spot for me. But that's maybe the only other genre that I can get into is terrible, terrible Christian movies, terrible evangelical movies, in trying to articulate my love of horror. I find the aesthetic, comforting for whatever reason. I yeah, I find it comforting. I find it soothing. In fact, like John and I have turned our house into a kind of a horror Museum. Like, the The living room is completely horror themed. I, I find I what I what many people experience as traumatic I experience as pleasant. I don't know why. You know what I'm saying? No,

Simon Widdop 17:16 no, I get it. It's it's that level of escapism. And let's say for me looking at effects. That's why I put it this way. I get a hold my hands up to this. I am more not spine tingle. But I'm more creeped out at the scene in Pinocchio when the kid turns into the donkey. Yeah, that's that I am a Werewolf in London with transformation scene. And I don't know, I cannot place my finger on what it is. There was just something about that scene that I still struggle with it. 30 years old. Yeah. But you give me a front of the 13 You'll give me a nightmare LLC. I was like, Yeah, that was brilliant. Yeah,

Stephen Bradford Long 17:54 exactly. It is. I don't know what it is either. And, and so like I will, I'll talk to my friends. And they will say oh my god, no. Oh, and I, when I saw this movie, I couldn't sleep for months. And I'm like, I love that movie, that it's great. And I wonder there's, there's part of it that I you know, I, for example, I lived through a shooting I survived a shooting when I was 19 years old. And and I grew up the son of an exorcist. My My father was an exorcist. And so while I don't believe in the wild, I don't believe in the supernatural. The world that I grew up in was pretty terrifying. You know, it was, it was a world full of literal demons, or I, which we, you know, or we believed that the world was full of literal demons that could possess people. And then I would I remember attending, exorcisms that my father would do, and it was terrifying. It was absolutely horrifying. And so I feel like I really did just grow up in a terrifying world. You know, there's, there's an element to it for me, where where I think horror is comforting because the world is terrifying. And, and, you know, I had this experience back in 2007. This was right after the the shooting I was in, in you know, I did a whole episode about that with my friend Matt Langston. And it's it's way back, like 100 shows back or something but people can can hunt that down and I go into that story in depth. But a week later, after the shooting, I'm back home. I'm back home from Colorado. And my friend Nels, also known as Ida Carolina, the incredible drag queen. She is like Steven, I know that you've just been through a shooting and you've just watched people get shot to death. But we are going to see Sweeney Todd, and you can hear it she was like if you need to hold my hand. It's fine. If you need to tell me to that it's time to leave It's okay just let me know. But she was like dead set on seeing Sweeney Todd with me. And so I went to see Sweeney Todd. And, and of course, there's some very gory scenes, and it's about like this ruthless serial killer. And I and I was just in the aftermath of encountering a killer, you know of encountering a mass killer. And I found watching Sweeney Todd. cathartic, because it puts the killer safely behind the screen, you know it. And so there's something about, there's something about horror, where it, it puts it safely behind the screen,

Simon Widdop 20:41 because then you got all of that level of control having you exactly needed to you exactly, you can pause it, you can forward fast, you can rewind, you're in control, you're in

Stephen Bradford Long 20:50 control, you're in control, when you watch a horror movie, you can always walk out, you can always pause it, but also you can you can study it, you can study darkness, and you can study evil in a way that you can't, when you're in the middle of the experience. And now that was what I think was so cathartic about Sweeney Todd, for me, was that, you know, here's this killer, for the first time, I can finally look him in the eyes and kind of begin the process of understanding a mass murderer. Yeah, you know, and that and I think many other reasons. But But still, even when I explained that to people, they're like, I still don't get it. Why would you do that to yourself, really? And I wonder, I really wonder if there's like some neurological thing where it's just our brains, the brains of horror fans are just wired differently.

Simon Widdop 21:43 Well, that sent me during the start of like the lockdowns and stuff like that a lot of streaming sites were seen whenever an increase in people wanting to watch pandemic based films.

Stephen Bradford Long 21:55 Yeah, remember that.

Simon Widdop 21:56 But again, I've talked about this with my friend, I don't know where in terms of horror cinema, where are things gonna go next? Because are we going to want a break from zombies? Are we going to want to break from sort of from pandemic films? Are we I know, we saw screen fives happening and we're going to get you Nightmare on Elm Street. And we're going to get you Jason, you don't mean we're going to go back to 80s slasher? Or will people want a pandemic based film to sort of almost cathartic ly deal with what we're collectively going through?

Stephen Bradford Long 22:32 Have you read the introduction that Stephen King wrote to the shining? No, the shot is on the bookshelf. Yeah. So the shining, of course, iconic and wonderful. But he wrote a fantastic introduction. And, you know, I forget for which edition it was, it was one of it's one of the newer editions of the book that he wrote his introduction for. And he says that real life horror, real life tragedy, which happens all the time, has kind of this blinding reality to it. You know, there's like this blinding quality to say, a car wreck, or a plane crash, or a child having cancer or your parent dying, you know, reality is fucking brutal, you know, reality and the realities of mortality and disease and death and income inequality. Basically, he goes on to say that horror is a lens through which you can, you can look at reality because reality raw is just too much. It's too blinding. And so we need these filters to have the ghost story, the the monster story, the we need these filters to be able to confront the human condition.

Simon Widdop 23:56 Does that mean, again, as a really, sort of broad stroke example? Look at a lot of the 50s beamer was in a toilet monster was they were very thinly veiled, McCarthyism, propaganda effectively, you know, all be aware of the other day is this thing that looks like because he's going to come and get us and, you know, we can now look back and go, right, it's very deliberate communism, you look at Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But then you look at something like the thing, especially the John Capital One, and you could now apply a sort of a, a COVID mindset. And again, I don't mean this about taste, but you could look at a COVID mindset and apply it to the thing and you will see that sort of the paranoia, you know, this is a of almost a disease that is getting inside is changing, and anyone could be affected.

Stephen Bradford Long 24:45 Same with alien, same way. Yeah, same with Hellraiser. In a way, you know, like, I think Hellraiser actually has a lot to do with HIV AIDS. I think I think Hellraiser has come, you know, it came out during the 80s. And I think it connects a lot Hot with the, with the public's terror of, of HIV AIDS. But that yeah, that's just me i. And so it's like you can. So basically what I'm hearing you say is like with with the example of the thing, you can read modern terrors into the stories and it still be incredibly cathartic and and kind of counter intuitively it can be empowering for people. Yeah,

Simon Widdop 25:30 in a weird way it can because again, we know the human mind works in brilliant, extraordinary ways.

Stephen Bradford Long 25:36 And in very counterintuitive ways like it, doesn't it? Well. And one way that I tried to that I've tried to put this, you know, Michael Pollan, who is a food writer he talks about in one of his books, I think it's cooked, he talks about what he calls the erotics of disgust, and the erotics of disgust is it has to do with fermented foods and how every culture has a particular fermented food that every other culture on the planet sees is just absolutely revolting. But your membership and in this culture means that you love this particular thing yet, like pickled lambs head, or you know, just something grotesque, or, you know, a really pungent cheese or it doesn't, or, you know, like a fermented liquefied loaf of bread or whatever it is, you have this, this dis this liking for the disgust, and it's cultural. And he calls this this relationship that we have with fermented foods, the erotics of disgust and and I think that there is something very similar that happens with horror movies where it's just like, somewhere in my brain. There's something about this, you know, like a great example is the movie terror fire where were just horrific. Like that movie actually gave me nightmares. I actually was having dreams about art the clown, and but I fucking loved it. Why would why do I love a movie where a woman is turned upside down naked and sawed in half by by a deviant clown? Like, why the fuck am i into that? And I really think that there's something about, quote, The the erotics of disgust that, that there's something in my brain that that is that experiences it as pleasure

Simon Widdop 27:31 go. All you have to do is go back and look at like the soul films on the hostile films and that whole Yeah, thing of oh, it's torture porn. And to an extent you can understand what the saw films because the first saw is a brilliant psychological film. I mean, the twist at the end. Yeah, it's genius is fantastic. But then the further the franchise went on, it just became about right. Okay, we did this kill last time. What can we do with it?

Stephen Bradford Long 27:56 What kill can we do this time?

Simon Widdop 27:58 That's it. What how, what do we do next? And it just it got lost? I mean, no, wrong. I'm looking forward to the Chris Rock one that that spiral sort of spin off, but it's not it's a sequel? Obviously, that should have been out like, what last month? Sure. Obviously, it's not happening now. Yeah, those films just kept grossing in terms of numbers. And they kept grossing out the audience. But we kept going back to seeing the general public kept going. And the critics just kept saying, Why are you watching these terrible films you because we can't because we enjoy them. Because we know these things aren't real, because it's so ridiculous. The way that these people are getting bumped off. This is something that

Stephen Bradford Long 28:40 can't happen. I also just think the public are perverts don't cause like, like, people are just perverts and want to see this shit. That's just the way it is. You know, I remember. And that's fine. It's, it's fine that the public are perverts. And you know, there's this really interesting moral issue there where people are afraid that and the same is true for true crime. Like people will always give these high minded answers for why they're really into true crime. Does that make sense? We get fascinated by the deviancy

Simon Widdop 29:20 I don't know if this is Ed in America, I think it might be on BBC America or whatever your equivalents are for the channels. But over here, we've just had David Tennant playing a British yaki. Oh,

Stephen Bradford Long 29:32 yeah. What's his name? What's the serial killer is

Simon Widdop 29:36 that we make just let me check my notes. Dennis Nielsen. That's it. That's right. Dennis Nielsen. Under that, and again, it could be a mix of that no new program has been on through the summer. Bought the three part drama was the highest viewed drama ever on cars

Stephen Bradford Long 29:55 TV, of course, because we're fucking perverts because we're in because the The human mind is deviant. And that's just the way it fucking is. For the same reason that the number one book in like human history is Shades of Grey, or, like, you know, and it's fine.

Simon Widdop 30:17 It's the Simbu in its Yes, exactly, Boo essence of it.

Stephen Bradford Long 30:23 People People are like, oh, you know, why do we Why do we read about Ed Gien? And people will try to give some philosophical answer when it's like, no, you're just fascinated by a dude who butchers women and wears their their skin is clothing. Exactly. And but here's the thing. My personal philosophy with this is that we, people who are horror fans, in my personal experience, tend to be some of the most moral people I know. Absolutely. And I think salutely They tend to be some of the most moral and, and nuanced thinkers, I, you know, I don't want to I don't want to take the, you know, to take this too far into hyperbole. But in general, horror, people tend to be upright citizens in a way that you wouldn't necessarily expect. And I think the reason for this is because being a fan of horror means that you have a very clear idea of what's right and wrong and, and what is real and not real. And so in order to, to engage in horror as entertainment, it forces you to think deeply about what is right and wrong. And I wonder if, if the engagement with horror can actually make us better people? You know, I wonder if engaging with horror can actually make us more ethical because it forces us to think and it forces us to confront the monster and fantasy is not the same thing as behavior, fantasizing about serial killers or, or engaging in stories that we love about serial killers is not the same thing as condoning them. And I sometimes wonder if the act of engaging in horror and doing the hard cognitive work of of parsing out what's wrong and why something is wrong, actually, in the end makes us healthier moral beings? I don't know what you think of that. What's your?

Simon Widdop 32:17 No, I think so. I mean, again, this I agree what you're saying. This is quote, from personal experience, all of my friends that are horror fans, I would have got to use the face, I would trust them with my life. Yeah, same boast. Articulate, genuine people. I mean, you've only got it because you're looking at some of what the big conventions were the big horror conventions, and look, how many of the actors and actresses from over the decades will always say, I will always come back and do with this call, because of how nice the fans are, I want to give back to the fans.

Stephen Bradford Long 32:48 And they all they're you know, they all have their charities and they all have their their passions for humanitarian work almost like without fail, you know, they're, they're all very humanitarian. And I don't know, like, I think of my partner, who is a bigger horror fan than I am. And he works in suicide prevention. And so it's like, during the night he is engaging in like, truly horrific media. And then during the day, he's talking people down from ledges, and there's a connection there. For me, there really is watching my partner, there's a connection between the work he does and suicide and his love of horror. And I feel like one helps the other. You know, I feel like it actually helps them be like a better person. So what is so I know that you probably don't have a single favorite horror movie. But what if you had to decide right now? What what is your favorite right now? Steven,

Simon Widdop 33:49 why are you doing this to me? I know. Creech for the Black Lagoon.

Stephen Bradford Long 33:56 I have never seen that one. The old black and white one. Yes.

Simon Widdop 33:59 I was lucky enough to see it in 3d many years ago when the 3d craze happened. Yeah, it's just wonderful because it is so 50s It's just so what's that over there? Were there and just works just hands to our butt. eats the creature works fantastic. It's a fairy tale you can understand why. Again, Delta sort of made a quasi remaking shape of water heats. Okay. Tweets full salt bits. Yeah, he

Stephen Bradford Long 34:33 took it he took it into I remember watching an interview with him or about him about that movie and how when he was a little boy who was he was watching Creature from the Black Lagoon and this scene where the creature is swimming beneath the woman and she doesn't know and it was in the mood in the original movie. It was supposed to be like super chilling and terrifying. But as a little boy, he was watching that and thinking, Oh, that's so romance. Take

Simon Widdop 35:02 some sort of moral panic from the senses at the studio weather like this is quite clearly sex the directors will I did not that just it's just two people swimming don't know what you're on about just two people swim well a person the monster swimming. Yeah, so it's

Stephen Bradford Long 35:18 yeah, I I'm trying to think which which which horror movie is my favorite at present? I honestly don't know. I I couldn't I right now I have been very into the films by Ari Asher, hereditary and midsommar

Simon Widdop 35:39 Though you Yeah, we watched with some of the the we did the director's cut. And again, we enjoyed it, we got it. But then we watch the lighthouse at the start of the year. And we want to go back and watch the Witch and the lighthouse back to back as well because the material field is just brilliant.

Stephen Bradford Long 35:56 Yeah, I watched the lighthouse and I feel like I need to rewatch it. Some. The first time I saw it, I was like, Huh, I'm not. I'm not. I it was. I mean, it was brilliant. And I enjoyed it. But I'm like, I feel like there was a lot there that I that I probably missed. How does Satanism how does how does your love of horror feed into your Satanism?

Simon Widdop 36:21 Oh, you know, I've no, I'll be honest, I've never thought about it that way. I think I think like you said earlier, the moralistic side of things is, you know, being able to look at something subjectively and be they'll say, right, this is good. This is bad. This helps me understand what is good. What is bad. It's, it's annoying to see, you know, Satan being the bad guy in every other supernatural horror film and but, you know,

Stephen Bradford Long 36:53 speaking of that, do you find it interesting, so I have a pet peeve with supernatural horror, because I feel like a lot of it functions and I wonder if this is the influence of The Exorcist. A lot of it functions as almost like Christian propaganda. A really good example of this is the conjuring films. I feel like the conjuring movies ultimately exist within kind of a fundamentalist Christian worldview. Yes.

Simon Widdop 37:25 But again with something like that you go right back to Dracula, you know even back then you're the whole thing of the Crosswell Yes, the stop the and again when you start to look at things not even subjects but when you start to peel layers away It's the power of Christianity is stopping the foreign intruder right when you go right back to Dracula bull you're right every how many supernatural films is a it's the crucifix It's the power of God and light that will stop these demons.

Stephen Bradford Long 37:57 Yes. And you know it's it's it's the name of Christ and Mother Mary and and you know, I, for example, my father, I think was very influenced by horror moved by supernatural horror and you see this kind of feeding in to each other with supernatural horror and then fundamentalist Christianity. I really feel and while fundamentalist Christianity often denounces horror, there is still this weird symbiotic relationship that it has. Where the world of deliverance ministry and exorcism is very influenced by pop culture is is very influenced

Simon Widdop 38:49 because you expect the robes we expect the crucifix Yeah. Oh, really? Well, and again, it's it's so Hollywood, but that is what it comes to expect. Yeah. If you want see solid inversion of all this have you guys seen we some of the darkness where we will say that one more time? We saw him in the darkness. No, I haven't seen that. I won't spoil it. Johnny Knoxville it was in. Knoxville plays an 80s. TV and jellies and it's all set within the 80s Satanic Panic. Oh, nice. Go and watch that because I don't want to say too much. But you'll you'll like it.

Stephen Bradford Long 39:30 I am looking forward to it came out in 2019. Yeah, awesome. Yes. I'll check it out. So do you feel like your Satanism and your love of horror just kind of grew up naturally together and they're just kind of and maybe they don't really interact or they don't consciously interact? Well?

Simon Widdop 39:52 I wouldn't say they do. But again, once you start sort of get this articulate this. Because for me, again grown up in the, in the 90s, you know, being brought up around Marilyn Manson Cradle of Filth. You know, we saw these satanic images, you know, like Manson tearing up the Bible, Cradle of Filth just go in hell bent for leather with their whole shtick. But in a weird way, Manson was my sort of beginning awareness of LaVey. Because obviously, you know, there were rumors that LaVey and Manson were intertwined is that the secret means so Saba came into my teen years, it became the whole thing of all, I had to read the Satanic Bible.

Stephen Bradford Long 40:42 So your intro, so your intro to Satanism, like many of us was was

Simon Widdop 40:47 a cliche? Yeah, yeah. So I read this as well. Again, I try to read the Bible when we're about 1617. And I admit, I didn't quite get your costs. I just wasn't in the right mindset. I was like, I don't get this. Then, a couple of years ago, I really picked up and sat back down, ready, on the study, approach, appreciate what you did. But there was just so much I couldn't get bored with the individualism because, yeah, as a socialist, as someone who was being brought up as a carer, I just couldn't suddenly switch and go, No, I'm looking after myself.

Stephen Bradford Long 41:29 I'm completely with you on that. You know, I appreciate I appreciate the legacy of Anton LaVey. I love his aesthetic. But I I am not that I don't hold to that philosophy at all.

Simon Widdop 41:45 Yeah. So like many others, I then saw the documentary I was I heard about ALC. And I watched it and I was just like, this, is it? Oh, yeah. Oh, here we go. sort of went from there. I found the allies, the UK allies group. So as the back end of last year joined, and things have just gone from there.

Stephen Bradford Long 42:12 Yeah. Yeah, I joined very quietly in 2017. Because, and I say quietly, because I was a Christian writer for a decade. And, you know, I was, so I was in this really weird place where it's like, I was still very much part of the Christian world. But I was starting to identify more with Satanism. And I was, I was a non theist at that point. I was a non theist, but but there is this weird, there was this period where there was like, I was in this in the middle of this very weird Venn Diagram of Christianity and Satanism. And I guess in a way, I'm still there, you know, I guess in a way I'm, I don't, I don't try to push away my Christian influences. I embrace them. Because to me, and I talked about this with William Morrison about the process, Church of the final judgment, if you like, tst, Satanism is very much about the reconciliation of opposites. And so for me, it is I embrace Christianity, certain certain elements of Christianity, I should say, and incorporate them into my Satanism because it's, for me personally, it is about that reconciliation of opposites. And, you know, that's one way in which Marilyn Manson was a huge influence on me because Marilyn Manson Of course, his whole idea was was the coming together of binaries, the coming together of opposites. And so it's, it's in the name, Marilyn Monroe, and Charles Manson. And so putting, putting together like the most glamorous icon, and then the most notorious killer, putting them together in one name, and creating this new entity. Well, that that is very much what my Satanism is. I forgot what got me onto this tangent. But I forget why I was talking about that. But yeah, go on. But yeah,

Simon Widdop 43:57 I mean, I wasn't brought up in a, in a Christian household. This is the weird thing. A lot of the schools over here in England, I mean, the now a lot of them are Academy systems. It's a whole fucking mess. But I went to a church of England School, because a lot of them are there. And it's sort of you know, hymns every day you do that activity every year. You're gonna do stuff to the harvest festival. So it was always sort of there, but I wasn't that wasn't getting reinforced anywhere at all. Yeah, my, it's with this sort of culture that things were expected, like christenings and weddings in a church. It was just because I spoke about this with my parents. It's just like, it was just a dumb thing. So I was christened as a child as a baby but speaking to my mom about it, it's like well, it's kind of Uranus and uncles expected it. Well why did they expect it well, just I don't know the kind of expected it

Stephen Bradford Long 44:50 to happen. It's just what you do. It's just yeah, for all so for me,

Simon Widdop 44:55 again, having to bring that I've had in terms of socialism trade union. is a sort of collectivism being a care of the family members that have been in bad health that sort of guided my moral compass because I might write I need, there is responsibility for me to look after these people. But I'm still valid, I can still do, I can still take me time, as well as I'm not having to just be this one person.

Stephen Bradford Long 45:25 Yeah, that makes sense. And I am totally relating to what you're saying, because I felt like I personally felt like Satanism was inaccessible to me, because the only Satanism that I had encountered was LaVeyan. Satanism. And it wasn't until 2017 that I discovered that, that there were entirely different schools of Satanism that, you know, maybe LaVey is the primary founder and and the first one who really turned it into a social codified movement, I guess you could say, but that doesn't mean that it's the only kind and and so I, I remember kind of from the age of 16, resonating with Satanism, resonating with the concept of Satan as the antihero, the ultimate outsider that clicked for me really early on even when I was a Christian, it clicked for me, but I felt like Satanism was inaccessible to me because of what you were just talking about the the intense individualism, kind of the iron Randian iron Randian ism, of Anton LaVey. And and so I felt like I felt like Satanism was inaccessible for for me because of that for a long time. And it wasn't until I discovered the Satanic Temple that I realized that no, there are different kinds of Satanism and that this is accessible to me.

Simon Widdop 46:50 Well, that was it. I mean, this is the thing as well with the with the UK chapter, because Hi guys, by the way, because Hi, they, this is a surprise. They, from the people that are there that are again, they've come through CLS and come into tst. And we've got all the members that have said, you know, the sort of the same path that that we'd both say that they understood Libby's interpretation, but it was just that individualism they just could not get on board with but then we've all come together. And it's just it is one big happy family of strangers. Yeah,

Stephen Bradford Long 47:27 it definitely is. And it's a it's a community of individuals. And I think that's one reason why it's so it works so well. And granted a bunch of Satanists being together. It can be like herding cats, like I'm not denying that at all. They can be very ugly sometimes. But that's true of any community. And I think that, you know, one of my favorite authors, Jaron Lanier is a computer tech guy. One of the things he says all the time is be a cat, cats, we're not domesticated cats approached humans, and we're never, we're never domesticated. And so cats always have had kind of this mystique to them this intense individuality to them, they are their own beings, but they still exist with us. They still exist in households, there still are pets. Absolutely. And and so what he says is, be a cat be an extreme individual. And I like to think of the Satanic Temple as a church full of cats. A church full of intensely unique individuals who, who enjoy each other's company.

Simon Widdop 48:43 Exactly. Honestly, it is we, again, especially through all this, our group chats have been full of just memes, recipes, film recommendations. Without just YouTube watch parties. No, we've watched some of the sort of the old Satanic Panic. There is still so good. Oh, we've watched like in the name of say, and an explosion, Satan's underground, you know, just having a laugh with that, which we've all named is,

Stephen Bradford Long 49:15 you know, I was getting ready to leave Twitter. This was a year or two ago, but then my, my Twitter started to become very inundated with Satan. And honestly, for the first time in years, my for the first time in years, Twitter is fun, because the satanic community is just so fucking fun. And they have a fantastic sense of humor as well. And so it's like, for the first time in years, Twitter is actually enjoyable because it's mostly made up of Satanists. Now.

Simon Widdop 49:50 Without a sense of humor. This world would be incredibly dark,

Stephen Bradford Long 49:55 but also without a sense of humor. Satanism doesn't work like exactly you're with About a sense of humor and that doesn't mean that it isn't sincere. That doesn't mean that it isn't earnest but it's like Satan is the ultimate trickster god and it's like he's a he's a Loki or a pan figure. He's like the ultimate trickster and so to to be a Satanist. I think a means to have a pretty good sense of humor. I think that's that's required

Simon Widdop 50:22 the tone has to be firmly in the cheek at times. Yes,

Stephen Bradford Long 50:27 absolutely. Which is why you know when when the Satanic Temple did the abortion raffle Pete some people were really offended by that. I thought it was fucking hilarious. When when they were raffling off abortions, or you know, the BDSM baby protest. That was the that was my first exposure to the temple. Actually, Jax, Jax Blackmores. What's her name? Jax.

Simon Widdop 50:52 Jax Blount. Paul,

Stephen Bradford Long 50:53 okay, Jax Blackmore, she, you know, when she was still at the temple in Detroit and she did the BDSM baby protests where it's like a bunch of nearly nude adults wearing baby masks in bondage gear flogging themselves and pouring baby powder and milk over themselves in public during a Catholic you know, anti abortion protest. I I got it. Like, that was the first thing that I have. John, my partner introduced me to the temple. And he he pulled up this video it was like, oh my god, Steven, you have to watch this. And I don't know, it made sense to me that this was a very sincere and a sincere religious expression of, of religious identity. And to be a really fucking wicked sense of humor. Like those things coexist. They're not mutually exclusive.

Simon Widdop 51:47 Yeah, that's it. Look at look at the pink masks that Lucien did as well.

Stephen Bradford Long 51:53 It's so fucking hilarious.

Simon Widdop 51:55 Again, I don't if I'm wrong on this, but I know Lucien isn't always keen on on the picture being reshard at times as a but just the idea that he did to say, Right you are, I'm going to go it's the whole thing of your mom. Right? I'm not gonna go for you. Because Phelps wasn't dead at this point. I'm just going to do this. And I'm just going to pace you right off. And I'm going to laugh while I'm doing it. Because of the fucking horrible things that you have done. Yes. To others.

Stephen Bradford Long 52:20 Yeah, the idea of the pink mass being they and this was when Fred Phelps was still alive. They went to the grave of Fred Phelps his mother, and did gay acts on top of the grave during in a ritual under the presumption of making his mother a lesbian in the afterlife. And then Lucien Greaves put his balls on the tombstone. He bugged the heat. Yes. And now I think I now I think he is like, outlawed for Mississippi, I think. I, I think he is banned for Mississippi or something hilarious like that. But honestly, of all the states to be banned from Mississippi is a pretty good one. All right, well, we're coming up on our time. But this has been lots of fun. For people who want to see more of your work and want to check out your book, where can they do that?

Simon Widdop 53:17 Right. So this is I'll try to keep this as simple as possible. So Twitter, Instagram, both are at Simon with poet SIMONWIDD, LP poet. I'm on YouTube. Unfortunately, I haven't got 100 subscribers yet. So I can't do a custom URL. If you just type in Simon, we're not poet. I'll appear on there. There's my website as well. The book is exclusively available online at plastic brain press. And their website is plastic hyphen, brain hyphen, press.com. Or, again, Twitter and Instagram. You'll find the links on there.

Stephen Bradford Long 54:01 Awesome. Yeah, definitely check out the book. It's a lot of fun, and follow him on Twitter, and on YouTube and everywhere. All right, well, that is it for this show. I also forgot to mention at the very top of this episode, that sacred tension is sponsored by the satanic temple.tv. Go to the satanic temple.tv To get all kinds of rituals and documentaries, feature films, live streams, interviews, all kinds of stuff. There's also some kinky stuff and some porn on there as well if that's your cup of tea, and you can get one month free by entering my promo code sacred tension all caps, no space at checkout. Please take advantage of that they have some amazing content. All right. Well, that is it for this show. The music is by the jelly rocks and eleventy seven you can find them on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to music. They We'll there will be a link in the show notes and the artwork is by Rama Krishna Das this show is written produced and edited by me Steven Bradford long and is a production of rock candy recordings as always Hail Satan we will see you next week right Right jacked up we got is next to them