Gary Robertson was in the bookstore the other day. Gary, an adult who's way into Star Wars book series and witchcraft. His long, soft, white hands look as if they've never been called upon to perform a day of hard work, not once.
He visited the locked, glass case where we keep the new age stuff, the D&D manuals, the tarot cards. Eminem and Kurt Cobain are in there, too. (Hunter S Thompson ought to be.) These are the items that are regularly lifted. You have to ask for the key. After perusing the collection, Gary approaches the counter sort of laughing in a rueful way, shaking his head. (Gary, Gary, I'm thinking, whatever it is I don't have time for it.) I don't ask so he says, "You're never going to believe it. I didn't believe it when my buddy told me. You know the Silverwolf Collection?"
I struggle to comprehend, to remember yet another fantasy series. I mean there's the Moonlight Unicorns, the Wars of the Spider Queen, the Vampire Academy, the Blue Bloods, of course the Twilight series and Harry Potter and the Series of Unfortunate Events Books 1 through 13. We've got the Brotherhood of the Wolf and the Guardians of Gahoolie, and all manner of volumes in the Dragonlance series. There are Forgotten Realms and its various knights, elves and orcs; City of Ember, City of Light' Rangers Apprentices, Chronicles of This and Warriors of that.There are Neverneverlands of every description for all readers, regardless of your age, gender, politics, sexual preference, or religious beliefs. It's endless!
No, I had to admit, I did not specifically remember the Silverwolf collection. "It's a she," Gary reminds me. Oh yeah, she's written a bunch of witchcraft stuff. "You'll never believe it. My buddy warned me - he's got the later editions. They left out a bunch of stuff in the new ones. Now they're even dumbing down Wicca! Can you believe it?"
I wanted to say, "You mean like you don't need bat's wings and eyes of newt anymore? A simple double boiler will suffice for a cauldron?" But you don't mock a customer, especially a guy who practices Wicca! I wanted to tell Gary I, too, was into witchcraft - IN THE FIFTH GRADE. GET A LIFE!!
Later, I thought Bill Bidon or Allan Ginsberg would have made a poem with that line, a commentary about America in 2009: "They're dumbing down Wicca. Can you believe it?"
-The Book Goddess