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(10) Fatih

As an addendum to yesterday’s article on Margaret Atwood and The Handmaid’s Tale, I should relate three synchronicities that occurred after I posted the article. In the article, I mentioned that witchcraft legislation should be reintroduced—and I said that without irony. Well, as soon as I posted the article on Atwood I flipped to a YouTube video I had been watching, an adaptation of The 39 Steps from 1959—this thriller has been adapted countless times for film, radio, and television. In this adaptation, the hero, Richard Hannay, on the run from the law, finds refuge in a Scottish roadside caf (thanks to advice from a truck driver and ex-con played by Sid James). The café’s proprietress is revealed to be a clairvoyant who is sympathetic to criminals because she was imprisoned under the Witchcraft Act. Given that The 39 Steps is not a supernatural story as such, just a spy thriller, it was striking that this adaptation should add such a detail—a detail so particularly related to my article.

Shortly afterwards, “Sodom and Gomorrah” started to trend on Twitter—the cause being a drag event held in a New York church, where a drag queen pranced down the aisle to appreciative rhythmic claps from the audience. This is less strong synchronicity, but my article did mention that Atwood anachronistically has her imagined Christian dictatorship use the progressive jargon “gender traitor” for “homosexual”—I pointed out that an old-time Christian would say “sodomite”, appropriately biblical. A relatively uncommon trend.

Finally, in the evening, specifically in the UK, the name “Moira” started to trend. In my article, I discussed at length a character in Tale who is called “Moira”—hardly a common name. Of course, Atwood’s name for the character, a spunky radical feminist, is a play on Moirai—“Moira” is the singular form of the goddesses who assign every man his fate; and, indeed, the character “Moira” dispenses brutal judgements upon men. Conclusion: the signs are clear—Atwood is a witch.

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