"Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text tells of Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorized Jesus' crucifixion, having dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus. It also explains why Judas used a kiss, specifically, to betray Jesus—because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to the text—and it puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline." —The shape-shifting Jesus and Pilate offering up his son for substitute crucifixion, that we can handle. But Jesus arrested on Tuesday evening instead of Thursday evening?
I get this blank look when anyone mentions Gary Shteyngart, because I still don't really "understand" who he is or "get" it and I suspect that's my fault, but I will give props to this book trailer, which I do "get." As does a very shiny and bedraggled James Franco.
Unrealistic beauty expectations are nothing new: Julia Pastrana was known in life as the "world's ugliest woman," and her husband made money from this by taking her around to circuses and theaters as a curiosity. He even bought advertising in the New York Times calling his spouse a "link between mankind and the ourang-outang." After Julia Pastrana's death in 1860, he carted her corpse around the world for years, so people could see why he called the "bear woman." Her remains were eventually abandoned in Norway.
You kill the bear, eat the bear meat, and then put on the bearskin. The power of the bear shirt—or ber serkr in Old Norse—gives you the strength and fury of the great animal. This is what berserk means, "bear shirt." Do you actually turn into a bear-human hybrid? Maybe. Nobody liked to go to war against the berserkers, that much is known from the stories of the Roman Empire's long border conflict with the barbarians, which means not "bear brains" but "foreigners."
The human-bear combination exists in North American and Siberian tribal religions, too. These stories go back to the Bear Sons, born to an animal-god father and [...]