I'm not like all those anonymous commenters.
@Noah Berlatsky@facebook Okay, it's been a while since I read TCOC, but honestly I don't remember THAT much of the story being devoted to the dentists. And more importantly, its basic concept is not dentist-dependent. If you rewrote the story changing all the dentists to generic healthcare professionals, you'd still have the same basic plot and theme. Whereas if you removed the cosmic aspects and just let the story focus on a cult of evil dentists, you'd have a completely different, and far less interesting, story. That's why I consider the "dentistry" to be just a secondary element of TCOC.
@Noah Berlatsky@facebook There is certainly racism IN "Call of Cthulhu." But the central story point is that the universe contains creatures like Cthulhu who could kill us all with ease if they bothered to think about us at all. The fact that scary non-white people worship Cthulhu is just window-dressing, not the point of the story. If Lovecraft had hated dentists, there would have been a few lines about dentists worshipping Cthulhu. That wouldn't have made it a story about dentistry.
@BadUncle Well, you're certainly right about "The Horror at Red Hook." But I was talking specifically about the works that made him one of the greats of horror, not the one that everyone agrees is probably his worst. My point was to argue that there's more to his work than racism, not to deny that there was any racism in it.
I'd argue that "The Shadow over Innsmouth" is the only one of Lovecraft's greatest stories, the ones that put him among the greats in his field, where the racial concerns are really central to the story. In others the racism is more secondary ("The Call of Cthulhu"), debatable ("At the Mountains of Madness"), or minor or completely irrelevant ("The Colour Out of Space," "The Shadow Out of Time," "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," "The Whisperer in the Dark"). I also think it's too much of a leap to assume that because Lovecraft was a racist, any horror in his stories must necessarily be some sort of racist symbol. He was also strongly influenced by his reading in astronomy and other sciences, which convinced him that humanity is just an insignificant speck of no importance to the universe as a whole. THAT was the core element of most of his best stories. Sometimes, even a racist may fear the dark for the same reasons that other people might.
@Mr. B I haven't lived there in roughly 20 years; but yeah, it was 609.
@Mr. B And of course South Jerseyans see North Jersey as a sort of sixth borough of NYC, part of New Jersey only in the most technical of senses.
I like the Sisters of Mercy cover: http://youtu.be/2b1GSpcJyqk . But yeah, "Slow Ass Jolene" might be the best version of all.
"Identical"? His son wears two right shoes?
@foxbat91 But are transit workers "overpaid" at all? How much should they make? There seems to be some sort of unspoken assumption in our society that public employees and blue-collar workers should only get a lower middle class salary at most.
@Bill Peschel Please explain exactly why BART workers should not make $80-130K, and how much you think they should make instead. Thanks.