For the three or four of you who don’t read Boing Boing, that compendium of wonderful things is currently in the midst of hosting guest-blogger Mitch Horowitz author of “Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation” (which I mentioned recently here). So far he’s blogged about what the occult is exactly, classic esoteric texts, the American spirit, and the popularity of Saint Expedite.
“One of the most interesting aspects of folk religion in America is the enduring figure of Saint Expedite … Simply put, Saint Expedite is the patron of those who need help in a hurry: with jobs, relationships, money, etc. In Brazil, he is the venerated helper of people looking for work; in America, so says Wired magazine, he is the “patron saint of the nerds,” i.e., a figure who can help untangle internet connections and the keep communications networks flowing; to church authorities he is merely an icon of “popular religiosity” who never historically existed.”
While this certainly isn’t Boing Boing’s first foray into all things occult, it does seem to be the first time they’ve approached the topic in such a enthusiastic and sympathetic manner, so kudos to them. To keep track of Horowitz’s posts, you can follow Boing Boing’s guest-blogger tag. As for Mitch Horowitz himself, he’s been just about everywhere promoting his new book, from The Washington Post to NPR. I guess releasing your book about America’s occult roots right around the same time a mega-popular fiction writer is tackling some of the same subjects does pay off.