What's new, Bill?

Last update 4/16/2010

Michigan Witches Ball 2010

I am very excited to be a sponsor for this great event! To find out more about one of Michigan's best parties, click the link above.

All sales are now being handled through my Etsy shop: www.splendidfish.etsy.com
Click on the link above to see what is currently available.
Don't worry, friends, it's still me behind the scenes!

I've added a new section called

Gods, Heroes, and a Couple of Regular Guys:
Corbin's Tall Tales

When I create a new piece
of design work, it often happens that they come, much like a baby with a silver spoon in it's mouth, bearing a story. Unfortunately, when I sell a piece, the story is sometimes lost with it. I've decided to collect these stories into a section all
their own, for your enjoyment.

Enjoy them!

Don't forget to click on the BLUE WORDS anywhere on this site to enter
new worlds of mythic imagination.

Friends and Enemies

In this section I show you the kind of emails I've been getting. Thanks! I enjoy 'em all. Most people just drop me a line or two to tell me hello, and I am grateful to hear from you. Sometimes, however, I get mail of a different kind...

Email: De Corbin you jerk!
My wife found your website, and now she just sits there all night clicking and laughing. The laundry isn’t done, the kids aren’t fed, and nobody will fetch me a beer. I’ll kill you!

Reply: Well, maybe you should try getting your own beer. The kids need to learn to feed themselves, lest they end up like you, and, although I’ve heard of one or two guys who got dizzy from doing the laundry, it isn’t usually all that dangerous, not really. If that doesn’t work, don’t worry. I’ll give your wife back when I’m done with her, although she’ll probably kick your ass out of the house then.

Email: Howdy Bill!
My God, I believe I’ve fallen in love with you! I sit there all night, clicking and laughing. I can’t tell if your writing is weirdly beautiful, or beautifully weird. What I do know is that it keeps me going. Put up some more – I’m running out of blue words to click on!

Reply: Well, thanks! I’m glad you’re having a good time. I try to update as often as I can, but you know how it is…
P.S. – Your husband is looking for you.

Email: De Corbin you jerk!
I just read “What Acteon Did Wrong,” and, I have to say that that is just about the lousiest piece of **** I’ve ever seen anybody try to pawn off as literature. You’re a sexist, and you make me sick!

Reply: Well, thanks for taking the time to write me. It’s always good to hear from one of my fans. I’m not sure what “sexist” means, though, so I’ll looked it up in the dictionary. Hmmm… let’s see… sex… sexed…sexiest (you didn’t mean “sexiest,” did you? Oh. I thought not…) … sex kitten…. Nope. It isn’t there. But I should be able to figure it out. Let’s see… If a biologist is someone who studies biology, and a physicist is someone who studies physics, and a gynecologist is someone who studies gyno-ecology, then a sexist must be someone who studies sex.

Well. I have to confess that I have never actually formally studied sex, although I have conducted the occasional experiment, with promising results. I will, however, accept your compliment in the spirit in which it is intended, and thank you. Keep fighting the good fight!

Email: De Corbin you jerk!
As far as I can tell, you represent the creepy side of all that New Age B.S. “The Police Thing” proves to me that you are a militant fascist and it is just disturbing that you would try to lure gentle, well meaning people into your sick world of violence! In a sanely run world people like you wouldn’t be allowed to use the internet to spread their Nazi propaganda, especially when it is masked in religio-philosophical speculation.

Reply: Oh you poor little bunny. You’re so upset, you’re all atremble. Here, sit down a minute and nibble on this celery while I get you a glass of water.

That thing about “Nazi propaganda” is, by the way, somewhat irritating, and also untrue. Did you actually read “The Police Thing”? Do you have any idea what a fascist or Nazi is? If you actually read anything I’ve written with the little light bulb in your head turned on you would discover that I am all about individual freedom and autonomy – the very antithesis of both Fascism and Nazism.

You, on the other hand, with your talk of forbidding personal expression in a “sanely run world,” and your foolish notion that people are unable to judge for themselves whether ideas have merit or not, are expressing the underlying premise of both the fascist and the Nazis (not to mention the Communists); that people need to be controlled by a strong leadership because they are incapable of leading themselves. And I find it especially distasteful that you mask your dictatorial aspirations under the guise of some kind of “gentle and well meaning” morality.
Pew! That stinks!

Email: Howdy Bill!
I wanted to email you because your art is nice, and I enjoyed the essays that I found. However, I need to tell you that I think you have made a mistake with your understanding of Norse mythology. I am referring to “The Hanging Man” essay. Two things bother me about your treatment of the Sacrifice of Odin story. The first is that you treat it as if it were "your story," as if you are, somehow, identified with Odin. As I understand it, Odin sacrificed himself in order to bring knowledge to humans so they would not have to sacrifice themselves to get it. The second thing that bothers me is that you do not tell the story in such a way that it matches any of the real versions of the story I have read. I don’t think that you should appropriate other people’s myths to serve your own purposes. That is cultural theft.

Reply: Thank you for writing, and thank you for bringing this up. Since you put it so nicely, it would be churlish of me to respond in my usual sarcastic manner. The issues you bring up are things to which I have given a lot of thought, and I am glad to see that you have as well. Let me give you my ideas regarding the second point you have brought up first, then we’ll get to the first point second.

These stories were told orally for a very long time before they were ever written down. Every time they were told, they were told a little bit differently, and every story teller would have his/her own style of story telling. If we knew all these varieties, we would have an infinite number of versions of each story – and all would be equally “real.” Eventually these stories were written down and their form became fixed in print. While I think it is good that this happened (if it hadn’t, we wouldn’t have most of the stories we enjoy today), it did have the unfortunate consequence of giving modern readers the false idea that the version embalmed in print is the “correct” version. All I am doing is, by telling it in my own way, reviving the tradition of the organic, living story in a new medium.

Your first point – that I misunderstand the story – is, really, a matter of opinion. You are certainly welcome to yours, but I would argue that myths do more than just tell us about the old gods and goddesses. They tell us something about ourselves, our world, and the lives we live. This story has had a profound effect on me. When I understood it (on a personal level), I suddenly understood things about myself which I had never even considered before. On the other hand, your interpretation doesn’t work for me. I like the Norse pantheon because those gods and goddesses seem to be people after my own heart – I don’t think they would ever do anybody the disservice or indignity of doing for them what they could, and should, do for themselves. The Odin you describe sounds like he would enjoy hanging around with Jesus talking salvation. It just ain’t right.

Copyright 2010 - B. de Corbin and Splendid Fish Studio