Clausology! Salon Poster
Edited Transcripts

Clausology! With The Boiler Elf

Boiler Elf: boo!
Solace Fairlady: ooo its the Boiler Elf!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Boo, sir?
Boiler Elf: Klaus
Boiler Elf: Naughty
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Ach!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Naughty, but for the greater good.
Boiler Elf wags his finger
Boiler Elf: that’s how it starts
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach shrugs Gallicly.
Boiler Elf: Is it time to sit on the couch?
Boiler Elf: I’m very busy this time of year
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I think it must be.
Boiler Elf pats his book
Boiler Elf holds up his book
Boiler Elf: I have The List
Boiler Elf: So your fate is written!
Boiler Elf: Merry Christmas!
Solace Fairlady: Merry Christmas!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Crăciun fericit!
Boiler Elf puts his hand to his ear, Hulk Hogan style
Boiler Elf: I said Merry Christmas!
Sophie Underwood: Merrry Christmas!
Boiler Elf: What do you say?
Solace Fairlady shouts: Merry Christmas Boiler Elf!
Edward Pearse: Happy Newtonmas
Boiler Elf: Ah. I see. Christians
Vic Mornington: Happy New Year?
Solace Fairlady: Yuletide Blessings?
Boiler Elf: and a physicist
Sophie Underwood: Happy Hanukhah 🙂
Solace Fairlady: God Yul
Boiler Elf: ah, a pagan. and one of those too! Excellent!

Boiler Elf: So welcome once again to another in a meandering series on Clausology
Boiler Elf: and lest you think this a frivolous subject
Boiler Elf: we need clausology now more than ever
Edward Pearse: Reads from the back of the notecard:
Edward Pearse: “Please accept without obligation, express or implied, these best wishes for an environmentally safe, socially responsible, low stress
non addictive, and gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday as practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the
religious persuasion of your choice (but with respect for the religious or secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or for their
choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all) and further for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically
uncomplicated onset of the generally accepted calendar year (including, but not limited to, the Christian calendar, but not without
due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures). The preceding wishes are extended without regard to the race, creed,
colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee(s). “
Boiler Elf opens his book and writes something
Boiler Elf: there you go, Eddie boy
Boiler Elf: We are living in an age of disinformation
Boiler Elf: and it has become difficult to talk about without someone going into a froth
Boiler Elf: but through clausology, we can look at how mythology works, as much of what we are documenting is not even 150 years old
Boiler Elf: it let’s us see how our own imps of the perverse are working in our heads
Boiler Elf: and hopefully, be able to laugh at ourselves
Boiler Elf: what we’ve seen a lot of, is a lot of folks, through the ages, trying to recapture a ‘golden time’
Boiler Elf: we saw the knickerbockers in new york longing for an authentic ‘old dutch’ christmas,
Boiler Elf: which might never have existed
Boiler Elf: in our own time, we see the pagan movement, bringing back ‘the old celebrations’
Boiler Elf: which may be largely conjecture
Boiler Elf: and we see folks outright making stuff up for the sake of marketing
Boiler Elf: like, oh, say, the christmas spider
Boiler Elf: or the pickles
Boiler Elf shrugs
Boiler Elf: but
Boiler Elf: we love it
Boiler Elf: and we encourage it
Boiler Elf: and we keep making it bigger every year
Boiler Elf: so
Boiler Elf: where were we
Boiler Elf: i’ll try not ot get too political here, because there’s enough of that elsewhere,
Boiler Elf: but santa has been used politically,
Boiler Elf: like in the case of the english, after having sent the puritans off to america
Boiler Elf: used father christmas as a poster boy to bring things back to how things were
Boiler Elf: maybe i better stop there. before i have to get the heavy waders out
Boiler Elf: lets see
Boiler Elf: right
Boiler Elf: we were talking about mummers
Boiler Elf: and the boxing day plays in england on dec. 26
Boiler Elf: is anyone here from sweden?
Boiler Elf: you are?
Boiler Elf: come sit on the couch with me
Boiler Elf: and you can me our culture expert
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach helps the Magistrate up and hands her a chair
Boiler Elf: you can sit over there if i scare you
Boiler Elf: so a thing happend this week
Boiler Elf: we had a friday the 13th
Boiler Elf: and did you know what was special about this friday the 13th?
Boiler Elf: it was also
Boiler Elf: and old norse thing
Boiler Elf: now dec 13th used to be the shortest day of the year
Boiler Elf: if you allow for the calendar change and the procession of the poles
Boiler Elf: by norse tradition
Boiler Elf: you had to have all your work done
Boiler Elf: or there would be consequences
Boiler Elf: for Lussi, and her retinue, would find you lacking, and punish you while her horde ran wild in the world
Boiler Elf: trolls
Boiler Elf: witches
Boiler Elf: goodness…. the wild hunt of odin even!
Boiler Elf: All work had to be done by December 13, especially threshing, slaughtering, cleaning, and the spinning of yarn. If people hadn’t finished all their work, they feared Lussi would smash their chimneys.
Boiler Elf: Lussi had company—a whole array of terrifying creatures, trolls, and undead spirits, kidnapping anyone foolish enough to venture outside.
Boiler Elf: Known as the oskorei, the wild hunt, this dreaded winter parade was on the lookout for earthly victims.
Boiler Elf: She and her crew were known to run across your roofs , come down the chimney , and hurt whatever poor soul who was present . Her white, distorted face could also be seen squeezed against windows.
Boiler Elf: If she was not happy enough about the Christmas preparations , she would cry out a warning: “ Nothing Brewed , nothing Baked , No big fires lit”
Boiler Elf: in this, we can see a similarity to Grylla and the Yule Cat from Iceland
Boiler Elf: remember that the yule cat would eat you if you did not have new clothes to wear on christmas
Boiler Elf: and why was that?
Boiler Elf: because if you didn’t have new clothes, it meant you were a bad child
Boiler Elf: and bad child who did not help your mother with the spining and weaving
Boiler Elf: and all the chores so mother would have time to make yuor new clothes
Boiler Elf: here behind me is an image of Lussi’s night
Boiler Elf: done around 1928, i think
Boiler Elf: Oh dear, they have a troll
Boiler Elf: and it looks like they have stolen a baby
Boiler Elf: and they’re trying to kidnap a bride, maybe?
Boiler Elf: good reason to stay inside with the doors locked
Boiler Elf: These were the “Christmas riders”
Boiler Elf: also known as the Oskereia
Boiler Elf: and the Asgårdsreien
Boiler Elf: now by coincidence, dec. 13th is also the feast of St. Lucia, or Lucy
Boiler Elf: Lucy was one of the epic martyrs under the roman emperor Diocletan
Boiler Elf: yes, that lucy!
Boiler Elf: This is one of the great coincidences of language
Boiler Elf: when the roman missionaries got to sweden, and told the locals all about Lucy and her feast,
Boiler Elf: but this was already Lussi’s Day!
Boiler Elf: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Boiler Elf: The veneration of Lucy was well entrenched by the 6th century
Boiler Elf: she may have been assigned Dec. 13th because her name also meant Lux, or light
Boiler Elf: but know one realy knows
Boiler Elf: Her relics
Boiler Elf: (that means her body parts)
Boiler Elf: are strewn all over western europe and are said to perform miracles
Boiler Elf: let’s find a picture of her
Boiler Elf: here we go
Boiler Elf: i found this one on a page about Lussinacht, it looked to be witten by a witch
Boiler Elf looks hard at the picture
Boiler Elf: wait a minute
Boiler Elf: that’s not Lucy
Boiler Elf: that is Kriskindle and Hans Trapp!
Boiler Elf: Get it right, folks!
Boiler Elf: If you’re going to make it up, at least get yuor references right!
Boiler Elf: But
Boiler Elf: I can see where the confusion comes in
Boiler Elf: we see a girl with candles in her hair
Boiler Elf: which is how Lucy is portrayed
Boiler Elf: because the historical Lucy was secretly taking supplies to the christians where were hiding out in caves
Boiler Elf: so she made herself a crown of candles so she could use both her hands
Boiler Elf: let’s try to find a picture of her again
Boiler Elf: and i’ll put this one over to the side
Boiler Elf: hmm, what have we go here,
Boiler Elf: i thin kthis is still kriskindle
Boiler Elf: and hans trapp
Boiler Elf: Hans Trapp is bit like the Krampus
Boiler Elf: he follows kriskindle or Nicholas around and scares little kids into behaving
Boiler Elf: becuae that’s what christmas is all about, right? scaring little kids?
Boiler Elf: Well, we got a tangle here
Boiler Elf: Lucia and Kriskindl are all mixed up
Boiler Elf: let’s do Hans Trapp first
Boiler Elf: they come from the Alscace region between France and Germany
Boiler Elf: so on the French side, you have Le Pere Fouettard, the creepy butcher of boys who follows Nicholas
Boiler Elf: and on the german side, you have Knecht Ruprecht, who follows Kriskindle, like in this small image
Boiler Elf: but it appears that Hans Trapp, between them, might be the source
Boiler Elf: he was Hans von Trotha (c. 1450 – 1503)
Boiler Elf: a german knight, known to be very tall. about 6 feet
Boiler Elf: and he was a very bad man
Boiler Elf: Unlike Krampus, Hans Trapp has his origins in a historical personage: Hans Von Troth; a two meter high, late fifteenth-century German knight, with a terrible reputation. Von Troth had lands and castles on the German side of the border with France and was a thorough nuisance to church and the laity alike.
Boiler Elf: Von Troth was involved in a land dispute with a local abbot. As part of the feud, he ordered the Wieslauter River blocked, depriving the nearby town of Weissenburg of its water supply. When the abbot complained, Von Troth petulantly tore down the damn, flooding Weissenburg and destroying its economy. In 1491, Von Troth even managed to get himself excommunicated after the same abbot complained about him to the Pope- and Von troth insolently refused to go to Rome to give an account of his behavior.
Boiler Elf snickers
Boiler Elf: how do you have a navy in switzerland anyways?
Boiler Elf: Trotha was involved in a dispute with an Abbot down river,
Boiler Elf: so he dammed the river and tried to starve the monks
Boiler Elf: among other things
Boiler Elf: and then he starts passing into legend
Boiler Elf: As such: He was so rotten that he was excommunicated by the Catholic church and sold his soul to Satan. Now beyond redemption, Trapp was exiled to the forests. But still, his evil was felt. Disguising himself as a scarecrow by stuffing straw into his clothing, he began to prey on children.
Boiler Elf: One day, or so the legend says, Hans Trapp was about to eat a small boy he had captured when God, fed up of his evil-doing, killed him with a bolt of lightning.
Boiler Elf: (which is not true, Hans died in his bed in his castle)
Solace Fairlady: sounds like the perfect bad boy, lady Breezy:)
Boiler Elf: However, this was not the end of Hans Trapp. He continued to roam the earth, dressed as a scarecrow. Like Krampus, Hans Trapp teamed up with St Nicholas- but to earn redemption. While St Nicholas awarded presents to the virtuous- Hans Trapp tries to persuade naughty children to mend their ways and be virtuous- unlike him.
Boiler Elf: and there he is, the scarecrow of christmas
Boiler Elf: maybe he is!
Boiler Elf: all these monster figures have the same thing in common
Boiler Elf: they are visiting to see that you are ready for christmas
Boiler Elf: that you’ve finished all your work for the year
Boiler Elf: just like me
Boiler Elf pats the book
Boiler Elf: Kriskindl is still around today, played by a young woman usualy choses in some sort of contest, and she presides over the Christmas Markets in Germany, Nuremburg being one of the more famous ones
Boiler Elf: and there she is, looing out from the cathedral
Boiler Elf: the clothes they are wearing might be over 100 years old
Boiler Elf: this is some deep, powerful imagery
Boiler Elf: and we respond to it
Boiler Elf: though we don’t really know why
Boiler Elf: and the movie Glinda, i have no doubt was influenced by this image
Boiler Elf: but we were tring to get to sweden
Boiler Elf: where, on dec 13th, you will see parades of young people,
Boiler Elf: lead by a beautiful girl, usualy blonde (until very recently, which is has caused some local controversy…)
Boiler Elf: who wears a halo of candles
Boiler Elf: and she serves you coffee and cookies
Boiler Elf: and is followed by her handmaidens
Boiler Elf: and the star boys, in their mysterious conical hats
Boiler Elf: and then little kids dressed like christmas elves,
Boiler Elf: and the toddlers, dressed like gingerbreads
Boiler Elf: and it is so beautiful, that you would probably find yourself becoming verklempt
Boiler Elf: and your eyes would be leaking
Boiler Elf: and you wouldn’t know why
Boiler Elf: those star boys
Boiler Elf: are we onto something really old here?
Boiler Elf: it looks old
Boiler Elf: so how valid is this as “authentic old christmas”
Boiler Elf: there’s evidence that there was a family celebration going back to at least 1916
Boiler Elf: or maybe iven the 1890s, but it is not well documented
Boiler Elf: where the daughter would wake early, put candles in her hair, and serve the family coffee and cookies in bed
Boiler Elf: there she is
Boiler Elf: over here, for comparison, is an image of kriskindl from germany
Boiler Elf: and Lucy from sweden
Boiler Elf: and here is Lucy as if her icon was painted by a goth
Boiler Elf: it was said she had very beautiful eyes
Boiler Elf: the red sash indicates she was a martyr
Boiler Elf: the white robe, a virgin
Boiler Elf: she was spending her dowry on feeding the folks that were hiding in the caves
Boiler Elf: which really pissed off her pagan fiance
Boiler Elf: so in one version of her story
Boiler Elf: she gouged out her eye and gave them to him to try and get him to leave her alone….
Boiler Elf: she died horribbly, of course
Boiler Elf: burned, stabbed
Boiler Elf: a bit rasputinesque
Boiler Elf: it is said she wouldn’t let go until she got last rites
Boiler Elf: if you are into horror, there’s a podcast called ‘the saint of the day’ from ancient faith radio, and let me tell you
Boiler Elf: it is worse than grimm’s
Boiler Elf: if you like that sort of thing. very surreal
Boiler Elf: the procession
Boiler Elf: the procession goes all the way back to
Boiler Elf: 1928
Boiler Elf: when the selecion of Lucy was broadcast over the radio
Boiler Elf: and it went… VIRAL
Boiler Elf: yup
Boiler Elf: did you watch the video
Boiler Elf: video is in the box here
Boiler Elf: The kids dressed like the elves and cookies are well… cute for the sake of cute
Boiler Elf: everyone needs a part
Boiler Elf: but what about the star boys?
Boiler Elf:
Boiler Elf: there are 2 thoughts about the star boys
Sophie Underwood: little wizards?
Boiler Elf: they do look that way, don’t they?
Boiler Elf: first would go to boxing day, dec. 26th
Boiler Elf: which is hte feast of st steven
Boiler Elf: who was Herod’s horse groom
Boiler Elf: the horse saw the reflection of the star in its water and would not drink, so the story goes
Boiler Elf: young men would go door to door on steven’s day and sing, just like wassailling in england
Boiler Elf: the other thought, which i tend to like more
Boiler Elf: wait for it…
Boiler Elf: comes from the catholic mass of epiphany
Boiler Elf: epiphany is when the 3 ‘wise men’ (wizards?)
Boiler Elf: came to and saw the babe
Boiler Elf: and as no one spoke latin but the clergy
Boiler Elf: they mass might have had a pantomime of the 3 kings coming to find the child
Boiler Elf: dressed in their tall hats
Boiler Elf: and following the star
Boiler Elf shrugs
Boiler Elf: the star boys?
Boiler Elf: its a mystery
Boiler Elf: but it appears to be catholic derivation
Boiler Elf: well. bummer. we’re out of time
Boiler Elf: i was going to tell you about a new character, who is definately pre-christian
Boiler Elf: but we’re out of time
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Ach, perhaps next year?
Boiler Elf: so if the baron would invite me next year?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Gladly.

Boiler Elf: any questions?
Solace Fairlady: come back next year and tell us, please, Boiler Elf?
Edward Pearse: Any good book recommendations for all these various midwinter celebrations?
Boiler Elf: I alway shave to pick the List up from the mayor, who makes it for me
Boiler Elf: If i may.. back to the subject of Clausology
Boiler Elf: and memes
Boiler Elf: and disinformation
Boiler Elf: i must confess something
Boiler Elf: oh, never mind, I’ll tell you next year
Boiler Elf grins evilly
Boiler Elf: Thank you for believing in me

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