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I prefer to keep things positive on this blog. It isn’t easy, of course, and as a result of this sometimes I go weeks without even posting. I’m going to continue to keep it positive as I review this $9, 5 page booklet that I bought solely because of the seizure-inducing cover. This is a Lovecraftian mystery that just settles under the skin and makes a person wonder “why?” I fell for it, of course, paying the fee. In return, I expected to be disappointed. Instead I feel like my sanity has slipped further, like if I stare at these pages long enough I’ll unlock new arcane magics to control forces far darker than I’ve ever comprehended. Either that or I’ll have a stroke. Maybe both!
Trying to find out information about the author is more of an interesting hunt than the actual reading of the book proper. It’s supposed to be attributed to a Christ Apostle Debra Smith, but for reasons unknown the Apostle was dropped in the name. At first, I was certain that this book was written by an author named Debra J M Smith. Miss Smith’s Facebook and personal blog don’t list the book, however, so it’s unlikely her. Still, it was an interesting read. In the author’s “activism story” she talks about how she was a popular character of an AOL chatroom and how trolls and other dissidents would grief her supposedly for the drama that would follow. She’s something of a hobbyist blogger who sounds like she has an interesting set of stories to tell, and professes her specific brand of Conservative Christianity. Her website includes a devotional podcast that is very sporadically updated. It looks at one time she was involved with a project called “Blog Talk Radio.”
Another bit of hunting suggested the author may have been a “Debra A Smith Whigham” from Alabama. This seems more likely, in no small part because the author of the book doesn’t have a J or an M as their middle initial. In her Youtube channel, which as of this reviewing only has one subscriber, there are 6 videos. One video references a Facebook post from the same Voice Smith found on the book cover, which perhaps interestingly may be another account for the author herself. Sadly, not as much is known about this Miss Smith. It appears she has been recently widowed and has grandchildren, but has not been caught up in nearly as much drama as the first Debra Smith I had looked into. This is probably to her benefit, but to the detriment of anyone trying to get more of a context for this book and its purpose.
“Days of Old Works qar***” opens rather coldly with a timestamp, a citation to the “1st Biblical Author of the New Wine” and then Proverbs 8:1-12 is listed in its unattributed entirety. Then cryptically, but without a paragraph break as if it were part of the verse proper, she adds “It’s automatic if this Wisdom is dwelling within you is why the Raging is truly going on to prevent you fiercely from being Still. qar*** 3/31/19 8:10 am”
Two things. The time stamps are clearly because the comments in this book are being lifted from Facebook. Secondly, this is the second time the titular “qar***” appears. Q, A, R, and three asterisks. Is it a slur? A word censored for its meaning or divinity? The book never says. It is most likely that the three asterisks come from the copying from social media, although curiously many others use Facebook and do not see this. the QAR, then, is what holds the real meaning, and I am no closer to understanding what that meaning is.
In her stating of Proverbs 8:4, the author replaces “Unto you, O men, I call” with “Unto you, O ____, I call” as if one can use this as a prayer or incantation and fill in the blank. It is an interesting, yet clearly definite choice. In fact, every instance of the word “man” is replaced with an underscored field, a line to fill in the blank as it were.
That is, in essence, what anyone paying for this book gets for their almost ten American dollars: Proverbs Chapter 8, King James version, butchered by strange formatting and the author’s freeform commentary. That’s all this book is.
I am uncertain if Wisdom actually cries, but I know my wallet did purchasing this and my eyes did staring at it. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a greater meaning here. That’s what it’s like to lose your sanity, I imagine. It probably isn’t working because I had so little to begin with.