Skinny Max – small god of the scrambled cable

[image description: An old-school screen cathode ray tube with rounded edges. It’s hard to make out what is on the screen, it is jumbled, full of colors and body parts and pieces of faces. Text reads “Skinny Max, small god of the scrambled cable, 232”]

• • • • •

So he didn’t have a long divinity.  And he didn’t have a hard divinity.  But he did have a throbbing divinity, defined by the pulse of shifting lights and endless static across the curved surface of the television screen, pornography reduced to the half-imaginary and half-aspirational, with a glimpse, on occasion, of a visible body part to make the quest seem worth continuing.

Music of moans and hisses, and the thumping of a song built mostly of bass.  Static and scramble.  Flesh and screen.  He defined the teen years of a generation, pornography as homeopathic treatment.  Unlike most gods of the carnal experience, he gave few, if any, body image issues; anyone could see themselves in the funhouse mirror of distortion that he offered up, could find their avatars in the patchwork people that he never quite revealed.

He came into being with the first premium cable broadcast.  He began to weaken as the signals grew stronger, as the internet emerged and spared the need to treat the erotic as a coded message from the gods of sex and sensuality, as cable became a thing of the distant, dusty past.

But as the streaming services split and fragment, as they force their users into narrower and narrower viewership categories, who’s to say that Skinny’s day may not be dawning once again?  After all, every lover needs a refraction period, a chance to sit and think and grow prepared once again for worship.

And he will worship us, if only we remember how to worship him.

He will worship.

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Please join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities:





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