The old theme—known for its inquisitive guitar and jazz piano—went off the air last week after 40 years of service. It was replaced on Monday with a new one that churns through dozens of ideas in 58 seconds: There’s a trip-hop remix of the old melody, a synthesized set of chimes conveying either urgency or the imminent arrival of an elevator, and a clatter of percussion that sounds “global” without evoking any one country in particular.
“For me, it was so reminiscent of childhood, of car rides to school,” [classical composer Timo] Andres told me later of the old theme. “Even though, objectively, it sounds like an artifact from a universe where Steely Dan was co-opted into writing state-propaganda music.”
The new theme, meanwhile, was summarized more pithily by [jazz singer Theo] Bleckmann. “Yeah, it sucks,” he said.
Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon). When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice has empowered thousands of people around the world.
The Chicago branch of The Satanic Temple gifted the above sculpture (Eve holding the Apple of Knowledge) to the Illinois State Capitol rotunda this year. As the state cannot censor the content of speech or displays, the sculpture takes its holiday place near Christmas and Hannukah symbols.
The principles of the Satanic Temple:
One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
Beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs.
People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.
The rotunda boasts a fine tradition of holiday free-for-all, including a Festivus Pole a few years back.