I am a would-be writer, an amateur illustrator and a novice graphic artist seeking to make my name known. I was born in the West Texas steppes, and I’ve haunted the lonely plains of the Llano Estacado ever since. Born a son of the desert sands, I adore dry and wind-swept climes.
I travel occasionally, when time and funds are available, usually going to places nearby. I am proudly Texan, though I have a peculiar fascination with New Mexico, Nevada and the Negev in Israel. I possess a few slightly Gothic tendencies and nerdy eccentricities. I wear black almost exclusively.
The following FAQ is brought to us by my friend Grace Margera. Should you use it in your profile, give her a “thank you”, and tell her dunebat sent you.
Q. What’s your name?
A. Jerod Caine Batte, though my virtual nom de plume is “dunebat”. At work, in the digital trenches of the editing bay, my nom de guerre is “Jerodian”. Though I initially detested my moniker due to the constant teasing I received during my primary and secondary education and flirted with changing it to something more conformist like “David”, I grew to cherish my name over time.
The name Jerod is a derivative of the Hebrew name Jared ( יָ֫רֶד ), meaning “he will descend”. The son of Mahalaleel and father to the prophet Enoch (see Genesis 5:15-20), Jared was the sixth descendant of Adam (via Seth). In the enigmatic Book of Enoch, Mahalaleel names his first son “Jared” because the angels of the Lord descended to Earth to mate with human women and spawn the nephilim - whom Jared’s son Enoch would later have dealings with – during his lifetime (explaining, in part, why I have always held an interest in the nephilim). The Hebrew root Jared (and thus my name) is based on - Yod + Resh + Dalet - means “descendant”, but it could also be taken as the future tense of the Hebrew root Resh + Dalet + Hey, which would give it an alternate meaning of “he who shall rule”. This is a perfect description of the nephilim and their angelic parents: their parents descended, then they and their half-breed offspring ruled over humankind, possibly giving rise to the myths and legends of the ancient “demigods” such as Heracles and Gilgamesh.
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose… There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”
~ Genesis 6:1,2,4 (KJV)
My middle name is, of course, the name of the first murderer in the Bible. In Welsh it means “beautiful”, but my mother was thinking of the Hebrew name (a variant of the Hebrew name Kenan [קַיִן]), which means “acquired/possessed”, “spear” or “spear hunter” and “craftsman”. Regarding these meanings, I am a craftsman (if drawing or writing could be considered “crafts”) and I am a fan of sharp, pointy things (though I gravitate less toward spears and more toward swords). As for “acquired” or “possessed”, I am still meditating on these meanings.
My mother chose my middle name. She loved the sound of it, but was ignorant of its meaning. She certainly knew she did not want to associate me with the biblical killer (whose name is anglicanized as “Cain”), so she added the “e” at the end to make the name resemble “cane” as in “sugarcane”, because (in her words) I, as an infant, was “sweet like sugarcane”. She allowed my sister – who was nine years my senior at the time – to assign my first name to me. She was infatuated with a schoolmate named “Jerod” at the time (a name she said she would always love, even if things did not work out between her and my namesake), so she chose that name for me. The fact that both names were Hebrew, both names were from descendants of Adam and Eve, and both names came from men who existed in the antediluvian world are all coincidental, though I ascribe all to divine synchronicity.
The ancients believed that names were prophecies that foretold who a person could one day become. The Romans have a term for this: nomen omen, or “the name is an omen”. Scientists now believe there may be some truth to this (more or less), and New Scientist coined the term “nominative determinism” to describe it. (It is also known as the “name-letter effect”.) No one believed this more than the ancient Israelites. The pages of the Bible are filled with people whose names mapped out their lives, for good or for ill. Cain, for example, was a craftsman of sorts, a horticulturalist who founded the world’s first city. His name’s primary meaning, “acquired” or “possessed”, is hinted at in Genesis 4:7 (NIV):
“[God says to Cain,] If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
Cain could have governed his darker nature (he could have possessed it or “mastered” it), but he let it master (possess or acquire) him instead and he slew his brother Abel.
Rabbis believe that we all have a Hebrew name that Elohim bestows upon us before our birth. I do not believe my names were bestowed to me by chance (especially since both are Hebrew), but that a guiding force gave my names to my sister and my mother, though both were unaware of this unseen hand at the time. Both of my names - Jerod (“he shall rule”?) and Cain (“possessed” or “mastered”) – are names implying dominance. Taken together, they have various different meanings, one of which could be “descending spear” (which always amused and intrigued me). I will never cease to ponder what these names mean to me, or what shape their influence on my life will one day take.
As for my surname, Batte appears to be a common English surname at first glace. (Since the name is pronounced “bat”, the Batte family uses a bat on their family crest, which is why I use the bat as my icon. Perhaps this is the reason I have been so enamored of Batman since childhood?) This is deception; our family name is actually French, as we are direct descendants of Emperor Charlemagne. Our original name was something along the lines of Batteé; I have no idea what this name means, but the closest French meaning I could discern was “commoner” or “peasant” (which would explain my money problems, but not the fortune and good business sense of my family members inhabiting the East Side of my home city). Through a dramatic episode whose events I shall not relate here, our family fell out of favor with the French monarchy and our ancestors were forced to either leave France or die. They immigrated to America, where they cleverly disguised themselves by dropping the final e and its accompanying accent aigu from the family name. (At least they didn’t simply don a pair of geek glasses…)
On a more humorous note: the word bat is also a Hebrew word (בת) that means “daughter” or “girl”. I find it ironic that this name is passed down through the male descendants in our family.
As for my peculiar initials, I like to think that the “J.C.” was a divine seal, God’s way of marking me as one of His the moment I was born. My maternal grandfather – James Cebron Batte – shares these initials with me, perhaps explaining why my grandmother sought to raise me alongside Mother, as if I were one of her own children. Of course, JCB is also a fair Anglicization of the Hebrew root letters that the Hebrew name Jacob or Ya’akov (יַעֲקֹב) derives from… but I’m probably over-thinking it. (I can be such a heel sometimes.)
Q. Where do you live?
A. Odessa, Texas. The city is the county seat of Ector County, a small locality enveloped by the Permian Basin, so named due to its Permian era strata, where superb deposits of petroleum have often discovered since the Discovery Well of 1920. Our city stands upon the edge of the Ogallalah Aquifer, one of the world’s largest aquifers (that is nonetheless shrinking rapidly due to the needs of those dwelling on the land above it). I used to believe that Odessa was surrounded by worthless desert land as a child, but after a little study I discovered the wonder and majesty of my surroundings, the Llano Estacado or “Staked Plains” of West Texas.
Q. What do you do for a living?
A. At present, I am an editor/screenwriter/camera operator/teleprompter operator/jack-of-all-trades for a “Hebraic Christian”/“Messianic Jewish” television station that broadcasts primarily via satellite and online streaming video. Since I complain about my job often, I am not at liberty to disclose what specific television station this is. If you have seen this station at some point, you already know exactly what broadcaster I am referring to. (There are only two television stations in existence who focus solely on the “Hebraic Roots” of Christianity, so guessing which television outfit I work for shouldn’t be too hard.)
I never believed I would actually work for this station… When I was a wee young Treklet, I once saw an episode of Reading Rainbow where LeVar Burton gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of an episode of my then-favorite series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was absolutely enthralled by what I saw, and I hoped to work in television one day.
God answered that prayer years later, and I am still wondering if this was meant as a blessing or a curse.
I hope to return to college sometime soon, though I have not yet decided whether I shall specialize in English Literature, Mythology/Folklore, Screenwriting/Directing, Archaeology or Library Science (but, like most of the intelligentsia of my family, I am gravitating toward some profession involving Literature and/or History). There are many educators in my family (two of my aunts and one of my cousins are teachers, and one of my relations by marriage is a school guidance counselor), and my friends have told me that I would make an excellent teacher someday… but I am downright scared of children, and my social anxieties might prevent me from fulfilling my dream of becoming a college professor, so I would be happy to be merely a researcher, an archaeologist in a museum, a screenwriter/director in Hollywood or a humble librarian toiling away amidst the shelves.
Naturally, I also hope to be a published author someday.
Q. Do you have a Facebook?
A. Of course I do. I have only met a few carbon-based sentients who don’t.
Q. Why did you unfollow me?
A. I usually only follow actual people. If you are the content generator of a corporate Twitter account – i.e. CBS - then I unfollowed that account because you are a cog in a corporate machine tweeting whatever scripted slop your superiors have you shilling to the sheep and not the owner of a personal account actually tweeting what’s in your heart or mind. Rest assured, however: I have most likely added you to one of my numerous Twitter lists (the “News” list, in the case of @CBS), where I can keep an eye on your updates at will without wasting a follower slot on you. Sorry, but there are real human beings I would like to follow and converse with. I cannot converse with a news feed.
For more information, I refer you to my official Twitter following policies.
Q. Are you emo or goth?
A. As my Twitter account states, I am a #wannabeGoth. I find Goth music, culture and fashion to be intensely fascinating, and Goth women are exotic fantasies of mine. I am experimenting with the style, but thus far I remain something of a generic geek/nerd, though that definition is at times both too broad and too narrow to truly define me.
Q. Do you have any tattoos/piercings?
A. I have neither at present.
Q. Do you have plugs?
A. No, but many people I know wish I had one in my mouth. (Some would say I should have one in my ass after I’ve eaten a few burritos.)
Q. What’s your favorite scary movie?
A. Define “scary”. Do you mean “horror film”? The alluring “love story” Let Me In - a superb Hammer Films remake of the Swedish vampire classic Let the Right One In - is simply sublime. Do you mean “movie that actually scared me”? Probably 28 Days Later, Alien, the Paranormal Activity trilogy or Quarantine (yet another American remake of a foreign film, REC; yes, I am ashamed to admit that Quarantine actually frightened me).
If you mean “scary movie” as in the abysmal Scary Movie franchise… I will end you.
Q. What’s your favorite band?
A. My “favorite band” changes depending on time, mood, place and circumstance. My current favorite is Depeche Mode, but I am a major fan of Voxis, Evanescence,Bush, Course of Empire, Blue Man Group, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor, Voltaire, Lacuna Coil, Gravity Kills, Korn, Demon Hunter, UnSun, Type O Negative… and the rockin’ Reggae rhymes of Matisyahu. Anything Industrial, Electronica, Gothic, Darkwave, Gothic Metal, Dance Metal, Trance or Alternative will make me smile.
If you’d like something a little more in-depth, here is a rather lengthy and detailed auto-biography.
Where I May Be Found:
- Star Trek Online: Hethair@dunebat [Lieutenant, Science officer]
- Goth.net: dunebat
- [REF] “Sons of God” here in Genesis 6 is the Hebrew phrase “bene ha-Elohim” (בני האלהים), commonly interpreted by the theologians of antiquity as being “angels” (in this instance “fallen angels” who relinquished their lofty posts in the Heavenlies to rule on Earth and sire offspring via mortal women), though some early Christians interpreted the phrase to mean “followers of Elohim” (being “sons” in a purely spiritual sense) – children of the holy lineage of Seth who would marry the “daughters of men”, or women born from the ignoble lineage of Cain, the first murderer.
- [REF] The word “giants” here – as previously mentioned – is the Hebrew word ‘nephilim’ (נְפִילִים), or properly rendered, “the fallen ones”.
- [REF] “Men of renown” in Genesis 6 is ‘anse hassem’ (אַנְשֵׁ֥י הַשֵּֽׁם), or “men of the name”. The word “hassem” means “renown”, “repute”, “the name”; “hassem” is, in literal rendering if not in essence, similar to or the same as the term “HaShem” (השם), one of the more informal “names” of God in Judaism (commonly used in place of Adonai, Elohim or any of the other Hebrew names of/terms for God in everyday, non-ceremonial circumstances, especially by Orthodox Jews). Could this hearken back to the concept of the “bene ha-Elohim” as children of Seth, former followers of the Lord who were “unequally yoked” to the pagan daughters of Cain? Or perhaps it references the desire of the nephilim to rule over all of humanity “as gods” (or instead of God)?