Tuesday, December 18, 2012


At the Overland Literary Blog, essayist Jeff Sparrow has come to grips with the Newtown, Connecticut grade school massacre by priming the pump of his soul and pouring out some very wise waters from which I urge you all to drink deeply, and be refreshed. Titled 'When the Burning Moment Breaks': Gun Control and Rage Massacres, Sparrow's lengthy essay covers the subject from every conceivable angle. He puts all the various elements in their proper historical contexts, examining each separate issue - the political, the economic, the medical and even the aesthetic - with an informed, scholarly detachment that doesn't prevent him from offering keen and valuable insights. Never cliched, ever engrossing and - in my opinion - absolutely essential reading. If you only read one analysis of this sad chapter in US history, let it be this one.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Thrill at the noisome blast of light,
O yeah! Hell Yeah!
Come careering out of the night
Of Gun! Yo Gun!
Yo Gun! Yo Gun! Come overnight delivery
From Ithaca and from Arcadia M&T!
Remington and Browning, with blocks and guards
And clips of ammo for thy arms.
Or via mail, First Class, from overseas
To me, to me,
Come from Hartmann and Weiss
(Hot as fire, cold as ice)
Come from Mauser, Krupp, Heckler and Koch,
Weigh heavy on my thigh, extend my crotch,
In the moon of the woods, from tree-top mount,
Explode the night with gushing crimson fount!
Striding through the halls, my hate I pray,
Ejaculating sermons from my Walther PPK,
The soul that grips this steel of blue,
And brings a sudden end to folks like you,
The Master of the Bush, the vintage Colt,
Poke holes from which will spill both life and soul
As body and as brains spread cross the floor,
(Yo Gun! Yo Gun!)
Give thanks to Umarex and to SIG Sauer,
O yeah! Hell Yeah!
Come like cannonading cannon ball
From shopping mall!
Come like crashing drums, precision tools
From every school!
Spitting hot lead pips from pipe!
Through flesh so ripe…
You, who sit and shop and learn
With life galore within you left to burn
Your bodies, growing weary of this life,
Your burden borne away by Armalite -
Come, O come!
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Pumping sweet lead through steaming guts,
All-devourer, kicker-in-the-nuts;
Give me the sign of Open, Blinking Eye,
Slap heavy metal meat against my thigh,
And the word of madness and mystery,
O Gun! Yo Gun!
Yo Gun! Yo Gun Gun! Gun Gun! Gun,
I am a man:
Do as I will, as a Great God can,
O Gun! Yo Gun!
Yo Gun! Yo Gun Gun! I am awake
In the grip of the snake.
With Desert Eagle, bead is drawn;
As God withdraws:
The Great Beast comes, Yo Gun! Like a horny
Erection in the morn’
In uniform.
I am Gun! Yo Gun! Yo Gun Gun! Gun!
I am thy death, this is my fun,
God of the Glock, I am old, but I am god,
Like flesh and bone ker-smashed with iron rod.
On hooves of steel I stride towards your doom
Though it be early morning or High Noon.
And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end,
Mech-Tech, Majestic, Sako and Magnum,
See the might of my Gun.
Yo Gun! Yo Gun Gun! Gun! Yo Gun!

Friday, December 14, 2012


As the most ideologically pure small-c conservative ever to reside at 24 Sussex, there is one thing about which we can be absolutely certain when it comes to our nation’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper: he hates the CBC. He despises it with a deep and abiding malice, viewing it as a socialist-infiltrated cesspit of secular humanism, a seething hive of nepotistic cronies, almost wholly without merit, delivering a service that would be better left to private sector entrepreneurs like SUN Media to provide. It’s just the way his brain is wired. And when you reinforce this inborn predisposition with years of Clockwork Orange style indoctrination at some of the hemisphere’s most reactionary think tanks, it’s almost like it isn't even really his fault.

Unfortunately for Dear Leader, one of the only things most Canadians agree on is that they want him to keep his greasy mitts off the CBC. In every poll, and by every metric, our national broadcaster continues to be one of the most popular federal agencies going, from sea to sea to sea. Although this political reality has forced the PM to keep a tight lid on his true feelings, he does occasionally slip up. For instance, he could barely contain his glee this week when it was announced that the loss of this NHL season could cost the CBC $130 million in ad revenues.

So, public displays of schadenfreude and stealth budget cuts notwithstanding, the bottom line for now is that the CBC isn't going anywhere. Of course, that doesn't mean it’s in the clear. For instance, what if Prime Minister Harper were to suddenly shed his predilections, override all those years of brainwashing and come to the shattering realization that he’d be in a far better position to spread the Good News of conservative dogma to every corner of this great country… from deep INSIDE the Mothership?! What would a typical, average day of CBC programming look like if that were to happen, I wonder?

I think it would look a little something like this…

Read New PMO-Approved CBC Schedule HERE!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


This just in! Our old pal Basil Papademos' novel, Mount Royal: There's Nothing Harder Than Love has been accepted for CoPro Market at the Berlin International Film Festival!

Mount Royal has been accepted for competition in "Books at Berlinale" and the Berlinale Co-Production Market. “Books at Berlinale” is a joint initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival and the Frankfurt Book Fair. During the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival (February 7-17, 2013) within the framework of the Berlinale Co-Production Market, the 8th edition of “Books at Berlinale” will take place in order to further strengthen the network between the film and the book industries. Mount Royal will be among the official entries to be considered for film co-production.

Many projects have found financing in Berlin during the past eight editions of the Berlinale Co-Production Market. In the meantime, more than 140 projects from previous years are already in production or have been completed, and many more are underway.

Some exciting films that successfully found co-production funding at the Berlinale Co-Production Market returned to celebrate their premieres at the Berlinale: Olivia Silver’s Arcadia won the Crystal Bear at Generation Kplus. Barnaby Southcombe’s I, Anna, starring Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne, screened at Berlinale Special; and Sharqiya by Ami Livne was presented at Panorama.
Films that premiered this year also include Hiam Abbass' directing debut Inheritance, which screened at Venice Days, Pelin Esmer's Watchtower which was presented at Toronto, Keep Smiling by Rusudan Chkonia which was selected for Karlovy Vary and Venice.

Thanks to everyone who's made the ebook version of MOUNT ROYAL: There's Nothing Harder Than Love such a success!


The Mount Royal ebook is out on Kindle, ibooks, Kobo, Nook, Android, Sony e-reader, pdf, and whatever other format you want to download onto your device - or onto your PC or Mac.  For the holidays only, Phosphorus Books is offering the e-book for just $4.00 To buy your special offer copy, go to:
MOUNT ROYAL: There's nothing harder than love

Once you are at the page, click on "Add To Cart" and follow the prompts to create a membership. It only takes a moment. When asked for a coupon code, enter: NA69B ... You can then download a copy in the format you like for the e-reader of your choice, or for your PC or Mac!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


American International Pictures (AIP) was legendary for churning out an endless stream of product for the nation's movie theater and drive-in screens. They made them fast, and they made them cheap, and most of the time, it was easy to tell. However, hidden among the rock and roll beach romps and teenage werewolves, aliens and cavemen, one occasionally finds the odd shining gem. 1968’s Generation Gap “youthsploitation” satire Wild in the Streets is one such gem.

Read the entire post at the Useless Eater Blog...

Saturday, November 24, 2012


First things first. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If Jay-ZMadonna, Niki Minaj and Ke$ha are part of the Illuminati, then we have nothing to fucking fear from the Illuminati.

However, that said, I know that many people who are interested in parapolitics, the occult and conspiracy topics are intrigued by the role played by esoteric symbols, themes and archetypes in popular culture. Also, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued by the topic as well. Therefore, I've decided to begin devoting some of this blog space to exploring how these potent ancient communication technologies are being used in everything from film and television to music (and music videos), highbrow literature and comic books, advertising, architecture... every aspect of our mass culture.

For my first foray into this field, I will be breaking down the currently somewhat controversial music video for the song Die Young by popular hip-hop crossover artist and party-girl singer/songwriter extraordinaire, Ke$ha.

Continue reading at USELESS EATER BLOG...

Monday, November 19, 2012


Last week I posted links to the trailer and full-length movie of a short film I worked on called The Elusive Man. You can still see them here, just a few posts down. I got a lot of positive feedback from people who enjoyed that flick, so I thought I might as well go ahead and post a more recent short film for which I provided some writing services. It's called The Sweetest Hippopotamus, and it's an extended music video for singer/songwriter Suitcase Sam, who specializes in fun, jazzy tunes in a Doctor John and Leon Redbone style. Once again, my writing partner and brother from another mother Marc Roussel performed directing duties on this one, and I think it turned out pretty nicely. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2012


SHAMENESIA - 1. (noun) The feigned inability to recall something (or someone) that you have done after you've done it (or him/her) due to any number of factors that could make one want to forget such things. 2. (noun) That awkward pause immediately following tech support asking which websites a customer has been visiting in order to find out where and when their computer became infected with that nasty-ass virus.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Drunkle Orpheus strikes again! This time, the program director for the Cafe Hypnagogia Youtube channel brings us the pilot for Sammy Davis Jr's ill-fated, Satanism-inspired sit-com, Poor Devil! Drunkle explains:

Sammy Davis Jr, during his early 70s Satanist phase, made this unsold TV pilot with a plot that plays like a satanic reversal of It's a Wonderful Life, complete with a Christmas-time setting. Sammy is a zany, misfit demon who is on the outs with Lucifer (Christopher Lee) because he hasn't captured a soul in over a thousand years. He gets one last chance when he is assigned a burned-out salesman (Jack Klugman) who is thinking of selling his soul. Sammy scrambles to satisfy Jack's desire for wealth and revenge and the usual sitcom merriment ensues. Also starring Gino Conforti as Sammy's demonic rival and Adam West as Klugman's sleazy boss. Originally broadcast by NBC on Valentines Day, 1973. For more info on Sammy Davis Jr's interest in The Church of Satan, read this article from Vice.com.


I don't normally use this space to showcase my day job (especially considering I don't currently have one), nor my various and variegated side projects. However, now that Barrack Obama has been duly re-elected President of the United States and all the world's problems have suddenly melted away, I don't have anything else to write about, so why the hell not?

A couple years ago, my friend and writing partner Marc Roussel and I came up with a nifty idea for a comical short film centered on the glamorous world of high stakes international art theft. After we banged out the basic concept, Marc and another partner/pal of ours, Mark Sanders, co-directed the film, which we eventually decided to call The Elusive Man. It has since gone on to be featured at a number of film festivals across North America, and it's even won a few awards!

Here's my favorite trailer for the movie, put together by Marc over one of my favorite pieces of music, Hall of the Mountain King...

If the above trailer has sufficiently whet your appetite, then why not take the time to watch the film in its entirety? You can either watch it at Vimeo in all its full-screen, high resolution glory, or else you can find it right here on this blog, in the post directly below this one, just one... post... down...


THE ELUSIVE MAN from Marc Roussel on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Are enough people visiting this site to make it worth my while to keep posting here? I see almost zero replies to the posts I do put up, and the financial rewards have been, well, ZERO, despite putting some serious man-hours in, more last year than this year, but for no returns at all, really. And this despite, apparently, tens of thousands of people visiting the blog. Are all those numbers provided by Blogger just bullshit tossed up to make us suckers keep plugging away? In other words... IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


If you buy wedding rings in bulk, then you might be a Mormon.

If you have more siblings than co-workers, then you might be a Mormon. Or a Catholic.

If you've had more doors slammed in your face than I've had hot dinners, then you might be a Mormon.

If your house of worship looks like it was designed by colorblind alien Goths from Disneyland, then you might be a Mormon.

If you've ever detoured miles out of your way, just to avoid having to drive through the sin-crazed metropolis of Branson, MO, then you might be a Mormon.

If you have a favorite Osmond, then you might be a Mormon.

If you think Ken Jennings' winning streak on Jeopardy is proof that LDS is the one true church, then you might be a Mormon.

If anybody in your family is named "Lehi", "Brigham" or "Utah", then you might be a Mormon.

And finally, if riding up in the crotch is the least of your underwear problems, then you might be a Mormon.

Friday, October 19, 2012


I've always found it odd that The Powers That Be in Israel seem so desperate to keep former PM Ariel Sharon alive, despite the fact that he's been in a "persistent vegetative state" since being felled by a massive stroke on January 4, 2006. Contrary to the optimistic pronouncements of Sharon's immediate family, according to doctors, the poor man has essentially been bed-ridden and unresponsive for almost seven years now. I have always found the Jewish people to be very pragmatic in general, not given over to hoping where no hope can realistically exist. So why this insistence on keeping Sharon alive?  

Watch this Youtube video, and see if it doesn't provide an important clue to this mystery...

I'm not saying I believe everything stated in this video. However, I am saying that it's possible some people high up in the Israeli government believe it. And if such is, indeed, the case, what does it mean for our collective future on this planet once Ariel finally does slip free from the bonds of his brutally imposed half-life trapped in a cage of dead flesh?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Drunkle Orpheus delivers a wonderful memento from those bygone pre-Internet days. He writes:
"Victor Buono stars as Socrates in this educational film (apparently) produced for an Encyclopedia Britannica series called 'Man and the State'. It dramatizes the philosopher's trial and execution, drawn primarily from Plato's 'Apology', and also includes a brief scene referencing Aristophanes' mockery of Socrates in 'The Clouds'. This film was definitely a low-budget affair, but it looks good for what it is. Buono's portrayal is thoughful and subdued, so don't expect any of the bombastic delivery he brought to the 1960's Batman TV show..."


Tuesday, October 2, 2012


There seems to be a trend of comic and/or satirical super-geniuses buddying up with high-tech outfits doing yeoman's work on the bleeding-edge technologies of tomorrow, today! First there was MST3K creator (and one of yer old pal Jerky's Favorite Human Beings Alive) Joel Hodgson being chosen to serve as "Creative Lead for Media" at satellite manufacturing company Cannae.  Now there's this Guardian podcast wherein pitch-black Day Today satirist Chris Morris teams up with C.E.R.N. to discuss the vagaries of gluons, muons and the ever-elusive Higgs boson "God particle". It is very amusing indeed to hear Morris, whose terrifying Day Today newsreader character was equal parts Jeremy Paxman and Alex DeLarge by way of the Krays, ask about heavy science stuff with humility and sincere curiosity, only occasionally allowing humor to creep in to his report... as when he claims one of the scientists that he's interviewing has told him off-air that their experiments might very well bring about the end of the Universe as we know it. This causes an eruption of uncomfortable laughter all 'round. A good, smart listen. Enjoy!


What with all the sorcery and witchery surrounding the making of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining - his second most esoteric film after 2001: A Space Odyssey - it should probably come as no surprise that watching it in reverse, superimposed over itself playing normally, should yield such potent symbolic fruits... to the interested and invested viewer, of course. Read this for more information on The Shining: Forwards and Backwards.


For this, the first-ever edition of Daily Dirt Diaspora Goes to the Movies!, yer old pal Jerky LeBoeuf has chosen to feature the 1970 occult-themed multiple-monster movie EQUINOX! 

This was a difficult film to get a hold of before its 2006 re-issue as #338 in the much ballyhooed Criterion Collection. Why such a high-falutin' outfit as Criterion would condescend to releasing a deluxe edition of a movie that very few people saw during its initial theatrical run probably has something to do with three things...

First, there is the fact that EQUINOX has long been considered a major influence on cult horror classic Evil Dead, although Sam Raimi, himself, has never acknowledged the debt. Still and all, the demonologist researching a super-evil book that calls forth demonic powers from beyond time, space and dimension, the secluded cabin in the woods, even the showdown on the bridge! It's all there!

Second, the film has garnered a reputation among some fans of stop motion animation as being a more than adequate example of the art form, with a large menagerie of cool looking monsters brought to Harryhausenesque life for our viewing pleasure. 

And, finally, third, there is the involvement (occasionally very tangential) of a number of "interesting" people... everybody from financier/auteur Dennis Muren, who would go on to win 8 Academy Awards for special effects work on movies for the Lucas/Speilberg cabal, legendary horror/sf author Fritz Leiber, who appears as a rogue demonologist without any spoken lines... except for on tape, where his voice was dubbed by none other than Famous Monsters of Filmland maven Forrest J. Ackerman! And of course, EQUINOX is the acting debut of Frank Bonner, a.k.a. WKRP's own Herb frickin' Tarlek, as Joe! All this, and Ed Begley Jr as assistant camera? How could you possibly resist?

So watch now, or forever hold your peace! Those Criterion creeps likely won't let Youtube keep this sucker up for very long, now.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I don’t agree with every single choice on the Blouin art-blog's list of the 100 most iconic works of art created over the last half-decade, but there are some moving, stunning, disturbing and just downright impressive pieces and performances on display, here. Peruse at your leisure secure in the knowledge that transcendent art is alive and kicking in our world, today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Fans of 70's sitcoms know dearly departed Sherman Hemsley as the irascible, forever-irritated star of the beloved and long-running All in the Family spin-off, The Jeffersons. According to this incredible article at Bad Ass Digest, though, he was also a huge fan of some of the most obscure progressive rock acts of the era who cut an (as yet unreleased) album with Yes front-man Jon Anderson and paid for Gong leader Daevid Allen's Jamaican honeymoon. Oh, and he ran an LSD lab and crack cocaine kitchen out of his Hollywood home. There's more, including links to videos of some of Sherman's all-time favorite prog tunes, at the link. So check it out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


As a Cthulhu True Believer, I have officially had enough of "plush Cthulhu" and other light-hearted Cthulhu-related photos, Photoshops, videos, meme-squats, etc that have been proliferating across the Internets over the last few years. When every cheap plastic Jesus on every glow-in-the-dark crucifix in every good Catholic's home begins to spurt blood and shriek in agony, and when all the newborns in the world stand up ramrod straight in their cribs to chant in unison in a tongue no one can comprehend, and when half the Pacific turns into a new, rotting continent of writhing, jellied sea-beasts, and when the pitch-black spires of the city of Rlyeh finally rise stabbing toward the stars, and when the doors to His gargantuan crypt open wide, and when every ear on the planet begins to bleed at the Call of His awakening... maybe then people will finally understand why these fluffy little thotchkes are not now, nor have they ever been, cute, adorable or funny.

Monday, July 9, 2012


This gorgeous animated short by a group of Montreal artists calling themselves Heliofant has inspired a ton of ridiculous, piss-poor analysis by the usual Xian, Illuminati-phobic suspects all over the Interwebs. This incredible piece of work (and I mean that on every level of the word) merits every second of the seven minutes of your undivided attention that it demands. You may watch it here, of course, but I recommend you download it from the source, at the creators' website.

Monday, June 25, 2012


First up, PROG BRITANNIA, an Anglo-centric (and thus, necessarily incomplete) history of Progressive Rock, which recently aired on BBC4. Absolutely essential viewing for one and all.

Not quite so mandatory but still quite instructive and illuminating is KRAUTROCK: THE REBIRTH OF GERMANY, which goes to great lengths to fit this particularly viral and enduring strain of prog into a holistic political and socio-cultural context. Very well done.

And, finally, SYNTH BRITANNIA, a revealing and encyclopedic examination of the history of electronic British music. I was, of course, very satisfied to see that Stanley Kubrick was given his proper due as a ground-breaking trend-setter in this case, having hired electro-musical maverick Wendy/Walter Carlos to produce the haunting, blazing score for his version of Clockwork Orange.

Monday, June 4, 2012


First printed copy... 

Haven't posted in a while. Back in Toronto from SE Asia. I'm here for 6 weeks to launch my novel and like i said on Facebag, compared to Thailand this place is like going to church every fucking day. First thing that struck me is how quiet it is. Noise wise - but also in terms of psychic reverb. It runs at almost imperceptible levels.

I catch the odd spike from individual people but there's no generalized easiness you find over there, when an entire country doesn't give much of a shit about small stuff. Maybe it's cuz large personal financial debt isn't a birthright? Who knows. Whatever it is, coming back to Toronto after 8 months of walking through streets where the sensuality's so thick you can cut it with a machete, this place feels positively eunuchoid. Talk about your cock softening gloom. Well, when everybody's ass is owned by the bank, they must be pretty goddamn sore.

But there are a few glimmers of light. I was watching Steven Leckie, the legendary former Viletones singer, in a YouTube interview and he said something that kind of encapsulates what I'm getting at. He said that these days Marlon Brando's brooding would be considered dysfunctional and something would have to be done about it.

I'm staying with an old friend in High Park and there's something that's just too much to bear about watching these nice young white couples with their nice young white babies and their fuel efficient cars and their overvalued beautiful homes - there's something pathological about them. A kind of unacknowledged hysteria far beneath the surface. You know that statistically speaking, a certain number of them will be pedophiles and psychopaths but at the moment they're happily loading strollers into their sporty new hatchbacks, their officious little wives having given up sexuality for motherhood - too stupid to realize one actually feeds the other.

Hey, maybe everybody just needs a good black and blue and bloody ass-whipping to get their priorities in order. Maybe I'm just biased but it seems to have worked on some friends of mine and me. And I don't mean some fetlife bullshit paddle with rivets and wearing Texas Chainsaw skin mask. I mean a friendly, easy going thing with dad's old black leather belt, made supple and soft with time and use. But that might just be my own personal sense of salvation and won't work for everyone. Oh, well. Their tough luck.

So if you're in Toronto this Wednesday June 6th, come out to the launch party for my new novel, MOUNT ROYAL: there's nothing harder than loveIt's at the Revival Bar at 783 College Street, a block or so east of Ossington. Doors open at 7:30pm and I'll be going on at about 8 and there's no cover. I'll read you a bunch of dirty shit and then we can get down to the serious business of drinking, dancing and bullshitting. 

See you there...

Thursday, May 31, 2012


On this day in the year 455, Emperor Flavius Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome. He was only Emperor for two months and is best remembered for failing to prevent the Vandals' sack of Rome. Well... for that, and for being stoned to death by an angry mob.

On this day in 1962, Nazi bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel for playing a major role in the planning and implementation of Hitler's "Final Solution" to the "problem" of European Jewry. Meanwhile, over at IBM...

On this day in 2005Vanity Fair Magazine reveals that FBI Number Two Mark Felt was the anonymous source named Deep Throat who gave Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein all those Watergate tips that helped force Richard Nixon to resign the Presidency and vacate the White House on August 9 of 1974. That's what The Powers That Be would like us all to believe. In all likelihood, however, Mark Felt was NOT Deep Throat... or, at least, he wasn't the only Deep Throat. In his landmark book Against Them, journalist Tegan Mathis argues persuasively that the real Deep Throat was actually a hard-partying White House aide named Richard Bruce Cheney, and Woodward asked Felt to assume the sole mantle of Deep Throat only to provide cover for the next vice president of the United States of America... and to help keep the lid on the assassination of JFK. It might seem bonkers at first blush, but when you consider the fact that there has always been an impressive range of scholarship linking Watergate to JFK's assassination, it becomes less so. If you'd like to buy a copy of Mathis' Against Them via Amazon, a tiny portion of the proceeds will go towards maintaining the Daily Dirt Diaspora family of sites. Click HERE for a hardcopy version, or HERE for a Kindle, ebook version, at half the price!

On this night in 1889, after the catastrophic failure of the South Fork dam sent a sixty-foot wall of water and debris crashing through a heavily populated Pennsylvania valley at forty miles per hour, the Johnstown Flood claims 2,209 lives. And all because a handful of stupid-evil-rich fuckers from Pittsburgh wanted some place nice and private to hunt, fish, and otherwise enjoy the Good Life away from the prying eyes of the annoying poor.

On this day in 1969, while in the midst of an extended "bed-in" at a Toronto hotel, John Lennon and Yoko Ono record their famous hippy anthem Give Peace a Chance. Later that week, after the living legends end their demonstration and check out, the cleaning staff declare that John and Yoko should give probably soap a chance. "These sheets stink!" shrieked one disgusted housekeeper.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


On this day in 1431, in Rouen, France, shortly after being captured by Burgundian troops in the English-occupied French region then known as Compiègne, the virgin-warrior "Maid of Orleans", Joan of Arc, is burned at the stake as a heretic. She was only 19 years old, but in the two years that she'd led a devoted army of rugged warriors to numerous impressive victories in the name of the Charles Dauphin (whom she lived to see crowned King of France), she had managed to transform the Hundred Years War into a religious war, terrifying superstitious English soldiers and inspiring French warriors to the point of fanaticism... which made her brutal execution all the more devastating to her many devoted admirers. Twenty-five years after her execution, an Inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr. Joan was beatified in 1909, and canonized in 1920... Saint Joan, Patron Saint of France. Some modern historians think Joan fell prey to a plot by the very King Charles she'd helped to crown, because he wanted to make a deal with the Burgundians while she favored destroying them, militarily. It's impossible to know for sure at this point, but it does make for one hell of a story, that's for sure.

On this day in 1778, renowned French philosopher and author François-Marie Arouet - better known as Voltaire - passes away at the tender age of 84. He is still widely read today, and his works still have the power to amuse, inspire, and offend, in equal measure. I recommend Candide, in which he rails hilariously against the naive philosophical optimism of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Leibniz.

On this day in 1972, in Tel Aviv, Israel, members of the Japanese Red Army carry out the Lod Airport Massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others, leaving everybody scratching their heads, wondering what in the high holy FUCK kind of gripe those Japanese goofs could possibly have against the Jews, anyway?!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS ALERT! On this day in 1733, the right of Canadians to keep slaves is upheld in a Quebec City legislative assembly. 100 years later, in 1833, slavery would be abolished throughout Canada. In fact, it is a well kept secret that the only Canadian population to ever enthusiastically practice slavery... were the natives. The Haida were particularly vicious enslavers and slave-traders, venturing as far south as California on kidnapping raids. As for the European side of things, historian Marcel Trudel has documented precisely 4,092 recorded slaves throughout Canadian history, of which 2,692 were native peoples owned by the French, and 1,400 blacks owned by the British, together owned by approximately 1,400 masters. There can be no accurate accounting of native enslavement of other natives, but it surely totals in the millions, over a much longer time span.

Happy Birthday to para-political heavy-weight philosopher Oswald Spengler, who was born in Germany on this day in 1880! Spengler's hugely influential book, The Decline of the West, put forth his fascinating Civilizations Model, which posits that every epoch goes through a cycle of seasons, from Spring to Winter, after which comes an ultimate and unavoidable collapse. Cheerful stuff.

On this day in 1913, the Paris premiere performance of composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographer Vaslav Nijinski's ballet The Rite of Spring: Pictures from Pagan Russia provokes a riot when detractors and supporters of the gloriously asynchronous, poly-rhythmic music and primal, violent dancing begin fighting each other in the aisles. Despite the ruckus, which spilled out into the street, the 33-minute ballet was performed in its entirety. Stravinsky's score remains one of the most important and impressive pieces of Modernist music ever composed - an "it's all there" key to understanding where serious composition was headed in the 20th century - and, as a well-rounded human being, you really do owe it to yourself to take the time and give this horizon-expanding, mind-blowing, eardrum-pounding creation an uninterrupted listen with your complete and undivided attention. "Farewell la Belle Epoch, welcome the New Age."

In another defining moment of the Modern Age, it was on this day in 1919 that scientists Arthur Eddington and Andrew Crommelin conducted the first-ever real-world test of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. They set up camp on the island of Príncipe, near Africa, and prepared to watch a solar eclipse. According to general relativity, stars with light rays that passed near the Sun would appear to shift due to their light curving through the Sun's gravitational field - an effect only noticeable during eclipses, since otherwise the Sun's brightness would obscure the affected stars. They discovered that Newtonian physics could only account for half the shift that they recorded - a shift that was accurately predicted by Einstein's theory. All of a sudden, the Universe seemed like a whole lot stranger place, indeed... especially to those elite few with minds capable of grasping the physics of it all.

On this day in 1954, at the Hotel de Bilderberg near Arnhem in the Netherlands, the first ever Bilderberg conference is held. The whole ball of wax got rolling when several people, including Polish politicians Józef Retinger and Andrew Nielsen, became concerned about the growth of anti-Americanism in Western Europe. They proposed an international conference at which leaders from European countries and the United States could come together and promote a better understanding between the cultures of the United States and Western Europe and foster cooperation on political, economic, and defense issues. That's the official line. For a more accurate take on the goals, activities and origins of every conspiracy theorist's favorite honest-to-gosh actual global conspiracy, check out SourceWatch's excellent Bilderberg dossier. You'll be glad you did. Or not...


Monday, May 28, 2012


On this day in 585 BC, while Alyattes is fighting Cyaxares at the Battle of Halys, a solar eclipse occurs, just as predicted by Greek philosopher Thales. This is one of the so-called "cardinal dates" from which the dates of other occurrences in Ancient history can be accurately calculated.

On this day in 1503, a Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England is signed to commemorate the wedding of James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor. This peace lasts all of ten long years.

On this day in 1936, philosopher Alan Turing submits his thesis, On Computable Numbers, for publication. It's a pretty mind-blowing piece of work, not meant for the layman.

On this day in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization, more popularly known as the PLO, is formed in Palestine/Israel.  It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed observer status at the UN since 1974. The PLO was considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel until the Madrid Conference in 1991, when they recognized Israel's right to exist in peace in 1993 and rejected violence and terrorism. In response, Israel officially recognized them as a legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

On this day in 1998, beloved actor, comedian and artist Phil Hartman is killed in his sleep by his wife Brynn Omdahl, who then turns the gun on herself. Their two children were alone in the house with them at the time. Anti-depressant medication was implicated.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Are you fucking shitting me?!

On this day in 1919, the Curtiss NC-4 "flying boat" aircraft arrives in Lisbon, Portugal, completing the first-ever transatlantic flight. It took 19 days, including time for numerous repairs and for crewmen's rest, with stops along the way in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the Azores Islands. This accomplishment was unfortunately eclipsed in minds of the public by the first nonstop transatlantic flight, made by British Royal Air Force pilots John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, two weeks later.

On this day in 1930, the Chrysler Building opens its doors in New York City. At the time, it was the tallest man-made structure on Earth, and it remains one of the most symbolically potent. So, hey, why not build your own?

On this day in 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaims an unlimited national emergency in response to Nazi Germany's threats of total global domination.

On this day in 1962, an out-of-control garbage dump incineration sets an abandoned coal mine ablaze beneath the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. That fire still burns, to this very day.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


On this day in 1647, in Hartford, Connecticut, Alse Young becomes the first person to be executed as a witch in the British American colonies. She had a daughter, Alice Young Beamon, who would, herself, be accused of witchcraft in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts, 30 years later. Fortunately, she would not suffer her mother's fate. As was often the case, Alse Young was a woman without a son when the accusation of witchcraft was lodged, which implied that she would be eligible to inherit her husband's estate upon his death. Young's execution took place a full half-century before the far more infamous "witchcraft panic" at Salem, Massachusetts.

On this day in 1805, everybody's favorite world-beater Napoléon Bonaparte assumes the title of "King of Italy" and is crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan's gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral. The crown (see above) is said to have been forged from a nail taken from the True Cross. Personally, I think it's god-awful looking.

On this day in 1908, At Masjed Soleyman in southwest Persia (in modern-day Iran), the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made. The rights to the resource are quickly swept up by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which, in 1935, would be re-named the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which, in 1954, would be re-named British Petroleum. This nomenclatural erasure of one side of the "partnership" could well serve as a telling short-hand for the long, sad story of the West's petro-political dealings with Iran. Oil and its commercial exploitation are, without a doubt, key linchpins to developing a holistic understanding of the parapolitical 20th century (and beyond).

On this day in 1930, America's Supreme Court rules that purchasing booze does not violate the Constitution. Kindly insert your own anti-marijuana-prohibition comment here.

On this day in 1938, the House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAAC begins its first session, to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having communist or fascist ties. Soon, they were grilling members of the Federal Theater Project over the political ties and activities of the various writers, directors, actors, dancers and artisans who helped put together those shows. The hearings went on for months. Meanwhile, the committee decided against opening investigations into the Ku Klux Klan, because, as committee member John E. Rankin (D-MS) remarked: "the KKK is an old American institution." How right he was.

On this day in 1986, the European Community adopts the European flag (see below).

Exact measurements and element orientation... picky, picky!

Friday, May 25, 2012


It was on this day in 240 BC that ancient astronomers first recorded the perihelion passage of the celestial body that would eventually come to be known as Halley's Comet. Clear records of its appearances had been made by Chinese, Babylonian, and medieval European chroniclers over time, but it wasn't until 1705 that Edmond Halley realized it was the same object making return trips to our Solar System once every 75 years or so. Halley's Comet's last fly-by took place in 1986, and it won't be back until 2061.

On this day in 1521, rogue cleric Martin Luther is declared an outlaw by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who ends the Diet of Worms by declaring the Edict of Worms: "For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favour the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, where upon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work." To protect him, Prince Frederick of Saxony had Martin Luther kidnapped and hidden away in Wartburg Castle. Jeez... warts, worms... this story is making me nauseous. Let's move on, shall we?

On this day in 1895, playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde is convicted of "committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons" and sentenced to serve two years in prison. While at Reading Gaol, he writes De Profundis, essentially one of the best-written break-up letters of all time.

On this day in 1926, Jewish anarchist Sholom Schwartzbard assassinates Symon Petliura, the head of the Paris-based government-in-exile of the Ukrainian People's Republic, ostensibly in retaliation for the latter's failure to prevent anti-Semitic pogroms in his former homeland during his two-year reign (1918-20).

On this day in 1953, the United States military conducts their first - and final - nuclear artillery test, at the Nevada Test Site. Fired as part of Operation Upshot-Knothole and codenamed Shot GRABLE, a 280 mm shell with a gun-type fission warhead was fired 6.2 miles and detonated 525 feet above the ground with an estimated yield of 15 kilotons. The shell was 4.5 feet long and weighed 805 lbs. It was fired from a special, very large, artillery piece, nicknamed Atomic Annie (see above). About 3,200 soldiers and civilians were present to witness the impressive fireworks display (see below).

On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of the Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a "man on the Moon" before the end of the decade. Some people believe we made it, but a growing number beg to differ. Personally, whether we got to leave our footprints on the Moon or not, I think the whole thing was just a feel-good cover story for pouring billions into the development of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles... but what do I know?

On this day in 1986, a massive public event featuring a boatload of creepy participants taking part in an activity that is more than a little reminiscent of a massive occult ritual takes place. I refer, of course, to Hands Across America. I shudder to think what would have happened if the opposite ends of such a tremendous human circle had come together, Ouroboros-style. Perhaps...

Thursday, May 24, 2012


On this day in 1943, Nazi "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele becomes chief medical officer of the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he performed atrocious medical experiments on inmates, especially children and twins. After the end of the war, despite being one of the most hunted human beings in history, he manages to evade arrest, moving from Europe to South America under assumed identities, and some allege he continued his experiments, going so far as to create a "town of twins" in Brazil.

On this day in 1970, drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole begins in the Soviet Union. Workers soon put down their tools and run off, however, when a microphone dropped down the miles-long shaft reveals the screams of the damned being tormented in Hell... or did it?

On this day in 1991, Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating thousands of Black Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

On this day in 1994, four men convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 are each sentenced to 240 years in prison, making the WTC's Twin Towers totally safe for one and all, forever after.

On this day in 2001, the floor of the third floor of the Versailles wedding hall in Jerusalem, Israel, falls away, killing 23 and injuring over 200. It is the worst civil disaster in Israel's history.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


On this day in 1498, friar, preacher, reformer, prophet and heretic Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake in Florence, Italy, on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.

On this day in 1618, four Catholics are thrown out a window in Bohemia, and even though they survive - it was a third floor window and they landed in a pile of horse-shit - it still kicks off the Thirty Years' War. This odd event is referred to as the Second Defenestration of Prague... which means there was a first. Which is weird.

On this day in 1734, Austrian hypnotist and all-around weirdo Franz Anton Mesmer is bornOne of his secrets? Inducing orgasm in female "patients".

On this day in 1934, American bank robbers-cum-folk heroes Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.

On this day in 1945, one day after being arrested by British forces, Heinrich Himmler, the closest thing to a High Priest of the Nazi Party and the leader-for-life of the elite S.S. "Schutzstaffel" storm-troopers - commits suicide before he can be questioned.

On this day in 1958, communist dictator Mao Zedong launches China's Great Leap Forward, trying to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern communist society through the process of rapid industrialization and collectivization. The experiment ended in catastrophe, with an estimated death toll ranging from 18 million to 45 million, although some scholars question these numbers. Regardless, the failure led to Mao being criticized in party conferences, which led him to initiate the Cultural Revolution in 1966, with a whole new slew of fresh terrors being inflicted upon that particularly masochistic population.

On this day in 1961, the Ford Motor Company puts the finishing touches on a specially modified Lincoln Continental convertible sedan for use by the President of the USA. The jet-black Lincoln, with swing-back suicide doors, is dubbed the SS-100-X. Two and a half years later, John F. Kennedy is shot and killed in that very car, making it perhaps the single most widely-seen automobile in history. 

On this day in 1992, Italy's most prominent anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three body guards are killed by the Corleonesi clan with a half-ton bomb near Capaci, Sicily. His friend and colleague Paolo Borsellino will be assassinated less than 2 months later, making 1992 a turning point in the history of Italian Mafia prosecutions.

On this day in 1995, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building are imploded to make way for new construction and a memorial to the Oklahoma City bombing by right-wing extremist Timothy McVeigh.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


On this day in 1176, a group of hired killers from Rashideddin Sinan's "Masyaf" branch of the Ismaili Hashshashin sect - also known as the Assassins - make their second attempt to murder Saladin, a world-historic figure who founded the Ayyubid dynasty, ruling Egypt, Syria and beyond. They come close, but fail.

On this day in 1844, the Báb announces to the world the coming of "He whom God shall make manifest", thus founding the religion of Bábism, a new religious movement that represented a break with traditional Islam, and which was brutally suppressed in Persia. However, since he is considered the forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, and seeing as Baha'i still revere the teachings of the Báb, it wasn't a total waste of time.

On this day in 1856, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks sneaks up on, then beats the high holy hell out of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner with a wooden cane because the latter insulted the former's state - as well as his uncle's "honor" - in an anti-slavery speech. It was the first act of physical violence to take place in the Congress, and is considered an important precursor to the Civil War

On this day in 1906, the Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine."
On this day in 1954Robert Zimmerman - that’s Bob Dylan to you, me, and Jesus - officially becomes a man when he’s Bar Mitzvahed! Mazeltov!

On this day in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson announces social reforms to bring an "end to poverty and racial injustice in America", calling it the Great Society. Today, the only thing that remains of these reforms is the neo-conservative reaction to them.

On this day in 1968, the Skipjack-class nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores. The Navy still isn't sure what happened.

On this day in 2002, the remains of Chandra Levy, an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, are found in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. She'd been banging Congressman Gary Condit (D-California) at the time of her disappearance in early 2001, and for a while he was a suspect... in the media, if not officially. Eventually, the September 11 terrorist attacks knocked Levy off the front page and police pinned the murder on illegal Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique. Case closed.

Celebrating a parapolitical birthday today are anti-Semitic epic-monger Richard Wagner (1813), Hidden Persuaders author Vance Packard (1914), cosmiconsciousness-raising space-jazz pioneer Sun Ra (1914), and creepy American billionaire T. Boone Pickens (1928).

Monday, May 21, 2012


Leopold, Darrow and Loeb
On this day in 1863, the Seventh Day Adventist Church - an offshoot of the Apocalyptic creed of Millerite Protestantism - is organized in Battle Creek, Michigan. Today, there are over seventeen million "Sevvies" around the world, and they are one of the most ethnically diverse branches of the Christian faith. Seventh Day Adventists celebrate the Sabbath day on Saturday, in the Old Testament style of the Jews, and they place a strong emphasis on healthy eating and living. Probably the most lasting impact that they've had on popular culture is the introduction of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals to the North American diet.

On this day in 1871, French troops invade the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting. By the close of "Bloody Week" some 20,000 anarchist and Marxist "communards" will have been killed and 38,000 arrested. Thus ended a historic, two-month experiment in self-rule by the people of Paris.

On this day in 1924, two young, well-to-do homosexuals named Leopold and Loeb murder 14 year-old Bobby Franks. At the time, this murder was considered one of the vilest and most sensational crimes in U.S. history, because the killers did it just for kicks. Defending the young murderers in court, legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow claims that the boys would never have become killers if they hadn't read the works of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose theory of the Ubermensch - a highly evolved idealization of humanity who exists above and beyond the mundane conceptions of "good" and "evil" - he claims twisted their minds.

On this day in 1946, physicist Louis Slotin is blasted with a fatal dose of radiation in a criticality incident during an experiment with the aptly-named Demon Core - a 6.2 kilogram subcritical mass of plutonium - at Los Alamos National Laboratory. It was the second time that such an incident resulted in the acute radiation poisoning and subsequent death of a scientist. After these incidents, the core was used in an atomic bomb test in 1946, and proved in practice to have a slightly increased yield over similar cores which had not been subjected to criticality excursions. Here's a dramatization of the Slotin incident from the movie Fat Man and Little Boy.

On this day in 1969, Palestinian immigrant Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to death for killing Robert Kennedy in a restaurant kitchen. The sentence is never carried out, as California got rid of the death penalty.

On this day in 1979, the White Night Riots take place in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan "Twinkie Defense" White for the assassinations of mayor George Moscone and openly gay city councilman Harvey Milk.

On this day in 1981, the Italian government releases the membership list of Propaganda Due, also known as the P2 Lodge, a Masonic lodge operating under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Italy from 1945 to 1976 (when its charter was withdrawn), and a pseudo-Masonic or "black" or "covert" lodge operating illegally (in contravention of Italian constitution banning secret lodges and membership of government officials in secret membership organizations) from 1976 to 1981. During the years that the lodge was headed by Licio Gelli, P2 was implicated in numerous Italian crimes and mysteries, including the collapse of the Vatican-affiliated Banco Ambrosiano, the murders of journalist Mino Pecorelli and banker Roberto Calvi, and corruption cases within the nationwide bribe scandal Tangentopoli. P2 came to light through the investigations into the collapse of Michele Sindona's financial empire. It has also been connected to the CIA-connected European right-wing black-ops org known as Gladio.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


On this day in 325, the first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church is held in the city of Nicea, located in modern day Turkey. Today, this Council is commonly referred to as the First Council of Nicea. Among the many decisions made during this meeting were the settlement of the issue of the nature of Jesus and his relationship to God, settling the date for Easter, and issuing a decree forbidding dudes from cutting off their own dicks. I shit you not

On this day in 1908, Congress ignores the constitutionally mandated tradition of keeping church and state separate by enacting legislation declaring that the motto "in God we trust" should be included on most legal tender.

On this day in 1875, the Metre Convention is signed by 17 nations, leading to the establishment of the "International System of Units". Today, the only industrialized country that does not use the metric system as its official system of measurement is the USA, with the UK also lagging in the adoption of some elements.

On this day in 1980, the people of the French Canadian province of Quebec head to the ballot box to vote on a proposal to begin the work of loosening the bonds of unity with the rest of Canada. The referendum measure receives a 60% NO vote.

On this day in 1983, the journal Science first publishes researcher Luc Montagnier's theory that the HIV virus causes AIDS. Okay, sure, fine, but what is it, exactly, that caused the HIV virus? That isn't as settled a question as most people would like to think. And anyway, if it turns out that HIV wasn't man-made, that doesn't mean the AIDS epidemic wasn't.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


New England's Dark Day

On this day in 1536Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.

On this day in the year 1780, in the middle of the afternoon, New England is plunged into almost total darkness. On the day in question, Connecticut State Council wanted to adjourn so members could go home and prepare for Judgement Day, but councilor Abraham Davenport said: "I am against an adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause of an adjournment: if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought!" To this day, nobody knows what happened... although I gotta figure it probably had something to do with witches.

On this day in 1943, Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler declares the city of Berlin to be Judenrien, or completely empty of Jewish people. At first, the dictator is proud of his sinister achievement, but when he finds that he can't get a decent smoked meat sandwich to save his life anymore... he begins to secretly harbor regrets.

On this day in 1953, the Pentagon sets off a nuclear explosion on a remote Nevada proving ground, but unexpectedly strong winds carry fall-out all the way to the town of Saint George, Utah. Today, when looking back at the ecological catastrophe, the plucky people of Saint George say: "No sweat!" It's not that they don't mind that their government's lax safety controls led to their town getting bathed in radiation. It's just that they were born without sweat glands, and literally can't produce sweat.

On this day in 1962, a birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe's rendition of Happy Birthday, making the whole presidential extramarital liaison thing just a little too obvious for some folks' liking.