Dumb

The clock is tick-tick-ticking off its judgments. Tick – stupid. Tick – Hey, stupid. It’s new. I bought it for six bucks at the local five-and-dime. La Virgen de Guadalupe smiles serenely from its face, held aloft by angels.

Black Swan, White Swan... Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Formal logic might be the blackest of magics (and it makes for the most excruciating of reads). Just try figuring out the Black Swan Problem. Read a ton of obnoxious articles by formal logicians – who I imagine wear capes and brood in towers while they go about their dark art of turning language into math – without pushing your thumbs into your eyeballs until they pop.

Donald Duck: High Priest of the Illuminati

Conspiracy theorists are dreadfully thorough, but I guess most of them missed this one: Donald in Mathmagic Land, the 1959 Disney featurette starring Donald Duck which teaches us about the Pythagorean cult, the pentagram, the Fibonacci Sequence, and the Golden Ratio.

Jack Kirby And Comic Book Mysticism

You may not recognize the name Jack Kirby, but if you’ve ever argued with your friends over who gets to be Cyclops when you were playing X-Men in your backyard, then you’ve been touched by his creations.

Eye of the Skeptic

Those “I’m always right” types absolutely need faith, or else those vicious doubts start creeping in. Not only will you find faith in the religious mind, calling God a fact, you’ll also find it lurking in the atheist, saying He isn’t. Come to think of it, anyone who uses the word “fact” so easily must be pretty faithful, at least when it comes to their own nonsense.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dead Chickens and Santeria at the Romero Cemetery -Sitting Now

Originally published January 27, 2014 via sittingnow.co.uk

The Albuquerque warehouse district is cold as hell at midnight.  And dark.  This little spot goes dead around 6 p.m. and refuses to drag its scraggly ass up until 5.  I’ve been sitting in the cold for two hours, cursing Matt Staggs and chain smoking.

A single tweet from Matt two week ago piqued my interest, beginning a chain reaction that ends with me on a wild chicken chase to find out who’s been leaving the corpses of black hens in a dusty family cemetery for two years.

A story that has been copypastaed ad nauseum around the internet for some reason, the last two weeks:
“KRQE-TV reports (http://goo.gl/XR9FZ8) that Michael Gabaldon, co-owner of Romero Cemetery, says for two years, dead chickens and chicken parts have been dropped off overnight.
He says the chickens have been left periodically from every day to every two weeks.  There also are bones or feathers scattered throughout the cemetery.
Gabaldon says he doesn’t know if the chickens are part of a religious ceremony, but he called the bizarre practice disgusting and creepy.
He says he hopes to put up a gate to keep cars out at night.”
The original article (which has disappeared from the website at the moment) gives me a few more details that allow me to locate the cemetery, a private family plot used for over two hundred years.  Bundle up, kiss the dog, and go-a-visitin’.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Hand of Glory (A Lesson in Ps and Qs) -Disinformation

Originally published January 18, 2014 via disinfo.com
Ich bin ein Berliner.”
-John F. Kennedy

The Hand of Glory is one of those stories you hear of when you’re running around with PROFESSIONAL occultists.  Like the beat cop’s story of the junkie on angel dust, still standing after a barrage of gunfire; or the “Things I’ve Pulled out of Rectums” stories from nurses.  Stuff that blows the layman’s mind, but is just another day in the business for the pro.

The Hand is supposed to be an object of extreme occult power.  Depending on the version, it will either turn its user invisible, mesmerize victims in its vicinity, or it can tell the future.

There are varying instructions for its creation, but the most commonly cited is a delicious recipe by Petit Albert (1722) for pickling the hand of a recently hung jerkwad.
“Take the right or left hand of a felon who is hanging from a gibbet beside a highway; wrap it in part of a funeral pall and so wrapped squeeze it well.  Then put it into an earthenware vessel with zimat, nitre, salt and long peppers, the whole well powdered.  Leave it in this vessel for a fortnight, then take it out and expose it to full sunlight during the dog-days until it becomes quite dry.  If the sun is not strong enough put it in an oven with fern and vervain.  Next make a kind of candle from the fat of a gibbeted felon, virgin wax, sesame, and ponie, and use the Hand of Glory as a candlestick to hold this candle when lighted, and then those in every place into which you go with this baneful instrument shall remain motionless.”
Other versions involve dipping the hand in wax and lighting the fingers, or the use of a different set of herbs.
The end result is always the same, though: a nasty piece of black magic, coveted by thieves and brigands, who are said to have used the thing to put entire houses to sleep while they robbed them blind.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Author Patrick J. Russell's House Condemned to Make Way For Baseball Stadium -Disinformation

Originally published January 8, 2014 via disinfo.com

 Right now, Mayor Patricia A. Lewis and the city council of Granville, West Virginia are probably sipping brandy and snorting lines of weapons-grade rhino horn off of a three thousand dollar coffee table while contemplating their next act of obscene evil.

At least, that’s how I will continue to picture it, as long as the mayor keeps refusing to return my calls like some kind of jilted lover.

It’s over, Trish.  I want my stuff.

I’m an agnostic, meaning when it comes to Hell, I hedge my bets.  And Mayor Lewis had better hedge hers after the bad craziness surrounding the impending eviction of author Patrick J. Russell.  Throwing a blind man and his wife out of their home and into a “polar vortex.”  Killing their dogs if a replacement home isn’t found.  It’s something you and I would only do under extreme duress and in the throes of a highly theatrical revenge plot.

Patrick J. Russell is a writer and a favorite promoter of independent artists.  He’s been legally blind since the 90′s, and works out of his home, which, as of 5:30 pm January 6, was condemned by the City of Granville.  Russell, his wife, and their five dogs are being forced to vacate their home of twenty years.

“I haven’t been out of my house in 11 years.  I don’t know anybody around here anymore.  My eyes, the inflammation, my eyes get worse.  So yes, my home is everything to me,” Russell told Lauren Talotta of WBOY news.

The house (pictured at left) is admittedly in some disrepair . Not surprising, considering the owner is disabled.  But you’d think in a town with a population of 1,477 people, where “small town values” should be popular, that someone would’ve lent a neighbor a helping hand where it was needed.  It would’ve been a little more pleasant than throwing a blind man and his family onto the streets while the state is experiencing its lowest temperature in twenty-five years.

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