What’s on the Tube? “Hunt for the Skinwalker”—A Documentary about Utah’s Creepy Skinwalker Ranch ⭐️⭐️

I was slightly disappointed after having read the groundbreaking 2005 book by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp, upon which a lot of the documentary is supposedly based. The book is structured better. I’m going to refrain from further commentary here. I dig Jeremy Corbell and his other films. This one has its issues; but it’s worth a watch. “Three-ish” stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Hunt+For+The+Skinwalker

Burt & Ernie Gay? According to Their Creator They Always Have Been—& His Comment Has Sesame Street Bigwigs Falling All Over Themselves…

562892-bert-amp-ernie

‘”…are Bert & Ernie lovers?” And [I thought] that, coming from a preschooler, was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were.’ –Bert & Ernie’s Creator, Writer Mark Saltzman 

from Queerty, September 22, 2018…

Fuck Sesame Street and Their Weak “Bert and Ernie Aren’t Gay” Statement

Earlier this week, Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman confirmed a long-debated theory; whether Bert and Ernie were a little more than just friends. He told Queerty how even a pre-schooler picked up on the issue:

“I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked, “are Bert & Ernie lovers?” And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. ”

0810-bert-ernie-marriage_full_600

Well, now the bigwigs at Sesame Street are denying that the puppet pair is any more than friends. You know, because they’re puppets.

tumblr_nrhqpoksFA1qkvbwso1_500

“As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach pre-schoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

Don’t exist below the waist?

You mean “unless we’re marketing toys and books and other products”–cause these look A LOT like legs and feet to me, Sesame Street…


“Please see our statement below regarding Bert and Ernie. pic.twitter.com/6r2j0XrKYu”

Sesame Workshop (@SesameWorkshop) September 18, 2018

(Interestingly, the above Twitter link no longer exists.)

Well, I think, to most humans, we can recognise that Bert and Ernie are indeed puppets, and therefore aren’t actually tossing each other off behind Oscar The Grouch’s trash can. Just like how – as puppets – they’re not actually grabbing a couple pints and watching the footie game down the pub.

As puppets, they can be as much lovers as they can friends. Not to mention that Miss Piggy and Kermit (both puppets) were quite clearly a couple. And Oscar had an obvious side-bitch.

boda-teleñecos

They then released another—very similar—statement, which repeated the rehearsed mantra about children learning acceptance. Surprise.

“Sesame Street has always stood for inclusion and acceptance. It’s a place where people of all cultures and backgrounds are welcome. Bert and Ernie were created to be best friends, and to teach young children that people can get along with those who are very different from themselves.”

It’s quite clear that the producers of Sesame Street have the deludedly dreaded fear that children learning that gay couples exist will turn them gay. Which would explain why they have the limited intelligence to produce nothing more than a puppet TV show for 4-year-olds.

Although, I think perhaps on some level they realise that TV shows don ‘t make people gay, but encourage gay children to live as their authentic self, but even so, it leads to the same unwanted outcome: more gay people. Their thinly-veiled attempt to divert their homophobia to acceptance and diversity, is quite frankly, at the level of a 4-year-old.

And also let’s just get this clear, Sesame Street did not create these characters… Saltzman did. Saltzman has already said that they were intended to be in a homosexual relationship, and so for Sesame Street to step forward and actively deny this, (rather than allowing his comment to pass by), demonstrates that they were probably keen not to offend the fellow homophobic parents of middle America.

A retraction that could only ever be bought by Trump supporters. And 4-year-olds.^

-Images: Wikioedia, Pinterest, & Queerty.

Further Reading 

Why it matters that Bert and Ernie are gay, which they are:

It’s a way to tell more kids that they, too, belong in the world…

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2018/9/19/17879916/bert-ernie-gay-sesame-street-mark-saltzman-controversy

and…

Dracul—The Prequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula—Is Finally Here!

121EE35B-6570-42B1-9CFC-7325CE057164

My preordered copy of the book just arrived and with it came some interesting information I’d like to share with you! This is the prequel to Dracula, co-written by Bram Stoker’s (author of the 1890 novel Dracula) great-nephew and manager of his estate—Dacre Stoker!

83519944-FC65-44E8-AEA4-7CCD19042737

187CBD95-2245-49AD-9EF6-755D66D34B14

The Mysterious “Ghost Writings” at England’s Borley Rectory—An Investigation…

No Hand Was Visible: The Mysterious “Wall Writings” at Borley Rectory— An Investigation

Andrew Clarke, 2003

The wall-writings at England’s infamously haunted Borley Rectory have proven to be of enduring interest. Although they may not be unique, they are memorable, with the repeated calling of the name ‘Marianne’, their chilling pleas for ‘Rest’, exhortations for ‘Light’ the ‘Mass Prayers’, and childlike scribbling, redolent of a tortured soul desperate to communicate.

C253F663-8733-4C92-9E96-ECB7932F5A0DWho can fail to be stirred by the account of their arrival as remembered by a visitor, the professional medium, Guy L’Estrange?:

“Later, being entertained by the rector and his wife, he heard for the first time of mysterious forms, male and female, being seen inside and outside the house; of lights in unoccupied rooms; of articles appearing and being thrown; of fires breaking out; of mysterious whisperings and unexplained writings on walls and scraps of paper. Once, the rector told him, he was working alone in his study when he saw a pencil rise from the desk and scrawl words on the wall in front of him -no hand was visible!’

Guy L’Estrange, quoted in Borley Postscript by Peter Underwood, p.114

It is an image that we all kept when we first read the Harry Price books about Borley Rectory: the pencil rising from the desk and scrawling the words ‘Get light, mass, prayers.’

This account was introduced by the professional medium, Guy L’Estrange. Unfortunately Guy seems to have made it up. Lionel Foyster, the rector would never have said it. He was meticulous in his care for the truth and was always keen to point out that he never saw anything of a paranormal nature whilst at Borley Rectory. The story of the pencil rising from the desk does not appear in any other account.

E0429404-24AF-4156-94C9-8FE312655FAB

This and all other images: Borleyrectory.com.

The ‘paranormal’ writings first appeared in the spring of 1931 when the Foysters were living at the Rectory.

The diary of occurrences, written soon after the event, records the first manifestations of this strange phenomenon, and then, in instalments describes how it evolved:

“Another strange occurrence is that Marianne’s name was at one time continually being written on little odd pieces of paper in a rather shaky childish hand (Adelaide, needless to say, cannot write yet) That has stopped now as far as I know (March 23rd).”

Lionel Foyster Diary of Occurences, p.17

In Lionel’s final account which was written seven years later, some detail was added that gave this a much more ‘paranormal’ air:

‘MF sees paper in the air; it at once falls to the ground; discovered to huave some hardly decipherable writing on it. Next day, when we come up, it has disappeared.”

Lionel Foyster, Summary of experiences, p.4

Continue reading

Warning! This Ain’t Your Gramma’s Nun.

Terrifying Real-Life Encounter Inspires New Horror Film “The Nun”…

“I feel the presence of a nun in this church…”

—Lorraine Warren, psychic investigator/demonologist, speaking to a group of psychic researchers and photographers (including husband Ed Warren) at Borley Rectory in England, during a trip there in the 1970s; it is noted that Lorraine uttered the remark immediately upon entering the building at 12:00 A.M.


09728A5B-7676-4726-941C-329B4C1EBE55

The Nun, played by the amazing Bonnie Aarons, first appeared in the 2016 James Wan film The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, a sequel of sorts (but then again not really) to Wan’s 2013 film The Conjuring (sequels, perhaps, in that both films are based on true stories straight out of the case files of Catholic demonologists and founders of the New England Society for Psychical Research, Ed and Lorraine Warren—played in both films by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively). In The Conjuring 2, Aaron’s character, called “Valek” in the annals of Hell, is a demon that’s attached itself psychically to Farmiga’s character—medium and demonologist Lorraine Warren—and has manifested itself to her since she was a child in the form of a Catholic Nun…as an insult to and a perversion of  Warren’s Christian faith.


033F6EBF-273B-4031-88E9-ED7AC615F02C

In the 1970s, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren saw a spectral nun in a British abbey. Real-life psychic investigators for the Catholic Church, the Warrens investigated many of the workd’s most visible—and horrifying—spirit and demonic encounters including The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring incident, the Perronne family hauntings, and the Enfield poltergeist infestation in England.


In The Nun, the latest movie in the ever-expanding Conjuring universe, a cowl-clad demon with piercing yellow eyes and dagger-like teeth haunts the cloisters of a Romanian abbey and terrorizes local clergy. The film is a prequel to The Conjuring, which detailed the real case files of noted demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Those case files have also inspired film classics such as The Conjuring 2, Anabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and the 1979 horror classic The Amityville Horror.

So how much of the story about The Nun is based on actual events?

The Warren’s son-in-law, Tony Spera, said that The Nun’s ecclesiastical phantom bears resemblance to a “real” spectral nun the Warrens encountered during a 1970s trip to the much-haunted Borley Rectory in southern England.

Below: Rare color photographs of Borley Rectory taken in 1929 (left) and 1943 after the fire (right) by England’s own famous (and infamous) ghost hunter Harry Price (Source: www.harrypricewebsite.co.uk/Borley)

Continue reading

Armie Hammer on Making His Broadway Debut & Reckoning with Toxic Masculinity

09BEB010-8FDA-4D9F-89C8-6963F1DB4AC5

Photography by Annie Leibovitz (Vogue 2018).

I love this man. He’s debonair (that’s a word we haven’t seen in a while). He’s heroic in height and stature. He’s beautiful and he has a gentle soul. He’s also thoughtful and intelligent—and I thought you’d enjoy this!

“I thought, Not only will I get to push myself,” Hammer says, “but I’ll also get to be part of something that really has something to say.”

‘Armie Hammer is a straight white man who made a name for himself playing such big-screen paragons of straight white manhood as The Social Network’s Winklevoss twins and the Lone Ranger. He went on, of course, to grow as an actor and cement his stardom playing a non-straight white man, opposite Timothée Chalamet, in last year’s Call Me by Your Name. Now he’s returning to type—and making his Broadway debut—in Young Jean Lee’s hilarious, scathing, and mournful play Straight White Men, which opens this month under the auspices of Second Stage at the Hayes Theater. Hammer trained as a theatrical actor but never pursued a career on the stage—so why now?

“The easy answer is that it scared me,” he says. “I’ve come to realize that the point of life is not to be comfortable—you should be in some sort of discomfort and pain at any given moment because that’s the only way to grow, as an actor and as a person. Plus, the play is so brilliant and prescient and timely—it deals so well with the concepts of toxic masculinity and white privilege, which we’re finally reckoning with as a society. And I thought, Not only will I get to push myself and do a play on Broadway but I’ll also get to be part of something that really has something to say.”

A theatrical shape-shifter with impeccable downtown credentials, Lee is making her own Broadway debut as a playwright—the first Asian American woman, straight or otherwise, to do so. For the last decade and a half she has been writing and staging works that are bold, experimental, spiky, genre-bending, and, above all, wildly imaginative and entertaining. Mainstream she ain’t—her plays have taken on Korean American identity politics (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven), female identity politics (Untitled Feminist Show), and black identity politics (The Shipment), along with the patriarchy (Lear) and mortality (We’re Gonna Die)—but with Straight White Men she has written a conventionally plot-driven work that bubbles with the subversive wit and intellectual provocation that have become her trademark.

28AEFEBF-A4C4-4D9F-B39D-EA53D304381E

Continue reading

Reblog: One of the great independent presses, Undertow Books, hits the mark again! Look at this!

F87877B3-1ECA-498B-A100-475DAE1B0841

The Silent Garden: A New Journal of Esoteric Fabulism

From Michael Kelly, Undertow Books (http://www.undertowbooks.com/)

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Silent Garden Collective, I will be publishing the inaugural volume of The Silent Garden: A Journal of Esoteric Fabulism.

The Silent Garden is a peer-reviewed journal, edited and curated by the Silent Garden Collective, a professional group of editors, writers, and scholars interested in exploring those liminal borderlands where darkness bends.

The Collective’s aim is to provide an annual journal of exceptional writing and art focussed on horror and the numinous, the fabulist, the uncanny, the weird, the gnostic, the avant-garde, the esoteric, and the dark interstices of the known and unknown world.

The Silent Garden Collective is an organic and changing group of editors. Each volume (assuming the first sells well enough) will be edited and curated by a different group. Thus, given the number of people potentially involved, they thought it prudent to form a Collective.

The book is currently in production, and should be available in August. Pricing and ordering information should be available soon. The amazing Table of Contents is listed below. If you want to be notified when it’s available, just drop me an e-mail and I will add you to the mailing list.

Thanks for the interest, folks. I think this is going to be a very special and unique project!

Specs

Deluxe square (8.5” X 8.5”) Hardcover, with interior color illustrations, printed on 70LB paper. Published by Undertow Books.

The inaugural volume of this very cool journal will feature the following:

Art

  • Transcending the Grotesquerie: The Surreal Landscapes of David Whitlam

Essays

  • “Translating The Ritual,” by J.T. Glover
  • “The Raw Food Movement: Comparing Transformative Diets in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian (2015) and Julia Ducournau’s Raw (2016),” by V.H. Leslie
  • “Unstitching the Patriarchy: A review of Camilla Grudova’s The Doll’s Alphabet,” by Rudrapriya Rathore
  • “Cinema of the Body: The Politics of Performativity in Lars Von Trier’s Dogville and Yorgos Lanthimo’s Dogtooth,” by Angelos Koutsourakis

Poetry

  • “Lincoln Hill,” by Daniel Mills
  • “Deposition of Darkness,” by Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles (Translated by Kristine Ong Muslim)
  • “Contortionist,” by Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles (Translated by Kristine Ong Muslim)

Fiction

  • “Waystations of the High Night,” by Marcel Brion (Translated by Edward Gauvin)
  • “Her Blood the Apples, Her Bones the Trees,” by Georgina Bruce
  • “La Tierra Blanca,” by Maurizio Cometto (Translated by Rachel S. Cordasco)
  • “Embolus of Cinnabar,” by Patricia Cram
  • “Palisade,” by Brian Evenson
  • “Under the Casket, A Beach!” by Nick Mamatas
  • “The Other Tiger,” by Helen Marshall
  • “Coruvorn” by Reggie Oliver
  • “Blood and Smoke, Vinegar and Ashes” by D.P. Watt
  • “The Palace of Force and Fire,” by Ron Weighell
  • “Nox Una,” by Marian Womack

Read more, here, and buy this! Support Undertow Books!

https://www.thesilentgarden.com/

http://www.undertowbooks.com/2018/04/29/the-silent-garden/#comment-39909

My New Favorite Comedian—James Acaster! U Gotta Catch His 4-Piece on Netflix!

D0AEA354-AB9C-4584-BE8C-A10226FBED99

 

Links

https://www.netflix.com/title/80213803

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Acaster

http://www.student-rag.co.uk/james-acasterthe-student-rag-interview/

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/aug/06/james-acaster-rest-comedy-show-edinburgh-fringe

Get James’ book, here…

 

Interview: Thomas Ligotti and the Realm of Nightmares

Interview: Thomas Ligotti and the Realm of Nightmares

Weird Fiction Review, 2015

EA6CEBE2-902A-43F9-9026-DBFA72CB70AE

While Thomas Ligotti has been cited by authors as the greatest living writer of the Weird, mainstream recognition of his work has seemed to lag behind. However, this month Penguin is publishing a new work in its series of classics that combines two of Ligotti’s earliest collections, Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe: His Lives and Works. With Penguin adding Ligotti’s work to its classics lineup, it would seem that Ligotti might finally be getting the long overdue exposure he deserves for his seminal contribution to dark fiction. The following interview was done on the occasion of the publication of Thomas Ligotti’s Songs of a Dead and Grimscribe in the Penguin Literary Classics series.

Were there any particular events in your life that pushed your imagination to contemplate horror?

I think the first and foremost source of horror that preoccupied my mind were nightmares. I’ve been a professional at bad dreams all my life. Hamlet had nothing on me as far as that’s concerned. Nightmares are the only realm in which we are without help and absent of all hope of being saved from the worst and most unnatural fates. But that’s all very abstract, and I don’t think it’s the response you’re looking to get from me. No doubt I did have more than my share of nightmares. There were other things, though, and I’m not sure I can put my finger on what they were or how much any one of them might be blamed or credited for my obsession with the artistic expression of horror. I was often sick as a child. Often my illnesses were accompanied by fevers and deranged perceptions that they bring about — malignant faces on the ceiling of my bedroom, shadows in corners, shapes watching me from dark places, that sort of thing. When I was two years old, I was hospitalized and operated on for an abdominal rupture. In my reading on authors of supernatural writing, I came across an article on childhood surgical procedures, focusing on one in particular that had been undergone by Bram Stoker. The person who wrote the article had a theory on what effect this may have had on the man who would later write Dracula and other tales of things that did not exist and could not exist in our so-called normal world, the real and orderly world where the substance of our lives is assumed to be played out. And of course H. P. Lovecraft recorded at length in his letters the journeys he made to a world without any rules concerning what should be and what should not be. I have to say that my destinations were more mundane but it’s the emotions aroused by nightmares affects us most. They have no counterpart in intensity and suggestion in our daylight lives.

Continue reading