20 Strange and Surreal Stories to Read From Tuesday, January 7
This is Week 1, day 2 of my New 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media that crosses my path each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at [email protected]
1. At Esquire, a profile of counterculture filmmaker Kenneth Anger, "Where the Bodies Are Buried"
In 1946, Parsons and Cameron practiced a magic ritual known as the “Babalon Working” to conceive a “moonchild” as the Thelemic “messiah”.
The “scribe” for this ceremony was a man Parsons had met only a few months earlier, but who – so Parsons told Crowley – displayed distinctly promising occult possibilities. He was a science-fiction writer named L Ron Hubbard. The Babalon Working failed: Cameron did not conceive. Hubbard ran off with Parsons’ former mistress, a substantial amount of Parsons’ money and a yacht both men owned in a business arrangement.
The official Scientology version of Hubbard’s occult activities is he was working undercover to expose and destroy a “black magic cult”. But Hubbard, Anger says, was “a pathological liar, you can’t believe anything he said”. What Hubbard took from meeting Parsons, Anger says, was the blueprint of a hermetic brotherhood in which the acquisition of one layer of knowledge leads to the next. “The difference is, Scientology makes everybody pay. Hubbard told Parsons that inventing a religion was a good way to make money. But Scientology is a cult. The whole thing is what I call a racket.”
In 1952, Parsons was killed when fulminate of mercury exploded in his home laboratory. “There are various theories about whether he was responsible, or someone else did it,” Anger says. “Howard Hughes wanted Jack to go and work for him but Jack refused. And Howard Hughes was the kind of man you didn’t say no to, or if you did, there would be consequences.”
Following Parsons’ death, Anger lived with Cameron for two years, intensifying his study of Crowleyian magick. Anger describes his beliefs as “paganism” which, he says, “is just an appreciation of nature. It has nothing to do with so-called ‘black magic’”. For many years he has been a member of the OTO, but is reticent about his own “magickal” practices: the OTO, he points out, is after all a secret society. He is not, he says, “doing magic circles all the time, although I have done it on occasion”. But he follows Crowley’s practice of “Liber Resh”, a ritual meditation for greeting the sunrise. He affects a cheery wave: “Hello sun!”
2. At Epoch Times: "Eight Treasures Tea: An Elixir From Ancient China"
Of all the herbal tonics in China, none is as well known as the medicinal tea called the “Eight Treasures Tea” (Ba Bao Cha), the base of which was created during the Tang dynasty. However, it wasn’t until Li changed some of the ingredients and added a few more, that it really became one of the most traditional tonics in Chinese history.
“Eight Treasures” is popular in part because of its many health benefits. It is known as an elixir in China because it helps improve blood circulation, raise energy levels, boost the immune system, clear lightheadedness, aid liver function and breathing, help remove dark under-eye circles, hydrate dry skin, fight fatigue, and can help women maintain a regular menstrual cycle.
There are many different varieties of “Eight Treasures” with different recipes made in different dynasties and depending on the availability of ingredients. The more common ingredients according to Li are:
Green tea Jasmine green tea brings out a more floral flavor.
Dried chrysanthemum flowers: 1–2 tablespoons
Goji berries: 4–6 berries
Dried Chinese red dates: 2 fruits
Dried Dragon Eye (Longan): 2 pieces
Licorice root: 1–2 pieces
American Ginseng: 1–2 roots
Dried fruit: You can use 1–4 pieces of apples, oranges, or raisins depending on size.
3. At the New York Post: "Spitzer caught sucking Lis Smith’s toes in topless hot tub romp"
Sleazy Eliot Spitzer turned a resort hot tub into a steamy love cauldron over the weekend — kissing and sucking the toes of his topless mistress, Lis Smith, in front of families with children, mortified witnesses told The Post.
The still-married former Love Gov and Smith, Mayor de Blasio’s ex-mouthpiece, were spied frolicking near the family pool at around 4 p.m. Sunday at the Half Moon family resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
“It was gross,” said a hotel witness, who was vacationing with her family. “She had her top off.”
The disgraced Spitzer — infamous for wearing his signature black knee socks while having sex with hookers — appears to have a bit of a foot fetish as well, according to onlookers.
4. Via Vodkapundit, At the Daily Mail: "Why was Tutankhamun mummified with an eternal erection? Study reveals religious reason"
The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb almost a century ago threw up some serious questions and mysteries surrounding the young pharoah’s burial.
Among the most bizarre rituals found in the tomb was that the king’s penis was embalmed at a 90-degree angle – the only mummy to have ever been found with this feature.
Egyptologists from the American University in Cairo have now claimed that this may have been carried out on purpose to make the king appear like Osiris, the god of the underworld, in an attempt to frighten religious revolutionaries.
5. Bridget Johnson at the PJ Tatler: "Taliban Commander Sends 10-Year-Old Sister Out to Suicide Bomb"
Think terrorists have reached the lowest of the low? Meet 10-year-old Spozhmai from Helmand province. On Sunday night, her kin strapped a bomb on her and sent her on a mission.
6. Claudia Rosett here at PJM: "Dennis Rodman In the Court of Kim Jong Un"
Self-appointed basketball envoy Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea, bringing with him a group of fellow former NBA stars to entertain North Korea’s young tyrant Kim Jong Un with an exhibition game on Kim’s birthday, this Wednesday. This is Rodman’s fourth visit to North Korea, where, having sampled some of the luxuries of young Kim’s lifestyle, Rodman has pronounced the totalitarian state to be “not that bad” and decided that Kim is his “friend for life.” It’s all part of what Rodman describes as his personal effort to “help the world.”
The real question about Rodman’s visits to North Korea is not why Rodman chooses to go there, but why the U.S. government continues to allow it. Rodman may believe he’s just going to hang with his buddy Kim, and make the world a better place. But it is quite likely that to Kim and his circle of the North Korean elite (at least those he has not yet ordered to be executed), Rodman’s visits look like a gift of tribute from America. There is precedent for this. Recall the basketball signed by former NBA star Michael Jordan, which former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright brought with her to Pyongyang in 2000 as a gift to Kim Jong Un’s late father, Kim Jong Il — also a basketball enthusiast. Albright was hoping to get a deal putting an end to North Korea’s missile habit. She got no deal. But Kim Jong Il did get the signed basketball, which North Korea’s government keeps on prominent display in its Hall of Trophies.
7. At the Daily Mail: "Happy birthday Michelle from all of US! Taxpayers foot the bill for First Lady's extended Hawaiian vacation... so she can celebrate her 50th in Oprah's Maui home"
When President Barack Obama suggested that his wife should spend extra time in paradise as an early birthday present, he was committing U.S. citizens to pay for the gift, whose costs will likely spiral into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The White House conceded on Monday that the federal treasury will foot the bill to fly First Lady Michelle Obama back to Washington, D.C. on a separate government aircraft after she finishes her extended vacation at the palatial 12-bedroom Hawaii home of talk show legend Oprah Winfrey.
Dedicated vehicles, Secret Service costs, and security sweeps of the Winfrey estate on Maui will add considerably to the total tab.
A Fox News Channel reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday to clarify who would get the bill for Mrs. Obama's travel, and the spinner landed on taxpayers.
8. Stomach-churning crime story of the day from the Daily Mail which seems to be the place to look on the web to see sadistic criminal cruelty displayed on a daily basis: "Purple Heart marine who served in Afghanistan gets two life sentences for sexually abusing his two children from birth - with their mothers' approval"
The former Marine convicted of sexually abusing his two children will spend the rest of his life behind bars, after receiving two life sentences in Florida court today.
U.S. District Judge Roy B Dalton Jr. called what 26-year-old Jonathan Adleta did to his children 'heinous', saying he is reposible for 'the destruction and scarring of his own children'.
During the trial it was revealed that Adleta started planning to abuse his children before they were born, telling his pregnant girlfriend Sarah Adleta, 29, that he would only marry her if she allowed him to have 'daddy-daughter sex' with their child.
I suppose it's necessary to remember what is really going on in the world.
9. More evil reported At the Daily Mail: "I don't give a rat's a** what you think!': Dennis Rodman has a meltdown during an interview about his latest North Korean trip and implies that imprisoned American Kenneth Bae 'deserves to be in jail'"
‘The marshal is actually trying to change this country in a great way,’ Rodman said of Kim, using the leader's official title. ‘I think that people thought that this was a joke, and Dennis Rodman is just doing this because fame and fortune.’ Instead, he said, he sees the game as a ‘birthday present’ for Kim and his country.
‘Just to even have us here, it's an awesome feeling. I want these guys here to show the world, and speak about North Korea in a great light,’ he said. ‘I hope people will have a different view about North Korea.’
NBA Commissioner David Stern issued a statement Monday night.
‘The NBA is not involved with Mr Rodman's North Korea trip and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department,’ Stern said.
‘Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them.’
Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in late 2011.
10. More on a different, more traditional kind of cult at the Daily Mail: "Man who thinks he's Jesus... along with hundreds of young women who follow him across the world"
Most of the disciples who live at his church – mostly women - have followed Inri for decades, the eldest, Abevere, 86, has been following him for 32 years.
His youngest disciple is now 24 years old and first met Inri when she was just a two years old.
11. Confirmation from Your Tango: "It's Science: Americans Watched The Most Porn In 2013"
If the United States takes the number one spot in the world that obviously means we're home to the individual state that's all about consuming porn the most at one time. Any guesses as to the winner? Well, before you get your brain in a tizzy, I'll tell you: Mississippi.
At an average 11 minutes, 47 seconds of porn-watching sessions in 2013, Mississippi is number one in the planet! The duration is even up one minute, three seconds from last year!
12. Via WTF Magazine, as shared by my friend Ash on Facebook:
Too bad the human centipede movie didn't take this as its premise instead...
Did Charlie Sheen say “I do” yet again?
That’s what the unpredictable star claimed via Twitter over the weekend, posting a message that implied that he tied the knot with his ex-porn star girlfriend, Brett Rossi. But now the actor is insisting that he was just joking around, in typical Sheen fashion.
14. From Your Tango: "23 Signs You're Obsessed With 'Downton Abbey'"
5. You regularly quote Mrs. SassyPants herself, the Dowager Countess, on Facebook and IRL.
It's kind of strange juxtaposing the way both prim and proper turn-of-the-century culture is popular alongside the mainstreaming of internet porn culture.
15. At the Mary Sue: "In an Alternate Star Trek Universe, Worf Works on Wall Street"
I'm not looking forward to having to watch The Wolf of Wall Street, which I'm sure I'll have to force myself to do eventually when I'm writing something about Scorsese's movies... The idea of Worf just running through the film whacking at all the corrupt criminals with his Bat'leth sounds more entertaining to me.
16. Betsy Rothstein at the Daily Caller: "Is Rare really just a wolf in sheep’s clothing?"
Content Editor Matt Cover‘s last day at Rare was last week. He went to the Alexandria, Va. office for the final time on Friday. He’s one of four editors who have parted ways with the Cox Media Group-owned news outlet since its inception in April. Once billed as red meat for conservative readers, those who’ve worked there have experienced editorial policies that are anything but right-leaning.
“I left because I didn’t like the direction Rare was headed or the disrespectful way staff was treated,” said Anneke Green, Rare‘s former opinion editor who quit in August. “We have enough conservative outlets — we don’t need to support a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And at the end of the day, instead of appealing to actual conservatives, it seemed the Cox people were more interested in Rare redefining conservatism to what they want it to be than reporting on what it is. I’m going on the record now only because I was so positive on the record when Rare launched and I’m disappointed such a great opportunity was squandered.”
I remember when Rare launched. Since then I've dropped by periodically out of loyalty to some of the people editing/writing there but it hasn't made much of a positive or negative impression either way. They just seem to be another center-right news aggregation site that doesn't distinguish themselves in any way. I checked twice today to try to find a link worthwhile to include from them in this round-up and came up empty handed. Oh wait, here's something, apparently Rare chooses to publish the hatemonger Pat Buchanan, recently named by P. David Hornik as the sixth worst purveyor of antisemitism in America.
17. Victor Davis Hanson here at PJM: "Intelligent Populism vs. Mindless Progressivism"
Moreover by 1995, the huge expansion of the U.S. economy, globalization, and sweeping breakthroughs in technology radically transformed the prior idea of “poverty,” as I had remembered it in 1960 (we of the rural middle class a half-century ago all used the privy farm toilet when outdoors around the house, and shared a party phone line with eight other families). Today’s poor struggle with drugs, crime, shattered families, and malaise, but not outdoor privies, the lack of air conditioning and heating, dusty dirt roads, or a denial of access to a phone or TV. Deprivation now is almost defined as the absence of a free electronic tablet at school.
Urban riots do not break out over bread, but more likely about the nth model of Air Jordan sneakers. When I go to a local Quest lab for a blood draw, the waiting room is full of poor who suffer terribly from diabetes and kidney failure brought about by carbohydrate- and sugar-driven obesity, not malnourishment. Too many calories are the scourge of America. There are no stormings of the local Wal-Mart to spread beans and rice around; occasional flash mobbing of electronics stores nationwide is prompted by desire for smart phones and pads.
18. From Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler, "Former SecDef Robert Gates Unloads on Obama"
In his forthcoming book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes the difficult relationship that he had with President Obama, Vice President Biden and many of the administration’s other top advisers. Gates kept a calm public demeanor while serving, as a Republican, so high up in a Democrat administration. But behind the scenes, he writes that he felt like he was “at war” with the rest of the administration.
He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the  surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”
That’s monstrous. Yet Gates goes on to describe Clinton in the glowing terms typical of a Washington insider.
19. An excerpt from page 154 of volume 2, The Trick Top Hat, of Robert Anton Wilson's satirical quantum physics sci-fi mysticism novel The Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy:
20. Finally, from me today: "Welcome to Single Mom Nation: In 2014 Acknowledge the Matriarchs Who Really Run America"
The realization that I came to in 2013 – one that others on the Right seem to be coming to as well – is that actually the person making most of the domestic policy, campaign strategy, and — most horrifying of all – foreign policy decisions is his “senior adviser” Valerie Jarrett. Now we know that actually Jarrett was the one with the political savvy who was grooming Obama all along so that she could use him to implement her agenda. Obama is just her mask.
I don’t think President Jarrett really cares to the degree that Obamacare succeeds or fails. If it’s helping any poor people, if it’s doing any amount of redistributing of wealth at all, then it’s a success in the Alinsky playbook. Anything she can do to stick it to the rich racists who don’t deserve to be wealthy the better. And years from now when Obamacare is really collapsing in flames and the Democrats are the ones leading the call for its repeal it won’t be her name on it. She’ll have moved on to the next million dollar Alinskyite, Soros Corporatist-Marxist hustle to rob from the rich, give to her preferred poor, and pocket some for herself.
See Also At PJ Lifestyle today:
PJ Lifestyle Sunshine: A Collision of Gray and Yellow As the Sun Sets Over the Chuska Mountains in New Mexico
Barry Rubin: Ideology: A Specter Haunting the World
Paula Bolyard: Survivors of the Blizzard of ’78 Mock the ‘Arctic Vortex’
Chris Queen: Girl Freezes Her Tongue to a Flagpole
Charlie Martin: 5 Surprises Coming in 2014 That Shouldn't Be
Stephen Green: Texas Man Kills Bigfoot
PJ Lifestyle Sunshine: Sunrise in Michigan
And At PJ Media:
Richard Fernandez: The Ostrich of Pennsylvania Avenue
Bridget Johnson: Rodman Has CNN Meltdown Over His ‘Love’ for Kim Jong-un, Declares U.S. Hostage Must Be Guilty
Roger L. Simon: Confessions of an Oscar Voter
Bryan Preston: ‘Republicans Could Win It All This Year’