THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

BUCK DHARMA AND XIEZILLA

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THANKSGIVING DAY, 2010 :
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Stephen T. McCarthy [to his brother, Napoleon]: “Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma was the most underrated Hard Rock guitarist of the ‘Classic Rock’ era.”
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Greg [a know-it-all 19-year-old]: “Who did you say was the most underrated Hard Rock guitarist of the ‘Classic Rock’ era?”
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Stephen: “Buck Dharma from Blue Oyster Cult.”
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Greg: “No he wasn’t.”
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Stephen [to Brother Nappy]: “There! You see what I mean?”
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I have no intention of filling in the details here. All you really need to know is that a 12-year-old boy “straight off the slow boat from China” has come to live temporarily with Brother Nappy and me, and he don’t speak no good English hardly at all.
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His name is Xie (pronounced: “Shay”) and he is – to put it mildly – LARGE for his age. We took him recently to the Northwest Chinese Baptist Church where one of the “church ladies” (who has a 10-year-old daughter of her own) was startled to learn that Xie was only 12.
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“Oh, my Northwest Chinese Baptist Church God!” she exclaimed. “I figured he was sixteen.”
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Yeah, Xie is so BIG that I have nicknamed him Xiezilla [pronounced: “Shayzilla”]. Sure, I know that Godzilla was Japanese, not Chinese. But all those Asian people look the same to me. (Just kidding. Actually, I’m not too bad at differentiating Asian people based solely on their facial features.)
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Now I’m gonna tell ya one of the funniest things ever (I’m serious!) It happened a few weeks ago, back when the only things Xie could say in English were “A little” and “Maybe later anything”.
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Brother Nappy and I were out in the front yard with Xie, trying to teach him basic baseball. Never in his entire life had Xie tried to hit a baseball. But despite having a stance and swing that was fundamentally flawed, he was whacking the crap out of the Wiffle Ball that we were lobbing toward him. We we’re pretty impressed that he was able to hit it as hard as he was with only an “arm swing”.

So after awhile, an ice cream truck comes down the street playing its music, and we took a break from baseball practice and bought ice cream from the truck. (Can you even imagine a more “American” scene than this? Baseball and an ice cream truck!)
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We’re standing around eating our Chocolate-Banana ‘Bomb Pops’ in the front yard when Xie accidentally drops his and it hits the dirt. Xie says, “Shit!” Nappy, wide-eyed, asks him, “What did you just say?” and Xie repeats it, “Shit”. Then I ask him, “Did you say that word in China?” and Xie answers, “No.” So I ask him, “Where did you learn that word?” And Xie points at Nappy and me and says, "You say".
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Nappy and I fell apart laughing, realizing of course that little pitchers (even foreign little pitchers) really do have big ears and we need to clean up our language pronto.
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[Xiezilla posing with Venice Beach icon Harry Perry.]
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[Xiezilla continuing to pose with Venice Beach icon Harry Perry.]
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Xiezilla’s theme song was recorded by Blue Oyster Cult in 1977 and it features Buck Dharma, the most underrated Hard Rock guitarist of the ‘Classic Rock’ era:
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He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings 
Toward the center of town . . .
GODZILLA!
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Blue Oyster Cult - Godzilla
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In 1976, Blue Oyster Cult turned away from their more ‘Heavy Metal’ past and forged a new, more melodic ‘Hard Rock’ career, beginning with their album ‘Agents Of Fortune’ which featured their biggest hit ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’.
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The following year BOC released ‘Spectres’ which showcased perhaps the best vocal harmonies ever in a Hard Rock setting, and also displayed Buck Dharma’s creative evolution into a guitarist thinking of his instrument as something to provide sonic textures rather than merely mindless, blazing solos intended to excite pimple-faced, White male teenagers.
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‘Xiezilla’ ‘Godzilla’ is undoubtedly the most well-known song from the ‘Spectres’ album, having become an FM radio staple, however, I think some of Dharma’s best work was found in the songs ‘Searching For Celine’ and ‘Nosferatu’ (another monster tune). In the latter, beginning at about the 4:08 mark, Buck plays a 40-second lead that, in keeping with the 'Horror' theme, is simply unadulterated electric wickedness.
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[Incidentally, 'Nosferatu' is a silent 1922 German vampire movie starring Max Schreck. It is definitely worth watching once. ...I've watched it twice.]
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Nosferatu - Blue Öyster Cult (HQ)
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In 1979, BOC released the album ‘Mirrors’ which was a disappointment sales-wise but, in my opinion, was their second best studio album after ‘Spectres’. In the song ‘I Am The Storm’, Buck Dharma proved that he could still toss off rip-roaring liquid steel solos that blew away most of the competition (Tommy Shaw of Styx, Tom Scholz of Boston, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, et al.)
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Listen for the lyrics . . .
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You'll hear my echoes of anger
You'll fear the roar of my thunder
Nightmares, confusion will come true
Aces and eights are the fate that you drew

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The American West history buffs already know that a pair of aces and a pair of eights is supposedly the poker hand Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot from behind and killed.
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Blue Oyster Cult I Am The Storm
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Yesterday I put a CD into my player and cranked up BOC’s most famous tune, ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’, to see what Xie would think of it. I guess you could say he liked it if the sight of a 12-year-old Godzilla-sized Chinese boy who don’t speak no good English hardly at all launching into an air-guitar solo means anything.
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After the song was over I asked Xiezilla, “Good, bad, or 
so-so?”
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He said, “Ta-shee-a-kay-don-ee-shung”, which apparently is Chinese for “It needs more cowbell”.
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Don't fear the reaper (with lyrics and pics)
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhRjyLLUdhw
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Of course Nappy and I both realize that kids will always find something to pick on other kids about, and ‘How-To-Bully’ seems to be the one lesson most kids learn well in the public schools today. Xie is too big for his age, meaning that some little dick will probably try to make a name for himself by bullying Xie in the same way that little Ritchard (“Little Dick”) Gale tried to kick Casey Heynes as if Casey was a dog he owned:
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Bullying victim speaks out - Casey Heynes - Australia
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=ziIfZx0XX5I&NR=1
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For this reason, Brother Napoleon (a bad motor-scooter himself) has already begun teaching Xiezilla how to use his claws fists, and that will spell “A-S-S-W-H-U-P-P-I-N” for the first Dick Gale who tries to bully Xie!
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He picks up a punk and he throws him back down
As he wades through the schoolyard 
Toward the center of town . . . 
XIEZILLA!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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Friday, June 22, 2012

MAKING SENSE OF THE INSANITY

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The other day I received an Email from a friend which included a link to the following short video:
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U.S. Bridges, Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms




During the “youthful” stage of my life, like most everyone else, I believed that a good amount of the decisions made by people in Washington D.C. and in state governments made no sense. I used to scratch my head and wonder: Why would they do such a stupid thing? Can’t they see that will just lead to ruin?

It wasn’t until I reached the “midlife” part of my existence here that I discovered the key that made perfect sense of every single idiotic decision that our “leaders” make, whether from the capitol of the nation or from the capitol of a state.

These leaders (more accurately described as “Dogs of Destruction”) are following a plan that was established by a kind of oligarchical group of conspirators long ago. Wealth, power, and security are guaranteed to all who uphold and promote the agenda of the Dogs of Destruction.

Granting amnesty to illegal aliens, refusing to secure our borders, giving American jobs to foreign workers, giving away billions of dollars in foreign aid even in the midst of a serious recession (if not an outright depression), printing fiat currency leading to hyperinflation, conducting very personal pat-down searches of little old ladies at airports . . . these are the sorts of things that at one time would have left me mystified, bothered and bewildered.

Well, they still leave me bothered, but they haven’t mystified or bewildered me ever since I discovered . . . the key that makes sense of the insanity.

It’s been many long years since any of the crazy decisions coming out of Washington or our state capitols have left me puzzled and scratching my head. I understand ALL of the seemingly asinine things that American government officials say and do.

I understand all of these crazy moves because I know that we have entered the endgame of a totalitarian agenda and that the “checkmate!” is not far off. Every move made, including those that seem so perplexing on the surface – they all become reasonable, even predictable, once a person is aware of the semi-secret goal. There’s nothing surprising about these decisions that clearly, ultimately serve the true purpose of the oligarchy.

Bewilderment-B-Gone! You too can unlock the mystery by borrowing my ‘Key To The Insanity’. Here, click on the key: LETTING THE AMERICAN ECONOMY FALL: The Owen Lattimore Model

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

MY SELF ON THE SHELF (Or, FROM “DISNEY” TO “DEAD” AND EVERYTHING IN-BETWEEN)

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“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder I can think at all!”
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While out and about a little bit ago, I heard Paul Simon’s song ‘Kodachrome’ played on the radio and I just couldn’t help singing along . . . loudly.
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I love that song. And let’s face it, that’s one of the best lyric lines to be found in any Rock song. It’s right up there with “I heard you’re working for the C.I.A. / They wouldn’t have you in the MAF-I-A” from ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’.


So, as I was singing along with Paul Simon, I got to thinking about how true that great line is. Seriously, I only learned four worthwhile things throughout all of my high school years. I learned that “there are no small parts, only small actors”, that Traffic was a great and greatly underrated band, that cute girls aren’t attracted to shy guys, and Clearasil don’t work.

There were only three activities that I enjoyed in high school: lunch, my ‘Rock Poetry’ class, and my ‘Life Drawing’ class on the days I slipped out after roll call had been taken and walked down to the beach with my buddy Eric.

And as I was thinking about all this, and about how I am an ENTIRELY self-educated man (‘cause high school didn’t teach me shit), I was reminded of what happened a couple nights ago . . .

I had just gotten home from work, it was about half past midnight, and I was standing in the den, absentmindedly staring at one of my bookcases while brushing my teeth with Jim Beam bourbon.

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I know you think I’m being facetious, but I swear I’m not. Ever since I was a small boy I have always brushed my teeth everywhere EXCEPT in the bathroom. As a teenager, several times daily I heard three demands from my parents, none of which I acceded to: “Comb your hair!”; “Turn down that 
so-called music!”; and “Brush your teeth in the bathroom!”

So there I was, brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed, and staring at the books in one of my bookcases when it suddenly dawned on me how many different types of books I had sitting there cover-against-cover. I have always described myself as “a multifaceted man with very wide-ranging interests” and those books, placed randomly in that bookcase with no regard to topic or theme, proved my self-description accurate. My books were so “all over the map” that I actually chuckled, causing a little whiskey to spray off my toothbrush and onto the bookcase.

I’ve decided to give y’all a little tour of this one and one-third shelf of my dog-eared books to illustrate how all-over-the-map-mad I am. I promise that I have not rearranged ANYTHING; these books are no more nor less half-assed placed in my bookshelf as I discovered them a couple nights ago.

We’ll begin with the top shelf, reading from left to right:

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‘DISNEY: THE MOUSE BETRAYED’ (Greed, Corruption, and Children at Risk) by Peter Schweizer [Reflects my childlike adoration of classic Disney and my informed hatred of modern Disney.]

‘GOD IN THE DOCK’ by C.S. Lewis

‘SAINT GERMAIN ON PROPHECY: Coming World Changes’ (Nostradamus on U.S./U.S.S.R. Confrontation; War In Europe; Earthquakes; Chernobyl) by Elizabeth Clare Prophet

‘TORTILLA FLAT’ by John Steinbeck


‘PERSECUTION: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity’ by David Limbaugh

'THE LAW' (The Classic Blueprint For A Free Society) by Frederic Bastiat [Ah-Ha! And just when you were beginning to think I don’t read much classical stuffs, eh?]

THE GABRIEL METHOD’ (The Revolutionary Diet-Free Way To Totally Transform Your Body) by Jon Gabriel [I wanted to read this because I have long been fascinated by the spirit-mind-body connection.]

‘MYTHS AND FACTS: A Guide To The Arab-Israeli Conflict’ by Mitchell G. Bard

‘HOW AN ECONOMY GROWS AND WHY IT CRASHES’ by Peter D. Schiff [This is an excellent discourse on Economics for everyone who ever feared they couldn’t understand such a weighty topic. And after you’ve read this and discovered that even YOU, an MTV-Generation dude or dudette, can understand Economics, I want you to make sure you don’t miss reading ‘Economics In One Lesson’ by Henry Hazlitt. It’s probably the best of the several books on this subject that I have read.]

‘INTRUDERS’ by Budd Hopkins [A book about UFOs and Alien Abductions. Yes, they’re real and, yes, they happen!]

‘THE LYRICS OF TOM WAITS: The Early Years (1971-1982)’ [If it weren’t for the many errors and typos, this would be the greatest book ever published in the history of the world. But due to the many errors, it’s only second best, right behind ‘Official Liquor Buyers’ Guide’ by Jack Lewis.]

‘THE REAL LINCOLN (A New Look At Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, And An Unnecessary War) by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

‘ONE WORLD’ (This New Updated Edition Reveals The Deep Forces Behind The Present Worldwide Transformation And How It Could Affect Life As We Know It.) by Tal Brooke

‘THE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY’ (The Arguments You Need To Defeat The Loony Left) by Mark W. Smith

‘TALES FROM THE LEFT COAST(True Stories Of Hollywood Stars And Their Outrageous Politics) by James Hirsen

‘IT IS I WHO HAVE CHOSEN YOU’ (An Autobiography Of The Founder Of The Anti-Abortion ‘American Life League’) by Judie Brown

TOP SHELF CONTINUED . . . 

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‘ICONS OF EVOLUTION: Science Or Myth?’ (Why Much Of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong) by Dr. Jonathan Wells [Excellent book – amongst my favorite publications proving what a “Poo-Poo Head” Chuckie Darwin was!]

‘THE BEST OF ROBERT BENCHLEY’ by (you guessed it) Robert Benchley [This was a very entertaining gift from my buddy Sheboyganboy Six, and it shows beyond any doubt whatsoever that decades before my birth, that son-of-a-bitch Robert Benchley plagiarized my writing style. I’d sue his ass for every penny he ever made if he hadn’t died 14 years before I emerged from my Mama’s womb. Saved by the Grim Reaper he was!]

‘THE KINGDOM OF THE CULTS’ by Walter Martin

‘THE EARP PAPERS: In A Brother’s Image’ by Don Chaput [Reflects my interest in American West history.]

‘VIRGIL EARP: Western Peace Officer’ by Don Chaput [Ditto.]

‘THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys, And The Southern California Experience’ by Timothy White [A very interesting history/bio which was a gift from my dear friend The Flying Aardvark.]

‘MEDITATION AND THE MIND OF MAN’ by Dr. Herbert Puryear [For some years I attended Herbert Puryear’s New Age church in Airheadzona and learned firsthand what is wrong with New Age spiritual beliefs. Nevertheless, this remains one of the best books on meditation that I have read.]

‘BIBLE IN POCKET, GUN IN HAND: The Story Of Frontier Religion' by Ross Phares [Some really funny stuffs. Read my humor-driven review HERE.]
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‘TRIUMPH OVER TYRANNY, TAXATION, AND TREASON’ by Jeri Lynn Ball

‘GOODBYE, GOOD MEN: How Liberals Brought Corruption Into The Catholic Church’ by Michael S. Rose [I’ve never been Catholic, but I was very curious to learn how all that pedophilia became rampant in the Catholic church. Turns out it was a result of the usual activity by the usual suspects. Oops! Was that a politically incorrect statement? How unlike me! A thousand pardons.]

‘MOTHER TERESA’S SECRET FIRE’ (The Encounter That Changed Her Life, And How It Can Transform Your Own) by Joseph Langford

‘THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS’ (You Have Within You The Power To Forgive, To Be Healed, And To Be Set Free To Live Your Life To The Fullest.) by Charles Stanley [Except of course when it comes to Liberals, who need to be flogged, NOT forgiven. Uhm... I should probably clarify... that’s my own viewpoint, not preacher Charles Stanley’s viewpoint. When it comes to Liberals I say: "You know what Merle Haggard says..."]

‘CAN GOD BLESS AMERICA?’ by John MacArthur

‘DAVE BARRY’S COMPLETE GUIDE TO GUYS’ by (you guessed it) Dave Barry [Chapter 4: ‘Tips For Women – How To Have A Relationship With A Guy’ is hysterically funny and alone worth the price of the book... “used”.  And if any woman thinks that Dave Barry was exaggerating in that section titled ‘The Public-Rest Room Problem’ just ask ANY heterosexual male you know. Any one of ‘em! Regardless of how insane (and humorous) it seems, nothing more factual has ever been written.]

‘HOLIDAYS IN HELL’ (In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels To The World’s Worst Places And Asks “What’s Funny About This?”) by P.J. O’Rourke [Definitely an entertaining book, but I still like his 'Parliament Of Whores' better.] 

‘WOMEN: THEORY AND PRACTICE’ by Bernard Chapin

‘BLOWBACK: The Costs And Consequences Of American Empire’ by Chalmers Johnson [Yeah, I'm far from being one of those "Rah!-Rah! Go, America!" conservative schmucks. I think God has a paddle with the name "America" painted on it and we're going to get it square on the ass sooner than later! I await the day and will applaud it when it arrives. Like I said, I'm multifaceted, and I'm not easy to pigeonhole; just when you think you've got me pegged as "One of them!" I reveal the fact that I've been a vegetarian since 1985. Don'tcha hate it when someone won't cooperate with yer categories?!] 

‘A PARENTHESIS IN ETERNITY’ (The Basis Of, Attaining, And Living The Mystical Life) by Joel S. Goldsmith

‘TWISTED VELVET CHAINS’ by Jessica Bell [A book of poetry which was a gift to me from up-and-coming writer Jessica Bell whose blog can be found HERE.]
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‘THE APOSTATE’ (Xeroxed Pages Of ‘The New Yorker’ Feb. 2011 Article About Screenwriter Paul Haggis And His Life In ‘Scientology’) by Lawrence Wright [Only a dumb-ass liberal could be deceived by Scientology!]

Well, alrighty-then. Now we move to one-third of the next shelf (the rest of it is just a collection of magazines) and we read from right to left:

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‘DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER: Artists And Writers On Baseball’ edited by Peter H. Gordon [My review of this book, which is probably my all-time favorite thing that I have ever written in the course of my long, never-ending, miserable life can be found HERE.]
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‘THE SCIENCE OF HITTING’ by Ted Williams [Never let any Poo-Poo Head fool ya! Ted Williams was and remains baseball’s greatest hitter. He was like John Wayne with a baseball bat! Can you imagine if Ted Williams had performed on steroids? OMG! Even The Lord would have watched from afar and said, “I can’t touch THAT!”]

‘THE SPIRIT OF ‘SEVENTY-SIX: The Story Of The American Revolution As Told By Participants’ edited by Henry Steele Commager

‘MEN IN BLACK: How The Supreme Court Is Destroying America’ by Mark R. Levin [This is the only book listed here that I haven’t read. I borrowed it from my Brother Nappy, but when I later came to realize that Mark R. Levin is nothing more than yet another ‘Fox News’ (‘Faux News’) fraudulantly fabricating Neoconservative fake, I decided not to bother reading it. Besides, I have previously read plenty o’ stuffs about the dishonesty of the Supreme Court, and I likely already know most of what Levin relates in this book written for brainwashed NeoCons.]

‘A SLOBBERING LOVE AFFAIR’ (The True And Pathetic Story Of The Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama And The Mainstream Media) by Bernard Goldberg

‘AS I AM’ by Patricia Neal [An autobiography by the actress who first portrayed Olivia Walton of ‘The Waltons’ fame. Incidentally, it was Richard Thomas as John-Boy Walton in 1971’s ‘The Homecoming’ who first put it into my mind that I should become a writer. And I WOULD HAVE become a writer, too, if that son-of-a-bitch Robert Benchley hadn’t stolen all my best material before I was borned!]

‘LEFT FOR DEAD’ by Dick Quinn [Quinn writes: “After my heart attack and failed bypass, I saved my life and beat Heart Disease without drugs. You can, too!” This book reflects my interest in alternative health therapies and my distrust of American health groups like the Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, and the American Cancer Society, who are all full o’ shit! That's Irish profanity.] 

The last thing isn’t a book, so it doesn’t really count. It’s just a free 40-page newspaper-like publication titled . . .

‘LOVIN’ LIFE AFTER 50’ by a bunch of old farts in Airheadzona [But don’t worry, I haven’t become old and uncool on ya. I only have this in my bookcase because I’m saving it to quote from in an upcoming blog bit to be titled ‘Before You Move To Arizona.... Be watching for it here at 'Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends'.]

Well, that concludes this tour of one and one-third shelves of one of my bookcases, but there’s plenty more where this came from. Nevertheless, I think this gives a pretty nice, randomly concentrated look at my multifaceted self. There are probably a number of other interests I have which aren’t represented on the above list, so I wouldn’t call this “comprehensive”, but it’s probably as close to comprehensive as any of you could possibly stand. (I know that I for one am already sick of yakking about this.)

Well, I’m off to brush my teeth now and go to bed. I seem to have misplaced my Jim Beam bourbon bottle and may have to resort to using some of my Brother’s toothpaste while brushing my pearly whites . . . in the kitchen.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

SUPERNATURAL PHOTOGRAPHY

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"Nothing astounds like Truth."
~ Yoey O'Dogherty (internationally renowned, Peruvian poet)


Imagine this if you will:

You discover an ancient burial shroud containing the mysterious, anatomically correct image of a dead man in a state of rigor mortis. The man had been crucified and buried according to First Century Jewish custom, and his image, which shows no signs of body decomposition, takes on a three-dimensional appearance when photographed.

Unlike many crucifixion victims, this man’s legs were not broken to hasten his death by asphyxiation; forty-five of the fifty-eight pollens found on this shroud grow in Jerusalem; and the victim’s side was stabbed after death, creating a wound from which blood and water flowed. There are more than one hundred scourge marks on the man in the shroud, and those scourge marks contain real blood and blood serum – some of which requires a microscope to detect.

And suppose that the mysterious body-image fibers were made up of oxidized, dehydrated, degraded cellulose, indicating that the most likely explanation for them was that some form of radiation with qualities analogous to X-rays had emanated from the body. Perhaps the image was associated with some form of electromagnetic energy or corona discharge.

And what if a world-class scientist who had spent many years studying your shroud with the latest Twentieth Century equipment later confided to you that if he were given a budget of ten million dollars and told to make a replica of your shroud, he would not know how to go about it?

Who would you name if you had one guess as to the identity of the man whose dead body was once wrapped in that shroud?

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Now you understand some of the basic reasons so many researchers have come to the conclusion that the famous Shroud of Turin is indeed the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, and they suspect that the mysterious image on the Shroud was a result of some sort of energy that emanated from His body at the moment of His resurrection.

Last week I read for probably the third time one of my favorite books, ‘The Resurrection Of The Shroud’ published by lawyer Mark Antonacci in the year 2000. And like a good lawyer marshalling his evidence to present to a jury, Antonacci explains in great detail all the many anomalies that make the Shroud in Turin, Italy, one of the most studied marvels known to man. Nearly twelve years have passed since the publication of ‘The Resurrection Of The Shroud’, but the artifact remains as mind-boggling and unexplained as ever.

Since my boyhood I’ve been thrilled by great nonfiction mysteries, and so I took an interest in the Shroud long before I had taken an interest in the life of Christ; I was captivated by the mystery surrounding it even before I was captivated by the miracles and teachings of the Messiah Himself.

"The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence...or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground."
~ John Walsh, ‘The Shroud’

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When the 1988 Carbon-14 test results were publicly announced, indicating that the Shroud was dated somewhere between 1260 and 1390 A.D. and thus supposedly "proving” it to be the work of some medieval hoaxer, a lot of us assumed that put the final nail in the Shroud's coffin, so to speak.

Aww, not so fast, NOT SO FAST!!

In ‘Resurrection Of The Shroud’, Antonacci spends considerable time explaining fully why the Shroud sample chosen for C-14 dating was “the most controversial location on the cloth”. Furthermore, laboratory experiments have established the fact that irradiating cloth and then heating it in a fire simulation (as the Shroud was exposed to fire in 1532), will cause new Carbon-14 to form and drastically alter the test results, making the samples seem much younger than they’re known to be.

In other words, even if the C-14 tests had been conducted as they should have been, using ideally chosen multiple Shroud samples - if the image was formed by radiation emanating from the body, as a number of scientists believe - the test results would have still been inaccurately skewed against a First Century A.D. dating of the Shroud. Even under the best of circumstances, the C-14 test was probably a “no win” situation from the get-go.

The public has been led to believe that C-14 tests are the final word in dating samples, but when a person has read many science-based books they eventually learn that there are myriad ways artifact samples can become corrupted and give exceedingly false C-14 readings. Therefore this form of dating must often be regarded as suspect. When every other process for dating an artifact is in controversy with the C-14 test results, it’s the latter which ought be discarded first, rather than the consensus based on the bulk of the study.

Every so many years, someone else comes forward claiming to have demonstrated how the Shroud was manufactured in the Middle Ages by a hoaxer. But most of the Shroud’s astounding anamolies have never been adequately explained, much less duplicated.

Furthermore, when a person comes to realize the implications of the facts that the natural blood flows were transferred onto the Shroud BEFORE the body-image was encoded on it; and that there are anatomically flawless wounds recorded on the Shroud that can’t be seen with the naked eye and had to wait for the development of 20th Century scientific instruments before they could be discovered, it makes the idea of the Shroud of Turin being a fabricated religious artifact seem preposterous. 

[I'll tell you one thing for certain: if the Shroud is phony, it was certainly faked a whole lot better than Barack Obama's birth certificate was!] 

There is a breed of cat that simply refuses to accept even the slimmest possibility that the Shroud of Turin could be a supernaturally produced photograph of the resurrecting Christ. Regarding the aforementioned blood, some skeptics argue that the blood flows on the Shroud are “unrealistically neat”, but is there really any doubt those same people would argue that the blood flows were “too irregular” to be real if they were LESS neat? No matter what it looked like, no matter what all the tests indicated, the Shroud couldn’t win over the hearts and minds of any pseudo-atheists. And as I’ve stated on this blog before, most self-professed atheists are intellectually dishonest and their words and behavior often betray them as being haters more than disbelievers.

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Of course it will never be proven that the Shroud of Turin is the authentic burial cloth of Christ until the day Jesus returns and claims it as His own. However, until His Second Coming, I stand firmly in Mark Antonacci’s camp:

“Instead of revealing how the image was encoded, science has been able to reveal only how it was NOT encoded. The more science has learned about the image, the more it appears to transced the laws of physics, requiring something very extraordinary to account for all of the Shroud’s unique features. … Extensive and unforgeable medical, scientific, archaeological, and historical evidence indicates that the Shroud is the burial garment of the historical Jesus Christ.”
~ Mark Antonacci

While it’s necessarily a tad dry at times (as most any science-based book will be) and tends to be slightly repetitive toward the end, I highly recommend Antonacci’s ‘The Resurrection Of The Shroud’. It’s probably the only Shroud of Turin book you’ll ever need to read – although I own other Shroud-related publications as well, because I can’t seem to get enough of this mystical mystery.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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Monday, June 11, 2012

ED WYNN AND THE BALLROOM BLITZ

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‘Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends’ is supposed to be a blog about politics and product reviews. So . . . uh . . . I guess you’ll need to think of this particular blog bit as a review of Sweet’s 1974 album ‘Desolation Boulevard’ and/or Disney’s 1951 animated movie ‘Alice In Wonderland’, although it’s really about neither of them.
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As the title indicates, this is really about Ed Wynn . . .
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and the ‘Ballroom Blitz’ . . . 

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A large number of the songs I used to love as a teenager in the “Classic Rock” era have not held up for me over the decades. One of the exceptions is Sweet’s Top Ten hit ‘Ballroom Blitz’ - I have never stopped liking that song.

What I enjoy most about ‘Ballroom Blitz’ is probably the very thing that has always turned my brother Napoleon against it. I’m referring to that insane voice that singer Brian Connolly uses at a couple of points in the song.

I was listening to ‘Ballroom Blitz’ recently and when it got to the insane vocal sections I began thinking: I KNOW that voice; it sounds like that old character actor... 
what’s-his-name?

I listened to that song over and over again, trying in vain to think of the name of that old character actor, but it was so far back on my tongue that I knew I wasn’t going to recall it on my own. Damn! Don’tcha hate it when that doesn’t happen?

After several days and nights of trying desperately to scratch that itch and being driven mad as a hatter, I suddenly remembered not the name of the actor but the fact that he provided the voice for the Mad Hatter in Disney’s ‘Alice In Wonderland’. So I Googled that movie and – DOH! – of course! Ed Wynn, you silly! How could you have forgotten his name? Got old age?

Ed Wynn’s voice was so distinctive that it has often been imitated, most notably by Daws Butler as cartoon character Wally Gator, and by Paul Frees as Captain Peter “Wrong Way” Peachfuzz in ‘The Rocky And Bullwinkle Show’.

I love, Love, LOVE that voice as much as Brother Nappy hates, Hates, HATES it. 

He hates it? How could he hate it? “Don’t let’s be silly!”

Now I’m not saying that singer Brian Connolly was deliberately trying to imitate Ed Wynn’s voice in ‘Ballroom Blitz’ (although perhaps he was), but I am saying that he probably couldn’t have done a better “Ed Wynn” if he’d been trying.

Check these out and you’ll hear what I mean . . .

First listen to Ed Wynn doing the voice of the Mad Hatter in this wonderful YouTube video posted by dogpup4 :

Alice In Wonderland test footage - Unbirthday Mad Tea Party - Disney



And if you’re inclined, listen to the Mad Hatter sing ‘The Unbirthday Song’ :

Alice in Wonderland - The Unbirthday Song



Now listen to Brian Connolly’s voice in Sweet’s ‘Ballroom Blitz’ at the 45 second point when he sings “Oh! I see a man in the back as a matter of fact, his eyes are as red as the Sun - And the girl in the corner let no one ignore her; she thinks she’s the passionate one”.

And again at the 1 minute & 50 second point in the following video when Brian sings “And the man in the back is ready to crack as he raises his hands to the sky – And the girl in the corner is everyone’s mourner; she could kill you with a wink of her eye” . . .

Sweet - Ballroom Blitz Lyrics



What do you think? Was Connolly deliberately trying to imitate Ed Wynn, or was it just coincidence? Either way, I love Ed Wynn’s crazy voice and Brian Connolly’s insane vocals.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

THESE DREAMS OF ME (SO REAL AND SO TRUE?)

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Are you ready, Steve?
Uh-Huh.
Andy?
Yeah.
Mick?
OK.
Alright, fellas, let’s GO-ooooooo! . . .

I suppose you’re all wondering why I called you here. Well, it WASN’T to tell you this:

I recently went on a short trip with my Sister Bonehead and my Brother Napoleon. Here’s the two of them having a drink together at the famous Rock star hangout bar ‘The Rainbow’ on the Sunset Strip . . .


For two nights we stayed in this Santa Monica motel . . .


Let me tell ya something . . . I’ve stayed in some scuzzy motels in my life (two in Buena Park come immediately to mind) but this little rattrap on Ocean Park Boulevard took the prize. Anytime you see a sign like this . . .


. . . posted on the wall near the motel office, it’s probably a good indication that you should “Go! Don’t look back, just GO!”
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But I didn’t call this meeting to tell you that.
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The other night, Brother Nappy and I watched a Western movie that we’d never seen before. ‘From Noon Till Three’ (1976) starring Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland came recommended to me by my friend Sheboyganboy Sixgun. This was a really fun (and funny) movie that Nappy and I thoroughly enjoyed. (Good call, Sheboyganboy!)

At one point in the movie, this heavyset woman in a bit part appears on the screen and I shouted out, “Look! It’s W.C. Fields!” (Y’all know who W.C. Fields was, right? The comedian that Leo Rosten was speaking about when he reportedly said, “Anyone who hates small dogs and children can’t be all bad.”)

So Nappy starts laughing, and then referring to another bit part character on the screen at the same time, he says, “And Look behind W.C. Fields. It’s Kurt Russell playing the part of Wyatt Earp!”

We had to pause the movie there so I could take a picture of the TV screen . . .

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But I didn’t call y’all here to tell you that either.
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The real reason I called this meeting is to tell you that tomorrow – Thursday, June 7th – I will be making a special guest appearance on one of Arlee Bird’s blogs. This is the first time I’ve ever been invited to post on someone else’s blog so it’s kind of exciting 'n' stuffs.
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Arlee Bird is one of my bloggin’ buddies, we’ve known each other for years now, and his interesting blog ‘A Faraway View’ is devoted entirely to analyzing, discussing, and ruminating on the mysterious nature of dreams. And the “Boidman” (as I call him) asked me to write down and submit an unusual dream-related experience that I was sort of a participant to back in the mid and late 1990s. The dream wasn’t my own, but I played a part in it, and it had quite a pronounced spiritual theme. I think y’all might find it somewhat intriguing (and perhaps weird).  

Here, hopefully this will put you in the mood . . .

Van Morrison - These Dreams Of You (Original)


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And hush-a-bye
Don't ever think about it
Go to sleep, don't ever say one word
Close your eyes, you are an angel
Sent here from above

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Mmmm, these dreams of you
So real and so true
These dreams of you
So real and so true

I guess I’d better add this second video also because I know it’s only a matter of time before Van Morrison makes YouTube remove that first one . . .

Van Halen-Little Dreamer (lyrics in description) 1978



A little dreamer . . .
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And then they went and they voted you
Least likely to succeed
I had to tell ‘em, baby, you were armed with
All you'd need
Seems no one's talkin' 'bout those
Crazy days gone past
Weren't they amazed when you
Appeared at last!

[Hokey-Smoke! Does that have a great guitar riff or what?] 

Well, I hope to see some of you at Arlee Bird’s blog tomorrow (Thursday). To get there from here, just click on the title: 
A  FARAWAY  VIEW

~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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