Crackpot Visionaries of the Month: Various Concerned Citizens of Santa Cruz, CA.

A brilliantly edited montage of public statements by a motley assortment of local denizens, documented at fairly recent meetings of the Santa Cruz City Council/County Board of Supervisors:


Via Fitz, with thanks.

The Friday Afternoon Movie: Blood In The Face

Friday! It is now! At this very moment! Time for the FAM! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Today’s Friday Afternoon Movie is 1991′s Blood in the Face, directed by Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, and James Ridgeway, based upon Ridgeway’s book Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. You may assume from the title of that book that this film may be about white supremacists. You would assume correctly. Blood in the Face, filmed mostly in Cohoctah Township, Michigan, is an encounter with the ultra-right, lunatic fringe — at least as it existed 20 years ago.

What makes the movie work, I think, is how casual, for lack of a better word, the entire encounter is. The directors eschew the usual tropes associated with exposés and documentaries. There is no narrator, there are no experts being interviewed in order to provide commentary or context. By and large the filmmakers stay out of the actual film (with the exception of Michael Moore, who makes an appearance around 7:12 in part one, interviewing a uniformed neo-Nazi). The majority of the interviews are conversational in tone, giving the disturbing illusion of actually being amongst these people. Oftentimes it feels like it’s just you and a bunch of crazed racists; an uncomfortable experience, to say the least.

Nazi Sex Dolls Redux

I would venture that there are few phrases that stimulate the brain-meats of journalists or bloggers more than “Nazi sex dolls”. It is an idea so rife with possibility that it is nigh irresistible. The Daily Mail, in fact, just recently found itself under its powerful sway when it published this article, detailing the findings of one Graeme Donald, author of Mussolini’s Barber: And Other Stories of the Unknown Players who Made History Happen, who stumbled upon this tantalizing bit of information while researching the history of the Barbie doll. Barbie, in case you do not know, was originally modeled on Lilli (pictured here courtesy of The Daily Mail), a 1950s German sex doll.

Donald claims to have uncovered evidence relating to the “Borghild Project”, a program set up by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in order to make a doll who could satisfy the desires of their soldiers on the front and, in turn, help them to avoid being sidelined by the venereal diseases passed onto them by (The Daily Mail specifies) French prostitutes.

The dolls were apparently trialled in Nazi-occupied Jersey at the German barracks in St Hellier.

After being refined, Himmler was so impressed he immediately ordered 50 of them.

However, at the beginning of 1942 he changed his mind and the whole project was axed and any evidence was destroyed in the Allied bombing of Dresden.

The story came from German sculptor Arthur Rink, one of the men on the team which designed the doll at the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit.

The plan referred to the dolls as “gynoids” and were said to be “smaller than life-size” (again, quoting The Daily Mail).

So, you can see the allure here, right? Hitler commissioned lilliputian sex dolls for Nazi troops. How could you not want to publish that story? Everyone wants to run that! It possesses a bizarre, fucked up perfection. And so, people have. More importantly, people did. In 2005. A quick search shows that Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin fell under the siren spell of Nazi sex dolls (via Fleshbot who, in true, blogger fashion, appended a question mark to their headline to give themselves an out (NSFW)) just a month shy of 6 years ago. She was quickly disappointed thirteen days later, when it was argued that the story was, instead, a hoax. She was, perhaps, just as disappointed as I was when I Googled “Nazi Sex Dolls” upon receiving this link to see if I could beat Boing Boing to the punch. DAMN YOU JARDIN!

So now the question is: Is it a hoax? Has Graeme Donald found actual proof of the fabled “Borghild Project” or have both he, and The Daily Mail, and about a dozen others (including Gawker, no question mark this time) simply given in to the temptation of writing about lilliputian Nazi sex dolls, something for which I can hardly blame them? Could it be that I have become part of some sort of recursive hoaxing? I very much hope it is the first. History that weird should always be true.

Thanks, Pete!

Alex Jones And The Clockwork Elves

Every once in a while I like to check in on Alex Jones, just to see how he’s doing. The man lives in a very dangerous world, you understand. Far more dangerous than the sphere that you and I inhabit. Crazy shit goes down on a daily basis in Jones’s ‘hood, so I just stop by every now and then to make sure that his head hasn’t exploded or, at the very least, to witness his head exploding.

There could not have been a better time. Truly, this is some of the man’s finest work. It’s got everything a conspiracy could ask for: government cover-ups, drug use, Philip K. Dick and elves. It’s awe-inspiring stuff. The gist is that powerful old men, who may or may not be ruling the world, are jacked up on the powerful hallucinogen dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Under the effects of the drug, they have come into contact with beings Jones’s claims they refer to as “clockwork elves” who instructed them to enslave humanity and build the Large Hadron Collider.

Now, Jones insists that he does not believe this (probably…maybe) and that this is “pretty David Icke”. He wants you to know that he doesn’t talk about this stuff because it would blow your mind. But he also knows that you need to know these things. You need to be aware because, as mentioned, Alex Jones lives in a pretty dangerous world and, with his help, you can too.

Man vs. Box

As the Japanese continue their misguided forays into the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, we can, no doubt, expect to see more scenarios like the one played out here, in this video. What chance does a human being stand against the cold, steel mind of the insidious Machine? If a man can’t even flip a switch in peace in the presence of one of these things, what hope is there for our future?

This is what happens when our creations rebel. This will be the end of us.

The Unyielding Mystery of Catalog No. 439

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yet another wonderful post from our longtime contributor, Jeffrey Wengrofsky! This past year, he’s been keeping busy with all manner of projects, and this Sunday, April 3, his Syndicate of Human Image Traffickers will be screening “The Gospel According to Reverend Billy” as part of the Prison is an Angry Father fundraiser at Goodbye Blue Monday (1087 Broadway, Bushwick, New York). It’s a benefit for a prisoner’s rights project created by the Sanctuary of Hope. The event will include live performances of an almost musical variety, as well as the screening of several more short films in addition the Syndicate’s. Doors open at 8pm. Showtime for “The Gospel According to Reverend Billy” is 10pm. This event is free of charge.

Last year I spent my summer vacation working on a feature film in Detroit.  While creeping around the city, I could not help but notice its mountainous Masonic Temple – the largest in the world – whose muscular shoulders rise above its environs as if Charlton Heston’s urban fortress in Omega Man were carved into Yosemite’s El Capitan.  I was even able to arrange a private tour of the windowless monolith by its hospitable and wily Grand Master, including many meeting rooms and a majestic 4,004 seat auditorium (numerologists take note), all of it a visual feast for anyone with a taste for dramatic architecture, grotesque beauty, or even cryptography for that matter.  While in the lobby, our guide offhandedly revealed three levels of meaning behind a seemingly random painting, and the stately oddities awaiting us in floors above and below nearly exploded with symbolic resonance.  Unfortunately, the photographer I brought with me was so spooked by the whole experience that he ran screaming into the long night, ever since unreachable by phone or email.

And who can blame him? The uninitiated public can never comfortably claim to understand the true raison d’etre and inner machinations of secret societies because any scholar or spokesperson or self-declared defector may actually be a shill for the organization, planting seeds of misinformation and spreading misleading rumors.  Even joining such a society does not entitle one to understanding the ways of its upper circles.  Circles within circles, dear reader.  Are you getting sleepy?  The cinematic accoutrements – vaulted iron doors, masks, handshakes and cloaks – provide the perfect canvas for our fears of the unknown and desires for hidden order beneath evident chaos, conjuring a veil behind which we may never knowingly trespass.   Consequently, it can never be definitely settled as to whether any or all such societies are actually: cults of mystical inquiry; wholesome gatherings of those serving laudable Enlightenment values of science and public service; the core of a dastardly “power elite”; congresses of people who enjoy rituals involving aprons (not that there’s anything wrong with that); or some combination thereof.

Last year, Fantagraphics reproduced Catalog No. 439 of the DeMoulin Brothers– the most extensive depiction of initiation contraptions and ritual outfits used by Freemasons and other fraternal orders, like the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and E. Clampus Vitus. Bearing the title Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes, this wacky book may shed a shred of light into the outer sanctum of these associations – unless, of course, it is actually a hoax disseminated to lead us astray.  Bracketing but never disregarding this notion, the readership of Coilhouse may discover certain Truths regarding these quasi-mystical clubs from perusing its glossy pages.  Even if Enlightenment should, as always, prove ever elusive, the illustrated designs of Edmund DeMoulin and the handiwork of his brothers Ulysses and Erastus, as reproduced in Burlesque Paraphernalia, will still deliver amusing, if sadistic, anthropology.

Living Day To Day In The Post-Apocalypse

Nathaniel Lindsay’s Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse addresses an almost completely overlooked subject in the world of informational videos: how one should go about daily life in a world ravaged by a nuclear holocaust when the remaining population has been reduced to a shambling band of mutants and/or have all resorted to cannibalism. I will admit I was skeptical at first, after all this video hails from Australia, a land populated by the worst England had to offer making its citizens decidedly untrustworthy, not to mention that their theories of what the world will be like after a cataclysm having a strange preoccupation with vehicular combat (no doubt due to the fact that when England founded this prison continent they made it illegal for citizens to own cars. Fact. (Editor’s Note: That is not a fact. What is it with you and Australia?)) Any worries I may have had proved unjustified as Lindsay makes sure to point out the real threat of post-apocalyptic civilization: killer robots. Killer robots with lasers.

Via The Daily What

Elder Sign and Cthulhu Stocking Stuffage

From Joseph Nanni and friends (the same twisted souls who brought us that Necronomicon infomercial) comes this important, potentially lifesaving message about Elder Sign:

Sure, this clip has been circulating on the internet for a while, but as everyone knows, flying polyp infestations are most rampant during the holiday season. If you suffer from “an overwhelming sense of dread brought on by the realization of your own insignificance in the universe” that’s possibly being compounded by Seasonal Affective Disorder, rancid egg nog or overexposure to Glenn Beck-parroting (read: polyp ridden) in-laws, you need Elder Sign now more than ever.

And possibly some *cough* stocking stuffers from the HPLHS Bazaar:

(ElderWear: “Because you don’t want Shoggoths in your pants.”)

A Beautiful Grid of Art and Science

The superbly-designed website SpaceCollective dedicates itself to study of topics such as transhumanism, robotics, experimental architecture, and pretty much anything else that one can equate to “living the life of science fiction today.” Most of the site’s activity centers around blog posts and collaborative university projects, but one of the most stunning portions of the site, dense with complex, inspiring visuals and information, is the gallery.

There are six pages of scienctific psychedelia – a absorbing mixture as varied as Googie architecture, macro shots of hydrozoa, renderings of magnetic structures, jellyfish automatons, microchip embroidery, concept art from sci-fi films, and much more along the same lines. Two random images from this gallery may not have much to do with each other, but all together, they make a surprisingly cohesive whole. Quotes from the likes of Verner Vinge, Buckminster Fuller and Jorge Luis Borges cycle between the imagery, and most images are hyperlinked out to further sources. Enjoy!

The Friday Afternoon Movie: Secret Societies Primer

I’m fascinated by conspiracy theories. The machinations within machinations, the way they simultaneously complicate simple matters and simplifying the most complex world events, they are a monument to human creativity and imagination. It should be no surprise then that conspiracy theories have come up multiple times on the FAM. Indeed, only last week, we examined some breathless speculation on the veracity of claims that man has ever set foot on the lunar surface.

That, however, is tame as far as conspiracies go. The real money is in world domination, in the people pulling the strings. The Freemasons, the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Grove, Lizard Men — this is the nexus of lunatic postulation. Therefore, as a service to those in the audience who are, perhaps, not as well versed in the affairs of the tin-foil hat crowd the FAM presents the History Channel special Secret Societies which functions as a great introduction into the mad, mad world and which features FAM favorite David Icke, making his third Friday appearance. Should this pique your interests, feel free to check out Jon Ronson’s Secret Rulers of the World which delves much deeper into all this weird and wonderful nonsense.