Monday, August 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

"Fear stalks the land.  (As usual; so what else is new?)"



Covert Sonic Weapons Deployed in Cuba

What follow are the first three paragraphs of Matthew Lee and Michael Weissenstein's 8-9-17 Time article entitled "U.S. Diplomats in Cuba Attacked With Sonic Weapon That Caused Hearing Loss":


"The two-year-old U.S. diplomatic relationship with Cuba was roiled Wednesday by what U.S. officials say was a string of bizarre incidents that left a group of American diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device.

"In the fall of 2016, a series of U.S. diplomats began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case. Several of the diplomats were recent arrivals at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of former President Barack Obama's reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

"Some of the diplomats' symptoms were so severe that they were forced to cancel their tours early and return to the United States, officials said. After months of investigation, U.S. officials concluded that the diplomats had been exposed to an advanced device that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences. It was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other purpose."

To read the rest of the article, click HERE.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES Sightings

A brief update on my forthcoming novel, UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES:  The official publication date is now November 21st (one day before Assassination Day, appropriately enough).  According to many reports, trained observers have seen Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) of the novel floating around in the ether, as can be seen in this dramatically non-blurry photograph right HERE.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer

Back in April my editor at Night Shade/Skyhorse asked me if I would provide a blurb for Leslie Peter Wulff's debut novel, Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer.  He assured me the novel would be right up my alley.  Since it was the beginning of midterms at CSU Long Beach, where I teach five English classes, I didn't think I'd have time to read an entire novel, but I decided to take the impractical path instead and dive into the manuscript anyway.  I was so glad I did.

As I said on the cover of the book, I knew this novel was going to be a winner as soon as I started reading it.  What really clinched it was this line on p. 7:  "...a family of rats living in a public library can learn to read an abridged dictionary."  The book is filled with absurd statements like this one, what appear to be scholarly facts about the secret lives of rats, all of which seem haunted by the magic realist imaginations of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, but spiced with a homespun American twang.

The reader learns incredible revelations about rats from such fanciful texts as the Specialized Rat Encyclopedia, From A to Z.  For example, did you know that there are 487 words in the rat vocabulary, that rat cakes can turn humans into interdimensional vermin, that rats originate from a place called Rat Land located in a universe somewhere next door to ours?

What is the central plot of Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer?  Our sympathetic teenage hero, Walt (whose uncle is the titular character), lays it all out early on in this passage on pp. 55-56:

"After the Second Uprising [a savage war between rats and humans that occurred several years before the story begins] we pushed the rats back and they've been laying low since then.  For six long years the rats have been gearing up, preparing, building the bridges and digging the tunnels that match up one dimension to the next.

"Now they were gathering at the other side of the Portal.

"A million rat army, waiting for the go code....

"But where was the Portal?  Where were the rats coming through?

"Uncle Brucker was determined to locate that damn Portal and find out for himself.  But it wouldn't be easy.  All he had to do was what the entire US Army and all its Generals could not accomplish." 

Wulff's novel layers one absurdity upon another, but always with a straight face, almost as if he were channeling the dry stand-up humor of comedian Steven Wright.

The protracted scenes near the end of the novel, in which an amnesiac Uncle Brucker is lost in Rat Land, have a whimsical yet deadly serious quality about them that reminds me of the best work of William Kotzwinkle (Dr. Rat, Hot Jazz Trio, etc.) and Richard Brautigan (In Watermelon Sugar, Sombrero Fallout, etc.). 

The folkloric qualities of R.A. Lafferty's classic tales (found in such collections as Nine Hundred Grandmothers) are evoked near the end of the novel when Uncle Brucker seeks the help of the President of the United States against the oncoming rat hordes (from pp.183-84):

"Like all elevators in the White House, it doesn't go straight up and down, it zigzags from floor to floor for security reasons.  Uncle Brucker watched a spectacular display of lights and arrows on the control panel, and he thought of what he wanted to tell the President.

"The President answered three calls on his cell phone.  Each time he apologized to my Uncle with a we'll-talk-later wave of his hand.  They zigzagged past a swimming pool and the bowling alley, and they stopped at a floor with no number that few people know about.

"The Boss is an unsmiling white-haired woman of few words who took charge of the floors beneath the white house.  In a military uniform of no particular rank or service, she greeted them at the elevator.  Other than the 9mm automatic and the Master Key, she carried two flashlights on her belt, one marked Boss and the other marked Emergency President.  She had worked in the White House for ages and everyone called her Boss.

"At the end of the hall, the Boss unlocked the door to a special room.  Inside, shelves and shelves of shoes left behind by the Presidents throughout the years.

"'Find a pair that fits,' said the President.  'The Boss will sign them over.  It's my way of saying thanks.'"

Though Wulff's style can be favorably compared to the disparate fabulists I've cited above, the fact is that this novel feels completely original and ultimately stands on its own as a unique, postmodern fable for our peculiar age filled with uncertainty, nonsense, paranoia, and occasional acts of unexpected kindness. 

So, please, I urge you to find the Dimensional Portal nearest you, if you can, and plunge headlong into the topsy-turvy world of Rat Land with Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer as your steadfast guide.

Leslie Peter Wulff's Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer was published by Night Shade/Skyhorse on July 11, 2017, and can be purchased through Amazon by clicking HERE.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sasquatch Vocalizations and Sounds

Do you need an alternative to that staid old New Age meditation music you've been listening to for so long?  Do you desperately desire the perfect background sounds for your wedding and/or bar mitzvah and/or funeral?  Do you suffer from incessant insomnia?  If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, I suggest trying out Sasquatch Vocalizations and Sounds Parts 1 through 4!  All you have to do is stretch out on something halfway comfortable, relax, crank up the volume on this baby, then wait as you slide slowly off into Nirvana or Slumberland or whatever unique paradise you wish to visit in order to escape the workaday worries of everyday reality.  You won't regret this, my frail human friends and/or acquaintances, you won't regret this at all....



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs

If you have an extra ninety-one minutes on your hands, I suggest taking a look at Justin Gaar's 2016 documentary Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs (available through Netflix, Amazon Video, and on DVD courtesy of Virgil Films and Entertainment).  Saying that this film is about a former filmmaker named Christo Roppolo who spends most of his life videotaping hordes of UFOs hovering in the skies above Monterey, CA hardly does it justice.  The film takes several emotional/psychological twists and turns the viewer will not be expecting.  You really have to immerse yourself in Roppolo's brain to fully appreciate it.  

As writer Thad McKraken recently said about this film on DISINFO.COM:  "So utterly strange.  I love how you see craptons of people constantly making the argument:  with all the technology available to us these days, why have we not gotten tons of good UFO footage?  These people have apparently never heard of the internet and should definitely watch this film.  This guy (Christo Roppolo) has so much UFO footage it’s ridiculous, and the thing is [...] he’s filming and runs into other people that verify they see what he’s seeing.  Tons of neighbors and old friends who validate his stories, and it’s tough to see what their motivation would be for doing so."  
And what does a man randomly setting himself on fire have to with all this?  Who knows?  Just check out the film and find out....


Friday, August 4, 2017

Ishmael Reed's MUMBO JUMBO

From Jonathan McAloon's 8-1-17 Guardian article entitled "Mumbo Jumbo:  A Dazzling Classic Finally Gets the Recognition It Deserves":

"[Ishmael Reed's] 10 novels are, for the most part, subtle satires on race, worked into settings such as the OJ Simpson trials, a US civil war in which photocopiers exist and a wild west where cowboys wield laser guns. But Mumbo Jumbo is the most dazzling of them all. Set ostensibly in the 1920s, Reed’s novel follows conspiracy theories ranging backwards and forwards through time. A 'plague' called Jes Grew has spread from New Orleans and caused half the country to dance recklessly, enjoy jazz and have a new appreciation for African American culture. Religious orders like the Knights Templar and the hi-tech Wallflower Order (responsible in Reed’s novel for the Depression and the US occupation of Haiti) seek to destroy an ancient Egyptian text that the Jes Grew may 'want'.

"But Jes Grew is 'an anti-plague', the spirit of innovation and freedom of self-expression itself: 'Jazz. Blues. The new thang … Your style.' Reed took a snatch of the preface to 1922’s The Book of American Negro Poetry, in which James Weldon Johnson says 'the earliest Ragtime songs, like Topsy, "jes" grew' – they just happened – and turned it into a clever literary device that exposes people’s prejudice.

"While some believe the media invented Jes Grew to sell papers, Harlem Voodoo priest Papa LaBas is drawn into the search for its ancient text. Unbeknown to him, a Muslim scholar has already found it, translated it and had it rejected by a publishing house. The slip is found next to his dead body: 'The "Negro Awakening" fad seems to have reached its peak and once more people are returning to serious writing … A Negro editor here said it lacked "soul" and wasn’t "Nation" enough.'

"Made up of newspaper cuttings and party invites, handwritten notes and footnotes, contemporaneous and contemporary photographs, Mumbo Jumbo gives one a sense of Reed just using everything that captures his own imagination. This is exhilarating because, like jazz, the novel feels improvisatory and ambitious. Reed embraces ridiculousness, while lending the ridiculous weight. It is a funny book about conspiracy theories that nonetheless feels serious and true, encompassing potted histories of Voodun loas and the Crusades, essays on Christ’s laughter and the cotton trade ('Was it some unusual thrill at seeing the black hands come in contact with the white crop?'), and a postmodern alternative creation myth involving Osiris, Incas, Homer and Moses."

To read the rest of McAloon's article, click HERE.





The Continuing Saga of the Senior Director for Intelligence Programs

What follow are the first few paragraphs of Rosie Gray's 8-2-17 Atlantic article entitled "H.R. McMaster Cleans House at the National Security Council":

"The National Security Council’s controversial senior director for intelligence programs has been removed from his position, sources say, in the latest sign that National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is asserting control over the office he runs.

"Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a 31-year-old former Defense Intelligence Agency officer who was brought in to the administration by former National-Security Adviser Michael Flynn, was let go from the council this week, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

"The White House confirmed Cohen-Watnick’s firing on Wednesday evening, with a White House official saying in a statement: 'General McMaster appreciates the good work accomplished in the NSC's Intelligence directorate under Ezra Cohen's leadership.  He has determined that, at this time, a different set of experiences is best-suited to carrying that work forward. General McMaster is confident that Ezra will make many further significant contributions to national security in another position in the administration.'"

To read the rest of Gray's article, click HERE.

What follow are the first few paragraphs of Rosie Gray's related Atlantic article entitled "The Man McMaster Couldn't Fire" (from 7-23-17):

"Just 24 days into his tenure as Donald Trump’s national-security adviser, Michael Flynn was forced to resign, having reportedly misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials. When Flynn departed, the men and women he’d appointed to the National Security Council grew nervous about their own jobs, and with good reason. The new national-security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, promptly began clearing out Flynn’s people, among them Dave Cattler, the deputy assistant to the president for regional affairs, Adam Lovinger, a strategic affairs analyst on loan from the Pentagon, and KT McFarland, Flynn’s deputy, who was eased out with the ambassadorship to Singapore. Even Steve Bannon, among the most powerful people in the White House, was removed from the meetings of the NSC Principal’s Committee, where he had been installed early on in the administration.

"There was one person, however, who McMaster couldn’t get rid of: Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence programs. McMaster tried to remove him in March, but President Trump, at the urging of Bannon and Jared Kushner, told McMaster that Cohen-Watnick was staying, as first reported by Politico. According to a senior White House official, the two men had a sit-down meeting the following week in which McMaster acknowledged that he hadn’t been able to do what he wanted to do, and that they would keep things as they are and 'see how they go for a while.' That was over four months ago. That Cohen-Watnick, 31 years old and largely unknown before entering the administration, has become unfireable reveals how important he has become to the Trump White House, where loyalty is prized.

"The senior in Cohen-Watnick’s title reflects the importance of his job, if not the level of experience he brings to it. The senior director for intelligence programs on the NSC is a powerful position, designed to coordinate and liaise between the U.S. intelligence community and the White House.

"'If the incumbent has an effective working relationship with the national-security adviser or even the president directly, the senior director for intelligence has an opportunity to exercise considerable influence on intelligence policy, covert actions, and sensitive collection operations,' said Stephen Slick, a former CIA official who held the position during the Bush administration.

"The CIA has traditionally had control over who fills this position, and normally the job is staffed by a more experienced official. McMaster, assuming he’d be allowed to relieve or reassign Cohen-Watnick, had gone so far as to interview Cohen-Watnick’s potential replacement, Linda Weissgold, a veteran CIA officer.

"Despite his prominent, and apparently quite secure, position in Trump’s NSC, little is known about Cohen-Watnick, who had spent much of his short career as a low-ranking official at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Information about him in publicly available sources is scarce. Few higher-ups from the DIA remember him. Only one picture of him can be found online, a snapshot unearthed by Al-Monitor’s Laura Rozen.

"Unlike other White House officials who have become public figures in their own right, Cohen-Watnick never speaks for himself publicly, leaving others to fill the void. Yet he hardly comes into sharper focus when you talk to co-workers, friends, and former colleagues. Ask around about Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and people get defensive. Some profess not to know him, or ask why anyone would want to write about him. Others simply refuse to discuss him."

To read this article in its entirety, click HERE.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Business Executives for National Security

Those of you interested in the subject of gangstalking might want to check out a curious publication entitled "Private Partnerships, Public Safety:  How a More Networked Approach to Public Safety Can Improve Our Ability to Navigate a Complex Threat Environment" published in October 2016 by an organization called Business Executives for National Security (or BENS).  Here's a fun quote from p. 7: 

"These horizontally integrated and networked business processes use information technology to facilitate purposeful partnerships among a diverse array of stakeholders who collaborate to create value for discrete customer groups at the local level.  Through this approach, functional teams are empowered to effectuate clear organizational missions while being held accountable by attentive leaders who emphasize integration across teams.  Such horizontal networks do not completely replace vertical constructs within an organization; rather, they complement them by providing for more efficient value creation and servicing the requirements of senior-level decision-makers in a timelier manner.  In trying to describe an undetermined future, this paper offers one potential vision:  that of a more networked approach to public safety which embraces private sector best practices for horizontal integration."

The darkly absurd, Orwellian overtones of this opaque language will be made clearer to you upon examining the publication a little further.  To do so, simply click HERE.



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Jim Marrs, R.I.P. (1943-2017)

I regret to report the sad news that investigative journalist Jim Marrs, bestselling author of CROSSFIRE:  THE PLOT THAT KILLED KENNEDY, PSI-SPIES:  THE TRUE STORY OF AMERICA'S PSYCHIC WARFARE PROGRAM, and so many other excellent cryptoscatological books, has passed away at the age of 73.  Jim's work was certainly an influence on my own research, and in 2012 he was kind enough to call me on the phone unbidden and chat for several hours about how much he enjoyed my first book, CRYPTOSCATOLOGY:  CONSPIRACY THEORY AS ART FORM.  He even gave me an enthusiastic blurb for the book that I will always cherish.  He was a conscientious researcher and a very congenial Southern gentlemen.  If you've never read one of his many books, I suggest beginning with his first, CROSSFIRE, now available in a revised and updated edition.  

Rest In Peace, Jim Marrs....






Invisibility Cloaks and the Death of Elisa Lam

In his intriguing video below, John Lordan of BrainScratch discusses the possible connections between invisibility technology and the mysterious death of Elisa Lam....





Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Yaphet Kotto's Experiences with Extraterrestrials

Despite the denigrating, dumbed-down headline (typical of Vice Magazine), Noel Ransome's 7-26-17 interview with actor Yaphet Kotto is well worth reading.  You can find the interview HERE.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Until the Last Dog Dies: Behind the Scenes with Artist Keith Negley

A few days ago the folks over at Night Shade Books posted a "behind-the-scenes look" at the process used by artist Keith Negley to design the cover for my forthcoming novel, UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES.  You can check it out right HERE.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Challengers of the Unknown


Speaking of Howard Chaykin... in 2004 Chaykin rebooted Jack Kirby's Challengers of the Unknown in a six-issue limited series entitled Stolen Moments, Borrowed Time.  Though this series was published over ten years ago, I didn't discover it until recently.

If you've read my book CHAMELEO:  A STRANGE BUT TRUE STORY OF INVISIBLE SPIES, HEROIN ADDICTION, AND HOMELAND SECURITY, you may recall that several important scenes take place in Long Beach, CA.  Coincidentally, Chaykin's mini-series (published during the same time frame during which the events of CHAMELEO take place) is about a group of five Americans who are abducted by a "secret society of multibillionaires who rule the world from behind a scrim of night and fog" and repeatedly taken to Long Beach, CA where they're mind-controlled, genetically manipulated, and remade into obedient super-soldiers.  

These five patsies are chosen by their masters to take the blame for a staged terrorist attack at the Port of Long Beach.  Unfortunately for the secret society, the microwaves used to detonate the explosives fry the biochips implanted in the five super-soldiers, temporarily freeing them from control.

Here's some choice dialogue (spoken by the head of the secret society) from issue #5:  

"...of course, we've been manipulating history by political assassination as far back as McKinley... our pawns have simply gotten vastly better at their jobs.  But it isn't all about violence... since we control the world's energy, we were able to profit by market manipulation of oil... and media manipulation of paranoia, xenophobia, and nuclear terror... all of which made us even richer. 

"Clues to our existence have surfaced occasionally over the years... often in the form of speculative fiction and fantasy.  There was even a quartet of escaped pawns who called themselves the Challengers of the Unknown, inspiring a so-called comic book.  All these subliterary forms were easily dismissed, ridiculed, or suborned... or portrayed as meta-fiction we could paint as paranoid fantasies at worst... and as source material to trivialize for our own entertainment product at best... reducing potentially dangerous truths to mindless thrill rides... just one more step in using popular culture as an instrument of social engineering... keeping the lower orders at each other's throats with our own version of bread and circuses... a circus presided over by our news division.  

"'News.'  Can you believe it?  The masses simply ate this endless stream of disinformation up as if it were the holy writ... keeping the world distracted while we live and work in peace, privacy and relative invisibility... work which includes identifying troublemakers, malcontents and contrarians like yourselves... kidnapping you, then genetically altering you into sleeping tigers... all the while letting you continue to misbehave until when a situation arises... we can pick and choose which rabble rouser is most appropriate for the job at hand... achieving our agenda--political murder, mayhem or what have you... leaving a dead contrarian to take the blame.  Oswald, Ray, Sirhan Sirhan?  All my boys."

If you're interested in acquiring a copy of Howard Chaykin's Challengers of the Unknown, click HERE.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Divided States of Hysteria


Words to live by....

"... I respond to [...] everything else this world provides of which I am not fond in the same way.  I don't eat seafood.  I don't watch reality television.  And I don't listen to Hip Hop.  I have neither right, entitlement nor responsibility to dictate that these and everything else I dislike be remade to be more appealing to me, nor be eliminated from the culture at large.  I simply choose not to participate in what I don't favor.

"But clearly, as indicated by the reaction to the first issue of The Divided States of Hysteria, I am an outlier in contemporary culture.  Whereas I choose to not engage with that which I loathe, a number of vocal members of the enthusiast community clearly believe, as indicated above, that they can dictate to me, and by extension and implication, anyone else, the content of my and our material.

"This attitude, it seems to me, is part and parcel with the current notion of an entitlement to protection from ideas, concepts, opinions and points of view that are deemed offensive by whatever cohort opts to be offended.  This occurs predominantly on the left, but the right has its deep seated sensitivities, too, in its embrace, for example, of faux outrage.

"The argument, made by people who would not be caught dead actually reading my work, mind you, is that this is not a matter of different tastes, but that the work itself exhibits bias and thus does harm.

"But this point of view requires a profoundly willful ignorance of me, my history and my politics, and, most importantly, necessitates the recasting of story elements to make them statements of personal policy--as opposed to aspects of an overall dramatic narrative.

"Sorry, but I'm here to hip you [to] the fact that you live in a plural society, in which ideas other than yours or mine have currency.  And the solution to this issue is profoundly simple.  Don't eat seafood.  Don't watch reality television.  Don't listen to Hip Hop.  Don't vote Republican.

"Don't buy my fucking book.

"Thanks for your kind attention."


--Howard Chaykin, 
2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Donald Trump Meets O.M.A.C.


In The Jack Kirby Collector #70, released earlier this year, Mark Evanier (author of Kirby: King of Comics, Crossfire, DNAgents, and many other excellent books) is quoted as saying, "[Most of the time, Jack Kirby] was thinking of gods, and creatures, and the future, and all sorts of things.  I've got to read back over [Kirby's] New Gods, because I'm sure, I don't know where he is, but I'm sure Donald Trump is in there someplace" (p. 77). 

Evanier could very well be right.  

According to Daily Beast writer Elana Levin, Kirby predicted the Donald Trump phenomenon in the pages of his comic book The Forever People, the first of a tetralogy called The Fourth World that consisted of four groundbreaking comic books released simultaneously in the early 1970s.  Those four books included The New Gods, The Forever People, Mister Miracle, and Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen.  In her 12-17-16 Daily Beast article entitled "How Jack Kirby and DC Comics Predicted Trump With a Bloviating Demagogue in 1971," Levin writes:

"Did the man whose comics predicted sentient, feminine-gendered, hand-held computers called 'Motherboxes' ('Hello, Siri!') also predict the orange despot Donald Trump? When I re-read Jack Kirby’s masterpiece, the Fourth World saga, this winter, I was struck by how prescient and how disturbingly reflective it was of our times even though it was written in the early ’70s.
"Jack Kirby, born Jacob Kurtzberg, is regarded as the father of American comics, having co-created most of the historic Marvel Universe. Kirby was Jewish, from New York City’s working class, Lower East Side, a veteran, and a New Deal Democrat—and these factors underpinned the politics of his work.
"Kirby had experienced tyrants and bullies first hand. As a young artist, he served in the military during World War II, where he saw combat as a scout and earned a bronze star. He stood up to Nazism before the U.S. even entered the war when he and creative partner Joe Simon famously depicted Captain America punching Hitler in the face. Kirby confronted Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. who sent him and his colleagues death threats. These death threats were taken seriously enough that comics fan Mayor Fiorello La Guardia personally dispatched police to offer protection to the comics publishers and spoke up on their behalf.
"In 1970 Kirby left Marvel comics to work for the competition, DC Comics. DC won him over with an offer of greater creative freedom to write and draw what he wanted to and earn marginally fairer pay. In short order, the newly liberated Kirby created not one but three new comics series, in which super-powered hippies challenged fascism and stand-ins for right-wing conservative leaders.
"Kirby’s new series, each drawn and written by him, were The New Gods, centered on the evil god’s son, who in an experiment of nature vs. nurture is raised by the good guys and becomes a hero who struggles with his temper but is truly noble in his self-sacrifice and dedication; Mister Miracle, the galaxy’s greatest escape artist and a god of freedom with a super strong paramour who he inspires to leave Darkseid’s army; and The Forever People, who are hippies from a utopian planet of gods—all of the heroes have shaggy hair and get described as 'groovy' by impressed humans.
"The interwoven stories in these series, later dubbed The Fourth World Saga (since DC comics already had parallel earths 1, 2, and 3), focused on the eternal struggle between freedom and the forces of oppression and destruction. Evil gods and their minions from the oligarchical planet Apokolips along with human collaborators from earth had already covertly begun a campaign to subjugate our planet. Their goal is the end of free will across the galaxy. Kirby invented a new crop of hippie heroes from the utopian planet of New Genesis to stop these forces of oppression.
"The 'big bad' of his saga was the understated but megalomaniacal master manipulator Darkseid, allegedly inspired by Richard Nixon, and certainly also inspired by Hitler. Darkseid means to end free will by probing the human mind so that he can discover 'The Anti-Life' equation, a sequence that would make all humans follow his commands. In Kirby’s mythos, the opposite of free thought is death.
"But one of Kirby’s most prescient creations was the proto-Trump, Glorious Godfrey. Kirby designed Glorious Godfrey as an evangelist in the Billy Graham model—Kirby is said to have accused Graham of promoting 'biblical fascism.' Glorious Godfrey’s parallels to Donald Trump are uncanny—their terrifying, elaborate orange bouffant hairdos pumped full of air are only the start. They rise to power on television, and they both manipulate the emotions of their followers in order to divide, conquer, and oppress."
To read the rest of Levin's article, click HERE.

Personally, I think Kirby actually planted his prediction of Donald Trump in a book released in 1974, O.M.A.C.:  One Man Army Corp, a darkly satirical science fiction series that was quite prescient in many ways.  In the New York Review of Science Fiction #245 (January 2009), I published an article entitled "Captain America Meets Big Brother" (reprinted in Jack Kirby Collector #62 in 2013) in which I analyzed the many prophetic elements Kirby wove into this groundbreaking series.  Issue #2 of O.M.A.C. (the November-December 1974 issue) involves a billionaire named Mr. Big who rents a metropolis known as Electric City for a giant masquerade party that's actually an elaborate cover to assassinate O.M.A.C. and wipe out an organization called the Global Peace Agency.  You can see Mr. Big in the lower left-hand corner below....  


The physical resemblance is quite eerie, indeed....

If you're interested in reading Kirby's mind-blowing Fourth World series, a 1,586-page hardcover omnibus edition will be released this December.  You can pre-order the book HERE.  


Kirby's O.M.A.C. series was collected in both a hardcover and paperback edition a few years back.  Both editions are still readily available.  Click HERE for more information.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Amazon Weirdness

There are highly duplicitous book sellers on Amazon peddling used copies of my book CHAMELEO for over $75.00 and new copies for over $95.00.  It's hard to imagine that anyone in existence would be naive enough to fall for such a trick, but (just in case) please note that brand new copies of CHAMELEO can be purchased from OR BOOKS for only $18.00 and e-books for only $10.00.  If you don't feel like getting ripped off, simply click HERE.  Caveat Emptor!   
  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Quote of the Day

"There is no way I am not, at this very moment, being observed, psychically intruded upon, satellite-watched and analyzed.  Hope you enjoy the shit show, anyone who's inside my head right now."

--Brian Michael Bendis, Jessica Jones #10, 2017


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

Recommended Independence Day Viewing:  Alan Pakula's THE PARALLAX VIEW (1974) in which investigative journalist Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) uncovers the disturbing truth behind the Fourth of July assassination of a populist senator on top of the Seattle Space Needle (based on Loren Singer's 1970 novel of the same name).  


Recommended Independence Day Reading:  Jack Kirby's BICENTENNIAL BATTLES (1976) in which Captain America encounters a celestial being known as Mister Buda who widens the superhero's consciousness with a "Psychic-Talisman" surreptitiously placed on the Captain's palm.  This Talisman causes Captain America to travel through time on a quest to discover the true meaning of America....



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Cover Reveal for UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES

My debut novel, UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES, is scheduled to be published by Night Shade/Skyhorse on November 7, 2017.  The fabulous cover was painted by the talented Keith Negley, who's also created atmospheric covers for such writers as Jonathan Carroll and Stephen Graham Jones.



  
What's the novel about?  Here's the back-cover copy....


A young stand-up comedian must adapt to an apocalyptic virus affecting people’s sense of humor in this darkly satirical debut novel.


What happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth?


Around the world, an unusual viral plague is striking the population. The virus attacks only one particular section of the brain. It isn’t fatal, but it results in the victim’s sense of humor being obliterated. No one is immune.


Elliot Greeley, a young stand-up comedian starving his way through alternative comedy clubs in Los Angeles, isn’t even certain the virus is real at first. But as the pandemic begins to eat away at the very heart of civilization itself, the virus affects Elliot and his close knit group of comedian friends in increasingly personal ways.


What would you consider the end of the world?


Until the Last Dog Dies is a sharp, cutting satire, both a clever twist on apocalyptic fiction and a poignant look at the things that make us human.

If you're interested in pre-ordering a copy of Until the Last Dog Dies from Amazon, simply click HERE.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Revelation of the Method

"The Creation and Destruction of Primordial Matter was accomplished at the White Head ('Ancient of Days'), at White Sands, New Mexico, at the Trinity Site.  The Trinity Site itself is located at the beginning of an ancient Western road known in old Mexico as the Jornada del Muerto (the Journey of the Dead Man).

"Early in this century a Freemason named Peter Kern was ordered to build a highly symbolic 'Gate of Death' at a key point on this ancient trail.  It was known as the Gate with a Thousand Doors.

"At the front of this gate Kern was ceremonially murdered (decapitated) by a hooded executioner.  Gary Trudeau satirized the Aztec-masonic Comazozt head-chopping cult of the American Southwest in a series of December, 1988 'Doonesbury' cartoons which depicted Skull and Bones initiates trying to dispose of a number of heads including that of Pancho Villa, a key political operative of the cryptocracy who was in fact also ritually decapitated.

"Other occult rituals for the Creation and Destruction of Primordial Matter were played out in the general area of the 33rd degree of north parallel latitude in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  The Trinity Site is also at this latitude.

"There are 33 segments in the human spinal column which according to occult lore is the vehicle of the fiery ascent of the Kundalini serpent force which resides in the human body.  33 is the highest degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry [...].  The Creation and Destruction of Primordial Matter occurred exactly on the Trinity Site, the 'Place of Fire,' with the explosion of the first atomic bomb, culminating untold thousands of years of alchemical speculation and practice."

--Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, pp. 91-92

Thursday, June 29, 2017

"Researchers Perfectly Reconstruct Faces by Reading Brainwaves"

From Shelly Fan's 6-14-17 SingularityHub article entitled "Forget Police Sketches:  Researchers Perfectly Reconstruct Faces by Reading Brainwaves":

"Picture this: you’re sitting in a police interrogation room, struggling to describe the face of a criminal to a sketch artist. You pause, wrinkling your brow, trying to remember the distance between his eyes and the shape of his nose.
"Suddenly, the detective offers you an easier way: would you like to have your brain scanned instead, so that machines can automatically reconstruct the face in your mind’s eye from reading your brain waves?
"Sound fantastical? It’s not. After decades of work, scientists at Caltech may have finally cracked our brain’s facial recognition code. Using brain scans and direct neuron recording from macaque monkeys, the team found specialized 'face patches' that respond to specific combinations of facial features.
"Like dials on a music mixer, each patch is fine-tuned to a particular set of visual information, which then channel together in different combinations to form a holistic representation of every distinctive face.
"The values of each dial were so predictable that scientists were able to recreate a face the monkey saw simply by recording the electrical activity of roughly 200 brain cells. When placed together, the reconstruction and the actual photo were nearly indistinguishable.
"'This was mind-blowing,' says lead author Dr. Doris Tsao."
To read Shelly Fan's entire article, click HERE.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Milton's Vision of Paradise Lost and Regained

Here's another esoteric treat courtesy of Manly P. Hall and his Philosophical Research Society--a lecture about the hermetic symbolism in Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.  Also highly recommended....




The Corpus Hermeticum

Below you can hear an almost two-hour-long lecture by Manly P. Hall explaining The Corpus Hermeticum.  It's highly recommended....




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SAIC in Antarctica

Here's a brief passage from p. 257 of my book CHAMELEO:  "SAIC's [Science Applications International Corporation's] headquarters is now in McLean, VA.  On 9-27-13 SAIC changed its name to LEIDOS, then spun off its IT Services Division into a new company that retained the name SAIC."

Here's a further update regarding SAIC's latest program (based in Antarctica of all places), taken directly from LEIDOS' own website:

"The program goals include:  understanding the region and how its ecosystems depend on the polar environment; understanding its effects on (and responses to) global processes such as climate; and using the region as a platform for fundamental research in every scientific discipline.  Antarctica's remoteness and extreme climate make it a unique and natural laboratory environment  [emphasis mine--RG]."

Indeed!  John W. Campbell, author of the Antarctica-based 1938 short story upon which the film THE THING (all three versions) were based, would no doubt agree.... 

To read more, click HERE.


(Thanks to Chris Wolford for the tip!)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Stanislav Szukalski and the Human-Yeti War

Below you will find an informative video about the peculiar and transcendent works of visionary artist Stanislav Szukalski, author of the classic cryptoscatological book BEHOLD!!! THE PROTONG:


Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Bilderbergers in Virginia

From a 6-1-17 BBC.com article entitled "Secretive Bilderberg Group Meetings Begin in Virginia":

"A secretive group of elite power brokers is meeting in the US state of Virginia for closed-door discussions over four days.

"The Bilderberg Meetings have 131 participants from 21 countries in Europe and North America, the group said in a press release.

"A couple of top advisers to President Donald Trump are to attend the forum, 30 miles (48km) from the White House.

"The shadowy group is a lightning rod for conspiracy theorists.


"This year's group includes Mr Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, his National Security Adviser HR McMaster and Peter Thiel, the billionaire Paypal creator who has been a vocal supporter of the president.

"At the top of the group's 13-point agenda is 'The Trump administration:  A progress report.'"

To read the article in its entirety, click HERE.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

James Patterson and the Clinton-CIA Connection

According to the New York Times, bestselling novelist James Patterson is now collaborating on a hefty novel of "intrigue, suspense, and behind-the-scenes global drama" with former President Bill Clinton.  The novel is entitled The President Is Missing and is scheduled to be published in June of 2018. 

One can only wonder if the aforementioned "behind-the-scenes global drama" will draw upon such potentially melodramatic raw material as Clinton's shadowy connections to the Central Intelligence Agency.  If Clinton's advance from Alfred A. Knopf isn't quite astronomical enough to unlock such plot-rich details from the former President's brain, perhaps Patterson should instead collaborate with investigative journalist Jon Rappoport, who would no doubt supply far more intriguing plot twists for Patterson's interminable fiction mill.  Patterson could, for starters, refer to Rappoport's 11-7-16 No More Fake News post entitled "The Clintons and the CIA:  Deep Relationship":

"Let us return to the period when Bill Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas—and a 1995 book titled Compromised, by Terry Reed (former CIA asset) and John Cummings (former Newsday reporter).

"Buckle up.

"According to the authors, Bill Clinton was involved with the CIA in some very dirty dealings in Arkansas—and I’m not just talking about the cocaine flights landing at the Mena airport.

"It seems Bill had agreed to set up secret CIA weapons-making factories in his home state, under the radar. But because Arkansas, when it comes to money, is all cronies all the time, everybody and his brother found out about the operation and wanted in. Also, Bill was looking for a bigger cut of the action.

"This security breach infuriated the CIA, and a 1986 meeting was held to dress down Bill and make him see the error of his ways. His CIA handlers told him they were going to shut down the whole weapons operation, because Bill had screwed up royally. A screaming match ensued—but the CIA people backed off a bit and told Bill he was still 'their man' for the upcoming 1992 run for the Presidency...."

To read Rappoport's entire post, click HERE.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

“That is not dead which can eternal lie/And with strange aeons even death may die.”

--H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu," 1928

From Jasmin Fox-Skelly's 5-4-17 BBC.com article entitled "There Are Diseases Hidden In Ice, and They Are Waking Up":

"Throughout history, humans have existed side-by-side with bacteria and viruses. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, we have evolved to resist them, and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us.

"We have had antibiotics for almost a century, ever since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. In response, bacteria have responded by evolving antibiotic resistance. The battle is endless: because we spend so much time with pathogens, we sometimes develop a kind of natural stalemate.

"However, what would happen if we were suddenly exposed to deadly bacteria and viruses that have been absent for thousands of years, or that we have never met before?

"We may be about to find out. Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that, having lain dormant, are springing back to life.

"In August 2016, in a remote corner of Siberian tundra called the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic Circle, a 12-year-old boy died and at least twenty people were hospitalised after being infected by anthrax.

"The theory is that, over 75 years ago, a reindeer infected with anthrax died and its frozen carcass became trapped under a layer of frozen soil, known as permafrost. There it stayed until a heatwave in the summer of 2016, when the permafrost thawed...."

Click HERE to read the entire article.

Monday, May 8, 2017

MK ULTRA: THE MUSICAL!

From Judith Mackrell's 4-21-17 Guardian article entitled "MK Ultra Review--Adam Curtis Doc Dominates Rosie Kay's Illuminati Dance":

"Against a rising tide of fake news and conspiracy theories, choreographer Rosie Kay and film-maker Adam Curtis have found a timely subject for their new collaboration, MK Ultra. Splicing together documentary footage and a pumped-up stream of dance and music, this two-hour work tells the story of how a generation of under-25s have come to believe in the Illuminati, a shadowy cult they say is attempting world domination through mass brainwashing...."

To read Mackrell's entire piece, click HERE.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, THOMAS PYNCHON!

From Michael Corrigan's 5-7-17 Idaho State Journal article entitled "The Elusive Thomas Pynchon Turns 80":

"In 1963, a 26 year-old student from Cornell and an ex-Navy man, Thomas Pynchon, published a book called 'V.'  The book displayed a remarkable knowledge of pop culture, history, science, with a quest at the center of the novel, a man named Herbert Stencil searching for the true identity of a mysterious woman known only as V.  V takes many shapes during the novel, but she is never found..."

To read the rest of Corrigan's piece, click HERE.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Single Entity with Many Eyes: Robotic Surveillance Teams

From Bill Steele's 4-10-17 Cornell Chronicle article entitled "Research Link Robots Into Surveillance Teams":

"If you were monitoring a security camera and saw someone set down a backpack and walk away, you might pay special attention – especially if you had been alerted to watch that particular person. According to Cornell researchers, this might be a job robots could do better than humans, by communicating at the speed of light and sharing images.

"The researchers are developing a system to enable teams of robots to share information as they move around and, if necessary, get help in interpreting what they see, enabling them to conduct surveillance as a single entity with many eyes [...].

"'Once you have robots that cooperate you can do all sorts of things,' said Kilian Weinberger, associate professor of computer science, who is collaborating with Silvia Ferrari, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the project’s principal investigator, and Mark Campbell, the John A. Mellowes ’60 Professor in Mechanical Engineering.

"Their work, 'Convolutional-Features Analysis and Control for Mobile Visual Scene Perception,' is supported by a four-year, $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR). The researchers will call on their extensive experience with computer vision to match and combine images of the same area from several cameras, identify objects and track objects and people from place to place. The work will require groundbreaking research, Weinberger said, because most prior work in the field has focused on analyzing images from just a single camera as it moves around. And often, Ferrari added, a camera that doesn’t move at all. The new system will fuse information from fixed cameras, mobile observers and outside sources. 

"The mobile observers might include autonomous aircraft and ground vehicles and perhaps humanoid robots wandering through a crowd. They will send their images to a central control unit, which might also have access to other cameras looking at the region of interest, as well as access to the internet for help in labeling what it sees [...].

"While the Navy might deploy such systems with drone aircraft or other autonomous vehicles, the Cornell researchers won’t be involved with any direct application of technology."

If you want to read the entirety of Steele's article, click HERE.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Daily Grail's Interview with Alan Moore

What follow are a few paragraphs from The Daily Grail's 4-27-17 Alan Moore interview entitled "Alan Moore on Science, Imagination, Language and Spirits of Place":

"We live in a world that is mostly predicated on a rational and scientific worldview, which effectively means that any phenomenon beyond the physically measureable is automatically deemed non-existent, including souls, gods, ghosts and human consciousness. While I would agree that we need to recover the psychological connection that once existed between ourselves and our environment – because to do otherwise is to render us all pointless automata in a material world which, by its own admission, has no direction or purpose – I would say that the problem could be more sharply defined if we put aside contentious terms like ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’, and instead opted for the less vague but just as scientifically problematic term ‘meaning’. If by coming to know more about the historical or mythological aspects of the places in which we live we make those places more meaningful, to us at least, then I suggest that this will lead to experiencing ourselves as more meaningful in our new, illuminated context.

"The big difference between ‘meaning’ and ‘a spirit’ is that where meaning is concerned, we have to do all the necessary hard work in order to invest that place or that person or that object with meaning, whereas spirits just sort of turn up, don’t they? I believe that our world is gloriously haunted with meaning; that it’s we ourselves that are doing the haunting; and that we should be doing more of it, or doing it more strenuously. 

"In an era where supposedly hard material reality seems to shift more like vapour with every passing day, I think it becomes more evident that timeless and unchanging mythology is the actual solid bedrock on which our flimsy and temporary human realities are briefly erected. Whether you call it soul or spirit or meaning, it is the Real, as opposed to this spasming neo-conservative monetarist/materialist dream that we’re all required to share, and if we care about having a meaningful world in which to lead meaningful lives then we should all try harder to reinvest our environments with the meaning that belligerent materialism has sucked out of them."

To read the interview in its entirety, click HERE.

Alan Moore's latest novel is JERUSALEM (Liveright, 2016), which is available right HERE.