The Conspiracy Theory Flowchart

The Conspiracy Theory Flowchart by Crispian Jago.

It is a ‘must have’ for Those Who Know!

It’s also a handy guide to The Hopelessly Uninformed.

Crispian's Conspiracy Flowchart(Click on image, then click again to get the full-blown tangle of theories!) 

The Truth is Out There! I Want to Believe.

Hats off to the amazing Crispian Jago. He’s my new hero!

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Personal sidenote: I was recently invited to the home of some very dear friends. I love going there. Their generosity and hospitality to me over the years is truly overwhelming. During the evening, I had the rare opportunity (i.e. profound misfortune) of running into someone I’d met there once or twice before. This person holds a black belt in Conspiracy Theories. This person is convinced of their intellectual and moral superiority. This person is also an insufferable Know-It-All. This person is, in short, an colossal bore. I smiled. I nodded. I tried not to stick a fork into the person’s neck.

SOOOO… imagine by delight when I came across Crispian Jago’s invaluable chart this morning! I hope, my little geeks and nerdlings, that you have as much fun with it as I did!

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Then Let Us Go and Be Terrible: A Krampus Christmas

 

 

 

Ho, Ho, Ho! Oy to the World!vintage-krampus-holiday-card-2

It’s beginning to look a lot like Krampus!

Vintage Krampus Holiday Card

Thanks to my sweetie, Eva Halloween, for this delightfully wicked seasonal treat!

Vintage Krampus Holiday Card

Seasons greetings, my little geeks and nerdlings!

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Later this week, on the eve of Saint Nicholas day, hundreds of demon-faced creatures will descend upon the snowy streets of Alpine countries, rattling chains and bells in preparation for capturing naughty children and carrying them away on Krampusnacht. Fearsome and caprine, the bestial horror most commonly known as the Krampus is a holdover from early Germanic folklore; horned, hairy, cloven-hooved, with a long, pointed tongue and carrying chains and birch switches or whips.

Despite periodic condemnation in the middle ages and more recently in the early 20th century, the Krampus merged with Catholic traditions of veneration of saints in the 1600’s, pairing up with Saint Nicholas to become a staple of holiday celebrations across European countries from Germany and Austria south and east to Croatia. While Saint Nicholas is a kindly (if austere) figure bearing gifts for good children, the Krampus is his devilish companion, responsible for the…

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Purim is NOT the Jewish Halloween!

I’m afraid I have to vent about something.

This year, the Jewish festival of Purim (commemorating and celebrating the events of the biblical book of Esther) falls on Sunday February 24th. If all goes well, I will be in Israel then and for the first time (hopefully) will avoid the subject matter of this blog post.

megillas-esther(A Scroll of Esther)

Many non-Jews, in an attempt to wrap their well-meaning minds around Jewish concepts, ideas, holidays, customs, food, themes, etc., often try to compare or connect them to things with which they are familiar.

“OK, now… Hanukah. That’s like the Jewish Christmas, right?”

“Mezuzahs? Those are good luck amulet things on your doors, right?”

i-am-not-a-jew(Yeah, I kinda figured that one out on my own)

“Passover… is that the one where you sit around eating crackers for a week?”

G-d bless their little cotton socks. This is normal. This is to be expected.

This is also a bit tedious yet kinda tiresome, usually. In a way.  Well… it depends, really.

I’ll try to explain.

In the interests of multiculturalism and understanding (not to mention peace and love) between ethnic groups, I try to be sort of an ambassador for Judaism and the Jewish people, if you will, whenever I can. Most people who ask questions like this above genuinely mean well, generally. They just need a bit of Jewish education. I am happy to help put them in the picture… if for no other reason that to stop even one more person saying that Hanukah is the Jewish Xmas.

If the person is asking a sincere question and wants to know something about Jews and Judaism, believe me, it’s my pleasure. If they are genuinely interested… I am there with both feet.

But… every once in a while, we get the wise guys with their smarmy, smarty pants questions.

pipe-smarmy-grin(“I’m just sayin’… [that I think you’re a moron]!”)

“Why do you spell it ‘G-d?’ Is it because you’re afraid you’re going to hell if you get Him mad? If it’s ’cause you’re not supposed to say His name… umm… you know that G-d isn’t His real name, right?” <insert self-satisfied smirk here>

“Kosher laws were like ancient biblical food health and safety regulations from before you guys had refrigerators, right? So… why do you still do it?” <unsaid: It’s because you’re an idiot who blindly and unquestioningly follows outdated customs, isn’t it?>

“Do you seriously think an ‘almighty deity’ cares if you turn on a light switch or scribble a note on Saturday?” <add raised eyebrow and/or condescending sneer>

These aren’t really questions. These are statements (e.g. “you’re stupid!”) masquerading as questions.

Because they’re not really questions I don’t really answer them. I just give the person the patient sigh and the pressed smile. It’s not all that difficult ignoring the non-questioner. They’re annoying but… that’s all. Just annoying.

I don’t engage with these types of people for the same reason I don’t play chess with pigeons. They knock over the pieces, crap on the board and then strut around like they’ve won the game.

angry-man(Psst… Saying it loudly doesn’t make you right)

And I won’t even get into the whole hostile evangelical questioner thing! [1] [2]

So… bottom line. Purim is not the Jewish Halloween. Hanukah is not the Jewish Xmas. Passover is not the Jewish Easter.  Moses is not the Jewish Jesus. If you want to know the real authentic answer to your questions, as your friendly neighbourhood Orthodox Jew. [3]

In a few days, I will be flying to Israel for two weeks. I’ll let you know if any secular Israelis or born again tourists ask me anything!

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[1] The loud, arrogant and downright rude biblethumper who points his finger an inch from your face or chest and says, “You Jews rejected your Messiah!” (No… we rejected YOUR Messiah. BIG difference!)

[2] I had one enthusiastic born-again preacher literally walk over a picnic table and run out to me on a sidewalk in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in order to pick a fight with (aka ‘witness to’) me. I must have stuck out like… well… a Jew walking along the sidewalk in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

[3] NB: ‘Messianics’ or ‘Hebrew Christians’ (e.g. Jews for Jesus) do not practice Judaism. That’s because what they believe in is Christianity. The answer you’ll get from them is basically no different than the one you will get from any other born again evangelical fundamentalist Christian.

Realistic Bod-Mod Paintings

Japanese Artist Paints Hyper-Realistic Body Modifications

19-year-old Japanese artist Chooo-San incredibly transforms bodies of volunteers using just acrylic paint.


In her series of non-digitally altered works, she creates realistic, eye-catching illusions that make her volunteers look like they got creepy body modifications.

Check out these and other body paint creations at Chooo-San’s site.

aa-tribalfang

Why I Hate Almost Everyone (Part 18): Clowns

Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns.

Please note that I did not say it was the irrational fear of clowns.

Nothing could be more rational than being afraid of a guy in floppy shoes, fright wig, garish make-up and a red nose.

It is not unlike my fear of bad Irish drag queens. Perfectly reasonable.

I don’t know who first came up with the idea of clowns. I’m sure it was the result of some drunken Graeco-Roman stage gag gone horribly out of control.

It is interesting to note that I don’t have a fear of mimes. I harbour a deep-seated loathing for them, of course. Who doesn’t? But not fear.

I’m also not afraid of the old commedia dell’arte clowns. I do not lie awake at night knowing that Pulchinello or Arlecchino is hiding under my bed just waiting to get up to no good.

Nor am I afraid of Shakespearean clowns… other than the not-unreasonable fear that they might bore me to death.

(Bring on the waterworks!)

Nor do I fear the heart-broken clown in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, although I am embarrassed at the fact that I cry every effen time I hear him sing “Vesti la Giubba.”

Truly, I do. It’s sad yet pathetic. Can’t stop the waterworks. Really.

(Hello, kids!)

Nope… the source of my greatest nightmare is the 19th and early 20th century Barnum & Bailey style ‘modern’ circus clown.

(The Circus Clown, movie poster – 1934)

Scares the crap out of me.

(Is that a coffin on that chair??)

I get the sinking feeling that the moment I turn my back, the psychotic sociopath who is masquerading (literally) as a clown reveals his true self, thrusting a knife into my neck.

So parents, for the love of all that is good and decent, don’t inflict clowns on your kids. Don’t take them to the circus thinking they’ll have a blast as they watch an ever increasing hoard of serial killers come out of a tiny clown car.

All you are doing is guaranteeing them years on some psychiatrist’s couch, blaming you for why they break into a cold sweat whenever they see Ronald McDonald.

aa-tribalfang