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chaos and neurotica (my kid)
"If freedom of speech
April 24, 2005
So Bored I Could Torture Myself with Desert Beetles
Picasso said boredom was the source of all art. Perhaps so. I spent the last few days finishing a short story I started last Spring while wandering around the Southwest. Click here to read "Fortuna's Revenge."
April 21, 2005
April 20, 2005
The Prophecy of Malachy
All of the internet is abuzz about the prophecies of Malachy. Check out this astonishing link (a web search will reveal many others). Around the year 1139 A.D., Malachy O'Morgair, Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, had a vision of all of the future pontiffs. He listed 112 who would lead the Roman church until the return of Jesus Christ and the end of time -- along with short, cryptic messages about each.
Pope John Paul II -- Pope #110 -- seemed to believe the prophecy and was much concerned about it.
Pope #111 -- just yesterday revealed to be German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, JP's right hand man, now Pope Benedict XVI, was ascribed by Malachy the mysterious phrase Gloria Olivae, "from the Glory of the Olive."
I'll let you, faithful readers, do your own Googling, but here are a few of the related web oddities I've found:
Earlier today, the statement was removed and replaced with the following:
This strikes me as both creepy and kind of funny, in a giggling-to-yourself-in-a-padded-room sort of way. I sent a letter to the Wikipedia warlocks for an explanation of the change. Haven't heard back yet but I'll keep you posted.
Also, the Benedictine Order of the church must be feeling downright schizophrenic right about now, having also believed Malachy's prophecy, and further prophesizing that Pope #111 would be one of their own. Benedict XVI did not come from the Benedictine Order. Still, Benedict XVI chose to honor Benedict by taking his name. Benedict, being the founder of the Benedictines, would certainly be considered a Benedictine.
So, wasn't the Benedictine's prophecy correct? Even a little bit?
Also, on one of those sites where people with too much time on their hands post ugly insults and porn sites to one another, some guy accurately predicted that the next Pope would chose the name Benedict XVI. But, since he also predicted that he would be a black African who would unite all churches and force them to worship him as Messiah, I think his prophet-hood is suspect.
April 19, 2005
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger elected to the papacy. He takes the name Benedict XVI.
April 14, 2005
Two U.S. Secret Service agents recently paid a visit to a gallery at Columbia College in Chicago prior to the opening of the art show "Axis of Evil, the Secret History of Sin." Most of the work was fairly juvenile expressions of political angst -- an Ashcroft portrait composed of naked bodies from Abu Grab, etc. What interested them most was a piece entitled "Patriot Act," showing Bush on a mock 37-cent stamp with a revolver pointed at his head. The SS dudes demanded names and contact info for all of the artists.
"It's a Big Brother world," said curator Michael Hernandez de Luna. "I think it's frightening for any artist who wants to do edgy art."
This event inspired longtime OtherSpokane reader, Waldo Gigglesworth (not his real name), to send the following letter:
"This only confuses me further about what is allowed in our 'free expression' honoring society.
"Obviously, it's illegal to conspire to kill anyone. And, it's illegal to declare aloud or in writing that you want to, or are planning to, kill the president (a bit harsh, I think, but I'm willing to abide).
"But could I, for example, organize a group of conscientious Americans to gather in Riverfront Park on a predetermined day and collectively pray to the great Heavenly God of Hosts and beg Him to shower down His holy fire and brimstone to pulverize that tyrannical son-of-a-bitch into the dirt? Would that be okay?
"I'm thinking July 4, high noon."
No official comment from the OtherSpokane
editorial staff, Waldo. But keep us posted.
Out of Context Bonus Question
If time travel was possible, but you could only go one way -- forward or back -- which way would you go?
April 9, 2005
I just recorded the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles and stored a copy of the blessed event in my medicine cabinet. My hope is that if ever I accidentally swallow some kind of poison or disgusting substance, I can pop the disk into my DVD player and immediately cause the gagging reflex necessary to spew the malicious gut goo like a teenager at a kegger.
Being a good American, I wonder whether a buck can be made from this potential phenomenon.
Mindful of the Pope's funeral overshadowing the regal hookup, I conduct a thought experiment: I invite a randomly selected group of American merchants and farmers from the late Eighteenth Century to channel surf the cable news networks with me. After they all hit me up for a cigarette, we are surprised by the appearance of a group of uninvited Christians from the mid-First Century, all whispering to one another and nervously peeking out the window.
We take our seats and the e-surfing begins: a frenetic collage of palaces and castles and cathedrals, bejeweled crucifixes, bowing and curtseying and kissing of rings, Charles resolving with the help of God not to bone the chambermaids, crowns and miters, journalists referring to the queen as "her royal highness," journalists referring to the Pope as "the holy father," a detailed examination of Camilla's hairpiece, rites and rituals, pomp and circumstance, gold and glitter...
I turn to solicit opinions from the visitors. They are all wide-eyed with mouths agape. Samuel Adams issues a guttural urp and the others follow with prodigious projectiles that cover my floor ankle-deep with the bilious putrescence of the ages.
I am encouraged from this -- the Charles/Camilla DVD may indeed be a valuable, medical commodity, albeit to a limited market.
(Admittedly, this was a non-scientific experiment.)
April 8, 2005
Pope put in the dirt without incident.
April 7, 2005
Imagine that you are the leader of a world-wide, radical Muslim terrorist organization. Your goal is no less than the destruction of Western society and Christendom. You try to imagine a scenario -- however unlikely -- to best accomplish this goal with the most efficiency and economy. Foresee a situation where most of the world's political leaders, royalty, the rich and affluent, and all of the most powerful members of the world's most powerful Christian church would all be conveniently packed in an area of a few square miles. It would be helpful to know -- years in advance -- the exact location of this unlikely gathering. Also advantageous would be if this event took place with only a few days notice, to offset the effectiveness of the enemy's security forces.
Sitting in my downtown Spokane apartment, on the opposite side of the Earth, I feel much too close to Rome...
April 4, 2005
It was the awakening of my appreciation of articulateness, radical conviction, and religiosity -- as well as my wariness of them.
The voice of Herbert W. Armstrong coming from an ancient, tube-filled radio in a darkened bedroom was a laser beam cutting through one Sixties-child's jellied kaleidoscope of Gilligan's Island, Lucy and Ethel, Woody Woodpecker, Ed Sullivan....a favorite Martian....a talking horse...
What's up, doc?
At the time, Armstrong -- leader of The Worldwide Church of God -- spoke with clarity and authority about things foreign and mysterious, all seasoned lightly with a sense of the forbidden: the lost tribes of Israel, the abduction of the Sabbath, the imminent coming of the Anti-Christ and his connection with the Roman church. To a young, rebellious jack-Catholic boy, it was all so deliciously seditious.
Armstrong and many of his followers hinted strongly of his status as prophet of God. Unconvinced but intrigued, I sent a couple of wrinkled bucks to his organization, ensuring lifelong mailings of pamphlets and letters.
With the death of Pope John-Paul II, I am reminded of one in particular of Armstrong's predictions -- it came in a newsletter, sent to me years after my interest in him had waned. He pleaded with his flock to be on their toes upon the death of the pope. Soon, a new pope would arise. He would be unlike any other Pope in history -- the only one mentioned, with fear and loathing, in the scriptures. You will know him by his number; and his number will be the name of a man: His name will be Sixtus VI.
You're up to bat, Herb. Were you a prophet or not?
April 2, 2005
Pope John-Paul II dies.
April Fool's Day, 2005
Greetings faithful readers, and welcome to the genesis of this very special StikBlog manifestation of Stik Mann's OtherSpokane. In light of the recent lapse into political psychosis this great country has suffered, I've decided to discontinue the publishing of highly dubious magazine-like issues so to spew my semi-daily observations and artistic endeavors onto these humble e-pages.
In the midst of catastrophes of biblical proportions, people gunning each other down like tin ducks at a shooting gallery, and Nazi-like thugs taking over most of the known universe, how does yours-truly respond to the horror and madness of these latter days?
I'm makin' artsy-fartsy movies, baby!
I've just completed RetroViral Village, a pseudo-surrealistic, psychological sci-fi comi-drama. It's an enormous, FX-laden, avi. file, (3.85 GB!) -- far too big to put on this website. I'll soon be offering it on DVDs; but, if you want to see it sooner, we could make arrangements to meet at my favorite downtown coffee haunt. The film is 18 minutes long and would be rated R for violence, sexual images, language, audacity, and politically incorrect situations and humor.
Here's the set-up:
You have been abducted at the directive and for the sole pleasure and/or edification of the god-like leader of a celestial-wandering tribe of lizard-like space aliens. You are required to answer their single question: How do you burn a witch? ("You see, we have a witch...who needs to be burned...") The one who offers the most useful reply or demonstration will be permitted to die in sacrifice for "The One." Consequently, you might want your report to be less than practical, probable, or rational.
A Personal Note to My Children
In light of the Terri Schiavo tragedy, I hereby declare my intentions in the event I am left in a persistent vegetative state (PVS): Sherri, I want you to say that my wish was to be kept alive; James, you should say that I did not. Politicians and the news media will quickly get involved. Do whatever you have to do to make a federal case of it. Special interest groups will shower you with money like confetti. Take copious notes and record all television appearances. When it's all over (the legal proceedings, or my mortal existence), hire a shadowy journalist to write an "as told to" account. Or better yet, sell the movie rights. I'm thinking Dustin Hoffman as me, unless he's in a PVS himself, then we should go with Johnny Depp and lots of makeup.
Please read the