22 – Writing for Star Trek: Interview with Mark O’Connell – Part 1

This episode features an interview with screenwriter for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Mark O’Connell. In the interview they cover growing up in the same small town, and how Mark developed his interest in science fiction, how Ray Bradbury gave him his first writing encouragement, and how he broke into writing for Star Trek. We go into the process and a little behind the scenes on one of the greatest science fiction franchises in history. Mark is also a UFO investigator and we cover that in the second part of the interview, forthcoming.

Links:

Mark Gehred-O’Connell’s Entry at Memory Alpha Star Trek wiki

YouTube trailer for “Second Sight” episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

High Strangeness UFO – Mark’s blog

Playboy’s Article Ranking Every Episode of Star Trek ever (mentioned in the podcast)

Featured Song – Final Frontier by Sunspot

It’s 7 and it’s time to check in,
but now it’s 8 and now it’s 10.
It’s time for Tang and vitamins,
let’s conduct experiments.

We’ve been out here since I don’t when,
We’re up in space just like John Glenn,
Say hi on earth to all our friends,
Sure would like to see some aliens.

Don’t beam me down,
or splashdown,
You know I like it above the atmosphere,
Sea of Tranquility,
low gravity,
I’m gonna grab a star as a souvenir.
on the Final Frontier.

The view is positively heavenly,
we’re studying cosmology,
Just like the pioneering chimpanzees,
My bones just lost some density.

Don’t beam me down,
or splashdown,
You know I like it above the atmosphere,
Sea of Tranquility,
low gravity,
My God, it’s full of stars.
Don’t beam me down,
or splashdown,
You know I like it above the atmosphere,
Sea of Tranquility,
low gravity,
I’m gonna grab a star as a souvenir.
on the Final Frontier.

21 – Stonehenge: From Prehistory to Modern Mystery

Stonehenge. In reality, it’s a bunch of really big rocks arranged over the Salisbury plain in England. While the lintels (the huge stones laid horizontally across the tops of the upright ones) make it unlike any other manmade stone formation, Stonehenge is still like the constellations, all its meaning has to come from your own mind. And no other neolithic arrangement of boulders has fired more imaginations and conjecture than this one. It’s druids and ancient rituals and it represents a life and a culture that we can scarcely imagine from the 21st Century.

The Stonehenge mystery permeates English culture, a symbol of a heritage that goes back much further than William the Conqueror, much further than the Roman Conquest. Recent research suggests that the site was occupied as far back as 7000 B.C. Those humans might have been similar to us physically (except for size, we’re a way taller species than we used to be), but their lives would have been completely unrecognizable to us, as well as to what significance they would have given their mysterious sacred sites. Stonehenge has been linked to everything from Arthurian legends to Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Ubervilles to Doctor Who.

And it’s not just the English. Americans have appropriated it for themselves in movies like This Is Spinal Tap and National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Kurt Vonnegut’s book about ancient astronauts, The Sirens of Titan.

Stonehenge has been portrayed over the centuries as an altar for human sacrifice, an astronomical computer, and even a massive musical instrument. Over eight hundred thousand people visit the site each year. So why do we care so much about a bunch of rocks assembled by a group of prehistoric savages? What’s it about Stonehenge that fascinates people all over the world?

In This Episode..

The great Stonehenge Mystery Who made it, why, and what does it mean?

Wendy shares a bit of her experience visiting the monument as a child. Mike’s grand tour of the UK included almost everything BUT Stonehenge, so he has at least one very good reason to return.

From the Neolithic (~10,000 B.C. to ~5-2,000 B.C.) or “New Stone” Age, Stonehenge was created before modern tools (forged from metal) existed.  This contributes to the mystique, begging the question, how on earth was it built?

The pillars of this megalithic structure originated from the Wales region. So how did they end up in Southern England, over a hundred miles away?

And why was this curious place built? A recent theory, by archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson, suggests that it began as a burial ground for important families around 3,000 B.C.  Many cremated human remains as well as relics of a concentric wooden megalith were found within Stonehenge as it currently stands, suggesting a graveyard existed at the location before the stones were erected. Perhaps the stones were added at a later time in order to create a permanent memorial for the dead?

Pearson also proposes that the monument may have been a building project symbolizing union of the people from eastern and western Britain following years of war between them. As isolated tribes from around the country began to intermingle, the project would have been a central meeting ground to celebrate the new found peace and unity of Britain.

One of the first known Stonehenge researchers, John Aubrey, believed it had an astronomical/calendrical role. This theory was based on his careful measurements and surveying of the landmark.

The location may also have been used to celebrate the solstices…  Alignment of some of the pathways with the rising and setting sun during the summer and winter solstices suggest this possibility. Many others believe it served as a sacred religious meeting place for the Druids.

Literature featuring Stonehenge:

  • The Arthurian legend incorporates it frequently, such as in the Marion Zimmer Bradley novel The Mists of Avalon.
  • In some versions of the folk tale, the wizard Merlin creates Stonehenge with the help of a giant or giants who carry the large stones from Ireland.
  • Thomas Hardy uses Stonehenge as a setting in Tess of the D’Ubervilles, portraying the monument as a giant instrument or “temple of the winds”.
  • Author Patrick Rothfuss incorporates Stonehenge imagery in The Name of the Wind, wherein monuments referred to as waystones play key roles in the stories.

Films featuring Stonehenge:

  • A movie adaptation of Tess of the D’Ubervilles from the 1970s included a full scale replica of the megalith as its set.
  • One of our favorites, This is Spinal Tap, includes a Stonehenge storyline inspired by Black Sabbath.   The stage at real life venue Shank Hall in Milwaukee has a miniature Stonehenge backdrop as an homage to this part of the movie. Here is a video of our band Sunspot performing at Shank Hall over a decade ago. Notice the wee rock formation behind us on the backdrop?

  • King Lear – Lawrence Olivier version – set has replica of Stonehenge
  • Shanghai Nights
  • National Lampoon’s European Vacation
  • Night of the Demon (1957) – A sacrifice at Stonehenge is prevented
  • Stonehenge Apocolypse

Television featuring Stonehenge:

  • Dr. Who – An episode called “The Stones of Blood” includes some rocks of Stonehenge coming to life and killing people. Another episode, “The Pandorica Opens” included a prison located beneath Stonehenge.

Like the pyramids, some people believe aliens built Stonehenge. They think it is an astronomical observatory through which the ancient Britains could keep track of the extraterrestrials who had visited and created Stonehenge for them.

Conspiracy theorists believe the Anunnaki (check out Episode 3 for more about them!) built Stonehenge as a gathering place for the Illuminati.

Do you have any of your own theories about Stonehenge? Have you visited it in person?  Know of a book, film, or television show featuring this wondrous landmark that we didn’t cover?  Please let us know!

Links on the Stonehenge Mystery

Voices from the Dawn article on Stonehenge – An excellent summation of the folklore and myths surrounding the landmark. It goes from quoting Geoffrey of Monmouth on the Arthurian aspect to Erich von Däniken from  Chariots of the Gods. If you only read one article on it, make this one it.

Clonehenge – A list of Stonehenge replicas around the world. You might not be able to get up close and personal to the real thing but you can probably climb a replica. It’s also a great source for finding movies and books about the megalithic circle.

Stonehenge scene from Roman Polanski’s Tess – This is where they built the life-size model in France for shooting up close. See how real you think it looks!

The Stonehenge scene from This Is Spinal Tap – This is the reason most people associate rock music with Stonehenge, and it’s just as funny as it was in 1984.

Stonehenge Conspiracy Theory – It’s just about as crazy as you think it’s going to be. A highly entertaining read!

Doctor Who Speech at Stonehenge from “The Pandorica Opens” – This is one of the greatest scenes of all time from the series as the Doctor climbs one of the megaliths to deliver one of his most rousing and speeches to an amassed force of his nastiest enemies.

Watch out for the Killer Rocks! – Another Doctor Who scene, this one from 1978’s “The Stones of Blood” where you can see one of the stones attacking the Doctor.

Featured Song: Mother of Time

Sacrifice yourself upon the stone,
Something so old you know it in your bones.
But you’ll never find the way alone.

And the mother of time,
is calling us home,
Leave our lives behind,
and come to the stones.
Part of the land,
and part of the sky,
We are alive.

It’s a neolithic rave,
humans fresh out the cave.
And we sacrifice ourselves upon the stone.
A genetic memory of,
something so old, know it in our bones.
Back to the source, back t the source.

And the mother of time,
is calling us home,
Leave our lives behind,
and come to the stones.
Part of the land,
and part of the sky,
We are alive.

I know there’s a way back,
somewhere on Salisbury plain,
It’s just a kind of magic,
And we’ll get there some day.

20 – Haunted Rock & Roll: An Interview With Author Matthew Swayne

In Episode 10, when we discussed the ghosts of Rock stars, one of the biggest sources of our stories was Matthew Swayne’s book, Haunted Rock n’ Roll: Ghostly Tales of Musical Legends. There were plenty of stories that we left untold that day, so we thought a great way to kick off 2015 would be to have the author himself, Matthew Swayne, for an interview so we could go further in depth on a topic that we truly love, musicians that could never bring themselves to get off the stage… even in death.

Destined for an interest in the weird with a birthday on Halloween, his love of horror movies and interest in journalism and writing led him to write his first book on hauntings at college campuses (and interestingly enough, as well as unbeknownst to them when it was written, you can also find an article that quotes both the interviewer and interviewee of this podcast discussing Madison’s haunted campus right here.)

We start with the discussion on the ways he originally researched his book, how he found out some of the real obscure tales, and the difference between “ghost lore” and “ghost stories”. He connects the lore of the “phantom hitchhiker” story that a lot of towns in America have (the most famous being Chicago’s Resurrection Mary) and how people have made that into an Elvis ghost story as well, something that he thinks fans have created to fantasize about how they could meet their untouchable idols (that was back in the day before celebrities started responding to people’s tweets!) One of the things that makes Elvis different than other rock ghosts is that all across the country, it will be haunted by the Elvis of that age. Memphis gets the young southern gentleman Elvis, while Las Vegas gets the fat Elvis of the 70s.

They talk a little about hauntings of The Rave/Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee (the rock venue that Mike used to go to the most when he was younger) and how the ghost of Buddy Holly (who played one of his final shows at the club)  appears almost exclusively to musicians there.

The conversation turns to the hauntings at the Cincinnati Music Hall and how to him it seemed to be one of the most legitimately haunted  music venues that he studied, Then they discussed some classic Penn State ghostly folklore before starting to discuss Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin is known for the occult symbolism they used in their songs and imagery and Jimmy Page famously purchased our good friend Uncle Aleister Crowley’s home on Loch Ness, the Boleskine House where there’s a remarkable number of hauntings, something that he admits to being creeped out by.

Mike and Matt reprise Dan Aykroyd’s great story of Mama Cass’ house and Matt adds some new details to the story that make it more interesting, because they add up with similar stories from Beverly D’Angelo (Chevy Chase’s wife from the National Lampoon’s Vacation series), who also spent time in the house.

They finish up the discussion with a little more thoughts on the “27 Club” and how the number 27 itself might have more than significance. They talk a little about numerology, what the numbers could mean, and how the journey of a rock art is deeply connected with the occult from its very beginnings.

Links:

Haunted Rock & Roll on Facebook

Connect with Matthew Swayne on Twitter

Purchase Haunted Rock & Roll: Ghostly Tales of Musical Legends on Amazon

Article that features both Mike and Matthew on a possible University of Wisconsin Campus Ghost Tour, Molly Hanson

Featured Song: Forever In The Snow

We only had a moment,
but we didn’t waste the time.
I never said goodbye,
to the child we’ll never know.
I never said goodbye,
I’ll be forever in the snow.
I am Forever in the snow.
That’ll be the day,
For love a not fade away,
That’ll be the day,
When you’ll surely come my way.
I never left you,
I’m on a midnight shift without end.
Words so soft and true.
Until you’re here, I’ll just pretend.
I never said goodbye,
to the child we’ll never know.
I never said goodbye,
I’ll be forever in the snow.
I am Forever in the snow.
That’ll be the day,
For love a not fade away,
That’ll be the day,
When you’ll surely come my way.

19 – For Auld Lang Syne: New Year’s Traditions and Superstitions

We’re down to our last day of 2014, so what better time to discuss New Year’s traditions and superstitions?

Mike and Wendy begin by sharing their own traditions for celebrating the turn of the year, and then delve into some historical and international New Year’s traditions and superstitions.

Is there something you do each year when midnight of January 1st arrives? We’d love to hear about it, either in the comments below or via our Contact page!

2014 is special to us as it was the “birth year” of this podcast. We appreciate your taking the time to listen to its initial episodes, and we look forward to creating more in 2015.

Have a very happy New Year and a phenomenal 2015!

Featured Song: Alive Day

Did you earn your freedom?
Did you earn your place?
Did you earn the right to spit in my face?

When the shell pushed my head,
into the black,
there was no tunnel,
no one to guide me.

This is the day that I died,
The best day of my life.

As the flesh buckled under,
as the muscle burned.
As I watched the flame,
take the fire from me.
There was no flashing,
there was no white light.
All I had was that moment,
electrify me.

This is the day that I died,
The best day of my life.
No one can understand,
the fortune that it implied.
That was the day that I died,
Don’t even think to cry,
and now I have a chance to be a better man.

This is the day that I died,
The best day of my life.
No one can understand,
No one can understand.
I’m half the skin, but twice the human.
Part machine but more alive.
Less the parts, but greater the sum.
I’m more than the spirit that survived.

This is the day that I died,
The best day of my life.
This is the day that I died,
The best day of my life.

18 – Paranormal Headlines: A History of The Weird In Media

Mike interviews author and paranormal researcher, Chad Lewis. Chad has been featured on such shows as Coast to Coast AM and Discovery Channel’s Legend Trippers. Since they’re both from Wisconsin originally, Chad talks a little about how the state’s fascination with the paranormal and particularly it’s 3 UFO festivals (in Belleville, Elmwood, and Dundee!) is partly responsible for his interest in the world of the weird.

They start the conversation with his book, Hidden Headlines of Wisconsin, which is a compilation of strange and unusual news stories from all around the state in the 19th and early 20th centuries. With thousands of investigations behind the researcher, very quickly the discussion turns to the modern presentation of paranormal headlines and how the media and supernatural shows are often not like real ghost investigations at all. Amazing ghost and psychic experiences seem to happen all the time on cable when the reality of investigation and research is a very different thing. And how “reality” shows might not be so real after all.

The conversation veers into “legend tripping”, a fancy way of describing folklore investigations or going to the places that have inspired ghost stories and myths.

Chad also gives his advice on what kind of paranormal apps people should get for their smart phones, the most important items you should take with you when you go on a paranormal investigation or a legend trip, and they also delve into the mysterious “orbs” that show up in people’s “ghost photos” (spoiler alert: Mike doesn’t believe in them and Chad has an opinion too!)

It’s a fun and lively discussion that goes deep into how the media has changed in its treatment of supernatural and paranormal topics over the years and how the role of the newspaper in daily life in the 19th century has shifted into social media in the 21st.

Links:

Chad Lewis – The Unexplained

What is Legend Tripping?

Hidden Headlines of Wisconsin by Chad Lewis

Featured Song: Ephemeral by Sunspot

This is the drama that surrounds us,
This is the path we’ve chosen, for better or for worse,
This is the way of righteous anger,
This is the path of vengeance,
Blessed and coerced.

I don’t want some big production,
To accompany this self-destruction.
I refuse to be the boy who cried wolf.

These are the moments that flow through us,
separate but happening all at once.
This is the timeline that we’re bound to,
ephemeral, ephemeral, not plentiful enough.

I don’t want some downward spiral,
Or an echo chamber of denial.

This is the drama that surrounds us,
These are the moments that flow through us.
This is the drama that surrounds us,
These are the moments that flow through us.

This is the drama that surrounds us.
This is the drama that surrounds us.

I don’t want some big production,
To accompany this self-destruction.

This is the drama that surrounds us,
Ephemeral, ephemeral.
These are the moments that flow through us,
Ephemeral, ephemeral.
This is the drama that surrounds us,
Ephemeral, ephemeral.
These are the moments that flow through us,
Ephemeral, ephemeral.

17 – Holiday Hauntings: Christmas Ghost Stories

If it’s the most wonderful time of the year, why are we sharing scary haunted tales? Explore the history of the tradition of telling spooky Christmas ghost stories!

More links on Christmas Ghost Stories:

Hypnogoria article on “The Origins of Ghost Stories at Christmas”

Deseret News, “Telling Ghost Stories is a lost tradition on Christmas Eve”

The Conversation, “Why ghosts haunt England at Christmas but steer clear of America”

Bill Petro, “History of a Christmas Carol: A ghost story of Christmas”

Featured Song: Next Plane (Welcome Home)

There’s dust in my bunk
and no snow upon on the ground,
it’s 110 outside and I wake up at every little sound.
I’m sick of being afraid, I’m tired of the bad dreams,
I won’t watch my son grow up on a computer screen.

I’ve seen too many ghosts of Christmas Past,
I’ve seen too many ghosts at all.

I know the fireplace was cold,
while I was being GI Joe,
and I’m sorry you poured your Christmas wine alone.
But I won’t miss another one,
And this year I’ll put down my gun,
This Christmas I’m on the next plane home.

There’s a table waiting for me,
and they’re playing my favorite song,
There’s a girl that’s waiting for me,
and she’s waited for too long.
But too many friends have gone,
and I’ve read too many tags,
There’s too many people I love,
coming back beneath a flag.

I’ve seen too many ghosts of Christmas Past,
I’ve seen too many ghosts at all.

I know the fireplace was cold,
while I was being GI Joe,
and I’m sorry you poured your Christmas wine alone.
But I won’t miss another one,
And this year I’ll put down my gun,
This Christmas I’m on the next plane home.
This Christmas I’m on the next plane home.

16 – They’re After Me: Celebrities Who Believe In Conspiracy Theories

With the recent news of Creed frontman Scott Stapp’s meltdown, it seemed like a good time to discuss some of the craziest celebrity conspiracy theories and what some of our favorite stars believe in.

Many celebrities have not shied away from their beliefs that the government is lying about something or that it is after them. 9/11 Truth is one of the big ones, with Oliver Stone, Marion Cotillard, Charlie Sheen, and Mos Def having their doubts about the official September 11th story.

We go in depth on Randy Quaid and his “Hollywood Star Whackers” theory, which goes into just how far off the deep end this talented comic actor and his wife have gone. We also touch on Korn’s Jonathan Davis discussing Miley Cyrus being secretly tool of the Obama government, and of course we give plenty of time to the latest celebrity conspiracy… just who is after Scott Stapp?

Featured Song: Big Data Christmas

You used to be such a pain to shop for,
It used to be so tough,
I never knew just what to get,
and I never bought enough.
It always broke my heart to see you,
sad under the tree,
But this year will be better thanks to your Internet cookies.

We used to think the government would try and read our minds,
And put us in a gulag, maybe make us work a mine.
We gave up all our secrets for some email that was free,
Who’d have thought the techies were the real enemy?
This Christmas I just want my privacy.

So I’ll get suggestions from now ’til Christmas Eve,
Of all the things that I should get you, of all the things you need.
I feel like they know you better than I ever could,
Since they read all your texts I guess they probably should.

So let those Jingle Bells ring on,
It’s just the latest sale from good ol’ Amazon.

We used to think the government would try and read our minds,
And put us in a gulag or make us work a mine.
But we gave up all our secrets for some email that was free,
And pictures of vacations of people I never see.
This Christmas I just want my privacy.

Santa might be creepy ‘cuz he spies on little kids,
But that bearded fatman don’t have Analytics.

Santa don’t sell your information,
Santa don’t work for corporations,
Santa don’t use Black Hat marketing,
Santa don’t use Facebook retargeting.

And they don’t care if you’ve been naughty or you’ve been nice,
The only thing that matters is if we’ll bite at the price.

We used to think the government would try and read our minds,
And put us in a gulag or make us work a mine.
But we gave up all our secrets for some email that was free,
Who’d have thought the techies were the real enemy?
This Christmas I just want my privacy.
This Christmas I just want my privacy.
This Christmas I just want my privacy.

Santa don’t sell your information,
Santa don’t work for corporations.
Santa don’t sell your information,
Santa don’t work for corporations.

Links on Celebrity Conspiracy Theories

15 – Global Killer: Defending Earth from Asteroids

The threat of a global killer in the form of an asteroid plummeting toward earth is ever present, and several celebrities want to make everyone aware of this via a new event: Asteroid Day!

We talk about movies featuring asteroids, actual asteroid collisions, and the people who want us to know of this risk of extinction. Oh- and there’s plenty of discussion about Queen guitarist Brian May’s (Isaac Newton-esque) gray locks!

Featured Song: Tunguska

It came out of nowhere,
and hit my blindside.
it served me right, well I guess it served me right.
And I was unaware,
and tongue-tied,
left on the ropes, with no antidote.

And I thought the world was going to end,
I couldn’t speak, my stomach dropped,
I threw up in my mouth as you delivered the knockout,
my mind was in some sort of state of shock.

When you broke the bond,
a thousand times an atom bomb,
I was blown away,
just like Tunguska.
Flattened by a fireball,
to only a shadow on the wall,
Just another meaningless,
second-rate apocalypse,

Too hot inside me,
like skin on fire,
I couldn’t bear it,
but couldn’t escape it.
Angry and paralyzed,
like the air can’t reach my lungs,
completely knocked back.
Completely gobsmacked,

And I thought the world was going to end,
I couldn’t speak, my stomach dropped.
I was screaming nyet,
when you made good on all your threats,
my mind was in some sort of state of shock.

When you broke the bond,a thousand times an atom bomb,
I was blown away,
just like Tunguska.
Flattened by a fireball,
to only a shadow on the wall,
Just another meaningless,
second-rate apocalypse,

A global-killer,
with civility,
and the sudden impact,
made a crater out of me.

When you broke the bond,
a thousand times an atom bomb,
I was blown away,
just like Tunguska.
Flattened by a fireball,
to only a shadow on the wall,
Just another meaningless,
second-rate apocalypse.

Links

14 – Subliminal Messages: Wait… Did You Hear Something?

Wendy returns from vacation to join Mike in a discussion about subliminal messages in television, movies, and music.

A way of delivering information to a person without the need to be persuasive or convincing, subliminal messages bypass the logical decision-making part of the brain and go directly to the subconscious mind. This can be done by playing a sub-audible recording, or through the use of a technique called back-masking where the message is played backwards.
Numerous examples of subliminal messaging in pop culture:
  • Actor Matt Frewer played Max Headroom in a sci-fi show called “Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future” (which happened to be one of Mike’s favorites!). In the story, people were exposed to “blipverts”, advertising delivered in quick bursts, and which eventually ended up killing people.
  • An urban legend that theater owners used subliminal advertising for the snack bar by flashing images of soft drinks and popcorn throughout the movies.
  • The part of the movie “Fight Club” where a ch aracter splices images of pornography into the film at a movie theater.
  • For the 2000 election, George Bush ran campaign ads wherein the word BEAUROCRATS was flashed across the screen with the RATS part of the word in emphasis.
  • Miller Lite had an ad campaign with “this message was brought to you by Dick”. The phrase was autographed by Dick, and the word actually looked like “Drink” when closely examined.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Bart joins a boy band that uses subliminal messages to recruit kids for the Navy.
  • Actor/comedian Kevin Nealon played “Subliminal Message Man”, a character in a Saturday Night Live skit who slipped subliminal messages into every day conversations.
  • The UK parliament banned the use of subliminal messaging in advertisements.
  • Ozzy Osborne’s song “Suicide Solution”, about alcohol, allegedly contained the phrase, “Why try? Get the gun and shoot!”. When he was sued by the parents of a teen who committed suicide, he claimed the audio was “Get the flaps out”.
  • The song, “Better By You, Better Than Me” recorded by Judas Priest, contained subliminal message “Do it!” and also resulted in a law suit. However, the judge  found that subliminal messages are not speech that’s covered by the First Amendment. This is now precedent.
  • “Love Bites” by Def Leppard has a robot voice at the end that some believe says “Jesus of Nazareth, go to hell”.
  • The Beatles also used the back masking technique in many songs, including “I buried Paul” at the end of Strawberry Fields.
  • EXAMPLE AUDIO: Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” contains a backwards “sleep with me, I’m not too young”.
  • EXAMPLE AUDIO – Decide for yourself: Queen’s song “Another One Bites the Dust” contains several backwards “Decide to smoke marijuana”
  • EXAMPLE AUDIO – Decide for yourself: Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” contains a backwards “Here’s to my sweet satan”
Scientific studies from the 1950s showed that subliminal messaging in movies did not work. However, newer studies within the past decade have shown that we can be influenced by things we cannot perceive. You can decide for yourself by listening to our song below…

Featured Song: The Long Hammer

13 – Krampus: The Christmas Demon

It’s the Holiday season and St. Nick’s Day was just this past weekend on Saturday, December 6th. Wendy Lynn is on vacation, so Mike brings his sister, Allison Jornlin, from Milwaukee Ghosts, again for a discussion on one of the less famous European Yuletide traditions, Krampus, the Christmas Demon. They begin with a discussion of Saint Nicholas traditions in their family and heavily German Milwaukee and discuss how they used to get coal in their stockings if they were bad.

Then they get into how really naughty kids used to get into trouble and that’s with Krampus. A Satan-like figure with cloven hooves who carries a bag of switched to whip bad children, in addition to an empty sack that is for kidnapping naughty kids and dragging them to Hell (and eating them alive), he is a traditional Christmas character in the Alpine countries. They talk about Krampusnacht, which is a traditional festival that will take place the night before St. Nick’s Day, where men dress up as the Christmas demon and drunkenly run through the streets. Parents not only encourage this behavior, but it’s also tradition to give the wild men alcohol as well. Chicago had their first adult-themed Krampusfest this year.

Next up, Allison and Mike go into the Pagan traditions of Europe and how they influence modern Christian holidays as well as linking him to the “European Wildman”, animism, and Voodoo. They also go into how the tradition of dressing up as a monster when the Summer ends and the nights come earlier comes all the way from Samhain (where our modern Halloween evolved from.) The ancients thought of the time between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice as a time when the walls between this world and the netherworld were thinned and spirits could pass in and out, they could walk among us. That’s why they dressed up as monsters and evil spirits, so those monsters and evil spirits wouldn’t bother them. They compare this to Shaun of the Dead and The Walking Dead, which use those very same themes.

Also, they talk about Krampus’ appearances on American television over the past few years with spots on Grimm, American Dad!, Supernatural, as well as his own film, Krampus: The Christmas Devil. They finish up with discussing the weird Krampus Christmas cards that Europeans have sent over the past couple of centuries and some great Krampus gear that you can get!

Links:

Chicago Krampusfest

National Geographic, “Europe’s Wild Men”

Top 5 Krampus Appearances in Pop Culture

Some awesome classic  Krampus postcards

Cool Krampus Schwag!

 

Featured Song: Digitalistic Christmas by Sunspot

My sensors signal something this time of year,
That cannot be explained by computation,
Arrhythmia in my cogs and gears,
A seasonal magnetic excitation.

Can you feel the current racing through your PCBs?

It’s gonna be a hot robot-o digitalistic Christmas,
One for my read only memory,
I charged up my nickel-metal hydride,
Illuminate the tree with my LEDs.

The crystalline structure of the falling snow,
Triggers binary delight in my RAID array,
My cold cathodes emit a much brighter glow,
Protocol for Favorable Holiday!

Do you feel the galvanic surge of those megavolts?

It’s gonna be a hot robot-o digitalis tic Christmas,
One for my read only memory,
I charged up my nickel-metal hydride,
Illuminate the tree with my LEDs.

We read your mail,
we watch your posts,
process your tweets.
When Santa makes his list,
it’s our data that he needs.
And if you’re nice,
you just might get what you asked for.
And if you’re naughty,
you just might get a little more!

It’s gonna be a hot robot-o digitalistic Christmas,
Back it up to the cloud and USB,
I’m so excited, I can’t power down,
I want to process the gifts Santa brought me.

It’s gonna be a hot robot-o digitalistic Christmas,
One for my electrically erasable programmable read only memory,
I charged up my nickel-metal hydride,
Illuminate the tree with my LEDs.

A rock band's journey into the afterlife, UFOs, entertainment, and weird science.

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