2.16.19: Reality, And Other Rumors

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“The Ego is ignorant towards both sigils and symbols, but they both give the Ego a flow of knowledge from themselves.”
Austin Osman Spare

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Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, the ITV version

On this day in 1923, British archaeologist Howard Carter opened the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in an official ceremony. He was bankrolled by Lord Carnarvon, an amateur Egyptologist.

Carnarvon also entered the burial chamber that day; as he did, journalist Arthur Weigall allegedly joked, “I give him six weeks to live.”

Lord Carnarvon, of course, died six weeks later.

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And so the “Curse of King Tut” was born, as a number of other people who had entered that tomb would also pass away over the next decade. Was this a result of some sort of mystical curse placed upon the chamber to ward off/punish its potential desecrators?

Or was this a case of media hysteria?

Let’s revisit Mr. Weigall, who, in addition to his stint as a reporter for the Daily Mail was a rival Egyptologist. He attended the chamber opening in distinct defiance of Carter & Carnarvon, who wanted The Times to have the exclusive.

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Arthur Weigall

Even cursory research into this story reveals that Weigall played a key role in creating the “Curse” mystique. In addition to his alleged prediction of Carnarvon’s death, he also embellished a report concerning a cobra who attacked one of Carter’s birds the same day the tomb was opened—interpreting it as a “precursor” to the dead Pharaoh’s wrath. In fact, reporting on the tomb’s opening & the “curse” made Weigall a celebrity.

It has to be asked: was Weigall jealous of Carter & Carnarvon, relishing the idea of a curse that would bring them misfortune?

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Other writers immediately jumped on the “curse” bandwagon. Author/spiritualist/Sherlock Holmes-creator Arthur Conan Doyle helpfully suggested that perhaps “elementals” created by Tut’s priests struck down Carnarvon. And popular novelist Marie Corelli wrote a “playful” article two weeks before Carnarvon died quoting an obscure book about the curse that would strike people who entered the tomb.

Of the 58 people who were present for the opening of the tomb, only eight died within a dozen years. Are those “curse” numbers? And then it must be asked: how many of those who died already “felt cursed” as a result of the media frenzy—a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy perhaps?

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Which is all not to say that I don’t believe in “curses.” But it seems to me that one of the most potent mechanisms of curses are to be found not in “elementals,” but in the vast quantum space of the human mind.

To quote the suicide note of Lord Westbury, father of Carter’s secretary Captain Richard Bethell: “I really cannot stand any more horrors.” The son died of a suspected smothering in 1929; the father jumped off his 7th floor apartment the next year, supposedly driven mad by fear of the curse.

At any rate: Weigall died in 1934, 11 years after the opening of King Tut’s tomb; Carter outlived him by five years. So there.

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This all being said, it seems to me that disturbing burial places is primally a bad idea. For some reason it immediately brings to mind that classic “found footage” YouTube video, “Grave Robbing For Morons.”

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I have a number of stories and links that might be of interest to you from the past week:

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If Ralph Malph from “Happy Days” was crossed with Robin Williams crossed with the biggest QAnon believer you ever met in your life.

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And how could I end this journal entry without mentioning the “deep fake” AI face-generating website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. It really needs its own post, to embrace the full teeth-clenching stomach-dropping dystopian horror of this website.

While it’s perfectly capable of generating highly-realistic fake profile pics which you can then use to defraud a “lonelyhearts” widow or populate your mercenary troll-bot army—I like to personally use it to generate the “freak” mistakes filled with artifacts, eerie misshapen irises floating within pools of blobby white, and various tumor-like pulses of indistinct flesh.

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“Cronenberg”
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Flipper-Hand
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Will Kill You In Your Sleep
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Floaty “2001” Embryo
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**XANAX**

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Have a good Saturday and try not to start any rumors of Egyptian curses or pizza parlor conspiracies.

 

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