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Hi everyone…

Uh…well, maybe you heard, the lead singer for Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, just committed suicide. I am devastated. This was a band I had an active enthusiasm for to the present day.

I am fine personally, but I’m taking a break from my blogs until a week from now. I just…want to do as much stuff as I can outside of the internet to sort of process all of this. One of the things I was planning to do is visit a bunch of the spiritual-type places around NYC like the Theosophical Society, the Rudolph Steiner center, and so on. I think now is the time to do it.

One thing to think about is that Bennington had reported experiencing a lot of child abuse, especially, in his words, “getting beaten up and pretty much raped.” What are we doing as a society to specifically address the abuse that males experience as children—to defuse the sort of extra shame over it, and really deal with it? It is a question I am asking myself right now.

Next Thursday is the official one-year anniversary of this site, so it is a good time to go back to it.

Best,

Val

The 10 Most Paranoid Music Videos Of All Time

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There is the scary music video, the disturbing music video…and the specifically paranoid music video. In paranoid music videos you might see such tropes as The Guys In Suits Who Chase You For No Specific Reason, Is This A Dream Or Is This A Shady Government Experiment?, and the ever-popular My Evil Clone Has Just Confronted Me Oh Holy Jesus Fuck.

Join me, won’t you?

Continue reading “The 10 Most Paranoid Music Videos Of All Time”

Review: The Paul Is Dead Documentary “Who Is This Now?”

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Who Is This Now? is a short documentary on the “Paul Is Dead” conspiracy theory which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube. Standing out in an increasingly crowded subgenre of a subgenre, the film takes a fresh approach not only to the subject matter but—importantly to me—the way it is told.

If you need a brief refresher on the Paul Is Dead theory (and my post “Better Call Paul: The Mystery of the Winged Beatle” goes into this in far more detail), here goes: basically, it’s that Beatles singer Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a double. “Clues” to the existence of the “fake Paul” (“Faul”) can be found throughout Beatles album covers and lyrics—as well as playing the records backwards.

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Gene Simmons Tries To Trademark The Devil Horns Hand Gesture

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Can you trademark a hand gesture that has been used from everything as a traditional good luck symbol to sign language to “the devil sign?” Gene Simmons is trying to do just that.

The KISS frontman was in the news recently for trying to trademark the distinctive “devil horns” hand gesture. On June 9th, Simmons filed an application at the US Patent and Trademark Office, stating that “the first use of commerce” of the hand gesture was in September of 1974 during one of his performances with KISS.

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The New Fatalism, Part Two

chris-cornellI wrote “The New Fatalism” a couple of weeks ago, noting a “spike” in suicide imagery in popular culture (13 Reasons Why, the Kurt Cobain-themed Father John Misty video “Total Entertainment Forever”) as well as a couple of actual suicides that had recently happened.

Then there is the case of 24-year-old Bruno Borges, who made elaborate “preparations” and then simply vanished (just about to the day of the 20th anniversary of the Heaven’s Gate suicides); there is no evidence Borges killed himself, but there is a similar energy in terms of “disappearing.”

And now Chris Cornell is dead.

Continue reading “The New Fatalism, Part Two”

Thoughts on the death of Chris Cornell

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NOTE: This post has been updated.

This morning has been strange. My dreams were really strange (including one of me, Charlie Sheen, and Anton LaVey sharing a very small wicker chair), and then I woke up and found out that Chris Cornell from Soundgarden & Audioslave passed on. Felt super-depressed.

This guy just went on tour again, finished a great show, had a wife and kids waiting at home for him, and was theoretically sober. He looked great on stage that last night; healthy, radiant.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the death of Chris Cornell”

Snoop Dogg Is A “Joker” In Trump-Inspired Music Video

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Aggressive clown imagery has been a “thing” for a couple of years now—and if we include Joker imagery, we can roll back the clock on that to at least the late 2000s. So the just-released Snoop Dogg music video for “Lavender,” a remix of a song by BadBadNotGood and Kaytranada, is pretty provocative.

Not only do you have a world almost exclusively populated by clowns—but in one scene, Snoop Dogg aims a gun at a “Donald Trump” clown’s head (it turns out to be a “bang” trick gun—more on that later). The video is now being criticized for the gun scene, but this is not the first video to show such an act—and it’s hardly the most violent.

Continue reading “Snoop Dogg Is A “Joker” In Trump-Inspired Music Video”