Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Jesus backwards sounds like sausage."

LoS has brought you news of a bleeding Jesus icon in India, a website dedicated to gruesome bleeding statues, and even the unlikely appearance of Jesus in a piss-stain left by a dog in Argentina.

And now we bring you the Jesus hard sausage. Only 25.90 euros the kilo.

It's gotta be much better than those bland host wafers and certainly goes better with a nice bottle of red wine!

And if you think this is the first time Jesus as made himself known in a delicious, snackable form, you've obviously never heard of Cheesus. And we're not the first to notice that "Jesus backwards sounds like sausage."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Crucifix in a Death Hand, pt. 4

LoS a while back translated some articles from the French press regarding a disturbed young woman who beat her mother to death with--among other objects--a crucifix. She was then placed under observation in a psychiatric hospital, where she was found dead during the night at the foot of her bed. Last we read an autopsy was ordered and then....nothing.

We'd all but given up on hearing more about this case, but as it turns out there was some follow-up. It just wasn't very loud. Apparently the autopsy revealed that:

"Les causes de la mort de cette femme sont naturelles. Elle ne s'est pas suicidée et n'a subi aucune violence."

"The causes of this woman's death were natural. She didn't commit suicide or suffer any violence."

When asked how then, she died, the procurer responded:

"Je n'en dirai pas plus."

"I won't speak of it further."

So, that clears things up.

We suspect that by being grossly incompetent in leaving the young woman alone, hospital officials would rather let this story fade away and sadly, the French legal system and media seem all too willing to comply. Which, if you know France, isn't actually all that surprising. One hand washes the other.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Where is Everybody?

"Where is everybody?" asked Enrico Fermi in the summer of 1950 while lunching with some fellow physicists and pondering the apparent absence of aliens.

This question seems to have three answers:

1. Heaven (we're special). Intelligent life is rare and only exists on Earth right now (in our galaxy). This answer is statistically improbable, so we'll ignore it from here on out (sorry foax, but you're not in heaven yet).

2. Hell (we're doomed). Intelligent life is common, but obstacles prevent interstellar travel (e.g., life forms that develop technology sufficient to travel into space end up killing themselves with nuclear bombs or global warming; or, perhaps it is simply not feasible, with any combination of technology, courage, fortitude, and life-span/in-breeding, to cross the vast distances of space).

3. Purgatory (we're duped). There actually is a galactic, interplanetary society of aliens, right here, right now--but they have chosen, for whatever reason, to leave us in the dark. Or, perhaps our government is covering it all up.

Well, this is all an elaborate introduction to a fellow who falls firmly into purgatory (camp three):

Dr. Yuri Labvin, president of the Tunguska Spatial Phenomenon Foundation, insists that an alien spacecraft sacrificed itself to prevent a gigantic meteor from slamming into the planet above Siberia on June 30, 1908.

For those who don't know, Labvin is referring to the Tunguska Event -- which was a massive explosion in a remote and sparsely populated area of Siberia.

Here's NASA's description of the event:

June 30, 2008: The year is 1908, and it's just after seven in the morning. A man is sitting on the front porch of a trading post at Vanavara in Siberia. Little does he know, in a few moments, he will be hurled from his chair and the heat will be so intense he will feel as though his shirt is on fire.

That's how the Tunguska event felt 40 miles from ground zero.

Numerous explanations have been put forth. Locals blamed the god Ogdy, who smashed the area in anger. Most scientists, however, blame an asteroid and explain the lack of an impact crater by describing an explosion in the atmosphere just prior to collision.

Now here's where we move over to the hell (camp two) side of the argument. Eugene Shoemaker (a renowned physicist) estimated that asteroids cause Hiroshima-sized explosions approximately once a year on Earth.

Let's repeat that, with slight exaggeration: every year, an asteroid blows up like an atomic bomb on Earth. Every year.

Actually, that's not as bad as it sounds. Mostly, these things blow up in the sky over the ocean and nobody notices. But if we did notice, because, for example, it took out Seattle--would we nuke North Korea in retaliation? Wikipedia (ever correct) states that "between 1975 and 1992, American missile early warning satellites picked up 136 major explosions in the upper atmosphere." This article goes on to suggest that the good-ol' U.S. of A. can tell the difference between nukes and asteroids, but no one else can -- so perhaps the end will start when North Korea takes out Seattle after an asteroid nails Kaeson, or when Pakistan nukes Jerusalem after an asteroid destroys Faisalabad.

But let's bring this discussion back to Earth. The Tunguska Event was actually 15 times bigger than Hiroshima, which, most scientists suggest, is a 300-year event, and to be fair, even if something this size hit New York City, it wouldn't be the end of civilization.

NASA estimates, however (and unfortunately), that civilization-ending sized asteroids hit us about once every 100,000 years.

So ... when is the next one due? Will aliens, once again, commit hari-kari to save us? Or will the Next One clip us just in time to prevent us from establishing a foothold on another planet?

Are we, in other words, in purgatory--or already in hell?

And where the hell is Godzilla when we need him?

Previously on the Laws of Silence:

* Sorta Famous People and UFOs
* Mysterious Booms
* How to Destroy the World #2: Asteroids

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Get thee behind me Satan!!

Those of you old enough to remember the Reagan administration may also recall the flap which followed the revelation that Ron and Nancy consulted astrologers in the White House.

This is a quote from a 1988 article in the New York Times:

"Followers of astrology believe the alignment of stars and planets influences human affairs."

Now dig this quote from our current occultist-in-chief discussing the possibility of health-care reform:

“I really think that the stars may be aligned here and we potentially can get it done if everybody comes at it with a spirit not of ideological rigidity,” he said.

Jesus is is gonna come and kick some ass....or maybe not....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A riddle wrapped inside a conundrum

Back in April, LoS shed a bit of light on the imposing pyramid in the center of the French town of Blagnac. But in our initial investigation we forgot to mention a small but very important detail. On one of the tombstone-shaped stelae there is a quote:

"La bonheur est dans l'angle ou les sages rassemblent."

That is to say: "Happiness is in the angle where the sages gather."

What that means exactly is open to interpretation, but it's certainly evocative of the revolutionary pursuit of happiness embodied in both the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. It's also quite an evident Masonic metaphor of geometry and gives a sense that a small elite can guide, that this elite can be found in a certain physical space. (Perhaps huddled in the corner of a café smoking unfiltered Gauloises, unshaven, all sporting black turtleneck sweaters!)

The author of the quote is one Jean-Jacques Lequeu, an obscure and idiosyncratic Revolutionary-era architect and artist. Lequeu is known for his fantastic architectural designs, but he also dabbled in erotic book illustration and if some self-portraits are any indication, occasional transvesticism.

James Steven Curl, in The Egyptian Revival, speaks about the Egyptianism in the arts which followed Napoleon's expeditions there. Having brought back a variety of obelisks and mummies to display in the Louvre and on the streets of Paris, Napoleon initiated a new wave of interest in that ancient culture. Unsurprisingly, as the Egyptians had and have continued to exert a fascination on the public at large and with anyone seeking to claim an ancient lineage--witness the "Egyptian" rites of Freemasonry developed in the 18th and 19th centuries, for example. Egypt evokes power, stability and almost supernatural architectural abilities. Why not hop on their backs?

Curl remarks: "Many of the designs of Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757-1825)....were Egyptianising in an overt way, for he used bogus hieroglyphs, canted and corbelled arches, and themes owing more to Piranesi than to archaeology....his work was intimately connected to Freemasonry." (p. 198)

Further on in his book, Curl writes of two drawings by Lequeu, one of the Temple of Wisdom (c. 1800): "these pronounced Egyptianesque leanings....The temple tympanum celebrates the statement that happiness, welfare or prosperity lie in the angle, quoin or corner where the wise are assembled: it is therefore unquestionably Freemasonic." (p. 219)

And you thought our interpretation of his quote was far-fetched! The Blagnac pyramid then, is both unquestionably an homage to Lequeu and to Freemasonic ideals.

The following links give some biographical details about this enigmatic architect: Another general look at the man. In German--the pictures are outstanding. In French; excellent
juxtaposition of anatomical studies of the vagina and the architectural renderings based upon them.... A not entirely sympathetic series of musing upon Lequeu. Though not specifically about Lequeu, this article gives a lot of context regarding the Egyptian revival, Freemasonry, and architecture parlante.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ant Gloves

We received an email in response to a previous post that has forced us, under penalties of "print this or else,mutherfucker," to post the following message, though I can't say we agree:

"WTF? yer mad b/c our boys become men by killing arabs? in brazil they become men by sticking their hands into gloves made out of poison bugs. where would y9u rather grow up. pussies."

The Ballad of the Singing Loo # 5

There's now a suit from the FBI who stands in the bathroom all day long till the library closes. He never sits, not even to shit, not even to eat. I couldn't figure it out until I realized that there were actually two of them and some unseen changing of the guards.

I recognized them both, of course, from their earlier assignment, checking various patron records. This was even before the RNC was officially set here. On rainy days or spring thaws, scraggly hooded boys from the Urban Explorer's Action Squad used to come in and pore over the old sewer maps down in the subbasement where I worked ("when it's rainin', don't go drainin'"). The two suits would drop into the shadows and emerge the next day to examine the same maps.

Kevin, before he was laid off, had fun turning the tables, pulling the records of the two Feds to see what they were reading. He tried to chat them up, offer some reading recommendations, and he claimed that one of them was really into Daniel Clowes, that he'd actually caught the guy walking out of a bathroom stall with our copy of Like a Velvet Fist Cast in Iron. But of course you couldn't believe half of what Kevin said, even when it was true.

Anyhow, the two suits were older and must've resented this crap assignment, guns holstered and standing in the john all day being mistaken for queers. You could just imagine their younger bosses with their promising carreers and their blonde wives. These two were, in short, dangerous. I took to shitting at home.

Previously on Laws of Silence:
* The Ballad of the Singing Loo

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Be Prepared

Not to come across like squeamish liberals, but this article about recent trends in Learning for Life, or Exploring--a program affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America--is rather disconcerting. (Gays and atheists not welcome, naturally.)

The kind of quote snarky journalists can only dream of:

Cathy Noriego, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses compressed-air guns — known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets — in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed range.

“I like shooting them,” Cathy said. “I like the sound they make. It gets me excited.”

Playing guns is good fun to kids of all ages, of course, but there's something a bit odd when adults from the Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security are leading them on.

Be sure to check out the slide show. It will either warm the cockles of your heart or chill you to the bone, depending on your point of view.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sorta Famous People & UFOs

This is, I hope, the beginning of a new meme ... or, perhaps more accurately, the first recognition of that which already exists!!!

Mr. T., actor, sports a mohawk, muscles, and the gift of the gab: "I’m a Christian – I really don’t believe in UFOs. My explanation of all the apparent sightings is that the United States are constantly experimenting with weapons, and people mistake the flashes and bangs for alien action. The Government is quite happy to let folk believe they’re seeing men from outer space instead of the testing of stealth bombs, as it helps to keep the Russians from discovering their secrets. Plus, I think some people are wussies who blame their problems on ‘aliens’ when they’re in a bad situation; something happens to them that they can’t face up to, and they blank it out and start saying, 'Aliens beamed me up! Sure, that’s what happened! That’s why I’m screwed up!' It’s an excuse for not facing up to an unpleasant truth that truly exists in their world."

Edgar Mitchell, astronaut, grew up in Roswell and walked on the moon: "No, we're not alone ... Our destiny, in my opinion, and we might as well get started with it, is [to] become a part of the planetary community. ... We should be ready to reach out beyond our planet and beyond our solar system to find out what is really going on out there ... Being a local boy [of Roswell] and having been to the moon, they [the people of Roswell] considered me reliable enough to whisper in my ear their particular story ... I urge those who are doubtful: Read the books, read the lore, start to understand what has really been going on. Because there really is no doubt we are being visited ... The universe that we live in is much more wondrous, exciting, complex and far-reaching than we were ever able to know up to this point in time."

Dennis Kucinich, frequent presidential candidate, married a really hot babe: "Uh, I did [see a UFO] ... It was an unidentified flying object, OK? It's like, it's unidentified. I saw something. Now, to answer your question. I'm moving my, and I'm also going to move my campaign office to Roswell, New Mexico, and another one in Exeter, New Hampshire, OK? And also, you have to keep in mind that Jimmy Carter saw a UFO, and also that more people in this country have seen UFOs than I think approve of George Bush's presidency."