After 10 years of unparalleled awesome, I have combed out my dreadlocks. Yes, combed out. All of them. Well, all except for two, because I am a monster who cannot resist the urge to hack at her own hair with a pair of children’s craft scissors.
There was no mystic or conspiratorial reason behind this, and I didn’t find any alien implants in my newly revealed scalp (unfortunately). There’s actually nothing at all batshit about this post, except for possibly the 20+ hours of effort I put into something as superficial as changing hairstyles. But if you’re thinking about combing out your own dreads, need to build up courage for a radical hair change, or even just want to check out 10 years of dread styles and colours, click through to the full post.
Total Batshit is getting surprisingly regular traffic, so I guess I’m not the only person interested in this stuff. Thank you for stopping by, random visitors! If you like what you see, please scroll down and sign up to follow this blog via email.
I have a couple of projects keeping me busy at the moment (their codenames being “Adventure Time”, “beer” and “unnecessary quotation marks”), so it could be a fortnight before my next proper post. In the meantime, check out this article about the Korean Airlines Flight 007 conspiracy theory. It’s classic Reagan-era Batshit that reminds us “One should never underestimate the role of stupidity in history.”
Sorry for the radio silence, Batshitters, but I’ve spent much of the last month in a depressive slump, making it hard to get things done. “Why so serious?” you ask? Oh, just watching Australia piss its future down the drain, no biggie…
I need some cheering up, and if you’re reading this I’ll assume you do too. So let’s share some LOLs as we ruthlessly mock 6 Politicians With Alien Connections.
1. Jimmy Carter
Former President Jimmy Carter saw a UFO when he visited Leary, Georgia in 1969 (presumably to appear as guest of honour at a peanut-farming symposium). He’s told the story in numerous interviews, including this one on Larry King Live:
Carter reported the incident to Oklahoma City’s International UFO Bureau in 1973, and an investigation was carried out in 1976. Only one other person recalled seeing anything in the sky that night; an object they described as “some kind of weather balloon” (just like the crash at Roswell. How many of those things do you need, America?).
While Carter has repeatedly stated that he does NOT believe he saw an alien spacecraft, during his presidential campaign he promised that if elected he would release all information regarding UFO sightings. This didn’t happen, probably because Carter was faffing about with his duties as Leader of the Free World. Whatever, J-Dog!
2. Paul Hellyer
Former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer believes there are 80 different alien species zipping around the universe, four of which have been visiting Earth for thousands of years. Their hobbies include dressing as nuns so they can go shopping in Vegas (because how else would you disguise yourself if you wanted to go unnoticed in Sin City?) and ripping off Star Trek (see the Prime Directive).
While the prospect of a ’60s Defence Minister (even a Canadian one) confirming the existence of intelligent, butt-probing life sounds promising, unfortunately Hellyer does not have any first-hand proof to back up his claims. He has never met an alien, and while a couple of UFO reports landed on his desk back in the day, he never investigated any of them. In fact, Hellyer’s own belief seems to be based entirely upon his reading of The Day After Roswell, as well as the fact that he’s about a hundred years old. A bit of a shame, really, because I respect his Fin Review-style message of WORLD IS FUKT.
3. Ronald Reagan
Former President Ronald Reagan must have been a dream come true for the National Enquirer. He followed Astrology (to the extent that he and his wife Nancy installed a full-time advisor after the assassination attempt) and believed Abraham Lincoln’s ghost haunted the White House. He also had two close encounters, the first of which occurred while he was on his way to a party thrown by Lucille Ball. According to actress Shirley MacLaine, Ronald and Nancy watched a spaceship land and an ET occupant emerge. The visitor spoke with the couple and recommended that Ronald give up acting and enter politics, a story that puts a serious hole in the theory of “advanced” alien intelligence.
Evidently these encounters left quite an impression on Reagan, as many of his speeches mentioned aliens and space invasions. Have a listen while I check if he has a screenwriting credit in Independence Day:
4. John Key
Great news, guys – New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is NOT a Reptilian alien. Phew!
After Auckland man Shane Warbrooke made a freedom of information request for “Any evidence to disprove the theory that Mr John Key is in fact a David Icke-style shapeshifting reptilian alien ushering humanity towards enslavement,” Keys sought the advice of a doctor and a vet, both of whom confirmed his dull humanity. At least, that’s what he says! I agree with this blog – if Keys is a Lizard Man hell-bent on world domination, he’s probably not going to admit it.
5. Nixon (does he even need a first name?)
This… I don’t even have to… WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?!
Former President (and current head in a jar) Nixon was well known for his love of sports, but it seems not even he could maintain interest in a full game of golf. After playing a few holes with actor Jackie Gleason (aka Ralph Kramden, domestic violence enthusiast and inspiration for Fred Flintstone), the conversation turned to the subject of UFOs. Later that evening, Nixon turned up unexpectedly at Gleason’s home and offered to show him something. The President then drove the unauthorised, unqualified, civilian entertainer to Homestead Air Force Base, where he showed him some mangled alien corpses. This would have allowed him to tick yet another achievement off his World’s Shittest President to-do list.
According to Gleason’s then-wife, the frightened actor confided in her when he returned home, asking her not to repeat the story to anyone. Unfortunately for him, she spilled the beans in an interview she gave during their separation period, which pissed Gleason off enough to end the marriage once and for all. It was only when he got upset that she wondered if he might have made the whole thing up…
6. Simon Parkes
Whitby Councillor Simon Parkes claims he is abducted four times a year so that he can have sex with his alien wife, with whom he shares a child named Zarka. He experienced his first alien contact while still in the womb, and his first physical encounter at the age of six months. He also lost his virginity to a space hologram when he was five.
Apparently the reason for the intergalactic interest in Parkes is not his awe-inspiring comb-over, but the fact that he himself is part alien. His “true” mother is a 2.7m tall Reptilian who… Wait, aren’t Reptilians the bad guys? And he’s admitting being one? Why isn’t David Icke dissecting, or at least interrogating, him right now?
Here’s a two-hour interview conducted by Project Avalon. I think I got to about 1hr 45min before my brain snapped.
Still feeling depressed? Leave a comment to vote for the politician you’d most like to see abducted and probed.
I have some pretty nerdy interests (not surprising for someone who blogs about aliens and conspiracies), but it wasn’t until I met my partner that I entered the shameful world of RPGs. Not wanting to disgrace myself alone, I quickly dragged down some of our friends, and we now get together on a semi-regular basis to play Dungeons & Dragons, RuneQuest, Mutants & Masterminds, and whatever other random game temporarily grabs our interest.
Our group is pretty relaxed, so we usually end up drinking a lot and trying to screw up the GM/DM’s carefully laid plans. For arseholes like us, there’s no greater satisfaction than seeing the gut-punch expression on our GM’s face when we insta-kill a boss monster by stabbing it in its enchanted shin, or talk some maniac out of beheading us simply by being adorable. It’s not the success or violence we enjoy, but shitting all over something that one of our friends has spent hours working on. That’s just the sort of people we are.
Arseholery aside, you may wonder where my initial interest came from. I’m not really a huge fan of video games or the fantasy/sci-fi genres, so how did I even learn that D&D existed? Well, from movies like this:
The “sensational conspiracy of murder” was hatched between 20-year-old Chris Pritchard and two of his college friends, who plotted to kill Pritchard’s mother and stepfather (Bonnie and Lieth Von Stein) so that he could make an early claim on his $2 million inheritance. The three young men attacked the Von Steins one night while they slept; Bonnie Von Stein was badly injured, and Lieth Von Stein was killed.
The “sensational” part of the crime was not the cold-hearted greed or the privileged background of the perpetrators, but the fact that they played Dungeons & Dragons together. This united them in a Satanic pact of blood and death that blurred the lines between fantasy and reality… supposedly.
The Pritchard crimes were committed in 1988, after almost a decade of D&D hysteria. Groups such as BADD (Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons, which is quite an understated name when you consider their accusations) claimed that the game was addictive, dangerously absorbing and lured unsuspecting children into witchcraft and devil worship. Concerned (paranoid) citizens (lunactics) distributed pamphlets, went on talk shows and even wrote books to spread the word and try to get the game banned.
The propaganda was ridiculous. Check out these brilliant examples:
Contents page from a BADD “information” pamphlet. (Source: theescapist.com)
According to these sources, as well as some contemporary news reports, more than a few teachers, psychiatrists and law enforcers shared BADD’s fears. One of my absolute favourite quotes is from the 1988 book Stairway To Hell by Rick Jones (whoever that is). In it, an ex-police officer/occult lecturer is reported as saying that D&D is “..supposed to be a board game, but kids play it for life and death on the street.”
Please let this be true, and please, PLEASE let someone turn it into a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Lauryn Hill.
(Original image source: hiphopisland.com)
God, how I wish these ideas were true. One of my characters is a halfling cannibal druid who morphs into a honey badger during combat – I would be crazy to turn down that sort of power! But, alas, all D&D has ever taught me are some basic flanking rules and the average number of standard drinks it takes to make our Irish friend fall asleep mid-sentence (hint: it’s a lot).
The freak-out over Dungeons & Dragons was really an offshoot of Satanic Panic, which had spread throughout the US and other countries following the McMartin Preschool trial and the release of the (now discredited) autobiography Michelle Remembers. Most of the controversy died during the late ’90s, when the various Murdoch newstatorships very kindly gave the public other things to be scared of. However, the odd story still pops up.
To me, the irony of moral panics is that it is often much scarier to be a part of the demonised group (ie: a D&D player or “Satanist”) than the supposedly terrorised majority. In a column titled How We Won the War on Dungeons & Dragons, Annalee Newitz recalls how some young gamers were “..ostracised by their peers, kicked out of public schools, and sent to glorified re-education camps by parents who feared their children were about to start sacrificing babies to Lolth the spider demon.”