DEAD AND RESURRECTED DEITIES OF THE DISTANT PAST

Persephone and pomegranateSpring keeps trying to arrive but this bitter winter refuses to give up just yet. Our nationwide longing to be liberated from the tyrannical grip of winter made this a good time to examine some of the ancient myths about winter and the coming of spring. The celebration of those myths at this time of year plus the fact that many of those myths centered around dead and resurrected deities necessitated Christianity’s attempt to superimpose its OWN dead and resurrected deity over top of those older stories. Hence the celebration of Easter in springtime. (And it’s not just Christianity that behaved that way – other religions also would superimpose their own celebrations over top of those held in honor of the previously dominant gods in their region. I’ll cover the behavior of those other belief systems – especially Islam and the Incan faith – another time.)

Not all seasonal myths conformed to the following pattern. I’m limiting this list to the ones that did.

PERSEPHONE

Pantheon: Greek (The Romans called her Proserpine)

The Tale: Persephone was the beautiful daughter of the goddess Demeter (Ceres to the Romans). Persephone caught the eye of Hades, the god who ruled over the realm of the dead. Overcome with lust Hades (Pluto to the Romans) emerged from his subterranean domain and stole Persephone away to his realm to become his Queen.

The Savior: Demeter went searching for her daughter throughout the world, often assuming the form of a mortal woman. Her search wore on and on with no results, causing Demeter to fall more and more deeply into despair. Because she was the goddess of nature that despair manifested itself in colder weather, in the leaves falling off the trees, other vegetation dying and some animals hibernating or migrating to flee the cold.  Continue reading

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FINAL COLLEGE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE SEASON DECIDED

* NCAA DIVISION TWO *

Florida Southern College MocsCHAMPIONSHIP GAME – Balladeer’s Blog’s college basketball coverage for the 2014-2015 season officially comes to a close with this final title game in the divisions covered here. The sole remaining 1 seed – the FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE MOCCASINS – played the 3rd seeded INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA CRIMSON HAWKS. The Crimson Hawks had upset three other 1 seeds along the way (D2 has eight 1 seeds in its tournament) but the Moccasins proved to be too much for them. Continue reading

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MALDOROR 2:2 – THE LASH OF LIGHTNING ACROSS MY BROW

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.

THE LASH OF LIGHTNING ACROSS MY BROW

Maldoror 2.2We now move on to the 2nd Canto of The Songs of Maldoror. For the benefit of newcomers I’ll point out that prose translations of this work are plentiful for those who don’t like poetry. I’m continuing my practice of assigning unofficial titles to each part simply to make cross-referencing easier since otherwise we have just the numbers to go by.

The first part of the 2nd Canto (or Maldoror 2:1) is simply an address to the reader from the author Isidore Ducasse, the self-designated Count de Lautreamont. I’ll pick up with the second part of the 2nd Canto, or Maldoror 2:2.  

The supernatural being Maldoror opens this part by recounting how God tried to prevent him from continuing with his bizarre, blasphemous writings. At first the deity attempted to paralyze our vile protagonist’s hands whenever he would try to put pen to paper. Maldoror overcame those efforts so God tries a more direct approach and unleashes a thunderstorm on our main character’s home.  Continue reading

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: D2 SEMIFINALS

* NCAA DIVISION TWO *

Florida Southern College MocsFINAL FOUR – GAME ONE – This semifinal game pitted two 1 seeds against each other – the FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE MOCCASINS and the BELLARMINE UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS. After an action-packed opening Half the Moccasins held a 40-36 lead over the Knights at the break. In the 2nd Half Florida Southern College withstood all the comeback efforts of Bellarmine University and walked away with a 79-76 victory. Dominique Williams led the Moccasins with his 22 points.   Continue reading

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HOW STUPID IS BARACK OBAMA? THE LATEST EDITION

Bergdahl coverAs always Balladeer’s Blog is the only site on the web that cuts through the b.s. in the “Liberals vs Conservatives” conflict and criticizes BOTH sides equally. Here’s the latest look at the blunders of the weak, inept and crooked little man named Barack Obama, who apparently wanted to win a $20 bet with a friend that he could do an even worse job than the repulsive George W Bush.

BERGDAHL BLUES – Obama’s original blunder in exchanging an obvious deserter like Bowe Bergdahl for FIVE high-level Al Qaeda operatives was compounded by his usual pouty refusal to face reality. EVERY report – except from his White House staff – emphasized Bergdahl’s sleazy nature, but the only thing the Obama Administration knows how to do is blunder, then lie and lie and lie for MONTHS before admitting their mistake.

Bergdahl - died looking for him

The six men who died trying to find Bergdahl before it was realized that he deserted.

Finally, after avoiding the inevitable since last summer, Obama’s Defense Department is officially charging Bergdahl with desertion. And this after months of publicly slandering the men in Bergdahl’s unit who came forward about his desertion and snubbing the families of the soldiers who died searching for Bergdahl. How dead inside is Little Barry that he can do these things?  

Remember how he insisted for years that the Fort Hood terrorist attack was “workplace violence” instead?

And there’s much, much more stupidity from Obama in the past few weeks. Continue reading

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FINAL FOUR BERTHS FILLED FOR NCAA DIVISION TWO

* NCAA DIVISION TWO *

IUP Crimson HawksFINAL FOUR – FIRST BERTH – This year four of D2’s eight 1 seeds advanced to these Quarterfinal games. (D2 starts with 8 Regions of 8 teams seeded 1-8) In this particular hardcourt clash the 3rd seeded INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA CRIMSON HAWKS toppled the 1 seeded AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY COUGARS. The Crimson Hawks were trailing the Cougars by just 33-31 at Halftime and after a brutal, hard-fought 2nd Half had defeated Azusa Pacific by a score of 69-65. Devante Chance led IUP with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.   Continue reading

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INVASION USA (1952) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

iusa_main_header.gif (400×298) Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault! In the middle 1980’s, way down on Level 31 Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class hosted this neglected cult show. Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s 30th anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday September 28th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00 am.

Flash Gordon Conquers the UniverseSERIAL:  Before showing and mocking the movie our members of the Film Vault Corps showed and mocked a chapter of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). In that serial Ming the Merciless unleashes a disease called the Purple Death on Earth, prompting Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr Zarkov to fly to the planet Mongo to find a cure and defeat Ming for good.

FV1985002FILM VAULT LORE: Fellow Film Vault Fan Doctor X-Rae ( a lady, hence the spelling) informed me that this 1952 film was shown by our boys as part of a promotional give-away of tickets to the Chuck Norris movie Invasion USA which was hitting theaters back then. This would have been similar to the ticket give-away a month or so earlier to the 1985 Godzilla remake, for which Randy and Richard showed King Kong vs Godzilla

HOST SEGMENTS: Some potential dispute here. Dr X-Rae thinks that this was the episode that showed Randy and Richard seeming to quit the Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) and through an oddball series of events, winding up in front of a firing squad … and getting shot!

Invasion USA hedda hopperIt all turns out to be a dream – see my interview with Randy Clower for details. This would all tie in with the “it’s only a dream” style ending of Invasion USA (1952 version) but there’s no hard and fast rule that the Host Segments HAD to parallel the night’s movie. Randy himself is unable to help as he doesn’t recall either way. (I think I’ve drained the poor man’s mind of every shred of Texas 27 Film Vault memories at this point.) 

THE MOVIE: Continue reading

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