Author Archives: balladeer

About balladeer

I am passionately interested in college sports, ancient Greek comedies, bad/weird movies, mythology, the American Revolution, Puck Magazine, World War I, U.S. Presidential history, silent movies, the English Civil War, epic, lyric and comic poetry, U.S. Supreme Court history, the Revolutions of 1848, the Philippine War and old pulp heroes like The Moon Man, Pilot G8, Silver John and The Rio Kid.


BegottenBEGOTTEN (1990) – Written and directed by E. E. Merhige, this black and white art film runs 72 minutes. Merhige later directed Shadow of the Vampire, a surreal horror movie about the making of the silent film Nosferatu.

Begotten was grandly described by its creator as a depiction of “the death and rebirth of gods.” If that didn’t make critics and viewers of the time want to belt Merhige in his pretentious face then the movie itself did. Okay, I’m largely just joking with that remark, but I’m sincere when I say that Begotten IS one of those experimental films that practically dares viewers to dismiss it as nonsense masquerading as art. 

Begotten 2I like Begotten but if I was doing a promo blurb for it I would avoid its director’s lofty tagline and instead use something like “It begins with God committing suicide … Then it gets weird.”

The opening several minutes of this movie – the portion where God does indeed kill itself – have been all over YouTube for well over a decade. The footage seems to have inspired many of the creepy, black and white, nonsensically macabre videos that uploaders post when trying to start an Alternate Reality Game or just to get easy hits from sheer weirdness.  (Think of Plague Doctor masks and such.)     Continue reading



Filed under Halloween Season


Islamophobia posterIslam, the most misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic and otherwise intolerant religion in the world at this particular time struck again in Paris a few days ago.

One police officer is dead and another injured from yet ANOTHER “Known Wolf” Muslim fascist.

Another terrorist attack and another Muslim fascist to blame.

For an excellent discussion of Islamofascism click HERE


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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion


Raffles 1RAFFLES (1975-1977) – A. J. Raffles, the master thief and star Cricket player was created by E.W. Hornung – the brother-in- law of Arthur Conan Doyle. As all Raffles fans know, A.J. and his bumbling assistant Bunny Manders were intended as a tongue in cheek criminal answer to Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.  

The camaraderie was similar, the Victorian to Edwardian Age setting was similar, the use of the sidekick as a device to have the expert character explain things to the reader was similar and good GOD, was the unintended homo-eroticism similar.

Raffles 5Raffles was portrayed by a long line of suave, debonair actors, from John Barrymore in Silent Movies on up through David Niven and others in Talkies. In my opinion, this 1970s British television series served up the best rendition of the iconic character.

Anthony Valentine perfectly embodies the sly, charming bon vivant whose public fame as a first-rate Cricket player helps conceal his secret avocation as a master jewel thief. Christopher Strauli does the best that any actor can be expected to do with the thankless role of the baby-faced, naïve and often inept sidekick Bunny. Continue reading

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Filed under Forgotten Television


democratic party donkey

“Oppressing people while posing as the oppressed.”

In keeping with their vow to “beat dissenters bloody to show how compassionate we are” the DemoKKKrats and their affiliated groups like BLM (Klansmen of Color) are demanding that hospitals who admit Trump supporters for treatment be burned to the ground.  


When it was pointed out to the DemoKKKrats and BLM that innocent people would also suffer the two fascist groups officially replied “Hospitals which send the Trump supporters who need medical treatment out to us oppressed and vulnerable people will be spared destruction. Those Trump supporters that are turned over to us will suffer the People’s Vengeance for the way they made us feel unsafe.”

Career criminal Hillary Clinton, the President of California,  tweeted her solidarity with the bloodthirsty mob and  – unsurprisingly – was joined by Senator John McCain of Arizona. Continue reading

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Black CondorRegular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know that words like eccentric, oddball, offbeat, weird and damn crazy come to mind when describing me. So, that being the case the most appropriate superhero mascot for this site is the Black Condor.

That’s the Golden Age Black Condor, who debuted in 1940 and is now in the public domain, not the newer comic book characters going by that name. The original Black Condor appeals to me in the same way that bad movies do. Here are the six reasons why this figure has long been my favorite weirdass Golden Age superhero:

ONE: HE STARRED IN A COMIC BOOK TITLED CRACK COMICS! Yep. Crack Comics number 1 marked the first appearance of the Black Condor. Very appropriate for a hero whose whole story sounds like it was inspired by smoking a crack pipe. Continue reading

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Filed under humor, Superheroes


Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE 

Orchard Hill Polo shirtSEMIFINAL ONE: ORCHARD HILL VS FLEXJET – Orchard Hill – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Clubmen – are the defending Open champions from last year. Their opponents in this Match, Flexjet – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Aviators – are one of the two teams from this year’s U.S. Open which boast a female team member.

FIRST CHUKKER – Melissa Ganzi and her Flexjet teammates demonstrated once again why they went undefeated in Pool Play and the opening Elimination Round. That earlier excellence earned them a Bye to the Semifinals and the well-rested Aviators shut out Orchard Hill to take a 2 Goals to None lead.  

International Polo ClubSECOND CHUKKER – The Clubmen showed the proverbial Heart of a Champion this time around, doing just enough to keep Flexjet from getting at their jugular so they could stay alive. Defense was the name of the game in the 2nd as each foursome swatted in just 1 Goal apiece. Orchard Hill now trailed by a count of 3-1.

THIRD CHUKKER – The defending champs not only shut out the Aviators in this Chukker, but they prevented them from getting off even a single shot on Goal from the field! Flexjet did score on a 30-yard Penalty Shot, however, but the Clubmen managed to keep pace with an answering Goal of their own. The teams went into Halftime with the Aviators on top 4-2.    Continue reading

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Filed under Polo


bellona-and-rennellKAUKAUGOGO – This most beautiful of goddesses was the only being to ever be born in Poo’ungi, the land of the dead. Her father and mother – Kangebu and Teatamatu’a – had migrated to and established a residence in the underworld while they were both still alive.

Because they were already in the land of the dead they could not die. When their daughter was born they bathed her (kaukau) in coconut oil (gogo), hence her name. (But she is also known as Koginuku.) Being born in Poo’ungi put Kaukaugogo on a par with the gods. 

Kaukaugogo’s beauty was so overwhelming she caught the attention of all the male deities. Continue reading

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Filed under Mythology