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.


Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT IN THE 1850s, CLICK HERE  

Fool Killer garbPART 57 – Some of the Fool Killer’s targets in the July 1912 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s version of The Fool-Killer. As I always point out, Pearson was difficult to categorize, which makes things interesting because he combines what we think of as left-wing and right-wing attitudes.

*** As an example of what might be labeled a left-wing viewpoint, Pearson and his Fool Killer targeted One Percenters like today’s Bush Family, Biden Family, Big Tech Fascists, etc. His 1912 way of putting it was to point out the difference between the Ninety-Nine Percent, or “the ninety and nine” among the working class and the poor, and “the one” or One Percenters who exploit the ninety and nine.

*** As an example of what might be labeled a right-wing viewpoint, Pearson and his Fool Killer pushed the virtues of religion and sticking to the teachings of Jesus.

*** The Fool Killer targeted traveling snake-oil salesmen, who in 1912 still roamed the country with their rip-off “medicines” of dubious content. Continue reading

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Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion


Marvel Mania is relentless! Already I’ve been hearing it from regular readers who have come to look forward to these harmless, escapist looks at superheroes on weekends. Here’s one for this weekend, a bit later than I usually get them posted. 

starlord 1MARVEL PREVIEW Vol 1 #4 (January 1976)


Villains: Ariguans

Comment: This tale presented a Peter Quill quite different from the way he would be retconned by the time the character joined Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy decades later. This Peter Quill grew up feeling tormented by his secret half-alien parentage after his mother was killed in an attack by aliens called Ariguans.

Peter trained to become an astronaut and ultimately wound up serving on a space station, where an entity called the Master of the Sun granted Quill his powers, weapons and sentient vessel called Ship to become an intergalactic adventurer called Star-Lord. The figure let Star-Lord avenge himself on his mother’s killers so he could start his duties unencumbered by a personal vendetta.    Continue reading

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marie lordsWith the Frontierado holiday coming up on Friday August 6th it’s time for another seasonal blog post. Marie Lords is still remembered for her 1861 quote “A cowgirl gets up early in the morning, decides what she wants to do, and does it.”

With increasing numbers of “menfolk” going off to serve in the Civil War that was raging, plenty of other women gained experience working as cowgirls like Marie had been doing.

From cowgirl to entertainer, Marie Lords’ life deserved a lot more attention than it has gotten. Continue reading

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democrats and republicans cartoonNobody can control their skin color or the country in which they’re born, but they CAN control what political party they belong to. Independent Voter site Balladeer’s Blog takes another look at the Democrats’ ongoing, rabid attacks on the rest of us.

democrat platform hatredAnd by “the rest of us” I mean Independent Voters, Third Party Voters, basically any non-Democrat voters. Even people who profess to be apolitical are learning that it’s no protection from the totalitarian loons who call themselves Democrats here in 2021. While the corrupt, buffoonish office-holders of the Republican Party redefine their irrelevance every single day the Democrats have made adherence to their party’s talking points a de facto requirement for employment in education (LMAO), entertainment, the military and (increasingly) elsewhere.

repub dem other(And don’t claim that’s an exaggeration unless you’re willing to leave a comment fully identifying yourself and stating which issues you disagree with the Democrat Party about. Say, regarding how many sexes there are or if children should be allowed to start taking transition drugs, or if children age two are “racists”.) 

Some of the latest (click the item to read a full article): 

DEMOCRAT RACISM TOWARD ASIAN AMERICANS CONTINUES. They’ve even taken to calling Asian Americans “white adjacent” so they can lump them in with their White Privilege talking points.


COMBAT CENSORSHIP BY THE DEMOCRATS AT FACEBOOK BY JOINING NEXTDOOR. Yet another alternative to Democrat social media monopolies.



Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion


Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of an epic myth of the Nyanga people of Africa.


MwindoMwindo is yet another semi-divine hero from global mythology. This epic will explore his unusual birth, his heroic deeds and victories over various monsters and hostile gods.

Many of the myths from Africa survived mostly in oral form until comparatively recent decades, so there are even more variations of African epics than readers may be used to. To cite just one example: Mwindo himself is usually referred to by the epithet Kabutwa-kenda, “the little one just born yet walking”. However there are a few versions of the myth in which Mwindo and Kabutwa-kenda are TWO SEPARATE FIGURES and are half-brothers.

masc graveyard smallerIn the versions where they are two separate entities Mwindo is a villainous figure while Kabutwa-kenda is the main hero of the epic. Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will be reminded of the Navajo twin gods Nayanazgeni and Thobadzistsini. Nayanazgeni was usually the hero of the epic about the defeat of the evil gods called the Anaye but in the Apache version of the myth his brother Thobadzistsini is the hero and Nayanazgeni is reduced to being a comic relief coward. 

To stay in the area of comparative mythology for a moment Mwindo also shares qualities with the Sumerian demigod Gilgamesh. Like Gilgamesh, Mwindo goes from being brashly overconfident about his own supernatural powers to becoming a more humble hero and more capable ruler as the tale goes on.

The Mwindo Epic begins in the village of Tubondo, surrounded by raphia trees and located on a high hill. The founder and Chief of the village was named Shemwindo and he had seven wives because the Nyanga considered seven to be the number of perfection. Nyanga villages had seven separate kinship halls even if there were not seven separate kinship groups in the village. This was done out of deference to the sheer perfection of the number seven.  Continue reading


Filed under Mythology


The annual Frontierado holiday arrives Friday, August 6th this year, so here is another seasonal post. As always, Frontierado is about the myth of the old west, not the grinding reality.

apache kidTHE APACHE KID – Born as Haskay-bay-nay-ntayl in the early 1860s this Apache legend and future outlaw leader was captured and enslaved by the Yuma Indians as a child. Freed by the U.S. Army the little boy became a street orphan/ camp mascot in army camps. Since his name was such a handful he was nicknamed the Apache Kid early on.

In 1881 former Union General Al Sieber was recruited by General George Crook to become his Head of Scouts. The Apache Kid enlisted that same year as one of the United States Army Indian Scouts whose tracking expertise was needed against their fellow Apaches who were actively fighting the army. Sieber grew to consider the Kid his finest Native American scout and by most accounts “practically adopted” the Apache Kid.

(Another figure who served as a scout under Al Sieber was Tom Horn, the future gunslinger and hired killer.)

apache kid wanted posterThe Apache Kid, who became a Sergeant by July of 1882, served under Sieber and General Crook during the Apache Wars, participating in the Battle of Cibecue Creek (August 1881), the Geronimo Campaigns/ War (1882-1886) and the Crawford Affair of 1886 which nearly started a second war between the U.S. and Mexico. American and Mexican troops inflicted a few fatalities on each other while hunting for Geronimo. Continue reading




chrissie mayrBalladeer’s Blog has become addicted to the podcasts, YT videos and other appearances of the brilliant and daring comedienne Chrissie Mayr. Chrissie’s irreverent stand-up comedy performances have always been entertaining and her natural rapid-fire wit makes the interviews she conducts can’t-miss material. She’s also made a memorable appearance on Nerdrotic’s channel where she executed some material that lived up to her reputation for gutsy “Oh my God, she didn’t just say THAT did she?” humor. Continue reading

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Filed under humor, opinion


joe biden extra creepyIn my opinion Joe Biden is the new George W Bush in so many ways. Both men brought disaster upon the U.S. while enriching themselves and their cronies, and both men were selected, rather than elected, joining Rutherford B Hayes as the three presidents who – as the evidence indicates – did not really win their elections. (Links below)

Biden is creepyFor the umpteenth time I will remind Biden supporters that they need to relax – it is far too late to remove Creepy Joe and replace him with Trump, no matter how much talk they hear about that happening. But corrupt and senile Joe Biden will wear an eternal taint like Bush from the contested 2000 election and Hayes from the contested 1876 election. And needless to say, many Republicans resent reasonable people for pointing this out about George W Bush and many Democrats resent reasonable people for pointing this out about Joe Biden. Grow up, partisan fanatics. 

Biden as creep from fam guyGeorge W Bush was being contained until the 9-11 attacks were exploited by him in atrocious ways that continue to scar the country. Joe Biden, as head of the Biden Crime Family, hasn’t hesitated in the least in unleashing disaster on the nation. And, by the way, BIDEN STILL HAS KIDS IN CAGES. More than either Trump OR Obama. Plus EVEN BIDEN’S OWN PEOPLE ARE NOW ADMITTING THE CHANCE THAT COVID ORIGINATED IN A WUHAN LAB. And BIDEN’S NOMINEE TO HEAD THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT has been tied to calls for violence against government officials. (Again, links below) Continue reading

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion


jokerTHE JOKER – Time to examine another neglected Pulp Hero in the tradition of Balladeer’s Blog’s looks at the Moon Man, Silver John, the Nyctalope, G-8 & His Battle Aces and Northwest Smith. This time it’s the Joker, but not THAT one. Before the comic book villain and even before Conrad Veidt’s turn as Gwynplaine in The Man Who Laughs (1926), came the 1919 Pulp Magazine figure called the Joker.

NOTE: Sometimes people mistakenly think Pulp Magazines were the same as comic books, only earlier. However, the Pulps were TEXT STORIES, not sequential art like comic books. The Pulps did have colorful, striking covers like later comic books would have and sometimes a few illustrations in the stories but the Pulps were a much higher level of storytelling.

The 1919 Joker was created by Hugh Kahler, who the year before had created the White Rook, another hero/ villain of the Pulps. In some ways the Joker was a rehash of Kahler’s own White Rook crossed with Guy Boothby’s Simon Carne/ Klimo crime figure from 1897. Continue reading

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kang picIn the past handful of days Balladeer’s Blog’s 2017 blog posts examining the Marvel Comics villain Kang the Conqueror and some of his other selves like Immortus and Rama Tut have been getting incredible amounts of hits. I looked into it and it turns out that when the latest Marvel streaming miniseries, Loki, ended, the cliffhanger involved Kang and Immortus at Immortus’ castle in Limbo, the realm outside the time stream.

immI thought that people were just going to my 2017 blog posts because they had no idea who Kang and Immortus are. Instead, I started getting comments from readers expressing thanks for the clarity of the “Timey-Wimey” nature of Kang’s labyrinthine saga. They said that the people writing the Loki miniseries plopped everything into the far later stages of the Kang/ Immortus stories, bypassing the earlier tales that would help people understand it.

So, in the style of an FAQ, here are the links to my articles which let people in on the Kang storyline from the beginning, through his eventual metamorphosis into Immortus by way of Rama Tut II, the Scarlet Centurion and others. Think of Kang’s various selves like you’d think of the Doctor’s various regenerations on Doctor Who to simplify it. Anyway, here are the links for my reviews of early Kang stories up through the Celestial Madonna Saga. (And with The Eternals movie coming, Marvel may well work the Celestials into their movie universe, too.)

Originally, Immortus wasn’t overseeing a “Sacred” Timeline as much as he was making sure events played out properly to bring on the Celestial Madonna.

kang bid tomorrowONE: BID TOMORROW GOODBYE – Kang wants the Celestial Madonna (Mantis, who started out as an Avenger in the 1970s) and reveals she has been the reason he frequently targeted the 20th Century. Agatha Harkness guest-stars, from the years when she was the Scarlet Witch’s mentor. CLICK HERE.

TWO: A BLAST FROM THE PAST – The actual, REAL death of an Avenger as the team tries to stop Kang from obtaining the Celestial Madonna, whose offspring would grant Kang control of all time and space. CLICK HERE

THREE: THE REALITY PROBLEM – The funeral for that first Avenger to be killed in action, plus further investigation into Mantis’ mysterious past to learn how she became destined to be the Celestial Madonna. CLICK HERE. Continue reading

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Filed under Superheroes