Category Archives: Mythology

FOOL KILLER FIFTY-ONE: NOVEMBER 1911

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 grayPART FIFTY-ONE – The Fool Killer is back to hurl his Truth Bombs at some more malefactors. NOTE: This month the Fool Killer added a Blacksnake Cattle Whip and a Double-Geared Buzz Saw to his arsenal of weapons. The one to whip the foolish, the other to slice skin off their backs. Some of the Fool Killer’s targets from James Larkin Pearson’s November of 1911 edition of The Fool-Killer:

*** The roughly seventeen multi-millionaires whose wealth supposedly allowed them to control the entire country. In more recent years that number has been lessened to around fifteen, but the basic sentiment remains the same – the country seems to exist for the profit and power of a very, very few.

*** Women who chewed tobacco. Pearson and his Fool Killer supported women’s right to vote but for some reason women chewing snuff really, really bothered him.

*** The federal authorities responsible for sending 12 year old Albert Dewey Carter to five years in prison for stealing $5.00 from the post office. 

*** Writer Upton Sinclair, whose wife Meta had just left him for poet Harry Kemp.

*** Corporation lawyers who “smothered their consciences for a fat salary.”  Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion

MYTHS OF FIJI – GODS AND OTHER ENTITIES ON THE SOUL’S JOURNEY

FOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S LOOK AT OVER TWENTY FIJIAN GODS CLICK HERE

Fiji 4The people of Fiji believed in an epic journey for the souls of the deceased. That journey is even more detailed than the Soul’s Journey envisioned by the Tupari of Brazil.

I. For four days the spirit of the deceased lingers in the vicinity of its host body’s death. Then it begins the long and perilous journey to Mbulu, the land of the dead.

II. Upon reaching the headlands at Naithobokoboko the spirit encounters the goddess LEWALEVU. This deity tries to prevent the soul from proceeding unless she is propitiated by offerings of leaves.

III. If the deceased successfully passes Lewalevu it next encounters the sandalwood tree at Vuniyasikinikini. The spirit is required to pinch the bark of the Yasi/ sandalwood tree with its fingernails.

              If the nails are long and sharp enough to sink into the bark it proves the person did not do much fighting or hard work in life. If its nails are short and dull it proves the deceased worked and fought hard in life and may continue their journey.

IV. Next awaits the goddess NANG-GA NANG-GA, the Devourer of Bachelors. Nang-ga Nang-ga sits on a black rock by the edge of the sea. On one side of her stone perch lap the ocean’s waves and on the other side steep jagged cliffs jut up to the skies. Continue reading

42 Comments

Filed under Mythology

CHARLEMAGNE: REINOLD ON ANGELICA’S MYSTIC ISLAND

FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE  

castleMAUGRIS (AKA MALAGIGI) THE ENCHANTER, freed from his undersea prison by Princess Angelica of Cathay, arrived back in Paris to rejoin Charlemagne’s court. Angelica had liberated him only on the condition that he trick Reinold, the Paladin she loved under magic compulsion, into visiting her enchanted island so she could continue wooing him.

Within a few days, Maugris engaged Reinold in conversation about some of the Paladin’s past adventures and upon Reinold confessing that he longed for even more daring escapades the enchanter asked if he was sure that was what he wanted. Reinold replied in the affirmative and Maugris asked him a second time. Again the answer was yes, so Maugris asked a third time and no sooner had the Paladin again said yes than the enchanter cast a spell on the warrior.

Reinold was teleported on board a magical ship which sailed along with no crew. After a search of the vessel had convinced Reinold that he was the only person on board, the Paladin noted that the ship was putting in at an island before it. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Mythology

ORION: THE ELVIS PRESLEY HOAX/ PUT-ON

5.1.2

It’s Battle of New Orleans Day AND Elvis Presley’s birthday! In the past I’ve posted my review of Change of Habit, the Elvis movie with him as a doctor, Mary Tyler Moore as a nun and Ed Asner as a cop. I’ve also posted about the musical in which Elvis IS Andrew Jackson – Rock ‘N’ Roll vs the Redcoats. (With an Ann-Margret drag queen as pirate Jean Lafitte. )

This blog post will dredge up the often-neglected Orion business from decades ago. It was a fun bit of nonsense that only the most far-gone Elvis Conspiracy Theorists take seriously. As always I consider conspiracy theories, put-ons, hoaxes and ARG’s to be modern variations of myth and folklore.

Yes, Elvis died in 1977. That’s not the point. The point is the way the whole Orion/ Jimmy Ellis/ Elvis Conspiracy rabbit hole deserves to be studied forever because of the way fiction and reality seemingly influenced each other to the point where they became almost inseparable.

Orion 2

I WANT EL SANTO AND I WANT HIM NOW!

If you’re new to these events get ready for the Elvis Presley equivalent of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast. And let me make it clear I’m not accusing anyone of anything. I have no idea what anyone’s motives were regarding any aspect of the following.

I’ll present the tale in the style of the fictional Carl Kolchak – as “items” in a list:

ITEM: Elvis Presley died in August of 1977, yet in the years that followed an ever-increasing body of folklore and myth would develop regarding the late rock star supposedly faking his own death. His motives varied according to the theory.

ITEM: For a time Elvis sightings seemed to outnumber sightings of Bigfoot, UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster combined.

ITEM: The novel Orion was published. Conspiracy lovers often cite either 1977, 1978 or 1979 as the year of publication, so you can see how deep some of the rabbit holes run.

ITEM: Orion featured a very Elvis-like young man from the American south who becomes a sensation as a rock singer. In the end the character Orion is so weary of the stresses of stardom that he fakes his own death to get away from it all.

Orion RebornITEM: Claims are made that enigmatic power players managed to get the novel removed from bookstores. The claims are sometimes accompanied by insinuations that this was done because the book might have struck too close to reality with its “fake death” ending.   

ITEM: A masked singer – who looks like a standard Elvis  impersonator except for the mask – appears and calls himself Orion. He begins releasing albums and performing in public. This Orion’s first album, tantalizingly titled Reborn, is released in 1978. Continue reading

20 Comments

Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion

CHARLEMAGNE: REINOLD AND ANGELICA

FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE

Forest of ArdenAFTER FERRAU THE MUSLIM HAD BEHEADED THE SLEEPING PRINCE ARGALIA, he once again mounted his horse and rode off eastward through the Forest of Arden, continuing his search for the fleeing Princess Angelica. Roland the Paladin was likewise scouring the forest for this woman who had bewitched so many men back at the court of Charlemagne.

Another Paladin, Reinold, was far ahead of the other pursuers of Angelica due to the supernatural speed of his enchanted horse, Bayard. In the Forest of Arden were two magical sources of water – a fountain that was hundreds of years old and from which flowed the Waters of Hatred, and a stream which carried the Waters of Love. (The Waters of Bemused Resignation were in a different forest altogether.) The parched Reinold came upon the fountain and unsuspectingly drank from it.

Suddenly he was filled with naked loathing for the princess he had til now felt passionately in love with. Disgusted with himself for having pursued this object of hatred he rode westward to return to the Emperor’s court. After a time he grew tired, so he dismounted and napped on the grass beneath the trees. Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under Mythology

CHARLEMAGNE: THE TOURNAMENT TO WIN THE CATHAY PRINCESS

FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE

paladins of charlemagneTHE NEXT MORNING, the 31 warriors who wanted to joust for the possession of Princess Angelica of Cathay donned their armor and rode together to the Fountain of the Pine. Angelica’s brother Argalia was awaiting them there.

With Maugris the Enchanter held captive by King Galafron of Cathay, as we saw last time around, none of the Paladins and Muslim soldiers knew that Argalia had the unfair advantage of a mystical lance which would unseat every combatant at its slightest touch.

Astolpho drew the first lot in our previous installment and so he was the first Paladin to face Angelica’s brother the prince. Argalia’s enchanted lance did its usual work of unseating Astolpho immediately upon contact. Astolpho was never noted for success with a lance, though he was deadly with a sword, so nothing much was made of him having been unseated. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Mythology

CHARLEMAGNE: THE PRINCESS OF CATHAY

CharlemagneChristmas time through Twelfth Night is the time of year that Balladeer’s Blog covers tales of Charlemagne and his Paladins. These tales are the legends, not the historical accounts of the real Emperor Charlemagne and his court. FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE 

Charlemagne's empireTHE PRINCESS OF CATHAY – The previous installment’s reference to a tournament prompted a lot of readers to ask for a full-blown tournament story from the tales of Charlemagne. As always, I listen to you readers, so here we go.

During the brief period of Charlemagne’s Peace, when he was not at war with any of the other powers in the known world, the Emperor held a magnificent tournament. With no war currently raging between the Franks and others, participants from all over came to Paris for the event.

Even Saracens from Muslim-Colonized Spain competed in the jousting and enjoyed the feasts. During one such feast, the court was surprised by a visit from four 10-foot tall giants who bore a divan. Beside the giants and their burden walked a Paladin in exotic, unfamiliar armor. Upon the divan sat the most beautiful woman ever seen by any of those present.

masc graveyard smallerThe woman’s black hair was adorned with jewels and her clothing was of the finest kind. She and her Paladin were permitted to approach Charlemagne’s throne and present themselves. The woman identified herself as Princess Angelica of Cathay. The man in armor was her brother, Prince Umberto.

NOTE: In many medieval legends such as this, “Cathay” does not refer to the actual location in northwest China but to a mythical city-state which supposedly existed in some non-specific location to the East of Europe. This fictional Cathay combined qualities of Europe and the Far East.

Princess Angelica presented the challenge she and her brother brought with them – Prince Umberto would joust with any of the armored warriors gathered for the tournament. He would meet them one by one by the Fountain of the Pine. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Mythology

BEST OF 2020: MAY

Balladeer’s Blog’s year-end retrospective continues with this look at May’s best:

Lady MollyLADY MOLLY: DETECTIVE – Baroness Orczy’s female detective from 1910, solving a murder mystery involving a woman in a “big hat.” Click HERE.

TWENTY MORE “ANCIENT” SCIENCE FICTION STORIES – From hundreds of years ago onward, here are tales about genetically modified humanoid giants stalking the land, machines in the 1800s rebelling against humanity and so much more! Click HERE.

TRANSGRESS WITH ME: MAY FOURTH – Another daring and iconoclastic look at ideas which threaten the powers that be. Click HERE.

SUPERHERO PANTHEON OF FOX FEATURES – A look at forgotten superheroes of long ago. Click HERE.

Magical world of AniaTWIN PEAKS IN POLAND: THE MAGICAL WORLD OF ANIA – The disappearance of a troubled young woman leads to a series of nightmarish goings-on. Click HERE.

JAWBREAKERS: GRAND BIZARRE – The latest volume of the mercenary superhero team created by independent comics legend Richard C Meyer. Click HERE.

TWENTY COLD WAR ATTACKS ON U.S. AIRCRAFT – Plenty of violent encounters during the Cold War. Click HERE.

Consolations in TravelCONSOLATIONS IN TRAVEL (1830) ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION – A trip to assorted planets in our solar system. Click HERE.

SATANIC PANIC 2: ANTI-TRUMP HYSTERIA – The absurd overreactions to everything Trump ever did and said will likely be remembered in the same spirit as the bogus Satanic Panic of the 1980s or the periodic Red Scares. Click HERE.

THE DEATH TRAP (1908): ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION – A creature feature type of battle with a monster in the Chicago sewer system. Click HERE. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Ancient Science Fiction, Mythology, Neglected History, Superheroes

CHARLEMAGNE: LOTHAIR AND BENES

CharlemagneAs always here at Balladeer’s Blog, Christmas time all the way through Twelfth Night are when I make blog posts about Charlemagne and his Paladins. (The figures of legend, not the historical Charlemagne.) In old traditions Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the new Holy Roman Empire by the Pope on Christmas Day, hence the reason that tales of Charlemagne are often associated with the Yuletide holiday. (In real life Charlemagne was crowned Emperor a few months later.) FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE  

PaladinLOTHAIR AND BENES – This story takes place much earlier than most of my previously covered Tales of Charlemagne. Lothair (in real life the grandson of Charlemagne) was, according to legend, the Emperor’s oldest son. Lothair was brave and virtuous, unlike Charlemagne’s scheming and treacherous son Charlot.

Of late the Emperor was stewing over the way that Duke Benes had provided no men for Charlemagne’s most recent military campaigns against the Muslim colonialists in Spain, nor had he provided money. Neither had he acknowledged the Emperor’s authority over him by any shows of courtesy.

At first Charlemagne furiously planned to march on Duke Benes’ city of Aygremont and take the city. Then he would hang Benes, kill his son Maugris the Enchanter and burn his wife alive. Duke Naymes, one of the Emperor’s Paladins, talked Charlemagne into giving peace a chance by merely sending a hundred Paladins to Aygremont in order to convey the Emperor’s wish that he submit to an order and show his allegiance. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Mythology

THE RED GNOME: HALLOWEEN SEASON CONTINUES

Another neglected American horror legend from Balladeer’s Blog to help celebrate Halloween Month.

THE RED GNOME

Red GnomeThis red-hued hobgoblin has plagued Detroit for over 300 years. The Red Gnome was one of the supernatural entities created by the Native American deity Glooskap to protect his people. When European  settlers began to populate the area the figure did what he could to protect the native inhabitants but when that proved futile he turned his attention exclusively to tormenting the newcomers. 

The Red Gnome was short in stature and often mistaken for a child when glimpsed from behind. The hobgoblin has rotten teeth and breath that can kill if the creature so chooses. Anyone tricked into kissing the Red Gnome is said to die immediately. In addition this ageless being has ruby-red eyes that can shoot fiery rays. 

In 1701 Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac (yes, as in THAT Cadillac) battled the Red Gnome, which plagued him until he had lost all his fortune. The hobgoblin’s fiery eye-beams would cause frozen ice on the Detroit River to melt under skaters or racers, plunging them to their deaths in the icy waters below. In warmer weather he would cause small boats to capsize and then drown the passengers.  Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Halloween Season, Mythology