Category Archives: Mythology


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 picPART 56 – Some of the Fool Killer’s targets in the May of 1912 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s version: 

*** Columnist Al Fairbrother, who wrote so many columns pandering to different groups of readers that he would often get caught having published hard-hitting editorials on both sides of a particular issue. The latest instance that irked Pearson and his Fool Killer was a pair of columns Fairbrother wrote, one bashing Theodore Roosevelt for thinking about running for president again and one praising him for it.

*** The Meat Trust, for, as usual “somehow” (wink) obtaining favorable court rulings okaying its dilution of beef products with unlabeled amounts of dog-meat and horse-meat.

*** The latest inane fashion fad: women’s hats with batteries in them to supply power to electric lights which decorated said hats. 

*** The Taft Administration and other federal bodies responsible for trying every trick in the book to harass The Appeal To Reason, a Girard, KS newspaper which courageously took on Big Business and Wall Street. The paper was always being dragged into court over the slightest pretext with even the post office being used to harass it and its subscribers (like the way the Biden Administration is trying to wipe out dissenting opinions by tagging them as “domestic terrorism”). Continue reading


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion


Balladeer’s Blog resumes its blog posts about neglected mythological epics from around the world. This particular epic comes from the Bambara people of the Kingdom of Segu in what is now Mali.

MaliTHE BAKARIDJAN KONE EPIC – Djeli, the poet-historians of the Bambara people for over 300 years, would often recite, chant and sing this epic myth while playing their stringed instruments called ngoni.

A. The future father of Bakaridjan Kone is a noble-born farmer in Disoro Nko. He grows tired of his agrarian lifestyle and his wives. (“Segu City’s where he’d rather be/ He gets allergic smelling hay” Had to be said.) Hearing that Da Monzon, the great ruler of the Kingdom of Segu, knows how to create gold, the disenchanted farmer goes to Segu City and becomes part of the court of Da Monzon, only to learn the gold story is not true.

A ngoni instrument

A ngoni

B. Kumba, one of the errant farmer’s wives, gives birth to a boy. His deadbeat dad refuses to be present for the naming ceremony but hints around to Da Monzon that maybe he should provide him with a gift to celebrate the birth. Da Monzon is disgusted with the man for abandoning his wives and not being present for said naming ceremony.

              Instead, the king sends cowries to the wives so they can perform a proper ceremony, at which he wants the baby to be named Bakaridjan Kone. As the provider of the boy’s name, Da Monzon has made himself the child’s adopted father.

C. Years go by, and, royal politics being what they are no matter the culture or time period, Da Monzon begins to worry that he may get killed and/or overthrown before any of his sons are old enough to take over as king. His morike (oracle or diviner) tells him that no full-grown man poses a threat, but there is a boy-child who would one day be able to seize the throne. The morike advises Da Monzon to find a boy who is tough enough to not cry out when his foot is pierced by the king’s spear. THAT is the boy who might overthrow the king. Continue reading


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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 with staff and Bowie knifePART FIFTY-FIVE – Here is a look at some of the Fool Killer’s targets in the April of 1912 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s version of the character:

*** The Steel Trust – Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, John Rockefeller and other “Big Ikes of the Steel Trust”, as Pearson and his Fool Killer called them. The bloated rich pigs were in the news again because – just like today’s corporate rich pigs at Google, Facebook, Twitter and others they were being called out on their prejudiced behavior and their contempt for the notion that Congress or the Stanley Committee or anyone else could hold them accountable.

              They had recently boasted that they were above nations because without their steel the U.S. and some other countries could not wage war or engage in engineering & construction projects or build cargo ships, railroads, etc. Whistleblowers at the steel companies had recently made public statements about the ways the Steel Trust collaborated to control steel prices, EXCLUDE COMPETITION and undertake other acts in violation of Anti-Trust laws at what they called “Gary Dinners.” Testimony from 55 figures had already been heard.

              Another way they were just as disgusting as today’s Big Tech/ Technofascists was the way that untold numbers of SUBPOENAED DOCUMENTS HAD BEEN DESTROYED BY THE CORPORATIONS INVOLVED (like privileged white one-percenter Hillary Clinton flagrantly destroyed so much of the evidence against her). Those documents allegedly contained proof that Steel Trust figures had not only violated the law but had committed perjury in their courtroom testimony. Corporate fascists like Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and others seem to slither the same way no matter the time period.

Fool Killer Red*** Judges and other high officials who betrayed their public trusts. He favored the recall process for judges as well as others. 

*** Tobacco companies plus tobacco users like smokers and snuff-chewers. Continue reading


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History


Quest of SethTHE QUEST OF SETH FOR THE OIL OF LIFE (1962) – Written by Esther Casier Quinn, this is one of the best and most concise works of comparative mythology that I have ever read. I meant to review this book way back when I started Balladeer’s Blog in 2010 but for various reasons it kept falling by the wayside. The Quest of Seth for the Oil of Life is also known as The Quest of Seth for the Oil of Mercy, The Legend of the Rood and many other titles.

Quinn draws from a multitude of sources to provide several variations of this tale and explores the ways in which the course of history shaped the revisions and embellishments involved in this legend. The Seth of the title is the son of Adam and Eve, the Oil of Life/ Oil of Mercy is often said to represent Jesus Christ, the Rood refers to the cross on which Jesus was crucified and its “legend” details the history and many forms of the tree/ wood that eventually became that cross. 

For those not familiar with this particular popular offshoot of the canonical story of Jesus Christ here’s a brief overview:
Continue reading


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Fool Killer grayBalladeer’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

PART FIFTY-THREE – Some of the targets from the January of 1912 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s version of The Fool-Killer:

*** With Christmas just past, the Fool Killer targeted community Christmas events which distributed toys to the children of well-to-do “pillars of the community” families while shutting out poor and needy children.

*** The way too many charitable events wound up being so extravagant that very little was left over for the poor. He cited a particular North Carolina event which, when expenses were paid, only $10.00 was left for the needy.

los angeles times bombing*** J.B. McNamara and J.J. McNamara, who had pleaded guilty in December 1911 to the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building on October 1st of 1910. Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney, represented the men but was blamed for mishandling the situation. 

              Pearson and his Fool Killer also bashed the witch hunt that this case unleashed on organized labor since the McNamaras were tied to the Iron Workers Union strike in Los Angeles.

Continue reading


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History


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 wardrobePART FIFTY-TWO – Some of the targets from the December of 1911 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s version of The Fool-Killer:

*** The United States Supreme Court, authors of so many miscarriages of “justice” in the nation’s history, for the way that Pearson and his Fool Killer felt the court’s vaunted dissolution of the Tobacco Trust (American Tobacco Company) was a farce. ATC was, he felt, allowed too much say in their sentence to dissolve into four separate companies.

              There was certainly a lot of truth to that take on the situation. The “new” companies were soon being accused of colluding with each other to carry out the same monopolistic practices that they had before.  Three of those four companies were found guilty of this in 1938 after years of further investigation and litigation. This calls to mind the way Big Tech basically calls its own shots by virtue of all the political figures they own.

*** Churches which allowed Bingo, a game that the odd Pearson viewed as “gambling.”   

*** George W Perkins at U.S. Steel for what Pearson and his Fool Killer considered the miserly amount that Perkins made employees eligible for under the company’s new profit-sharing plan.   

*** The masked and armed men who tarred and feathered school teacher Miss Mary Chamberlain in Shady Bend, KS. What newspapers of the time called “gossip from jealous women” regarding the teacher prompted the ugly incident, which had been planned at the mill owned by wealthy citizen E.G. Clark. The masked, pistol-packing mob stopped Chamberlain in her buggy and carried out the deed.  Continue reading


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion


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


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion



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


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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


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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


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


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion