Tag Archives: blogging


Here is Part Two of Balladeer’s Blog’s look at the various works in Ireland’s Lebor na hUidre, The Book of the Dun Cow. For Part One of this examination of that collection of mixed Pagan and Christian documents click HERE

elijah and enochTWO SORROWS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (Dá brón flatha nime) – This is a variation of the tales about Elijah and Enoch, who asked to be risen physically to Heaven while still alive. Because of their virtuous lives, their desire was fulfilled, but their “sorrows” centered around the limitations of their physical forms amid the wonders of Heaven. For just one example, they cannot fly like the angels and souls around them. 

        One day Elijah sits under the Tree of Paradise and, while the birds of Heaven feed on the splendid fruit of that tree, he reads aloud to them from the Teachings of Doomsday. He reads about four rivers running down Mount Zion and their waters burning the sinful.

lebor na huidre        Next, he reads to them about Christ returning for the Final Judgment accompanied by the Hosts of Heaven. Each human who appears before him is accompanied by a personal angel and a personal devil. The angel speaks of the person’s good deeds and the devil about their bad deeds. Jesus then assigns souls to Heaven or Hell.

        Those assigned to Heaven are flown there by angels. Those assigned to Hell are dragged down by devils, one striking the soul with their fists, another whipping the soul and another driving spikes into the soul’s mouth. A great cry rises from the damned as Hell is sealed away forever. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Mythology


Balladeer’s Blog offers one last round of congratulations to college basketball’s national champions from the divisions covered here. 

college of idaho coyotesNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) 


Runners-Up – Indiana Tech Warriors

2022 Champions – Loyola University (LA) Wolfpack 

bethel in pilotsNCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) DIVISION ONE

National Champions – BETHEL (IN) PILOTS (riverboat pilots)

Runners-Up – Clinton College Golden Bears

2022 Champions – Baptist Bible College Patriots    Continue reading


Filed under College Basketball


book of the dun cowBOOK OF THE DUN COW (Lebor na hUidre) – In the past, Balladeer’s Blog has done deep dives into gods, goddesses and epics from Hawaiian, Inuit, Navajo, Choctaw, Ainu, Nyanga, Norse, Shinto, Aztec mythology and many, many more pantheons. This kicks off a multi-part look at the various works in Ireland’s Lebor na hUidre, The Book of the Dun Cow

        For anyone not familiar with this collection of ancient material, it features cultural, historical and mythological material mixed together in many forms from around 1,000 AD and much earlier. I will be examining the material section by section.

six ages of the worldSIX AGES OF THE WORLD (Sex aetates mundi) – This was one of the many texts from many Christian-influenced cultures that viewed the world from Creation through Jesus Christ as being Six Ages. In this fictional context each age was roughly 1,000 years.

        The First Age lasted from Adam and Eve to Noah and the Great Flood. The Second Age ran from that time period up to the time of Abraham. The Third Age covered Abraham to King David. The Fourth Age picked up from King David to the Babylonian Captivity. The Fifth Age lasted from there to the Birth of Jesus. And the Sixth Age ran through the life of Jesus and everything afterward.

        The assumption that, per these ages, the Sixth Age would end 1,000 years after Christ’s birth contributed to fears of the End of the World occurring around 1,000 AD. Some belief systems add a Seventh Age, as in the supposed 1,000 years of peace, aka the Millenium, which would follow the return of Jesus. Continue reading


Filed under Mythology


hitler dead or aliveHITLER – DEAD OR ALIVE (1942) – You’ve heard of grindhouse movies? Well, you could consider this a GRINDE-HOUSE movie, because it was directed by Nick Grinde and produced by Charles House.

While we all try to ignore how lame that joke is, I’ll point out that Hitler – Dead or Alive was first released in November of 1942. As the title and date of release would suggest, it was a rah-rah wartime rally movie/ propaganda film about a handful of people trying to collect a million-dollar reward for the Fuhrer – dead or alive.

A few years back, Balladeer’s Blog reviewed The Girl in the Kremlin, a 1957 flick about Stalin faking his death and being hunted down. Given the massive body counts of both Adolf and Joseph, it should be no surprise that this Hitler movie is just as mind-numbingly, cosmically tasteless as the Stalin piece. It’s not just So Bad It’s Good, it’s So SURREALLY Bad It’s Good. 

hitler dead or alive lobbyHitler – Dead or Alive starts out with a pair of stereotypical hungry reporters who bluff their way into a face-to-face meeting with eccentric, unorthodox, Howard Hughesesque tycoon Samuel Thornton. Thornton has just donated a million dollars worth of fighter planes to the war effort, and the snooping reporters ask if there’s any connection to the million-dollar reward he offered for Hitler a few months earlier. Continue reading


Filed under Bad and weird movies


nova southeastern university sharksNCAA DIVISION TWO CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – This title tilt pitted the undefeated NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY SHARKS against the WEST LIBERTY UNIVERSITY HILLTOPPERS.

Points were plentiful as both offenses were clicking, and the Sharks were on top 55-48 by Halftime. After the break, Nova Southeastern put a bit more distance between themselves and the Hilltoppers, ultimately winning the game by a Century Club score of 111-101. Will Yoakum put up THIRTY-ONE points to lead NSU. * THE SHARKS ARE NCAA DIVISION TWO NATIONAL CHAMPIONS * Continue reading


Filed under College Basketball


This weekend’s light-hearted and escapist superhero post from Balladeer’s Blog will look at DC’s team-ups between their Golden Age superheroes – the Justice Society – and their Silver Age superheroes – the Justice League.

jla 21JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol 1 #21 (August 1963)

Title: Crisis on Earth-One

Justice Society Lineup: Hourman, Dr. Fate, Hawkman (original), Flash (original), the Atom (original), Green Lantern (original) and the 2nd Black Canary (daughter of the original)

Justice League Lineup: Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, the 2nd Aquaman, the 2nd Batman, the 2nd Superman, the 2nd Wonder Woman, the 2nd Atom, the 2nd Flash and the 2nd Green Lantern

Villains: Crime Champions (The Wizard, Icicle, the Fiddler, Chronos, Dr. Alchemy and Felix Faust)

NOTE: For people who are not really into comic book history, I’ll mention that the “Crisis” referred to here was a forerunner of so many other DC stories that start with the word Crisis. In the late 1950s DC wanted to reinvent many of their late 1930s to early 1950s superheroes.

        flash 123The company’s method of adapting more “up to date” versions of their Golden Age heroes without losing the copyrights on those figures was to state that the original versions of all their old heroes came from an alternate Earth, designated Earth-Two. The Earth with the newer heroes was called Earth-One, since they were the newer, CURRENT versions.

        Previously, DC had established this notion in the pages of Flash #123 (September 1961), when the new Flash, Barry Allen, first met his Golden Age counterpart, Jay Garrick. Now both “Justice” teams, the older Society and the newer League, were meeting for the very first time. Continue reading


Filed under Superheroes


Regular readers may remember I love So Bad They’re Good movies here at Balladeer’s Blog. Here are my favorites from the legendary H.G. Lewis. WARNING: Extreme concepts, despite the inept presentation. 

two thousand maniacsTWO THOUSAND MANIACS (1964) – For people who’ve never heard of Herschell Gordon Lewis, I’ll point out that he’s known as “the Godfather of Gore.” And not even GOOD gore, but the obviously fake kind that makes you laugh. Add to that the inept acting, bland dialogue and quickie production techniques like you’d get in old black & white flicks and you’ll understand the man’s Bad Movie magic.

When it comes to horror films – good OR bad – I’ve always preferred those with supernatural menaces to those with mere crazed human beings doing ugly deeds. It helps if the premise has clever lore baked in, and Two Thousand Maniacs definitely has that, no matter how rushed and poorly made it is.

Mascot and guitar

Balladeer’s Blog

One hundred years earlier, during America’s Civil War, the fictional Deep South town of Pleasant Valley (population two thousand) was utterly wiped out by renegade Union troops who destroyed every building and massacred every man, woman and child. Once every hundred years now, Pleasant Valley and its undead inhabitants will rematerialize for a few days, lure passing Northerners into it, and slaughter them as revenge for the ghost town’s destruction. Continue reading


Filed under Bad and weird movies, Halloween Season


floris dvdFLORIS (1969 and 1975) – Actor Rutger Hauer and director Paul Verhoeven first worked together for this adventure series set during the very early 1500s. The program aired on Netherlands television in 1969, then was remade – again with Hauer in the swashbuckling title role – in 1975 for German television and ran for even more episodes than the original series.

Rutger starred as the fictional Floris van Rozemondt, the knightly lord of his eponymous castle. Ever the adventurer, Floris had spent ten years as a mercenary, a privateer and a sea trader, acquiring quite a fortune from the latter two pursuits.

sindala and florisAround the year 1502, word finally caught up with our wandering hero that his father and two older brothers had died. Floris returned home, accompanied by his adventuring sidekick Sindala (Jos Bergman), an Indian Fakir. (Floris and the Fakir was originally going to be the title of the series.)

Upon his arrival, Floris discovered that Castle Rozemondt had been unjustly taken from him and occupied by Maarten van Rossum (Hans Culeman) – a subordinate of the Duke of Guelders. The Guelders Wars, centering on efforts to bring the Netherlands together as one nation, had broken out during Floris’ absence and van Rossum was on the opposing side of Floris’ family.

floris in the centerFloris and Sindala fought their way out of the hands of the enemy and wound up allied with Wolter van Oldenstein and his men at Castle Oldenstein. I often wonder if the 1991 film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves took partial inspiration from the premise of Floris, with a returning nobleman fighting oppression alongside a nonwhite comrade from his overseas adventures. Continue reading


Filed under Forgotten Television


Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog may remember the obscure horror stories I review during Halloween Month each year. I’ve been asked if I’ll ever review any of the better known, big names in Gothic Horror, so here we go. 

the monkTHE MONK (1796) – Written by Matthew G. Lewis. Though The Monk was preceded by other works of Gothic Horror like The Castle of Otranto (1764) and The Necromancer (1794), Lewis’ novel cranked up the supernatural elements a great deal. It also painted the Catholic clergy in extremely unflattering terms, at least in the initial edition.

After the public outcry over the extreme horror and lascivious conduct of clergy members in the first edition, Lewis softened up the content in future editions. The title character, Ambrosio, breaks his vows by committing murder, rape and sex with a consenting partner, before plumbing new depths. The Prioress, Mother Saint Agatha, is sadistically violent to those in her power, even torturing the heroine Agnes.  

Some of the supernatural characters and elements: Continue reading


Filed under Halloween Season


gentleman jekyll and driver hydeGENTLEMAN JEKYLL AND DRIVER HYDE (1950) – Educational short films are often hilarious snapshots of their era. Driver’s Ed shorts are especially vulnerable to seeming outdated given how quickly car designs can change in certain decades.

This particular item is Canadian-made, proving that the Badfilm aesthetic is unfazed by international borders. (Yet Time Zones fill it with a vague sense of unease. Go figure.)

At any rate, Gentleman Jekyll and Driver Hyde obviously takes its cue from Stevenson’s story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A pair of Canadian furniture movers – one tall and heavy, the other short and slender – bicker like a comedy team while discussing statistics which indicated that in 1950 a Canadian had a better chance of getting killed in a car accident than in a war.

Which I find to be a silly statistic. If it’s peacetime you probably have a better chance of dying from a piano dropping on your head than from a war. Wouldn’t it have been more ominous to say a person had a better chance of dying in a car accident than from heart disease or whatever physical ailment that a 1950 stat would indicate?

After some horrifically strained jokes “Laurel and Hardy, Eh” get to the meat of the matter: The way perfectly polite people can turn into figurative monsters when they get behind the wheel of a car. A kind, considerate man who just interacted with our two leads literally turns into a B-Movie monster thanks to editing and cheap makeup as he drives off.      Continue reading


Filed under Bad and weird movies