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Mascot sword and pistolAnother of Balladeer’s Blog’s Top Twenty Lists for 2020.

“Whoever is not a misanthrope at forty can never have loved mankind.” – Nicolas Chamfort 

“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” – Albert Camus

“Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes.” – Norman Douglas

“To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.” – George Santayana

“Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.” – Honore de Balzac Continue reading

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tetsuo-bDirector Shinya Tsukamoto hails from Japan and is noted for his surreal, nightmarish excursions into the darker side of transformative  industrial technology … especially any technology that impacts the human anatomy.

Tsukamoto’s noteworthy films include:


tetsuoTetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) – From the early shots of a man removing one of his own bones and replacing it with a piece of metal viewers knew this was a work of true genius. Tetsuo becomes more and more relevant by the year, especially with the advent of nanotechnology and its potentially invasive effect on the human mind and body. Continue reading

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Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of B.C. Boyer’s neglected 1980s superhero the Masked Man. For Part One click HERE

Eclipse Monthly 7ECLIPSE MONTHLY Vol 1 #7 (April 1984)

Title: Confessions

Synopsis: The Masked Man (Dick Carstairs) shared this issue of Eclipse Monthly with the new superheroine the Nightingale and the early 1800s western hero the Californio.

The relationship between our hero and his reporter friend Barney McAllister got stretched to the breaking point in this tale as the Masked Man found himself tempted by the offers from Dan Drekston. Those offers: to cash in on Masked Man merchandising, Masked Man action figures and books adapted from his adventures. 

Eclipse Monthly 6Once again, years before the overrated and overpraised Alan Moore’s work The Watchmen we see other comic book writers covering material that Moore was praised for as if he was the originator of such meta concepts. Drekston is planning a merchandising empire similar to that of Moore’s superhero Ozymandias.  Continue reading

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hawaiianislandsBalladeer’s Blog’s Top Twenty Lists For 2020 theme continues with this look at 20 more Hawaiian deities. FOR THE ORIGINAL LIST OF HAWAIIAN GODS AND GODDESSES CLICK HERE

OPUHALA – The goddess of coral, coral reefs and canoe bailers. Because of the sharp, abrasive nature of coral, fish with spiny scales were also considered to be under her rule. She was the daughter of the sea god Kanaloa and the aunt of the demigod Maui. In some traditions it is said she provided enormous jagged chunks of coral for Maui to use as hooks when he was fishing up islands.  

KALAIPAHOA – The Hawaiian poison god. His images were always carved from the nioi, a poisonous pepper tree sacred to him. He was believed to be able to ride comets across the sky. Kalaipahoa was originally worshipped only on the island of Molokai but his worship spread to all the other Hawaiian Islands after their unification into a single kingdom under Kamehameha I. Oddly, this god is also associated with gamblers.     Continue reading


Filed under Mythology


masc graveyard newRegular readers of Balladeer’s Blog often ask me why I make so many references to ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) and feature tie-ins to some of them in my blog posts. It’s because they are a terrific example of modern day myths relayed through technology.

The effort that some creators put into building their world and the effort taken by their audience to solve the ARG’s mysteries make the experience so interactive it’s fascinating to watch unfold … when they’re done well.

As always, my hat’s off to Night Mind, who is in my opinion the best internet detective when it comes to horror ARGs. The video below features the ultimate example of this niche artform.

It’s Night Mind’s magnum opus: Jack Torrance: Fully Explained. (NOT the character from The Shining.) You’ll see why I find ARGs so addictive. Please subscribe to Night Mind’s channel, too. He deserves a lot of love. 



Filed under Halloween Season, opinion


Fool Killer illustrationIt’s April Fool’s Day! This time around Balladeer’s Blog will forego its usual Aleister Crowley item and holiday-themed slasher reviews for a breakdown on the assorted depictions of the neglected American folk figure called the Fool Killer.

A. THE MILTON CHRONICLE YEARS – Late 1840s (?) to 1880 (?) – In the earliest WRITTEN versions of American Fool Killer lore the homicidal vigilante wrote letters to Milton Chronicle Editor Charles Napoleon Bonaparte Evans regarding his victims and why he chose them. (Evans was the real author of the letters.)

              Fool Killer picSurviving Letter One (February 1857): The Fool Killer used his trusty club/ walking stick/ cudgel to slay trigger-happy slave hunting patrols, some “foolish” University of North Carolina students and faculty, a would-be lynch mob, a ruthless land speculator, a vain Southern Belle and her panting suitors plus political figures abusing their positions for partisan purposes. CLICK HERE 

              Surviving Letter Two (March, 1859): The Fool Killer whacked a turkey thief, some Don Quixote Invincibles, a fortune-hunting conman, partisan newspaper “journalists” and corrupt politicians in the North Carolina State Legislature. CLICK HERE 

              Surviving Letter Three (June 1861): In this last surviving Fool Killer Letter PRIOR to his Civil War hibernation period, the wandering killer bumps off slave-owning Democrats who avoided military service, war profiteers, General Benjamin Butler plus a phony “witch” and her clients who were trying to railroad some innocent victims. CLICK HERE   Continue reading

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Filed under Mythology, Neglected History


All that glittersALL THAT GLITTERS (1977) – With the syndicated late-night soap opera satire Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman becoming a cultural phenomenon in the 1970s, Norman Lear launched this oddball, self-consciously “adult” program which added a touch of parallel world sci-fi stories to the soapiness.

All That Glitters was a comedy set in a world where women were in charge and men filled workplace and societal roles filled by women in our world at the time. The humor in this show is painfully dated but the inversion of roles still gives it a certain strange watchability.

All That glitters 2Want to see women running the business world and men serving as secretaries while getting ogled and sexually harassed? This show’s got it! Want to see a tuxedo-clad groom carrying flowers and walking down the aisle toward his intended bride? This show’s got it! Want to see some fairly kinky quasi-FemDom scenarios as the premise is taken to its logical conclusions? This show’s got it! Continue reading

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Filed under Forgotten Television