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COLLEGE BASKETBALL POSTSEASON FOR 2021 IS UNDERWAY

GREAT PLAINS ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Mount Marty College LancersQUARTERFINAL ONE – In this game of the GPAC Conference Tournament the 8th seeded MOUNT MARTY COLLEGE LANCERS battled the top seeds – the MORNINGSIDE COLLEGE MUSTANGS.

The Lancers put the vaunted Mustangs on Upset Alert by Halftime with a commanding 45-30 advantage, then held on by their fingertips in the 2nd Half for a 76-73 triumph. In this shocker Chad Moran led Mount Marty College with 22 points.

Jamestown JimmiesQUARTERFINAL TWO – The 3 seeds – the UNIVERSITY OF JAMESTOWN JIMMIES – took on the 6th seeded DORDT COLLEGE DEFENDERS in this Quarterfinal.

By the Half the Jimmies were clinging to a tight 41-38 edge. After the break the University of Jamestown went medieval on the Defenders, outscoring them 48-30 to win the game by a final score of 89-68. Mason Walters led the victorious Jimmies with his Double-Double of 23 points and 11 rebounds.  Continue reading

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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

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LIFEPOD (1981): MOVIE REVIEW

lifepodLIFEPOD (1981) – Previously Balladeer’s Blog examined the worst movies from the Robert Emenegger/ Allan Sandler collaboration, most of them with Steven Spielberg’s sister Anne … plus half the Cameron Mitchell family. With Lifepod, we return to E-Space (Emenegger Space. Sorry, Doctor Who fans.). This time, however, it’s with an underrated movie that makes you root for it despite its budgetary limitations.  

The year is 2191. The moons of Jupiter have been colonized and are called the Jupiter States. A company nostalgically called the White Star Line has begun providing a spaceship cruise line to and from the Jupiter States. The flagship in this new line is called the Arcturus, with a state-of-the-art propulsion system and a revolutionary AI called a Cerebral running the ship. 

lifepod picAs the Arcturus, on its maiden run, approached Callisto, the Cerebral announced massive system failures and began shutting down life support systems while ordering the crew and passengers to evacuate in lifepods and await rescue from Callisto’s authorities. In their Mayday broadcasts the crew make it clear they no longer trusted Captain Montaine (Christopher Cary), who insisted the Arcturus was fine and the Cerebral was just malfunctioning.

The picture becomes further confused when the Arcturus‘ engines restart and it flies off now that the passengers are gone. Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL RESULTS: MORE FEBRUARY MAKE-UP GAMES

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Arizona Christian Univ helmet GOODSHOWDOWN IN GLENDALE – The ARIZONA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY FIRESTORM welcomed the LANGSTON UNIVERSITY LIONS to town on Saturday. Neither team scored in the 1st Quarter but by Halftime the Firestorm held a 10-7 edge over the Lions. Both ACU and Langston notched a Field Goal in the 3rd Quarter, while the 4th saw the Firestorm shut out LU while putting up 14 points of their own for a 27-10 victory.

saint-ambrose-university-fighting-bees-helmet-newGETTING STUNG – This game pitted the SAINT AMBROSE UNIVERSITY FIGHTING BEES against the visiting UNIVERSITY OF SAINT FRANCIS (IL) FIGHTING SAINTS. The Fighting Saints grabbed a quick 6-0 lead in the 1st Quarter only to see the Fighting Bees go up 7-6 by the Half. After the break came a scoreless 3rd Quarter before Saint Ambrose University clinched a 14-6 win in the 4th. Continue reading

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DAREDEVIL: THE FIRST TWENTY STORIES FROM THE 1960s

Here’s a look at the first twenty Daredevil stories from the 1960s. These days Daredevil is mostly known for the dark and brooding element that the legendary writer and artist Frank Miller brought to the character, along with that whole Ninja element of DD’s background. 

dd 1DAREDEVIL Vol 1 #1 (April 1964)

Title: The Origin of Daredevil

Villain: The Fixer

Synopsis: At Fogwell’s Gym, a red and yellow costumed figure calling himself Daredevil barges in on the thugs and underlings of the Fixer (Roscoe Sweeney), the criminal behind the fixing of boxing matches at various levels. The hoods don’t want to tell Daredevil where the Fixer is and a huge fight breaks out. Our hero defeats the thugs with his agility, his red billy-club and – as we will learn shortly – his radar senses.

Daredevil has a flashback to his origin: he is really Matt Murdock whose father Battling Jack Murdock was a struggling boxer. To earn enough money to raise his son and send him to college, Battling Jack learned to play the game and throw fights when ordered to by the Fixer. Jack forbade his son to ever fight, which made Matt the object of ridicule by his peers so the younger Murdock trained himself in the martial arts (later retconned to being trained by Ninjas).

One day in his teens Matt heroically shoved a blind man from in front of a crashing toxic waste truck, saving his life but letting himself get hit by that vehicle. The nuclear waste and toxic chemicals in the truck blinded Matt Murdock but also gave him radar senses that more than compensated for the loss of his vision.

NOTE: In a tongue-in-cheek way, the creators of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always implied that some of the toxic materials from that same truck poured into the sewer, mutating four turtles and a rat. Though they weren’t part of the Marvel Comics universe that Ninja Turtles joke went further still with the way that the evil group the Foot, fought by the TMNT, was an obvious take on the Hand, an evil group opposed by Daredevil.  Continue reading

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ANALOG ARCHIVES AND CHANNEL 7

analog archivesPreviously here at Balladeer’s Blog I covered YT Channels that featured what I considered the very best of the emerging subgenre of Analog Horror or “Unfiction” as a lot of people have labeled it. Those descriptive terms have been coined to help keep these creative efforts distinct from pure ARGs (Alternate Reality Games).

Last year I reviewed Local 58, Kris Straub’s latest venture, but many readers have since been expressing their discontent with the way the new 2020 episodes never materialized. Per Straub, that’s because Local 58‘s Analog Horror tale was going to incorporate a fictional pandemic, so given real-world events he decided to hold off and reorganize the series.

masc graveyard smaller(If you’re in the mood for Analog Horror which does NOT back away from pandemic and lockdown lore, check out Walker Creek Broadcast Station, but be aware that such lore is only incidental to the main storyline.)

At any rate, being left hanging like that with Local 58 left many of you asking about similar Analog Horror/ Unfiction series which are already completed. I’m happy to say that two of the most popular series are now available COMPLETE and IN ORDER. Even better, they have been edited into one long-form YT video each for your viewing convenience, rather than spread out episodically. (You damn whiners. I’m KIDDING!)  Continue reading

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EMPIRE OF ASH WEDNESDAY – MOVIE REVIEW

After a terrific Fat Tuesday it’s time for Ash Wednesday … as in Empire of Ash, the awful series of post-apocalypse movies. From Canada! Brave the Canuckalypse with me! 

Empire of AshEMPIRE OF ASH (1988) – Also released as Maniac Warriors, this post-apocalypse movie is, as you would expect, another of the 1980s’ countless imitators of The Road Warrior. In Empire of Ash our year is 2050 and our main location is an American settlement called New Idaho, with Canadian forests passing for the post-holocaust world. All cities have become uninhabitable so survivalists scrape by in woodland communities.

The plague that destroyed civilization is a blood disease and it continues to be one of the biggest threats, along with the usual mutants and rampaging, gun-wielding gangs. There are some scattered scientists trying to come up with a cure for the blood disease but there are also evil sufferers of the disease who prey upon the unafflicted by consuming their blood and bone marrow to survive a little bit longer.

The disease-ridden have been organized into a bizarre religion and they consider the plague to be God’s vengeance, just like AIDS was being called by assorted zealots at this point in the 80s. The religion and government are run by a preacher called the Great Shepherd (Frank Wilson). Before draining the blood and marrow of “pure-bloods” they baptize them as human sacrifices.  Continue reading

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MARDI GRAS MASSACRE – (1978)

Mardi Gras MassacreMARDI GRAS MASSACRE (1978) – Category: A neglected Bad Movie classic, but its hard-core gore will prevent it from ever having a Plan 9-sized cult following

It takes a twisted sort of genius to make multiple disembowelment murders look boring, but that’s exactly what Jack Weis accomplishes in Mardi Gras Massacre! Today may be Fat Tuesday, but let’s rechristen it “Splat Tuesday” in honor of this late 70s splatterfest. 

The actual “massacre” part of this movie is an incredible disappointment. An insane, hate-filled man with a knife – no, not Jim Bowie (rimshot) – is roaming around New Orleans during Mardi Gras targeting prostitutes as sacrificial offerings to the Aztec deities he worships.

That sounds promising for a horror film but the disembowelment ritual is reenacted word for word and movement for movement for EACH VICTIM! There is no variation and also no suspense because after the first killing we know exactly how all the subsequent sacrifices will play out. The only chills come from listening to the awful disco music that plays during the ceremonial slayings. (“NOOOOOOOOOO!”) Continue reading

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FEBRUARY FOOTBALL: RECENT SCORES

Because of so many reschedulings caused by Covid last fall here are football scores from the past few days.

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roosevelt university lakersHISTORY WAS MADE – The ROOSEVELT UNIVERSITY LAKERS played their first ever intercollegiate football game. It was played in snow … in freezing temperatures … but they STILL won, notching the first win in program history! Their opponents were the visiting SAINT AMBROSE UNIVERSITY FIGHTING BEES. Recently, Roosevelt University merged with Robert Morris University (IL), whose sports teams were called the Eagles but in the merger all teams will now go by the RU team name Lakers.

As for this game the Lakers, boasting members of the old Robert Morris-Illinois football program due to the merger, were on top 13-6 at the end of the 1st Quarter. That became a 20-6 advantage by Halftime. Neither team scored in the 3rd Quarter, then exchanged Touchdowns in the 4th for a final count of Roosevelt U 27  Fighting Bees 13.

Saint Andrews University KnightsCOMEBACK KIDS – The SAINT ANDREWS UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS took it on the road against the BLUEFIELD COLLEGE RAMBLING RAMS yesterday. The Rambling Rams led 14-7 in the opening Quarter and 20-9 at the Half. The Knights exploded in the 3rd Quarter to take a 42-27 lead but Bluefield College countered by going up 43-42 in the 4th. The Knights notched a late TD to emerge with a 48-43 victory.   

saint-xavier-cougars-helmet-newCOUGARS ON THE ROAD – The SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS traveled to face the UNIVERSITY OF SAINT FRANCIS (IL) FIGHTING SAINTS. The 1st Half of this gridiron grudge match ended in a 9-9 deadlock, followed by the Cougars grabbing a 12-9 edge to end the 3rd Quarter. The Fighting Saints knotted things up at 12-12 only to see Saint Xavier University go on to win the game by a score of 19-12.    Continue reading

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1912 – BATTLE OF THE THREE PRESIDENTS

masc chair and bottleHappy Presidents Day Weekend! Balladeer’s Blog’s seasonal posts continue with this look at the presidential election of 1912.

I won’t bury this item in unnecessary detail to the point where it becomes boring. My emphasis will be on its three-way battle’s relevance to us today. 

Woodrow WilsonDEMOCRAT: Woodrow Wilson, the victor. To this very day many Republicans blame Wilson for starting the country on its path toward all the things they don’t like.

They ignore the fact that their own party’s movers and shakers of the time spitefully ensured Wilson’s victory by refusing to accept the popular Theodore Roosevelt as the Republican candidate.

That drove him to the Third Party called the Progressive Party, thus splitting the anti-Wilson vote in such a way that enabled the Democrat to win.

Theodore RooseveltPROGRESSIVE: Former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had come out of retirement to run again because he was thoroughly disenchanted with his hand-picked successor, incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft.

The reason? Theodore felt that Taft was undoing the few inroads that he (Theodore) had made against the moneyed rich pig class. Republican tycoons of the time often expressed their feeling that Teddy was a traitor to his class – an accusation that they would REALLY overuse against Theodore’s Democrat cousin Franklin Roosevelt decades later.   Continue reading

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