Tag Archive: vampires

Jul 09 2015

Odds or Onions

Can you pick The Onion without hovering your mouse over the links.

Hint: It has nothing to do with gardening.

Connecticut town’s Boom Box Parade celebrates its 30th year

WILLIMANTIC, Conn.- The town’s annual Independence Day parade once again will include the traditional Little League teams, floats sponsored by local businesses, fire trucks and politicians. But, for the 30th consecutive year, there will be no marching bands.

In what has become an offbeat tradition, the participants and the spectators will instead be carrying radios tuned to the same local station, which will provide traditional marching music. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the town’s annual Boom Box Parade, which kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“I didn’t think the idea would work,” said Wayne Norman, the WILI-AM radio personality who has served as grand marshal for all 30 parades. “I didn’t think people would get the concept. Boy was I wrong.”

The parade dates to 1986, when the town couldn’t find an available marching band for its Memorial Day parade. Organizer Kathy Clark approached the radio station for help. Station officials said it was too late to organize and publicize for that holiday, but they began planning with Clark for July Fourth, and the tradition was born.

Norman said the staging area was empty two hours before the parade but by the time it was ready to start more than 2,000 people were there, all carrying boom boxes.

Norman said there were some evolutionary pains as the portable radios, ubiquitous in the 1980s, went the way of the cassette tape and were replaced by iPods and other portable electronic devices.

He said any radio or device with a speaker and a way to access the radio station is welcome. “We ask people to please not wear headphones,” he said. “We don’t outlaw them, but it kind of defeats the purpose.”

The parade, he said, celebrates independence in all its connotations. There is no registration to march. Anyone can participate, and people are free to bring signs, promote causes, even advertise for their businesses.

Norman said that in an ironic twist the Windham High School band, which was not around to march in 1986, this year provided a recorded piece that will be played during the parade.

A lot of groups just have fun with the event. That would include the Traveling Fish Head Club of Northeastern Connecticut, which Norman said walks up from the nearby Hop River to join the parade disguised as a giant fish made from wood, wire and papier-mache. “We don’t have many rules,” Norman said. “We just ask people to wear red, white and blue and bring a flag and a radio.”

Members of the state legislature and Congress and the governor often march in the parade, though Norman said they usually get a bigger turnout of politicians during an election year.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal shows up every year. He said he loves the parade because it has a spirit that is quintessentially American. “It’s good old Connecticut ingenuity,” he said. “Let’s use boom boxes if we can’t have a band. Let’s make do. Let’s invent. Our ingenuity will make it happen.”

‘Vampires’ keep doctors in the dark for fear of stereotyping: study

SALMON, Idaho- It is not easy being a vampire, and even harder to come out of the coffin to a physician or therapist for fear they will misinterpret the habit of ingesting the blood of willing donors or succumb to stereotyping, a study finds.

Research led by D.J. Williams, director of social work at Idaho State University, indicated that people who identify themselves as “real” vampires – that is, needing others’ blood to gain energy – would not disclose their practices to those in the helping professions and risk reactions like ridicule, disgust and possible diagnosis of a mental illness.

The paper, published in the latest issue of Critical Social Work, a peer-reviewed journal based in Canada, found that authentic vampires as opposed to “lifestyle” vampires – black-clad figures with phony fangs – might be stereotyped by clinicians whose fields discourage biases.

Williams, who has studied self-identified vampires for nearly a decade, finds they come from every walk of life and profession, including doctors, attorneys and candlestick makers.

“They are successful, ordinary people,” he said. Except they are very, very tired. That’s apparently the chief reason they find a consenting adult willing to allow them to use a scalpel to make a tiny incision in the chest area so they can ingest a small amount of blood for energy, the study found.

Williams and another researcher based the paper on the responses of 11 people who had identified themselves as vampires for many years and could be relied on to be open and honest, and who gain permission from practicing adults before ingesting their blood, he said.

“The real vampire community seems to be a conscientious and ethical one,” Williams said. The challenge is finding non-judgmental clinicians to whom vampires can disclose their alternative lifestyles, he added. “Most vampires believe they were born that way; they don’t choose this,” Williams said.

The global vampire population is thought to number in the thousands, he said.

Trump Tells Iowa Dairy Farmers He Has Cows 500 Times Bigger Than Theirs

ARNOLDS PARK, IA- Appearing at a campaign event in the early primary state, real estate mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump told an assembled group of dairy farmers Monday that his cows were 500 times bigger than theirs.

“Your cows are small and scrawny, and you should be embarrassed to milk them,” said Trump, adding that each of his cows was the size of “at least” a dozen Cadillacs and had “udders that’ll make your head spin.” “No one raises dairy cows as gigantic or successful as I do; everyone knows that. My cattle are winners, and you people would be lucky to have them graze here.”

Chatting with patrons at a diner later in the day, Trump reportedly said the apple pie was a disgrace and that his pies were a mile wide, with a perfect crust that made all the losers jealous.

Jun 30 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: 30 June 2013 A Ghost in a Machine walks the Globe by Annieli

If one can claim that a virtual economy offers increased possibility for revolutionary political change, that change should be measured against more material forms of analysis rather than treating information commodities as epiphenomenal. The tenuous connection between correlation and causation much like the meme of “Voodoo Economics” was treated more lightly and less seriously in a 2010 Bruce Watson piece on zombies and vampires as seasonally or cyclically symptomatic of a national economy:

there appears to be a loose connection between recession cycles and monster movies: zombie films tend to be more popular during boom times, while vampire flicks are ascendant when the economy is bad. As I wrote at the time, this makes a certain sort of symbolic sense: after all, as unthinking consumers, zombies reflect the tone of high-consumption boom times. The more melancholic vampires, on the other hand, suggest buyer’s remorse. While the zombie/vampire recession cycle didn’t always hold true, I found that it had a few interesting connections to the economy. For example, for most of the Reagan spend-till-you-drop 1980’s, zombie films dominated movie theaters. In fact, vampire movies’ only brief moment of ascendence in the decade was in 1987-1988, when a stock market tumble sent the economy into recession. Similarly, in 1991 and 2001, vampire films spiked and zombie films fell behind as recessions struck.

Aside from the doomsday preppers and faux survivalists in Dollywood and Hollywood invoking the fear of a zombie apocalypse as signs of an impending breakdown of urban society double-coded as racism, vampires and zombies can be differentiated by information while serving as cultural commodities in mass media. Vampires are asymmetric information commodities since in media narratives their representations appear conventional at first, whereas zombies are symmetric in that we know them instantly by their appearance. In either case they represent a pathological tipping point where fear trumps rationality and wooden stakes, garlic, holy water and shotguns make their appearance in contemporary film.

In a material context, such contemporary monsters represent the same class fears represented by European revolution in the Nineteenth Century not unlike the colonizers’ fears of the colonized or the contemporary anti-immigrant discourse where Americans ignore the labor history of the bracero and the coolie as invisible, informal Gastarbeiter.

A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre

Marx’s invocation becomes more or less ironic in the post-Soviet period

Spectres de Marx: l’├ętat de la dette, le travail du deuil et la nouvelle Internationale is a 1993 book by French philosopher Jacques Derrida The title Spectres of Marx is an allusion to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ statement at the beginning of The Communist Manifesto that a “spectre [is] haunting Europe.” For Derrida, the spirit of Marx is even more relevant now since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the demise of communism. With its death the spectre of communism begins to make visits on the earth. Derrida seeks to do the work of inheriting from Marx, that is, not communism, but of the philosophy of responsibility, and of Marx’s spirit of radical critique.

The philosophy of responsibility may be best represented in the problematic role of information and national security in a virtual surveillance state where Ed Snowden may be a vampire presently in the undead transit lounge of a Russian airport, avoiding the cleansing hot light of sunshine law. The disclosure of information asymmetrically held by a democratic state committed to a public sphere operates in contradiction to its multinational, geopolitical obligations.

Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him. [4] If the labourer consumes his disposable time for himself, he robs the capitalist Link

Virtuality has conditioned all forms of labour to some degree, creating different classes of worker, set against each other, not conscious of the web of virtuality that links them all into a single multitude. That unity is virtual in one sense – a potential that could be activated by virtuality in another sense, the resources of the net.

Come below the squiggle for more “mysterious forces or powers that govern the world and the lives of those who reside within it, but also a range of artistic forms that function in conjunction with these vodun (sic) energies.”