Issue 15 April 2010
Medical Marijuana Users Fired From Work
7 Deadly Sins of
The Sinful Collection of
Cover Art : Alexandra Hage
News, Rants & Politics mother used to say that some people in this world born without a full deck, those not quite right in the Damned Fools & Stupid Rules Mywere head; of course, she never had much of a stomach for
jokers or pranksters either. She really thinks some people are just damned fools, such as those who dress in motley colors and entertain, who rush blindly into love, and those who make unwise financial decisions. She may never confess it, but she more than likely thinks that I’m not right in the head either, as I’m certainly guilty of all three. And that’s probably true of most independent publishers. You have to be some sort of a fool, licensed or natural, to be in this gig. The difference in the two is that a licensed fool consciously performs an act for wealth, while the natural fool is usually just mad. Either way, my mother would argue that there’s something seriously wrong with both. But then again, what would life be like without fools? The fool, though, is seldom bound by rules; whether those be of god, man, or industry really makes no difference. We’re known to be excessive in drink and love, obsessive with prank and humor, and rebellious to authority and rule. I’m certainly a fool when it comes to independent publishing, and I doubt there are few in this city who would argue otherwise. But even fools are not immune to the basic laws of life. Somewhere in this journey of foolish independent publishing I may answer to my mother’s all-mighty and fearful God, and maybe even to The Man and his totalitarian authority, but the publishing industry itself, with its ridiculous standards and rules, can suck the sweat from my not-so hairy balls. I will do things that Industry says you should never do, like skip printing The Sinner for a few months in Seattle, let our readers wonder where the Hell we have gone, and have our staff of contributors spread rumors that I have shut The Sinner down – knowing all the while that it is nothing more than an April Fool’s joke. Some, even in our staff, have questioned my reasoning if not sanity for such unorthodox behavior. Some have even questioned their commitment to this publication. The truth is that some of us take this brief journey from A-to-fucking Z too seriously, way too seriously. For myself, this is nothing more than another whiskey and shroon trip that begins where the rabbit hole ends. And one day that will end too. Perhaps these are the thoughts of a fool, or better defined, a mad man. I really don’t care who thinks what about me or this publication of yours, meaning yours as The Sinner is a forum. I’m going to have fun on this trip, or not take part in it. And if you’re not having fun, maybe it’s time to think about climbing down a rabbit hole with a fifth of Wild Turkey and a handful of shroons – that, or cutting your fucking throat one and speeding this slow death you’re on up a notch or two. What other advice would you really expect from a fool? Let me once again speak of my mother’s thoughts. As a conservative republican, she certainly thinks something’s wrong in Me head. Discussing politics and separation of church and state with her is like pulling teeth, usually ending with each of us shaking our heads and fists. I often think of her as I sit behind this desk while I look out the window at the American flag waving in the wind from our front porch, and of this government she believes I so despise. It’s not that I’m antigovernment like she believes, nor that I despise this grand institution, it simply disappoints me. And I don’t mean in the way that Tea Baggers believe it disappoints with a black president. I believe in just government, a representation of the people. I firmly believe in the government intervening in public life, like when it gave African American’s freedom, and then equal rights, and when it gave women the right to vote, and when it forbid businesses form hiring children, and allowed unions to exists ending slave labor to create a blue-collar middle class. I liked the idea of our government creating public education, social security, welfare, unemployment protection, public libraries, interstates and bridges, and a strong military – and even national health care for all. These tasks take big government, but a just and fair government too. The ghosts of government’s past who did these great things now haunt us. Perhaps their dissent lies with Woodrow Wilson who became the first president to fuck the American people, selling not only his soul to the Devil, but every man, woman and child’s born into this nation. He signed into law the federal income tax, which eventually led to the Federal Reserve – so titled to confuse Americans that it was actually a federal institution, which it is not. Before Wilson’s death, some eleven years later, he confessed perhaps his greatest sin publicly to the American people, his part in the slow death of this grand institution, our republic. He said, and I do quote, “We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled governments in the civilized world, no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by a vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in the condemnation of it.... I have unwittingly ruined my government.” Know that prior to 1913 and the unconstitutional federal income tax on labor, so decreed by our Supreme Court in several cases, that our government functioned entirely on corporate income tax and tariffs, not corporate tax breaks and free trade. I highly suggest renting Freedom To Fascism to hear this entire argument featuring many patriotic Americans who have been found not obligated to pay the federal income tax, like the story of Joseph Banister, a former IRS agent who could not find the law mandating a federal tax on labor in the IRS code, who eventually quit the IRS and joined the anti-tax movement. The film also includes former presidential candidate Ron Paul speaking on The Federal Trade Reserve and its part in the slavery of the American people, which presidents like Lincoln and Jefferson warned of if our government ever allowed privatized banking. But in the real America today, where the blue collar has turned brown with sweat from working two and three jobs to make ends meet, something George W. Bush said was “uniquely American” in his 2004 campaign, the chances of winning that case in any state court is a battle that none of us can afford. Nor do we have the time to fight the battle, something that The Man knows all too well. So you do what you’re told, and pay those fucking taxes; that, or run for the hills and hope to live off the land without being caught for trespassing and hunting with out a license – both offenses which will land your anti-American ass in jail. But as that flag waves so proudly outside my window, upside down, stating distress, I admit that The Sinner has never owed any federal taxes in seven-plus years. Of course, you have to make money for Uncle Sam to send his gang of rogue, brain-washed agents to your door to shake you down with axes and guns in hand, and that’s something very rare in indy publishing – making money. That’s why it takes a damned fool of sorts to dive in these shark infested waters to begin with. But it’s better to swim with sharks then to slowly drown in knee-deep water... or so a fool would say. And once again, that’s a tale of fear and publishing in two cities...
Unjust Taxes & Razor Sharp Axes
2. Fear and Publishing 3. Why? 4. Weapons of Mass Distraction
6. Piper’s Pit
7. Medical Marijuana Users Can Be Fired From Work
Music, Film, Art & Entertainment 10. Huggy Talk 11. Final Veil
14. Murder Happens Unmasked 15. Flogging Molly 16. On The Scene and Heard with Malice 17. Orphaned by Ordinary 18. Alice 19. Art at Koken
Religion, Sex, & Other Sinner Shit 8. Hot Rods and Tail Pipes 9. Our Sinful Community 12. Dragged to Korners
20. Campfire Tales
21. Skin Deep with Stu 22. 7 Deadly Sins of Rockerchic 23. This, I Shamelessly Tell You 23. Ask Dr. Dick Publisher: Chuck Foster Layout: Terri Daniels Cover Art : Alexandra Hage Writers, Ranters, Opinionists & Other All-Out Freaks: Stu Mark Taylor-Canfield Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid Kimberly Peters Jeff Diggs Paul Blow Buddha Kristen Ivy Matthew Gorman Lucifer Saab Lofton Emily Eufinger Gabriel Zolman Malice Dr. Dick Henry Nicolle
Art by Crystal Rolf The Sinner is a group of contributing writers. Their opinions, rants and ideas do not necessarily reflect the views of The Sinner itself. The Sinner encourages contributions from its readers but retains the right to edit material due to content or length of submission. For advertising or submission information, contact us at email@example.com. Submission deadline is the 25th of every month.
Why? | An Essay by Henry Nicolle I
f you've ever spent any time around little kids, you've heard a thousand times, "Why?" "Why is the sky blue?" "Why do birds sing?", "Why do I have to sit here?" "Are we there yet?" "Where did I come from?" Great questions! I love kids. They're smarter than adults. They live! Science answers are easy. The sky is blue because the other colors are preferentially absorbed by the air. Birds sing because they have a song, besides they have their own special way of talking to each other. We just call it singing. Other answers are easy too because, being the "big people", whatever answer we give is going to be the answer, even if we only say "Because I say so!" That's a good answer, because after all, it is an answer. The more difficult questions leave us often unprepared to respond with a flippant or knowing phrase. "Where did I come from?" is a common example. "Mommy" will probably say, "Go ask your Daddy." Of course, Daddy is clueless. He missed the conversational context of the question, because he wasn't there to hear it. Mommy really wasn't listening. After all, kids babble on and Moms have stuff to do. So there's poor Dad, with what appears to him to be a dangerously precocious question; one for which he feels some responsibility to provide an accurate but vague answer. Of course, he's got it all wrong in his concern. All the kid wants to know is, "Did I come from Boston or Chicago or maybe Phoenix?" He just needs to have an answer when his friends announce. "I'm from New York. Where you from?" If you read my essays, you know that a recurring thought and not a positive one by any means, is that our population in America has been neutered and reduced in substance to a state of undeveloped childhood. Over recent decades, government school and central policies demanding universal "socialization", "diversity" and "sharing" have sucked muscle, backbone, pride and honor from our population and stuffed our pea-brains with inconceivably childish concepts. The effort has been spectacularly successful. As a society, we have destroyed ourselves, perhaps beyond redemption, by allowing, even demanding our conversion from adulthood to foolish, childish, unquestioning infancy. But there is another aspect to children, which may have the potential to return the Powers of government to our hands without
resorting to extraordinarily violent methods. I can show you that extraordinary violent methods to restore liberty in our country are as real in prospect as blizzards, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. Children are innocent; they learn their evil ways from us. Children begin ignorant, but they learn much from us and from experimentation, totally independent of "adult" supervision and guidance. A child's curiosity, experimentation, questions and repetition are key to the child's physical, mental and philosophical development into adulthood. We can use that same process as adult children to regain control of our governing processes and restore our status as the free and self determined men and women of a free society. We must ask "Why?" We must say "No!" and stand firm for both the answer and the obedience to our commands. Our votes are small things in the larger realms of self-governing self-determination. Small things placed with intelligence and precision are among the most powerful agents of change of energy and mass. Perhaps we should restore respect for our "meaningless" vote and employ it as the point of our Sword! Our vote and our "Why?" and our "No!" are the essential elements of our individual power. "Why? And "No!" when spoken in public and addressed to anyone in government are amplifiers of our vote. If you think about it, our absence from our public offices for any purpose other than to ask if we can make payments or to kiss some Official Turd's ass to make our problems go away is glaring and revealing. We never say FACE TO FACE "No! Damn you. You Can't Do That!" We never say "Did you actually write something that stupid and send out with your name on it?" Oh, no! God and Government forbid that we be openly critical of anything or anyone "Government". Well, children, it's time to go. Time to ask "Why?" and insist upon answers. It is time to say "No!" and enforce your command. It is time to vote for anyone except the incumbent. We cannot stop the destruction and the killing until we first stop and remove the crooks and killers. Ask "Why?" Say "No!" Do not vote for any existing elected official. Self-rule means taking responsibility and making your best efforts. You cannot self-rule if your self image and personal best are limited to loose shoes, tight pussy and a warm place to take a crap.
Flight 253 - Who Is The Sharp Dressed Man?
onspiracy theorists have recently latched onto some of the controversial statements made by attorney Kurt Haskell challenging the official version of what happened on Christmas Day in 2009 during Northwest Airlines flight 253. Haskell and his wife Lori live in Newport, Michigan. They were both witnesses to the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253 on December 25th by a 23 year old Nigerian man - Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Mutallab claimed he was acting as an al Qaeda operative who had received a month’s training and 80 grams of explosive material from radical Islamic groups operating out of Yemen. Some conservative politicians, including Senator Joe Lieberman, immediately began calling for US military intervention in Yemen. Allegations of a cover-up have been launched from both sides of the political spectrum. Media pundits from the left and the right have entered into the fray, claiming that Haskell’s story proves a conspiracy was hatched that day as part of a larger secret plan to further limit people’s civil liberties and to provide justification for increasing the US government’s efforts to wage the “War on Terror”. Kurt Haskell and his wife Lori were returning from Africa by way of Amsterdam on flight 253. He explains their version of the events on her own blog at: http:// haskellfamily.blogspot.com. In his post, Haskell claims that Mutallab was escorted through the airport by a “sharp dressed man,” referring to the title of a song by the rock group ZZ Top. He says the man, who he guessed was of Indian descent, wore a very expensive suit and watch, so he concluded that the man accompanying Mutallab was wealthy. To cast even more doubt on the subject, media reports point out that Mutallab’s father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, is a very prominent banker in his country. In fact, he is the former chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria, has served as a government cabinet member, and reportedly has significant influence in the Nigerian armaments industry. The father reported his son to the US embassy in Abuja, Nigeria on November 19, 2009 – one month before the attempted bombing. Alhaji Umaru Mutallab warned State Department officials and the CIA that his son was a dangerous extremist. Yet Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was never placed on the US “no-fly” list (officially referred to as the Terrorist Screening Database). Even more puzzling in light of this failure, is the report by the UK’s Daily Mail that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab had been banned from Britain because he was considered a possible terrorist threat by security officials in that country. One mystery that seems to surround Haskell’s statements is that another man was also taken into custody after the incident. He calls him “the man in orange”. The FBI originally claimed they arrested only one suspect. The witness told Alex Jones that this second man was about 30 years old, and looked like he might also have been from India. Another witness on flight 253, Daniel Huisinga, told MSNBC that he also saw a second man detained when the plane landed in Detroit. When they were taken away from that part of the airport, some of the passengers were under the impression that a bomb had been found in the man’s luggage, creating a very dangerous situation. Mutallab has reportedly stated that there was another terrorist operative with him on the plane. According to Haskell, the FBI’s first response to his claim was that the “man in orange” did not exist. Then they said he was arrested on immigration charges. Their third explanation was that the man was
actually a passenger from a completely different flight. Haskell says that in their fourth attempt to address the mysterious “man in orange” the bureau claimed that he had been detained, questioned and released. The FBI now admits that a second person from the flight is still being detained, supposedly on immigration violations. In January 2010, CNN reported that the man is an engineer from Nigeria. The passengers of flight 253 thought that bomb sniffing dogs had identified something in this man’s baggage. He was interrogated for an hour before he was taken away in handcuffs. At that time, the passengers of flight 253 were being detained at the airport by police and FBI agents. After the arrest of the second man, they were told that they were being moved because it was too dangerous for them to stay in that area. Kurt Haskell concluded that a bomb had been found in the “orange man’s” luggage. Furthermore, to add to the confusion, Kurt Haskell says the man wearing orange clothes videotaped Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab during the flight, but for some unknown reason the FBI did not try to confiscate the video as evidence. A woman who was also on the flight has confirmed that someone was videotaping. On radio station WTMJ in Milwaukie Patricia Keepman stated that she and her daughter watched the man film the entire flight, including Mutallab’s failed attempt to detonate the explosives. She told the audience, “He sat up and videotaped the entire thing, very calmly.” Haskell informed federal agents at the airport that the man in the orange pants had videotaped the flight. They asked the passengers if anyone had videotape showing the attempted bombing, but the man in orange did not respond to their question, so the FBI agents let it go without checking his camera. Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab had traveled to Detroit from Nigeria via Amsterdam. The “sharp dressed man” apparently told airline employees at the Amsterdam airport that Mutallab was a refugee from Sudan. He asked to speak to their supervisor, saying he was sure they could work things out, that people from Sudan were often allowed to board planes without ID. Haskell watched the two men walk down the hall to the manager’s office. Soon afterwards, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab walked onto the plane along with the other passengers. Kurt Haskell has complained that the passengers were left on the plane for 20 minutes after Mutallab’s arrest, not knowing if they were in danger from a bomb that might still be on the Airbus 330. Actually, despite the explosive material hidden in his underwear, Mutallab only managed to create a small fire in row 19 that was quickly extinguished after he was overpowered by the people on the flight. Haskell reports the Nigerian man didn’t seem to put up any kind of resistance once he was confronted. The 277 passengers were then brought out of the plane and waited for an hour, sitting in an evacuated baggage claim area of the airport terminal with their carry-on bags. Finally, bomb-sniffing dogs arrived to
check their baggage. Mutallab was transported to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor where he was kept in isolation. It seems he was injured during the scuffle with fellow passengers and suffered second and third degree burns. Reporters were told to stay out of the hospital and no information about his injuries was forthcoming from his doctors. The University of Michigan Health System
issued an extremely secretive official statement on December 26, 2009: “Although the U-M Health System has received one patient from the incident that occurred on Christmas Day aboard a plane bound for Detroit Metro Airport, we request that members of the news media contact the FBI for information on this patient.” Today he is being held in a “secure location” (no one except the feds know where Mutallab is located.) Another caveat – how was Mutallab allowed to move so easily through Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam? Shouldn’t there be surveillance camera video of him and possibly of the “sharp dressed man?” At first, airport officials in Amsterdam said Mutallab did not go through normal security procedures to show his passport. Later, they changed their story and claimed he did have a passport. Dutch airport security officials maintain his name was listed on the passenger manifesto that was given to US authorities who approved it before the plane left Amsterdam. Kurt Haskell has been demanding that the authorities in Amsterdam release the unedited surveillance video from the Schiphol Airport, which he alleges would verify that the “sharp dressed man” accompanied Mutallab. In January Dutch Military police and the FBI indicated that over 200 hours of airport security videotape had been viewed and the tape showed nothing of significance. Haskell received a statement from the FBI claiming that the video has been viewed and that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab had a passport. US President Barack Obama reportedly commented that there was no lack of intelligence on Mutallab and his intentions. What was lacking was the
written by Mark Taylor-Canfield failure of intelligence agencies to act on the information. A tape recording surfaced in January which claimed that Osama Bin Laden was behind the attempted bombing on Christmas day. In the January 18th issue of the New York Times, the newspaper reported that US government wiretaps in Yemen revealed someone named “Umar Farouk” was planning an attack in the US on Christmas. Four days before Mutallab tried to blow up the Northwest Airlines plane, a videotape was released to the media. ABC News described the speaker on the tape as “the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen”. The man threatens to kill Americans, who he describes as “the enemies of God.” Some security analysts have concluded that the attack on flight 253 was planned as a response to recent bombings of alleged terrorist targets in Yemen by the US military with assistance provided by the CIA. The Detroit News reported that US Justice Department undersecretary Patrick F. Kennedy testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security that the State Department approved Mutallab’s application for a US visa because they did not want to tip off al Qaeda. If this is true, I can only assume it was done to hide their knowledge of his connections with terrorists. I can’t imagine why the US would choose to pretend they had no knowledge of his activities since apparently the British had already banned him from flying in the UK. According to some reports, the US State Department intended to revoke Mutallab’s visa but was blocked by unnamed US intelligence officials. The “sharp dressed man”, approximately 50 years old, spoke English with an American accent. According to Haskell, with the assistance of his well-to-do friend, Mutallab was allowed to board the plane despite the fact that he had no passport or identification. Haskell is now convinced that the “sharp dressed man” was a US government agent. This is the reason, he says, that the government tried to debunk his original statements as an eyewitness to the attempted bombing, and why the Amsterdam airport refuses to release the security camera video. Mutallab had boarded a KLM flight from Lagos to Amsterdam. Kurt Haskell gives a more detailed description of the man in his second major blog entry: “The FBI asked me what accent the SDM (sharp dressed man) spoke in and I indicated that he had an American accent similar to my own. I further indicated that he wore a tan suit without a tie, was Indian looking, around age 50, 6’0” tall and 250 – 260 lbs.” Haskell is also convinced that the “man in orange” who videotaped the attempted bombing was also working for the US government. It would explain why the FBI made so many contradictory statements about his supposed arrest and detainment. It would also explain why his name and identity have not been released by US law enforcement authorities. Haskell accuses US authorities of having foreknowledge of the planned suicide bombing. He claims it explains a lot of the most puzzling aspects of the incident. For instance, the lax security after the landing, including the failure by security teams to search or secure the plane. He states in his original blog about the subject, “Today is the day I realized that my own country is lying to me and all my fellow Americans.” Another fact: Mutallab was enrolled at University College London (UCL) in a mechanical engineering program from September 2005 – June 2008. UCL administrators were not willing to officially acknowledge that he was enrolled there, even though they admitted his name appeared in their records. According to an Associated Press report, he was under surveillance by US intelligence agencies for two
years prior to the attempted bombing of flight 253. US Congressman Pete Hoekstra told the Associated Foreign Press that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab might share a connection with the US Army psychiatrist accused of shooting 13 people at Fort Hood in November 2009. Hoekstra, Representative from Michigan, is the senior Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee. It seems that both the Fort Hood shooter and Mutallab may have been in contact with a radical imam in Yemen - Anwar al-Aulaqi. Supposedly, al-Aulaqi advised two of the 911 hijackers who trained in San Diego. He also advised US Army Major Nidal Hassan who allegedly shot 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009. As reported by the publication This Day in Lagos, Mutallab’s father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, met with a CIA station chief in Nigeria and gave information about his son to Nigerian security agencies, as well as to the US embassy in Abuja. Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab had been educated at the British International School in Lome, Tonga, and then attended college in London. He then moved to Egypt and later to Dubai. His family says after that he traveled to Ethiopia, Ghana and then to Nigeria. Supposedly he trained with former Guantanamo Bay detainees in Yemen who are seeking revenge on the US. According to the Defense Department Guantanamo prisoner #333 Muhamad Attik al-Harbi and prisoner #372 Said Ali Shari were released from the US military base without trial by President George W. Bush and sent to Saudi Arabia on November 9, 2007. According to ABC News, these are the two men who are currently leading the insurgency against the US and Saudi-backed government in Yemen. Both of these military commanders appear in the video released in January along with top Yemeni al Qaeda leader Abu Basir Nasar al-Wahishi, a former personal secretary to Osama bin Laden. The FBI conducted a preliminary chemical analysis of the explosive device found on Mutallab and found that it contained penaerythritol or PETN – the same substance used by convicted “shoe bomber” Richard Reid within a few days of Christmas 2001.
Mutallab had gone into the bathroom for 20 minutes before taking his seat again and pulling a blanket over himself, claiming he was ill. Under the blanket he tried to ignite the explosive device using a syringe but the mixture failed to detonate. Instead, it caught the seat on fire, and then flames spread to the wall of the plane before he was subdued by a Dutch filmmaker named Jasper Schuringa. Schuringa told the BBC, “…he was really scared. He had a very frightened look. He wasn’t resisting or anything.” A few conspiracy buffs have suggested that Mutallab was in some kind of a trance. He seemed very subdued for someone planning a dangerous terrorist attack on a plane carrying nearly 300 people including 11 members of the flight crew. Even the man who subdued him, Jasper Schuringa is quoted as saying he appeared to be “in a trance”. “He was staring into nothing. The whole plane was screaming but the suspect, he didn’t say a word.” The CIA is claiming they were first made aware of the threat Mutallab posed to Americans when his father approached them in November. CIA spokesperson Paul Gimigliano states, “Also in November we worked with the embassy to ensure he was in the government terrorist database (Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment or TIDE) – including his possible extremist connections in Yemen. We also forwarded key biographical information about him to the National Counterterrorism Center.” The TIDE list includes approximately 550,000 names. About 400,000 of those names are sent on to the Terrorist Screening Data Base (TSDB) which is a “no-fly” list. According to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Nepolitano, Mutallab’s name was never added to the TSDB. She said, “There was never information that would put this individual on a ‘nofly’ list”. But CBS News reported that as early as August 2009 the CIA was getting information pertaining to a “person of interest” from Nigeria who was meeting with “terrorist elements” in Yemen. Yet according to the agency no connection was made between this suspect and Mutallab when his father visited the US embassy three months later.
President Barack Obama meets with National Security Council chief of staff Denis McDonough about updates concerning the attempted terrorist attack of an airliner on Christmas Day.
In addition, a policy enacted after the 911 attacks that was designed to prevent the misuse of student visas by potential terrorists failed to profile Mutallab, even though single Islamic engineering students tied to religious extremists were considered a major risk factor. Dr. Magnus Ranstorp of the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies was quoted saying the following in the London Independent: “On the one hand it seems he’s been on the terror watch list but not on the no-fly list. That doesn’t square because the American Department of Homeland Security has pretty stringent data-mining capability. I don’t understand how he had a valid visa if he was known on the terror watch list.” One very logical conclusion, based on the statements of US government officials, is that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab was allowed to board a plane in Amsterdam and enter the US because our intelligence agencies wanted to follow him inconspicuously in order to track his movements, hoping to implicate a
larger network of terrorist operatives. Whether it is the correct conclusion, I am not sure, but this is certainly the explanation the government would like us to believe. There are, however, far too many unanswered questions at this point to draw any firm conclusions. Much of what has been reported does not really seem to make much sense in the scheme of things. Thanks to folks like Kurt and Lori Haskell, the story will not go away anytime soon. I think we all owe them a debt of gratitude for standing up against the official cover-up, and for their willingness to speak the truth in the face of official obstructionism. People who display this kind of courageous behavior when dealing with powerful elements of the government and the security state apparatus help to re-enforce my faith in basic human nature. Given a choice between official lies and the difficult and possibly uncomfortable truth, some folks still choose to fight for the latter.
They Keep Us Safe And Free written by Saab Lofton
Like those three hundred Spartans during the Battle of Thermopylae over two millennia ago, the peace movement faces overwhelming odds, so let us pay homage to our heroic peace activists as they continue to do battle against the forces of evil. Unlike those colossally overrated armed forces, it is the peace activist who truly keeps us safe and free. Want proof of that statement’s validity? According to Ken Butigan’s Pilgrimage Through a Burning World, “the U.S. peace movement played a key role in ending the Cold War,” and Butigan backs this up by citing a series of historians – including Lawrence S. Wittner, author of The Struggle Against the Bomb... In his book, Wittner argues that “the missing ingredient in any explanation of this reality is the world nuclear disarmament movement that has mobilized millions of people around the world. Wittner confesses that he hadn’t expected to reach this conclusion. He assumed that the antinuclear movement had failed because nuclear weapons had not been definitively abolished. Yet as he pursued his research, he came to understand that this ‘people power’ movement had played an important role in curbing the nuclear arms race and preventing nuclear war.” Unfortunately, all too many snide cynics will claim that today’s peace movement is supposedly impotent since those lie-based, oilstealing, Human rights-abusing wars in the mid east continue unabated. Well, they’re wrong. If a woman is being raped, her resistance is NOT a waste of time. Likewise, protest is essential and has its lasting effects. At the very least, it lets the world know that not all Americans are inbred, missing chromosome, penal colonist descendents who believe everything FOX News spews. Obama, of course, could end this madness with the stroke of a pen, but even though that bigeared fuck is commander-in-chief, he actually provided the military-industrial complex with even MORE of our money to burn. I swear by all that is holy and sacred – if another motherfucker says Obama “inherited this mess” from Bush, I will go to jail for putting them in the hospital. The irony slays me: White folks HATE making excuses for poverty-stricken blacks, but Obama is the most powerful man on Earth and yet he’s showered with excuses! Even more unfortunate is the single biggest barrier to ending these wars (next to Obama’s cowardice insofar as following in JFK’s and Dr. King’s martyred footsteps): The comfort level of white suburbia. The following is from An Open Letter to Activists Concerning Racism In The Anti-War Movement... “Many white liberals cling to the notion that building a mass movement against war necessitates the use of techniques and rhetoric that ‘don’t scare away’ middle class whites.” ...and if that ain’t bad enough, check out what F.A.I.R. (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) reported...
“Kurt Hauglie, a reporter and columnist for Michigan’s Huron Daily Tribune, quit the paper after allegedly being told that an anti-war column he had written would not run because it might upset readers (WJRT-TV, 3/28/03).” ...so long as this paralyzing fear of upsetting or scaring away white suburbia exists, America’s genocidal imperialism will eventually consume the entire planet. Hell, who do you think voted for all this nonsense in the first place? According to Oscar winner Michael Moore, “88% of Bush’s support came from white voters,” and yet we’re supposed to pander to these ignorant savages? Shit, they ought to be grateful a Che Guevara wannabe hasn’t gunned them down by now! “But, Saab! Che was violent! I’m more into Dr. King.” Oh, really? Well, this sick penchant for tip toeing around the supposedly delicate feelings of white suburbia ain’t nothin’ new – as The Los Angeles Times (August 13th, 2000) will confirm... “When King was jailed, neither Kennedy nor his Republican opponent, Richard M. Nixon, initially offered any comment. Kennedy had kept the volatile issue of civil rights at arms-length ever since the Los Angeles convention; the last thing Kennedy’s staff wanted the presidential nominee to do before election day was anything that might alienate the party’s traditional base among Southern white voters. Yet a few of Kennedy’s maverick advisors urged him to make a gesture that would, at least, show his concern for King’s safety. Finally deciding to take the risk, Kennedy telephoned King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, to offer his sympathies. Also, his brother, Bobby Kennedy, successfully pressured a Georgia judge to order King’s release. On election day, black voters rewarded Kennedy, giving him 70% of their vote, significantly more than given to the Democratic presidential nominee in 1952 or 1956. Arguably, the black vote made the difference in Kennedy’s extremely narrow margin of victory in 1960.” ...thank God for those “maverick advisors” who didn’t give a damn about alienating Southern white voters – and if Obama expects to be similarly rewarded in 2012, his ass better “make a gesture” that shows a concern for the sanctity of Human life. The Iraqis and Afghanis have suffered more than enough over the past several years as it is (ask Nobel Peace Prizewinning Amnesty International if you don’t believe me). Quit pandering to the savagely ignorant and find out how YOU can help the peace movement.
Medical Marijuana Users Can Be Fired From Work By Jeff Diggs
al-Mart employee Joseph Casias was fired for failing a routine drug test while working at a Michigan Wal-Mart store in November 2009. Joseph has a rare form of cancer that has invaded his nasal cavity and brain. Josephâ€™s doctor prescribed marijuana to assist in alleviating daily pain associated with the cancer. Joseph, who is 29, lives in Michigan where medial marijuana is legal. Joseph obtained a medical marijuana card to prove that he is legally allowed to use marijuana in Michigan. Joseph was employed by Wal-Mart for five years and earned an Associate of the Year award in 2008. Joseph never used marijuana at work and never came to work under the influence of marijuana. Joseph like many people are being terminated from their employment or denied employment for failing a drug test even in states where medical marijuana is legal and the person has been legally authorized to use marijuana. There are 14 states that currently allow medical marijuana usage: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. These states shield legal marijuana users from state criminalization but do not protect from penalties enforced by employers or the federal government. Michigan, like most states, is an at-will employment state, which means employers can terminate a worker for any reason at any time except for being in a federally protected class such as race, gender and religion. Federal laws prohibit the use of marijuana even for medical usage. Employers like Wal-Mart are simply saying that they are following the Federal laws which prohibit marijuana usage. California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana, has issued 37,000 medical marijuana cards since 2004. In Michigan, the Department of Community Health reports about 10,800 people have medical marijuana cards. However, medical marijuana users are not considered a protected group. If a company, like Wal-Mart, has a zero-tolerance drug policy, then an employee may be fired even for medical marijuana usage. In 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that a private company could terminate the employment of an employee whose doctor prescribed marijuana for chronic and disabling pain. At least 16 states are currently considering the legalization of medical marijuana usage. Even highly conservative states such as Kansas and Alabama are considering legalization. The push toward legalizing medical marijuana is gaining clout. In 2009, the American Medical Association (AMA) petitioned the federal government to review the classification of marijuana
and move the drug into a less restrictive category. The AMA wants to make marijuana more accessible to researchers to determine the medical benefits of marijuana usage. The current drug classification prevents researchers from accessing marijuana. The AMA has not taken a position on supporting states that have legalized medical marijuana. A state lawmaker in Colorado is drafting legislation to make medical marijuana available to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with doctor approval. Supporters of medical marijuana argue that prescription drugs such as Oxycodone can be just as dangerous and widely abused in the workplace. Oxycodone is a widely prescribed pain killer for a variety of chronic ailments. The push for non-medical marijuana legalization is heating up. California voters will get an opportunity this fall to decide if California will be the first state to legalize marijuana possession and usage in their state. No doctorâ€™s note required. The Marijuana Policy Project has obtained the required signatures for a statewide ballot initiative. The initiative, if approved, will legalize adults to possess up to one once of marijuana for personal usage. The state, county and city governments will be allowed to impose a sales tax and establish local ordinances related to the distribution of marijuana. California is $84 billion in debt with a budget shortage of $20 billion in 2010. Proponents predict that the legalization of marijuana will generate enough tax revue and new jobs to put the California budget back in the black, or green in this case. If California does legalize the use of marijuana for adults, this does create many new questions for employment concerns. If marijuana becomes regulated like alcohol, employment laws will have to be enacted to protect employees from employment termination for marijuana usage. As long as marijuana is classified as a controlled and illegal substance by the federal government, employers are within their rights to terminate employment based on following federal laws. Anyone considering the use of marijuana for medical or recreational usage should considere the potential employment risks. Current state and federal laws do not protect a person from marijuana usage regardless of the usage type. Employers have the right to deny and terminate employment for marijuana usage. Even if you visit a state or country where marijuana usage is legal for recreational use, you are still subject to the employment rules of your employer. Think twice before you light up. The consequences may out way the benefits.
HOT RODS AND TAIL PIPES
written by Gabriel Zolman
Warning: Objects in the rear view mirror may be grosser than they appear. And some of them are downright damned disgusting. He wanted to drive, though all and any in their right mind – yea, even those far from it – denied him with a quickness that vibrated the molecules around. He had a driver's license once; it was an error that the state would not make twice. He once – yea, but once, and never more! – was blessed beyond his worth with "wheels," upon the sixteenth anniversary of God's failure to destroy him. This was courtesy of his generous and grievous mother – generous in that she birthed him, withstanding the temptation to dissolve his bug-like fetus, via drain cleaner or power wash, in her wretched, mousy, matriarchal spout…grievous in that any man, or any mortal, was ever – even drunkenly – in any way, drawn unto, into, and past, her misshapen, swollen troutflaps, and the prickly, speckled, jointed stubs passing for implements of movement, which led unto and extended from its abomination – and far worse unto worry than can rightly be described, revealed unto revulsion when uncrossed. She irked me a bit. The boy had been given a sports car…for that same deluded mother – with her gathering army of moles, freckles, and liverspots, pendulous hog-busoms, sloped and bulbous rump, unsightly toothed and tentacled vagina that terrified every tampon sacrificed into the calloused sags and ridges of its hungry, drooling Sarlacc Pit as if flung into the icy vastness of deep space – would so misjudge her foul spawn's character, that she took out a fearsome, walletcrippling bank loan (one she paid on, to the grave), to buy him a convertible – and a new one, worst of all. And what did that sweaty little man-child do? He wrecked the poor, doomed vehicle mere weeks from its reception. Verily it is whispered, that in mere days, the convertible's flawless, clean and once-pristine top appeared to have been mauled by horny, horny hippos – and this on the way back through the myriad piercing thickets of the Congo, chased by angry Zulus wielding freshly-sharpened spears…only to be slashed, hacked, stabbed and vigorously molested by drunken, angry pirates off the coast – each of them bearing scimitars, scurvy, sodomy and the lash, and making fine use of it all, before the terrors of their hooks and wooden limbs could scarcely manifest, much less target the nearest orifice, weakest link or slowest cabin boy, in a fevered lust for rum and rape, and a chance to stretch this paragraph by three more quease-inducing lines. The paint was scratched by sideswipes and wide turns, and keyed frequently by those he'd cut off in traffic, but was too daft to elude. The radio and tapedeck would be stolen scant weeks later – likely not by thieves for profit, but rather by electronics sympathizers who took pity on the sound system involved, that it might be taken to a shelter until it found a better home. The tires were crudely patched like his rigid, splotchy trousers. The windshield appeared to have caught an errant golf ball head on, in Daytona…more than once. The seats were warm with stink and unwashed loins; every square inch of their once-lush leather bucket seats was littered, if not heavily seasoned, salt-andpeppered, dusted like a crime-scene, and powdered
like his mother's heaving nose with crumbs, flecks, speckles, clumps and clots…things once haphazardly consumed, things once living and once dead – things unknown and better left as such. It was almost as bad as my bathroom. But without as many errant, traveling cock hairs. And probably less junkie piss. However, fate would finally have it – and later bat it back and forth like wounded prey – that before scant another human near his warped pubescent circle ever would lay eyes upon (or catch whiff of) that gift that kept on giving (to car insurance companies and scrap heaps city-wide), he'd finally rammed the damned thing into – and wrapped it well around – a large New Orleans palm tree, thought by many to have leapt out of the darkness, in a selfless act of martyrdom for us all. Though blood was caked about the tires, and splattered 'cross the hood, no corpse or strewn remains were ever found. Sadly – as so described by terrified policemen, and disappointed onlookers hoping to see a rolling human head – the driver would survive, mostly unscratched, and largely unwashed…and certainly unworthy of that car his lesserfinanced schoolmates might well have dashed his brains in for. (Wait… perhaps his amorphous beastmother meant well, afterall! Ah! Bless her – she tried!) And this is why – to this day – many of
his own friends disbelieve that his teenage-era Dream Machine ever existed to begin: for none would see his chariot, before it met the gods, in the junkyard, at the crime scene, in the accident report and witness sketch. But then, many of us never believed him when he swore that he'd passed puberty – for though he claimed to have grown pubic hair, there were none who'd look upon it. And though dental records might reveal the truth of his years, the truth of his dental hygiene revealed much worse. And the paternity test? None – not even his mother, the Gorgon – dares to mention those results; a Freedom Of Information Act request would lead only to a harshly-Xeroxed stack of blackedout, thumb-smudged military papers, with references to cigar-shaped aeronautic anomalies, LSD and MKULTRA, Chaos Theory, BABALON, Kecksburg, Mayan Prophecy, and MJ-12, plus a scribbled-out apology from someone named "J. Parsons." OK…I'm stretching it (a little). OK...I'm stretching it a lot. But my point is that it's odd what things stand out amid your memories of others…the rare and special infamy of a good man on a bad day or a bad girl on a good amount of X…the strange things we remember – and stranger still, forget. Especially at 4am, while you're waiting for the mescaline to wear off. But I digress. And now I'm going to stare into the fan. ***
Ultimately, it boils down to this and simmers evermore: what you've done in life can be marvelous and magickal, yet have no bearing in the least on how you are remembered. All the greatness and the profundity in a lifetime of achievements can be dwarfed, eclipsed and letterboxed by a single faux-pas, Mardi Gras, or ménage a trios. Perhaps I will make great and daring artistic strides in literature, or – long postmortem – influence some strange doomed generation…but ultimately, not one of those accomplishments would be conjured by my name in times to come, should the world choose only to recall – as my final, eternal epitaph – my having been found deceased without the benefit of pants...at home alone, and unnaturally posed…my genitals in one hand and a coke-straw in the other, weird porn blaring from my monitor, and the carpet smeared with Shiner Black and tears. That's right, dear children: you could save the world from eldritch peril, and yet go down in the history books as the Kid Who Wrecked His Car, or the Bitch Who Blew The Cat, or the Old Man Jacking Off On Ferns, or the Dead Guy Without Pants. We must strive to live in a state of cautious pursuit – our lust for life no less veined and throbbing, but clearly double-bagged and on the pill…which is to say that we should live as if each sordid, wretched moment is our last – and subsequently, the very one for which we're judged forever more. You'll probably be squatting on the john. I, however, suspect I will be free to build new legends, future recollections, for quite some time…for as the night draws to a blurry slurring close, and morning slumps hungover toward the sink, I am moment for moment more and greatly confident in that my years shall be extended by the cruelty of Fate alone – indeed, that smug misanthropy of the Great Beyond gives me greatest peace: there'd be no irony in my demise, and only modest shame. I'm not yet worth its time. There is nothing to quench Life's hearty thirst for sadism in destroying me just yet, as my life's work is not sufficiently far along to even register a snub – even by the arbitrary, menopausal quantum moodiness of Destiny itself – for what joy is there undoing what is not yet done? Furthermore, my self-esteem is not profound enough to entice the vicious humblings that Circumstance enjoys; nor am I renowned enough, or regarded quite so warmly, as to harvest any satisfying yield of the salty heartwrought tears that Fate routinely guzzles like cheap wine; further still, I'm not so certain that I've loved life quite enough to mourn the passing of my own…and above all – yea, greatest factor yet – I'm wearing pants. The pants protect me. It seems like reason speaking, but it's probably the drugs. I ponder my legacy—or lack thereof—daily, and to much chagrin…and once again, end one more rant hoping that this last one won't be it. But it's all just a reminder that the things which often make life fit to live, likewise also keep our last words out of print. It's a banana crudely stuffed into the tailpipe of our dreams: Perhaps at journey's end, it's well enough for some to be a memory at all. In this, we toast to Life and Death in equal measure...wild, Wild Turkey couldn't drag me away – but a nude and clearly scorned woman, wielding a shotgun and a ragefilled wounded heart will likely pull me from the game forevermore. But hey – you should always die in a way you could live with, no? )+(
HELLO, ST. LOUIS!... AND WELCOME TO THE FIFTH EPISODE OF
OUR SINFUL COMMUNITY! Hello, St. Louis! I’m still your host, Chet Chesterson, and my job tonight is to feature some of your local businesses with a bit of sinful flare to them. So all you in the audience please stand up and give yourselves a round of applause for supporting your sinful community, and all you folks out there watching on the boob-tube, give yourself a pat on the back, too. You all deserve it!
I tell you what, folks... tonight you’re in for a real treat. We have the founder of Cranky Yellow back stage, and let me tell you, this guy is a real hoot! I’m still cracking up and we haven’t even got started. So, with out further ado, David Wolk, everyone!!! It’s great to have you here on the show tonight, Dave. How the heck are you? Oh Gee, Chet, I’m just doing wonderful. Finally kicked that case of ravenous CottonHead Water-Moccasins. I’ll be tickled pink when we can get their soggy little carcasses shoveled out of the place. It’ll really help with business you know... That sounds like one interesting pair of flip-flops, I think. I’m gonna have to head down to Cranky Yellow and check those out, but I don’t know what the misses will think of them. Speaking of the misses, we really enjoy shopping the Cherokee neighborhood... how did you get involved in opening your own shop down there, this place you call Cranky Yellow? It’s been a total work in progress, you know. I had the idea brewing around in my head since I was 16; so many years ago. It’s nice to finally see it up and running... And in this economy, it sure is a chore! Couldn’t keep it going without the help of my amazing team. These kiddos are just the bee’s knees! I have to ask you, Dave, where did the name come from? You don’t seem like a very cranky person, does he folks? Oh shucks, Chet, I’m susceptible to flattery. I might not seem cranky, but rest assured I can have my moments. Well, if it wasn’t for the fact that ole’ Doc Thomason moved in downtown, I’d likely still be more cranky than I appear today. These pills he prescribed are just a miracle. But anyway... You know, I had such a terrible case of jaundice when I was younger. That, plus my un-medicated self, earned me the nickname: Cranky Yellow. It’s only fair to keep that name around. It’s so swell! For the folks in the audience and out there in TV Land who haven’t made it down to Cranky Yellow – yet – what is it exactly, and what can someone expect to find inside? I was hoping you’d ask me that. You see folks, it’s a whole Smörgåsbord of unusual items. We’ve been collecting the most amazing little works of art from independent artists. We also have a whole slop-pile of vintage items, kitschy junk, odd ephemera, folk-art, books, clothing, and more! It’s such a feast for the eyes... makes it some what hard to focus. He’s not kidding, folks. Every time we stop in I find something new that I overlooked the last time I stopped in. It’s an amazing place to shop, and it’s right down on Cherokee among some other great shops like Binge & Purge and APOP Records. Well Dave, I hate to say this, but we’re running out of time here. Can you leave the audience one thought to take home with them about Cranky Yellow? Oh, well... geez, putting me on the spot like this. I feel like I should have something prophetic to say. Hmmm. Well, I guess I should just say that we’re always looking for new artists to get involved with what we’re doing. Spread it around. Ha, that makes us sound like an STD. I almost forgot, Dave. Please tell the audience your address and hours of operation so they can boogie on down after the show. Sure thing: 2847 Cherokee Street, Saint Louis, MO 63118. We’re always open on the weekend 125pm, and then sometimes during the week... but it can be patchy. Our website is always open though. It’s www.crankyyellow.com. Well, folks, that’s about it for us tonight. Everyone please stand up and give Dave a sinful good night! And be sure to head on down to Cranky Yellow for a shopping experience like few others in St. Louis... and please remember to support your sinful community, without it we’d all be a bunch of brain-dead, Gap zombies.
by Paul Ace Diamond “Huggy” Blow I LOVE IT WHEN A JUNKIE MAKES GOOD! That’s right, it’s time for another Huggy Blow book review, as I actually did some reading this past month! American Junkie, by Seattle author Tom Hansen, is an interesting and entertaining read all about the wonderful world of heroin addiction and chronicles the life and times of Hansen as a musician and heroin dealer/addict in Seattle during the punk and grunge years. This book is not pretty as Tom Hansen does not sugar coat or glamorize heroin addiction. Hansen tells it as it is – abscesses and all – and really captures the mind set of a heroin addict what with the insecurities, emotional turmoil, feelings of hopelessness and fears of not belonging in this world, and seeking escape in the nirvana that heroin provides even as the drug destroys the addict’s life and body. Tom Hansen himself was only able and willing to quit heroin after spending six months in a hospital burn unit recovering from the horrendous damage the drugs had done to his body – mainly infected abscesses in his hips and legs which rotted into gaping wounds all the way to the bone. American Junkie details the six months spent in the hospital as well as events in Hansen’s life leading up to his heroin addiction, and of course the day to day life of a heroin dealer/addict. This book also features “cameos” by grunge notables such as Kurt Cobain and Mark Lanagen. Most mainstream people may not be able to relate to this book and say, “Why couldn’t Hansen have been happy drinking a few beers and watching some Leno?” But as Hansen says in his book, “That’s what happens when hope New book from Tom Hansen dies. People die. Or go mad. Or get on drugs.” American Junkie is available now at all the major outlets and author Tom Hansen is doing a book tour. Go to american-junkie.com for more details. (Published by Emergency Press) Next up is I Slept With Joey Ramone (P. 2009, Touchstone), written by Joey’s little brother Mickey Leigh. This is the most interesting Ramones’ book I’ve read so far as it reveals lots of new info on Joey Ramone, the Ramones in general, and their inner circle of friends, family and hangerons. This book does not spew filth about the Ramones or Joey in a negative way, but it is an honest book written by someone who not only loved Joey and the band but grew up with them. The book really gets interesting covering the life and times of the Ramones what with their highly colorful band members – let’s face it: Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny were some weird dudes, each in their own way, and it’s all here in this book. A few tidbits from I Slept With Joey Ramone: Author Mickey Leigh was the Ramones first official roadie, he worked full time for the band for $50 a week and they never gave him a raise. Joey Ramone was once a (gasp!) GLAM ROCKER and went by the name “Jeff Starship.” Joey Ramone suffered from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) for most of his life and also heard voices. Nobody liked Johnny Ramone. Nobody. I give this book three thumbs up and recommend it highly to any fan of Joey Ramone or the Ramones.
HUGGY BLOW’S ROCK STAR OF THE MONTH: Ian Astbury: Ian Astbury has been one of my favorite singers in rock music ever since the late 1980s when the Cult was huge after their Sonic Temple album came out. Ian is simply a ROCK vocalist in the truest sense... his voice is golden, sexy, full of rock’n’roll attitude and a sexual spirituality reminiscent of Jim Morrison. Ian Astbury without a doubt channels the spirit of Jim Morrison – or at least is highly influenced by him – and Ian even took on lead vocal duties for the Doors in 2002. Ian’s lyrical work is sheer poetry full of spiritual and mystical references that is simply mind-blowing. What I really love about Ian is how he has changed his and the band’s image so many times -- from the post-punk, new wave version of the Cult in the early ’80s to the hard rock version in the late ’80s, to the modern version in today’s times -Ian Astbury has always looked and dressed cool, the epitome of a “rock star.” That and his sexy spirituality makes Ian my Rock Star of the Month. Shine on, Ian! Spiritual rocker Ian Astbury
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! On the set with Final Veil for their new video shoot at Atomic Cowboy...
Last month I found a bulletin from Cora Camille of Final Veil asking for friends and fans to come down to Atomic Cowboy on the 28th of March to be extras in their second video shoot. With out a second thought we were in, as sinners are always down to support the local scene however we can. Of course, I had never been an “extra” before, so I brought the camera and the tape recorder to capture the moment at hand as best as I could. With TrAGiK Entertainment rolling film, I played my part as the somewhat groupie fan and let the tape recorder do its magic, capturing some great thoughts from the band on their second video production – “This was amazing, and so much fun...” was the general consensus. For those who have never witnessed a live recording for a video shoot, it’s a lot of work, even to capture the more mundane scenes. Take after take of the same song can wear on the soul, but at least Atomic had the brews flowing and any performance by Final Veil is well worth several takes. Catch these cats at Mojo’s in Columbia, Mo. on April 17. And be sure to look for their new video (coming soon) on MySpace at www. myspace.com/finalveil.
Dragged to Korners
fter showing up a day late for Katie’s B-DAY party at the Skatium last month, we decided to hang for a while in the south side, just to check out a few of the Sinner friendly bars along South Broadway that we never have time to stop in. We hit Korners (7109 S. Broadway) first. This joint is certainly a sinner’s haven, and its old-world eloquence gives it a charm and warmth like few other bars in the area. We entered knowing that Korners caters to the LGBT crowd, but as supporters of the gay and lesbian community ourselves, it seemed like a perfect stop for at least a drink or two. Once inside the doors and nestled along the bar, it seemed like the crowd was well mixed – perhaps more mixed than I had presumed it would be. As I pondered this thought, the bar tender suggested we move to the stage section of the bar before all the good seats were taken. “There’s a show?”, I asked. “Yes, one of the best drag shows in St. Louis!”, the charming fellow answered. We scurried to the front for two empty seats right off the cozy stage. Once the music began, it got even more cozier inside. Queens of all looks and shapes paraded back and forth, from the stage to each table. Surprisingly, the wife got into the fun, offering the very first tip of the night. Of course, I had to get into the action, supplying the queens with a few bucks myself, from my lips no doubt! And to be honest, I think it even moved! What an amazing show, and establishment! Check out www.korners-stl.com for upcoming shows.
PREPARE FOR AURAL INTERCOURSE…
written by Chuck Foster photos courtesy of Murder Happens
ome in the Goth/Industrial/Metal scene might find it a bit presumptuous of Metal-Rules.Com to depict Murder Happens as “the greatest Industrial Metal band to emerge from the midwest in nearly a decade...” with a new album, Dead World And Dying Suns, that is “...probably the most consistently mesmerizing genre release in at least that long.” I’ll admit, that’s one balls-to-the-wall statement considering some of the heavy-hitters in this genre today, like KMFDM, Pigface, Glitch Factor, Genitorturers, Broadzilla, and Ministry. But, if one were to combine members from all the bands above to produce an epic album of post-apocalyptic soundscapes, that person just might have the Platnium Grail of Industrial Metal within their grasp. And that’s exactly what Paul Wood has done with Murder Happens. The band’s site warns that Dead World And Dying Suns “will hit the Industrial-Metal G-spot like the fist of an angry God for even the most hardened blackened noise rock enthusiast.” And that it does. With such a mix of talent on this release, diversity is certainly its greatest strength, but the album’s masterful production is its foundation. Few bands have captured the raw passion and sheer force that is the core of the Industrial Metal scene, yet Murder Happens seems to have done so with not only ease, but perfection in Dead World And Dying Suns. One sitting with this disc will leave you with one thought: This is the greatest Industrial Metal band to emerge from the midwest in nearly a decade, and probably the most consistently mesmerizing genre release in at least that long! If it doesn’t, you need to throw your leather gear in the garbage and shag your posing ass back down to Hot Topic for a new look, and life. To fill in a few personal gaps about this new project by Paul Woods I decided to send him a few questions, in hopes that he would unmask not only himself, but the band too. So here you have it, Paul Wood and Murder Happens Unmasked!
member Brian Merry played guitar and even wrote and co-wrote some of the material with Vela Uniform counterpart Brenda Merry, who performed vocals on these tracks, as well as on ‘Anchor.” Another original member who contributed to the new stuff is my friend Jim Hodge. He wrote and performed a lot of the vocals, and did some lead guitar as well. He also wrote most of ‘White Walls’ with me.
Let’s start with the basics, who is Murder Happens? Murder Happens is my project. As far as who is in our live lineup right now, it is Justin Fisher from Glitch Factor, Mike Cracchiolo from The Bureau, Paul Kleinsorge from Cybergheist, and right now we are looking for a guitarist for live shows. Mike Scaccia from Ministry and Rigor Mortis plays lead guitar on the new record. En Esch from KMFDM / Pigface, and Rachel May from Broadzilla / Final Cut did vocals. Vinnie Saletto from Genitourterers did some production work, programming and keys. Murder Happens’ original
and he is who I work with the most on new stuff. He is also a killer sound engineer. I can be a demanding sonof-a-bitch in the studio, and Justin is good and fast with accommodating my punk ass!
How did this group of elite musicians come together? I recorded a demo for Murder Happens over 5 years ago with my friend Jim Hodge who performed most of the vocals and a bit of lead guitar. We have done a number of live shows with a number of different lineups since then, and I have made quite a few connections over that time. When we recorded Dead World and Dying Suns, I contacted a few of these guys to see if they were interested in being part of it. I was lucky enough to have guys like En Esch and Mike Scaccia interested in collaborating with me on this. Then Justin Fisher got involved and that was awesome! He currently does vocals and some guitar in our live lineup,
Her main band is Broadzilla. After that she was visiting me in St Louis while I was working on mixes, so she came in the studio and did a couple tracks with us. Hodge wrote the vocals for “As Above, so Below,” and we wanted to hear her belt out the chorus. Obviously that worked well enough to be the first thing you hear on the CD. Murder Happens’ MySpace page mentions that the band was recently invited by Martin Bowes to cover a track of renowned UK goth legends Attrition for their 25th anniversary tribute disc, Wrapped In The Guise Of My Friend. Tell me a bit about that project and how it’s coming along. That track is “Which Hand?” It is on the new CD, and is also released on Wax Tracks II (WTII) records nationally on a compilation with Stromkern and a number of other artists. That is the first song En Esch did with us. He was awesome to work with. He is a great guys too! He looks so fucking scary, but he really is a sweet dude. He was starring my friend Jake down at The Complex show a couple months back, and snarling
Esch before, and at our last show we had Charles Levi from Thrill Kill Kult playing bass. As far as touring, I would like to hit the road late this summer, but we need the right guys to do it. Really still looking for a good guitarist to fit in. What has been the most challenging aspect of MH, and the most rewarding for you? I guess the most challenging is having everything in place at once, nice and timely. Now that I have a cd I am happy with, featuring these great guest musicians and collaborations, I find myself needing a band that can go on the road. It is rewarding to have these guys on a finished CD that all sounds killer; guys who have been on posters on my wall since when I was a kid; now I need a dedicated live lineup. What advice would you pass on to a young musician today? Don’t put to much emphasis on getting signed. Don’t jump on the first offer just so you can say your band is signed. If you’re smart, you can do so much on your own, and a crappy label will just disappoint you. If your product is good, that’s even better! A good CD is just one small ingredient in what it takes for your band to do something real. Since I’ve been busting my ass with promo and such since we’ve released ‘Dead World..,’ every once in a while I stop and think, ‘oh yeah, the CD kicks ass too.’ On top of all the hard work and bullshit, by the way, the music is good. Getting away from production questions, describe MH in one sentence? MH is a result of a combination or post millennial discord and an ultra heavy beat – or We’re not Nickelback! Which sins are MH most guilty of? Eating nuns.
What was it like producing Dead World And Dying Suns, and how did the vocals of Rachel May influence its production? I didn’t have a whole lot of time with Rachel in the studio. We perform in Final Cut together and had just met in Detroit while rehearsing for a big show up there.
at him and really freaking him out. Jake about pissed himself, but if he had said hello, Esch would have probably talked to him for an hour and been surprisingly friendly. The first thing he ever said to me was that I “rocked out of control, man!” Great! What about touring, are there any plans? And has this line-up ever actually hit the stage together? I’ve never had all these guys on stage with Murder Happens at the same time. That would be insanely awesome to pull off! But, we have hit the stage with En
Last, any last words, mentions, or thanks? Yeah, thanks to PsyXX Arts for the great work on the cover. Also thanks to Ken and Ghetto Electro, Smith Lee Productions, Sihn, Brenda and Vinnie and all the people that work with me on the music! Be sure to check out Murderhappens.com for updated info on the band and to purchase their new album, Dead World And Dying Suns.
The Right Company: Flogging Molly, March 10 at The Pageant review by Emily Eufinger
logging Molly’s show at The Pageant on March 10 was, overall, a “typical” performance; the kind of show one would expect from a well-known national act: they played a lot of songs off their most recent album, and their most popular songs. In comparison, during their 2009 show at The Pageant, the legendary Celtic rock band emphasized the fact that their chosen set list deviated from songs they typically played on stage, and it was by far the best show of theirs that I’ve ever attended. Bands are—understandably—obligated to promote their newest album most distinctly. While Float, released in 2008, is an enjoyable album, it doesn’t give off a particularly upbeat vibe that one enjoys at live concerts, especially when the band possesses an arsenal of jig-worthy tunes. Float’s melodies are significantly more melancholy than much of their previous work, due in part to a repeatedly expressed sentiment: “I’m a ripe old age.” A truly frightening thought that these hard-hitting Irish folks may no longer be the same punks we met in the late 1990s. Also mellowing out the album is the fact that Bridget Regan’s fiddle stylings are prominently highlighted, and for good reason: she’s incredibly talented. Around the same time the album was released, front man Dave King and Regan were married in a private ceremony in Tokyo, Japan. There is a possible correlation between the marriage and the relocation of the band’s St. Louis concert venue from Pop’s in Sauget, Illinois—neighbor to a few exotic dance establishments—to The Pageant—a smaller venue, but more family friendly. I was disappointed that the show ended early because King had a sore throat, and that neither “Queen Anne’s Revenge” nor “Cruel Mistress”— the only two songs to feature bassist Nathan Maxwell on vocals—were played. I will admit that I
was unjustly dissatisfied when they played the Swagger version of “Black Friday Rule.” In my defense, the only reason I was let down is because they spoiled me with the live version on Whiskey on a Sunday, when Dennis Casey took that guitar solo for a ride the likes of which no one has seen since Jimi Hendrix took on the National Anthem. However, I was surprised when they declared they would play a few songs off of Whiskey on a Sunday, an album containing acoustic versions of some of their songs. The biggest thrill of the evening—for me, anyways—was hearing “The Wrong Company” live. The 36-second a cappella song kicked off their encore. As can be anticipated, there was a discrepancy in tempo—almost all the songs were played faster than they are on albums, which only increased the speed of the crowd’s frenzied dancing. I don’t generally go out of my way to see many national acts—I’m not exactly a “Top 40” fan girl; I’m also not the most relaxed when it comes to the thronging crowds of people who flock to major venues. Plus, it has to be a special occasion for me to afford $25 or more for a ticket, in addition to the marked-up beer prices once at the show. But this is one band that I don’t hesitate to reserve a spot for. The musicians’ energy is infectious; the crowd’s enthusiasm contagious. I wonder at how the band performs these rowdy shows constantly, because just singing along and jumping around while watching them wears me out. Personally, I’ve heard “Drunken Lullabies” played on innumerable juke boxes, home and car stereos, but hearing it played live with all the force of the band behind it, can be considered nothing less than intoxicating, and an experience I will never tire of.
On the Scene and Heard with Malice
A YEAR OF THE SINNER @
(one of the band members used to be in 5th Row Felons… and they promised me stories); and one of my all time favorite bands, The Hail Marys (sadly this was their drummer Stick’s last show- we have got to find them a NEW DRUMMER!); and Sons of Black Mass. There were also wildly anticipated performances by Ami Amore who did all kinds of neat tricks with swords and flames, and a featured artist from a past issue, Plastic, who painted twisted characters on cardboard box lids. He had set up his easel right next to the stage, and in no time at all had sketched a spectacular caricature of The Hail Marys. It was fascinating to watch him at work…I think we may have gotten a bit buzzed on the fumes. My new friend in the flesh and old pal on Facebook, Shawn Telkamp (new singer for Creative Diversion, we saw them at the Library not long ago ) bought a demented Cheshire Cat that would have looked so cool hanging on MY wall…but, oh well, it went to the highest bidder… I at least have a picture of the painting. This was the first time Shawn & I had met, even though we go to the same bars and listen to the same bands. You know how awkward it is meeting someone you’ve only seen a picture of…“you look kinda like this person I know on Facebook“…but what if they’re not? Um, yeah…awkward. But this was not one of those moments. We hit it off right away, and found all sorts of common ground as we’re both huge
photo by Rabid Rabbit
nce again Chuck & Terri Foster have pulled out all the stops in bringing the Sinner Family together for their First Year Anniversary held in one of our favorite places, The Foxhole inside the Atomic Cowboy! It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year, it feels like there has ALWAYS been a Sinner to be picked up every month, on every street corner, in every bar, no matter where you go in St. Louis. An outstanding line-up of “Unmasked” bands who Chuck has featured between these pages over the past year were present: Say Uncle, a very young, energetic punk band with a great sound; The Haddonfelds rocked solid punk start to finish; Devil Baby Freakshow (I love their song “You Make Me Sick“); Bible Belt Sinners photo by Gina Simon
supporters of the local music scene. We’re both glad Chuck focuses on the people we KNOW as well as introducing us to new acts we may have overlooked on our own. This paper, The St. Louis Sinner, has brought many of us together, sparked many friendships, and it gives us (the contributing writers and photographers) a purpose, a feeling of being part of something bigger than
ourselves individually. There were lots of familiar faces, new friends, old acquaintances, a masked mystery MC, a raffle giving away artworks by artists featured in past months, and so many talented performers!! 14 bands in 5 hours (well, not quite that many) is a difficult feat to pull off…and not to neglect the almost nekkid girlies from The Hot Fudge Sundays in their matching outfits – they were most entertaining to watch! Everyone was eager to participate, to see for themselves the bands they had all read about – and we were not disappointed. The crowd was a veritable “Who’s Who” of Local Heroes: Al Swacker of course, it‘s just not a scene at all without his presence; Sheena & her Crooner (featured in my column last month) were out on a rare night when neither one of them had a show to play themselves (she’s been telling me the most deliciously scandalous stories!); Shooter (you’ve probably seen him in Fifi’s ads) accompanied by 2 gorgeous women was frequently spotted among the crowd: and Katie, Ryan, Hercules, Pink, & Sticks from The Hail Marys were all grooving to the Haddonfields, photo by Gina Simon and mingling with the peeps. And we met lots of photographers and All Malice has to worry about is where to find the most local artists who also have contributed to The Sinner. happening bar with the most happening music, and You won’t find anything like the music scene thanks to this paper, I have found a town full of great here in St. Louis anywhere else in the country, not in bands. I hope that I, in turn, have given my readers Memphis, not in Sacramento, not even in Hollywood. plenty of new bands to go searching for as well. This is The local musicians here all share a tight bond, they a great town to live and play in. There are many more form a brotherhood that helps each other out, supports bands than I have stories to tell, so with any luck at all, each other in their endeavors, and actually show up I’ll never run out of stories to write. and STAY at each other’s performances. You won’t find too many Prima Donna Ass Hats with “ass-holier Hope to see you all at the next Sinner Party! than thou” attitudes, but what you WILL find are very talented, down to earth people, who love what they do HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY TO THE SINNER! and it shows. Most have HOPE YOU HAVE MANY MORE regular day jobs, most YEARS OF CONTINUED SUCCESS. play music for a hobby as an outlet for pent up aggression or frustration with the everydayness of having to work for a living photo by Gina Simon rather than pursuing any real desire to become a “rock star”. They’re regular guys and gals who like to entertain a crowd of drunks on the weekend, and maybe make a few extra bucks to buy a new guitar. Chuck Foster of The STL Sinner has tapped into this scene and has exposed it, Unmasking the players in his interviews with all these fine people who have rocked our socks each and every month for the past year. Our lives, most certainly mine, would not be the same if he were still up in Seattle. I’ve found a HOME with The Sinner, where I can write freely as Malice – my coworkers have no idea that I have this “secret identity” and it allows me an escape. photo by Gina Simon
photo by Gina Simon
The Ballad of the Iron Mountain Boys: Orphaned by Ordinary
review By Emily Eufinger
he only complaint I heard all night was, “Man, they need to turn this shit UP!” And my only regret was arriving after the show had already started. The Iron Mountain Orphans play a delightfully simple, light brand of Americana; yet they bring so much more than just music. Though they have only been playing together for a few months, listening to their melodies conjures strong memories of long-ago campfire nights spent howling at the starry blackness of sky reflected in water, accompanying a symphony of cricket song. Had it not been for the colorful strobe light at A-B’s Place betraying the surrounding bar, these laid back, happy-go-lucky boys might as well have been perched around a campfire and a small mountain of empty beer cans. The St. Louis-based band consists of Bobby Carver on banjo, Stephen Jehle on acoustic guitar and harmonica, Keith Hotze also on acoustic guitar, and Chris Stock on percussion. That’s not to mention their abundance of rotating members, like Tyler Dudley; a guy known simply as Meister from the mountains of Fort Collins, Colorado; and pretty much anyone else who wants to sit in on a jam session. The band takes its name from “The Ballad of the Iron Mountain Baby,” a song based on a true occurrence in Missouri history. In 1902, when he was only five days old, the man who would grow up to be William Moses Gould Helms was encased in a telescope valise by his mother and flung from a train barreling down the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway where it crossed the Mississippi River outside of Irondale (Washington County, MO). The revolving lineup of interchangeable musicians in this band caused them to identify with the story of the orphaned child. The whisper of brushes on a snare drum, the lilting strum of acoustic guitars, the echoing cry of the harmonica, and the melodic plucking of the banjo
all bespeak open air, rusty farm equipment, green earth, broken fence posts, and bucolic countryside. Not all their songs are so mellow, though: some hit like a Midwest summer storm—sudden, dark, and aggressive. Although Carver wrote most of the lyrics, there would appear to be no real lead singer; everyone just sort of picks up the vocals as they go along, sprinkling the tunes with raucous shouts, and occasionally adding their own lyrics. And yet, the Iron Mountain Orphans have more going for them than their musical talents; Carver and Jehle run Carver Moto-Scooter at Jefferson and Gravois, a scooter shop specializing in vintage Vespas. When they’re not working, they can be found in the garage plucking out tunes, drinking beer, bar-b-cueing, and welcoming the myriad randoms who feel like stopping in and joining them. Guitarist Hotze was added after merely one practice not only for his obvious skill with the six-string, but also for the sex appeal. Carver describes the combination of Hotze’s fiery beard and glowing eyes as “Fuckin’ magic … Keith oozes sex appeal; it’s no joke!” Many of the Orphans have played in metal bands before; however, Banjoist Carver claims, “I’m not near as young and angry as I once was.” Carver asserts that he now prefers singing about “sunshine, pretty ladies, and drinkin’ beer.” The Orphans aren’t exactly hell-bent on taking the music scene by storm; they gladly accept gigs where they can get them, but are also content to spend their weekends crooning to the woodland creatures at Sioux Passage Park. They are considering recording an album for posterity’s sake: simply because they love the songs. Since they adhere to no set schedule, these free spirits might be hard to pin down, but if you get a chance to see them perform, or just meet and hang out with them, it will be well worth the trip.
Interview by Chuck Foster
hen Alice tumbled down the rabbit hole she woke to find herself wondering if she had been changed in the night, whether or not she was the same person she had been earlier that morning before her mad adventure had begun. And that just may be the same question on the minds of all those who dare follow their queened-shaped hearts and striped-tails to Koken Art Factory on April 16 for Max Iver and The Skeleton Krewe’s latest art production, Alice. If that becomes the question, the next one might be, “Who in the world am I?” That’s the affect Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, had on the literary world when he published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, and in the same psychedelic spirit, Max Iver’s visual interpretation of Alice is sure to do the same to each who experiences it. I recently sat down with Max to discuss his new production, mostly to get a better idea of just how deep the roots of Alice will travel down this well-known rabbit’s hole. His thoughts and commitment to this project led me to feature not just an artist this month in The Sinner, but the show itself, as it is certainly worthy of such coverage. Please enjoy our brief conversation, but know that not every idea opens a miniature door, nor is every thought suitable to digest as a whole...
How did the concept/inspiration for Alice come about? The concept for Alice began very simply... I was in search of a universal story line that could be taken and added to by other artists and given their own vision and style. After a few days of running through different Ideas I stumbled upon the theme unexpectedly. I was listening to the Tom Waits album entitle Alice and it hit me at that point to do an Alice in Wonderland themed show and just simply call it Alice, like the album. How did you go about recruiting artists for this project? Most of the artists where just people who answered our call to art that was posted. As far as style goes its all across the board and there are some great talent that has come out of the woodwork because of this show which is one of the reasons we do this. To give other artists a chance to be heard and seen. What can attendees expect from Alice? And, what do you hope each leaves with? I can say that the attendees can expect the unexpected. An interactive experience both visually and sonically. That’s what we have tried to do in merging the performance/art and music into one whirlwind event that hopefully opens minds and leaves people to realize that art shows can be more than just experiencing the art on the walls.
Art of Gina Simon
What about the highly anticipated entertainment for the night? We have some stellar performances for the night. Musically we have two acts: Sinfinis, who are a darker av ante guard electronic band, and we have Brown Bottle Fever, which is a very raw old blues sound that is reminiscent of old Howlin’ Wolf or Robert Johnson. We also have some performance art for the night including Exotic Rhythms Bellydance who are a Tribal Fusion based outfit lead by Ami Amore and two other troops who will do some amazing performance based pieces. We also have local DJ Sub Rosa on the decks spinning. We have spoke about the Skeleton Krewe in the past, what exactly is this “Krewe” and how did it come to exist? Art of Mayumi Sugitani The Skeleton Krewe came together by artists like myself, Gina Simon, Ami Amore and Charity Brenner (Dark Psyche).The Krewe was formed simply to bring more culture and something unique to St. Louis through events that give people a chance to think outside of the box and be part of interactive experiences. What else does Max Iver and The Skeleton Krewe have planned for 2010? The SK has a lot planned for the rest of the year and years beyond. We are already planning a December show. The theme is still being worked up but definitely expect it to be someone out of the ordinary and crazy. I have a lot planned as well. On top of finishing up a book, my newly formed production company entitled Ikon Entertainment is gearing up to bring a huge masquerade event on Friday, August 13th, featuring national act Beats Antique as a headliner with lots more of performances, music and art. Expect this to be one of the summers biggest events! Not to be missed. Any last thoughts or words on Alice? I suppose we would like to thank Koken for helping us and being such an amazing group of people and the Sinner for always supporting what we do and the arts in this community.
Art of Max Iver
So when the doors open at Koken on the 16th know that there is no magical key needed to enter this warped rabbit hole called Alice, only a few gold coins and a lethal curiosity. But let me warn you that once inside the cake that says “Eat Me” may do far worse than augment your size, it just may leave you questioning everything you thought you knew – even who you are...
The Biker Ar t Show
Hell’s Angels & The El Forasteros
hen Brandy Rodgers from Steel & Ink Studio invited us down to Koken Art Factory Chris Sabatin for an upcoming art show last month there was o no hesitation in my response, “Hell yeah, we’ll be there!” With no other information given by Brandy other than it was an “art show”, I ASSumed it was a tattoo-themed gig of sorts – well, at least my assumption didn’t quite make an ass out of myself. We pulled up to Koken to find a half-block deep row of custom bikes out front, meaning real bikes, not cheap imitations from Japan. Inside we found a slew of biker enthusiasts and tattoo artists, ranging from the notoriously famous Hell’s Angels and The El Forasteros to ink slingers like Brandy from Steel & Ink, Chris Sabatino of Art Monster Tattoo, the cats from Trader Bob’s, and the gang from Mamma’s Tattoo. Local artists were also presGus & Wax ent this night, biker-friendly folks like Jim Trotter, Jennifer Hayes, and the proprietors of Roadrash Designs. Also in house were the fine crew from The Biking Life. Having such a motley crew present, the ilk of such different clubs, one might wonder whether or not all Hell would break loose before midnight. I admit to having first wondered those thoughts upon entry, but after mingling with this crowd of Hell-raisers for a few hours my over-the-shoulder guard dropped. I eventually asked every biker in attendance to pose for one shot to capture this spellbinding moment on film. Surprisingly, they gave about three seconds to take the shot – about five seconds longer than I expected. In turn, I wanted to give Koken, Hell’s Angels,The El Forasteros, and all those others a big thanks back!
By Matthew Gorman
THE GHOSTS OF BALEROY MANSION I
n the scenic and affluent Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania stands a stately thirtyroom Victorian mansion that is steeped in history. This regal edifice, constructed in 1911, is known as The Baleroy Mansion and contains literally thousands upon thousands of valuable and historically significant antiques and artifacts of yesteryear. The home’s former owner, one George Meade Easby, was an avid collector who amassed these items over the lifetime that he spent in the home. In addition to this treasure trove of priceless antiques, however, the mansion houses something else entirely, something far more otherworldly. Indeed, The Baleroy Mansion is said to be one of the most actively haunted houses in the world today, replete with a veritable pantheon of ghosts. But one cannot truly tell the tale of the haunted home without telling the tale of the aforementioned George Meade Easby, who lived at The Baleroy Mansion from the age of six until his death at the age of 87 in 2005. The young Easby would grow up to become a millionaire philanthropist and a person of great note in the who’s who of Philadelphian polite society. Easby was also the great-grandson of U.S. Civil War General George Gordon Meade and a descendent of seven signers of the Declaration of Independence, lending him a great deal of historical prominence as well. Throughout his life Easby wore many hats and seemed to be equally successful in all his endeavors. Though he hailed from a wealthy family to begin with, Easby acquired a great deal of his personal wealth as a well-known Hollywood actor and producer. He was also a successful cartoonist after World War II and a radio talk show personality for some time as well. In addition, Easby served his country working for the U.S. State department for over 25 years. His first love, however, was the collecting of antiques and fine art. Now what lends some places to be haunted while others with perhaps an equal amount of history are not is typically anyone’s guess, although the theories quite naturally abound amongst those who investigate the paranormal. However, it is thought that in the case of The Baleroy Mansion it is the sheer number of antiques, each piece with its own colorful history that may be the cause of so much documented spirit activity within the house. In essence, many people believe that the antiques’ former owners may have come to stay with the antiques themselves. While this theory may certainly hold some water, it does little to explain one of the very first paranormal experiences to occur at the home. An experience that happened to a six-year-old Easby the very day his family first moved into The Baleroy. Excited by their luxurious new home, six-year-old George and his five-year-old brother Steven (some accounts have the boys’ ages at eleven and ten respectively, though there appears no explanation for the historical discrepancy) rushed to the fountain in the courtyard of The Baleroy to espy their reflections in the water. While George found his own reflection to be quite normal his saw his younger brother’s as that of a skeleton! It was only a short time later that Steven would die. The incident left an indelible mark upon George for the rest of his life. Steven never seemed to leave the house, however, even in death, and George would feel his younger brother’s presence in the home for the measure of his days within The Baleroy. One incident involving the ghost of Steven,
pot flew across the entire room and struck the minister in the head. It is certainly clear that not all of the ghosts who dwell within The Baleroy are particularly pleasant and some are even prone to violent acts against the living, a fact that makes this haunted house all the more terrifying still.
occurred when George was an adult entertaining malevolent energy but her origins are unknown. guests at his home. The partygoers were all outside on It’s hard to say exactly how many spirits are the terrace when a large crash was heard from inside actually in the home, a psychic by the name of Judith the house. Upon investigating, George and his guests Richardson Haimes was said to have remarked upon discovered a portrait of Steven that hung in a gallery entering The Baleroy for the very first time, “ My God, in the home had inexplicably I can’t believe how many spirits flown some fifteen feet down are in this house.” the hall. George knew that it George Meade Easby may was Steven’s way of getting have been a bit sensitive as attention, not wishing to be well (this might go some way in excluded from the festivities. explaining the harbinger of death Some restoration workers that he observed with regards to who were working outside by his brother) as he certainly saw the very same fountain that and experienced quit a bit of had foreshadowed the child’s ghostly activity during his years death also witnessed Steven’s at The Baleroy. He claimed to apparition. The men observed have heard footsteps and loud a young blond child peering knocking almost every single down at them from a window day of his life as well as having above, the boy was a spitting many eerie encounters during image for Steven. One of the the night. two men refused to return to One night as he lay in The Baleroy ever again saying bed preparing to sleep George he couldn’t shake the feeling recanted that he felt pressure that something was always next to him as if someone was Gen. George G. Meade watching him. sitting down on the bed next to Steven is not the only him. Then something grabbed member of the Easby clan to remain within the his arm violently! He turned on the light but found no home after death. George claimed to have seen the one there. In the morning his arm was black and blue. apparitions of his uncle and his mother on many Flying objects, such as Steven’s portrait, were an occasions within the home as well. But it is more than occasional occurrence as well. Easby’s longtime friend just Easby’s who number among the many phantoms and fellow antique collector, Lloyd Gross, an avowed that still haunt The Baleroy to this very day. skeptic of the supernatural was made a believer while Other ghosts within the house who were observed guiding a reporter through the historic home at the by George and many others over the years include that behest of Easby. In the East room, which had been of Thomas Jefferson (many of his former possessions George’s mother’s former bedroom, both men were can be found throughout the home), who is observed shocked to see the reporter’s tape recorder go flying in the dining room next to a tall grandfather clock, from his hand across the room. The reporter was the ghost of a friendly monk said to dwell upon the quite shaken up claiming that something had actually second floor, as well as the not-so-friendly apparition yanked it from his grasp. of a cantankerous old crone who walks with a cane. On another occasion, during a party thrown at the Those who see her ghost are often beset with feelings mansion for a visiting minister, around twenty witnesses of despair and even terror. She is considered to be a looked on in fear and amazement as an antique copper
The Chair of Death: Without a doubt, however, one of the scariest and most famous of the home’s haunted phenomenon involves The Blue Room and a twohundred-year-old blue upholstered wing chair that has come to be known as The Chair of Death. The chair, which is said to have been owned at one time by Napoleon himself, has earned its cursed reputation because the last four people who have sat in the chair have met with untimely deaths not long after. George Meade Easby said that the chair is haunted by a malevolent spirit he called Amanda (some accounts say that he called her Amelia, yet another frustrating discrepancy that is the bane of all ghost researchers) who entices people into sitting in the chair. Amanda appears as a blue fog typically in The Blue Room where the chair is located or in the connecting reception area. She has also been known to leave the mansion and to follow people home as well. In one instance, Easby’s friend Lloyd Gross looked through the Blue Room’s doors and saw the blue fog that heralded the presence of Amanda. Remarking that it was so cold he could see the atmosphere to Easby he was shocked when Easby corrected his assumption by stating rather nonchalantly, “Oh no, that’s not fog, that’s the ectoplasm.” Later on, when Gross was walking to his car with Easby following him out he felt someone hit him. He asked Easby why he had hit him to which the second man replied, “I didn’t hit you, I’m way over here.” That’s when Gross knew that Amanda was following him. In his home later that night he witnessed the blue fog again. Needless to say, he was shaken up pretty badly by the whole ordeal. Even more chilling, however, is the tale of the chair/Amanda’s last victim, The Baleroy’s former curator, Paul Kimmons. Kimmons, like Gross, had been a skeptic with regards to the paranormal, having worked at The Baleroy for years without experiencing anything out of the ordinary. One day, however, Easby asked Kimmons to escort the aforementioned psychic Judith Richardson Haimes through the house and it was only moments into the tour that the blue fog appeared coming down the staircase towards them. Paul was absolutely terrified. A few weeks later Judith received a telephone call from Kimmons who was out of his mind with terror. He claimed that Amanda had been following him and that he had seen her everywhere, at his home, even on the street. Not long after, while at The Baleroy, Kimmons sat down in the death chair. He was dead within a month. Judith doesn’t believe that Amanda is actually evil. She feels that the ghost is just misunderstood. She believes that Paul was dying already and that Amanda was simply attempting to help him cross over. Of course, George Meade Easby was fairly convinced of the spirit’s malevolence and the chair’s curse, so who’s to say who’s really right or wrong especially with such a tricky subject as ghosts. One thing’s for sure though, I know I wouldn’t sit in that fucking chair.
Skin Deep with Stu Photography by LB Photography (LBfoto1@yahoo.com)
et me start by Saying that the purpose of this monthly column is to offer information and a personal view on matters involving body piercing and modification and is in no way meant to put myself above any other artist in the industry. Secondly, if you have a horror story and choose to share it with us, DO NOT give the name of the artist involved as I will just omit it anyway. There are many artists in the St. Louis and surrounding areas that deserve nothing but the utmost respect from myself and supporters of our shared profession. If you have a question about piercing/modification, a story, or just a desire to better understand the culture and would like that answered, please send them to: Stu@StuModifies.com. Hi Stu , I had a question about genital piercing. Is it possible to get waxing done with them? Also how about tanning? Can I just cover it? love your work and your article btw your amazing ;) -Anonymous TX Hi and thanks so much, that’s very nice of you to say and I am glad you like my work. Now I hate to do this but you didn’t include your gender so I am going to have to go by the assumption that you are female. If you’re not please except my humble apologies, but either way the answer is about the same just plug in the different anatomy where needed. Now first things first, the answer to your question largely depends on the nature of the genital piercing selected. A vaginal piercing which rests on the prepuce or labia menora is less likely to touch closely to hair follicles, however jewelry in the mons pubis or labia majora are more likely to be crowed with them. The first question is where do you want it and hopefully I can help you to determine which one best suites your lifestyle with a couple quick facts. 1. Wax is never good for any piercing even after it is completely healed. If wax gets into the piercing site it can cause complication. A skilled and experienced body waxer should have encountered genital piercing multiple times, so he/she should be able to work around it. Perhaps consider having the surrounding areas waxed and the areas closer to the piercing site tweezed. 2. Waxing does cause very light trauma to the superficial tissue and in some people it may spread into and irritate the piercing. This simply means, in my opinion, that you should just treat the piercing like new for a bit after the procedure is done assuming any irritation occurs at all. Now lets move onto tanning… Tanning is not conducive to healing or maintaining piercing work at all, in fact it has terrible effects on it. We see people pretty often that want so badly to have that dark tone that they often over tan themselves and that results in some pretty unhealthy skin. It becomes almost calloused and thick. The proteins in the Elastin (responsible for the stretch of the skin) become damaged which makes it easier for the body to reject the jewelry because the skin doesn’t stretch over it as well. So how do you get your cake and eat it too? Well there’s a saying that works well for this and it goes “A hunter chasing two hares usually looses both”. Unfortunately that’s the truth, but there is always compromise. 1. Don’t tan too much. You may want that darker skin but often the after effect is not what you would like, especially if it’s rushed and or forced. So take it slow. Your skin will thank you. 2. Keep the piercing covered. Keep in mind that it is not enough to simply cove the beads. There is a rule that any measurement of skin damaged has an equal to or greater than spread of irritation ie. A 2mm puncture in the skin will most likely have a irritation spread of about 2mm-5mm but ongoing irritation will spread further, so the 2mm can easily become 25mm. I know its kinda hard to understand at first but just think of like this: draw 10 small circles around each other getting bigger as you go. Now go over the inside circle 5 times and then decrease the amount by 1 as you move outwards. You have just demonstrated the spread of irritation. The only difference while tanning is that the spread is reversed working from the edge of your cover into the piercing site. The longer in the bed the further under the cover the spread may reach. 3. Many lotions and oils used for tanning can harm the piercing as well so I do not suggest getting them on or near your piercing. Hope this helps out and thanks for a great question. All questions will be answered by email or by a request for you to call me directly and may be in the next issue of the St. Louis Sinner! Thanks for reading! Stu (Myspace.com/StuModifies - Facbook.com/StuModifies) Self Inflicted Studios (Myspace.com/sistl) 1328 Washington Ave in St. Louis - (314)-621-4660 Stu@StuModifies.com
THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF...
Rockerchic, aka TRISHA
ockerchic, aka Trisha, is a local model who first entered the modeling scene as a go-go dancer at the old Rum Jungle several years ago after having been approached for the position while out dancing the night away at a local club. Since then, she has moved on to more serious modeling jobs as a fashion model and has even landed a spot in a Camel Cigarettes’ ad. As a vibrant young lass, her admitted turn-ons are a great smile that makes her melt (she loves a smile) and nice teeth, but she’s confesses to having a thing for tattoos and the rocker type guy. Her turn-offs are bad hygiene, no job, someone who always wants to go out, a bad personality and just a rude person. Her ideal date, she admits, sounds lame to some, but says that she’s pretty easy to make happy and thinks a cute date would be going to Forest Park Boathouse for some lunch and then ridding the boats and getting to actually know each other. And if you’re wondering what her dreams for the future are, she says that she would like to see herself in a stable relationship, maybe married, with a great job, just loving life – but still going to concerts, because she can’t quit those – She’s the Rockerchic! And now she confesses her guilt of the 7 Deadly Sins...
GREED I’d love to move to LA or Chicago and rule the go-go scene. Make tons of money shakin’ my go-go gadget and livin’ life large..
WRATH Blast some hardcore music, grab you by your hair, throw you down on the bed or wherever we are, tie you up and, well, you finish it....
LUST Trying naughty things never hurt. New tricks and toys help keep everything exciting.
ENVY Jonathan Davis from Korn’s wife, she’s the luckiest woman alive to be married to him. All I’m asking is to share a little!!
SLOTH Rockerchic Defiance Pointe
Layin’ in bed all day with a special someone and just being silly and enjoying the day.
GLUTTONY Eating whatever I want when I want it. Usually them late night snacks by myself. I’m waiting on someone to join me. Any takers???
PRIDE I take pride in being me. I think I’m amazing at most things I do. A lot of people hate but that’s life. I’ve done some huge things, such as tour with Korn. I don’t see any other models doing it big like that. Just sayin’.. So now all my sins are confessed. I am free to go out and commit some new ones! You can contact Trisha at: www.myspace.com/sexysomgirl
Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS Sex Therapist, Sexual Health Counselor and Sex Advice Columnist www.drdicksexadvice.com
and the Law of Supply and Demand Dr. Dick, Providers and consumers are two sides of the same coin; the operative word being coin. Few things are more troublesome to the social hierarchy than the notion of sex for money. And yet, as the saying goes, there’d be no supply if there weren’t a demand. I travel a lot for work and often get really lonely on long trips. I don’t go to bars, because I don’t drink. The idea of looking for sex in a bathhouse or sex club puts me off. Lately I’ve been thinking I should just hire an escort, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin. It must be a pretty common phenomenon thought, because I see tons of ads for escorts on line in every city I go to. Any suggestions on how I might proceed? — Gabe I presume you’ve ordered out for food while traveling for business, right? Finding a satisfying “order-out” sexual adventure is not all that different. In the case of an escort, the commodities are charming company, erotic massage, and possibly a little sex, instead of potstickers, mu shu pork and Kung Pao Chicken. Now if someone would devise a marketing plan to combine the two — erotic massage and mu shu pork? We’d all die from an overabundance of bliss! Not all order-out is created equal. Just as there is bad food, there are also unsavory escorts. Do your homework. You already know there are scads of escort or rent-a-boy sites on the net. There are also plenty of review sites, where customers of the provider leave their comments regarding levels
of satisfaction and the like. Most escorts, particularly the really good ones, immediately call your attention to the reviews they’ve received. It’s like having the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval stamped on your ass. Start by interviewing a few working boys. This can initially be done via email. Ask for further information about services and rates. Many escorts have photos of themselves available to send to prospective clients, so you might respectfully request those. If at all possible, include a photo of yourself — or at the very least, an accurate description. When communicating with a service provider, NEVER suggest that you are offering money for sex; in most jurisdictions, that’s against the law. While most clients hope to get a little sex in the encounter, the money exchanged is not for the sex. It is for the provider’s time and expertise. This may sound like splitting hairs, but if sex happens it is by mutual agreement by consenting adults during the time you’ve arranged to be together. Finding the right escort for you is your task. Know what you want and know how to ask for it. Don’t waste your time or that of the provider by beating around the bush. If you are new at this, say so. The rent-a-boy, if he’s any good at all, will be familiar with this territory and help you though the initial conversation. There are different levels of pros out there; each will have his own fee structure for services provided. If you’re looking for something kinky, be ready to pay more. Never bargain with the provider. If he’s out of your price range, move along. Or come right out with it and say, “Listen, I have X amount of money to spend. Are
Dr Dick’s Sex Advice you available?” This gives the provider the option to see you at the discounted rate. You’d be a fool not to insist on safe sex, but there’s a shitload of fools out there. When arranging an outcall to your hotel, there may be an additional surcharge for traveling cost. This should be agreed upon before the deal is struck. Not all prostitutes are prostitutes because they want to. But most guys turn pro because they’re good at what they do. And most enjoy the accompanying lifestyle. The truly successful provider will have a string of regulars, men they have a somewhat more intimate connection with. Kinda like finding a great Chinese restaurant and becoming a regular there. The proprietor might just offer you something not on the menu as a way of ac-
This, I Shamelessly Tell You
knowledging your preferred customer status. Get it? Some johns use the service of an agency, which can be a reliable way to go at first. However, I believe the hard-working independent entrepreneur is often one’s best bet. You’ll also find among the independents a unique phenomenon—Gay for Pay. These are ostensibly “straight” (and I use that word in quotes with great intent) guys who will have gay sex with gay men for money. In the old days, we used to refer to them as trade. And like we in the business say, “today’s trade is tomorrow’s competition.” Remember, a wise and informed consumer is happy and satisfied consumer.
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid
How to become even sicker by going to the hospital for routine stuff, and how to keep scening while you are recovering so sick I won’t be able to do anything by myself, easily, and I’ll have to walk with a freaking cane when I’m out in the world’. Still, without my consent, the universe decided I needed a lesson, or something silly like that (personally, I don’t believe in a punishing God or Goddess), so after that visit, (two days after, exactly), I started to feel like I had the flu. This progressed to the following Sunday (the visit was on a Tuesday), to my left knee being in such pain that by that Monday morning, my honey/slave and I were on our way to the UW Medical Center emergency room to see what was up. Unfortunately Western medicine is in no way capable (especially in its current really messed up state) of dealing with one’s whole body, so they Seattle Next Door Photography only focused on the knee pain, not the mouth pain (which by then had made it difficult to chew he sun is out, as are all the ‘ten-year-olds’ – bopping to i-tunes and texting, walking down the or swallow comfortably) or the sudden appearance of sidewalk. Okay, I admit that’s pretty sarcastic of me a group of angry, red spots on my chest. Those turned to describe grown up people as ‘ten-year-olds’, but into a full body rash that literally went from head to hey, I’m old, so I’m entitled. Normally this only mildly toe in a horrid, leprosy-like contagion that made me annoys me, seeing healthy people turn into ‘Borg’ in get tears in my eyes just looking at it. No one at the front of my eyes, but now that I am ‘with cane’, after emergency room knew what I had, and their ‘solution’ being diagnosed by my naturopath as having a staph was to suggest putting an eighteen guage needle (we infection (which I very likely got on a recent trip to my only found out that it wasn’t eighteen inches after my clinic for a routine ultrasound), the possibility of people partner spoke up for me, demanding they give us more too clueless to pay attention to what’s in front of them, than ‘medical speak/shorthand’) under my kneecap to ‘tap it’ (what does that really mean, I wondered, still in me, makes me see red. No one wakes up one morning and says to pain) for fluid and do more tests. Well, after being there over four hours already, themselves, ‘hey, I know, today I’m going to become
in barely out of pain (somewhere in this nightmare, a more understanding doctor on the team came in and offered me pain meds, which I took, gratefully) I declined this Draconian-sounding procedure. At which point, the doctor suggesting this, gave my partner/ slave and I a disdainful look and exited, and the kinder doc came back and explained a little more, but I still left without that bit of hell being done to me. Next day, at my naturopath, I found out my mouth was sore from both a thrush and strep throat infection and that the knee procedure could have done even more damage to my arthritic knee (the staph infection kicked my arthritis into high gear, which hurt like hell). She put me on a ‘cave woman diet’ of meat and veggies and mouth gargling with salt and vinegar, bed rest and basically continuing with my regimen of healthy supplements (cell food is your friend if you’re sick, and so is ginger tea!). So, two weeks into the worse medical /health crisis my body has ever undergone, I’ve learned a couple of things: people who’ve never been even temporarily disabled are butt ass stupid (I’ve had people stand in my way to say ‘hi’ though I didn’t know them, mostly men, and had people nearly run over me in cars and on two legs while texting). A cane will not make the world around you more compassionate and ‘green’ Seattle is not nearly as accessible to the disabled (at one point I had to use a shopping wheelchair in the supermarket and the experience made me come home and bawl like a two-year-old after nearly being bowled over, nearly having a couple of displays come down on my head and people in general act like I wasn’t there). And I
have the world’s best slave/partner. Who else would dress me like a child when I couldn’t do it myself and let me cry for nearly half an hour on his/her shoulder after the awful shopping experience my first day ‘with cane’. Nonetheless, being the top I am, I’ve kept things light (or tried to when I wasn’t feeling like going out with a machine gun and mowing down clueless able bodied ‘Borg’ in the surrounding neighborhood, downtown having been nicknamed by me, ‘the belly of the beast’) by having my slave dress up in her maid’s outfit to serve me dinner (nothing like a bit of ‘meat’ showing through crotchless undies when you’re being served your meat and veggies of the day). I also had her go downstairs in a pair of my capri leggings (which I knew would show her ‘package’ to all who dared look down, since I didn’t let her wear undies underneath) and oversized shirt to get my mail. And we cuddled a lot and hugged,a lot. Mostly, she/he kept me from losing it, continuing to literally kiss my butt and bury his/her face in my scarred bosom, saying I was still beautiful to him/her. I hope to be all better some day soon, but in the mean time, I’m coping, a tear or two necessary after dealing with the ‘mean, old world’, and I almost cheered the other day when I was finally able to climb up the stairs to the bus for my sally into the world. Still need the lift on the way down, as my knee still locks up a bit and hurts me when it has to do things it isn’t ready for, but hey, I’ll take my little victories where I can find them. This, I shamelessly tell you.