Archive for November 2020

Geico’s “Clogging,” “RATT,” and “Fencing” Commercials…

November 30, 2020


Geico Insurance has a keen sense of the surreal in life in a number of their recent commercials featuring generally happy homeowners with a fly in the ointment, something like the RATT problem, the Clogging problem, or the Fencing problem.

Modern life can be anything but easy if you’ve got the ’80’s hair-metal band RATT performing loudly upstairs, or perhaps a family of never-stopping clog dancers, or neighbors who fence with foils intrusively through your house and garden.  We’ve got to expect such things, I suppose, in this very atypical and challenging year of 2020…

The cloggers are the real-life Tucker family out of Utah performing their percussive dance, even while eating pasta or brushing their teeth; an art form can permeate every aspect of your existence, you see.  Media exposure was good for revitalizing the career of RATT, who are once again on the charts for their hit, Round and Round. And who knows, fencing may even surge in popularity in the U.S. from seeing the white-clad couple battle their way amicably through their neighbor’s property!  Think conflict resolution and fewer divorces…

 At least Geico makes bundling your car and homeowners insurance easy, and you can save money.  For other things, you’re pretty much on your own, but there’s always a life coach or Dr. Phil…  

 

“History’s Greatest Mysteries” on The History Channel

November 14, 2020

 

If you, like myself, are drawn to strange stuff, and might confess to watching an occasional episode of MonsterQuest or Ancient Aliens, you might be interested in a new show scheduled to debut on The History Channel in my area Saturday night November 14th at 9:00 p.m., History’s Greatest Mysteries.  Featuring Laurence Fishburne who will both host and narrate, the series will get into some of the strange and loose ends of history, such as the Roswell incident, the Shackleton Expedition, the sinking of the Titanic, and similar stories. 

The first episode will get into the strange story of hijacker D.B. Cooper.  While not all episodes are likely to be equally intriguing, they’re going to have three episodes alone on Roswell, for cripes sake!  I’ll withhold my coveted Pawprint of Approval rating until I’ve actually seen a few episodes, but History Channel usually does have good production values, and this new series just might be worth a look… 

 

 

VRChat Furry Hangouts!

November 13, 2020



When Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani erroneously booked the Four Seasons Total Landscaping business instead of the Four Seasons hotel in Philadelphia for a press conference, hilarity ensued as furries recreated a virtual reality version of the business complete with Trump campaign trappings on VRChat, and populated it with themselves as a hang-out! 

The virtual reality recreation of the event location is spot-on with great attention to detail, complete with Trump campaign posters plastering the outer wall, and even the podium at which Giuliani not-so-memorably spoke.  Instead of dour-faced Trump reality deniers populating the site, however, it is now virtually inhabited by furry avatars who can move about within the location while conversing with their fellows.  Truly, lemonade has been made from lemons, and art imitates life!

Talk even exists about expanding the site to include the adjoining real-life properties of a sex shop and a crematorium, which would make it truly a commentary on the human experience.  I wonder as well if Four Seasons Total Landscaping would offer attractive rates on raking up and disposing of my blasted leaves, since yard work is hardly one of my favorite things to do… 

 

“Real Vampires” on MonsterQuest…

November 6, 2020

 
We can’t all be vampires, much less Dracula…some of us are just children of the night, and I can live with that.  It’s not that I dislike vampires, it’s just that I’m much more of a werewolf guy! Besides, we children of the night have a hell of a band, being know for our music.  Alright, now we’re just a garage band, but watch for our breakout album…

…that being said, MonsterQuest recently aired a new episode titled, Real Vampires.  Now vampiric legends exist in 95% of human cultures, with the oldest originating thousands of years ago in China and India.  Kali the Hindu goddess was one such example.  A word of warning that some gruesome things covered in the episode follow…

Flashing forward to more modern times, we have the case of “JB,” who was buried in the 1800’s in Willington, Connecticut.   His remains were accidentally discovered in 1990, and his body exhumed due to its unusual condition, which included the remains being mutilated, with the corpse decapitated, the ribs broken, and the thighbones disarticulated and placed into an “X” formation on the chest…some people thought that they were destroying a vampire here.  Modern forensic investigations found that the poor soul had suffered tuberculosis, revealed in the thickening of his rib bones.  Terminal tuberculin victims cough up blood towards the end of the disease progression, which to the unenlightened may have suggested a blood feeder rather than a disease victim.

New England vampiric beliefs likely came from eastern Europe, where in Hungary in the 16th century, Countess Elizabeth Bathory,  the “Blood Countess,” was obsessed with maintaining her fading youth and lured young girls into her service over a twenty  year period of time, later torturing and killing them and bathing in and drinking their blood; she would be convicted of 80 counts of murder, and is thought to have been one of the most prolific female serial killers in history.  In 1784, the Johnson children were exhumed to presumably break a vampire curse, which often involved removing and burning or destroying internal organs of the deceased.  Years before Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, a woman called Mercy Brown in 1892 was exhumed two months after her death due to suspected vampirism, and had her heart cut out, burned to ashes, and fed to her brother, the gruesome ritual failing to prevent his death from tuberculosis, then called “consumption.”

So what gives with these people?!  Mysterious plagues, superstition, and a lack of scientific understanding can drive people to do strange and horrendous things.  Disease processes and even human decomposition were poorly understood, with such things appearing paranormal to those unfamiliar with them.  Rigor mortis and then the subsequent relaxation of muscular tissue after death can cause corpses to move somewhat, with the gases of decomposition also causing bloating and at times the expulsion of bodily fluid through the mouth that can appear blood-like.  Subsequently, those looking for vampires could appear to find them through changes in the corpses of deceased individuals. – – Get the torches, pitchforks, and stakes ready, we got us an “undead” vamp here!

Even more recently, a “vampire clan” operating in Eustis, Florida in 1996 killed the parents of one of their disciples, their leader drinking small amounts of the blood of the victims.  “Clinical vampirism” has professionally been recognized as a delusion that the blood of others is needed to survive.

After examining this extensive but not exhaustive history, MonsterQuest last examined the phenomenon of psychic vampires, who reportedly feed off the life force of others and are not themselves “the undead.”  A psychic investigator shown on camera during the episode found that a so-called psychic vampire could slightly affect a measured electromagnetic field in an interaction with another person that they were “feeding” off.  I think that many of us know people who can drain the energy out of a room by entering it…

The legend of vampires is embedded in popular culture, and involves power over someone or something else.  Portrayed over the ages as anything from outsiders to dark heroes, vampires symbolize a deep human hunger…