Predictable History, Unpredictable Past Links (PHUP)

 

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The Screaming Skull

A misplaced lilypad really is sort of creepy

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The Zombie Apocalypse Is Upon Us

Part I: Zombies Become Zombies

Americans first learned about zombies from a travel book they read in 1929, from a play they saw in 1932 that was inspired by the travel book, and from a movie they saw in 1932 that was inspired by both the play and the travel book (directly).

First, the movie.

The movie was White Zombie, directed by Victor Halperin. It starred Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, John Harron, and Robert Frazer. It’s usually described as “atmospheric,” “old-fashioned,” and bad.

Note: White Zombie has been described in the above terms, including “old-fashioned,” since it opened in 1932. The era of motion pictures with sound had begun, and White Zombie, though it had sound, was too reminiscent of a silent film for contemporaneous taste.

White Zombie Poster

Promotional poster for White Zombie.

With these zombie eyes, he rendered her powerless. With this zombie grip, he made her perform his every desire!

Even in 1932, men dreamed of finding ways to get their girlfriends to answer email.

Larger image.

White Zombie opens with a bride-to-be and her fiancé riding to their wedding in a carriage that must clip-clop uncertainly through a Voodoo funeral that is taking place in the middle of the road.

I know. Subtle. But, obediently staggering along the mouldering pave-stones along which all horror story victims must stagger, our heroes can’t take a hint.

The story of White Zombie isn’t that bad, even if the movie mostly is. Madeleine Short (Bellamy) and Neil Parker (Harron) have been invited by Charles Beaumont (Frazer) to have their wedding at his opulent plantation in Haiti, neither of them knowing that Charles intends to seduce and marry Madeleine himself. To that end, Charles has enlisted the help of his wicked neighbor, the Voodoo master Murder Legendre (Lugosi). After Madeleine and Neil arrive, Murder uses his evil, witchy-man eyeball power, along with a secret potion, a candle whittled into a human likeness, and a weird, Communist hand gesture, to transform Madeleine into a zombie.

The movie is worth seeing. The brief scene of the inner workings of Murder’s mill is likely how the movie continues to earn “atmospheric,” and the scene where room-temperature Madeline plays the piano for anguished Charles is very strange and thought provoking.

White Zombie is just over an hour long.

At the moment, the movie is freely available for watching online and downloading. And since it has a coveted place in zombie lore as the first zombie movie, hordes of misinformational essays, staring creepily at the movie from different angles, are also available. For our purposes: it’s there.

So much for the movie.

To the play.

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Digital Life

The Mind-Blowing Awesome of Great Sext

“I’m not sure what they pay condoms, but it's not enough.”

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American Politics

#NeverTrump

SCOTUS

Maryanne Trump Barry

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American Politics

#NeverTrump

Staying Conservative

Choose

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American Politics

Why are any of us obeying the law anymore?

Tyranny, lawlessness, and corruption

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American Politics

Self-determination is so 19th century.

Unelected, unaccountable apparatchiks

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American Politics

Figures and Fantasies

Nationalism, instead of social justice and Marxist economics

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The Wasteland

William the Conqueror Was Before Richard the Third

Entertained and at his game

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American Politics

The Leaked Trump New York Times Interview Is Audio from the Last Election

Check to make sure we’re talking about the same leak, though

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American Politics

Election Night with Donald Trump

2016/03/15

A Great Night for Megyn Kelly

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American Politics

Marco Rubio, Conservative Hero

Gettysburg

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American Politics

“Better to live a day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep,” Not So Much

None of the best of proverbs

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Sketchbook Story

Test

Mind the bucket.

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Digital Life

Neon Blue

Open, overnight

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Digital Life

Hot Air III

Requiem

Seasons change.

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Digital Life

The Misty Lowlands

Open, overnight

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Digital Life

Hot Air II

Clusterfark

Why?

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Digital Life

Hot Air

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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The Wasteland

Heard Around Wretch 32's '6 Words'

You have to say “person”

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The Wasteland

Air Force, Sir!

Do I look like a SIR to you?

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American Politics

The Pecker Placement Tales: The Lost Chapters

George P. Bush and Chelsea Clinton

Consider the afternoon constitutionals

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Evening Weird

#NoLivesMatter

Dead and dreaming

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American Politics

Trump vs. Obama

reel rage reath ratch

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American Politics

Cheap Labor

Almost as good as slave labor

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Evening Weird

Sea-Change

Something rich and strange

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Tactics

Ultra Unfettered

de rigueur. Mortis.

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American Politics

SoRo’s Renditions

Your mileage may vary

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The Wasteland

Tanya

You want to beat them, don’t you?

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Tactics

The Zombie Field Guide

Z-Type: Donald Eugene Miller Jr.

Still dead

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Tactics

The Zombie Field Guide

Z-Type: People Needing to Masturbate

You’ll know them by their ceaseless vigilance

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The Wasteland

Stephen Jay Gould, 1942-2002

In Memoriam

Punctuated equilibria

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Tactics

The People’s Community College

Course Catalog, Fall 2014

It's never to late to . . . “learn”

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American Politics

Notes from Pacepa’s Disinformation

. . . there are few things more difficult for Russian and Western historians today than to predict Russia’s past.

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Sketchbook Story

Cold

Coffee and bones

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Evening Weird

Alexander King: Prints from Seabrook’s The Magic Island

. . . blood maddened, sex maddened, god-maddened . . . danced their dark saturnalia

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Evening Weird

The Old Man Is Dead

An exerpt from Seabrook’s The Magic Island

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Evening Weird

Le Culte des Morts

In the Graveyard

An exerpt from Seabrook’s The Magic Island

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Evening Weird

Le Culte des Morts

An Altar of Skulls

An exerpt from Seabrook’s The Magic Island

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The Wasteland

Collette

“You don't really want to drink water, do you?”

20130805

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The Wasteland

The Waste

A poem

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The Wasteland

The Calling

A few pictures

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Evening Weird

OMG

A local copy of a witchy-woman’s avatar

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Evening Weird

Turtle Moon

A poem

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Sketchbook Story

The Mirage

All right, but there’s an eye in there

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Tactics

Laughing in the Twilight

John the Bastard Is Alive and Well

Laughs whenever he’d like

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Sketchbook Story

The Walk Home

A short poem

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Digital Life

Duty Calls

There might be hope for your planet, even now

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The Cross

An Atheist and a Christian

Overheard in bully Bottom’s Athens

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American Politics

Neurons in Debt

A poem

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Sketchbook Story

Hello World!

Let the probing begin

20120801

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