Saturday, March 18, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
Hiking Leprechaun © Artie Romero and W. Kirk Kennedy
Hmm... Actually, I'd be tempted to call this edition "Saints But No Angels" - or "Saints & Leprechauns"?!? But I'll abstain from that...
Just as with St.Valentine's Day, -which mixtures three possible saints, angels of love and pagan myths to concoct a so-called "holiday"- St.Patrick's Day is a mish-mash of various ingredients that perhaps should NOT mix...? A saint's life, some folklore and those pesky leprechauns make up those "ingredients" this time... Take out the leperchaun (purposeful typo there - a first in the history of TLB Prime!) and I'm in! The pot of gold is but a "get rich quick scam" too - the devil comes up with them all the time himself...
Some of the other folklore, myths or legends surrounding the Irish are quite fascinating indeed though... The uncanny ability to guzzle vast amounts of brewskies must be a talent that goes very much appreciated in any tavern in the ole country... Likewise, and truly to be envied, is the fabled Luck of the Irish! Anyone who survives the Potato Famine has got to have good ol' Lady Luck squarely on his side, I say! I am not sure though that the best embodiment of that uncommon luck is... a cat? They may have nine lives, but still... Cats aren't so lucky the way I see them - strays who die of hunger, abuse or end up as roadkill... If ol' whiskers there has a loving master, such as is obviously the case for "Bruiser" there (below) - maybe then... MAYBE... luck is on its side! Otherwise... forget about it!
Although Bruiser is to my knowledge a Mancunian cat, he certainly has something of the luck of the Irish. He has risen from being a shy scruffy stray who lived behind my dustbin to the famous artist's model that he is today. This card features many St Patrick Day symbols, but I'm afraid that I didn't have the space for a harp! - artist, Angela Cater
© Angela Cater
Hmm... a Mancunian cat, eh? Tis The Manchurian Candidate's animal de compagnie?
No wonder it is a spooky creature then! *lol*
Okay, maybe I am not a "cat person"... even though I have co-habitated with a feline felon for years now! But that is another story...
Ultimately, all I want is to decry the lack of focus, once more, on the real center stage star of the day - in this case, St.Patrick himself! And, on March 16th (which, on top of being "Everything You Do Is Right Day", was also St.Urho's Day!) it is another problem altogether - no one seems to know who St.Urho is or what he did! Granted, in both cases (as shown in the main link today) some facts seem to be more legend than actual fact... but still! St.Patrick existed - he was as pious and admirable a man as St.Anthony of the Desert and St.Antonio de Padua, to name two extremely good examples (coincidentally, both previously "spotlighted" in this series too - check out the archives!)
As for St.Urho... well, decide for thyselves, people!
Note though that the latter hails from Finland, if you do not know - however, strangely enough, he seems to have had his "holiday" originate in Minnesota, USA!
Maybe the Saku Koivu fan club cares as much for St.Urho - the saint who did to locust (grasshoppers is a less intimidating designation for the little miscreants) what the Pied Piper did to rats... and what St.Patrick did to snakes, of course!
If only world leaders today were HALF as useful...
Labels: Saints And Angels
Thursday, March 16, 2006
To complete in style our triumverate of suggested sites to browse through, what better than the one site that offers a full-fledged exploration of the wondrous world of the paranormal? Yes - herein, the anomalies are even more numerous and the bizarre... well, is the norm! Herein, things will actually get delved into and not merely brushed aside with amusement and skepticism! Here, entire cases will be presented - and many are submitted by YOU, the public too! This wondrous site is none other than paranormal.about.com - and it is almost unequaled in its niche!
Alas, as with other site that allows and even encourages the anonymity of its users, there are abuses. Hogwash is often posted - dudes with attitudes but with the wrong causes to champion allow themselves all the liberties that forums allow to the layman and the ignorant. Others are simply misguided in their actions and words, and those can be excused. "Usernames" though are an open door for the worst kind of behaviour - on virtually any public forums / message boards. Is it a necessary evil? I am not sure what the answer is there... We can always hope hackers will focus all of their attentions on those troublemakers, instead of the good folks... for a change?
As for the paranormal per say - ghosts, yetis, aliens and other creatures. You will find them all on this site! The worst of the worst though remain the wannabe Harry Potters out there - they who know not what they are asking for! The devil does not give anything away for free, you know! Logically!? NO ONE DOES! Hence, seeking abilities that can only come from him is most unwise... No, folks; you don't want to lose your soul over the vain desire to actually fly to the moon, either after watching an umpteenth re-run of The Honeymooners or listening for the umpteenth time to ol' blue eyes' "Fly Me To The Moon"... And besides, even Potter can't do that!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
In the immortal words of Chumbawamba, "how bizarre, how bizarre" indeed... (you didn't think I was going to quote "I get knocked down - but I get up again - no they never can keep me down!", did you? Maybe some other time, when it fits the situation a little better and, hence, seems to be more... à propos, eh?)
bizarrenews.com is simple in format and offers a variety of things - from video clips to featured odd products for actual sale, along with the ever-popular bizarre pic of the day! The most interesting part, for me, is the calendar! Thanks to it, I was informed that the day before yesterday, March 13 thus, was Jewel Day! I hope she enjoyed being remembered (as I remembered her so recently, incidentally! When I put together this playlist that is heard right now on the blog; a playlist honoring women for Women's Day! The video with Enya that precedes Jewel on there ends with Enya being presented with a case obvious filled with precious stones... THAT is how I remembered Jewel, really - and thought that her ONE big hit, "Soul", would fit the bill here - on The Luminous Blog!
But I digress...)
In case you don't even check out bizarrenews.com, yesterday, March 14th, was the National Potato Chip Day! I hope you all took advantage and laid into those Ruffles and those Lays! Not to mention Humpty-Dumpty! Today, March 15, is Buzzard's Day (hmm... too bad I am not "reviewing" buzzle.com then?) and today doubles as "Everything You Think Is Wrong Day" (I know a lot of atheists and other folks too who fit that description pretty darn well indeed... Sequential art publishers such as DC and Marvel also seem to think that their readership belongs to said category of people, given the way they overuse the term "retcon" nowadays... But that is another story, I know...)
And, just so YOU know too, tomorrow, March 16 will be... "Everything You Do Is Right Day"! Nothing less! (Way to go, to make up for the preceding degrading day!)
WOW - finally a day where nothing can go wrong - we need more of those, eh?
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
For a wide array of oddities and anomalies - check out the first of a short series of spotlighted sites, here on TLB Prime! Every type of deviation from the rule (within decent reason) is scrutinized on anomalies-unlimited.com! (Okay - it sounds as if it goes beyond the limit with that "unlimited" there; but honestly, all that you will find there is what you find oftentimes on my own network of sardonic blogs here - a very healthy as informative dose of sarcastic comments made in the light of truly bizarre behavior in this weird world of ours!)
Check it out, have fun and come back here tomorrow for #2 of 3 "special" sites!
Monday, March 13, 2006
Kitty Genovese, picture from the New York Times article "Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police".
Catherine Genovese (1935 - March 13, 1964), commonly known as Kitty Genovese, was a New York City woman who was stabbed to death near her home in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York. The circumstances of her murder and the apparent action (or inaction) of her neighbors were sensationalized by a newspaper article published two weeks later and prompted investigation into the psychological phenomenon that became known as the bystander effect or Genovese syndrome.
The victim Genovese was born in New York City, the oldest of five children. After her mother witnessed a murder in the city, the family chose to move to Connecticut. Genovese, however, 19 at the time, chose to remain in the city; she eventually took a job as a bar manager and lived in a Queens apartment with her girlfriend/partner, Mary Ann Zielonko.
The attack Genovese had driven home in the early morning of March 13, 1964. Arriving home at about 3:15 a.m. and parking about 100 feet (30 m) from her apartment's door, she was approached by an African-American man named Winston Moseley. Genovese may have changed direction towards a nearby police call box, but Moseley overtook her and stabbed her. When Genovese screamed out, her cries were heard by several neighbors but on a cold night with the windows closed only a few of them recognized the sound as a cry for help. When one of the neighbors shouted at the attacker, Moseley ran away, and Genovese made her way towards her own apartment around the end of the building. She was seriously injured but now out of view of those few who may have had reason to believe she was in need of help.
Other witnesses observed Moseley enter his car and drive away, only to return five minutes later. He systematically searched the apartment complex, following the trail of blood to Genovese, who was lying, barely conscious, in a hallway at the back of the building. Out of view of the street and of those who may have heard or seen any sign of the original attack, he proceeded to rape her, rob her, and finally murder her. The entire attack had lasted (albeit intermittently) for approximately half an hour.
A few minutes after the final attack a witness, Karl Ross, called the police. (He may not have been the first to call, but records of any earlier calls are unclear and were certainly not given a high priority by the police). Police and medical personnel arrived within minutes of Ross's call; Genovese was taken away by ambulance and died en route to the hospital. Later investigation revealed that at least 38 individuals nearby had heard or observed portions of the attack, though none could have seen or been aware of the entire incident. Many were entirely unaware that an assault or homicide was in progress; some thought that what they saw or heard was a lover's quarrel or a group of friends leaving the bar outside which Moseley first approached Genovese.
The perpetrator Winston Moseley, a business machine operator, was later apprehended in connection with another crime; he confessed not only to the murder of Kitty Genovese, but to two other murders as well, both involving sexual assaults. Subsequent psychiatric examinations suggested that Moseley was a necrophiliac. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life in prison. In 1968, during a trip to a Buffalo, New York hospital for surgery, he overpowered a guard and took five hostages, sexually assualting one of them, before he was recaptured. As of 2004, he was still alive and in prison. The reaction The story of Genovese's murder became an almost-instant parable about the supposed callousness, or at least apathy to others' plight, of either New York City or urban America in general. Much of this framing of the event came in reaction to an investigative article in the New York Times written by journalist Martin Gansberg and published on March 27, two weeks after the murder. The article bore the thrilling headline, "Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police"; the public view of the story crystallized around a quote from the last line of the article, taken from an unidentified 70-year-old neighbor: "I didn't want to get involved".
While Genovese's neighbors were vilified by the article, in truth the idea of "38 onlookers who did nothing" is a misleading conception. The article begins:
For more than half an hour thirty-eight respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens.
This lead is dramatic and factually inaccurate. None of the witnesses observed the attacks in their entirety. Because of the layout of the complex and the fact that each attack took place in a different location as Genovese attempted to flee her attacker, it would have been physically impossible for a witness to have seen the entire attack. Most only heard portions of the incident without realizing its seriousness, a few saw only small portions of the initial assault, and no witnesses directly saw the final rape and attack in an exterior hallway which resulted in Genovese's death.
Nevertheless, media attention to the Genovese murder led to reform of the NYPD's telephone reporting system; the system in place at the murder was often inefficient and directed individuals to the incorrect department. The melodramatic press coverage also led to serious investigation of the bystander effect by academic psychologists. In addition, some communities organized neighborhood watch programs and the equivalent for apartment buildings to aid people in distress.
To this day the story of Kitty Genovese remains a rallying point for advocates of self-defense awareness. Artistic reaction Folk singer Phil Ochs alludes the Genovese murder in the first lines of his song, "Outside a Small Circle of Friends."
In the acclaimed comic book series, Watchmen, Walter Kovacs believed that Kitty Genovese was the woman who initially ordered the dress with the distinctive shifting symmetrical liquids that he was fascinated with. When he learned of her murder and the purported indifference of her neighbors to the crime, he was incensed at the incident. In reaction, he took the fabric, which he already fashioned into a mask, as part of his new identity as the superhero, Rorschach, to avenge her and other similar victims.
The cult movie The Boondock Saints opens with a preacher using the story of Kitty Genovese in a sermon to illustrate the point that passively watching a bad deed is as criminal as - or even worse than - committing the bad deed.
A 1975 made-for-TV movie, "Death Scream", was loosely based on the Kitty Genovese murder.
Today the name Kitty Genovese remains synonymous with public apathy, although almost nothing is known of who she actually was. It was not reported in 1964 that Kitty Genovese was a lesbian and that she shared her home in Kew Gardens with her girlfriend, Mary Ann Zielonko. In this piece, the first broadcast interview she has ever granted, Mary Ann remembers Kitty and the time they shared.
Find the untold details about Kitty Genovese's short life in this audio interview with Kitty's lover; here.
The preceding was posted simultaneously on The Luminous Blog and The Lugubrious Blog
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Calling it a nod would do too, I know! ;)