Tag Archives | WTF

William Mortensen – The Antichrist of American Photography in the House of the Devil

By Adam Parfrey

A few decades ago we spent a good deal of time at Anton LaVey’s “black house” in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

On the walls and on the shelves were a lot of items to look at and consider. One photograph, seen in the kitchen, was a framed and signed photograph of a hunching woman overlapped by a depraved cloaked ghost. The photo was called “Fear,” and it was the work of  William Mortensen (1897 – 1965).


William Mortensen “Fear” c. 1930’s (also titled “Obsession”) Manipulted Photograph

Anton spoke of Mortensen’s influence in guiding him to understand the mechanics of “Lesser Magic,” or what affects people’s reaction to what they see and absorb.

Mortensen’s photographs like “Fear” are fascinating, but for years I resisted Mortensen’s reductive ideas regarding human behavior. It all seemed too reptilian to me. But there came the time when researcher Larry Lytle approached me about publishing a monograph on William Mortensen.… Read the rest

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The Scent of a Cabbie

Bluury Streets of SF


The sun’s been coming up early. (Ok. And I’ve been “sleeping in.”) Regardless, I do feel the unrelenting compulsion to race in to work, to beat its rise, like a vampire trying to make his casket before turning to ash. Hopefully, mine will be full of coffee grounds. I need a buzz.

I’m finished greasing Tony’s palms back in the Citizen’s Cab office, and I head out to the lot.

Aside: Yeah, I chanced a $5 bribe on Tony for an airport this morning. I don’t actually expect to see one come my way from dispatch. But I gotta check-in now and then, if only to keep Tony on his toes.

I’m in new ‘ol 137 and I’m immediately overcome with a strong wave of fruity… Well, just strong, fruity. I look around hard, but I cannot find the offending Christmas Tree air freshener, however hard I try.

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A Disinformation Compendium: Imagines Deorum – The Religion of the Ancients



Imagines Deorum, Qui ab Antiquis Colebantur: in quibus simulacra, ritus, caerimoniae, magnaq[ue] ex parte veterum religio explicatur


Images of the gods, who were worshipped by the ancients, in which the images, rites, ceremonies, a grand spectacle of a part of the religion of the ancients is explained.

by Cartari, Vincenzo, b. ca. 1500; Du Verdier, Antoine, 1544-1600

Published 1581

Colophon: Lugduni, Excudebat Guichardus Iullieron Typographus, mense Sextilis, ann. 1581
Portrait of the translator, Antoine Du Verdier, illustration facing p. 1
Headpieces; initials; portraits; printer’s device
Printer’s device on title page–Cf. Silvestre
NUC pre-1956
Baudrier, H.L. Bib. lyonnaise
Silvestre. Marques typographiques — Includes a compendium of the various images of the gods (p. [2-26]) and an index (p. [27-56]) at the end

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What if the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster never happened?

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

STS-51-L crew: (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

For people of a certain age, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster is one of those events where one remembers where they were and what they were doing, not unlike JFK’s assassination or the morning of September 11, 2001.

It was the worst space program disaster since Apollo 1, resulting in the deaths of all astronauts aboard the Challenger. Or so we have been led to believe.

The official details of the disaster are fairly straight forward, as the Wikipedia entry attests:

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger (OV-099) (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members, which included five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida at 11:38 EST (16:38 UTC).

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‘Guilty of Embarrassing Government’: CIA Whistleblower Gets 42-Month Sentence

This post was originally published on Common Dreams. See more of Lauren’s posts here.

A federal court in Alexandria, Virginia sentenced former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling to three and a half years in prison on Monday in a case that has received widespread condemnation for revealing the “rank hypocrisy” of the U.S. government’s war on whistleblowers.

In January, a jury convicted Sterling of violating the Espionage Act and leaking classified information to New York Times journalist James Risen about a botched CIA mission to provide flawed nuclear plans to Iran, known as “Operation Merlin.” He was found guilty of nine charges against him and faced as many as 24 years behind bars.

Risen refused to testify against Sterling and many say that the former intelligence official was convicted merely on circumstantial evidence.

Ahead of the sentencing, Sterling’s attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema to reconsider the proposed terms, arguing that former CIA director and retired general David Petraeus was given a plea deal and shown great leniency despite comparable charges.… Read the rest

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Ganny & the Stormtroopers

SFO CAbbie Underworld


I wake before my alarm today, relaxed.


And this time, it’s a good “OM”! My last shift, I was way busy with a bunch of locals (in-town runs). But the real red meat was a ride I took to Redwood City. That’s meter and a half!

(If the ride takes you more than 15 miles from San Francisco’s City Hall, MTA rules sees the driver charging meter and a half. The logic being that the driver and passenger should split the gas and time down due to the return trip.)

Anyway, I walked away with $285! Tony Jr. was working check-out at the bullet-proof glass in the afternoon, and there’s a new deal where drivers can pay gate (cab rental) out of their day’s Cabulous take. Needless to say, Tony Jr. was pretty impressed after he saw that I still had around $210 set to hit my bank account (via direct deposit) AFTER paying gate!… Read the rest

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Liquid Mercury Found Under Pyramid at Teotihuacan — Because Everyone Loves Ancient Astronaut Theory

The headline reads: “Liquid Mercury Found Under Pyramid At Teotihuacan Could Indicate Royal Tomb”. That’s pretty weird, in and of itself, right? Mercury? Deadly, deadly mercury? What in the world are ancient Mesoamericans doing with mercury?


Just because they call it the History Channel…

The myth and mystery surrounding the pyramids at Teotihuacan is already filled to brimming with weirdness, controversy and rancor.

A veritable slugfest of Mainstream vs. Fringe science ensues at the mere mention of the name Teotihuacan and the rancor only grows when shit starts to get weird. Holy Quetzalcoatl Batman!

Well, it just got even weirder. Scrambling to come up with a theory that doesn’t involve space-faring alien overlords, Battlestar Galactica’s series finale or that dude with the crazy hair, the Big Brains @Science!™ have come up with all sorts of equally silly theories, as you shall see. Just because nobody’s found any skeletal remains of ancient Mesoamerican priests who’ve died from mercury poisoning shouldn’t make you throw down the Bullshit card, right?… Read the rest

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Nam’s Mission



I awake groggy from the weekend. And I want to call in sick. (ZzZzzzzzZZzzz.)

Ugh! I should work! (ZzzZZZzzz.)

Besides, the road might be a good distraction from my mental state. (ZZzzZZzzz.)

Okay! Okay! I’ll get up!

It’s a (now) rare foggy day in ‘ol San Francisco. I’m slogging up through the Citizen’s Cab lot and headed towards the office.

As I near, Sammy – the new office guy who’s taken over Kojak’s morning shift, passes me. He’s leaving the office with some new West African driver. They’re heading out to the lot … with a jump starter.

Note: Kojak has been moved to the afternoon office shift for some unknown reason. (Unknown to me, anyway.) This is how the cab biz works. Drivers, office workers; one day ya see ‘em. And the next, they’re gone.

Anyway, hmm.

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Because the Japanese Lolita Sex Dolls Just Aren’t Creepy Enough

As you may or may not be aware (and trust me, if not, your naivete is about to be shattered forever), there is a company in Japan that makes creepy, creepy life-like Lolita dolls.

Well, Buck Dobson (certainly doesn’t sound like a classically creepy name to me) is taking things a step further. One step beyond, as the kids say.

so very very creepy.

No word yet whether or not they’re compatible with AmericanGirl doll outfits.

For the children, of course. Praise Jeepers.

CSglobe tells the grotesque story:

Abused by his adult sister at the age of 10, Buck Dobson of Denver, Colorado, made his mission to cure pedophiles of their illness. But he says every attempt, such as rehabilitation and outreach programs, seems to have failed, which caused him to look into starting a company that will focus on creating child love dolls, according to Celebtricity.

However, the abuse inspired Dobson to spend most of his adult life working to cure pedophilia.

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