Sic Semper Semanis

Friday, October 31, 2014

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Weekly Dictator

Halloween is here! Tricks or treats, and fear! Going out, all slutted up, And drinking lots of beer. (The previous should be sung to that Christmastime song from the beginning of A Charlie Brown Christmas.) That’s right, everyone. Summer is over and school is well started. The leaves are turning, if you live in a place where there are leaves that turn, and everybody is relieved that the weather is getting cool again, and preparing for the impending onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder. That means it’s time for a holiday. And in America, a holiday means a Charlie Brown Special. …continue reading

Vlad the Impaler: The Real Fake Made Up Count Dracula

So. Vampires, everybody. Vampires. We’re all on the same page as to what vampires are, right? Pale folk, sharp teeth, drink blood? We can all agree on that? Because past those facts, there seems to be some confusion about things like how mean are they really and should a person want to have sex with them or not. I feel that the answers to those questions are personal and can only be answered by each individual for him or her self. What I aim to do in this essay is give you a little background on the dude behind the …continue reading

Fashion for Fascists: A Primer

As I was preparing material for our last podcast, I came across this  little gem: a style guide for women who want to achieve world domination. I was thrilled. Finally, someone out there was writing something for me. My heart sank quickly as I read. The young lady who compiled these “fashion tips,” while no doubt truly devoted to style, clearly has little grasp of realpolitik. Her tips are sassy and fun, and she’s probably a really nice person – none of which are qualities conducive to crushing one’s enemies beneath the iron heel of oppression and making them cry …continue reading

Anton Szandor LaVey: Or, Could It Be… SATAN?

The famous black house in San Francisco probably isn’t there anymore. I don’t actually know, and I’m not going to check. But the resident of that house died in 1997, or at least he stopped living in the way that we understand it. At any rate, he didn’t need the house anymore. His name was Anton Szandor LaVey, and he was the founder of the Church of Satan, which was inspired by Jack Parsons’ Temple of Thelema, which found its own inspiration in Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis, which sprang from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was …continue reading

Frankenstein: The Doctor, the Monster, and the Monster Doctor

Since time immemorial, people have looked around themselves and asked questions about their very existence.   Does mankind have a soul?   Is there an organizing force controlling the universe?   What would happen if you stitched a bunch of pieces together from various dead bodies and then brought them to life by zapping them with electricity?   It is this last question that Mary Shelley first attempted to answer when, as a mere girl of eighteen, she wrote the novel Frankenstein, which is a parable about meddling with powers that should belong only to God. The conclusion she reached …continue reading

The Salem Witch Trials: Well You Know, It’s Something To Do

The Puritans are the only people in history who fled their homeland because they weren’t oppressed enough. A virtuous but abstemious group, at the beginning of the seventeenth century they found themselves beset all about by religious tolerance and jolly song singing, until the merry cheer of those around them was almost too grievous to be borne. Fortunately, God provided for them (as He will with His chosen peoples), and they found new hope in a land far across the sea, free from happiness, good weather, architecture, or any other dangerous comforts to the soul. These goodly Puritans buckled up …continue reading

King Tutankhamen: Still Dead, After All These Years

  It is a well-known fact that any English person can trick any American person into doing whatever they want, because they have such nice accents. English people just sound smarter than us. And Australians sound like they have more fun, but that’s probably only because they do.     Anyway.   Nowadays, if a person can resist the sound of those pear-shaped tones, they probably understand that just because a person sounds like they know how to read books doesn’t mean that they ever have. But for most of the nineteenth century into the twentieth, the children of Mother …continue reading

Minamoto no Yoritomo: The Father of Japanese Bureaucracy

If you’re like me, you’ve read Memoirs of a Geisha twice and got halfway through watching the movie, so you probably think you know everything there is to know about Japan. And then you remember that they currently lead the world in electronics and pod-sleeping, and that they can only express emotion through elaborate and overlong cartoons, so that adds some layers of understanding, and you think, all right, I kind of know what these people are about. And then somebody tells you about the used-panty vending machines and love hotels, and you think, okay, that’s fucked up but we …continue reading

Henry Ford: Taking Capitalism From a Nightmare to a Reality

Henry Ford is the type of historical figure that appeals strongly to a certain type of person. These people tend to have a lot in common with Ford himself, or at least to think that they do: hard working and humble, yet happily prosperous; curious and intelligent, but fiercely anti-intellectual; tolerant and forward thinking, but unshakably certain that they are better than everyone else and that Jews are trying to destroy civilization from the inside out, Ford’s acolytes stride confidently into the future, loudly proclaiming the outdated ideals of the past.   They are always American.   As for the …continue reading

The Tale of Babar the Elephant, or, Trunk of Darkness

   They say history is written by the winners. In the case of Babar, King of the Elephants, this is certainly true, because the only surviving records of the reign of Babar are the official documentation released by the pro-Babar contingency of the time, and many key details seem to be deliberately (perhaps suspectly?) left vague. Unfortunately, any alternate accounts of Babar’s kingship have been successfully destroyed and stricken from historical record, if indeed they ever existed. What I propose to do in this week’s entry of Dictator of the Week is to examine the accounts of Babar that have …continue reading