Friday, February 20, 2009

Link proliferation: "Killinger: The Case of the Curse of John Wilkes Booth's Mummy"

Sic semper mummyus

R. J. Brown has a article on the bizarre posthumous career of actor and presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth. Brown gives a quick overview of the once popular "Booth's not dead" subgenre of conspiracy theory and the delves into the story of David E. George:

On January 13, 1903 a man in Enid, Oklahoma, by the name of David E. George died. in his last dying statement, the man confessed to his landlord, Mrs. Harper, that he was in fact John Wilkes Booth.

Though few believed the story, enough saw truth (or profit) in it to have George's remains mummified and put on display. And, in true mummy fashion, the mummy of "John Wilkes Booth" carried with it a curse:

The postmortem career of John Wilkes Booth, whether it belongs to true history or folklore, none-the-less provides a fascinating story. The mummy scattered ill-luck around almost as freely as Tutankhamen is alleged to have done. Nearly every showman who exhibited the mummy was subsequently ruined financially. Eight people were killed in the wreck of a circus train in 1902 on which the mummy was traveling. Bill Evans, a wealthy carnival king, who bought the exhibit in later years was financially ruined by continual strokes of bad luck after the purchase. Finis L. Bates, the original owner, wrote a book in 1908 entitled "The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth" which attempted to prove that the mummy was in fact John Wilkes Booth. he suffered much ridicule because of that book and died penniless in 1923. Perhaps the only person to sponsor the mummy and not suffer strokes of financial bad luck was Reverend True Wilson. It must be pointed out that Wilson was largely responsible for originally getting the prohibition law passed. However, shortly after Wilson bought the mummy, the repeal of the prohibition law was made official. (Let each reader make their own determination as to whether this was a cause-effect in this case or not.)

It was that or "Bonnie and Died"

From Dustin via the blog of McNally Jackson, SoHo's finest purveyor of vendible books: "More exciting than James Bond, Mike Hammer, Travis McGee and then some!" Alan Scherstuhl, the man behind the Crap Studies column of Kansas City's The Pitch, presents the pulp-trash overload that is Killinger: The Rainbow/Seagreen Case.

Here's a little taste of the unique literary stylings of Killinger author P. K. Palmer:

"Killinger turned to face her. There was a definite interruption in the pattern of his white shorts."

"Killinger feinted with the start of a kinkeri, a genital knee-kick designed to castrate without use of a knife."

"The man looked at the long splendid legs before him. He looked up past them and past the glorious rounds of the breasts at a wondrous face and long tawny hair. He rose to introduce himself. 'My name is Jeddediah Killinger the Third.'"

Are we not Neil Young?

This may cause a feeling of dread and horror or it might make your day.

In 1982, Neil Young (under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey) co-directed – along w/ bud Dean Stockwell – an apocalyptic comedy about a dorky garage mechanic who refuses to let the fact that an impending nuclear war is about to end all life on Earth diminish his dreams of rock and roll stardom.

What? Not weird enough you say?

Okay, the flick – made for $3 million over the course of 4 years - features Dennis Hopper at a time when his daily intake of sundry bad substances had reached a heroic three grams of coke a day, 30 beers, an unknown amount of marijuana, and numerous Cuba libres. Plus, it has Russ Tamblyn, best known as Riff, the leader of the Jets from West Side Story.

What? Still not weird enough?

Alright, because I like you – I wouldn't do this for any other crowd – I'll throw in, as the stars of the flick, Devo.

Here's Neil Young and Devo performing "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)."

Neil Young & Devo

But she would have killed in the extemporaneous speaking portion of the program

Welcome to the inaugural installment of "What horror movie are we today?" Today, we're Audition. From the folks at CNN:

A married Chinese businessman who could no longer afford five mistresses held a competition to decide which one to keep.

But the contest took a fatal turn when one of the women, eliminated for her looks, drove the man and the four other competitors off a cliff, Chinese media reported.

The spurned mistress died and the other passengers were injured, the reports said.

In a way, they were all victims of the ailing global economy:

When the economy soured, the businessman apparently decided to let go of all but one mistress.

He staged a private talent show in May, without telling the women his intentions. An instructor from a local modeling agency judged the women on the way they looked, how they sang and how much alcohol they could hold, the Shanghai Daily said.

The judge knocked out Yu in the first round of the competition based on her looks. Angry, she decided to exact revenge by telling her lover and the four other women to accompany her on a sightseeing trip before she returned to her home province, the media reports said.

It was during the trip that Yu reportedly drove the car off the cliff.

Fan shut down his company after the crash and paid Yu's parents 580,000 yuan ($84,744) as compensation for her death.


Anonymous said...

That Neil Young clip looks about as real as the Chuck Barry story ;)

CRwM said...

Oh Sassy of Little Faith,

Don't you know that Devo is stranger than fiction: