Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next four years

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  • WH,

    This is an account of David Booth’s premonition of the crash of American Airlines Flight 191. 273 people were killed when a fully loaded DC-10 crashed into the outskirts of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on 25 May 1979.

    The case is well-known because Mr Booth contacted the FAA before the accident to provide a detailed description of a series of vivid dreams that warned of imminent disaster. The clip contains short interviews with David Booth and Jack Barker, the FAA Public Affairs Director who spoke with Booth three days before the accident. This clip contains an interview with Paul Williams, the FAA employee who spoke with Booth the day before the crash.

    In short, Booth appears to have foreseen the airline involved in the crash, the livery and engine configuration of the plane, the general nature of the underlying fault, the pilots’ attempt to gain altitude and the sharp banking turn just before impact, the layout of the crash site and the approximate date of the accident.

    Booth subsequently wrote an entirely discredited book (even that might be an understatement) in which he claimed that the United States might be completely destroyed in 2004. As someone once said, it never pays to make predictions.

    Suffice to say, people are right to cut ties with ceremonial magic.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • WH, in reply to mark taslov,

    I don't know whether this is magic or mentalism but it's interesting all the same. Colin Cloud calls himself a 'forensic mind reader'.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    The NYT’s Michelle Goldberg has an op-ed in which she notes that involvement in the occult as Nietzschean power grab is back on trend:

    On a Wednesday evening last week, I sat in on a class called “Witchcraft 101: Curses, Hexes and Jinxes,” at Catland, a fashionable occult boutique in Bushwick, Brooklyn. […]

    “If you’re not ready to admit that the universe is chaos, I’m not sure how far you’re going to go,” Bracciale said to the class, describing witchcraft as a way to exercise power in a world without transcendent moral rules, a supernatural technology for taking care of yourself when no one else will. Witchcraft, Bracciale said, lets you be the “arbiter of your own justice.”

    I suspect that this assumption of chaos — the sense that institutions have failed and no one is in charge — helps explain the well-documented resurgence of occultism among millennials. Attempts at spell-casting are obviously not unique to today’s young people; the Washington writer and hostess Sally Quinn just published a book in which she boasts about hexing the renowned magazine editor Clay Felker, my former journalism professor, before his death from cancer. Still, magic and witchcraft have a renewed cachet, one that seems related to our current climate of political and cultural breakdown.

    There’s a profile of the aforementioned Sally Quinn – widow of WaPo executive editor Ben Bradlee – at The Washingtonian:

    Ouija boards, astrological charts, palm reading, talismans—Quinn embraces it all. And yes, she has been in contact with her husband since his passing. Through a medium. Repeatedly.

    Some friends have voiced reservations that Quinn is now showing all her cards, so to speak. “Don’t play up the voodoo too much,” one implored. But Sally does nothing by halves. She reveals that, in her less mellow days, she put hexes on three people who promptly wound up having their lives ruined, or ended.

    The first, cast in 1969, was spurred by old-fashioned jealousy. Some exotic beauty at a Halloween party inspired lust in Quinn’s beau at the time—and then killed herself just days after Sally cast her spell.

    Her second victim was Clay Felker, the longtime editor of New York magazine who oversaw a brutal profile of Quinn in 1973, just before her catastrophic debut on the CBS Morning News. Quinn hexed Felker not long after flaming out at CBS and returning to Washington. “Some time afterward [WH: in 1976], Rupert Murdoch bought New York magazine in a hostile takeover, and Felker was out,” she writes. “Clay never recovered professionally. Worse, he got cancer, which ultimately caused his death [in 2008].”

    Target number three: a shady psychic who, the autumn after Quinn Bradlee was born, ran afoul of Sally’s maternal instincts. The woman dropped dead before year’s end.

    Quinn has a new book out: Finding Magic. There’s a short interview with her about the hexes at USA Today.

    Lastly, the NYT has a Halloween collection of varsity ghost stories submitted by readers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to WH,

    involvement in the occult as Nietzschean power grab is back on trend

    Gives a whole new take to the 'working' class...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Just watching the opening of Parliament - had to laugh watching Maggie Barry stick her chewing under her new opposition bench...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Good old National
    - I note Alistair Scott in his swearing in, disrespectfully said he would ‘bear true allegiance to her majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, her airs and graces – he did then correct himself and say ’successors’
    – but was it a cheap shot or a telling Freudian slip?

    and if it is alphabetical I seem to have missed David Parker ?
    i went back and watched and it went through O and P without him being called
    is that what Brownlee was intimating?
    (edit) I now know he is out of the country.

    and why do they only ask some of them that they declare the oath to be binding on them?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Hah!
    I completely failed to notice that Winston wasn't among the 'Ps' either...
    <doh!>

    I still think Scott's dig at the queen should be held to account - or is this just the start of National's messing with the process - silly bluster followed by filibuster.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Attachment

    I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner Ian. It’s not an easy subject to discuss.

    This is a photo of Miron-Aku, a Finnish witch or shaman. The photo depicts a re-enactment of a ceremony to transmit the witch’s powers to an apprentice.

    Himmler’s Ahnenerbe embarked on an expedition to Finland in 1936 to investigate Aryan sorcery and paganism. Its efforts form part of the historical basis of the Indiana Jones films.

    Don’t get involved in the occult.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Sri Lankan cricket captain Dinesh Chandimal has been in the news for attributing his side’s upset win over Pakistan to a blessing he obtained from a meyni, or sorcerer.

    Australian MP Bob Katter has attracted international attention for this reaction to the result of the same-sex marriage referendum. As people have noted on Twitter, it’s like watching someone with multiple personality disorder transition between competing personas.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Attachment

    The Bohemian Club

    Every year, some of the most prominent men in the world gather in California to pay homage to a giant owl. Despite the uneasy fit with the Christian/conservative prohibition against such practices, it’s mainly a Republican thing. The photo shows Nixon and Reagan in attendance circa 1955.

    The Bohemian Club was founded in 1872. It’s Californian sister – the summer solstice celebration Burning Man – was formally inaugurated in 1988.

    1964: Johnson v Goldwater

    Goldwater’s radical 1964 candidacy shunted Republican politics away from the moderate conservatism of Hoover, Dewey and Eisenhower and put the United States on a course that ultimately led to the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

    Was the unlikely pairing a cosmic joke? You decide.

    Anthony Wiener

    Wiener’s career as a US Congressman was cut short by his compulsive tendency to share intimate pictures of himself on an unsolicited basis. His flaws played an important part in the 2016 Presidential election: FBI Director Comey’s infamous letter to Congress – made public just days before the ballot – pertained to emails placed on Weiner’s laptop by his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

    The Tromp family

    During the 2016 Presidential Election, an entire family – the Tromp family – went missing after experiencing a shared delusion that they had been placed under surveillance. The family fled their home in distress and was ultimately found strewn across southeast Australia.

    The case is not readily explained. The investigating officer, Sergeant Mark Knight, called the tale the most bizarre thing he’d seen in 30 years of policing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Attachment

    As you’ve probably heard by now, this handsome fellow has just been voted Australian Bird of the Year. Congratulations to magpies everywhere!

    We recently lost one of our local magpies. It had lived in the trees in the school across the road. We’ve since seen the surviving member of the pair scouring the neighbourhood, calling for its mate to no avail.

    I like to imagine that it was a good bird that kept a good nest and that it had raised a family of which it was rightly proud.

    It’s actually a very sad story. If circumstances allow, I'll tell you the rest some day.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Attachment

    Russia Today has noted that the curse of the Seventh Fleet has been implicated in three further naval incidents:

    - the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold was participating in a scheduled towing exercise on November 18 when a Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the ship;
    - a C-2A Greyhound transport plane was carrying eleven people to an aircraft carrier when it crashed into the Philippine Sea on November 22, resulting in three deaths;
    - the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald was damaged for a second time as she was being loaded onto a transport ship on November 26.

    The Russian term soroka-veschchitsa means magpie witch and pertains to some of the more extraordinary powers claimed by the dark arts.

    Don’t get involved in the occult.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to linger,

    Another episode of Rich Hall's irregular updates on Trump has just become available for download (this one looking back at his first year in office).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1940 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Now that Trump has allowed the US Government to grind to a halt , does that mean we will have another truncated Summer Research Season in Antarctica?
    Reliant as we are on military supply flights from the US's military base at Chchch Airport...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    There are two main types of criticisms of witchcraft and the occult: those associated with the view that it’s a kind of fantasy or fraud (it often is) and those associated with the view that it’s capable of generating real effects.

    Staying safe means considering the possible downsides of using magic before getting involved. It’s important to bear in mind that simply taking what you want by force can adversely affect other people in ways that violate their basic human rights.

    To use a familiar example, using a love spell to cause a person to have romantic feelings without their consent is a particularly revolting form of abuse. There are good reasons to doubt the validity of consent to sexual contact obtained by such means, a fact that could have ongoing relevance in the #MeToo era. If you were to ever get caught really doing that, you could rightly expect a lengthy prison sentence.

    If you’re going to get involved – or are already involved – be careful about what you wish for and who you collaborate with. You may wish to familiarise yourselves with the rules of party liability and attempts codified into s.66 and s.72 of the Crimes Act 1961. Don’t dial up random spirits with a ouija board hoping to find a nice one.

    Lastly, in the spirit of staying safe, remember that a force that carries out instructions that disregard other people’s rights can’t possibly respect your own. Others will have their own enduringly negative opinions about attempts to bring about hardship and suffering.

    Don’t get involved in the occult. It’s neither harmless experimentation nor the kind of artistic novelty you should prostitute for fame. It’s incredibly dangerous and more common than you might think.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    NASA owes its Jet Propulsion Laboratory to Thelemite and Crowleyite Jack Parsons back in 1943.
    Famously shafted by L. Ron Hubbard
    He blew himself up in ’52. (aged 37)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Man at work...
    Reading this: https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/100788520/trump-working-hard-or-hardly-working-during-shutdown I'm beginning to wonder if any day now it will be revealed that Trump (and all that that envelops) is really a time expansive private conceptual art project of Gilbert and Georgian-conceit - or maybe an amalgam of Jeff Koons/Damien Hirst and Billy Apple/Andy Warhol.
    Maybe a post-Dadaist/Situationist riff on High Office for the BBQ ribs set.
    Cutting edge stuff.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I'm beginning to wonder if any day now it will be revealed that Trump (and all that that envelops) is really a time expansive private conceptual art project of Gilbert and Georgian-conceit...

    Something's got to give. Trump's screaming shabbiness evokes the Jorge Luis Borges dream-story Ragnarök , where the ancient gods - Janus, Thoth, etc. - appear before a select invited audience to proclaim the reassertion of their old powers. The exultant mood suddenly shifts when it's revealed that in their years of exile they've degenerated into a kind of imbecility:

    Suddenly, we felt that they were playing their last trump, that they were cunning, ignorant, and cruel, like aged predators, and that if we allowed ourselves to be swayed by fear or pity, they would wind up destroying us.
    We drew our heavy revolvers (suddenly in the dream there were revolvers) and exultantly killed the gods.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    military supply flights

    Military personnel will apparently be expected to continue to serve without being paid.

    I'm sure that that will end well, if this drags on.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to ,

    Attachment

    Posted yesterday by Gary Huck, Baltimore MD.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Attachment

    .

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

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