Ep. 52: Dr. Harold Schechter on True Crime, Violence in Culture, Moral Panics, the Art of Joe Coleman, & More

December 5, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views, Dr. Harold Schechter, one of America's most prolific and voluminous true crime authors, joins the show for a wide-ranging conversation on history's real-life monsters from Ed Gein to H.H Holmes that attempts elucidate why society is fascinated by serial killers, violent art, murder, and mayhem.

The conversation begins with Dr. Schechter explaining how he became interested in true crime through his teaching literature, specifically of the gothic horror genre, as a professor at Queens College, CUNY. This leads us into a discussion of his first book, Deviant: The Shocking True Story of the Original "Psycho", about the ghoulish exploits of the murderous graverobber "The Butcher of Plainfield" Ed Gein. We delve into how Gein served as a source of inspiration for PsychoTexas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs as well as a brief rundown of Gein's case that attempts to separate fact from fiction.

From there we delve a bit into why we, as a society, are so fascinated by serial killers. Dr. Schechter makes a connection between the gruesomeness of folklore and the mythic status that killers take on in our culture. He argues that their are probably psychological reasons that we tell ourselves stories real-life murderers and madmen.

We then dive into one of Dr. Schechter's most famous works, Depraved: The Shocking True Story of America's First Serial, which chronicles the life and crimes of serial killer H.H. Holmes. Holmes has re-captured the popular imagination in America thanks to Erik Larsons' The Devil in the White City and the hit TV series American Horror Story: Hotel, but Dr. Schechter was one of the first to revisit the case. The story of Holmes is one of insurance scams and murder combined that has taken on a legendary status since it first hit the headlines in the late 1800's.

Dr. Schechter discusses how he came to question a lot of the more sensationalistic aspects of the Holmes case, which have now become accepted uncritically as fact for many, that were popularized by the yellow journalism of Holmes day. This opens up a discussion about how Dr. Schechter goes about his research in a field that is often rife with misinformation and sensationalism. During this segment we make reference to Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes and the legend of Sawney Bean, Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive and Joe Ball, "The Confessions Killer" Henry Lee Lucas, the ways in which folklore about murderers and other rogues becomes accepted as historical fact, and even Grimm's fairytales.

We then get into Harold Schechter's foray into cultural studies with Savage Pastimes: A Cultural History of Violent Entertainment. Dr. Schechter illuminates how violence has always existed in all forms of popular media and that each time moral panics arise around them from comic books to video games. At this point we also delve into how true crime books have existed longer than most people would think and the way the horrific and grotesque has always played a role in art. Dr. Schechter also expressed how man seems to have a violent nature but that there may be a silver lining in the way that we channel our aggressive tendencies into media.

In talking about violent art we eventually get to talking about one of Dr. Schechter's closest friends, the gifted artist Joe Coleman. Coleman makes mind-blowing artwork which contains painting within paintings dealing with historical figures, many of whom walked on the dark side of the human experience. After that we get back to the topic of true crime by discussing how Dr. Schechter's work deals primarily with murderers from before the popular serial killer boom of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. This leads us to one of Dr. Schechter's newer books, Man-Eater: The Saga of Alfred Packer, about the true story of an American cannibal in the frontier west as well as the unusual movie about him, made by South Park's Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Cannibal: The Musical.

We begin to wrap up by discussing the seeming transition that has taken place from the dominance of serial killers in culture to mass murders like school shooters. Dr. Schechter has some interesting takes on what may be behind this that provide some real food for thought. And finally, Dr. Schechter briefly talks about his newest book Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men and his Amazon Originals series Bloodlands. If you're a true crime fan this episode is one you won't want to miss!

CHECK OUT DR. HAROLD SCHECHTER'S AMAZON ORIGINALS SERIES
BLOODLANDS

Ep. 51: Cyber-Dominatrix Ceara Lynch on Kinks, MeToo, Incels, & ThotAudit

December 3, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views, cyber-dominatrix (or as she advertises herself, "humiliatrix extraordinaire") Ceara Lynch joins the show to discuss her career catering to men's most taboo kinks and fetishes, the MeToo movement, culture wars, incels, and the current social media brouhaha over ThotAudit. Ceara's stories views are bound to enlighten, amuse, and offend in equal measure, and her opinions on a number of these topics will surprise people from both the left and right wings of the culture wars.

We begin the conversation with Ceara explaining how her work as an online dominatrix differs from the popular conception of a dominatrix and why she uses the term "humiliatrix" to describe herself. From there we delve her journey into the world of kink through a chance experience she had in Japan. We then discuss some of the kinks and fetishes that Ceara caters to, how people react when they find out she is a dominatrix, what kind of men are into being sexually submissive, and more about what goes into her work.

Ceara Lynch's Appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience

As the conversation progresses we take a deeper dive into psycho-sexuality, ethics and related topics. What differentiates what Ceara does from the "female power fantasies" found in pop culture artifacts like Wonder Woman and Basic Instinct? Does Ceara's line of work constitute taking advantage of men? Are there ethical problems with certain kinks?

From there we discuss the boundaries that Ceara has set up for herself and a particularly boundary-pushing request from one of her clients that leads into a conversation of MeToo. This portion of the discussion is fascinating not only due to the unique perspective Ceara provides as a dominatrix but also because it gets into how objectification can manifest itself in ways we usually don't think about. Additionally, Ceara's views may well surprise both supporters and detractors of the MeToo movement as whole.

After that we go into a discussion of the concept of "aftercare" and a rare occurrence of it experienced by Ceara that leads into a conversation about the "hall of mirrors" nature of the dom-sub relationship. This allows us to delve into the almost video game-esque, virtual reality-like component of what Ceara does and one of the rare experiences she had with aftercare that highlights how the lines between fantasy and reality can blur for her clients.

We then dive into a discussion of how the kind of kinks Ceara specializes in have become mainstream in both culture wars discourse and mainstream culture. We speculate on what effect this mainstreaming will have on public attitudes towards kinks whether perversion is really a bad thing. Then we turn to the topic of incels, a subject for which Ceara has a very interesting take that's empathetic towards their loneliness without condoning incel violence. Ceara also gives her own Parallax View on incels' so-called "black pill".

We start to wind down by talking about whether kink culture will continue to become more acceptable and whether Ceara has ever had any of her clients' significant others have contacted. And finally we touch on the topic of the now infamous social media phenomenon of the ThotAudit, in which online trolls have targeted sex workers by threatening to report them to the IRS. To wrap up I ask Ceara what advice she'd give to men that are sexually frustrated or have taken the incel "black pill". Ceara also plugs her new podcast on current events and culture wars called Standard Deviation with her roommate Kevin as well as her upcoming feature film debut and starring turn in Julian Shaw's Use Me. Oh, and Ceara provides some words of wisdom for gals looking to get in on the female domination scene.

CHECK OUT CEARA'S NEW PODCAST STANDARD DEVIATION

CEARA ON THE SET OF JULIAN SHAW'S USE ME (FORMERLY RUIN ME)

Ep. 50: Vadge Moore on Punk Rockin’ with The Dwarves, Noise Music, & the Occult

November 30, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views punk rock legend Vadge Moore, former drummer for The Dwarves, joins the show to discuss his lifelong engagement with primality, taboo, and transgression through his time in the hardcore scene on through to his noise music and writings on occultism and philosophy.

We begins the conversation with Vadge's recollections of the hardcore punk scene and how he became involved with The Dwarves. This includes a discussion of the contrast between the violence of the scene and its brotherhood-esque comradery, the danger and excitement of going to live shows, and the legendary wildness of The Dwarves' live performances.

From there we delve into a number of Vadge's other pursuits and interests starting with transgressive writing. We discuss how Vadge became fascinated with the works of the Marquis de Sade, from whom the term sadism originates, while he was touring with The Dwarves. This leads us into a discussion of Vadge's general interest in extremity and how he became interested in the noise music scene through the work of industrial provocateurs Throbbing Gristle.

This portion of the conversation leads allows us to delve into Vadge's noise project, Chthonic Force. Vadge explains how Chthonic Force was influenced by the work of Carl Jung and how the project reflected Jung's exploration of "The Shadow" and the primordial Id. We discuss some of Chthonic Force's "greatest hits" and what many would consider an unlikely source of inspiration for the project: Vadge's studies of the Bible, specifically the Old Testament.

We then pivot towards Vadge's interest in philosophy, specifically the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Vadge puts special emphasis on the Nietzsche's idea of "The New Man" and how it's played a role in his work. We also discuss the writings of occultist Aleister Crowley and comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell in relation to some of Nietzche's ideas.

We then backtrack a bit into the topic of transgressive fiction with a discussion of Peter Sotos, whose writings deal with sexual psychopathology, and whom Vadge collaborated with on the Chthonic Force track "Mouth Pigs". Vadge explains how he became interested in Sotos' writing and its raw power. After that we delve into Vadge's interest in the occult with special reference to the Gnostic Voudon of Michael Bertiaux, the Gnosticism of William Blake, the Thelemic ideas of Kenneth Grant, and a brief mention rocket science's (in)famous occultist Jack Parsons and the resurgence of interest in him due to the CBS TV series Strange Angel.

We wrap-up the show with Vadge talking about the new anthology The Servants of the Star and Snake: Essays in Honor of Kenneth & Steffi Grant, which Vadge is included in. The conversation ends with Vadge giving some words of wisdom to people who are just becoming interested in the occult.

CHECK OUT THE SERVANTS OF THE STAR AND SNAKE: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF KENNETH & STEFFI GRANT FEATURING A PIECE BY VADGE MOORE

Ep. 49: Mike Crumplar on The Weird End of Twitter & Fringe Online Politics

November 22, 2018
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On this Thanksgiving edition of Parallax Views we invite you to ditch watching the football game after trying not to kill your relative during that turkey dinner and instead listen to cultural commentator Mike Crumplar aka m.crumps discuss the weird end of twitter and the darkest fringe corners of online political discourse. Among the topics covered are the alt right, Kantbot, the homoerotic underpinnings of an oddball reactionary called Bronze Age Pervert, Mike's Lacanian psychoanalytic turn, incels and Eliot Rodger's, the tension between Mike's left politics and coverage of alt right weirdness, and much more.

Ep. 48: Daniele Bolelli & Brian Shaughnessy on Masculinity & Gender Roles/Prof. David Detmer on Howard Zinn & His Critics

November 21, 2018
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IT'S A PARALLAX VIEWS
DOUBLE FEATURE!

First up, a roundtable discussion on masculinity and gender relations with previous guest and visual artist Brian Shaughnessy and Daniele Bolelli, writer, martial artist, university professor, and host of the History on Fire and The Drunken Taoist podcasts. We discuss the masculinity identity in an age of changing gender roles, integrating masculine and feminine traits, self-improvement, Daniele Bolelli's critique of Jordan B. Peterson, and much more in this fascinating and relevant dialogue.

Daniele Bolelli

Brian Shaughnessy

After that Prof. David Detmer of Purdue University Northwest joins the show to discuss his book Zinnophobia: The Battle Over History in Education, Politics, and Scholarship (Zero Books, 2018) about the rabble-rousing American historian Howard Zinn and his critics. Perhaps most known for his book A People's History of the United States, which has been referenced in pop culture from The Simpsons to Goodwill Hunting, Zinn taught history from a bottom-up, as opposed to a top-down, perspective that emphasized the role of marginalized peoples in shaping America's past. Loved by many and reviled by others, Zinn was a lighting rod for controversy even after his passing when, as Prof. Detmer details in Zinnophobia, the President of Purdue University Mitch Daniels was accused of attempting to censor and prevent Zinn's work from being taught in the university curriculum. We discuss the Daniels controversy as well as the popular criticism leveled at Zinn, Prof. Detmer's personal experiences with him, and much more.

Howard Zinn

Prof. David Detmer

Ep. 47: Eliot Rosenstock on Zizek in the Clinic: A Revolutionary Proposal for a New Endgame in Psychotherapy

November 18, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views psychotherapist Eliot Rosenstock returns to the show to discuss his upcoming book Zizek in the Clinic: A Revolutionary Proposal for a New Endgame in Psychotherapy (Zero Books, 2019). Among the topics we discuss are CBT therapy, capitalism and the perfect neoliberal subject, mental health services and economic status, the medical-judicial apparatus, the pathologization of the poor, psychoanalysis and it's importance, Guattari as the hysteric, technocapital and its relation to our psychic state, the failure of language, the Lacanian point of Westworld Season 1, and more.

Ep. 46: Theory Talk’s Taylor Adkins on Freud, Guattari, Schizoanalysis, & The Anti-Oedipus

November 8, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views Theory Talk's Taylor Adkins joins me to discuss the life, times, and works of activist and "schizoanalyst" Felix Guattari. Guattari is perhaps most known for his collaborations with the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, most notably the two volume Capitalism and Schizophrenia, which cleverly subverted Freudian psychoanalysis in the age of Jacques Lacan. As such we begin the conversation by discussing Sigmund Freud and the foundation of psychoanalysis before taking a deep dive into Guattari, his radicalism and time at the experimental clinic Le Borde, the failed uprising of May '68 that influenced Deleuze and Guattari, The Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Vol. 1, rhizomes and nomadic war machines, Guattari's The Three Ecologies, "lines of flight", the concept of schizoanalysis, and much more in this over 2 hour episode!

Felix Guattari (left) and Gilles Deleuze (right)

Ep. 45: Midterm Special w/ Michael M. Hughes on Magic for the Resistance

November 2, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views, from the unreleased back-catalogue and just in time for the midterm elections, author and occultist Michael M. Hughes joins me to discuss his book Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change and the history of anarchic and egalitarian tendencies in the occult.

Ep. 44: Robert Damon Schneck on Strange History, Folklore, & The Bye Bye Man

October 30, 2018
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On this extra-spooky edition of Parallax Views, just in time for Halloween, "Historian of the Strange" Robert Damon Schneck joins me to share strange-but-true tales from America's past from a folklorist's perspective that attempts to discover their sociological significance.

Robert specializes in researching and writing about odd and unusual stories from America's past and is the author of The President's Vampire: Strange-but-True Tales of the United States (now reprinted as The Bye Bye Man: And Other Strange But True Tales) and Mrs. Wakeman Vs. The Antichrist: And Other Strange-but-True Tales from American History. The chapter "The Bridge to Body Island" from The President's Vampire was adapted into the major motion picture The Bye Bye Man starring Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas, Jenna Kannell, The Matrix's Carrie-Ann Moss, Bonnie and Clyde's Faye Dunaway, and Hellboy's Doug Jones as the title villain. Robert is also a freelance writer and contributor to Fortean Times.

The conversation begins with a discussion of the strange-but-true paperbacks that influenced Robert in his youth. This leads into a discussion the connection between paranormal publishers and early 20th century pulp fiction, the eccentric ideas of anomalies researcher Charles Fort, FATE magazine and the Shaver Mystery, and work of Long John Nebel, the granddaddy of paranormal talk radio who predated Coast to Coast AM's Art Bell by decades.

From there we discuss paranormal "boom" cycles, Ouija boards and the panics that have arisen around Ouija seances, Robert's thoughts on the Slenderman stabbings and similar cases from prior years, a deep dive into Robert's essay "The Ku Klux Klowns" about the possible sociological underpinnings of creepy clown sightings, stories of phantom attackers and mad gassers terrorizing small town America, the possible connection between werewolf lore and serial killers, the true story behind a murder case that turned into a sensational legend Robert dubs "The President's Vampire", the proto-Manson Family homicidal cult of Mrs. Wakeman, and, of course, the real story of The Bye Bye Man along with much more.

Ep. 43: Delirium Magazine’s Chris Alexander on Horror Cinema

October 28, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views, just in time for Halloween, film critic, filmmaker, and musical composer Chris Alexander of Delirium Magazine joins the show to discuss the joys of horror cinema.

We begin by discussing how Chris became interested in horror before delving into other areas, particularly the socially subversive potentials of horror. In this regard we discuss Chris's article on the blaxploitation cult classic Blacula as well as his friendship with George A. Romero and how Romero's "Living Dead" trilogy (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead) contain scathing social commentary and satire.

 

In addition we discuss the wild films of Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper, the Euro-Horror of Jess Franco and Jean Rollins, the cinematic universe of David Cronenberg and the horrific themes that tie his early film in with his later work, Chris's take on the slasher genre and excitement over the newest entry in the Halloween franchise, the way film critics often unfairly overlook the horror genre, and finding horror in unlikely places like the films of Orson Welles and Werner Herzog.

Jess Franco's The Awful Dr. Orloff

Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce, a major influence on Chris's own films

And, of course, we discuss Chris's own filmmaking efforts starting with Blood for IrinaQueen of Blood, and, most recently, Space Vampire. Chris explains the influence of directors like Werner Herzog and Curtis Harrington on these films , their themes, and the highly experimental approach, which included an early use of filming on an iPhone, he took in making them.

It's a perfect episode for the Halloween season that'll be followed by a few other Parallax Views Halloween specials in the coming days!

Check Out The Latest Edition of Delirium Magazine Featuring an Interview With David Cronenberg