July 28, 2018
On this edition I speak with bibliophile and connoiseur of the outre Anita Dalton of Odd Things Considered blog, whose "greatest hits" writings has recently been compiled in TL;DR: The Best Things of Odd Things Considered (Nine-Banded Books; 2018), about weird books and unusual subcultures.
Anita's bookshelf, a collection of literary strangeness
We begin the conversation by discussing how Anita started the Odd Things Considered blog and became interested in odd and unusual books including reading about hauntings and true crime such as Vincent Bugliosi's Helter Skelter during her youth. From there we delve into a discussion of the books Anita has read concerning cults. Anita gives her take on why the subject of cults is so popular and speaks specifically of the The Source Family to elucidate why so many are fascinated by the topic.
The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13, and the Source Family by Isis Aquarian and Electricity Aquarian
Moving on from cults we get into the topic of conspiracy theories starting with the big kahuna of the genre, the JFK assassination. Anita and I discuss why conspiracy theories are so popular and her skeptical, Occams Razor approach to the topic. We then delve into Anita's dissection of Senator John DeCamp's The Franklin Cover-Up, which posited a wild conspiracy involving government officials, child trafficking, and even gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Anita's natural skepticism comes out during this segment of the conversation and she takes particular issue with the way DeCamp's account smeared Hunter S. Thompson on scant evidence and shady testimonies This leads to a brief discussion of the works of Hunter S. Thompson and how they relate to the political climate today.
The Franklin Cover-Up: Child Abuse Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska by John W. DeCamp
Example of a Youtube video dealing with Pizzagate, which could be described as the 21st century version of the Franklin Cover-Up conspiracy theory
We return to the topic of conspiracy theories with the 21st century version of the Franklin Cover-Up, Pizzagate. This conspiracy theory, popularized by 4chan and various subreddits during the 2016 election season, posits that Clinton campaigner John Podesta and the DNC were involved in a child trafficking plot via Washington D.C.'s Comet Ping Pong restaraunt. Anita again takes a skeptical viewpoint on this alleged conspiracy and the dangers such theories can pose while also providing a sociological context for the popularity of Pizzagate. mass shooting false flags, and other conspiracy narratives in the 21st century. This sociological take on conspiracy theories opens us up for a discussion of current hot topics like cultural change, incels, and debates about free speech.
We then transition into some of the other topics covered by Anita's blog and book including:
- The recent passing of Adam Parfrey and the importance of his publishing outlet Feral House
- The acclaimed female African American author Gloria Naylor, championed by Oprah Winfrey, and her autobiographical novel alleging that she was a victim of a "targeted individual" (TI) or "gang-stalking" conspiracy
- Serial killer Ian Brady's analysis of other serial murderers in The Gates of Janus and why Anita takes issue with taking Brady seriously
- Manifestos by infamous figures like Valerie Solanas, Ted Kaczynski, and Arthur Bremer
- The works of actress and #MeToo voice Amber Tamblyn, the controversial Peter Sotos, radical feminist Andrea Dworkin, and small l-libertarian libertarian misanthrope Ann Sterzinger.
1996 by Gloria Naylor
Pure Filth by Peter Sotos and Jamie Gillis (who is also mentioned in the interview)
Dark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn
We wrap up the conversation by with Anita explaining what can be gained by reading about taboo subject matter through a personal anecdote involving Anita's reading of the antinatalist book Every Cradle is a Grave by Sarah Perry.