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

Ep.42: John David Ebert on Myth, Modernity, Postmodernity, & Hypermodernity

October 22, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views cultural critic John David Ebert (Youtube, Patreon) joins me to discuss myth, modernity, postmodernity, and John's concept of hypermodernity. Among the topics we delve into our Joseph Campbell and comparitive mythology, Nazism as a degeneration of myth, Carl Jung, Oswald Spengler and his two-volume series The Decline of the West, religion and the metaphysical tradition, William S. Burroughs, chaos and chance vs order and structure, modernity's relation to the Holocaust, postmodern thinkers like Deleuze & Guattari as well as their critics like Jordan Peterson, sociologist Zygmunt Bauman's idea of liquid modernity, and the digital age of what John calls hypermodernity and much more.

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Ep. 41: Patrick Farnsworth on Hope in Perilous Times, Or a Meditation on Eco-Catastrophe

October 12, 2018
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Patrick Farnsworth of the Last Born in the Wilderness podcast joins Parallax Views for a nearly two-hour, wide-ranging, sobering conversation on man's future in light of the possibility of catastrophic climate change. Despite the grim subject matter Patrick tries to offer a glimmer of hope in what many are dubbing the "Anthropocene", arguing that if we are past overshoot in climate change there nonetheless remains a redemptive potential in how we, as species, deal with it. Among the topics we cover are Patrick's TedX talk "Forging Connection in Perilous Times", "doomerism", grief in relation to the possibility of eco-catastrophe, how lifestylist environmentalism is not enough, alienation and technology, Dr. Christopher Ryan's writings on human sexuality and anthropology, ideology and the narratives we tell ourselves, psychedelics, critiquing Steven Pinker's defense of neoliberalism and the culture of logic-bros, the importance of love and human relationships, the idea of "Exit" and Patrick's discussion with Douglas Rushkoff about Rushkoff's article "Survival of the Richest", consciousness and panpsychism, religion and dogma, the little talked about problem of global dimming, and much more.

Ep. 40: Doug Lain on The Left, NRx, Anti-Imperialism, & The Cathedral

October 11, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views returning guest Doug Lain, author of the sci-fi novel Bash Bash Revolution and publisher at Zero Books, discusses Zero Books severed ties with author Nicolas Hausdorf after finding out that he had began writing for the "post-political" (reactionary) magazine Jacobite. You can hear Doug discuss this issues with the author in question on Zero Squared #171: Pssst... Socialist Oppose Reaction.

During the course of the conversation we discuss a number of topics ranging from how leftists activists end up going down the reactionary rabbit hole, free speech, the anti-SJW industry, Neoreaction (NRx) and its idea of The CathedralDoug's memories of the occult-flavored synchromystic subsculture of the 00's and how it may tie into these matters, whether "politics is downstream from culture", Moishe Postone's essay "History and Hopelessness: Mass Mobilization and Contemporary Forms of Anticapitalism" and unrefined manifestations of anti-imperialism on the Left, Adorno and the Frankfurt School's views on culture, alienation in political activists and the youth, Angela Nagle's critique of transgressive or "edgelord" culture, psychedelic and New Age reactionarism, socialism as "The Loyal Opposition", Jordan Peterson and the IDW vs. the reactionaries of the alt right and NRx, and more.

And yes, Doug does speak about the recent kerfuffle around the recent Angela Nagle vs. Sargon of Akkad debate in this conversation.

Ep. 39: C. Derick Varn on Peter Hitchens

October 4, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views returning guest, my partner-in-crime at Zero Books' Alternatives podcast, and personal friend C. Derick Varn returns to discuss the life and punditry of Britain's arch-conservative pessimist Peter Hitchens. Although his renown, at least in the U.S., has often been eclipsed by that of his brother, the late New Atheist crusader Christopher Hitchens, Peter is a fascinating figure in his own right who has become the UK's resident doom-and-gloom reactionary that liberals and leftists alike love to loathe. And yet Hitchens rejection of Reagan-Thatcherite individualism, coupled with his scathing critiques of elites on both sides of the political spectrum, have made him a commentator of interest to left-leaning individuals like myself, C. Derick Varn, and Kill All Normies author Angela Nagle among others. He may not be someone we agree with, but he is a refreshing and worth adversary, especially in the sea of grifting hacks that make up much of the right-wing media ecosystem today.

Ep. 38: Dr. Bones on Spiritual Ecology, Psychogeography, & Poltergasmic Politics

October 1, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views hex-slinging radical Dr. Bones returns to discuss his recent essay on Gods and Radicals entitled "Spiritual Georgraphy, Psychogeography, and Poltergasmic Politics". As with the good Doctor's last appearance on the show, this one's a W-I-L-D ride covering the rebels of Florida history, magick rituals, occult power, and much more!

Ep. 37: Nikolas Schreck on Charles Manson & Other Controversies

September 29, 2018
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On this edition of Parallax Views we conclude the epic three part conversation with Nikolas Schreck by covering his research into the Charles Manson case, specifically the aftermath of Manson's death, as well as delving into of the political controversies surrounding Nikolas, his work, and Radio Werewolf.

The conversation begins with Nikolas tying his adventures among Hollywood's horror icons to the Manson case via his interaction with Ferdinand Mayne, the star of Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers, who told him there was more to the Manson case than D.A. Vincent Bugliosi's "Helter Skelter" narrative. From there we take some time to talk about Nikolas' investigation into the case culminating in his book, The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman, which proposes an alternative theory of the murders involving a drug burn gone awry.

Then we dig into Nikolas' work writing the final chapter on the Manson case, namely the death of Manson and its seedy aftermath involving an evangelical huckster claiming to be Manson's grandson, a television ghost hunter, and the "murderabilia" industry trying to make a profit off of Manson's corpse. This leads into a discussion of how the Manson saga has been exploitated for profit in a way that disrespects all involved, including the victims.

And finally we close this epic three part conversation out with some reflections on the political controversies surrounding Manson's belief and the imagery of Radio Werewolf as well as discussing how Nikolas' own ideas about the world and politics have evolved since his conversion to Buddhism.

Ep. 36: Nikolas Schreck on His Adventures in Horrorwood

September 26, 2018
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Radio Werewolf in the 80's black comedy Mortuary Academy

On this edition of Parallax Views we continue the conversation with Nikolas Schreck from Ep. 35. In this portion of the conversation we delve into Nikolas' adventures in Hollywood, or perhaps more accurately his adventures in Horrorwood!

We begin by discussing Radio Werewolf, the infamous L.A. goth band that Nikolas spearheaded as a lead vocalist. Nikolas explains both the both the controversial and sardonic aspects of the band, the misconceptions around Radio Werewolf, and the band's appearance in the 80's cult black comedy Mortuary Academy starring Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov.

From there we delve into Nikolas' many experiences with Hollywood's horror icons including Barbara Steele, the Dracula Society's Donald A. Reed, Bongo Wolf, Vincent Price, and others. We take special care to delve into Nikolas' relationship with the underrated filmmaker Curtis Harrington, whose arthouse horror Night Tide starring Dennis Hopper comes highly recommended by both Nikolas and Parallax Views, and Sir Christopher Lee of Hammer's Dracula franchise, both of whom Nikolas collaborated with professionally.

Sir Christopher Lee with Zeena and Nikolas Schreck

Ep. 35: Nikolas Schreck on The Satanic Screen: An Illustrated Guide to the Devil in Cinema

September 24, 2018
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This edition of Parallax Views presents the first of an epic three-part interview with the controversial ex-Satanist-turned-Buddhist-practioner Nikolas Schreck. In this first segment we take a deep dive into Schreck's book The Satanic Screen: An Illustrated Guide to the Devil in Cinema, which has recently been republished in a German edition entitled Luzifers Leinwand with brand new, updated material including a fresh introduction.

We begin by discussing how Nikolas first became interested in the devil and all his works. Nikolas recommend reading Satan Superstar, recently published by the UK's Reprobate Press, due to it's lengthy biographical interview with him entitled "The Nikolas Schreck Files". From there we delve into the definition of Satanism and Nikolas' critique of atheistic brand of Satanism popularized by Anton LaVey's Church of Satan.

Then we delve into The Satanic Screen: An Illustrated Guide to the Devil in Cinema. Nikolas discusses how The Satanic Screen was never intended as a simple "Satanists' Guide to Movies", but rather as a philosophical, religious, and sociopolitical reflection on old scratch through the lens of film. This leads us into a discussion of the new introduction for Luzifers Leinwand which details the many misconception of the Devil, made by both Christians and Satanists alike, in the Bible's Old Testament. We discuss issues like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, the real meaning of Lucifer in the Bible, what "Satan" actually means, the "Divine Council" of Gods known as the "Elohim", and much more.

After digging into these theological matters we transition to a discussion of the devil in pop culture starting with the "magic lantern". We then discuss the devil's many appearances in cinema from the silent era (The Magician) to the 1930's (The Black Cat) and beyond. We take special notice of Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (and to a lesser extent The Fearless Vampire Killers) and William Friedkin's The Exorcist. Through these two films we examine the sociopolitical undercurrents that helped fuel the Satanic Panic. In addition we discuss the adult film The Devil in Miss Jones to understand the role of eroticism in Satanic cinema. We then wrap up discussing how the devil's portrayal in cinema over the years acts as a cultural barometer for what we, as a society, consider evil during any given period.