MonthJanuary 2008

Wiccan Beauty Queen Rejected as Pageant Judge

“She might be a witch, but Stephanie Conover says that’s no reason for officials at an upcoming Toronto beauty pageant to reject her as a potential judge. Conover, who was crowned winner of the Miss Canada Plus Pageant last year, said she was recently invited to be a judge at the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant on Feb. 2. “I said I’d definitely be there,” Conover told the Star yesterday.

“Then, last week, on Monday, they asked me for a biography. I told them everything I do, how I’m an entertainer and a singer and a dancer. I talked about my charity work and I said I also have hobbies, including songwriting, knitting, painting, yoga, reiki and tarot cards.” That’s where things got sticky. “We just got her bio a week ago and we don’t agree with it,” said Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director. “We want someone down to earth, not someone into the dark side or the occult.”

“We need a judge who has an upright reputation and we would be proud to introduce to the audience,” noted a Jan. 24 letter to the Miss Canada Plus group from Murray and another official with the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant. “Our board of directors has eliminated her as a judge as tarot card reading and reiki are the occult and is not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians. Tarot card reading is witchcraft and is used by witches, spiritists and mediums to consult the dark world.”

(via The Star)

links for 2008-01-29

US government: better to let heroin users die than encourage drug use by making it safer

Radley Balko on the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy’s opposition to giving overdose rescue kits to drug users:

Digest that for a sec. Better to let a heroin user die than administer a product that, in some cases, may remove the threat of overdose death from people who use heroin to excess. This is the mentality of your modern drug warrior. We’re fighting drug use not because it’s dangerous or harmful, but because they believe drug use is, in and of itself, immoral.

Today’s drug war isn’t about saving lives, it’s about saving souls. it’s the same mentality that led some family values types to oppose the marketing of Gardasil. Remove the threat of cervical cancer from premarital sex and, golly, some girls might have more premarital sex. If a few have to learn an important lesson by dying of cervical cancer, so be it.

Full Story: the Agitator.

Balko also sends word about a kid arrested for smelling hand sanitizer.

Alan Moore documentary on AlterTube

If you like this, please purchase the DVD from Shadowsnake.

(Late update: as pointed out here, this link came via Phase II).

links for 2008-01-28

The art of Anthony Ventura

the minotaur and the queen

Illustrations and artwork. Check his blog for more art. Some of these images are not safe for work.

Forget crop circles – now we’ve got a mysterious SHEEP circle

sheep circle

Full Story: Daily Mail.

(via Lupa).

Albert Hofmann ponders his problem child, LSD

http://www.mindfully.org/Health/2006/LSD-Albert-Hofmann7jan06.htm

Happy Belated Birthday! Ol’ Dr Hofman turned 102 a couple weeks ago!

Stewart Home’s Assault on Culture online for free

Trevor Blake says:

The Assault on Culture by Stewart Home (1987) is a book I have recommended to many people for many years. It is well-researched while clearly-written, brief while informative. The Assault on Culture describes ‘utopian currents from Lettrism to Class War.’ Some of the more familiar names in this current might include the Situationists, Fluxus, mail art and punk rock. Stewart Home went on to write Neoism, Plagiarism and Praxis, which includes descriptions of his performance art / magick attacks on agents of conformity in a psychogeographically mapped England. Not only does the character King Mob in Grant Morrison’s Invisibles act like Stewart Home, he looks like him. Read up on the real thing.

Full text of Assault on Culture.

(via Trevor).

The Unburdened Mind

In a prior post about “Questioning The Banality Of Evil”, the discussion turned to sociopathy and psychopathy. Here’s an interesting article that goes into it a bit more. (Be sure to click on the link to take a quiz to find out where you are psychologically):

‘I don’t think I feel things the same way you do.’ The man sits at the table in the well-fitted attire of success-charming, witty, and instantly likeable. He is a confident, animated speaker, but he seems to be struggling with this particular point. ‘It’s like… at my first job,’ he continues, ‘I was stealing maybe a thousand bucks a month from that place. And this kid, he was new, he got wise. And he was going to turn me in, but before he got the chance I went to the manager and pinned the whole thing on him.’ Now he is grinning widely. ‘Kid lost his job, the cops got involved, I don’t know what happened to him. And I guess something like that is supposed to make me feel bad, right? It’s supposed to hurt, right? But instead, it’s like there’s nothing.’ He smiles apologetically and shakes his head. ‘Nothing.’

His name is Frank, and he is a psychopath.

In the public imagination, a “psychopath” is a violent serial killer or an over-the-top movie villain, as one sometimes might suspect Frank to be. He is highly impulsive and has a callous disregard for the well-being of others that can be disquieting. But he is just as likely to be a next-door neighbor, a doctor, or an actor on TV-essentially no different from anyone else who holds these roles, except that Frank lacks the nagging little voice which so profoundly influences most of our lives. Frank has no conscience. And as much as we would like to think that people like him are a rare aberration, safely locked away, the truth is that they are more common than most would ever guess.”

(via Damn Interesting)

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