“The Confessions of Robert Crumb” (1987)

A 55-minute BBC show about the extraordinarily talented cartoonist Robert Crumb:

We’ve also watched the newer feature-length documentary titled “Crumb” a few years back, and it’s available on Netflix (though not YT). That one though is very disturbing and goes into details about his childhood and family, and it shows how much worse off his brothers were. Definitely eye-opening, to say the least, and parts of that film run through my mind at random and disturb my days.

Anyway, Robert Crumb came back across my radar today because my friend mentioned he’d created a comic strip to accompany the book of Genesis in the Bible, and it’s supposed to have made a big splash, so this evening I’m going to track down a copy and order it for my friend for his birthday.

“Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father”

The extremely disturbing documentary “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father.”

Watched this for the first time back in 2009 or 2010 and made the mistake of doing so alone and in the middle of the night. Holy shit — traumatizing. That is one of the saddest stories to watch unfold…oh. my. god.

Re-watching it again tonight, it’s such an amazing, horrifying, heart-breaking, mind-blowing story. Kate and David Bagby’s dedication and love are an inspiration, and my heart goes out to them and everyone else impacted intimately by this senseless tragedy.

And on a sidenote, what’s up with so many dangerous freaks gravitating toward Council Bluffs, IA? Just an observation — appears to be becoming the Eugene, OR of the Midwest.

Real-life monsters

[Update 2/17/2015: The videos previously posted (and the associated channel) have all been taken down from Youtube. So I’ll post up what other relevant videos I’m able to find but don’t currently have time to review them all and so can’t verify if they’re the same as the originals posted previously.]

1.) Joseph E Duncan III — Child Molester and Murderer:

2.) Fred and Rosemary West — 25 Cromwell Street Serial Rapists and Killers:

Those two were a sick fucking duo.

3.) Charles Ray Hatcher — child molester, rapist and serial killer:

This one I am unable to find a video on, but I recall reading a book about him over a decade ago. The most extensive information I am able to find on the man currently is available on wikipedia.

In the case of Charles Ray Hatcher we see the man was in and out of prisons and mental institutions, and each time he was released he went back to raping children and men across several states, including Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and California. He even raped and killed a fellow inmate during one of his spells locked-up, and yet wasn’t convicted for that due to there being too little evidence, and that was way back early on in his criminal career.

What’s always stayed in my mind about this particular criminal was how in one instance he was actually caught in the act beating and sodomizing a six-year-old boy he’d abducted and taken out into the woods, AND YET, though he was charged he was later paroled (once again!) and set free to rape and kill more boys! That went on and on and on with this guy, from between approximately 1960 to the early ’80s. Incredible.

4.) John Duffy and David Mulcahy — The Railway Rapists (murderous duo):

5.) Kenneth Allen McDuff – The Broomstick Murderer:

McDuff’s case demonstrates a few points I like to hit upon when discussing our justice system and criminal behavior of this nature. For starters, it’s common for serial killers to hone their “craft” on victims who are less likely to draw as much public outcry, like lesser knowns, prostitutes and runaways. Another important feature in this case that I see over and over again when learning about violent offenders is how common it is for them to be paroled or to receive lesser sentences than they deserve, with prison overcrowding being the typical excuse given.

Isn’t it interesting that drug-sellers can get the book thrown at them and face incredibly lengthy sentences, yet when it comes to lightening the load of the prison population it’s rapists and violent offenders who wind up being released? Do you imagine that’s an accident or an oversight when records show this happening again and again and again? (Since profit motives seems to tie into everything these days, I wonder why there’d be more incentive to keep drug offenders locked up while letting violent offenders go free. Is it perhaps because they are so likely to re-offend and through doing so wind up requiring a great deal of police resources to investigate their crimes, which in turn provides an excuse to beef up police and sheriffs’ departments? That’s job creation, cynical as it may sound, and that’s the problem with relying on the State to create jobs for us — those are the sorts of jobs a government has to offer. This is meant as a thought exercise, pondering on the role economic incentives might play in what otherwise appears to be sheer incompetence on the part of law enforcement branches.)

And we could go on and on in looking up modern-day monsters among us, but that’s enough for one night.

“The Last Word: Johnny Frank Garrett” (2008 documentary)

Currently watching this video:

[Removed on youtube. Bummer.]

That was “The Last Word: Johnny Frank Garrett” (2008) about rapes and slayings in Amarillo, Texas, back in 1981 and the man who was falsely accused and wrongfully executed for these crimes. Pretty hyperbolic? Yes, I know. But it’s still an interesting story.

Additional information on Johnny Frank Garrett is available on wikipedia.

DNA-testing of evidence later proved Leoncio Perez Rueda was actually responsible for the rape and murder of the elderly nun, and while he had been questioned by police early on, they had let him walk away and decided instead to pin all charges on Johnny.

Ted Bundy spoke in his final hours (plus my thoughts on pornography and violent programming)

“Serial Killer Ted Bundy: Final Interview – Only Hours Before Execution – Full”:

[Dammit. Just figured out that second clip begins repeating the whole interview around the 8-minute mark. (And the first of these was cropped in an annoying fashion.) The original video of the full interview I’d found and posted up has since been removed from youtube, so we’ll have to work with this until a better version is uploaded.]

Ted Bundy has interested me since I was about 18 and first read Ann Rule’s book on him titled Stranger Beside Me. She actually knew Ted personally from way back when and struggled to accept the allegations against him were true even while writing that book. But his own admissions soon thereafter erased all of her doubts.

He’s the kind of man the death penalty remains in existence for. Because, as should be obvious to anyone, he did not possess self-control and was psychologically demented on such a level that rehabilitation and re-entrance into society would have never been possible. Though I am glad that in his later years he took time and effort to explore why he had done what he did to all those people and then came out pointing to factors that contributed to his depravity (while clearly stating his family life had not expressly been the culprit).

But I didn’t post this up just to lambast this man any more than has been done already. Actually, I share this interview because a part of me has always been fascinated with this man’s thought process and actions for reasons that make me more than a little uncomfortable in my own skin. In short, on some level I get how and why he became a monster, and I share his stated view that coming up exposed to extreme forms of violence and hardcore pornography does unarguably impact and damage our imaginations and psyche, whether we’re conscious of it or not.

I say that as someone who watched anything and everything violent and grotesque out of curiosity, beginning when I was too young and continuing on until fairly recent times. My own imagination has been darkened and distorted on account of such exposure as well, and perhaps this is partly due to underlying personality traits that make some of us more receptive to entertaining destructive fantasies, as Bundy pondered on as well. He had the benefit of a pretty good family and home life and had access to quality educational opportunities that he took advantage of — and yet, even those ‘safety nets’ proved insufficient in his case.

Now, in my own case, I do not harbor fantasies anywhere near as destructive as those he carried out, nor have I ever behaved violent on a scale even remotely similar to what he was convicted of. BUT, I have nevertheless been impacted, partly even by learning of this man’s story. Back when I first began studying up on Ted Bundy during my young marriage, I grew extremely paranoid of men in general and opportunistic attackers particularly. My first response was to draw drastic contrast between myself and men of his ilk, wishing to clearly demarcate between a psychology such as he possessed versus my own. But in the more than a decade since beginning this inquiry, honestly the lines have become more blurred. Continue reading

Sunday night video-perusing: “The Moon, the Tides and why Neil DeGrasse Tyson is Colbert’s God”

From that video’s description box: “Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, host of the PBS series NOVA Science Now and co-host (with comedienne Lynne Koplitz) of the radio show Star Talk. He is the author of nine books including his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist and his most recent, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet.”

I love to listen to how Dr. Tyson explains things.

Robin Temple’s story

A seriously sad and disturbing story of VA malpractice impacting one veteran:

Her story messes with my head. I forwarded her story along and one friend has donated toward her care already. If you also are interested in helping this veteran out, please visit her Indiegogo donation page.

Goddamn. My heart seriously goes out to this woman. I’ve spoken to and met others enlisted in the military who were fucking terrified of being butchered any further by the VA hospital because they’re notorious for providing poor quality care.

Friday night unwinding with videos from the vlogbrothers

“John Green is an IDIOT! And so are you.”:

Ha! I love how these guys can lay out worthwhile, interesting info in such a brief and humorous manner.

“Do You Believe in God?”:

A very good video, “On Religion”:

“On Religion (Redux)”:

This one I find hilarious, titled “17 Rants in 4 Minutes”:

Here’s a more serious one on “Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?”:

“On the Ownership of Ideas”:

“How to Become An Adult”:

Haven’t read The Hunger Games, but I did watch the film (though I so rarely watch new films out in theaters), and this remains a good talk either way: “The Metaphorical Implications”:

“The Nature of Crowds”

Another quick lecture from AcademyofIdeas titled “The Nature of Crowds,” on the writings put forth by Gustave Le Bon:

“Active and Passive Nihilism” & “Overcoming Nihilism”

Exploring ideas put forth by Nietzsche — “Active and Passive Nihilism”:

“Overcoming Nihilism”:

Those are the 5th and 6th lectures in a series that can be found on the academyofideas’ channel.