Saturday, January 27, 2018

‘The penis is evil!’: Sean Connery & Charlotte Rampling in ‘Zardoz,’ the Playboy spread (NSFW)

Zardoz might be the only movie that can fairly be compared to D-Day, in that if you haven't endured it yourself, you really haven't the slightest notion what it's like.

Zardoz was released in 1974, the second movie that Sean Connery made after leaving Cubby Broccoli's Bond franchise for good. According to the movie's director and writer, John Boorman, Connery badly needed money and agreed to do the movie on that basis. He must've been really broke.

The movie is 23rd-century romp in which all of humanity is divided up into the lusty and animalistic "Brutals" and the psychic and ethereal "Eternals" at the "Vortex" who have no need to procreate, while a huge flying stone head distributes armaments across the countryside. Sean Connery plays "Zed," an "Exterminator" who manages to infiltrate the "Vortex," where he discombobulates the Eternals' barren notions of sex and violence—or something. Along the way the huge stone head—"Zardoz" to you—memorably bellows the mottos "The gun is good!" and "The penis is evil!" The movie is heady and trashy in a way that only the cinema of the 1970s could possibly muster.
Boorman made several straightforwardly excellent movies, including Excalibur, Hope and Glory, Point Blank, and Deliverance, which makes the eternal peculiarities of Zardoz all the more astonishing.
Zardoz was released in early 1974, and the March issue of Playboy that year featured a nude spread connected with the movie that included nude photos of Charlotte Rampling.
It's abundantly clear that the content of Zardoz was a kind of reaction to the sexual revolution that had been taking place for a number of years before the movie was made. In the text that accompanies the pictures, Boorman makes a remarkable statement of sorts about this, indicating that his experiences visiting communes in America convinced him of the folly of gender equality, a stance that feels all the stranger considering the harsh critique of masculinity featured in his previous movie, Deliverance. Here it is:
Researching for the film, Boorman visited many communes throughout the U.S.A. "I was shocked," he admits now, "in the way you are shocked by something you thought you knew and find you didn't. I was shocked because women were living in the commune in real equality with the men and I realized I hadn't seen that before. I had thought that I believed in women's equality, but I discovered that really I didn't. I can't accept that they're the equals of men. Guilty about it? Yes, but I can't add any more to my burden of guilt. Once you get to 40, you really can't take on any more."
Boorman's DVD commentary, which is available on this page, is considered by not a few people to be the greatest of all time. At one point he says that "Charlotte was very disappointed in this sequence because she said she had been looking forward to being raped by Sean Connery and that it was all over far too quickly." Hmmm.
In 2015 Rampling was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in 45 Years, making her one of a tiny number of women who have posed nude in Playboy and also been nominated for an Oscar. (Sharon Stone, Kim Basinger, and Charlize Theron are the only ones I can think of, although Burt Reynolds posed nude in Cosmopolitan and received an Oscar nomination.)

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Photo-spread for John Boorman's 'Zardoz', 1974

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Satanism and Weed: Is The Devil Down With Dope?

Remember the days of Satanic Panic? It was a time when America talk shows and Christian zealots attempted to sell the masses a certain paranoia. The idea that cloven-hoofed demons cloaked in human skin were coming. And they were going to rape and butcher their children in the name of the Dark Lord. The Church of Satan was perhaps the most feared enemy of the weak. This was a time before the nation began to shudder at the thought of brown terrorists strapped with explosives and Boeing 767's coming to threaten our way of life in the United States. Back then, it was all about the "threat" of Satanism.
In the late 80s, television-fried zombies lapped up all of the satanic swill coming from the lips of public figures like Geraldo Rivera and Sally Jesse Raphael. America had seen the ghoulish acts of the Manson Family. It was easy for the media to convince large audiences that millions of Satanists were out there. And that they were scouring the land of the free, using heavy metal music to recruit America teens.
It was the consensus of these primetime socialites that the fiend-followers of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey were coming for them. And that they were going to hook the nation's youth on drugs and inspire them to praise Satan. One cup of animal blood at a time. Families locked their doors at night for fear that one of these devil-worshipping cults just might happen to make a pit stop in suburbia.

But the Devil Never Came

More than twenty years later, the Church of Satan still has not taken over the world. What's more is the children of the post-666 generation did not end up becoming depraved junkies on a quest for the sacrificial lamb. Nothing like that. In fact, it seems now that had the frightened legions of the middle taken it upon themselves to learn more about Satanism from the very beginning, they would have perhaps found clarity. And maybe even some peace knowing that Satanists were not going to carve them up upon the altar of sacrifice.
They would have learned also that the Church of Satan was never going to turn their children into drug-addicted heathens. Because, believe it or not, illicit substances have been against church rules ever since LaVey established it in the mid-1960s. Even marijuana.

The Church of Satan Does Not Embrace Marijuana

At the core of the Church of Satan's anti-drug policy is the illegal status of certain substances. But when digging a little deeper, we find that even in its newly legal climate, the Church does not embrace marijuana.
"If a substance is legal, a Satanist may or may not choose to indulge in it. "Indulgence, NOT compulsion" is your guide. Since survival is the highest law, the Satanist will not ruin or poison his or her body, even if it is legal to do so," reads the Church of Satan's drug policy. "This is an important distinction. Self-destructive, suicidal hedonism—via whatever means—is ultimately un-Satanic as it threatens the very thing a Satanist holds most dear: his own life. There is no mystical "Scoreboard in the Sky" dictating whether such an act is Wrong or Right; it simply IS, and dead brain cells, blackened lungs and non-functional livers are not a matter of opinion."
This position of prohibition has sparked some controversy. Some folks believe that the church's opposing stance on drug use is something new. That Anton LaVey would have never subscribed to such sober lunacy. But that simply isn't true. From the inception of the Church of Satan, LaVey has not held back his disdain for all drugs.

Anton LaVey

In a 1966 interview with the Alameda County Weekender, LaVey said the use of narcotic substances had no place in the production of the love potions he used for the Magic Circle.
"The use of the peyote ritual in certain Indian churches—and which has been recently adjudged legal—is an example. But for our purposes the use of drugs would be definitely harmful," he said. "Like opium, marijuana, heroin and so forth, it ought to be shunned like the plague."
In his syndicated column "Letters From the Devil," which was published in 1971 in the National Insider, LaVey amplified his response to the question of Satanism and the use of inebriants, writing, "drugs are great for slaves, but no good for the masters. The glories attained through a drug experience are no more valid than the meaningless baubles with which the status-seeking drone surrounds himself… Those who eulogize on unfoldment gained through drugs have obviously been insensitive to such awareness-provoking stimuli as complete sexual fulfillment, beautiful music, inspirational literature, etc. The excuse that certain drugs are a necessary adjunct to the practice of magic is quite lame…"

Not All Satanists Subscribe to Strict Drug Policies

Satanic Temple Detroit
Not all satanic ethos support prohibition. Many think of The Church of Satan as right wing with a libertarian slant. But the more active 100,000-plus-member Satanic Temple of Salem, Massachusetts is liberal across the board.
The group supports same-sex marriage and is a vocal advocate for the women's rights movement. It believes that "One's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone" … and that "the freedoms of others should be respected," according to its website.
Like the Church of Satan, the Satanic Temple does not support illegal acts. The difference is the Temple does not consider it unlawful to engage in responsible drug use.
"The Satanic Temple believes in individual sovereignty, which includes the right to ingest whatever chemicals a person chooses," Malcolm Jarry, a spokesperson for the organization told High Times. "This should be done in accordance with reason and where others are not placed at risk.
"That said, while we object to laws that irrationally prohibit liberties and freedoms, we do not promote illegal activity," he added. "If laws are unjust, as many are that prohibit drug use, people should work to change those laws. We certainly applaud the efforts of many reformers."

Final Hit: Satanism and Weed: Is The Devil Down With Dope?

People credit LaVey's concept of Satanism for spawning the movement. And, by all accounts, for bringing it into the realm of infamy. But many still believe the philosophies of the Satanic Temple to be more palatable to prospective members. Especially considering today's political climate. Although the Church of Satan still exists today, people mostly view it as a brand with historical relevance. But the views of the church are just a little too much "Donald Trump" for the blood of younger generations interested in becoming vital, active extensions of the satanic nation.

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Who is PTAH?

Who is PTAH? The Sumerian tablets list his name as #Enki, father of both #Thoth and #AmenRa. The #PtahNoster is an ancient Egyptian invocation that was translated from Hieroglyphs and Arabic into latin like this: "Pater [Πτα - Ptah] noster, qui es in cælis. Sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra. Panem nostrum supersubstantialem da nobis hodie. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. Sed libera nos a malo. Quia tuum est regnum, potentia et gloria in saecula saeculorum. Amen." In English its: "Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in Earth as it is in heaven...." basically its The #LordsPrayer. The Ptah archetype can be found in the Tree of Life with its 3 leters PTR, representing the first triangle: #Kether#Chokmah & #Binah or as Christianity calls it: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Ptah symbolizes the Holy Trinity in Egypt & together with Ra, the solar light, its the Tetragrammaton which works in every human organism. That light descends from above & places itself in the sexual gonads with its 2 keys. From the union of Ptah & Ra we spell Ptar, which is the sacred name of Peter the Apostle which is always represented with the letters PTR holding the keys to heaven. Its why Ptah has 2 keys. The right key is man & left key: the woman. By crossing them, we build power. Thats why its said that Ptah is the creator in itself. This is our Father who is in Heaven. Each one of us has that Father within. The father is not outside, its inside. In the very base of our existence. 4biddenknowledge

Fred Cannock's Photo - Beautiful

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Robot Strippers are Hitting the Poles This Weekend in NYC

We're less than a month into 2018 it's already clear that this is the year of the robots.
Sapphire New York will debut robot strippers this weekend and we get the sense it'll be very interesting and likely a bit awkward. The event details are as follows:
Sapphire New York proudly introduces the Robo Twins for the first time in NYC! Come witness the future as these sexy robo twins rock the stage!
Tonight (Jan. 27) the Robots Twins will be performing at Sapphire 39, and on Sunday (Jan. 28) are performing at Sapphire 60 SINS. This is the only New York appearance for these dancing cyborgs before they move on to their next gig. For more details about the event, click here.
For a look at the Robo Twins' Las Vegas performance check out the [bizarrely graphic] video below: 

Featured image source: Facebook / Sapphire Las Vegas

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The Lost Giant of American Literature

A major black novelist made a remarkable début. How did he disappear?

William Melvin Kelley wrote about white people thinking about black people.
Photograph by Carl Van Vechten / Carl Van Vechten Trust / Beinecke Library, Yale

There were arrows, so we followed them. This was one afternoon last summer; my partner and I had spent the day at our local public library, working steadily through breakfast and lunch and what the British would call teatime, until suddenly hunger clobbered us both and we packed up and headed out to the car. Home was maybe four miles away. In my mind, I was already constructing enormous sandwiches. The arrows appeared two miles in, lining the side of the road where, that morning, there had been nothing but marsh grass. They were shin-high, wordless, red on a white background, pointing away from the sandwiches. My partner, who is usually more hungry than I am but always more curious, swung the car into the other lane and began to follow them.
The arrows led down a state highway, across an interchange, onto a smaller road, past a barn and some grain silos, then along one of the Chesapeake Bay's countless tributaries. A sign warned us that we were in a flood zone. My partner, who grew up one county over, remembered the place from childhood—at seven or eight, she'd had a memorable encounter in the area with a trailer full of cockatiels—but she hadn't been there since. The arrows ended at a large gray shed with a red roof. A spray-painted sign indicated that it was open twice a month, on Saturdays, in the summer only. We parked across the street, next to a boat, and headed for the door.
Inside: boxes of fishing tackle, cans of Rust-Oleum, a ceiling-high stack of interior/exterior paint. A half-dozen washboards, a cast-iron sewing machine, signs advertising fresh eggs and Guinness and speed limits in unknown locations. Doorframes, window frames, picture frames stripped of their pictures and stacked catawampus in a corner. A wall of old license plates, a box of old flashlights, Chock full o'Nuts cans chock-full of nails. Circular saws, gate weights, drill bits, jigging bait, oyster tongs, jumbles of other farming and fishing equipment that I, having grown up suburban and landlocked, could not identify. No cross-stitched pillows here; no clothes, unless you count waders; no discarded chinaware—not much, in short, of the usual junk-shop bric-a-brac. A few boxes of LPs. A few old sports pennants. And, near the cash register, a single bookshelf, with a handwritten sign taped to the top: "Paperbacks, 50¢. Hardbacks, $1."
Books I can identify. I went to browse, and spotted, first thing, a slender volume that was shelved the wrong way round—binding in, pages out. I pulled it down, turned it over, and found myself holding a beautiful clothbound first edition of Langston Hughes's "Ask Your Mama." I flipped it open and there on the frontispiece it said:
Inscribed especially for William Kelley ~ on your first visit to my house ~ welcome!
Sincerely ~
Langston Hughes
New York
February 19, 1962
I gawped. Then I beckoned my partner over and we gawped together. After a short-lived and entirely silent moral crisis—resolved by remembering that half the point of visiting junk stores is the possibility of stumbling on unexpected treasures—I walked over to the cash register, handed the young man behind it a dollar, and bought the book. And then, because it, too, was an arrow, I followed it.
I didn't know who William Kelley was when I found that book but, like millions of Americans, I knew a term he is credited with first committing to print. "If You're Woke, You Dig It" read the headline of a 1962 Op-Ed that Kelley published in the New York Times, in which he pointed out that much of what passed for "beatnik" slang ("dig," "chick," "cool") originated with African-Americans.
A fiction writer and occasional essayist, Kelley was, himself, notably woke. A half century before the poet Claudia Rankine used her MacArthur "genius" grant to establish an institute partly dedicated to the study of whiteness, Kelley turned his considerable intellect and imagination to the question of what it is like to be white in this country, and what it is like, for all Americans, to live under the conditions of white supremacy—not just the dramatic cross-burning, neo-Nazi manifestations of it common to his time and our own but also the everyday forms endemic to our national culture.
Kelley first addressed these issues at length in his début novel, "A Different Drummer." Published three weeks after that Times Op-Ed, when he was twenty-four, it promptly earned him comparisons to an impressive range of literary greats, from William Faulkner to Isaac Bashevis Singer to James Baldwin. It also got him talked about, together with the likes of Alvin Ailey and James Earl Jones, as among the most talented African-American artists of his generation.

When I read "A Different Drummer," I understood why. Geographically, the novel is set in a small town called Sutton, outside the city of New Marsails, in an imaginary Southern state wedged between Mississippi and Alabama. Temporally, it is set in June, 1957, when a young African-American farmer named Tucker Caliban salts his fields, slaughters his horse and cow, burns down his house, and departs the state—whereupon its entire African-American population follows.
It's a brilliant setup. Our culture has produced countless fantasies about what would have happened if the Civil War had ended differently—chiefly, if the Confederacy had won and slavery had endured. (See, e.g., "The Guns of the South," "If the South Had Won the Civil War," and "Underground Airlines.") But we have a paucity of art that chooses to imagine a different outcome for the civil-rights movement, or alternate universes where African-Americans, from any era, wield not less power but more.
Appropriately, that seizure of power—the sudden refusal of African-Americans to continue living under conditions of subordination—flummoxes the white citizens of Sutton. When "A Different Drummer" opens, one of them, seeking to make sense of the recent events, recounts a harrowing story. Half slave narrative, half tall tale, it concerns a behemoth of a man, known simply as the African, who arrives one day on a slave ship, cradling a baby boy in the crook of his arm. Bound by chains held by at least twenty men, the African is led into town and sold—whereupon he whips around and, with the chains, knocks over his captors and decapitates the auctioneer: "Some folks swear . . . that the head sailed like a cannon ball through the air a quarter mile, bounced another quarter mile, and still had enough steam to cripple a horse some fellow was riding into New Marsails." Gathering up his chains "like a woman grabs up her skirts," the African then flees to a nearby swamp and starts conducting raids to free other slaves. Eventually, his nominal owner, led to the hideout by a traitor, kills the African and claims as his own the baby boy: Tucker Caliban's great-grandfather.
The man who tells this tale maintains that Caliban acted as he did because "the African's blood" resurged within him. Not all his listeners agree, but they're hard pressed to offer a better explanation for the recent exodus, or imagine its likely consequences. Some wonder whether wages will be better or worse with a third of the population gone. Others, professing not to care about Caliban and his followers, echo the governor's statement: "We never needed them, never wanted them, and we'll get along fine without them." Still others feel betrayed, in ways they can't articulate, by the violation of a social compact whose terms they'd never previously bothered to study too closely.
Although the plot of "A Different Drummer" depends on the autonomous actions of African-Americans, the story is told exclusively through the eyes of these white townspeople. This, too, is a smart idea—a kind of fictional affirmation of the historian Lerone Bennett, Jr.,'s claim that "there is no Negro problem in America. The problem of race in America . . . is a white problem." Moreover, it is wonderfully executed. At twenty-four, Kelley was already a strikingly confident writer, with a sense of humor reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor in stories like "Revelation": caustic, original, efficacious. He was also a keen observer, and although his story has the emotional proportions of a myth, his sentences reliably feel like real life. Tucker Caliban's doomed cow is "the color of freshly cut lumber"; to the men watching from outside, the fire he set first appeared climbing a pair of curtains in the center of his home, then "moved on slowly to the other windows like someone inspecting the house to buy it."
"A Different Drummer" ends in pessimism, less about the fate of black Americans than about the moral potential of white ones. Yet, thanks to it, Kelley's career began in tremendous optimism. His was the rare first novel that makes future ones seem both inevitable and exciting—and, indeed, he went on to publish four more books in under a decade. But I wasn't alone in being unfamiliar with them. After his early and fiery start, Kelley largely faded into obscurity—not just before our era but in his own prime. Obscurity, of course, is a common enough fate for authors. But what's curious about Kelley is that he is seldom read today not just because of the weaknesses in his books but also because of their peculiar, discomfitting strengths.
William Melvin Kelley was born on November 1, 1937, at Seaview Hospital, a tuberculosis sanatorium on Staten Island, where his mother, Narcissa Agatha Garcia Kelley, was a patient. His father, also named William Kelley, worked for many years as an editor at the Amsterdam News, one of the oldest and most influential African-American newspapers in the nation. The paper was based in Harlem, but the family lived in a working-class Italian-American community in the Bronx, together with Kelley's maternal grandmother, a seamstress, who was the daughter of a slave and the granddaughter of a Confederate colonel.
By his own account, Kelley grew up at a time when "striving Negroes wanted to transcend" race rather than politicize it. Typifying that impulse, his father "worked hard to eradicate all vestiges of Negroness from his voice," and kept Countee Cullen and Paul Laurence Dunbar on the main shelves of his library while banishing Marcus Garvey to its highest reaches. Kelley, whose own voice never lost its Bronx accent, internalized this ethos young. At home, he won over the neighborhood kids with his excellent Sinatra imitation, and with his willingness, when playing Cowboys and Indians, to take on the role of Tonto. At the Fieldston School, the nearly all-white prep school he attended from first through twelfth grades, he practiced the time-honored strategy of overachieving: by his senior year, he was student-council president, captain of the track team, all-around "golden boy," and bound for Harvard. Once there, Kelley discovered writing—which, he later recalled, "made me so happy I wasn't going to do anything else." He found mentors in the experimental novelist John Hawkes and the modernist poet Archibald MacLeish, and in 1960 he won the Dana Reed Prize, for the best writing by a Harvard undergraduate.
It was a high honor, but more or less the only one Kelley earned in an otherwise troubled college career. His mother died during his sophomore year, his father when he was a senior. Kelley switched majors four times, failed almost every class but his fiction courses, and dropped out of school one semester shy of graduation. He went home to his grandmother and, with considerable trepidation, confessed that he'd abandoned all his illustrious career plans and wanted to be a writer instead. She heard him out, then told him that she could not have spent seventy years making dresses if she hadn't loved it. Two years later, Kelley published "A Different Drummer."
Two more books followed in quick succession: a short-story collection, "Dancers on the Shore," in 1964, and a novel, "A Drop of Patience," in 1965. The stories are uneven, but the best of them—including "The Only Man on Liberty Street," in which racism ruptures a complicated family, and "Not Exactly Lena Horne," in which two retired widowers get into a small, upsetting fight—are exemplars of the form: taut and self-contained yet seemingly pulled midstream from life. The novel, meanwhile, concerns a blind jazz musician who rises to national prominence, has a doomed romance with a white woman, and subsequently suffers a nervous breakdown. It let Kelley explore not only the destructiveness of racial categories but one of his other long-standing interests as well: the primacy of sound. As a child, Kelley spent hours sitting with his grandmother while she worked, and the stories that she told him merged in his mind with the clatter of her sewing machine. In Europe, he befriended the avant-garde saxophonist Marion Brown and became part of an ongoing conversation about sound and meaning. "If things had gone another way," he told Gordon Lish in a 1968 interview, "I would've been a musician."
In retrospect, though, the most notable aspect of Kelley's early work is its dramatis personae. Wallace Bedlow, whom we first encounter making his way toward Caliban's farm in "A Different Drummer," reappears in "Dancers on the Shore" as a blues singer destined for a short but brilliant career in New York, under the guidance of his brother, Carlyle. Carlyle himself then plays starring roles in Kelley's last two novels, during the course of which he encounters Chig Dunford, a Harvard-educated aspiring writer who also débuts in the story collection. Dozens of other characters likewise reappear from tale to tale; in his old age, Kelley once said, he hoped to look up at his shelves "and see that all of my books are really one big book." Like Balzac and Faulkner, he was in the business of world-building—in his literature, but also, by then, in his life.
Kelley was seventeen when he met his future wife, Karen Gibson; she was fourteen and, she told me, distinctly unimpressed. Almost a decade later, the two crossed paths again, at the Penn Relays, a weekend-long integrated track meet that drew thousands of African-American participants and spectators. By then, Kelley was finishing "A Different Drummer," while Gibson, who had studied art at Sarah Lawrence, was planning to become a painter. She was drawn to creative types and, this time, she was dazzled by him. In 1962, they got married.
The Kelleys' early life together was peripatetic. Gibson, who later changed her name to Aiki Kelley, was, like her husband, a product of the black bourgeoisie and eager to escape it; also like him, she wanted to see more of the world before starting a family, so the couple soon decamped to Rome. A year later, they returned to the United States for the birth of their first child, Jessica, but it was a short-lived homecoming. Three days after she was born, Malcolm X was assassinated. Kelley, asked by The Saturday Evening Post to cover the subsequent murder trial, grew disgusted with the bias in the judicial system, and vowed to leave the country again: "I wouldn't assign myself the task of announcing that our little rebellion had failed, that racism had won again for a while. Not with a young wife and a toddler depending on me and all this killing going on."
In short order, he and Aiki packed up and moved with Jesi to Paris, where their second daughter, Cira, was born, in 1968. Initially, they planned to learn the language, then relocate somewhere in Francophone Africa to explore their roots. After a few years, though, they decided that they wanted to be closer to their relatives, and moved instead to Jamaica, where they lived for nearly a decade—William writing, Aiki making art, and both of them raising and homeschooling their daughters.
It was in Jamaica that Kelley and his family converted to Judaism. This came about because Kelley started smoking ganja with some locals behind a neighborhood chicken joint, and every day before they lit up they read aloud from the Bible. Kelley had been raised as a Christian, but his interest in Scripture surged in Jamaica, and he asked his wife to begin reading it with him. The two of them were searching for moral guidelines to help them raise their children, and they soon found what they wanted in the Pentateuch. One by one, they began shedding old traditions—bacon, Christmas, Sunday Sabbath—and adding new ones: Shabbat, Yom Kippur, a kosher kitchen.
It was always a self-directed faith; neither Kelley nor anyone in his family ever joined a synagogue, and they observed a religious calendar at odds with the conventional Jewish one. Kelley excelled at self-direction, in fact. He was meticulous in all his habits—the arrangement of his shoes, the order of his pens—and writing was no exception. He worked with punch-card regularity, in an office where his desk faced the wall, so that the only world he could see was the one he was creating. He set down his first drafts in pencil, made corrections in ink, then typed up the result on a manual typewriter, whose rhythm he loved. He did this every day, week after week, month after month, until he had published two more novels. Then he kept on doing it every day thereafter—even though, after the second of those novels came out, the world all but entirely ignored him.
The epigraph to Kelley's third novel, "dem," is written in the International Phonetic Alphabet—written, that is, to capture the way people actually speak, even though, in doing so, it thwarts the way people usually read. "Næʊ, ləmi təljə hæʊ dəm foks lıv": those words mark a new willingness on Kelley's part to make things difficult for his readers, linguistically and otherwise. Translated, they read, "Now, lemme tellya how dem folks live."
The "folks" in question are white people, and, like "A Different Drummer," the novel focusses on a white character: Mitchell Pierce, a middling employee at an advertising agency, who grows increasingly estranged from, among other things, his job, his pregnant wife, his sense of self-worth, and reality. As such, Mitchell is a classic mid-century white antihero, the kind that can be found, in works ranging from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" to "Portnoy's Complaint," exuding professional mediocrity, evading responsibility, humiliating himself sexually, and cowering in the face of his supposed inferiors: women, children, household help, members of all kinds of the putative lower classes.
Aptly, for a book about an antihero, "dem" winds its plot not through action but through passivity. Early on, Mitchell tears a hamstring and finds himself bed-bound for several weeks, during which time he develops an embarrassing addiction to a soap opera and a powerful crush on its heroine. Kelley is setting us up to think about melodrama, which "dem" is not made of but is very much about: the substitution of feelings for ethics, cheap thrills for costly experience, and simulacrum for reality. Indeed, when Mitchell happens to encounter the actress who plays his crush, he fails to grasp that she isn't actually the TV character he worships, and then further fails, when the opportunity arises, to sleep with her.
While Mitchell is conducting this ineffectual affair, his wife is having a considerably more successful one, with a black man. When the book opens, she is pregnant with twins; in an echo of the soap-opera plots Mitchell adores, one of these turns out to be fathered by her husband, the other by her lover. After the babies are born and the doctor breaks the news, Mitchell sets off to find his fellow-father and persuade him to take the dark-skinned baby.
Thus begins a kind of picaresque journey through black New York, and, in parallel, through the Bosch-like fantasy- and horror-scape of Mitchell's racial imagination. Along the way, he encounters another desirable woman, this one black, whom he also fails to bed; an African-American maid he had unjustly fired some time before; her nephew, none other than Carlyle Bedlow, who pockets Mitchell's money and serves as his poker-faced, Harlem-based guide; Carlyle's militant younger brother Mance, who refers to Mitchell as "devil"; and, finally, Mitchell's co-father, a man named Cooley, whom, it turns out, he has known all along.
The whole journey is a merciless satire on the themes of white fear, guilt, and hypocrisy, played out in the always charged language of miscegenation—only, this time, with the current of that charge reversed. One practical and emotional cornerstone of slavery was the inability of the enslaved to determine their own families. When Mitchell, cuckolded and left to raise a black man's child as his own, realizes that his suffering is a kind of reprisal, his whiny "Why me?" is parried irrefutably by his fellow-father: Why Cooley's great-granddaddy? Like the white characters in "A Different Drummer," Mitchell experiences black retribution. Neither is violent—the first is a renunciation, the second a reckoning—but both are profoundly disconcerting, because they leave white characters and readers alike alone with past and present iniquities, and with the scales to measure them.
If "dem" is a strange book, it is strange in a familiar way. Part Roth, part Swift, part Twain, it is built of satire, farce, and hyperbole, all deployed in the name of moral seriousness. But Kelley's next novel, "dunfords travels everywheres," is strange in a strange way. When it opens, Chig Dunford is living in an imaginary European country that observes a bizarre sartorial segregation: every day, its citizens self-divide into those who wear blue clothes (Atzuoreursos) and those who wear yellow ones (Jualoreursos), groups that are strictly forbidden from mingling. While living there, Chig has a brief affair with an enigmatic fellow-expatriate named Wendy, then reunites with her on his way back to the United States, when the two find themselves sharing a steamer with a mysterious organization called The Family, and also with a cargo hold full of slaves. Meanwhile, Carlyle Bedlow is back from "dem" and up to a whole new set of tricks, including one involving a loan officer moonlighting as a limousine driver, who turns out to be—in a wonderful Bulgakov-like turn, by far the best in the book—the devil.
All this is funny, dark, smart, and extremely entertaining—except that, fifty pages in, the reader suddenly slams up against this sentence: "Witches oneWay tspike Mr. Chigyle's Languish, n curryng him back tRealty, recoremince wi hUnmisereaducation. Maya we now go on wi yReconstruction, Mr. Chuggle? Awick now?"
Well, yes: we are now very Awick, although whether we will go on is a different question. Kelley conceived "dunfords travels everywheres" in conscious thrall to "Finnegans Wake," and his own book is, for long stretches, similarly rough going. Kelley tells Chig's and Carlyle's separate stories mostly straight, but in between he grabs language by its edges and bends it as far as he can, in order to pull the bourgeois, Ivy-educated Chig and the impoverished, street-smart Carlyle into a single consciousness, made of their common national history.
Kelley had long been fascinated by the way one language can accommodate many different speakers. "Early on," he wrote, "blessed with an ear for variations of spoken English, I realized that I lived in four linguistic worlds": the Standard English he spoke at home; the working-class Italian-American English he learned in the Bronx; the heavily Latinate, slightly Yiddish English he heard at Fieldston; and black English, which he regarded, like jazz, as one of the great creative contributions of African-Americans. At the same time, he was fascinated by the relationship between language and power. Tucker Caliban is taciturn almost to the point of mute. Even his wife can barely eke speech out of him, and he rejects oration and persuasion, refusing to explain, or even articulate, the beliefs behind his scorched-earth exit from the state. With one exception—a militant Northern preacher, who is voluble, dislikable, and doomed—the other black characters are likewise silent. In "dunfords," by contrast, the black characters have plenty to say, but their voices intermittently wax incomprehensible.
That is the same problem solved two different ways. Like many who are steeped in but structurally excluded from conventional English and its canon, Kelley had doubts about its capacity to adequately express African-American life. His epigraph for "dunfords," borrowed from Joyce, is "My soul frets in the shadow of his language." The language he creates in its place blends the black vernacular with puns, patois, and linguistic borrowings that most readers (this one included) will struggle to identify.
The result is best read out loud—and, in fact, is nearly impossible to read any other way. It's sometimes rewarding, since Kelley is smart and funny no matter what language he uses, but it is never easy, and it slows down a book that, in its bones, wants to be headlong and exuberant—so much so that readers can be forgiven for wanting to skip the difficult bits to get back to the plot. (And also to sentences that offer more familiar pleasures. Here as everywhere, Kelley's straightforward prose is both plain and shining, like sunlight catching the windows of an apartment building. When the devil drives away in his limousine, Carlyle watches it "designing the fresh snow with row after row of tiny interlaced hammers, its tail-end, finally, becoming part of the shadows.")
But simply ignoring the tough parts won't work, of course. Kelley's private language is difficult to decode but essential to the book, and so a determined reader must soldier on, grateful that "dunfords" is, at least, short by comparison with "Finnegans Wake." The result is like roaring down a roller coaster with the brakes on: thrilling, frustrating, dominated by sheer sound.
William Kelley was thirty-two when "dunfords travels everywheres" appeared. He wrote constantly for the next forty-seven years, never published another book, and died a year ago, at the age of seventy-nine.
By then, Kelley had been back in his native New York for decades. He loved Jamaica, but eventually the family's visas expired, and their relatives began hounding them to come home. In 1977, the Kelleys returned to the United States and rented a sixth-floor walkup at 125th Street and Fifth Avenue. The gentrification of Harlem had not yet begun, and their new home had an absentee slumlord, an alcoholic super, no heat, no electricity, no gas, no phone, and no lock on the door. The Kelleys bought winter clothes for the first time in a decade, together with candles, a Coleman stove, and a padlock for the door.
It wasn't ideal, but it was all they could afford. The book advances, the speaking gigs, the magazine requests, and the university appointments had dried up, and the family had hardly any money. This was fine by Kelley, who had long since read Thoreau ("A Different Drummer" takes its title from "Walden") and embraced the idea of voluntary poverty. By day, he kept writing, at a desk crammed below a loft bed in their tiny apartment. After midnight, when the local stores put their unsold produce in the trash, he did the family grocery shopping. "Going through the garbage at the Korean grocers didn't embarrass him," his daughter Jesi said. "He was utterly unafraid to be poor."
He was also unafraid to keep writing in the absence of public encouragement. When he died, he left behind a considerable quantity of prose, including two unpublished novels. One of these, "Daddy Peaceful," is loosely based on his own family, whom he never previously wrote about though unabashedly adored. The other, "Dis/integration," is a meta-fiction that concerns the further adventures of Chig Dunford, and, like "The Brothers Karamazov" and "Pale Fire," contains within it an entirely separate work: a complete novel by a white Hemingwayesque writer. That embedded novel, "Death Fall," features no black characters at all, and describes the unravelling of a small Kansas town after a new and highly addictive drug is introduced there.
Kelley tried to publish both of these novels during his lifetime, to no avail. Eventually, in 1989, he began teaching fiction at Sarah Lawrence, and liked it enough to continue doing so for nearly three decades. But, even then, he never stopped writing. "There are artistic people who have that moment of 'Ugh, I suck,' " Jesi said. "He wasn't like that. He never got depressed. He never thought he was bad. He never doubted himself. He just didn't understand what happened."
What did happen? It's difficult to say; both present-day fame and posthumous reputation are elusive, mercurial, and multifactorial. Some of the downturn in Kelley's fortunes likely had to do with the changing political climate. "We always said, we made a revolution and we lost," Aiki Kelley said, and she believes that her husband was one casualty of that defeat; as the momentum of the civil-rights movement ebbed, those with the power to make publishing decisions turned their attention elsewhere.
Still, Kelley was never a pat enough political writer to simply wash in and out with the ideological tides, and there were many other considerations, too. Chief among these was the strange chiasmus at the heart of his work: a black man writing about how white people think about black people. That perspective was smart and important—in effect, it transformed W. E. B. Du Bois's double consciousness into a narrative device—but it radically diminished Kelley's audience. Many white readers didn't want a black writer telling them what they thought, especially when so much of it was withering, while many black readers, long starved for literary representation, didn't want to read about more white characters. To make matters worse, very few people, white or black, wanted to subscribe to a vision of America that grew progressively more damning in the course of Kelley's career. And, regardless of the topic of a book or the race of its author, almost no one wanted to contend with experimental prose.
Ultimately, though, Kelley may have suffered most from the relentless conveyor belt of life, which constantly carries new things into sight and propels older ones away. Time, too, is an arrow that all of us follow. Critics love the adjective "timeless," but the truth is that most writers, even most exceptionally gifted ones, are of a time, even if not always of their own.
In 1962, when William Kelley met Langston Hughes, the two writers were at opposite ends of their careers. Hughes had dozens of books, plays, and poetry collections behind him, and only five years of life left ahead of him. But he loved championing up-and-coming writers of color, and he needed help packing away some material in his apartment for posterity. Kelley, meanwhile, admired Hughes, needed money, and agreed to do the job. The inscribed copy of "Ask Your Mama" was a kind of bonus pay, but, in those final months before "A Different Drummer" appeared, it must have also seemed like an affirmation. In its pages, Hughes, too, could be found imagining a counterfactual history:
Dreaming that the negroes
Of the South have taken over
Voted all the Dixiecrats
right out of power
Comes the colored hour:
Martin Luther King is Governor of Georgia . . .
Six years later, King was dead, and Hughes, too, and although Kelley didn't know it at the time, his copy of "Ask Your Mama" had gone missing. Each time he and his family left the country, they shed whatever possessions they didn't need and stashed anything of value with family and friends. Those things of value included the gift from Hughes, but somewhere between 1963, when the Kelleys first left the country, and 1977, when they returned for good, it vanished from a relative's apartment in Manhattan.
How it got from there to rural Maryland forty years later, and where else it went along the way, is anybody's guess. The beauty of a true junk shop is that it is a kind of island in the stream of time. Things wash up there and are granted temporary clemency from the all-devouring future; people stop by there and mingle, like time travellers at a rest stop, with fragments of the past. Mostly, you can't expect to leave with much of value. But every once in a while you find what I did in that Langston Hughes book, and in the man to whom it was given: in both senses, a real deal. ♦
This article appears in the print edition of the January 29, 2018, issue, with the headline "Remainders."
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Sizing up the Midwest cities that made Amazon’s list of HQ2 finalists

Last week, Amazon announced its 20 finalist candidate cities for HQ2 – sending some to cloud nine and others … well, back to Earth. Of those cities, four were in what we consider the Midwest – Chicago, Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Indianapolis. In no surprise to us, all of these candidate cities were safely in the top 10 of our rankings of Best of the Midwest: Startup Cities – with Indianapolis coming in at 8th, Columbus at 7th, Pittsburgh at 3rd, and Chicago 1st overall.
As a follow-up to the announcement, I thought it might make sense to respond with an argument for all four Midwestern candidates, a couple of alternative candidates we think could have made things interesting, and of course – predictions.

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Why Chicago

Chicago is ready to go, out of the box. With the exception of NYC, LA, and Boston, Chicago is probably the only candidate on the entire list that can confidently claim it already has the infrastructure in place to give Amazon everything it needs to hit the gas as soon as possible. It's an economic hub, with a GDP to be compared against smaller nations. It's a travel hub, making flights to and from pretty much anywhere domestically a breeze – with plenty of international options as well. Great talent is already there, from top-tier universities like the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, as well as many Fortune 500 companies and an exploding number of startups that call Chicago home. Finally, Chicago is a great place to attract young talent looking for things to do outside of work. Whether it's a day out on the lake, a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, or something uniquely delicious at one of the uncountable restaurants that won Chicago the distinction of Best Restaurant City of the Year in 2017, the options abound.

Why Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has quietly become one of the most exciting cities for tech and innovation, and will be turning a lot of heads – with or without Amazon. Many are aware of Uber and Google expanding their footprints in Pittsburgh, but as Jim Jen, executive director of Pittsburgh's own nationally ranked startup accelerator (AlphaLab), mentioned in his State of Pittsburgh 2018, fewer are aware that Apple, Yelp, Bosch, Facebook, Ford, IBM, Microsoft — and Amazon — have growing operations there as well. Not only that, but much of the most exciting technology and innovation coming out around autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and robotics is coming out of Carnegie Mellon University, if not the offices of the companies just mentioned. Not only does Pittsburgh have great talent at CMU, the University of Pittsburgh, and the other tech companies already in the ecosystem, but that talent is particularly specialized to ramp up Amazon's core competencies in what appears to be its future from a technological perspective.

Why Columbus

Columbus is healthy and growing. According to census estimates in 2017, Columbus has grown nearly 10 percent since the last census (2010) . Additionally, Columbus was one of the top cities in our rankings in regards to access to resources – which included categories like venture capital and angel group presence and activity, startup accelerators and incubators, talent and intellectual property coming out of universities and Fortune 500s, and government variables including loan programs and tax climate. Columbus-based Drive Capital has raised over half a billion dollars to invest in companies there and around the broader Midwest. Ohio State University needs no introduction as a major university. Bear in mind here that access to resources won't just help Amazon directly, but indirectly as well through the companies that start up and Amazon absorbs as it grows and innovates through acquisition.

Why Indianapolis

Indianapolis may just be the dark horse candidate you don't want to take your eyes off of.
Known for doing a lot with a little, Indianapolis can boast one of the best recent exits in the Midwest. There's a reason why ExactTarget was built to a $2.5 billion acquisition by Salesforce despite Indiana ranking lower than most states in venture capital activity. Neck in neck with Columbus in total population, Indianapolis has a huge advantage over most major cities in the cost of doing business. A stable local government and economy can't be ignored either, but the X-factor here might actually be Purdue University – located roughly 45 minutes north on I-65. Yes, Purdue does happen to be my alma mater, but I promise my rationale here is objective (for the most part). In the same way that Pittsburgh's talent is particularly specialized to Amazon's needs, Amazon has already been hiring Purdue graduates in bulk. Not only does Purdue have the engineering talent that it's famed for and Amazon needs, but Purdue's Krannert School of Business is also renowned for its supply chain management program(s).
And now for a couple cities I think may have been some interesting missed opportunities….

Detroit / Ann Arbor

Detroit and Ann Arbor are two distinct cities and ecosystems, but with HQ2 they become one. Yes, in our rankings of Midwest cities, we ranked them separately – Detroit ranking at 13th, and Ann Arbor beating them out at 11th overall. However, there has been talk in the past of increased infrastructure for public transit to better connect the cities, and I think if Amazon showed up and demanded that happen, it probably would. Detroit already has much of the infrastructure needed to quickly grow as a city to meet the needs Amazon would bring, and Ann Arbor is a nexus of highly skilled talent between the University of Michigan and growing local companies like recent unicorn Duo Security. We compiled the data to see where Detroit / Ann Arbor would rank among all Midwest cities if this were to happen, and it landed squarely in the top five.


Minneapolis would remind the world that Amazon plans, well, to take over the world. Minneapolis would be an amazing opportunity objectively speaking, as they came in second in all of our cities ranked only to Chicago. Minneapolis offers a high quality of life, is home to a highly educated workforce, and is one of the most culturally similar cities in the Midwest to Seattle in its liberal and progressive nature. The real interesting part of this move would be that Target and Best Buy are both headquartered in Greater Minneapolis, and Amazon planting HQ2 right next door would have to create some interesting dynamics among some not-so-friendly rivals (or potential acquisition targets).

So who gets HQ2?

My money is on Pittsburgh.
According to Amazon, the main criteria it is looking for in a location are strong local and regional talent as well as a stable and business-friendly environment. Yes, I do think this positions Indianapolis well to surprise some folks, but I'm not sure what they can offer will be enough. Chicago is an amazing city (which I'm proud to call home), but I think Amazon wants to impact a city with HQ2 in the same way they affected Seattle, and I think Chicago may already be too big of a market for that. Columbus is stable, healthy, and growing, but they aren't as particularly specialized in what Amazon needs. I'm sticking with my pick since last fall, Pittsburgh, because I've been bullish on this city for awhile now for its deep expertise in cutting edge technologies that are paramount to Amazon's future. It's poised for some excellent growth, and the value and opportunity of having a presence there has been validated by other tech giants like Google, Uber and Facebook. If Amazon places its second headquarters there, it could change that city forever.

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'Get out of the country!': Navajo lawmaker harassed by Arizona Trump supporters accusing him of being here 'illegally'

Arizona state Rep. Eric Descheenie, photo by Gage Skidmore.
Supporters of President Donald Trump used racist language against dark-skinned public servants while rallying against immigration, the Arizona Capitol Times reported Saturday.
"Supporters of President Donald Trump singled out dark-skinned lawmakers, legislative staffers and children at the Capitol on Jan. 25 as they protested congressional efforts to pass immigration reform, according to staffers of the Arizona Legislature and two Democratic legislators, AZ Capitol Times reported. "Waving large flags in support of Trump while standing between the House and Senate buildings, the protesters, who were also armed, asked just about anyone who crossed their path if they 'support illegal immigration.'"
One dark-skinned Arizonian who was asked if he was in the country "illegally" was Rep. Eric Descheenie (D-Chinle).
Rep. Descheenie is a Navajo lawmaker.
"I'm indigenous to these lands," Rep. Descheenie said. "My ancestors fought and died on these lands. I just told them, 'Don't ask me that question.'"
Legislative staffers Lisette Flores and Selianna Robles had gone to a local farmers' market for lunch and were also accosted.
"We're walking back, and they start yelling again, 'Get out of the country.' At that point, they pointed to Lisette, called her an illegal, and said, 'Get out, go back home!'" Robles said. "But they pointed at Jane (Ahern), who works for the House, and they said, 'No, you can stay.'"
Ahern is white.
"They assume things about you. There's not much we can do," said Robles, an Arizona native raised in the town of San Luis. "We work for the state, we're public servants, and we're just here to do our job."
The Democratic leader of the state Senate blasted the "unacceptable" response by law enforcement after officers were allegedly instructed to stand down.
"I can tell you that the Democratic staff who were yelled at by the protesters and called illegals definitely felt harassed and were not satisfied with the response," Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs (D-Phoenix) wrote in a letter to Senate President Steve Yarbrough (R-Chandler).
"They did not feel safe," Rep. Hobbs noted.
"This is a public place. When armed protesters aggressively go after members, staff and visitors, there needs to be a response that ensures the safety of everyone involved," Rep. Hobbs wrote. "I have seen instances here at the capital (sic) when peaceful protesters with a different agenda were surrounded by many more law enforcement officers with a much more aggressive response."

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The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer's

A high-carb diet, and the attendant high blood sugar, are associated with cognitive decline.

Tim Wimborne / Reuters

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In recent years, Alzheimer's disease has occasionally been referred to as "type 3" diabetes, though that moniker doesn't make much sense. After all, though they share a problem with insulin, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease caused by diet. Instead of another type of diabetes, it's increasingly looking like Alzheimer's is another potential side effect of a sugary, Western-style diet.
In some cases, the path from sugar to Alzheimer's leads through type 2 diabetes, but as a new study and others show, that's not always the case.
A longitudinal study, published Thursday in the journal Diabetologia, followed 5,189 people over 10 years and found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with normal blood sugar—whether or not their blood-sugar level technically made them diabetic. In other words, the higher the blood sugar, the faster the cognitive decline.
"Dementia is one of the most prevalent psychiatric conditions strongly associated with poor quality of later life," said the lead author, Wuxiang Xie at Imperial College London, via email. "Currently, dementia is not curable, which makes it very important to study risk factors."
Melissa Schilling, a professor at New York University, performed her own review of studies connecting diabetes to Alzheimer's in 2016. She sought to reconcile two confusing trends. People who have type 2 diabetes are about twice as likely to get Alzheimer's, and people who have diabetes and are treated with insulin are also more likely to get Alzheimer's, suggesting elevated insulin plays a role in Alzheimer's. In fact, many studies have found that elevated insulin, or "hyperinsulinemia," significantly increases your risk of Alzheimer's. On the other hand, people with type 1 diabetes, who don't make insulin at all, are also thought to have a higher risk of Alzheimer's. How could these both be true?
Schilling posits this happens because of the insulin-degrading enzyme, a product of insulin that breaks down both insulin and amyloid proteins in the brain—the same proteins that clump up and lead to Alzheimer's disease. People who don't have enough insulin, like those whose bodies' ability to produce insulin has been tapped out by diabetes, aren't going to make enough of this enzyme to break up those brain clumps. Meanwhile, in people who use insulin to treat their diabetes and end up with a surplus of insulin, most of this enzyme gets used up breaking that insulin down, leaving not enough enzyme to address those amyloid brain clumps.
According to Schilling, this can happen even in people who don't have diabetes yet—who are in a state known as "prediabetes." It simply means your blood sugar is higher than normal, and it's something that affects roughly 86 million Americans.
Schilling is not primarily a medical researcher; she's just interested in the topic. But Rosebud Roberts, a professor of epidemiology and neurology at the Mayo Clinic, agreed with her interpretation.
In a 2012 study, Roberts broke nearly 1,000 people down into four groups based on how much of their diet came from carbohydrates. The group that ate the most carbs had an 80 percent higher chance of developing mild cognitive impairment—a pit stop on the way to dementia—than those who ate the smallest amount of carbs. People with mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, can dress and feed themselves, but they have trouble with more complex tasks. Intervening in MCI can help prevent dementia.
Rebecca Gottesman, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins, cautions that the findings on carbs aren't as well-established as those on diabetes. "It's hard to be sure at this stage, what an 'ideal' diet would look like," she said. "There's a suggestion that a Mediterranean diet, for example, may be good for brain health."
But she says there are several theories out there to explain the connection between high blood sugar and dementia. Diabetes can also weaken the blood vessels, which increases the likelihood that you'll have ministrokes in the brain, causing various forms of dementia. A high intake of simple sugars can make cells, including those in the brain, insulin resistant, which could cause the brain cells to die. Meanwhile, eating too much in general can cause obesity. The extra fat in obese people releases cytokines, or inflammatory proteins that can also contribute to cognitive deterioration, Roberts said. In one study by Gottesman, obesity doubled a person's risk of having elevated amyloid proteins in their brains later in life.
Roberts said that people with type 1 diabetes are mainly only at risk if their insulin is so poorly controlled that they have hypoglycemic episodes. But even people who don't have any kind of diabetes should watch their sugar intake, she said.
"Just because you don't have type 2 diabetes doesn't mean you can eat whatever carbs you want," she said. "Especially if you're not active." What we eat, she added, is "a big factor in maintaining control of our destiny." Roberts said this new study by Xie is interesting because it also shows an association between prediabetes and cognitive decline.
That's an important point that often gets forgotten in discussions of Alzheimer's. It's such a horrible disease that it can be tempting to dismiss it as inevitable. And, of course, there are genetic and other, non-nutritional factors that contribute to its progression. But, as these and other researchers point out, decisions we make about food are one risk factor we can control. And it's starting to look like decisions we make while we're still relatively young can affect our future cognitive health.
"Alzheimer's is like a slow-burning fire that you don't see when it starts," Schilling said. It takes time for clumps to form and for cognition to begin to deteriorate. "By the time you see the signs, it's way too late to put out the fire."

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Friday, January 26, 2018

The Catholic Church urgently needs more exorcists due to uptick in demonic activity, priest warns

Calling Father Merrin

An Irish priest has put out an urgent call for backup to help with the growing demand for exorcisms in the country, according to reports.
"It's only in recent years that the demand [for exorcisms] has risen exponentially," Father Pat Collins said, adding that anyone who doesn't see the need for more exorcists is "out of touch with reality." Collins wrote an open letter to Irish bishops asking them to begin training more priests to deal with exorcisms, and he cited the International Association of Exorcists' belief that demonic activity has increased substantially in recent years.
Each Catholic diocese in Ireland is required to have a trained exorcist who can identify whether a person is suffering from mental illness or has been possessed.
Collins has been speaking out about the activities of what he has called "the evil one" for years. He is widely considered Ireland's most prominent exorcist, and he has also advocated for the church to take a more active role in demon hunting.
A pastor presses a crucifix on a believer's head to evict a supposed demon during an exorcism ritual. Getty Images

The number of Catholics in Europe is dropping as young people leave the church and become more secular.
"Adult millennials, defined by the Pew Research Center as people between the ages of 18 and 33, are leaving the Catholic Church rapidly. A 2013 study by the Barna Group, a Christian polling firm, revealed that 65 percent of Catholic-raised young adults say they are less religiously active today than they were at age 15," a 2014 Pulitzer Center report revealed.
But exorcisms are still occasionally performed in majority-Catholic countries like Ireland and Italy. A 2016 documentary, Deliver Us, about modern-day exorcists, reveals how much the profession has changed over the years. For example, it shows a priest performing an exorcism via mobile phone. In the film, priests complain about being "bombarded by possessed people." 

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This Garlic Soup Recipe Is 15X More Powerful Than Any Antibiotics, Beats The Flu, Common Cold, Sinus Infections

I eat at least two cloves every morning and night and all meals have several cloves.

Did you know that the ginger-garlic soup is capable of fighting off colds, flu, and even norovirus? It is made with 50 cloves of garlic, onions, thyme, and lemon, a potent combination which kills off any virus that enters the body.
What makes garlic so effective in destroying viruses is the potency of allicin, one of its chemical constituents.  Read on to learn more about this substance:

The Amazing Benefits of Allicin

According to a recent finding from Washington State University, garlic is 100 times more effective than the two most popular antibiotics for fighting diseases.
When the garlic is crushed, allin turns into allicin, a compound which has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as to help prevent blood clots.  Garlic also lowers the risk of hardening of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis.  Compounds in the bulb destroy many organisms, such as viruses and bacteria responsible for flu, colds, and earache. It has been scientifically shown that it works against diarrhea and other digestive issues.  Ultimately, many studies suggest that garlic is able to prevent development of cancer, too.
According to Helen Bond, a Derbyshire-based consultant dietitian and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, 'This chemical has been known for a long time for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal powers.'
'Because of this, people assume it is going to boost their immune systems. Lots of people are simply mashing up garlic, mixing it with olive oil and spreading it on bread.
'But how or whether it may actually work has still not been proven categorically.'
According to a recent investigation by Cochrane Database, a respected global research organization, increasing garlic intake during winter can cut the duration of cold symptoms.
Further and authoritative research is needed on the topic, but pharmaceutical companies are not interested in running expensive trials which are not profitable. After all, there is nothing in garlic they can patent and sell.

Garlic as Medicine

Garlic has been long used for medicinal purposes by Ancient Egyptians, who used it to treat over 22 ailments.  The Ancient Greeks also used it for countless purposes, from curing lung and blood disorders to relieving insect bites and treating leprosy.  Roman soldiers and sailors were given garlic to boost their endurance.  Back in 1858, Louis Pasteur noted that bacteria died when exposed to garlic. From the Middle Ages on, garlic has been widely used to treat wounds and prevent the spread of infection.
Recently, scientists have found that garlic helps stay hearty and hale in many different ways. For instance, researchers at the University of Florida found that garlic intake increases the number of T-cells in the bloodstream, which are critical for boosting immunity and fighting viruses.
Pharmacologist at the University of California found that allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, works as potent infection-killer. Apart from this, it also improves blood flow and helps treat high cholesterol and similar cardiovascular issues.
Last week, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an Australian study which had found that eating garlic on a regular basis helps reduce high blood pressure.
Back in 2007, dentists in Brazil discovered that gargling with garlic water destroys germs responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.
Ultimately, garlic contains oils which cripple into the nervous system of slugs and snails and kill them, according to researchers from the University of Newcastle.

Best Way to Prepare Garlic

There are two schools of thought when it comes to preparing garlic and getting the most of it. .  Investigators from Argentina believe that baking the cloves releases allicin while scientists at South Carolina Medical University believe that peeling garlic and letting it sit for a few minutes produces the highest levels of allicin.
You can peel half of the garlic cloves and roast the other half.  After an hour-and-a-quarter`s industrious soup-making, add lemon juice over a bowl of steaming.

Modified Garlic Soup Recipe

  • 26 organic garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 26 organic garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) organic butter (grass fed)
  • 3 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 1/4 cups sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and put 26 garlic cloves in a small baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt, add the olive oil, and toss to coat.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Squeeze the garlic to release the cloves and put them into a smaller bowl.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat and add the thyme, onions, ginger, and cayenne powder. Cook for about 6 minutes and then add roasted garlic and 26 raw garlic cloves into the saucepan. Cook for 3 minutes before adding the vegetable broth.  Then, cook for about 20 minutes or until the garlic is very tender.   Blend the soup in blender and then put it back into the saucepan. Add the coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes. Finally, add sea salt and pepper.
  • Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve!

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