Critical Mass Podcast #3 is online

Produced by... oh, you know, some genius editing and production dude, with support from Ian Woolf*. This represents the first complete release from Flightpath Studios, even though it was emphatically not recorded here (we tried it. It was problematic. Think about the name "flightpath")

I also talk on it, a bit, though having to share a mic and being my first podcast, I did stay to the background a little. Wait till next time though. Also, my news item: Serious Business.

Features, our friends: Ian Woolf, Alan Conradi, Dave The Happy Singer, Anthony Englund and myself.

Published via here.

* truth be told, Ian was entirely responsible for the high quality of the master I worked from, so my task was very much "offline editor". Kudos to all involved, though.

Monday Musical Madness: On death and thereafter

Oh, @the_chasers, you're made of pure win!

Oh, the beeped word is CUNTS, in case you couldn't figure it.

3rd of January, 2009: Epic slow news day

The culpritIt must have ben a slow news day, because I ended up finding this story in the "National" section of the Sydney Morning Herald, normally a fairly reliable news source:

Holy vision greeted return of Mary MacKillop's nuns

 OK, I mean seriously, WTF? You mean just because an SMH fluff-peddler had a boring day, I have to beat up on some old codger from SA? Fair enough, let's get moving.

The story tells of a 93-year-old man called "Nat Renfrey", a devout catholic and long-term resident of Penola, Mary McKillop's home town. Supposedly, in 1936, when 20 years old, at Renfrey was playing tennis with friends when he heard the approach of a train, braking to pull in to the station. I'll let Nat continue the narrative:

"I was chasing a ball across the road towards the train tracks when I heard the train and looked up to see an intense light that grew larger and larger until it was plain to all of us that it was a cross," Mr Renfrey said.

OK, right.....

"We knew the nuns were on the train, but I wasn't seeing things. There were four of us there that day - my sister, two mates and myself - and we all saw the cross in the sky - and one of my mates was an atheist."

Ah, great. OK. Thanks Mr Renfrey, that's all we needed to know, You can go back to playing dominoes and complaining about the modern age now if you like. Nice detail on one of your mates being an atheist, by the way, I'm sure you think that adds credibility, and I'm also sure I think otherwise. After all, this was over 70 years ago, and this is the first time this story seems to have hit the press.... Anyway....

There's something familar about this scenario. Where have I heard something similar before? Oh, wait, I know! and it's a doozy!

And here it is

To reprint the first paragraph:

The last time I ever saw Anthony Sherman was on July 4, 1859, in Independence Square. He was then 99 years old, and becoming very feeble. But though so old, his dimming eyes rekindled as he gazed upon Independence Hall, which he came to visit once more. "Let us go into the hall," he said. "I want to tell you an incident of Washington's life - one which no one alive knows of except myself; and, if you live, you will before long, see it verified.

OK, details check:

  • old guy, close to the old coil shuffle
  • religious vision angle
  • he's never told anyone else up until now

Brilliant, we're on track. The story above, paraphrased, tells how George Washington, while camped at Valley Forge after some military reversals, was troubled. However, divine providence! Out of the blue he receives a visitation, evidently from a major hottie, who, assisted by some other clearly more trustworthy presences, vouchsafes unto him a bunch of info about what will become of the fledgling republic. It's all pretty ordinary, banal stuff, not prophetic rocket science.

The catch is, the whole thing is bullshit, either cut from the whole cloth by the journo Wesley Bradshaw, or credulously accepted by Bradshaw upon meeting the real Anthony Sherman, who according to extant pension records certainly served in the war but was as certainly NOT with Washington at the time (he was actually serving under Benedict Arnold, not Washington). Thousands of sources all over the dread interwebs have reprinted this as fact, not pausing for a moment to think to themselves "hey, just how bullshitty is this story?"

So, we have either a faudulent journo, a fraudulent source, or a work of fiction overhyped by credulous retellers.

Or a combination of all three, of course

So, Nat. Dear old Nat. Is there any reason you can think of why any person interested in the world the way it actually is should believe the drivel you just spouted all over the national press, with the able assistance of Daniel Murphy, fluff journalist extraordinaire? Can you produce the companions who saw this vision with you, or are they all, quel surprise, dead as fucking doornails?

In short, Nat, why the fuck should I believe you are anything other than a washed up old liar out for a bit of national attention before you pop your catholic clogs?

Hello? Nat?

Oh, guess it must be nap time Anyway, I'll be sure to keep those fucking kids off your lawn until you wake up Nat, because let's face it, I'm waiting for an answer.


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