Professional wrestling has long been the odd cousin of who we are, that sequined and booted carnival of scowls and grimaces, of hammerlocks and backflips, of mad men aflight; all make-believe, but in the spark of the moment, wonderfully alive with the scent of blood and the glimmer of pomp. “Lucha” captures this with eight cameras, editing booths and back stories woven with Aztec folklore that seek to compete with the dominant programming on World Wrestling Entertainment.
With menace and winked charm, “Lucha” is emblematic of the style of El Rey Network, begun in 2013 by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. The network conjures the mischievous shadows and gonzo bloodletting in two of Rodriguez’s films “From Dusk Till Dawn,” a tale of vampires and hoodlums starring George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, and “Sin City,” a noirish thriller starring Bruce Willis and based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name.
The show works in supernatural elements really well into the self-contained universe it resides in.
My favorite match from last season where after one grueling trios tag match, the team must face another team.
NEW BLOOMFIELD, Mo. – A man wielding a chain saw and a knife attacked residents at a homeless shelter where he was staying, leaving two people in critical condition and injuring two others, police said Sunday.
Every neighborhood has one. A house the kids are certain is haunted. Where I grew up, it was the monastery on top of the hill, only we didn’t realize at the time that it was a religious place. We just thought it was spooky.
…People have always loved a good ghost story, especially when it comes to haunted houses. And there are untold numbers of places supposedly occupied by spooks and specters or that were the site of acts so heinous that houses themselves have become part of the folklore.
..But in the spirit of Halloween, here’s a look at some of the country’s spookiest haunts:
Winchester Mystery House ..One account has it that Sarah was told by a medium to build a house for herself and to never stop construction or she would die. Another account has it that she believed the only way she could repent for the thousands of people killed by her family’s rifles was to keep building. Either way, she built and then built some more, from 1884, when she purchased the house under construction, until her death 38 years later.The place started out as a six-bedroom house. But Sarah turned it into a eerie mansion with 40 bedrooms, 40 staircases, 47 fireplaces and 1,257 windows.
Grant-Humphreys Mansion…Built by Colorado’s third governor, James Grant, this Denver house at 770 Pennsylvania St. lays claim to five ghosts, including that of Albert Humphreys, a subsequent owner who died of a suspicious shooting accident on the third floor, according to HauntedHouse.com.
The others are said to be disrupted souls from the old cemetery that lies beneath what is now Cheesman Park. They’ve been flying about since 1873, when the cemetery was closed and the city hired an incompetent undertaker to move some graves. Showing little respect for the unearthed dead, he broke up bodies to fit them into small boxes, mixing up parts as he worked.
Whaley House...Few houses in San Diego are as historically important as this one, or as haunted. It made the list of the Travel Channel’s most haunted destinations. Every day, visitors from throughout the world tour the place in the city’s Old Town section, and numerous manifestations have been reported since the house reopened as a museum in 1960.
Reed House...This Asheville, N.C., house was built in 1892 by Samuel Reed. Although Reed was a lawyer for tycoon George Vanderbilt, his life was “full of loss,” according to the local paranormal society. Five of his children died young. Then his wife passed away, and he followed her into the great beyond six months later.
The house was abandoned for a time, and then was purchased in 1973 and turned into a bed and breakfast. Now, it is known as the Biltmore Village Inn, a place where the sound of heavy boots can sometimes be heard, or a spectral game of pool takes place. Bedroom doors open and close by themselves, and the lights sometimes go on and off for no reason.
Franklin Castle.…There are ghosts aplenty at Cleveland’s Franklin Castle, which is known as Ohio’s most haunted house. And no wonder: Among other things, a pile of baby skeletons was discovered in a small room at the rear of the house, the victim of some inept doctor, according to Forgotten Ohio.com, and a group of Nazis was gunned down in a political dispute. Today, babies can still be heard crying, the German Socialists’ conversation continues.
I just received an email from the ghost of West Virginia musician Hasil Adkins, who died in 2005.
The poorly spelled contents of the email aren’t particularly insightful or relevant, but it did lead me to look up what I could find on the man known as Haze:
To anyone familiar with the haze of lore surrounding ‘the Haze’ (as he was known to fans), the most remarkable of these benign facts is probably that Adkins managed to make it to the other side of fifty. If half the stories are true, Adkins used up all nine lives decades ago. Night Life is hardly Adkins’ best music, but it is more than the last gasp of a would-have-been.
Creeps Records bills it as a long-awaited “lost” album, for unexplained reasons, but again, with someone like Hasil Adkins, it’s sort of a pointless question, and it’s more impressive that the thing was done at all. In one sense it is the continuation of a frustrating struggle to be noticed and taken seriously. In another, it is a final conceptual twist for a lifelong contortionist, namely, an attempt to straighten long-kinked and knotted limbs.
His unique sound owed everything to his unique approach. Adkins always played all his own instruments—guitar, drums, harmonica, vocals—all at the same time. As a kid, he heard Hank Williams announced on the radio, and by “That was Hank Willliams,” he misunderstood the DJ to mean that all of the sounds were coming from Hank, so he taught himself to do what he thought he was hearing.
The result was something like Jerry Lee Lewis backed up by the Shaggs, falling down a staircase or willfully careening down it on a motorized wheelchair. Between lyrics in many of his songs, Adkins shrieks, wheezes, laughs in rhythm—all to chilling effect, making him sound as though he’s sitting on a hot stove while he sings. As horrifying as it was exciting, Adkins’ act built a small but rabid following, with fans like Jon Spencer, Thurston Moore, and the Cramps, who cited him as a major influence on their punk-psychobilly sound and covered his best known song, “She Said.”
The taut, crazy tenor of his younger voice has sagged into a not-unappealing smoky bass, doubtless aided by his exhausting lifestyle and his diet. He was a strict adherent to what you might call the original “Adkins Diet,” which, like its homophonic counterpart, was low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Hasil’s variation was much stricter, and motivated by taste, not health: it consisted mainly of two gallons of black coffee a day, liquor, and meat, lots of it. Billy Miller said Adkins usually had a pocketful of Vienna sausages, and would order simply ‘meat’ in restaurants, repeating himself when pressed to specify.
So naturally, meat is a prominent lyrical trope. In an early song, “No More Hot Dogs,” meat mostly provides the, uh, texture, for one of his many numbers about decapitation:
I’m gonna put your head on my wall
Just like I told you, baby
You can’t talk no more
Can’t eat no more hot dogs
Eat no more ho’ot dogs,
I’m gonna put your head, a-put it on my wall
By contrast, Night Life’s two songs about meat, “Raw Meat” and “KFC,” are goofy college radio fare, trading in the Ed Gein persona for something a bit more clownish—minus the black van and bloodstains.
About 20 of us – bloggers and family members – met at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. for the third annual YearlyCarnacki. (The first year we met in Harpers Ferry, last year in Baltimore. Next year might be in Philadelphia, although there’s the danger of monsters.
YearlyCarnacki got off to a pleasant start. The weather was beautiful though hot. As usual, it was like herding cats to get people together in the same place, but nevertheless we were walking together to see the lions and tigers when I noticed a commotion behind us.
I followed the gaze of the people. President George W. Bush had picked that day of all days to go to the zoo.
I decided the best reaction for me was to pretend as if he wasn’t even there, like he was an inconsequential nothing.
“Hey, there’s Bush,” said jsmdlawyer. “I’m gonna moon him.”
His wife grabbed him in an embrace and told him not in front of the children. I looked over and jsmdlawyer’s son Wolf Boy was pulling up his pants. He had already mooned the president.
We walked over to the tiger pen and then to the lion pen when it happened.
The President of the United States had fallen into the pen with the lions.
I went into full-blown crisis mode. This was an emergency. “Quick,” I told my daughter. “Run over there and get daddy some popcorn.”
Emergency averted, I waited for her return and the other bloggers from Daily Kos and Booman Tribune lined up next to me to watch.
Then the thought hit me. Nuts, I thought. If the lion eats President Bush, that means my nemesis Dick Cheney would become even more Presidenter. He’d be the Presidentist!
“Somebody ought to…” I managed to get out of “Somebody ought to do something” when I felt hands grip me tightly from both sides and hurl me over the wall and into the lion’s den. As I fell I saw that DCDemocrat, BooMan, kredwyn and JanetTinMD had thrown me in while Brother Feldspar and JEB took pictures.
Nuts, I thought. Once again I recalled too late the risk of hanging out with quicker thinking people.
I splashed across the lagoon to do what I could to protect President Bush, a man I despised.
As I looked into the lion’s eyes, my life flashed across my life: growing up in Alabama; working as a seamstress; refusing to give up my bus seat to James Blake; going to jail…when it hit me. I was about to die and the wrong life was flashing before me.
Nuts, I said.
President Bush ran shrieking from the lion. He sprang into a tree with a surprising nimbleness, climbed the trunk, raced across a branch and jumped into the arms of a man with a yellow hat.
It wasn’t the President of the United States. It was a chimp.
“Come along, George,” the man said, and then I wasn’t so sure.
A zoo keeper lowered a ladder into the pen. The lion yawned and looked lazily at me. I climbed out and CabinGirl handed me a towel.
“So was that the president?” I asked the zoo keeper.