Posts Tagged ‘Cyrus Lee Hancock’

ORLANDO, Fla

On September 2nd, 2015, the attention of the Central Florida community became centered on the home of exotic animal fetishist, Mike Kennedy, who admitted one of his three cobras had escaped its confines and was on the loose. Kennedy’s king cobra, an eight-foot venomous snake, has gone rogue somewhere in the Florida wilderness near Clarcona Elementary School where outdoor recess has been suspended indefinitely. Greater Orlando reacted in a panic; it’s flip-flop footed citizenry quickly converting to close-toed shoes. Snake-charmers from Calcutta and serpent-handling Pentecostal preachers from Appalachia descended upon West Orange County in order to seek out the slithering menace, a snake which could lift 1/3rd of its body off the ground in order to deliver a bite poisonous enough to kill an elephant. I snake known to stalk human prey before striking.

Mike Kennedy Central Florida’s panicked reaction was “over-the-top.”

Reality TV Dude Mike Kennedy displays his expertise controlling a cobra... which he eventually loosens upon the Florida citizenry.

Reality TV Dude Mike Kennedy displays his expertise controlling a cobra… a snake he eventually (accidentally) loosens upon the Florida citizenry.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission cited Kennedy for not immediately reporting the missing cobra, but claims the exotic beast was kept legally on Kennedy’s pleasure ranch along with two other cobras, a diamondback rattlesnake, a Florida cottonmouth, a Gaboon viper, four pythons, a spotted leopard, four crocodiles and an alligator. Mike Kennedy is well-known for starring on Discovery Channel’s “Airplane Repo” and made infamous, just recently, for being an asshole.

asshole

asshole

gator attack#OrlandoCobra is only the most recent meme to absorb the collective paranoia of Florida. A month prior to the cobra scandal, a swimming woman had her arm bitten off by a 300-lb alligator just a few miles from Kennedy’s exotic fetish ranch. The incident occurred at the redneck resort, Wekiva Island, where your narrator, Vic Neverman, oft enjoys a morning of paddle-boarding and an afternoon sipping beer with the river folk. In these very waters, the dragon struck. Sentenced to death, the alligator was euthanized. A similar fate may very well be in store for the Orlando Cobra.

The cobra could be anywhere by now, preferably in the gullet of one of the local bald eagles. In anticipation of the worst, however, the peoples of Orlando’s northwestern hinterland (Apopka, Ocoee, Bayou St Basil and Forest City) are armed more than usual. Myself, I keep either my trusty machete or trustier tennis racket within reach at all times. Cyrus Lee Hancock, professional survivalist, prefers heavier artillery. I sought out the advice of the elusive Cyrus Lee, currently hiding out from the IRS in the foothills of Tennessee.

What weaponry would you carry while on walkabout in a place haunted by a king cobra?

IMG_2071A pitchfork should be enough to handle a cobra, but an assault rifle would definitely come in handy if the bastard tried to slither away. An assault rifle with a bayonet for anything in close proximity. Otherwise, a pitchfork would do nicely. Or a sub-assault rifle with flame-thrower. Yeah, that would burn the snake out of the scrub. No place to hide then but in the ground. Perhaps a back-hoe in case the snake did find a hole. A back-hoe with a flame-thrower. That would be optimal.

Having killed your fair share of alligators, what would you have handy whilst admiring the ladies at your favorite swimming hole?

Harpoon for sure. I mean, it looks cool anyway: flexing in front of the chicas in your board-shorts as you slide the harpoon out of your day-pack. ‘Don’t mind me; I’m just the love-child of Neptune and Venus, available for tanning oil rub-downs.’ A harpoon would be enough if one of the lovelies were attacked by a gator, but a bang-stick would be ideal to smash in its skull once it’s been harpooned and tired out.

Caesar Germanicus and Cyrus Lee Hancock prepare for a leisurely stroll through the Smoky Mountains

Caesar Germanicus and Cyrus Lee Hancock prepare for a well-armed leisurely stroll through the Smoky Mountains

You and I have worked for years writing the most authoritative hurricane survival guide ever which has allowed us to study how to handle rabies, deliver babies and out-punch an escaped-from-zoo rabid kangaroo. Through all of your research, what would you say are the most lethal risks in Florida nature? Other than, of course, the weather…

Well, you have the mosquitos. They carry dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, herpes…

I’m pretty sure mosquitos can’t carry herpes.

Of course they can carry herpes. Don’t be naïve. Mosquitos I would rank #10. #9 I would say is bears. Yeah, Florida bears are small enough for Goldilocks, but they are still ursine monsters. Bears have memories like elephants. Okay, maybe not, but if you piss one off, it will follow you, stalk your house from its tree perch, wait for you to take a nap in a hammock and then – WHAM! – it bites out your jugular and then spreads around acorns to make it look like squirrels did it.

Vic Neverman sips upon an adult beverage at Wekiva Island, site of the redneck revelry and alligator mauling

Vic Neverman sips an adult beverage at Wekiva Island, site of the redneck revelry and alligator mauling

I have never heard of black bears murdering napping humans in Florida. Or anywhere, ever. Heck, Jim Tusk’s pre-school heroic son, Bodhi, in his high-pitched roar, scared-off wayward bears in their Apopka neighborhood. This doesn’t sound like your level of perceived malevolence…

Bears get off easy because their crimes are always blamed on the squirrels. So the eighth worst threat in Florida is the squirrels. And the raccoons. And the feral children. You can lump them all in the same category because they basically all do the same thing: steal your garbage, bite through your brake-lines to sabotage your truck and they carry the bubonic plague in their lice. They do get a bad rap for the jugular biting from the bears, so let’s say bears are #8 and squirrels, raccoons and feral children are #9.

I don’t think that is true, the bit about the Bubonic plague.

If armadillos carry leprosy, then raccoons can carry the plague. So #7 is armadillos. Who wants leprosy, right? The sixth biggest natural risk in Florida is holes.

Holes?

Holes. Half of the missing person cases in North Florida can be attributed to sinkholes. With sinkholes the limestone just gives way and the earth swallows people up quicker than quicksand. Then you have the springs, which are seemingly peaceful passageways to the hollow inner-earth. Seemingly, but not so peaceful. Springs are just a toilet that flushes to Hades or whichever oblivion waits in the center of the earth. Doubt me? Just ask the scuba divers who wander down and are never seen again.

Jim Tusk and I have scuba dived dove diven dived the cave systems of Florida springs and can tell you the deaths are mostly caused by inexperience.

Inexperience and whichever water demons and sirens that lure swimmers and passersby to their doom. So yeah, #6 most lethal is the holes, though I am thinking about promoting this threat as it is pretty fucking hardcore. #5 is lightning. If it doesn’t hit you going down, that shit can then leap up out of the ground and hit you going back up. Ground lightning. I saw a dude once who got struck in the hand by ground lightning and the electricity came out of his fingertips.

Vic Neverman and Tusk after a successful cave dive north Florida

Vic and Tusk after a successful cave dive in North Florida.

You saw this yourself? The electricity coming out of his fingertips?

I didn’t say that. I just saw a dude and that dude once got struck by lightning. You’re not listening to me Vic. You never listen to me. And #5b would be spontaneous combustion. I don’t have any evidence this occurs any more often in Florida or that it is attributable to lightning, but at least three of my fraternity brothers have spontaneously combusted, leaving nothing but ash, a melted cell phone and broken hearts.

Weren’t you questioned in the disappearances of at least two of those three?

Maybe. #4 is sharks. Sharks should be number one, but only based on capability. In fact, sharks never live up to their predatory potential. They could be so much more. Even with the recent summers of frequent shark attacks, shark-on-man violence is less common than being stung-to-death by bees or wasps or Brazilian fire ants, which brings me to number three…

Wait – the statistics for shark bites are low because a vast population of the world is never wading in shark-infested waters. Aren’t the statistics much higher if you actually swim around the sandbars of the Florida coasts?

Whatever, dude. Statistics are for wonks. I am talking nature and nature gave sharks the ability to bite a chunk out of some choice fat-American rump and make a run for the Bahamas. Sharks could do so much more with the right leadership – thigh-bite then high-tail. Sure, eventually no one would go to the beach anymore and/or the sharks would be wiped-out by retributive hunters, but in the meantime, it would be a free buffet – cafeteria style with all the country-gravy they like. But this doesn’t happen. Why? Because sharks are too damn docile. Thusly, they are only #4.

Okay, so what are your top three lethal threats in Florida? Does the chupacabra or the skunk-ape sneak in there?

You are a strange hombre, Victor. Mythological beasts do not enter my top threats because myths aren’t real, like, literally.

Cyrus Lee Hancock helicoptering in the Himalaya

Cyrus Lee Hancock helicoptering in the Himalaya

They are real to the popular collective consciousness – the paranoia of the people – therefore they are a perceived risk.

Delusional risk. In Nepal, I had a Sherpa who kept dreaming about a Yeti fucking his wife, which was somewhat true, but there was no Yeti, no abdominal snowman, no abominable snowman either. The stench was just Kathmandu and the pungent yak-milk moonshine the street urchins vomit in the gutters outside your hostel. His wife’s bastard offspring is far too handsome to resemble my Sherpa, but you cannot blame that on a Neanderthal wandering the Himalaya. Crypto-animals are just the boogeymen we blame when things go wrong. So no, I am not concerned with a skunk-ape stealing children from backyards or your Puerto Rican goat-sucker killing the alpaca livestock.

Okay, so what are your top three threats in Florida?

Well, gators, obvi. And snakes, especially with all of the exotics sneaking into the Everglades. Your king cobra is frightening, but Florida is now a hot-bed of Burmese pythons gulping deer and kitty cats and the occasional wayward child. So gators and snakes are #2 & 3, whichever way you want to cut it. And put bees, wasps and ants in there somewhere. Lie in grass for longer than five minutes and you are risking consumption by Brazilian fire ants. Florida risk #1 is easy – people: the psychopathic meatloaf that makes up Florida’s population. In Orlando alone, you have Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman and Tiger Woods. It is a strange stew of meat here, amigo: too sunburnt, too dehydrated, too crazy from the heat. Everyone from the colder climes wants to live in Florida and those who don’t have a retirement plan come down early to sell drugs or turn gigolo or become real estate agents. Fucking riffraff clogging the drain.

When we were preparing for the Mayan Apocalypse in 2012, I recall you mentioning your neighbors as a bigger threat than the reversal of magnetic poles, meteorites or tsunamic flooding. At the time, I thought you were concerned with a zombie uprising of neighborly unded, but it appears you just distrust Floridians in general…

Florida is already full of zombies, which is why I am not planning on returning any time soon. It was a mistake for us to weather the Maya Apocalypse in Florida because as soon as shit hit the fan, all of those fucking Nazi neighbors became blood-thirsty warlords. If we spent 2012 in Tennessee, we could have counted on the true neighborly Christians and moonshiners to help us through. If the Maya or the Inca or the Khmer or the Eskimos or the stone-heads of Easter Island predict another apocalypse, I recommend getting the hell out of Florida. Just to get away from the people, let alone the gators and mosquitos and escaped rabid kangaroos.

If there were one animal you wouldn’t want to confront during a hurricane or another Maya apocalypse, which animal would that be?

You know the answer: damn hippopotamuses. You can run down to Colombia all you like to look after Pablo’s hippos, but consider me disinterested. I don’t want anything to do with those buck-toothed beasties.

Advertisements

Yeah the Russians are here. I mean, they’re everywhere, but especially in Nashville.

– Layla Santana Crow

NASHVILLE, Tenn

Paranoia is a cottage industry in Tennessee where there exists a strange stew of Revelators, Second-Comers, Doomsday-preppers, bootleggers and coonskin-capped militiamen cooked together by the overhead high-voltage power lines running roughshod through the hinterlands. None of the above characters, however, have cornered the Russophobic market in these foothills like Texan native, Layla Santana Crow. In short time, Layla has become an urban myth in Nashville; spoken of, yet rarely seen and when seen, the witness is left dumbstruck enough to be certified as a hysteric. The going wisdom is to not seek out Layla Santana Crow because, sooner or later, she will find you.

I flew into Nashville beside a rhinestone and sequin-bedazzled woman who smelled like a duty-free store (a mélange of perfume samples with a splash of spilt single-malt) who had heard of Layla Santana Crow. Legend had it, or so conveyed my partner-in-transit, Layla had two wolves smuggled from Siberia who could smell Russians from a mile away.

If you ask the pit-boss behind the counter at the airport pork-rib depot, he will tell you that seeking out Layla Santana Crow is akin to dressing up a possum for Sunday service, which meant, amongst other things, updating my last will and testament and grabbing a shovel to bury good intentions.

If you weave your way through the Papists and Baptists of Sunday morning (do avoid the dressed-up possums) while inquiring laypersons of the aforementioned Layla, more than one will ask if your head had been touched without specifying by whom. “Touched by God, son.” One wizened miser clarified while a spinster spoke in condescendingly sympathetic tones, “Bless your heart.” They once knew of a fella like me, more or less bearded, who went looking for “Leah Crow” and when he laid eyes on her he burst into flames. Spontaneous combustion: one moment pyrophoric hipster, the next – poof – ashes. Dust to dust, etcetera.

And yet, into the foothills of Tennessee I sought her, this Layla Santana Crow…

Layla Santana Crow confronts Vic, "were you followed?"

Layla Santana Crow confronts Vic, “were you followed?”

Assuming the identity of my alias, Bucky Swoon, Esq., I tracked down Layla Santana Crow’s whereabouts to a jazz club this side of Ghost Creek where she was holding court amongst the homegrown moonshiners and imported bourgeois from the Atlantic seaboard. The Ghost Creek Jazz Club was a cigar bar which practiced ventilation via osmosis (absorption through the cement walls) and it wasn’t until I kneeled somewhere between sax and trombone before I had any visibility beyond four inches. Scanning the knee-scape, I found a high-density of sophisticated man-slacks near the bar and rightly assumed it to be the compilation of Layla Santana Crow admirers. Betwixt the sophisticated slacks, I deduced, sat the spy-huntress, herself. Her entourage of admirers, asthmatic and arrhythmic (bouncing in-and-out-of-sync to the jazz), was easily dispersed when I began accidentally lighting their silken neckties afire instead of my own cigar. While the fog refused to clear and her face wasn’t quite visible as I neared, the sheer radiance of Layla Santana Crow created a halo in the suspended cigar smoke, providing her more of a celestial quality than even I was accustomed to.

“Hey Vic.” She spoke non-committal, stoic-even, seeing through the smoke and past the Bucky alias in spite of the mustache I had groomed for the occasion. “Were you followed?”

Russian Spies in America

The trial of Igor Sporyshev, the Russian banker in New York who was attempting to funnel financial information back to the Kremlin, reminded Layla Santana Crow of the unearthed spies of her youth. Specifically, Layla was reminded of Anna Chapman, circa 2010 (aye, Layla is a bit younger than us Cold War kids), the sexy spy who had infiltrated New York high society prior to being outted and who has become a celebrity in Moscow after the United States performed a spy-swap with Putin.

Anna Chapman and Igor Sporyshev: Neo-Cold War Russian Spies

Anna Chapman and Igor Sporyshev: Neo-Cold War Russian Spies

“Anna Chapman is an example of how the Kremlin is attempting to spy on America – by infiltrating our social crème de la crème. Yeah, so this guy Igor, the banker, was a fat a-hole, but he was still trying to get American coeds to act as spies for Russia.” Layla Santana Crow explained. “Russia is going straight to the well for their intelligence: they are spying on the housewives of Washington and New York. I bet they have analysts in Havana watching North American television for TMZ and every reality show just for the gossip.”

Indeed, contemporary Russian spies might have a different modus operandi than former generations, but do not doubt their malice for a modicum of a second as their Grand Master is still Vlad “the Paler” Putin, formerly of the KGB. Today’s Russian spies might be educated on episodes of Saved By The Bell, but they are raised on deception and sabotage from the first day they suckle upon the vodka-infused milk of the teat of Mother Russia. It may be a mafia state which governs the Russian people, but its spies are nostalgic for the old Soviet Empire and eager to fulfill a vendetta against the West, regardless of the different ideologies at play during the chilling 20th Century schism. Whether you believe the Cold War was Democracy vs. Totalitarianism or Capitalism vs. Communism or the Establishment vs. Populism, you could boil the fat out of the whole brouhaha into being nothing more than an imperial gun show. 2015 or 1965, it makes no difference.

Russian Spies in Tennessee?

Russians love Country Music and they see Nashville as the gateway to the soul of America. There is nothing more American than a sorrow-drunken cowboy dancing in his boots and there is nothing more Russian than a bare-chested Premier riding a bear as he invades the Ukraine. The second-most Russian thing, however, is a sorrow-drunken Cossack dancing in his boots.

Cossacks are just Cowboys born of another  mother

Cossacks are just Cowboys born of another mother

“For Russian spies whose first language is not English…” Layla Santana Crow told me over lunch at a fashionable East Nashville burger bar. “They can hide their Caucus accent if they enunciate with a southern drawl. It is a lot easier for a spy to acclimate into the Country Western scene, than say, Hip-Hop or Hipster, because the twang accent is easy to emulate and the music lyrics describe exactly how a countryperson must live: a steady dose of religion, alcohol, good times and sorrow.”

“Country music lacks the ambiguity of alternative hipster shit.” Cyrus Lee Hancock, Layla’s head of security, chimed in. “Whether it is a song about drinking liquor before beer or a song about falling in love at night school while pursuing your GED, country music gets to the point. If a Russian spy has to lie about where he was on the night of August 5th at approximately 2200 hours, he can just quote his favorite country song, ‘I was shooting Fireball while lying in the bed of my pickup truck, looking at a picture of Rhonda Sue who was known as being good for uhhh luck.”

“In short, Russians are already half-hillbilly and it is easy enough to fake the rest.” Layla concluded.

Spy-Hunting in Nashville

Layla Santana Crow was neither raised by wolves nor does she own any. Instead, she has a pair of German Shepherds (one is named after a Top-Gun character, another after a salad) who, allegedly, can smell borscht at a hundred yards. It helps her sleep at night.

“Potential Ruby at twelve o’clock with the shaven head and bear-tooth necklace.” Layla spoke between bites of gluten-free biomass as we lunched at the recycled pharmacy on the eastside. “His front teeth are fake, which is common among Rubies who spend their youth getting head-butted and/or falling on their face after draining too many vodka bottles.”

“Or he’s just a dirty hipster with a smack problem.” Security Chief Cyrus Lee pitched-in. “Heroin isn’t good for the chompers.”

“What about the goon sisters over there?” I mentioned with a head nod. “These guys are a pair of ‘Rubies’ if I have ever seen one.”

“Doom and gloom.” Layla Santana Crow named the untoward thugs. “And they’ve pancake batter on their faces to disguise the burst blood vessels in their noses. Another sign of a Ruby. Vic, take a picture of us and be sure to frame the image with the goon sisters in the background so I can add to the database.”

Cyrus Lee and Layla in the foreground with the Goon Sisters in the background

Cyrus Lee and Layla in the foreground with the Goon Sisters in the background

One of the surefire ways to out a Ruby (Layla’s codeword for “Russian Spy”) is to approach one on the sly and engage them with a joke in Russian. Neither Layla nor her head of security speak Russian, but they can sound out the words. For example, Cyrus Lee Hancock will follow a potential Ruby into the bathroom and while poised before the latrines quip, g’p-ka nush-nee which often gets a chuckle out of anyone who understands Russian and who agrees it smells like horse stables are near. At high society events, Layla, dressed to the nines without doubt, will approach a Ruby at the bar and order a double-vodka tonic. She isn’t the greatest fan of vodka, but the order alone will perk up the ears of any Russian. Layla will then take a sip and mention how it tastes like home, but instead of speaking English, she’ll mumble f’vus ga doma. When the Ruby’s eyes light up, the trap is snared.

“Vic, discreetly take a picture of our beers and be sure to focus on the tracksuit.” Layla said. “Only a Ruby would wear a tracksuit that expensive and have such a horrid taste in foot attire.”

The Speakeasy

We parked somewhere downtown, or so I judged by the street traffic I heard. It wasn’t until Layla whispered the password du jour to the doorman and we were safely in the basement (or the attic, I was a bit dizzy) before Cyrus Lee Hancock removed the blindfold from my gourde, granting me sight. We were in a speakeasy. Despite the hordes of desperate dipsomaniacs begging for a seat, there was a table already reserved for Layla and her plus 2. There was nothing on the menu necessarily verboten and we weren’t here for the $12 Dark & Stormy. This speakeasy was a hub of clandestine activity: political hitmen extracted bribes beneath table tops, a Rosicrucian proselytized a defrocked priest, a guitarist sold his soul to the agent who picked him up at the crossroads and some half-naked pagans prostrated themselves before a boar’s head. It was here, Layla Santana Crow surmised, the Russian sleeper agents would meet their handlers over nefarious naval-strength rum drinks.

Some might call Layla’s spy-hunting senseless fear-mongering. She calls it proactive counterintelligence. All it takes is a few firebrand Neo-Soviets to become embedded in Nashville’s Country Music scene and then if there is ever a Russian invasion (perhaps through Canada once the Arctic melts), Putin’s conquerors will have a Nashville fifth column of sympathizers at the ready. As we finished our drinks at the speakeasy, I mentioned to Layla my opinion on the greater threats of American-bred spies hired by the Qatari Royals and, even worse, the largest intelligence network in the world according the late Kyril Bonfiglioli – the International Chinese Waiter Union.

Layla Santana Crow, in the unsettling way in which she comes out of her thousand-yard stare to refocus locally upon your face, tilted her head ever so slightly before finally responding to my comments. “Really, Vic? Paranoid much?”

See also…
***Layla on the Illuminati’s influence of Hip-Hop***

A hipster is someone speaking as the authority on a minority’s superiority over a majority. The subject matter is inconsequential; it is the minority viewpoint which the hipster wields as a cross to bear. Once the particular viewpoint leaves society’s periphery and becomes commonplace, the hipster, by decree, must evacuate all pretense of support for the formerly minority position and find the moral high ground by establishing a position on something newly outlandish, and perhaps, illogical.

Such fluid of a philosophy is as taxing on the physiological state as it is mentally. In fact, 98% of hipsters die of either spontaneous combustion or age (in which, I mean they undergo metamorphosis into a person with a 401k plan who doesn’t begin drinking on Sunday until it is past noon).

In my anthropological studies of this demographic in the hipster-dense region of the Pacific Northwest, I have learned a majority of hipsters will refuse to be labelled as “hipster” and will instead point to another individual who bears similar uncomfortable clothes and atypical fashion accessories, claiming this other is hipster. It is paramount in hipster for there to be minimal effort in a hipster’s self-stylization which requires hipsters to shun hipster because to admit to hipster is to admit to efforts at being hipster. Hipsters would only admit to their appearance resembling hipster characteristics as a result of an occurrence accidental and this admittance would be absolutely unapologetic (even when in the wrong, to apologize would be a sign of weakness, unless apologizing as a form of hyperbole for an exaggerated offense beyond the control of the individual despite their happenstance relationship within the offending party, e.g., apologizing on behalf of Americans for atrocities against other races, creeds, sexes, etc. in which case “I apologize for being a white man” is t-shirt slogan a female hipster might wear semi-ironically over a ratty sweater she bartered for with a rag-and-bone-man in exchange for unfiltered cigarettes).

Cyrus Lee Hancock is an interesting case study as the subject possesses various hipster mannerisms while also occupying qualities entirely not hipster. Given the self-denial logic of hipster recognition, a true hipster would indeed strive to become trans-hipster, exceeding the essence of understood hipster. It is with this in mind we might conjecture the “Alpha-Hipster”, the ultimate hipster, would reject as much of realm of hipster as does Cyrus Lee Hancock does.

Cyrus Lee Hancock is greatly antagonized by the hipster gentrification of East Nashville, especially given his spouse’s predilection towards hipster-favored environments. He speaks of his wife, Layla, in hushed confessional tones pitched with jealousy and awe, “I call her the ‘hipster-whisperer’… she just seems to understand them, to be able to communicate with them.”

As for Cyrus Lee Hancock? He shrugs, “hipsters are good for target practice.”

Despite his antagonism, or perhaps in spite of his antagonism, Cyrus Lee Hancock cannot defend the various characteristics he has in common with the elusively categorized hipster:

  • He is snarky
  • He is stubborn
  • He is heavily tattooed
  • He is self-deprecating
  • He likes quality beer
  • He likes low-quality beer*
  • He peacocks his appreciation for classic literature
  • He likes alternative music
  • He is sympathetic towards Palestine

*Yes – hipsters appreciate quality beer and low-quality beer. While this might seem counter-intuitive, it fits entirely within the hipster worldview – either extreme in the beer quality spectrum is a minority position. Imagine the bell curve of quality by popularity – it is the vast majority who favors the moderate quality mass-produced beer and thus it is the moderate quality beer that is ultimately rejected by hipsters. Herein is a counter-argument towards Cyrus Lee Hancock’s status as hipster as he is an outspoken proponent of Coors Light which is an entirely un-hipster position to hold. Although, one could argue Cyrus Lee’s affinity for craft ales (high end), domestic mass-produced common lager (common) and low-grade rusted can nickel beer (low end) is more demonstrative of schizophrenia than it is a litmus test of his hipstery.

Let us now examine the anti-hipster traits exhibited by our case study, Cyrus Lee Hancock:

    Cyrus Lee Hancock is new and improved with bigger tires

    Cyrus Lee Hancock is new and improved with bigger tires

  • He drives a tank of a truck which requires obscene amounts of gasoline which exacerbates global warming and American dependence on exploiting developing nations for their oil. This is very not hipster.
  • He is politically unprogressive. Conservative, even. He despises liberals, liberalism and libraries.
  • He hordes guns and ammunition. He abhors gun control.
  • He doesn’t tweet or Facebook or Instagram or object himself to social media of any sort
  • He doesn’t have any gay friends (though he is ‘totally cool with it’)
  • He married a cheerleader (a position only a hipster could oppose)
  • He has a dog of an aggressive breed associated with fascism whose namesake is derived from a TopGun character
  • He doesn’t listen to vinyl, have facial hair or wear second hand clothes
  • He’s never been to Trader Joes and cannot comprehend the Starbucks menu
  • He doesn’t ride a bicycle, appreciate art or like Quentin Tarantino movies
  • He does not eat vegan, gluten free, fruitarian or any restrictive diet at all
  • He doesn’t drink coffee

While accepting the various discrepancies between the mannerisms of Cyrus Lee Hancock and that of the prototypical hipster, I would challenge anyone granting him a hipster-free status. Based on the fluidic nature of hipster policy, Cyrus Lee Hancock might just be the Alpha Hipster – the absolute zenith of hipster. Perhaps, even, just perhaps it is Layla’s appreciation for things hipster that allows her to put up with her husband during his grocery aisle rants and laundry tantrums – because these acts are so hipster.

CLH's M4 engravings

CLH’s M4 engravings

Let us examine closer Cyrus Lee Hancock’s obsessive gluttony for firearms. This is un-hipster. However, he has engraved on his M4 Carbine the retro sci-fi onomatopoeia term reserved for the noise a laser-gun makes pew pew pew along with the snarky safety setting ‘no pew’ for when the weapon is unable to discharge. What’s more, he has another engraving on his M4 of an airman which is an allusion to the classic lit anti-war sardonic novel by Joseph Heller, Catch-22. Cyrus Lee Hancock, in his engravings, is not just mocking war and violence, but he is referencing retro science fiction and classical literature while he is at it. This is pure Alpha Hipster.

In conclusion Cyrus Lee Hancock is so hipster, he transcends hipster.

We underestimated ISIL and overestimated the fighting capability of the Iraqi army.

– James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, September 2014.

Here, take these. They will help you as much as anything if you are afraid of Ebola. There is a vaccine out there, but Big Pharma will not market it as long as the virus stays in Africa. Once it is here, on American soil, then they will cash in.

– Doc Kelly after tossing Vic Neverman a box of TicTac’s, May 2014.

All’s quiet on the western front page headlines, at least where war-torn Palestine and Ukraine are concerned. Instead, the hysteria du jour is the combo-meal blight against humanity: ISIS, Ebola and the rhetorical question on the side, “Were these crises exacerbated by American incompetence?”

Let us consider…

The Obama Administration’s consistent Foreign Policy of “Hold Your Breath and Hope it Goes Away” might work on horse-flies, but with Libya, Syria, Russia, ISIS(L) and Ebola, the diseases only festered and spread. Incompetence knows no political persuasion, the current Administration inherited a world riddled with holes after 8 years of the Dick Cheney Administration’s Foreign Policy of “Shoot First and Let God Sort it Out” (God, as it seems, is an absentee landlord and does not cleanup after His residents, which is how the rats took over the ship Iraq). What is absolutely certain is that we, the West, did not expect this Clusterfuckdom.

Ebola is on American soil and there is a chance worth considering ISIS is here too. If we underestimated these diseases over there, surely we are capable of such bad maths on the domestic front.

The Ebola epidemic will be cataclysmic, this much is inescapable. Developing Africa will be set back decades or more, with substantial damage done to their economy and infrastructure, let alone politics. America, however, is fine as long as Ebola does not evolve into an airborne plague. America will survive because Big Pharma will start churning out the pillboxes to manage the illness (management is more profitable than a cure). The 1st World will survive.

Islamic State of Syria and Such and Such... no big deal, really

Islamic State of Syria and Such and Such… no big deal, really

The ISIS (also known as ISIL, the difference being an Islamic State limited to Iraq and Syria and an Islamic State limited to Iraq and the Levant, which is the majority of the Eastern Mediterranean and the term of choice by the Obama Administration likely because there is a lobby group trying to keep Osiris’s wife’s out of the whole ordeal) threat is similarly cataclysmic – more so for the Middle East, than America, unless you consider gas prices. Rather than being physiologically passed from person to person like Ebola, ISIS is a meme, an idea which could occur to any lone-nut son-of-a-dick in East Paducah. If you look into the franchising of the ISIS brand, the requirements are startling little – you need to be a man (but not always), you need to not like Israel, you have to be at least moderately angry, you need no marksmanship or warrior skill at all just a willingness to shove explosive up your posterior and wait for an opportune moment to fart. You too can be the owner of an ISIS franchise, serving all of East Paducah with as little as $5 down and your life to go.

Is there a complex conspiracy scheme of Islamic fanatics in America? Most likely, no. Is there a threat of ISIS-inspired terror in America? Absolutely yes. A fanatical meme cannot be contained within the tainted sands between Damascus and Baghdad. Not with the internet available…

WINTER PARK, Fla

When it comes to the threat of ISIS sleeper cells, the bat-shit crazy survivalist militia crowd is sitting smug despite being just as bat-shit crazy as ever. I met my favorite bat-shitter, the author of Surthrivalism: Not Just Surviving in a Post-Apocalyptic World, but Thriving!, Cyrus Lee Hancock at a Middle Florida taco joint. He liked the venue, even if it was filled with hipsters.

“Do you know what hipsters are good for?” Cyrus Lee Hancock inquired. I guessed tacos. He answered his own question, “Target practice.”

Cyrus Lee Hancock's business advertised with his trademark Drop Bear

Cyrus Lee Hancock’s business advertised with his trademark Drop Bear

Cyrus Lee Hancock, if you read the transcripts of his ranted dictation, sounds like a curmudgeonly bastard older than sin, yet he is merely a youthful prodigy at the miser trade, the same age of the antagonistic hipster Millennials (roughly 30, give or take a few energy drinks). His disposition, when he is not ranting, is one of cavalier indifference – he appears aloof, staring into space as if trying to remember a grocery list, his eyes glassy and faraway. It’s all a ploy, however – a ruse to lure the fly into the trap. Once your guard is down, he’ll have a fork in your Achilles tendon or a chop-stick up a nostril until it is tickling your temporal lobe. And so I decided on tacos.

Vaya con dios, motherfucker.” Cyrus Lee Hancock saluted the burrito in his basket prior to attack.

How is the survivalist militia community responding to these threats at home? Cyrus Lee Hancock offered to show me a text from one of the fanatics in his Gun Rights Book Club back in Nashville.

Wolf is @ the door. Just read Australian ISIS cell in Australia story. Need to keep stocking up (on ammunition, artillery, barbed wire, etc.). Don’t want to get caught flat-footed.

– Barry von Doom

Indeed, Barry, the wolf is at the door.

Fuck you ISIS, your shitty carsalesmen

Fuck you ISIS, you’re shitty carsalesmen

“Fucking ridiculous, bro.” Cyrus Lee Hancock deleted the message with his typical cavalier indifference. “But here’s the thing. These ISIS fuckers are killing women and children first. They are crucifying Christians and beheading any westerner they can find within a camera lens. They have literally, like for the whole purpose of using the term ‘literal’, created rivers of blood by dumping their murdered victims into rivers. They are morbid, like, fucking mor-bid to the point of being medieval barbaric. Which is why I come to you. You’re the crusade historian. If ISIS occupies American territory as sleeper cells, what sort of medieval defenses can we put up to thwart their fucking savagery? Barbarians at the gate, bro. They’re knocking, how we gonna answer?”

Cyrus Lee Hancock, it should be noted, has been actively preparing himself for just this sort of showdown for the last twenty-five years. He is a gunsmith who obtains gun pieces like random Lego bits at whichever gun shows he can purchase anonymously (thanks exaggerated 2nd Amendment) to later piece together his dream gun, of which he has a nightmarish arsenal. He has purchased suppressors…

“Wait, what?” I asked. “You own a silencer? Why the hell is it legal for a common citizen to own a silencer?”

“It isn’t legal.” Cyrus Lee Hancock admitted. “For an individual to own a noise suppressor for a gun, however, it is legal for a legal trust to own a suppressor.”

“Fucking rubbish.”

“I would like to introduce you to the Legal Trust of Cyrus Lee Fucking Hancock!”

Cyrus Lee Hancock, or at least the Legal Trust of Cyrus Lee Fucking Hancock, is a gunsmith with enough ammunition to take back Crimea and he is building a compound outside Nashville, TN, to rival the one we (he, the delightful water-nymph from the Everglades wife of his and me, Vic Neverman) shared during the Maya Apocalypse of 2012. Cyrus Lee sees himself resilient against the next apocalypse, regardless of its nature, and is preparing himself for an extended siege by the state police, his sinning heathen neighbors, uprising robots, zombie hordes, talking apes, or, perhaps, ISIS terror cells.

“Shit’s gonna get Medieval, man. So hit me. What can I expect? What can I do to defend?”

“Hmm.” I thunk before lecture.

In a world with ISIS comingling with Ebola, you could have a replay of the Athens v. Sparta match where plague victims were catapulted over city walls, just this time it would be Ebola victims catapulted over the walls of the Grand Ole Opry. The Mongols fought the Romans similarly epochs later when the Bubonic Plague was just a fledgling cough & boil act, which helped spread the Black Death throughout Europe. Such debased deviancy shan’t be overlooked by today’s fatalistic douche-bag terrorist.

ISIS Executions

ISIS Executions

The best Crusade Era Fortress had a high outer wall, with a death valley between it and the internal wall, which should be higher than the outer so defenders on the inside ramparts could help in the defense of the outer wall. When you are dealing with a siege, you are going to have to deal with sappers and ladders. The sappers will dig tunnels under your walls in attempt to blow shit up beneath you. Ladders will be laid upon the walls if the enemy has enough men to sacrifice in attempt to gain a position atop your walls – think Benghazi 2012. These days, the battering ram has been replaced with the kamikaze truck bomb – think Beirut 1983. Siege Warcraft has its priorities and right after starving, poisoning, suffocating, scaring the shit out of the opponent, getting through the walls is the prime directive.

Counter-measures against a siege would include boiling tar or oil the defender could rain down upon the enemy as the invader attempted to scale the walls. These days, car batteries and flaming bottles of Fireball cinnamon booze will do. Scorpion bombs were all the rage a millennium ago – you just need a ceramic pot to bottle up venomous ne’er-do-well creatures and fling it at the enemy – it’s a psyche-fucker as much as anything. And if the ISIS terrorists are charging atop elephants they stole from the zoo, Crusader wisdom says let loose with flaming bacon: grease up a bunch of pigs with something flammable then set light and send them after the elephants. Of course, a flaming pig is hard to control and the porcine conflagrant might run right back where they came from, so close the fucking slide glass door you dipshit!

Asia Minor, several stories beneath the ground where the dwarf urinals lay in wait

Vic hundreds of feet underground in Persia, attempting to use the ancient dwarfish urinals of Cappadocia.

To withstand a siege, you need the necessaries: shelter, food, water, guns & ammo. After that, secrecy is a virtue. In Asia Minor, I explored an underground bunker in Cappadocia a thousand and some change years old where ancient Christians hid as the marauding barbarian hordes rode through town. Four stories worth of underground city was built then and still exists today as a meandering Tolkien dwarf retirement community. It was there I found my idyllic off-the-grid home, only to learn my companion was a trained seductress sent to Istanbul to spy on Americans by order of Beijing, but stories, another time… etc.

Are things irreversible? Is this the destiny we must prepare for?

Irreversible, yes, but also containable. Regardless, a world of plague and jihadi jackrabbits must be anticipated. To not prepare would be negligence. This may not be the year a hurricane strikes, but you will still want to be ready for the storm.

And the climate is only getting warmer.

Any kid growing up between Djibouti and Kashmir could see his uncle, sister, pet rock blown to fucking bits courtesy of an American Predator Drone on a bright blue-sky day. Living under a repressive heaven associates an ill-menace with blue skies and the notion of America. They do not see America as the great purveyor of freedom – they do not know what freedom is. The greatest recruiters of tomorrow’s terrorists is, unfortunately, us, the US, the West. Violence begets violence where little exists beyond retribution.

“For fuck’s sake.” Cyrus Lee Hancock derided me. “You sound like a bleeding-heart liberal hipster. You are depressing my burrito. Look at it! It is crying tears of Sriracha sauce.”

“Whatever, asshole.” I responded within the taco joint. “You’re as much a hipster as the rest of them.”

“Blasphemy!” Cyrus Lee Hancock spat and looked for a fork.

Appendix H: Why is Hipster? featuring Cyrus Lee Hancock

BAYOU ST BASIL, Fla

They say when the angels fell they fell here and went straight on through. This was dry land before the Fallen riddled it with holes. Forty days, forty nights of rain and you get this… the Bayou.

– “Air Commander”, the watchman and folklorist of St Bas Trailer Park

The rain had been steady for a week with more of the same en route. The consistently pouty gray sky was reminiscent of the Pac NW; this jungle rain, however, was plump, relentless and cunning, warm and lustful, crawling through your clothes to moisten every tainted stretch of your sweat-stickied flesh, much like the pierced-lip trollop of lot 19.

The homes of St Bas Trailer Park required every spare cinder block to keep the village afloat. For those who slept at night, sleep came fitfully amidst the din of croaking bullfrogs and buzzing insectual horde which barely outnumbered the drops of rain drumming the tin roof. Such sleep was to be interrupted regularly by the raccoon disputes over remaining terrain with their high-pitched screeching and low-claw disemboweling. Crying ibis couldn’t carry a tune under the pounce of feral cats and those feral cats were commonly spine-crushed by the talons of the resident demoniac owl seeking nocturnal justice. The rise of dawn found a miscellany of cadaver and those bodies uncollected by black vultures would be swallowed by enterprising semi-terrestrial catfish. Circle of life in Bayou Saint Basil.

The HMS Banshee, Cyrus Lee Hancock's Argo between Scylla and Charybdis

The HMS Banshee, Cyrus Lee Hancock’s Argo

On the morning of Cyrus Lee Hancock’s arrival, I was awoken twice before 9 am by the ringtone of my phone courtesy of the neighborhood drunk (aye, all us were qualified, but he more so), Samson, who asked me to drive to local gas station and procure four-pack of Catawampus Malt Liquor to quell his overly sentimental spirits on this dreary morning. I attempted to reason with the gravelly voice, but he seemed unfazed & undeterred with blasphemy. When would be a good time, he asked. When I had nothing better to do than cater to his weakness, I responded. Samson did hold blackmail over me, but it was a self-incriminating card he carried and he lacked the resolve for mutual assured destruction.

Alas, I was awake and heavily invested in caffeine by the time Cyrus Lee Hancock arrived knocking at the front door, leaving Latter Day Saint paraphernalia at the doorstep and then circling around to climb through the shrubbery and into the open window as we had discussed. Certain measures are necessary to thwart observation. Cyrus Lee was taller than I remembered, more tattooed than I recalled, yet still a pretty-boy young buck punk despite the hard years he had already lived traipsing around Nepal and East Orlando. “How’s it going?”

Dragon Slayer: Cyrus Lee's sandled foot betwixt the slain

Dragon Slayer: Cyrus Lee’s sandled foot betwixt the slain

“Fair to middling.”

Taking a look around the Neverman abode, his attention was lassoed by the piled coils of varying slack & knotted rope. His intuition was commendable, “What’s this, signs of a new romantic interest?”

“Her dream is to sail the world. My experience sailing ended when I had to be rescued by the Coast Guard when lost at sea as a twelve-year old. I figured I would better my acumen by first learning how to tie a knot.”

Cyrus Lee tested the strength of my Alpine Butterfly knot, “Kinky. Alright, who is she?”

“Anastasia. A Ukrainian studying linguistics in Turkey.”

“Jesus, man. How often do you see her?”

“Haven’t yet. I’d fly to Istanbul to meet her, but I am pretty sure I would be held captive for ransom and/or released sans kidney.”

Cyrus Lee Hancock let out an exhaled breath of mirth and his grin stretched something crocodilian. “You’re in with a Ukrainian catfishing from Turkey looking to harvest your kidneys?”

“Yes” admitting, “Kiev is too dangerous for organ harvesters, so the Ukrainians have setup shop in Asia Minor. Anastasia is beautiful, though. Her eyes are vexing and pull at my loins like a rickshaw. It is difficult not to follow.”

“A rickshaw? So this is serious. Are you certain she only loves you for your organs? At least, just the internal ones?”

“Am I sure? Fair to middling. I told her I was eighteen and didn’t drink, so she has a high affection for the pristine quality of my liver.”

“Love has to start with a spark, right?” Cyrus Lee Hancock, the romantic optimist, smiled approvingly.

We cracked open a few beers and toasted, “First one today.”

Cyrus Lee Hancock formerly inhabited Middle Florida. When I met him, he was king of a survivalist compound in East Orlando. I was living in my sister’s attic at the time and she introduced me to this rogue in attempt to acclimatize her brother back into society after years of his living in an Oregonian hippie commune. Never did the NeverSister realize her mistake: Cyrus Lee was a swashbuckling charlatan in need of a biographer and her brother was a vagabond in search of mission. Acquaintances made, a partnership was sealed. Over time, Cyrus Lee and I would sink into various disagreements until we swore oaths of mutual antagonism. Each time, however, peace was brokered by his lovely wife whose batting eyelashes and knack for diplomacy reunited the band for one last tour. We all became rich during Cyrus Lee Hancock’s survival campaign against the Maya Apocalypse of 2012. When 2013 arrived with barely a dent, the IRS sought Cyrus Lee to find his apocalyptic compound sold to condo developers and the survivalist communities embezzled into off-shore accounts. Cyrus Lee had evaporated into the ether only to emerge in the shadows of the Himalaya. Late 2013, Cyrus Lee and his wife would resettle in Tennessee as born-again Christians starting a rapture-inspired cult and it would take his wife’s eyelash batting and diplomatic swagger to convince me to smuggle the remaining Hancock arsenal out of Orlando and up to Nashville, which I did for a handsome fee.

Cyrus Lee wakes to find himself covered in shaving cream.

Cyrus Lee wakes to find himself covered in shaving cream.

What brought Cyrus Lee back to Middle Florida? Just a friendly bout of gator-poaching. Cyrus Lee was wet with the blood of three 9 foot-plus alligators which he sold to boot manufacturers. We cracked open a few more beers first one today! and he elaborated on the endorphin rush accompanying the harpooning and slaying of 500 lb dragons. While I had hunted crocodiles in Cuba and the Amazon, it was catch-and-release for the sake of SCIENCE*. I was wont to remind Cyrus Lee the difference between a man of reason & progress and a predator for shits, giggles, boots & purses. He was wont to extend his middle digits.

*Working with the Universidad de Habana and University of Kent, respectively

Our reunion at St Bas Trailer Park was disrupted by a knock at the door. It was Samson. Yeah, hey Vic, I am real sorry about waking you, man. I was wondering, if you are not busy… Samson had run out of beer. Where blasphemies failed, threats with Cyrus Lee’s alligator harpoon succeeded.

“What the fuck have you got yourself into, bro?” Cyrus Lee Hancock inquired after the departure of my neighbor.

The story of Samson, the middle-aged, silver-mane Florida chump with bare feet is a convoluted one. Formerly, he was just a random dude I oft spotted carrying a suitcase of cheap domestic swill home from GazMart up yonder near the freeway. At one point, I lent money to a desperate neighbor in need (embed parasite into host body). It should be mentioned, Samson had come in handy. If I was going to be away from the Bayou, a six-pack of cheap swill would win enough allegiance out of Samson for him to camp out and keep watch over my home for any snooping feral children or police state goons. Ultimately, he was a shitty guard and would fall asleep as soon as he ran out of cocaine. He also admitted his friends call him “Beetlejuice” after the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton character because of his silver hair and scratched-to-shit voice.

Samson was a typical University of Florida Lit Grad who ended up as a half-assed drug dealer

Samson was a typical University of Florida Lit Grad who ended up as a half-assed drug dealer

“It was hard for me to return from Africa. If it weren’t for Qatari assassins, Ebola and an empty bank account, I might still be there.” I admitted to Cyrus Lee Hancock. “And when I did come back to the Bayou, I found shit for luck. Lightning ripped through both my surge protector and high definition television. My lawyer left me for more prestigious clientele. And I contracted a chigger infestation. My summer in North Africa was a lap of luxury in comparison to my homecoming. Then I found Samson. He is so karmically unbalanced, he is a lightning rod for shit luck and he keeps Lady misFortune occupied.

“Example?” Cyrus Lee asked while cracking open another can of some high priced snobbish hop-fest beer I forced upon him. “First one today.”

“Example. Okay, this guy was a thief when he was a kid. At the age of 18, he burglarized an empty house and stole several antique rifles and dueling pistols. He sold his loot for $10,000, but he left his prints at the scene of the crime. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but it wasn’t for burglary, it was for armed robbery. There was no one there in the house to rob and the only arms he had were the Portuguese dueling pistols from 1683 and the civil war era rifle, neither of which were any use as a firing weapon. So the dude was on the lam and spent several years hiding out in Louisville before being caught and serving a few years in prison for an exaggerated crime.”

“Shit for luck.” Cyrus Lee agreed. “Is he just a street vagrant? Or does he have a job?”

“As a self-described ‘half-assed drug-dealer’. He also collects disability. He even has an ‘Obama Phone’ which he calls me with when he thinks I am ignoring calls from his other phones. He works as a laborer, but always under the table in cash. At the first of the month, he receives a cornucopia of prescription pain pills which he sells at his Alcoholics Anon meetings and then pays off his debts to me, his coke dealers, etcetera. After the pill mills were shut down by State Attorney Pam, Samson can make quite a bit of money by selling off his legit pain meds.”

Kicking Ass and Taking Names, Pam

Kicking Ass and Taking Names, Pam

“So he has equity. Perfect.” Cyrus Lee said. “Who was the bearded asshole stink-eyeing me from the edge of the bog with his mongrels?”

“That’s Air Commander Bubba. Good sort, really. He and I broke up a bunch of wife-beating redneck jet-ski douche from drowning their mistresses when we yelled threats across the bog at their incest cluster fuck party until they saddled up on their crotch-rocket watercraft and left for the moral low-ground elsewhere. During the summer, these waters are filled with the lowest dregs of upright ape. Air Commander keeps watch over St Bas Trailer Park and while he doesn’t exactly like me, there is a hint of respect. When I returned from Africa, he stink-eyed my approach and said I hadn’t been around so long he was about to start sniffing around my place, as in, smelling for a corpse. Retired Air Force and good people; don’t worry about Bubba.”

Leaving the security of my home for the water world outside, Cyrus Lee Hancock and I wandered the swamped thoroughfares towards the edge of the suburbia frontier in order to visit my favorite beer slinging barkeep, Jade Sunderbruck. First one today! Cyrus Lee and I clinked our similar glasses of craft ale as the beer goddess Jade smiled from on high. I struck at Cyrus Lee’s intellect in search of opinion: what of ISIS/ISIL, what of Ukraine, what of sleeper cells in America?

“Better to get our house in order by daylight, my friend.” Cyrus Lee said. “For tonight, we drink.”

And for the first time today, more or less, we did. Until Jade kicked us out.

He who makes kittens put snakes in the grass

-Jethro Tull, Bungle in the Jungle

There is a prevailing sense of doom in the air. From the dearth of avocados in the lead-up to Cinco de Mayo to the rising cost of bacon because pig fever epidemic, the nearness of the End seems to be quickening.  Don’t look now, but in the wee hours of Tuesday, April 15th, a lunar eclipse will occur in such a fashion that will paint the moon a rusty hue of red. It is known as a “blood moon” when the earth’s atmosphere distorts the light of the sun reflecting off the moon to create the bloodiness. Now dig this: the next four lunar eclipses all happen to be blood moons. For apocalyptics looking for signs from above, this does not portend well. For doomsday capitalists, though, business is booming.
blood-moons-1
Search Amazon for “blood moon” and you will find three different books detailing the same basic plot points: four blood moons (what astronomers call a “Tetrad”) occurring over four Jewish holidays is not just eerie, it is historically profound. In the past, according to the snake-oil salesmen of this doomsday du jour, four blood moons falling on Jewish feast days have occurred alongside the beginning of the Inquisition (kicking Jews out of Spain), the 1948 creation of Israel and the 1967 capturing of Jerusalem by Israel in the 6 Day War. What Goliathian event must await the world with this pending tetrad of four blood moons beginning with April 15th?

Allow me to reintroduce Cyrus Lee Hancock, a gentleman scoundrel who I’ve outed as a charlatan in the past. After swindling his fanatic followers with his doomsday insurance for the anti-climactic 2012 Maya Apocalypse, he and his wife (affectionately called by locals, “the Princess Di of Oviedo”) were forced to flee Florida for the Appalachian comforts of Tennessee where Cyrus Lee was born again as a preaching man. He too has picked up on the blood moon hysteria and is selling his doomsday insurance and hosting parties (his wife, Layla Santana Crow, is planning each extravagant bout of revelry). While Cyrus Lee is not taking my call, I knew I could lure one of his henchmen out of the wilderness to discuss the Blood Moon Prophecy in more detail.

photo

Finding Rufus Holdsworth is no easy ordeal. He lives off the grid like the neighborhood tomcat that keeps knocking up your pet and stealing the coffee grinds out of your garbage. For me, I knew which disillusioned housewife was laying scraps outside her window for the tomcat, so I dropped him a message vis-à-vis her. As expected, Rufus showed his weathered and wizened mug at my suggested burger joint in Longwood, Fla an hour late. He was excitable, showing pictures of the paw prints of a Florida Panther he had been tracking in the scrub brush while drinking bottles of Corona with an expediency suggesting he expected the heavens to ignite with a nuclear mushroom cloud at any moment. Which he did. Expect. At any moment. Luckily for me, he was willing to answer questions in his fleeting time.

“Hancock saw how much money these fat preachers were making off of their ‘four moon’ books and his initial thought was to put out a ‘five moon’ book.” Rufus Holdsworth informed me. “Y’know, what is worse than four blood moons? Five blood moons.”

How could that possibly work when astronomers know there will only be four in a row?

“He argued we don’t need to convince the science boffins and space wonks, we only need to convince the doomsday crowd.” Rufus explained, as he reached for another bottle of Corona, sticking in a slice of lime before overturning the beer and toasting, “First one today. Hancock knows he will never convert skeptics like yourself, but he doesn’t need to. There are enough lemmings waiting to take the bait. I was able to talk him down from five blood moons to the four, but it might not have mattered.”

How so? You cannot peddle complete lies.

“This is where you are wrong.” Rufus informed me as he scrutinized the beer wench. “She has kind eyes. So… Vic, here’s the thing, man, people do not take new evidence and change their opinions. They take whichever new evidence supports their moral objective and ignore everything else. You know this, dude. If someone believes global warming is a left-wing conspiracy, they will ignore every scientific fact while grabbing a hold of an irrelevant blizzard in Atlanta to prove the world is not getting warmer. You do not convince people with facts, you convince people by playing upon their predetermined moral objectives. If you have people desperate to have the return of Jesus to end their misery, and cousin let me tell you there are scores of theses lunatics about, then they will believe anything you present that suggests their dreams of Armageddon are about to come true.”

There is no point in trying to reason with them?

“No! What did I just tell you? Reason is but bricks used to rationalize their preconceived notions of a wall. They take the bricks of reason that helps build the wall they want, they ignore the facts that will not support the wall. This is new neuroscience stuff, man. Scientists are finding reason is only a tool used to prove what people want to believe.”

Blood Moon Prophecy is selling, but could there be something to it?

“Sure, search the Bible and you will find passages about moons turning to blood and stars falling out of the sky, so yeah, there might be something to it.”

The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

– Joel 2:31, King James Bible

What about the Jewish feast day coincidence? Is there something to that?

Rufus Holdsworth pulled his jowls out of a cheeseburger and spoke while moving the clump of food into his chipmunk cheek. “’Ere’s what you got to know…” He chewed and swallowed a chunk big enough to give me heartburn. “The Hebrews are an ancient race and like many pre-Christian peoples, their calendar is based off of the moon and not the sun. This is why their holidays float around so much; there are more than 12 moon cycles in a year. Ancient calendars wouldn’t have just a leap day every four years; they would need a leap month to catch up. Ironically, Cyrus Lee Hancock was born on a leap day on a blood moon and he doesn’t hesitate to capitalize on that shit. It’s on his fucking resume.”

What do lunar calendars have to do with anything?

Rufus Holdsworth gulped the remnants of his Corona and winked the barkeep over. She arrived all smiles and blue eyes. He saddened his expression, “It’s damn hot in here. If you can’t drop the air conditioning a couple of degrees, I might have to take off my shirt.” She teased him something about no shirt, no shoes, no service. Rufus was adamant with his douche-bag grin, “You and I both know I’d still get service.”

After a few finger-snaps, I redirected Rufus’s attention. What do lunar calendars have to do with anything?

blood-moon-tetrad“The Blood Moon myth is based off of the coincidence there are four straight blood moons on Jewish feast days. Jewish holidays are based on lunar cycles, so there is a high chance they occur on a full moon. You can’t have an eclipse without a full moon and 1 out of every 6 eclipses just so happen to occur on a Jewish Holiday.”

So it isn’t a coincidence?

“Not so much.”

Two similarities is a coincidence. Three similarities is a conspiracy. Four blood moons is the end of the world as we know it.

– Cyrus Lee Hancock

What about the history described by the prophecy pushers?

Rufus spoke to the bartender in the gray tank-top instead of responding to me. “Hey, so do you have any roommates?” The bartender smiled quizzically as she admitted she did have roommates. “Will they mind if I shower at your place? I’ve been camping for the last month and could use a good scrub.” The girl was closer to 20 than 30, but she didn’t mind they grayed temples of Rufus’s wild mane or his middle-aged sunburnt smile. Her gasp of startle was filled with enough delight to qualify as approval, though she said little else. I told myself I wasn’t envious of Rufus and the coquetry on display as his object of desire sauntered away. I snapped my fingers to recapture his attention.

WHAT ABOUT THE HISTORY?

“Bollocks.” He admitted before saluting his bottle of beer, “First one today. First of all, these preachers talk about three tetrads that occur on Jewish holidays (tetrads are four consecutive blood moons). There has been more than just those three significant tetrads, but the spares do not have any historical significance, so they are ignored. So these blood moon preachers are already fucking with the data, eliminating inconsequential detail to improve their statistics. You follow? Yeah? So what of the three tetrads they do bring up? Three tetrads that have been important to the Jewish people?

“First they reference the Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1478. There was a royal decree in 1492 to expel from Spain any Jew that did not convert to Christianity. Well, the fucking blood moons don’t even start until April of 1493. If the blood moons are some sort of warning to the Jewish people, the Almighty was a little late to the party. While we are on the subject, if these blood moons were supposed to be this great warning, why weren’t there any before the Holocaust? Might’ve been handy to have then, right? Fucking Nazis.”

I once saw Rufus Holdsworth fight a Holocaust denier at a tailgate party before a football game. Rufus not only walloped the denier with a half-eaten turkey leg, he disposed of the imbecile in a portable toilet box. The home team Citronauts won on that day. No word on the denier.

What of the other historical blood moon tetrads?

“I won’t call her.” Rufus spoke about the barkeep. He scowled an admission, “I have chiggers and my junk is all jacked-up. I mean, it isn’t scabbies or herpes or anything, but my junk is all itchy and red. I can barely sleep at night.”

I had been there. Have you tried applying meat tenderizer?

“The other historical blood moon tetrads being referenced are the nationalizing of Israel in 1948 and the 6-Day War of 1967 when Israel took back Jerusalem. Here is the thing: the first blood moon of the 40’s was in 1949 and the other tetrad didn’t begin until 10 months after the 6-Day War ended. What sort of warning is that? If we are really using history to predict blood moon prophecy, then we need to find out what happens before the blood moons begin. Since the blood moons begin on Tuesday, what the fuck just happened that is significant?”

Russia invaded the Ukraine. A Malaysian flight disappeared into the Indian Ocean. David Letterman announced his retirement.

“Right, so there you have it.” Rufus Holdsworth leaned over his empty plate towards the barmaid, “We’ll take the check. Put it on his card. Hey… do you have any calamine lotion at home?”