Sleazy paperback cover 1970s
Playing Around
Originally uploaded by scorzonera.

Hey sexy man! With your sexy hairdo, sexy moustache, sexy open shirt and medallion and sexy Terylene trousers! No surprise you wow all the chicks! And that sexy pipe! You having a Condor moment there? Just be careful you don’t strike a match too near the sexy chicks’ nighties, y’dig?!

Cemetery under snow
Cemetery under snow
Originally uploaded by scorzonera.

It happens to us all if we’re lucky enough to live that long – people we know start dying, then keep on dying until it’s our turn. No getting away from that. offers the illusion, at least, of having some control of events after The Event. You can store your preference of obituary, flowers, funeral venue, music, even your suicide note (they often, apparently, go astray) and much more in the hope that family and/or loved ones take some notice.

Most intriguing of all, you can browse other people’s stored desires but be prepared to spend several hours once you get in there. It becomes addictive.

Wisconsin Death Trip is a unique documentary-plus-drama, its starting point being photographs and stories of everyday death and despair taken from the Black River Falls newspaper in the 1890s and the work of Charles Van Schaick, the town portrait photographer. There is an excellent article by Michael Lesy, creator of the book which gave rise to the film, here . The film is available on DVD . I found a .torrent on a few months back but the site seems to have been hijacked, which is a shame.

The excellent has the deeply affecting Flash movie Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography In America , with a commentary by James Allen, who created the book of the same name. Chilling thought – many of these photographs were printed up and sold as postcards, a reminder that not all deaths are seen as equal.

Bertrand Flornoy with shrunken head
Bertrand Flornoy
Originally uploaded by scorzonera.

Seeing the post referring to replica shrunken heads for sale on ebay in the excellent Kircher Society blog a year ago reminded me of a quote from a Maori tattooist in Skin and Ink magazine several years ago.

“How you would you feel if you were a Maori visiting Seattle and you saw some punk kid walking down the street with your grandmother’s Moko on his chin?”

Given the ongoing, global campaign to return looted body parts currently housed in museums to their homelands, there must be quite a few people who find this kind of novelty item offensive.

If I had the urge to have a novelty item based on the human head in the house, at least I’d want it to be something useful.

Enjoy your meringue.

Click to enlarge

Great website at, home of the Peter Cook Appreciation Society. Masses of mp3s including the entire “Misty Mr Wisty” LP (that’ll get the women’s vote) plus a few rare divX files and loads more stuff.

Click on “discography” for the mp3s.


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  1. Pingback: In America, everything is for sale.. « Phil Scorzonera

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