Tea’s Weird Week: Eternal Slap Bass of the AI Seinfeld Mind

“Wow, can you believe how much time has gone by?” A blocky, pixelated character named “Yvonne” says, followed by a staccato burst of canned laughter on February 3, 2023 at 11:22am CST. But in Yvonne’s world, time does not have meaning.

Imagine being able to watch your favorite program anytime you wanted, 24/7– always on and always new content. That’s what happened, in a way, when a Seinfeld inspired show called Nothing, Forever launched on Twitch on December 14, 2022. Since then, Nothing, Forever has run non-stop and will continue on…well, theoretically, until the world ends.

The show features Jerry …oops, sorry, Larry Feinberg who shares scenes with his friends Fred Kastopolous and Yvonne Torres, and his eccentric neighbor Zoltan Kakler. The infinite sitcom scrolls through Larry’s apartment, where the characters exchange banter and jokes, Larry onstage at the mic in a comedy club, and an exterior shot of Larry’s apartment and an AI generator TV guide screen that breaks the scenes up. AI determines how long a scene is and which characters are in it. A laugh track randomly cuts in, adding to the confusion. The chat room scrolling down the side seems to be mostly AI generated as well.  

A lot of the scenes focus on Larry and friends talking about Larry’s comedy career, new pets, and new restaurants. In one scene, Larry and Fred discuss the mayor’s plan to rename New York “Schnitzelville” because of a new restaurant that opened down the street (as seen Feb. 3, 2023, 11:20am CST). It was kind of funny in a slightly off sort of way.

I don’t know why, but there is something unsettling about this. Just the thought of an eternal Seinfeld world, never sleeping, never blinking, just constantly rolling on with non-sequitor jokes and digital canned laughter. Ah well, let me leave you with a joke from the great AI comedian, Larry Feinberg, February 3, 2023, 8:22PM CST:

“Why do elephants paint their toenails different colors? So they can hide in a package of Skittles.” (Laughter)

You can watch for a minute, an hour, or maybe the rest of your life here: twitch.tv/watchmeforever

2023 Read List

I’m keeping track of all the books I’m reading this year as a footnote to this column. I’m actually a pretty slow reader, but after a crazy busy fall and year end, I realized how important it is to set aside reading time every day. Here’s what I started with this year.

1.) Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. I’ve wanted to read this for years and finally got around to it. A devastating, important book. It fully deserves the many awards and honors it won. Read it. I got my copy from Lion’s Tooth.

2.) Ghost Story by Peter Straub. In October, my colleague Carmella D’ Acquisto wrote a piece for Milwaukee Magazine’s website, asking local authors and booksellers for “Halloween reads.” I told Carmella, in part:

I’ve really wanted to read more work by Robert Bloch (who wrote Psycho) and Peter Straub (who co-wrote The Talisman with Stephen King, among many other works). Both of those horror authors spent a formative part of their life in Milwaukee, and I think we should celebrate more works by Milwaukee authors. 

I don’t like to talk outta both sides of my face, so I am making an effort to read more works by Wisconsin authors, historical and contemporary. I enjoyed this one and will pick up another Straub book in the future. I got this one from the library.

Upcoming appearance: I’ll be tabling at the Punk Rock Rummage Sale on Saturday, February 11, 11am-4pm at Promises (538 W. National Ave.) with my books and strange swag. Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1388237528250313

Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram
My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: Let’s Talk About the Dang Old Chicago Mothman

Hey, it’s the first Tea’s Weird Week column of 2023! I started this column in 2019 and kept up with it weekly for years, but this year I have many projects to work on, so this column will be sporadic and when I have time for it, but I’ll have a column atleast a couple times a month. Hopefully the TWW podcast will return soon, too.

I’ve not had any writing published this month, but I’ve got some articles lined up for the next few months for a variety of publications that I’m excited about. One is a project I’ve been working on over the last three years that is finally seeing the light of day, an article titled “The Chicago Mothman: Red-eyed Creatures and Green-eyed Monsters,” a two-part article that is the cover story for the February issue of Fortean Times, with the second part appearing in the March issue. In April, I will be packaging the article, as well as some “bonus material,” as an e-book.

When reports of a “Mothman” (also called the “Lake Michigan Mothman,” “Chicago Bat,” and “Chicago Phantom”) creature haunting the Chicago area began to circulate in 2016, I, of course, had a strong interest as my homebase of Milwaukee is just north of Chicagoland. As the story unfolded, I became more interested in what was going on behind the reports rather than the reports themselves. In 2020 I visualized writing a longform piece on the entire case and began interviewing people associated with the investigation. I ended up interviewing 12 people between January and May 2020. As you can see, the project soon had extra time for interviewing and the massive undertaking of transcribing the interviews (my least favorite and most time consuming aspect of writing) during pandemic quarantine. I’d work on transcribing for an hour, then doomscroll the news for a bit.

I thought I would be a good person to write this because even though I obviously have a strong interest in the paranormal, I think I’m good at viewing the field and the people involved in it objectively because I’m not deeply immersed in it. It is one of my interests, but one of many. I don’t belong to any paranormal teams or groups. I get invited to paranormal events and conferences once in awhile, but not often cause I got no “star power.” I don’t have a reality show where a nightvision camera follows me as I roll around on the ground screaming about ghosts and that’s what you need to succeed in that field.

Of the 12 people I interviewed about the Chicago Mothman case, I know some of them and some I don’t, but I didn’t have an agenda against anyone. I just wanted to report the story.

I worked on it and re-worked it. I struggled on how to present the story. At one time, I was inspired by the great Chicago oral historian and author Studs Terkel (1912-2008) to present the case as an oral history. Studs was best known for this style, where he would record stories from a wide array of people and compile them to tell a story of American life. He won the Pulitzer for The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two and his book Division Street is a classic oral history and examination of race, class, and everyday life in Chicago. In these volumes, Studs let the people do the talking while he used his skills quietly as an editor. Studs was one of Chicago’s most famous voices. I don’t know that Studs had any interest in the paranormal — but I think he would have at least humored this strange story as it spread across his beloved Chicagoland, from Oz Park to the lakeshore to O’Hare to the neighborhood of Little Village.

I decided to ditch the oral history format (though you’ll see an element of that in the e-book) because it’s a lot harder than it looks. I opted for a more traditional article presentation and sent it across the pond as a submission to Fortean Times, the great British magazine dedicated to all things weird.

Publishing is a funny business. Sometimes it moves really fast, other times it just goes on forever and a day. And so now, about 3-years after I began the project, I’m glad to say it’s done and in print. At least that’s what I hear, I haven’t received my copy as it takes time to ship from Jolly Old England, and I’m told extra time as a postal strike is going on over there.

Anyway, it’s done! I did it! But what exactly the hell is the Chicago Mothman? Unidentified creature? Aliens? Owl? Interdimensional beings? Demons? Internet hoax? I’ll let the investigators speak for themselves and let you puzzle on the mystery, as I have.

Please Clap Dept.:

Chicago Mothman: A History and Cultural Study of a Monster Case will be released as an e-book in April 2023, Tea Set Press. Cover art by Stinky Goblin Emporium.

Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram
My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Everything I Wrote in 2022

Here’s a list of articles and TWW columns I wrote in 2022. I’ll be tracking what I wrote and all the books I’ve read in 2023.

JANUARY

  1. The Healing Power of Hula,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  2. The Secret: Milwaukee Has a Hidden Treasure,” American Ghost Walks newsletter
  3. Anime Milwaukee Returns, Feb. 11-13 at the Wisconsin Center,” Shepherd Express
  4. TWW: “Chosen One” to Cops: Take Me to Your Leader
  5. Arsonist Destroys Buses for Homeless Outreach, but the Community Steps in to Help,” Milwaukee Magazine (web)
  6. Hear Nineteen Thirteen’s New Single, ‘Cello and Drums Forever,'” Shepherd Express

    FEBRUARY
  7. Fishy Business,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  8. TWW: High on the Herzog
  9. This Living Statue Stepped in for the Bronze Fonz,” Milwaukee Magazine (web)
  10. Milwaukee Poet Kavon Cortez-Jones Returns to ‘Club Noir,'” Milwaukee Magazine (web)
  11. TWW: Paranormal Real Estate Mogul
  12. Haunted Milwaukee- Tied House is Home to ‘The Lady of the Pub,'” American Ghost Walks newsletter
  13. TWW: Illuminati Super Bowl Party
  14. TWW: Famous Ghosts of Chicago

    MARCH
  15. Visibly Indigenous,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  16. Undercover Publication: Quirky 1981 Milwaukee history book is a rare gem,” Milwaukee Record
  17. How Lakefront Brewery’s Showing Support to Ukraine After Years of Selling Beer There,” Milwaukee Magazine (web)
  18. TWW: Hey, I Invented a Batman Villain Based on an Obscure Myth About Bingo
  19. TWW: Rollin’ with Baba Yaga
  20. TWW: Quest for the Weirdest Movies
  21. Inkgeeks Platform Connects Local Tattoo Community,” Shepherd Express

    APRIL
  22. Stopping the Slide,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  23. TWW: The World According to Gorb
  24. Zorro is Dead (Brady St. Pharmacy excerpt),” Nimbus Magazine
  25. TWW: Phantom Patriot Featured in New Primus “Conspiranoia” Video
  26. Rhinelander’s Hodag Store Robbed by…Carmen Sandiego?” American Ghost Walks newsletter
  27. TWW: There Are About 60 QAnon Candidates Running for Congress This Year
  28. TWW: Friday Happy Hour w/ Tea @ Lion’s Tooth
  29. TWW: Hello, I Must Be Going
  30. The Ghost of Al Capone,” American Ghost Walks Newsletter
  31. Ancient Aliens Lands at Pabst May 22,” Shepherd Express

    MAY
  32. TWW: New Podcast “The Superhero Complex” Examines the Phoenix Jones Story
  33. TWW: A Tale of Two Chupacabras
  34. Oddities & Curiosities Expo Celebrates the Strange and Macabre May 28 at the Wisconsin Center,” Shepherd Express
  35. TWW: You are Geraldo Rivera, high on ecstasy, looking at a UFO in the Bahamas
  36. TWW: Jurassic Lark? Are Dinosaur Deniers for Real?

    JUNE
  37. The Last Fisherman of Washington Island,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  38. TWW: Who Said It– Phantom Patriot or Marjorie Taylor Greene?
  39. Top 5 Milwaukee Haunted Brunch Spots,” American Ghost Walks newsletter
  40. TWW: The TWW podcast is back on for Season 5!
  41. Sinisterhood Podcast Stops in Milwaukee to Talk about Pfister Ghosts,” Shepherd Express

    JULY
  42. The Last Frame,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  43. TWW: Talking with Sinisterhood
  44. TWW: My Favorite Jann Goldberg Quotes
  45. 5 Takeaways From Our DNR Records Request on the Sturgeon Caviar Affair,” Milwaukee Magazine (web)
  46. TWW: Introducing Paranormal Road Trip
  47. TWW: Amberrose Hammond’s New Book Explores Mysterious Michigan

    AUGUST
  48. From Middle Earth to Marquette,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  49. The Other Vet Mental Health Crisis,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  50. Attention Spies: Beware of SafeHouse Spooks,” American Ghost Walks newsletter
  51. TWW: Alex Jones in His Own Hell
  52. TWW: The Chessboxer, Part 1
  53. TWW: The Chessboxer, Part 2

    SEPTEMBER
  54. Tea’s Weird Hiatus
  55. Awkward Nerd Book Fair Taps Into Nostalgia for Inaugural Event,” Shepherd Express
  56. Wanna Buy a Famous Tugboat?” Milwaukee Magazine (web)
  57. Local and International Artists will be Inking at Milwaukee Tattoo Arts Festival,” Shepherd Express
  58. Sarah Kohlbeck Talks About ‘The S-Word,’ a Suicide Prevention Podcast,” Shepherd Express
  59. Horror Movie Recommendations from Ghost Hunters!” (contributor) American Ghost Walks Newsletter

    OCTOBER
  60. Fighting Fits,” Milwaukee Magazine (print)
  61. This Bay View Halloween House Has a ‘Beetlejuice’ Theme,” Milwaukee Magazine (web)
  62. TWW: The Story of Father Pellegrino Ernetti and his Time Travel Viewing “Chronovisor”
  63. Milwaukee Home Movie Day Archives and Celebrates Family History,” Shepherd Express
  64. TWW: Our Horror Host Doc, “I’m Your Host,” Won a Brico Forward Fund Award!

    NOVEMBER
  65. Scoot Your Way to Election Day with ‘Lime to the Polls,” Shepherd Express
  66. Erna Meets Krampus…Again!” American Ghost Walks Newsletter

    DECEMBER
  67. Tea’s Weird Year: Here’s What I Did in 2022 (and 12 Things I Want Myself to Remember) (also reprinted in “Lucky New Year 2023” zine)

Tea’s Weird Year: Here’s What I did in 2022 (and 12 Things I Want Myself to Remember)

2022 was quite a year. It was often challenging. Challenging doesn’t necessarily mean bad. I pushed myself, I won some, lost some, and a couple times landed in-between. I don’t think I’m qualified to give anyone life advice but I’ve put some key points from this year in bold as notes to myself on lessons learned and appreciated this year or things I should remember to be grateful for. I’ve also linked to relevant articles, blog posts, etc.

In January, my friend Paul Kjelland asked if I wanted to jump in the van and road trip with him to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Yes, I did. I thought Santa Fe was beautiful and I checked out some interesting stuff. Santa Fe is mostly adobe style houses and many people hang bunches of dried red chile peppers on their porch to celebrate New Mexico’s status as “Chile Capitol of the World.” Dishes with chile sauce are popular in Santa Fe. You can get a red chile sauce or a green one, I recommend getting “Christmas” style, a mix of both. That trip was the only out-of-state travel I did in 2022, but I do believe there is more in the future. (1.) Traveling to new places and seeing how people live their lives there is important.

I took this selfie at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe.

I wrote a total of 67 articles (for various publications) and Tea’s Weird Week columns in 2022 (yes, I kept a list). I had a feature article in the February issue of Milwaukee Magazine titled “Fishy Business” (note: I’m referring to all articles by the title they had in the print version, those often get tweaked or changed completely for the web version) It was about the thin line that makes the sale or barter of sturgeon eggs illegal. The Sconnie Crimes Unit: dees are dem der stories. But seriously, I had no idea and found the entire story to be fascinating, everything from the family traditions involved to the number of cars that fall through the ice every year to the hilarious difference in how caviar is presented in the Lake Winnebago area versus some fancy restaurant (Lake Winnebago: a Ritz cracker with a smudge of cream cheese and a cheap beer). (2.) Look for interesting stories you’re not aware of in your own back yard.

Visibly Indigenous” was a feature for the March issue of Milwaukee Magazine. It was honor to write. In talking with my editor, Chris Drosner, my goal was clear– (3.) Shut up and listen. I am grateful to Chris and the rest of the Milwaukee Magazine staff for their faith in me to do a good job with a story.

There were two seasons of Tea’s Weird Week podcast in 2022, one that ran late January through early April and another that went late June through early September. Many weird news items were examined and interesting people were interviewed. Thanks to my co-host Heidi Erickson, sound engineer Android138, trivia host Miss Information, and all our guests and listeners. We got a holiday/end of year special that will be out next week but I’m not sure when a new season might roll out.

Me and the TWW podcast crew at the Oddities & Curiosities Expo in May.

Ghost tours started up in May. This year, besides freelancing, my gainful employment was leading tours for American Ghost Walks and filling in some odd shifts at Lion’s Tooth (a great bookstore here in Milwaukee). (4.) I greatly appreciate working for people who have businesses I am glad to support and who treat me kindly and fairly.

One of my favorite American Ghost Walks tours this summer– a bachelorette party showed up for the tour dressed as ghosts.

More favorite Milwaukee Magazine articles– “The Last Fisherman of Washington Island” (June) and “The Last Frame” (July) which both kinda sound doomsdayish, but they’re not. I enjoyed my visit to Washington Island and the more familiar environs of the Falcon Bowl. I also wrote an article on infamous Milwaukee prankster Mark Gubin and am working on another project or two in different mediums to tell his story. (5.) It is good to enjoy what you are working on.

A visit to Washington Island. Here’s fisherman Ken Koyen outside his KK Fiske Restaurant holding a “lawyer” a fish that got the nickname from where their heart is located (Ken is pointing to it). Looking forward to hopefully returning for a visit next year.

August through September was a dark period for me, not going to lie. I think it took me awhile to figure out why, but one factor was I finally got COVID in August. There was also some work stress, lost work, and rejection and other bad shit. Normally I probably would have pushed through like a hammerhead, but I think the COVID put me in a bad mental state. I was in bad shape there and I know a couple people might have been worried about me. Sorry! (6.) I’m trying to learn that sometimes failure is inevitable and you just got to pick yourself up and keep going.

It was around this time that this Tea’s Weird Week column went into a hiatus mode for the most part. I was too zapped to do a weekly column. That’s ok. I’m going to reevaluate the Tea’s Weird Week column in the New Year to see how it might move forward. After that rough period, there was a lot to do, so I got back to work… Milwaukee Paranormal Conference happened October 15-16. Overall, I think there’s a good handle on this event now. This was our third year at Alverno College. American Ghost Walks and our great volunteers helped a lot. (7.) I’m trying to learn to be better about asking for help when I need it.

I’m producer on a documentary titled “I’m Your Host” based on a 2021 article I wrote. Alicia Krupsky is the director, other fantastic people are involved, too. We applied for a Brico Forward Fund grant and found out in October that we won! That will help make sure we have the right resources to get it done. Alicia showed me part of the edited doc the other day and it’s really coming together well. (8.) It’s great to meet solid collaborators who share your vision.

From 2021– the “I’m Your Host” production crew with Dr. Destruction at his Haunted Manor.

It’s weird because this has been the first year in the last ten years that I’ve not been signed to some book deal. There are things in the works. Me and co-author Jenny Sanchez are working on a travel guide together titled Paranormal Road Trip. Looking forward to working on that more this coming year. I got a couple other book ideas, but I’ll keep those on the down low for now. (9.) It’s good to have future goals.

Me and Paranormal Road Trip co-author Jenny Sanchez at the haunted Pfister Hotel.

Pretty cool– I tabled at a few fun events around the state this year– conferences, bookstores, events, and sold my books. I was a guest on several podcasts and radio shows this year and was featured, albeit pretty briefly, on an episode of 99% Invisible in November for an episode that talked about the Real Life Superhero movement. Nice to know my first book, Heroes in the Night, published almost ten years ago, still gets talked about sometimes.

And then BAM, Milwaukee Krampusnacht on December 4. This year was a leap of faith. It was a lot of work, the biggest event I’ve produced so far. To be honest, it was a little terrifying. Was it possible? Would we make our money back? Would we get permits in time? Would people attend a second-rate Knockoffnacht instead?

It ended up being an incredible collaboration between artists, performers, musicians, vendors, and all sorts of wonderful weirdos all helping and participating. There were some places for improvement, but overall a huge success I’m happy with that we can build on next year. Big stuff ahead for Krampusnacht. I will be putting together a Planning Committee– more info on that next month if you’re interested. (10.) We must (and will) continue to kick ass! Atlas Obscura wrote a great article about the event here: www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-krampus

Me with members of Milwaukee Krampus Eigenheit at a promo shoot a couple weeks before Krampusnacht. Photo by Troy Freund.

Sadly, it seems every year, I have to say good-bye to someone. Linda S. Godfrey was a wonderful paranormal researcher and author I got to meet while working on my book Monster Hunters. She was a Milwaukee Paranormal Conference guest speaker and I last saw her a couple years ago (2019) when I lead a discussion about her (last) book I Know What I Saw at Boswell Books. Jann Goldberg— another paranormal investigator I met while working on Monster Hunters, one of the funniest people I’ve met, also passed away, as well as my friends EB Brown and Sarah Danger Underhill. I wasn’t very close to either of those last two in recent years as they had moved out of state, but I have fond recollections of hanging out with both. (11.) I was fortunate enough to meet these people and they will live on in my memories.

Thanks to everyone who has participated and supported me, my weird life, and various projects this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2023 has in store for me, to keep learning, keep working on personal growth, and keep dreaming.

First up for 2023 is cleaning and organizing my office– it’s a mess because I was so busy with events that I just threw stacks of paperwork, boxes, and books on my desk, shelves, wherever I could stuff it without causing an avalanche. I also need to organize my plans, my calendar, and my mind. I’m listening to an audiobook with Kate, Work Clean: The life-changing power of mise-en-place to organize your life, work, and mind by Dan Charnas. Mise-en-place (“putting in place”) originates from the culinary world and refers to properly preparing and organizing. In a kitchen that’s having a station set up with all the ingredients and utensils in place and ready to go, as well as being physically and mentally prepared so you’re not running around the kitchen in a panic. Charnas applies this to other professions in his book, and I’ve found his lessons insightful. And so, my last note to myself from 2022 is: (12.) Get your damn mise-en-place ready to go for 2023 cause it’s gonna be a big one.

I think that’s all I have to say or want to say about this year. I hope you have a happy Krampusnacht, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Yule, Boxing Day, Saturnalia, New Year’s, or whatever holidays you choose to celebrate.

Yours Truly,

Tea Krulos
Krulos Central Station, Dec. 21, 2022

Tea’s Weird Week: Our Horror Host Doc, “I’m Your Host,” Won a Brico Forward Fund Award!

I’ve been wanting to keep up with Tea’s Weird Week as a weekly column (as the name implies) but it’s been a real busy time for me. The Milwaukee Paranormal Conference happened. I’ve been running that thing since 2015. I think it went fine. I’m a little burnt out on everything, but it went fine. I hosted a panel with my colleagues Matthew Prigge, Anna Lardinois, and Gavin Schmitt. All three are authors and Matthew and Anna are also Milwaukee Magazine contributors. There were a lot of other great talks and I had a lot of fun on our Sunday Activity Day.

Up next: Milwaukee Krampusnacht. We’re pushing for our biggest year yet so please head over to milwaukeekrampusnacht.com to check out the schedule, ticket info, and you can be a Krampus– put together a costume and register on our site!

Here is a BIG FREAKING DEAL though– a documentary project I’m producer on, I’m Your Host, won a Brico Forward Fund Award by Milwaukee Film!

L-R: Yours Truly, Christopher House, Dr. Destruction, Alicia Krupsky, and Stephen Anderson at Dr. Destruction’s Haunted Manor at Jerry Smith’s Pumpkin Farm.

I’m Your Host is somewhat based on an article I wrote for the October 2021 issue of Milwaukee Magazine. It’s title in print was “Terror on the Tube.” It’s about Kenosha, Wisconsin’s unusually high number of “horror hosts,” people who have their own shows where they introduce old, usually public domain, or independent horror films. You know, like Vampira, Elvira, Svengoolie, etc.

Kenosha has four of these shows– Dr. Destruction’s Crimson Theater, Hexen Arcane, Nightmare Cinema, and Storm’s Eclectic Realm (which features some of the cast of Deadgar’s Dark Coffin Classics. Curtis aka Deadgar Winter passed away shortly after we interviewed him for this doc last year. I wrote about his death for MilMag’s website here: www.milwaukeemag.com/beloved-horror-host-deadgar-winter-has-died)

As I was wrapping the article up, I put together a crew for a documentary that includes our director, the talented Alicia Krupsky, as well as Christopher House, director of the Twisted Dreams Film Fest as a producer. We hired local filmographer Stephen Vincent Anderson for some of the shoots, and Heather House and others have helped, too. The soundtrack features local bands Ratbatspider, Imperial Fall, and The Almas.

It’s been a roller coaster! We have shared in our subject matter’s heartbreak over the death of Curtis (Stephen and Alicia helped with his memorial show, I wrote his obituary) but were also able to share the success of Dr. Destruction being inducted in the Worldwide Television and Radio Horror Host Hall of Fame (we helped plan his party).

We applied for the Brico award and Tuesday was the big day. Me and Alicia showed up for Milwaukee Film’s event to announce the award recipients. There were a good number of people there and I did feel intimidated. Shortly before the announcements started I told Alicia, “ya know, if we don’t win it, at least we tried. A lot of people don’t even make it this far.”

They began, introduced the award jury, and then started talking about the first award winner. Me and Alicia looked at each other. They were talking about us! It was quite a great moment in my life. I’ve had some wins and some failures, but this was a big win. The award is going to provide us with some funding as well as some free access to professional services that will really help make our doc the best it can be. We’re all very excited to get it finished and share this story by getting it out to both traditional and horror film fests.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has been supportive of this project, especially the horror hosts themselves.

Here’s our first trailer, which was part of our award application.

I’m Your Host – Trailer from Alicia Krupskaya on Vimeo.

Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram
My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: The Story of Father Pellegrino Ernetti and His Time Travel Viewing “Chronovisor”

Note: Tea’s Weird Week is back! One book project I looked into was exploring the stories of people who have claimed that they have traveled through time. That project was abandoned, but not before I wrote this chapter about alleged time travel inventor and Benedictine monk Father Pellegrino Ernetti. I’m sharing here for the first time and might follow up with stories about other so called “chrononauts”… in the future.

October 28, 1941, Venice, Italy: Pellegrino Ernetti joins the Benedictine Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore.

The basilica and Benedictine abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore is located on an island near Venice, a short boat ride across the Grand Canal from Piazette di San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square). The main traffic back and forth between the island and the square are small boats called vaporettos.

The first church was built on San Giorgio Maggiore in 790 AD and in 982 AD the island was given to the Order of Saint Benedict. The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, a basilica of bright white marble surrounded by the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, was built between 1566 and 1610 AD. Over the centuries, the island survived Napoleon Bonaparte and two world wars, but lack of manpower and supplies during the war years led parts of the island to fall into ruin.

Perhaps San Giorgio Maggiore’s most unusual story is that of Father Pellegrino Maria Ernetti (1925-1994), a Benedictine monk who was an expert in the Gregorian chants, a specialty of the island’s Benedictine order. He was also a prolific exorcist.

Father Ernetti

Father Ernetti had quite a claim– that he was part of a team that invented a device called the Chronovisor, which allowed the viewer to view events from history, tuning into them in the same way you would a TV channel. 

Young Pellegrino Ernetti joined the monastery as a postulant on San Giorgio Maggiore shortly after he turned 16 in 1941. He fell into his daily routine– the Benedictines arose at 5am as the sun began to rise above the sea, filed into the Holy Office of Matins at 5:30, then ate breakfast in silence at 6:30 while a brother read to them, usually in Latin. Then there were classes, followed by study and prayer in the evening.

“His ear was as sharp as his mind,” German author Peter Krassa writes in his biography, Father Ernetti’s Chronovisor: The Creation and Disappearance of the World’s First Time Machine. Ernetti excelled at his studies and in particular was drawn to the study of archaic music, songs from the Western world from the tenth century B.C. to the tenth century AD. The Gregorian Chants*, which emerged in the sixth century AD, are one of the well-known examples of archaic music along with the music of ancient Greece. To understand these music traditions, Father Ernetti would study Latin, Greek, and modern European languages. He led the choir at San Giorgio to record performances of archaic music.

*[Footnote] Although Father Ernetti was not involved in the recordings, the Gregorian Chants were a commercial success with the release of Chant, a 1994 album that featured the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos in Spain. It peaked at number 3 on the Billboard chart, went double platinum in the U.S. and sold about 6 million copies worldwide. It was billed, like popular New Age music of the time (Enya and Enigma for example) as an antidote to the stress of modern life. Chant Noel: Chants for the Holiday Season (1994), Chant II (1995), and Chant III (1996) followed.

After 8 years of study, Pellegrino would become ordained as a Benedictine priest on August 14, 1949. He would go on to write a 12-volume Trattaro Generale di Canto Gregoriano (“General Treatise on Gregorian Chant”), published between 1958-64, as well as Parola, Musica, Ritmo (“Words, Music, Rhythm”).

In addition to music study and teaching, Father Ernetti was a working exorcist. According to Krassa’s book, Father Ernetti’s reputation “had spread far and wide through Italy,” and he performed thousands of exorcisms over the decades, most making the pilgrimage to San Giorgio where they would get relief from demons in Father Ernetti’s cell. He was so effective at his job, Krassa writes, that “in the mid-1970s, the Conference of Bishops in Rome had even commissioned him– perhaps commanded is a better word– to set his techniques down on paper in the form of a set of guidelines.” Father Ernetti complied, writing a book titled La Catechesi di Satana (Satan’s Catechism).

The guide details the progression of demonic home invasion– chairs pushed by an invisible force, dishes flying through the air and smashing into a wall, and windows opening on their own, for example. Next the victim would begin to hear voices in their head, would be unable to think clearly, lose smell and taste, then speak in tongues or obscenities, and exhibit unusual strength. These signs would point to the need for a professional like Father Ernetti to perform an exorcism, which he continued to carry out until the final days of his life. He ignored criticisms that exorcisms were many times being performed on people who had physical or mental conditions, not demons. Krassa notes:


“It is tempting to speculate that, in every one of his exorcisms, Ernetti was really attempting to drive out of himself a single, huge demon– the demon that caused him to make up fibs about a Chronovisor.”

September 15, 1952: Father Ernetti hears a voice from beyond.

Around the same time that he wrapped his definite work on chants, starting in the 1960s, Father Ernetti began telling people a strange story. Father Ernetti says that in 1952 he was sent to Milan to work in the Electroacoustics Laboratory of the Catholic University with Father Agostino Gemelli.

On September 15, 1952, Father Ernetti says he was working with Father Gemelli on a recording of Gregorian chants, but the tape recorder mic kept malfunctioning. Frustrated, Father Gemelli, turned his head up and gestured to the sky, asking for his deceased father for help.

A disembodied voice replied from the tape recorder that said “of course I shall help you. I’m always with you.” The voice shocked Father Gemelli. He recognized it and shook and broke into a sweat, according to Father Ernetti. He thought it might be the Devil himself. But then the voice reassured him.

“But, Zucchini, it is clear, don’t you know it is I?” The voice said, using Father Gemelli’s childhood nickname.

Fathers Ernetti and Gemelli went to report their discovery directly to Pope Pius XII in Rome. The Pope allegedly put his hand on Father Gemelli’s shoulder and reassured him that he “really need not worry about this.” He explained the recording machine had been objective and that the communication was just scientific fact. In fact, the Holy See said, the discovery could be “a cornerstone for building scientific studies which will strengthen people’s faith in the hereafter.”

Father Ernetti returned to Venice the following year, 1953, and remained there the rest of his life. He had a good motivation to stay on San Giorgio Maggiore– Count Vittorio Cini had set up the Giorgio Cini Foundation, named after his deceased son. The Foundation funded the Institute for Cultural Collaboration on San Giorgio Maggiore, a research institute where Father Ernetti could pursue his interests of archaic music. He taught at the institute as well as across the Grand Canal at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory of Music near Saint Mark’s Square.

Father Ernetti

The story of Father Ernetti and the Chronovisor began to unwind in the 1960s after a chance encounter with Father François Brune (1931-2019), a theologian and author with an interest in parapsychology who taught at the Sorbonne in Paris. Father Brune had visited San Giorgio Maggiore and ran into Father Ernetti while waiting for a vaporetto to cross the Grand Canal. They struck up a conversation and Father Ernetti intrigued Father Brune with a story about an invention he claimed he had helped create.

The next day Father Brune visited Father Ernetti to talk to him further in his humble monastic cell, which measured about 12 feet by 12 feet. The majority of the space in Father Ernetti’s quarters was taken up by a desk piled high with papers, books in many languages, and sheet music as well as a rickety old typewriter and a small brass cross, the symbol of the Benedictine order.

It was here that Father Ernetti weaved a story about the invention of the Chronovisor, which featured an all-star team. Enrico Fermi, the Italian physicist who invented the first nuclear reactor, was involved in the schematics. So was Wernher von Braun, the Nazi rocket scientist who worked on space technology for America after the war under Operation Paperclip. Other top scientists from around the world were among those who worked on the invention, Father Ernetti said, but refused to give more names.

Once this team had assembled the Chronovisor, Father Ernetti explained they were able to tune into the past and view it through something similar to a television screen. They watched a speech by Benito Mussolini, then dialed it back further and further, seeing a speech by Napoleon Bonaparte, then observed a marketplace in ancient Rome during the time of Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD) and Cicero (106-43 BC) addressing the Roman Senate. Father Ernetti said their biggest accomplishment happened in January 1956, when Team Chronovisor was able to tune into the Last Supper and then watch the Crucifixion of Christ.

Here at last was a supposed window into the Akashic Records, the theory that all universal events from the past, present, and future exist in a mental plane that can be tapped into. In addition to events the Akashic Records record all thoughts, words, and even emotions. The theory was popularized by theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a Russian philosopher who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. She described “indestructible tablets of astral light.”

A French religious publication published a story about the Chronovisor in 1965 and the story would pop up, usually in fringe New Age, parapsychology, or UFO themed publications until Father Ernetti’s death in 1994. 

1972: Father Ernetti’s Photo of Christ and Transcription of Thyestes

The dazzle of Father Ernetti’s window into time began to fade when several problems with the story unraveled. First, the person who would best be able to corroborate his story, Father Gemelli, had died in 1959 before Ernetti began telling his tale. This is a common problem for people making time travel and other incredible claims– the participants in their story are conveniently deceased. Fermi had died in 1954. Wernher von Braun lived to 1977 (and made no mention of a Chronovisor). There was no one to back the story up.

In 1972, Father Ernetti offered a poor hoax as a piece of evidence. He showed off a picture that he claimed came from the Chronovisor, a picture of Christ’s face as he hung on the cross on Calvary. The image of was printed in a weekly newspaper called La Domencia del Corriere in their May 2, 1972, edition, and again in the Giornale dei Misteri (a magazine devoted to paranormal subjects) in August 1972. A reader of the latter publication quickly identified the image and sent its source in to the editors– a souvenir photograph that cost 100 lira available in the gift shop of the Sanctuaire de l’Amour Miséricordieux (Sanctuary of Merciful Love) in the town of Collevalenza. The photo was a detail of a wooden carving of Christ on the cross by Spanish sculptor Cullot Valera. Father Ernetti had simply reversed the image and distorted it, making it slightly blurry.

Father Ernetti claimed that using the Chronovisor, he was able to see the lost Greek play Thyestes and had transcribed part of it. This version of Thyestes was the one written by poet and playwright Quintus Ennius and performed in Rome shortly before he died in 169 BC. In short, the play is about how Thyestes’s brother, Atreus, tricked him into eating his own children at a banquet.

When Father Ernetti finally showed a “fragment” of the play he had written, it was quickly called into question by an expert’s eye. Dr. Katherine Owen Eldred, a PhD in Classics from Princeton, found that a number of the Latin words in the text did not appear until some 250 years later. Other words were misplaced or misused.

Father Ernetti also had squirrely behavior when asked to speak or be interviewed about the Chronovisor.

It started when Professor Giuseppe Marasca wrote to Father Ernetti, which led to phone calls and an in-person meeting. Marasca introduced Father Ernetti to Count Lorenzo Mancini-Spinucci, founder of the Society of Psychophonia and organizer of a paranormal phenomenon conference in Udine, a city in Northeastern Italy. They also brought Annuziato Grandi, director of Giorgio Grandi Foundation, into the loop and the three men approached Father Ernetti with an invitation to speak on the Chronovisor at an October 1979 conference in the Italian city of Fermo. Father Ernetti accepted, then threatened to back out if all of the speakers were not “professionals,” refusing to speak alongside “parapsychologists.” After much back and forth, he cancelled.

A likely reason is that Father Ernetti’s superiors caught wind of his Chronovisor story and told him to knock it off.

From Krassa’s biography:

“Brune believes we can be sure that, at a certain date– the Parisian father doesn’t know when– Ernetti was strictly forbidden, on his oath of obedience, to talk any longer about the chronovisor. At this point, says Brune, the Venetian priest would have found himself on shaky ground.”

In speaking to Ernetti in the year before he died, Father Brune found that he was still spinning his story, though. He told Brune that American and Russian intelligence agencies had sent spies to trail him and that he wasn’t able to leave the monastery without a bodyguard escort.

Ernetti also had a new explanation for his Christ photo for Brune. He said that a mystical Spanish nun had been consumed by the same vision of Christ and that she had shared this vision and gave instructions to the sculptor who had created the art. This mysterious Spanish nun moved to Italy where Father Ernetti had gotten to know her, so his convoluted spin was that they had shared the same vision and that although his photo was of a sculpture, it was a representation of the reality he had seen. The Spanish nun was not able to corroborate the story as she was deceased.

The chronovisor, Ernetti told Brune, was still being stored somewhere deep within the Vatican vaults.

1994: Father Ernetti’s death bed confession

Father Brune saw Ernetti for one more interview Nov. 1, 1993, five months before he died. He claimed that just a couple months earlier, Sept. 30, 1993, he responded to a Vatican invite with a couple other surviving members of the Chronovisor team, where he led a presentation to four Cardinals and an international committee of scientists.

When New Paradigm Books began working on an English translation of Peter Krassa’s book on Father Ernetti, they made inquiries in Italy to see if they could uncover any further information on the mysterious monk. They did receive a letter from someone claiming that their father was a distant relative to Father Ernetti but was close. This person called him “Uncle Pellegrino,” and agreed to share an account of Father Ernetti’s last days on the condition of anonymity. 

After getting a call that his “uncle” was near death, this person visited Father Ernetti in his cell. On his deathbed, Father Ernetti admitted to wrestling with something that had spun out of control over the decades into a mortal sin– his lies about the Chronovisor. He said that he hadn’t seen Thyestes on the Chronovisor, but he had experienced it in a past life. He admitted he had hoaxed the photo of Christ. He said he had built the Chronovisor with the help of an assistant, but that they were not able to get it to work.

“Once it almost worked,” Father Ernetti said, some of his last words. It is one of the first stories of someone who claimed to have actually built a machine that was able to traverse time and space. But it certainly wasn’t the last.

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My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Hiatus

Writing is hard. And so I must journey, good book (The AP Stylebook) in hand for a voyage up the Grammarly Mountains to consult the wise gurus there– Who, What, Why, When, and Where (and sometimes the elusive How). I have to make some decisions on what writing projects I want to marry, fuck, or kill. There is a lot to reevaluate and figure out.

As such, this column will be on hiatus for a bit. The podcast has also concluded for now (see link for season finale below.) I don’t know when I’ll write this column again– weeks, months? Like an old song says, we’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when…

Well, actually, I do know where if you feel inclined to visit me, here’s three places I’ll be appearing in person over the next month or so:

This Saturday, Sept. 10, 11am-1pm: I’ll be at the Feral House Table at the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago: printersrowlitfest.org

Sunday, Sept. 18, 11am-6pmAwkward Nerd Book Fair @ The Cooperage in Milwaukee: https://www.facebook.com/events/1013611836004355/ 

Saturday, Oct. 15: Milwaukee Paranormal Conference: milwaukeeparacon.com

Tea’s Weird Week, S5 ep09: Season 5 Finale

Tea and Heidi discuss weird news about planets in retrograde, a world record breaking pumpkin boat ride, again with Uri Geller, robot news, and phantom clowns. Plus trivia answers and we close out with a track by The Grovelers, “Rock Bottom.” That’s it for this season!
Listen here: teasweirdweek.podbean.com/e/tea-s-weird-week-s5-ep09-season-5-finale
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Tea’s Weird Week: The Chessboxer, Part 2

Last week I wrote about how my wheels were spinning thinking about what my second book might be (it eventually was an exploration of paranormal investigators titled Monster Hunters). One concept I had was learning to be a chessboxer. Chessboxing is a sport invented in the early 2000s that intersperses rounds of chess and boxing. You can win by knockout, checkmate, or by points from punches and captured pieces. In “The Chessboxer, Part 1,” I talked about hiring a chess coach, Aqeel.

My follow up is going to be short. I’m extremely burnt out this week, I wouldn’t even know where to begin to explain why.

In looking for a place to train as a boxer, I found a unique spot here in Milwaukee, it’s called the Ace Boxing Club. It’s not a state-of-the-art MMA facility, but more like an old garage with well worn equipment. It was mostly perfect. I wrote about the gym for an article in the Shepherd Express back in 2012. I sometimes look back at old stuff I’ve written and cringe to various degrees, but I actually love this one. It’s a solid profile on a place with a lot of heart: Ace Boxing Club and the Porter Legacy – Shepherd Express

Photo inside Ace Boxing Club from the Shepherd Express

I trained at Ace in the ring, I trained with Aqeel on the chessboard, but then something happened: I sold my second book. I now had a big project to work on and between that and trying to balance everything else in my crazy life (a struggle I still have ten years later) the lessons began to be skipped and the idea faded away. That’s too bad. I really enjoyed that period of my life. Maybe I’ll try to bring it back and The Chessboxer will live again.

We skipped the TWW podcast this week cause I was too busy. We’ll be back next week.

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My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: The Chessboxer, Part 1

In 2012, I sold my first book, Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement. I was riding pretty high on that one. Writing has its ups and downs. It’s a hard biz. But that moment in 2012 will always be an up.

And, of course, my immediate thoughts were: what next? Eventually my second book would be Monster Hunters, an exploration of the world of paranormal investigators. But before that was established, I had a few other ideas on Tea Krulos’ Second Book.

One idea was what would become American Madness, which ended up being my 4th book. My publisher at the time (Chicago Review Press) was not very keen on it, and in hindsight I’m really glad for that because the story was nowhere near complete at that time. So I put that project on the backburner.

Another idea I had was looking into writing a biography of the Violent Femmes. I don’t really ever want to be stuck writing about one genre or idea, so a music bio seemed like a good idea. Plus the Femmes were incubated, much like me, in this weird city called Milwaukee. Around that time I had written a short article on OG Femmes drummer Victor DeLorenzo’s current band Nineteen Thirteen. He’s a very cool guy, so I thought I might start there. But Chicago Review Press wasn’t keen on that idea, either. Editors!

I also had an idea for a book that would explore the relationship between humans and shark, working title “Man Bites Shark.” I envisioned writing about things like the shark fin soup industry, the impact Jaws had on society, the story of the guy who got bit by a shark but advocates for their conservancy, etc.

One day, and this was a real weird moment for me, I went with my sisters to the mall and was killing time wandering around Barnes & Noble looking at displays, seeing what was out there. A book caught my eye and I started flipping through it. This book was exactly like my idea, down to the chapter breakdowns and everything, it was uncanny. Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks by Juliet Eilperin is a great book, but it’s not mine!

And then there was another idea I had– CHESSBOXING.

I don’t know how I had heard of it, but chessboxing is an unusual sport that began in Berlin in 2003 and developed a following there as well as London. It spread to India, Russia, and other countries. There are American chessboxers but my impression is not a real huge following here. Anyway, as the name suggests, the sport intersperses rounds of boxing with rounds of chess. A player can win by knock out, checkmate, or point evaluation on punches landed and chess pieces captured.

Chessboxers in action.

What I imagined writing was admittedly a bit of stunt journalism– I would train to become a chessboxer with the goal of participating in at least one match and write about the experience. You know, “My Journey as a Chessboxer and Blah Blah Blah.” It appealed to me because it seemed like a great challenge to be sharp physically and mentally. I was sure there would be some kind of journey there to write about.

I had a big problem, though– I had zero experience boxing and only a rudimentary understanding of chess. I knew how the pieces moved, but had no concept of strategy, endgame, or anything else. I tried picking up a book on improving your game, but it read kind of like instructions to putting together something from IKEA. I decided instead to put a classified ad in a community newspaper I’ve written for, the Riverwest Currents, soliciting a chess coach. I got a response.

I don’t know what I expected, but Aqeel was a large, bald, black guy in a Rascal scooter, always dressed in a bright Hawaiian shirt. He told me he played “street chess” and that the first lesson was free. He taught me a move called the “Fool’s Mate” during that first lesson in which you unleash checkmate in a few short moves to your unexpecting opponent. I told him he was hired.

He lived in an apartment downtown, so twice a week for several months I took a bus there so we could hang out in his living room for a lesson. He had a constant stream of visitors who would drop by to give him food or ask to borrow $5 til Friday.

He was usually a good natured, jolly type of person. He was always commenting on my chess moves, either to psych me out or to offer a clue I was making a bad move. Some examples:

(On why I would sacrifice my knight): Well, like my mom used to say, sometimes you need to bring ass to get ass.

You make that move, you’re going to be badder than Michael Jackson (and not bad in a good way).

(After making a bold move) You wanna go there? Well then, in the words of Marvin Gaye, let’s get it on!

Other things I remember– he was an interesting person, for sure. He made an incredible homemade honey lemonade and he showed me YouTube videos of ambient sound that he said helped open his pineal gland.

Aqeel was teaching me some moves on the board, but now I needed to learn how to box.

Next Week: Ding ding ding!

Tea’s Weird Week, S5 ep08: Twisted Dreams
Tea talks to Christopher House about the upcoming Twisted Dreams Film Festival, a horror showcase here in Milwaukee. Then Tea and Heidi talk weird news about J.R.R. Tolkien, Predator vs Children of the Corn, “de-extinction” of the Tasmanian Tiger, a Jesus Christ simulator game, and QAnon’s latest cancer-curing contraption. Plus trivia and a closing track by The Unitaskers, “Philodendron.”
Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S5 ep08: Talkin’ Twisted Dreams (podbean.com)
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My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: Alex Jones in His Own Hell (UPDATED)

I first began to learn about Alex Jones in 2010. Through an odd twist of events, I was introduced to a man named Richard McCaslin, a conspiracy theorist who attempted to raid a club for the rich and powerful in the redwood forest of California called the Bohemian Grove. Richard was the Patient Zero of someone who listened to Jones and took his bloviating seriously. On Jan. 20, 2002, he was arrested in the Bohemian Grove, wearing a superhero costume with a rubber skull mask and heavily armed.

100% of Richard’s decision to go on his raid was from watching a “documentary” Jones had produced called Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove, which suggested human sacrifice– maybe even children– was happening inside the Grove. It followed the Jones Method– a pinch of truth, a lot of speculation, some far-fetched interpretation, and a scary Satanic, baby-killing, New World Order cabal of those in power. I detailed Richard’s spiral down the rabbit hole and Jones’s influence over him in my book American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked America’s Consciousness. Richard died by suicide in 2018. I believe conspiracy theory is what pushed him over the edge, and the first domino was Alex Jones.

Two things repeated after Richard’s raid– first, Alex Jones and Info Wars would pop up regularly like a bad penny as a motivator in other cases of extremist violence.

To mention just a few: Byron Williams, who had a shootout with California Highway Patrol on I-580 in 2010 and was an avid listener of Jones. He  was on his way to shoot up the offices of organizations associated with conspiracy boogeyman George Soros.

In 2011 Oscar Ortega-Hernandez did a drive-by shooting of the White House. He was influenced by the Jones directed “documentary” The Obama Deception.

Starting the year after that, there was a league of Info Wars followers who harassed and sent death threats to Sandy Hook survivors online, by phone, on the street and at their homes as Jones promoted theories that they were “crisis actors.” That’s how a total of $49.3 million was awarded to Sandy Hook parents this week. And that’s just the beginning. 

He also promoted Pizzagate conspiracy, which led to a raid of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria by Edgar Maddison Welch, armed with an AR-15, in 2016. Like Richard McCaslin, Welch was hoping to save human trafficking victims after watching the Pizzagate theory he saw laid out in an Info Wars video.

The second thing that repeated is Jones’s pattern of attempting to weasel out of responsibility every time he incited someone. It started with McCaslin– when asked to comment on his case, Jones said he thought McCaslin “sounded insane,” yet Dark Secrets not only gave McCaslin a clear motivation, but Jones stands outside the Grove at the end of the doc to tell people driving instructions to get there. And on January 6 (he was there as an organizer) he riled the mob up with his bullhorn, but when the shit hit the fan and people started beating cops to death– you guessed it, he tucked tail and ran.

And now, after years of dodging the court for the many cases surrounding his lawsuits from the Sandy Hook families, Jones is finally cornered. What a circus this week has been! Jones is in his own personal hell– trapped in a courtroom confronted with the truth and little chance to bloviate and spin it like he can on his rambling, 4-hour long daily radio show. He actually has to shut up and listen and his words here have real consequences.

The wildest revelation came this week when the attorneys for Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis revealed that Jones’s defense had mistakenly sent two years of data off his phone, and that this clearly pointed out that Jones is guilty of multiple counts of perjury. Jones tried to file for a mistrial. The judge said “nah.” Now the January 6 Committee is attempting to get access to that data to see how big his role exactly was in the J6 Q d’etat.

The jury awarded the victims $4.1 million, and then an additional $45.2 million in punitive damages.

That’s a good start, but not enough. A billion dollars isn’t enough.

Here’s what I hope. I hope there’s a string of trials that goes on the rest of his life, where he gets sued over and over– 4 million here, 40 million there– by everyone he’s ever slandered and that he slowly loses all of his ill-gotten money. I hope he has to sit there and hear every one of of his victims give testimony about how he stoked his fanbase to terrorize them, and all the horrible things he’s caused.

I hope it’s long and excruciating- but sadly it’ll never, ever be as painful as what those families and other Jones victims had to go through. 

UPDATE, 10/12/2022: After $49.3 in damages at his Texas trial, a Connecticut court found he was responsible for a whopping total of approx 967 MILLION in additional damages today. He’s going to have to sell a lot of his bunk Info Wars Super Male Vitality pills to cover that! Is a billion enough? Nah, what the hell, keep suing him.

My book American Madness can be found here: American Madness : Feral House

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