Monthly Archives: January 2018
The Time is now to 2 Minutes to Midnight
Well, here we are. I watched the Doomsday Clock announcement from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists live this morning. The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock the Bulletin uses to illustrate if we’re moving closer or further from global annihilation (aka Midnight). Not surprisingly, it moved forward this year from 2.5 to 2 minutes to Midnight.
Among reasons cited were nuclear escalations in North Korea, Russia, and Iran as well as Trump’s loose rhetoric in talking about nukes (such as bragging about the size of his nuclear button), and a step backward in addressing climate change. You can read the Bulletin’s 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement here: https://thebulletin.org/2018-doomsday-clock-statement
Here’s some key milestones in the Doomsday Clock’s history:
1945: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists formed.
1947: Bulletin debutes the Doomsday Clock
1953: 2 minutes to Midnight: The invention of the H-bomb brought the clock the closest it’s ever been to Midnight…until we returned to that time today.
1984: 3 minutes to Midnight. The clock hovered close to Midnight throughout the “mutually assured destruction” days of the Cold War.
1991: With the Cold War over, the clock reached it’s furthest position away from 12 in 1991 at 17 minutes to Midnight.
2016: the Bulletin revealed that things didn’t look so great. The minutehand had crept forward to 3 to Midnight, the first time since the 1984 Cold War days. It was, as the Bulletin noted, “not good news.”
2017: With President Trump in office a mere few days, the Bulleting moved the clock forward to 2.5 minutes to Midnight, the first time in history the Bulletin utilized a half second. Among other reasons, the decision was based on fiery rhetoric from Trump and other politicians and world leaders.
2018: 2 minutes to Midnight. “You need to demand action,” the Bulletin stated today. “It is not yet midnight, and we have moved back from the brink in the past.”
My new book has a working title of The End and is out early next year from Chicago Review Press.
The Supernatural in Society, Culture, and History
I’m glad to say I am a contributing author to a new sociological study of paranormal topics titled The Supernatural in Society, Culture, and History. It’s a book “demonstrating the value of serious academic inquiry into supernatural beliefs and practices—from ghosts, vampirism, cryptozoology, and dark tourism to tarot cards, fortunetelling, voodoo, and alien abduction.” Sounds pretty groovy to me. It will be out in July from Temple University Press. The anthology is edited by professor Dennis Waskul of Minnesota State University and professor Marc Eaton of Ripon College. I’d like to thank them for their infinite patience in helping edit my contribution (Chapter 10: Cryptozoology: The Hunt for Hidden Animals and Monsters) into a coherent, well sourced study. This is my first bit of writing that’s less man-on-the-street and more man-in-a-tweed-coat-with-elbow-patches-smoking-a-pipe-in-a-library. I’m excited to see the published book this summer!
More book info from the publisher:
In the twenty-first century, as in centuries past, stories of the supernatural thrill and terrify us. But despite their popularity, scholars often dismiss such beliefs in the uncanny as inconsequential, or even embarrassing. The editors and contributors to The Supernatural in Society, Culture, and History have made a concerted effort to understand encounters with ghosts and the supernatural that have remain present and flourished. Featuring folkloric researchers examining the cultural value of such beliefs and practices, sociologists who acknowledge the social and historical value of the supernatural, and enthusiasts of the mystical and uncanny, this volume includes a variety of experts and interested observers using first-hand ethnographic experiences and historical records.
The Supernatural in Society, Culture, and History seeks to understand the socio-cultural and socio-historical contexts of the supernatural. This volume takes the supernatural as real because belief in it has fundamentally shaped human history. It continues to inform people’s interpretations, actions, and identities on a daily basis. The supernatural is an indelible part of our social world that deserves sincere scholarly attention.
Contributors include: Janet Baldwin, I’Nasah Crockett, William Ryan Force, Rachael Ironside, Tea Krulos, Joseph Laycock, Stephen L. Muzzatti, Scott Scribner, Emma Smith, Jeannie Banks Thomas, and the editors.
2017 was overall a good year for me. Sure there were some rough spots, but here at Krulos Command Center we don’t dwell on missed shots or miserable wretches you sometimes cross paths with. We focus on the WINNING.
The End: I’m wrapping up my third book for Chicago Review Press, which has the working title The End: A Journey Through America’s Apocalypse Culture. The deadline was pushed back a bit cause I just needed more time. The fun part of 2017 was finishing necessary travel for the book, that’s always a fun part. I went to Zombie Con in Missouri with Zombie Squad in June, an Escape the Woods survival camp in Ohio in July with my friend Alex, took a road trip to Kansas to tour the Survival Condos with my friend Paul, then journeyed alone to the Mojave Desert to check out the greatest party at the end of the world, Wasteland Weekend. I’m now working hard to wrap the book up.
Another great thing to come out of this project is The Apocalypse Blog Book Club. When I noticed that the current political climate led to a jump in sales for George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four, I thought I should read up on dystopian novels. I try to immerse myself in whatever subject I’m writing on– I read a lot of superhero comics while working on Heroes in the Night and ghost stories when I was in the Monster Hunters zone. Then I decided instead of reading these titles alone, I should start a book club. We now have 173 members from around the world in our Facebook group, we host in-person discussion on titles at the Riverwest Public House and Boswell Book Company carries our selections. You can join here: www.facebook.com/groups/1482975718409410/
Art Curator: I kind of unexpectedly fell into the role of curating the Riverwest Public House’s gallery wall. It’s been a lot of fun. We opened with a group show in April called “SAD! 100 Days of Trump,” and since then I’ve tried to reflect the diversity of art and artists in the neighborhood with solo and group shows– comic strip art, tattoo flash art, abstract paintings, photographs, prints, paintings, and installations. You can currently check an awesome installation/ display of photographs from Joe Brusky and the Overpass Light Brigade (through Jan.25).
Events: The third annual Milwaukee Paranormal Conference took place this year, along with related events the weekend of Oct.13-15. I have mixed feelings on how the event went, but I think I learned a lot on what worked and what didn’t. Milwaukee Krampusnacht was a huge hit for year one and we’ll be back with a great event in 2018.
Freelancing: I didn’t do as much freelancing as I have in years past as I was too busy with everything else. But I did contribute articles to the Shepherd Express, Milwaukee Record, M magazine, Rust magazine, and Riverwest Currents. I also contributed to and helped develop a column series for Alcoholmanac called “The New Brew City,” co-authored by Heidi Erickson, which explored some of the new breweries in town.
Personal: My family is doing well and I was glad to see an appearance of a new family member– my adorable niece Baby Gemma. I enjoyed the holidays with my family and my roommate, Lee.
The best thing that happened to me in 2017 was meeting a wonderful person, my girlfriend Kate. We were introduced by our mutual mystical friend, Skully. We developed a beautiful friendship and talking to Kate became my favorite pastime. She’s extremely smart and has been very helpful in helping me visualize potential and how to reorganize to get there. We’ve had some great adventures together already– we investigated the haunted Old Baraboo Inn, did a 30-day hot yoga challenge, started boxing/kickboxing class, rocked Milwaukee Krampusnacht, and created our own crafting company, Fox & Bear. And we got plenty of big ideas for 2018!
I hope you have a good year, my friends, and remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: “Be excellent to each other and…PARTY ON, DUDES!”