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Tea’s Weird Week: Milwaukee Rolls the 100-sided Die

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Rather than a typical Tea’s Weird Week column, today I’m just giving some show notes on our latest Tea’s Weird Week podcast episode, the “season one finale,” that is filled with stories about Dungeons & Dragons & Milwaukee. Much was discussed and here’s a rundown of relevant links. Just click on the highlighted text and you’ll find the website/article cited.

Dungeons & Dragon’s Wisconsin origins: Gary Gygax of Lake Geneva, WI, founded the Lake Geneva Wargames Convention, later known as GenCon. The convention eventually settled in Milwaukee– til 2003, when citing lack of hotel space and an unsatisfactory convention center, they moved to the more exotic locale of…Indianapolis. It remains one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world. Gygax co-created Dugeons & Dragons with Dave Arneson. The game was first published in 1974.

The Rare first ten D&D games: My friend Jan Christensen was given one of the first ten copies of Dungeons & Dragons. After playing it a few times, it sat in storage until 2016, when looking for something to sell so she could enjoy a road trip, she found this treasure. She shared with us the exciting story of it’s sale via Ebay to the Strong National Museum of Play in Buffalo, NY. Jan is the former editor of the great community newspaper, the Riverwest Currents.
The pandemic has been tough on independent journalism, please donate to their GoFundMe here: www.gofundme.com/f/help-riverwest-currents-stay-alive-and-printing

Factions: Battlegrounds: Last year I met Peter Ferry and Jason Clayton, two childhood friends who have followed their dream of creating “a multi-player fantasy combat boardgame representing diverse cultures and mythologies.” So cool! And they had a successful Kickstarter, met their stretch goals, and games should be delivered early this summer.
You can read an interview I did with them for the Shepherd Express here: shepherdexpress.com/arts-and-entertainment/off-the-cuff/friends-create-diverse-fantasy-battleground
Check out their website and pre-order a game here: www.factionsbattlegrounds.com

The Manticore Consort: If you’ve visited the Bristol Renaissance Faire, you’ve probably spotted the Manticore Consort, who add greatly to their atmosphere with their hurdy-gurdy and other renaissance instruments. Check out/ buy their music here: manticoreconsort.bandcamp.com

Faklandia Brewing: They brew their own beer, serve food, are an event space, AND are built around a fantasy theme, incorporated into their business on a multi-media gaming front. Faklandia is a realm of it’s own, but you can find it in Saint Francis (just outside of Milwaukee). It’s a wonderful place to visit. Find more at their website: faklandia.com

Tea’s Weird Week Facebook group: We mentioned a D&D poll conducted in this group, it’s a clearinghouse for weird news of all sorts and hella fun. Join us here: www.facebook.com/groups/359809171918389

Satanic Panic: Heidi’s source for details of the Satanic Panic comes from this article, “Why Satanic Panic never really ended,” Vox.com.

Implanted memories: Heidi also mentioned this Wall Street Journal article, “False Memories Can Be Planted and Then Reversed, Researchers Find.”

Lil Nas X: Congrats on starting your own mini-Satanic Panic! Here’s the video we talked about, in case you have yet to see it:

Rev. Bob Larson: I recalled the time I saw Rev. Bob Larson’s “exorcism” session in action. It was one of the strangest things I’ve experienced, and believe me you, that is saying something. I wrote about it in a chapter of my book Monster Hunters. You can see for yourself at the Bob Larson: Real Exorcist YouTube Channel. Content warning: everything.

Robert Wardhaugh’s longest running D&D campaign: We ended by talking about Robert Wardhaugh of London, Ontario, whose Dungeons & Dragons campaign has now been running continuously for 39 years! CNN’s Great Big Story did an article/podcast on him here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/20/us/dungeons-and-dragons-longest-game-great-big-story-trnd/index.html

Fight Dice: We ended the show with this great new multi-media music project that has a D&D theme. Really fun stuff, the have an EP coming out very shortly. Can’t wait to see more of Tim’s art!

Check out their music here: fightdice.bandcamp.com/releases and see art on their Facebook.

Tea’s Weird Week Patreon: We need your support to keep the podcast going. We have several tiers available with a TON of cool extras– behind the scenes access, bonus episodes, free online and in-person events, signed copies of my books, Tea’s Weird Week shirts and more. Please check it out: https://www.patreon.com/teasweirdweek

Listen: Here’s links to: Tea’s Weird Week episode 13: Dungeons & Dragons & Milwaukee (podbean.com)
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Check out my books:

American Madness
Apocalypse Any Day Now
Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (ebook)

Tea’s Weird Week: Ask a Yodeling Dominatrix

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Manuela Horn is a woman of many titles. She’s known as the “Austrian Amazon” for her height (6’2″ flatfooted) the “Queen of Oktoberfest” for headlining as an Oktoberfest hostess around the world, and my favorite, the personality that has gained Manuela the most notoriety– the “Yodeling Dominatrix,” an act that shows off her ability to crack a whip and carry a tune at the same time. Manuela says she developed her yodeling talents when she was 12 and practiced while on long family road trips through Austria.

In 2009 she yodeled her way onto the stage of America’s Got Talent, where she knocked the socks off of judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff. You can witness her performance here:

The Yodeling Dominatrix appears on Americas got Talent 2009 from Manuela Horn on Vimeo.

Manuela has mixed her comedy and music abilities to perform with several theatrical groups, but one of her longest running associations is with Teatro Zinzanni, a dinner and theater show that’s based out of the Seattle area. They opened new shows in San Francisco and Chicago and Manuela was sent to the Midwest to perform at the new show located in the Cambria Hotel in Chicago’s Theatre District. But just as the show was starting to get rolling, the pandemic brought the curtain down. Like so many performers around the world, Manuela found herself without a live audience, so she headed home to Graz, Austria.

At home she’s found time for other projects. Manuela’s music is super fun and all gimmicks aside, she’s a great yodeler and singer. She’s been learning to master the accordion, and even participated in a special accordion performance with Puddle’s Pity Party and “Weird Al” Yankovic. She also recorded one of the kinkiest holiday albums of all time– The Naughty Christmas Album. Yodel-lay-hee-OW!

I recently spoke to Manuela to talk about her career and asked her some Valentine’s Day advice. An excerpt of the interview follows, you can hear the whole interview on this week’s Tea’s Weird Week podcast.

Tea: Is Valentine’s Day celebrated in Austria?

Manuela: It is, but it’s not as highlighted or how would you say– celebrated– as you would do in America, like in America at school you would bring cards and stuff– we don’t do that. But our industry is trying to push all the chocolates and flowers on to the guys to surprise the girls or whatever love you share, you give your love something in that direction. But it is on our calendar.

Tea: Is yodeling romantic? Is it sexy?

Manuela: Oh my God, like I said if someone pokes the right spot I would say you go (gives an orgasmic sounding yodel)! If you haven’t heard that in the bedroom, you’ve been with the wrong lover. (laughs)

Tea: What advice do you have for people who are lonely and want romance this year?

Manuela: Especially in this pandemic! I guess left hand and right hand– give them some love, lotion those hands. Be good to yourself, I would say go out there and find someone but with the pandemic it’s me, myself, and I think– fuck it, order yourself some flowers and chocolate and champagne. You don’t have to share it, this year you can drink and eat it all by yourself. Man that’s– look on the bright side!

Tea: Is there a romantic phrase in German you can teach us?

Manuela: How about…Mein schnuckiputzi ich hab dich lieb.
Tea: (Tries to say it but fumbles)
Manuela: Very close. But it means something like my pumpkin, I love you very much.

Tea: Awww that’s great. I’m going to make a Valentine card that says that.

Manuela: Yeah, Snuckiputzi is a great word. Ooh, maybe I need to write a song now!

You can find Manuela on social media and her website, www.manuelahorn.com

Tea’s Weird Week episode 05: Tea talks to Manuela Horn in a cheeky interview about her career that includes demonstrations of her yodeling ability. Tea and Heidi discuss weird news including a fetus who is about to drop an album, a French orgy bust, reality manipulating technology, and the many lives of Mothman. Miss Information reveals our first trivia winner and we close out with a special Valentine’s Day treat: Manuela Horn’s yodelfied version of “Tainted Love.”

Listen here: https://teasweirdweek.podbean.com/e/teas-weird-week-episode-05-ask-a-yodeling-dominatrix/
For more podcast platforms we’re on, check out the Tea’s Weird Week page: https://teakrulos.com/teas-weird-week-podcast-4/

Check out my books:

American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousnessbookshop.org/books/american-madness-the-story-of-the-phantom-patriot-and-how-conspiracy-theories-hijacked-american-consciousness/9781627310963
Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (e-book): https://www.amazon.com/Teas-Weird-Week-2020-Review-ebook/dp/B08SGL97YJ/ref=sr_1_1

Tea’s Weird Week: Meet Mayoral Candidate Bluuuuuuuue Deeeeemon Juniorrrrr!

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My Tea’s Weird Week podcast co-host Heidi Erickson brought this weird news item to my attention and I sure do love it. We talked about it on episode 2, but I wanted to delve deeper into this story of a colorful candidate in Mexico City’s mayoral race…luchador champion Blue Demon Junior.

Lucha libre is the popular form of wrestling from Mexico that features luchadores (feminine: luchadoras), who often (but not exclusively) have mysterious, masked personas. The thrill of lucha libre has since spread around the world. Even here in the frozen tundras of Milwaukee we have a wrestling/ variety show called Mondo Lucha! as well as a lucha libre themed speakeasy style tequila bar (Mucha Lucha Milwaukee— unclear if they are still open).

Blue Demon was one of the original luchador legends. His first match as Blue Demon was in 1948 and was perhaps second in popularity only to luchador El Santo. Like El Santo, he also starred in a series of action movies from 1961 to 1979. Blue Demon died in 2000 and was buried in his signature silver and blue mask, but the legacy wasn’t over– before he died, he announced his persona would continue with his “adopted son,” Blue Demon Junior.

The original Blue Demon on the cover of a lucha libre magazine, date unknown.

Blue Demon Junior has also had an accomplished career. He started wrestling in 1996 with Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide. In 2008 he became the first Mexican wrestler to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and many championship wins followed. But now, Blue Demon Junior is throwing down in a different ring– the political one.

Signing legislature and body slamming punks…Blue Demon Junior.

Mexican elections allow running under a nickname or alias, so “Blue Demon Junior” will appear on the ballot. Like many luchadores, Blue Demon Junior keeps his identity a secret, so if he wins he says he will reveal his identity to the proper authorities, but not the public-at-large. He’s running as a candidate for the Redes Sociales Progresistas (Progressive Social Networks) party, as are two other luchador colleagues, Tinieblas and Caristico. That means that potentially three districts of Mexico City would be governed by progressive luchadores.

Tinieblas (left) and Caristico are also running for office this year.

Blue Demon Junior is the most well known and iconic of the three, not just because of the Blue Demon legacy and his impressive career, but his celebrity power. The Disney Channel recently announced the luchador will star in show called Ultra Violet & Blue Demon, in which a magical lucha libre mask creates superhero Ultra Violet, who is then mentored by her uncle Blue Demon Junior.

Ultra Violet & Blue Demon was announced by Disney Channel last month.

This story was a thrill for me because it reminded me of research for my book Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real-life Superhero Movement— where I share the inspiring adventures of Mexico City’s “social luchadors,” a small movement of activists who appeared between the 1980s-early 2000s. The most well known was Super Barrio, a character created to rally protest marchers behind issues like fair housing and worker’s rights. The documentary Super Amigos (2007) documented several other social luchador campaigns, including Super Animal, who along with his sidekick Super Animalito, rallied for animal rights. They particularly targeted the cruel practice of bullfighting and were arrested after entering the ring to challenge matadors to fight them instead of the bulls. Super Gay fought for gay rights, and Ecologista Universal tried to raise awareness for the destruction of the environment.

The People’s Hero: Super Barrio at a protest march in Mexico City.

The documentary also told the story of Fray Tormenta, a priest who became a luchador to fund the orphanages he ran. He was a man of the cloth and the spandex, and yes, the movie Nacho Libre is loosely based on his story. Although retired, he still delivers sermons in his luchador mask and like Blue Demon, he passed his persona on to a Fray Tormenta Junior.

As for Blue Demon Junior, it’ll be interesting to see what he will bust out in his campaign and how much will be “kayfabe” (a word from wrestling that describes a staged performance) and what will be genuine politics. Candidates are allowed to campaign in Mexico City until June 2, followed by a vote on June 6, 2021. It’s a campaign I’ll certainly keep my eye on.

Check out Blue Demon Junior in action in this video of his 2009 NWA World Heavyweight Championship title bout win over wrestler Joey Ryan.

Tea’s Weird Week podcast, episode 04: I talk more about Blue Demon Junior and wrestling politics with Crystal Schmidt, who has “a wrestling podcast for people that don’t like loud noises,” called Wrestling Public Radio. Special guest Mistaloo Meff stops by to drop a track inspired by this week’s episode, “Mucha Lucha: Close Encounters of the Weird Kind.” Then me and Heidi Erickson discuss whether Marjorie Taylor Greene would be a fun neighbor, the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass, a 7-foot telepathic mantis sighting, Chucky on the loose in Texas, edible racecars, and Lizzie Borden’s bed and breakfast.

Plus your last chance to play trivia with Miss Information before our big prize drawing next week and we close out with a track from Yaiza Magdalena–The Awara Lady, “Mala Mujer,” from her upcoming album. Original music and sound editing by Android 138.

Yes these fabulous prizes– a Mothman print by Mendoza Illustration, a copy of The Galleon CD by CHIEF, a Blue Demon luchador mask, a Tea’s Weird Week coffee mug, signed copies of my books American Madness and Apocalypse Any Day Now can all be yours. Send the answers to the trivia questions in our first four episodes to teasweirdweek@gmail.com for our drawing next week!

Listen here: https://teasweirdweek.podbean.com/e/teas-weird-week-episode-04-luchador-blue-demon-junior-runs-for-mayor/
Also available on: Player FM//Spotify//Soundcloud//Sticher

This week’s podcast guest, Crystal Schmidt, with one of her favorite wrestlers– Mick Foley.

Check out my books:
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousnessbookshop.org/books/american-madness-the-story-of-the-phantom-patriot-and-how-conspiracy-theories-hijacked-american-consciousness/9781627310963
Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (e-book): https://www.amazon.com/Teas-Weird-Week-2020-Review-ebook/dp/B08SGL97YJ/ref=sr_1_1