One Hell of a Christmas! (Music)-
In keeping with our tradition of applying a dark bent to the holiday season, I'm going to recommend a festive seasonal soundtrack for those of you who are tired of the standard Christmas music that typically bombards us during this time of the year.
One Hell of a Christmas! Metal For the Yuletide Season Volume II is a new album that features 8 old time Christmas standards that have been ripped apart and re-done in a Heavy Metal fashion.
In addition, it also comes with two completely original tracks, including the delightfully wicked and highly enjoyable "Krampus!"; a song about everyone's favorite holiday devil of punishment. And it's about time that Krampus was given his due, Santa Claus and that Jesus fellow have been hogging all of the good tunes for way too long.
- False Prophet
Heroes and Victims-
As a self proclaimed Villain, I'm not a fan of heroics. Self sacrifice, whether it takes the form of death or discomfort, for a "greater cause" than one's own self serving priorities is not something that I find very admirable or smart. Granted, it can be useful when other people do it, but as a general principle, it's not something that I'd personally recommend.
By the same token, I don't like people who regularly take the stance of a victim either. It has been noted that playing the victim has become a pervasive pastime in our culture. It indicates a complete lack of personal power and responsibility and it is repulsive. But what I find even worse is when these two mentalities, heroics and victimization, are combined. Perhaps not surprisingly, this happens quite a lot.
If a person is willing to risk or sacrifice something of themselves for a cause or issue that they believe in, that is their choice. But it must be emphasized that it is their own decision to stand up and fight for something that they believe in and anything bad to that happens to them during their struggle is a result of that decision. In a way, this is a part of what being a hero means, enduring hardship and overcoming challenging obstacles in order to achieve righteous goals. Of course most people who pursue these types of endeavors don't actually call themselves "heroes", but that's not important. Their goals are the same as a hero; to push to change things in a positive way or to defend something that they feel is valuable, for the greater good. Even if they don't admit this themselves, they're still doing something that many people would consider "heroic" and they probably take a certain amount of pride in that.
However, a person that chooses to play the hero should not simultaneously be allowed to receive the benefits of being seen as a victim. It needs to be one or the other. A victim is someone who is to be pitied because they didn't have a choice in the matter. Their suffering comes as a result of chance or weakness. But someone who chooses to stand up and "do the right thing" is choosing to suffer and sacrifice for whatever cause they're fighting for. That's what it means to fight or stand for something greater than yourself. You're risking your own well being for a bunch of other people or a greater ideal.
When someone does choose to play the hero, we should not get outraged because they had to suffer for it. We should not rail against the obstacles that stand in their way, or suggest that the opposition that they were against should've made it easier for them. Trying to make a difference or make the world a better place comes with a price and that cost should be expected when pursuing something like that. It's nothing to lament or honor; it's just reality. An attitude of victimization just cheapens the value of being a hero and suggests that they weren't responsible for their own decisions. That adversity is the only thing that gives the word "hero" any value at all and stands to separate the real heroes from the wannabes.
Of course there is a whole other category of people who are even less sincere and who try to look like they're playing the hero in order to put themselves into a victim position later. These people are called attention hogs, masochists and martyrs; but that's an entirely different topic.
We must remember that many of the things that most people might consider "brave", "honorable" or "righteous" can also be seen as being incredibly stupid. And when someone deliberately does something that results in their detriment, it's still their own fault regardless of how "noble" the reasons were. Doing "what's right" is never an excuse for doing something stupid.
- False Prophet
In keeping with the shadowy and often macabre nature of this particular month of the year, I would like to welcome you, my villainous blog lovers, to enter a very odd establishment indeed. This parlor of the grotesque is a classic, older than many of us and perhaps better suited for those rare individuals who tend to frequent gloomy old houses and dusty crypts.
By stepping into this afterhours museum of the weird, you will be able to view this artistic collection of grisly stories from the past, a time which for many of us has been long forgotten and buried; in some cases six feet deep. I would like to present to you this peculiar plot of cult-horror real estate known as Rod Serling's Night Gallery. You may remember the host of the series as being the creator of another eerie anthology, the Twilight Zone.
However, you may notice some differences within this particular collection of pieces which make up the often underrated Night Gallery, and which are reserved for those dark aficionados with an appreciation for the nostalgic and the bizarre.
You can currently find your way to this eccentric and sometimes shady exhibition by passing through its page on Hulu. There you will be confronted with multiple masterpieces of the unfamiliar and the occasionally unwelcome. It's a delightfully ghoulish assortment of images and stories which are all too appropriate for this season that is often inhabited by the likes of witches, skeletons and monsters. And this we offer to you via our own little abnormal and slightly sinister corner of cyberspace, Twisted Jenius.
- False Prophet
Rerelease of Nocturnes For Nightmares-
Nocturnes For Nightmares has been rereleased and is available now! This CD features a combination of dark, industrial atmospheric music and 20th century classical; and was inspired by the soundtracks of horror/thriller films. This music provides the type of eerie sounds and creeping sensations that will definitely put you in the right mood for the Halloween season!
This newest version of the album features some new artwork, expanded liner notes and enhanced sound quality. Nocturnes For Nightmares was written, recorded and produced by a talented musician known as Gyps Fulvus, and I'm happy to say that I had a bit of a hand in creating the insert for the album.
Dedicated to the Dark Force of nature that influences the unexplored corners of the human mind, these musical compositions seek to awaken the horrors that lie dormant within. Nocturnes For Nightmares is the perfect soundtrack to spoil a good night's sleep!
- False Prophet
Twisted Jenius has been bringing its brand of dark strangeness and villainous entertainment into the world for five years now!
All this month Twisty will be celebrating on the Welcome page and Vicious has made his annual anniversary post in the forums. I'm also pleased to announce that thanks to a gift from our new contributor and the devious creator of The Snail Factory, the site now has a new padded cell background texture. The old texture (image right) served us well for five years, but now it's time for an upgrade and I think that this new one is an improvement and goes very nicely with many of the other site changes that we did this year. I'd like to thank Mr. Bach for the generous anniversary present!
I'm very happy with the progress that Twisted Jenius has made over the last year and as always, you can be sure that there are more morally questionable projects lurking just around the corner. For all of you villains out there, remember that life is about personal satisfaction and enjoyment (and crushing all enemies and obstacles with ruthless determination). So continue to enjoy yourselves and stay evil!
- False Prophet
Deadly Man-Eaters of Fact and Film-
Frightening, human-devouring creatures have been a part of storytelling since mankind's oldest myths. It's no wonder that there is an entire genre of "Animals Eating People" films. It's a major category of "Monster Movie", and one that I'm particularly fond of. However, what's even more interesting is the fact that some of these films have been inspired by real-life situations and events.
New Jersey Shark Attacks (Fact)
The next victim was an eleven year old boy who was attacked, not in the ocean, but in a creek that was 16 miles inland. It seems that the shark decided that only attacking people in the actual ocean was too predictable and so it got creative. Some of the boy's friends witnessed him being taken under by the shark as they were swimming and they went to get help. One of the people who arrived on the scene was a local business owner who went into the creek to try to find the boy's body. He was also attacked by the shark, in full view of many of the townspeople and bled to death as a result of his injuries. 30 minutes later the shark went after yet another boy, but he managed to survive (thanks to his friends engaging in a "tug-of-war" with the shark; with the boy as the rope!) There's still speculation as to what type of shark was responsible for these incidents and how many were actually involved.
It's interesting to note that despite being an inspiration for Jaws, the New Jersey Shark Attacks is the only real-life entry in this list that doesn't end in a climactic "Chief Brodyesque" style showdown, with a single pursuer taking out the offending creature.
The Ghost and the Darkness (Film)
The Tsavo Man-Eaters (Fact)
They tried to put up barriers around the camp to keep the lions out. Didn't work. They tried to ambush the lions on one side of the camp and the predators would just grab someone from the other side. After months of this kind of nightly frustration and horror, Patterson was finally able to hunt down and shoot both lions. Their remains are now on display in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois (image top right).
Yellow Fangs (Film)
Sankebetsu Incident (Fact)
Brotherhood of the Wolf (Film)
Beast of Gévaudan (Fact)
Many of the overly religious locals at that time believed that their community was being assaulted by a demon as an act of divine punishment for something. Normally I frown on that type of ignorant superstition, but under those circumstances, deciding that "God hates you" seems like a surprisingly reasonable conclusion to come to. Multiple professional hunters and even the army were sent after the monster and it managed to evade them all. The killings only stopped after a local farmer named Jean Chastel encountered the beast. Tradition says that he killed it with two silver bullets.
I know that to many people these days, killer animal films can seem very campy and even silly. But the next time you go see an Animals Eating People film and someone says "oh, that only happens in the movies"; you'll know better.
- False Prophet
The Snail Factory-
We are pleased to be featuring a new webcomic here at Twisted Jenius, called The Snail Factory. The comic is a surreal comedy about a group of demented beings and their daily life in an unusual work environment. You'll find plenty of strange situations and even stranger characters when you visit The Snail Factory (after all, if they don't manufacture snails for us, then who will?). We will be posting a new episode of the comic every week for your viewing pleasure.
- False Prophet
You Don't Have to Care-
Do you ever feel like there are too many people and organizations that insist that you care about issues that you would rather not even bother with? I certainly do. It seems that everyday we are bombarded by messages about poverty, climate change, social inequality, energy crises, diseases that need to be cured and all manner of other social and environmental "issues". There are many individuals, causes and organizations that will ask us for our money, and perhaps even worse, for our sympathy.
The marketing behind these types of "causes" is even more despicable than the normal marketing dealing with standard consumer products and services. Usually when someone tries to sell you on a normal product or service they attempt to make you feel good and usually the idea behind the item that they're trying to sell is that it will improve your life in some way (or at least bring you some type of temporary pleasure or enjoyment).
But those who are trying to convince you to care about political, social or environmental issues often take the opposite approach and make you feel bad, scared or "concerned" about whatever the issue is. They're asking you to care about something that may not help you directly at all, so instead of being encouraging, their message is depressing and designed to make you feel sympathy towards whatever they're selling. They know that for many people, the best way to get to their wallets is to go through their hearts. Basically, they're selling you guilt and business is booming. But you should know that you don't have to buy into it; you don't have to care.
"Guilt is like a bag of fuckin' bricks. All ya gotta do is set it down."- Al Pacino, The Devil's Advocate
Whether you want to call it "guilt", "concern" or "caring", if you don't like being expected to feel these things and worry about these numerous issues, it's important that you realize this and do whatever makes you, as an individual, happy. There's no need to play along and be a pawn in someone else's political or financial agenda, especially if you're not getting anything out of it and it doesn't make you feel good.
I understand that there are many people who will harshly judge you or even assume that you are a "bad person" if you don't conform and display enough sympathy or guilt about many of these issues, but these people are the worst kind of sheep. It's important to be honest with yourself and if that makes you "evil" in other people's eyes, then so be it. They don't matter. And seriously, what good is forcing yourself to worry about this kind of stuff anyway? Who are you really helping? Is it really worth it to just to look like a good guy; to look like you care?
I know that you might be asking yourself "but aren't some of those issues important and don't they deserve some attention, at the very least, from a pragmatic standpoint?" The answer is "yes, some of them are important". And if you're the type of person who gets excited about trying to help out with those types of issues, then by all means do it. I encourage that kind of thing because if enough other people are willing to put in the time and effort to "save the world", then that means that I don't have to.
There seems to be so many people who care about these different issues and so it only makes sense to leave them to the people who are truly passionate about them. As for the rest of us, we should concern ourselves with whatever we are passionate about; even if it is something much more selfish than those kinds of larger social and environmental concerns. Everyone has different parts to play and not everyone wants to be a hero. And it's extremely repressive, hypocritical and pointless for someone to try to force you to care about something that you really don't.
Never be afraid to decline to care and walk your own path, doing whatever suits you best. Just because something is supposed to be "good", doesn't mean that it's good for you. Sometimes Apathy is Bliss.
- False Prophet
Massive Site Revamp-
We know it's been a while since we last gave you an update; but as always, Twisted Jenius is working to bring you a better evil entertainment site. And over the past few months, we've been doing quite a lot behind the scenes to make things both aesthetically cooler and easier for you to use.
The first change that you are likely to notice is our new and completely redone diagonal header and navigation bar that you'll find at the top left hand corner of most of our pages. Not only does it look better than our old header (picture on the right), but it's now no longer in Flash. This means that for any of you who have Flash disabled, you can now actually see it and properly navigate the site! I'd call that an improvement.
The next big aesthetic change that we've done is to the Twisted Jenius Store. In addition to having a completely different look, we've also changed over to a much better commerce system for it. We've also tweaked almost all of the page layouts and added some prominent social networking buttons (because after all, we wouldn't want to deny you the chance to introduce us to all of your friends, would we?).
However, some of the biggest improvements have been to the "back end" of the site. We have completely changed the software that our server runs off of, improved search engine optimization and the entire site is now in "php" as opposed to "html". This will make it easier for us to update the site's content for you and we've already created some systems to help with this.
In the end, this is all just prep work. We're positioning the site for all of the really good (evil) stuff that is to come. Keep your eyes open!
- False Prophet
It's a Lovecraftian X-Mas!-
'Tis the season for unfathomable horrors from beyond! No, I'm not talking about having to spend unbearable amounts of time desperately trying to avoid being in the same room with your rotten relatives who decided to fly into town based on some sickening notion of family togetherness. I'm talking about the bizarre and yet oddly gratifying connection between the Great Old Ones and the holidays. I'll be your guide as we take a look at some choice examples of the unholy integration of these two, very different, religious-based traditions.
Of course, we'll also need something to put on our door in order to let everyone know that our home is a lair of Yule-tide terrors. This stylish Cthulhu Plush Christmas Wreath by Toy Vault, should help to make a great first impression.
But what will we hang from our fireplace? Why, a stocking shaped like a tentacle, of course! And you can have all of that and more with the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's An Unbearably Scary Solstice Combo.
I know what you're thinking; you want some cards to send to those annoying "loved ones" of your's. Well, Arkham Bazaar has you covered with their Shoggoth Tree Christmas Cards.
We will also need some traditional children's poetry to recite. I recommend A Lovecraft Christmas. And finally, a seasonal story to get us all in the holiday spirit. I'm a big fan of The Last Christmas by the two man team of Penny Arcade, a personal favorite.
There. Now you should have everything you need to inject your own dark, occult flavor into an otherwise wholesome, though perhaps overly commercial, holiday. And are you in need of wrapping paper? Perhaps the pages of a forbidden, accursed tome will do.
- False Prophet