"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Crime Beat" with Carl Brizzi, Saturday, 10/11

I will be speaking with Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi tomorrow, Saturday, October 11th, on his Indianapolis radio show "Crime Beat", on 93.1FM WIBC.

We'll be talking about conspiracy theories—the real ones and the surreal ones.

Tune in from 3PM to 5PM, Eastern Time.


  1. Oh man.

    I was only able to catch the last 5 minutes...but that guy who was on about pictures of the back side of the Moon, well, let's just say politely that he's out of his mind and/or isn't Googling very hard -- the second result of a search for "map of far side of moon" is http://www.lunarrepublic.com/atlas/sections/farside.shtml .

    I had a photographic poster map of both sides of the Moon clear back in the 4th grade, and I imagine you did, too...

  2. Had a great time on the show.

    The end segment after my bit was concluded, was a regular feature called "You Can Get Arrested For That," about peculiar laws. This weeks oddity was a West Virginia law that allows bestiality with any animal smaller than 40 pounds, but anything more than that is an arrestable offense.


    Alice was listening and knew about this one. She's the historian in the house. Creepy historian of the pecuiliar, but historian, nonetheless. What scares me is she knew this one off the top of her head:

    Yes, the law in West Virginia about romancing your farm animals actually has an historical explanation. It's the sort of law other states long ago excised from the books, but in West Virginia. Well.

    Anyway, the early Puritans who settled New England from the area of East Anglia in Britain brought their Cromwellian sexual mores with them. Succeeding waves of immigrants from Cornwall to Ulster weren't much more liberal sexually. Bestiality, was a far more common offense in the 17th and 18th centuries than it is today. A LOT more common. I suppose because of the isolation settlers experienced that led to a brand of loneliness in which even a sheep could look good. Besides, you may as well do the two-step with your little mutton chop, since good old-fashioned onanism was just as despised. And remember, lots of folks in those days practically lived with their farm animals. So I guess it was bound to happen. After all, even Roseanne Barr keeps getting dates. But the Puritans had a horror of the whole subject. Men convicted of taking the term "animal husbandry" too seriously were hanged, which is pathetic enough.

    But the worst part, humiliation-wise, came before the hanging, when the condemned man, accompanied by the court officials, had to take everyone to the stable or the sty and point out all of the animals who'd caught his fancy. Then the animals, as well, faced capital punishment. Or, like the man said in Blazing Saddles, "It's all right, it's just a man and a horse being hung."

    The reason for this bizarre ceremony lies in their lack of any understanding about the science of reproduction. They were terrified that it was possible for the union of a man and a pig to give birth to some sort of half-and-half monster pig boy baby, like something out of "It's Alive!" These harsh laws against dating your donkey were common for the next century and more. However, lonely teenaged boys getting it on with sheep, pigs and God knows what else, remained a problem in rural areas. So, it seemed rational to soften the laws. After all, even if you buggered your bantam, it wasn't likely that any issue could result, since the animal in question was simply too small to carry the genetic mess to term. So, lonely sodbusters in the Alleghenies could do the dirty with a duck, but keep your hands off that donkey.

    Yes, I'm interested in stuff like the Battle of Waterloo, too. But I cherish weird history. It's the fun part. "



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