Mondo Bizarro Feb 18 2023
FISH TALE
Mystical powers of mummy are no match for mystical powers of scientists.


It may look like a monkey's head sewn onto a fish's body, but the freakish horror you see in the image above is actually a revered mummy that has been worshipped by some people in Japan since the 1700s. Its normal residence is a box in a temple in Okayama Prefecture, where it ended up after allegedly being found in the Pacific Ocean, off Shikoku Island, between 1736 and 1741. It quickly became known for bestowing mystical health cures and increased longevity, and acquired that reputation, we're sure, without any suggestion from the temple priests. Then it caught the attention of paleontologists at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, and—who'd have thought it?—this week they pronounced the mummy a fake.

Leave it to scientists to drain the magic and wonder from irrational belief systems by actually figuring things out. It's almost like they enjoy triggering existential crises. Amazingly, they worked for an entire year on ruining this particular mystery. We know because stories like the one at this link began popping up in early 2022. Scientists, in addition to being killjoys, are slow. The scientific community is fine with that, and we can all only wish the same were true of the communities at our jobs.But moving at the speed of molasses is a positive of science, not a negative, because science takes its sweet time to get things right. They've done that here, using computerized tomography scans and other tests, and discovered the mummy is exactly what any set of rational eyes would assume it to be—animal parts embellished with papier-mâché.

But here's what interests us about the story. The object actually is quite old. Scientists carbon dated it back to at least the 1800s, which in our opinion makes it something more than just a fake—it's an antique. And if it isn't one of the oldest cryptids ever put into physical form, we'd be surprised. We bet if the priests in Okayama sold it they'd profit handsomely. Hell, we'd happily buy it and hang it in Pulp HQ to enthrall and enchant our girlfriends. But assuming the temple priests wanted more than a hundred bucks for it, they could auction it. Some internet billionaire might want it. With the yen acquired the priests could perform a few good works—minor miracles themselves. And if disappointed masses in the prefecture need a replacement mummy to worship, we suggest Mother God. She never healed anyone, but at least she didn't live in a box.
Hi, Mother God here. I've departed my physical form, but I still heart all of you.

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Mondo Bizarro May 6 2021
FOR THE LOVE OF GODDESS
Treat your mummy special every day.


When we see the word “mummy” in a news story we pay extra attention. Even more so when the mummy has nothing to do with Egypt. Late last week police in Moffatt, Colorado arrested seven members of a ragtag cult called Love Has Won after they were found in possession of a mummified body. The body was once Amy Carlson, above, the leader of the sect. She was known to the cultists as Mother God, and believed that she was the 534th avatar of God on Earth and had revoked the free will of humanity. Mummy Carlson was posed in a shrine, wrapped in a sleeping bag festooned with Christmas lights, and decorated about her eyeless face with glitter make-up. The cult members were charged with, among other things, abuse of a corpse.

Abuse? Do the police have no idea how expensive the top make-up brands are? L'Oréal's best eye shadow, the shimmery Avant Garde Azure, which is so good it de-emphasizes the fact that you don't even have eyes, costs a small fortune. Maybelline's Superstay lipstick, which makes lips so kissable even a death rictus won't stop an admirer from going in for some tongue action, runs a pretty penny too. And Guerlain's Fève Délicieuse parfum is so intoxicating it masks even the charnel stench of death. Don't get us started on that. The point is, this was no abused corpse. Love Has Won adherents spared no effort or expense transforming their rattling husk of a mummy-goddess into a glamour queen that turned heads wherever she went.

And no wonder they treated her so well, considering they believed she'd lived hundreds of lives, both male and female—and we assume non-binary too, if she was really on her game. They thought she'd been Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, and who knows what other historical personages. You ever notice people who live past lives were never mid-level sanitation workers in some plague-wracked medieval town? Or some young male virgin sacrificially beheaded atop a Mayan pyramid in the year 450? Or a little girl who got trampled flat by a mammoth? Seems to us you'd remember being all those things.
 
But it's always Joan of Arc for some reason, or Cleopatra. Mother God even claimed to have been Marilyn Monroe, and that's going too far in our book, because Monroe was a real goddess. We can prove it because every time we see those early nudes of hers things start to miraculously rise around here. Anyway, we suspect that the sevendetained Love Has Won cultists—you see them above, plus a stand-in for Mother God, the beef jerky version, because we couldn't find a photo—are looking at some years under the care of the state of Colorado. That'll be followed by a sprint through the talk show circuit, public repudiation of their bizarre beliefs, blaming it on trauma in childhood and meth usage as adults, finally capped off with careers as self-help gurus. And to think Mother God said humanity has no free will. It does, and we're going to use ours right now by choosing to “worship” Monroe for a bit. Don't expect us back today.

Hi, Mother God here. I command thee: Bring me a glass of the sacramental wine.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
June 13
1971—First of the Pentagon Papers Are Published
The New York Times begins publication of the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret U.S. Department of Defense history of the country's political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. The papers reveal that the U.S. had deliberately expanded its war with carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks, and that four presidential administrations, from Truman to Johnson, had deliberately misled the public regarding their intentions toward Vietnam.
June 12
1978—Son of Sam Goes to Prison
David Berkowitz, the New York City serial killer known as Son of Sam, is sentenced to 365 years in prison for six killings. Berkowitz had acquired his nickname from letters addressed to the NYPD and columnist Jimmy Breslin. He is eventually caught when a chain of events beginning with a parking ticket leads to his car being searched and police discovering ammunition and maps of crime scenes.
June 11
1963—Buddhist Monk Immolates Himself
In South Vietnam, Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burns himself to death by dousing himself with gasoline and lighting a match. He does it to protest the persecution of Buddhists by Ngô Đình Diệm administration, choosing a busy Saigon intersection for his protest. An image of the monk being consumed by flames as he sits crosslegged on the pavement, shot by Malcolm Browne, wins a Pulitzer Prize and becomes one of the most shocking and recognizable photos ever published.
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