The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Hoaxes'

Happy Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2013 · 2 Comments

I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.  Stuffing oneself on dead bird to gloat over the genocide of the Indians, while muttering to an Imaginary Gaseous Vertebrate, doesn’t appeal to me.  I don’t enjoy overeating, and dinners in my family were not happy gatherings: mostly my father would become drunk and belligerent, while I wanted to be elsewhere.  […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Hoaxes

Wooden Bigfoot Feet

November 26th, 2012 · 5 Comments

I know that people occasionally strap on wooden feet to hoax bigfoot tracks, but had never seen any until I found this pair at the flea market.  They measure 19 inches, and are roughly carved from a knotty wood (I assume pine, but someone else may know better), and are untreated.  They show some cracking […]

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Tags: Animals · Forteana · Hoaxes

The Dance of Death

April 18th, 2012 · No Comments

I’m happy to note that one of my favorite literary hoaxes is online, which means that you can read it for free, instead of paying a lot of money for the rare original.  The Dance of Death (1877) is a remarkable polemic against the “filthy lust” of the waltz.  The author was “William Herman,” a […]

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Tags: Hoaxes · Literature

Vernon Sullivan

October 23rd, 2009 · 5 Comments

[As a postscript to our event about hoaxes, I’ll post this account of a memorable literary hoax that may be unfamiliar to American readers.  It’s taken from my article “Boris Vian for Anglophones,” on the life and work of that French writer/musician, in Strange Attractor Journal Two.]  The war had ended, Paris was free, and nightlife […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Hoaxes · Literature

Straight Talk About Hoaxes

October 2nd, 2009 · 4 Comments

The Ullage Group excitedly presents its fifth hodgepodge, “Straight Talk About Hoaxes.”  Doug Skinner will talk about pseudo-hoaxes, botched fictions, and accidental lies: stories intended as fiction, but accepted as fact by those bent on belief.  Lisa Hirschfield will discuss storytelling and seduction in Nigerian love letters.  Anthony Matt will discuss the intricacies of the […]

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Tags: Bulletins · Education · Hoaxes

Teenage mumbo-jumbo?

August 19th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I think my high school offered one basic course in psychology, which I did not take. Surely it dealt in stripped-down basics – the classification of emotions, some de-sexualized Freudian theory, and maybe a little Jung thrown in for the artsy kids. I’d like to think, if I’d had the opportunity to take a class […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Belief Systems · Education · Forteana · Hoaxes · Mad Science · Mysteries · The Ineffable

The False Joan of Arc

July 19th, 2009 · 2 Comments

People lie for different reasons: cowardice (the truth can hurt), cupidity (falsehood can be more profitable), arrogance (the truth can be improved), or ignorance (the truth is unknown). I don’t know what motivated Jeanne des Armoises.  True, she got attention and cash, but she must have known it couldn’t last.  In fact, I don’t know […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Eccentrics · Hoaxes · Literature

R.I.P., Bigfoot Body

August 21st, 2008 · No Comments

Like many, I was disappointed by the quick fizzle of the Bigfoot Body hoax in Georgia.  I suppose I should wax explicit, and carefully explain that no, it’s not because I think Bigfoot is a real flesh-and-blood beastie, or because I was expecting, or even wanting, evidence.  The stories are real enough; and have their […]

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Tags: Animals · Belief Systems · Forteana · Hoaxes