Posted on Leave a comment

WNBR Pdx spokespan Stephen Upchurch

[Reviewer TV]

WNBR Pdx spokesperson Stephen Upchurch

Another amazing Reviewer TV video interview

by Reviewer Rob

So I arrived at Mt. Scott Park in Portland at 8 p.m. to cover the World Naked Bike Ride and first thing I wanted to do, since I stood out like a sore thumb with my two Nikon SLRs dangling from my shoulders and my relatively obtrusive state of overdress, was find the organizers to establish press credentials and get a video interview. Luna was the official “Volunteer Coordinator” and although she was very nice and willing to supply me with any information I wanted she was unwilling to be interviewed on-camera. The media rep was a girl named Megan I believe but she wasn’t to be found amid the jostling crowd of people near the volunteer signup tents. So Luna began to ask around for a second choice. That’s when Stephen Upchurch came to our assistance.

Originally from Chicago I think he said he was, Upchurch described the World Naked Bike Ride in Chicago as being about equal in popularity to the hugely crowded affair that Pdx’s is. He gets into a bit of detail about how in Portland there’s a uniquely permissive legal status due to Oregon’s liberal view about public nudity as a form of protest. Later on I’ll add some pull quotes to this post from the interview but for now I’m hoping that Youtube viewers don’t rat on it for the naked people milling around in the background. This is a news video, people. It’s not a porno. Give it a rest.

Anyways, the World Naked Bike Ride (A Protest) happens every summer in various cities throughout the world and will be held again in 2017 in Portland.


Making the first big corner at the World Naked Bike Ride in Portland, 2016. Photo by Reviewer TV. Click the pic for the video.
Making the first big corner at the World Naked Bike Ride in Portland, 2016. Photo by Reviewer TV. Click the pic for the video.

Stephen Upchurch checks his watch before the World Naked Bike Ride at Mt. Scott Park in Portland. Video frame grab by Reviewer TV. Click the pic for the video.
Stephen Upchurch checks his watch before the World Naked Bike Ride at Mt. Scott Park in Portland. Video frame grab by Reviewer TV. Click the pic for the video.

Posted on Leave a comment

California Primary, June 7, mail in

[Democracy]

Voting by Mail in California

by Reviewer Rob

So, I’m mailing in my California Democratic Primary ballot today. Participating in democracy has never been easier. I don’t know why they have that rule that says you have to be registered as a Democrat to participate in this election though. That doesn’t seem fair or democratic. What if someone has a change of heart at the last minute and wants to vote for one of the candidates yet is a Republican? Not an implausible scenario but one that would disqualify them from the contest.

This election feels historic, again. I wanted to make sure that I was involved, so I registered as Democrat for the first tie in my life last month (I’d always been Independent since changing from Republican sometime around 1990) and drove over to the post office yesterday to pick up the ballot. Someone at the Thumbprint art gallery show for Bernie Sanders last weekend reminded me that it was probably in the box, “I’ve already voted,” said the tall skinny kid that looked like he was barely out of high school, and I made the trip out to my p.o. box this month. So much is done by email these days I hardly every check my regular mail it seems. Used to be I’d be there every day picking up letters and CDs from bands and press agents hoping to get reviewed. Ah the good old days of ten or twelve short years ago. I remember coming back from a surf trip in 2000 and having a postal crate packed full of CDs stacked high, mostly from Epitaph, Nitro, and Fat Wreck Chords, that were patiently waiting for me behind the counter. Crazy the amount of work that went into reviewing music back then. Now it’s mostly all done online for free by fans. Maybe they’ll begin to do elections online soon too.

So here’s my ballot envelope. Here goes nothing, democracy. Let’s hope for the best. The future is now.

California Democratic Primary election ballot envelope, about to be mailed, 5-15-16.
California Democratic Primary election ballot envelope, about to be mailed, 5-15-16.
Posted on Leave a comment

Ghosts Of The Past

The sheriff told me to “Google ‘Naked Suicide'”

At The Community Meeting With SD Police Brass

by Reviewer Rob

I went to the town square meeting, or whatever they called it, the big brass public relations talk, at the Jacobs Center off Market Street yesterday. It was about the City and County Of San Diego’s newly public policy for releasing police-involved shootings when the officer or officers involved are not being charged. They appear to be getting proactive now that body cameras are being issued, eventually, to the patrols and so many incidents nationwide have attracted public outcry when witness and security video gets leaked after someone is killed.

Long story short, San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said she will release video — with faces and identities of people involved blurred “for privacy” — from every officer-involved shooting unless the officer is to be charged in the case. If so, the video will be withheld until it is shown during court proceedings.

After the panel discussion/meeting I met the sheriff of San Diego, William D Gore. Tall and grey-haired he spoke with enthusiasm about an old case that was closed when the person considered by many in the media and the public to be the responsible party (possibly through negligence) in the killing is said to have committed suicide in a manner that was sensationally bizarre.

I remember last seeing Sheriff Gore on TV, appeared at the press conference for the above case’s closure a few years ago. He was stone-faced and stern then, very serious in relaying to the public through reporters that there would be no further investigation in the Spreckels’ Mansion death of 32-year-old Rebecca Zahua. Few but him however were satisfied. Look it up if you’re in the mood for a really freaky story.

The sheriff had a totally different demeanor last night. He was almost upbeat and began to speak in an enthusiastically friendly way. But afterall it is now, as they say, ancient history. Tragic, but ancient history.

It was the grief of guilt that drove her to do it the way she did, he said, and he told me to Google “Naked Suicide”, as a way to understand the psychology behind the conclusion his department’s investigators and forensic specialists came to. So I did (when your county’s sheriff tells you to your face to do something you’ll usually try to avoid being a dooshbag and do it) as soon as I got online. Here’s what came up first in the search:

“Anger and vengeance can be expressed by completing suicide while naked, especially when it is intended to traumatize a survivor. The shock of discovering a naked suicide inflicts an indelible, traumatic memory that can haunt a survivor for a lifetime.12 The person who completes suicide while naked may intend to add insult to a suicide survivor’s already devastating injury.”
from http://www.jaapl.org/content/36/2/240.full

But still. Did they really prove that a person can tie their own hands behind their back with their feet together and then hop to a window with a noose around their neck and then jump out?

Oh well, case closed, people forget and move on with their own lives I guess.

:::

[The next similar meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 17 at Cherokee Point Elementary School on 38th Street in the community of Chollas View, according to the SD Union Tribune website.]

San Diego Sheriff William D. Gore, 5-11-16, photo by Reviewer Magazine.
San Diego Sheriff William D. Gore, 5-11-16, photo by Reviewer Magazine.
Posted on Leave a comment

The Hand Of Glory

[Occult]

The Hand Of Glory

at California Institute Of Abnormalarts

Illustration of a Hand Of Glory and how it was used as a candle during a burglary.
Illustration of a Hand Of Glory and how it was used as a candle during a burglary.

by Reviewer Rob

A Hand of Glory was a tool used by malefactors in the criminal underworld of yesteryear. Think of it like a kind of supernatural roofie used by burglars and other such nefarious bad actors. Taken from the corpse of a hanged man, the hand was dried, pickled and mummified according to a special process and then it made a thieves’ job easier by eliminating resistance from the occupants of house or building they wanted to rob. Some accounts also said they allowed entry through locked doors.

This of course made it an object of immense value to a certain social element. According to one account, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Draco Malfoy sees a Hand of Glory in Borgin and Burkes, the dark arts specialist shop, and is told that it “gives light only to the holder.” He buys and later uses it in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. These purported special power may be why one was reportedly found secreted inside the wall of an old house in Yorkshire, England, recently. Perhaps it was put there long ago for safe-keeping or for some other “magic” reason. The California Institute Of Abnormalarts in Burbank has a Hand Of Glory among its strange collection of occult kitch if you’d like to see one in the beef-jerkied flesh. According to the owner Carl Crew, “it tastes like teriyaki.”

Hand of Glory:
A grisly magical charm popular with thieves in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the hand of glory was a candle made from the dried hand of a hanged convict through a complicated recipe that also included herbs, horse dung, peppers, and salt. The hand would be carefully mummified, and then joined to or turned into a candle using tallow from a hanged corpse. (whether this is from the same corpse is apparently irrelevant). Set alight, the hand is said to have the power to render the occupants of a household insensible, making burglary a simple task.
From: spelloftheday.tumblr.com

Pictured below: The Hand of Glory under glass and on exhibit at The California Institute of Abnormalarts, 11334 Burbank Boulevard, North Hollywood, California 91601. When asked about its provenance CIA proprietor Carl Crew would only say it was dated from 1709 and of Scottish origin. Asked how he got it, his pointed reply was “I’m an art dealer, man.” Photo by ReviewerPhoto.com.

Hand Of Glory, under glass, at California Institute of Abnormalarts. Photo by Reviewer Rob, ReviewerPhoto.com.
Hand Of Glory, under glass, at California Institute of Abnormalarts. Photo by Reviewer Rob, ReviewerPhoto.com.