Category Archives: Magic

THE LONG MEMORY OF THE CHURCH by Peter Nolan Smith

After the Roman Emperor Constantine I accepted Jesus, the once-persecuted Christians sought their revenge against the Greco-Roman pantheists. The burnt became the burners and the killed were the killers. The diverse cults of the Empire shriveled under the iron fist of the Jesus’ ruthlessness. Mithra and Isis were forsaken en masse for the one True [...]

The Beauty of Zatoichi

Bored with Netflix and HBO I hunted the web for another source of entertainment and luckily stumbled onto ZATOICHI, the Blind Swordsman. This Japanese TV show portrayed the traveling trials of a blind masseur and swordmaster living in the Edo period circa 1840s. The actor Shintaro Katsu masterfully breathed life into novelist Kan Shimozawa’s creation [...]

TOUCH OF EVIL Opening Scene

According to Wikipedia many critics considered TOUCH OF EVIL’s three-minute, twenty-second tracking shot as one of the greatest long takes in cinematic history, especially considering it’s the opening scene. On the U.S.-Mexico border, a man plants a time bomb in a car. A man and woman enter the vehicle and make a slow journey through [...]

Friday the 13th Umphang

This morning my ex-wife, daughter, and I set out from Chai-nat for Umphang, which is one of Thailand’s most remote regions. I had calculated seven hours for the 500 kilometer trip. It took almost eleven of white-knuckle driving through the junled mountains. The road in Umphang had been known as Death Highway back in the [...]

Old Black Magic of Siam

Four years my friend, Pi-Noi brought his work crew down from Ban Nok to install an air-conditioning system in a Pattaya bar. The 400-kilometer drive gave them a healthy thirst and that night under my mango tree we drank a case of Chang Beer. Nearing midnight the bottles were empty, but the out-of-towners wanted more [...]