So there's a lot on the Internet about what goes on before a battle, and even during battle (at least, after you wade through all the video game information), but what happens after? Did the losers or winners bury their dead comrades, or was that left to the people who live on the land they fought on? Did anyone think to conduct funeral rites of some sort? Or did they just lah-de-dah off into the sunset and hope the opponents didn't follow?
Though some battlefields were left littered with bodies, either if the battle was fought far from human habitation or to make a point…
…there were plenty of recorded mass burials, like these at Culloden.
One of the best known is at Visby, where hot weather and fast decomposition meant the winners buried - or ordered the locals to bury - a lot of enemy casualties not from altruism but to prevent disease. They were already getting too unpleasant to strip or loot (given the stronger medieval stomach, that says how nasty the bodies had become) so ended up providing lots of archaeological evidence of what “low-to-mid-level” armour like coats-of-plates looked like.
It also gave graphic evidence of what medieval weapons were capable of doing.
Even the fairly sober “Blood Red Roses” documentary about Towton had people expressing shock about this. It’s as if the scientists came to their work in a haze of fictional chivalry and knights-in-shining-armour (or possibly just the supposed “bluntness” of European medieval swords) and were surprised when they discover that hitting a man in the face with what was more like a three-foot-long razorblade did the same then as it would do now.
A modern sniper’s head shot makes just as much mess - check the famous Zapruder film, and that involved just a 6.5mm round, not the massive Barrett .50 (14.5mm) which can go most of the way to the Dirty Harry thing of “Blow your head clean off”. Yet injuries from hot lead don’t seem to provoke the same surprise as those from cold steel.
There may have been funeral rites of some sort; in fact, it being a fairly religious age, there probably were. It would have been as easy for a priest to say a funeral mass over a hole with 100 or 1000 corpses in it as over a hole containing one.
Not doing so probably involved religious differences, as in the Crusades, or was just putting the spiritual boot in to interfere with the enemy’s afterlife, like this incident in the classic John Ford / John Wayne 1956 western “The Searchers”…
[Brad Jorgenson smashes the head of a dead Comanche warrior with a rock]
Reverend Clayton: “Jorgenson!”
Ethan Edwards: “Why don’t you finish the job?”
[He draws his gun and shoots out the dead Comanche’s eyes]
Reverend Clayton: “What good did that do ya?”
Ethan Edwards: “By what you preach, none. But what that Comanche believes, ain’t got no
eyes, he can’t enter the spirit-land. Has to wander forever between the
winds. You get it, Reverend?”
I don’t know how viewers of sixty years ago would have responded to this; maybe they weren’t shocked, maybe they thought “the murderin’ redskin had it coming”. Or maybe, since Ethan was played by a noted “good guy” like Wayne, they’d have felt properly uncomfortable since it proves that the character isn’t a hero but an anti-hero, with a corrosive level of hatred that goes beyond the grave.
A brief scene of a grave-marker near the beginning shows that Ethan’s mother was killed by Comanches - the death of a family member is one of “the usual reasons” for any revenge-driven movie character - and Martin Scorsese writes…
(Ethan) hates Comanches so much that he actually has bothered to learn their beliefs in order to violate them.
(Ethan can also speak the Comanche language, going oddly far given his attitude which is that, quoting another film character entirely, “(I am) distrustful of language. A gun means what it says.“)
IMO this hatred at a spiritual level would have been equally shocking in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, at least among people of the same religion - you tried not to treat the enemy too badly either alive or dead in the hope that their side would do the same to yours.
It didn’t always happen - and still doesn’t, so we shouldn’t do any back-patting on that score - but sometimes it did even when not expected. A mass grave from the Battle of Lützen in the Thirty Years War, which was a really nasty religious war between flavours of Christianity, revealed that…
A few facts have already come to light. For example, the corpses…were, at
least, carefully laid to rest. The bodies were gathered from the
battlefield and placed in a grave next to the street, arranged in two
rows with their legs facing each other.
Several layers of dead probably lie within these two blocks, although
researchers have only uncovered the first. The burials were not taken
care of by the surviving soldiers, who were already on their way to the
next battle. Instead the good citizens of Lützen had to take on the
unpleasant job. They asked 200 soldiers in the neighboring garrison of
Weissenfels for extra support.
If there was care taken over laying out the bodies, it seems reasonable to assume that someone “said words” over them. Quite possibly the wrong words (Catholic service over Protestant corpses or vice versa) either because of what clergy was available, or maybe as a form of post-mortem conversion. It’s the thought that counts.
At least nobody said “Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms…”
This is that moment, as Bill Hicks so artfully stated, that those truly in control of the establishment pulled Trump into a dark room, showed him the Zapruder film, and asked “Any questions?”
The only awesome thing about this, even though there is nothing awesome about anything that’s going on these days, is that this man knows where all the bodies are buried, and he wants to burn everything. The bad news is…he’ll likely be on the news for a story about a small charter plane that disappeared and was never found.
For most of my life as a poet, I have been thinking about this very moment, when a poem enters into someone’s life. Most of the time, this happens in expected situations: a classroom, a wedding, a funeral. Maybe we have even chosen to pick up a book of them. But I believe that poems are meant to be a part of our lives. They are made up of our language, reconfigured and rearranged to make our minds move in different directions than they ordinarily would. At their best, they make something close to a waking dream.
A Personal History of the Zapruder Film
MY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️▫️
PUBLISHER Twelve/Hachette Audio
PUBLISHED November 16, 2016
“They killed him. They killed him.” Abraham Zapruder, cried. He was the first to know of John F. Kennedy’s death. He saw it through the zoom lens of his double 8mm video camera on that bright, sunny day at Dealey Plaza. The motorcade passed right in front of him, then he heard the gunfire. It was the most horrific thing he had ever seen. Everyone around him was stunned. The news reports said that Kennedy was taken to Parkland Hospital. But Abe knew he was already dead.
Abe immediately determined that he had to get a copy of his film to the Secret Service. News reporters were hounding him for a copy. The afternoon of the assassination, Zapruder along with the Secret Service went to the Eastman Kodak processing facility near Love Field to develop the double 8mm color film. Later that day he and others took the developed film and had three copies made at the Jamieson Film Company. He delivered two of the three duplicate copies to the Secret Service that night. Abe kept the original film and the third copy of the duplicate. And the long story of the film begins.
Alexandra Zapruder, Abe’s grandaughter, tells us her grandfather’s story of that horrendous day that he filmed President Kennedy’s motorcade in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. This book is the untold family story behind what happened to the twenty-six seconds of original film footage of Kennedy’s assassination. Alexandra uses personal family records, records from Life magazine who possessed the film for twelve years, other previously sealed archival sources, and interviews with family members and others who had contact with the film. She traces the films complex journey through history and most importantly, details the many controversies the family had to endure, with the media, the Federal government and the arts community.
This book is part biography, part family history, and part historical record. It shows how this historic film changed a family and raised some of the most important social, cultural, and moral questions of our time. The film was notably the most graphically violent of it’s time. Add to that, it was the death of a beloved president. It fueled debates about privacy, copyrights, access, and ownership.
Sometimes you read a book that makes your heart pound in your chest. A book that you can’t stop thinking about or talking about. This is one of those books. Of course it’s encompasses an monumental event in US history. But the book is not about the assassination. It’s only about the twenty-six second film of the assassination. The book was very educational, enlightening, and informative. I thought I knew all I needed to know about the Kennedy assassination. But I didn’t know this story.
I am ever so thankful to Alexandra Zapruder for meticulously pouring over pages and pages of documentation, conducting interviews and bringing the history of the film to light. The result is a comprehensive narrative that has shaped much of today’s thinking about access to such things in the future. The family faced a tremendous amount of controversy over the film. Owning such a thing, as shown in this book carries a tremendous amount of responsibility. Alexandra Zupruder clearly testifies to how her grandfather and her father carried out this responsibility.
Alexandra portrays her grandfather as an honorable man, whose only hope, in this horrific situation was to not cause any additional emotional harm to the Kennedy family by the exploitation of this film.
It is a well-written and thought-provoking book. But the book is long. Twenty-six Seconds is 480 pages and the audio is over 14 hours. So it’s quite a commitment. I would have enjoyed it more had it been somewhat more concise, but cannot imagine what she could have possibly cut.
The Umbrella Man stood near the Stemmons Freeway sign within Dealey Plaza during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He appears in the Zapruder film as well as in photographs and other films.
It was quite a sunny day with bright weather, so it was not very logical for anyone to even carry an umbrella with them. As the limousine approached, the man opened the umbrella and lifted it high above his head. He then spun and waved the umbrella around while the limousine passed him by. He was one of the closest bystanders to the President at the time the first bullet struck.
In the aftermath, the man sat down next to another man on the sidewalk. (He is seated on the right in the photograph above.) He then got up and walked toward the Texas School Book Depository, from which the shots had supposedly been fired.
Of course, the Umbrella Man fed into a wild conspiracy theory. It was suggested by early researchers that he may have acted as a signaler of some kind. This would mean that he opened his umbrella as a “go ahead”-sign to the shooter and then raised it to communicate “fire a second round”. Another wilder theory suggests that the man may have fire a dart with a paralysing agent at the President, thus making him the perfect ‘sitting duck’ for the actual assassination.
An appeal to the public by the United States House Committee on Assassinations led to the Umbrella Man’s identification: Louie Steven Witt came forward and claimed to be this man. He was still in possession of the umbrella and had no idea he’d been subject to controversy! Mr Witt reported that he had used the umbrella as a means to heckle the President, whose father had been a supporter of Nazi-appeasing UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain usually carried a black umbrella with him, so Mr Witt used it as a protest against the appeasement of Adolf Hitler by the Kennedy family before WWII. John F. Kennedy would almost certainly have recognised its symbolism.
Louie Steven Witt passed away on November 17, 2014. His appearance in connection with the assassination immortalises him as a man who was, by his own account, “in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing”.
Poems are, in and of themselves, an assertion of both a particular imagination and a common humanity, the possibility that my dreams can be yours, and vice versa. That’s why very old poems can still feel completely present and meaningful to us and why the great new poems can feel very ancient.
The Single Bullet Theory is one of the defining investigation points of the Warren Commission’s findings concerning the death of President John F. Kennedy and the injuries sustained by Governor John Connally on November 22, 1963. It is a controversial theory that is believed to have been founded by Arlen Specter, first a staff member on the Commission and later a United States Senator, and that has sustained heavy criticism since its first publication. It is commonly assumed that this theory is essential to the belief that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The reason for that would be timing: there would not have been enough time between the injuries of the President and the Governor, as shown on the Zapruder film, for Oswald to have fired two shots from his rifle. This timing was confirmed for the Commission by FBI marksmen, who’d test-fired the rifle and timed the seconds between successful shots.
The theory posits that a single bullet, known as Warren Commission Exhibit 399 (CE399), caused all the Governor’s wounds as well as the President’s non-fatal wound. The bullet was later found intact on the gurney that had carried the Governor into Parkland Memorial Hospital. This theory would make this one bullet responsible for seven entry and exit wounds in total. It would have been fired from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository to strike the President’s neck before passing onward to strike Governor Connally in the chest and wrist before embedding itself in the Governor’s thigh. If this was the case, the bullet passed through the following: fifteen layers of clothing, seven layers of skin, and approximately fifteen inches of tissue. It would have struck a necktie knot, removed four inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone.
Critics say that there is no way that this bullet could have caused the number of wounds it did and still remain intact. Discrediting the theory, however, would give way to the possibility that there was more than one shooter present on-scene. Even the circumstances concerning the finding of the bullet in the hospital have been questioned. Some have posited that the bullet’s supposed trajectory was inconsistent with the positions of the President and Governor in the limousine, but evidence does suggest that the Governor was seated significantly lower than the President and that the Governor was rotated significantly to his right at the time the bullet would have struck. This would enable the bullet, as impossible as it may sound, to cause the exact injuries described above.
The bullet has frequently been referred to as ‘the magic bullet’. As evidence shows, it is entirely possible that the bullet was indeed fired from the 6th floor and followed the trajectory described. Older diagrams of the trajectory are based off of the assumption that the Governor was seated differently than evidence shows he was: it is not difficult to see why that previous supposed trajectory shown above gave way to the bullet being called 'magic’! More recent diagrams, like the one also shown above, take all the evidence into account and create a working and believable trajectory out of the erstwhile magic bullet.
Even so, it has also been inferred that Arlen Specter came up with the theory primarily as a means to convict Lee Harvey Oswald of the crime. It has been said throughout the research done in the past fifty-something years that one bullet remains unaccounted for. This is believed to be the 'missed shot’ that overshot the limousine and struck a curb nearby instead, injuring a bystander called James Tague with its debris. Tague’s story could not be dismissed, even though it complicated the effort to blame everything on Oswald in terms of things such as timing, and the single bullet theory is therefore said to have been coined in an effort to reconcile the 'missed shot’ with the rest of the evidence.
The single bullet theory is certainly one of the most remarkable theories associated with the assassination. It is also one that has been dissected thoroughly since its creation, relying on photographic and video evidence as well as on rifle tests and trajectory analyses alike in attempts to either confirm or dispute its thesis. If confirmed, the single bullet theory goes a long way in the conviction of a single assassin having been present on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. If disputed, the single bullet theory shows the Warren Commission’s relentless pursuit of one single killer and its possession of an uncomfortable disregard for all the other possible explanations out there.
Poetry is in fine shape now, as it has always been, even though there is a small industry of people periodically informing us it’s dead. Nevertheless, people go on writing it in all sorts of different ways.
And so Shockwave unleashed a horde of memorable Decepticon generics in The Transformers: The Movie! … or they would be memorable if their existence weren’t limited to like ten seconds of footage that required Zapruder-level scrutiny and a foreign-market Blu-Ray to get any detail. But that’s what I’m here for, right?
If you hadn’t guessed, I’m not quite back up to speed post-BotCon, necessitating my string of self-reblogs. I’ve still got some TFWiki stuff to tackle, some leftover thank-yous to write… plus some personal things going on, so original Tumblr output has kinda been put on the back-burner (though I have been keeping up with my dash).
I do have newly scanned material I want to get out there, but my self-instilled requirement of a new(ish) post every day has become a sort of buzzing distraction. I don’t know if it’s better to keep with the reblogs or stop wholesale until I’m really ready to “come back,” since I don’t feel like constant re-runs is respectful to you, the audience I’ve built up in the 3 years I’ve been here. If you’ve got feelings either way, well, I’m always open for a note. At this point, I’m leaning towards the “pause” button.
1,800 posts. Huzzah…
(I like to think of the dark blue guy as Fake-Eyes, because the colorist painted segments of his forehead - possibly his eyebrows - instead of where his eyes actually are.)
Why make these revelations now? Did you build the cliffhanger into season two knowing that there’d be a hiatus at some point?
There were a number of reasons, but that was definitely a consideration. It’s not easy to predict how the episodes will be spaced out, and in season one we were told by the channel that there would be a large mid-season hiatus. So to prepare for that contingency this time we decided to treat season two almost like two seasons, each with their own rising tensions and story arcs. That way if it was split up again we’d at least be breaking it into satisfying chapters.
But the other reason—and possibly more important one—is that half of the fandom had already figured the mystery out! As early as “Carpet Diem” in season one, fans were beginning to speculate about the meaning of the mysterious glasses in the Carpet Room, and during the year break between seasons, those speculations grew into full-blown “Stan has a brother!” exposés by the fans. I’m talking PowerPoint presentations, flow charts, timelines—this is probably the first time a Disney TV show has been analyzed like the Zapruder film. When we began season two, we knew that we couldn’t wait all season to dig into this. Halfway through the season seemed like a good compromise.
The authorship of the three journals was one of Gravity Falls’ biggest mysteries. How do you feel now that you no longer have to keep that secret? Does this free you up to tell stories that go beyond the contents of the journals—or is it the start of a whole new mystery?
Gravity Falls is a show about mysteries and magic but first and foremost it’s a show about characters. The arrival of a new member of the Pines family will have ripples that dramatically affect the lives of Dipper, Mabel, Stan, and others. It’s exciting to finally reveal this big answer, but even more exciting to me are the new mysteries that this will begin to illuminate. Stan sacrificed so much to bring his brother back, but who is Stan’s brother? Why was McGucket so worried? How are the children’s destinies tied up in all this? What is Bill Cipher really after—and who is the true villain in Gravity Falls? For fans of the show, the mystery has only just begun.
Was Stan’s brother part of your original concept for Gravity Falls? Or was he a piece of the puzzle that presented itself after the series was in production?
Believe it or not, Stan having a secret brother was the plan from the very beginning, and if you start to go down the Reddit rabbit hole, I think your mind might be a little blown by just how many clues and hints we planted pointing to this conclusion, even going back to the very first episode. From blatant things like Stan’s license plate having the wrong name (seen in episode 102, “The Legend Of The Gobblewonker”), to metaphorical clues, like the broken two-kid swing set in Stan’s mind (seen in episode 120 “Dreamscaperers”). Even the title of this episode is a reference to the code “Stan is Not What He Seems” hidden in the theme song seen in our very first episode. Ever wondered why Stan was so distraught at his wax doppelgänger’s “death” in “Headhunters”? The Internet sure did, and they’ve been very busy putting it all together ever since!
How can Stan rebuild the trust Mabel and Dipper had in him? Or is that bridge burned?
Mabel is a character who’s trusting and forgiving by nature, and I think as long as she believes someone’s heart is in the right place she will give them a second, third, and fourth chance. Dipper isn’t nearly as trusting, so I think that when someone finally earns his trust, it is much more heartbreaking to have it violated. Remember: The kids knew Stan as a liar before they knew him as someone who truly cared about them, so I think for a character like Dipper, he’s more mad at himself that he let himself trust an obvious con man like Stan in the first place. It’s a huge blow to his ego, a huge betrayal, and I think it will leave him feeling isolated from his family in a way he hasn’t been before. Where these feelings take Dipper will be explored in the upcoming episodes.
In making “Not What He Seems,” were there any cliffhanger episodes from other series that you looked to as an inspiration, or as a guide for what to do/what not to do?
Cliffhangers are a lot of fun, but I think they can be easily abused if you’re not careful. The test I use is this: “Would the episode have still been satisfying on its own, even without the cliffhanger?” If the answer is yes, then the storyteller has earned the twist. If the answer is no, you’re making a soap opera—an endless trail of breadcrumbs but no actual bread. Episodes like last season’s “Gideon Rises” deliver an entire satisfying adventure with its own conclusion before blindsiding you with the cliffhanger, and our goal is to follow that model.
There’s a “government agents coming for E.T.” vibe to the arrest scene in “Not What He Seems.” Were you hoping to show that Agents Powers and Trigger could pose as great a threat to the Pines as any of the paranormal forces in Gravity Falls?
Definitely. I remember as a kid being scared of the things that go bump in the night, but I was way more scared of adults. We wanted to show that in the world of Gravity Falls, Stan’s actions have had serious consequences, and that Dipper and Mabel are up against something they’ve never faced before. Ultimately though, the agents are just a plot device. Their most important role, from a narrative perspective, is to act as a catalyst to turn our characters against each other and force them to confront their allegiances to one another.
The events of “Not What He Seems” affect the whole town—were there any citizens of Gravity Falls that you were hoping to integrate into the episode, but couldn’t?
Our episodes have a strict 21-minute time length, and if I go even one frame over that, Mickey Mouse will eat me in my sleep. So every episode has ideas, characters, jokes, and scenes that I wish I could have included but had to be cut for time. Characters are sometimes skipped if they don’t directly affect the plot and we’re tight on time. “Northwest Mansion Mystery,” for example, didn’t have any Soos in it at all for this reason. This is actually something that fans frequently dedicate totally undue drama to. I see stuff like, “There was no Robbie this week! He must be dead!” “Mabel had less lines this week than last week! Hirsch hates Mabel!” “WHERE’S GRENDA?! I ONLY WANT GRENDA!” I’m glad fans love the characters so much, but rest assured Gravity Falls fans! Whoever your favorite character is, they’ll be back, and it’ll be awesome.
Is there any significance to the “C” shape that the secret code to Stan’s hideout forms on the vending machine keypad? “C” for “Cipher, Bill” maybe? Or is this a “Is it a rock, or is it a face? I think it’s a metaphor” situation?
Your tin foil hat is starting to show, Erik! We never intended any significance to the shape of Stan’s secret vending machine code, but just the fact that you’re asking these questions makes me very happy. When I was 12 years old, I was obsessed with codes, conspiracies, and secret messages. I would record TV commercials with SoundRecorder.exe on Windows 95 and reverse them to see if I was being subliminally influenced to watch Pokémon by Japanese spies. (It turns out I wasn’t. Or was I?) My goal with Gravity Falls is to make people as paranoid and insane as I was as a child, and I’m delighted to see it’s working! Haha. Gravity Falls has transformed the children of America into an army of Dippers. I couldn’t be more proud!
Where are you planning to take the show from here? And how soon until a new episode airs?
Networks are pretty tight lipped about programming strategies, but I’ve been told that Gravity Falls will return “this summer.” Although I don’t know the exact date, you can trust me: The wait will be worth it. Anyone who enjoyed this first half of the season will have their face melted off by the second half. Get ready!
Prompt: An older one from castlefanficprompts. AU S1 “why don’t you shut up and put your mouth to better use” so he does. M rating.
She’s going to kill him. Him and his stupid theories, him and his constant questions, him and his cocky grin and his blue eyes and his broad shoulders and the way he crowds in close to her that turns her on more than she will ever, ever admit.