Monthly Archives: June 2012

Jesus In Sunderland


News of a simulacrum – identified as usual but with no real justification as Jesus – not only in this city, but just  a few streets away from where I write this.

The image (above) is on the wall of the Mayho Chinese Takeaway in Neville Road, Sunderland. It was brought to general attention, via the Sunderland Echo newspaper, by Ian Ridley and Lawrence Boys, who had called in for a takeawy.

Ridley: “We were quite drunk at the time and went to get something to eat. We were waiting four our meal outside when we saw it. It was Jesus looking right at us, we were shocked and couldn’t believe it. It’s a miracle !

“The best thing about it is the face is actually facing the direction of St Luke’s church so it looks like it’s supposed to be there.”

Why are simulacra that look like bearded figures inevitably identified as Jesus ? No-one has the faintest idea what he actually looked like, if indeed he actually was an identifiable historical person.

The New Testament includes no description of the physical appearance of Jesus before his death and its narrative is generally indifferent to racial appearances and does not refer to the features of the people it discusses. One thing we can probably bet on with any certainty is that he didn’t look like all those blue-eyed western European images that we’re so familiar with. If anything, I’d imagine he looked like a modern-day Palestinian.

Given its proximity to St Luke’s (the local Christian church) why not identify it as Luke himself ?  But then,  why limit ourselves to Christian deities ?

Given the nature of the business on whose wall it appeared, perhaps we should be looking towards the East.

Personally, I’d vote for Tsai-Shen, Chinese god of wealth and  – I’ve heard it said – so popular that even athiests worshipped him. Certainly a fortunate sign to appear on a Chinese business.
Below is a statuette of Tsai-Shen. Compare the facial features with those of the simulacrum.

What do you reckon ?



Mr. Frankenstein


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Almanac – June 30th

1837 – An act of parliament put an end to the use of the pillory as punishment in the Uk.

1859 – French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1905Albert Einstein publishesd the article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, in which he introduces special relativity.

1908 – The Tunguska Event occured in  Siberia –  an enormously powerful explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 7:14 a.m. KRAT (0:14 UT).

The explosion, having the hypocenter, (60.886°N, 101.894°E), is believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3–6 mi) above the Earth’s surface. Different studies have yielded varying estimates of the object’s size, with general agreement that it was a few tens of metres across. It is the largest impact event on or near Earth in recorded history.

The explosion knocked an estimated 80 million trees down over an area covering 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi). It is estimated that the shock wave from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.

Other possible causes suggested include a crashing UFO, a Black hole passing through the Earth, anti-matter, and a side-effect of an experiment by Nikola Tesla


1934The Night Of The Long Knives in Germany. Adolf Hitler ordered the summary execution of those in the Nazi party who oppsed him.


Mr. Frankenstein



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Jayne Mansfield & Jimi Hendrix

Today being the 45th anniversary of the death of Jayne Mansfield  got me remembering  the single  she recorded with Jimi Hendrix.

Well – sort of. It was Jayne’s record,  pre-fame Jimi, playing bass and lead, appeared as a session musician. I’ve no idea if they were even in the studio at the same time – according to Hendrix historian Steven Roby (Black Gold: The Lost Archives Of Jimi Hendrix, Billboard Books), this collaboration occurred because they shared the same manager.

The tracks were “As The Clouds Drift By”  b/w  “Suey”

Details for the UK release-

Composers:   As The Clouds Drift By – (Brodsky)  Suey – (Ed Chalpin, Douglas Henderson)
Producer:  Ed Chalpin?
Release date:  21 July 1967
Label:  London
Catalog number: HL 10147



Kind of nice in a 1960s girl-group way, with maybe a nod towards Marianne Faithfull ?



A bit more raunchy, this one, a bit more funky. I have this fantasy of her being backed by The Cramps…what a collaboration that would have been.

Never a dumb blonde, Jayne  had classical training in piano and violin. She sang in English and German for a number of her films, and in  1964  MGM Records  released a novelty album called Jayne Mansfield: Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky & Me, in which she recited Shakespeare’s sonnets and poems by Marlowe, Browning, Wordsworth, and others against a background of Tchaikovsky’s music. The album cover depicted a bouffant-coiffed Mansfield with lips pursed and breasts barely covered by a fur stole, posing between busts of Tchaikovsky and Shakespeare. The New York Times described the album as a reading of “30-odd poems in a husky, urban, baby voice”.



I’d rather like to hear more of that album. It kind of reminds me of the rather strange late-1960s album that actor Peter Wyngarde recorded…but that’s another story.


Mr. Frankenstein


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Almanac – June 29th

1613 – London’s Globe Theatre burned down during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. A cannon shot employed for special effects ignited the theatre’s thatched roof (and the beams), burning the building to the ground.

1644 Charles I of England defeats a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, the last battle won by an English King on English soil. And against English people.

1916 – Irish patriot Roger Casement found guilty of treason in a Dublin court and sentenced to death.

1967 – Actress Jayne Mansfield killed in a car crash – rumors that she was decapitated are untrue, though she did suffer severe head trauma.




1980Vigdis Finnbogadottir elected president of Iceland, becoming Europe’s first democratically elected female head of State.


Mr. Frankenstein


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Sycophancy Knows No Limits

Its been there since 1858, it’s officially called the Clock Tower, but most people probably know it by the name of the bell it houses – Big Ben.

But now, in the latest bit of jubilee sycophancy, it is to be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honour of Mrs Windsor, the House of Commons has confirmed.

It follows a campaign, backed by most MPs and the three main party leaders, to rename the tower in recognition of the Queen’s 60 years of unelected privilidge. The House of Commons authorities have now agreed the change – like they were ever likely to say no.

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood originally proposed the idea an early day motion which was backed by 40 MPs. The motion called on the House of Commons Commission to consider the change “in recognition of Her Majesty’s 60 years of unbroken public service on behalf of her country”. Mr Ellwood is no doubt contemplating  a just reward in a future honours list.

And this at a time when many of those same MPs are seriously considering cutting the benefits of those already at the bottom of the pile… something that I hope voters will bear in mind come the next election. 

Coming soon –

> Stonehenge to be renamed Queenhenge.

> Glastonbury Tor to be renamed Sixty Glorious Years Tor.

> London to be renamed Elizabethville.

Why not ?  The sycophancy seems to know no bounds now.

Mr. Frankenstein



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Almanac – June 28th

1712 – Birth of Jean-Jaques Rousseau.

1846 – The saxophone was patented by Adolphe Sax in Paris.

1880 – The Australian bushranger Ned Kelly  captured at Glenrowan.

1905 – A French criminal named Languille was  guillotined. At the very moment his severed head tumbled forward from the blade, a Dr. Beaurieux observed movement in its eyelids and lips. Three times he called out Languille’s name in a loud voice. The first two times the eyes opened and focused on him. The third time, no reaction.

1914Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated in Sarajevo, setting in motion the events that led to World War I.

1924Arthur Ferguson suceeded in selling London’s Trafalgar Square to an American tourist for 6000 GBP. He later “sold” Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, before emigrating to the USA, where he was arrested trying to sell the Statue of Liberty.

1964Malcolm X forms the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

1969 Stonewall Riots begin in New York City marking the start of the Gay Rights Movement.

1975 – Death of  Rod Serling, American TV screenwriter, novelist, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone.

1993 –  Death of GG Allin, American singer, who I used to correspond with in the early 1980s.



Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – June 27th

1497 – Cornish Rebellion leaders  Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank executed at Tyburn, London, following the Cornish rebel’s defeat by by the King Henry VII’s forces at the Battle of Deptford Bridge on 17 June 1497.

1746 – Fresh from his defeat at Culloden, Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped over the sea to Skye, disguised as a maid. 

1844 Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother Hyrum Smith, were murdered by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail.

1859Mildred Hill born. She was the composer of “Happy Birthday To You”, said to be the most frequently sung song in the English language. It was originally called “Good Morning To All” and intended to brighten up morning assemblies for children [Hill was a teacher].

1905 – The famous mutiny took place aboard the Russian battleship Potemkin, in Odessa harbour, on the Black Sea. Sailors started a mutiny , denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to war. Later the subject of a film by Sergei Eisenstein.



Mr. Frankenstein



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