This piece is cross-posted in my Substack newsletter.
Earlier this week, NBC Nightly News ran a story about UFOs keyed to the controversy over the Pentagon confirming that night-vision video of a triangle apparently in the sky had been taken by Navy personnel. In the story, reporter Gadi Schwartz interviewed ex-Pentagon functionary and ex-To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science security official Lue Elizondo, who told Schwartz that UFOs had been involved in compromising American nuclear sites. “We’ve actually had some of our nuclear capabilities disabled by these things,” he said. Schwartz tweeted his suggestion that Navy ships encounter UFOs because of the nuclear issue as well. “As for the nuke question, may or may not have any bearing... but worth noting that our carriers and subs are nuclear powered. Which would mean any carrier group is likely traveling with several nuclear reactors,” he wrote.
Speaking at the Young America’s Foundation on Monday, former senator and current CNN pundit Rick Santorum raised eyebrows when he appeared to denigrate Native Americans by suggesting the United States had been terra nullius when white English colonists established the country as a Judeo-Christian religious republic. “We birthed a nation from nothing,” he said. “I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes we have Native Americans but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture. It was born of the people that came here.” As, should be obvious, there were Native cultures from one end of the Americas to the other prior to the colonial era. The myth of an empty continent peopled only with savages was always a bit of European propaganda used to justify colonization and conquest.
Over on Substack, I reviewed the three-hour conversation between Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine and controversial Canadian academic Jordan B. Peterson. You can read my thoughts here.
Controversy erupted at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology yesterday when Prof. Elizabeth Weiss of San Jose State University delivered a presentation based on her recent book in which she attacked the federal law mandating the return of Native American objects and remains for repatriation and protecting Native graves. According to social media posts after the event, Weiss also attacked Native people as lacking the objectivity to perform archaeology and said they should not participate the scientific study of the past. Weiss is also the wife of Ancient Aliens star Nick Pope, whose show similarly takes a dim view of Native peoples, arguing that they are not-fully-human alien hybrids who only clawed their way up from the dirt with the help of powerful, superior outsiders.
I have a new piece about the 1978 Incredible Hulk TV series and its weird connection to homophobic language policing over on my Substack newsletter. Read it here.
In one of the most depressing developments of the year, Legendary Entertainment, the company behind the so-called MonsterVerse, has announced plans to turn the History Channel series Ancient Aliens into an adventure movie, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be developed by Counterbalance Entertainment, the showrunners behind the Cobra Kai revival series.
The following was cross-posted in my Substack newsletter.
This week, I am experimenting with a newsletter format, featuring a longer piece of writing divided into shorter articles rather than separate posts. In this issue, we’ll look at the Today show’s promotion of the curse of the pharaohs, a new article about ancient Greek mythology’s connection to the Bronze Age, and we’ll review a historical piece by a famous writer linking American mounds to Atlantis.
Note: This piece first ran earlier this week in my Substack newsletter. I am cross-posting it here.
A firestorm erupted this weekend in intellectual circles when economic philosopher Guy Sorman told the Sunday Times that the famed—and long dead—French intellectual Michel Foucault was a pedophile who sexually exploited young boys in Tunisia in the late 1960s. Sorman said that he witnessed boys eager to trade sexual favors for Foucault’s money. “They were eight, nine, ten years old, he was throwing money at them and would say ‘let’s meet at 10pm at the usual place’,” a nearby cemetery, Sorman told the Times. “He would make love there on the gravestones with young boys. The question of consent wasn’t even raised.”
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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