Archive for December, 2010

The Hand of Death

This could have been America: FTW Part II

This series of blog posts are intended to make use of all that damn research we did and couldn’t fit into the show itself, and also to give you a little taste of the many varied bodies our shows go through before they’re given their true shape and form. Enjoy!

As our last post illustrated, Edward Bernays was just what we were looking for when we were looking for a supervillain. But there were four faces of evil that showed themselves to us and were dying for a good mocking. Bernays was just one. Here is another: The Hand of Death cult.

From left: Edward Bernays, the RAND Corporation, the Hand of Death cult, and the Boy Scouts of America, pictured here in a rare moment of NOT engaging in heinous behavior.

Let it go ahead and be said that The Hand of Death, among all our supervillains, is the only one that is probably not real. OR IS IT? There are so few facts and so much wild speculation that, unless they themselves called a press conference, it’s pretty impossible to know if they actually exist. I tend to believe that they don’t, but that might just be wishful thinking.

Here are the facts:
Ottis Toole was a really creepy dude, and he killed a lot of people, most famously Adam Walsh, the son of John Walsh, the host of America’s Most Wanted. Unfortunately for Toole, he had a shitty family. His mom dressed him in girl’s clothes, his older sister slept with him, and his grandmother was a Satanist and made him rob graves and cut himself, and he had to fuck his dad’s best friend when he was 5. Plus he had epilepsy and was probably retarded. So naturally, he turned to arson and murder. What can you really expect from the guy? Was he gonna be a lawyer or something? Really. You think so? Fuck you and your judgements.

Regardless of his background, it’s widely recognized that Ottis Toole was a completely horrible person who did horrible shit and is totally burning in Hell right now, if you’re into that kind of thing or, if you’re not, he has totally become one with all creation. Doesn’t…quite…have the same ring to it….

At any rate, Ottis Toole claimed to have killed 108 people and said that sometimes–not all the time, because sometimes he killed for s’s and g’s–he killed people for a cult called the Hand of Death.

This cult was also named by Henry Lee Lucas, a contemporary of Toole’s, as well as Charles Manson and the Son of Sam. Reliable sources all.

Pictured: a reliable source.

Here’s the hearsay:
The Hand of Death is located at a mobile paramilitary base in the Everglades, where they teach people all kinds of specialized skills like arson, car theft, kidnapping, child abduction, rape and murder. The cult also takes part in Satanic rituals, including cannibalization and crazy drug and sex orgies that make your Saturday night rager look like a Monday morning. Not only that, but the Hand of Death is supposed to be involved in abducting children to sell to wealthy couples on a “gray market,” so named because it is as depressing as it sounds. There’s no limit: necrophilia, child pornography, drug trafficking. Whatever you want, the Hand of Death is there to hold your hair back while you do it.

So obviously we really wanted to make fun of the Hand of Death cult and make them look like total bitches. But then we Google-image-searched for “the hand of death” and this picture came up:

So you see, sometimes these things take care of themselves.


Leave a comment »

Addicted to bacon? Blame this guy

This could have been America: FTW Part I

This series of blog posts are intended to make use of all that damn research we did and couldn’t fit into the show itself, and also to give you a little taste of the many varied bodies our shows go through before they’re given their true shape and form. Enjoy!

For awhile, America FTW was going to have recurring characters, and we discussed having a supervillain who was responsible for all the evil bullshit that was going down throughout history. But who could it be? I mean, the Illuminati is cliche, and let’s face it, the unholy trinity of Bush, Dick and Rove is way too obvious. During our research, however, there emerged the brilliantly arrogant father of public relations, Edward Bernays.

Handsome and witty, this man’s mustache could sell anything.

Bernays was Sigmund Freud’s nephew and a bonafide spin doctor. He was so good at propaganda that Goebbels, Hitler’s right-hand man, used Bernays’ book to establish his propaganda campaign against the Jews in Germany. That’s talent. Bernays essentially used all the psychoanalysis his good ol’ uncle Siggy was laying down on him and used it to sway public opinion. For example, it was Bernays who established bacon and eggs as the All-American breakfast. He asked a bunch of physicians if they thought people should eat a hearty breakfast, and when they said yes, he turned around and told all of us that our doctors wanted us to eat a hearty breakfast while showing us a picture of bacon and eggs. No attention is called to the bacon; it’s just there, and that insidious subtlety does the trick. Suddenly, it just ain’t breakfast without bacon.

Or sausage, eggs, pancakes, eggs, toast, cereal, toast, milk and juice.

Now, even though his power of salesmanship got used by the wrong people and even though he made us all way fatter than we would have been, the guy wasn’t all bad. It turns out Bernays had a soft side: he also successfully hosted the very first NAACP convention right here in Atlanta, GA using a campaign that focused the convention on the very useful things black people have done for Southern white people. The NAACP was so impressed that nobody was maimed or beaten up or killed at that convention that they let Bernays handle their PR for years after.
He also really helped out the tobacco industry when he hired a bunch of models to march in the New York City parade and smoke cigarettes. He told the press they were a bunch of suffragettes lighting “Torches of Freedom.” The press ate it up and the taboo of women smoking in public was broken. One glass ceiling down, ladies!

Unfortunately I think all that glass landed in my cigarette. Oh well, whatevs!

Bernays didn’t stop with the tobacco industry, though. He’s a helping kind of guy. When the U.S. government and the United Fruit Company (but you can call me Chiquita Banana) needed help overthrowing the democratically elected president of Guatemala so they could pay laborers nothing to pick bananas day in and day out, Bernays didn’t hesitate. He portrayed Jacobo Arbenz Guzman as a communist and now bananas are cheap, cheap, cheap! And also a part of your complete breakfast.

Though the real mystery is how they managed to make the most phallic fruit in the world into a sexy woman banana.

Seriously. It’s like a cross-dressing penis.

Comments (1) »

Loaded Guns: the aftermath


Srsly, you guys, Loaded Guns: America FTW! went even better than we could have dreamed. We sold out the whole weekend, which is a FIRST for us! We usually do pretty well but we’ve never been standing room only for an entire weekend. A lot of new cast members equaled a lot of new audience members, and they really seemed to enjoy themselves even though they had no idea what to expect. AND we’ve been getting so many compliments on the show itself! People said it was their favorite show yet, that it got better and better the more you thought about it, that it was smart, witty, and funny, and that they’d never seen anything like it. We just can’t get over how great the response has been. This is just what we were looking for when we decided to dig back into our comedy roots and do another zany, crazy comedy with a huge cast–it’s just a fun, electrifying feeling that can’t be equaled by anything else, and clearly it’s your favorite thing that we do.

The only thing that REALLY sucked is that our friend and one of our new cast members, Evelyn Danielle Butler, got super sick on Saturday and wasn’t able to finish out the run with us. That was a major bummer because she is awesome. Those of you who saw the show on Friday, you’re lucky!! You got to witness her awesome in action. We missed you, Evelyn! Hope you’re feeling 100% better!

We learned a whole lot during our research for writing this show, and in an effort to retain some of that learnin’, I want to share some of that information with you, because it was really interesting and we didn’t get to fit everything in that we wanted to because then the play would have been…let’s see…518 years long. Oh well. Anyway, be looking for some well-written and insightful posts about Edward Bernays, the RAND Corporation, the Libertarian Floating Castle, Ida McKinley, Baron von Steuben, and more. I personally am very much looking forward to writing these posts so I hope you’re also looking forward to reading them. Trust me, they might sound academic but you know I’ll throw in a curse word here and there to make sure you’re paying attention.

Thanks to everyone who made it out this weekend! If you didn’t, that’s cool; it’s your loss and you should have been there.
Don’t look at me like that.
I said, don’t look at me like–
Fine. FINE! I shouldn’t give this to you, but I will. Here is a link to a bunch of photos that our friend Eddie Ray took, and below is video Eddie took of some of the dance numbers. I also uploaded one of the sketches we filmed called Squaw Swap; we’ll be putting ALL of the show up on our YouTube channel as time permits, and this is the first thing that made it on there. YOU’RE WELCOME. I hope you enjoy! Check back later for more video or like us on Facebook!

So, what’s next, you say? When are we performing next? What show are we doing? What about cakesit? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!! LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA!!!

Lemme get back to you on that….

Leave a comment »