OM157 - The Reindeer Wizards

Do you remember when Reindeer Wizards opened for Cocaine Hippos? John’s sister used to play on the Reindeer Wizards, it was her Junior High basketball team, but the band came first.

This episode is mostly about the Skolt Lapps.

Ken and John as Tintin and Captain Haddock (OM157)

Robert Musel had one of the great journalistic careers and was probably the last typewriter clacking shoe leather wearing kind of journalist. At 43 he got sent to London by United Press and covered the war. He was the London Bureau Chief for UPI for 50 years. It doesn’t exist anymore, but wasn’t that a romantic life at the time? Ken’s idea of a reporter was Tintin who went around finding sunken treasures and solving mysteries, which really seemed like the life because he never filed a thing.

Ken is amazingly Tintin-like, now that he mentions it. He has Tintin hair and people don’t know that he always puts the little quiff up in the front when they record the show. It makes John Captain Haddock with billions of blistering blue barnacles. John is always drunk and disorderly. All they need is a Professor Calculus to join their show, they need John Hodgman to come on and fill this role. Ken also has a little yappy dog that he could bring, it would be perfect!

Random bits (OM157)

John lives in a 7-sided lighthouse made of Bing Crosby posters.

The title comes from a December 27th 1951 BBC Broadcast titled Reindeer Wizards.

Last night Ken dreamed he was eating flour and sugar, two things he is currently not allowed to do by his wife. He had a very elaborate dream about sneaking snacks.

Spooky action at a distance (OM157)

John loves spooky action at a distance! For example if he orients his Quad Americano coffee on his desk and unbeknownst to him, all the way across this great land, a paramour of him, an old fling, is reorienting her coffee cup to orient with John’s at this very moment, but neither of them know it or mean it. They are connected by a tendril, a thread of quantum connection. That is not actually what spooky action at a distance really is, but it is how John likes to think of it.

There are enough times where things like this are revealed in the form of picking up the phone and the person you were going to call was already there. In many instances these things are verifiable, which suggests that there is an exponential number of them happening without us being able to verify them. Ken and John surely do not believe in coincidence, but in a mechanistic universe with a clock maker and in pre-destination.

The best example is John thinking of somebody he hasn’t talked to in 9 years and he gets a message from them that day, not even the next day. There is some kind of telepathy and it happens all the time! Like social Darwinism is a misreading of Darwinism, social spooky action at a distance is a metaphor like the 100th monkey effect, a hypothetical phenomenon as seen in nature. Ken and John are telepathy skeptics and ESP (Extrasensory perception) skeptics because you would think there would be better data.

John doesn’t think somebody can read his mind, but he does believe there is some strange connection between him and people 3000 miles away who chose to email him the same day he thinks of them. What is it? Many ancient and primitive cultures shared John’s believe that there was some other world that could be tapped into, like 1990s Indie Rock, an ancient primitive culture, but let’s go even further back to the Sami people of Lapland in Northern Scandinavia, which are being referred to in this article.

Paganism (OM157)

John has always contended, having travelled quite a bit in that area, that Christianity is only the thinnest veneer on all of Northern Europe’s deep animistic pagan roots that they have never truly surrendered. Wizards, elves, dwarfs and magic play an outsized role in Danish culture, certainly in Icelandic culture and there is a lot of magic in Scandinavia.

The reindeer in Anchorage (OM157)

Many years ago a family with a house right on the park strip in Downtown Anchorage kept a reindeer year round in a caged front yard. It was their little quirk and because it was in the center of town tourists were walking by and this reindeer ended up on ”While you are in Anchorage, go see Bucky the reindeer!”, but it was just a little house with a fence in the front yard and a reindeer, an animal that is meant to roam over hundreds of miles. Every time one of them died they just got another one.

John playing the ukulele for a camel (OM157)

There is a nursery in Seattle that has reindeer every winter and formerly even a camel. One Christmas John played the ukulele for that reindeer and camel, sitting in a little sleigh and playing some Christmas songs, which is viewable online. Ken likes that John has both a Captain Haddock and a Santa side. The camel and the reindeer were non-plussed by John's music, it did not rouse them from their torpor.

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