Journal: Karloff Knew

Congratulations: you have made it to July 5, 2022. Let’s see what’s happening in the world, and in my world.

On this day in 1937, Spam hit the supermarket aisles. In 1954, Elvis recorded his first single for Sun records. In ‘94 Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, and in ‘96 Dolly the sheep was cloned. Born on this date was P.T. Barnum, Jean Cocteau, Huey Lewis, Bill Watterson, and Edie Falco.

The day after July 4th can be a little “fuzzy” for some people. If it wasn’t the partying in celebration of the birth of the United States, perhaps the fireworks kept you up. Myself, I had exactly one (count ‘em one) can of beer yesterday, separated into 2 parts with a sojourn in the fridge. My normally jangled nerves during the usual barrage of explody equipment (set off literally right in front of my house) was moderated by some magnesium & vitamin B complex.

Mr. Peanut & friend

The day before, July 3rd, I had a sudden hankering to revisit the 1968 Peter Bogdanovich film “Targets,” featuring horror legend Boris Karloff playing essentially horror legend Boris Karloff. Bogdanovich himself co-stars, portraying a young man in the movie industry geeking out over his access to peeps like Boris Karloff. And the essential plot is borrowed from the actual real-life incident in which a young man named Charles Whitman went bug-f**k crazy and started shooting people from a Texas clock tower.

Of course, the day after I suddenly revisited “Targets” for no discernible reason I could muster, another disturbed young man shot a bunch of people from a rooftop during a parade in a reasonably affluent Chicago suburb. This gentleman—an aspiring rapper from said Chicago suburb, the son of a former mayoral candidate—managed to create & upload beforehand what is essentially a “music video” telegraphing his eventual murderous rampage. His channel has been subsequently been scrubbed by YouTube.

As of this writing, just about less than a full 24-hour period since the killings, a steady army of YouTubers have lovingly preserved this young man’s rap videos & other assorted recorded ephemera & have enshrined him as a “minor god” within the chimeric murk of internet culture.

It seems to me to be quite a “rerun,” this story of the quirky young man who snaps and then obliterates innocent bystanders with a machine gun. I believe I watched all this years ago on some fancy indie movie channel, perhaps 2AM, perhaps directed by Gus Van Sant.

Or maybe it was just that movie “Targets,” starring Boris Karloff.


Today is also apparently when CERN will be firing up its Large Hadron Collider for a lucky third time. There are, in certain circles, a lot of conspiracy theories and general hysteria regarding this event. I would analyze these conspiracy theories, perhaps chuckle at a couple of the most extreme, but then the concern is that I would be taken “seriously” by some readers who lack a basic sense of irony; and thus, I would, despite my satirical intentions, be Part Of The Problem.

Similarly, I am at present staying away from interpreting any of the COPIOUS (copious) conspiracy memes, buzzwords, and imagery on display in the rap videos of the July 4th Chicago Parade Shooter.


Does irony even exist anymore? Or was it just another example of excess created by a spoiled & bored bourgeoise?


Karloff tells the story “Appointment in Samarra”: