My Word

Look, I am not a so-called Liberal and I am not a so-called Conservative.

Nor am I a so-called Centrist.

I repudiate dogma and everyone/anyone who adheres to dogma with their milky, emaciated arms.

I rise above.

That being said … Alec Baldwin having the callous nerve to assert in an interview “ … I didn’t pull the trigger …”

… That’s … erg … whuff … DAMN … beneath Hollywood’s shittiest scripts.

Even though I like Bill Clinton and would vote for him again if he weren’t a near-skeleton, it also seems several levels beneath “…I didn’t inhale …” and “… I never had sexual relations with that woman.”

Bloody hell.

It must be pretty bad if he’s going on the media “offense” by essentially saying that the gun was in his hand and he pointed it at the deceased/injured and yet his finger did not trigger the gun.

Hopefully his totally Spanish wife has a secret hacienda outside of Barth-ey-lo-na … or “how you say een Eenglish … coo-cum-ber.” ???

Born and raised and melted in Boston.

La Dona. Great Spanish Lady. Noble and GENUINE.

Oh, so genuine.

I predict that Baldwin’s “…I didn’t pull the trigger …” approach will collapse.

But probably not as quickly as Halnya Hutchins collapsed when his gunshot killed her.

Like the bastards in Washington (where ugly/talentless Hollywood actors go to get FAME & $$$) … I hope Baldwin reaps ONLY (and every) iota deserved.

Then heeese whyyyyfe can pound her TEE-tas in lamentation while dancing a sad FLA-meng-ko.

Just fortifying my previous rant.

No, there is no shame left, apparently. But not on my part

Someone is dead and will be absent from her family’s Christmas table, but GODDAMN, let’s make sure that Alec Baldwin seems/looks/appears scot-free! Get out there in public and create a NARRATIVE!

With Strepto’CocculusFluff interviewing him, no less.

#WatchAndWonder

Just Another Voice, Braying Amid the Din

Jesus wept.


That’s one of the handful of things I believe to have actually, probably occurred “as written” in the otherwise motley hodgepodge of boring-ass accounts known as “The New Testament”.

If Jesus didn’t weep, He damned well should’ve wept. Who would fail to weep, a little, after taking a gander at this fucked-up existence? This world did not spin into being—one infinitesimal offshoot of an ancient, unfathomable BANG—to favor the weak or the torpid or the slow or the stupid or the lazy or (Jesus is REALLY crying, now) The Good.

Some researcher who earned my respect in the past (fuck it—I can’t remember his name at this late hour) once emphasized that humans are a surprisingly forgetful species, in terms of the generational retention of important events. Whether it be the original insult or squabble that started a decades-long family feud or the factual reason(s) why millions of people perished in world wars, plagues, or other natural disasters, human brains—left to their own devices and without access to up-to-the-minute documentation—tend to get very murky about serious sociological details after 40–50 years. Even after 20 years, crucial “lore” begins to break-down without unimpeachable back-up. Oh yeah.

And let’s face it: How unimpeachable do you think your “back-up” will be in 10 years? 20 years?

Facts get skewed by the average human mind within hours of witnessing “acts” that have genuinely taken place, much less the recollections of yesterday and youth. Don’t even think about giving an accurate account of some event you did not behold with your own eyes or hear with your own ears, ever.

The irony is that humans do this all the fucking time, concerning matters that have absolutely nothing to do with their own, frequently myopic, world “views”. Humans claim to see things they never saw, to have been connected to events far removed from their immediate experiences, to possess insight regarding matters that might as well be stuffed up the darkened assholes of undiscovered sea snails hoovering the sands at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.

We lie. We twist. We misspeak. We distort. We … lose perspective.

Often with the biggest smiles on our faces and the finest intentions planted in our frontal lobes.

What was my original point? (SEE! TOLD YA!)

Humans are not reliable witnesses, in general. We are not reliable memory-keepers when it comes to even the most important matters, without aid of unimpeachable documentation, and quite often our “documentation” (I’m looking at you, Old Testament and New Testament) is rather sketchy. This is why humans have, over the centuries, devised contracts and ledgers and promissory notes and judicial bodies and cameras and tape recordings and videotapes and computers and secret SPY CAMS and sundry.

And even when we see something happening, collectively, as it happened, as captured by some visual recording technique, our harebrained species will still fucking come-up with twelve different interpretations of what we are all able to witness over and over and over again with our very eyes. Different spins. Various delusions. Political assertions. Denials.

Why do I bring this up? Why do I mention this opinion, this well-researched observation about the capacity of human memory, individual and collective? (Oh, and it was historian/philosopher/theologian John McGuckin who “turned me on” to this principle—I did indeed just remember that without Googling or toggling. But, hell, I may be mistaken.)

I bring this up because we are a species in particularly serious trouble, at this point in Time.

Not that we have ever been out of serious trouble, ever, at ANY particular point in time, but some “moments” are better than others and it seems we fare best in the “moment by moment” framework of existence. I think we can all agree on that point, in the depths of our little blackened & grilled aortas.

We are in deep shit.

Our own ingenuity, as a species, has brought us to a point wherein the very protons and electrons within an atom can shudder or explode at our command. We have more power over and workable understanding of natural resources than at any other time in recorded human history, more access to such resources. We have greater sway over the horrors of disease and injustice and troublesome engineering than ever before in the annals of our kind. We have swift access to more useful and broadly disseminated information at our very fingertips than any civilization could have ever dreamed possible.

And we are still fucking everything up. Amid such thrilling promise, we nevertheless stand, tip-toed, on a precipice before the Abyss.

The kicker? This is hardly the first time such a thing has happened to us, as a species. Not by a long shot.

Ask the bloated, gluttonous Romans of Late Antiquity.

Ask the ancient Egyptians at least seven or eight earth-shattering times in their long and astounding empire.

Ask the Renaissance.

Ask the Russians.

(Don’t ask the Chinese—they already have this latest interlude mapped-out and whistling.)

In our day, as in every other “day,” those who should be held the most accountable are the least accountable.

Those who ought to “know better,” forfeit their knowledge in favor of personal and political agendas—which are always, ultimately, personal.

In an age where absolute freedom of expression has never been more accessible to the masses, those freedoms are being “canceled” by sanctimonious dogmatists on both ends of the political peanut gallery. More to the point, humans are utilizing this amazing new access to expressive freedom in reckless and damaging ways.

Let us be frank: 70% of the contemporary and glorious Information Highway is used for pornographic purposes. Tits and dicks and people fucking … well, everything they can fuck, apparently. “Things” have gotten to the point wherein I cannot stomach the daily news reports online. Reports of previously upstanding citizens snagged in base and even barbaric cyber-rings of wickedness. One level of depravity seems to replace another, day by day, week by week, month by month, and the media seems breathless to report such things. Women, children, animals, vegetables, and, yes, men abused and trafficked, abusing and trafficking.

I guess the media must indeed reveal such things. It behooves a society to know, even if the same society doesn’t really do jack-shit to address the core horror. After all, we have a pill and a plan and publicist for everything. A cornucopia of resources.

Just like Bacchus.

Well, all of that is what it is, and some would say: “Power to the People!” in that regard, and I echo that statement. I’m not against freedom. No way, baby. In fact, there is no such thing as a lack of freedom.

Seriously.

If people “feel” they are not free, they have been and continue to be free to overthrow their oppressors by all sorts of ways and means, justified and unjustified. I support that. Some throughout history have killed themselves to escape intense pain, oppression, daily agony, and the reasonable knowledge that their fortunes are unlikely to change. I support that, as well.

I certainly prefer so-called happy endings, wherein outside individuals of courage rise to the challenge and fight to free the oppressed and the captive and the suffering.

But if the courageous are in short supply and the horizon is one bleak, obsidian night for any individual with control of his or her faculties … escape as best you can. Even unto death. What greater freedom can there be? To reject and outwit one’s oppressor, against every probability and without recourse, and escape. Escape and run for your life, even if you are shot in the back as you run.

I believe that every civilization has the right to destroy itself and then be refashioned amid the slog of a merciless Dark Age. Go for it.

I was personally devastated by two more tragedies in the news this week—the adult piece of shit who “allegedly” plowed into the Christmas parade in Wisconsin (WISCONSIN, for Christ’s sake!) and the “kid” who “allegedly” shot and killed three other kids and a teacher at his high school.

Two different circumstances, different individuals. Who knows what made the adult do it? Psychosis? Well, if so, the powers that be saw it coming, and coming, and coming.

But let’s just coddle. Coddle coddle coddle.

That’s always a great solution with human beings. Forget about the time and effort it takes to instill character into a child as a parent—let’s just coddle, instead. Whether your parents are merely “present” or your only parent is the government … coddle away. Psychoses flourish like algae in such circumstances. Look at all the pretty colors! The phosphorescence. The DIVERSITY!

The kid who ”supposedly” shot those individuals in Michigan—they are killed DEAD, they will never be seen again in any world or existence, not as they lived and breathed—what made him snap?

Well, even a cursory glimpse at the heartbreaking affair affords a major clue.

Crumbly. Ethan Crumbly.

Jesus Christ Almighty. (And I type that with antagonized reverence)

What chance did that little sonofabitch have in the public school system in Michigan with a surname like that?

CRUMBLY?

Think of the decades of neurosis built-into a clan with a name like that. Especially along the merciless Northern tier. I’m not making light of anything, either. My mother hailed from a family whose French surname translated into “Little Idiots.”

Yeah.

Oh, they were wonderful people, but also known for “issues.” The surname got attached to them at some point in the past, for a big smacking reason, probably.

But at least they could hide it because most people on the U.S. side of the border would rather be impaled than speak the Quebecois that 80% of their own surnames belied.

CRUMBLY. How the hell does the name “Crumbly” get attached to you in a family history? In the 20th Century?! You’re sentencing your kids to DOOM by keeping that name. Don’t buy guns and marry dominating fat women who will only make you and your spawn look weaker because she is desperate to overdo everything in order to overcome the burden of taking-on the name CRUMBLY. Change the surname! Everyone’s surname has been altered or twiddled over the centuries. Change it, assholes.

(And don’t scoff. The emperor Caligula had senators tortured and killed because he heard they rolled their eyes when he introduced his horse as a member of the same Senate. Little details get NOTICED.)

People—parents—-in these coddled times think that their offspring are pure as the driven snow. Angels, every one of them! Look at their faces and poses on Instagram! See how they smile on my Facebook timeline? Their teeth are shining white, as well! Oh, fake-adore me vicariously by “liking” this photo of my CHILD.

Children are, for the most part, feral little fucktard monsters. The ones born and bred into the public school systems since the grievous infiltration of post-Structuralism were/are even more devious and savage than the pre-World War specimens, by far. There has been a massive disconnect, but that’s another essay.

Suffice it to say that, today, in any public or private school, there exists an emotional disorder for every fucking pimple.

Trust me—I know. I grew up in the milieu that gave birth to this insatiable Hydra. If anyone thinks that most children are cherubic, delightful bits of fruit dropped from the steamy womb, think again.

I had a lot of strikes against me as a kid: born into a successful business family on the border of Quebec, where the vast majority of your youthful peers were hulking farm-kids and, frankly, products of inbreeding.

I wasn’t popular in my own home (!), so it was paramount that I find a way to become popular in school, where we were sent for eight hours a day while Dad sold cars and Mother ogled soap operas while pushing the occasional appliance-button, both of them working-up resentment to pile upon their kids when everyone got home sweet home.

I was lucky that I looked good. All apologies for admitting that ugly children exist in this world, but they damned well do—you know it, I know it, we ALL know it.

Certainly, when I was growing up, routine plastic surgeries and invasive cosmetic makeovers were not an option for any child dwelling outside of Manhattan or Beverly Hills, so kids had to live with what happened to explode and subsequently sprout from the birth canal.

Spare a thought for ugly children. I saw them being tortured mercilessly by other, better-looking, inherently vile children at school, and I remain stunned that our high school remained free from gun incidents, because our region was Gunny Gun-Gun Guntry.

Another thing must be said: in my experience, all children are bullied in a public school system. There’s always a nemesis or two, always a gripe, always a conflict that must be dealt-with.

I was raised by wolves, but they were smart, sarcastic wolves, so I had a few weapons at my disposal and adapted when the going got really tough. Overcompensation. Be the smartest but also be the most aggressive and pushy, if you sense the sharks circling—and sharks are always circling.

If someone pushes or hits you—sorry, you weak-wispy weebies of Today—hit them back and right in the nose, even if they eventually overpower you and you lose the fight. The fact that you scored a bloody nose will be THE ENTIRE STORY passed around the lunch-room over sloppy joes and “tuna burgers.”

And don’t pick on kids who truly don’t have the wherewithal to defend themselves. If you make it into the “safe,” “un-pickable” crowd, just walk away or tell a teacher. Seriously. If you try to intervene, as a child, on behalf of a bullied child, you’ll lose all your status and be bullied, too. Children, as shifty and wicked as they are, should not have that burden on their shoulders.

Unfortunately, and quite contrary to the Happy-Dizzy “thoughts” of today’s (and yesterday’s) nincompoop parents, 80% of the teachers in any given school suck HIND TEAT when it comes to talent or oversight, and they couldn’t give a half-hearted fuck-in-the-night about the fruit of your loins. They don’t. The remaining 20% of truly kind and dedicated teachers are GOLDEN, even if they’re a bit drunk as they give their lessons.

(Hey. You’d hit the gin at breakfast, too, if you had to deal with the Neanderthal crotch-fruit being trundled into our bumfuck high school, all of them as eager for an education as they were for acute acne. I do not hold it against Mrs. Anderson, Mr. Storn, Mrs. BoShard, and Mr. Privy that they were a bit tanked every day. They were excellent teachers, despite the hooch, and they cared, goddamn it!)

At the same time, it was wonderful, as a child, to see parents who attended school functions, art shows, sports events, and “parents night” extravaganzas, etc. I could see the love and pride that other parents displayed for their children, and it was a happy, if wistful, feeling. These were working-class people taking the time for their kids. Compared to the rest of the demographic, my parents were wealthy (although only upper middle-class in the wider estimation of the world) but they attended nothing. The one time my Mother drifted through a Parents Night, my science teacher told her: “He’s amazing and brilliant and a pleasure in class, but I think he’s depressed underneath the exterior and I think you’re the problem.”

Well, that was the end of parental school-venturing in my ancient days.

One point I wanted to make, I suppose, or one question I wanted to ask is: WHERE are these troubled kids getting guns and why do they turn to guns as a solution to their agonies?

My father was a gun-owner and gun dealer, in addition to his primary work. We saw guns around the house only in locked cases. Maybe we saw them being cleaned with precision in my father’s workshop, but only under the strictest allowance of observation. My father was many things, but he was an impeccable handler of firearms. The abject seriousness of firearms was ingrained, at least in me. There was a healthy fear. Some might prefer to call it “respect,” but I think that “healthy fear” is more suitable. I’ve never met anyone more responsible with guns than my father.

My Grandparents (to whom I was much closer than my parents) were the exact opposite. My Granny kept a loaded .57 in her knitting basket, and the mothball-ish depths of the immense hall closet was stacked with rifles—all of them loaded.

But my interest in guns was ambivalent, as a child. I was not obsessed with them, nor was I disinterested. I fired my fair share in strictly controlled target practice episodes, as a youth. Hunting traditions were dying-out in my region, as I came of age, and I left the area permanently just before coming of age.

I certainly experienced troubles and conflicts as a teen—a botched love affair with a slightly older woman and a clandestine terminated pregnancy sent me off the rails, but in spite of all the rage that could be mustered by the testosterone flooding a 17 year-old brain and body, a gun never occurred to me, even in the darkest depths.

Why not? What makes one reckless-ass kid choose a gun to “solve” issues and what keeps another from not even considering such a thing in his (or her) remotest thoughts?

Looking at the issue from past personal experience combined with many subsequent years of observation, I can only come to a few conclusions.

First, no child, however unformed his brain, chooses a gun to solve conflict unless he has already been taught that use of a gun is a viable and effective way to solve conflicts. Period. Either parents present that model to children—in a manner that allows for gunshot as a means of settling disagreement—or children have indeed been influenced (without harsh warning and guidance from parents) by the twisted “romance” of teen school-shooters/murderers who have accrued a kind of bizarre, gothic notoriety over the past three or four decades, in all the morbid, blazing, and attendant “glory.”

I have to admit, as well, that the escalating goriness of mainstream entertainment plays a major part, though the contextual presentation of violence in media was not always subject to the tender mercies of moral relativity.

Stir all of that into the current cauldron of shitty parenting, staggering narcissism fueled by social media and—a presto!—welcome to the Age of the Deadened. A huge swath of civilization that eschews character in favor of “characteristics.” An army of idiots that forsakes imperative for impulse. A teeming mass of soulless flesh-bags that fears lack of notoriety or some flicker of fame more than it fears death and annihilation.

It’s happening.

But take some cold comfort in the fact that it has happened many times before.

Whatever you do, don’t open a history book. You’ll risk seeing how it all ends and how fragile and uncertain an eventual recovery can be.

And given the current ability/potential of the human race to destroy its own sanity, in addition to the earth’s environment and even climate via excess, neglect, and nuclear weapons (gee, remember those old bugaboos?) the very idea of “recovery” may be erased.

One thing is certain: there will be excruciating tears shed at the sight of empty seats around holiday tables this month.

Are we living to embrace the often unfair yet unquestionable beauty of our world, to leave even a small ”something” of kindness and beauty as we pass through?

Or are we living to consume and die? Fuck the world being left to the future, or to children.

Whether one has children or not, as vile as many of the little fartlings might be, the future belongs to so many kids who will grow-up to be Admirable and True.

They deserve something proper to work-with, though we seem to be doing our best to turn so many magnificent resources into desolate ruins.

(This entry is dedicated to my celestial partner in misanthropy, Florence King. Make me a Cosmo, Flo’—I’ll be there before you know it. Possibly with friends.) ~Jonathan Kieran

#StateOfTheWorld #Repetition #JonathanKieranAuthor #MerryChristmas

Fort Knox Has Nothing On Everyday American Product Packaging

Compared to the challenge of opening a plastic package of sliced sandwich meat, I have little doubt that I could waltz up to the fabled Fort Knox, open each steel-reinforced vault with a casual twerk of my ass, load up with gold bars and then pirouette into the sunset with merry visions of obscene lifetime yachting adventures.

Forget nukes, caldera volcano explosions, plagues, locusts, and random EMPs caused by the cataclysmic friction of Kardashian thighs rubbing against each other: The over-packaging of everyday American products is the Great Doom lurking on the horizon of our most apocalyptic nightmares.

The distinctly American obsession with over-packaging every mother-freaking thing that can possibly be sold under the sun, no matter how banal, shall be the catalyst that one day drives us all to turn upon each other in mad cannibal rages of species-annihilating psychosis. (Well, at least in America—they don’t have this problem in Germany, for example.)

What is it about the American consumerist psyche that demands the First Level Cardboarding, Second Level Plasticization, Third Level Childproofing, Fourth Level Strip-Stippling, Fifth Level Batwing Pull-Tabbing, Sixth Level Metallic Peeling, and Seventh Level Moron Safety-Valving required to access a meager package of cold medicine or bloody f*#$ing underarm deodorant?

One would think the average person were attempting to get their greedy paws on weapons-grade plutonium instead of splitting fingernails down to the agonizing quick in a struggle to remove the “quality wrap” atop a canister of shaving cream.

The nation is manic with this practice. Superfluousness, thy name is a dental floss container! Excessiveness, thou art the gilded layers of bottle-throttling bullshit around a six-pack of ginger ale!

Don’t even get me started on the prestidigitations and other blood vessel-bursting maneuvers needed to denude a desperate little microwave combo-meal these days.

At first, I thought, “Why get frustrated? This kind of labyrinthine overproduction is probably a boon to someone’s economic livelihood! Factory workers in the heart of Indiana are able to put food on the table for their kids by stirring vats of the six different types of glue needed to seal the nine different “cherished customer choices” offered to get the hell into this box of breath mints. This means that the country is still manufacturing … something.”

Then I look at the sextet of lingual labels on any given thing and see that the whole goddamned lot of it comes from China, or worse, CANADA.

Talk about getting one’s timbers shivered.

From whence derives this nearly neurotic facet of American hyper-elaboration? Packaging certainly was not always this Byzantine in scope.

I thought and thought about it with the laser-like precision of an anthropologist peering backward into the mists of human experience long-forgotten but nevertheless hard-wired, by this point.

And I had my answer!

It all came from that freakish and tragic spate of Tylenol cyanide poisonings back in the 1970s or early 1980s. I barely remembered the panic as a child and was stunned to imagine that all these subsequent years of overwrought wrapping and foolproofing were the result of one madman’s anomalous and sinister interference.

But here we are. And it’s getting worse. The saddest part? Not only is the continued phenomenon frustrating and terrible for the environment. It is also completely unnecessary.

I mean, after all, it isn’t as if Americans are inclined to harm each other for no good reason, these days.

~JK

#JonathanKieran #JonathanKieranWriter #ProductPackaging #IronicTimes #LittleFrustrations #BigTrouble #CulturalObservations #Consumerism

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Hear ye, hear ye, any that care and possess the most meager speck of curiosity. Mr. Kieran is currently and furiously working on all four (maybe five 🤔) of his final writing/illustrative projects in simultaneous fashion. He can’t wait to be finished and rid of these legacies so that he can vanish with due haste into the most forlorn of mountain caves imaginable and there practice to his dying day any number of monkish asceticisms or maybe flat-out sorcery. Who the hell can say? Happy Holidays!

In Praise of the Overlooked Gem

Oh, even the keenest eye can fail to catch initial sight of such radiant wonders, though they glimmer like earthbound stars amid the muck and mire.

I have such a jewel to exalt—a film, in fact. Few praises of mine have been heaped upon contemporary films these days, but I would be remiss to let an encomium to the following work of art go unspoken.

The name of the movie is The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a mesmerizing anthology written, produced and directed by infamous genius-brethren Ethan and Joel Coen in 2018. I watched the two-hour wonder last night in bed via Netflix and I must say: rarely have I been so satisfied by a fairly random selection from the queue. Six enthralling original tales of the desperation, thanklessness, arbitrary ruthlessness, and general lack of mercy surrounding the human species and its condition amid the beleaguered world and its vicissitudes.

Of course, we are speaking of the Coen Brothers, here, so these six brilliantly filmed stories are set against the backdrop of the Old West, each vignette festooned with the whimsical blend of mayhem and macabre for which the brothers are rightly renowned. Boasting a superb cast from beginning to end and peppered by marvelous performances from the likes of Liam Neeson, James Franco, Tyne Daly, and Tom Waits, this little masterpiece burrows its philosophical way into the heart of human helplessness and extracts a gleaming bullet of nihilistic merriment. Yeah, you read that correctly.

The whole thing is graced by one of the most creative scores in recent memory: When A Cowboy Gets His Wings was an Oscar-nominated tune from this delicious endeavor.

Tired of reading about the latest anodyne comic book dreck set to infest theaters and streaming services? The Coen Brothers clearly felt the same way when they made this haunting work.

Give it a look-see and be reminded that creatively ambitious films of unique quality and visceral power can still be crafted.

#JonathanKieran #BalladOfBusterScruggs #CoenBrothers #Cinema #WildWest #Anthologies #JonathanKieranWriter #FilmReviews #ContemporaryWesterns

Possible Brian Laundrie Campsite Found in Kardashian Ass-Crack

Amid a whirlwind weekend that saw ramped-up action in the hunt for Florida will-o-the-wisp, Brian Laundrie, Americans of every stripe have taken to social media outlets, comments sections, and shakily held iPhones to deliver their crucial brain defecations. Even high-government investigative geniuses like ever-youthful & fully moisturized “Dog The Bounty Hunter” have trained their ostensibly immortal powers toward the search.

“He was here,” said the aforementioned Dog while flipping-back the tresses of a long, lustrous, and totally sun-silken mane. “I smelt ’im near this campsite,” said the natural blond to no one and to everyone in particular, “but I gotta get back to the sixth set of scientifically engineered watermelons I just married, and to that person attached to the melons, otherwise I swear to myself spelled backwards that I’d give this my full attention.”

But Dog was not the only cultural touchstone bedecked in a lace-front wig and strangling weaves to add breathless revelations to the present crisis. An entire nation—nay, an entire planet—stood transfixed as Official Emblem of American Elegance and Dignity, Kim Kardashian, announced that there was a chance, however slight, that the missing Laundrie had set-up camp in her own vicinity.

“I believe he spent a night or two in the crack of my ass,” Kardashian told reporters in trademark demure tones. “I can’t be certain, due to the complex topography of that geographical quadrant, but I sensed the slight sting of a campfire on Sunday night, possibly on the brink of the Third Fissure, and then I shat a pop-tent and an empty can of Campbell’s Pork ‘n’ Beans on Monday. Now, that’s not exactly unusual for me on a Monday,” Ms. Kardashian was swift to clarify, “but given the present situation, it did give me pause.”

“But did you actually see Laundrie access and enter your ass-crack?” said Mundis Markouli of the Associated Press.

“No,” replied Kardashian. “My posterior cam was offline for the weekend, unfortunately.”

Pop Hazmat will continue to pursue and update this story with the breathless gusto for which it has long been ignored. Stay tuned.

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#SATIRE #WhatAWonderfulWorld #Offal #BrianLaundrie #KimKardashian #WhoCanRefusePorkAndBeans? #DogTheBountyHunter #HumansAreOverrated #AllNaturalBaboonAss #BringBackTheGuillotine #CampingInTheGreatIndoors

Who Can Say When the Noodle Boils? Only Time …

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks upon the World Trade Center, amid the emotional upheaval and flat-out shock experienced by United States citizens from all walks of life, one song in particular—from a rather unexpected source—seemed to give the nation’s grief-stricken an inordinate amount of solace.

No, it wasn’t anything overtly patriotic or jingoistic. The tune had not a whiff of Lee Greenwood-esque swoops, rallying yodels, and martial ballyhoos.

Rather, the song was a previously obscure track from an album by New Age chanteuse par excellence, Enya. The song was called ‘Only Time,’ and had been culled from a recent Enya collection called ‘A Day Without Rain’ (or ‘Pain Without Rain,’ or ‘Rain Without a Day,’ or ‘I’m Standing On the Parapets of My Irish Castle Watching the Money Roll In’)—I forget the actual album title, but the song was not easily forgotten.

Americans connected with ‘Only Time’ and its somber, orchestral lyrics about not knowing where the day goes, where hearts flow, as love goes, and where love flies, and so on and so forth. Couched as it was in Enya’s signature vocal layers and the ethereal production values that tend to grab listeners and transport them immediately to a dewy glade surrounded by gnarled and grasping oak trees beneath a budding dawn (while the prior’s evening’s faery revelers twinkle off to bed), ‘Only Time’ was meditative. Its melody and lyrical simplicity were appropriate balms for soothing the scars and wounds of a cataclysmic strike against the heart of human decency.

The track gained airplay across the nation (and world) as if out of nowhere following 9/11, and a portion of the proceeds were allocated by Enya for victims of the terroristic assault. People stopped to listen. They allowed the gentle and mesmerizing atmospherics of the song to permeate their helter-skelter worlds, even if ‘Only Time’ was hardly the kind of brain-frazzling, hyperactive, histrionic, terrier-in-heat banger that would ever stand a chance in hell of being played on Top 40 radio under typical conditions, even at that time.

But the song worked something akin to a noble artistic miracle over 20 years ago, became a much-loved and respected reminder of both immense grief and human hopefulness, enshrined in the wider cultural ethos, and it won Enya a brand new level of respect and an even wider following (as if she needed more of either).

Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that, in the past few months while surfing YouTube, our fabled ‘Only Time’ has made yet another cultural comeback. Yes!

‘Only Time’ is now featured as the brief soundtrack of a YouTube ad promoting Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

I shit you not.

No dialogue is present in the ad. Just a mother and daughter sitting at a typical kitchen table, enjoying forkfuls of that quick-cookin’ cheesy goodness. They aren’t even holding hands, staring at each other with ponderous significance, or weeping with gladness over the stovetop concoction as Enya’s hymn to human grief wafts over their steaming bowls of cheap elbow ’roni and cheese-related product sauce.

Nope. They are just looking relatively bored, as if savoring the moment of dignity-as-packaged-in-American-fast food.

Only Time. On the table in 10 minutes, if you don’t let the pot boil over and require a glass of boxed wine to deal with the starchy spill.

And people say that nothing is sacred, anymore.

Who knows when the noodle boils, when the sauce spoils? Enya does, apparently. It must be getting more expensive to keep an isolated Irish castle in acceptable staff members these days.

#Enya #OnlyTime #KraftMacaroniAndCheese #YouTube #CrassCommercialism #Licensing #WorldTradeCenter #NothingIsSacred #JonathanKieran #JonathanKieranAuthor #CulturalCriticism #CheesyGoodness

Patience Is a Summertime Vice Disguised as a Virtue

I have always heard that, as one “matures”, the desire to surround one’s body with heat and to establish one’s residence in warmer climes is virtually a given.

If this is true, then I am even more of an oddball than previously understood, with new examples and manifestations of my weirdness being discovered almost every day.

I don’t want your damned heat. I want a year-round chilly, sweater-wearing, fireplace-stoking, soup-slurping lifestyle and the kind of weather that makes such a lifestyle unavoidable.

Perpetual Autumn would be choice, with ghostly winds a-whistlin’ and frost on the hoar. Or hoar on the frost; I’m open to the inclusivity and diversity of elemental/environmental choices.

At present, however, Summertime in the remote Ventana woodlands of California makes me sneezy, sleepy, wheezy, and a bit brain-dead. The majestic beauty of the landscape is not in question and my abject appreciation for said beauty is a thing never to be doubted. But the whole season throws a wrench into my otherwise humming-right-along works and wreaks absolute havoc upon my admittedly idealistic sense of scheduling.

I am still getting a great deal accomplished, creatively speaking, but have little interest in attending the more technical bits of drudge work that beg for completion at the margins of creativity.

Like revamping this bloody website into the commercial outlet I have in mind. I’m behind on that count and the Summer is fully to blame for this happenstance. I simply can’t get to it because I find myself not wanting to think the thoughts required to ignite the process that inspires the kind of cogitation guaranteed to result in action and, by extension, the completion of a goal for which I am really not ready.

Luckily, this is a conundrum with which I can coexist.

Plus, I’m working on three other things at once.

Oh, darn: maybe I’ll just hire someone to do the website.

Then again, such a scenario would necessitate interaction with another human who will likely have distinct ideas and recommendations of his/her own … ideas which are contrary to my mine.

Like that’s ever going to take place. Pffft.

To hell with it. I’m going to go for a jog before the thermometer hits 95 degrees.

See you when the rains come. In freaking February 2022, probably.

~J

Grab a Bowl of Boo and Taste the Friggin’ Nostalgia

Jonathan Kieran presents CLASSIC KID-KIBBLE from YESTERYEAR 

TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: BOO BERRY CRUNCH CEREAL (General Mills)

Wimpy Casper’s dangerous “gangster” uncle pushing sugar-highs by the box? Probably.

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: As one of a trilogy of “monster-themed” cereals introduced by General Mills in the mid-1970s (along with Frankenberry and Count Chocula) Boo Berry Crunch was touted by its makers as “the first cereal to ever taste like blueberries.”

I have some good friends who operate one of those organic fruit farms here in Northern California. These fine people wouldn’t let so much as one luvin’ spoonful of Boo Berry Crunch pass their sustainable lips, but if they did, they would assure the world that Boo Berry Crunch did not taste remotely like blueberries. As I recall, Boo Berry Crunch tasted like crystallized drops of sugary summer sky that came to earth when a flying unicorn was strangled with the blue ribbon of a rainbow after a thunderstorm. Yeah, that’s what they tasted like. That and a slight nuance of Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo. I always wondered if there might have been a connection.

In any case, kids certainly overlooked any faint chemical undertones that might’ve been detectable in Boo Berry Crunch because, like any classic “gimmick cereal” of the early 1980s, it contained enough high fructose corn syrup to keep you bouncing off the walls, swinging on the jungle-gym and running the streets like a fevered Tasmanian Devil until dusk. Cereals like Boo Berry Crunch were, however, the bane of conscientious mothers and their wheedling children. A mother with two brain cells to rub together wouldn’t let you go near the stuff, no matter how much you pleaded for “just one box,” dancing around in your duck-feet jammies.

“Those are junk cereals!” my mother would declare. “That stuff is bad for you. Here, have some of this Cream of Wheat.”

“I hate Cream of Wheat! You gotta put half the sugar-bowl on it to get it down.”

“Cream of Wheat is wholesome!” Mother would parry. “It’ll make you grow up big and strong.”

“I don’t wanna be big and strong. I want to taste that sweet Boo Berry goodness on my tongue. It’s fortified with two essential vitamins … and iron!”

“Oh, the company just puts that on the box because the government makes them do it. There’s no vitamins in that garbage. And you don’t need to eat cereals promoted by ghosts. Ghosts are the spirits of the dead. Boo Berry Crunch is nothing but necromancy in a brightly colored box. Do you know what that means?”

“Yeah, yeah. Deuteronomy says it’s the stuff Satan feeds his demon-spawn down in Hell. But can’t we just get one box? As a treat?”

“NO! Here, try a bowl of these nice Grape Nuts.”

“Mommy, no! ANYTHING but Grape Nuts! My gums will hemorrhage!”

It never worked, our pleas for Boo Berry Crunch, especially when Mother was in a spiritual phase. Sure, Boo Berry Crunch was probably “of the devil,” just like she claimed, but we didn’t fear hellfire all that much at age six and neither, apparently, did our next door neighbor, Barbra Smith. Barbra and her derelict boyfriend, Hank, were nice enough folks. Sometimes, on summer weekends, we were even allowed to play with their kids or camp out overnight in their yard while Barb and Hank knocked back whiskey sours and staggered across the patio to the sound of old Beach Boys records. The next morning, Barbara Smith never felt much like going through the complicated series of motions required to produce a pan of Cream of Wheat. That’s because she could barely stand. When we stormed her bedroom begging for breakfast, she’d throw a few pillows or maybe a pack of cigarettes at us and pull the covers over her head, groaning about the light in the room.

“It burns! It burns!” she would rasp. 

Then she’d tell us to look under the kitchen sink and get the hell out of her hair, already.

Barbra Smith’s cupboards were stocked with every form of sugar-saturated kid kibble that a much sought-after rural hairdresser’s money could buy. Boo Berry Crunch was always prominently featured and we would end-up stuffing ourselves to the brink of diabetic comas until Barb and Hank finally drifted out of their bedroom around noon and started rummaging in the fridge for Bloody Mary fixings. By that time, we didn’t care about Saturday morning Adult Invasions. Our bellies were full and our minds were tweaking on Bugs Bunny reruns. My experience of forbidden Devil Cereals –along with the bliss of carefree childhood– was complete.

Thank God for alcoholic neighborhood moms. 

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Mothers (even drunken ones, apparently) got wise with the advent of the Information Super-Highway and thus all of the brain-rotting, tooth-emulsifying treats like Boo Berry Crunch swiftly went the way of the Twinkie. May they rest in pieces. 

EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC: Part of the appeal of Boo Berry Crunch stemmed from the fact that it was one of the popular junk cereals fronted by a monster. Few kids in my day could resist the imprecations of a monster that promised a reliable sugar-high. Boo Berry Crunch had an extra advantage because my friends and I couldn’t stand that mealy-mouthed wimpy wonder, Casper the Friendly Ghost. “Boo” of Boo Berry Crunch, on the other hand, looked like he could’ve been Casper’s seedy, criminal uncle who earned a living as a supernatural bookie at some Ghostly Greyhound race track, or maybe as an inner-city loan shark. Boo was villainous and kind of “Peter Lorre henchman” creepy and that made you feel like a rule-breaking rebel, a real “bad boy” when you tore into a bowl of the good stuff Boo was pushing. What red-blooded American boy could have resisted that? Behold the very first General Mills commercial for Boo Berry Crunch cereal … in all of its Boo Berry Splendor.

Yours in Glucose,

Jonathan Kieran, ESQ.
__________________________

Something Wanted To Be Born

~Who am I to question the Muses?~

Apparently.

In the midst of working daily for months on three separate literary projects at once—each of a different type, each “approached” in a different way, yet attended-to simultaneously—a fourth creation reared its impertinent head out of the very ether. Sudden. Unexpected. Unimagined, frankly.

Human subconsciousness is a both a curse and a glorious gift.

In this instance, it is a gift, for me.

There will be a new release before the end of this year.

Illustrated, too.

Ain’t that a kick in the pants?

A Soupçon of an Update?

A whiff? A vague undertone? A telling but ultimately enigmatic glimpse of the otherwise intangible?

Yeah, probably that last one.

Quoi qu’il en soit, there won’t be a great deal “occurring” on the Official Jonathan Kieran site for the foreseeable future, but the reasons for any dearth of breathlessly riveting information and addictive content are good and worthy ones, I assure.

Two major book and illustrative projects are in the middle stages of completion at this point in time (yes, I am working on them simultaneously for time is indeed of the essence … who the hell knows when the next cataclysm will strike our bewitched, bothered, and beleaguered species?)

The writing projects will be, by far, the most formidable of my unconventional oeuvre, to date, when complete. Both have been over twenty years in the making, in some form or another, labyrinthine and variegated. Oh, woe is me. Or they. Things ought to congeal into some manner of recognizable life-form around the middle of next year, however.

Originally, I had hoped that at least one of the two projects might be ready to foist upon the unsuspecting earth before Christmas 2021. But that was ambitious, and laughably so. Oh, ha. Ha ha ha ha. There is simply too much to organize when one’s research notes alone account for over 300,000 words. Moreover, the project of which I speak at the moment is academic in nature, so it will require that extra heaping helping of meticulousness spiced by the obsessive seasonings only I could manage to pestle in the fathomless mortar of my brain. The second of the works will be nearly as voluminous but the illustrative work shall require the lion’s share of dedicated concentration in that case.

Gargantuan effort will be required, and no mistake. I’m tired just thinking about pretending not to be thinking about it. But it’s all going to be a great deal of fun, too, once the Powers and Potencies are Conjured, and these are the things we live for, apres tout.

Both will be “legacy-level” works, to put it mildly. Whether anyone ever actually reads them is almost beside the point, to be honest. They may end-up being more suited for sequestering in a time-capsule, the way humanity is spinning off its goddamned axis. Whatever the case, it seems not only certain but mandatory that both works be complete by Christmas 2022 for two reasons:

(1) I honestly don’t think I’m going to have much emotional energy or desire left for any further books after these two door-stoppers are in the bag. (Oh, maybe I’ll leave the door open for one or two subsequent and rambling efforts I can toy-around with into old age; endless yarn-spinning to amuse the self and nothing more.)

(2) This entire freakin’ Official Site is going to undergo a massive overhaul and become an artisanal shoppe by January 2023.

Forget prudence, baby. Adaptation is the better part of valor.

See you around.

Jonathan

Life-Changing Egypt: 10 Questions with a Master Tour Guide!

In my last blog entry I took a few moments to introduce readers to Essam Ali Mahmoud, a gentleman who is one of today’s most gifted professionals when it comes guiding visitors through the myriad wonders of ancient and modern Egypt, whether you’re on a luxury couples vacation or a personal odyssey. Essam’s company, Explore Egypt with Essam, is one of the finest and most reputable of its kind due to the dedication and passion that our intrepid guide harbors for the ever-intriguing and legendary land of his birth.

Now, the introduction is about to get even more intensive and exciting, because Essam himself has graciously agreed to an interview, detailing his personal background, his journey to become one of Egypt’s most knowledgeable professional guides, and his own incomparable insights into the glorious country he calls home, along with the monuments that have beguiled and thrilled humanity for thousands of years.

It is an absolute thrill and privilege to publish this interview with Essam, and I’d like to thank him for his candor and generosity of spirit as he shares his story and his vision of the glories of Egypt. World travelers, take heed! This is a rare, in-depth interview with someone at the very heart of the world’s most majestic land of monuments and marvels. You won’t get a better “inside” glimpse into the possibilities of a life-changing trip to Egypt than you will with Essam. I must concur with him that, in this life, the opportunity to experience such wonder (in such timely, affordable style!) is one of the greatest investments you can make in your own humanity.

Be sure to investigate Essam’s broad and interactive online presence and follow him for the latest stunning deals and photos of his adventures … and the adventures that could become your own!

Explore Egypt With Essam Official Site (Open 24/7!)

The Official Facebook Page for Essam’s Company

Essam on Instagram (Amazing Photos!)

Essam’s YouTube Channel (A MUST-Visit!)

You can also follow Essam on Twitter!

Without further ado, I’d like to let Essam introduce himself to you and to the magnificent country that never fails to capture the human imagination like no other place on earth. Enjoy!

__________________________________________________________________

JON: Hi, Essam! Thanks for agreeing to take part in this interview about your role as one of the premier, most knowledgeable guides for vacationers and other travelers interested in exploring the majestic treasures to be found throughout Egypt, ancient and modern. I guess the first question I’d like to ask is what first inspired you as a native Egyptian to work in this exciting industry? Was it something that fascinated you as a child?

ESSAM: You know, when you live in an amazing country like Egypt, surrounded by history and antiques everywhere, you have no other options but to fall in love with these things around you. Egypt is like a lake of wonders and monuments.

I presume that I was a good student. I used to get very good marks in all subjects across all grades. My parents, who are not educated (they can’t read or write), were expecting me to join the department of science and math in my high school to help me enter one of two colleges for Medicine or Engineering. They would have loved for me to be a doctor. It was like a great disaster and magnificent disappointment for them when I decided to go against their wish by joining the department of Fine Arts and Literature.


As I told you, I was a good student and got 94% in my high school grades. These results allowed me to join the highest colleges of my department. I had my own dream, however, which I never uttered to my parents. I wanted to a journalist, and my high scores allowed me to join the Faculty of Mass Communication at Cairo University. I wanted to be a journalist because I like reading and I wanted to write about Egypt’s wonders, and why we are not as we once were in ancient Egypt, seeing as Egypt was the number one country in the world for so long a time. I always know Egypt a deserves better place than what we have at present.

I had to ask my relatives and doctors in universities what was the process to join this Faculty of Mass Communication. Then I was advised not to do it. It was a big shock for me. My dream appeared to be lost! “Why should I not do this?” I asked. The answer was, it is easy to join this faculty and easy to graduate with honors, but it is not easy to get your dream job. I was told that I did not have that huge connection with certain individuals who could ensure this kind of job for me. Because I’m from a poor family in a small village in Middle Egypt, I was advised to find another college.

They told me it was better for me to join the Faculty of Language, so that I could be a teacher of a particular language. I said “No way. I don’t want to be a teacher.” So I decided to join the Faculty of Tourism, Department of Tourist Guidance. That way, I could study history and Egyptology. I did not please my parents with this decision. They thought being a teacher was not bad, especially if I undertook private tuition lessons, which is a good job in a small village like mine.

I graduated from the Faculty of Tourism in 2004. For four years (2000-2004) I studied the great subjects of Egyptian history; Archaeology, together with Hieroglyphs, and Egyptology. These subjects started to deepen my love more and more, and as things turned out, I was happy that I was advised not to join the Faculty of Mass Communication.

To study Egypt’s history with its miracles in all fields in ancient times will bring you to a stage of fascination. Yes, I’m Egyptian and fascinated with Egypt. I’m in love with Egypt. It was a moment of great pride and honor when I was given my license of Tourist Guidance from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and my membership in the Egyptian General Syndicate of Tourist Guides in October 2004. That enabled me to start my career and claim my title as an official Egyptian Tour Guide.

Up to this point, I guess I was not a “good boy” to my parents, and perhaps I disappointed them by not becoming a doctor, but I’m very proud that I made it and that I am now an official tour guide.

Why should I be proud?

Well, first of all, I’m very proud being an Egyptian and a tour guide at the same time. A tour guide is a storyteller of Egypt’s past and its present. A storyteller of Egypt’s wonders. I really don’t know how to describe myself when I’m at one of the Egyptian temples with my guests. One feels pride and confidence when hearing your guests tell you, “You’re very lucky, Essam, that you’re Egyptian and have this kind of heritage.” It’s amazing to hear them tell you, “Some items in your souvenir shops are older than our country’s age!”

The sense of pride has increased now that I have started another business as Founder and CEO of Explore Egypt With Essam, my new baby. I devote all my time to my guests through my agency. I am always working to invent new trips and itineraries for guests, together with the more classic holiday excursions to Egypt. Our itineraries meet and match the desires of all of our guests as we provide a very wide range of travel services, Egypt tour packages, combined Egypt & Jordan tours, budget Egypt tour packages, felucca trips, solo traveler tour packages, Nile cruises, Dahabiya Nile cruises, Lake Nasser cruises and daily guided tours in different cities in Egypt at very affordable prices. We are always ready to customize your trip to Egypt at a very competitive price.

Now, I must say, you have no excuse to make your trip to Egypt if you think about your budget. Our tours ensure luxury vacation at an affordable price. We will treat you like a pharaoh! Just contact us to plan your trip to Egypt and we promise you a very memorable vacation.

JON: Of all the many sites and wonders that you share with people who visit Egypt under your guidance, which one is your personal favorite and why? As a follow-up, what are the remaining four sites that would complete your personal “Top Five”?

ESSAM: I do love all the Egyptian sites and attractions, but my favorite place is the majestic Temple of Luxor. This is very close to my heart. Luxor Temple was built during the New Kingdom (1550-1080 BC) by pharaoh Amenhotep III (1392 – 1354 BC) and completed by pharaoh Ramses II (1279-1213 BC). Some other pharaohs, such as Tutankhamun and Heremhab, added to the temple.
Alexander the Great also has his own chapel in Luxor Temple. The Romans came to Luxor and converted a part of this temple into a Roman chapel known now wrongly as “The Church.”
Copts also left their traces in Luxor Temple. Coptic crosses can be seen in some places in the temple. Muslims built the Mosque of Abu Haggag 800 years ago on top of the temple, when the temple was covered in silt and dirt.


From what I mentioned above, you might say that Luxor Temple represents a kind of community history of religions: Ancient Egyptian; Coptic Christian; and Islam. This temple, for me, is like a microcosm of Egypt’s history. Pharaonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic periods are all included within the temple precinct. I really feel a sudden comfort and relief when I visit this majestic temple. For me, it’s totally different from the other temples, in terms of the feeling I get. You know how you feel when you’re in a state of serene meditation? This is exactly what I feel when I visit the temple of Luxor.


You asked me what are my top 5 sites in Egypt. I can easily fill the remaining 4. My answer is:

The Great Pyramids of Giza.

The Abu Simbel Temples in Aswan.

The Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Sehel Island in Aswan.

JON: Is your company okay with customizing certain aspects of a tour once people arrive in Egypt? For example, if you are guiding a smaller group and a couple of people would like to spend an extra day at a certain site because they especially enjoy it, is it sometimes possible for you to make special arrangements and unexpected adjustments?

ESSAM: We provide a wide range of prearranged tour packages to Egypt and we are ready to customize any trip. I’m very proud that I have an amazing team, very well experienced and educated, all bearing bachelor degrees in tourism. So they are quite ready to customize different trips and to deal with what we call urgent cases. So beforehand or once you arrive in Egypt and you want to add any extra days to your trip in a certain place, this will be easy for us to do at the moment—all the arrangements of transfers, accommodation, and guiding will be managed.

JON: What are some of the special aspects of enjoying the felucca tours that can be part of the Egyptian adventure for your guests? I can imagine that past guests have raved about this wonderful experience!

ESSAM: People in Egypt used to call the felucca trips, especially when they go for days on the felucca, they used call such people “adventurers.” I used to accept this term some years ago, when the felucca didn’t have the equipment they have nowadays. For example, felucca didn’t have toilets back then: we used to stop at one of the islands so people could “go back to nature.” Now, felucca have what we call a “toilet boat,” which never travels far from the felucca, and we summon it easily when needed. People who experienced traveling on felucca for a matter of days always came back with magnificent memories. They always love a particularly authentic experience in Egypt. They love to see the reality of Egypt with Egyptian food served on the felucca or on one of the Nile’s islands. We do highly promote these sustainable trips in Egypt, especially as they are eco-friendly trips with no pollution at all.

JON: I have always been impressed by the deliciousness of the foods available in Egypt. The hotels host some of the finest international cuisines available, but the traditional Egyptian foods are exquisite, too. What are some of the traditional Egyptian favorites you might recommend for first-time guests?

ESSAM: Hotels in Egypt serve very delicious international cuisines indeed. Nile cruises also serve international cuisines with one Egyptian lunch or dinner during your stay. But I do recommend for first-time visitors of Egypt to try some of the delicious Egyptian traditional dishes like Falafal or Ta’amiah—this is a type of fried paste made from beans, chickpeas, parsley and spices. There’s also Tahaini, which is sesame seed paste, mixed with garlic, spices and some olive oil, and served as a dip with bread. Then, too, there is Baba Ghanough, a dip made from Tahini and mashed eggplants. Kofta is a dish prepared with minced meat. Khoshari is made from rice, pasta, lentil, and onions.
Stuffed Vine Leaves are comprised of rice or rice with minced meat and wrapped in vine leaves.
My advice to first visitors is to try native Egyptian foods but in a good way. By that I mean bit by bit, in case you’re not used to this type of food.

JON: Alexandria is becoming more and more of a popular place to stop in Egypt. What are some of your favorite aspects of the city and which ones do you think will most impress potential guests?

ESSAM: Alexandria is very beautiful city and the second-largest city in Egypt. It was found by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. It was the center of the Hellenistic civilization in the world for about five centuries. Alexandria still preserves a big part of its Hellenistic appearance. So it has its own mixture of the Egyptian and Hellenistic nature. Alexandria is especially great as a summer destination for the Egyptian people because of its lovely weather. Alexandria has lots to offer to its visitors. My favorite place in Alexandria is the Roman Catacombs of Kom El-Shoqafa. This kind of place is not often found in Egypt. It is truly one of the lovely aspects of Alexandria. These catacombs started as private tombs for wealthy families, then became a public cemetery.
Another great aspect of Alexandria is the Roman Amphitheatre. This is the only one of its type in Egypt. This Amphitheatre also served as our modern Opera House. Recent theories suggest that it was also a parliament or House of the Representatives. Alexandria is indeed a lovely city—do not miss visiting it during your vacation in Egypt!

JON: Do you still stay in touch with or hear from some of the guests you’ve hosted in your years of experience as a top Egyptian guide?

ESSAM: Sure. One of the lovely things about being a tour guide is making friends from all over the globe. I made lots of friends, once they were my guests and now very good friends, and we still talk to each other.

JON: Of the many glorious monuments that Egypt boasts, which one, in your experience, usually proves to have the most wondrous initial impression on your guests over the years? Which one makes their jaws drop in astonishment the most?

The number one site in Egypt that impresses my guests the most are the Great Pyramids of Giza. The mystery of the pyramids, the construction methods, and the labor involved with these projects still impress all visitors to Egypt, just as the pyramids still hold great puzzles yet to be solved.

The number two site which always impresses people, in my experience, are the phenomenal Temples of Abu Simbel. I really I don’t know how or why the Abu Simbel Temples are not among the ancient wonders of the world.

People also admire the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, and how the pharaohs tried their best to hide their treasures from the tomb robbers, as well ensuring for themselves a safe journey to eternity. The beautiful colors and inscriptions of the tombs impress people quite deeply.

Overall, the labor behind almost every major ancient monument in Egypt impresses and amazes people. How, they wonder, did the ancient Egyptians organize their workforces in groups and unite them on such a level? How did they organize thousands of workers and provide them with food and materials?

The passion of the ancient Egyptian workers to magnify their country and their pharaoh always introduces a profound note of fascination and appreciation for my guests, and this passion is seen as the secret behind the wonders of ancient Egypt.

JON: Egypt is becoming more and more well-known for its luxury hotels and resorts, as well as world-class service. Can you mention a few that are your favorites to work with, and which ones tend to give your guests that “extra special experience“ during their vacations in Egypt?

ESSAM: Egypt has lots of well-known luxury hotels, resorts and Nile cruises with world class services. Let’s travel among the major tourist destinations in Egypt to know the top hotels in each destination. These top hotels are just from my personal view and my experience, as well as the impressions of my guests.

First, Cairo has the largest collection of luxury hotels in Egypt. Let’s look at the top hotels in Cairo:


A- The Marriot Mena House Hotel. This hotel was built in the place of the hunting lodge of Khedive Isma’il. The lodge was sold to an English couple who built the hotel in 1886. The hotel was named after the ancient founder of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, Mena, or Meni, or Menes. This hotel is next to the Great pyramid of Khufu, which gives you a great view of the world’s most awe-inspiring monuments.
B- The Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza. Amazing location on the Nile and close to the Egyptian Museum at Taharir Square.
C- The Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at First Residence. This hotel is actually in Giza with a great location on the Nile and not far from the pyramids.
D- The Sofitel Cairo Nile El-Gezirah is an amazing hotel with great services.
E- The St. Regis Cairo Hotel. This hotel is also one of the Marriot hotels in Egypt.
F- The Nile Ritz-Carlton Cairo, next door to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Next we fly from Cairo to Sharm El-Sheikh, the beautiful city on the Red Sea in South Sinai. We’ll just mention the top 5 resorts of the city.
A- Rixos Premium Seagate.
B- Four Seasons Resorts Sharm El-Sheikh.
C- Coral Sea Sensatori Resorts.
D- Rixos Sharm El-Sheikh.
E- Royal Savoy Hotel and Villas.

Taking the ferry boat from Sharm El-Sheikh to Hurghada, let’s explore a lovely destination on the Red Sea, and the 5 top hotels therein:
A- La Maison Blue El-Gouna, for adults only.
B- Baron Palace Sahl Hasheesh.
C- Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay.
D- Steigenberger Aldau Beach Hotel.
E- Stella Di Mare Beach Resort & Spa.

Driving about 4 hours from Hurghada to the historical city of Luxor, we encounter some very good hotels and Nile cruises such as:
A- Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa.
B- Sofitel Winter Palace.
C- Sonesta St, George.
D- Steigenberger Nile Palace.
E- Jolie Vile Kings Island Resorts.

From Luxor to Aswan by Nile cruise, here are some of the most luxurious cruises:
A- M/S Sun Boat IV.
B- S/S Sudan. The oldest cruise ship still operating.
C- M/S Oberoi Zahra.
D- M/S Oberoi Philae
E- M/S May Fower.

There’s not such a large number of five-star hotels in Aswan, but the 2 top hotels there are:
A- Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel, founded in 1902 during the construction of Aswan Dam.
B- Movenpick Aswan Resort.

Driving from Aswan to another Red Sea destination, Marsa Alam, we encounter a beautiful city with magnificent hotels and resorts such as:
A- Jaz Grand Marsa.
B- Jaz Solya.
C- Jaz Maraya Resort.
D- Jaz Dar El-Madinah.
E- LTI Akassia Beach.

Flying back to Cairo, we then drive to Alexandria. I’ll just mention four superb hotels in Alexandria, for now:
A- Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano.
B- Sunrise Alexandria Avenue Hotel.
C- Steigenberger Cecil Hotel.
D- Golden Jewel Hotel.

Finally, going from Alexandria to the fabled Siwa Oasis by car is a unique and exotic experience. There are lots of lovely eco-friendly hotels in Siwa Oasis. Among them are:
A- Taziry Ecovillages Siwa.
B- Adrere Amellal.

With this list, I think we’ve covered the most important and exceptional hotels in the main touristic destinations in Egypt.

JON: Tell readers something about how much value they can get right now for their money when it comes to visiting Egypt. In terms of economic savings, it must be one of the best times in history to visit Egypt safely and “in style.” Would you agree?

ESSAM: It is said that traveling enriches your mind, heart and soul. Also said: Learn to travel and travel to learn.

Visiting Egypt will accomplish the two quotes above. To visit Egypt is truly value your money and can be an endeavor worthy beyond price. Egypt has so much to offer to its visitors. We promise you a lifetime-memorable vacation in Egypt with us. Simply out, we work hard to provide great vacations in Egypt—luxury vacations at affordable prices. Moreover, every once in a while, we offer amazing discounts to our great guests via our social media channels. That alone is a good reason token an eye on the various sites because special deals can pop-up suddenly. Honestly, I think a person has little excuse not to travel to Egypt, if that person is thinking about value for their money.

Come visit Egypt, and I promise that you’ll go back with great, unmatched memories. Come visit Egypt and enjoy the history, the monuments, the people, the museums, the food, the beaches, the majestic desert and the great weather! We’re waiting for you. Just visit our website, Explore Egypt with Essam, to pick your tour package today. See you in Egypt very soon!

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Ease into the Adventure of your Lifetime and Explore Egypt with Essam …

As an intrepid and almost swashbuckling wanderer, adventurer, and explorer of many years, many nations, and many memories, I can tell you that no excursion could offer you more history, luxury, or pure jaw-dropping glory than a visit to Egypt.

Yes. It’s greater than Rome. Greece. The Grand Canyon. The Great Barrier Reef. The Great Wall of China. Name the amazing place and, I guarantee you, Egypt and its incomparable glories will put them all to shame.

I have been to Egypt ten times in my life and each visit proved more wondrous and revealing than the time before.

Temples that tower above you like brooding forests of stone and mystery, speaking to the richness of an ancient empire like no other.

Pyramids that make you gasp for air in disbelief at the very sight of their grandeur, humbling you to the very pit of your stomach, bringing tears to your eyes. A feeling of pure majesty and art that cannot be encountered anywhere else on our planet.

A river that transcends all dreams and thoughts of exotic beauty to make you feel as if you are the only human being on the earth: above, below, beneath, and all around.

Friendly people full of joy and ever ready with a welcoming smile.

Accommodations that are not only affordable right now, but which can outdo any other global travel plan in terms of desired luxury or adventure. Glorious FOOD, visions, amenities!

Oh, beloved Egypt!

But you have to go the proper way, and that means planning your trip with an outstanding, experienced and well-connected guide.

Guess what? Look no further! Essam is the gentleman and the guide with extra knowledge and experience to ensure you will never forget your adventure into Egypt for as long as you live, and provide you with an experience you will be able to hand down to your family members and children as a treasure trove of bejeweled memories, stories, and marvels that few see on Earth.

From the beginning of your trip to the end, it is an experience of welcome, security, luxury, and that “extra insight” that makes a vacation into a lifetime achievement. Packages galore that will not only suit any couples, single travelers, or groups, but which will can be customized with superb, instinctive guidance.

I can tell you that Essam is a man with that added spark of fascinating knowledge that others simply do not possess, and his references are beyond impeccable. He has that “something special” in terms of his Egyptological knowledge, insights that will impress and thrill you.

Stop THINKING about it … DO IT! A customized trip into the mystery and majesty of Egypt, ancient and modern, will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Check out Essam’s superb site–so many amazing options and possibilities! A professional of outstanding caliber and one of the nicest gentlemen you could hope to encounter in a land of legends and endless magnificence.

Hopefully we’ll get to interview Essam with a kind of “20 Questions” approach very soon, but in the meantime look at his site and start planning. If you have any spirit of adventure, Egypt is not to be missed in this human lifetime!

Take it away, Essam …

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(photo courtesy of ExploreEgyptWithEssam.Com)