Classic Kid-Kibble from Yesteryear! by Jonathan Kieran

POP HAZMAT-RETRO presents CLASSIC KID-KIBBLE from YESTERYEAR by JONATHAN KIERAN

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

Wimpy Casper's dangerous "gangster" uncle pushing sugar-highs by the box? Probably.

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 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.
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Jonathan Kieran is the author of the Rowan Blaize series of epic contemporary fantasy books (Brightbourne 2012), as well as the critically acclaimed (Midwestern Book Review, Manhattan Book Review) Confessions From The Comments Section: The Secret Lives of Internet Commenters and Other Pop-Culture Zombies. His work has also been featured on The Daily Dot.com and in a plethora of other ‘zines, papers, and alt-weeklies. Click on the book covers above and to the right if you want to learn more about Jonathan’s titles and perhaps spend some of your hard-earned money on his multi-formatted gifts to the human race.
Jonathan is currently writing and illustrating a new masterpiece of epic dimensions. Drop-in once in awhile for updates. Mr. Kieran promises to provide them, but only once in awhile, because he doesn’t get paid to blog endlessly and believes that any “writer” who gives-away a lot of stuff for free is a Wattpadder or a Smashworder.

Gentlemen, Start Your … er … fill your glasses. #holidaybooze

"Good heavens, you Americans need so much affirmation. In my day one was 'affirmed' by a properly cooked egg delivered promptly to one's bedside by a clean servant, with a bit of toast and jam on the side. Even so, here's to wonderful women this 4th of July -- wherever they come from, however they live, whatever they look like, whomever they love, and whatever they do for work. Yep. All of them. (Oh. Wait ... may I qualify that statement ...)

“Good heavens, you Americans need so much affirmation. In my day, one was ‘affirmed’ by a properly cooked egg delivered promptly to one’s bedside by a reasonably clean servant, with a bit of toast and jam on the side! Even so, here’s to wonderful women this 4th of July — wherever they come from, however they live, whatever they look like, whomever they love, and whatever they do for work. Yep. All of them. Oh. Wait … may I qualify that statement …

For the lovely lovely darling souls who actually follow the HazMat I do indeed want to note a couple of things:

1. I am deep in the entrails of completing a new novel, so this is why I am whittling things down to tart little Downton Abbey photos with the poor Dowager Countess (yeah, right … “poor”) being made to say all sorts of things she would probably say, anyhow, if she were real and living amongst us.

2. Until I complete the new manuscript, expect short blog entries … and by all means have a safe, happy and hilarious 4th of July if you live in the USA or if you are celebrating abroad. I always believe a broad should be celebrated more than anything else on this earth. Don’t quote me on that, quote Sinatra: “She was one helluva broad.”

Wouldn’t it be sort of nice if we could curtail just a teensy-weensy bit (just a little …) of the PC bullshit and freely honor all the great broads in our lives?

Here’s to wonderful women this 4th of July — wherever they come from, however they live, whatever they look like, whomever they love, whatever they do for work. Yep. All of them. (Oh. Wait. Not the Kardashians. They are not to be celebrated or respected. Ever.* That will never change, here.)

More importantly: please keep the families and loved-ones of the firefighters who gave/lost their lives in Arizona in your prayers/thoughts/good feelings/positive emanations as you enjoy the company of your own sweet loved-ones in the next few days. All or any of the above-mentioned efforts have real power, dear friends. Believe me. You don’t have to be Christian, Buddhist, Pagan or even believe in anything for your LOVING THOUGHTS to make a difference in this world.

Heroes always rock, but they especially rock on July 4. God (or Goddess) Bless.

~Jonathan Kieran

* I shouldn’t say “never’ or “ever.” It may change if the mother-baboon comes out and says, “Yeah, sure, I held the camera and filmed my own daughter getting pissed-on and pummeled by some dude because we all wanted fast money and we were willing to debase ourselves shamelessly to achieve that goal, again and again and again and again. Now look at my girl. She walks around like she’s untainted virgin royalty from some trendy European principality, but I gotta tell ya: Lately, people are sayin’ that when she walks into a room, you can smell the scent of death. Yeah, I’m talking plague-type shit. Leprosy on the ass of a demon shit. They say she smells like the ghoul that walks into the party in that Masque of the Red Death shit that the Pope wrote. Or Edgar Allen Pope. Who knows? I got an education, but of course I laughed at it and chucked it down the can like anybody else does. Ha ha. I dunno. Our actions probably did not advance the cause of women around the world, due to our abject and deliberately calculated** whoredom. Who can say? Is that what you want me to say? Fine. I’ll say it. Now pay me or I’ll cut your friggin’ throat from ear to ear.”

** Yes, the mother-baboon is more than rancid enough to hypothetically employ a redundancy like “deliberately calculated.”

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If you’re bored and don’t have any Japanese eyeballs to lick, hop on over to Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a Like!

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Devotion crosses centuries for eager Egyptian statue. #badtasteistimeless

POP HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: Ancient Egyptian Statue Moves By Itself In Museum Case: Curators Stumped! by JONATHAN KIERAN

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Curators of the Manchester Museum in England are flabbergasted by the way an ancient Egyptian statue appears to be moving of its own volition during the daytime within a locked glass case. One museum official even thinks the statue (representing a mummified man named “Neb-Senu”) might even be possessed by the spirit of the long-deceased Egyptian himself, since statues placed alongside mummies in ancient tombs were believed to act as agents or “receptacles” for the souls of the dead. Curators claim to have captured Neb-Senu’s 180-degree turns on time-lapse video.

Neb-Senu's statue is spinning on his own axis to the befuddlement of museum officials. (PHOTO: L. Lovelock via YouTube)

Neb-Senu’s statue is spinning on his own axis to the befuddlement of museum officials. (PHOTO: L. Lovelock via YouTube)

While scholars in English museums may be stumped over this admittedly strange phenomenon, intrepid Pop HazMat reporters currently on assignment in the UK were able to get to the bottom of this peculiar matter very easily. A brief afternoon of observation was all our inquiring minds needed to reveal what English curators completely failed to notice in their misguided investigations. Based upon the distinct angle of the statue’s daily spin-cycle, Neb-Senu turns to get a direct and thrilling view of the billboard across the street from the Manchester Museum:

whorefromhell

MYSTERY SOLVED.

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 1. Neb-Senu’s extraordinary attempt to get a good look at the billboard of “Backdoor Farrah” should come as no surprise whatsoever to any student of history. The Ancient Egyptians were well-known for worshipping dogs and this is clearly an act of religious devotion.
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If you’re bored and don’t have any Japanese eyeballs to lick, hop on over to Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a Like!

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Ever had a bone to pick with the whole #onlinedating thing? You’re not alone.

POP HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: Iowa Man Attempts to Sell Antique Coffin on Craigslist — Complete with Skeleton! posted by JONATHAN KIERAN

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 9. Rumors are circulating that this strange transaction was originally written as a MISC ROMANCE ad in the personals section of the giant “classifieds” website — further proof that the quality of online dating remains sketchy, at best, due to the ease with which desperate people can misrepresent themselves and their attributes to unwary souls who like to shop for Meaningful Relationships with Perfect Strangers via Craigslist. An alleged version of the original ad was obtained by Pop HazMat and is featured below:

SWM, MATURE, Always Laughing, Eyes Wide Open, Seeks Understanding SWF. I can host ...

SWM, MATURE, Always Laughing, Eyes Wide Open, Seeks Understanding SWF. I can host …

SWM, Mature, Very Lean, exceedingly well-defined facial features (folks have called them “noble”), rather quiet-type, seeks SWF between the ages of 19-23 who enjoys the company of a Much Older Gentleman who not only knows how to “hang loose” and “chillax” but exemplifies those features in daily life! You wouldn’t believe what a great listener I am. I mean, I could listen to you talk about your problems for hours, even days, without interrupting, so neurotic young ladies with a lot of personal issues and the need to express those issues through incessant whining are encouraged to respond to this ad. Or, we can just lie around the (satin) bachelor pad and say nothing at all. I’m GREAT at that! As far as honesty goes, you NEVER have anything to worry about. No games or guile: I believe a girl should always be able to see right through her man. In terms of physical relations I am the kind of man who enjoys (and even requires) to be in a passive position. I like to watch you do your thing. Therefore, gregarious and dominating girls with a naughty exhibitionist-side are preferable but it’s not a bonedeal-breaker. I can host: beautiful old world style dwelling, here, so if you like an antique ambience of exceptional craftsmanship you’ll be thrilled with my home. Privacy is guaranteed. Some might consider my place confining, but I prefer “discreet,” “cozy” and “cool” to describe the space where our romance will blossom into something that could truly last … well, beyond the grave, to be quite honest! Goth-Girl types to the front of the line. Fans of the movie A Nightmare before Christmas a + + +. Put “ENJOY THE SILENCE” in the subject line so I know you’re not spam.
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Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

When Space Oddities Attack: #Hubble Telescope sees ALL

POP HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: Hubble Space Telescope Picks Up Giant Space Penguin (And Other Galactic Anomalies) by JONATHAN KIERAN

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 10 (Surely this Giant Space Penguin is yet another astrological sign of the Coming Chastisement of Creation for allowing TV Cable networks like The National Geographic Channel and The Learning Channel to devolve into putrid cesspits of showcased debauchery and human depravity-on-parade. Come, Space Penguin! Put us out of our collective misery!)

Astronomer Martin Spandau de Vroome cautions the citizens of Earth that this terrifying Giant Space Penguin is still light years away from posing a threat to Earth. There are, however, other menaces far more imminent and capable of Unfathomable Doom hurtling toward us even now ...

Astronomer Martin Spandau de Vroome cautions the citizens of Earth that the terrifying Giant Space Penguin seen so clearly in the above photo taken by Hubble telescope is still light years away from posing a threat to Earth. There are, however, other menaces far more capable of Unfathomable Doom hurtling toward us even now …

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: The ever-nosy Hubble Telescope (which is almost as voyeuristic and quick to spot oddities as my late Aunt Florence, who sat peering obsessively behind her kitchen curtains at our family day after freakin’ day, year after freakin’ year until we finally placed her on that 51/50 Hold) has apparently spotted a Giant Space Penguin hurtling toward earth with its egg in tow. Professor Martin Spandau de Vroome, of the Dayton, Ohio Astrological Society and Planetarium reassured frightened citizens that this intergalactic menace is not as unusual as one might think.

“We are forever spotting giant space penguins,” he noted dismissively during a conference call with NASA, Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair and Bindi Irwin, the Dancing Jungle Girl. “Giant space penguins are always flying by earth like nasty, flapping asteroids but it’s been millions of years since one has made impact. In fact, many scientists are now taking a second look at what sort of catastrophic event killed-off the dinosaurs and, instead of a massive asteroid, they are beginning to wonder, ‘Could it have been a giant space penguin’? We are not ruling this out and further studies will be done, you’d better believe it. I would not lie about such things. We are in the process of raising the additional nine trillion dollars needed to investigate the dangers of imminent collisions with Giant Space Penguins and what we may do, if anything, to deflect a Giant Space Penguin if we discover a Giant Space Penguin to be on course for a direct hit with Earth. Probably we shall petition Congress to dismantle the Post office and redirect all funds to us for this purpose. The Post Office is doing a terrible job these days and they are even crazier than astronomers, so who needs them, anyhow? As for this Giant Space Penguin, well, this penguin is too far away, in the Hydra constellation, to pose a problem right now,” added de Vroome. “I’d be more worried about the three other hideous monstrosities that the Hubble telescope has discovered heading toward our planet at an alarming rate of speed. I will show them to you now. May governments across the globe be warned and may God help us from each of these calamities.”

GLOBAL SPACE-THREAT NUMBER ONE:

PROF. de VROOME: "As you can see, Gamera is headed straight for earth and he means business. Giant Space Turtles are actually more dangerous even than Giant Space Penguins. Few people know that, but it's true. I would not lie about such things. Lucky for Earth these Giant Space Turtles always seem to hit Japan and then bounce away, for some reason. We don't know why. Still, it's not good. I understand that Japanese teenagers are pretty busy licking each other's eyeballs these days, when they should really get busy and start to lick the lenses of Japanese telescopes. Send these eyeball-lickers to the planetariums of Japan where their busy pink tongues will useful to their country! Lick the telescopes like your tongues are swift as hummingbird wings, you demented Japanese children! Gamera is on his way. I would not lie about such things."

PROF. de VROOME: “As you can see, Gamera is headed straight for earth and he means business. Giant Space Turtles are actually more dangerous even than Giant Space Penguins. Few people know that, but it’s true. I would not lie about such things. I suppose it is because most of the uneducated peasants on our planet believe turtles are slower than penguins and thus less of a risk. But flying turtles are obviously faster than penguins because they can fly whereas penguins cannot fly. I mean, put two plus two together, people! My God, read a book. Take a class. Lucky for Earth these Giant Space Turtles always seem to hit Japan and then bounce away, for some reason. We don’t know why. Still, it’s not good. I understand that Japanese teenagers are pretty busy licking each other’s eyeballs these days, when they should really get busy and start to lick the lenses of Japanese telescopes! Send these eyeball-lickers to the planetariums of Japan where their eager tongues will prove useful to their country! Lick the telescopes like your tongues are swift as hummingbird wings, you demented Japanese deviants! Gamera is on his way. I would not lie about such things.”

GLOBAL SPACE-THREAT NUMBER TWO:

PROF. de VROOME: "Yeah. I know. Sinead O'Connor. We had been wondering whatever happened to her, too. Well, now we know. She floating  out  in space all these years. Hubble picked her up spinning around near the constellation Orion the other. She gonna be direct hit, but  only one hit, maybe take out a city the size of ...Oh, I dunno ... Vatican, maybe? Who can say. Anyhow, you can see the Pole Star right behind her ear as she spins to earth. This is proof that Hubble can pick up almost anything with its Big Crazy Eye."

PROF. de VROOME: “Yeah. I know. Sinead O’Connor. We had been wondering whatever the hell happened to her, too. Well, now we know. She’s been floating out in space all these years. Makes sense. Hubble picked her up spinning around near the constellation Orion the other day. Sad news is that she’s gonna hit. Good news is that she will only have ONE HIT. Maybe take out a city the size of … Oh, I dunno … Vatican, maybe? Who can say. Anyhow, you can see the Pole Star right behind her ear as she spins to earth. This is proof that Hubble can pick up almost anything with its Big Freaky Eye! Who knows. Might be good to have her back, Sinead O’Connor.”

GLOBAL SPACE-THREAT NUMBER THREE:

PROF. de VROOME: What can we say? It's the ship from Pigs in Space. It was bound to come back sooner or later. We can only hope it falls into the ocean somewhere or burns into so much rinds of pork upon entering the atmosphere. So, as you can see, it's been a scary week for Hubble. Scary, scary week."

PROF. de VROOME: “What can we say? It’s the muppet ship from Pigs in Space. It was bound to come back sooner or later. We can only hope it falls into the ocean somewhere or burns into so much rinds of frazzled pork upon entering the atmosphere. Pigs. In space, for God’s sake. Who would have guessed? But as you can tell, Hubble sees ALL and it’s been a scary week for the people of Earth. Scary, scary week. Going to get scarier, too.”

STAY TUNED AS POP HAZMAT KEEPS YOU POSTED ON THESE HORRIFYING ASTRONOMICAL DEVELOPMENTS … HUG YOUR CHILDREN AND SPEND TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES. WE DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER WE’VE GOT.
__________________
If you’re bored and don’t have any Japanese eyeballs to lick, hop on over to Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a Like!

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Don’t worry, fellow #doglovers: Doris Day & Betty White have been alerted and they are ON IT!

POP HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: Activists Target Dog-Meat Festival in China by JONATHAN KIERAN

Look out, dog-eaters of China ... Doris Day has HEARD about this and her wrath shall be unstoppable. (Photo AFP/FILE)

Look out, dog-eaters of China … Doris Day has HEARD about this and her wrath shall be unstoppable! (Photo AFP/FILE)

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 10 (Can’t the Chinese just go back to eating rodents, like normal people? Can’t they lick each other’s eyeballs and call it a day?)

"You're not my Mommy. Why are you coming at me with those chopsticks?"

“You’re not my Mommy. Why are you coming at me with those chopsticks?”

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Behold another reason I have never had the slightest attraction to (or interest in) anything related to Chinese culture beyond, well, a fiery kung pau, I admit. The annual Dog Meat festival in Guangxi province (South China) finds frightened little fellas like the one shown above trapped in cages before being clubbed, skinned and thrown into a kettle while creepy little people with rotten, peg-leg teeth gather ’round by the dozens, salivating until their pot full of parboiled poodle is tender enough to be jabbed with chopsticks.

Just another fine citizen of China enjoying a leisurely lunch-break from her job assembling knick-knacks for your kitchen shelves, America!

Just another fine citizen of China, enjoying a leisurely lunch-break from her job assembling knick-knacks you’re going to buy for your kitchen shelves, America!

For all the years of talk about China’s alleged ambition to eventually “rule the planet,” I’m just not seeing it happen any time soon. Any society that enjoys clubbing, skinning and eating Man’s Best Friend is too backward or too flat-out famished to muster the energy for World Domination. They might have the numbers and the sheer cruelty to do it, but cruelty needs rigid organization to be effectively channeled toward the conquest of other civilizations and, honey, China hasn’t got that kind of system in place!

Besides, Doris Day, right here in my hometown of Carmel, California (AKA “Dog Heaven, USA”) has heard all about this foolery and right now she’s pushing the buttons to the revolving-door that leads to her Secret Batgirl Chamber, she’s firing up the Invisible Jet, and she’s going to fly straight to Guangxi and obliterate those dog-eating commies with one of her Wonder Woman Warheads! Oh YES she is.

She doesn't eat them, but she's gonna NUKE THE HELL out of people who do!

She doesn’t eat them, but she’s gonna NUKE THE HELL out of people who do!

Sorry, but once she’s out in open-airspace, there’s nobody who can stop Doris from saving a doggie. She may even bring Betty White along for this job. Look out, China Dog-Diners … that big “boom” you just heard is Doris & Betty breaking the sound-barrier and they are COMING to blow your asses into Kibbles & Bits. Don’t worry — those dogs you were planning to cook and eat will be happy to clean up what’s left of your scattered parts littering the streets. Dogs are useful like that. You should’ve learned to appreciate them as more than something you ladle over a big gob of sticky-rice.

Kiss your asses goodbye, China pooch-poachers. Betty's heard all about it and she's coming in her Invisible Super Golden Girl Jet-Plane to open a big can of Whup on Y'all.

Kiss your asses goodbye, China puppy-poachers. Betty’s heard all about it and she’s coming in her Invisible Super Golden Girl Jet-Plane to open a big can of Whup on Y’all.

EXISTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS: Well, if the Chinese ever do manage to take over the world and one of the wretched invaders approaches you with a vile look in his eye and says, “You’re DOG MEAT, pal!” there’s no need to be alarmed. It’s a term of endearment! You’re just being compared to a Corgie canapé or a Bloodhound bruschetta or a big steaming plate of Chihuahua chow mein!

Too Late, you terrier-chewing China people! Doris Day and Betty White have got their Super-Hero Outfits on ad Doris is ON HER WAY to deal with you in her Plane of Retribution! (if you look closely you can see that sort of mummified-looking supine figure next to Doris ... that's Betty. She's real old and needed a little lie-down for the trip but she's still going to make you PAY.)

Too Late, you terrier-chewing China people! Doris Day and Betty White managed to squeeze-into their Super-Hero Outfits and Doris is ON HER WAY to deal with you in her Plane of Retribution! (If you look closely you can see that sort of mummified-looking supine figure next to Doris … that’s Betty. She’s real old and needed a little lie-down for the trip but she’s still going to make you PAY.)

________________________

If you’re bored and don’t have any Japanese eyeballs to lick, hop on over to Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a Like!

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

And you think YOUR kids are bored? They’re licking #eyeballs in Japan. #headlines

POP HAZMAT HEADLINE DU JOUR: Eyeball-Licking Fad Latest Proof of Japanese Insanity by JONATHAN KIERAN

Coming Soon to a suspiciously locked teen's bedroom near you!

Coming Soon to a suspiciously locked teen’s bedroom near you!

CULTURAL TOXICITY QUOTIENT: 9 (Not quite as twisted as Howl’s Moving Castle … worse than seppuku)

RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: I’m going to be brutally honest, here. I blame the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yes, I do. The Japanese people have never recovered and I frankly don’t think they ever will. Those islands have been a locus of festering Post Traumatic Stress for over 65 years and the sheer magnitude of disconnected, disoriented Crazy that’s emanated from Japan has been nothing short of astounding through the decades.

Look, I’m down-on-my-knees thankful for Godzilla. I’ll cop to that. My childhood would have been nothing but a desolate Saharan landscape littered with sun-bleached camel bones if it hadn’t been for Godzilla and Ultra-Man and all of those other dignified rubber monsters that roared out of Toho Studios in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. A bit later on, karaoke and Pokémon and Manga and all of that other monkey business only convinced me that Japan was … well … probably too small to contain so many anxious, stir-crazy minds obsessed with finding new ways to express a pervasive conviction that nature is irrevocably warped.

Now the Japanese kids are licking each other’s eyeballs for fun.

Supposedly the “fad” began with a music video by a Tokyo-based EMO band that probably sang about origami swans giving birth to unicorn-witches in blue jumpsuits in the middle of an exploding star trapped in a pixel, but whatever its source, this quaint little “tongue-on-cornea” activity is leading to a mini-epidemic of conjunctivitis among teens and nausea among those around the globe who find themselves reading about this sort of crap. I realize, of course, that Japanese kids aren’t exactly the first to jump on the “Irrational Urge to Lick Something” bandwagon. Heaven knows enough American dolts attached their tongues for no coherent reason to metal poles in the middle of winter and paid the price for their trendiness. (I confess! I confess!) But eyeballs? By the thousands?

Let me be frank and perhaps a tad politically incorrect, here. After all, it isn’t as if the rest of the world could never have seen this sort of thing coming, what with the whole eyeball focus (no pun intended). Face it (but don’t lick it): the Japanese have got some sort of cultural complex about eyes. One fails to see how any reasonable person could assert a convincing theory to the contrary.

No ... Japanese culture has no fixation on the size of the eyes whatsoever.

No … Japanese culture has no fixation on the size of the eyes whatsoever.

Why, any swift pass through a comic store’s anime/manga section or 5 minutes in front of the great Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke will tell you all you need to know about the way Japanese culture perceives the importance of the eyeball. The need to lick eyeballs, however, escapes me entirely. This sort of behavior leads me to conclude that ethno-centric cultural issues have absolutely nothing to do with this particular, disturbing and medically dangerous fad.

This sort of behavior leads me to believe that the Kilaks from Planet-X are once again beaming mind-control signals from a crater atop Mt. Fuji and are using an eyeball-licking command as a mere “test” for their intergalactic equipment before they summon Ghidrah the Three-headed Monsterghid to obliterate the handful of rational souls still left in Japan. I’m fairly certain of this. Oh, and also: some people are just too damned bored for their own good.

Lest anyone think I am picking on the Japanese unduly, thing again. I have little doubt that weirder things than eyeballs are being licked in the shadows of trailer parks across West Virginia this very minute.

WE INTERRUPT THIS POP HAZMAT HEADLINE/BULLETIN/WARPED EDITORIAL TO BRING YOU THE FOLLOWING PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

mfairies hello“People of Japan! People of Japan! Mothra has sent us to ask you: ‘Would you stop licking each other’s eyeballs, please? Thank you very much!’ Mothra says that licking eyeballs is dangerous and might possibly give the rest of the world the wrong impression about the minds of the Japanese people, to say nothing of the spread of disease due to the ingestion of morning-time crusties. Certainly, no Japanese child would ever wish to displease Mothra or bring shame upon the Emperor due to strange habits that involve tasting the organs that are normally used by people for the purpose of seeing things.

mfairies NO

“Mothra suggests: ‘Could you perhaps find something more conventional to lick, please? Oh, yes! Thank you very much.’ For example, many people across the world enjoy licking feet. Mothra finds this helpful and we agree. Windows can also be licked quite easily. Oh, yes! Thank you very much. Windows may require some cleaning afterward, but Mothra believes no one would object to the licking of panes of clear glass. Cats and dogs also appreciate being licked. One sees them doing it to themselves frequently. Could you begin licking pets instead of eyeballs, please? Oh, yes! Thank you very much. Mothra also wishes to tell you that you must not believe Jonathan Kieran. You are not being compelled to lick your friends’ eyeballs due to a sense of ocular inferiority on a widespread cultural level. Mothra says that Godzilla is responsible. His bad behavior has subconsciously infected your minds and we have proof. Behold a conversation that took place between Godzilla and the Smog Monster on April 7, 1971. This should explain everything, please? Oh, yes! Thank you very much. Goodbye!”

"Say ... that's a mighty sweet eyeball you  have there. Mind if I give it a lick?"

“Say … that’s a mighty sweet set of peepers you’ve got there, Smoggy. Mind if I give one of ’em a quick lick?”

__________________

If you’re bored and don’t have any eyeballs to lick, hop on over to Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a Like!

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads