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  • ‘This is not Jacquie anymore’: Son documents mother’s heartbreaking descent into dementia
    05.19.2015
    09:03 am

    Topics:
    Activism
    Current Events

    Tags:

    001dementiacoursenvurdfvbhv001.jpg
     
    These moving photographs document one woman’s gradual deterioration into early onset dementia. They were taken by Jake Heath from Sydney, Australia, who photographed his mother Jacquie during the course of her illness.

    The first photograph (above) was “taken in 2005 or so. At this point, Jacquie had Pick’s Disease, but it had been misdiagnosed as menopause. She would be about 48 here.”

    Pick’s Disease is a type of Frontotemporal Dementia that causes progressive destruction of nerve cells in the brain. It is a rare disease and its symptoms include dementia and loss of language. Sufferers usually die within two to ten years.

    Jake and his sister Zoe were living in Australia when they first heard the news about their mother. Their parents were living in Toronto, Canada, when his father Tim told Jake and Zoe the heartbreaking news that their mother Jacquie was going to die—as Jake told the Daily Mirror:

    “At the time I didn’t believe it. Zoe cried, but mum reassured her that it was ok and ‘all part of God’s plan’. Since then it’s been entirely surreal.

    “The thing with Pick’s disease is that it has some very obvious stages. It’s always the stages that get to me the hardest, whether it’s paranoia, or forgetting names, forgetting how to eat, etc. Her condition is now the worst it’s ever been. Six weeks ago she stopped walking, whereas previously she would spend all day hobbling around the living room. She also stopped being able to eat solid foods and is now on pureed. It’s like she has aged backwards.

    “Life for the family now is surprisingly not that bad. Dad is a 24/7 carer for her, but he also has a lot of help from the government.

    “I go down to Batemans Bay (where my parents live) to visit every six weeks or so. I think Zoe finds it harder, being a new mother and not having her own to guide her. Dad is a very strong and resilient man. His day-to-day is looking after her, but he has mentioned a few times to me that as long as he keeps his attitude in check he’s OK. And that attitude is one of doing what’s best, being easy on yourself, and just getting on with it.”

    Jake’s father Tim explained what it has been like looking after his wife:

    “The journey I’m on at the moment, it’s the long goodbye. It’s been happening since 2007, so for seven years she’s been slowly losing function and capability. I haven’t had a conversation with her in years where she’s actually said anything that’s made sense.

    “When you’ve been doing it for this long you’d sort of rather it would have been something quick, like a car accident or something. At least it’s quick and you can move on.”

    According to the World Health Organization, 47.7 million people globally are affected by dementia—there are 7.7 million new cases every year with just over half (58%) living in low to middle income households.  Around 10% of people develop the disease at some point in their lives. The estimated proportion of the general population aged 60 and over with dementia at a given time is between five to eight per 100 people.

    The total number of people with dementia is projected to be 75.6 million in 2030. It is believed this figure will almost triple by 2050 to 135.5 million.

    My father, who died last month, suffered Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is believed he had suffered from the disease for several years before diagnosis. During his last year—from February 2013 onwards—his deterioration became very rapid and his behavior and mood swings increasingly erratic, unpredictable and violent. During his last months, he was admitted to a care home as we were no longer able to give him the attention he required. Most of the time he slept at the care home, when awake he was often irate and confused. He eventually fell into a coma and died from pneumonia.

    Jake posted his photographs on Imgur under the heading “This is what Early Onset Dementia looks like.” This is what dementia looks like—the slow, horrendous eating away of a loved one until just the husk is left.

    Though heartbreaking, Jake believes there is one good thing to have come out of this terrible disease:

    “The silver-lining of this illness is that it has brought us closer together as a family, and it has given us a chance to love Jacquie the way she loved us.”

     
    002dementiacoursebsdfghc2.jpg
     

    On the beach, around 2010. Lots of Jacquie around. She can’t remember too much though.

     
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    2010 again. Riding on the back of dad’s motorbike was one of her favourite things to do. She got quite terrified when the helmets were on, but once moving had a blast. This had to stop in 2011, when an on-bike paranoia attack nearly caused an accident.

     
    004dementiacoursenbsrtyohgvcefg4.jpg
     

    Beach-time walks. Weight is falling off. Conversation is non-existent.

     
    More of Jake’s photos and his film ‘This is not Jacquie anymore,’ after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    In the very near future there will be ‘home-brewed’ drug beer made from yeast
    05.19.2015
    07:04 am

    Topics:
    Drugs
    Science/Tech

    Tags:

    00brekbadbrewboyssdfgmyt.jpg
     
    Well, here’s a thing: soon you may be able to brew your own drugs—that’s according to an article in the New Scientist which points out that:

    Genetically engineered yeasts could make it easy to produce opiates such as morphine anywhere, cutting out the international drug smugglers and making such drugs cheap and more readily available.

    This also means the Taliban-supporting Afghanistan poppy trade would no longer flourish and junkies could fix themselves a homegrown brew of smack, without even having to score. Or leave the house for that matter. This is gonna be HUGE.

    However, there is one fairly major stumbling block: the genetically engineered yeasts capable of doing this do not as yet exist. That’s kind of a big one. But researchers hope to change this as they point to the “number of drugs, scents and flavours once obtainable only from plants can now be made using genetically modified organisms.”

    Now they want to add opiates to that list because “they are part of a family of molecules that may have useful medicinal properties”:

    Plant yields of many of these molecules are vanishingly small, and the chemicals are difficult and expensive to make in the lab. Getting yeast to pump them out would be far cheaper.

    And about as easy as tending to a Kombucha SCOBY, something even a junkie could manage.

    Of all the relevant researchers questioned by the New Scientist none doubted that brewing drugs would eventually happen.

    “The field is moving much faster than we had previous realised,” says John Dueber of the University of California, Berkeley, whose team has just created a yeast that produces the main precursor of opiates. Until recently, Dueber had thought the creation of, say, a morphine-making yeast was 10 years away. He now thinks a low-yielding strain could be made in two or three years.

    It might take many more years to produce a high-yielding strain. But once it exists, in theory anyone who got hold of it could make morphine in their kitchen using only a home-brewing kit. Merely drinking tiny quantities of the resulting brew – perhaps as little as a few millilitres - would get you high. “It probably is as simple as that,” says Dueber. “The beer would have morphine in it.”

    We need to start thinking about the implications now, before such strains – or the recipes for genetically engineering them – become available, he says.

    Other teams are working on producing tropane alkaloids – a family of compounds that include drugs such as cocaine. Cocaine-making yeasts are further off, as we still don’t understand certain critical steps that coca plants use to make cocaine. But there’s no reason we cannot engineer yeast to produce any substance that plants produce, once we understand the machinery, says biochemist Peter Facchini of the University of Calgary in Canada. “So indeed someone could potentially produce cocaine in yeast.”

     
    000homebremeadoiufx.jpg
    Mead homebrew, but one day it maybe possible to brew heroin or cocaine beer.
     
    Brewing drugs would certainly “democratize” drug production and give bearded hipsters an, er, addictive new hobby. It would also be difficult to police, and as the law currently stands difficult to prosecute (Good luck outlawing a yeast!). Unlike crystal meth labs,  brewing does not create a toxic mess: waste products are just brackish water and some very mild chemicals like acetate.

    The main concern is that such brewing techniques fall into “the wrong hands,” which is believed to be a major possibility.

    REALLY??? YA THINK???

    Read the whole article here.
     

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Here’s your new favorite ‘80s Hungarian goth band
    05.19.2015
    05:25 am

    Topics:
    Music

    Tags:


    Hungarian goth band, F.O. System

    Having worked in record stores most of my life, the one question I’ve been asked more than any other is the dreaded “what are you listening to lately?” I say “dreaded” because there’s this entire process of cold-reading the asker before an answer can be formulated. Generally the person posing the question is looking for shopping advice, and I find myself lying about my current playlist, simply because the Dave Matthews fan trying to pick my brain doesn’t really need my Flux of Pink Indians The Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks recommendation. I always get a little neurotic when asked this question, because I feel like giving a legitimately truthful answer only serves to make me look like the pretentious record store asshole that I might actually be. 

    Being one of those uberhip “you’ve probably never heard of them” douchenozzles is the last thing in the world I want to be identified as, so all I can really do is try to share and never judge. But sometimes, unintentionally, the answer to that dreaded question just sounds like you’re a too-cool-for-school try-hard. Go ahead. Ask me what I’m listening to lately.

    OK, I’ll tell you.

    Lately I’m listening to a lot of Hungarian goth.

    See?! I can’t even say it out loud without feeling like “that guy”—but I digress. With it right here out in the open, I can at least tell you about this best band ever that’s currently rocking my world—or, as is the case with Hungarian goth—is currently reflecting the blackness of my empty soul.

    I was recently reading the absolutely essential Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace: The Worldwide Compendium of Postpunk and Goth in the 1980s, and noting band names I was unfamiliar with. One of the groups, detailed in a section about goth behind the Iron Curtain, was Hungary’s F.O. System (AKA Fuck Off System or F.O.).

    Going directly to the Internet to learn more, I found that there’s very little information on the group—and what little information there is, is in Hungarian. Thank the gods of technology for Google translate.
     

    F.O. System. From the band’s Facebook page.
     
    F.O. System was one of many bands that came out of a scene centered around Fekete Lyuk, or “The Black Hole,” which was a Budapest nightclub. The group was founded in 1986 by Attila Matyas and Csaba Jerabek, and existed until 1991. F.O. System are considered one of the first goth bands out of Hungary.  They quickly outgrew The Black Hole club, playing several major festivals, and opening for New Model Army and Christian Death. They toured what was then West Germany, before disbanding. Years later, they played a series of reunion shows, having performed as recently as 2013. Their 1988 demo tape is a total fucking classic of the genre.
     

    “Day of the Gloom” demo cassette
     
    F.O. System’s influences are apparent in their sound. You’ll hear shades of The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, and certainly Bauhaus—but the sum of these parts is something totally unique, and undoubtedly eastern European. There is something very bleak and grey about the region that is reflected in the sound of bands such as F.O. System.  You get the sense that this is no ennui-inspired suburban affectation—this is the real deal.

    F.O. System’s website has information on the group’s releases. You can purchase digital tracks of the first album and demo here.

    This video for their song “Ne Félj” is as good as anything the entire goth genre has to offer. It’s one of those songs I find myself putting on and just replaying over and over. Judge for yourself:
     

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    Never before seen photos of Stiv Bators and the Dead Boys, 1976. A Dangerous Minds exclusive
    05.19.2015
    05:12 am

    Topics:
    Art
    History
    Music
    Punk

    Tags:


     
    This is the good stuff, good people, a genuine once-in-a-blue-moon recovery of a lost treasure trove. You, Dangerous Minds’ readers, are literally the first people in the word to see these photos, apart from the photographer and a tiny handful of others.

    In 1976, Dave Treat, a student at the now defunct Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, lived in a Lakewood apartment building that also hoveled the members of a rock band that had just re-christened itself from Frankenstein to the Dead Boys. As he was both the nearest accessible art student who owned a camera and a close friend to singer Stiv Bators, Treat was recruited to shoot publicity photos of the band, and while one of them may have been used (it remains unclear, but we’ll get to that), the rest have sat unseen since then. They became obsolete quickly, as Jeff Magnum would be added as the band’s bassist shortly after these were shot. In the last year, their existence became known to art historian Brittany Mariel Hudak and photographer/gallery owner Bryon Miller, who are working to release them in a book, and preparing them for exhibit in Cleveland, with the possibly of a New York exhibit later in the year. What the photos reveal is a band unknowingly on the cusp of achieving legendary status, and a sensitive, vulnerable Stiv Bators very, very unlike his self-consciously bratty public persona.

    From Hudak’s introduction to the forthcoming Stiv 1976: Lost Photographs of Stiv Bators & The Dead Boys:

    This is not about the onstage, very public Stiv or his antics – you can visit that guy on YouTube, read about his New York shenanigans in Legs McNeil’s Please Kill Me, or watch him wield a baseball bat as tough guy “Bo-Bo Belsinger” in John Water’s film, Polyester.  In contrast, these photographs taken by his neighbor Dave Treat in 1976 capture a different Stiv altogether – what they capture is “Stiv” in the making.  They offer a rare glimpse into the private life of a young man on the brink of something, with a marked sense of unfettered opportunities and grand plans. There’s an unquestionable eagerness in his eyes, a what-do-I-have-to-lose attitude – and even hints of the onstage Stiv being built. He poses quite consciously for the camera, wearing the soon to be comfortable guise of the seductive rock star – lanky, languid, oozing sex appeal and confidence, complete with outrageous platform boots.

    But if you look closely you can detect another, more vulnerable side of the performer. Crouched in a corner or staring off into the distance, at times there’s a palpable sadness – a peculiar malaise. This too could be a pose – the tortured artist suffering for his art, another familiar component of the rock-star myth. But one gets a sense that this side is genuine, and for Stiv rarely seen, which makes these photos all the more special.

    The negatives for these amazing photos were buried in a closet for almost 40 years, and most have been printed for the first time this year by Miller, a gallery proprietor and photographer for High Times and Billboard, who, out of respect for their origins and provenance, actually printed them old-school gelatin silver style. In an actual darkroom. Some of those still exist. The photos will be exhibited at Miller’s Gallery 160 in Cleveland beginning on Friday, June 5th, to mark the 25th anniversary of Stiv’s death from injuries sustained when he was hit by a car, with an opening reception beginning at 6:00PM. Apart from Treat, Hudak, Miller, myself, and the Dead Boys’ Cheetah Chrome, nobody has ever seen these images before you, right now. Clicking on an image spawns an enlargement in a new browser tab.
     

     

     
    More unseen Dead Boys, after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Rock and roll’s turd in the punchbowl: An interview with John Lydon
    05.18.2015
    04:26 pm

    Topics:
    Books
    Punk

    Tags:


     
    John Lydon’s new memoir Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored is his second go round at chronicling his thoroughly fascinating life. His first Rotten: ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs was published over 20 years ago so there was much new life to be written about and additonal elaboration and re-evaluation of his early years from the vantage point of now. He’s mellowed and aged quite nicely. Lydon has gone from rotten to nicely fermented. From snarly whine to barley wine.

    In this interview conducted at my favorite bookstore in the world, The Strand, Buzzfeed Books editor Isaac Fitzgerald and Lydon have a grand old time shooting the shit as Johnny occasionally takes a chug from a bottle of cognac.

    Anger is an energy. It really bloody is. It’s possibly the most powerful one-liner I’ve ever come up with. When I was writing the Public Image Ltd song ‘Rise’, I didn’t quite realize the emotional impact that it would have on me, or anyone who’s ever heard it since. I wrote it in an almost throwaway fashion, off the top of my head, pretty much when I was about to sing the whole song for the first time, at my then new home in Los Angeles. It’s a tough, spontaneous idea. ‘Rise’ was looking at the context of South Africa under apartheid. I’d be watching these horrendous news reports on CNN, and so lines like ‘They put a hotwire to my head, because of the things I did and said’, are a reference to the torture techniques that the apartheid government was using out there. Insufferable. You’d see these reports on TV and in the papers, and feel that this was a reality that simply couldn’t be changed. So, in the context of ‘Rise’, ‘Anger is an energy’ was an open statement, saying, ‘Don’t view anger negatively, don’t deny it – use it to be creative.

    A couple of observations: the fellow in the background, to Johnny’s right, looks a wee bit like a Madame Tussaud waxworks version of Mark E. Smith. And why is Lydon dressed like a sous chef?
     

    Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
    The Slits, Clash, Sex Pistols, Siouxsie, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag in ‘Punk Attitude’
    05.18.2015
    01:32 pm

    Topics:
    Movies
    Music
    Punk

    Tags:


     
    Okay it’s been nearly 40 years since I heard The Ramones debut album for the first time and that means I’m fucking old. But I ain’t dead. In fact, I’m feeling pretty damned good. And part of the reason I feel so damned good is I’ve been on a steady diet of rock and roll since I was a itty bitty boy. Rock and roll has been the one constant in my life that has given me something that others might call a religion. From the moment I first heard “Alley Oop” by The Hollywood Argyles when I was nine years old (sitting in a tree with a radio in my lap), I was hooked.

    I’ve always been a seeker, looking for meaning in life, searching for answers to the essential questions of what are we doing here and where are we going? I’ve read everything from Jung to Chogyam Trungpa to Kerouac and Crowley in my yearning for clarity and spiritual fulfillment. Aside from a few reveries and insights fueled by psychotropics or the momentary flash of cosmic consciousness you get in those special moments when something suddenly opens up your brain - maybe it’s the way a shard of prismatic light bounces off your rear view mirror or a fleet of perfectly white clouds rolling above New Mexico - my “religious” experiences have been seldom and unpredictable. But one thing, other than fucking, that consistently pulls me into the moment where bliss and contentment co-mingle is listening to rock and roll music. It’s the closest thing I have to an artistic calling or spiritual practice and when the music hits me in the right place at the right time it can be divine. And it seems that loud, fast, and hook-filled works best. The music doesn’t need to be about anything spiritual, lofty or significant. It just needs to grab me by the balls and heart, rattle my cage, and move me.
     

     
    There was a barren period in my rock and roll life in the early ‘70s. Not much I wanted to listen to. I mostly bought blues and jazz albums and later reggae. Then in 1976 I heard The Damned’s “New Rose” and shortly after that I got my hands on The Ramones’ self-titled first album. These were momentous events in my life that drove me back into arms of rock and roll. Talking Heads, Blondie, Mink DeVille, Pere Ubu, Patti Smith, The Clash and Television were the second wave of musical salvation to land on my turntable that changed my life.  Punk, or whatever you want to call it, defibrillated my rock and roll heart and inspired me to start my own band. And I wasn’t alone.

    In this fine documentary directed by Don Letts (who knows a thing or two about punk rock) a bunch of aging punkers talk about the roots of the punk scene and their love of the music they make. There’s not much new here but it’s good to see Steve Jones, Pete Shelley, Howard Devoto, Siouxsie Sioux, Captain Sensible, Mick Jones Jones,David Johansen, Jello Biafra, Wayne Kramer, Thurston Moore, Legs McNeil and Tommy Ramone, among many others, wax poetic about the music explosion that was detonated in the mid-70s. It’s amazing how many survived. And deeply saddening that since this film was made in 2005 we’re down to zero original Ramones.

    “Punk is not mohawks and safety pins. It’s an attitude and a spirit, with a lineage and tradition.” Don Letts.
     

    Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
    Give this man a Geico commercial: The most boring/amazing karaoke channel on YouTube
    05.18.2015
    01:01 pm

    Topics:
    Amusing

    Tags:


     
    This morning I woke up thinking “Today, I’m a’ gonna write me a post about the Psychedelic Furs.” I don’t know why that band in particular popped into my foggy noggin early this AM while I was puttering around the house all bleary-eyed, but things can get pretty whimsical here at Dangerous Minds HQ. That’s just how we roll!

    So off to YouTube I went, where I searched for “Psychedelic Furs” and then narrowed my search results to videos uploaded “this month,” which is how I found this guy who’d posted his own karaoke version of “Love My Way.” It seemed like an inspired choice of a song for karaoke to be sure, but would he try to imitate Richard Butler’s distinctive rasp? Would he, in the spirit of the best YouTube karaoke stars, give it his charismatic ALL???

    Or might he have decided to do a Bill Murray lounge lizard style cover of the New Wave classic, heavy with irony, macking like a BOSS on the K-mic?

    See for yourself:

     
    Plenty more where that came from, after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Joni Mitchell and CSNY play at Don Draper’s yoga retreat, 1969
    05.18.2015
    11:24 am

    Topics:
    Music
    Television

    Tags:


     
    The climactic scene in last night’s Mad Men occurred at an unnamed (at least that I heard—a big deal is made in the episode that nobody in the narrative knows where it is, etc.) yoga retreat on the California coast. The year is 1970, and anyone who knows the area will recognize the terrain as Big Sur, while Don’s yoga retreat was clearly the Esalen Institute.

    In the show the retreat is presented as a semi-joke (paunchy Upright Citizens Brigade Theater standout Brett Gelman is on hand to provide the requisite loser/poseur quotient), but its real-life model wasn’t, indeed isn’t, much like that. SFist usefully helps with some of the background of Big Sur and Esalen as well as of the episode. Last year Monterey County Weekly reported that the Mad Men crew had been spotted at Big Sur to get some footage. The institute was founded in 1962, the same year that Jack Kerouac published Big Sur, his novelistic treatment of the area.
     

     
    The people who have visited Esalen over the years is a lot more “counterculture pantheon” than “Brett Gelman”—examples include Abraham Maslow, Buckminster Fuller, Ansel Adams, Ray Bradbury, Ken Kesey, Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. One resident closely associated with Big Sur is Henry Miller, who famously lived there for a time. Of course, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is perfectly within his rights to gently make fun of the place, and truth be told, the retreat is presented as a prod for authentic change, even for the likes of a damaged soul like Don Draper. (Burnt out businessmen seeking to regroup were a mainstay of Esalen’s visitors at the time, this much, too, is historically accurate.)

    Remarkably, you can still attend the Esalen Institute: It is still in existence as a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and weekend workshops have a minimum price of $1,750, covering subjects from mindfulness to permaculture and ecological sustainability. Even more incredibly, if you can get a larger group together (like 25 people), you can experience the marvelous hot springs at the convenient slot of 1-3 a.m. at a much more affordable price (about $30 per person).

    There was an annual music festival on the grounds of the Esalen Institute from 1964 to 1971—the 1969 concert was turned into a documentary movie called Celebration at Big Sur, which was released in 1971. The movie featured performances by CSNY, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, John Sebastian, and Mimi Fariña. You can watch it below.
     

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Debbie Harry: The Hippie Years
    05.18.2015
    08:48 am

    Topics:
    Music

    Tags:


     
    In the June 1977 issue of High Times, interviewer Neal Barlowe asked Chris Stein and Deborah Harry about earlier musical experiences, and the following exchange occurred:
     

    Neal: Were you in bands before?
    Chris: Debbie recorded an album for Capitol with a baroque folkie rock band in ‘68. It was called the Wind in the Willows.
    Neal: Easy listening?
    Debbie: Depressing listening.

     
    Seldom has an eyeroll so successfully been conveyed indirectly via typewritten prose.

    And Debbie, don’t be so hard on yourself! In 1977 you were probably right to scornful of some hippy-dippy stuff you were involved with just 9 years earlier. But now from the vantage point of 47 years after the fact (!) the album seems perfectly harmless and fun. You’re right, though, it wasn’t great.

    The band was named after the classic book by Kenneth Grahame. The fifth track of the album is called “There Is But One Truth Daddy” and is a reading from Grahame’s book set to music. The fourth track is a cover of Roger Miller’s “My Uncle Used to Love Me but She Died.”
     

     
    According to this website ... it gets the dates all wrong but what it’s probably saying is that Wind in the Willows played Café Au Go Go with the Nazz on Sept. 13-14, 1968. The YouTube page linked below refers to an album release party at Café Au Go Go and has the date as Sept. 11—whatever the details, clearly something of the sort happened at that venue that week.

    You can buy the album here.
     

     

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Restaurant shut down for selling human flesh
    05.18.2015
    07:23 am

    Topics:
    Crime
    Food

    Tags:

    00hanibacangbalrestythjbgcigv.jpg
    Waiter there’s an eye in my soup…

    A restaurant in Nigeria has been shut down after it was found to be selling human flesh.

    According to a news report on BBC Swahili, local police raided the hotel restaurant in Anambra, after being informed human meat was being served to customers. The police discovered various cuts of human flesh and two freshly severed (“still bleeding”) human heads stored in the kitchen.

    Eleven people, including the restaurant’s owner, were arrested.

    One local resident told the BBC:

    “Every time I went to the market, I observed strange things going on at the hotel.

    “Shifty, strange looking people made their way in and out of the hotel and behaved in a very suspicious manner. I was not surprised when the police uncovered such an illegal trade.”

    Though “not a societal norm,” cannibalism is not illegal in most countries—including America and parts of Europe. Cannibalism has been seen in many wars—including the Siege of Stalingrad during the Second World War and most recently in Liberia and the Congo. According to those who know, human flesh has a texture like beef—though is a little sweeter and a little softer.

    A priest who had recently eaten at the restaurant told the BBC that he had been surprised when presented with a bill for 700 Naira ($3.50) for a small cut of “beef.” The price was extortionate when considering the average daily expenditure in Nigeria is roughly 95 cents a day. The priest added:

    “The waiter noticed my surprise and told me the bill so high because of the small piece of meat I had eaten.

    “I did not know I had been served with human meat, and this was why it was so expensive.”

    A cache of automatic weapons (AK-47s), hand grenades and several cell phones were also discovered in the raid.

    Though rumors of cannibalism have long been rife in Nigeria, this is allegedly the first time a restaurant has been discovered selling human flesh.
     
    00meatcutrhjvgctfivkgh_3.png
     
    However, this is not the first time this story has been reported. On September 5th, 2013, the exact same story appeared in the Osun Defender:

    On Thursday Onitsha police arrested 11 people after they discovered 2 fresh human heads in a hotel (name withheld) very close to the popular Ose-Okwodu market in Anambra state. 2 AK47 rifles & other weapons were also discovered in the hotel.

    The arrest followed tip-offs from area residents on Thursday morning. The hotel owner, 6 women and 4 men were arrested.

    After police got access to the hotel, they made a startling discovery of two human heads wrapped in a cellophane bag, two AK47 rifles, two army caps, 40 rounds of live ammunition and so many cell phones.

    The quotes from a resident and a local priest tally with those carried by the recent article on the BBC and today’s Metro newspaper.

    “Each time I came to market, because the hotel is very close to the market, I always noticed funny movements in and out of the hotel; dirty people with dirty characters always come into the hotel. So, I was not surprised when the police made this discovery in the early hours of yesterday,” said a vegetable seller in the area

    A Pastor who was among the people who tipped off the police on Thursday said: I went to the hotel early this year, after eating, I was told that a lump of meat was being sold at N700, I was surprised. So I did not know it was human meat that I ate at such expensive price.”

    What is this country turning into?

    What is news reporting turning into? is perhaps a more relevant question, as the high demand for a constant stream of interesting and unusual news reports means many stories are just lifted and processed without checking sources or whether the story is even genuine “news.”

    From its first appearance on Osun Defender in September 2013, this tale was lifted almost verbatim onto the IB Times in February 2014 and then Live Leak without apparently seeking any verification. A year-and-a-half later, the story is now being “regurgitated” by quite a few respected newspapers who should know better.

    It would appear the latest version of the story merely relates to the restaurant being recently closed down, following on from the police raid last year. What has happened to the eleven who were arrested is not known.

    Via BBC Swahili and Metro.

     

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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