Category Archives: apocalyse wow

Ireland, UK–the Best Songs for (USA) Hurricane-escaping Are…


Fingers crossed Ireland, Wales, UK, that no one gets hurt by ex-hurricane Ophelia.  (Yeah, I know, Wales is part of the UK, but I think of it as a completely separate place because its history and language are so different.)

As a native Floridian, and someone who lived in the Caribbean for a long time, I have a ton of experience listening to music while evacuating from islands or driving very fast–punctuated by near standstills–on the continent to escape from hurricanes.   It’s a great apocalyptic pastime.  Sort of.

It goes without saying that you gotta listen to music at such a time.

You guys may not have a lot of experience escaping hurricanes, so, here’s my top eight songs which I can attest are great to listen to while running away from an apocalyptic event.  (Not to be a pushy Norteamericano, but, there’s not a lot of time for you folks to be researching the subject just now. You’re supposed to be getting ready for Ophelia.)

8. “River of Dreams” by Billy Joel
7. “Do You Love Me? (Now that I Can Dance)” by The Contours (rock &
roll)
6. “Twist and Shout versions by the Isley Brothers and the Beatles (rock &
roll)
5. “Look De Devil Dey” by Penguin (carnival soca music)
4. “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones (rock & roll)
3. “Walk of Life” by Dire Straits (fusion)
2. “Layla” (the long cut) by Derrick and the Dominoes (rock & roll)
1. “Pressure Drop” (what else?) by the Maytals (reggae); actually just
play the whole soundtrack from the movie “The Harder They
Come” which includes Pressure Drop and a number of other songs that are
nearly as scary-running-away-suitable

Good luck.  Now crank up the volume, step on that accelerator, and get the hell away from that storm!

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Chainsaw Phil


Once upon a time I lived on islands. Not always the same one, but always
islands. The first time I moved to one it was in the Caribbean and it was
supposed to be for a couple of months. I didn’t come back to the continent
for 12 years. And even then I lived on barrier islands. For awhile I lived on
two islands at once–one in the Caribbean the other a Florida barrier
island–and commuted.  On Fridays I’d walk to the dock, take a ferry to St.
Thomas, a surrey-bus to the seaplane terminal, then the Goose*–a
seaplane–to St. Croix, then a surrey bus to Christiansted or Frederiksted, do
my work and return home the same way.

I met a lot of interesting people.

One of them was Chainsaw Phil–or, as people called him more or less
affectionately, Chainsaw–the most consistently pessimistic, skeptical, cranky person I ever met.

BTW, on this particular island there were three things one was never supposed to ask.  “Where are you from, what’s your last name, what do you do for a living?”

Chainsaw just kind of appeared on the Caribbean island at some point,
having migrated from the Pacific Northwest where he’d been a lumberjack.

He was, and probably still is, the second most profane human being I have
ever met. Because of his profession, and the fact that much of the bush to
be cleared was cassia, which is full of thorns, Chainsaw was always
scratched, cut, bleeding, and with a patchwork of other occupational wounds in
various states of healing/scabbing. His T-shirts suffered the same fate and were invariably torn in several places.

Chainsaw, however had hidden depths. Brilliant, literate, and with a
massive database of general liberal arts information, Chainsaw was quite a
conversationalist. He could riff on various obscure philosophers, contemporary fiction, history, you name it. We had a number of fascinating chats over the years.

I only ever saw him happy once. After a huge hurricane had pretty much
squashed the island, all the locals had to pitch in to clear the roads and get
the power back on. None of the airports were open so each island was pretty much on its own.

I came around a corner and there was Chainsaw, dangling above the debris strewn roadway from one of the few trees still standing, by one arm, the other swinging along with the chainsaw like a damn bullwhip, cutting the hanging branches dangling from also-dangling wires and trees, just a-whoopin’ and hollerin’ like a cowboy gettin’ some little dogies along on the dusty trail.  He sounded like Slim Pickens in the final scene of “Dr. Strangelove” (one of the greatest films ever made).

Chainsaw had this huge grin on his face.  I’d never seen him smile–normally even when he laughed he frowned.  I wasn’t even aware he could smile

*BTW for Goose flights they would have to take passenger weights to determine if the lumbering aircraft could safely get airborne and land.  Seems as though I recall that here’s an old VI Daily News photo somewhere of the Lt. Gov. or Gov. or head of the legislature, something political…wading in the shallows having been forced to abandon a Goose plane for reasons I can’t recall.  The seaplanes had a reputation for being rickety but there were a limited number of ways to get to St. Croix from St. Thomas, and the Goose was the quickest one.

Apocalypse Wow–Riding Windsurfer Bill’s Honda 90 in a Caribbean Hurricane


Life in America is way too constrained.  There’s too much pressure to conform in oh so many ways, despite our unsupported belief that here in the USA we are wild, free and nonconformist.

So I happened to be thinking wistfully about the time Windsurfer Bill rode up to my place in the Caribbean, on his Honda 90, in the middle of a hurricane.  He burst in and said excitedly; “All the boats are draggin’ anchor in Chocolate Hole.  Wanna go get some champagne and watch expensive boats crash?”

It sounded like fun so I said sure.  Now, at the time, I was living up in Bethany on a dirt road which was steep, full of rocks, and would wash out during the infrequent rains. It was no simple thing for Bill to have gotten his underpowered little vehicle up that road in a damn hurricane either!  That boy had some onions.

Who wouldn’t jump at a chance for an adventure like that?  So I hopped on the back of Bill’s tiny motorbike, sans helmet of course, and we rode into town (Cruz Bay) and went to the deli/restaurant at Mongoose Junction to get some Dom Perignon.  (What else would you drink to watch an apocalypse?)

Tom, the owner, had just closed up.  After we explained why we needed a bottle of Dom he allowed as how he just happened to have one on ice in the back of his jeep that he’d be willing to part with in support of such a good cause.  “I always carry one” he said “in case I get lucky”.  Tom must have been a boy scout at some time to take preparedness to that level.

So we got the champagne and had a fairly harrowing ride up to Bill’s place, which was up a much steeper and rockier road than mine.  Since he lived right at the top of a big hill on the south side shoreline, it was blowin’ like snot up there.  Huge things were flying through the air and, in fact, millions of dollars worth of sailboats were already being pounded against the beach like cockroaches that accidentally wandered into a flamenco fiesta.

It was grand!  We hauled out a couple of chairs, plunked down on the deck and sipped the Dom until it ran out.  Then we switched to a more plebian Cold Duck, or something along those lines, and got fairly tipsy from the alcohol and the wildly dynamic scene playing out for our fun and amusement.  It was soooo fun!  It was like the end of the world but without pain–the wind was screaming, roofs were coming apart, the sea was smashing everything that was in its way, and the noise was deafening.   It was chaos incarnate, if a hurricane can be said to be an incarnation.

People don’t do stuff like that here.  Here they prepare seriously and take precautions. But that was the glory of St. John back in the day.  People did things with panache and free spirited attitudes.  (Once  a St. Johnian sank his new–and very expensive–boat, but stayed on board since part of it was still out of the water.  A friend of his had a case of champagne delivered to the stranded sailor via helicopter.  (No word on whether he thought to report the sunken boat–we’d all heard about it from another boatie.)

Recently I re-connected with an old friend/colleague from the St. John days. He wrote a novel about St. John at that time, in order to memorialize a golden moment when, as Sarah Palin wistfully noted once, people were free.  I asked if he remembered when I tried to shoot his dog, and he laughed that, yes, as a matter of fact, he did.  The name of the book is Back Time in Love City & it definitely, even definitively, captures the zeitgeist of that time and place.  I would recommend it to anyone who has ever dreamed of jumping their traces and taking off into an unknown place for adventure.

One time I rode my big race horse into that iconic Cruz Bay pub, the Back Yard.  She was huge, very high strung and prone to going into wild frenzies of hysteria where she would buck and kick and race around trying to chase any human who crossed her path.  So I rode her up to the packed bar and Dougie Sica didn’t blink an eye, just said, “What’ll ya have?”  Kamikazes seemed appropriate for that particular moment.  So I sat on my big horse and drank kamikazes at the bar, then rode her on out and went home.  Neither of us wore shoes.

Ya can’t do stuff like that in America anymore, except maybe out west or in Texas.  Nope, now and here, decorum is required and one must comport oneself in a manner that couldn’t possibly offend anyone.  Yeah, God forbid that anyone might have their delicate sensibilities offended.  I’m pretty sure there must be a clause in the Constitution about that.

So I sigh and plod on, bereft of any scintilla of spontaneity or free-spiritedness.  We don’t approve of such things in America anymore.  More’s the pity.  But at least I know what it means to have been free, wild and stupid enough to have adventures, to do stuff people wouldn’t approve of.  Sad to say I don’t think all that many Americans get to have that luxury anymore.

What would Jesus say?  “Did ya like my storm?”

Sigh.  I miss being free.

 

All Reality Is Not Virtual


As a committed post-modern dinosaur, I have never tweeted, been on
facebook, LinkdedIn, reddit, or any other social media site. There are no
apps, devices or any other means of “syncing” an information flow in my
world.  My laptop is the whole ball of wax, device-wise.  I know not of
interacting online with groups of people. I just don’t get it.  But, clearly,
time has passed me by and I am officially irrelevant.

Twitter wars and their prominence among “news” stories in the media seem
mystifying.  Reading or watching stories about this phenomenon also seem
pretty funny.  All these characters with their thumbs flying, being egged on
by “news” reports, conjure up an image of a bunch of weenies engaging in
what amounts to electronic slap fights.  Hunched over their tiny devices, do
those engaging in the exercise actually believe it is the equivalent of some
sort of gladiatorial warfare?  I think they do.

Forget it folks, you’re not Russell Crowe, you’re Arnold Stang.

Tip: your busy thumbs are not the full extent of your physical
capabilities. You can get up and walk, talk to live humans in person, see
“real” things with your “real” eyes, feel the sun and wind, experience “real”
life firsthand.  Yeah, it’s kind of uncomfortable, but, probably good for ya.

See, if you’re confining yourself to virtual reality, your non-virtual
musculature and body parts are withering from lack of use and exercise. Your
overly active imaginations, seeing yourselves as some sort of latter day
cultural warriors are a bit over the top.  Okay, delusional.  There is such a
thing as “real” reality y’know.

It all seems hilarious to me, but with a looming downside which is apt to
wind up affecting all of us, including the ones who don’t tweet or who have
thoughts which won’t fit into 140 characters. People seem overly focused
on what’s being said on Twitter. The lazy media, too slack to actually go
out and find real news to report–well except for Richard Engel, Ben Weideman, Ivan Watson, et. al.–can just open up their devices, have a donut
peck out a thin story about what other people are doing in 140 characters,
and think they’ve reported the news.

I actually saw one of the former Fox News blondes, in full raccoon-eye
makeup, say recently, with the most earnest look, that “When the President
tweets, we have to report on it.”  No. You don’t. “News” is not confined to
what comes out of Donald Trump’s thumbs or mouth. Stuff is
happening–important stuff–out in the “real” world. If you work for a news
media organization, you and your colleagues are supposed to be telling the
rest of us about it.

And the putative “news” cable channels are ridiculous. MSNBC runs
non-stop Lock-up programs on the weekends, presumably because “real”
news doesn’t actually happen on weekends. CNN similarly doesn’t do
much live reporting on the weekends.  Possibly it’s because the “reporters”
don’t work weekends. But if you want your media company to be considered a
news organization, then you actually have to report real “news”.  Trust me,
there’s lots going on in the real world on weekends, despite what cable
news channel programmers think.

MSNBC also hired a guy, Brian Williams, who was fired for lying, to do an alleged news show. Why? Somehow his presence on the roster is supposed to increase the network’s credibility as a news network!  How does that work?
Has Mr. Williams dropped his habit of lying?  Sorry, I’m not buying it.

CNN has a morning “news” anchor who’s just a Fox News re-tread yakking
it up five mornings a week. Sorry, I’m not interested in FoxNews’ sloppy
seconds. Don’t hire a media whore and trot her out as a serious journalist,
and expect me to forget what she did before.

The ancillary world of internet trolls is similarly mystifying. Aren’t they
just what we used to call busybodies? Perhaps we should more accurately refer to them as E-busybodies instead of trolls.

The whole notion of spending hours just looking for something to be pissed
off about seems pretty unhealthy. Long ago I decided, when being overly
critical of others, that I’ll try to hold off on that until I’ve perfected me.
There’s a ton of work to be done there, so I’m not holding my breath about
when I can get back to telling everyone else how they should live their lives
and what choices they should make.

Meanwhile, I see that our president is meeting with Vlad Putin this Friday.
What has Vlad been tweeting about lately? I’m all agog with curiosity.

I’m also wondering what future archaelogists will make of the skeleton remains of all the tweeters out there.  “There seems to have been a popular cult which flourished tens of thousands of years ago which focused on those with very large thumbs.  Perhaps that characteristic was considered as beauty.  At this point, we just don’t know but all indications are that genetic thumb mutations became a socially desirable physical attribute at some point in the past.  That culture disappeared and we can only conjecture what might have happened to wipe it out.”

 

Carpetbagger Beats Native Son in GA District 6


Caveat:
Technically I am a Southerner.  My family’s been in Florida for just shy of
100 years and I was bred, born, raised and educated here.  However, South Florida isn’t actually the South. It’s a separate parallel universe.  Ya
gotta go north in Florida to be in the South, so probably I don’t really count
as a Southerner.  But when people not born here call themselves a Floridian they get a frosty reply from me–“You are NOT a Floridian.  You just live here”.  As far as I’m concerned anyone born north of Orlando is a Yankee.   You could say I’m just a post-modern dinosaur.

Well, it’s official.  Georgia is no longer truly Southern.  The unthinkable has
happened.  District 6 voters picked an unqualified, uneducated carpetbagger
over a well educated native son, at the behest of a Yankee from New York!  Ack!

There was a time, after the Civil War, when carpetbaggers were reviled in
the South. (At the time Southerners seemed surprised that killing hundreds
of thousands of Northerners, thereby plunging the country into years of devastating war and economic chaos in support of being able to own people, might actually have consequences.)

Not satisfied with having the beloved land–the South–burned to ashes, a
Southerner murdered the one person who might have helped reconstruct the
floundering region, Abraham Lincoln.  The mindless aggression of the
South not only left it in ruins, the economic fallout kept it a backwater
reeling in poverty and distress for a hundred years.

After the war (mostly Republican) post-Civil War carpetbaggers flooded the South and proceeded to help themselves to the spoils of an ill-conceived mass conflict.  Southerners detested the northern opportunists, since they had contributed nothing to making the pre-war South an economic powerhouse, and abused the hapless Southerners in oh so many ways.  (Again, Southerners didn’t seem to make the connection that the distasteful newcomers were a direct result of their own foolish decision to go to war with their own country.)

In the South you will still occasionally hear people say that the Civil
War wasn’t about slavery, it was about states’ rights.  Yeah.  What they
mean is states’ rights to own people, effectively stealing the lives, families
and personhood of those millions of humans which they “owned” over a
period of hundreds of years.

Southerners’ distrust and dislike of Yankees persists in much of the South to this
day.  Yet, somehow Donald Trump, the ultimate carpetbagger, from New
York no less, has become wildly popular in the South.  He told the GA
District 6 voters who to choose and they fell in line and did his bidding
without a peep of protest.

So much for “hell no we ain’t fergettin,” a Southern slogan referring to the North having won the Civil War.  That win used to stick in Southerners’ craws.  Maybe they’ve gotten over it.

This leads me to believe that true Southerners have been out-bred and
outnumbered by Northern transplants and their offspring.  Folks who prefer a carpetbagger to a native son are what might be termed faux Southerners.

Proof positive that Georgia is no longer Southern came on June 20,
2017 in the state’s congressional District 6 special election.

The district’s voters chose an uneducated carpetbagger, with no training or
experience in economics, finance, political science or other relevant
disciplines, Karen Handel, over native son Jon Ossoff.

As Secretary of State for Georgia–a post to which Georgia voters elected
her–Handel was involved in persistent ploys to suppress voter turnout, i.e.
keep Southerners from exercising their right to vote.

Ossoff, whose bachelor’s degree is from Georgetown and master’s degree is
from the London School of Economics, was born and raised in District 6.
(However, his mother is an Australian immigrant and his dad was raised in
Massachusetts, so, honestly, neither of the District 6 candidates has
generational ties to Georgia.)

Carpetbagger Karen Handel (born in stronghold-of-Satan, Washington, D.C. ) actually criticized Ossoff for having a good education!  His degrees
could not possibly have come without both intelligence and great effort.
Neither of his post-secondary schools just hand out degrees for nothing.
So obviously his stellar educational achievements are a minus for him in nouveau Georgia.

The fact remains.  Georgia voters chose to elect a carpetbagger on the word
of a Yankee.  Georgia, or at least its District 6, is no longer Southern. Gasp!

Meanwhile, thanks District 6, for sending another ignorant, unqualified
representative to Congress.  The country doesn’t have enough of those,
right?  Now the rest of us will have to take the consequences of your
decision right along with y’all.

A carpetbagger elected in Georgia?  Obviously the End Days are nigh.  Mercy sakes alive, ah feel faint.  Fetch me a mint julep, willya?

Charles Martel “The Hammer” is Spinning in His Grave


What’s that sound I hear?  Why it’s my many greats grandfather, Charles
Martel, “The Hammer” Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, spinning in his
grave.  Charles was the great warrior who kicked the Saracens’ ass in
October, 732, at the Battle of Tours/Battle of Poitiers, forcing them from
most of what is now called France. (Charles was also the emperor
Charlemagne’s grandfather.) The battle, effectively, was the end of the
Merovingian empire and the beginning of the Carolingians.

Well, to be accurate, after the battle the Saracens didn’t exactly leave all of what is now France, but they were more or less confined to Provence for the nonce.

At this battle the Saracens, under the head of the Umayad caliphate, Emir of
Cordoba, Abd el Rahman, got their asses handed to them by Charles and his
army.  This battle ended the expansion of the Muslim invaders’ territories
northward into Europe. (The Saracens had already established themselves
in what is now Spain and were on track to take all of Europe at the time.)

“The Hammer,” an illegitimate son of Pepin of Heristal and
his mistress, Alpaide, was imprisoned at an early age by Pepin’s wife,
Plectrude. There doesn’t seem to be any information about his military
training but at some point he must have had some. One doesn’t just hop on
a horse and start fighting, after all.  How he became such a charismatic and
successful warrior is a tale I’d like to read but so far haven’t been able to find.

Charles is considered the founder of the Europe of the Middle Ages, as well
as the of the Carolingian dynasty.

Given what it took to get rid of the invaders, what would The Hammer think of
how Europe is surrendering itself to the 21st century un-armed Muslim
invasion of Europe which is currently being carried out at the behest of the EU?
(Hence the grave spinning of my prodigious ancestor.) I’m guessing his
attitude towards the unthinking liberals who are giving away their culture,
land and autonomy to millions of foreign Muslims would be “kill them”.
While that is way, way too violent a solution for our tender-hearted times,
there is a point to be made.

It doesn’t make any sense to bring into your country people who would
subjugate and/or supplant you if they could.

Don’t call me a bigot either. I look at how Muslim women are treated, in
their own countries and homes, with absolute horror.  Lopping off labia and
clitorises, making women in brutally hot regions run around in heavy black
bedspreads, refusing to let them drive or leave their homes without a
supervising male–on and on the list of insufferable treatment of women by
Muslims in the Middle East goes.

Sorry but I’m not gonna be guilt-trip-manipulated by a bunch of weenie
liberals into subordinating my own self interest. I don’t want any part of a
religion or culture which insists I must be a second class citizen, subordinate and
subjugated because of my double X chromosomes. (I already fought that
battle once, when being raised as a Catholic.)

As far as I’m concerned, “The Hammer” had the right idea. The occupying
Muslims of his time were not exactly gentle, kind masters of the people they
conquered.  When someone mistreats you–and what the Saracens did was
more than just “mistreatment”–boot them the hell out and don’t let them
come back.  Ever.

Those Genealogy Commercials Didn’t Pan Out for Me


A couple of years ago I started a couple of genealogy projects.  Ya keep
seeing these heartworming, uh, I mean heartwarming, commercials about
delighted people discovering the secrets of the DNA donors who were
their ancestors.  There seem to be a lot of awwwws and ooooohhhs, and
nothing but happy discoveries depicted in those commercials.

However, if you happen to come from a handful of relatively recent
“gateway” ancestors, you may be able to follow the trail back through many
centuries if the ancestors had money, estates or titles, whether noble or
royal.  That’s because, for that group, records had to be kept for reasons of
inheritance, possible consanguinity issues, political considerations, strategic
and tactical alliances and so forth.

So then, after I finished compiling a bunch of pedigree sheets I put the ancestors all into a spreadsheet which became the basis for a searchable database of my
numerous ancestors.

Then I started looking up some of the names on the spreadsheet, picking them at random because I recognized the names, or they came from somewhere I knew nothing about, or even because I liked the sound of their names.

Unfortunately many of my ancestors turned out not be the easiest folks to
love.  For example, because some friends were going to Prague I looked up
my Prague ancestors.  For starters, some of them were allegedly born in
Prague before Prague had even been founded, allegedly by a lady named
Libuse–a many greats grandmother, who was a prophetess and rode a white
horse. (She sounds nice.)  She and her husband Premysl, a humble
ploughman, founded the Premyslid dynasty.

I followed that family line and came to an interesting name, Vratislav/Vratislaus I, Duke of Bohemia. A quick internet search revealed that he was Good King Wenceslaus’ dad.  “Wow,” I was thinking, “I’m descended from Santa Claus.” Yeah, yeah, I know, Santa Claus was supposedly St. Nicholas but Wenceslaus’ name is widely associated with Christmas too, I guess because he used to give gifts to the poor.

Except, it turned out not to be Wenceslaus who was my ancestor.  It was his
brother, Boleslav, who was my many greats grandfather.  That would be
Boleslav “the Cruel”.  He actually had Wenceslaus assassinated, and even
participated in the deed, stabbing his brother with his own lance.

Yikes, that’s not the warm and fuzzy I was expecting.  Of course expecting
warm and fuzzy feelings from the Middle Ages is a fool’s errand.  There
was no warm and fuzzy in the Middle Ages.  It was an unrelentingly violent,
vicious, cruel and unspeakably monstrous time when life didn’t cut anyone
in Europe any slack.

A relative of Boleslav’s, Lidmila ze Psova was murdered at the command of
her daughter-in-law Drohimira.  The grandmother of Boleslav “the Cruel,”
she was strangled with her veil.

Okay, that one didn’t turn out so well, so I searched for more biographical
info about my family antecedents.

Cynan “Garwen” ap Brochwell/Brochfail caught my eye. The Welsh were
great warriors and I’d read about his horse, one of the three principal steeds
of Britain, in the Welsh Triads of the Horses.  (The English translation of his
horse’s name is “tall black-tinted one”.)

Cynan turned out to be a Welsh war chieftain whose personal bard was the
famed Taliesin, some of whose works are still extant.  Taliesin’s poem about
Cynan is one of those surviving tales.  Supposedly the heraldry on Cynan’s
shield depicted three white horse heads on a sable field.  Ooooh, I love
horses.  So I looked him up.

Jeez, man. The Saxons of Britain at the time worshiped a special breed of
white horses, which were never ridden or used for work. They were solely
for prophecy and had their own priests who were the only ones who could
interpret the neighings and prancings of the horses to glean their prophetic
meaning.

Cynan, presumably to terrorize the Saxons, killed the white horses and
lopped off their heads.  Grandpa!  How could you?  This wasn’t turning out
at all the way the genealogy commercials do.

Then there was “Black William” DeBraose who was hung publicly by
Llywelyn “the Great” ap Iorwerth, Prince of Wales, after Llywelyn caught
him in the bedchamber of Llywelyn’s wife, the illegitimate daughter of King
John.

And Black William’s grandfather, William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber
and Lord of Abergavenny, another ancestor, was even worse, having come
down to us in history as “the Ogre of Abergavenny”.  He achieved that
sobriquet as a result of having invited a number of Welsh princes and their
retainers to Christmas dinner in 1175.  De Braose and his men murdered
every last Welsh guest on that day which was traditionally a time for settling
differences in Wales.

De Braose had been a big favorite of King John but they had a falling out.
When he fell out of favor he bolted for France, leaving behind his wife,
Maud de Braose and his eldest son, William, to take the rap for him.  King
John had them walled up inside one of his castles where they presumably
starved to death.  This event was one of the more flagrant of John’s many
abuses of his barons which ultimately resulted in him having to sign the
Magna Carta.  So I guess that’s an upside.  Sort of.

After that I took a break from genealogy. I’m not sure I want to know what
my ancestors were up to. They seem absolutely terrifying!

How come the genealogy commercials don’t mention the possibility that you might not be all that thrilled to find out from whence you came?