The Nonsense Bazaar

The Nonsense Bazaar

The Nonsense Bazaar is a bravely paranoid, neon-colored voyage into irrationality and the imaginal by way of conspiracies, cults, UFOs, magic, mysticism, and the secret history of our silly world.

Episodes

February 21, 2024 101 mins

This week It’s a touch of the ol’ divine madness in Middle America as we take a look at the highly entertaining and very American art form of revival preaching. From the big top on the frontier to Aimee McPherson, the sexiest preacher who’s ever lived, to Oral Roberts’ saying God was going to kill him if he didn’t get eight million dollars, the tradition of the revival is a type of performance art in a league of its own. It also fi...

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Finding yourself with one foot in reality and the other in dreamland is frightening, especially if you were alive in the 1940s when the solution was to remove all your memories by either drilling a hole in your head or hooking your brain up to the medical equivalent of a car battery. Today’s episode takes us back to that time to explore a book of case studies titled Oneirophrenia and how the author, a physician named Ladislas Medun...

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You know how they say you shouldn't stare at the sun because you'll go blind? Well, what if that's just what they want you to think? What if the secrets to immortality, an enlarged pineal gland, not needing to eat food, and not needing to wear a shirt on your youtube videos were all unlocked by simply...staring at the damn sun? Welcome to the "ancient" practice of sungazing. Where you stare down the sun until you receive magic powe...

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January 31, 2024 128 mins

Tiny Tim was once one of the most famous men in America. Everything about him was a spectacle. From his trembling falsetto to his odd mannerisms, it's easy to see how he became America's laughingstock. Most people know him as an entertainer but what about as a husband? While tabloids took shots at Tiny, he was taking shots of his own--at the teenage wife he married on The Tonight Show. She wouldn't be his only wife, however, as he'...

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January 24, 2024 71 mins

This week we're telling a story that is very much not our normal fare here at the bazaar: a ghost story, a true-crime murder case, and a courtroom drama. But it also happens to be exactly what we're about. The story of the Greenbrier ghost is often told in the context of "that time an encounter with a spirit was used as evidence in a trial." But that doesn't really do the story justice. After 22-year-old Zona Heaster was found dead...

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January 17, 2024 94 mins

We’re traveling to the past to explore the careers of two game show greats: Ralph “Nobody knows who I am anymore” Edwards and Chuck “They made a movie about me” Barris. Between the two of them, they’re responsible for some of the most famous game shows of the 20th century including Truth or Consequences and The Newlywed Game. We’ll learn how their creations altered the media landscape of the 20th century and discuss the possibility...

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January 10, 2024 93 mins

Did you know that all of history is nothing but a bald faced lie? That the entire generally accepted arc of history has been fabricated to keep you, dear listener, from realizing your God-given birthright to fancy architecture, free energy and flying turtles? That there used to be a globe-spanning supercivilization with magic sound technology, strong jaws, and craftsmanship and artistry that we can't even come close to approximatin...

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January 3, 2024 130 mins

This week we’re taking a look at the curious history of one Charles Entertainment Cheese, a robot who claims to be “America’s favorite rat” and built a cardboard-flavored pizza empire which heralded the cybernetic colonization of our childhoods and traumatized generations with animatronic animals dug straight out of the uncanny valley.  We look at the history of Charles Cheese and the various personas he’s inhabited, from rude ciga...

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December 20, 2023 65 mins

We're headed back to one of our favorite centuries to talk about one of the most famous UFO cases in history. Well, at least on the History Channel. The 1561 "celestial phenomenon over Nuremberg, Germany" entered modern consciousness by way of that spooky Swiss psychologist Carl Jung who wrote about this odd woodcut broadsheet describing a day in April 1561 when the sky filled with all sorts of strange, unidentified objects. Balls ...

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On today’s episode we’re taking a look at some of the rather silly psychic experiments conducted by the folks over at the Center for Inquiry, a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping the spread of nonsense and promoting reason and skepticism. We’ll learn about the founder Paul Kurtz, secular humanism, ol' James Randi, and their history of legal battles against the most famous spoon bender in history, Uri Geller. They claim t...

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December 6, 2023 78 mins

This week we're taking a look at one of the oldest and most influential epic poems in the world. Bhagavad Gita is the centerpiece of the much, much longer Sanskrit epic poem Mahabharata and has had a huge influence on culture and spirituality the world over. It's also just wicked cool. Taking the form of a dialogue between the god Krishna and the heroic prince Arjuna right before a massive battle is about to pop off, the Gita has a...

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November 29, 2023 110 mins

If you're at all into the paranormal or supernatural you've heard the name Charles Fort. After all, his name has become synonymous with the study of anomalous phenomena, or "Fortean" phenomena. He basically invented the genre. Over the course of four books published towards the end of his life Charles Fort documented hundreds of cases of strange doings: fish falls, mysterious airships, teleportation, and much more, while arguing fo...

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November 15, 2023 88 mins

Who the hell is Greta Garbo? From her alleged espionage endeavors with plans to assassinate Hitler to passionate secret lesbian romances, this Old Hollywood icon lived a life worth discussing (although she would hate that we are doing so). Her intense desire for privacy over fame led her to quit acting at a young age but that didn’t stop the media from being obsessed with her, particularly her dietary habits, love life, and the adv...

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November 7, 2023 61 mins

We're takin' it a bit easy this week and talking about something close to home: vampires! Specifically, the so-called "New England Vampire Panic" of the 1800s. Before vampires were sexy, they were something else entirely: the reanimated corpses of your friends and family who preyed upon the living and threatened to pull entire communities down into the grave with them. In New England, and very especially in Rhode Island, this type ...

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It finally happened, we lost our damn minds. In honor of No-Nut November, today’s episode will explore the concept of Semen Retention (aka gaining magic powers and solving all of life's problems by not jerking off) by looking at online communities, exploring the religious foundations behind the idea, and speaking to two individuals who actually practice it.

Support The Nonsense Bazaar on Patreon and get access to our bonus series T...

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October 25, 2023 110 mins

What do you think of when you hear the term "cybernetics"? Well there's a solid chance you're wrong. This week we're taking a high level overview of an intellectual Swiss Army Knife that rewired the way we think about everything from economics to ecology, psychology to semiotics.  In this episode, we'll unravel the genius of Norbert Wiener, the surprisingly sympathetic mathematician who gave cybernetics its name and set the course ...

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October 18, 2023 104 mins

Today we’re taking a look at one of the wildest, most enduring hoaxes of all time—The Taxil Hoax. Ever wondered why Freemasons are a magnet for conspiracy theories? In the 1890s, a French prankster named Leo Taxil tricked the Vatican into believing that Luciferian Freemasons were plotting world domination. We'll trace how Taxil's grand illusion unfolded, from his time as a schoolboy to his time pretending to be Diana Vaughan—a fabr...

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This week we're taking a look at the stories of three legendary trickster spirits: the ever-sly Coyote of North American folklore, the web-weaving Anansi from West African tales, and the amorphous (but usually rabbit-eared) Nanabozho from Ojibwe legends. What does it mean when something is a "trickster"? Are they always out to steal your lunch money? Why are they always intrinsically linked to humanity itself? Maybe the trickster a...

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Today we're diving into the multidimensional world of "Path of Sweetness”, one of the strangest books we’ve featured on this podcast. It was written by a woman named Joy Elaine who has had many hobbies throughout her life: body building, orchid growing, and playing the violin to name a few. It wasn’t until later in life when she was introduced to New Age healing modalities that an entire world opened up for Joy, a world full of asc...

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September 27, 2023 104 mins

The KLF, aka The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu were the best selling singles band in the world for a period in the 1990s. Their last single featured Tammy Wynette, the "First Lady of Country Music", in what would be her last chart topping hit. They were pioneers in sampling and house music, but you've likely never heard of them. Why? Because in 1992, after being honored at the Brit awards, they fired a machine gun full of blanks into...

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