so blue I’m purple

This one’s going out to all my homies in Kentucky, where everything is blue.

Blue moon of Kentucky
Blue grass of Kentucky
Blue people of Kentucky

charles fort

That last posting about the blue people of Kentucky made me think about my friend Doug Skinner. Doug is a good man. He’s a good man who is interested in unusual little things like blue people. Doug is a Fortean. I think I can say that, can’t I, Doug? I’ve never asked him right out whether he was or he wasn’t, but I suspect he is. If memory serves, his image can even be seen somewhere on the Fortean Times web site. At any rate, Doug, like Charles Fort himself, is a connoisseur of “strange experiences and anomalous phenomena.”

Doug would love these blue people from my home state of Kentucky.

douglas skinner, book translater

While we’re on the subject of Doug, he’s just published a book. It is, as best as I can tell, a translation of a 15th century Italian text by Giovanni Battista Nazari on the subject of alchemy. It’s called Three Dreams on the Transmutations of Metals .

When I found out about the book, I told Doug that I didn’t like alchemy because I didn’t like change of any kind. Doug responded by telling me that the book, “mostly focuses on allegories involving dark caves, talking monsters, jeweled boats, and singing nymphs.” Doug knows me well enough to know that the phrase “talking monsters” would make me salivate.

If you’re familiar with the magazine Linette and I publish (Crimewave USA) you know who Doug Skinner is. He writes the “Let’s Ask Skinner” column. In that capacity, he has been answering the more thought provoking of our readers’ questions for the past five or more years.

Here’s an example of a recent exchange between Doug and a reader:

Reader: “If you could as Nostradamus one question, what would it be?”

Doug: “What’s that on your shirt?”

From what I can tell, Doug’s brilliant. Or, at least he seems to be from my prospective. Among other things, Doug lectures of the Fortean circuit, studies Richard Shaver, does ventriloquism, plays a ukulele and scores of other old and odd stringed instruments, and sings in his band White Knuckle Sandwich, draws cartoons, and acts. Did you know that Doug was in the film Crocodile Dundee 2? Yup. He was also on the TV show “Ed” not too long ago. He played a character who got turned away from an open mic night.

If you want, you can even buy a film of Doug doing his adult puppet show.

I’d like to be happy for Doug. I really would. But I find it difficult. He’s on TV, he’s jetting off for speaking engagements in Europe, he’s playing his music in the MOMA sculpture garden. Meanwhile, I sit here drinking warm beer and eating melted cheese out of a can. He’s kind of like the James Bond of the Fortean set.

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