Amazing food at The Red Barn in Santa Ynez, followed by a setting sun.
Sunday, August 26, 2018
As a journalist, novelist, private spy, undercover operative and director of an intelligence service, it can certainly be said that Robert Eringer has enjoyed a wide-ranging career.
He began his writing career as a London-based foreign correspondent for The Toronto Star and The Blade (Toledo, Ohio), filing feature stories and high-profile interviews from around Europe. As an investigative reporter for British large-circulation Sunday newspapers, Eringer raked the gutter, exposing sleaze-balls and scumbags. His specialty was infiltrating extremist groups, including violent anarchists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. (He still possesses a red robe and hood the KKK tailored for him.)
Eringer evolved from journalism to private intelligence before embarking on a ten-year career operating undercover for FBI Counterintelligence. Some of his missions are included in Ruse (Potomac Books) published in 2008.
Using his intelligence experience as grist, Eringer merged two skills (writing and spying) to author a cluster of humorous espionage novels that combine intrigue and lunacy. As a novelist, Eringer inhabits a world of master spies, billionaires, royalty and delusional lunatics. In reality, he keeps the same company, with battle scars to prove it, documented, although inaccurately, throughout cyberspace.
Two decades ago, a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court (Liberty Lobby v. Jack Anderson) called Eringer “mysterious” and questioned his “actual existence.” Eringer, himself, continues to question actual existence.
Commencing June 16th, 2002 until December 31st, 2007, Eringer was spymaster to Prince Albert II of Monaco. After Prince Rainier’s death in April 2005, and Albert’s ascension to the throne, Eringer created the principality’s first (unofficial) intelligence agency, the Monaco Intelligence Service. It was killed off by a person who feared what it had uncovered.
Resettling in Santa Barbara, Eringer became “The Investigator” (a weekly column) for the Santa Barbara News-Press.
In 2016, Eringer returned to fiction with the publication of Motional Blur (Skyhorse), acclaimed by T.C. Boyle as “A nonpareil road novel that winds up packing a real emotional punch,” and the forthcoming Last Flight Out (Bartleby Press), a novel about traveling in time through photographs.
He is currently on a mystical journey that he chronicles on his blog Clubhouse on Wheels, which attracts 60,000 visitors each week.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
As political and blackmail trials get more fully underway, I recommend that all prospective jurors familiarize themselves with Jury Nullification of Law, also known as Jury Power.
Jury power (which judges never mention and don’t want you to know about) essentially means that a juror may overlook evidence and reach a verdict based on whether they believe the law is a bad law, or if evidence, to their mind, was discovered unlawfully.
Judges and legal hierarchies generally loathe Jury Nullification of Law because it usurps their own power and places it squarely onto the shoulders of the underpaid juror doing forced servitude.
Announcing yourself as a proponent of Jury Power during juror screening is also a great way to get yourself dismissed from a job that pays less than minimum wage.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Colored pencil on card
8 x 12
Available through online gallery:
A rare opportunity to own an original piece of visionary outsider art by Charles Bronson, the most notorious prisoner in the UK.
Bronson has spent time in the psych ward of every British prison. He remains incarcerated.
Our drawings came directly from Bronson himself in the mid-2000s when we created and opened The Bedlam Bar in Hampstead Village, north London.
Drawings by Bronson are never displayed in art galleries; they only very occasionally come up for auction.
How old is Charles Bronson, what is the prisoner's real name, why has he been in prison so long and will he be released?
From Surreal Bounce (Earthshine Editions, 2009):
The Bedlam Bar finally opens, featuring a four-sided-wall-plus-ceiling mural with full moon, swirling night sky and glowing stars overhead (homage to Van Gogh's Starry Night).
A surreal Bosch-like ice age on the left depicts freezing cold water and a snake, symbolizing the treatment of mental patients (especially in Germany), when patients were lowered slowly into snake pits or hosed with ice cold water. Why such barbaric treatment? It was believed such "therapy" would shock melancholy catatonics to their senses.
Nearby is an icon of St. Dymphna, patron saint of lunatics, for whom a candle always burns.
Walt Freeman, the lobotomist, is commemorated within another mural, his famed golden ice pick in hand.
Around a banquette hangs artwork by Charles Bronson, declared criminally insane in 1978 and considered Britain's most dangerous prisoner; electrifying art reflecting his unique reality.
Monday, August 20, 2018
Sunday, August 19, 2018
|Tete de Chien Beneath Full Moon, Monaco|
Oil-on-board 10 x 14
Available from online gallery:
Driving into Monaco from St-Remy, where we'd dropped into the insane asylum favored by Van Gogh, I am sidelined by an officious police officer. I would have stopped us, too, in our baseball caps, leather bomber jackets, unshaven faces, bloodshot eyes and unkempt hair.
Van Stein startles awake, having been painting Van Gogh's asylum all night. "What's going on?" He tries to focus bleary eyes on the immaculately coiffed and uniformed female Nazi. "Uh-oh," he mutters, "not another threshold guardian."
"Identity!" she demands.
We surrender our passports, which she scrutinizes before patching out names through to Police Central. Car papers, she demands. I hand her a wad of rental documents.
Then the grilling.
Why do you come to Monaco?
"I have a rendezvous with Prince Albert." I check my wristwatch. "In forty-five minutes."
"Le Prince Hereditaire?" She looks at scruffy me like I'm either nuts or pranking her.
"Yup, that be him."
Again, she whispers into her two-way radio, listens. The expression on her originally-stern face changes as she gently hands me our passports and papers. "I'm so sorry," she says. "It is my job."
"It's okay," I reassure her.
"Goddam Nazi," Van Stein hisses as we spiral down to Monte Carlo, a quiet Sunday morning. We take an open-air table at Cafe de Paris for cappuccino and croissants, joined by Reek Pisserin, in from London to join me for princely business.
And while Reek and I tend to that, Van Stein goes off to paint...
Oil-on-board 8 x 12
Available from online gallery:
From Surreal Bounce (Earthshine Editions, 2009):
At seven o'clock Van Stein and Erik the Red trudge in from the cold; Floater and I are lurking in the lobby of Hotel Holt. Erik shakes his head. "You have no idea what we've been through today." He says this with a Scotch accent thicker than usual because his tongue is 80 percent frozen. The artist looks as if he's been plugged into an electrical substation. His face is freeze-burned, hair frizzled. eyes ablaze with madness. He cannot speak.
Kristjan the Guide nods. The King of Hardy himself is impressed by Van Stein's indifference to the elements in his quest to capture nature at its most absurd.
One hour later we launch on foot to a Reykjavik seafood restaurant called Vid Tjornina.
"I got kissed by the devil today," whoops Van Stein, warming to the candlelight on our table.
Erik the Red explains: While Van Stein painted a geyser in sub-frozen conditions, the damn thing changed direction and slapped him hard before freezing to ice. Talk about wind chill. "It was the biggest blow of the day," says Erik.
"In other words," I say, "Thomas made a pass at a hot hole and got geyser-whacked?"
"No." Van Stein stiffens. "I tried to paint the devil, and he blew me a kiss, from the abyss."
"Wait until you discover you're pregnant," I say.