"Blogging Criswell" is my look into the crazy, inaccurate world of famed self-proclaimed psychic and prognosticator Criswell, aka Jeron Criswell King, well known as a friend of b-movie legend Ed Wood. Every Friday, I share a few highlights from Criswell’s 1969 book "Criswell Predicts Your Next Ten Years" and offer a bit of commentary. The selections are not edited, so be aware this book is 45 years old and some of the terms and ideas may not strike modern sensibilites in a positive light.
This week on “Blogging Criswell” - Rebuilding of Women! Triumphant Tangle! Respect Will Triumph!
REBUILDING OF WOMEN
I predict a new science “Femology” (the rebuilding of women) will soon be most popular, where a woman can go into a free clinic and have her face lifted, a new hair line, reduce many, many pounds, have breasts reshaped and even a vaginal improvement! This new super-health-spa, with built-in diet and medical advice, will be a boon to all American women! Yes, there will be a national campaign of “rebuilding of women” in your life very, very soon!
First off, no, Criswell does not elaborate on what those, er, “improvements” might be. I love the total nuttiness of this prediction, but it’s pushed over the top by the appearance of our first illustration - yes, dear readers, every once in a while, “Criswell Predicts Your Next Ten Years” throws a weird illustration at you for some of the predictions. These are credited to Lewis N. Schilling, Jr., who appears to have no further art credits. Here’s a photo of the “Rebuilding of Women” illustration - and yes, they’re all this weird:
I predict that a new wave of suicides among our youth will prove what a triumphant tangle they have made of their lives! They will know that they cannot fight the establishment. They are a part of it! The old fashioned precepts of God, Home, Mother and the American Flag are not old fashioned, but more alive, active and revered than ever before! The light in the forest is always there and we unconsciously walk in that direction! The night is dark and our youth is far from home, and it is our duty to at least point the way! The Establishment will never break, but people only break themselves against it!
Criswell does not appear to believe in the Oxford comma. And didn’t I tell you he’d get more mileage out of that “only break against it” line? Also, this is kind of a weird usage of the word “triumphant,” but whatever, C-well.
This prediction is a good example of the occasional viewpoints that drop in from time to time that we’d call “conservative” these days. Whether Criswell actually believed this or whether he was just writing to sell books to Joe Average American in his ranch house who didn’t understand these hippy dippy types, I’m not sure.
Also, I hate to point out that, if the light in the forest is always there and we unconsciously walk in that direction, why do we have to point the way for our youth? It’s almost as though Criswell was a bit nuts and didn’t always think these things through…
RESPECT WILL TRIUMPH
I predict respect will triumph and it will be a felony to transpose religious and national secular songs into other musical patterns, for either comic or insult purposes! The public will revolt against hearing “Eli, Eli,” “Ava (sp) Maria,” “Lead Kindly Light,” “America” and “The Star Spangled Banner” sung in drunken psychodelic style, and will demand that Congress enact this new law for respect!
The “drunken psychodelic style” might be my one of my favorite expressions now, and I want an excuse to work it into conversation.
This is another weirdly old-fashioned prediction, and I love the severity of it - a FELONY to sing religious or national songs in a less-than-totally-serious manner. Never stop being crazy, Criswell.
See you again next week on “Blogging Criswell!”