Links, curiosities & mixed wonders – 7

Back with Bizzarro Bazar’s mix of exotic and quirky trouvailles, quite handy when it comes to entertaining your friends and acting like the one who’s always telling funny stories. Please grin knowingly when they ask you where in the world you find all this stuff.

  • We already talked about killer rabbits in the margins of medieval books. Now a funny video unveils the mystery of another great classic of illustrated manuscripts: snail-fighting knights. SPOILER: it’s those vicious Lumbards again.
  • As an expert on alternative sexualities, Ayzad has developed a certain aplomb when discussing the most extreme and absurd erotic practices — in Hunter Thompson’s words, “when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro“. Yet even a shrewd guy like him was baffled by the most deranged story in recent times: the Nazi furry scandal.
  • In 1973, Playboy asked Salvador Dali to collaborate with photographer Pompeo Posar for an exclusive nude photoshoot. The painter was given complete freedom and control over the project, so much so that he was on set directing the shooting. Dali then manipulated the shots produced during that session through collage. The result is a strange and highly enjoyable example of surrealism, eggs, masks, snakes and nude bunnies. The Master, in a letter to the magazine, calimed to be satisfied with the experience: “The meaning of my work is the motivation that is of the purest – money. What I did for Playboy is very good, and your payment is equal to the task.” (Grazie, Silvia!)

  • Speaking of photography, Robert Shults dedicated his series The Washing Away of Wrongs to the biggest center for the study of decomposition in the world, the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University. Shot in stark, high-contrast black and white as they were shot in the near-infrared spectrum, these pictures are really powerful and exhibit an almost dream-like quality. They document the hard but necessary work of students and researchers, who set out to understand the modifications in human remains under the most disparate conditions: the ever more precise data they gather will become invaluable in the forensic field. You can find some more photos in this article, and here’s Robert Shults website.

  • One last photographic entry. Swedish photographer Erik Simander produced a series of portraits of his grandfather, after he just became a widower. The loneliness of a man who just found himself without his life’s companion is described through little details (the empty sink, with a single toothbrush) that suddenly become definitive, devastating symbols of loss; small, poetic and lacerating touches, delicate and painful at the same time. After all, grief is a different feeling for evry person, and Simander shows a commendable discretion in observing the limit, the threshold beyond which emotions become too personal to be shared. A sublime piece of work, heart-breaking and humane, and which has the merit of tackling an issue (the loss of a partner among the elderly) still pretty much taboo. This theme had already been brought to the big screen in 2012 by the ruthless and emotionally demanding Amour, directed by Michael Haneke.
  • Speaking of widowers, here’s a great article on another aspect we hear very little about: the sudden sex-appeal of grieving men, and the emotional distress it can cause.
  • To return to lighter subjects, here’s a spectacular pincushion seen in an antique store (spotted and photographed by Emma).

  • Are you looking for a secluded little place for your vacations, Arabian nights style? You’re welcome.
  • Would you prefer to stay home with your box of popcorn for a B-movies binge-watching session? Here’s one of the best lists you can find on the web. You have my word.
  • The inimitable Lindsey Fitzharris published on her Chirurgeon’s Apprentice a cute little post about surgical removal of bladder stones before the invention of anesthesia. Perfect read to squirm deliciously in your seat.
  • Death Expo was recently held in Amsterdam, sporting all the latest novelties in the funerary industry. Among the best designs: an IKEA-style, build-it-yourself coffin, but above all the coffin to play games on. (via DeathSalon)
  • I ignore how or why things re-surface at a certain time on the Net. And yet, for the last few days (at least in my whacky internet bubble) the story of Portuguese serial killer Diogo Alves has been popping out again and again. Not all of Diogo Alves, actually — just his head, which is kept in a jar at the Faculty of Medicine in Lisbon. But what really made me chuckle was discovering one of the “related images” suggested by Google algorythms:

Diogo’s head…


  • Remember the Tsavo Man-Eaters? There’s a very good Italian article on the whole story — or you can read the English Wiki entry. (Thanks, Bruno!)
  • And finally we get to the most succulent news: my old native town, Vicenza, proved to still have some surprises in store for me.
    On the hills near the city, in the Arcugnano district, a pre-Roman amphitheatre has just been discovered. It layed buried for thousands of years… it could accomodate up to 4300 spectators and 300 actors, musicians, dancers… and the original stage is still there, underwater beneath the small lake… and there’s even a cave which acted as a megaphone for the actors’ voices, amplifying sounds from 8 Hz to 432 Hz… and there’s even a nearby temple devoted to Janus… and that temple was the real birthplace of Juliet, of Shakespearean fame… and there are even traces of ancient canine Gods… and of the passage of Julius Cesar and Cleopatra…. and… and…
    And, pardon my rudeness, wouldn’t all this happen to be a hoax?

No, it’s not a mere hoax, it is an extraordinary hoax. A stunt that would deserve a slow, admired clap, if it wasn’t a plain fraud.
The creative spirit behind the amphitheatre is the property owner, Franco Malosso von Rosenfranz (the name says it all). Instead of settling for the traditional Italian-style unauthorized development  — the classic two or three small houses secretely and illegally built — he had the idea of faking an archeological find just to scam tourists. Taking advantage of a license to build a passageway between two parts of his property, so that the constant flow of trucks and bulldozers wouldn’t raise suspicions, Malosso von Rosenfranz allegedly excavated his “ancient” theatre, with the intention of opening it to the public at the price of 40 € per visitor, and to put it up for hire for big events.
Together with the initial enthusiasm and popularity on social networks, unfortunately came legal trouble. The evidence against Malosso was so blatant from the start, that he immediately ended up on trial without any preliminary hearing. He is charged with unauthorized building, unauthorized manufacturing and forgery.
Therefore, this wonderful example of Italian ingenuity will be dismanteled and torn down; but the amphitheatre website is fortunately still online, a funny fanta-history jumble devised to back up the real site. A messy mixtre of references to local figures, famous characters from the Roman Era, supermarket mythology and (needless to say) the omnipresent Templars.

The ultimate irony is that there are people in Arcugnano still supporting him because, well, “at least now we have a theatre“. After all, as the Wiki page on unauthorized building explains, “the perception of this phenomenon as illegal […] is so thin that such a crime does not entail social reprimand for a large percentage of the population. In Italy, this malpractice has damaged and keeps damaging the economy, the landscape and the culture of law and respect for regulations“.
And here resides the brilliance of old fox Malosso von Rosenfranz’s plan: to cash in on these times of post-truth, creating an unauthorized building which does not really degrade the territory, but rather increase — albeit falsely — its heritage.
Well, you might have got it by now. I am amused, in a sense. My secret chimeric desire is that it all turns out to be an incredible, unprecedented art installations.  Andthat Malosso one day might confess that yes, it was all a huge experiment to show how little we care abot our environment and landscape, how we leave our authenticarcheological wonders fall apart, and yet we are ready to stand up for the fake ones. (Thanks, Silvietta!)

Furry Fetish?

Bizzarro Bazar si è occupato in altre occasioni, e continuerà ad occuparsi, di parafilie e di feticismi di tipo sessuale. Questo articolo è stato pensato per fare un po’ di chiarezza sulla questione del feticismo cosiddetto furry, nome tratto dalla più vasta comunità che condivide la stessa particolare passione: gli animali antropomorfi.

Cominciamo col dire che il furry fandom è una sottocultura che accomuna appassionati di personaggi animali con caratteristiche umane. Normalmente mammiferi, questi personaggi sono dotati di intelligenza umana, espressioni facciali, anatomia, capacità di parlare, bipedalismo, vestiti, e altri attributi tipici degli esseri umani.

Chi ha una seppur minima conoscenza dell’universo dei manga, li riconoscerà. Ecco ad esempio una volpe antropomorfa estratta dalla pagina di Wikipedia dedicata al furry fandom.


Gli appassionati di questo genere di arte amano spesso vestirsi come i loro beniamini, costruendo e assemblando costumi allegri e simpatici che indossano in apposite convention dedicate al tema, oppure talvolta in altre occasioni, per colpire o per divertire gli astanti. I costumi (solitamente personalizzati per creare un personaggio unico e specifico, chiamato fursona) comportano un grosso investimento di tempo e di denaro, ma per i fan del furry ne vale la pena: in un certo senso, vestirsi in questo modo li riconnette con il bambino che è in loro, rendendoli nuovamente puri e innocenti. Nulla più di un “gioco di ruolo” infantile, dunque.


Eppure, da qualche tempo, i furries sono al centro di una errata interpretazione della loro passione. Alcuni media, infatti, hanno sottolineato ed enfatizzato a scopi scandalistici il fatto che possa esistere un furry fetish, vale a dire un feticismo sessuale nei riguardi dei costumi di animali antropomorfi. Ma esiste qualcuno che si può eccitare indossando un costume di questo tipo?

Come è presto chiaro a chi si avventura per un po’ nello strano mondo delle parafilie, la regola di base è che “se puoi nominarlo, esiste”. Questo vale anche per il furry fetish. Che esista, è fuori discussione. Forse spinti da alcuni disegni erotici che hanno come protagonisti i furries, forse innescati da altre soggiacenti pulsioni, i desideri nei riguardi degli animali antropomorfi, e più in generale delle tute fursuit, sono un fenomeno ben documentato e di cui sono consapevoli anche i membri di questa sottocultura.

Già molti siti pornografici ospitano una sezione furry, e su Furbid, una sorta di eBay dedicato al tema, sono in vendita diversi  artwork originali classificati “per adulti” che ritraggono gli animali in pose erotiche.


Pare che sia abbastanza comune, nella pubertà, associare alle prime esperienze autoerotiche il proprio peluche preferito, soprattutto se di grandi dimensioni. Questo può continuare, a livello parafiliaco, anche nell’età adulta. Sulla rete si trovano forum, e utenti, che danno indicazioni su come modificare al meglio il proprio peluche per scopi sessuali (mediante inserzioni di vagine o peni artificiali).

Questo tipo di parafilia, così come la plushophilia (il desiderare/ricercare rapporti sessuali con animali impagliati) o la zoofilia, è stata talvolta  associata alla sottocultura furry. Questo è, già a un primo sguardo, un torto mediatico ai danni di una comunità che spesso si autodefinisce addirittura asessuata, nel suo voler costantemente ritrovare le tracce di un’infanzia perduta.

I furries hanno più volte dichiarato la loro indignazione per essere stati associati con questo tipo di parafilia. Al di là del fatto che sicuramente alcuni isolati feticisti possono utilizzare le convention per inseguire la loro fissazione sessuale, deve risultare comunque chiara la distinzione fra un’innocua e colorata passione e il lato più maniacale della stessa.

Per quanto riguarda il feticismo di cui abbiamo parlato, spesso viene associato al più lato feticismo di trasformazione: ecco la pagina di Wikipedia (in inglese) dedicata all’argomento: transformation fetish.

Per un approfondimento sulla diatriba sugli aspetti sessuali del furry, rimandiamo alla pagina di Wikipedia sul furry fandom (capitolo Sexual aspects): furry fandom.

Infine, ecco un breve servizio sul furry tratto da YouTube: