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I'm NiNi, the lead vocalist of CORVO, and this is my personal blog [obviously, I'm an open book]!

I write a little bit about the band here, but mostly about personal and silly stuff. Although I don't blog about myself on the band's page, I don't mind if fans stumble upon this site and read it [if it's truly personal, it doesn't show up here].

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20 October 2006
Spooooky Art Contest and Gallery
Thanks to Brandelion, I've decided to participate in Penelope Illustration's Black & Orange Creative Halloween Contest & Gallery.

I'm admittedly not a very good graphic artist, but I didn't enter it to win; I just enjoyed browsing through the gallery so much, I felt inspired to try something.

My entry is based on the "Fantomatique" video, and I'm personally happy with it. I've named it "Necronomicon."

If you want to become absolutely amazed and delighted with cute to artsy to disturbing Halloween art in a black and orange palette, browse through the artist gallery and enjoy! [Sneffnee will love it because orange is one of her favorite colors].

One of my personal favorites [and I swear, it's without bias] is Bran's submission, which is on Page 2. It's the one that says "A Flower For My True Love Lost at Sea" - 3rd row down, 3rd thumbnail from the left. I also love the very first Nosferatu image on page 1. I love so many of them, I'll be browsing through this gallery often well after Halloween has ended.

Feel free to point out your favorites in my comments, here!

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From FactCheck.org

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A Dedication
To the two-time anonymous visitor twat who is so very fond of curse words that begin with "B."

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19 October 2006
My "Dark Ages"
I've received hate mail here before after having expressed my disdain for Fundamentalist Christianity. What many do not realize is that I once was a Fundamentalist Christian. As a matter of fact, the whole reason I wound up in this city was I packed up and headed down South to "serve" as a musician for Christ in one of the largest, most active Fundamentalist churches in the country. My family was horrified and puzzled by this, because even though I was a Catholic my whole life, I'd never been a judgmental right-winger. Why the sudden transformation? What happened to their daughter?

Yesterday, I received an email from my mom's boss [one of the coolest guys in the world]! They were having a healthy conversation at work, talking about how seemingly sensible people often get sucked into this radical religious movement, and seem to genuinely lose their minds in the process. Knowing that I was once one of those puzzling people, they wanted my perspective, so I indulged them. This is a looong post, but it's something I've wanted to "let out" on this blog for years. The time and the climate in this country is right for this post. If I get hate mail, that's totally fine, because I was once one of those that would have sent hate mail in response to the post that this is about to be... I understand where they're coming from... it wouldn't validate their judgment of me, but I understand the mindset.

On 10/18/06, XXXXX wrote:
Subject: ????

How did you manage to proceed from *RWRRRCThugism to the Devil and how are they related? Actually, even though it may not seem like it, this is really a serious question. We were trying to figure out how come seemingly (at one time) reasonable and rational people end up in the radical religious right with no regard for others. love "S"

From: JeanNiNi
Cc: Mom and Dad
Date: Oct 18, 2006 5:05 PM
Subject: Re: ???? Christianity and The Devil

Wow, what a question! I wish I'd been there in person to join in the conversation! But here's my .02 on the subject in writing. :o)

The short story: rational and reasonable people can be brainwashed when they're "fertile" for this crap. All it takes is for one to be feeling vulnerable or lost in life, and it opens up a door for sane people to suddenly become raving lunatics [and zombies] for Christ. Add to that the feeling that they're on a "mission" to "save the world," and they're actually quite similar to Jihadists.

My own personal "religious" experience was extremely emotional, and I was very young [and stupid]. I THOUGHT that it was a profound religious experience, but it turns out, it was 100% emotional frenzy. Loud music, speaking in tongues, dancing and intense physical stuff going on in these services. It's actually been proven that it has similar effects on a person's brain as getting brainwashed.

So when people think they've felt a "real" hand of "God" touch them, they become brainwashed. The only people that will ever find a way out are the naturally inquisitive and smart ones, who don't just accept things at "face value," and eventually start digging a little deeper, which I [thankfully] did. Also, people who are born into Christian families already have that set of beliefs present in their lives, so it's easy to tip into the Fundamentalist side of it, because it's only a few degrees removed from the non-Fundamentalist denominations.

After spending years studying the Bible and witnessing the rampant hypocrisy in Christianity - Fundamentalist Christianity in particular - I realized that 1. The Bible is a book of mythology and parables that shouldn't be taken any more literally than Greek Mythology. 2. "God" as a "big man in the sky" is obviously a patriarchal belief, and a way to subdue women. 3. Christianity has been a political device and a way to control the people for centuries. 4. Christianity is a HUGE money-maker in the Western world. 5. It's all a LIE and I got pissed.

SO! That leads me to the "devil connection." For me, the demonic imagery and the darkness present in my art is simply a way to rebel against the lies and to rattle the cages of the people who've lost their friggin' minds. It's not a "literal" belief in "The Devil." If I believed in "The Devil," then it would mean that I still believe in Christianity, because "The Devil" was created by Christian leadership, and used to scare people into submission. So the natural step for anyone in rebelling against this Christian mind-control is to embrace the imagery and the concept of the Devil, just as a giant "fuck you" to fundies. [And it's FUN getting hate mail from them, actually - yes, we've gotten hate mail for being "demonic"].

Now, there ARE some VERY cool people that are Christians [my parents are two of 'em], but my anger is at Fundamentalists, not at people who use the Bible as parables of faith, love and who truly follow the teachings of Christ. Jesus represents love, tolerance and forgiveness to many, but unfortunately, it's the "Fundies" that are the most vocal, violent and hateful; because they've now de-humanized anyone who doesn't believe the way they do, so they're capable [now] of great evil in the name of "God." Many Christians will never get to that point, but the ones who do are the most powerful, because they're the most "pro-active" about their faith. They're also great at raising money and positions of power, just like The Vatican. Fundamentalism today is as powerful and corrupt as The Vatican.

Finally, I want you to know that I'm not a Satanist and neither is G. I consider myself an eclectic Pagan and a Pantheist, and G considers himself a Pantheist:

Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( 'pan' ) = all and Theos = God) literally means " God is All" and "All is God". It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that natural law, existence, and the universe (the sum total of all that is, was, and shall be) is represented or personified in the theological principle of 'God'.

Also, here's the lyrics to our song "The Devils," which was written by me:
THE DEVILS © 2005 NiNi Burkart / CORVO

It's time to stop this reaching out to me
Blood on your hands won't set me free

So how's the view from way up there?
So turned askiew in heaven's glare

[what demon did you choose to be your lover?]
Fear me the gypsy
[what was his name?]
Fear me the strange
[what was the oath you were forced to render him?]
Cast out your friend - your love
[where did you consummate your union?]
All in the name of...
[what mark did the demon make on your body?]
Execute your reason
All in the name of...


This song is basically my response to all of the Christians in my life that abandoned me and judged me when I left RWRRRCThugism. [What a great term]! Also, these questions in the song...
What demon did you choose to be your lover?
What was his name?
What was the oath you were forced to render him?

Where did you consummate your union?
What mark did the demon make on your body?

...are all historically documented questions that the Grand Inquisition asked while torturing women during the burning times. WOMEN WERE ASKED THOSE QUESTIONS BY CHRISTIANS WHILE BEING TORTURED! Well, why doesn't anyone question the Christian church and condemn it for those horrible times? Isn't torturing and killing thousands and thousands of women just as evil as what Hitler did in Germany? I think so. Yet, nobody in the Christian church even bats an eye at that part of Christianity's history.

The first most frightening thing I ever did after I left the Christian [Fundamentalist] church was learn about Wicca and Paganism. It was frightening because I was taught that it was evil. Turns out, their main "creed" is: "If it harms none, do as you will." Hm. Sounds like Jesus' "golden rule," eh? Turns out my pastor was wrong about "witches" channeling demons and casting hexes on people.

The second most frightening thing I ever did was dig into Satanism to learn more about it. Let me write out for you the principals of Satanism - this will surprise you [I'm sure] as much as it did me.
The Satanic Golden Rule

The Satanist does not believe in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic idea of God; the function of God is performed and satisfied by the Satanist him/herself. That is, the needs of worship, ritual, and religious/spiritual focus are directed, effectively, inwards towards the Satanist, as opposed to outwards, towards God.

LaVey [Satanism's founder] proposes instead that as all gods are creations of man, worship of an external deity is worship of its creator by proxy. He suggests, then, that the rational Satanist should instead internalize his god, and therefore worship himself; hence the Satanic maxim, "I am my own god."

It follows that Satanism shuns the idea of belief in all other deities as well, including, to the surprise of many, Satan. Satan is viewed as a literary archetype, along the lines of John Milton's epic hero. This archetype is viewed not as a negative figure, but as a positive image of pride and mastery in opposition to servitude, faith, and humility.

Belief in any such externalized deities is generally considered grounds for excluding someone as a Satanist, and devil worship in particular is considered nothing more than a misguided inversion of Christianity.

The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth

1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another's lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

What? Satanists don't sacrifice children or animals? Turns, out true Satanists do not. Anyone who's commited murder as a "Satanic sacrifice" is just sociopathic to begin with, and "Satanism" was what they chose as their reason to kill. Real Satanists actually live by a pretty respectful "moral code." They're just very hedonistic and self-centered. I myself am a servant by nature; I like to help people and reach out to them, so Satanism just isn't my natural tendency. However, I do respect Satanists and am friends with quite a few. They are some of the most intelligent people I've ever known.

Anyway, turns out, all of those stories about Witchcraft and Satanism as portrayed by the church AND the media is [surprise surprise] a way to control the people. And as I learn more about the religions of the world, I grow more and more grateful that I left Fundamentalism behind me... I consider that 5-year period "my Dark Ages." :o(

SO! That's my rant for the day. Let me know what you think!


He responded that he learned a lot from this "rant" and enjoyed reading it. My Mom was amazed by it... in a good way. I have a feeling she's not "worried" about me anymore... I know that many people jump to conclusions when an artist's work is pretty dark and disturbing. Believe me, we're actually some very well-adjusted people, mainly because our art helps us channel the dark stuff in positive ways.

*RWRRRCThugs = Right Wing Radical Reactionary Rebornagain Christian Thugs

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18 October 2006
Religious Right's Assault Grows

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17 October 2006
The Horror of Amadeus
I was thinking this morning about certain movies that I like to watch every year during fall and winter, and of course, in October, the horror films dramatically increase. Sure, we watch horror films just about every weekend anyway, but in October, the DVD player is constantly looping through old favorites and new finds.

One movie that I really get in the mood for this time of year is Amadeus, and while thinking about getting my DVD out and watching it for about the 40th time, I thought about how this film is actually a horror film for me.

The story is based on a Viennese urban legend in which a "mediocre" composer, Salieri becomes consumed with jealousy and driven to murder. The film kicks off with Salieri's graphic suicide attempt, which is visually tattooed into my brain forever. At the core of Salieri's thorough and masterful murder plot is the "ghost" of Amadeus' father, represented by a creepy mask. When Salieri denounces God and the Christian church, the scene is very similar to Coppola's Dracula, in which Dracul laments about the very same betrayal. Even though Salieri doesn't shape shift into an enormous bat-demon, he looks just as monstrous in those scenes, and the venom he spouts is just as chilling.

Then there's the whole musical underscore. The haunting sounds of choir boys in churches; the frightening scenes from one of Mozart's darkest operas, Don Giovanni, in which the huge ghost bursts through the walls and sings his horrifying refrain. The somber movements of Mozart's Requiem, a funeral mass written for his dead father resounds throughout, and it really gets under the skin.

The movie is haunting and disturbing, but so incredibly beautiful at the same time. I even remember our drive home after having seen it in the theater in the '80s. It was dark, cold, rainy and foggy, like the closing scene of the film, and I was thoroughly creeped out to my core.

It's a masterful film and absolutely mood-drenched and veiled in what seems like many, many ghosts from Mozart's life, both real and imagined. I highly recommend seeing it if you have not... especially on a cold, rainy night.

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16 October 2006
My Other Car is a Dragula

I created this as a bumper sticker and license plate frame at our shop. I've gotta say, I love how it turned out! I googled this concept and searched for "Dragula" on CafePress before creating it, and didn't find anyone else who'd thought of this, which surprised me. G wants the license plate frame and I want the bumper sticker.

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Total. Chills.

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