(thanks for the link, Chris!)
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
(thanks for the link, Chris!)
In Chicago, the dead are only allowed to vote, in Alaska, they can RUN!!!
(Thanks for the head's up on this, Rick!)
(Thanks for the link, She Who Must Be Obeyed!)
(on the old Andy Williams Show)
The last time I went trick or treating for candy, I was ten years old, and even then I felt a little twinge of embarrassment - that I was too old for this kind of thing. A few years later, in high school, I had the pleasure of hanging out with some of you reading this on Halloweens, as we went out for UNICEF. Perhaps we did some small amount of good then, and because of that rather "adult" theme, I never felt silly in doing so. But to be in senior high and begging for a Mars Bar?!?! What a crock! Not surprisingly, it's some of the wealthiest kids in one of the wealthiest areas of the country doing so. I would be mortified to be 15 or 17 and out there competing with seven year olds for Milk Duds. And these are brats who want for nothing - they already have their own cars, phones, room, and computers that would be the envy of the NSA. And still they want more. I've certainly dealt with some in the past. They try to cover their immaturity by not wearing costumes*; and there's always the underlying threat that a bunch of teens could trash your yard if they didn't get what they wanted. But it all comes down to a bunch of spoiled oafs blindly immitating five years olds for nothing more than a five year old's treasure - a pack of M&M's. Pathetic greed-heads in a city full of them. Their parents should be ashamed, but they're probably worse.
*The only appropriate one would be wearing a diaper with a large "L" scrawled on their forehead.
I've always suspected elephants of being more sophisticated animals than we normally give them credit for.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Alas, it was not to be. The place was full of old people. Now normally, I’m more than tolerant of senior citizens. Hell, I’m well on my way there, myself. And I harbor few of the normal prejudices towards them and generally feel at least as comfortable with them as with my own contemporaries. There is often real wisdom and knowledge with those folks.
But these people weren’t just old – they were OOOOLD. They were old in ways geologists talk of old. They remembered what it was like to crawl out of the oceans and first walk upon the land. When they complain of urban renewal, they’re talking about the Great Pyramid. Fights and arguments broke out at the registers because the slots in the credit card machines were too thin to take cuneiform clay tablets. People insisted their receipts be printed in Aramaic. Cashiers had to constantly reject flint arrowheads as payment. I mean, these guys were OLD. And the store was full of ‘em!
I had to enter a sort of mental fugue state to survive waiting in line as each penny was painfully counted and then recounted before payment could be tendered. It was agony.
And then there was the parking lot! Crammed full of Cadillacs, Lincolns, and other great boats, each manned by someone whose head barely rose over the rim of the steering wheel. AND ALL GOING LESS THAN ONE MILE AN HOUR. I waited in horror as people who were more used to mastodon hunts tried to wheel their autos about the lot. The process was so slow that we were forced to change traffic patterns several times to account for continental drift and plate tectonics. I almost clawed my face off in frustration.
But luck was with me, one of the ancient mariners had forgotten to block more than a single lane while making a turn. A sliver of sunshine appeared to his left. It wasn’t much, but I had to take the chance! There was a squeal of tires, the roar of my engine, and I was through and on Braddock Road! I left my antediluvian tormenters gaping in astonishment and bewilderment. I recouped time by setting a new land speed record on Braddock heading West. But it was a near thing, and I know they’re still out there, shuffling….
Brilliant actress and raconteur. Helped make Harold & Maude one of my favorite films.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Priestess of the Mad and the Free. Essential.
Jesus Died For Somebody's Sins, But Not Mine....
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
One of the worst movies of all time. I highly recommend it!
It premiered on this date, (on radio), in 1947. Essential. There can be no intelligent discussion of American comedy without Groucho figuring prominently.
When I was a kid, there was no one cooler than Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. And nothing cooler than one of his Rat Fink t-shirts, (I will forever hold it against my mother that she would not get me one back in grade school days. One of my first purchases upon leaving home was to get one!). I've not seen this film, but it looks neat.
(only the first half of the song...)
Pretty neat! (I suspect you're going to be using this someday, Nick...).
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I miss the one up by Baileys Crossroads...
Epitaphs for your tombstones...
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Butch Patrick's, (Eddie Munster), ultra-rare single is available for download here. (Yes Missy, I own the original...).
Gotta admit - they're pretty lame.
Over 30,000 lit pumpkins!
Welcome to the Big City, Kids!
Into the Valley of Death...
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Let's see, psychedelia AND Cthulhu. I think I'm in love!
Turn On. Tune In. Drop Dead.
Steve Wynn (of the Dream Syndicate) performing his song, "Halloween".
Essential. This one includes a lot of old favorites like rubber chickens, the Martian Popping Thing and Nunzilla; along with a bunch of cool new stuff like Cold War Unicorns, the Carl Jung action figure, "Look Like A Commie" beard and mustache, and Bacon Wallets. Classics, one and all!
I'd like to see this sometime. We've been up there twice and I kinda like the town. There's a real split personality to the place. Part of it is OH SO SERIOUS AND HISTORICAL, and the other half is cheesy, kitschy, horror stuff.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Judging by the videos, I'm not sure we're talking invisible here...
A recording from the Frankenstein castle in 1952, supposedly. A rather cruel trick is played on the radio reporter. More here:
An interesting day...
At any rate, one of my favorite scenes shows the young lovers appreciating a day much like today and admiring the autumn colors. The boy comments on the beauty of the leaves, and Liza's character mentions that they're pretty because they're dying. That always struck me, and I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that statement. I've a sneaky suspicion I'll be grappling with it until the moment hits when the great dark descends. An intriguing observation that's stuck with me 30+ years, and I am reminded of it each Autumn. So here's to October, at the end of which the membrane between life and death is at its thinnest. And here's to its beauty and the darkness behind.
My fave Ringo tune. And he was right, wasn't he? It don't come easy...
Saturday, October 21, 2006
It looks like most of these are from the early 70's to the mid 80's...
Be afraid, be very very afraid...
I'm not really sure why I looked this up, nor why I'm posting it. But there's always been something a little weird about the whole Claudine thing...
Friday, October 20, 2006
The AFI Theatre (in Silver Spring) is showing Bride AND Son of Frankenstein this weekend. Both are highly recommended!
I've literally grown up reading Art's columns. One of the last ongoing reminders of my childhood.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
As always, I believe that the theme from Gilligan's Island is our true National Anthem.
It's a time for ghost stories, monsters and folklore. The Bunnyman is probably our area's most famous contribution. There's been an unbelievable amount of BS written about him over the years, mostly by reporters who were too young to remember the original incidents. This article covers the facts quite well.
Guinea Road is only a couple of miles down Braddock from us. At night you can almost feel the sinister pounding of heavy hopping..... ;)
I'm sure there's a great pun in all of this, but it would involve me paying attention to baseball in order to know it.
One of the four essential men of the American Revolution, and the one most ignored and condemned. A Titan. Essential. And ten times the man compared to those criminally over-rated blowhards, Jefferson and John Adams.
(thanks for the heads up on this article, Erik!)
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
a few pumpkin carving sites of note
For what it's worth, I'm kinda down on the commercially available pumpkin carving tools. The handles are too small for adult hands, and the blades, etc. tend to be pretty weak too, (and the battery powered saws look ridiculous). At this point, I use real tools from the hardware store for the basic stuff, and sculpting tools from art shops for the detail work.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
People who play with dead babies should not be let out...
One of my fave web cartoons. Ii think this is going to go mainstream soon.
This routine is part of a local yard haunt.
-70,000 liters of paint-358 single bottle bombs-33 sextuple air cluster bombs-22 Triple hung cluster bombs-268 mortars-33 Triple Mortars-22 Double mortars-358 meters of weld-330 meters of steel pipe-57 km of copper wire.
my annual Halloween rant...
October starts tomorrow, and with it comes the buildup to
Halloween. I've been checking out web sites for the season and
googling various themes and am appalled to report that we continue to
be a nation of cowering cabbages. I notice that already there are
newspapers and various uber-nanny organizations pumping out tons of
blather about the "dangers" of Halloween and offering "helpful" advice
to parents on how to avoid the coming apocalyptic horrors that it
encompasses. Of course the only truly terrifying thing that I can see
is what a steaming pile of wussiness we've become. Reading all the
warnings and advice offers little more than a microcosm of mental
illness and paranoia. Just wading through a few articles has already
revealed a trend towards weirdness that I can only marvel at. For
The only costume that is encouraged this year is to be
swathed, mummy-like, head to toe in reflective tape so that cars may
see you from up to 3 miles off. Apparently parents no longer teach
their children not to dive in front of moving vehicles. In fact,
judging by the articles I've read, the next generation is nothing but
a herd of automotive lemmings, just waiting for a chance to hurl
themselves in front of a Land Rover. I guess, like deer, they are
easily mesmerized by the headlights and can't help themselves. Oh,
there'll be a gruesome supply of venison this year.
In addition, the children will be unable to carry a bag
with them. Their little hands will be needed to carry a dazzling
array of flashlights, blinkers, strobes and other lighting that will
be enough to illuminate several blocks around them. Between the
reflective tape and the lighting, they'll resemble nothing more than a
horde of monstrous psychedelic Christmas trees schlepping through
suburbia. Airline safety will be jeopardized as these moving beacons will compete with airport lights for landing attention. By November 1st, the emergency rooms and
ophthalmologist offices will be overwhelmed by cases of burned out
retinas. You will be able to trace the paths that trick-or-treaters
have taken from the resulting scorch marks on the pavement. Pathetic.
Of course, the little urchins won't need their candy bags
anyway. First of all, they won't be allowed to go to anyone's house
who isn't personally known to their parents, and possesses a Homeland
Security Clearance. I believe their doorway must also be blessed by
the local clergy before the children are allowed to approach. And the
parents will be right there, hovering in some sort of ninja strike
stance like so many Secret Service agents. As for the actual treats -
they are to be thrown away. The silly urban legends of treat
tampering are still the only thing to really haunt Halloween. Whole
armies of folklorists have disproved these lurid tales time and again
- to no avail. We simply refuse to believe that there isn't an entire
subculture of people who spend all year turning apples into pincushions and baby ruths into strychnine bars of death. I've actually seen some moronic twit write that you should take the candy away and substitute fruit! Yea, right! I'm going to go out hoofing
all over the god damned neighborhood dressed like Lord Death of the
Underworld just so Mom can toss me a peach when I get back home. GIVE
ME A FUCKING BREAK!
In the Old Days, things were different. We were pros -
greedy and fearless. Costumes consisted of two themes - cool and
horror. No ninny costumes. We would roam for miles in search of
candy. Parents dared not accompany us, the terror was too great, and
our speed like lightning. We would carefully map out the quickest way
to get the most candy through our neighborhoods with all the precision
planning of the D-Day Invasion. And there would be no delays, no
slacking, no prisoners. Attila had nothing on us when it came to
pillaging. By morning, Alexandria had been stripped bare of anything
edible. Families lived in fear that the candy would give out before
the end of Halloween. Then would come money. Some would even run out
of that and plead for their lives - to no avail. Several kept loaded
guns at hand - not for us, we were too many, but to prevent their
families from being taken alive and subjected to unimaginable horrors.
Imagine costumed locusts, devouring everything in sight - That was the
31st. Oh, I suppose some unfortunate kid would forget to look and get
creamed by a car, but that just meant more candy for the rest of us.
Big kids would pick on smaller ones. Large groups would muscle out
individuals. Darwin ruled on Halloween. By dawn there would be fewer
children, but tougher ones..
But those days are gone, apparently. By next year we'll
get to the point where kids will be like "The Boy In The Bubble",
simply rolling along imagining what it would be like to
Trick-Or-Treat. But I wish to affirm to everyone that Blau Manor will
stand like a Rock against the waves of Halloween wussiness.
Decorations of mystery and horror will abound; candy will be tossed
out without a care. Tricks AND Treats will be provided. Dangers,
both real and imagined will reach out.
Lord Death of the Underworld
We're over half way through the month now, be sure to check out their daily video/show.
Monday, October 16, 2006
An American Treasure. One of the greatest rock'n'roll bands of all time. The fact that you probably have never heard of them is just more evidence of how ill-served we are by our corporate media. "Baby's All Liquored Up" is one of my fave tunes, (and an unofficial anthem whenever there's a reunion with my cousins). There's an anime pastiche video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-da4VV3EAk
Clearly, the Canadians need to invite my brother-in-law over there. He'd have that forest taken care of in about a day, and would work for oreos...
It's always the same old bullshit with these guys:
"Nazis?!?! No Vey Ve Vere Nazis! Actually, I'm Swiss! Yah, that's the ticket, Swiss! Hitler who? Never heard of him! Ve vere yust following der orders, yah? Swiss orders..."
As usual, Tom Lehrer put it best:
Gather 'round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun,
A man whose allegiance
Is ruled by expedience.
Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown,
"Ha, Nazi, Schmazi," says Wernher von Braun.
Don't say that he's hypocritical,
Say rather that he's apolitical.
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.
Some have harsh words for this man of renown,
But some think our attitude Should be one of gratitude,
Like the widows and cripples in old London town,
Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun.
You too may be a big hero,
Once you've learned to count backwards to zero.
"In German oder English I know how to count down,
Und I'm learning Chinese!" says Wernher von Braun....
Charles Schultz meets the Cthulhu Mythos!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
One of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite bands. Part of my DNA. And a rather strange performance. Eric messes up one of the first verses and then loses his timing later on. And what's with the girl trophy heads for a set design?!?
That's the late Chas Chandler playing bass to the left of Eric. He went on to help discover and manage an obscure guitarist named Jimi something or other...
Featuring a guest appearance by our own Count Gore De Vol!!!
In fact, under the circumstances, I think we can extrapolate out from the evidence here and claim that no one standing within ten feet of me will get one either....
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I've written before about how I liked WLS. As my family would travel across the country on vacations each summer, it was great to have that powerful signal that you could hold onto for hundreds of miles, and not have to worry about switching stations every half hour. I think we could start to pick it up on the Ohio Turnpike at the Western end and could hold on till central Iowa where it would get drowned in polka and Paul Harvey schlock. In the early days you'd then have to wait until nightfall to get relief from KOMA out of Oklahoma City, as it cranked up its wattage to cover the plains and Rocky Mountains. There was something both very comforting and very exciting about those stations in those days.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Changes on King Street
At any rate, it's gone. Perhaps they succeeded in driving away all potential customers. More likely, the staff simply forgot to come in to work and McD's HQ figured it had gone bust.
The next big change was at my old high school, T. C. Williams. The old building is still there, but the replacement is going up right next to. Christ! What a great pile of a building! The place is huge. It looked to me to be easily twice the size of the old school. I know nothing of architectural schools and descriptions, but would describe what I saw as neo-Masonic. It's supposed to be done by next Fall, and I look forward to returning there to see the team get beaten in football, (Dismember The Titans!!!).
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I love this guy...
Cool technological hybrid!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Don't forget all the upcoming horror & sci-fi movies on TV
There Is A Season, Turn, Turn, Turn...
Nature can always impress with its magnificent rhythms. Whether it is the swallows returning to Capistrano, the migration of Africa's wildebeests across the savannah, or the magnificent forest colors of New England in the Autumn. To this list must be added the most moving vision of all: every Halloweentime, the Wolfsbane blooms at Blau Manor.
Always have wanted to see this. Phil Spector backing up Joan Baez - weird!
I always liked that show...
Monday, October 09, 2006
just a reminder that the Rocky Horror Picture Show is being shown every Saturday night out by GMU. Don't dream it, be it.
I guess he was only following orders...
Sunday, October 08, 2006
(Thanks for the link, Dolores!)
Back from C'Ville...
But we're home now, safe and sound, bourbon in hand. If you've not been down to C'Ville, I really do recommend it. The downtown is very nice - lots of bookstores and restaurants. What more does a body need?
Friday, October 06, 2006
The Kinkster Debates on C-Span tonight!!!
(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)
Not my favorite movie genre; but whatever floats your boat...
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
What a wonderfully dangerous sound they had back then!
Dare you explore the Ultimate Secret Society!?!?
Great stuff! (Thanks for the link, Erik!)
Janis died on this date in 1970 - 36 years ago. Another of my faves, an incredible singer with a voice capable of hair-raising screeching to the most nuanced wistfulness. Brash, brassy, and filled with bravado, she also was sensitive, lonely, vulnerable and deeply aware of being the "ugly duckling" and social outcast of her native Port Arthur. A sad life and an amazing talent.
The title of this blog entry is my little sequeway to another 70's anniversary: Don Mclean released American Pie on this month in '71, (I'm afraid I don't have the exact date of release). It was inescapable at the time, which was fine - it's a great song, and I still will play the record on occasion. Mclean's semi-autobiographical lyrics are fun to plow through and interpret, a little Rock'n'Roll hobby that people have been engaged in since the tune was released. I am reasonably sure that I've got everything with one exception - I'm not sure who he refers to with the father, son and holy ghost catching the last train to the coast; and I've never seen a convincing interpretation. One thing I am sure of - Connie Francis was not the Queen of Rock'n'Roll in the 1950's, (only in the mushy corporate dreams of Dick Clark). Any true fan of pop culture knows the real Queen was Little Richard... As for the rest, it's a song of death. Both that of Holly and of Mclean's generation's innocence and chance to change the world. But Don was wrong in claiming the music died, it lives on, (although you'd hardly know it from the state of contemporary radio). It's like the early Christians, with their furtive meetings in catacombs and darkened fields; the music is out there, in small clubs, independent labels and internet radio, just waiting to save your soul...
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
'Tis the Season!
Monday, October 02, 2006
A fascinating footnote to WWII history was Mosely and his Blackshirts. The man lived well into my lifetime and I saw him speak twice on television. A very scary person because of his calm self assurance and aritocratic demeanor - one could see the poltical charisma in him, even as an old man. It was evil portrayed not in some ignorant spittle-throwing diatribe, but cloaked in a tweed jacket with an Oxbridge accent.
Interesting, and inevitable.
Neat site full of Cthulhu goodies for all you up and coming Cultists! Don't forget to pick up your Deep Ones Fishing License!
Interesting, if true. I guess you could say I'll believe it when I don't see it...
Access to many of the photos possessed by the Smithsonian. A great resource; unfortunately the site set-up and navigation stinks.
Access to many of the photos possessed by the Smithsonian. A great resource; unfortunately the site set-up and navigation stinks.
Happy Birthday Groucho!
One of my fave comedy teams was Abbott & Costello. "Who's On First" may be their most famous routine, but "The Susquehanna Hat Company" is so modern and surreal as to be downright spooky, (it can be found in their film, "In Society"). Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is generally considered the last hurrah of Universal Pictures' monster movies; you get to see Bela along with Lon Jr. and even a voiceover by Vincent Price. Great stuff!