The revolution will be televised, but not mentioned in the news caps

In case you haven't seen it: The Washington Correspondents Dinner is always about backslapping and mutual asslicking -- everyone's done a hell of a job this year, every year -- served with a chaser of intentionally "inappropriate" "humor." While not nearly as hilariously appalling as Laura Bush's comments last year about her husband's virility and his penchant for jerking off horses or her husband's charming slideshow of his search for those pesky missing WMDs in his office the Dinner the year before [the good old days when only about 500 Americans and a few thousands Iraqis had been killed], Steven Colbert's speech at this year's Dinner yesterday crossed the line and the few miles between ultimately-reassuring ribbing and speaking truth to power.

It's fairly astounding how memorable and cleanly written each of his jokes are -- the long periods of audience silence makes Colbert's performance all the more heroic -- and he did this at the end of a working week at THE COLBERT REPORT. I remember Jon Stewart had to take a week off from THE DAILY SHOW to just host SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and that show sucked. Speaking of SNL and its suck, I could have lived without Colbert's overlong press-secretary-audition film at the end of his spot, as much as I love Helen Thomas.

Unsurprising for a few reasons -- in a nutshell, audiences prefer shiney objects to challenging ideas, which is also far easier for a producer to package -- Colbert's half-hour asskicking of the Powers That Be and their mainstream media has been all but shoved down the Memory Hole in favor of a short skit where Bush and a Bush imitator gave twin speeches being presented as the highlight of the night.

*******

While I'm posting YouTube links, here are my other favorites of late:

The program cuts him off in mid-sentence, but this three-part TV interview with Aldous Huxley is pretty great. It's reassuring that people retain and share things like this.

IT'S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME! Videos of people playing with their cats really are much more intimate than amateur videos of people fucking.

I almost forgot to include this lovely "shoot" interview with the guy to playing '80s pro-wrestler The Iron Sheik ranting about his method for imparting humility: Suplex him, put him in a Camel Clutch, break his back and then fuck his ass.

Rose recently blew some of my mind with this music video for Daler Mehndi's "Tunak Tunak Tun." Which reminds me: I found that the "Piyu Bole" segment of PARINEETA has made its way onto the site. Sigh.

And no tour of YT is complete without a link to something on the edge of Not-Work Safe; behold, The Oozinator! Clearly, Hasbro has more than a few bukkake enthusiasts.

The 677th step on the last road home.

Old-New Link Park

"There'’s nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book." -- Carson McCullers

[Previous.]

I found an old .zip file of bookmarks. Here are some I can still use:

ULYSSES on Bibliomania. A webified versions of FINNEGANS WAKE. The animations for this ULYSSES walk-through make me chuckle and think about how much more fun hunting for game on OREGON TRAIL is now that computers are a few gazillion times faster. Here's one that focuses on the music in Joyce's work.

I don't need these as much as I used to, but just in case: Tearmai Riomhaireachta, Daltai na Gaeilge, Gaelic Dictionary Search, Junior Gaelic Grammar and Common elements in Irish Placenames. I sorta miss the days when almost everything on the Internet was parked on college servers. Sorta. I also miss Webcam-mania, but at least this site of Live Views of Dublin's Gardiner and Talbot Streets is still around.

StewMac shows why they're the best hardware store in music with their handy-dandy free information page. Quieting the Beast [Stratocaster] and the rest of the GuitarNuts.com menu. Vox Dealers and VintageAmp's Vox page.OLGA's Christmas tabulature archive and a tab search engine. Guitar One's MP3 lesson library. I assume I heard some of Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana's work, but don't remember it; I'll have to seek it out. And now that I've found Kazuhito Yamashita's recording of Mussorsky's PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION on CD, my next "Why is this not on CD, dammit?" recording is John Barry's score for Disney's THE BLACK HOLE.

Filmmaker.com tool downloads. D-J screenplays. AbsoluteWrite has a messboard now.

Rembrandt Web museum and Guardian essay. Ukiyo-E gallery. Art dictionary. Alex Toth original-art gallery. Jimmy Frise comics gallery. Yet another Yoshiharu Tsuge website. Blambot comic fonts. Christian Comics infosite. Pokey the Penguin is the one true Gawd. Ackxhpaez by M. Wartella. I still love the 900lb. Gorilla. Ray Zone's 3-D comics checklist. Norman Saunders' funnybook covers. And Comicartfans.com is my new best old friend.

I'm hopelessly addicted to playing the SOCK MONKEY slide puzzle. [Dark Horse also has sliders for Bettie Page and some superduper series I don't recognize, but only the Millionaire puzzle reward you with a little string-quartet music when you solve the puzzle.

The catalog of U.K. Entrances to Hell.

The Chicago Reader seems to have cheesed out and put almost all of Jonathan Rosebaum's work on their paysite. You have to wonder how long these papers will dog on with the pay archives before they give up; I don't know anyone who's willing to pay a buck a page for anything on the web -- well, maybe good porn -certainlytainly not something they would be buying essentially sight unseen. I had a link to something on the Onion's A/V Club's site, but it's long gone it seems, but this recent list of 20 Wonderfully Irrelevant Andy Griffith Show Conversations amused and charmed me. Was there a better non-team team in comedy than Griffith and Don Knotts? No.

Go find your Missing Money and blow it on bargain books and computer crap, you cheap nerds.

I'm fascinated by gals_in_glasses and glassesfetish for all sorta of reasons, yet none of them are sexual. Go figure.

Information Please: The Book.

Alred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators trivia. I'm regularly tempted to buy some of those books to see if they're as good as I remember them being when I was 9. Same thing with the ValueTales series, especially the book on Terry Fox. And whatever the series name was for those orange-spine hardcovers about monsters that seemed intentionally 50/50 pictures/text, like the editor measured the page with a ruler to make sure.

For some reason, I always remember Budd Schulberg's WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN? as not having the question mark. One of the best books, ever, though.

Here's a transcript of the end of R. Budd Dwyer's last press conference.

Jargon du Jour. The big list of fallacies, for the next time you're foolish enough to waste time on a message board. All sorts of book care/repair tips.

Gojira was never lovelier.

A worldwide gallery of the Blue Screen of Death. Like the vagina, I forget how the flatbed scanner works within hours of touching one. Mame info. And there really is nothing they can't make into a USB device, is there? I would be surprised to learn that no one's marketing a cybersex kit; a bundle of USB-powered webcams, one or two USB vibrators, and remote-control software.

Wow, Dadadie Brucke's site has gotten a lot slicker since the day I bookmarked it; but Miller's Hats is exactly the same.

Auties and Aspies for Freedom.

If I receive 100 individual complaints about the ugliness of this page, I swear I will plaster the blog's template with this awesome color reference page's coding. [Don't like this color scheme? Just move your mouse around until you do. Tread lightly around natural-born contrarians, mouth breathers.]

The reason I dug into my bookmark backups was to find this, Collector Car Trader Online. I will find my Galaxie 500 on it someday, oh yes, indeed.

OTR MP3 06-07

[Previous Old Time Radio files: One, Two, Three, Four and Five.]

Here's another smart, low-key series I like: MR. PRESIDENT, a dramatization of various events in U.S. history presented from its President's point of view. Edward Arnold starred as the Presidents. The gimmick was that they don't reveal which Prez you're listening to/about until the end of the episode -- can you guess who before then? It's a unique angle, one that could only work on radio; a visual presentation would either give too much period information away or be so abstract that a narrative would be stopped dead before it could get rolling.

It's strange to think that there was a time when the American President and his office would actually warrant humanizing, consider the flood of too-much information we take for granted these days, from Jefferson's sex life to Lincoln's depression to FDR's polio to Nixon's boozing. The show had a crack staff of writers and researchers, having created 200-odd original half-hour dramas from the lives of only 33 Presidents -- including then-President Harry S Truman, who was said to have been a big fan of the show.

Episode #034, February 15, 1948.

Episode #054, July 04, 1948.

The 668th step on the last road home.

Five filmmakers I know are unfairly ignored

but I don't remember any of their movies well enough to mount a proper defense:

John Berry gets automatic points for his work in Orson Welles and John Houseman's Mercury Theater and ROUND MIDNIGHT. I had a brief but intense John Garfield period in my mid-20s, and Berry's HE RAN ALL THE WAY is still my favorite Garfield. It takes integrity to make a movie so ferociously ambiguous. [Berry had made THE HOLLYWOOD TEN the year before, which put him in the crosshairs of the House UnAmerican Activities committee and the Communist Witchhunt of the mid-'50s.] I remember seeing CLAUDINE as a '70s-black cinemaphile kid, but being aware that a lot of it was going over my young head. Considering the DVD is barely more than five bucks, I should it pick it up.

I remember seeing a couple of Shirley Clarke's films, alongside a metric fuckload of John Cassavetes, in a little American-realist film festival. The two movies I recognize from their descriptions, PORTRAIT OF JASON and THE COOL WORLD, stood well with Cassavetes' B&W features. Remarkable that none of her films are available anywhere.

Cy Endfield is probably best known as another HUAC "witch," but I remember being impressed by his noir thrillers -- especially SOUND OF FURY, which has a lynching scene more memorable than even Lang's FURY -- and his later Africa-set adventure movies are quite smart. And he was a writer on NIGHT OF THE DEMON, which is boss.

If people recognize John Guillermin's name at all, it's for THE TOWERING INFERNO and the '70s KING KONG remake, maybe for the campy SHAFT IN AFRICA -- which is a shame, since he seems to have had a long string of solid, fascinating films in the '60s; from the brutal 1960 Peter Sellers vehicle NEVER LET GO, which I see is now out on DVD, to 1969's BRIDGE AT REMEGAN, which I remember as being quite honest while still compelling. But Guillermin's highwater mark has to be RAPTURE, although a large of part of that is due to Patricia Gozzi's haunting acting; I saw the movie on Turner Classic Movies once at least 10 years ago, and it's still with me.

I know I had a fifth filmmaker I wanted to touch on, but thinking about RAPTURE has thrown me -- so let's just park a bunch of IMDB links to movies I saw at least enough of that I would like to see them again:

The Return of Doctor X (1939), Bogie plays Karloff
The Sea Wolf (1941), a John London adaptation and a Garfield movie I missed
The Secret Fury (1950), a semi-Noir [copout happy ending] where we can see the literal moment when Robert Ryan became more attractive than fellow studio-era glamourpuss Claudette Colbert.
Prince of Pirates (1953), a fun, swashbuckler-ish yarn with cute women
Jenny (1970), yeah I don't remember why either
The Gun (1974) (TV)
, not as stiff and moralistic as the descriptions make it sound
Once (1974), it "sounds" fascinating
Tokiwa-so no seishun (1996), A.K.A. THE MANGA APARTMENT; I was sorta proud that I managed to correctly guess which one of the actors was playing Yoshiharu Tsuge despite the lack of subtitles.
Dangerous Men (2005), John S. Rad's masterwork, literally four decades in the making

Hmm, that's not as long a list as I expected either, so here are more IMDB links:

Titles with the keyword: no-dialogue

My new favorite fan-written bio: "In 1923, Carl Lemmale, head of the new Universal Pictures in Hollywood, made the silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney in the lead. [Gaston] Leroux was impressed by this, but two years later he died."

This GODS AND MONSTERS message-board thread is onion-like in its layers on layers of irony, stupidity and funny.

The 665th step on the last road home.

He also had the best theme song on THE MARVEL SUPERHEROES show

You want great bad IRON MAN covers, you have to see them in their original French:

Tony Stark's so pissed about the little people on his head and back that his knitted brow is actually warping his helmet.

The little details on this one fascinate me: the corner of the roof breaking, the half-assed chain-breaking icon next to the title, the little "notre" on the bottom caption that may or may not be a reader's addition, the implication that Iron Man may be in trouble since they're on roof even though he has the power of flight, and the abstract squiggle on the building between Hulk's knee and Shellhead's hand, which sorta looks like a man.

From Dr. Spectrum's crotch to Iron Man's taint and electro-nipple. One of Gil Kane's finest moments. A least this NYC scene shows some bystanders.

Going by this vignette, Thor was just standing on that roof, when Iron Man flew by, swung a hard right and chugged him one on the shoulder. I don't think that's really in the story.

I actually do like this one: sensitive coloring, a great looking damsel and a cheesy looking villain. Good thing Kane drew the woman wearing sleeves, since I hate to see what the publisher 's touch-up artists would have added to her armpits.

Insert snappy Barry Manilow comment here. "Vas-y Mandy," indeed.

Like so many celebrities, Iron Man and Dr. Doom do a lot of Japandering. This is a shot recycled from one of their Visine ads. [It gets the red and gold out, or something. Then Iron Man screams something in broken Japanese and slides down a water slide with some schoolgirls and a cosplayer in a superdeforme owl costume.]

By the way, I love that the late John "Dean Wormer/the Mayor in DIRTY HARRY" Vernon voiced Iron Man in the 1966 cartoon; it's not as mindbending as Bill Murray voicing the Human Torch in the '70s Fantastic Four radio series, but it still makes me like those stupid Iron Man cartoons a little more than the others. And his theme music is a lot more fun to jam on, so long as your bandmates don't know what they're really playing.

OTR MP3 02

I thought I'd post a week of smart old time radio shows this week; one of my favorites is INFORMATION PLEASE, a refreshingly low-key quiz show where the contestants made the questions to stump the MC [Clifton Fadiman, NEW YORKER book editor and a giant of NY publishing] and his panel of experts [John Kieran, sports columnist for the NEW YORK TIMES; Franklin P. Adams, a poetry-loving NEW YORK POST columnist; Oscar Levant, a Broadway composer and bon-mot machine-gunner; and a celebrity guest who was reasonably smart, like Orson Welles or Deems Taylor]. If you could stump the panel, they would make a few pithy comments and send you a cash prize and a full set of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It's nearly impossible to imagine -- especially today, when the hottest game show on TV is basically LET'S MAKE A DEAL without the embarrassing costumes -- a time when a show this cerebral would hang consistently in the ratings Top 10 for years. Here is INFORMATION PLEASE for January 22, 1943, with guest Alfred Hitchcock. Enjoy.

[If you've never used Rapidshare: On the above-linked page, click the grey "Free" button on the right, wait for the Download-Ticket countdown to hit zero, enter the letters/numbers into the CAPTCHA box and click the grey "download" button. It's all free, don't worry about the Paypal options and all that crap.]

The 657th step on the last road home.

The 656th step on the last road home.

Sunday Comics 13



The original run of my stupid Sunday Comics mashups ends much like it began; with a badly scanned and huge jpeg file. Something about the texture on some of these sheets of construction paper drive cheap scanners bezserk. Anyway, here is "Fine! DON'T come! Who cares?" starring Chaplain Staneglass, Billy and Calvin, as re-edited from the January 1, 1995 funnies on February 18, 1995.

Another video

I've received enough complaints from people about accessing the 2001 film that I decided to make a quicky commercial for the Chevrolet Tahoe to amuse youse while I find a solution to my apparent RapidShare problem. Enjoy.

9pm EDIT: Oh, hell -- take another, since they're so small.

The 652nd step on the last road home.

Killing Time, Murdering Success, Cleaning Out the Bookmarks

Date your Epiphone guitar.

Lellebelle has a fantastic MP3 blog, as rich as it is broad.

Would it be more or less unethical to go seek out and download mp3s of the Elvis Costello bootleg series Such Unlikely Covers?

Who's Afraid of Kazuhito Yamashita, indeed.

A good portal on old video-game music and its composition.

I'm a sucker for any old piece of funny Engrish, but Rahoi.com has just completely won over my heart and mind by sticking it to media people who can't get your/you're and its/it's right.

Movies I've caught at least part of on TCM and such, that I liked enough to want to see properly: The Abominable Snowman [Early Hammer, remarkably smart with lots of stunning camera work] Nora Prentiss [who would have thought a journeyman-at-best actor like Kent Smith could be so compelling?], Come Live with Me [Hedy Lamarr was so very pretty and so very limited as an actor], St. Louis Blues and The Secret of My Success.

Thomas Groh is my new hero; what a gallery of film posters! [Needs a BOSS NIGGER poster, however; then again, so does my office.]

Someone's pretty bitter about being cockblocked by, um, words he thought were his friends.

I think we all wish we had a year like this.

Hair Watch: Ann Curry. Mildly disturbing, vaguely pointless, curiously compelling and somewhat arousing. I happened to see the TODAY episode where she chopped off her hair for Locks of Love; the irony is that she looked much more attractive with a rough bob than the style some celebrity hairdresser from Central Casting gave her for the rest of the broadcast.

It's Spring, time to resume lookin' for black '66 XL ragtops with blue-grey interiors [I should just join the club]. 1966 really was the year, boys and girls.

Cartoon Brew
Keep Vid
Johnny Bacardi
Ian Brill
Christopher Butcher
David Campbell
Dark, But Shining
Alan David Doane
Fred Hembeck
Sam Johnson
Gardner Linn
Marc Mason
Jeff Parker
Bill Sherman
Tom Spurgeon
Will Stegemann
Adam Stephanides
Thrillmer
The Light on Earth
Dictionary
Babel Fish
Elements of Style
Swearsaurus
Wikipedia
Paper Rodeo
Smoke House
Carol Lay
Paul Karasik
Art Soldier
Roger Langridge
clickpress.com

The 651st step on the last road home.

The Second Annual IRYCRT2001ASO Day!



Still not quite as big a holiday as Beethoven's birthday -- yet -- but it's growing fast!



Here is My and Little Man's film for IRYCRT2001ASO Day 2006. I hadn't deleted anything off my camphone in a few weeks, so it ran out of memory after 50 seconds, and Little Man is like Frank Sinatra in that he doesn't give his director a second take if the first was good, but I think this year's reaction stands strong with last year's film. And we both naturally approve of Rose, Steven and Saffron's celebration of the big day. Huzzah!

[For more information on International "Record Your Cat Reacting To 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY" Day and how you and your cat can be a part of it, click here. Today is the 38th anniversary of the premiere of Stanley Kubrick's seminal science-fiction film.]

The 649th step on the last road home.

Sunday Mash 15



Dennis the Menace and his babysitter star in this Cheever-like domestic vignette from December of 1994, "A Woman Needs A Man Like A Penguin Needs Butt Dimples." Enjoy.

[Previous mashes and other comicsy wastes of time can be found here. Don't give me any crap about my poor organizing skills.]

OTR MP3 01

Let's try mp3 blogging and see how it goes -- here's the first episode of the Saturday morning Old Time Radio show FLASH GORDON, titled "On The Planet Mongo" and originally broadcast on April 27, 1935. This OTR show is almost always fun and appealingly stupid [I don't think they rehearsed much], although not nearly as easy to masturbate to as the Alex Raymond Sunday comic strip. Enjoy.

The 648th step on the last road home.

They Came From My Gmail Spam Folder! [March 2006]


Click the list of amusing sender names for a JPEG of more amusing spam.