Comics I Bought This Week: July 30, 1952

Sorry this rundown is so late and none of the comics are very new; even with half the summer vacation left to go, most of my remaining free time just has to be spent listening to the radio [can't believe they're canceling THE LIVES OF HARRY LIME!], following the Olympic boxing in Helsinki [Ed Sanders is going to be the greatest negro heavyweight of all time!] and going nuts over Rocky Marciano finally getting a chance to fight Jersey Joe Walcott for the championship in a couple of months. Give 'im Hell, Rock! Also, I blew a lot of my comics budget on soda, a bunch of choice recent comics and a great cartoon book I found in a local bookstore, so I had to stick to just the essentials for my new-ish comics haul:


******* WARNING: SPOILERS *******


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THE PHANTOM STRANGER #1
DC, Aug-Sept, $0.10
I bought this one just for the clean, modern design and art -- Carmine Infantino, I think -- but reading it, I like that it's so rational. [I suppose that's why there were still copies of it on the racks.] The Phantom Stranger isn't a ghost or a sorcerer, just a man dressed in solid black who knows it's always a good idea to punch anyone who claims to be a warlock in the mouth. There's one non-Stranger EC-like story, but even that one ends with the goblin-in-the-bottle turning out to be some jerk. If horror stories are supposed to horrify, then they should stay on the radio or in books [and thus in the listener's/reader's imagination] where they belong.


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THE MARVEL FAMILY #74
Fawcett, Aug, $0.10

Fawcett is publishing far too many Captain Marvel comic books to keep up, but I appreciate that they keep a team of their best staffers, from writing all the way down to coloring, making full, book-length stories for this title. "The Marvel Family Battles The Hissing Horror" is a clever, funny fantasy -- finding a reason why three children with the power of Gods would have difficulty defeating a handful of reptilian Hissmen from a million years ago -- that's so charming and well-made that it's only later that you realize how insane the story is: The Marvels and their brainy pal Dexter Knox discover what they think is a time capsule buried in an abandoned lot, only to discover it's a portal to a million years ago after nihilistic, lava-gun-wielding Hissmen [who sssssssspeak Englissssssssssshhhh] kidnap hundreds people in their sleep and take them back into prehistoric times, where/when a machine changes them [and later the Marvels themselves] into Hisssssssmen too. It's nuts but played so straight that it works.


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CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES #136
Fawcett, Sept, $0.10

Easily the funniest comic I've read this week. Sivana is the best when he's more of a spoiler than a supervillain, and in "Captain Marvel Battles Hallucination" he gleefully drives the Big Red Cheese literally into the nuthouse. There's something about how enthusiastic Sivana is -- like he's an actor more interested in entertaining his audience by stealing every scene he's in than a villain set out to destroy Capt. Marvel and take over the world -- that reminds me more of LITTLE LULU's Tubby than Lex Luthor.


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CRIME SUSPENSTORIES #12
EC, Aug-Sept, $0.10

Johnny Craig's art continues to improve by leaps and bounds -- I think he might even be writing his own stories, which makes sense -- although I wish he could at least make his splash pages as compelling and detailed as his covers. "The Execution" isn't the typical EC story; while it does have the trademark shock ending, it doesn't need one in order to be gripping and satisfying -- a major leap forward for this type of story -- and Craig [and his writer?] should be applauded for doing an innocent-man-on-death-row story that doesn't end with a cliche, like the guilty man being a prison official or some other high mucky-muck who laughs up his sleeve that some sucker got the chair for his crime. We never find out who killed the woman that our protagonist has been put to death over -- ambiguous sophistication or sophisticated ambiguity for a comic book that contains unused HAUNT OF FEAR junk.


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FRONTLINE COMBAT #8
EC, Sept-Oct, $0.10

A showcase for two of their stalwart artists tackling their favorite subjects, a respectable placeholder from their most regular artist team and an exciting EC debut for a young new turk. Alexander Toth [under Kurtzman's guidance, presumably] really outdid himself with "Thunder Jet," a MiG Alley thriller told in the second-person perspective and shown with an abstract verisimilitude that would make an aviation-loving artist like Noel Sickles or Bert Whitman proud. Unlike George Evans, who may still draw a better-looking plane, there's no sentimentality or nostalgia in Toth's art; whether it's Kurtzman's artistic influence or editorial order, "Jet" is set in the here and now -- something that can't always be said about EC's stories about the fighting in Korea. For the rest of the issue, Kurtzman and his wrecking crew indulge in their favorites; a Wallace Wood-finished life of Caesar, a Civil War drama from Georgia-peach Jack Davis and an atmospheric, low-key vignette from Severin & Elder.

TWO-FISTED TALES #29
EC, Sept-Oct, $0.10

Considering the hot streak its sister title has been on, I guess TFT would have to give up some slack and suffer in comparison. The usual hands are here -- Kurtzman, Davis, Severin, Elder -- along with another EC debut [Dave Berg], but none of it comes together as well as the recent FRONTLINE COMBATs. The stories come off as fragments, not short stories, and not very good fragments at that. Berg has a very solo-Severin-like style, but without the vigorous line and sculptural sense of anatomy. He'll have to woodshed around the clock to catch up to Toth.


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WALT DISNEY'S FOUR COLOR #386
Dell, Mar, bought used for cover price: $0.10

I like this new Uncle Scrooge McDuck character, although he seems too perfectly formed and presented to not be a "Mary Sue." Every time a writer/cartoonist decides to add one of these types to a strip, they have to change its whole dynamic to make the new character the best character -- this time, they've all but given Donald Duck a lobotomy to put Scrooge over. Donald's an active character, whether or not he's the hero or the heavy, but Scrooge essentially leads him around on a leash in this issue's lead story, "Only A Poor Man." There's nothing Donald does that any one of his own nephews couldn't have handled -- except maybe kick Scrooge in the ass on the last page -- and it would make a lot more dramatic sense if it had been Huey, Dewey and/Louie in his place. Most of the jokes are funny, especially the recurring bit that Scrooge keeps telling his nephews how comforting it is to be rich when he's not worrying himself sick over his money, and the art is absolutely superb.


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FRONTLINE COMBAT #7
EC, July/Aug, also bought used for cover price: $0.10

A special, issue-wide look at the Battle of Iwo Jima. I prefer the stories that writer Harvey Kurtzman draws himself -- just look at this cover; the guy draws with the hands of a lumberjack and the eyes of a jeweler -- but there's something really exciting about how this comic takes the reader through the entire battle from the Marines' invasion of the island to the "mopping up" three weeks later, with each story directly connecting to the next and bookended by the plane in the first story crashing in the last. Kurtzman loves details on details on details, no matter how they endanger the structural integrity of a story, but it's thrilling to see him pull it off so often -- the lead-off story, drawn [or finished?] by Wood, is an Army Airman thinking about the island's history and significance for five pages as he prepares to crash-land his bomber. This piece should play out like reading the Encyclopedia Britannica in the middle of flak explosions, but Kurtzman and Wood don't let you. Unlike the second story [a Severin & Elder-drawn], "Jima" also spares us an ironic/twist/shock ending, which unfortunately is becoming as much of a crutch/cliche in these EC war funnybooks as they are in the horror & shock comics. An example of Kurtzman's love of details actually harming the story is in "The Caves," where he mixes actual Japanese words with the English dialogue, which throws us right out of the story -- is this a Japanese lesson instead of a war story? Are the soldiers, fleeing from the raging fire being spewed into the cave from an American tank, speaking in both languages as the flames consume them? Kurtzman clearly wants us to sympathize with these Japanese as human beings and not foreign caricatures, so why inject a detail that can only remind the reader that these guys aren't American? The last story is also kind of a let-down -- Kurtzman tries a little too hard to get in some what-did-they-all-die-for soldier frenzy before a silly, contrived ending that anyone can see coming as soon as the grunts pull out their family photos and talk about their kid brothers in the Air Corps. Still, to take an entire combat invasion of an island and break it down to four short, interconnected stories is impressive.


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PETER ARNO'S SIZZLING PLATTER
Simon & Schuster, 1949, bought used for $1.99

It's a paradox -- Arno's recent cartoons come off as a little too staid and classy now that he draws fewer gags about staid, high-class people and more about the new suburban "middle class." Well, I guess that's just how comedy is -- the upper crust acting low-down is funnier than the middle-of-the-pack acting low-class. This is Arno's first cartoon collection since the war, with lots of his older, risque pieces -- like Kurtzman, I love how bold and unpolished Arno's lines are here.

On Flood Day 2010

I started writing a little essay about the four-year anniversary of all my stuff being destroyed in a flood, but it's spiraling away from being about just that. Instead, here is a video of a kitten wearing a hat, via the mighty Coop:

Bruce Lee really wears that suit.

Sunday mornings with the Dragon's screen test for an ultimately aborted CHARLIE CHAN television series. The producer's other project in the works was BATMAN, which paved the way for a GREEN HORNET series the following season. Enjoy.

Video Games That Time Forgot

On paper, SAMURAI WARRIOR: THE BATTLES OF USAGI YOJIMBO sounds awesome -- a video game that translates Stan Sakai's carefully researched and always entertaining funny-animal samurai saga pretty faithfully from comic books to one's personal computer -- but technology has come a very long way since 1988. I think I would buy a current-generation gaming console if a decent USAGI game was released for it -- one that embraced the thoughtful little details and the curiously compassionate-but-distant tone of the comics + blood-soaked katanas doing terrible things to funny animals -- but until then, this recreation of SAMURAI WARRIOR gives you damn kids a taste of what even action-adventure games were like before you were born; it was, to be generous, a button-mashing purgatory of delayed sprite responses and moebius-loop stage architecture. Enjoy.

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Saturday Night Fight aftermath



Well, it sounds like Allan Green turned out to be even more of an underachiever than his resume indicates and much, much less of a live underdog than his extraordinary amount of trash talk promised. Andre Ward apparently dominated him even more thoroughly than he controled Mikkel Kessler a few months ago -- not just pulling the same billy-goat bullshit [you have to wonder how well Ward's style of headbutting and clinching would have flown if he hadn't fought all of his matches in his hometown of Oakland, CA] but getting his punches off first every time.

After four or five rounds, Green stopped fighting to win but to simply make it to the final bell on his feet, making Joshua Clottey's recent defense-only performance against Manny Pacquiao look just a little less awful in comparison. The Oracle arena is not Cowboys Stadium, Ward is no Pacquiao and all the "because of the fight being rescheduled, I overtrained" excuses in the world can change a thing.

If I did the math right, Green still has a shot at squeaking into the next round if he knocks Kessler out -- something no other fighter, not Ward or even super-middleweight living legend Joe Calzaghe could do in scoring Kessler's only losses as a professional boxer. It could happen, certainly -- it's arguable that Green hits harder than Carl Froch, who damaged Kessler more than I expected him to in their last fight. I'm not so sure that Kessler himself isn't shot as a fighter, for that matter -- it's easy for even a shot veteran to look pretty good against a come-forward goon like Froch. [See also: Jermaine Taylor.]

Anyway, it looks like Ward has already racked up the tourney points needed to advance to the semi-finals regardless of whether or not he beats Andre Dirrell. I never thought I'd ever write this, but I'm rooting for Dirrell to pull off the upset, hopefully staged somewhere that's not fucking Oakland. Again, if my math is correct, Dirrell must win to advance.

The other two fights for the semis -- Froch vs. Arthur Abraham [King Arthur demolishes Froch, who's not fast nor agile enough to beat Abraham the way Dirrell was before Abraham was disqualified] and Kessler-Green [Kessler probably wins but, again, my heart can't not root for a fellow underachieving comic-book nerd, expecially one with KO power in both fists] -- will determine at least two if not all three of the seeds for the semi-final matches.

If my heart controlled the Showtime boxing universe, then Dirrell [2 points for a decision win], Green [3 points for a KO] and Abraham [3 points] win their fights. The semis would be Abraham-Green and a reprise of Ward-Dirrell. The former would be a gas to watch, for however short it lasted, at least.

The odds are that Ward [2 points], Abraham [3 points] and Kessler [2 points] win Group Stage Three, however, setting the stage for a semi of Ward or Abraham [both having 6 points] against either Froch or Dirrell [tied at 2 points] and Kessler fighting Ward or Abraham. That's ... slightly confusing, isn't it. Oh well, Ken Hershman is a smart guy, they'll figure something out.

Attention nerds with premium cable:



Tonight at 10PM EST, Showtime is showing a boxing match between slightly overhyped super-middleweight champ Andre Ward and scrappy underdog/comic-book nerd Allan Green. It's the final stage of the second round of their history-making "Super Six Boxing Classic," which makes it kind of a big deal.

All self-respecting [but still somewhat underachieving] dorks need to support one of their own -- a fighter who has a tattoo of the Asgardian Destroyer on his arm and Kirby's design for Mjollnir on his shoulder. Green can even pronounce "Mjollnir" correctly.

It's sure to be a dramatic fight -- Ward has better speed and skill, and they're fighting in his hometown, but Green has enough power in either fist to end the fight at any moment if he can land one or two of his power punches just right. Also, one of Ward's best punches is the accidental headbutt, and Green's not one to shrug off accidents the second or third time they happen, so it probably will get ugly in there sooner or later. One way or the other, it's sure to be an entertaining match.

Lunch With Zack & Bak

Well, I ate at Fu Jin's on Hawthorne and, contrary to what their online reviews predicted, I didn't endure the Digestion of The Damned. Good stuff. Egg Flower soup and General Tso's fried tofu & vegetables.

Nice night for a walk

Yesterday, on I think Division. The grin of an electric clown hanging in a vintage plumbing store's front window.

War memorial Weds

Pre-World War I memorial. We don't hear much about the Indian and Mexican Wars these days, do we.

More from the cemetery

Apparently the chic design for gravestones a century ago was to make them look like tube pillows.

Bloomsday VWs

You tell me what colors from the 64 box these Volkswagens be. I'm counting the green door as its own entry. So many blues, not enough sleep. Good Night, Internet.

Curbside art

I love a good station wagon, especially in two-tone.

64 Box of Volkswagens, Colors 62 and 64

Silver and gold bugs parked on the street, from Friday. I imagine
finding classic punch-buggies in the other 62 colors would be fairly
easy in this town, despite Crayola's insistence on retiring a handful
of the less obnoxious colors every few years to replace them with
bright hues with names so focus-grouped that no kid would ever call
them their given name. "Jazzberry Jam," "Laser Lemon" [the crayon
formerly known as "Chartreuse"], and "Inchworm," indeed -- a child
would call them "purple-pink" "bright yellow" and "lime green."
Anyway, I see a bright orange Volkswagen with really effective black
trimwork in the neighborhood as well, so I'm tempted to see how many
other colors I can find on my walks. [Thinking about shooting photos
of the amazing number of out-of-state license plates I've seen on cars
here too, but I wouldn't post them for obvious reasons. Collecting
shots of plates from all 50 states wouldn't take more than two or
three long walks around the neighborhood.]

Yesterday, early evening

I did at least make it back to Burnside in time to get a kosher hot
dog before the shack closed for the night. The walk was not worth the
dog, but at least I won't have to think about "how good a hot dog
would be right about now" for a few weeks. Next time I absolutely must
eat out, I will try the Spanakopita at Old Wives Tales. I hope the
city is still redoing the shit out of that intersection then -- I find
the sound and sense of intermittent jackhammering oddly soothing.

Thursday evening

I walked down to Burnside & the 20s to eat either Spanny D. Coppola and/or a hot dog the size of my femur. Both places were already closed! Someone needs to explain to me again why nothing in this town is open past 9-10pm except the bars.

Walking back, I discovered this power substation on, I think Stark Street. I knew they had to be somewhere, but the trees lining it amused me -- are they supposed to be camouflage? Green protection from all the EMFs the station is throwing out? Holdovers from before the station was built? Some counterintuitive protection in case the transformers catch fire?

Sunday Painting: A little book-learnin' from the Edwardian era

Solomon Joseph Solomon was not only a great Pre-Raphaelite painter and illustrator, he was a remarkably articulate thinker and teacher as evidenced in his massive tome, THE PRACTICE OF OIL PAINTING AND DRAWING -- the 1910 edition available to download and read here, via Google Books.

Saturday Night At The Movies: CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT



While it's unfortunate that this film is still commercially unavailable in the United States, it's understandable; no self-respecting [much less art-respecting] studio would dare release this film without doing a lot of work on its soundtrack first.

One of the more ironic-tragic aspects to Welles' struggle to make movies outside of the studio system is that, as his visual sense grew even more sophisticated and daring, his soundtracks became more and more of a low-budget crazy quilt instead of the immaculately crafted whole cloth he could craft in Hollywood. The Welles of even THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS era wouldn't dare try to match-cut across time and space the way he would later in Europe -- but casts of non-English speakers and budget/location problems requiring M.O.S. [silent, "mit out sound"] filming resulted in stunning visions and cinematic storytelling with Japanese-monster-movie lip-syncing and the look that a summer intern cut the master negative. I suppose this isn't as big a deal in non-English-speaking countries, which explains why CHIMES has been available available in Europe and Asia for years.

Here's hoping that Criterion is on the case for this film and Welles' buttinski daughter [the one responsible for OTHELLO's score being butchered, and for threatening to sue the pants off any of the other custodians of her father's unfinished work if they actually dare finish the work without her input.] is caught in a bear trap or something, at least until the DVD is released. Until then or the clips are taken offline, here is one of Welles' lost classics, in eleven parts. Enjoy.

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Spock Is Funny How?



Via "Iron" Mike "Steel" Sterling, this is one of two CGI tests made for a recent proposed but unproduced STAR TREK: TOS animated series: Spock recites one of Joe Pesci's showstoppers from GOODFELLAS. You probably already know it's NSFW. Enjoy.

Sidebar parking my beloved movie list

Considering the only movies I've watched in months are DVDs of many of the movies below, it's time to park this feature and free up some sidebar real estate. My apologies to future Google-searchers desperate to find a Rapidshare download of GENERAL SPANKY or a bootleg of DANTE'S INFERNO; sorry Charlies.

The Last Few Movies I've Seen

* THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS
* THE SNAKE PIT
* THE THIRD MAN
* THE 39 STEPS
* IT'S A GIFT
* ON BORROWED TIME
* ONE GOT FAT - BICYCLE SAFETY
* WILD AT THE WHEEL
* GREAT GENIUS & PROFOUND STUPIDITY
* THE RED SHOES
* SMASH-UP, THE STORY OF A WOMAN
* THE GUN RUNNERS
* TONIGHT WE SING
* WICKED WICKED
* GRAND PRIX
* TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CONDOR
* LAURA
* SLEEPER
* EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX
* DERSU UZALA
* THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC
* I LIKE KILLING FLIES
* AMAZING JOURNEY: SIX QUICK ONES
* JOAN MITCHELL: PORTRAIT OF AN ABSTRACT PAINTER
* BLUEBEARD
* MERTON OF THE MOVIES
* THE PIRATE
* THE SPANISH MAIN
* BARABBAS
* IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD
* HANGOVER SQUARE
* THE SECRET FURY
* LE DOULOS
* NIGHT AND THE CITY
* TEAR GAS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT
* THE NUN'S STORY
* THE SECRET LAND
* A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
* DR. BRONNER'S MAGIC SOAPBOX
* FEARLESS FAGAN
* LOVE IS BETTER THAN EVER
* GIVE A GIRL A BREAK
* DEEP IN MY HEART
* ROYAL WEDDING
* HALF-ANGEL
* JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG
* TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
* THE SILENCERS
* LEILA KHALED, HIGHJACKER
* CRAZY LOVE
* THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND [1929]
* NORMAN…IS THAT YOU?
* STAIRCASE
* HEAVENLY DAYS
* SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL
* YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER
* STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
* THEY LIVE BY NIGHT
* GEORGE STEVENS GOES TO WAR
* FLAME & CITRON
* ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
* FERMAT'S ROOM
* SWAMP WATER
* RACE WITH THE DEVIL
* MONTE WALSH
* THE TUNNEL DWELLERS OF NEW YORK
* SIDE STREET
* NIGHT INTO MORNING
* MADELEINE
* HOBSON'S CHOICE
* THE PROUD ONES
* THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
* DODES 'KA-DEN
* SANJURO
* FANNY & ALEXANDER
* THE DRUNKEN ANGEL
* THE MOST BEAUTIFUL
* THE MEN WHO TREAD ON THE TIGER'S TAIL
* NO REGRETS FOR OUR YOUTH
* ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY
* NEW BOY
* HOMETOWN BAGHDAD
* MURDERERS' ROW
* SILENT MOVIE
* BORN YESTERDAY
* THE OUTRAGE
* SPELLBOUND
* 12 ANGRY MEN
* STALAG 17
* THE OUTLAW
* PEG O' MY HEART
* CAGED
* BOOKED FOR SAFEKEEPING
* KITTEN WITH A WHIP
* GOODBYE MR. CHIPS
* THE BROWNING VERSION
* SCANDAL
* I LIVE IN FEAR
* THE MAGICIAN
* CALYPSO HEAT WAVE
* THE CLAIRVOYANT
* THE BIG TIMER
* THE MIND READER
* DEAD HEAT ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND
* HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO
* H.E.A.L.T.H.
* THE GOOD GERMAN
* GENERAL SPANKY
* AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
* AN AMERICAN DREAM
* YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU
* MY FAVORITE WIFE
* CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWERS
* THE GENERAL [Irish]
* HUNGER
* ELMER GANTRY
* THE LEGEND OF JIMMY THE GREEK
* L'ARGENT
* THE OSCAR
* DAUGHTER OF THE MIND
* ON THE THRESHOLD OF SPACE
* SPACE MASTER X-7
* BIG BAD MAMA
* ZERO HOUR!
* AIRPLANE!
* SONG OF THE THIN MAN
* THE TERROR
* DEMENTIA 13
* THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE
* BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
* THE SEA WOLF
* OUT OF THE FOG
* FLOWING GOLD
* THEY MADE ME A CRIMINAL
* FOUR DAUGHTERS
* VOLVER
* ADAM'S RIB
* I WON'T PLAY
* CIMARRON
* GIANT
* REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
* THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG
* THE THREE MUSKETEERS
* SECRECY
* CARNY
* DAYS OF HEAVEN
* MR. SARDONICUS
* SHANKS
* THE MONSTER THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
* THEM!
* IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA
* BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS
* THE WALKING STICK
* FROM THE ASHES
* THE COLLECTOR
* PSYCHE 59
* DANTE'S INFERNO
* IT'S A DOG'S LIFE
* MERRY ANDREW
* A CHRISTMAS TALE
* HAKUCHI
* STANLEY KUBRICK'S BOXES
* IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER
* BRIGADOON
* LUST FOR LIFE
* 2010: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT
* MY FAVORITE WIFE
* CARTS OF DARKNESS
* A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS
* A BITTERSWEET LIFE
* JOJO DANCER, YOUR LIFE IS CALLING
* BALL OF FIRE
* THE LADY EVE
* RACHEL GETTING MARRIED
* SUMMERTIME
* THE AFRICAN QUEEN
* SMART MONEY
* WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
* ARRANGED
* TALES OF MERE EXISTENCE
* THE HEIRESS
* CASABLANCA
* KEY LARGO
* THE BIBLE
* THE RACKET
* THE CITADEL
* THE SUNSHINE BOYS
* SAN FRANCISCO
* FIVE STAR FINAL
* BELLS ARE RINGING
* AMERICAN PSYCHO
* INTO THE STORM
* THE WAR AGAINST MRS. HADLEY
* CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
* THE BAND WAGON
* SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
* FALLEN CHAMP: THE UNTOLD STORY OF MIKE TYSON
* ON THE TOWN
* BLOOD AND SAND
* NETWORK
* 14 WOMEN
* GUEST OF CINDY SHERMAN
* 1984
* SEVEN DAYS IN MAY
* THE SEVENTH CROSS
* HANGMEN ALSO DIE
* BANANAS
* MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
* ON THE BEACH
* THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA
* JULIET OF THE SPIRITS
* 8 1/2
* KIND LADY
* ADDRESS UNKNOWN
* DESPERATE JOURNEY
* THEATER OF WAR
* ABOVE AND BEYOND
* BACHELOR FLAT
* MONSTER IN A BOX
* A PERFECT COUPLE
* JOHN AND MARY
* LUCKEY
* A TASTE OF CHERRY
* DEATH OF A CYCLIST
* MY SON SAM
* AMERICAN GUERRILLA IN THE PHILIPPINES
* MAN HUNT
* CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
* F.T.A.
* THE MERRY WINDOW [1925]
* I LOVE YOU AGAIN
* DAYS OF GLORY
* ON THE ROAD WITH JUDAS
* ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ
* THE HATCHET MAN
* BLOCK-HEADS
* INHERIT THE WIND
* THE BIG HANGOVER
* THE KREMLIN LETTER
* COUNTER-ATTACK
* STOLEN MOMENTS
* THE CONQUERING POWER
* MAN OF THE CENTURY
* LARRY FLYNT: THE RIGHT TO BE LEFT ALONE
* CHALK
* THE FIREMEN'S BALL
* GOD'S LITTLE ACRE
* MAN OF THE WEST
* THE SHOUT
* DEEP END
* THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE
* NAKED CITY
* A.K.A. CASSIUS CLAY
* CHANGE OF MIND
* DON'T LOOK BACK
* WINGS [1927]
* BINTA AND THE GREAT IDEA
* KILL GIL 2
* SYMBOL OF THE UNCONQUERED
* WITHIN OUT GATES
* SHOW PEOPLE
* THE GOLD RUSH [1942]
* THE GOLD RUSH [1925]
* MODERN TIMES
* THE GREAT DICTATOR
* LIMELIGHT
* WHITE LIGHT, BLACK RAIN
* NO END IN SIGHT
* TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN
* CHAMPION
* CAPTAIN BLOOD
* BRUTE FORCE
* REUNION IN PARIS
* THE MAN IN THE CLOAK
* FOLLOW ME QUIETLY
* JOHNNY GUITAR
* THE DARK CORNER
* DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE [1931]
* THE PUMPKIN EATER
* THE AWFUL TRUTH
* THE RETURN OF THE WAR ROOM
* THE SHOOTING
* HE RAN ALL THE WAY
* ZORRO, THE GAY BLADE
* THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN OF THE HIMALAYAS
* PAUL MOONEY: JESUS IS BLACK - SO WAS CLEOPATRA - KNOW YOUR HISTORY
* DIM SUM
* THE NOTORIOUS LANDLADY
* THE KNACK ... AND HOW TO GET IT
* TRACKS OF THE CAT
* THE BIG KNIFE
* THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE [1921]
* A.K.A. TOMMY CHONG
* GRUMPY OLD MEN
* THE GREAT WHITE HOPE
* SONNY
* DOES YOUR SOUL HAVE A COLD?
* SOLARIS [2002]
* I WENT DOWN
* IGBY GOES DOWN
* THE 47 RONIN PART II
* A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE/DUCK, YOU SUCKER
* GREENER PASTURES
* THE GLASS SHIELD
* BLACK CAT
* THE 47 RONIN PART I
* JUMP TOMORROW
* ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
* MAN BITES DOG
* THE INVASION
* TELL IT TO THE MARINES
* THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN
* THE DAWN PATROL
* HOUSE [HASU]
* BRUCE LEE: HIS LAST DAYS
* CHAN IS MISSING
* LOVELY AND AMAZING
* 14 HOURS
* BIGGER THAN LIFE
* NOTORIOUS
* THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S
* THE NAKED SPUR
* THE TALL TARGET
* SOYLENT GREEN
* THE BURMESE HARP
* A BUCKET OF BLOOD
* PENITENTIARY
* ATTACK!
* TEN SECONDS TO HELL
* WAR OF THE WORLDS [1953]
* TWO WOMEN
* THE SOUTHERNER
* MR. WARMTH: THE DON RICKLES PROJECT
* DON QUIXOTE [Welles]
* THE CLOCK
* MODERN ROMANCE
* FLYBOYS
* FIVE-STAR SPECIAL
* THE STORY OF G.I. JOE
* WHITE SHADOWS IN THE SOUTH SEAS
* IT HAPPENED TOMORROW
* PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
* THE ART OF FAILURE: CHUCK CONNELY NOT FOR SALE
* THE 27TH DAY
* THE PASSION OF AYN RAND
* PIZZA
* NO TIME FOR COMEDY
* SONG OF A NATION
* GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE
* YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW
* NEVER SAY GOODBYE
* MOTHER, JUGS AND SPEED
* PRINCE VALIANT
* OUT OF THE PAST
* A SKIN TOO FEW: THE DAYS OF NICK DRAKE
* BEDAZZLED
* THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT
* THE MALTESE FALCON
* ACROSS THE PACIFIC
* DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
* KING OF KINGS [1927]
* KING OF KINGS [1961]
* ANNIE HALL
* BEN-HUR [1959]
* DAY NIGHT DAY NIGHT
* REEFER MADNESS
* KILL THE POOR
* BIG CITY
* COVER GIRL
* PARTY GIRL
* GREY GARDENS [2009]
* MADAME TUTLI PUTLI
* A WALK INTO THE SEA: DANNY WILLIAMS AND THE WARHOL FACTORY
* JEU
* THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT
* THE CRUISE
* REDISCOVERING JOHN GILBERT
* BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT
* THE HOSPITAL
* BOB LE FLAMBEUR
* I LOVE YOU, ALICE B. TOKLAS
* THE BIG CUBE
* HEAVEN KNOWS, MR. ALLISON
* BEAT THE DEVIL
* INDISCRETION OF AN AMERICAN WIFE
* THE LIEUTENANT WORE SKIRTS
* BLOW OUT
* THE FLORENTINE
* RACHEL AND THE STRANGER
* THE STRANGER
* SHE HAD TO SAY YES
* TED WILLIAMS
* UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE
* GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER
* THE ADVENTURE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES' SMARTER BROTHER
* TOP BANANA
* COLLEGE
* THE FRESHMAN
* IF I HAD A MILLION
* NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK
* THE EGG AND I
* THE REIVERS
* STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING
* DON'T BOTHER TO KNOCK
* REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT [film]
* THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
* THE MAN FROM LARAMIE
* FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND
* AVENTURE MALGACHE
* THE HARDER THEY FALL
* SHATTERED GLASS
* ICE STATION ZEBRA
* GARAGE
* FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF
* JAMMIN' THE BLUES
* HAROLD AND MAUDE
* THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX
* THE BICYCLE THIEVES
* SHERLOCK HOLMES [Barrymore]
* THE WOMAN IN GREEN
* SHERLOCK HOLMES IN DRESSED TO KILL
* SHERLOCK HOLMES IN TERROR BY NIGHT
* PURSUIT TO ALGIERS
* SHERLOCK HOLMES IN THE HOUSE OF FEAR
* THE PEARL OF DEATH
* THE SCARLET CLAW
* THE SPIDER WOMAN
* SHERLOCK HOLMES FACES DEATH
* SHERLOCK HOLMES IN WASHINGTON
* SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON
* SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VOICE OF TERROR
* A STUDY IN TERROR
* THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
* THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES [Rathbone]
* SUSAN SLEPT HERE
* HOLIDAY AFFAIR
* STAR IN THE NIGHT
* CHRISTMAS IN JULY
* REMEMBER THE NIGHT
* STATE OF THE UNION
* FLIGHT
* DIRIGIBLE
* THE RETURN OF DOCTOR X
* CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS
* A PERFECT CANDIDATE
* 100 FILMS AND A FUNERAL
* DEATH HUNT
* BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST
* THE SEVEN-UPS
* THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET
* MENTAL HOSPITAL
* PERFORMANCE
* THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
* THIS LAND IS MINE
* CASA DE LOS BABYS
* BANDOLERO!
* UNTAMED
* THE SHERIFF OF FRACTURED JAW
* O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE
* KISSING JESSICA STEIN
* STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE
* TUNISIAN VICTORY
* WHY WE FIGHT: WAR COMES TO AMERICA
* WHY WE FIGHT: THE BATTLE OF CHINA
* WHY WE FIGHT: THE BATTLE OF RUSSIA
* WHY WE FIGHT: THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
* WHY WE FIGHT: DIVIDE AND CONQUER
* WHY WE FIGHT: NAZIS STRIKE
* WHY WE FIGHT: PRELUDE TO WAR
* NIGHTS OF CABRIA
* THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE
* ALL OF ME
* THE CINCINNATI KID
* CURSE OF THE DEMON
* THE WICKER MAN
* THE SAND PEBBLES
* THE YOUNG STRANGER
* KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS
* A THOUSAND CLOWNS
* TENTH AVENUE ANGEL
* THREE STRANGERS
* THE FALLEN SPARROW
* NOBODY LIVES FOREVER
* THE MAN IN THE GREY FLANNEL SUIT
* BATTLE OF THE SEXES
* THE BIG SLEEP
* LADY IN THE LAKE
* BLACKMAIL
* WAITING FOR HOCKNEY
* VALLEY OF THE KINGS
* MICROCOSMOS
* MUMMY'S BOYS
* THE ROBOT VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY
* YOU'LL FIND OUT
* THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY
* AUTUMN LEAVES
* A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
* KURT COBAIN: ABOUT A SON
* ROKY ERICKSON: YOU'RE GONNA MISS ME
* ROCKY
* CHE, Parts I & II
* THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE
* THE CHANGELING
* BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK
* ACT OF VIOLENCE
* BERLIN EXPRESS
* CQ
* BEWARE MY LOVELY
* ON DANGEROUS GROUND
* THE RACKET
* NIGHTMARE ALLEY
* BORN TO BE BAD
* HIS LAST GAME
* HAPPY DAYS [1926}
* GREASER'S PALACE
* PUTNEY SWOPE
* HIGH NOON
* THAT HAMILTON WOMAN
* POLIWOOD
* GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN
* JET PILOT
* THEM [ILS]
* THE CELLO
* SUBJECT TWO
* STRANGE HOSTEL OF NAKED PLEASURES
* PAINTERS PAINTING: 1940-1970
* TARGETS
* ALFIE
* BLACK WHITE + GRAY: A PORTRAIT OF SAM WAGSTAFF AND ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
* PUNISHMENT PARK
* BODY OF WAR
* I SHOT ANDY WARHOL
* MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN
* CHANDLER
* THE BLOB
* THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES [Hammer]
* MUHAMMAD AND LARRY
* DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID
* THE UNHOLY THREE [silent]
* THIS NIGHT I SHALL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE
* ALOHA NY
* THE STORY OF THREE LOVES
* JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN
* HUMAN REMAINS
* HALLUCINATIONS OF A DERANGED MIND
* CUBA: AN AFRICAN ODYSSEY
* AS YOUNG AS YOU FEEL
* THE COOLER
* MILTON GLASER
* THE SQUID AND THE WHALE
* CONTROL
* STAY
* REM KOOLHAUS
* TRON
* TURN THE RIVER
* BAMBOOZLED
* I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA
* HAXAN
* SOMBRERO
* SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT
* FALLEN ANGEL
* THE VAN
* THE COMMITMENTS
* HOW TO STEAL A MILLION
* A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE
* TURNABOUT
* BRIEF ENCOUNTER
* ROCKY III
* ROCKY II
* WHITE ZOMBIE
* MUHAMMAD ALI, THE GREATEST
* CHEECH & CHONG'S UP IN SMOKE
* THE BRIDE WORE BLACK
* SEE NO EVIL
* BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS
* THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE
* HOUR OF THE GUN
* THUNDER ROAD
* PASSIONATE FRIENDS
* THE SEA HAWK
* FLETCH
* THAT OLD FEELING
* MATA HARI
* GET SMART
* THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD
* THE MAN FROM PLANET X
* THE BANK JOB
* TAPEHEADS
* THE PLAYER
* THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
* BRIGHT FUTURE
* OSS 117
* ATLANTIS
* THE AMERICAN RULING CLASS
* COLOSSUS OF RHODES
* TWO FOR THE ROAD
* WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY?
* FUNNY FACE
* WILD STRAWBERRIES
* COME FEEL ME TREMBLE
* KILL YOUR IDOLS
* AN OPTICAL POEM
* PARK ROW
* HOMICIDAL
* ACE OF HEARTS
* NICKELODEON
* ARMY OF SHADOWS
* OLD JOY
* HAVOC
* THE BLUE MAX
* LOOKING FOR RICHARD
* ON DANGEROUS GROUND
* IN LIKE FLINT
* OUR MAN FLINT
* CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO
* TWO-WAY STRETCH
* WALTZ OF THE TOREADORS
* A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT
* MURDER BY DEATH
* AFTER THE FOX
* ONLY TWO CAN PLAY
* THE MILLIONAIRESS
* I'M ALL RIGHT JACK
* RAMBO
* THREE AMIGOS
* THE BLACK BOOK
* CARAMEL
* THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE
* LE MUSTACHE
* THIS IS NOT A FILM
* FESTIVAL EXPRESS 1970
* THE BOSS OF IT ALL
* THE DHARMA OF GUMBY
* QUIET CITY
* LOUDQUIETLOUD
* ASSAULT IN THE RING
* SWORD OF THE BEAST
* SLEEPING DOGS LIE
* HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY
* SAY ANYTHING?
* TRISTAM SHADY
* PRESSURE POINT
* THE HOME SONG STORIES
* 100 MILE RULE
* RADIOHEAD: MEETING PEOPLE IS EASY
* ALICE NEEL
* YOU AND ME AND EVERYONE WE KNOW
* EDGE OF THE CITY
* BROTHER JOHN
* SPRING FORWARD
* THE NOTORIOUS BETTY PAGE
* SANSHIRO SUGATA II
* CROSSING THE LINE
* IN A LONELY PLACE
* THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
* LOGAN MCQUEEN III: HARD TIME: HOSTAGE HOTEL
* UGETSU
* SOULS FOR SALE
* THE SET-UP
* THE LIMEY
* THE QUARE FELLOW
* LOLITA
* STAGECOACH
* DODGE CITY
* WILD MAN BLUES
* DECONSTRUCTING HARRY
* CURE
* THE SEA INSIDE
* TO CATCH A THIEF
* FATHER GOOSE
* THE SIEGE
* BROKEN NOSES
* GEMINI
* INTERMISSION
* LET'S GET LOST
* ZEBRAMAN
* A BIGGER SPLASH
* CONFESSIONS OF AN INNOCENT MAN
* BUCKAROO BANZAI
* EVERYTHING'S GONE GREEN
* THE CIVILIZATION OF MAXWELL BRIGHT
* DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH
* NOBODY KNOWS
* GILDA
* THE WIND AND THE LION
* TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN
* THE BIG HEAT
* LOVE & SEX
* VENGEANCE IS MINE
* RONIN GAI
* THE LOST PATROL
* THE BIG PARADE
* THE QUIET AMERICAN
* MISTRESS
* JESUS IS MAGIC
* HECKLER
* JOURNEY INTO FEAR
* THE TRIAL
* OUR DAILY BREAD
* THE CROWD
* THE SEVENTH SEAL
* PERSONA
* BUD GREENSPAN'S KINGS OF HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING
* SIN OF HAROLD DIDDLEBACK
* MIRACLE AT MORGAN'S CREEK
* THE HAUNTING
* SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME
* THE INCREDIBLE HULK
* MACBETH
* THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS
* JOANNA
* MAX
* THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
* CABIN IN THE SKY
* THE STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBURG
* THE MERRY WIDOW
* AFTER THE THIN MAN
* THE THIN MAN
* THREE BAD MEN
* SILVER STREAK
* SAMURAI III
* SAMURAI II
* SAMURAI I
* THE CHEAT
* SAMURAI SAGA
* ANNE OF THE INDIES
* BIRD OF PARADISE
* RODGER DODGER
* WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS
* THE BARON OF ARIZONA
* I SHOT JESSE JAMES
* THE BAXTER
* THE DEAD
* TOWELHEAD/NOTHING IS PRIVATE
* I'M THROUGH WITH WHITE GIRLS
* THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINKSKY'S
* THE VIRGIN SPRING
* UMBERTO D
* HELD UP
* THE BROTHERS
* STREAMERS
* THE FALL OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION II
* THE LIFE AQUATIC
* NAKED IN NEW YORK
* NORA PRENTISS
* THE STEEL HELMET
* SWORD OF DOOM
* SAMURAI SPY
* TOMB OF DRACULA: SOVEREIGN OF THE DAMNED
* JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN
* THE BREAK
* AT MIDNIGHT I SHALL POSSESS YOUR SOUL
* CRAZED FRUIT
* MOCKERY
* STAGECOACH [1939]
* GRASS [1921]
* THE ASPHALT JUNGLE
* BEYOND THE SEA
* FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL
* THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI
* KNOCKED UP
* AWAKENING OF THE BEAST
* MARGOT AT THE WEDDING
* TROPIC THUNDER

Friday Night Fights: On the FRONTLINE with Don King



Via the PBS warhorse FRONTLINE, here is Jack Newfield's 1991 "Unauthorized" profile of the boxing promoter. Less than an hour's worth of airtime can only thumbnail the greatest shits of Newfield's superb book THE LIFE & CRIMES OF DON KING, but sometimes seeing is disbelieving.

After the episode, I've queued the money shot from the HBO biopic DON KING: ONLY IN AMERICA. Motherfucker!

Science!

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch (HD) Camera E-8 from Mark Gray on Vimeo.



I trust I'm the last nerd to see this, but it's still astounding -- eight minutes and 42 seconds of the July 16, 1969 launch of Apollo 11, as recorded at 500 frames per second. To save you from doing the math: that's the first 30 seconds of liftoff in real time. I would like to buy the guy who provides the commentary to this video a beer. He sounds awesome.

[Again, to save anyone the trouble of looking it up: Apollo 11 was the mission to the moon; "One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."]

New Comics Wednesday: Seth Fisher



I remember thinking, when Seth Fisher died, that it was especially tragic because he left such a small body of comics and illustration work behind. Since his fatal accident, Fisher's mother Vicki has been curating and maintaining his Web site Flowering Nose, posting original art and some behind-the-scenes comments about it. The site's eponymous video game is still a lot of fun. More artists should buy dilapidated pinball machines and make playable art out of them.

Auditing a gym yesterday

Between the floor-to-ceiling windows and the floor-to-ceiling mirrors, I felt like an especially dim-witted cockatiel.

Mild Tom Kha and Pad Kra Pao takeout

From Mai Thai on Belmont. Quite good and it hit most of the spot, although I was specifically jonsing for fast grilled chicken on broken rice & drunken lettuce. Alas, Mai is too classy a restaurant for that sort of cheap & quick food. Yesterday.

Sallying Fourth

Repaired porch step, Friday's late-afternoon skies and commercial rice-crispie bricks at the Powell Safeway. Walking off the pinched-nerve numbness in my right leg was not entirely unsuccessful.

Fight night late prediction

I think, against a jab & holder who doesn't have much pop like Yuri Foreman, a brief glimpse of the old Miguel Cotto will be had tonight; the prime, methodical stalking machine-man that Cotto was against guys like Carlos Quintana and even Shane Mosley.

Will it be a rebirth for Cotto, now under the guidance of a real trainer in Emanuel Steward for the first time in too long? No, but I expect Cotto fans will have a great night in the new Yankee Stadium tonight, and the afterglow will last a bit longer than what Roy Jones Jr.'s fans got to enjoy after he looked like his old self against the seriously outgunned Jeff Lacy. Cotto's not as shot as Jones, but unless he was seriously damaging himself to make 147 pounds in his previous fights and his facial skin has done a miraculous job of healing after the bloodbaths he's endured in his fights with Margarito, Clottey and Pacquiao, his time at Super-Welterweight/Junior Middleweight may not be long. I hope for an entertaining fight that doesn't leave either man permanently damaged.

How-To Linkpark

The mother lode of How-Tos, LIFEHACKER.

Instructables.com, one of the craftiest How-To sites I've ever seen.

Too lazy and happy with the speed I have now, but in case I ever say to myself "You should Optimize Your Web Connection," here it is.

Also, How to see who's been using your wireless Internet.

I will eventually plug my trusty old scanner in, so this thread looks very helpful if I want the scanner to actually work with my new computer.

In case another brain bleed wipes this nugget of info away, here's how to keep your iTunes library on an external hard drive.

How to record an MP3 from a cassette tape.

Delete Your Facebook Account Forever.

I'm still unsure that I really want to buy a DTV converter [they all seem to work for about a year and then die] and hook this television up to receive local broadcast stations but if I ever do, here's an epic-length message board thread about how to tune in Portland TV stations and all that crap.

Business networking sites look like Bizarro World to me -- I got into ghostwriting precisely to avoid making the kind of protracted connections sites like LinkedIn showcase and encourage, but in I ever wanna know how to use LinkedIn with business savvy, I have the link.

Along similar lines: In boxer's years I'm already dead so it's unlikely I'll ever need to know how to Throw a Southpaw’s Jab, but it's comforting to have the link handy.

Not a how to, but showed up in a "how-to" filter of my bookmarks: HP Reveals Memristor, The Fourth Passive Circuit Element, an article from a few years ago that blew my mind. Then I bookmarked and forgot about it until 20 minutes. Whoa, the future sorta arrived two years ago but not really.

36 hours of audio: An Audiolink Mix

[Pointing to Chicago and/or South Africa, Babe Ruth style.]

OK, if I had an MP3 player and two 18-hour flights to kill, I would download and listen to:

Well, if it were me, I'd probably just put all of this awesome fansite's VIC AND SADE shows and the V&S audio interviews and discussions on my player and be done with it. [But this isn't really for my player, not until the repair shop mails it back to me.]

A baker's dozen of suggested introductory V&S shows, which can be listened to in any order:

40-12-23 - A Letter From Aunt Bess - 1937 (10:08) Sade discovers a three-year-old letter from her sister in one of Vic's rarely used suit pockets; she is not nearly as amused by this as Vic and Rush become. Paul Rhymer pulled a lot of gold from Sade's passionate-to-the-point-of-sometimes-irrational concern with the family staying in touch with her sister in a nearby town [who writes almost hypnotically banal letters about her life and family] without it being gimmicky.

41-01-21 - Death of Bernice (10:27) Rush and Sade talk about the sudden passing of Howard's sister in a surprisingly touching and funny way. It's an inspired way to tell a story about a young man's first exposure to death without being "A Very Special Episode Of ..."

41-03-31 - Rush Wants His Interest (9:37) Vic and Rush talk about Rush's various debts and desired purchases. There's something amazing in how Rhymer works an almost incantation-like rhythm in a lot of his scripts, most effectively when it's Rush repeating whatever wonderful fragment of a sentence is stuck in his craw -- in this case, it's "blinding flash of light." I haven't heard this show in weeks and probably seen or heard hundreds of dramatic works since then, but I'm pretty confident that I can still quote chunks of this one from memory.

41-05-02 - Vic's Picture on Quarterly Cover (10:10) A good example of how Vic's love of whimsy and Sade's inability to do math often makes Rush look like the most sensible member of the family without it being the usual sitcom bullshit of genius kid and idiot parents.

41-11 - Playing Hooky (11:08) Sade is talking with her best friend when all of her menfolk -- Rush, Vic and her Uncle Fletcher -- come in to get warmer clothes. They're playing hooky from school and work to go with Fletcher to go watch the facade of a building downtown get cleaned. In November. I can't imagine that this wasn't just as much of a surreal/mundane/sublime story hook in 1941 as it is now.

41-12-25 - North Dakota River Bottom Revel (14:44) This one was probably The One that sold me on Paul Rhymer's genius. Eight of Vic's friends over at the Bright Kentucky Hotel are fixing to stop by his house on their Revel just before midnight, tumbling out of their cars and swooping in the Gook's house amid a swirl of snow and toss 116 pounds of Rush in the air. Yes, I wrote this from memory. I love how Rush and Sade gently make fun of/recount the concept, but only after Vic leaves so they don't hurt his feelings more than they've been bruised. "Y.I.I.Y. .... Y.I.I.Y. ..... Y.I.I.Y."

42 - Lodge Speech Rehearsal (9:48) Vic is hilarious when he gets his dander up. Hank Gutstop got ejected from their lodge more than Billy Martin got fired from the Yankees.

42 - The Thunder Storm (9:45) Vic and Sade sit on the porch and wait for the rain to start. Rhymer could write a great script about anything. Or nothing, depending on your view.

42-07-16 - A Gross Of Gravels (10:42) Sade's best friend Ruthie Stembottom can't stop her husband from whittling Sade a gross [144] of gavels for Christmas, to conduct her Thimble Club meetings. Sade calls them "gravels," despite Vic correcting her for years; Rush struggles to set her straight. Vic's wheezy resignation and how he says "gravels" to make it clear that he's parroting how she says it always make me laugh.

42-03 - Mis' Appelrot's Petition (11:02) The Thimble Club ladies put Sade on circulating a petition to finally tear down the Bright Kentucky, even though she could care less and Vic agrees it's a terrible idea. Rush will not sign. Never.

41-04 - Fourteen Days in Grovelman (9:29) One of Vic's lodge brothers, who lives in South Carolina, ["the geographical center of the United States"] invites the Gooks to come stay with them for a 14-day vacation. Only it's not 14 consecutive days.

41-06-30 - Who's Who In Kitchenware (10:36)
Vic's writing an autobiographical sketch for a WHO'S WHO trade book. Sade and Rush "help." Victor R. Gook: Ah, the name itself is music -- too beautiful, too beautiful, too beautiful!

41-02-24 - Uncle Fletcher To Meet One O'Clock Train (10:02) I wanted to include a Fletcher & Sade episode that's just him struggling to remember something about a fella he knew who went into some half-wit business or the other, married a woman 23 years old and later died, but I don't remember it either. What struck me about that show is displayed almost as beautifully here: As nutty as Uncle Fletcher is, he's a human being and Vic, Sade and Rush almost never fail to treat him as such.

We'll call this two hours of audio.

*******

Even if I wasn't me, if I had 330-odd megs of free space on my drive I would fill it with all 52 episodes of THE LIVES OF HARRY LIME, an Orson Welles-driven radio prequel to the Graham Greene and Carol Reed classic film THE THIRD MAN. Some of the recordings are downright unlistenable, but when Welles [who wrote several episodes] is cooking as Lime, it's genuinely exciting, showing how seductive his voice could be -- one of the rare instances where the show creator/producer/lead actor could get the girl and you buy it without hesitancy -- as well as what a giddy barnstormer he was at heart. The one drawback is that, with a half-hour runtime, the plots don't much of a chance to twist and turn like they should.

This one comes in at around 25 hours, but nobody wants to listen to just Vic & Sade & Harry, so let's call it four hours. Six total.

*******

INFORMATION PLEASE is the best quiz show, ever -- instead of answering the questions, contestants mailed their own questions in to stump a panel of experts and a guest, usually a celebrity who was able to think as well as speak. From this page, I would cherry pick the episodes with Fred Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Groucho Marx Alexander Wolcott and Mayor Fiorellio Laguardia.

There's three more hours, taking us to nine total.

*******

Again, I would just download all of the MERCURY THEATRE ON THE AIR episodes from this marvelous page and be done with it, but cherrypicking:

Dracula
Three Short Stories: I’m a Fool, The Open Window, and My Little Boy
The Man Who Was Thursday [My favorite of the season]
Hell On Ice
War Of The Worlds

That's five hours: 14 hours total.

*******

Sticking with Welles, there's also THE MERCURY SUMMER THEATER he did with Fletcher Markle. If only loading a few onto the player, I'd definitely pick:

"The Hitchhiker"
"Life With Adam" [favorite]
"The Moat Farm Murder"
And maybe take a shot on "Moby Dick," "The Apple Tree" [possibly the same file as the LADY ESTHER version below] and "King Lear." How/why they tried to do DICK and LEAR in a half-hour is beyond me.

Let's call that two hours. 16 hours total.

*******

The LADY ESTHER program had a some great ones: The APPLE TREE file is a definite keeper, I would give "Shredni Vashtar - Irishman & a Jew" and "St Lukes,Chesterton, Happy Prince" a shot. Even though I'm pretty sure it's from Welles' earlier ALAMAC show, "The Interlopers-The Song of Solomon-I'm a fool" is good listening. It's a shame Welles was such a prude; he had a powerfully seductive voice when he was willing to use it that way.

I assume that these are 30min files. Two hours, 18 total.

*******

Enough Welles -- let's add some more comedy. Bob & Ray are reasonably awesome, more or less. You really could just pick a dozen of the files here at random and be happy. So, let's just say that's what we did.

Two more hours, 20 total.

*******

Let's see, more comedy -- hey, Jack Benny! My favorite Benny sequence is the month of March ... 1943 ... when Jack was very ill .... and didn't actually appear on the show ..... and was "replaced" with .... Orson Welles. Yeah. More Welles. Chinga tu madres.

The Welles shows + his Fred Allen & INFORMATION PLEASE appearances + any random month of Jack Benny from 1943 = four hours. 24 Hours.

*******

One last Welles file, honest: If you're going to download just one, it should be "Between Americans," Norman Corwin's play written for the December 7, 1941 episode of THE GULF SCREEN GUILD THEATER. Talk about timing! But there's something about Corwin's poetic iconography and Welles' mixing his Important radio voice with just a little Midwestern twang that makes the play a permanent resident on my MP3 file, despite me never listening to it except on trips.

Speaking of Corwin, his play THE PLOT TO OVERTHROW CHRISTMAS is a lot of fun, even though it ends a bit abruptly. Download that too.

25 hours.

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If, for some deranged reason, a person wants something with now-obsolete ethnic humor, done in broad dialect, may we suggest downloading some LIFE WITH LUIGI [eye-talians] and THE GOLDBERGS [teh jews]. The choice of what episodes get downloaded and listened to is entirely on someone else's conscience, not mine. [Actually, I just don't remember either show well enough to recognize titles of good eps.]

Two hours of each takes us to 29 hours.

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A little something for bedtime: LIGHTS OUT!
Just about anything from 1938, especially "Chicken Heart" "The Dream" and "Valse Trieste" [the latter two featuring Boris Karloff, who traveled East from Hollywood just to work with LIGHTS auteur Arch Oboler. Also great: "Visitor From Hades," "Meteor Man," "Profits Unlimited" and "Ghost On The Newsreel Negative. Also, that DROP DEAD LP I may or may not have reposted a while ago.

Four-ish hours takes us to 33 hours.

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Finally, everyone loves a good blooper, even if a number of them are recreated/faked for Kermit Schaefer's pioneering work in collecting gaffes and flubs made before live microphones. Here are a few of his PARDON MY BLOOPER LPs, via the wonders of Adam Gott's ThriftShopAudio: Volumes One, Two and Three [warning: Rapidshare downloads].

OK, there are enough flextime options in the above that we've passed 36 hours for sure. HURRAY! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I'M CHARLES FOSTER KANE!!!1!!!! BAD-LANDS!!!



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In case there is any time left or we need a few less old-timey radio alternates:

DOWNSTAGE CENTER

WIRED FOR BOOKS

THE SOUND OF YOUNG AMERICA, the podcast that interviews people who make things, which I will eventually dig through and point out specific episodes that I thought were particularly good.

It's been an unfortunate month for THE ADAM CAROLLA PODCAST, and his site doesn't host episodes older than that, but it's worth monitoring for a good guest. I keep hearing that Adam has a weekly car-centric podcast but something about that site makes my eyes cross and my IQ drop another 40 points, so I haven't found it yet.