Thursday, December 29, 2005

Pastimes That Make Mortality Worthwhile

You can't rightfully carry a "Bloggy-Blog Golden Pass Membership" until you have watched the following movies:

The Big Sleep (1946) Howard Hawks. I've watched this film more times than I can count. My favorite of the Film Noir genre. Only thing missing is Peter Lorre.

Sherman's March (1986) Ross McElwee. If you don't like this film, you cannot be my friend.

The President's Analyst (1967) Theodore J. Flicker. Uneven movie but the good bits are VERY good. Classic 60s rolly-polly nut house kinda' flick. Can't beat James Coburn's cheshire cat grin.

Lord Love a Duck [see photo] (1966) George Axelrod. Essential gray comedic tome of American culture. A film that's still ahead of its time in many respects.

Virile Games (1988) Jan Svankmajer. Cats frolic during half-time in a stop-motion short honoring the clockwork brutality of a soccer match.

Min and Bill (1930) George Hill. Dock-side floozies and tempestuous broads predating The Best of Jerry Springer. Gritty and funny with that grainy early sound technology that always puts me in an alpha state.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I'm Having a PBS Moment

Last night I was flipping the TV dial, in my customary drooling semi-conscious haze, when I landed on a PBS series hosted by spiritual guy Dr. Wayne Dyer. Dr. Dyer appears to be the house guru on Public TV for the time being.

There have been others. About decade ago, John Bradshaw was the wise potentate on BPS during the 12-step-derived toxic whatever & recovery craze. That's a wide net, man. I mean, who isn't a hopeless addict of some sort?

Bradshaw would stand next to a giant mobile sculpture which carried labels of constituent family roles on its drifting panels: "daddy", "mommy", "sister", "brother", etc. The mobile was there to symbolize the mechanics of the dysfunctional family. "When daddy starts drinking"... Bradshaw would say, nudging the 'daddy' piece of the mobile, "daughter fills the void and compensates in an unhealthy way". Bradshaw would then draw attention to the 'sister' piece suddenly clanging about on the other side. I kinda' miss that John Bradshaw.

Fashion has always been a part of spirituality and religion. Impassioned movements led by charismatic figures would sweep through the land, followed by quiet years where the flock finally tiptoes away and re-assimilates back into faceless tract-house vistas (or they go completely berserk and drink the kool-aid) , which creates a vacuum for the next movement. --Not that there's anything wrong with that. Hey, I'm not here to judge.

Listening to Dr. Dyer, it became clear that he was pitching one simple idea. Doing this took about an hour of gesticulation, as well as both hands frequently coming together in holy symmetry. "Don't expect to find happiness, you must make happiness." The rest of the presentation was filler... LOTS of filler. After all, you can't just expect to shoot a whole show around a single sentence. Not without dancing girls! You must mold it, shape it and drive it home. You need to accessorize with spiritual lingo, which tends heavily toward: "energy", "universe", "channel", & "vibration". You are always safe when using these words.

I guess people like the nurturing approach (damn bunch of soft pansies!!! They need a swift kick from Dr. Phil!). It obviously presents an alternative to the paternalistic, angry God stuff that was plowed into people's heads from childhood. I understand that to a point, but too much affirmational navel-gazing turns ghastly saccharine and gives rise to accompanying imagery of unicorns flying over vast cosmic seas of amorphous purple plasma. You'd think you'd been held prisoner in Doug Henning's underwear drawer. Aesthetically something needs to be reconsidered, and quick!

Call it his gift, Dr. Dyer does have a focused and nurturing demeanor. His voice is even-tempered. His gaze, thoughtful. His cranium is pleasantly smooth, almost erotic; very soothing to gaze upon. Very much like his own vibrating universe channeling energy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Can't say what's really on my mind because certain key people know that this is my blog

Yesterday I stumbled out of my house and fell into my car. The car accidentally rolled forward and, in a haphazard series of twists and turns, I was deposited arms and legs splayed out on the streets of downtown LA. My digital camera was also thrown from the car and, catching it mid-flight, I just happened to snap this photo. A good time was had by all.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Last Scary Pictures of 2005 ?

I never had any fixed notions regarding how to present this blog. However, left to my vast audience, it appears that my "creepy" photos are the most in demand. In the TV biz, you give the kids what they want. Here's it's no different. I'll give you kids your creepy stuff, only I secretly lace it with vitamins and character-building stories to keep you growing strong.

Not scary. It's Leo Carrillo Beach taken last Friday, proving that I am capable of producing aesthetically-pleasing and traditional material.

Scary photoshop treatment of my nieces' dog "Nick", shot yesterday at a family feast. The dog was delicious.

Semi-scary shot of me with a filthy traffic cone on my head, also at Leo Carrillo. The "closed" sign is SO symbolic, eh?

Is this creepy enough? Here's hoping it's less scary than 2005.

Friday, December 23, 2005

People Get On Board The Rambling Free-Association Train

It's before the 8 am 'courtesy hour'. There's already some giant butthole outside my window with a gasoline-powered tree branch cutter, ushering in a new day in noise-pollution hell: 'gurrrr-eeeEEE!!! gurrrrr-eeeeeeeeeEEEEEEE gurrrr-EEEEE putt-putt-putt -eeeEEEE!!!!!' over and over until finally riding roughshod over my tender teddy-bear's-picnic dream. So now I'm relegated to propping myself up, with billows of steam coming out of my ears and a mussed-up blue velvet suit, doing this "blog". FOR WHAT???

You still here?

So, 2 days ago The Gold State sent in the following commentary: "Sometimes, I swear, some people get murdered on purpose, just so they can have a big, slow funeral procession through town, making everybody wait for them, while they wallow in self-pity."

I want to tie Gold State's analysis in with another quote I found regarding the history of the New Orleans "Jazz funeral": As the Brass Band became increasingly popular during the early 18th Century, they were frequently called on to play processional music. Eileen Southern in The Music of Black American wrote, "On the way to the cemetery it was customary to play very slowly and mournfully a dirge, or an 'old Negro spiritual' such as "Nearer My God to Thee," but on the return from the cemetery, the band would strike up a rousing, "When the Saints Go Marching In', or a ragtime song such as "Didn't He Ramble."

Now I wonder, what other complementary pairing of songs might there be for such an occasion? First the dirge, followed by the "celebrate-a-life" tune, rendered in the Jazz idiom...

How 'bout:

Instant Karma - Autobahn

It's Too Late Baby - We Are Family

Ball of Confusion (or Ball of Confucianism) - Sugar Pie Honey Bunch

Miss You - Theme From Shaft

Ain't No Sunshine - Having My Baby

Smoke on the Water - Cocain

Morning has Broken - Afternoon Delight

Highway to Hell - Benny and the Jets

Butthole with a Gas-Powered Branch Cutter - Blog for Your Bloodshot Eyes Only

Without You - My Sherona

[Frankly, what does it matter, as long as it's a song from the 70s? You simply pull any 70s title out of a hat and people are likely to laugh. All those memories are yours on this stellar collection, for only $19.95 ! Operators standing by.]

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bloggy-Blog Inversions

T'is the season of giving, so I thought I'd share a few mathematical equations that I've loved throughout the years.


x 893306
= 10929617848.087

+ 86
= 560.0009

oh m'god and get a load of this one:

560.0009 .10201
= 5489.6666993432 !!!

can you believe it? that one gets me every time! you have my permission to use it to shake up a slow party.

and lastly, the next equation is for adult eyes only --wooo-hoooo! don't let the kiddies see this, ok? --you've been warned!...

+ 1
= 3

get it? it's a multi-planar divergent cosmology! --HOT!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Babies as Tools of Corruption

It's one thing to yield to folks pushing a baby stroller, that's fine. However, it's another thing when someone's barreling through a crowd and aggressively using a baby carriage like a cow catcher. I see this happening more all the time. It's my contention that people are having babies just so they can cut a swathe and enjoy quicker access to things in the hustle of an urban environment. You wouldn't dare stand in the way of an oncoming perambulator. No, that would make you a roguish cad. And that's where the limitless sense of entitlement while strolling babies gets its nefarious start. It begins quite innocently, but the baby "pusher" soon learns of his/her power --how to make people melt, as the toddler fleeces purses and wallets; how to get to the front of any line just by blindly cutting ahead at 80 mph, etc.

When will the madness ever end?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Photo Journal

Here's the latest lot of images documenting how I spent my weekend. For you shutterbugs out there, these were shot with my large-format Hasselblad at f.5, with assistance from my neighbor's cat.

I have limitless editions for $600,000.00 ea. For those of you interested in prints, just let me know.
click for larger

Friday, December 16, 2005

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

My favorite Monkee is Mickey Dolenz. He's dreamy. Mickey could actually sing and do a mean Jimmy Cagney. Those two things are all you have to do and I'm instantly emptying my wallet.

Yes, I am telegraphing encrypted messages on my blog to signal UFOs as to where to land. [Like, isn't it obvious?]

I do not have too much time on my hands. This is my job!

Although I do have abundant love in my heart, certain people may evoke a visceral aversion. Tom Cruise is one of those people. I do wish him well, however, and hope that one day he becomes Brad Pitt --Brad Pitt's best trait being that he's not Tom Cruise.

I do not sleep with a ventriloquist dummy. I don't know how that sick rumor got started but let's put it to rest right now. G'nite li'l rumor ! Wait, who's typing this?

To this day, my greatest fantasy is to slide down a freshly-waxed bowling alley wearing flannel pajamas and collide with the pins, as they shriek in ecstasy. I'm not so certain about how I'd anticipate the ball-return machine. Everything has its price.

Yes, one day my brother saw me in the back yard tying to steer the clouds when I was a kid. So what's the big deal? It rained.

It's true, I do have a pair of Japanese fighting fish; a nuclear missile ready to launch under the driveway; and scores of henchmen wearing "geritopia" black turtlenecks doing my bidding. It's amazing how much you can get done through the local Penny-saver.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

All My Needs Are Being Met & There Is Nothing Left To Say

Today I have unexpectedly self-actualized. I'm not sure who to thank exactly. Was it that whole delectable pound cake I ate last night or Dr. Phil's "tough love" TV therapy? So you see friends, without friction, disappointment or regular crushing blows to the ego, one's being would be suspended in a veritable soft jello cosmos. Nothing left to struggle against to define the illusional "self". That's were I find myself right now --in a jello dessert tray at a banquet for the President ...which leads me to one horrifying conclusion.

I miss a root canal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

As Pabst Blue Ribbon Coursed Through His Veins

Last I heard, the kitchy Derby Dolls couldn't find a place for their venue and had to discontinue their events. I was fortunate enough to attend a couple of times this last year and take a mess of photos before my stinkin' camera blew a gasket.

Just how marauding teams of girls on rollerskates could fail as an enterprise, especially after successive sell-out shows, is beyond me. Maybe there truly is no hope for the human race.

For more info about all this, go HERE or HERE. They explain everything. I've just got these few photos. Plus, I'm all out of things to write about at the moment, so here's some raw meat instead.

the folly of the diamond lane

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More Consistent than Taxes, Death...

I swear by gum, if you're ever sitting across from a friend and you need to inform him/her of a foreign object on their face or something stuck in their teeth, they will always search the wrong side first. Even if you attempt a preemptive give-'em-the-wrong-side-first maneuver, you will lose. Further, the whole affair will always take longer than it should and it will will be followed by an awkward mix of embarrassment and relief.

The solution is to intentionally leave stray particles in your teeth. And yes, go ahead, celebrate things hanging out of your nose as a liberating fashion statement. Don't cave to normative social standards! Only then can we begin to eliminate these Victorian hang-ups of ours. This will be the campaign cornerstone for my Presidential run in '08.

Next installment: we explore how flash cameras will always fail in the hands of a well-meaning bystander, even when they are pressing the correct button.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Other Folk's Christmas Photos

More stuff from the found photo vaults.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Cliff Notes for Last Post

I was attacked in my sleep by the Hamburger Helper mascot. The so-called "Helping Hand" will no longer be my roommate. When you meet a product mascot in person, it is very scary.

OK, Skim Through It If You Must

Last night I awoke to find myself in the clutch of the Hamburger-Helper "Helping Hand" as it attempted to choke me to death. Luckily I subdued it with a ball peen hammer, which I keep under my pillow, and threw it out the window before it got the upper hand. This was actually the second time in a week I'd been through this routine! I should never have given the Hand a copy of my house key. The lock will be getting changed first thing tomorrow, believe me. I've had roommates from different walks of life before, but this guy is a total psycho.

It was a curious convergence of circumstances that got me here. I had been looking for a roommate, ever since the Special K rooster gave me notice that he was leaving for Rutgers last Fall. So one day, I'm sitting here minding my own business... stuffing tuna sandwiches into gym socks, when I hear a knock on the door. I open it, look down and see this smiling severed Hand! I ask you, what other human reflex could one have, other than crapping in your pants? So, when in Rome...

Like most people, I was familiar with the Hamburger Helping Hand from seeing the TV commercials. It would routinely jump onto the dinner table and endear itself to the entire family. It had a big red nose and a wiley personality that'd worm its way right into your heart. But I can absolutley say that, when it's there in front of you, it's not like that happy animated hand on TV at all. It's simply the most traumatic sight to the unsuspecting person.

And just how do you greet this mascot feller? Do you shake its finger, pull its thumb?

So anyway, after about 2 hours of hyperventilating, I finally calmed down. I showed the Helping Hand the vacated room for rent and it responded with a deposit, plus first and last'. Experience had already shown me that a product mascot could pay rent consistently and on time, given the sweet corporate contracts that they get. But sweet deals don't always stay so sweet. Soon after the Hamburger Helper "Spokeshand" moved in, domestic tensions began to mount. I casually told the Hand that, although I enjoyed an occasional Sloppy Joe, I was really an Uncle Ben's Minute Rice man at heart. That's when I first witnessed the Hand's ugly streak. It threatened that if I ever mentioned Uncle Ben again that I'd find myself anchored to the bottom of the Potomac by a 50-ton bag of rice.

OK, so the preceding story was pretty stupid. So what'ya expect from me anyway? And while I'm at it, I don't want any more excessively sincere comments sent in. I only want replies from longshoremen from now on... people who know how to drink, and cuss, and fight, and piss like real men!!!... people who aren't afraid of living with gusto and burning rubber in the streets at midnight! Blokes with massively hairy backs who wear suspenders... yeah that's it... Those are the new rules.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Da' Company Potty

Greetings fellow loyalists and Urbanites for the Struggle for Struggle's Sake (who know not the reason but sport Che Guevara T-shirts in shopping malls),

Last night I attended the annual pagan winter solstice party put on by the joint where I work, see? It was a swanky Hollywood affair; pre-packaged but on a scale to impress. You had to walk down a side ally to get in, lending a nostalgic wisp of the speakeasies of my charmed youth. Inside, they had the girlies in swings above the crowd. I think their movements were geared to power the electricity, which made all the lights go on and off. Meanwhile, kids danced orgiastically to the wanton rhythms of Xaviar Cugat and his orchestra --all in solemn observance of local custom.

There were endless rows of food trays under heat lamps. I piled my plate high with escargot, fried ants, sauteed centipede, and yogurt queen bee pupae. With trails of chewed bugs dribbling down my chin and ant legs filling in the gaps between my teeth, I proceeded to mingle.

It's a real study of the human animal to watch colleagues getting snockered. The same elites who wouldn't lend you a plug nickel are suddenly all loosey-goosey. They walk up and hand you their gold Rolex and lubriciously massage your calves. Dames leap out of the crowd trying to get an article of yer clothing like crazed groupies. And yet, I remain constant to my values and stay drunk all the time.

All in all, it was a good scene. I actually spent most of the evening smoking cigars and hangin' with the coat-check girl, as I wanted to spend some quality time with my jacket. We blew smoke rings at intimate areas of each other's body as I dangled upsidown from the rack.

Walking back to my car, I came across Bob Hope's star on the Blvd. I paused, got down on my hands and knees and kissed it in a moment of great pathos, contrasting to the frivolity I'd indulged. Finding it difficult to get back up, I spent the night sleeping there on the sidewalk where I dreamed a dreamy dream of being the next Isabel Sanford.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Geritopia Soap Opera: "Carousel of Our Days"

Janice Commode hastily packed her essentials into a lunch bag and reached for the door. A frozen moment like a one-way bridge to oblivion. Her trembling hand extended, ready to touch the one last thing that had been solid and reliable in life: the heirloom doorknob, handed-down from her mother and her mother's mother, and through the ages. It was said to have been the doorknob of Bathsheba, Queen Nefertiti and Mrs. Santa Claus herself. In the 1800s, the brass knob was monogramed with the family crest "BC" --the initials of dynasty patriarch Bob Commode, the man who had made millions by selling trillions of penny whistles. The brilliant spherical handle mirrored Janice's bitter, tearful countenance with a merciless fisheye distortion. Yet, it was true to the grotesque distortion of her final days here, by Kenneth's side as he lay suffocating under a pile of leather footwear. Her only brother dead from an all-consuming shoe fetish, like the rest of the men in the family.

Edging ever closer, hand and doorknob squared off, as in a game of chicken. Hairline scratches now superimposed upon a woman's faded complexion. Fetches of stark reality testing tattered nerves. Now Janice wanted to savage the doorknob off its mountings like a Judo master gone ape-shit. So much lust for revenge wrapped up in one little pinky, in fact, that nothing was safe in her path. Not even a mouse.

to be continued....

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ventriloquism for the Living

Many readers have emailed me with the following concern: "How can I start my own collection of creepy anonymous photos like those featured on Geritopia? The task seems so monumental. It'd take me years to build up a collection like that, and yet the desire is like an unrelenting burning in my bosom!" Yes dear friends, amassing odd photos from estate sales and thrift stores is the kind of activity best left to trained professionals like me. Time spent sifting through piles of decaying photographs must be followed by thorough delousing, as well as checking for tics and silverfish on my person. Beyond this, the hazards are too many to list.

Here's good news and a handy tip for you beginners... Many candid photos can be collected digitally right here on the internet by simply word-searching "ventriloquist" on a certain popular auction site (hint --"BayE-ay" in pig latin). Yes, that's right. I guarantee that you will find loads of images to satisfy your voyeuristic cravings for ventriloquist dummy shots! ...And I think you know what I mean!

sexy captain stubing love doll

For example, this lot was grabbed this evening in less time than it takes to shake the tail of a common lamb two times in succession. Inspirational? You bet!

front-runner candidate for the maybelline party

i lost 3 lbs... ask me how

views do not reflect those of geritopia

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I was a Teenage Gremmie

Many moons ago, there was an option in my high school English class for the kids to make a Super8 movie, in leu of writing a book report. I'm not sure how this assignment translated into learning about literature, but I'd say that at least half the class came back with something loosely resembling a "film". A popular genre to be trotted out then was the surfing flick. Likewise, the first film I made during this creative boom was a beach extravaganza called "Kook's Inner Moods". My chums and I knew that this was a supremely easy/lame excuse to pass our class so we grabbed it by both horns.

which way pacific ocean?

The plot went like this: Surfers surfing in the surf. Surfers encounter styrofoam shark fin circling menacingly nearby. Frightened, they paddle away in hyper-kinetic 'Keystone Cops' motion. More surfing follows. The End. It was all very succinct and ethereal. You couldn't stop falling asleep.

rare pic of a kook at the legendary Palos Verdes Cove

riding the wild boat wake

Sadly "Kook's Inner Moods" the motion picture was somehow lost in the chaos of those drugged-out, dancing the Charleston till 11:30 pm years. One day it was just missing, nowhere to be found. As it happened, "Kook's" tragic loss only magnified the growing word-of-mouth surrounding its innovative use of banality in cinema history (which has been rigorously copied ever since). Centuries later, I found some publicity stills of the movie in a box... and so here ya' have 'em.

still life study:
surfboard, potted plant & severed head. a time-honored composition.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I Walk the Plank

Just got home from seeing the new music biopic "Walk the Line". Before I begin whining, I will say that I love my original Sun Records pressing of "Johnny Cash with his Hot and Blue Guitar!". The slightly dorky country "boomp-ditty-boomp-ditty-boomp" rhythm was way, way ahead of it's time when you consider how effectively it can induce a trance effect. Johnny Cash and Ecstasy are an underrated, yet mind-blowing combination for the whole family.
"Walk the Line", however, was just too much of a maudlin-overdose assault on my patience. A lot of people from various stripes told me that this was a decent movie, so I went. Now I blame them. It's clearly their fault that I didn't enjoy the film. Yes, the acting was good and the singing was quite respectable also. Still the overarching and tired "Behind the Music" star-hits-bottom-with-drugs-and-booze template suffocates whatever is worthwhile from start to finish. Without that template, I suppose one could argue that there wouldn't have been a story. I just can't believe that Cash's life was so dull that you'd have to pump up the dramatic cliches so exhaustively to make it interesting. Or perhaps his real story wasn't jagged enough for the romanticized musical-hero version that we demand.

Why must I go on explaining? It wasn't very good. Don't see it.


Instant relief from that "Ring of Fire" (We've got to pay our bills, folks -all this doesn't just happen by accident)!

I did catch a great movie on Turner Classics earlier today. It was a film made in 1930 called "Min and Bill" with Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery. The women in it were very scrappy and they spoke like gangsters. It's a funny and gritty movie with honest emotions. I was really quite mesmerized by it. I'm sure it's impossible to get on DVD because it's too good. ...wait, it's on VHS at Amazon.

Post a Conspiracy Link Day

Go for it. Put an anonymous link in the comments section which reflects your favorite conspiracy. We want to know who's pulling the levers behind your and the worlds' misery. Trilateralists are small change these days. We want the good stuff. And remember, (read in a sing-songy voice) "the devil's favorite trick is to convince people that there are no conspiracies". Offer expires tonight at midnight. Sweet!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Results of the Best Tasting Shampoo Contest

Pics taken today and delivered just in time for publication deadline. Subject at hand: Santa Monica Pier, featuring "Arlington West" in the shadow of a rollercoaster; stacks of shipping containers; twisty trees, etc.
So, like, is this some kinda' Christo Javacheff thing? ... no, but that's a good guess. Actually IT'S THIS and someone's got some dough to play with too.

"in camera" effects