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

Saturday, November 26, 2005

And Speaking of Wieners

I can't imagine a more magnificent example of form-meets-function than the famous Wienermobile. These photos represent two different generations and they are both stunning. Why can't Detroit take a clue from these designs?

I've always wanted one of these babies. It's the perfect date car.

Friday, November 25, 2005

How to Report Your Parents to the Government

What we have here is an image of the intercom from the house I grew up in, albeit somewhat abstracted in presentation. The house itself was a modest two-bedroom place (in a nice area), part of an overall tract with clone homes all over the block. The interiors had minimal frills or fixtures, but all drabness was compensated for by the inclusion of the intercom/radio. This was a state-of-the-art communication command post, centrally fixed on the kitchen wall. Purely Atomic Age in its conception.

The idea was that you could be in the kitchen making your deviled eggs, while monitoring the house for various reasons, including: the tell-tale intrusion of communists; magazine page-turning and heavy breathing; listening to termites, etc. This gizmo had great utility. You could patch radio broadcasts through to anywhere in the house, as there were individual speakers in every room, including the outside patio. Great for block parties and summer Luaus.

Having multiple speakers throughout the house also meant that one could be instantly informed of news regarding inbound nuclear warheads should they occur, which lent to an atmosphere of domestic tranquility. But the intercom option was the best feature. No longer would you have to yell 10 feet down the hall, when you could yell directly into the intercom. "Attention kids, come get your ambrosia salad! -over!"

The tube technology in the radio eventually faded; wires shorted or decomposed. Meanwhile, our astronauts went to the moon and then the future somehow lost its luster after Nixon played the piano in public for the first time. But I'll always remember that gosh-darn intercom, which I affectionately called "Ol' Yeller-adio". We had to put it down with a shotgun blast when, on its last legs, it began rabidly foaming at the speaker. It was a traumatic day but I learned a lot about life then too.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Chorus Line of Humanity

Today we can be sure that plenty of folks are fighting over who gets to eat the grizzled but flavorful turkey neck. In one way, it's a time-honored tradition... in a more topical context, it's a means to sublimate opposing political views which would otherwise lead to unpleasant homicides in front of Grandma.

Millions of people in America are traveling in record numbers. Millions of people are eating birds. All this lockstep behavior makes me wonder about statistics and the power of "now".

Like, for instance, I wonder how many people are watching the movie "Planet of the Apes" at this very moment. In particular, the part where Dr. Zaius must admit, finally, that human civilization preceded the ape civilization. I have no way of proving this, but I'd venture to guess that at least 589.05 people (and a handful of apes) are experiencing this pivotal scene at any given moment.

Let us not waver in recognizing the potential that we have here. If America could somehow harness the collective thrust power of, say, every person blowing their nose in this singular moment, we'd say goodbye to foreign oil dependency for good! Furthermore, we could -nay, we MUST mobilize a modern Manhattan Project by which we collect all the toenail clippings being needlessly shed RIGHT NOW. We could build shiny pearlescent bridges, planes, buildings, and monuments to American ingenuity like the world has never seen. That shining city on the top of the hill made completely out of toenail clippings!

Why can't we see? Children are our future.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lousy, Horrible...

Yet more multimedia offerings from the grab bag o' fun. It's an old cartoon (but new around here). You need Realplayer to make it run. Try it. What else do you have going on today anyway? --Nothing! Just as I thought. Click HERE.

Used to play Othello

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hasty Review of "Jesus is Magic" Film

Sarah Silverman blah-blah-blah-blah Jewish comedienne blah-blah men fantasize over blah-blah-blah-blah was on HBO's "Mr. Show" --only too scarcely blah-blah Silverman possesses a high likability quotient blah-blah-blah-blah but sort of stilted; audience stirred waiting for swifter punchlines blah-blah-blah not the same atmosphere as a club blah-blah-blah not funny without being plied with 2-drink minimum blah-blah director Liam Lynch points and shoots, rambling tempo that goes, "blah-blah-blah" blah-blah-blah racial jokes blah-blah "edgy" ...might work better on cable blah-blah BLAH, etc.

Afterthought: also the bit with Sarah singing to the nursing home folks about how they're all going to die soon was just wrong. Nothing redeeming, funny or groundbreaking there. Sorry hipsters, she may be cute but she's no Henny Youngman.

-Margaret Cho

Privileged Pass to my Odorous Junk Drawer Pt.1

Discreet, scantily-clad doodles for your eyes only. *click for big*

Monday, November 21, 2005

Slow Daze and Hop Toads

Latest Geritopia DVD reviews:

"Margaret Cho Assassin" " Gee, how could she be sayin' that on da' TV?" I kept askin' myself as I guzzled beer and scratched my hairy ass. And all her opponents are Bible-thumping trailer trash who send her racist hate mail with the salutation "Jesus Saves", uh-huh. And it's political humor with a message, and she's the underdog, see? OK, I think I get it. It's interesting to watch Cho's performance with her death-grip vitriolic humor and then see the balance of DVD extras -- interviews which are swathed in self-serious piety about her "art". She proclaims that being a woman and a minority gives her "charte blanche to say anything" . . . which is a nice thing when it works. However, what's implied on the whole is that if you don't like her style of humor then you are a racist, persecuting, ignorant stooge of the GOP. -A sort of fail-safe mechanism to secure her hipness, which to me has less to do with creative integrity and more to do with insurance of future bookings, as controversy sells.

So I can't say that I didn't like this DVD, 'cause then I'll be adding to the perceived group of Cho detractors that she uses as fodder for her howling fans. No, this is great stuff. I am not agitated by her "prop". I am not! Cho is golden.

"Concert for Bangladesh" I watched this twice, the second time with headphones. I only wish Margaret Cho had been on stage with Ravi Shankar singing about Barbara Bush's "down there" "mothball" taste. I just can't get MC out of my mind, she's such an edgy assassin. Kid's dig that edgy stuff. Anyway, it wasn't a bad scene there with George Harrison, Ringo, Billy Preston, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Klaus, Mr. Clapton, Heddy LaMar and Evel Knevil who jumps over the audience on his rocket-propelled unicycle. You have to be sickly into the Beatles like me to enjoy this DVD, perhaps. It's hard to be objective. Harrison's voice seems to be operating better than any Beatle-era stuff. Mr. Dylan is very, very good here too. There were many times when I thought Bob's shoulder harness harmonica gizmo was going to crash into the microphone but it did NOT even once! So it's worth watching just to see how adroit he is at avoiding that near-catastrophe. The Concert for Bangladesh took place at the top of the Seventies before the big slide into the cultural abyss. So it's a good snapshot of the collective last gasp of these 60s mavericks. Also, for a 16mm print transfer, it looks amazingly good.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wizard of Oz Vs. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Wizard of Oz vs. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: compare and contrast. Sixty words or less. You have exactly 10 seconds.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Bloggy Stigmata

I was a too overwhelmed to mention this earlier, but if you refer back to the overall pattern created by the text on last Tuesday's medley lyrics, you will clearly see a supernatural phenomenon. It looks just like the face on the Shroud of Turin!

Check it out:

I suppose this means I can sell it on Ebay.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Detroit Recalls 500000 Hungry Hungry Hippos

Would you trust this Sandpiper
at the wheel of a school bus?

Yesterday afternoon I was in Manhattan Beach walking around nude-footed at low tide (yes, there are weekday perks for the freelancer, outside the anxiety of worrying when work will pick up while you're out "enjoying" that free time). It was quite idyllic. The only thing missing was my picnic basket and a braided pony tail. I did skip along merrily, however... that I did. As I was saying, the tide had receded to a low point unprecedented to my recollection. The profile was a very wide stretch of pressed wet sand, and I noticed a few other tactile-enthusiasts out doing the barefoot thing.

It was as though someone had pulled the stopper on the Pacific Ocean and it was all going down a drain into the lava at the center of the Earth --this is an adult talkin' here folks. See, that's how myths are born. In this case, Neptune's cousin, some sort of perennial pool man god with Ray Ban shades and an El Camino truck stocked with chlorine and sweepers was draining the ocean to scrub out the scum. If only that were true, especially in the Santa Monica Bay area which has notoriously toxic water. Yes, it's pure crap but creates an effect that makes floating on your back effortless.

Being on the shore made me conscious of all the sandpipers --no doubt because of the song lyric with the singular economical word "Sandpiper" submitted by our friends from The Gold State. I'm sure many hundreds of Geritopia readers have been following that thread already, so I wont digress. Anyway, it was a bloody en-masse sandpiper feeding frenzy on the beach yesterday. Absolutely no obstacles between bird and prey. No more running up and down, back and forth between wave intervals. The sand was still soft enough for foraging beaks to dig around and suck up as much edible crud as they desired. The scene was so gluttonous, so devoid of table manners, I could barely watch the hordes of fattened sandpipers billowing and tipping off balance. It was disgraceful. And so is shameless anthropomorphic referencing of nature's creatures for cute effect.

I've heard a lot of schmucks cheekily ask, "where are all the baby Pigeons? Huh?... You never see baby pigeons!!!" and the government has spent millions proving that they exist. And yet the conspiracies of how pigeons are deposited here on Earth by alien "space seeding" expeditions persists. But the question forefront in my mind is : do Sandpipers have a night life? They spend all their time incessantly running back and forth (except at very low tide), expending millions of calories in pursuit of many tiny morsel calories, which makes them just have to work harder and harder for break-even results at best. So I can't imagine there's much of a social life outside of work.

OK, the end.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Big Surprise. It's a medley of all the submissions (orig. lyric contest post 11/3) -more or less the usable ones, that is. See, nobody's feelings have to be hurt! I can't believe I did this. There were only the most minor of word alterations. OK, whatever.

Click HERE for mp3.

Medley Lyrics:

(A.K.A. "Will Work For Sleep")

My car stalled and I needed a tow
It died on the street with all of the Ho's
I tried so hard to make it Go
But it burst into flames and boy did it glow

Sandpiper, Sandpiper, Ooo Sandpiper, etc.

Capitulation as to Tantalize the Pompous Pompadours
Into Provocation of Humdrum Machiavellian Melodies Adored

"Huff & Puff" Ye Lampoonist and harpoon "Old Fangled Bear"
Redundant Upheaval Purge to Somersault Beyond Subservient Hell!
Redundant Upheaval Purge to Somersault Beyond Subservient Hell!

His mind plays chess on a water tower checkerboard
His crowning glory checkmate is ignored
He dreams when he wakes he'll be safe and warm
But how can you sleep when you've never been born?

Will Work For Sleep
Will Work For Sleep, etc.

You've got me running in circles
But I can never catch you
Why do you torment like this?
When you know it's so uncool

It doesn't have to be like this
doesn't have to be like it...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pneumatic Test Patterns I've Loved


The following is simply a bit of unfinished business... If you are not Joey Polanski or if you have small children viewing your monitor, please turn off the computer now.

-- as per your request.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Other Folk's Photos Pt. II

whoever smelt it...


I also want to thank Coco the Clown Van, The Gold State, Mick, Anonymous, Dick Edgemont, Dan, Anonymous, Mr. Jingles, Anonymous, and SS for their submissions to the song lyric competition (10/3 posting), which is now closed. You're all beautiful and all winners in your own right. A finer bunch of schlubs would be hard to find, indeed. I'll follow up with the contest winner and the finished Mp3 at a future date, just as soon as I find my gold lame' jacket.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pacoima's 101 Greatest Make-Out Spots

I listen to a good deal of radio. There's much I could say about this subject but for now I just want to ask: why does Paul Harvey have to be on the airwaves? What is he doing?!!! His plodding hum-drum stories about nothing drive me batty. I liken him to the obnoxious uncle whose sole function is to show you how he can magically produce quarters out of your ear. You're not amazed or interested. You just wish he'd vanish but he's so caught up in self-amusement that you'd feel guilty if you left him in the lurch. --I sincerely don't want to hear "the rest of the story!" . Please put it away.

"page 2"

So that's my rant about Paul Harvey and I'm already starting to feel remorseful. It was simply an excuse to fill space here. He's probably really a very fine "fellow American". The End.

Disclaimer: contrary to rumor, I'm not always negative and not everything is potential joke fodder to me. Bu take my word for it, if I started laying down a serious political tone here I'd simply alienate everybody and I'm not quite ready to do that just yet. I do try to operate with a modicum of consciousness regarding the weighty events befalling our world as of late, realizing that this "kooky" blog would have been a lot less conspicuous in the fun and prosperous Nineties, when frivolity was king.

This blog is a purge --a means of dispensing stuff that just isn't befitting of a grown man contemplating a Presidential run. It's time I faced it. I don't want to be that old guy who wears Hawaiian shirts and drinks Papst all day, trying to mingle with the kids down at the drag strip. --just call me "Pops". After I unload all my boxes of drawings, photos, and memorabilia here, then it's gone for good and time to move on. Then I shall retire a wise bearded samurai (with a 'sixer of Papst).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Pics, Puns & Prattle

Nothing to say today, sorry. I just can't keep the magic flowing all the time. There's nothing here to look at. You can all go back to your homes now.

Go HERE for a recycled cartoon.

And don't forget, there's only ONE day left for submissions to the song lyric contest (see 11-3 posting)!

And in Spanish: ¡Y no se olvide, allí no es solamente UN día a la izquierda para las sumisiones a la competencia lírica de la canción (véase 11-3 el fijar)!

OK, alright... Here's a couple of gratuitous shots of some guy apparently touring the country and inflating inner tubes with his mouth for the adoring crowds --from my "found" photo collection. With that much time on his hands, you just know he'd be a blogger today.

sponsored by viagra

Definitely a suit and tie event.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Sexual Magnetism of Orthodontics

Yesterday on my way back from polo with Spencer Tracy and the Venezuelan team, I stopped by Musso's and had a sit-down with Dashiell Hammett. His demeanor was more formal and on edge than the man I'd known those many years hanging 'round the Algonquin crowd in our corner with me and George S. Kaufman. After a few stiff ones, he finally cut to the chase demanding to know why I was stirring up trouble with my Tom Cruise bashing. Yesterday, you might recall, I was writing my column asserting Peter Lorre's superior acting finesse over Tom's "perpetually grinning head". Hammett, or "Ham" as I call him, ducked under the table when Jack Warner walked into the the joint, too afraid to be seen with me.

Ham wasn't the first person to ride me over my Cruise comments. I'd already gotten calls from Bette Davis, James Whale, and Ida Lupino earlier in the day; each one reminding me of how the people behind the Tom Cruise celebrity juggernaut are capable of having me out of work and out of town on a rail. Plus, I hear this L. Ron character's got a shiny pair of brass knuckles you could sleep a week over.

This sort of thing never happened to Louella Parsons.

pearls of persuasion

I therefore, out of pragmatic desire to persist as a living organism, retract yesterday's comments (in part). I do not know Mr. Cruise personally and I am not intent on slandering his character out of hand, except in comparison to Peter Lorre. Then again, Cruise suffering from many public image travails of late, may have read my screed after all. Just yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, he fired his sister for a real publicist --simple coincidence, hmm? Read HERE. ...or do something worthwhile with your day.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sexiest Leading Man: Peter Lorre

never too late to love the man

Speaking of subjects popularly thought of as "creepy"... this man, Ladislav Loewenstein, was one of the most powerfully electric actors of the screen. Clumsily underrated by bone-headed imbeciles for too long, he had more acting chops in his withered appendix than Tom Cruise has in his entire perpetually grinning head (and I'll never work in this town again).