Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Weekly World News: Yet Another Thing That Isn't

This post arrives a bit behind the curve but I just learned that the Weekly World News' last publication was August 27th. Almost more disturbing than the passing of Merv Griffin, I am stunned and saddened at the demise of this fine publication. The WWN was nothing less than conceptual art that you could buy for pennies at the checkout line.

WWN had it right all along.

I'm usually ambivalent about garden variety tabloids but the World Weekly News was different. It was unabashed dreck, which made it dreck with integrity. I would buy them knowing it was a complete waste of my money but there would always be least one payoff article along the lines of "Chupacabra Honeymoons with Amy Carter in Lincoln Bedroom".

For a time, I contemplated moving to Florida and working for the Weekly World News in any capacity. This is what happens when you let opportunities pass.

It almost goes without saying that Weekly World News' uber Right Wing Ed Anger was my favorite editorialist for many years. He was knee-jerk, ignorant, and negative enough regarding just about any subject to make for a fine role-model. Unfortunately, the guy who wrote the Anger articles was replaced by someone else and maybe that's when the rot began to set in.

I think I need to find the last issue of Weekly World News real quick, if it's still around. This is my quest (bidding on Ebay would be too humiliating) ! If anyone sees one, please purchase it and I will reimburse you with rubies and silks from the far East.

Perhaps, in the final analysis ( the end of the day, when all is said and done...), the problem was that the world didn't deserved a weekly newspaper about itself. You maniacs!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Gene Scott Overdrive

Hey Kids, I've got this runaway hit over at my annex YouTube site. Someone has even copied my video and re-posted it. But the ultimate tribute goes to Dr. Scott, of course.

There's thousands of hits on this thing! More people than I would have guessed either recall seeing Dr. Gene Scott's "Festival of Faith", along with his monkeyband antics over the years, or are haphazardly grazing the seamy underbelly of fringe TV for lack of direction in life.

The clip was transferred from a VHS reference tape that was recorded a while back when I was thinking about painting a Gene Scott lunch box (Yes, I said I was going to paint a Gene Scott lunch box). A friend had given me a vintage Gentle Ben lunch box, you see, which I always found amusing and so I figured that the world needed a companion Dr. Gene Scott lunch box. Instead of running from TV culture like a sane person, I did an about-face and ran headlong into it. It was a very good idea, if I do say so, but I never got around to making the damned lunch box, although you never know.

ART'S INSPIRATION: TV so good, you have enshrine it on a lunchbox

It would be too difficult to explain why Gene Scott was the phenomenon that he was to the uninitiated. Just Google his name and save me the trouble, OK ? I'm way too tired and cranky.

I will say that one of my fondest TV memories was seeing Scott's last live broadcast before the FCC pulled the plug and the screen went to snow. He was going gangbusters with the aforementioned wind-up monkey band which he used to mock the Sacramento bureaucrats who were on his ass for tax-evasion. I'm just glad I had the vision to witness the spectacle, along with my friend Dennis, who's mother once said of me "He's an odd duck". Anyway, Dr. Scott later returned to television via a satellite network to get his revenge on the world.

Now Dr. Gene Scott is dead but if you look up in the starry sky you can still see his his giant silver-haired grinning head orbiting the Earth. And now you know the rest of the story.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Merv Griffin passed away and did you know that it was the very same day last year that talk show host Mike Douglas died as well? Don't ask me how I know this, I just do.

OK, but the weirdest thing that Merv and Mike had in common, I think, is that they both started each show crooning a song. Then they'd sit down for some intellectual chat with heavyweight guests like Henry Kissinger, Adlai Stevenson, Buckminster Fuller, and Charo. Just think of how alien that custom is to the modern talk show scene. What if Larry King or Letterman began every show by scatting like Mel Torme?

Maybe it would be a good thing. Or perhaps a test pattern would be inspirational, or a book.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Photoshop. I use it. You use it. It's everywhere and you just can't hide from it. Photoshop knows what you're thinking and will haunt your dreams.

Occasionally, I'll find myself just pushing pixels around in Photoshop with no particular goal in mind. True, it ain't no Etch-a-Sketch or Spirograph but it can still be an engaging tool.

Here are tonights' "results". Don't they look heavy, dark and symbolic? Well they're not, so just forget about it.

If I only had my fantasy computer-to-oil-on-canvas robot painting machine, I'd be pretty stoked dude!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Of Our Elaborate Plans, The End

So, like I was saying, my parents recently sold the family business which had catered to private pilots for nearly 50 years. It's an ignominious end to a lot of history; a slow fade due to economic strains, plus the need to retire and watch even more television.

In homage, here's a small sampling of photos that only partially conveys the bootstrapping ambiance of the airport scene. Not only that, but it was the last outpost on planet Earth to vend Nehi Soda in bottles. I'm gonna miss the place.

A burgeoning enterprise. --mid 70s???

I wasn't going to post any photos with people in them, because they'd just see this, get mad, and yell at me. This color shot is exceptional, however, because it fits my memory of the early years the best. While I don't know who these folks are, the girl in the short skirt is standing provocatively at the entrance to a sketchy-looking shack masquerading as an aviation business.

That's where it all started!

Aside from being born on a riveting table, I spent my entire youth pulling weeds around the place. Later, more dignified office digs were acquired elsewhere on the airport field.

I trust that someone reading this can decipher the overt body language in the above shot and comment.

Corrugated aluminum is the key building component to any aviation establishment, or FBO (fixed-base-operation).

Standard hangar with standard scrap heap.

The mythical double doors of flying, once painted with question-marks to confuse customers. It was part of a game to make sure that pilots stayed alert. Which door opened to the big money prize, or, alternately, the foaming rabid wolf? No one ever knew for sure. Many died finding out.

The famous workbench where anything imaginable was fashioned out of corrugated aluminum faster than balloon animals. Great for kid's parties or Bar mitzvahs.

Music was enjoyed throughout the day and blasted over loudspeakers to overcome the sound of pilots starting up their planes. Featured here is a favorite LP for many years amongst the crew called "Demanding, Hard-Nosed-Perfectionist". Waltz music.

A look into a maintenance shed, with a disciplined arrangement of critical supplies. Efficiency equals safety.

I'm not sure if this was a mascot or a very small mechanic frozen in terror. Suffice to say, while he had his back to the Christmas spirit, he really loved gazing at piston parts.

The End

(or is it?)