Title Excerpt Author Date Total Comments Recent Comment
Crazy Horse Meets Willy Wonka No doubt about it: falling off a horse is as easy as falling off a horse. And no amount of fake Amerindian Juju can save you. In yesterday’s scene from the new Lone Ranger film, Johnny Depp played iron-jawed sidekick Tonto wearing pancake make-up, black leather chaps and a stuffed… StrangeAppar8us 06/19/13 5 06/22/13
Jesse Colin Young—Recalling The Rich, Sweet, Voice Of The Wee Hours Once upon a time, Jesse was one of the Youngbloods. Later, he became the official spokesperson for the emptiness and hopelessness of 4 AM. At times, he was rays of hope breaking through that 4 o’clock rain…at least when he wasn’t channeling the false sincerity of the concerned cockroach. My… StrangeAppar8us 06/17/13 0
General Zod VS The Man With No Pants You craved it. You begged for it. Parts of your brain stayed awake at night to call the Warner Brothers 1-800-FILMS-WE-NEED hotline. Now, at last, it’s here: a Kryptonian strongman with no pants battles a Kryptnian villain with practically no history in the comic book world. PS: Russell Crowe appears… StrangeAppar8us 06/15/13 6 06/17/13
You Won’t Believe {My} Eyes It’s true: this clip has everything—a blind kid with bionic eyes, banana bikes and roller blades.  All that, plus a whole world of visual freedom that ‘s usually denied the optically-challenged…and the ultra-advanced concept of navigating sonically by emitting bat-like clicking sounds, and then listening for the return echoes that… StrangeAppar8us 06/12/13 4 06/13/13
Alfonso Arau—He Was Never Just “El Guapo” Just like James Finlayson (the Laurel and Hardy foil who introduced British and American audiences to the catchword “D’OH!” as an indicator of exasperation, puzzlement or grief), Alfonso Araudid much much more than exclaim “I like these guys! Just kill one of them!” Among other things, he was the award-winning… StrangeAppar8us 06/02/13 1 06/03/13
War And Trucks—The History Of The World In One Man Behold my dear, deceased, ferociously talented old friend Jan Leighton—a classically-trained actor who secured Guinness Book of World Records recognition for mastering more than 3,000 historically significant personae. These included George Patton, Fidel Castro and the Greek philosopher Plato…as well as Margaret Thatcher and nearly a dozen of America’s most… StrangeAppar8us 05/31/13 0
Lumineers—The Band I Used To Be Every day I commute three miles by jitney to a Blind Rehab facility on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Invariably, I wear another man’s pajamas, issued to me by the nursing home that serves as my overnight domicile and semi-permanent address. If there’s good news here, it’s that I also get… StrangeAppar8us 05/29/13 10 05/31/13
May The Force Stiffen Your Spanx I knew from the get-go that it wasn’t James Earl Jones lending gravity and heft to Darth Vader’s Jedi armor back in 1979. The only question—which I never asked—was what extremely large and sturdy stunt double would allow himself to be swanned around on-camera for ten years without so much… StrangeAppar8us 05/18/13 4 05/19/13
Pimp My Song With the exception of Margaret Dumont in a white toga performing her plus-size version of the Rites of Spring, nothing makes Classical Occultism less appealing than Stevie Nicks levitating in a cloud of silken Underoos. Needless to say, I was never any kind of Fleetwood Mac fan until I discovered… StrangeAppar8us 05/14/13 3 05/16/13
Harlan Ellison: The Shark He’s Got Some Teeth And They Are There For All To See By the time I met Harlan Ellison in 1975, he had been a powerhouse of American science fiction and pop culture for about 15 years. Unfortunately, I met him on the day he was booked to make an SRO presentation to students at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. i had… StrangeAppar8us 05/10/13 6 05/13/13
Robert Johnson Had A Birthday Yesterday About 80 years ago, he learned everything he could from Satan… ...and taught as much as he knew how to Eric Clapton and Bass Guitar Colossus Jack Bruce. StrangeAppar8us 05/09/13 3 05/11/13
Tranya, Wookiee Toupees And Opie’s Older, Stranger Brother Yes, indeedy. Floyd The Barber, Gomer Pyle, Deputy Dimwit And Baalok the drunken alien nemesis in a futuristic chaise-longue. Ron Howard’s slightly older brother Clint returns after nearly sixty years to reprise his tiny tippling tyrant in the Star Trek episode, “The Corbomite Maneuver.” Priceless, endless, thoroughly no-strings-attached thanks to… StrangeAppar8us 05/09/13 9 05/10/13
What In The Name Of “William Henry Pratt” Was THAT? And by “THAT” I mean whatever it was three days ago that purported to be the annual comedy roast that mocks big government and the political press. I didn’t see it on the ‘Net, and nobody seems to be covering it…so forgive me for not believing it actually happened. By… StrangeAppar8us 04/30/13 10 05/02/13
Without My Walking Sticks, I Loved This Song Anyway. Without my walking stick I’d go insane I can’t look my best I feel undressed Without my cane With two broken vertebrae, a dead sciatic nerve, and my maiden aunt Bernice’s choking fear of nightfall, I had enough walking canes, sword canes and decorative Civil War cudgels to equip the… StrangeAppar8us 04/29/13 4 04/30/13
£18 Billion Tokamak Fusion Project Could Be Biggest Global Science Project In History A “Tokamak” is a doughnut-shaped fusion reactor—often as much as hundreds of miles in circumference—that can control the plasma-scale temperatures of fusion energy by channeling thermal streams around a super-powered magnetic racetrack. After decades of research on prototype Tokamak designs, the Iter project has recieved a final go-ahead from 34… StrangeAppar8us 04/26/13 7 04/29/13
Phil Ochs, Pioneer Of American Protest When I was a kid, I collected Phil Ochs albums. Phil was a protest singer who never seemed quite certain whether the songs he sang were political or simply topical…but as this commenter notes, there was never any doubt in the listener’s mind: Seasass 1 year ago How about an… StrangeAppar8us 04/26/13 1 04/26/13
Force Ten Love Ballad Jacques Brel is well-known as a hellacool songwriter who redefined many genres of love songs in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Everyone who knows Brel has a favorite tune already. However, ‘70s legend Scott Walker may have claimed a new title with this version of “Mathilde”—a bipolar Apache dance of… StrangeAppar8us 04/23/13 3 04/24/13
Don’t Make Me Use My Stuff On You, Baby And by “stuff,” I mean, “ricin.” Alas, this week’s Elvis impersonator just can’t compete with the greatest Elvis impersonator of all time.Obviously, being a duplicate King of Rock is even more dangerous than we can imagine.  StrangeAppar8us 04/23/13 2 04/23/13
I’ll Roshambo You For It Forty years after the National Lampoon was a monthly addiction for snarkologists, Cheech Wizard remains an Amusement Destination for those of us who like our snark mixed with rare plant juices, stage magic and acute testicular swelling. Even in clunky computer claymation, the Zydeco Hat is the Cultural King of… StrangeAppar8us 04/23/13 4 04/30/13
The Iceberg Cometh Granted, it wasn’t as much fun as Billy Zane, Leo DiCaprio, The Heart Of The Ocean and that slinky flapper who was Claude Rains’ girlfriend in The Invisible Man…  but this tuneful memorial to the sinking Titanic remains a wonderful tribute to the April 15th birthday of America’s colossal maritime… StrangeAppar8us 04/14/13 4 04/16/13
Winters’ End This is Polly posting for Strange, who could not let Jonathan Winters’ passing go unremarked. Winters’ brilliance is perhaps no more perfectly illustrated than by the wild, multitudinous and instant characterizations he created, particularly the ones he wasn’t supposed to create while filming ads for products he was supposedly pitching,… StrangeAppar8us 04/13/13 7 04/16/13
Donald And Walter, Served Up As Only Woody Herman Can Big band colossus Woody Herman didn’t cover hack songwriters or marquee bands. In fact, he preferred to duplicate the songmaking of artists whose fame and talents rivaled his own. That became apparent yet again when Woody dedicated half a vinyl album to a cream-of-the-crop selection of Steely Dan tunes. Herman’s… StrangeAppar8us 01/24/13 1 01/24/13
My Eyes Were Never This Good ...qr at least it’s safe to say that formal attire and buzzing, hive-like sound effects were optional. All I wanted to do was see what I was looking at. Today, it turns out that even replacement eyes are hard to come by. I was driven to my eye and ear… StrangeAppar8us 01/17/13 9 01/19/13
Why Didn’t I Listen To Todd When I First Heard This Song Back In 1974? The world is on fire Your body doesn’t burn Kill yourself before receiving Something out of all this breathing Don’t you ever learn “Don’t you ever learn?” is a song about temptation, easy solutions and stupid decisions. Playing it just the other day reminded me yet again that the first… StrangeAppar8us 01/13/13 4 01/14/13
Sarah Palin, In A Pair Of Comfortable Peep-Toe Flats I don’t know why Adam Ant’s signature video, “Goody Two-Shoes” and the happy-happy stomp dance made me think of Sarah Palin, except to note that nothing else makes think of her at all anymore. Certainly, there had to be some significance in Adam Ant’s retro-couture Napoleonic settings and costumes, apart… StrangeAppar8us 01/12/13 9 01/14/13
What The Republican Party Looks Like Without A Charismatic Front Man And A Boatload Of Sequins Who knew that two years ago I’d shoot myself in the head, go blind, rack up a two-million dollar hospital bill, suffer the non-fatal effects of cold-turkey withdrawal from cigarettes and alcohol, die a half-dozen or so non-clinical forms of clinical death, and resurrect myself months later in a world… StrangeAppar8us 01/12/13 6 01/14/13
Don We Now Our Gay Apparel Two things that never appeared previously in the Superman Comics Universe: •  Fashionably color-dampened Superman without his bulging red underpants. •  Stylishly-bearded Cluck Bent answers Bruce Campbell’s immortal book title, If Chins Could Kill. Sad to say, that’s all I know about The Man Of Steel franchise that debuts its… StrangeAppar8us 12/29/12 10 01/07/13
Sic Semper Kenyensis “Thus to all Kenyans!” shrieks a diminutive Peter Parker wannabe in a picture Business Insider is calling “The Best Ever”.  Fair enough: it’s a damn cute spider-kid, and an even cuter POTUS. But I grow weary of seeing Barack Obama constantly being threatened by web-shooters and children in brightly colored… StrangeAppar8us 12/20/12 4 12/21/12
Ed Ames, Cultural Warrior First, he was a crooner in his brothers’ choral group. Then, he was Daniel Boone’s frontier BFF when he lost the audition for Mr. Spock to Leonard Nimoy. Finally, he ended up playing Johnny Carson’s late night talk-show mohel in a historical demonstration of puberty rituals. It doesn’t matter how… StrangeAppar8us 12/20/12 1 12/20/12
Ann Barnhardt, Financial Candystriper Alas, still frames or photos never tell the whole story of just how weird a moving creature can be. Brava, Ann. Party on, Tea-Totaller! StrangeAppar8us 12/20/12 7 12/22/12
Neither Of These Things May Be Available For Retail Purchase Roseate psychopath Ann Barnhardt and her powerful pink popgun formerly known as the AR-15 may be figments from our collective past should draconian gun laws and psychotropic drugs become the norm in 2013 Ann is a colorful Rumproast fave who appeared several times in previous editions of the blog. For… StrangeAppar8us 12/19/12 7 12/20/12
Is This The Missing Romney/Ryan TV Spot? No, it’s actually just a stinger scene from Trey Stone and Matt Parker’s X-rated comedy classic Orgazmo. In it, Parker’s character Elder Young is mistaken by porn film producer Maxxx Orbison for that famous hunka-hunka burning love memorialized by Elvis Presley (or was that William F. Burroughs?).  In the same… StrangeAppar8us 12/19/12 3 12/19/12
A Child’s Fight For His Dream Not every ill child can hope for charity intervention or a telegram from the Make-a-Wish foundation, but cancer victim Connor Michalek is proving that a child’s enthusiasm for a better, more significant life may be all it takes to make a difference. Connor is a Pittsburgh resident with brain and… StrangeAppar8us 12/18/12 3 12/19/12
The Cutting-Edge Career To Which I Can Never Return (NSFW) Ask anyone in advertising: they’ll tell you this video clip is the most spot-on parody of creative hackdom ever produced, and proof positive that Poe’s Law abides. It goes without saying that I will never again be involved in graphic or video advertising services; and, certainly no one will ever… StrangeAppar8us 12/13/12 10 12/14/12
Ravi Shankar Dies After Heart Surgery Sitar-king Shankar—a musician who inspired the Beatles—died yesterday following heart-valve repairs. Here he is in a recent concert clip, still pickin’ and grinnin’ those magic strings. Fair forward, traveler. Shantih, shantih, shantih. StrangeAppar8us 12/12/12 4 12/13/12
Arlo Guthrie’s Cyclone of Steel Guitars Another shiny nugget from my golden Ohio youth. This is “Runnin’ Down the Road” by Arlo Guthrie, a frantically hopeful song about getting one’s life in gear. It could be heard shrieking from the windows of my mother’s ‘72 Monte Carlo on Friday and Saturday nights when I screamed past… StrangeAppar8us 12/12/12 1 12/13/12
“Giant Ants” by Ronnie Wasp Truly, YouTube is a pharaoh’s treasure horde of groundbreaking cultural Ur-media. Here is my ancient friend Ron Hankison, known in those days by his recording talent moniker “Ronnie Wasp.”  The cut is from his ‘80s album Nolo Contendere, a disk on which only lunatic survivalists like this outer space ant-farmer… StrangeAppar8us 12/12/12 3 12/13/12
Sometimes, You Just Can’t Get Enough Stan Ridgway Especially when he and his band, Wall of Voodoo, have been retro-cranked through a wall of synthesizers to perfectly mimic the Spaghetti Western sound of gritty rockabilly tunes. (As Mrs. Polly notes, “It’s like Johnny Cash and Harry Dean Stanton had an illegitimate son and named him Stan.”) In case… StrangeAppar8us 12/11/12 5 12/12/12
Before There Was Queen, There Was Tranquility Roughly ten years or so (I think) before Queen debuted their first album, audiophiles like my brother were immersed in the complex harmony of a band called Tranquility. Tranquility possessed no super-powered front man like Freddie Mercury and lacked the signature guitar work that etched Queen tunes onto the human… StrangeAppar8us 12/10/12 6 12/11/12
Only Eleven Snarking Days Left Until Blitzmas The Truth is both sad and inescapable: our sagacious forebears left us only two devices by which to reliably divine our future as a collective species—(1) a wonky paleolithic calendar so wobbly and complex it runs out of dates before the end of time, and (2) a Stone Age alarm… StrangeAppar8us 12/10/12 10 12/11/12
PSY-entology—Gangnam Dance-Master To Appear With Obama At Charity Event He inspired Allan Simpson and flaunted his Asian street cred at the United Nations. Next up—a toe-tapping party night with the Kenyan POTUS. Here’s hoping Obama isn’t enchanted by PSY’s pony-riding hand jive. StrangeAppar8us 12/08/12 8 12/10/12
Allan Simpson—Gangnam Warrior He’ll dance out of his pants when we career over the fiscal cliff…and become more powerful than we can possibly imagine, baby. StrangeAppar8us 12/06/12 5 12/07/12
Dave Brubeck—The King Is Gone Dave Brubeck, the 91-year-old jazz wizard who ruled the mystical Mordor of my mind in the ‘50s and ‘60s, died today from heart failure. Dave and his various trios and quartets kept me company for thousands of hours in my impressionable youth. It’s hard to see him go, but I… StrangeAppar8us 12/05/12 8 12/06/12
Open Your OWN Eyes, Toddy Sure, Todd Rundgren’s acquaintance with Nazz predated his spectacular solo career as a composer, singer, instrumental powerhouse, and multi-media pioneer. But, geez, did their only music video have to be a slapstick rip-off of the Monkees? Fortunately for me, Todd keeps doing things until he gets them nice, tight, and… StrangeAppar8us 12/03/12 4 12/03/12
If I Were Half A Man Many of you, I’m sure, remember Johnny Eck, the sure-handed star of Tod Browning’s film Freaks (as Clark Kent would say, “and they call me Superman!”). StrangeAppar8us 12/02/12 2 12/03/12
True…But Strange           Back in the mid ‘80s I spent most of my weekends chilling on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where I dated one of the daughters of America’s original “Beat” writer, Chandler Brossard. One day, when she was engaged in her casting job for TV’s “Another World”… StrangeAppar8us 11/27/12 19 12/03/12
GOP’s 2012 Job Creation Program StrangeAppar8us 11/27/12 2 11/28/12
Hungry For You—Mitt Romney’s Ode To Obama’s Swing State Poll Numbers OK, let’s see: 5 days to lift-off, hours of cheesy synth tracks; a third-rate Captain Spaulding chasing a minstrel in blackface, and a crappy word puzzle that nobody cares about. Yep, that’s Mitt Romney in the Home Stretch…with nothing to hope for, except maybe that everyone else won’t forget about… StrangeAppar8us 11/02/12 22 11/05/12
SOL … BUT NOT DOA StrangeAppar8us back in the days of R/L facial symmetry (Update on the condition of our blog confrere StrangeAppar8us) StrangeAppar8us died on November 3rd. Well, actually, since he’s sitting here right now, I guess I’d have to say that either he didn’t die very much, or that he never died at… StrangeAppar8us 07/26/12 68 08/03/12
Let The Election Year Blog Purges Begin! Free Republic, that no-holds-barred bastion of First Amendment Rights, has exiled all pro-Romney comments and commenters from its newsgroup threads. FR founder Jim Robinson has declared Romney an “enemy of the Constitution.” This likely means that Mitt will win the nomination, given JimRob’s predilection for slamming the door on electable… StrangeAppar8us 11/02/11 19 11/04/11
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