So you may have heard that the politisphere is a little angsty today. My television isn’t even on and I can hear Chris Matthews yelling, all because of GIUARDIAN GLENN GREENWALD’S BIG GIANT SCOOP, which is is not materially different from LESLIE CAULEY’S BIG GIANT SCOOP OF AUGHT SIX, except that now it’s Obama doing it! With secret FISA courts, which I have a vague memory of Obama voting for way back when, which is why I have GIANT SCOOP letdown right now. It wasn’t my favorite of Obama’s moves then, but I decided I’d take the good with the iffy and move on. And then the blogoverse trumpets GLENZILLA’S VERY HUGE NEWS and it turns out to be sort-of-not-warrantless-not-wiretapping. You know how you may have always intended to catch a hot show after catching one good episode, and when you finally tune in, it’s a rerun of that same damn episode?
(Big ole hat tip to TPM commenter Doremus Jessup20 ; perhaps GG should think about tipping his lid—currently up on the Guardian page, collecting coins, to help keep Glenn HONEST—to Ms. Cauley.)
**Update** Well! isn’t it nice to know we’re never alone? Oh Hell’s Bells. The discouraging thing is that I’m not surprised at all. I’m just surprised that the NSA didn’t buy my behavior from Google the way Hungry Girl did. Nothing I do is a secret to her!
Own your heckling, Powerhecklers of America! What, are you too noble to enunciate your vowels? Is it more authentic to make people look at you with amazement as they wonder, “What is that nutcase talking about?”
While Medea Benjamin insisted that she’s no mere heckler, she’s a protester, newest delicate media flower,GetEqual’s Ellen Sturtz, was “taken aback” when she shouted at Michelle Obama, only to have the First Lady get off the podium and right into her face. “One of the things I don’t do well is this, understand?” said Mrs. Obama, and offered to leave while Sturtz took the mike: crowd’s choice. Astonishingly to Sturtz, the crowd chose Mrs. Obama, instead of joining Sturtz in demanding that Michelle use the Power Of Pillowtalk to persuade her husband to sign an Executive Order offering protections to gays working for military contractors, rather than achieving that goal through legislation.
Most media outlets are omitting the fact that the crowd which had forked over a minimum of half a grand to hear Obama, was gathered at the home of “Power Couple” Dr. Nan Schaffer and Karen Dixon. (ActEqual had ponied up for Sturtz’s entry, too). So it may be presumed that Sturtz was not the only one there who’d known the pain of living a closeted life; she was just the only one shouting at Michelle Obama about it. And the only one to be surprised when the First Lady had the temerity to answer her back.
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 director of Like Water For Chocolate, as well as a yeomanly portrayer of onscreen Hispanic characters who were either less obnoxious or less finely turned than his wonderfully styled “El Guapo.” PS” Let’s never forget that he was also a mournful mime as well as a nutty comedic dancer.
This is my gift to my ‘Roaster pals tonight. Tis neither timely nor political, yet it’s the sort of rare find that always makes me smile, anyway.
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 iconic (or tic-ridden) presidents.
It’s a long tape. However, as it says at the beginning, it is the last, best demo reel for a genuinely skilled fellow who sharpened his bag of tricks again and again over the course of 60 years. I miss him every day. But watching this tape reminds me that more than 3,000 parts of him will never truly die.
Don’t forget that as of this weekend, it’s perfectly comme il faut to wear white shoes—or in these people’s case, white snow shoes.
Everybody out to make snow-wingnuts! We at Chez Polly are welcoming Mama-San, her baggies of discouraged tomatoes and bananas, and her relentless pursuit of bad grammar, for the holiday, by making almost hourly wine runs. Our boy Strange is resting up from his first week going to Adaptive Living School at last, at last, about which more later, depending on how he feels, but suffice it to say it has been the first really good week for him in a very long time.
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 as a single shot of the actor’s actual face. (Anonymity is generally a useless P.R. tool.)
As it turns out, Vader (or at least his clanking physical presence) was portrayed by British weightlifter David Prowse, a robust bodybuilder who helped train Christopher Reeve:
He helped train Christopher Reeve for the role of Superman in the 1978 film and its sequels after lobbying for the part himself. In a television interview, he related how his response to being told “We’ve found our Superman” was “Thank you very much.” Then he was told that Reeve had been chosen and he was only to be a trainer.
as well as training Cary Elwes for The Princess Bride.
Little to my beknownst, I first encountered Prowse a few years earlier, when he played the nearly naked pleasure-boy Julian in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.
It ain’t politics, and it ain’t funny, but here’s hoping I just cleared up the deepest mystery of your brain with Mr. Prowse’s own workaday website.
Rest assured that while there’s an unemployed photogenic psychotic willing to preen in front of bright lights and pocket Wingnut Welfare, FOX will be assiduous in helping malevolent loons fail their way to the top, if by “top” we mean the bottom of a barrel similar to the one West likes to torture Iraqi policemen in.
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 “Tusk” on the B side of a 45 RPM Top 40 single. Talk about relentless rhythm!
Think of this as today’s rock n’ roll sorbet. Cleanse your palate. Enjoy the interplay of exotic pop riffs, and don’t thank me just because the band isn’t dancing all over the YouTube video.
So, Heavily Armed Disgruntled People Of America, how’s every little thing?
Our special correspondent (kitted out at his insistence in Cloak of Invisibility and Kevlar Pants) was attending that little treasonish trade-show-cum shindig of yours last week, when he happened in on the creative gun-storage seminar “Store Your Semi-Automatics In The Kids’ Closet” which sounds like a David Sedaris title but turned out to be really real. So many small children having either smoked their siblings or been smoked in general recently, he began to feel slightly peaky, and unable to appreciate your full spectrum of defiant ballistic wackadoo, detailed here by the vastly more stalwart Bette Noir.
Any old hoo, rankled 2nd-half-of-the-2nd amendment fans, sometime between the Glenn Beck philippics on Michael Bloomberg, Nazi, and fifteen minutes of mike-melting audio purporting to be the thoughts of Gammy Gunrack, yr. correspondent thought, “Line-Dancing Jeebus With A Chaw and a Blowsy Girlfriend In A’Women Hunt’ T shirt, I sure hope these people never have a legitimate grievance—they’re halfway to an armed march on Washington as it is!”
It was at this point that the old back-office telex machine started its musical chattering, and churned out a missive from our special correspondent: “My understanding file reports on people perpetually wrong,from own inviolable position of moral superiority. Currently drowning self in pink gin at expat bar on riverfront. Suggest reply only by telex until further notice or Holder bounced down Capitol steps on keister.”
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 just picked the lock on a glass display case in the student union and was helping myself to autographed copies of Ellison’s publicity photo.
Suddenly, Ellison stuck a steel index finger into my 17th vertebra. “You’d better wait ‘til this guy is dead before you start pilfering his promotional totems.” Without turning to look behind me, I improv’d fastest, dumbest retort I could think of: “Why should I bother? As near as I can tell, this midget is no bigger than you are, Shrimpie!”
On that note, Ellison spun me around. “Do you know who I am?” he growled. “No,” I said, “but I’m pretty sure your owner is losing his or her mind right now. Come with me, and I’ll take you down to the Lost and Found.”
What can I say? I have a magic way when it comes to making first impressions.
Crackling with infectious energy, :Harlan Ellison: Dreams With Sharp Teeth” pays homage to the dark prince of American letters, Harlan Ellison. Master of his craft, Ellison has heroically produced over 75 books and more than 1,700 classics of fiction and non-fiction on one of his Olympia manual typewriters, including the single most popular Star Trek episode (“City on the Edge of Forever”) —from Trailer’s promo
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 Betty Cracker for the much-needed ST inspiration. I hadn’t thought much about America’s first dusty Western in outer space in a very long time, but now I can’t escape the feeling that I’m vibrating on a Barcalounger filled with Tribbles!
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 “William Henry Pratt,” I mean the actual Christian name of Hollywood legend Boris Karloff. Early on in life, Pratt realized that no one named “Pratt” would ever be hired to zombie-walk through back-lot villages and papier-maché castles. Karloff made the most of his Potemkin name, his size 40 feet, and his ability to powerfully snarl the words “FIRE BAD!”
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 international governments. That’s really satisfying to me, because fusion power is one of the few “sure bets” for sustainable power generation in the future. Not quite as important as that, I should note that the last time I presented a technical pitch on fusion technology at an international science conference, the topic was the Iter project. Not saying I made the Iter project happen, just that—like thousands of other people—I gave it a nudge.
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 my g-g-generation. DUCK, LIZARD!