We’ll love you just the way you are if you’re perfect
Alanis Morissette

Gunfighter by Gerald Brom
Click images for desktop size: “Gunfighter” by Gerald Brom
The dogs were crazy yesterday. I like them crazy when they’re crazy happy.
Last night my puppy was sitting in front of me and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of contentment Underworld and love.
I’m reminded everyday that I’m still capable of that sort of depth of feeling. It was just slightly surprising to feel it for my puppy.
I like what she is and what she’s become.
In all of the hullaballoo of illness and all I think I forgot to report that the dogs and I are heroes. On the day the gentle dog went to work with my friend Giant dog and my puppy were walking around the park (to avoid the flooding) and a little white dog, sort of a Maltese Yorkie mix kind of thing came up and tried to play with my dogs.
It was having a world of fun bounding at them and wiggling its butt at Japanese Poems by Eisen
Click images for desktop size: “Japanese Poems” by Eisen
them. I took the leash off of my puppy and, after three attempts, managed to snag the little girl. She had a tag on her and she was lucky I knew the address or at least where to look for the address.
I was worried about walking with my puppy without a leash. She seemed to understand and walked in a perfect heel the entire way.
We found the apartment building and a passing woman recognized the dog. She gave us the apartment number as she hustled away.
We knocked. The little white dog was getting agitated. A woman in her late 70’s or early 80’s answered. She was scared. I forgot that tall men in shades and leather might not be the most comforting thing to see at your door. She was in a walker. I noticed, in retrospect that she had the walker jammed in such a way that I couldn’t have pressed in to her home too easily.
When she saw the little white dog she let out a screech. The little dog, clearly with lots of practice Girl and Parrot
Click images for desktop size: “Girl and Parrot” by Unknown
scaled the walker and into her arms. She started to tremble and cry. I was worried she’d have a stroke or something. Between sobs she told me that the little dog had been lost for almost 3 days. He grand daughter took her for a walk on Sunday and she escaped (the dog, not the grand daughter . . . I think). She’d been calling the shelter. I saw a stack of about a hundred fliers with the little dogs picture xeroxed in it. She was going to put them up today. She complained about how her son-in-law wouldn’t come help her.
She offered us a reward. I declined. I’m stupid that way. My puppy and the giant dog both pointed out that they were the real heroes and extorted a couple of milk bones from the old lady.
We walked home happy.Tobor the Great
This reminds me of how many things go in the day that I forget, that I don’t record and that I’ll have no place left to find those memories again.
My friend is still sick. Now she’s added vomiting during the night to her cough and general achiness. Without much hassle I convinced her to go to the doctor. He wasn’t much help. Gave her prescription for an antibiotic, more as a preventive against a lung infection and some sort of inhaler.
Its no miracle cure but I feel better that something might be getting done to heal her. Her spirits are better.
I wonder how much of this is due to stress and conflict with her new temporary boss. Her old boss, who retired, was a nationally recognized figure in Conservation and Wild Life preservation. The two of them got along very very well.
The new boss is a national VP who has taken on some extra duties and seems committed to rising Alice 19th by AbstractAnime
Click images for desktop size: “Alice 19th” by Abstract Anime
up the corporate ladder (at least whatever ladder there is in a not for profit). Her background is banking.
My friend reports her saying a number of “slogans” that I attribute to MBA’s who are out of their depth. The new boss also has few social skills. I’ve dealt with so many people with poor social skills a lot of her responses are almost text book.
It frustrates me as all I can do is be supportive and try to give some insight. The insight is to never openly defy such a person, no matter how stupid their demands are. They can’t handle that. Most people can’t cope well with open defiance but for this type its enough to send them into a paroxysm. Stick to your guns (which I don’t even need to vocalize to my friend – she’s like that) and so long as the MBA isn’t threatened and can see your correctness in such a way that she can take credit you’ll eventually win. Its a painful process.
It slowly seems to be working. I just hope my friend can survive it.The Young Nurses
I’ve been all twisted up with sickness too. More of a general malaise then anything. I’m pretty certain its not “empathy” sickness. I’m not that sort of empathetic person.
That reminds me of this kid who came to play for my team. He lived about two hours away by train! He never missed a practice. He just wanted to be a great athlete. He wasn’t very good but he had heart and sometimes that’s enough.
As a coach your main job is to see the potential. If you can’t see it its the coaches fault, not the kids. This kid wanted to be a linebacker. He didn’t have the size, speed or strength to play linebacker. I tried him at strong safety, which was a better fit. We were working on his speed and footwork as well as training him in reading formations.
During practice he was off with some kids while I was working a passing tree with the RB’s, slot backs, and tight ends. Suddenly I heard a horrible screech. The kid was on his knees crying, holding his left arm. I’ve got my Red Cross first aid certificate and a St Johns certificate and one of my coaches day job was as a paramedic so I felt confident enough to cut his pads from him. He had the worst dislocated shoulder I have ever seen!
I’m serious when I say that a dislocated shoulder is the worst pain I’ve ever felt. But when you pop it back in its almost like nothing that bad had ever happened. I’ve been seeing black from dislocated shoulders and did crazy stuff like wedging my arms between fence posts to pop it back in the socket. It hurts bad.
This kids shoulder was, no exaggeration, sticking about 5 inches above his clavicle. I’m so Japanese Art Print
Click images for desktop size: “Japanese Print” by Unknown
empathetic to the pain of others that I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Jocks have the tendency of being fascinated with the injuries of others. There was no way we were going to attempt to pop this in on our own. It took three kids to carry him to the car. Two making a cradle and one just supporting his arm.
I took him to hospital and the doctors were also horrified. They had a machine they’d never had to use that winched his arm out so they could line it up and pop it into the socket. They were excited about getting to use this piece of shiny gear . . .and my empathy reached so far as to remember to not grin or laugh about the severity of the energy. Of course I was worried andThis Island Earth concerned but underneath those layers was the, “Have you ever seen anything so cool!” I’d have ignored it if the two doctors weren’t so excited about getting to use that new piece of gear.
So I don’t think that my unwellness has anything to do with empathy with my friends illness. No history to justify that.
I’m just feeling beaten up. Not that big a deal. My teeth are killing me. I can barely wait for the dentist on Tuesday. The pain has gotten to the point where the right side of my face is numb. That always brings up scary memories of the bout with Bells Palsy.
I can still laugh.

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking
George S. Patton

Igniting Colours by KGRZ
Click images for desktop size: “Igniting Colours” by KGRZ
The skanky cat came back.
It’s snowing.
I’m sick with a cold.Maple Leaves at Mt. Takao, Kyoto, Komai Ki (Genki), 1747-1797
My friend is sick with her cold. She shared it with me.
And that brings it all up to date.
Pretty much.
The day is snowing and the snow looks like glitter gently raining down. Its still snow. Its still cold.
The Oscars were Sunday. Pretty horrible affair. The winners anyway.
I refuse to acknowledge any award that doesn’t go to Marisa Tomei this year. Although even if I don’t think much of Penelope Cruz there is something infinitely cool imagining the party afterwards. Her ex, Tom Cruise, covets an Oscar as much as his Faces
Click images for desktop size: “Faces” by Unknown
“Theatan” brain can crave anything and while he’s trying to rebuild a career his wackiness threatens to take from him him having to congratulate Cruz at one of the Post-Oscar parties would have been astonishing.
I’ve tried to watch “Slumdog Millionaire” twice. Fallen asleep once and found cutting my fingernails more interesting the second time. Now I feel obligated to try again . . . nothing like movies as home work assignments.
Its pretty much the same with “Milk”. Keep trying to watch it and keep getting distracted. Watching it has become another chore.
Heath Ledger got the Oscar . . . Peter Finch got one after he died for his role in “Network”. Finch was at least good. Ledger’s take on Joker, that nothing has to make sense in his entire performance He Was My Friend by Hebus
Click images for desktop size: “He Was a Friend of Mine” by Hebus
and consistency from day to day is a trivial thing when you’re playing a madmen isn’t anything I could appreciate.
I liked the tech awards though . . .
I finally did watch Truffaut’s “La Nuit Americane”. It won a best foreign film Oscar, back in the day. Back then they used to put the foreign winner as an automatic candidate for Best Picture the following year. None of them ever won so they dropped the idea.
A lot of my fears were justified. When I first saw the movie I went to the theater everyday for a week to see it. It solidified my ambitions. I was going to be an NFL running back who used his fame to promote his band and then when I retired from the NFL I was going to use my fabulous wealth to make movies. This little movie made me certain that’s what I wanted and was going to do.Goldilocks and the Three Bares
The movie is great, up there with “Sullivan’s Travels” as one of the best movies ever about making movies. Back then it was a film that inspired me and made me want to be something more than I was. Now, its just a great “film”.
Watching it reminded me of something. Bernie Grant was a black member of Parliament. The first black member if I recall. I liked him and was seriously grieved when he passed away.
One of the crazier dreams he had that he let me be a small part of was to start an Arts and Entertainment Academy. Fancy as heck. Not to be just a school but an open place where kids could come and use the creative urges they were overwhelmed with. Dance, theatre, music, TV, film, whatever. A place to learn and a place to create.
Bernie even had a location picked. Cheap land behind the sewer processing plant up by Edmonton. My light involvement was in the recording studio and the theatre. The construction and equipment end.
He had the dream, the location and the people lined up to make it a reality.
Then the focus for his plan got shifted, at least by the money people, to the London Olympic Committee. I was involved in that too, until I quit. I thought it was, is and will be a lousy idea. The London Olympics seemed to be an ego and money thing. There wasn’t going to be any lasting legacy for the kids. The all white, all upper class steering members wanted the ego and the money. The benefits to kids that they insisted were there were all Iron Snowflakes
Click images for desktop size: “Iron Snowflakes” by Unknown
a sham that only rich white guys who never talked to poor, minority, or working class kids could ever take seriously.
And then Bernie died. His widow tried to keep his idea alive but she lacked the charisma and drive. The new blood who took over Bernie’s seat had different ambitions. Not that his desires and drives weren’t okay but they didn’t focus on the kids.
So the dream died. Vanished as if it never existed. I think the world would have shifted some if it had happened. There’s be fewer criminals, because they’d have had a chance to be something else. There’d have been a rise in self esteem. There’d have been hope, not just for the kids in Haringay but all the kids around the country and then the world. To go to the Academy all you had to do was want to.
That was what I felt now watching “La Nuit Americane”. It was watching dreams die. It was seeingHide and Creep the few things in my grandiose plans seem small and ridiculous. I know they weren’t. I know a lot of people would kill to have some of the chances I had, the chances I missed and the chances I seized on and the ones I made for myself.
It might seem silly to most but I realize that the only accomplishments that I truly think were important were the things I helped others accomplish. The kids who got into school, the ones who played sports pro and the few who got to the Olympics. Even the bad movies and plays that my work helped get finished. The puppies I’ve found who became friends and family.
I guess that’s why I was a good tech and never really wanted to be a director.

There’s a drag about being sick. My friend’s cold has hung on for well over a week. Mine was terrible yesterday but only bad today. I figure tomorrow I’ll be close to well and by Thursday I’ll, hopefully, be fine.
Alice 19th by H02B
Click images for desktop size: “Alice 19th” by H02B
One drag is that the dentist called. They had a cancellation and could see me then. But the stupid cold caboshed that.
I figure the dentist will add to but ultimately reduce my discomfort by at least 40%, at least for now. Maybe someone else will cancel next week.
I did get the Medical History form to complete. I hate that, reliving the past. Somethings I remember far too clearly. I remember it through my eyes, my feet, my hands and my heart. I don’t much like recalling the past. It hurts.
I know I write a lot about the past but those are thoughts that come unbidden. I don’t dredge through “back then” except when I need it to understand “now”.
At least this medical history form seems cognizant of chemo and its effects on the body, teeth etc.
The final drag is that the sold is slowing my friend down at work. She missed a couple of 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse inconsequential deadlines. She takes that sort of thing seriously. It distresses her. Then she had her first major conflict at the job.
Her boss retired last month. The job is now held by a woman wearing two hats, as a National VP and as a Regional VP. Its temporary but for right now . . . Her normal position is National VP. She seems to be trying to use the new regional position to entrench her position Nationally while subordinating the regional objectives to her other objectives.
By all accounts he can be pretty rude too.
It will pass but its silly which makes it a drag.
The final drag is skanky cat. I put food out for her. She eats it. Problem is I’m not dead cert its a female. I don’t know if she vanished because she found better food and warmth elsewhere or if she vanished to have a litter. If she’s around at spring I’ll have to catch it/her and probably have to have it neutered. Stupid cats.

Start every day with a smile, and get it over with
W.C. Fields

Spirit of the Summit by Charles Leighton

Click images for desktop size: “Spirit of the Summit” by Charles Leighton
I made a dumb mistake Thursday night. My friend got home safely so I was feeling buoyant. I decided to sleep in bed instead of the floor.Blacula
A mistake. Woke up Friday and my back was worse that before. Had to take a 90 minute drive with my friend which aggravated it some. No more rental car after that trip so I enjoyed the ride and enjoyed being with my friend, then paid a small price.
I did discover something interesting. For the first time I felt cold. Like some people can only think about one thing at a time it appears I can only ignore one thing at a time. I could keep my back under control enough to not walk like a freak but to do that I had to let my In the Wake of the Buffalo Hunters by Charles Russell

“In the Wake of the Buffalo Hunters” by Charles Russell
body feel the cold. Interesting, at least to me.
Slept on the floor last night. The giant dog was ecstatic that mr friend had returned home so he stayed with her through the night with only four trips off the bed to snuffle my face. I guess he was worried I might do something interesting and he’d miss it.
My puppy stayed close to me. I think she figured I’d do something stupid. She finally settled on a position where she could keep an eye both on the bedroom and on me. Why this was important when all she did was fall asleep probably has some deep dog logic that I’ll never be privy to.
The gentle dog was pretty angry that my friend had gone away and not taken him with her. After his Steve Argyle

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Steve Argyle
initial enthusiastic greeting her spent the rest of the time pointedly ignoring her. Sometimes he would have to go over and nudge her just so that she would see that she was being ignored. No point in ignoring someone you love unless they know they’re being ignored.

I spoke to the car lot and explained the situation. I was as honest as you can be with strangers. I was surprised that they had no problem holding the car for the two weeks! Better yet they were going to start doing all the certification the same as if we had the money in hand.
Amazing amount of trust from them, I think. And no word from the bank at all. Bank silence just added somewhat to my tension over this. The Brides of Fu Manchu
Next week my friends assistant is going to give her rides back and forth from work. I worry that the assistant doesn’t know what she’s gotten into. If she already knows the time and distance then you have to be even more grateful. At least I do.
I’m not considering what ulterior motives any of this could portend. No reason to think like that.

No football this weekend.
The pro bowl hardly counts.

I’ve stopped using the “Google Search Box” app. The third alpha is a significant improvement but it still doesn’t do all I want. Unlike Quicksilver it still doesn’t remember the last app you used. Quicksilver was able to remember the weird abbreviations I used to call up apps and functions, like hb calls Handbrake and ps calls Photoshop.
Star Ball

Click images for desktop size: “Star Ball” by Unknown
The “Google Search Box” still requires I type in most of the name, which is time consuming as “photo” calls up a half dozen apps with Photoshop buried in the middle somewhere. The app does learn that “photo” means I want Photoshop but PS only gives me the option to do an on-line search!
Also the “Google” thing doesn’t do append and edit calls like Quicksilver. At least not yet. I’m used to editing with Quicksilver so that I could call up an html doc and at the same time open Smultron or Komodo to edit it, while using Quicksilver to append at second document to the first.
Very quick and very easy.
The final thing I dislike about all Google apps is it insistence on installing spyware disguised as Updaters. I’m used to deleting that stuff but its tedious. I’m always nervous when an app insists on a THe Blue Dahlia root password to install itself. That’s a Windows thing and its stupid. They should give me the option. I resent an application transmitting info without asking me if I want it to. I also see no sense in an app checking hourly to see if it (or its brother apps) can be updated.
All google apps do this. I use as few of them as I can.
I still plan to keep trying out new build of the search box. Its got potential, for sure.
I watched a great old movie. WC Field’s “It’s A Gift”. Its not the best Field’s movie by far but it is funny. I laughed out loud a half dozen times. The movie only lasts 65 minutes so it never gets a chance to flag, nor do any of the scenes ever feel rushed.
Its not as awesome as “The Bank Dick” nor as insane as “Never Give a Sucker an Even Break”, but it was memorable and leaves you chuckling hours later.

It is supposed to be 40 today with promises of icey rain . . . whoever heard of such a thing? Ice rain? It promises to make this world a very gross, muddy flooded place. All this snow starting to melt and rain and ice . . . I prefer the cold if this is the way they announce spring around here.
So I’m going to the store. Tempting fate, seeing if I can get there and back before the ice torrents fall.
Its what passes for dare deviltry with me now.
I’m taking my puppy. She needs a thrill too.

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else
Umberto Eco

Mars by Frank Cho There was nearly 5 inches of snow yesterday. Yow! It finally stopped about 3:30 so armed with my trusted shovel and accompanied by three trouble shooting dogs I attacked.
Hills Have Eyes Shoveled snow for nearly 3 hours. I figure without any canine help it would have taken about 1 hour . . .
No ill effects. Sore shoulders this morning. It bothers me in the vaguest way that it was 11 out and I never noticed it was cold. My friend thinks this is dangerous, frost bite and stuff like worries. I still put it down to the survival mode my body takes that enabled me o Fashion, Sex, Politics get this far, or at least stay alive this long.
Only odd note was that I began to shovel the long shared driveway again. Was about 10% finished when my neighbor speed up the drive, as usually nearly hitting me and spraying me with snow. As usual he blanked me. I no longer say hello. In this case it would have meant turning off the iPod and it was on a string of pretty cool tunes.
I did about 10% more when a guy in a truck with a snow plow suddenly turned up. He was a nice enough guy. Had his 8 year old son with him.
We chatted for a bit. I complained, good naturedly about him burying the gate when he plowed. He was very apologetic. He did the plowing as a favor. He frequents the bar where the lady neighbor works. He claims no one told him that this was a gate. He offered to clear the snow from the man gate. I told him not to bother as I’m sure he was busy tonight, with all the snow and all. He appreciated my understanding. He was doing this part time and he needed the extra money.
Marek Okon My real reason was that I figured in trying to clear off the 4x5x6 pile of snow he would probably damage the gate or even knock it down. I didn’t see any reason to say that to him.
He turned around and plowed the drive. I was relieved, in some ways about not having to do it myself. Not so relieved that I couldn’t be irked that my neighbor couldn’t be arsed to tell me he had a plow coming and let me just dig away. No biggie. At this stage I’d rather he just keep blanking me. Baseless dislike is an okay feeling.

My friend is still working at home. Yesterdays meals were uninspiring. I made something so boring for lunch I can’t even remember what it was. For dinner I made french fries with three types of dipping sauce: a mayonnaise spicy curry sauce, mango chutney, and ketchup (ketchup counts!) andThe Ghost In the Invisible Bikini a side of beans so it would be an official meal and not a snack . . .
My puppy’s aunt sent me a couple of recipes for vegetarian tortilla soup that looks pretty ambitious! I’ll probably try it and me surprised at whatever results.

I note with dismay that the Economic Stimulus Bill passed the house yesterday. Not one Republican voted for it. So much for “reaching across the aisle”. It will be fascinating to see if it does the same in the Senate.
If it does I think this will give Obama a solid ground to blank the Republicans. If this plan has an immediate effect I think that more Republicans will be losing their seats.
With their recent bizarre concession that fatty Rush Limbaugh is the de facto Republican Party leader I’d say they’re in for some bad times.
I remember an old Mad Magazine cartoon from the early 60’s that showed the American people becoming obese pigs with vestigial legs. The punch line of the cartoon was them showing the Red PicsDestop Chinese Army, all skinny, coming in a conquering America not with bombs but by just pushing the fat American over with a finger.
Its kind of scary that Mad Magazines warning was ignored and the cartoon has become prophetic.
I hope something is done about all this. Starbucks is closing down even more shops and firing even more “partners”. The insistence on calling mere badly treated employees “partners” seems sardonic now.
The creepiest thing is in order to avoid and trump union organizers Starbucks offered a semi-decent health insurance plan. A lot of people seem to have worked there just to qualify for that insurance. I know I briefly considered working there for that reason. I figured another taciturn and crabby barista was more than they could take. Lucky for me I decided that as another unheralded part of their avoiding expense is to make sure that the employees don’t get enough hours to qualify. Its a pretty cynicalThe Killing Floor thing to do. They know that in this climate its hard to get another job so they dangle the carrot of being able to stay alive knowing they have the power to unfairly take it away.
Corporate creeps hiding behind being altruistic employers are the worst. It makes all those “free” google apps loaded with creepy spyware seem almost magnanimous.
Finally I’ve managed to set up a trade with a guy for an old TV series my friend craved, “My World and Welcome To It”. It was a cute surprising show from Sheldon Leonard starring William Windom. It was based on James Thurber’s stories and had this interesting gimmick of animating some of Thurber’s drawing to help tell the stories.
My friend is only interested in one episode that focuses on dogs. She remembers that episode with fondness. She tracked down a guy with the series. He wants to trade disc for disc.
I was surprised at his choice for a trade, “The Lone Wolf and Cub” series of films! Chambara for TV? Rah!
In terms of dollar value I’m taking a bath. But the Lone Wolf films are dead easy to find or buy. The “My World” series is difficult so that makes it fair deal, but I’m still surprised on the choice.

Poets only pretend to die
Jean Cocteau

Fractal 4 by Clody
Click images for desktop size: “Fractal 4” by Clody
I was pretty pleased that among the first things Obama has done is to stop as much of the killing of endangered species that George Bush was trying to slip through.Metropolis
Bush was and is a pratt.
With the abrupt announcing of the end of torture and the closure of the illegal prisons more and more people are starting to bicker about criminal charges. I agree.
One thing that some sociologists and most film critics (real film critics, not opinion dispensers) agree on is that horror movies are a good indication of the general state of mind of the people. I think that’s cool. Judging where we are by what scares us most. Understanding our fears gives a clearer image of who we are.
Unknown Starlet
Click images for desktop size: “Unknown Starlet”
Yeah. I like that.
I like horror movies almost as much as I like Westerns. Its harder to make a good scary movie than it is to make a great Western. Like Westerns the first filmmakers tried horror. Edison did that weird Oglethorpe version of Frankenstein, Melies flics had plenty of horror elements, pudgy ladies becoming skeletons and the Devil always lurking about with his imps. Cool stuff all.
The scariest thing for me was a book my mother left lying around the house, some stranger than fiction thing that was filled with lavacious stories about something unseen biting the hell out of innocent children; women whose eye spit fountains of blood around Mexican deserts; people spontaneously bursting into flames! Not the sort of thing you should let a 7 year old who was watching his happy world disintegrate only because his mother fell in love and bought this stranger into our home. I was hooked on fear and adrenalin from then out.
The twenties saw Lon Chaney and his monsters that were products of human deformity. In the 30’s we had a continuation of the humanoid being the cruelest monster – Browning (who worked a lot Gallery of Covers
Click images for desktop size: “Gallery of Covers” by Unknown
with Chaney in the silent days) giving up Dracula and Freaks. And Whale gave up Frankenstein. Even what made King Kong so memorable was his resemblance to human beings.
The Germans, so heavily involved in great horror movies in the 20’s following WWI seemed to stop horror. Maybe they weren’t scared of anything.
The forties bought on the real ultimate horror: WWII; and the horror movies moved into a slightly new type of monster; the monster who grieved, the monster who couldn’t stop his monstrous devotion to terror.
The fifties exploded with Sci-Fi and horror. Teenagers, the scariest thing adults had ever seen were the monsters now, rock & roll was a monster. And there was the atom bomb and any second we could all be vaporized and the entire planet destroyed in a paroxysm of wild adult fury. The worldNight Of The Howling Beast (1977)-1 was such a terrifying place that we also knew that there was even more evil out there in outer space. But the Japanese touched the real horror and showed it came not from the stars but as a natural rebellion to man, it came from nature: Godzilla.
The atomic legacy wasn’t just a painful death it was giganticism: Giant ants, grasshoppers, leeches killing all those the bomb sought to spare.
The sixties was the Hammer and AIP era. American International took the fifties themes to even higher layers of hysteria to a thumping beat. The Hammer flics said the world is still a safe and scary place, familiar. The monsters are deviants but we already know them. It didn’t go deep enough and justified the deviant fantasies of the Gore movies.
(What’s more deviant than paying to see a former Playboy Playmate get her leg cut off with an axe or her tongue pulled out of her mouth with ice tongs.)
KRM Photos
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by KRM Photos
The 60’s ended with a horror so great it opened up the 70’s: George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” changed the world for a little while. I mean Roger Ebert wrote a piece for Reader Digest calling this film a socially depraved nightmare! The medium was the new monster!
And the 70’s saw “Last House on the Left”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “The Hills Have Eyes” and the emergence of David Cronenberg.
Horror became a sensual sexual thing. Pleasure was always punished and the weak were fodder, only the strong survived. The monster was us, just stronger and less inhibited, more willing to survive.
The 80’s belonged to Cronenberg. He purified and extolled the 70’s. Horror was a by product of our lives, a virus that floated from lover to eunuch and a horror that extolled the perverted.Night Of The Howling Beast (1977)-1 It gave Clive Barker his starting inspiration. The 80’s monsters were creatures from Hell. creatures who had human vices and needed love, a deviant love.
It saw the Hellraiser films stand with the Freddie Krueger movies. Splatter moved into the main stream building off of Cronenberg and Paul Schrader’s “Taxi Driver”.
One oddity were the “Friday the 13th” movies. Created by Steve Miner who worked on “The Last House on the Left” took and exalted the 70’s themes by creating an inhuman monster who punished promiscuity with a searing precision.
The 90’s spawned little in new horror. Real life was getting too complicated. The old school ruled and shut out the upstarts who might interfere with their mini empires.
Charles Band made his straight to video cheapies. They were sometimes entertaining. Sam Rami did the most destruction by combining a healthy does of bleak humour with the fear, a natural enough reaction. The final decimation cam from Italy. It started in the 80’s but blossomed under Argento’s hand and guidance.
Horror was reduced to steel and a knife and our own ability to merely watch and remain passive. Great globs of cool icy hatred and death.
And the 00’s? Bush’s time of remaking the world saw everyone fleeing into a fear of creativity. Brian Yzuna continued onward making original films that were often flaccid but never unimposing (Where is Creaming Mad George). The Asian horror cycle clicked in. Lots of ghosts and possessions of inanimate objects. Diverting Green Lantern
Click images for desktop size: “Green Lantern” by DC Comics
but not much else.
It began the era of the re-make. The great lost propensity of the damned. Doomed to never create but to simply relive the same old fear over and over again. How dull.
Even the crazed independents, the usual saviors of horror were working harder to look and act like the hits. There were no demons driving them. I mean, they’re remaking “My Bloody Valentine” which was a mediocre 80’s rip off of Friday the 13th.
I recently saw some horrors that left me pretty cold but seem indicative of the 00’s. “Vacancy” was psycho with a profit motive. It was simply fun to kill people and then sell the security tapes for some serious bucks. I guess its scary that people would die for something so trivial.
“The Strangers” was a turgid mess. So slow it was almost expressionistic. Pretty poor and derivative with no payoff at all.
“The Alphabet Killer” was an attempt at something undefinable. It ended up being worthless and Night Of The Howling Beast (1977)-1 shameless. I liked the idea of a serial killer being hunted by an ambulatory schizophrenic except Eliza Dushku is not the actress to pull it off. Her idea of a schizo coping with hallucinations seems to be to twitch a lot and make weird faces. Asia Argento could have made the role real and probably made this a better movie. Oh you do get a glance at Dushku’s nude breasts. It wasn’t that exciting.
“Hit and Run” was typically dreadful but had some odd quirks. A fat leading lady who is pretty despicable as a character. She gets drunk and runs over some random guy. On getting home she finds his broken body tangled in her Jeep’s front bumper so she takes the easy way out and beats him to death with one of her daddy’s gold clubs. Then she buries this poor victim out in the woods . . . and she’s the heroine.
I mean she has a guilty conscious so I guess that’s alright. The guy wasn’t really dead and for some reason being hit by a car, bashed in the head and then buried alive doesn’t sit well with him. He actually presented as unreasonable and monstrous for wanting justice!
Off course the heroine get away with it and kills this loathsome monster. See he’s a monster because he was recently diagnosed as being bipolar. There’s little made of the fact that the pudgy girl tried to murder a man with a wife and son. See, provoked by the pudgy girl he murder’s his wife . . . see pudgy girl was doing the world a favor Untitled by Gibberling
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Gibberling
because bipolar guys are notorious for murdering their spouses . . . well, that’s the movies argument anyway.
There’s a tacked on ending when pudgy girl gets caught. Someone must have said we can’t let her get away with killing the guy even if she does have great tits! So she gets busted in a way that totally ignores the visual evidence we saw maybe two minutes before . . . I guess they figured that my attention span would have drifted away before then.
But it is an interesting trend: The perpetrator as victim: Bush’s intended legacy. Nothing that happens to pudgy girl is anyway near as vile as the things she did to her victim. But it was an accident nearly and she even had a nightmare!Pieces
I like that movies try to present us with identifiable characters and then strives to find a person who embodies our self image, not the view others have but our self image. Its scary that being fat is becoming that idealized view of ourselves.

The server was down for a few hours. The hosting company says the cooling system broke and they had to shut down the servers to protect them. I can relate to that.
Should be fine now.

No football this weekend. I have a couple of Football movies to watch. I’m a football addict.
The dogs all love me. That’s good but a little heart rending at times.
My friend planned to pull an all nighter. I was pleased she ended up coming home and getting some sleep.
There’s been no solution to the car issue. Maybe when the job is done at work can sit down and come up with a real plan. Right now a lot of it eels like we’re waiting for divine intervention. Not bad as ideas go but seldom workable.
One of her co-workers is facing a similar dilemma, a 10 year old car that costs just slightly less to repair than it would to replace.

Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit
Frank Borman

Cruel Shoes
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Cruel Shoes
Things aren’t going great today.
There was about 6 inches of snow over night. Interesting stuff. New self anointed snow shovelingThe Falcon's Alibi masters have to anticipate being regularly tested.
I was up at six and making the phone calls to handle the garage and rental cars.
The garage gave me the second worst answer a mechanic can give you, “Uh oh!” when I told him the engine had seized.
The worst answer is some variation of laughter or “Seychelles! Here I come!”
Won’t know until this afternoon what the final verdict will be. My friend had reality settle in and is now pretty upset. She was very attached to her little car. It fit her and it fit her personality. From Crunch Time.jpg
Click image for desktop size: “Crunch Time” by NFL Films
experience I can say it was little but still held four dogs and two people.
Then I called the car rental joint an hour before the pick up time. I was assured everything was in place and in order.
Four calls later and 1 hour past the pick up time the driver finally showed up. The car rental place is only about 10 minutes away. Three dogs and I could probably walk it in an hour or close to it.
My friend got there to find out that they had no car ready. Since we reserved it on Saturday and with the lateness this was sort of irritating. I guess the attitude was bad too. It wasn’t the best on the phone either.
Anyway I had to do a quick search for another car rental joint. Went to one of the big national chains. Oddly, they were about 60 bucks less for the week then the recommended place that created the fiasco.
DC Unknown
Click images for desktop size: “DC Comics” by Unknown
They’re on their way to pick her up at the first rental joint.
My friend isn’t much given to teary eyed histrionics but I think she’s feeling close.
She was wondering if she jinxed herself by calling this “Hell Week”. She still has about 100 hours of work to get through this week, barring complications. (She doesn’t schedule for contingencies.)
Hopefully, before I finish writing this I’ll have word that everything is sorted.

The football yesterday was good. The Philadelphia-Arizona game was very edifying. Great lead changes, each team dominating a half with a socko conclusion. The final play of the game was cool and wild and a suitable championship conclusion.
The Steelers-Ravens match up was pretty much as advertised. I was disappointed in the injury to Fire Maidens Of Outer Space Willie McGahee. It looked devastating. I hope he’s okay.
I still blame the Steelers for two of the worst Superbowls in history. Their win against Seattle and the loss to I can’t remember who! That’s how dull that one was. I think it was against the Dallas Cowboys in the late 90’s.
The saddest part is I know they’ll be favored. But maybe Larry Fitzgerald, Edge and Kurt Warner can keep the game exciting enough to enjoy.

Just got word that the second rental joint has picked my friend up from the first rental joint. What a mess.
For me, everyone knows that in the face of disasters (and this is a mess albeit a minor one in the face of the world).
When thing go wrong I can’t help to think back to what I could have done to make things better or to not happen. Hindsight, yeah, but you need hindsight to expedite the future.

I have to go shovel snow. One bright spot is that the neighbors haven’t dumped anymore snow on top of the gate. They’ve still blocked the man gate but should still be able to get the rental car into the parking space tonight. Amazing what things you find to be grateful for; people not being jerks for even just a little while.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr day. Its a shame they couldn’t have re-scheduled the inauguration to happen on today. It would have been touching. It already will be.

When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go
Carol Burnett

Wave Outline
Click images for desktop size: “Wave Outline” by Unknown
Still feeling thin. My friend isn’t doing much better. Only two dogs at the dog party. They had a weeks worth of fun looking at the pictures.
She had a bad day. Creepy co-worker who reports to her. My friend went ballistic and gave herselfA Quiet Place to Kill a 26 hour (and counting) headache.
We took the dogs out for a late night walk. It was fun. Everyone felt a little bit better for it. What was nicest that the park near us was completely empty except for two guys who had somehow stomped out a 10 yard square ice skating rink. The dogs had never skating before and they were enthralled to the point of not even barking at Surf
Click images for desktop size: “Surf” by Unknown
the strangers.
It was cold. My friend asked me, “Can you feel your face and fingers?” I said, “Of course!”
But then thinking about it I realized that I couldn’t. Not at all. I didn’t realize it.
I’m also worried about a dear friend who works at Starbucks. What that corporation is doing is pure evil.
Recently they closed down nearly 700 shops, throwing an estimated 2,800 people out of work. The company disputed all unemployment claims stating that they could have transfered to another store . . .
Their new ploy to force attrition, is to demand that all employees makes themselves available for work for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not being available is cause for termination. They make no guarantee that any employee will receive the hours for which they may have been hired. Meaning that you could wait for work for 84 hours and only get 4 hours Welcome to Hell by Jakob P
Click images for desktop size: “Welcome to Hell” by Jakob P
of work.
I’ve been in that situation. Watching the rent clock tick and scrabbling for money to pay the phone bill so you can call in and be told there’s nothing now, check back in a few hours or tomorrow. You can’t even look for another job because you relied on your paycheck that barely met your minimum survival needs. Can’t take a part time gig because you have to be available. So you sink into depression clinging to hope and a lifeline that doesn’t ever materialize.
This is a pretty cynical move by Starbucks. I’m sure the exec’s are still drawing full pay. They have to take care of their families. They are too cowardly to think about yours.
I’m also sure that this has led to a sweet amount of corruption for those low level store managers. Fifty to a hundred bucks a week to get you 30 hours a week. Small bribe when it lets you avoidAlmost Human starving.
The move has given the Union movement a bit of a kick, but its too late now.
When Ronald Reagan destroyed the unions he knew full well that he was destroying the American dream. Even superstar athletes need a union.
I remember Walter Payton had to go through hell to get paid 700,000 a year after leading the NFL in rushing for 4 years. He never got it. Had to settle for 600,000.
It was Reggie White, then a Philadelphia Eagle, who showed the way. He was making 225,000 and wanted a raise to 350,000. The oner of the team said it was impossible. The Eagles were losing money and they couldn’t afford to pay him a fraction of what he was worth as a player and a box office draw.
White went to court. HE got the Eagles to open their books. What they found was surprising. The Eagles were losing money. The largest expenditure was a 25 million dollar a year salary paid to the owner. The second largest was the 15 million that went to pay for the owner and his families homes, the fourth largest was for cars, boats and personal vehicles.
Dark Tower
Click images for desktop size: “Dark Tower” by Marvel Comics
Its the same at Starbucks. Its the same for those employees as it was for Reggie White. Dedicated good employees cast aside and their needs ignored.
I’ll never drink a cup of franchise coffee again.

At least this is the best week of NFL football this season. All four games have a burgeoning promise that ascends to the imagination as a falling star in the desert beckons to the cave men.
Last week I was 3-1 one in my picks. I missed on Arizona. I was glad to lose it. The Cardinals were brilliant.
My friend was 2-2 in her picks. I guess I just can’t teach her anything!
My picks are in bold.

Arizona at Carolina – I don’t think the Panther defense can stop the Cardinals. They can slow themA Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell down especially since Boudin, my pick for courageous player of the year, may not be able to play. Still I can’t see them stopping Larry Fitzgerald or the quick strike. Meanwhile the Panthers rely on Steve Smith and Deangelo Williams. I think the Cardinals can stop Deangelo and slow down Smith but not at the same time. There’ll be a lot of junk passes that will set up a few pass interference calls when Delahome goes deep to Smith. It could be a Panthers blowout but more likely will be a shootout. The Panthers barely won a shootout against the Saints a few weeks ago. That was on the road. I think they’ll win a shootout today in the final moments.

Baltimore at Tennessee – If the Titans could have avoided Baltimore I think they had a sure path to the Superbowl. Last week Joe Flacco made history by being the first rookie QB to win a playoff game. He has shown he has no regard for that kind of history. That’s a good thing. Every step he has taken has been something new for him and the league. The Titans have enough D to make him nervous but not to stop him completely. Meanwhile the Ravens defense is looking better than anyone since the Ravens won the Superbowl. They match up against the Titans strength for strength. This will be a smash mouth encounter. I pick a surly swarming defense against a great running game. And then there’s the Ray Williams fire. The Jake Reed hunger. I can’t wait.

Eagles at New York Giants – The games both won at the others house this season. This is the tie Chinese Dancer
Click images for desktop size: “Chinese Dancer” by Unknown
breaker. The game will have almost a college feel. Two rivals who hate each other playing down in the cold and the dirt, true NFL style. There’s too much intensity here. The Giants have played cruddy ball since the Plaxico Buress incident while the Eagles have played their best ball in the last four weeks, mainly thanks to studly play by Brian Westbrook. But the Giants have had the bye week to heal. They’re completely healthy. The Eagles are in good shape but had a physical game last week. That and the fact the Giants have more talent makes me give them the pick. If all the games weren’t so good this would be the game of the week.

San Diego at Pittsburgh – A few weeks ago they played in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 11-10. ThisArena week the Chargers won’t have super stud Ladainian Tomlinson. But the Steelers QB, Rothlisberger is coming off a severe concussion, the kind where you think you’re someplace else dreamy. Rothlisberger will get battered. Holmes will pick up some of the slack. If Tomlinson were in the game I’d take the Chargers. Derrick Sproles (who grew 2 inches just by joining the NFL) is a nifty little back. He can’t survive the battering from the Steelers and Polamanou. Last week against the Colts they were saying how Philip Rivers was willing the Chargers to the wind. What I saw was Rivers throwing a lot of iffy passes into too tight of a window. I think the Steelers won’t let him get away with that. I can see the Steelers winning on a defensive score.

As usual these picks are for my contest and for laughs. I wouldn’t pay any attention to them unless your idea of laughs is losing money to bookies . . .

When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go
Carol Burnett

Wave Outline
Click images for desktop size: “Wave Outline” by Unknown
Still feeling thin. My friend isn’t doing much better. Only two dogs at the dog party. They had a weeks worth of fun looking at the pictures.
She had a bad day. Creepy co-worker who reports to her. My friend went ballistic and gave herselfA Quiet Place to Kill a 26 hour (and counting) headache.
We took the dogs out for a late night walk. It was fun. Everyone felt a little bit better for it. What was nicest that the park near us was completely empty except for two guys who had somehow stomped out a 10 yard square ice skating rink. The dogs had never skating before and they were enthralled to the point of not even barking at Surf
Click images for desktop size: “Surf” by Unknown
the strangers.
It was cold. My friend asked me, “Can you feel your face and fingers?” I said, “Of course!”
But then thinking about it I realized that I couldn’t. Not at all. I didn’t realize it.
I’m also worried about a dear friend who works at Starbucks. What that corporation is doing is pure evil.
Recently they closed down nearly 700 shops, throwing an estimated 2,800 people out of work. The company disputed all unemployment claims stating that they could have transfered to another store . . .
Their new ploy to force attrition, is to demand that all employees makes themselves available for work for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not being available is cause for termination. They make no guarantee that any employee will receive the hours for which they may have been hired. Meaning that you could wait for work for 84 hours and only get 4 hours Welcome to Hell by Jakob P
Click images for desktop size: “Welcome to Hell” by Jakob P
of work.
I’ve been in that situation. Watching the rent clock tick and scrabbling for money to pay the phone bill so you can call in and be told there’s nothing now, check back in a few hours or tomorrow. You can’t even look for another job because you relied on your paycheck that barely met your minimum survival needs. Can’t take a part time gig because you have to be available. So you sink into depression clinging to hope and a lifeline that doesn’t ever materialize.
This is a pretty cynical move by Starbucks. I’m sure the exec’s are still drawing full pay. They have to take care of their families. They are too cowardly to think about yours.
I’m also sure that this has led to a sweet amount of corruption for those low level store managers. Fifty to a hundred bucks a week to get you 30 hours a week. Small bribe when it lets you avoidAlmost Human starving.
The move has given the Union movement a bit of a kick, but its too late now.
When Ronald Reagan destroyed the unions he knew full well that he was destroying the American dream. Even superstar athletes need a union.
I remember Walter Payton had to go through hell to get paid 700,000 a year after leading the NFL in rushing for 4 years. He never got it. Had to settle for 600,000.
It was Reggie White, then a Philadelphia Eagle, who showed the way. He was making 225,000 and wanted a raise to 350,000. The oner of the team said it was impossible. The Eagles were losing money and they couldn’t afford to pay him a fraction of what he was worth as a player and a box office draw.
White went to court. HE got the Eagles to open their books. What they found was surprising. The Eagles were losing money. The largest expenditure was a 25 million dollar a year salary paid to the owner. The second largest was the 15 million that went to pay for the owner and his families homes, the fourth largest was for cars, boats and personal vehicles.
Dark Tower
Click images for desktop size: “Dark Tower” by Marvel Comics
Its the same at Starbucks. Its the same for those employees as it was for Reggie White. Dedicated good employees cast aside and their needs ignored.
I’ll never drink a cup of franchise coffee again.

At least this is the best week of NFL football this season. All four games have a burgeoning promise that ascends to the imagination as a falling star in the desert beckons to the cave men.
Last week I was 3-1 one in my picks. I missed on Arizona. I was glad to lose it. The Cardinals were brilliant.
My friend was 2-2 in her picks. I guess I just can’t teach her anything!
My picks are in bold.

Arizona at Carolina – I don’t think the Panther defense can stop the Cardinals. They can slow themA Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell down especially since Boudin, my pick for courageous player of the year, may not be able to play. Still I can’t see them stopping Larry Fitzgerald or the quick strike. Meanwhile the Panthers rely on Steve Smith and Deangelo Williams. I think the Cardinals can stop Deangelo and slow down Smith but not at the same time. There’ll be a lot of junk passes that will set up a few pass interference calls when Delahome goes deep to Smith. It could be a Panthers blowout but more likely will be a shootout. The Panthers barely won a shootout against the Saints a few weeks ago. That was on the road. I think they’ll win a shootout today in the final moments.

Baltimore at Tennessee – If the Titans could have avoided Baltimore I think they had a sure path to the Superbowl. Last week Joe Flacco made history by being the first rookie QB to win a playoff game. He has shown he has no regard for that kind of history. That’s a good thing. Every step he has taken has been something new for him and the league. The Titans have enough D to make him nervous but not to stop him completely. Meanwhile the Ravens defense is looking better than anyone since the Ravens won the Superbowl. They match up against the Titans strength for strength. This will be a smash mouth encounter. I pick a surly swarming defense against a great running game. And then there’s the Ray Williams fire. The Jake Reed hunger. I can’t wait.

Eagles at New York Giants – The games both won at the others house this season. This is the tie Chinese Dancer
Click images for desktop size: “Chinese Dancer” by Unknown
breaker. The game will have almost a college feel. Two rivals who hate each other playing down in the cold and the dirt, true NFL style. There’s too much intensity here. The Giants have played cruddy ball since the Plaxico Buress incident while the Eagles have played their best ball in the last four weeks, mainly thanks to studly play by Brian Westbrook. But the Giants have had the bye week to heal. They’re completely healthy. The Eagles are in good shape but had a physical game last week. That and the fact the Giants have more talent makes me give them the pick. If all the games weren’t so good this would be the game of the week.

San Diego at Pittsburgh – A few weeks ago they played in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 11-10. ThisArena week the Chargers won’t have super stud Ladainian Tomlinson. But the Steelers QB, Rothlisberger is coming off a severe concussion, the kind where you think you’re someplace else dreamy. Rothlisberger will get battered. Holmes will pick up some of the slack. If Tomlinson were in the game I’d take the Chargers. Derrick Sproles (who grew 2 inches just by joining the NFL) is a nifty little back. He can’t survive the battering from the Steelers and Polamanou. Last week against the Colts they were saying how Philip Rivers was willing the Chargers to the wind. What I saw was Rivers throwing a lot of iffy passes into too tight of a window. I think the Steelers won’t let him get away with that. I can see the Steelers winning on a defensive score.

As usual these picks are for my contest and for laughs. I wouldn’t pay any attention to them unless your idea of laughs is losing money to bookies . . .

Light is good. It lets us see the world we live in
Tsiu Hark

Tangents by M Prado
Click images for desktop size: “Tangents” by M Prado
Can’t sleep.
Again.
Some pain and discomfort but mainly just the blackness of the world oozing out of the sewers.
The Brain that Wouldn't Die Everybody’s got a right to be happy. Don’t they?
It really bugs me that there is so much bad going on, companies closing their doors and stiffing their long time employees out of pay checks while we allow the guys with the padlocks to pay themselves then help them go back into business under another name.
Luis Royo
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Luis Royo
I think it was always this way. I don’t think there’s a time in modern history where the working man controlled his own fate and destiny. Where you could work hard and be fairly rewarded.
I had friends who parents seemed rich. They had money because they lived in the same house for 30 years, kept the same job and lived on about the same money in 1988 that they lived on in 1958. They saved the rest to send their kids to school and to have enough to take some vacations when it was time to retire.
The Forest
Click images for desktop size: “The Forest” by Unknown
Then Reagan destroyed the unions and Bush destroyed the economy and the environment and here we stand, scared confused and bewildered.
I had a good day yesterday. My friend stayed in to work from home and to take me on a couple of errands. I like having her around.
It made the day pleasant even though the weather was atrocious. After 18 degree days 40 seems balmy. There was about 4 inches of snow during the night then there was a steady rain all day. The ground is mud and slush. It is all going to freeze today. Its going to be low 30’s and then hit 16 tonight.
There was some good/bad news at her work place. Her assistant had been MIA on Monday. Worried and concerned there. My friend’s assistant finally got in touch with her yesterday. She developed a The Gore Gore Girls severe kidney infection. She sent her assistant home from the office.
Talking about that we got into a small discussion about how she has fears about her boss leaving. She believes that things have never gone well for her when a new boss has come in.
I can think of two fairly recent instances where I can see the root of her fears. I don’t buy it as a legitimate fear but you can’t ever tell people what they feel or make them feel any differently. I don’t like her being afraid of anything.
I guess the good news is her assistant wasn’t more seriously hurt . . .
The giant dog and I watched a movie last night. The giant dog is a fan of “Law and Order” repeats. I watched a few episodes of the show originally because it had Michael Moriarity and Paul Sorvino in it, then they got in the great Jerry Orbach.
I don’t live a life conducive to watching shows regularly but with all the steady stream of repeats it seems near impossible not to watch “Law and Order” almost anytime.
The giant dog recognizes the theme music to the show and when he hears it he gets into the love seat and waits. He’ll stare at the TV for a while until his attention drifts but he gets riveted and excited as soon as he hears San Wannamaker’s (Jack McCoy’s) voice. He stays glued until he stops talking but waits a bit before drifting away.
Last night I watched the Sam Fuller movie “White Dog”.
Christmas Handicrafts
Click images for desktop size: “Christmas Handicrafts” by Unknown
Sam Fuller is very high up in my pantheontology. The man makes manic movies that rule. My favorite quote from him was, “Blood is not the color of ketchup.”
Fuller had a crime reporter’s eye for nuance and detail and an unflinching eye. He worked in melodramatic frame works to lull the viewer into simple acceptance then upended the world with garish flashes of reality.
Fuller’s world was full of tough people, people with goals and obsessions. His movies like “Forty Guns” and “The Naked Kiss” gave us women who were soft and feminine but every bit as tough as a man.
His characters all had a central ambiguity as they struggle to achieve their goals while trying to be the person they see in the mirror. Most of the time this is impossible.Tobor The Great
When “White Dog” was first in production there was a strong buzz about the movie. It was based on an article written by Romain Gary, a Hollywood writer married to waif actress Jean Seberg (“Breathless” is her legend making role.) After the story was published he took a lot of flac and heat. Racists in particular claimed he made the whole thing up.
It was a supposedly true story about his wife’s finding a “white dog”. A dog that was trained from birth to kill blacks.
The first time I’d heard of this was in Louis Lamour’s “Hondo” where Hondo explains to a boy that his constant companion dog has been trained to smell and hate Indians. Hondo trained him by paying Indians with bottles of whisky to come in and beat the pup with a stick every day from the time it was a puppy. Lamour some how portrayed this as a cagey good thing to do . . .
In Gary’s story white racists would by black wino’s or junkies to do the same thing to raise a dog Don't Fret by Lawn Elf
Click images for desktop size: “Don’t Fret” by Lawn Elf
that fears and then sees its fear turn to hatred. A dog only sees in black and white so its mental unbalancing is an easy thing to do.
Fuller was always very pro-civil rights and a dog lover. This seemed like a fascinating potentially great film.
Then the studio’s refused to release it. After Ralph Bakshi’s disastrous “Coon Skin” they feared a major racist back lash.
I can’t see it in the movie, but I’m not black. I know a lot of people don’t understand why I sometimes flinch at the Frito Bandito or cringe at some of Speedy Gonzaleze’s relatives. When your ethnic group only has Alphonso Bedoya, Ricky Ricardo and Freddie Prinze as media role models I can see being touchy.
Thanks to the efforts of a few people in LA the famous and dead Z channel showed the film one time. A lot of people came over to the house and we watched it and we were all pretty disappointed The Maltese Falcon for different reasons.
Last night was the first time I’d seen the movie since 1982. Its been given the Criterion treatment. They’re doing a good job of getting Fuller’s movies out there.
The DVD looks good. The movie isn’t as disappointing as I remembered. There were signs of what could have thrown me into a tail spin.
First the cast Kristy McNicol in the Jean Seberg role. Kristy McNicol was a little actress who got hot for a while because she was on some dufus TV show I watched once and hated. McNicol is no Jean Seberg, who was a fascinating character in her own right. McNicol’s performance is bland and stick figure like. There are jarring moments, like when she comes on all 80’s disco and Fiorucci and more than a few times she is sitting in scenes looking like a bland hunk of white bread trying to decide if its time to slowly turn moldy, but the performance is bland enough to not distract even though it adds nothing to the story.
Burl Ives does a yeoman’s job as the animal training center owner. The surprise was Paul Winfield. He gives a bravura performance as the black genius who is committed in a Dr Frankenstein way to “curing” the “white dog”.
Its turns out to be a decent but not great movie.
Five dogs played the central character who is a loving but mentally unbalanced animal. Fuller insisted that the Humane Society be present on the film. The dog actors were the best I’ve seen in an American film. There was no tail wagging as they killed, they moved with lithe power and it was a grim reminder that the sweet creatures who love us have jaws capable of breaking bones, that they can attack with a cruel punishing power.
I was glad to know about the Humane supervision. I know Fuller to be a dog lover but I always remember that Luis Bunel filmed the beautiful curtsey of a mule by having someone off camera shoot the mule in the head with a rifle! I have problems with art achieved for whatever purpose by using inhuman means.
Giant dog disagrees with me. He thought it was the greatest movie he’s ever seen. He sat with me Petlovers by S4W
Click images for desktop size: “Pet Lovers” by S4W
on the love seat and was riveted from beginning to end. He watched intently through out. His expression changed he stood up, he whined and snarled at scenes.
He clearly was not “seeing” the same movie I was. I think his version was better.
He got positively joyous when the “White Dog” escaped from his kennel and ran around the animal compound. Giant dog was ecstatic as the dog ran past elephants and chimpanzees and figured out how to leap over an electric fence.
He whimpered when the dog crashed against the bars of his kennel in an attempt to kill Paul Winfield. And smiled at me when the dog finally calmed down enough to take the cheeseburger from Winfield’s outstretched hand.
And he was especially rapt when the “White Dog” chased down Richard Roundtree, chased him through the doors of a church and savaged the man. That made me a little nervous when after theVaran the Unbelievable scene Giant Dog looked at me and smiled, panting slightly. (Maybe I should be nicer to him.)
There was one excellent scene: the “White Dog” has escaped and is prowling the garbage cans for something to eat when a black child comes outside to play. The dog starts to pad towards it and there’s real suspense that he’ll see the child. The suspense is doubled when the child’s mother comes out into the street and scolds the child to come back indoors.
Giant dog raised up during this scene. He was reacting. I think he was watching a different movie than me for sure. I was watching a movie about a good animal transformed and warped by the illogical hatred of men into something that seemed cruel and hurt. He was watching a movie about a dog running around and scaring other animals and getting cheeseburgers for beating up people!
I really have to make a point of being nicer to him. Last night he refused to get off the bed so I Wet Back could lie down!
I think this is a sign that I have to decide just how good of a friends are we?
(That was a joke. We’re very good friends and he’d never hurt anyone . . . unless a cheeseburger was in the offing . . . wait, no that’s my puppy who’d sell me out for a cheeseburger!!)
I have no idea what, if anything, I’ll get accomplished today. That’s what bothers me the most about these white nights. What they mean to the day.
I promised some Christmas music. One thing to understand is that when you’re in a working band the prime gigs are always New Year’s Eve and Christmas week.
A bar or a club Christmas week is a different place. If you’re lucky it will be filled with people who just got into town to see their families and are looking to hook up with friends they haven’t seen since summer. They’re filled with good humor and good will. Then there are the quiet and desperate for whom the holidays only serve to remind them of lonliness and loss. Then there’s the hustlers, they are always out and we all know what they’re after.
In the band you have to entertain them all and you better have a couple of Christmas songs on the play list or it will become a lost gig.
You need a song that will enchance the good will of the happy, cleanse the mood of the depressed and it better have a rocking beat so the hustlers can dance with their prey.
These are three semi-klazziks.
The Trashmen have always defined teen genius to me. Teen genius is that ability to catch a mood without having a clue as to where it come from. To me its no surprise that they came up with the perfect bar Christmas tune, “Dancin’ With Santa” is everything you want in a Christmas song. Its easy t imagine five guys stomping this one out on a poorly lit stage.
Three Aces and A Joker have one of the coolest names in rock and roll history. They’re remembered only becasue of one song, a cover, but maybe the greatest cover ever. No one knows much about these guys. Who needs to know. Its all right there in this tough rockabilly punk number “Sleigh Bell Rock”. If you don’t dig this then I really feel sorry for you. You’ve probably joined the ranks of the walking dead. This little tune will feed your craving for brains.
Buck Owens wasn’t always a bit of a fool on bad TV shows. He was the original Bakersfield Cowboy. Smashing Skating
Click images for desktop size: “Smashing Skating” by Smashing Magazine
He earned the right to wear too many rhinestones by playing clubs that really needed chicken wire strung across the stage. Where a bad set would lead to a bunch of oil workers and construction workers laying for the band in the parking lot. A Friday night is a vauable thing to a working man, to valuable for a cruddy band to mess up. I don’t think anybody ever punched out Buck Owens. His Country Western Christmas tune is driving, amusing and oh so cool, from Barstow to Austin “Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy” is the tune to lift you up and make you smile while you wrap your kids presents.
Now this Chris Bailey cover of a Buddy Holly song isn’t about Christmas, its still the perfect arrangement for a Christmas gig. Its a slow dnce number so people can get close and its so touching This Island Earth and bittersweet it almost makes you want to get dumped so you have a right to feel this oh so touching pain. When Buddy Holly wrote the song it was a bouncy catchy tune. When Chris Bailey sings “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” it becomes a weapon of pain. Near perfect for the revelers to remember the past year, for the lonely to justify their grief ad for the hustlers to exploit.
And isn’t that at least part of what Christmas is all about?

We all just need a minute

Eaarth Moon by Xviews The weather was just as lousy as predicted. Its cold now. Not frigid but a nasty damp cold that permeates my body even inside.
Even though I did finally successfully get a non-raging fire going in the fireplace the wood is too wetHigh Terrace now for me to take a stab at it again today.
It looks like its going to stay wet through the day until the temps drop own into the 20’s and the snow starts.
I feel like sighing.
Yesterday the dogs were so stoked when we went out for our daily walk that I’m going to take them out again today at the first lull in the weather. They were disappointed they couldn’t knock me down.
Couldn’t sleep well last night. Some of its just my mundane candy_cane.jpg worries. Part of it is that my friend is in pain now from some of her old ailments. I’m a small expert in pain and it bothers me when someone I care about hurts.
A couple of days ago she went on about how happy she was at work. She was stoked that she was making corn brea and that another guy at the office was making vegetarian chili. She was happy about working. I was glad.
Then she got the word that her level 2 boss was resigning effective January. That sort of ruptured her little happy bubble. She knows it will be okay but for now she’s properly saddened. She liked her boss.
Yesterday was more of a set up day to get things done than real accomplishments. I have to bring in the concrete statue that sits on the little blind dog’s place. It seemed heavier than I’d remembered and while I was cursing my body for growing weak I finally got the thing to move and discovered it had frozen to the ground and that there was a good four inches of frozen mud clinging to the base, I guess that’s a positive to the rain. The mud melted off of the statue.
Nineteen and 57 I’m not looking forward to bringing the statue in. I liked it outside. It gave me something peaceful to look at. But my friend tells me that the coming cold could crack and shatter the thing! Rah! I really didn’t know the cold was capable of that much destruction.
I set up the web site to be renewed for another year. This was partially by accident. I thought I was just insuring I had the option to renew. I do as I can cancel the renewal up until December 18th but they charged me for it yesterday.
I guess I’m good with that.
Two software script things with the site. I’ve updated to Movable Type 4.23. This was called a MANDATORY security upgrade for an “unexploited security hole”. Ever since the WordPress part of
The Green Archer
the site was hacked I take those warnings more seriously than I used to.
The upgrade went pretty easily. Tedious as usual but easy enough. I remembered not to just dump things in this time so I didn’t lose configurations and plug-ins like I’ve managed to do almost always in the past.
The new Movable Type actually already had the cgi scripts ready made as executables. That was a relief. It spared me that annoying glitch of finding everything not working and then having to go in and switch attributes and permissions around.
It seems a tiny bit faster and still rock solid. I’m a bit curious as to what the security hole was. On WordPress the hacker was able to use its hole to inject a virus that could have infected the hosting services entire server!
ecto, the software I like and use to do the preliminary layout of my posts was sold to a big company . . . I’m worried about that. It used to be kind of nice to be able to squawk directly to the developer about glitches and problems. I’ve no idea what will happen when a “team” is maintaining it.
The first thing they’ve seem to have done is end the interminable string of beta’s. I think they were up to beta 46 or thereabouts. This is now ecto 3.0. Which seems to mean almost nothing. Maybe there were some fixes but nothing I could notice.
I still use MarsEdit for the final proofing of code and stuff. ecto rules for layout (yes, I really do like Ready For Christmas by SW4 it looking this cramped and messy) but MarsEdit is still the easiest for straight code.
And after living with the AppleTV update I noticed it doesn’t do much for me. The new “features” are pretty blah (playlists with audio and video? I mean, like does anybody care about that?). The only visible thing I’ve seen is that now, in the file listing, it shows a little HD badge next to HD encoded movies . . . I happen to like little badge things but it hardly seemed worth the effort.
BUT, I haven’t fully tested this out yet but 2.3 does seem to have addressed a creepy bug introduced in 2.2. Before a Chinese, Japanese or Korean movie would not play! You had to go into Quicktime and change the properties to English for the soundtracks and video tracks then save the m4a or mp4 file to a .mov file. Pretty stupid and tedious extra work.
I haven’t got the media files yet to do a full test but tracks coded as Korean, Japanese and Chinese I Bury the Living sound tracks and English video tracks play fine. I don’t have any Traditional Chinese tracks or foreign language video tracks to test readily to hand.
For someone like me who watches a lot of foreign movies this is a big deal. Also understand that changing the properties in Quicktime does not change the language! It only trips some flags someplace that tell the AppleTV what to do.
I did realize last night, when we were watching the end of the uber cool “Legendary Weapons of China” that since the AppleTV came into the house I have not even turned on a DVD player! I still like the machine especially with Boxee installed.