Archive for March, 2010

Daily Batman: To walk safely through the maze of human life …

March 31, 2010

Today’s incarnation of the draw batgirl meme is done by violetice, aka becky, on the lj.


Music and Movie Moment: Forbidden Zone

March 31, 2010

Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo — Forbidden Zone (title song)

Forbidden Zone (Richard Elfman, 1980) starred the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, later to be renamed just Oingo Boingo, wild gypsy cult genius Susan Tyrell, Viva — Warhol’s Blue Movie Superstar, believed to be the first non-anonymous performer to have sex on screen — and Hervé Villechaize, better known as Tattoo (“Zee plane!”) on Fantasy Island, as the king of the Sixth Dimension. Also, award-winning composer Danny Elfman plays Satan.

It is a wonderful, unforgettable mess. It begins with a title card informing us that, while on a mission to retrieve some heroin from the basement of one of the vacant homes in the Los Angeles basin where he also makes his living as a slumlord, a pimp named Huckleberry accidentally discovered a portal to the Sixth Dimension, which, once he cleaned the drugs from, he then sold to the Hercules family, who are the main Earth-side characters in the film.

(The frog is named Bust Rod. Later, he has sex with a topless Princess. He is pretty fly for a frog. Think about it: when is the last time you banged a panties-only Princess? See? Fly.)

“Oey vey — the Yiddishe Charleston!” Gene Cunningham and Virginia Rose play Ma and Pa Hercules, although Cunningham is credited under his actual name only as playing the role of the pimp, Huckleberry Jones — for his role as Jones’ tenant, and pere to the Hercules clan, he is listed as Ugh Fudge Bwana.


Matthew Bright plays Squeezit, one of the film’s protagonists and classmate to Flash Hercules and the lovely and talented Miss Susan B. Hercules, aka “Frenchy.” Frenchy is arguably the lead character of Forbidden Zone, and her journey into the Sixth Dimension is the impetus for the majority of the film’s action. Oh, my stars and garters, could Squeezit possibly be a reference to masturbation?? Perish the thought. Bright also shares writing credits for the screenplay.


At the time the movie was filmed, Marie-Pascal Elfman (nee Saboff), who plays Frenchy, pictured above and below, was married to Richard Elfman. She is the mother of Bodhi Elfman, who is Jenna “Dharma” Elfman’s husband. Jenna and Bodhi met waiting on line to audition for a Sprite commercial.

Ms. Saboff Elfman served not only as the star of Forbidden Zone but was also responsible for the majority of the sets, which she designed and erected inside two separate sound stages. The Expressionist sets feature dice motifs, forced perspective, and stippling. They were mainly painted by hand on to paper which she then hung all around the sound stages, changing the backdrops as scenes required it.


Some examples of the animation sequences and production design. The design was heavily influenced by pre-WWII cartoons and the work of Max Fleischer and the Fleischer Brothers’ Studios, the best examples of whose animation you probably know being Betty Boop and Popeye. Together with a soundtrack that, besides original songs performed by Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo and “the Kipper Kids,” featured music by Cab Calloway and Josephine Baker, the movie’s design and feel really harkened back to the 1930’s, despite dealing with weirdo modern wonderfully cultish themes.


The picture takes a dim view of a) Los Angeles and b) the sad state of public schools. Well-viewed, picture (well shone, Moon), but I think the movie’s overall Expressionist, 1930’s cartoonish artistic glory is really not intended as a plot-driven vehicle for social commentary so much as it is an endless parade of visuals that will stick with you for life. Any knowing send-ups of modern convention are virtually coincidental. The movie is like an acid trip through a Hollywood backlot. The number “Swingin’ Through the Alphabet,” from which the above screencap comes, was inspired by the Three Stooges short “Violent is the Word for Curly.”



…A respectful fan asked Mr. Elfman “What the fuck were you thinking?” Elfman replied that he was trying to capture on film the spontaneous creative energy of his legendary band “the Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo.” In the 70s they performed all kinds of crazy performance music theater, a kind of tripped out cabaret in L.A and NYC.

(“Review of Richard Elfman’s cult masterpiece FORBIDDEN ZONE in color!” MacDermot, Hal. 20 July 2009. Quiet Earth.)

“Frenchy” lands in the Sixth Dimension and King Fausto falls in love with her. This makes Queen Doris, played by Susan Tyrell, understandably upset. So she has Frenchy thrown in prison. Don’t you wish you could do that to people? “Send her to jail.” “Um, what’s the charge?” “She looked at him.” Very Red Queen and yet legitimately reasonable. As Psycho McJealouspants, proud holder of a degree in Flipping the Fuck Out (minor in Coming Unglued with special concentration in Keying Your Car) from Sex-Makes-Me-Crazy State University, I totally approve.


The animation was done by John Muto, who at the time was virtually an unknown. He has gone on to work on some of my favoritest movies, including Night of the Comet, Heart and Souls (I am a sucker for Robert Downey, Jr. every time), and Wilder Napalm (as a closet pyro, that movie is so hot to me).

For my money, one of the main reasons to watch is the Princess, here, but that’s just the type of predatory, untrustworthy, ulteriorally motivated person I am.

Outre freaky musicals are fun to watch and fascinating as cultural artifacts, yes, but can we not also agree that way cool as well are tiny blondes, and when they are topless, so much the nicer for us all?

I am unafraid to make that statement. I also like lemon meringue pie. I consider the preferences of equal harmlessness. Alert the media.


The insane “Kipper Brothers” [do] a mad musical number as boxers which involves punching themselves and blowing raspberries, and evolves into a Rumba sung by a fat kid with a Mr. Ed talking mule superimposed mouth effect, and the adorable Frenchy dancing with Mr. Bust Rod.

(MacDermot.)



Actor Hervé Villechaize was the only actor with a paid salary. (the wiki)

Getting paid to get yelled at by your ex-girlfriend is I guess better than having to do it for free, yes?


TW: The Kipper Kids, who, for those who don’t know, are notorious, diaper-wearing, soccer-hooligan, lip-farting performance artists.

RE: Yes. The Kipper Kids. You know, it’s Presley, Sinatra … the Kipper Kids. Great vocalists can do so much with a number.

(DiGiovanna.)



He wrote, directed, produced, choreographed and generally supervised all aspects of “The Forbidden Zone.” It took 21 days on a sound stage scattered over ten months – including a number of weeks in a garage with animator John Muto. Elfman’s wife, Marie-Pascale Elfman designed and painted the paper sets (with help from Villechaiz) and co-starred Elfmans 29-year-old brother, Danny (leader of a musical ensemble known as Oingo Boingo), wrote the striking music and played Satan.

(“The Man Behind ‘Forbidden Zone’.” Rense, Rip. August 18, 1982. L.A. Herald-Examiner.)



Chicken: You know the chickens are always ready to help you any way we can. But as you know…
Squeezit: What can chickens do?
Chicken: Precisely.

Squeezit thinks he is a chicken. It’s a problem a lot of boys have.



The cast includes Toshiro Baloney, The Kipper Kids, Viva and someone called Ugh Fudge-Bwana. “This is actually a phonetic spelling of his name, which is Swedish and difficult to pronounce,” explained Elfman. (Ibid.)


“Call it a bizarre comedy with music. If I could describe it better, I’d be a journalist,” said Elfman. He might be. Elfman is certainly documenting some aspects of modern American culture, however idiosyncratically. This movie does indeed defy more specific quantification. (An hour-long earlier version entitled “The Hercules Family” was refused by numerous distributors as “Being a threat to national security.”)

(Ibid.)

Oh, my god, Elfman fed that dude for the Herald-Examiner so many lies and half-truths. What a trip. It’s cracking me up.


After escaping the septic tank, Flash and Gramps come across a woman who tells them that she was once happily married to the king, until Doris stole the throne by seducing her, “even though she’s not my type.” The ex-queen has been sitting in her cell for 1,000 years, and has been writing a screenplay in order to keep her sanity.

(the wiki)



Tuscon Weekly: Aside from the Kipper Kids, the biggest star in the movie was Hervé Villechaize, who plays King Fausto. How did you get him?

Richard Elfman: Matthew Bright was his roommate. His ex-girlfriend was (Forbidden Zone co-star) Susan Tyrrell. Herve and Susan were already exes when the film was being shot, and periodically, they’d have tremendous fights. And it was comic/tragic, because she had a voice box from the Lincoln repertory, you could hear her from 2,000 yards away. And Herve had a small voice, so you could hear him squawking and hear her yelling.

(“Intestinal Fortitude.” DiGiovanna, James. March 31, 2005. Tuscon Weekly.)


The truly bizarre Forbidden Zone features among its wealth of surrealistic imagery the late Hervé Villechaize as the libidinous king of the sixth dimension; expressionistic production design that would drive Dr. Caligari to distraction; and Richard’s brother Danny, more recently the composer of virtually every modern film score you truly enjoy listening to repeatedly, as a Cab Calloway-fetishizing Satan – all of whom live in the basement, sort of, of the extended Hercules clan.

(“I Know That Voice.” Savlov, Marc. July 30, 2004. Austin Chronicle.)


Far different from the brother Danny-fronted Oingo Boingo of “Weird Science,” this multi-Elfmaned project (alongside Danny there’s Richard’s wife, Marie-Pascale Elfman, as heroine Frenchy) is a genuine curiosity, part vaudeville act, part borderline softcore raunch, and completely, utterly weird in the best sense of the word. (Ibid.)

Following the film’s color release on DVD from Fantoma and Legend Films, it was announced that a sequel was in the works. With an allegedly slated release date of 2010, Forbidden Zone II: Forbidden Galaxy has the following imdb summary, written by Richard Elfman himself.


Ma and Pa Kettle leave the depressed Dust Bowl with their kids, Stinky and Petunia, and drive their old jalopy down to Crenshaw in South-Central Los Angeles. Stinky is a hyper-active 12-year-old; Petunia is a lumbering 13-year-old; Ma is a corn-cob pipe-smoking inbred, and Pa is a craven, drunken carnival geek…with a bad disposition…even before his carnival job folded after the last dust storm. Together, they hope to find a better life in California. Unfortunately, the little shack they rent has a basement connected to the Sixth Dimension, ruled by a horny midget king who is growing an army of dead zombie babies…to take over Earth.

Coming soon to a theater near you?

Most stills courtesy Pilar Sama and you&me via the Nostalgia Party No. 2 community on the lj. Thanks!

Unbelievably photorealistic art by painter Diego Gravinese

March 30, 2010


“Cometa.”

Check that mad rad shit out. Nope, it is not a photoshopped photograph, nor a digitally altered picture of a painting, or any other chicanery like that. Amazingly enough in this day and age, Argentinian artist Diego Gravinese uses oil paints and no fancy computer tricks to create these images.


“Coloso.”

Diego Gravinese was born in La Plata, Argentina in 1971. His work has been shown internationally over the past 15 years in New York, Paris, Madrid, Turin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, and Los Angeles. He worked with Ruth Benzacar and ZavaletaLab galleries in Buenos Aires and with DeChiara gallery in New York. He currently lives and works in Buenos Aires.

(bio via flavorpill.)


“My Favorite Thoughts.”

[Gravinese] sometimes goes by the name Nekomomix. His work explores the juxtaposition of vibrant and photo realistic figurative imagery with a variety of pop elements: these might include cartoons, book illustrations, maps and a plethora of other images borrowed from both personal and public realms.

(review via paintalicious, which I see is undergoing web maintenance today but should be up and running again soon. awesome site.)


“The Offering.” My favorite.

These elements sometimes cross over in subtle ways, thus bridging the gap between figurative and cultural elements of the paintings. Gravinese’s use of light and color gives the paintings an atmospheric quality, in a style both painterly and so refined.

(Ibid.)


“El elastico.”

His official site is under construction still, but you can visit his galleries of work on the flickr, which is from where I collected this small smattering of his art. There is tons more, and it’s all awesome.


Mr. Gravinese posing with some of his work. I know, right? I actually saved this picture as “omg,” all gushy like a twelve year old.

Oh, and P.S.? He is totally handsome and funny. Give him a spin, I’m serious.

Diego Gravinese is one of the best photorealistic painters in the world. He’s not just technically gifted, but his images are like freeze-frames from the TiVos of our lives — a quick hit of the pause button to capture a passing moment just as it was, forever. But taken out of context, there are endless stories to tell about each. … If Charlie Kaufman were a painter, he’d be Diego Gravenese [sic].

(review via yuppiepunk.org, right here on the wordpress.)


“The Method.” Look closely at the picture. It’s a picture of a painting of him painting a picture. AMAZING.

There has been much debate over the years on whether the replication of photographs in paint can actually be considered art or just an example of exceptional technical skill. Where do you sit on that topic? For me when I look at painting such as these by Argentinian painter Diego Gravinese I actually think they’re pretty damn amazing, but then again so are the photographs that he references for his work. Is the art in the idea, the execution or both? I don’t know, you either like it or you don’t, you decide.

(“Extraordinary photorealism of the ordinary by Diego Gravinese.” Lucas, Luke. April 11, 2009. Lifelounge.com)

For me, I like them. A lot. You can also follow Mr. Gravinese on the twitter. Super-cool!

Daily Batman: Bat-plug edition

March 30, 2010


via Joetace.

I know it’s baffling, dude, but it’s really important to try new things.

Daily Batman: art by Bengal

March 27, 2010

Dig it and scope out more artwork by Bengal.


“The cat lives alone, has no need of society, obeys only when she pleases, pretends to sleep that she may see more clearly, and scratches everything on which she can lay her paw.” — François R. Chateaubriand

By that definition, I am getting much less feral. And I like it.




initially encountered via 4thletter, with thanks.

Music and Movie Moment: Nancy Adams — “Love,” featured in the cartoon Robin Hood

March 27, 2010

Nancy Adams – “Love”

For me, Disney’s animated adaptation of Robin Hood (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1973) is the definitive version of the legend, but it is widely documented that I am immature and impressionable.

If the love story between cartoon fox Robin Hood and cartoon vixen Maid Marian did not absolutely melt your young heart then we have nothing to offer each other and you are furthermore a robot who has not been programmed to know love.


Love, It seems like only yesterday
You were just a child at play
Now you’re all grown up inside of me
Oh, how fast those moments flee


Once we watched a lazy world go by
Now the days seem to fly
Life is brief, but when it’s gone
Love goes on and on.


Ooooooh Love will live
Oooooh-ooooh-oooh Love will last
Ooooooh Love goes on and on and on.


Once we watched a lazy world go by
Now the days seem to fly
Life is brief, but when it’s gone
Love goes on and on.


Robin Hood: We’ll have six children!

Marian: Six? Oh, a dozen at least!

Hoo! The lady would like to double down, Mr. Hood. Dag. This is a vixen with some serious brass balls.


Marian: Oh, Clucky, surely he must know how much I really love him.

Lady Cluck: But of course, my dear. Believe me, someday soon, your Uncle King Richard will have an outlaw for an in-law!


Hiss: Sire! Sire! They may be bandits.

Prince John: Oh, poppycock. Female bandits? What next? Rubbish.


Prince John: Robbed. I’ve been robbed. Hiss! You’re never around when I need you! Hiss — I’ve been robbed!

Hiss: Of course you’ve been robbed!



Little John: You’re burning the chow!

Robin Hood: Sorry, Johnny. I guess I was thinking about Maid Marian again. I can’t help it. I love her, Johnny.

Little John: Look, why don’t you stop moaning and moping around? Just marry the girl.

Robin Hood: Marry her? You don’t just walk up to a girl, hand her a bouquet, and say, “Hey, remember me? We were kids together. Will you marry me?” It just isn’t done that way.


Little John: Aw, come on. Climb the castle walls. Sweep her off her feet. Carry her off in style!

Robin Hood: It’s no use, Johnny. I’ve thought it all out, and it just wouldn’t work. Besides, what have I got to offer her?

Little John: Well, for one thing, you can’t cook.

Robin Hood: I’m serious, Johnny. She’s a highborn lady of quality.

Little John: So she’s got class. So what?

Robin Hood: I’m an outlaw, that’s what. That’s no life for a lovely lady, always on the run. What kind of a future is that?

Friar Tuck: Oh, for heaven’s sake, son. You’re no outlaw. Why, someday, you’ll be called a great hero.

When ABC used to have that Disney Sunday Night movies segment, I recorded this on to a VHS. Around a year later, one of the other networks ran Sixteen Candles, which, being a dutifully Molly Ringwald-worshiping young woman of the 1980’s, I naturally recorded, carefully fast-forwarding through Robin Hood to the blank remainder of the tape. Some time later that Spring were the televised Grammy awards, which I also recorded, on to that same tape, at the request of my mother because she had some kind of a PTA meeting/Tupperware presentation/murky, boring grown-up shenanigan to attend and my mom is a big Grammy guy from Way Back. She is a fan of Awards Shows in general. My mother approves of an industry’s recognition of those within it who have displayed special talents. She is a kind lady like that.

I rewatched the videotape a few years ago, beginning with Robin Hood for my kidlet, then Sixteen Candles while she napped, then all the way through to the Grammys, mainly on fast-forward with a nostalgic half-smile at the 80’s fashions, and then suddenly I stopped in awe — as a-ha performed “Take On Me” in cramazing outfits of formal ruffled tuxes and the keyboardist in mad rad white gloves.

So, to recap this little anecdote: 1. Robin Hood. 2. Sixteen Candles. 3. a-ha dressed to kill and doing “Take On Me” live at the 1986 Grammy Awards.

Best VHS I own? I think so.



Prince John: I sentence you to sudden, instant, and even immediate death!

Marian: Oh, no. Please. Please, sire. I beg of you to spare his life. Please have mercy.


Prince John: My dear, emotional lady, why should I?

Marian: Because I love him, Your Highness.

Prince John: Love him? And does this prisoner return your love?

Robin Hood: Marian, my darling, I love you more than life itself.

Oh, Robin, you’re so brave and impetuous.


Little John: And now, your mightiness, allow me to lay some protocol on you —

Prince John: Oh, no, no! Forgive me, but I lose more jewels that way…

There really was a King Richard the Lionheart and a younger brother named Prince John with his eye on the throne. In fact, John staged a rebellion when his older brother ascended to the throne in 1189 but it was unsuccessful and resulted in him being generally unpopular in his brother’s court, where he was called “Lackland” (because he was not the inheritor) and “Softsword” (I hope this is only a reference to being shitty at rebellions and not a veiled mockery of impotence. that happens to lots of guys and it’s nobody’s fault).

Richard and John (along with their brothers Henry and Geoffrey, all of whom attempted at one time or another to take the throne from their father) were Plantagenets, the sons of Henry II and the infamously strong-willed Eleanor of Aquitaine. This is probably why the mere mention of his mother makes John go on a thumbsucking frenzy in the animated film. Her husband Henry had her imprisoned beginning in 1173 until his death. He basically said something like, “You can’t come out ’til you stop helping our sons try to depose me,” and, indeedy, she was not released until Henry II died in 1189. (cf: The Lion in Winter.)

Eleanor was the most powerful woman in the High Middle Ages, a real force to be reckoned with, and, unusually, all sources contemporaneous to her life agree that she was not only outstandingly beautiful, but not voluptuous or blonde as was the ideal at the time — she was able to pass herself off in drag as a man even in her fifties, at a time when ladies had some pretty serious hams. (I love that the words “hams” and “cans” can mean any body part on a woman and work.)

In reality, when Richard inherited the throne in 1189 and went gallivanting off to the Third Crusade, it was Eleanor, not bonny Prince Johnny, who stood in for him. She even went to Germany and negotiated Richard’s ransom. Following his brother’s death without an heir, John ruled from 1199 to 1216 and was supposedly so dreadful as a king that the English swore never again to have a king named John.

True to their word, they haven’t.

(However, I’d like to point out that John signed the Magna Carta, a document which was in many ways the forerunner of democratic rule, while Richard started an abominable straight-up pogrom in London that killed thousands. I’m just sayin’.)

Wes Anderson recently featured this song on the soundtrack to Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is probably an homage, because he probably really liked this movie when he was a kid, too, because I did, and we’re probably going to get married someday and bang, like, all the time. Just all kinds of places, even, too. All over the house and the neighborhood, so much that they will rechristen our town Bang City. Bangsville. Bang Island. St. Bang’s Township, the jewel of Bangburg County, in sunny Bangland. Swing by and visit us at Banglots Village, elevation: banging.

People will call us all like, “What are you doing next weekend?” and we will be like, “Banging. We are emphatically not free for dinner,” and my mother will email me to sadly say in all caps, “E— WHY DO I NEVER HEAR FROM YOU ANYMORE,” to which I will reply, “It is because I am very busy doing all this banging of my husband, Wes Anderson.”

Not really. I’m not that interested in Mr. Anderson anymore. He is still a great director, but I no longer see myself banging him, certainly not all the time and definitely not while we are both married. I’d just been sitting on that little “banging” diatribe for awhile and wanted to use it.




Special thanks to the sources of these screencaps, cheesechimp and bottle_of_smoke in the Nostalgia Party No. 2 community on the lj.

Movie Moment: Jennifer’s Body

March 24, 2010

Jennifer’s Body, 2009. Directed by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) and written by Diablo Cody (Juno).


Nerdy, reserved bookworm Needy and arrogant, conceited cheerleader Jennifer are best friends, though they share little in common. They share even less in common when Jennifer mysteriously gains an appetite for human blood after a disastrous fire at a local bar. As Needy’s male classmates are steadily killed off in gruesome attacks, the young girl must uncover the truth behind her friend’s transformation and find a way to stop the bloodthirsty rampage before it reaches her own boyfriend Chip. (the imdb)


“Jennifer’s Body” is not only a fantasy of revenge against the predatory male sex, though the ultimate enactment of that revenge is awfully satisfying. The antagonism and attraction between boys and girls is a relatively straightforward (if, in this case, grisly) matter; the real terror, the stuff of Needy’s nightmares, lies in the snares and shadows of female friendship.

(“Hell is other people, especially the popular girl.” 18 September 2009. Scott, A.O. The New York Times.)


The relationship between Needy and Jennifer is rivalrous, sisterly, undermining, sadomasochistic, treacherous and tender. …

Ms. Cody and Ms. Kusama take up a theme shared by slasher films and teenage comedies — that queasy, panicky fascination with female sexuality that we all know and sublimate — and turn it inside out. This is not a simple reversal of perspective; “Jennifer’s Body” goes further, taking the complication and confusion of being a young woman as its central problem and operating principle. (Ibid.)


In this movie, hell is actually two girls, embroiled in the fiendish complexity of a deep female friendship. The fact that one of them is a boy-eating demon is, believe it or not, secondary.

(“Jennifer’s Body: Megan Fox Is a Man Eater.” 18 September 2009. Pols, Mary. Time.)


Female empowerment would have been the obvious message here, with Jennifer’s bloody appetites stemming from a take-back-the-night scenario gone terribly awry, so it was a pleasure to see Cody and Kusama delving instead into the frequently disempowering effect of female friendships. (Ibid.)


[Jennifer’s Body’s] depiction of the ways in which women like Needy are willing to compromise themselves to indulge an ultimately less secure friend is spot-on. (Ibid.)


As a comic allegory of what it’s like to be an adolescent girl who comes into sexual and social power that she doesn’t know what the heck to do with, [Jennifer’s Body] is a minor classic.

(“Horror-comedy with feminist bite.” 18 September 2009. Rickey, Carrie. The Philadelphia Inquirer.)


“There is within Diablo Cody the soul of an artist, and her screenplay brings to this material a certain edge, a kind of gleeful relish, that’s uncompromising. This isn’t your assembly-line teen horror thriller. The portraits of Jennifer and Needy are a little too knowing.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


Kusama and Cody’s collaboration is a wicked black comedy with unexpected emotional resonance, one of the most purely pleasurable movies of the year so far.

To quote Courtney Love (whose song “Jennifer’s Body” gave the movie its title and whose music plays over the closing credits), Jennifer Check is the girl with the most cake.

(“Jennifer’s Body: One of the most purely pleasurable movies of the year so far.” 17 September 2009. Stevens, Dana. Slate.)


“At least nobody’s falling in love with a brooding hunk of an eyeliner-wearing vampire in this movie. Come to think of it, I’d like to see Jennifer get transferred to that Twilight high school and shake things up.” — Richard Roeper. (I never thought I’d agree with him on anything, but holy cannoli, Richard Roeper. Have mercy! A quote like that gets a gal hummin’: I may yet have your stupid, studio-ass-kissing baby, after all.)


Megan Fox, whose previous roles called on little more than her ability to successfully straddle a motorcycle, nails this tricky role. She does more than look sensational—she shows us what it feels like to be a sensational-looking young woman and to wield that as your only power. Fox seems to understand the key gambit of Cody’s script: Her character is less a teenage girl turned monster than an exploration of the monster that lurks inside every teenage girl.

(Stevens, Slate.)


Needy: I thought you only murdered boys.
Jennifer: (shrug) I go both ways.

The negative early reviews with which “Jennifer’s Body” has been greeted are puzzling. Critics seem irked that the picture’s not a full-on horror film or a straight teen comedy or a familiar satirical combination of the two. But the movie has other intentions: It’s really about the social horrors of high school for adolescent girls.

The picture has a tone — smart and slashingly sarcastic — that’s all its own. It’s actually kind of brilliant.

(“Jennifer’s Body: Girl Trouble” 18 September 2009. By fucking KURT LODER. MTV.com)


Chip: I can take care of myself. I’ve been using the bowflex.


Needy: You know what? You were never really a good friend. Even when we were little, you used to steal my toys and pour lemonade on my bed!

Jennifer: And now I’m eating your boyfriend. See? At least I’m consistent.

Needy: Why do you need him? You can have anybody that you want, Jennifer. So why Chip? Just to tick me off? or is it because you’re just really that insecure?

Jennifer: I am not “insecure,” Needy. God! Wh–? That’s a joke! How could I ever be insecure? I was the Snowflake Queen!

Needy: Pffft. Yeah. Two years ago — when you were socially relevant —

Jennifer: (draws in breath) I … am … still … socially relevant.

Needy: — and when you didn’t need laxatives to stay skinny.

Jennifer: (full monster morph time)

Man. Frenemies always know the right buttons to push, amirite?

I think Needy’s relationship with Chip was really, really threatening to Jennifer. I think it is why Jennifer claimed to need to find talent outside of Devil Kettle and why she fixated on that Nikolai tool to begin with — she wanted Needy’s attention back, and she needed to create drama to get it, by going for a guy she knew her friend would have qualms about. She thought Needy would be jealous and want to ride to her rescue. Except it backfired because not only could Needy see through the so-called punk’s ridiculously fake exterior and the desperate, shallow need for everyone’s adulation that was his true inner core, but Jennifer’s pursuit of him exposed the same hollow innards in herself. That’s my take on what tipped the action in to play. Seaquest out. Back to the pros.


Not since Brian De Palma’s Carrie has a horror movie so effectively exploited the genre as a metaphor for adolescent angst, female sexuality and the strange, sometimes corrosive bonds between girls who claim to be best friends.

(Jennifer’s Body.” Rodriguez, Rene. 18 September 2009. Miami Herald.)


Driver: So. Why you headed east?
Needy: I’m — I’m following this rock band.
Driver: Wow, must be one hell of a group.
Needy: Actually … tonight’s going to be their last show.




Most stills courtesy of One Movie, One Day on the tumblr. Thank you so, so much for all your awesome, superfly screencaps!

Mean Girls Monday: Star Trek reboot edition feat. Spock’s mom

March 22, 2010

And, continuing that, Zachary Quinto and Winona Ryder at the premiere of Star Trek.

Finally, because it is extremely true:

Of course.

I got about a million Star Trek ones, as you might guess. So prep yourself.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: The course of true love

March 22, 2010

Wisely and slow: they do stumble that run fast. (Friar Laurence, Romeo and Juliet, 2.3.97)

Or, hurry up and say screw you to the non-plungers. Not to mention that you should basically not at all listen to advice from clergy in Shakespeare plays. Like, just almost never. The dude held little to no truck with religion.


Olivia Hussey in Zeffirelli’s R and J.

I always wanted to stop them from falling in love and pursuing what I saw to be a poorly-advised infatuation whenever I read this or saw film versions of this play (in the Baz Luhrmann version I all but shriek at Juliet to choose Paris instead, because Paris is Paul Rudd plus he is approved of by her father and Daddy’s Opinions Matter) but you know what? I was Dead Wrong. Fuck their families. They don’t always know what’s best. These two kids love each other: how many people can say that, honestly, and not be lying to avoid the uncomfortable truth that they settled. Sure, it ends badly. But, hey. At least Romeo and Juliet had happiness for a little while. I bet this is what other people have always thought about this play/film, huh? Wow. I am going to bring a whole different, probably-originally-intended level of interest to this material the next time I read or watch it.

Daily Batman: Movie Moment — Batman Returns

March 22, 2010

Batman Returns (Tim Burton, 1992). Screenplay by Daniel Waters.

Steamy couchy times with the Bat and the Cat. Who would predict, and what is that like?


SELINA
Well? Was “Vicki” right? About
your difficulty with duality?

BRUCE
If I said yes, then you might
think me a Norman Bates, or a Ted
Bundy type … and then you might
not let me kiss you.


SELINA
It’s the so-called “normal” guys
who always let you down. Sickos
never scare me. At least they’re
commited.

BRUCE
Then you’ve come to the
right lonely mansion.


BRUCE
I … never fool around on the
first date.

SELINA
Me neither, on the second.


BRUCE
So. What’re you doing three dates
from now?

Kicking some ass in the sewers.

All screencaps courtesy youdodoodletoo on the photobucket. Many hearfelt thanks!

Just another Monocle Monday: Ms. Carolyn Wells edition

March 22, 2010

“A cynic is a man who looks at the world with a monocle in his mind’s eye.” — Carolyn Wells (1862-1942): librarian, mystery writer, poet, absurdist, Jersey girl, baseball aficionado; heroine.


Via timbravo on the tumblr. Hell and goddang if that is not just about the g’est picture of a little kid I have ever seen.

Ms. Well’s famous limerick abount canny canners:

A canner exceedingly canny
One morning remarked to his granny:
“A canner can can
Any thing that he can
But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”


Illustration from Such Nonsense.

The awesome Ms. Wells, who began her literary career as a librarian in Rahway, NJ, had a binary-brained love of both words and wordplay, resulting in the kind of mind that invents riddles and complex, skillful patterns out of what appears to be nonsense. She compiled and published an anthology of clever verses by herself, some friends, and great absurd poets of the past who she admired called Such nonsense! an Anthology through George H. Doran Company, New York, in 1918. Some of the authors included in the anthology are G. K. Chesterton, Rudyard Kipling, William Makepeace Thackeray, Carroll, and W. S. Gilbert. You can read the entirety of the volume on the googlebooks, one of the seemingly last bastions that values lit without lumping it alongside lattes and shitty cd samplers of some Juilliard sophomore covering Bessie Smith. You know the kind of horrible CD sampler I am talking about:


Via officineottiche on the tumblr.

All black and white picture of the skinny blonde singer playing piano on the cover with her eyes closed, all you push the button on the screen to hear a sample and it sounds immediately like she has grown up on at least a quarter acre with probably a pony that she rode in jodphurs until she decided she wanted to be a ballerina instead but she was never so vulgar or interesting as to imagine combining the two interests and she is presently dating a trust fund guy with dreads who was obsessively checking his iTouchPhonesALot thingy the entire time she was in the studio making what we are broadly defining as a “record,” the record apparently being a record of the time some flat chick from upstate New York saw a homeless guy pawing through the trash in front of the Dean and Deluca and decided that because she had Feelings about it, she now had the right to perform herself some blues and has now come at the undertaking metaphorically wearing goggles and carrying a graduated cyllinder. (“Blues, this is going to hurt you a lot more than it hurts me.”)

Like so many times with me, that got way out of hand. I’m not sorry, but I am a little disappointed in myself. Seriously, though, dudes. Fuck the megabookstores: save the libraries.


Seen in several places. I choose not to credit until I can find an original source.

That last shot reminds me — PSA: I have pretty eyes. In fact, I have the prettiest brown eyes. Did You Know? Established fact, suckas. [citation needed]

Weekend bloody weekend

March 22, 2010

This weekend. It was a Thing.


Found via suicideblonde.

Usually I eschew lip rings, blood stains, and aren’t-we-so-troubled-and-Byronic creamed corn, but there was something fun and unpredictably upbeat about this shot. Liked it so much I googled the poo out of the photographer, Taylor Moore. Check out Moore Please to get more Moore from apt 4. Wide variety of cool styles, super-fun and consistently engaging work, great creative vision, no brooding bullshit, really well-crafted eye candy.


Still from Jules et Jim (Truffaut, 1962) via Celine Celines on the flickr.

I had an unusual and world-altering weekend. Like God decided to cancel the novel-in-progress of my life and let the kids on the fan fiction forums take the reigns with the plot. All kinds of non-canonical off-book storylines unfolding. Buckle up: it’s going to be a bumpy life.

Daily Batman: The Long Halloween — “St. Patrick’s Day”

March 17, 2010

Batman, The Long Halloween No. 6, “St. Patrick’s Day.”


Please note Dr. Isley’s hair is represented here by shamrocks instead of the customary ivy leaves. Erin-go-bragh, y’all!

If you are a mainly Nolanverse kind of guy, you might really enjoy the late 90’s Batman comic arc The Long Halloween, as the events of the arc unfold in the direct wake of series-re-energizing thriller Batman: Year One, which is where Nolan draws a lot of his grittier, more emotionally cordant material. The story is told via episodes centering around the holidays in every month of the year and it runs basically that a fledgling Batman, with the help of Catwoman, pursues a serial vandal and criminal known as the Holiday killer. Carmine Falcone (and daughter Sofia), Salvatore Maroni, the Joker, Dr. Jonathan Crane, the Riddler, Solomon Grundy, Poison Ivy, and many more also appear — even the Mad Hatter.


Jim Dandy to the rescue. That’s my Loo G.

Meanwhile, on the side of right, Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent (who is married to his wife Gilda, as there was NEVER ANY “RACHEL DAWES” in any of the comics, and also becomes Two-Face over the course of the arc in this version of his origin) are looking to prosecute Bruce Wayne as the Holiday killer, even bringing in Alfred Pennyworth to testify against him, while Selina Kyle labors to help Bruce’s enterprises stay afloat during the trial and keep the Wayne family name and reputation clean. Bruce convinces them of his innocence and suggests they strike a pact with the goddamned Batman to bring down the mob’s control of the city’s corrupt public enterprises.


Actually, I’m cheating; this is one of the final panels of the issue just before, No. 5, “Valentine’s Day,” revealing that Ivy has been following Bruce and Selina and plans to control Bruce to get at his monies for the mafia. This just proves you CANNOT trust vegans.

Sounding like all kinds of appealing and tantalizing plot strings? Heck, yes. Check the arc out. The Long Halloween: ask for it by name!

March Madness: Priscilla Wright, Miss March 1966

March 17, 2010

Dig those tanlines. Miss March 1966 was the lovely and talented Priscilla Wright, who preferred to go by Pat and was one helluva golfer.


Photographed by Mario Casilli.

This is a great, breezy shoot that emphasizes Ms. Wright’s love of the outdoors and brisk, sporty style. I really dig it.


My favorite shot.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer interdum ultricies nisl in ultrices. Quisque vestibulum fermentum tincidunt. Fusce id lectus vitae massa mattis tempus eget et ante. Nulla facilisi. Sed rutrum dui eget augue varius sodales varius orci aliquet. Etiam adipiscing accumsan mauris. Proin condimentum sollicitudin purus eget gravida. Nunc eget lacus ac nulla blandit mattis sit amet fringilla nisl. Aliquam ipsum felis, ornare vitae rutrum ut, tempus a nisl. Aenean in elit nec purus dictum facilisis at volutpat libero. Vestibulum in urna tellus. Aliquam in ipsum justo, mollis euismod felis. Aenean accumsan dapibus risus, vel dignissim tellus facilisis vestibulum. Mauris quis ligula nec turpis elementum facilisis non ut sem. Integer quis mauris vitae tortor sollicitudin blandit. Vivamus vel est turpis. Fusce ut odio quam. Morbi vulputate ipsum vel nisl scelerisque sit amet interdum velit iaculis. Duis eget sapien vel purus lacinia tristique id vehicula erat.

Integer lobortis lectus lectus, id rutrum justo. Aliquam vitae mauris in nulla sodales tempor. Quisque quis sapien metus, nec dignissim est. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla adipiscing lobortis orci vitae faucibus. Integer magna magna, facilisis id iaculis non, dictum quis massa. Phasellus vestibulum tincidunt tincidunt. Mauris eros erat, mattis sed sagittis aliquet, facilisis ut leo. Curabitur imperdiet tincidunt aliquet. Sed nibh magna, elementum porttitor cursus non, laoreet eu tortor. Donec in justo et mauris ornare interdum. Nam at pharetra velit. Aliquam erat volutpat. Morbi non elit sit amet orci interdum luctus non quis lorem. Pellentesque nisi lectus, consequat et malesuada mollis, mollis vel felis. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Vivamus placerat dictum diam vel interdum. Ut nec sem lacus.

Quisque vitae nisl id ante ultricies semper sit amet at enim. Sed odio mi, vulputate ac iaculis sit amet, sollicitudin nec felis. Vestibulum imperdiet lectus ut ipsum facilisis fringilla eu non purus. Vivamus porta euismod tortor, quis malesuada velit elementum in. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla at eros nulla, at vulputate odio. Cras in purus dolor. Duis fringilla lacinia sem, ut tempus augue venenatis pretium. Quisque ac metus a ligula vehicula faucibus eget nec nibh. Nunc sed arcu quis diam convallis dictum non in odio. Donec et placerat eros. Nunc congue gravida neque, sed vehicula nulla bibendum at. Vestibulum suscipit pellentesque lacus, ac faucibus est dapibus id. Etiam fringilla nisi sit amet neque ultricies eget laoreet nisi tincidunt. Maecenas at velit augue, in scelerisque felis. Curabitur dapibus, magna et tempus elementum, nunc libero commodo sapien, vel vehicula metus mi id quam. Praesent volutpat dui ac est feugiat egestas. Vivamus ligula diam, suscipit tempor dictum eget, aliquet id metus.

Donec ultrices pulvinar mi ac porta. Ut eu dolor sapien, in semper lectus. Quisque porttitor pharetra fringilla. Aliquam erat libero, blandit sed mollis ut, tincidunt eget elit. In ut ligula urna. Pellentesque ultricies luctus velit sed iaculis. Donec ut libero risus. Pellentesque pharetra condimentum dui ut ultrices. Morbi ac hendrerit lacus. Donec accumsan lobortis velit eget dictum.

Fusce leo tortor, accumsan at pulvinar vel, dapibus quis justo. Donec tortor leo, vehicula quis venenatis nec, viverra ac mi. Fusce nec arcu enim, id rhoncus nisl. Morbi elit nibh, egestas ut lacinia at, scelerisque id ante. Vestibulum quis turpis id ligula laoreet dapibus. Proin blandit augue vitae enim consequat et euismod justo sodales. Mauris sagittis hendrerit purus a tempor.

Vestibulum orci est, gravida sed vestibulum non, posuere nec elit. In dapibus, velit eget gravida auctor, est quam accumsan quam, ut aliquet felis dui vel metus. Morbi sed est nec risus aliquet aliquam et blandit erat. Integer semper dolor vitae felis semper vel congue nibh iaculis. Donec mattis convallis magna et accumsan. Praesent magna justo, malesuada vehicula elementum quis, mattis ac velit. Duis venenatis convallis eleifend. Proin ultricies adipiscing dui, nec interdum nulla malesuada non. Sed varius rutrum lectus ac rutrum. Pellentesque sit amet diam sed justo sagittis consequat nec a dolor. Curabitur auctor magna quis libero vehicula eleifend in ac lectus. Quisque gravida purus nec augue scelerisque vel imperdiet mi pharetra. Sed in dignissim enim. Phasellus bibendum blandit leo, at adipiscing sapien rutrum vitae. Etiam ornare varius dolor, id venenatis dolor varius ultricies. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer ut egestas enim.

.

Nunc quis orci dui. Vestibulum sit amet tincidunt lectus. Maecenas ac diam quam. Nam placerat libero tincidunt ligula volutpat sollicitudin. Nunc urna metus, laoreet sed lobortis eget, lobortis sit amet dui. Aliquam sagittis luctus ultricies. Maecenas velit turpis, tristique vel posuere nec, auctor in ipsum. Nulla id nulla nisi. Morbi iaculis, diam eu faucibus auctor, lectus turpis luctus felis, ac scelerisque ligula sapien vel felis. Donec luctus tempus fringilla. Praesent aliquet leo non massa vehicula ullamcorper a at nibh. Quisque dolor purus, commodo at suscipit at, fermentum vitae orci.

Pellentesque ut pretium tellus. Mauris vitae velit ut neque sollicitudin eleifend ut a leo. Donec sollicitudin accumsan urna vitae aliquam. Etiam et elit id neque tempus molestie ut at ipsum. Pellentesque vitae libero nulla. Integer nec nunc augue, non imperdiet massa. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Proin feugiat laoreet sem, a hendrerit leo iaculis sit amet. Etiam eget est lacus. Fusce sed ligula ac nisi laoreet laoreet. Aenean vel tellus ante. Proin odio dui, tincidunt quis viverra ut, fringilla et risus. Ut nec sem scelerisque justo mollis consectetur.

Etiam in neque id nisl venenatis luctus non eu elit. Duis egestas suscipit diam consectetur iaculis. Curabitur feugiat, nisl eget adipiscing posuere, ipsum purus pretium massa, aliquet congue nibh augue et risus. In lacus lorem, ullamcorper et malesuada ut, rhoncus eget turpis. Curabitur eu ante quis libero consequat varius suscipit eget leo. Aenean porta fermentum dapibus. Pellentesque in ante ligula, sit amet sagittis lacus. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Pellentesque aliquam ante sit amet augue malesuada ac vestibulum neque laoreet. Aenean semper rhoncus risus, vel vestibulum erat laoreet nec. Integer quis nisl aliquet metus venenatis ornare. Pellentesque mollis, felis a suscipit congue, metus justo consequat libero, vitae consequat nisi velit quis nisl. Proin neque ante, pulvinar id elementum eget, congue non elit. Pellentesque vitae eros dui. Praesent id cursus neque. Aenean interdum dictum mi nec congue.

Praesent vitae sem tortor, quis imperdiet lacus. Nullam lectus diam, feugiat at varius in, sagittis eget sem. Vivamus ut ipsum quam. Duis gravida iaculis purus, quis tincidunt diam lacinia vitae. Nunc imperdiet, metus vel cursus ultrices, libero neque fringilla eros, ut vestibulum massa lacus et tortor. Sed eu tortor lorem, pharetra tempus eros. Ut ornare mauris quis orci molestie mattis. Vestibulum justo magna, posuere sed ullamcorper id, blandit nec orci. Donec luctus, mauris ut luctus scelerisque, dolor elit sagittis turpis, vel posuere libero lacus ut sem. Aenean nec velit urna. Quisque rutrum consectetur turpis vitae interdum. Etiam condimentum tristique neque a mattis. Aliquam commodo, enim at convallis sagittis, nibh quam sodales dolor, vitae bibendum lorem nisl eu magna. Phasellus tempor lectus venenatis augue consequat laoreet. Morbi eleifend lorem quis felis porttitor eget elementum nulla sodales. Donec id mollis eros. Integer pretium posuere nulla ut aliquet. Vestibulum arcu lorem, malesuada sit amet elementum quis, commodo sed urna. Pellentesque quis nisl eget augue vehicula aliquet vel nec velit. Maecenas pharetra dictum cursus.

Etiam ac velit lobortis dui accumsan posuere condimentum et justo. Vestibulum eu metus placerat sem faucibus tempus sit amet ut nulla. Proin posuere, turpis vitae aliquet tempus, mauris metus fringilla tellus, eget fringilla ipsum tellus vel lectus. Etiam eu pharetra arcu. Phasellus eget condimentum leo. Maecenas ligula elit, molestie eget laoreet id, mollis at ipsum. Cras in tristique sem. Curabitur consectetur sodales nibh sit amet eleifend. Integer ut sapien in enim iaculis euismod. Aliquam non malesuada erat. Aenean ac adipiscing purus. Phasellus sodales, arcu in ultrices tempus, ante ante commodo dui, pulvinar dictum magna ante non ipsum.

Lorem Ipsum-ing it up ’til I have time to get back in here and add all my actual text: my grandmother was having a really great day and we’d been having fun, but the mail still hasn’t come with a new box of checks for her and she’s beginning to get pretty nervous. I’m going to suggest we make smoothies (she loves the blender because the container is clear and she gets a kick out of watching it whir — the Osterizer she has had since the 50’s has a silver cup and she likes ours better). I could’ve just left no text in between, but I’m too cool and Old School. So old school I drive a yellow bus with gothic arched windows!, to quote Achewood. Catch you on the flip, ASAP.

edit: We made dyed-green mousse instead.





Special thanks to marxz on the v-e forums.

March Madness: Fran Gerard, Miss March 1967

March 17, 2010

I was fortunate enough to stumble over the entire original layout and spread of the Playboy issue featuring the very lovely and very talented Ms. Fran Gerard, Miss March 1967.


Photographed by Mario Casilli and Gene Trindl. (Color work by Casilli, B&W shots by Trindl, according to the orig. spread’s credits)

We predict a sparkling future for our heavenly-bodied Miss March. Generously configured Fran Gerard is a girl for the stars. “We’re forever searching the cosmos for new meanings.” (“Stars In Her Eyes,” Playboy, March 1967.)

The specs-sporting young Ms. Gerard worked as an astrologer’s assistant (zodiac quackery rears its head AGAIN) in L.A. at the time of her appearance, so they made a big deal out of that.

But the main thing of her is that she is tied right up there with Janet Lupo, Cynthia Myers, etc, for the largest natural breasts ever to be featured in Playboy.

As it was quite sometime before Janet, Cyndi, Roberta Vasquez, Alana Soares, et al came along to potentially unseat Ms. Gerard as undisputed mammary queen (I am not bothering to list the silicone sweethearts whose plastic racks match the numbers in name only and never rate so high in the eyes of the lord), she has understandably enjoyed long-lasting and tremendous fame in the Playboy world.

A “little looker,” her Playmate data sheet reports she was just 5’2″ tall at the time of her appearance in the magazine at the alleged age of 19. Holy chumbuckets, I cannot even imagine the back trouble the girl had to have had by age 30. Sorry if that deglamourizes things, but dang. That’s some serious rackage to haul around for a chick that only weighed around 110.

More than just a pretty face hovering over likely-uncomfortably-giant knockers, Ms. Gerard was a genuinely swingin’ chick with a good head on her small shoulders. And great taste in music!

Our plenipotent Playmate is as versant with combos as with cosmos: “Charlie Parker’s ‘Ornithology’ was the greatest single ever made,” says Fran, “and I think E.S.P. by Miles Davis is the best LP.” Sinatra is her favorite singer, especially “Cottage for Sale.” (Ibid.)


She says, “[I] like artists Marc Chagall and Salvador Dali. They capture so much of the glory of the universe in their work, but I don’t think I’m being stuffy: I like ‘Batman,’ too!” (Ibid.)

“Batman”? Heyoooo! Actually, I have also always liked Chagall’s work, especially this one piece he did that told a Russian folk tale, if I’m remembering rightly… Maybe later this week I’ll throw up some stuff about him.


Fran credits another favorite, a book, with being the source of all this happiness and satisfaction. “It’s The Magic of Believing by C. M. Bristol. It helps you to think positively.” (Ibid.)

Fran’s favorite book is still in print. It is also available for purchase as an ebook. Here’s an excerpt from the first few paragraphs:

Is there some force, or factor, or power, or science—call it what you will—which a few people understand and use to overcome their difficulties and achieve outstanding success? I firmly believe that there is, and it is my purpose in this book to try to explain it so that you can use it if you desire.

Around 1933 the financial editor of a great Los Angeles newspaper attended lectures I gave to financial men in that city and read my brochure T.N.T.—It Rocks the Earth. Afterwards, he wrote, “You have caught from the ether something that has a mystical quality—a something that explains the magic of coincidence, the mystery of what makes men lucky.”

(source, and please do not consider the link an endorsement)

Wow, what is amazing about that is it could have been written, like, yesterday, except replace “1933” in the suspiciously specious and detail-lacking anecdote with “2003.” I did not think people were marketing murky bullshit that long ago, but I live to be surprised. I should’ve known, I suppose, given all the snake oil salesmen and shenaniganizers who’ve always walked this earth conning money out of suckers. Like the rightly revered Msr. Barnum observed, there is one born every minute.

I think I will try my hand at tossing off a few sentences.

A few years ago, I was addressing a colony of junebugs at an annual meeting. After the meeting, a junebug who had just been raised to upper hive-management approached me and invited me to have a drink. He told me that he had seen me speak at a junebug team-building conference near an abandoned swingset only six months earlier, and had returned to his nest eager to apply the Simple Principles that I teach. Within just a few months, he had already been promoted above his boss and was handling new junebug regions of management!


Like so many countless others that I have been happy to help, this junebug told me in that hotel bar that he would have never believed the success and accomplishments he would achieve in such a short time just by following these three simple steps to harnessing the power of YOUR potential to do Great Things!

(E., Right Here, Right Now.)

How did that sound? Would you buy my shit? No? I’m huge in junebug circles, picking up sales in bee hives, and keep it between us but I think I’m about to crack the highly elusive ladybug market. (What I am saying is that I think this is all fishsticks and curried potatoes, this malarkey. Positive thinking is very powerful, yes, and important to your overall well-being, but so is hustling your buns to earn a simple living and have rich relationships with loved ones rather than sucking down cultish nonsense like coca-cola and craving weird amounts of power through ESP. Mad love and respect to Ms. Gerard, but come on.)


I think this is the best shot of the lot.

The positively smashing Miss Gerard’s idea of a perfect man? Clark Gable. “Remember him as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind? He was too much,” says Fran appreciatively. (“Stars In Her Eyes.”)

Yes, I particularly enjoyed the scene where he got ten kinds of drunk and told Scarlett he was going to crush her head like a walnut, slapped her around a little, and then took her upstairs for some rough sex. You’re probably thinking that is some feminist, critical statement mired in sarcasm: you are sadly wrong. I’m messed up I guess, but I think that saucy Scarlett needs slapped around pretty much every goddamned minute of the day and Rhett was born for the job. They are a nasty, scheming, firey-eyed match made in hell and I think it makes an excellent and exciting love story, in a very dark and ugly way for which it seldom gets credit. So, today I say to you, Margaret Mitchell: Well done, sir.

The man who did the b&w work for this spread, Gene Trindl, was best known as a photographer for TV Guide. He shot over 800 spreads for them, and 200 covers. Dang, right? He died of pancreatic cancer June 29, 2004, two years after my cousin Tom and thirty-seven years after Jayne Mansfield. RIP, Mr. Trendl.


TURN-ONS: High fashion, antiques.
TURNOFFS: Arrogance, people and their trivial problems.

(Playmate datasheet.)

Um … you hate arrogance, but you also hate people and their “trivial problems”? Okay. The kettle called … said something about how you are the black one? No need to call back.


DID YOU KNOW? I’m an assistant to astrologer Jack Gemini.
PEOPLE I ADMIRE: My parents, for the great job they did raising me.
FAVORITE MUSIC: Jazz.

(Ibid.)

I have googled the crap out of Jack Gemini, John Gemini, LA Astrologers in the 1960’s, and am coming up triple goose eggs. If you got a line on him, I’m interested.

So many thousands of thanks to my usual sources but in this case also special singling out for lovin’s to dear Fabrizio, an awesome and generous moderator over at the vintage erotica forums, from whom the majority of these great shots came!

Bello, sono incredibili, e grazie sempre per tutte immagini meravigliose. Molti baci, ♥ mua-mua! I owe you big-time, my good man, and I strongly encourage readers to swing over to the forums. They’re free, well-moderated, full of fun, and they won’t give your computer any wack infections or the hantavirus. Enjoy!


Here are the scans of the original b&w article accompanying the gatefold and color spread.

March Madness: Jennifer Miriam, Miss March 1997

March 17, 2010

Miss March 1997 was the lovely and talented Jennifer Miriam, and she is a delightful little pistol. You’re going to love her. Super-awesome!


Photographed by Arny Freytag and Stephen Wayda.

Lord, how I enjoy the glorious 90’s-rifficness of this centerfold photograph. Let me count the ways.

  • Neon x-treme snowsports gear: check.
  • Jennifer Aniston “Friends” shag: check.
  • Hemp woven choker: check.
  • Brown lipliner with pinky-nude lipstick: check.
  • Sunflower doodles on stockings: check.
  • Frayed blue denim top: check.
  • Is it also a corset?: double-check!
  • Does the corset lace-up with light colored leather straps?: you bet your sweet ass it does.
  • Crank up the Cranberries, bust out the hacky-sack, and let’s let it linnnnger, chitlins!

    Jennifer grew up in Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado and Texas. Moving frequently taught her how to meet people, she says. She also learned how to be the class clown.

    “Every time the teacher would leave the room,” she remembers, “I would entertain the class. I got sent home a lot. Like the time in first grade when I crawled under my desk and roared like a lion.” (“Maid Miriam.” Bain, Julie J. Playboy. March 1997.)

    Oh, my effing god, that is so cute.


    TURNOFFS: Anyone who tries to suppress the free spirit in me!
    FAVORITE DISHES: Chicken-fried steak, biscuits, cheesy mashed potatoes, pecan pie — and the man who appreciates a woman with healthy appetites.
    I EXPOSE MYSELF TO: New Orleans blues, Charles Bukowski poetry, art-house films, Andy Warhol paintings and the guitar player in the corner of the cafe.

    (Playmate data sheet.)

    Hell yeah, real food, Bukowski, and exposing yourself to musicians!


    “I dated an actor once who called me from a golf course on his cellular phone. I said, ‘Never mind!’ He was into the right cars, the right possessions. I hate that. I would rather have a guy in a beat-up pickup who’s nice to me and brings me flowers he picked himself.” (“Maid Miriam.”)

    Jeezy Creezy. I love this woman.


    This 24-year-old model, actor and hotel concierge believes in past lives. She says she was a priestess who met, and lost, her soul mate 2000 years ago — and she’s been missing him in all her lives since. But a psychic told her she would meet him again in two years. She can’t wait. (Ibid.)


    She demands of any guy she dates: “‘Let me be me!’ I like people who like to have fun and aren’t worried about what other people think. If he says, ‘You can’t do that,’ I say, ‘Bye.'” (Ibid.)

    In her Playmate interview, Ms. Miriam stressed that her emphasis with acting was on finding roles in meaningful, small films. She had featured parts in The Newton Boys and Pressurecooker, before leaving Hollywood, a move which is not too surprising coming from a woman who does not like falseness and getting her free spirit hemmed in. Good on her for really sussing out the depth of her dreams! She is married with two children, and now makes her living as an artist.

    March Madness: Marian Stafford, Miss March 1956

    March 17, 2010

    The lovely and talented Marian Stafford, Playboy‘s Miss March 1956, is adorable and also full of all kinds of noteworthiness.


    Photographed by Ruth Sondak.

    First, Ms. Stafford was the first gatefold model to get a three page pull-out centerfold: the real deal, the whole fold-out enchilada. This has obviously become a trademark of not just Playboy but a widely-copied staple of the porn mag world as a whole. Way to go, twinkie!

    Unusually, as you can see from the above caption, the lead credited photographer of Ms. Stafford’s shoot was a woman. Ruth Sondak seems to have been an active New York photographer on whom I am having trouble finding complete biographical data.

    I found this link to an interview about Greenwich Village anti-Vietnam War protesters, which had circa-70’s pictures credited as being taken by Ruth accompanying the article, and a 1993 NYT obit that included a picture of a famous educator that was photographed by Ruth in New York in 1972. The links to the photos in both the obit and the war-resisters’ page were no longer active, so I can’t even say I have seen other pictures by her other than these of Ms. Stafford. That’s about all I got on that angle so far. I’ll keep digging.

    Okay, so you may be wondering why Ms. Stafford is ripping up a TV Guide in the two color shots of this spread. It’s not a Sinead O’Connor protest or anything — Ms. Stafford was first “discovered” on the boob-tube in the audience of a show, and became a main stage attraction herself not long after.


    This month’s Playmate is a little girl with big television aspirations. Her name is Marian Stafford and she packs a lot of woman into 5’3″. She wants to be an actress, but so far most of her TV experience has been confined to smiling prettily in commercials for products like Tintair, Pall Mall and Jantzen; she has helped advertise Revlon on The $64,000 Question and RCA Victor on the video version of Our Town. She has had a walk-on in a Kraft Theater production and small speaking parts in two Robert Montgomery shows. (“Playboy’s TV Playmate,” Playboy, March 1956.)


    But her most unique television experience is as a human test pattern for Max Leibman spectaculars, where she spends hours before NBC color cameras during rehearsals and is never seen by the audience. (Ibid.)

    Ms. Stafford did make it back in front of cameras, regularly appearing on shows such as The $64,000 Question and Treasure Hunt. Her adorable pretty-princess looks and sweet nature also scored her the part of Mistress of Ceremonies on the 11-episode children’s story hour show The Big Fun Carnival in 1957. Get it, girl!

    One of the coolest parts of this issue was a short story by Ray Bradbury titled “The First Night of Lent,” about a good-natured and laconic Irish driver named Nick whom a writer employs while he is working on a screenplay in Dublin. The driver gives up drinking for Lent and becomes a reckless maniac, incapable of sorting through the richness of life’s sensory overload and focusing on one thing at a time: he needs alcohol to make it through the day, because the Irish are such finely tuned, sensitive beings that sobriety is an innavigable misery to them. At the end, the screenplay writer gives Nick money and begs him to start drinking again. It’s a mainly classist and racist but still kind of fun story, and Ray Bradbury is my all-time favorite sci-fi writer of all time* so I let him off the hook, cultural pride notwithstanding.



    excerpt from the googlebooks. give it a spin, dudes, and please consider writing to your congressmen urging them to protect free lit on the net! LIBRARIES FOREVER!

    Marian Stafford is one of the few playmates to model both as the gatefold and cover girls. Do you get the cover idea? The bunny is a producer watching her do her NBC color-test job. Super-cute. Again — get it, girl!



    *Nickel in the mail to the first person who gets the “all-time-favorite of all time” movie line reference.

    St. Patrick’s Day: Welcome to March Madness, an explanation

    March 17, 2010

    Still feeling Ways About Things. Historically St. Patrick’s Day weighs on me pretty heavily. It is fraught with a lot of particular memories and I am pretty sure is the reason I had nightmares all night. As I always say, breasts are like a spoonful of sugar in that they help the medicine go down, and this is a day of bad medicine for me.


    via topherchris on the tumblr.

    So screw a bunch of sitting around moping like a woman. I declare today to be my own personal March Madness — and I can think of no finer parade to celebrate than a cheery bracket of my favorite of the Miss Marches of yore from that there ol’ Playboy. Only the cutest, funniest, best-shot, or most historically significant need apply. Let’s get this party started!!

    Take-Two Tuesday — Art of the nude: Andre de Dienes

    March 16, 2010

    I knew I had one more. Originally posted January 14, 2010 @ 11:06 am.


    Photograph by Andre de Dienes.

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: People feel strongly about Pluto

    March 16, 2010

    There’s no grey area on this issue, dudes. You know?


    Heartfelt message found in North Melbourne, AUS.

    You are either pro or con. Myself, I feel real funny about the abrupt disinclusion of Pluto from planet status … I understand the physics of the matter, I “get” it from the scientific standpoint of proper nomenclature. It’s just that, trumpet mushrooms, you guys — Pluto still orbits right along with the rest of us, so this is not going away. You know? That’s kind of like when you ask a girl to prom and she says “yes,” but then it turns out the other girl that you liked better but you thought her strict church-type parents would not let her go drops a hint that she is allowed to go and you actually call the first chick and tell her straight up she is un-going to the prom with you. Like, come on, The World. Are we so base and classless as to behave like a horny 16-year-old whose first-choice crush has conservative parents? Let us not be exclusive and uninvitational: let us consider Pluto’s feelings and be a man about this. Pluto probably already bought a dress and called its grandma all like, “I’m a planet, Nana!” and Pluto’s grandma was all choked up and happy for it, saying, “Of course you are, honey, because you are special — if your Poppa was here, he’d be s-so proud of you,” and we are actually discussing taking that moment away from them? I mean, really. Come on. That’s messed up.

    That’s all I’m saying.