Archive for April, 2010

Taking a break

April 28, 2010

I think I have just been pulled back from a path that lead straight down a cliff. Or like in a war movie, when a guy is stunned by the shells dropping, and someone tackles him out of the way, and the mortar round explodes behind them. Like that. I cannot believe the roads I let myself walk down, in my mind and in my heart. I literally cannot believe it. It’s more than feeling like a fool. It’s feeling like I was possessed and have had an exorcism, like I am somehow younger again and have dodged some giant shadow.

I need to take a break to spend time with my kidlet (it is her birthday today; first I’m taking cupcakes in to her class and then we’re going out to lunch just the two of us, which I always love) and regenerate the real me, out from under the cloud of delusions I allowed to obscure my view of the sky. I have just been saved, and kidlet too, from a total rabbithole, one that was already poisoning my mind. Unbelievable. Need to catch my breath and contemplate. Catch you guys on the flip and whatever you do, do NOT TAKE wooden nickels.

Talk nerdy to me: LeVar Burton “The science of peace” edition

April 25, 2010

I have mentioned before that I follow me the shit out of some LeVar Burton on the twitter (for the record, the Red Cross “Haiti” texting thing is still on like Khan so think about donating, because the need is still very strong, especially as summer comes on and people have gradually stopped donating money needed very badly to keep plenty of clean, purified water around and sanitized conditions for the food getting to refugees, for example: to displaced children — a diptheria epidemic happening now among all those orphaned kids would basically be about the most disastrous and heartbreaking thing I can even think of, you know?).


From LeVar Burton’s twitpic account. With the Shat-man. Look at those OG’s! Super-cute!

I have these pictures up mainly to get your attention. It is obvious, accepted, manifest fact that LeVar Burton is one of the coolest and best human beings to walk the earth. Duh. Would you like to be as basically all-around amazing and centered and loving and a vessel of karmic groove in this universe Just Like Him? Then let’s talk about LeVar’s involvement with the extremely cool documentary The Science of Peace, dudes!

What if …
  • …science discovered a unified field of consciousness which affected the way people think and behave?
  • …we could find a way to consciously impact this field with our thoughts and feelings?
  • …a global media event would succesfully enroll millions of people to participate in an unprecedented world peace experiment?

    (official site)


  • with the amazing STEVIE WONDER!!

    Great minds from Tesla to Kant to Rosseau to Jung have believed in this tantalizing possibility of reaching a positive meta-energy which just might happen to be God’s will for mankind, so don’t dismiss it straight out of hand as tree-hugging hippie crap! There is some real Science to this, guys.

    Hosted by LeVar Burton, The Science of Peace features pioneering physicists, biologists, and philosophers who are established in the emerging new field of Peace Science.

    The film effectively illustrates how each person, when bringing peace in to his or her own life, becomes an instrument for global peace.

    He is also the executive producer. Putting this post together lead meto some really neato-terrific and amazing sources.


    Yes.

    I hope to share more about Peace Studies soon but here is the essential lowdown on relative newcomer Peace Science, which is the subject of the documentary: it is a hard-science effort to unify the threads of ideas that run through the incredibly important social sciences movement of Peace Studies. The Peace Science Society has an explanation of the various philosophies and social sciences that comprise the touchstones of the “argument” for peace studies at Penn State, and it is always well-spent time to give the latest articles in The Acorn a spin. (The Acorn is the official journal of the Gandhi-King society. If you don’t feel like subscribing, it’s on ProjectMUSE and the JSTOR.)


    Great picture with Nichelle Nichols. Remember on Dr. King’s Day when she came up? In case you forgot, the factoid that was related then was how she was thinking of leaving the TOS cast and Dr. King told her to stay because Lt. Uhura was a wonderful role model for people of color, especially women. Soooo great.

    Anyway, check the documentary’s official site out and show some love by visiting the “How You Can Help” section — it’s too late to participate in the documented experiment, but you can still donate and help subside costs for production, travel, distribution, etc. Cool beans!

    Daily Batman: Who I am underneath, or, what defines us

    April 25, 2010


    via iheartbatman on the tumblr.

    “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” B. Wayne, Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan, 2005).

    Agree? Disagree?

    Deeds speak volumes for the definition of ourselves, but I think “who we are underneath” is equally important to defining us. In a perfect world, sure, “what you do” is the outer reflection of an ideally ordered inner self. But who the unholy effing heck is that organized and in accord?

    The roads not taken, the thoughts kept to ourselves that make up this rich and sometimes treacherous interior landscape of our minds — these are as much an important part of knowing the true core and definition of ourselves as the demonstrative, observable acts any joker on the outside sees, acts that could follow either in accordance with or defiance of that secret inner roadmap. What we are underneath almost arguably eclipses deeds, which can be true or can just as easily be lies that we tell the outside world to keep our inside self a secret. Underneath is where the real and unhideable truth sits.

    We are all just knocking around leaving impressions and confiding secrets but sometimes lying and sometimes acting what we would term “out of character,” so really the two things — “what we do” and “what we are underneath” — must be taken together to even approach defining someone.

    Not clear why that is set up to be mutually exclusive in this quote. I’m suddenly not sure this is as mind-blowingly brilliant a quote as I thought at first blush lo five years ago.

    Daily Batman: Ladies and Gentlemen

    April 22, 2010


    “All women are psychotic. All men are jerks.”

    (Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake.)

    “Don’t say words you’re gonna regret”, or, More on the Alan Parsons Project

    April 21, 2010

    Okay, so I’m still having way too much fun with that idea from the last entry and I’ve been sitting here letting my imagination go wild which is always a dangerous thing but I can’t help myself — here is a sample of “The Alan Parsons Project If That Were Not A Band but Instead the Worst Woodworking Show Ever“:


    image via dummbidumbwit right here on the wordpress!

    (come in the house) (look at the clock) (shit, The Alan Parsons Project is on right now — you like that show and you pretty much forgot!) (sit down on the sofa and get your knife out) (oh and also a notebook in case you have to scribble down stuff you want to wiki later) (turn on television to public access)

    (Alan is talking) (a segment is ending)

    “…And once you round off that corner, sand it down — and that’s how you carve a wah-wah pedal from single-source old-growth ash. Later in the show, I’m going to show you how to whittle a wire for that pedal, using a technique similar to the one I pioneered during down time in the production of Dark Side of the Moon. That was neat, wasn’t it, Eric?”

    “It was. It really was neat.”

    (the theme music) (be right back bump card) (now sad music) (pledge drive commercial. oh, the sick uneducated little children. why won’t you help them? why?) (more sad music) (this is hella terrible) (but you really can’t afford to sponsor a kid for a whole—) (commercial is ending) (thank god)

    (information about obtaining a videotaped copy of this episode of the Alan Parsons Project) (should you write that down? maybe you should try and get a copy since you missed the beginn—) (oh shit the theme music) (the show is almost back) (put down the bong and get your knife back out) (wait — bong?) (yes it appears so) (why are you high with a knife?) (yeah that’s probably bad) (maybe put the knife away for now and Just Watch until you come down a little) (that’s better. doritos?) (yes — where?) (on the table) (okay cool) (introductory theme music is ending) (wow that lasted forever) (probably only felt that way) (the show is back now)


    via the hepcats on the forum over at the International Cannagraphic magazine. that is some kind of terrific kids’ bubble-blower, amirite!

    “Hi. I’m Alan Parsons, and if you’re just joining us, welcome to ‘the Alan Parsons Project’ — where we bring you all the best in prog-woodwork. Again, we’re really excited for you to tune in tonight, and we also look forward to tomorrow’s program, when our guest Robert Fripp will show us how you can carve a looper from rowan bark for your very own Pure Frippertonic pleasure. Won’t that be neat?”

    “That sure will be neat.”

    “It will. Now, Eric, I understand that tonight you’re going to demonstrate a unique Scottish method of adding decorative scrollwork to a vocoder?”

    “Mm, that’s right, Alan. Hello, everyone. Eric Woolfson here. What I’m about to show you is a popular technique in Dundee, but some say it comes from even farther into up-country Scotland. Now, just personally, I like to incorporate human phalluses into all of my decorative scrollwork.”

    “You know, I’ve noticed that, Eric!”

    “You have? Great! That means a lot to me, Alan, because it’s kind of my private stamp. It’s mainly due to my detrimental obsession with Sigmund Freud which has caused my solo music to suffer significant criticism and has honestly been a setback to the overall arc of my career, but, ha-ha, you know, Alan, every woodworker develops his own unique signature. Why, I know a whittler from Northumberland who likes to cane doll-sized chairs, but to personalize and add an individual touch to each one he does, he …”

    And so on. (Nickel in the mail to whoever finishes the Northumberland miniature chair-caner story the best.)

    Actually, that spiraled in to a show I might watch. Especially with Doritos. Sober as the grave, OF COURSE.

    Movie Moment: A story in stills — I Tre volti della paura, aka The Three Faces of Fear, aka Black Sabbath

    April 21, 2010

    A touch of giallo and genuine fear in the rainy April. In honor of the upcoming thirtieth anniversary of his death, I declare this Mario Bava Movie Moment Week. He was a really terrific director of plenty of genres, though he is best known for his work in horror, with a good sense of fun AND fear, and a truly great gift for cinematic expression. His colors, lighting, and cinematographic choices are amazing. I look forward to highlighting some of my faves from him over the next seven days!


    Bava big pimpin’! image via Thizz Face Disco right here on the wordpress.

    Thought I’d start with I Tre volti della paura, aka The Three Faces of Fear, aka Black Sabbath (1963). It’s a story in stills edition, folks, so skip to the bottom if you don’t want spoilers!


    (stills via proximity seamstress in the Nostalgia Party community on the lj. YOU ARE SO COOL!)

    Arguably Bava’s masterpiece, Black Sabbath is broken in to three segments. I feel that each of the three segments explores a various type of terror: from the psychological, to the monstrous, to the uncanny. The only element of continuity between the three stories is a cinematic one: Boris Karloff, one of the kings of classic horror, comes out to introduce each segment in the version with which I’m familiar (though I’m told this is not the case with the original U.S. release), and plays a vampire in the second of the segments.

    These screencaps are exclusively from what I’d term the strictly psychological thriller segment, “Part I: The Telephone,” a noirish story about wicked people with ulterior motives couched in deceit, coupled with the dramatic sexy violence and twists characteristic of giallo films. Set in Paris, the short is familiar pulp territory, with the titillating added thrill of bisexuality, but it’s shot with a Hitchcockian tension to the angles and edited with sustained, lingering frames interrupted by abrupt cuts that really ratchet up the anxiety level.

    The story takes place in pretty much one location over a single evening, almost in real time, which contributes considerably — along with the short length of the segment — to a swiftly rising pitch in suspense.

    This hot ticket is Rosy, played by mega-hottie Michèle Mercier. Rosy is a call girl whose boyfriend and former pimp, Frank, has just escaped from prison. As she testified against him in his trial, she’s understandably concerned after hearing the dramatic news of his escape that he is going to seek her out soon for reprisals.

    (And you thought nervous girls getting all naked and wet was a trope that was invented for seventies slasher flicks. Silly you. Friday the 13th ain’t got nothin’ on Sgr. Bava!)

    It seems Rosy’s concerns are well-placed, because she begins receiving mysterious, threatening phone messages from a gruff caller who says he is Frank and warns that he is coming to get her.

    Rosy calls a girlfriend, Mary, to confide her fears. Over the course of the conversation, you realize, oh, snap! This is a girlfriend-girlfriend! And Rosy is now even hotter. A high-femme damsel in distress, she is relieved when her more strong, slightly domineering and weirdly “off” ex promises to hurry over to the apartment and help Rosy relax.


    Mary’s “offness” is explained when she turns right back around and calls Rosy back, disguising her voice and pretending to be Frank — she is the one who’s been making the threatening phone calls that have Rosy so shaken up. Also, she is a very smart dresser, as you can see in the following still.

    Look at you, girl! All a dominant and crafty lipstick sixties lesbian, all suited up and catty in your emerald green, all situated in the bed looking cosmopolitan with your little sherry glass — I said goddamn, Lidia Alfonso: haters to the left. She’s looking mighty good. That shit would sooo work on me.

    Mary is just full of good counsel and reassurance for her frightened former lover. As an example, she suggests that Rosy put a carving knife under her pillow …

    and take a nutritious, delicious tranquilizer. Those are two things that always go together really, really well, especially in a film called The Three Faces of Fear.

    Man. The trustworthy Miss Mary’s lifestyle tips are practically gold. She should start a magazine. How to Put Your Ladytimes Lover in Serious Danger: Accessories and Cocktail Suggestions for the Scheming Butch on the Go!

    To Mary’s credit, once Rosy drops off, Mary pens her a letter which explains her motivations (something we’ve been curious about, too, since making prank calls saying you plan to end your lover’s life is kind of a sketchy thing to do).

    Mary writes that she had missed Rosy terribly since their breakup and, when she heard about Frank the scary pimp’s prison break, she decided to use the opportunity to invent a scenario where Frank was threatening to murder Rosy so that Rosy would call Mary for help. After being around Mary again, the plan went, Rosy would realize the mistake of their separation and invite her back in to her life. Mary’s sorry it had to be done in a deceitful and scary way (which it didn’t, actually — that kind of convolution is pretty much strictly the logical provenance of giallo), but she writes that she loves Rosy and hopes to make it up to her.

    Stop — Boris Karloff time! (Please, Boris Karloff, don’t hurt ’em.) I have inserted this interruption completely out of sequence. I just really wanted to throw it out there. Back to the story. Are you ready for the twisty turn of the screw?

    While Mary is busy writing her love letter to the tranqued out Rosy, a man steals in to the apartment, clearly intent on murder. It is Frank, the pimp, now a genuine threat even though thirty seconds ago we thought he was not! He didn’t call but he was actually coming all along.

    Crap! Mary, with whom we have just become totally sympathetic due to her big reveal of being a lover not a murderer, does not hear him because she is wrapped up in her lovey-dovey explanatory note-writing, and Rosy is asleep in the arms of Prince Valium in the other room.

    He grabs the silk stocking off of the chair where Rosy discarded it earlier before her steamy I’m-scared-so-I’ll-strip bath and subsequent frightened call to Mary.

    He sees the back of Mary’s dark head and, oh, no!, without seeing her face, begins to strangle her with the stocking. He assumes she is Rosy, his intended target.

    The muffled thumps of Mary and Frank’s struggle Rosy slept straight through, but her lover’s death rattle finally wakes Rosy.

    Maybe some kind of sympatico mental thing. She knows she has just heard something bad. She realizes it was Frank and deduces that he killed Mary. She is frozen in fear, looking at his face.


    Suddenly, Rosy remembers the knife that poor dead Mary suggested that she stash beneath the pillow back when we still half-thought Mary might end up using it on Rosy herself.

    Rosy stabs Frank with the knife, killing him, then breaks down sobbing and freaking out and crying, surrounded by the corpses of people she used to have sex with. I assume someone found her and stopped her screaming eventually. In any case, that knife sure ended up being a danged good idea. Why did you say it wasn’t? Sheesh.


    Bava at work.

    Mario Bava said repeatedly that this was the best of all his directorial work, placing it even above the classic La Maschera del Demonio/The Mask of Satan/The Black Mask (it is in Italian horror directors’ contracts that all their movie titles have at least three crazy names. Did You Know?). The man — Quentin Tarantino — has cited the narrative structure of Black Sabbath as his inspiration for the disjointed cinematic discourse in Pulp Fiction.


    Why did I choose the least-flattering picture of QT ever? Answer: So that he will look at it and think I’m the best he can do and we can get married.

    Seeing this motion picture on its release in Great Britain also inspired one Mister Ozzy Osbourne and his associate, a Mister Geezer Butler to change the name of their heavy blues/rock ensemble Earth to the film’s U.K. title: “Black Sabbath.” Previous band names included Mythology and effing Polka Tuck (I have a really hard time with that), so you may thank Sgr. Bava for inspiring one of the badassicalest band names in the history of rock-and-or-roll*, chosen by a group that would go on to become the Greatest Metal Band of All Time. Grazie!





    *The worst band names ever are “Green Jellÿ”** and “The Alan Parsons Project.” Documented fact.

    The first instance is the most idiotic use of an umlaut in recorded human history, and the second name sounds like a public access show about whittling that you watch by accident in a hospital because the batteries in the clicker have died and the only magazine in the deserted waiting room is a copy of People featuring Kathie Lee Gifford. Which you have already read since arriving. Cover to cover. Twice. (“Former ‘Brady Bunch’ star’s new lease on life — thanks to gem meditation!” “Dr. Mehmet Oz lists the surprising holiday foods that you can load up on!”)


    image via the smart and sexy towleroad on the typepad.

    Agree with me that the second cover story on that phantom hospital waiting room’s phantom Kathie Lee issue of People is: “Plus — Mario López: Why hasn’t TV’s most eligible (and ripped!) bachelor found a lady?” Oh, such a head-scratcher. Poor Mario! Sigh. Just like Liberace.

    **In Green Jellÿ’s defense, they actively set out from the moment of their inception to be literally the worst band ever, beginning with their name. To my knowledge, the Alan Parsons Project was titled in earnest and has no such excuse.

    Daily Batman: Permanently inked ghosts of childhood

    April 20, 2010

    Bat tat, too.



    Girls Like A Boy Who Reads … comics! Thought it was time for some rare female fan service up in this piece — wink-wink. You’re welcome. Photo via iheartbatman on the tumblr, very cool bloggy-blog.

    Spring Fever!: Marlene Morrow, Miss April 1974 — or, “Persephone.”

    April 20, 2010

    The lovely and talented Marlene Morrow was Playboy’s Miss April, 1974.


    Photograph by Larry Dale Gordon.

    Like fellow 1974 Playmate of the Month and friend Bebe Buell, Ms. Morrow dated Todd Rundgren, and Marlene is related to no less than three different United States presidents: Washington, Monroe, and Madison. But there is much, much more to her gripping and moving story. Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).


    Marlene is also a very interesting person. Born in Billings, Montana, she moved to Osaka, Japan, where her father was a baseball player on a Japanese team. From there, the family moved to L.A., where Marlene grew up. “Believe it or not,” she says, “up until the time I was 13 I wanted to be a missionary.” She gave up that idea and settled on the notion of being a housewife with a load of kids. But that’s been postponed indefinitely, now that her career is spiraling upward.

    (“This Year’s Model.” Playboy. April, 1974. )


    So groovy. My fave of the shoot.
    But for now, Marlene is satisfied with her life in London — visiting pubs and going out with Englishmen, whom she finds vastly different from American men. But does she plan to make London her home? “Someday,” she says, “I’d like to buy a trailer and just travel around the world for a whole year. Is that crazy?”

    (Ibid.)


    I’M ALWAYS: Dreaming. Still, I wish I wasn’t so serious about life all the time.
    WITH MY PLAYMATE FEE: I plan to settle myself in an apartment in Los Angeles and enroll in acting and dance school.
    AMBITIONS: To be successful with my modeling and to study acting, and to have a nice home with about four children.

    Now that the things she said in her interview at the time are out there and still resonating in your mind, I’m going to get to the main thing of this entry. Marlene Morrow’s real surname was Pinkard.

    In a google search for her, I found an article by Italian-american author Joan “Strega,” in whose mother’s Encino shop Marlene worked after moving to L.A. Ms. Strega had done a similar google search and was meditating on her shock and dismay to find recent pictures of Marlene taken in Los Angeles.

    It seems that Marlene did stay in L.A., but she did not become a famous model or actress. Nor is she happily married and settled in to a nice house with about four chidlren. Marlene now goes by “Persephone.”


    Marlene, aka Persephone, in April 2006.

    Persephone is homeless, and currently missing. She lived as recently as four years ago with a few others on the streets of Los Angeles, where she journaled, wrote poetry, and carried with her in a manila envelope a photo of her former centerfold.

    The above recent photograph was taken by Paul Zollo, a musician, journalist, and photographer who was strolling around Los Angeles and met Persephone and some of her friends at the corner of Yucca and Cahuenga. Below are highlights from his very moving story of how their encounter went.


    “Persephone and Bert.”

    At the intersection of Yucca and Cahuenga I saw her – she was sitting on the sidewalk with a guy named Bert Rental. I presumed at first that Persephone & Bert were a couple because they were sitting alone when I first approached them on Yucca near Cahuenga in Hollywood, very close to where I lived for more than 20 years. They both let me know they were homeless, but that wasn’t really an issue.

    Persephone was crying, weeping profusely in fact, and explaining that there was a suicide, and she had a grandson she loved, and she had a husband who had disappeared, and “many contracts” that she was ignoring. She didn’t explain what kind of contracts they were.

    I asked many times to take her photo, and she said, “No, I’ll GIVE you a photo — a good one — because I look like shit now, because I’ve been CRYING FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS.” She repeated this like a sad mantra. She started crying intensely, and Bert seemed very uncomfortable with this, and I told her it was cool to cry, and she said, “NO — it’s NOT cool.” And I said all I meant is that it’s okay to cry. And then she wept openly, and then wiped the tears away and laughed with pure joy. And then alternated between laughter and tears.

    [She] did show [me] a Playboy centerfold from the Sixties of a blonde woman named Morrow who she said was her. And it did look quite like her, and I believe it was her, and she said that now she dyed her hair dark. I asked her if she knew Hefner, and she looked at me with an expression that said, “How could I not know him?”

    [She said] that everything was terrible – she’d been waiting for her husband for days, and he had yet to appear. That she had a grandson she hadn’t seen in too long. Then embraced me with all her heart and told me I was “precious.”

    Then she opened a journal of her reflections and poetry, written in a florid script, and asked me to read it aloud, which I did to the best of my ability, as it was hard to make out, but it was about the mythical Persephone, the Goddess of Innocence and the Queen of the Underworld.


    I received a message from a fellow flickr-artist [who] had looked her up on the net and discovered a photo of former centerfold Marlene Morrow, at some former centerfold convention or something, taken in 2002. He sent me a link to the photo. I didn’t think there was any chance it could be her.

    But then I saw it. And it was haunting. It hit me like cold water in the face first thing in the morning. Because it was her face. Unmistakably.



    This is the picture of Marlene at Glamourcon May 5, 2002, to which Mr. Zollo refers.

    [I have been] receiving messages from Bebe Buell, who also was a Playboy centerfold – and a good friend of Marlene’s. Together we are hoping to find her. Last I saw she was on the street. If you can help us find her, let me know.

    Bebe added more to my tale of Marlene, which follows — Bebe said both she and Marlene dated Todd Rundgren, and that Todd wrote a song about her which is on his “Something/Anything” album, called “Marlene.”

    Bebe called and said, “I couldn’t sleep all night after reading your words about Marlene. I am ready to get on a plane to come and find her.”


    A final entreaty and heartbreaking epilogue from Mr. Zollo:

    I had hoped her life would improve. Sadly, I was wrong. Received a long and sad message from her daughter today telling me Marlene has been attacked on more than one occasion and has lost all her teeth.

    Why the world treats some of its children like this is beyond me. She is someone beloved by many. If you know where she is, or have seen her, let us know.


    Mr. Zollo is on the myspace and the flickr.

    The irreplaceable Ms. Bebe Buell, Miss November 1974, sweet and loving model, actress, and singer in her own right (not to mention mother to equally cramazing and talented Liv Tyler — they are beautiful inside and out), is still seeking to get in touch with Marlene, with whom she was close in the 1970’s. Ms. Buell said that she was told in the early 2000’s that Marlene was looking to talk to her and she lost track of time and did not follow up. She is understandably guilt-stricken about that now and is hoping fervently to find Ms. Pinkard. If you know how to find Persephone/Marlene Pinkard/Marlene Morrow and Ms. Buell has not already heard from you, you may contact her through her website, bebe-buell.com. Please. Contact Mr. Zollo or Ms. Buell any time with any information you have, really.

    *(Also, if you follow the link to Ms. Strega’s thoughtful and poignantly articulated story about discovering that Marlene had become Persephone, Ms. Buell’s comment is the first: it includes an email address where she can be reached if you have info about Ms. Pinkard/Persephone. I didn’t want to put it in this entry without her permission.)

    If this story has had an impact on you the way it did on me, I’ve hit the charity rating websites pretty hard and come up with a good solid list of some non-profits that you can volunteer with or donate to. Most are national and international so that you can help from no matter where you live, but I made sure to particularly include some charities that may directly affect Marlene’s everyday life, headquartered in LA and environs. All of the charities are top-rated, up-and-up organizations.

    Alpha Project for the Homeless

    National Alliance to End Homelessness

    National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression

    Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest)

    Habitat for Humanity

    Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger (don’t forget that besides outright donating, you can alternately buy the Nice Jewish Guys calendar that I spotlighted way back on Calendar Girls day to support this great organization)

    Salvation Army, Western Territory

    This one is my personal favorite, and has several different ways you can help Marlene and people in similar positions to hers.

    Homeless Health Care Los Angeles 213-744-0724
    advocacy
    online donation
    volunteer
    –and this last one I can’t stress enough: DONATE YOUR OLD CAR AND RECEIVE TAX DEDUCTION POTENTIALLY WORTH MORE THAN YOUR VEHICLE PLUS FREE GOOD KARMA FOR LIFE!

    Okay, so think about all that? Thanks!

    Monocle Monday: Dino-mite tat edition

    April 19, 2010

    Happy Monocle Monday, dino-mite edition!

    If you must get a tattoo, I will not make too much noise over this one, chitlins.

    This shot pretty much fires “awesome” on all six cylinders; if I had a gun to my head and someone was like, “You HAVE to get a tattoo to prove you believe in at least one thing, E, or we will kill the people you love most!” I would frantically shout back, “Okay, okay! — I assume I will never stop thinking a t-rex sporting a monocle with top hat and balloon bouquet is pretty great, so, fine — tattoo that on my untouched milky skin, you fiend!” and be pretty much okay with it. (Seriously, my skin is caramel-macchiato-con-skim-leche-fine paradise. You will probably never experience it. What is that like, suckaaaa?)

    Spring Fever!: Felicia Atkins, Miss April 1958

    April 19, 2010

    I was feeling down, but I’m pulling myself out of it. I need to have more faith that things will work out for the best, for one thing, and for another, holy cannoli, is it ever a gorgeous day out there! I’ve been sitting on some of these shots for just about forever. I love this shoot. Lots of red clothes, cute hats, and opera-style makeup? Yes, please — I am a big These Pictures Guy from Way Back! Miss April 1958 is the lovely and talented Felicia Atkins.


    Photographed by Bruno Bernard and Bill Bridges.

    An awesome vintage brunette wonder from Down Under, Ms. Atkins still holds the record today for being the longest consecutively-employed showgirl in the history of the storied Folies-Bergère Revue at the Las Vegas Tropicana. Get it, girl!


    Felicia Atkins: Pussy Magnet. Ow!

    I find the history of Old School Las Vegas really interesting (mainly a result of the intersection between my undying love of The Godfather movies and the fact that I’m perpetually interested in the persistent concept of the fast-and-loose, fancy-free frontier “west” in the American mind especially as it played out in increasingly swift travel methods available to the middle class seeking recreation in the twentieth century — first, trains to national parks, then big steely cars on the new highways roaring along state routes dotted with crummy roadside teepees and Bob’s Big Boys by the mid-century; that interests the shit out of me, seriously), so I’m going to reproduce Ms. Atkins’ original write-up in its entirety and then go in to some historical Las Vegas points of emotional interest as far as the Folies-Bergère goes (went).


    Gone are the drear, dread days beyond recall when we were led to believe that showgirls had a pretty bad time of it in the sunshine-and-health department — late hours, smoke-filled rooms, nightclub pallor, and other offenses to God and man. Today, tongue-clucking do-gooders would find it a tough task convincing us that the life of a showgirl (in Las Vegas, anyway) is anything but Reilly. Look at Felicia Atkins, if you haven’t already.

    (“Showgirl in the Sun: A Vegas Venus Mixes Vitamins with Va-a-voom.” Playboy, April 1958.)


    She spends her nights in the chorus line of the sumptuous Hotel Tropicana, gladdening the eyes of all beholders with her finely fashioned five-feet-seven-and-a-half-inches.

    (Ibid.)

    By day, she sleeps late in a swank suite of the same hostelry, eats a mountainous breakfast, then squeezes into a bikini and slips out to soak up a skinful of Vitamin C and splash about in a cool pool until it’s time to dry off the corpore sano andfoi get ready for the evening’s extravaganza. For this, mind you, she gets paid. Another nice thing that’s happened to felicitous Felicia is her appearance as our Playmate for the month of April. It’s nice for us, too. (Ibid.)

    /End drivel. Phew! Before I go in to more about the show for which she famously worked, a few notes on Ms. Atkins — from what I can gather, after leaving the Folies, she went to work for the MGM Grand, which buffs know was bought by Bally’s. Sometime between the Bally’s acquisition, some bartending gigs at what is now the Crazy Horse, and the revamping of Vegas in to a family destination in the 1990’s (darkly pleased to see it returning to its roots after that failed experiment — boo to themed roller coasters, yay to sequined pasties), Ms. Atkins retired back to her native Australia.


    The “Folies-Bergère” opened at the Tropicana Hotel in 1959. Famous for its Cancan girls and statuesque showgirls the “Folies-Bergère” has outlived many hotels as well as shows. The longest continuous running production show in Las Vegas has been updated many times over the years to keep its status as a sophisticated Parisian spectacular.

    (“Folies-Bergère: We Can-Can,” Hooper, R. Scott. vegasretro.com.)

    When you hear “showgirl,” and automatically picture a leggy glamazon in ostrich-tail and resplendently over-the-top headdress, you are picturing a girl from the Folies-Bergère, the hip grandma of all Vegas revues. As VegasRetro reported, it was the longest-running show in the history of the City, and Ms. Atkins, here, was its longest-running performer. That is really something!


    Folies-Bergère, known the world over for gorgeous dancers is not just a show … it’s a legend. The theme of “women through time” beginning in the 1800’s to present day has gone unchanged, but the new interpretations enhance the Folies-Bergère experience.

    (“Les Folies-Bergère.” PCAP, Las Vegas Lesiure Guide, 2003.)


    The Dressing Room number gives the audience a behind-the-scenes feel of how the gorgeous showgirls prepare for their nightly appearance on stage. Each scenario flows seamlessly into the next such as in La Vedette where male dancers present a stunning showgirl who materializes through smoke with giant butterfly wings on her back.

    (Ibid.)


    Another popular scene is fashioned in the 1920’s where “women of darkness” were known as vamps. A private boudoir moment, black silk and velvet dressing gowns accompanied by tassels used as erotic props emphasize the sexual natures of these women.

    (Ibid.)


    The Las Vegas Folies-Bergère, which opened in 1959, closed at the end of March 2009, after nearly 50 years in operation.

    (the wiki.)



    The Folies-Bergère showgirls have been entertaining audiences at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for 49 years. In the show’s heyday in Vegas, “The Trop,” where they performed, was considered the “Tiffany of the Strip,” attracting stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Patrons came to rub elbows with stars and with the Folies’ showgirls, who would “dress up” the hotel bar after performances.

    But times are tight in Las Vegas, and the Tropicana can’t afford to produce the Folies-Bergère anymore. The showgirls’ last performance will be March 28, 2009 — just a few months shy of the show’s 50th anniversary.

    (“Folies-Bergère to close in Las Vegas.” Meraji, Shereen. 23 February 2009. NPR.)


    Coupl’a’fine-ass kittens chillaxin’.

    These days, Felicia is, like I said, back in Oz. She now lives in a senior care facility where you can write to her at 4 Muller St., Salamander Bay, New South Wales, 4317. Be respectfully advised she has recently started being treated for advancing dementia and may not now recognize photos and autograph requests.

    Speaking of these kinds of subjects, I need to go because I am being summoned to have a conversation with my grandmother, who is hot to tell me for probably the sixth time today about how her brother Alvin got the first Model T in Priest River when she was a kid with graduation money from their grandmother and he took all the kids in town for rides in it, and they were speeding and hit a bump and he had to jerk her back down on to his lap at one point because she flew up in the air and almost out the window of the car. She loves that story. He was her favorite brother. I don’t mind when she gets stuck in a groove for a day on the really sweet and good memories. It’s a wonderful break from the Bad Days, plus the repetition ensures that now I will hold on to the memory for awhile. And that’s what we’ve all got ears and got voice boxes for, most likely. Right? It happens. Catch you later!

    Mean Girls Monday: Kevin Gnapoor’s rap (A true unlikely G!) and a riff for the forgotten male perspective

    April 19, 2010

    Kevin Gnapoor’s rap at the Winter talent show in Mean Girls. I love how the other Mathletes are his backup dance and beatbox team.

    Ought not my honeypie Jason Sudeikis, or my suddenly-slimmer honeypie who needs to eat more sandwiches again, Seth Rogan, or even goodtime guy and genre-reinventing patron saint Judd Apatow write a sequel called Mean Boys about the complexity of guys’ relationships in adolescence? I feel like the topic gets overlooked. Of course, there is the fantastic Superbad, but that is in a category all its own, like a unique and special and hysterically funny bildungsroman that moved me and also made me laugh until I had to run to the bathroom to wash off my mascara because I kept crying from laughing.

    One of the best movies I’ve ever seen (and don’t start me on how women complain there are no positive females in the frat pack flicks like Old School and Anchorman or in the new breed of bromance movie, because that is such straight up egg salad — yes, males are the comedic protagonists but women are their motivating factors and ultimately their redeemers; sorry that the heroes win the lady but also keep their guy friends and still like video games, you emasculating and controlling slags; a dude does not have to collapse his personality into yours in order to be a good boyfriend. Cheese wheels! Ease up.)

    Anyway, yes, I love Superbad. It’s like an American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused of bromantic friendship. I love it to death, especially because it focuses on a close friendship between key characters, but what I’m talking about here is a movie for young men which, Mean Girls-style, explores and breaks down more various types of the male cliques and hardships of social maturation for teenage boys. It’s really unfair that they’re constantly shunted to the sidelines in favor of the primacy of female bonding in this period. They’re out there suffering, too, you know? I’m just sayin’.

    Talk nerdy to me: Blinding you with science — Icelandic Volcano edition

    April 19, 2010


    “Ash and Lightning Above an Icelandic Volcano,” credit & copyright: Marco Fulle. via the Gentleman via Astronomy Picture of the Day.

    Christopher Rouxbin: just sent you a thing
    E: I am about to go read it
    Christopher Rouxbin: good. you should. because i sent it.
    E: wow, that looks like the cover to a heavy metal album

    Unsigned heavy metal bands, feel free to contact Sgr. Fulle about the use of this shot for your next EP!

    The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland began erupting in late March but has gotten a lot more attention in the last week or so, as some glacial ice has melted and been reheated by the lava into badass glass particles that are floating around in the ash. Pretty hot stuff. Get it? That’s right, I like science and I make terrible puns. Try to keep your pants on!




    (Please do not attempt to relate this natural occurrence to recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti. Please do not tell me how this means we are “due” for a disastrous geological event in North America. Please have a better basic understanding of nature than that. Please. Please.)

    Daily Batman: The naked terror of true loneliness

    April 19, 2010

    Daily Batman: It happens — Catfight edition

    April 16, 2010

    It happens: Liberated negative space — it is a Thing! Black Cat v. Catwoman with a little PSA-war action.


    Catwoman has herpes. The Bad Kind!


    Black Cat gives rotten head.

    Meow. Hey, have you got Something Special on your mindgrapes? Be cool: Say it with spray paint!




    Sketches by super-neato-terrific Adam Hughes, on whom my neverending artcrush knows no bounds.

    Talk nerdy to me: Inaugural edition feat. Legos, Stormtroopers’ Picnic, and Sesame Street

    April 15, 2010

    “1, 2, 3 — 4, 5, 6 — 7, 8, 9 — 10, 11, 12
    Stormtroopers came to the Stormtroopers’ picnic…”


    Photograph by Mark, aka smokebelch on the flickr.

    The counting song “Ladybugs’ Picnic” was written and recorded in 1971 for the Childrens’ Television Workshop masterpiece Sesame Street. It was written by Bud Luckey with lyrics by Dan Hadley, and sung for the show by Muppeteers Richard Hunt (R.I.P., wonderful you) and Jerry Nelson. The first episode in which it aired was marked 0416 and appeared as Season 4, Episode 12. Original airdate December 11, 1972.

    Though most of the Sesame Street content was usually filmed/animated at the same time in good-sized chunks in various studios after long brainstorming and writing sessions, individual segments could often languish on the shelf for awhile, until just the right spot in the exactly perfect episode was found for them. Such is the case in the gap between the writing of “Ladybugs’ Picnic” by Luckey and Hadley, its recording with vocal track by Jerry and Richard — you know them better as Waldorf and Statler, among the many characters they voice — and its eventual appearance almost two years later on the show.

    I have much more to say about wonderful Richard Hunt a different day. That’s one that I won’t be forgetting.

    Spring Fever!: Gloria Windsor, Miss April 1957

    April 15, 2010

    The lovely and talented Gloria Windsor was Playboy’s Miss April 1957. I’ve had this picture saved on the ol’ compy for a couple years now, actually, because I am delighted by the expression of demented glee in the centerfold. Cracks me up. She is a tiny blonde rocking some powerful Crazy Eyes, and I’m down with that. Seriously, look at her smile. She looks one bump away from straight-up maniacal. I love it!


    Photographed by Hal Adams.

    The article which accompanied this spread was so, so full of obvious lies that I’m afraid I actually vacillated about even partially reproducing it here. It’s that cheesey. Not only that, it shrouds “Ms. Windsor” in total mystery. Who the heck knows what her name, occupation, age, and temperament really were? The answers are certainly not to be found in a bunch of chili sauce and curly fries riddled with cringe-inducing lines like:

    ‘ When in the course of human events (which sometimes includes buying a fancy chemise for a dear friend’s birthday) we discovered blonde, brown-eyed Gloria Windsor behind the counter of a lingerie shop, we said to her, “Let us take you away from all this.” ‘ (“Winsome Windsor,” Playboy, April 1957.)



    … We explained that we meant to take her away only long enough to shoot a Playmate photograph, something that could be done on her lunch hour. After a brief exchange of coy dialogue which we won’t bore you with here, she consented.

    If you’re going to spew … find Garth’s hat. Please don’t do it in my Yankees cap.


    The idea of the spread is that they’ve got her trying on the items for sale in her shop — that’s pretty cute and actually fair enough. But why then do they talk in the copy specifically about taking her away from the shop to do the shoot? Chicanery.

    Anyway. That article is absolutely ridiculous, and that was just a small sample of it. Dudes, first of all, I loathe it for giving credence to the groundless and terrible assumption that lingerie salesgirls are secretly all a bunch of highly suggestible sluts who can’t wait to shed their suits and model their wares for you. I was a proud Bra Specialist for Victoria’s Secret for two years and have always taken issue with this sterotype, which, believe me, even lonely trophy-wife-type women seem to believe, judging from how they’d constantly call us in to the fitting rooms to “adjust” and “help” them while flashing scary boob jobs and spray tans at us and trying to drop slang and hints about meeting for lunch and cocktails. I like to call them “afternoon bisexuals” — it’s all fine and good to go out to lunch and make out with a like-minded girlfriend while sipping Cosmos and discussing highlights, but when it comes time for the real meal, dinner? You bet your ass they’re going straight back to the man who buys the steak.


    Click to enlarge a scan of the original article. If you can stomach it.

    New patrons also liked to slyly approach and ask where the “good” stuff was — edible panties, furry handcuffs, etc — at which point I had no choice but to commiserate with them that we sold merely “foundations” garments and did not have “good” stuff. Then I’d tacitly endorse a few places around town which did.

    But that does not mean that all lingerie salesgirls have any knowledge of even the most basic workings of sex: assume that what you see is what you get and the girl in that Victoria’s Secret or Frederick’s of Hollywood nametag is just a young woman surrounded by silk underwear which comprises her entire world and nothing peripheral to the use of said underwear is included in her purview. Yes?


    Those sparkly gold pants are amazing. My favorite photo from the shoot.

    Those who know me might be tempted to point to my lingerie collection and the continued expansion of said wardrobe as evidence of the Victoria’s Secret merchandise/salesgirl’s character relationship — to you I say, corollation does not imply causation. You can’t argue with that, suckas, because it is math.

    But what really grinds me about this puffy little article stuffed with fluff is the advancement of the idea that you could do the whole of a Playboy photoshoot on one’s lunch hour. That is the apex of a shysty and misleading shenanigan.

    Come on — we have already learned that the b&w shots are usually done separately from the color and on totally different days from Swingin’ Miss February 1968, the lovely and talented and openminded Ms. Nancy Harwood, remember? It took absolutely days to shoot a centerfold spread; hell, it takes up to and sometimes over a week even now and that is with the advent of digital photography, even. Shot on the lunch hour, indeed. That is all total folklore. Fairy Tales and Oral Tradition 101, required course reading, right there. Depend on it. Calling bullshit on that one from a mile off.

    That last shot did not actually make it in to the original April 1957 spread, but rather comes from The First 15 Years book. The compilation of 178 centerfolds from the magazine’s earliest history was a Playboy Newsstand Special which came out in 1983. Today it goes for $75. Its success lead to the printing of The Second 15 Years in 1984. Many of those who disapproved of then-modern porn and decried the so-called corruption of morals during the 70’s and 80’s were accustomed to hounding Larry Flynt and Deep Throat and were quite surprised by the success of the The First 15 Years, but I just think it goes to show an old adage that I have always lived by. Ready for it?

    PSA: Dudes like boobs.

    Doesn’t matter if they’re on a gal whose photograph was taken yesterday or on a woman in a picture who is probably now dead or a grandma, if they are boobs, they are worth a second look. It makes no difference to the gentleman looking at the picture if the hair and wardrobe above and below the boobs are out-of-date — he is not wishing the woman with boobs was wearing more stylish clothing, he is wishing there were no clothing on the woman with boobs at all.

    Smart porn purveyors know this and, if they are savvy gents like Hef, have held on to their old photos featuring those wonderful cash cows we call boobs and will play that card from time to time, right about the time they are sure the woman in the picture with boobs in question is too old or living a life too removed from the time of the picture’s taking to raise a protest. So, ladies, when you pose for naughty pictures and they assure you that the negatives will be destroyed, they are probably lying. Did You Know?

    On a quick review, this entry is really full of revelations, from afternoon bisexuals to nudie photoshoots taking time to Victoria’s Secret’s lack of “good” stuff and all ending with the earth-shattering truism that dudes like boobs. Y’all please excuse me while I blow ya minds.

    Daily Batman: Childhood’s icons

    April 15, 2010






    Bat ring picture via thelovelybones on the tumblr.

    Daily Batman: Blinding you with Science

    April 14, 2010

    Can Beach Bunny Batgirl get Scientific with you?


    On this date in 1981, the space shuttle Columbia completed its first successful orbit, landing safely at Edwards AFB in Antelope Valley, CA. In 1932, the atom was split by Cockroft and Walton in the Cavendish Labs. Like, dang. Those are some incredible scientific landmarks of just the sort that Sir Isaac Newton was speaking in the above quote.

    My god, what a century of achievements. What will we do next? Keep your mind open and don’t be afraid of advancements — the only way to prevent a dystopian future run by cyborgs and genetically enhanced a-holes is to stay ethically invested in the coming leaps of technology. The only way to guarantee Bizarro Robocops and sentient microwaves stalking your cloned stem-cell baby with iPod implant neck shunts and laser gun wristwatches is to not care and not keep up with change. Cell phones freak me out and I don’t even know how to begin to use touchscreen notebooks, but I’m determined to learn this year. No burying my head in the sand (or clouds, more likely) and hiding from Change for me — not anymore.

    Because I look at that quote from the freaking father of physics, thank you very much, and think of all the science that has rocked our world through the years, and each time a new advancement came along, there were frightened people, shellshocked Luddites like myself waving their arms around and crying “We’re all gonna die! Apocalypse now!” but it never happened, because humanity’s better nature has inevitably prevailed, and we’ve assimilated as best we could each new challenge to keeping the lid on our growing godlike powers. As fearsome as that is, if I am concerned, that’s exactly why I should not give up on the Future, right? If I’m so worried about it, why don’t I put my money where my big scared mouth is and stick around to defend it? Ought we not fight for the future to be a brave and conscience-guided good one instead of cringing in the corner, wringing our hands and refusing to look growing technology square in the eye?

    I believe that great changes at which, like Sir Isaac Newton, we can not even possibly begin to guess are going to come in our lifetimes but we can make it a safe and morally-centered time with the potential to better the lives of everyone on Earth, so long as we try and don’t give up or get overwhelmed. I believe this is possible. I really do. I’m in a new and more positive place than I’ve ever been.

    Okay, so I guess in addition to getting Scientific with you, I also got a little Hippie. I have those kind of tendencies. Thanks for loving me anyway. (My providing you with all kinds of softcore porn has I’m sure nothing to do with it.)

    Spring Fever!: Inaugural Edition feat. Gwen Wong, Miss April 1967

    April 13, 2010

    I’ve fallen down completely on the job of keeping up the journal, mainly because I’ve got so many dogs in the fire that I don’t know where to begin to express my feelings about them. Besides being an outlet for emotions, this so-called thought experiment was supposed to be a project that would force me to write something every day, and I have not been doing so. I’ve let feeling Ways About Things totally overwhelm me and paralyze my writing. That changes today.

    The one thing that can always get some creative and otherwise positive juices flowing for me is writing about the Playmates, so welcome to Spring Fever! They say April is the cruellest month, but I am going to do my best to make it the kindest every ding-dong day. Starting ……. now.

    Venus in argyle.


    Photographed by Mario Casilli and Gene Trindl.

    This adorable cardigan and knee-socks sporting model is Miss April 1967, the lovely and talented Gwen Wong. I think her photoshoot was really a great one.

    Just well-lit, and done so with a striking ambience, not with a lot of artificial lighting, with makeup and styling that is kicky but not overly fetishistic, just a very fun and natural shoot — and, most admirably to my mind, I think it is delightfully and matter-of-factly progressive given the time and place (Cold War America at the end of the Korean War, heightening of the conflict in Vietnam, pitch of the Red Scare, a time when there was still a lot of “otherization” of the unfamiliar, etc) in which it appeared. I wish I could say the same for the text which accompanied the shoot, but overall it is not so bad that Edward Said is calling out hits or anything.

    The credit of first Asian-American Playmate of the Month is sometimes erroneously given to Gwen Wong. While Ms. Wong has many awesome merits of her own, she is not, in fact, the first Asian-American gatefold model.

    That honor belongs to Margaret “China (rhymes with Tina)” Lee, who was Miss August 1964 and performs the memorable striptease which runs over the credits for Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily?. As further old school and timeless comedy cred goes, China was married to the great Mort Sahl from 1967 to 1991. She also dated Robert Plant.


    I think this is as “typical” as the photoshoot got. That’s pretty cool in my book, all appropriate due given to the temporal setting.

    But enough about Ms. Lee. I should give her her own entry one of these days, and we’ll cover that then. Don’t let me forget. Back to Gwen Wong, who justly deserves the attention.


    Born in Manila during the latter part of World War Two … Miss Wong is, in fact, a startlingly beautiful blend of six nationalities: Chinese, Scottish, Spanish, Australian, Filipino and Irish.

    (“Spice From the Orient,”
    (groan) Playboy, April 1967.)

    As you can see, Ms. Wong lists Filipino among the handful of her ethnic identities and it’s clearly stated she was born in Manila, which dramatically undermines the claim to the title of first Filpino-American Playmate made by Playboy in the lovely and talented PR (Miss November 1988, name removed at model’s request)’s write up some twenty-one years later.

    If you followed NSFW November, you may remember [model’s name removed at request] as the lovely lady whose entire entry I accidentally spent describing the Thrilla in Manila fight (aka Frazier-Ali III) instead of talking a single bit about the naked girl in the pictures around the text.

    I promised then, after I was done gushing about the greatest boxing match in history, that I would try and mention the other another day. That day is now and once again, this is probably not how she’d have hoped that to go — citing someone else as the real titleholder of her one noteworthy (at that time) characteristic. Sorry, kiddo, but who can deny the awesomeness of Ms. Wong?

    So when I’m done with this entry on completely radical Gwen, I’ll try and work up some brief copy on the other’s bummer choices in dudes with which I can totally emapthize to appear later in the week because it turns out she’s all kinds of a quite interesting in a glass-ceiling-busting, con-man-choosing kind of way (we ladies must trailblaze). Yet again, most likely not the way anyone would’ve like to be immortalized in google’s search returns, but what can you do!


    An expert cook, Miss April is equally adept at whipping up wor shew opp, scungilli or boeuf Bourguignonne. “Cooking has almost become a mania with me,” she says. “I collect cookbooks the same way people collect LPs.” Before becoming a Bunny, Gwen studied painting and ceramics at California’s El Camino Junior College. (Ibid.)



    “Frankly,” she says, “most modern art confuses me, although I wouldn’t classify myself as a traditionalist. I try not to be swayed by other people’s opinions when visiting a gallery, but that’s not always easy. I like to think if a canvas is good I’ll know it — because, well, I’ll feel it.” (Ibid.)

    So true.

    Special K and I were at her Humboldt orientation this weekend and it happened to be the Arts! Arcata night on Friday, so while she was attending a mixer for incoming freshmen, I slipped from the campus downtown to the Arts! events so as not to be That Guy hanging around outside waiting for the kid they are chaperoning and embarassing the crap out of said kid.

    The work being shown at various galleries and makeshift exhibitions inside boutiques and bars was a real mix of media as far as form, but the content and thrust of the work was generally what I think can be termed “modern” art. Some of what I saw really resonated with me, while there was other work to which I felt zero connection. But I don’t think subjectivity alone can explain why some people buy certain modern art.

    I’d like to think that everyone who buys a piece buys it because they love it, but I doubt that’s so. I think there is a combination of snobbery and peer pressure, too, from other collectors and from people in the business. I hope to never buy something because I’m told it’s cool. So what I’m saying is, I understand where Ms. Wong is coming from with her statement.


    Miss Wong is also a jazznik and prefers the singing of Morgana King and Ella Fitzgerald among at least a score of recording artists she admires. (Ibid.)

    “Jazznik.” That is somehow quaint. Besides being a textbook great in jazz history, Mo King would also go on to feature in the Godfather movies as Carmella Corleone, second wife of Don Vito Corleone and mother to Fredo, Connie, and Michael (and I guess kind of, you know, a foster mom or whatever to Tom Hagen), positively double-cementing her perpetual place in my heart. Well-called, Ms. Wong!

    According to the wiki, Ms. Wong is an artist these days. She specializes in body-casting. The wiki entry on her calls it that, but I’m more familiar with the term Lifecasting. Body casting makes me think of, like, broken hips and stuff. Bad scene.

    Anyway, this has been your inaugural edition of Spring Fever! and I hope you enjoyed it.

    Mean Girls Monday: “OMG, Sulu” edition

    April 12, 2010