Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Retread — Burroughs Month: Thanksgiving Prayer

November 24, 2011


“To John Dillinger and hope he is still alive.
Thanksgiving Day. November 28, 1986.”

Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shat out through wholesome
American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil
and poison.


Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and
danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves
and coyotes.


Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin’ lawmen,
feelin’ their notches.


For decent church-goin’ women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.

Thanks for “Kill a Queer for
Christ” stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the
war against drugs.


Thanks for a country where
nobody’s allowed to mind their
own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the
memories — all right let’s see
your arms!


You always were a headache and
you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest
betrayal of the last and greatest
of human dreams.

I do not believe it is as hopeless as all that. This year, I am incredibly thankful to be alive at all, let alone to live where I do with the people I love. I understand Mr. Burroughs’ criticisms, I just think that we must keep caring and trying to win out against the sense of defeat and cynicism, and maybe then the dream can still be saved. I don’t believe people are inherently bad; I believe the opposite, and I won’t get discouraged and filled with bitterness toward all of humanity just because of the publicized exploits and outrages of the bad apples in our barrel. I believe that for each one of the headlines that sends people in to despair over the state of the world, there are a thousand unreported little kindnesses and gestures of love and connection.

And world peace. I know. I get cheesey. I’m just feeling very happy and free and alive.




Almost all photos via Square America.







This post originally appeared on November 26, 2010.

Daily Batman: A story in stills, “The Electrical Brain” edition

October 3, 2011

Yesterday at the grocery, I spotted a collection of the 1943 Columbia Pictures Batman serial adaptations. I obviously had no choice but to pick it up — my hands were clearly tied — and I’ve found the content … illuminating?

The Dynamic Duo are first seen rounding up some miscreants and leaving them cuffed to a lightpole with a note pinned to one’s jacket for the police. The original script called for the Caped Crusaders to be their usual vigilante selves, but the censors deemed that a little too risky?

And, I guess with all the purportedly people-based government shifts going on in the world, they didn’t want the popcorn-scarfing masses to get ideas? — so Steve Jobs converted Batman and Robin in to federal agents. (May or may not be accurate.)

Isn’t it bromantic? Lewis Wilson as a jaunty, kohl-browed Batman, with Douglas Croft as the Boy Wonder, congratulate themselves on a good night of taking the law in to their own hands without right or invitation after hopping in a Batmobile chauffered by good old Alfred Pennyworth, whose previous comic presence had been a facial hairless, rotund figure — colloquial wisdom credits this adaptation’s portrayal of Alfred as thin, stately, and mustachioed with influencing his subsequent appearance in the comics.

Accordingly, so far as I’ve watched, this opening scene introducing their crime-fighting prowess is the only bit of vigilantism Batman and Robin display in the serial. Everything else is under the aegis of fighting Communist and Axis spy infiltration.


This comes from the “Japanese Cave of Horrors” scene and is CLEARLY a wax figure of Cary Grant as a fake POW.

The note pinned to the man up there on our right’s jacket is somewhat reminscent of the “deliver to Lt. Gordon” note from The Dark Knight. It also indicates that the key to the cuffs may be found in the apprehended man’s pocket. Ostensibly, the cuffs will be taken off and replaced with official ones, but as they do not know the secret identity of Batman and Robin, are the originals now a gift to the Gotham City PD? I assume so. Not to worry: Batman and Robin have lots more pairs of handcuffs. You know, for … crime-fighting.


Did it come from Gunga Din, do you reckon? The uniform, I mean? Where did props even get this figure? I feel like it’s just out of reach in my mind. Little help?

This first segment in the serial is titled “The Electrical Brain” and is a total yawn fest, since all that it features is electric zombies, atom-smashing handheld ray guns, a sinister villain, and more astounding racism than you can shake a KKK hood at. Oh, wait — it couldn’t be less boring. If you’re a fan of camp and jaw-dropping behavioral archaisms, like your happy hostess here, run, don’t walk out and find this collection.

Get all of your latently guilty chagrin primed, though. I’m not made out of moron: I understand the film is a product of its time — it’s part of why I find vintage, obscure cinema from this era interesting. But, sweet mother of Edward Said, the orientalism and propaganda are strong with this one.

The villain of the piece, Dr. Tito Daka, is a self-proclaimed servant of Hirohito. Daka is a Japanese enemy of capitalism who I’m amazed to say constitutes only a fraction of the deeply-woven Asian-targeted xenophobic mise-en-scene of the picture.

U.S. readers, if you’ve nursed some fantasy that the internment of our Japanese fellow citizens during the second World War was not widely known by most Americans and did not make a big dent in pop culture, this little slice of 1940’s life will prove you all kinds of unfortunately wrong.


Narrator: This was part of a foreign land transplanted bodily to America and known as Little Tokyo. Since a wise government rounded up the shifty-eyed Japs, it has become a ghost street where only one buusiness survives, eking out a precarious existence on the dimes of curiosity-seekers.

Wise government. Rounded up. Shifty-eyed. I honestly triple-took. “Did that just happen??”

It seems boldly racist to me, even for the time. So like I said, this serial has so far shown me that I don’t know crap about what was “okay” on the day-to-day in my country during this time.

Daka introduces himself to a new recruit to his organization, the partner of a recently sprung white collar criminal of sorts (his niece is dating Bruce Wayne, which is how the plotlines tie together), with the following charming monologue.


I am Dr. Daka, humble servant of His Majesty Hirohito, Heavenly Ruler and Prince of the Rising Sun. By divine destiny, my country shall destroy the democratic forces of evil in the United States to make way for the New Order, an Order that will bring about the liberation of the enslaved people of America.

Daka is portrayed by totally-not-Asian actor J. Carrol Naish, a future Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner. Irish by descent, Naish actually portrayed nearly nothing but non-traditional races in his performances, from Japanese to Puerto Rican to Middle Eastern.

Congruent to his alleged continent of origin in this serial and his heavy “oriental” makeup, Naish would later bring a whole new ball of uniquely challenging race-based character traits to the role of famous detective Charlie Chan on the small screen, in television’s The New Adventures of Charlie Chan (1957).


The teaser for the next installment. There was no Bat Cave in the comics until after the release of this serial. But so far the Bat Cave in the serial is a stone wall behind a regular desk, with flickering shadows of bats waving around in front of lights off-camera… so I’d have to say the comics Bat Cave, even if inspired by the serial, most certainly carries the edge.

Dr. King’s Day: Our impasse in the modern world

January 17, 2011

All of these words are chillingly accurate descriptions of the continued fractured state of the modern social scene, along the entire spectrum from politics to our treatment of one another.


History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.


Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies — or else? The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.


I challenge you not to adore this picture of Dr. King and his awesome wife.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

Jesus Christ, man, we have to help him be right.

Take-two Tuesday — Movie Moment: Extras from the Goonies

December 7, 2010

This entry was originally posted on November 10, 2009 at 10:21 pm. Some pictures and more action descriptions have been added.

This post was originally accompanied by screen captures from a spotty YouTube video. I’ve capped the extras from Goonies myself since then, so I’ve got much clearer versions now. Also at the bottom you may enjoy lovely bonus caps of the madness.

Back to the original.


The Goonies are good enough for Cyndi Lauper.

Today after I picked up kidlet from kindergarten, we jetted down to Ceres for some gloomy day movie cheer. Clue strangely put us to sleep but then Miss D, kidlet, and I watched us the crap out of some Goonies. We watched every single feature it had. Maybe even to our detriment.


Steven Spielberg has a cameo and Cyndi Lauper wrestles the octopus that vanished from the Goonies final cut — oops.

One of the features we watched, which I'd never seen before in its … I'm not sure what to call it? totality?, was a two-part music video put together by director Richard Donner and theme songstress/my fantasy fairy godmother Cyndi Lauper, with a cameo by producer Steven Spielberg, to promote the film. I don't even have words for the surreality of watching the video. It was really something. I will not soon forget it. These are my neutral words.

The video features

World Wrestling Federation pro-wrestlers André the Giant, Captain Lou Albano, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Wendy Richter, The Fabulous Moolah, The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Freddie Blassie; Steven Spielberg; The Goonies cast (except for Kerri Green, Anne Ramsey, Joe Pantoliano, Robert Davi and John Matuszak*); and the relatively unknown Bangles as a group of female pirates. Roseanne Barr appears as the “sea hag”. Lauper’s mother appears as “Cyndi’s mother”, reprising her role from “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”.

(the wiki)

*The lead cast members from the film who do not appear in this video are those playing Andy, Ma Fratelli, and the Fratelli brothers.

The plot runs like this: Cyndi’s folks run a Mom and Pop gas station that has fallen on tough times. They are packing up and ready to come west to Californny or some such to start a new life and meet Peter Fonda, when they think they have customers! Is the station saved?? Wonderful!

Psych. Turns out it’s the creditors. The gas station is being bought out by villains from the WWF, each attired as a different weird stereotype. Unfortunately, they also have dialogue.

Cyndi and her brother? friend? and sister? his wife? are helping Mom and Pop (Cap’n Lou) pack up the ol’ place when the action begins.

The nouveau riche, stereotyped creditors chew up the scenery and generally set up quickie symbols of their wealth, such as a Benihana-type joint in the middle of the parking lot, which many consider the international sign of good taste and refinement, some to the point of exclusion. (Do not even try to talk dimsum on rollerskates to them; they will not listen.) The hibachi flows like wine and the wine is snorted like cocaine. In fact, there is no wine. It is just cocaine. Off-camera.


The skeleton and she scream at each other and her hair blows. It is a deep and fractured commentary on the intersection of orgasm, death, and bad ’80’s video special fx.

Cyndi discovers a secret cave behind a painting of their grand-ancestor, where she encounters the Goonies, who help her decode a map she lifted off a dead guy — real fuckin’ nice, Cyn.

The we get a nice long look at the same clips America had been seeing for several months in the Goonies trailer, and you think maybe it’s done? but no. Suddenly, some pirates show up (psst, it is the WWF guys IN DISGUISE — could it all be a dream, but a real adventure, too, a la The Wizard of Oz?), and Roseanne Barr. Oh my god, nightmare combination! The Bangles are there, too, but they do not try to sing.

In the chase that ensues, Cyndi stops real quick for some hibachi, creating a prevalent and provocative ongoing theme in the video.

Perhaps this is meant to make us reflect on the marketing of foreign cuisine in America, or on materialism and the ease with which an ordinary item common to one country can acquire peculiar clout in another country. Or perhaps it is merely included in order to set up a joke that is some straight racist garbage: ie, the following picture’s caption.

The pirates and the sea hag enslave the kids at murky tasks like, um, stirring big pots, and force Cyndi to dress like a Floridian prostitute while carrying buckets and singing (they do not allow her to stop singing even once).

Cyndi and her friends manage to overthrow the pirates and get away with some loot from the ship, but the “cheatin’ creditors” will not accept it as payment for Mom and Pop’s debt on the shop. Not even when she repeatedly bites it to prove its value! I know, right? If only she had offered them some fresh, dope funky fun hibachi.

As it is, Cyndi grows weary of attempting to convince the creditors to accept her jewels as payment, and whistles as one only does for a taxicab or deus ex machina. And what is it going to be?

Why, it’s Andre the Giant, and I am pretty sure he is literally still wiping coke from under his nose when he first appears! He beats up and chases away the creditors, which means the debt is legally and officially cleared forever, duh, and the video ends with this triumphant shot.

Oh, my god, I want that to happen to me every day after I die. I like to believe in an afterlife, unless I am in a particularly foul and doubtful and wobegone mood, and of course Andre the Giant is there waiting for me so we can finally hang out and stuff, and I hope so fervently that every single day when I greet him in Heaven he scoops me up and we cheer and do ’80s fistpumps in the air. It’s gonna be sick.

So here’s the video if after a report on all that insanity you need fuller confirmation of its existence.

Bonus caps:

Cyndi struggles with the octopus who never made it in to the theatrical release but was apparently still considered an important enough plot point at the time of this video’s production that Spielberg and Donner made sure to include him.

Stuck on a log, Cyndi asks Spielberg for help via the magic of television screens. He basically says he does not care, he is only here to remind people that hey-hey-hey, Stephen Spielberg is involved in this picture so you should run out and see it just as fast as your thickening Dorito-and-Pepsi-lovin’ legs can carry you. He signifies his essential non-interest in what’s happening by not removing his sunglasses despite being indoors and ostensibly watching television.

Captain Lou laments to his long-lost dead ancestor about the state of the gas station. But it’s going to be okay because …

Secret treasure inside the hidden cave! Happens all the time!

Goonies does not have any fart jokes, but the “Goonies R Good Enough” video does. As is evidenced by the sign in the below cap.

I say again, for all the casual vulgarity of youth as young as elementary school-aged and as old as seventeen that characterizes the scripts of both Goonies and E.T. (and their rather heartwarming insistence that these two age groups consistently interact and save the world), the movie Goonies does not have even one single fart joke. In a movie with as many other dick, breath, sex, and LCD body-function jokes as Goonies, that is pretty anomalous. I’m going to call it happenstance. I doubt it was on purpose.

WWF Pirates hunt for Cyndi Lauper. Recall that they have been dispatched by Roseanne Barr, assisted by the Bangles.

  • 1. WWF.
  • 2. Cyndi Lauper.
  • 3. Roseanne Barr and the Bangles.
  • 80’s Trifecta!!

    Cyndi singing in aforementioned Floridian prostitute getup under the insistence of the Bangles, Roseanne, et al.

    The octopus himself. Farewell, dude, we hardly knew ye. We’ve only seen ye in weird television cuts that were edited for time and had the master with the alternate ending. (Which Data still refers to in the released ending.)

    Finally, my secret crush from this movie may be reported to be Data, because I squeal when he comes on screen, but really deep down it’s actually:

    Martha Plimpton. Her and Jan Brady can come live with me and finally be appreciated the way they deserve. Oh, Martha Plimpton. Have my nearsighted, sarcastic blonde babies. Won’t you please? We’ll find a way.

    Burroughs Month: Thanksgiving Prayer

    November 25, 2010


    “To John Dillinger and hope he is still alive.
    Thanksgiving Day. November 28, 1986.”

    Thanks for the wild turkey and
    the passenger pigeons, destined
    to be shat out through wholesome
    American guts.

    Thanks for a continent to despoil
    and poison.


    Thanks for Indians to provide a
    modicum of challenge and
    danger.

    Thanks for vast herds of bison to
    kill and skin leaving the
    carcasses to rot.

    Thanks for bounties on wolves
    and coyotes.


    Thanks for the American dream,
    To vulgarize and to falsify until
    the bare lies shine through.

    Thanks for the KKK.

    For nigger-killin’ lawmen,
    feelin’ their notches.


    For decent church-goin’ women,
    with their mean, pinched, bitter,
    evil faces.

    Thanks for “Kill a Queer for
    Christ” stickers.

    Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

    Thanks for Prohibition and the
    war against drugs.


    Thanks for a country where
    nobody’s allowed to mind their
    own business.

    Thanks for a nation of finks.

    Yes, thanks for all the
    memories — all right let’s see
    your arms!


    You always were a headache and
    you always were a bore.

    Thanks for the last and greatest
    betrayal of the last and greatest
    of human dreams.

    I do not believe it is as hopeless as all that. This year, I am incredibly thankful to be alive at all, let alone to live where I do with the people I love. I understand Mr. Burroughs’ criticisms, I just think that we must keep caring and trying to win out against the sense of defeat and cynicism, and maybe then the dream can still be saved. I don’t believe people are inherently bad; I believe the opposite, and I won’t get discouraged and filled with bitterness toward all of humanity just because of the publicized exploits and outrages of the bad apples in our barrel. I believe that for each one of the headlines that sends people in to despair over the state of the world, there are a thousand unreported little kindnesses and gestures of love and connection.

    And world peace. I know. I get cheesey. I’m just feeling very happy and free and alive.




    Almost all photos via Square America.

    Music Moment: There’s no tomorrow — The Mighty Hannibal, “Hymn No. 5”

    June 16, 2010

    If you skip the Music Moments normally … don’t skip this one. Banned from the airwaves and all-but-lost to obscurity, this song is one of the best Vietnam tell-it-like-it-is protest songs and one of the greatest soul singles I have heard in recent memory, period.

    The Mighty Hannibal — “Hymn No. 5”


    I wrote my baby from Vietnam
    and this is what I said,

    “I want to see you
    (You know that)
    I want to see you
    I want to see you
    (Yes I do, now)
    Yes, I do.


    via northern soul in the u.k.

    “Sleeping in these foxholes
    Hungry and cold
    I had a dream last night

    I dreamed I saw you
    (You know that I)
    I dreamed I saw you
    (Yes, I did, yeah)
    I dreamed I saw you
    (Yeah, I want to say that I)
    (I dreamed, a dream)
    Yes, I did.”


    I want somebody
    to tell my mother
    And go down yonder in Georgia
    and tell my father
    that I’m way over here
    crawling in these trench-holes,
    covered with blood,
    but one thing that I know:


    There’s no tomorrow,
    There’s no tomorrow,
    There’s no tomorrow —
    they’ll bury me.


    I want everybody
    in the sound of my voice this evening
    to help me sing this hymn number five.

    I want you to moan one time.
    (humming chorus)


    Sometimes I wonder,
    I wonder what was it that I did?
    I tried to be a good father,
    I did the best that I could.
    And I wonder, who’s going to take care of my kids?
    I’m a long way from home, children.

    But I want the world to know
    the one thing that I did.
    I’m gone for good.


    via American Ethnography: Vietnam Zippos.

    “Hymn No. 5” was banned from stateside radio-play lickety-split for its “controversial” lyrics. I searched high and low on the internet for those incendiary, heartfelt lyrics, but no go. So, fuck you, censorious witchhunt world of the late 60’s and paranoid early 70’s played out across this present world wide web, because I’m not as lazy as you suppose — I’m typing them out myself. (see above.)


    The protest in ’71. The largest of its kind.

    From the infinitely worthy Soul Shack:

    The Mighty Hannibal is one of those Soul artists that is wrongfully obscure. The world of popular music is filled with myth building, myths sometimes becoming truth, facts obscured. A handful of people these days remember Hannibal. The kind of people who like to hang out in dusty record shops, swap endless amounts of stories and usually useless little facts about obscure and forgotten Soul singers that are God’s gift only in our minds.

    (“Platters That Matter: Hymn No. 5.” January 9, 2008.)


    from photographer Declan McCullagh, “A dilapidated section of Hue’s citadel, site of major Vietnam War battle involving U.S. Marines and U.S. Army calvary regiments, slowly being rebuilt.”

    Hannibal’s “Hymn No. 5” is in my opinion an exception. It is one of those few obscure Soul records that should be saved from forgetfulness. “Hymn No. 5” is both a record of rare beauty and relevance.

    (Ibid.)



    With the war in Iraq still taking young lives on a daily basis I feel it is important that art like this is remembered. It is through art that we understand the true atrocities of war. If we left it up to our politicians war would be narrowed down to one-liners and personal interest. The news may gives us the facts, photographers may give us the images, but art gives us the personal implications. A song like “Hymn No 5” allows us to feel what war means, allows us to forget the bullshit of the politicians, the confusing statistics scientists use, transcend the daily cold news and actually feel what war does to people. Art allows us to experience the very human consequence of war.

    (Ibid.)

    Quoted in full because I could not have articulated it as well. A thousand thanks.

    The Mighty Hannibal was initially active in the West Coast soul scene, working with Johnny Otis (“Willie and the Hand Jive,” “Harlem Nocturne”) and Johnny “Guitar” Watson (“Gangster of Love”) before launching his own less-than-widely-known but well-appreciated solo career. Born James Timothy Shaw, the Mighty Hannibal grew up with his folks Corrie Bell and James Henry Shaw in Atlanta, GA and then eventually wung his way West. (Can we put a permanent ban on calling it “Hotlanta?” Can that be done?)


    Vernon Jordan.

    I mention Mr. Shaw’s family as a roundabout and oblique way of announcing that we are coming up on twenty-three years since the overdose/drowning death of AIDS-stricken early porn-and-free-speech crusader Althea Flynt. (Seems random. Bear with me because everything is related and everything is falling apart.) The Mighty Hannibal’s first cousin, the famous lawyer, civil rights crusader, and all-around controversial dude Vernon Jordan (pictured above) has a common bond with Althea’s husband, never-once-controversial-a-day-of-his-life-wink-wink, the paraplegic and litigious Hustler mastermind, Mr. Larry Flynt (pictured below): they have both survived assassination efforts by murderous racist fuckface Joseph Paul Franklin.

    For the record, Franklin —and hell, no, I am not throwing up a link to his attention-seeking, Aryan Nations-loving, hopefully-daily-reamed-out butthole; if you want to know more, wiki his sick ass — has never been tried for either of their attempted murders, though he has confessed. He currently sits on Death Row in Missouri, a sentence for which he thanked his jury, assuring them that if they had not condemned him, he would only escape and keep killing in the name of race wars. Also he was a big fan of the Beltway Snipers, who took their cues from his methodology. He was probably pretty surprised when they turned out to be of a heritage he thought was going to Hell. In his face. So, yeah, that dickhead’s on Death Row now. Uh, good? I guess? Not sure that killing him is the solution, although I understand it will satisfy a need for vengeance (which they’ll call “closure” and I deeply understand why because of some of my own shit but it still sits uneasy with me) on the part of his victims’ families. But still. What the good Lord makes of all that is anyone’s guess.


    You are all like, why is this a picture of Larry and Althea Flynt and not of Joseph Paul Franklin, and I am all like, “Because I don’t support pathological interest in killers. How about focusing on the people whose lives they interrupted? Go somewhere else if that’s what you want, you stupid, sick fuck, and I hope you never endure the type of loss it will apparently take to snap you out of your ignorant murderer-worshiping, celebrity-and-violence-driven stupor.” If you’re offended by all that, then PLEASE feel free never to return to this journal.

    When you stack Franklin’s heinous crimes — which I am not happy to have even touched upon in this entry but I did want to bring the fact of Mr. Jordan’s and Mr. Shaw’s blood relationship to your attention as they are both forthright guys who are serious about civil rights and speaking the truth no matter how ugly it is — up against the subject of this song, hate piled upon hate … it is difficult to even understand where the good can come from on this earth. There is evil in the big picture just as much as the devil is in the details. Genocide and crime and blood and war on one another, which can only be against God’s plan? ought they must be?, stalk every continent. There’s no tomorrow.

    Yikes. In reviewing this, I guess it seems that foul mood of earlier today has not yet passed. Super-sorry. Kickass song, though, right? And again, please do scope out the awesome Soul Shack.

    Teevee Time: A story in stills — Gumby, “Balloonacy.”

    May 11, 2010

    Oh, my gosh, dudes — Gumby!! Turns out it’s simply all over that there ol’ youtube. I’ve had flu today and it has kept me some Excellent Company. So it’s Teveee Time!

    From the late-breaking children’s nostalgic expansion series The Gumby Adventures, which aired in the ’80’s — and I am glad of being able to have at least been in on the ground level of that much of this wonderful franchise — by which time good ol’ green bendy-flexi hero Gumby had gained a sister and quite the phalanx of diverse friends. This episode was titled “Balloonacy.”


    It’s Denali’s birthday, so Gumby and Pokey get some balloons for the party. As well as some normal helium balloons, they decide to pick up some magic, self-inflating balloons.

    The episode begins with Granny, the neighborhood Model T aficionado, pulling up to the Gumby household, having just fetched home in her gleaming hearse of a jalopy young Minga (Gumby’s little sister, a latebreaking Material World addition to the Gumby family of characters) from a birthday party, from which Minga has clutched in her gooey little hands the souveneir of a single, crummy balloon.

    Gumba, mater familias to Gumby and Minga, invites Granny in for some tea to thank her for ferrying Minga about Whatever-Its-called town (I’m sick or I’d wiki it, sorry).

    Naturally bored, Minga wanders with her balloon out to the front yard, where Pokey the Pony and Gumby are playing a little frisbee.

    Yikes. I have no idea why Pokey looks so unbelievably sly and spooky here. What gives, good pal?! Good gravy!

    So then the worst thing ever happens, and Gumby and Pokey accidentally send Minga’s balloon back to that great party store in the sky.



    Oh, shit! Minga tries to be really sweet and cool about it but you can tell (as can good brother Gumby) that she is in actuality totally bummed.

    Pokey and Gumby were heading in to Town after aimless coy-eyed frisbee anyways to pick up supplies for their friend Denali the Mastodon’s upcoming hopefully-surprise birthday party — not making this up, and everyone knows how tough it is to “surprise” a mastodon …

    … so have some empathy for their plight, please — and the pair secretly agree to replace Minga’s lost balloon while they’re at it, using Any Means Necessary.

    Oh, my heavens. Loose cannons, these two! Gumby and Pokey, I want your guns and your badges on my desk by three o’clock, and if I ever catch you up to the shenanigans you were trying to pull at the mayor’s wife’s Tupperware party again, you’ll be on traffic patrol the rest of your natural careers! And I hope you two know another thing — I … I …. *sniff* god dang it — I’m proud of you (we all cry).

    Okay, so then they pick up some balloons on the regular streets of toy Town of your expected, standard, non-magical variety in several shapes and sizes, and then Gumby does this Totally Freaky Thing where he turns his two triangle leg-thingies into a vestigial single tail-thingy and straight up slithers back into his car.


    Tried to capture it fully but this is the best Science can do. Totally not okay.

    Shortly after the slithering and with not even slant eyes from Pokey, who is apparently hep to his friend’s possesssion troubles, Gumby and Pokey are cruising back to their yellow dinosaur-friend thingy’s farm-place to assemble Denali’s party surprises when they pass what appears to be Just The Ticket to appease young Minga and her tragic, all-their-fault balloon loss!

    They clamber from the car to go see what’s up with that. No tail visible, please note. (Look. All I want are answers. None come.)

    Unbeknownst to them, Gumby and Pokey have an audience — the badassical Blockheads, “G” and “J”. (May the lord strike me dead if I ever stop rooting for them. They are red and they are good archers. What is so wrong with adoring them?! Gumby is kind of a goofy putz, you must admit: it’s not like thwarting him has ever stopped Nobel peace work or something.)


    Gumby and Pokey enter the book, beautifully …

    … and encounter an intriguing and powerful magician who is really frankly styled to be outlandishly Mexican (how I wish this was not so. But it is, and how — sorry.).

    They explain their predicament.



    The magician is astonished, but then assures them he can help them, and he blows their minds with some tricks. What the magician and I are now about to show you, I am not sure is legal …


    … but Gumby and Pokey soldier through the guttwisting demonstration and wisely surmise it is the End to their Troubles with finding dazzling birthday gifts for Denali, because what do you get the prehistoric beast who’s literally seen it all, and young sister Minga!

    (After all, why should she not also have the best in inflatable pig-anus-whosa-whatisis-thingy-balloon-dolls? just because she is a little kid and the entire inflation process looks hella ten kinds of traumatic? don’t make me laugh!)


    Soon, Gumby and Pokey are on their way, with the Blockheads trailing them, all the way to Prickle’s barn.


    Prickle the dino-thingy acts totally shady about the helium inflater. I don’t know if he’s a former huffer or what the deal is, but his actions and expressions around it are really weird and out of character. He seems untrustworthy in its presence. And that is a concern.

    Gumby, like Lucille Bluth and your loving, flu-ridden hostess E, hella sucks at winking. Phew! There are so many more of us than I thought!

    Gumby and Pokey explain the crazy magic balloons to Prickle and Goo. Why are you puzzling over Goo? Goo is a flying mermaid, duh, and she can take on any shape she chooses. Happens all the time.

    Okay, now do you see what I mean about Prickle and that helium tank? Hecka shady! I haven’t seen a little yellow dinosaur looking so sneaky since B.J. from Barney and Friends knocked up Sesame Street’s Prairie Dawn. Oh, my gosh. Worst joke ever. I need to go eat glass now. I’m so sorry. Forever.

    The Gang heads to Denali’s big pink mansion with the ballons (which completely dwarfs the suburban tract house that Gumby and Minga live in, where we can only assume Pokey is stabled, unless he stays on Prickle’s farm when Prickle is not busy huffing hecka all kinds of inert monoatomic gasses).


    Goo is all in to the tiger, while Prickle goes for the pink elephant. Gumby, meanwhile, has slipped off to patch things up with Minga.


    I’m not precisely sure into what Gumbo is trying to talk Gumba in this scene — although I have my definite suspicions — as she bemusedly washes dishes at the sink while he clearly spins a spiel.


    While they are tied up in whatever exactly private-times planning they are doing, Gumby has dropped off with Minga the inflatable bunny balloon from the magician and shown her how to pump him up. (Anally. No connection, I’m sure, to their parents’ conversation.) The shock of all this sauce combined with a giant bunny, the very symbol of fertility, makes Gumba faint in to Gumbo’s arms.


    Back at Denali’s place, Denali wakes up and goes out to investigate the noise from his front porch.

    Oh, holy crap! A bunch of giant balloons and a banner! What a — oh, my ticker, gassssspppp…


    Way to go, you guys. You killed him.

    Yes, Goo, you should be perturbed, you shapeshifting blue scamp — and let that be a lesson to you about plotting to “surprise” a thing that has been around longer than sin and cockroaches.

    Aw, just kiddin’, kiddos! Look: Denali is okay! Yay! — although I must grimly warn you that being a pachyderm he will Never Forget this shock, even 70 years from now when you are drooling in your oatmeal at an old folks’ home and he unexpectedly bursts through the door to yank you outside and stomp your shoulder blades in the street while you can only moan “why?” — he will know why, even as you struggle to remember how to piss your pants from the pain. That’s what you get. Anyway, happy birthday, Denali!!


    The Blockheads have had just about all they can stand of this merry and cheesey, “all-gods-chillun-gots-birthdays” chicanery so they amiably start shooting arrows at the balloons, which naturally pops them.

    This freaks Pokey out so bad that his eyes turn in to Shelley Duvall’s rack. (Sick left-field ’70’s burn on one of my favorite actresses!)

    G and J get totally busted by Goo, Denali, and Prickle (look at Goo all flying off with her determined, shapeless little blue body to catch those bad boys) before they can do more than pop a few. Bummer.

    By the time Gumby gets back from mending fences with Minga, the Blockheads have been captured and are sailing off in a balloon toward an uncaring horizon, ostensibly chastened by the prospect of cruel starvation and never setting foot on land again (just punishment? I think not).

    And that’s “Balloonacy”! Sorry that went forever but I am sick as hayull. Thanks for playing!

    Daily Batman: Kapow!

    January 12, 2010


    Still from Batman: The Movie (Leslie H. Martinson, 1966).

    Robin: The Joker!
    Chief O’Hara: Devilish clown prince of crime — oh, if I only had a nickle for every time he’s baffled us!

    Shiver me shamrocks, Chief Darby O’Stereotype, but faith and begorrah, the little Robin is getting his pert ass beat. A little help?

    Movie Moment: Extras from the Goonies

    November 10, 2009

    Today after I picked up kidlet from kindergarten, we jetted down to Ceres for some gloomy day movie cheer. Clue strangely put us to sleep but then Miss D, kidlet, and I watched us the crap out of some Goonies. We watched every single feature it had. Maybe even to our detriment.

    One of the features we watched, which I'd never seen before in its … I'm not sure what to call it? totality?, was a two-part music video put together by director Richard Donner, theme songstress and my fantasy fairy godmother Cyndi Lauper, with a cameo by producer Steven Spielberg, to promote the film. I don't even have words for the surreality of watching the video. It was really something. I will not soon forget it. These are my neutral words.



    [The video features] World Wrestling Federation pro-wrestlers André the Giant, Captain Lou Albano, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Wendy Richter, The Fabulous Moolah, The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Freddie Blassie; Steven Spielberg; The Goonies cast (except for Kerri Green, Anne Ramsey, Joe Pantoliano, Robert Davi and John Matuszak*); and the relatively unknown Bangles as a group of female pirates. Roseanne Barr appears as the “sea hag”. Lauper’s mother appears as “Cyndi’s mother”, reprising her role from “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. — (the wiki)

    *The lead cast members from the film who do not appear in this video are those playing Andy, Ma Fratelli, and the Fratelli brothers.

    The plot runs like this: Cyndi’s folks run a Mom and Pop gas station that is being bought out by villains from the WWF, each attired as a different weird stereotype. Unfortunately, they also have dialogue. Cyndi and her brother? friend? and sister? his wife? are helping Mom and Pop (Cap’n Lou) pack up the ol’ place while the nouveau riche chew up the scenery and generally set up quickie symbols of their wealth such as a Benihana-type joint in the middle of the parking lot, which many consider the international sign of good taste and refinement, some to the point of exclusion. (Do not even try to talk dimsum on rollerskates to them; they will not listen.)

    Cyndi discovers a secret cave behind a painting of their grand-ancestor, where she encounters the Goonies, who help her decode a map she lifted off a dead guy — real fuckin’ nice, Cyn — but then some pirates show up, and Roseanne Barr. Oh my god, nightmare combination! The Bangles are there, too, but they do not try to sing. In the chase that ensues, Cyndi stops real quick for some hibachi, creating a prevalent and provocative ongoing theme in the video.

    Perhaps this is meant to make us reflect on the marketing of foreign cuisine in America, or on materialism and the ease with which an ordinary item common to one country can acquire peculiar clout in another country. Or perhaps it is merely included in order to set up a joke that is some straight racist garbage: ie, the following picture’s caption.

    Click here for the rest of the plot, more campy pictures!, Andre the Giant!!, the actual video itself, and my top secret crush from this movie!!