Posts Tagged ‘television will rot your brain’

Teevee Time: The Brady Bunch, “Choices.”

July 8, 2011

It’s Friday. Do what feels right.


via.

More than anything else, I adore her stupefied look of delight from beneath the towel. Florence Henderson is my little candy-coated filthy miracle. Get it, girl!

Teevee Time: the Simpsons — Six of one …

July 3, 2011


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“Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming.” The Simpsons: Season 7, Episode 9.

Teevee Time: the Brady Bunch — Sobbing

July 2, 2011


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“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion…I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”

(Kurt Vonnegut.)

Girls of Summer: Susan Denberg, Miss August 1966

June 26, 2011


Photographed by super amaze-balls Peter Gowland!

Miss August 1966 was the lovely and talented Susan Denberg, a cult hottie of yesteryear who is somewhat obscure today but still beloved by vintage sci-fi and Hammer horror film fans. Who do I know who is in to that stuff? It’s on the tip of my tongue …

Oh, right. Me. Let’s do this!

Ms. Denberg was born Dietlinde Zechner in Bad Polzin, Germany on August 2, 1944, nine months and seven days before V-E Day, when the Allied forces accepted the Germans’ surrender on May 8 (an inauspicious date in my book if you remember my apocalyptic ramblings).

I’m saying it was probably not the best of times to be born in Germany, what with how the country was going to be totally defeated and carved up in, like, a year. The Zechner clan beat feet to Austria (…better?), where Ms. Denberg grew up working in her parents’ appliance stores in Klagenfurt.

In her Playboy write-up, she is cited as being “born and bred” in Klagenfurt. The discrepancy could be due to a misunderstanding or wanting to downplay her German heritage for some unguessed-at reason. I think most likely she was Austrian to begin with and moved to Klagenfurt so young that it was not a big deal.


Suspect is wigless, I repeat, wigless.

Susan Denberg, our striking Miss August, joins a long and lovely line of Playmates whose centerfold appearances have preceded their cinematic debuts — a comely clan that includes such gatefold delights as Jayne Mansfield (February 1955), Stella Stevens (January 1960), Donna Michelle (December 1963), Jo Collins (December 1964) and Sue Williams (April 1965).

(“Picture Playmate.” Playboy, August 1966.)


Susan, a honey of a blonde, will make her filmic bow this fall in the celluloid version of Norman Mailer’s recent best-selling novel An American Dream.

No. Not a best-selling novel. Considered the least of Mailer’s fiction works, actually. A misogynistic bundle of bullshit — and that’s coming from me. So I’m not just whistling “Dixie.”

An American Dream is a 1966 movie based on a 1965 novel based on a series of installments in Esquire about a man and the women he kills and screws before he slouches off in to the sunset, perhaps to mine the meaning of existence, perhaps to die of an overdose of modern society. Its one mercy is that it is short. I may be oversimplifying to avoid talking about it more. Sorry.

An American Dream is a Mailer-adapted picture, sadly too crappily, or perhaps too quickly, executed to be called camp, about Stephen Rojack, a former war hero – turned also-run politician – turned call-in talk show host who murders his rich-bitch wife and basically goes on a postmodern movie-length bender with Janet Leigh (story as old as time — we’ve all been there). He spends the film in a pingballing search for the meaning of existence via sex, drugs, murder-rap evasion and jazz, pissing off underworld gangsters along the way. The story does not so much end as “halt” in what amounts to a lot of, to quote a deservedly better praised writer, sound and fury, signifying nothing. Mailer’s original source material has marginally greater depth — but only marginally.

Ms. Denberg plays Ruta, the luckless harpy Mrs. Rojack’s German maid. In his March 14, 1965 New York Times review of the book, Conrad Knickerbocker said of Ruta’s character that she “must have attended charm school with Ilse Koch.” For those who don’t know, Ilse Koch is the “Red Witch of Buchenwald,” an infamously horrible Nazi war criminal on whom Ilse, She-Wolf of the SS is super-obviously based (except Koch was not hot — and she has spent way longer burning in hell).

Koch was a fat, genuinely evil brunette who tortured and murdered interred Jews for pleasure at one of the most horrible concentration camps the earth has ever known. Ruta is a slightly mercenary, lithe blonde sexpot who is willing to screw her boss’s husband if it will get her ahead. Absolutely nothing in book or film merits Knickerbocker’s sensationalist comparison, other than both women being German. Disgusting and not at all funny, if that was the attempt. Bleah.

But then what do I expect from a rave review of a randomly constructed crock of self-indulgent shit? Knickerbocker praised the book as a modern masterpiece and said people who didn’t like An American Dream wouldn’t like it because they wouldn’t want to admit that it speaks to the true soul of America and what-have-you. All like, J’accuse, bourgeois pigs! You don’t like it because you’re judging it, and you’re judging it because you don’t understand it, and you don’t understand it because you’re afraid to.

Cool story, bro.

Yeah, there’s always been a lot of so-called values getting touted around that are hypocritical at best and hollow, tarnished, destructive compulsions at worst. But that’s not my soul, and it’s not the soul of most people I know. Most people weren’t and aren’t rich, disaffected, murdering alcoholics — most people were and are just trying to hold a job, find some love, and eat dinner. Like, Jesus. What a hopeless and lackwitted thing to assert. Not to mention, if you do want a story about rotting American dreams and rich, murdering, alcoholics, why don’t you just pick up a little timeless piece of exponentially greater writing called The Great Gatsby?

In the book, Rojack sleeps with Ruta after killing Deborah, then pretends to discover Deborah’s body and tells Ruta she must have committed suicide. In the film, Ruta tries to seduce Rojack after his initial fight with Deborah, but he doesn’t go for it. Then he returns to the bedroom to fight with Deborah again, which is the fight that results in her death.

I assume the change in “he-did,” “he-didn’t,” with Ruta from novel to film is an effort to make Rojack’s character seem more sympathetic in the movie, in much the same way that making Cherry (Leigh’s character) in the film be Rojack’s fallen-on-bad-times childhood sweetheart from before he “made it” — versus her role in the source material as a trashy torch singer that he just meets that night — is supposed to make Rojack’s affair with her, begun the day after he murders his wife, more reasonable. There is also the little matter of Rojack allowing his wife to slip from the balcony of her own drunken accord, falling to her death only to then be further run over by a mafioso’s limo in the movie, rather than Rojack strangling her and throwing her body over the railing himself, the corpse falling to the street only to then be further run over by an et cetera’s et cetera, in the book.

Ugh. I spent forever talking about a thing I don’t like. I guess spite is as strong a writing motivator as enthusiasm. So let’s get back to enthusiasm. Fun fact follows.


For a while … it appeared as though Susan might not be Susan at all by the time [An American Dream’s] release date rolled around. As part of a nationwide contest to find a nom de cinéma for its latest ascending starlet, Warner Bros. offered a $500 award for the winning entry and received 5,000 name suggestions from cinemaphiles throughout both hemispheres before wisely deciding to leave Susan — name and all — exactly as they’d found her.

“Some of the names submitted were pretty far out,” recalls Susan. “But the funniest entry of them all was Norma Mailer.”

(Ibid.)

She just doesn’t look like a Norma.

The main thing of it is, on the set for An American Dream, Ms. Denberg worked with Star Trek‘s George Takei (Sulu), Warren Stevens (Rojan, “By Any Other Name”), and Richard Derr (Commodore Barstow, “The Alternative Command” and Admiral Fitzgerald, “The Mark of Gideon”). Plus An American Dream’s director, Robert Gist, was involved as a director for TOS.

Ms. Denberg subsequently appeared on the then-fledgling sci-fi series Star Trek as Magda Kovacs, one of the three mail-order bride hopefuls voyaging to Ophiucus III with honey-tongued con man and Venus drug purveyor Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd (Star Trek: TOS. “Mudd’s Women.” Season One, Episode 3. Originally aired October 13, 1966.).

On their way to Ophiucus III and being tailed by Kirk and co., petty criminal Mudd pushes his little class J ship too hard and breaks down in the middle of an asteroid belt. The pursuing Enterprise has their own shields up and throws them hastily over Mudd’s ship as well, but three of their lithium crystals are destroyed by this shield extension. Scotty beams Mudd and his passengers aboard the Enterprise just as the ship is struck by an asteroid and obliterated.


Eve McHuron (Karen Steele), Ruth Bonaventure (Maggie Thrett), and Magda Kovacs (Ms. Denberg).

The Enterprise plots a course to mining planet Rigel XII to replace the lithium crystals. It is revealed that the alluring women are being made more beautiful by the illegal Venus drug, which Mudd doesn’t want Kirk to find out. Mudd further wants to screw over Kirk and get back to peddling wives on Ophiucus III so of course the logical solution is for hot chicks to seduce Kirk; first Magda and then Eve. (Neither bid succeeds in the final aim but he gets flirty action in the short run.)


Magda without the apparently beauty-enhancing Venus drug. Rough.

Long story short, Magda and Ruth marry miners from Rigel XII over subspace radio (and you thought internet hookups were risky), who are concerned when it turns out they’ve been fleeced by a con man and druggies, and Eve marries their boss, Ben Childress. It is also discovered that the Venus drug’s efficacy lies completely in the mind of its imbiber: the ladies appeared more beautiful because of their confidence in the drug and not any transformative elements of its composition, which is a good thing because the scenes of them not under the influence made them look pretty deliberately rough. Also, the miners don’t negate the marriage as a fraud when they find out the chicks are hot again, plus they like companionship or whatever. Still waters run so deep.

Ms. Denberg next appeared in the 1967 Hammer horror film Frankenstein Created Woman, alongside perennial Hammer favorite Peter Cushing. The film is lucky number four in the production company’s Frankenstein series.

Frankenstein Created Woman finds Baron Frankenstein (Cushing) awakened from a sort of cryogenic sleep by companion Dr. Hertz and his lab assistant Hans, the latter of whom is shortly executed by guillotine for murdering an innkeeeper following an altercation with local toughs.

Distraught over his gruesome death, Hans’s disfigured and paralyzed ladyfriend Christina (Ms. Denberg), whose father Hans was wrongly convicted of killing, kills herself.

Baron Frankenstein resurrects Christina’s body in the same way he was resurrected by Hertz and Hans, but gives her Hans’ soul and not her own. See, Frankenstein has become concerned with the question of whether the soul leaves the body at the moment of death, and if not can it be separated from a body, and if so can it be preserved and transferred to a different body after being divorced from its original corpse, and what would the consequence be for consciousness, and all sorts of similar metaphysical things pondered over as only Frankenstein would do. (The guy is simply a maniac for severing and swapping stuff around. You cannot stop him.) You get the gist.

The resurrected soul of Hans in Christina’s body results in a confused consciousness, driven by compulsions of revenge against Christina’s father’s actual killers (the three local toughs with whom Hans had fought earlier on the evening of Christina’s father’s death), for Christina’s part to avenge her father and for Hans’ to avenge himself. This is of course inexplicable behavior to the good doctors because the actions are based on information only Hans and Christina technically know, but which Dr.s Frankenstein and Hertz could have easily found out if they weren’t constantly playing God.

The struggle of living with an infant consciousness and two memories of bad shit and all the rest, and probably also Dr. Hertz’s cooking, drives Christina to kill herself again — but not before all three of the men who beat her father to death and pinned it on her lover have been murdered in return. The End.

It’s one of the most critically acclaimed Frankenstein Hammer movies because of the concern with metaphysics and the fairytale-like revenge structure, or so says the wiki. Later this week I’ll show you one of my most critically acclaimed Hammer flicks. It has nothing to do with Frankenstein, I’m afraid.

Ms. Denberg was the victim of a very weird rumor circuit beginning in the 1970’s. It was said for, like, two decades that the excesses of the Hollywood life were too much for Susan and that she either a) moved back to Klagenfurt with her parents but then killed herself, or b) took too much acid and was in a mental institution. These rumors were probably based on some stuff Susan said in the National Police Gazette in 1968.


“[I became] hooked on LSD and marijuana. It calmed me down, and I made such wonderful love. I needed LSD every day, almost every hour. I took all sorts of drugs when I was in Hollywood… I used to do wild, nude dances at parties held by big-time Hollywood stars.”

(The National Police Gazette. September, 1968. qtd. in Susan Denberg Biography.)

However, she did not die and is not in a mental institution conversing freely with invisible sentient orange juice (again, we’ve all been there).

These days, the 66-year-old Ms. Denberg is alive and well and presumably acid-free back home in Klagenfurt, where she is back to being good old Dietlinde Zechner. She has happily settled in to family life after her brief splash in films and television.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Talent

June 2, 2011


By Archie Scott Gobber.

America’s Got [Nothing].

May Flowers: Dolly Read, Miss May 1966 with bonus “Showdown!” dishevelment

June 1, 2011

Thought this got out last night and just checked the main page and realized it didn’t. Sorry, dudes.

You are all like, Will the girls of summer be back this year, E? And I am all like, Well of course. What kind of shoddy outfit do you think I’m running here? But first, we have to close out the May Flowers.


Photographed by Pompeo Posar.

This year’s last May Flower is the lovely and talented Dolly Read, Playboy’s Miss May 1966.


Britannia’s first Bunny-Playmate, Dolly Read, recalls excitedly the night she was spotted by staff photographer Pompeo Posar during her training stint as a Chicago Club bumper-pool Bunny. “He asked me if I would like to consider becoming a Playmate, and I thought it was a smashing good idea,” says Dolly.

(“Bunny From Britain,” Playboy. May, 1966.)


The former Miss Bristol Teenager had a budding stage career before opting for Bunny satin instead. She entered the Eleine Hartley-Hodder School of Drama at the age of eight and emerged an aspiring actress some ten years later.

(Ibid.)


Renting a flat in the Marleybone section of London, centerfoldom’s latest Commonwealth import saw several workless weeks before landing her first acting job in a local TV series called Compact.

(Ibid.)


IIt was sort of a feminine version of your own Valentine’s Day, says Dolly. “All I had was a walk-on part, but it seemed like the greatest role since Lady Macbeth to me.”

(Ibid.)


Soon after, she was signed on for her first film role in Kiss of the Vampire, and went on to play a number of “rather prosaic” video roles until Bunnydom beckoned.

(Ibid.)


Click to enlarge.

Dolly and her five British cottontail cousins arrived in Chicago last October. Each member of this sensational sextet–which includes Doreen Allen, Kathleen Bascombe, Joan Findlay, Catherine MacDonald and Magie Adam–won top ratings among 1000 entrants in last summer’s nationwide British Bunny Contest sponsored by Radio London.

(Ibid.)


Having since graduated from Bunny Training School and now completing a seven-month apprenticeship at the Chicago Club — with equal emphasis given to such curricular requirements as the Bunny Dip, tableside photography, tending the Playboy Club Gift Shop and Door Bunnying, bumper-pool playing and the extra-special VIP Room service.

(Ibid.)


This group will return to England shortly for the upcoming opening of the ultra-U London Playboy Club.

During off-hours, Dolly and her compatriots bunked in one of the Playboy Mansion Bunny Dorms and spent many fascinating hours fancy-that-ing most of the Second City’s sights. “Chicago’s a bit of all right,” reports the 21-year-old Miss May in her charmingly clipped British accent, “and Mr. Hefner’s house is a proper palace, but we’re all a trifle homesick.”

(Ibid.)


Dolly recently added several promotion trips for Playboy to her busy Stateside schedule, including visits to Michigan State University (“What I liked most about American college men is, they never let studies foul up their dating”), Great Lakes Naval Hospital and a trip to Boston for Playboy’s opening night there.

(Ibid.)


“I’ll start as the Door Bunny,” Miss May explains, “but eventually I hope to put in some time as a Croupier Bunny in one of the Club’s gaming rooms. More excitement there, you know!”

(Ibid.)

Dolly got even more excitement when she wung her way west to Hollywood. After appearing in the low-budget lesbian film That Tender Touch, Dolly landed the lead in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, one of the greatest camp films of all time. Written by Roger Ebert and directed by Russ Meyer, the film is unforgettable, and Dolly shines in it. Highly recommend. Depending on your cult film tolerance.


Favorite shot.

Ms. Read married Dick Martin of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In in 1971, then divorced him in ’75, and remarried him in ’78. They must have worked things out because they remained married after that until his death in May of 2008. She continued to appear in film and television cameos throughout the 1970’s and beyond.

You can try and hit Mrs. Martin up on the myspace (current mood: none), but it looks like she may not use it much.


Scans of the original spread. Click to see full-sized.

The similarity of the poses, lighting, and makeup in the following three pictures inspired me to finally do another “Showdown!” feature. So, pick your poison! Which “Dolly Read in dishevelment” shot rocks your socks?

One of these days we’ll have a full-on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls movie moment, but for now, enjoy this final screencap:

Catch you on the flip!

Take-two Tuesday — Daily Batman: Enter the Bookworm and Up With Love plus Surprise Connections and Zodiac-quackery

May 31, 2011

This post originally appeared on January 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm.


Roddy McDowall and Francine York, Batman, “The Bookworm Turns,” Season 1, Episode 29. Original airdate April 20, 1966. Well, that’s inauspicious. Shit.

I hate to come off as a down-at-the-mouth grump on the topic of love. I am a romantic. Here is the Bookworm and his lady, the lovely librarian Miss Lydia Limpet, and may I add that I rooted like gangbusters for this pair to win?


via Batman villains database — I love clunky contraptions on men’s heads. I find it so fucking cute. I really do.

In fact, I remember pretty strongly wanting him for myself (girls like a boy who reads!), but I rightly understood Miss Limpet having him was almost the same thing. Later, when I figured out he was in Planet of the Apes, I was even more impressed, but, being a fickle little girl, I soon made way for other crushes, like Matthew Broderick and the Great Mouse Detective — shut up, because that could work — to the point that, when I stayed at La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona several years back and was given the “Roddy McDowall room,” I merely remarked that I’d “once thought he was cute,” and meant nothing more by it.

Interestingly, after his role as the Bookworm in the live-action television series, McDowall continued to wreak villainy in the DC world. He voiced Jarvis Tetch/the Mad Hatter for both Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, as well as performing him in a brief cameo for the late ’90s animated Superman.

In the original television series, the Mad Hatter was played by David Wayne. More on the Mad Hatter another day cause he was really depressed as a character and had some killer-great deadpan lines, even though no one matches King Tut in my estimation for the male villains’ comedic value. But back to love, because that is what I’m trying to prove is probably more important than trivial details of cartoons and old lunchbox-selling serials.

No, I can’t stop talking about it. Okay, because I’m looking at his page on the imdb to make sure I had the dates and titles right and it ends up Roddy McDowall was also the Breadmaster on Edlund’s masterwork The Tick, which is of grave emotional significance to me, and, moreover, had cameos on Darkwing Duck, Quantum Leap, and mother-effing Gargoyles. Also, he was monumentally in to photography and experimental camerawork. So, holy hell, I was smart to have a crush on him as a kid and now I’m going to have to get back to Roddy McDowall another day; he’s obviously been far more of an important thread in my life than I ever could have possibly understood … y’all please excuse me because Roddy McDowall has just now blown my mind.

Finally, according to authorities on these matters, the Catwoman outfit regularly worn by Julie Newmar appears to have been “upcycled” and worn by Francine York (who played librarian Miss Limpet on Batman) for the Lost In Space episode “The Colonists.” Also, in looking for pictures of her, I stumbled across a page where a woman had collected a bunch of pictures of famous Virgo women and though I always claim to put almost zero stock in that stuff, I have to say that they/we all have the faces of birdlike closet freaks who are too shy to smile with our lips parted but rock straight-up crazy do-me eyes despite our distrust of other people — to say nothing of the number of patron saints in her gallery of too-close-to-home horror. Good thing I think that’s largely bunk, or the unnerving similarities might have me concerned that my chakras weren’t aligned with the downward dog position of my chi and I’d have to bury a peeled potato under a full moon or some shit.

Truly the end of this post. Moving on for my own sake.

Teevee Time: “I have a prestigious blog, sir.”

May 30, 2011


via.

“FYI, I wouldn’t pay to see Edgar Allen Poe fight vampires sober.”

“Nobody gives a shit what you think, dink.”


(Party Down. Season 1, Episode 6: “Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen.” Original airdate April 24, 2009.)

Daily Batman: Lois, this IS my Batman glass

May 12, 2011

Lois, this is my Batman glass.


Taken by me, like, a minute ago.

Special thanks to pandaeraser for making my Batman bloody beer possible. Muah!

(The title is a reference to a previous Daily Batman.)

May Flowers — Joanne Arnold, Miss May 1954

May 11, 2011

The lovely and talented Joanne Arnold, Miss May 1954, first appeared in Playboy’s March 1954 pictorial “Sex Sells a Shirt.”

Click to enlarge the shots and read the story, it’s actually a really interesting little piece with a kicky, fun insight in to 1950’s advertising. Far more risque than you might expect. The PR folks for Hartog were some skilled and creative dudes.

However. Please do not tell me to watch Mad Men.

I know it’s, like, all cool and retro and sexist and clever, but I just don’t feel like getting in to it. Yet I keep getting told to. Everyone wants me to watch it. I can’t swing my arms without hitting someone who’s saying, “E, you have to watch Mad Men. You’ll love it. Also, stop hitting me with your swinging arms.” I say, Never! to both!

Ms. Arnold was a hit with readers as the Hartog “keep your shirt on” girl, but Playboy did not pick her as Miss May because of that (they did feature her the following August, which we’ll get to). There was no such linear relation between her appearance in March and her gatefold in May. Two totally separate things, as it ends up.


Purchased from the Baumgarth Calendar Co.

The kind of wonky centerfold shot is, like the centerfolds from most of ’53-54, a purchased photograph. And, like Marilyn Monroe’s and several other of the first “sweetheart/playmate” gatefolds, the photograph was purchased from the Baumgarth Calendar Company.


The one on the right is hands-down my favorite.

I was sick of having no photographer credits on all the Baumgarth shots, and I wanted to know more about the John Baumgarth Calendar Co. so I took the light rail down to Googlytown.

I was hoping to find out specific names of photographers other than Tom Kelley, who did Marilyn’s picture, but when I googled “Baumgarth Calendar Company,” my own goddamned site was the second link. Also the fifth. I’m not the mayor of Playmate Googlytown — but apparently I’m something like an alderman. Frustrating.

Here’s what I know. The “company” was run out of Melrose Park, Illinois, a suburb on the west side of Chicago. However, not only can I find zero way to get in touch with the now-defunct company’s former employees, it turns out that besides the rare occasion of hiring a dude and arranging their own photoshoots, they also, like Hef in the first six months of Playboy, mainly purchased photos from private photographers.

The thing is, the centerfold picture could have been shot by anyone and the credit kind of doesn’t matter anyway. In May of 1954, the Playmates did not have names listed or anything like that.

Keep in mind, this was only the sixth issue of Playboy to even hit newsstands, and the magazine was still finding its feet.

Like a new struck foal stumbling around in the brave new world into which it has been thrust: Aww. The adorable, stumbly, delicate colt that we call “skin rag.”

Anyway. This particular month’s centerfold was, like, an isolated, anonymous picture. It’s possible no one at Playboy was even aware the model from the Hartog feature and cover had been the purchased photo of Miss May until a few months after the fact. They did know by the following August because they mention it in her second official appearance in the magazine, which I’m about to explain.

The rest of these gorgeous shots, however, come from a spread shot by superfly BAMF Peter Gowland entitled “Gowland’s Cool Pool.” The piece appeared in the August 1955 issue of Playboy, by which time the practice of credits had entered play and Ms. Arnold was cited as the model.


Scan of the article which accompanied the spread.

She also appeared as the cover model/mermaid for the same issue, a shot taken by Gowland and painted on and embellished for a little under the sea come-hither adventure.

This scan is of the newsstand edition; in the subscribers’ mailed edition, her nipples are not painted over, I have heard.

But SPEAKING of her nipples —

Ms. Arnold has a third nipple on the underside of her left breast. When I first read that I made a loud, “Pfft” noise of disbelief, and, browsing through my pictures, thought, “No way. I never noticed that and she’s all moley to boot: this is probably folklore based on a regular beauty mark.”

But then …


Click to enlarge it … it’s clearly nipplish and not a mole. I was surprised.

Lo and behold and hell and goddamn — seems she does, indeed, have a supernumerary nipple.

All right, all right — I’ll king you. Sheesh.

No idea where that shot came from, Ms. Arnold was a very successful and busy men’s magazine model in her lovely heyday. I just wanted another splash of color … and to make the tacky “king me” joke.

What is she going to do when big hats go out?

I stole that joke from Gypsy. My funny is just not operating at full capacity today. (Hangs head, Charlie Brown music.)

I guess the theme of the photograph is that, like, men are toys to her? Is that the idea? Or is she a big, scary giant about to eat them?? I could go either way. Giant’s more exciting but I’m pretty sure the former is more accurate.

By the way, that’s called vore porn. Jonohs linked me to some a while back. Ridiculous. Normally I am the last one to judge a kink for obvious reasons, but when I saw CG animation of giant women totally eating dudes, I said, “No. Ridiculous. You are being ridiculous.”

I say again: if you get off on fantasies of enormous women crushing you and grinding your bones between their gigantic teeth and then digesting you slowly in their acidy stomachs, you are ridiculous.

I’m sorry, but I needed you to know how I feel. And please don’t link to vore in the comments. I won’t go. I neither wear clown shoes nor dwell in Florida. Keep that nasty shit in your favorites folder.

As her career progressed, Ms. Arnold starred in a string of cheesey B-movie popcorn flicks. This is my favorite poster.


via.

“Don’t get frank with me, young lady.” So much sassy molassy! I hate it when young people are frank! … I just think frank was a bit of a mild word to use on a poster with so many exclamation points.

Questions for discussion:

  • Do supernumerary nipples have sensation? Please get back to me quickly.
  • Is vore porn ridiculous? Be specific.
  • If you had a girl gang, what would you call it?

  • May Flowers: Cindy Fuller, Miss May 1959

    May 8, 2011


    Photographed by Bunny Yeager.

    Sinuous Cindy Fuller was, until quite recently, a secretary in a quiet, Dickensian little law office in Boston, Massachusetts.
    (“In the Swim.” Playboy, May 1959.)

    It really was Dickensian; her employer was cheap on coal and ink, ran a ring of pickpocket orphans, and was a double agent for the French Revolution. Bad scene. So glad she got out.


    My favorite shot of Cindy Fuller ever — it actually comes from a different Playboy feature.

    It was in the hope of becoming a professional swimmer that Cindy left the bastion of the Brahmins for the balmy, baskable Florida clime.

    (Ibid.)


    Her aquatic talent, plus her stunning looks, make her a natural, and just before putting this issue to press, we learned that Cindy had won an assignment with the Water Follies.

    (Ibid.)

    You are like, “What are the Water Follies?” and I am like, “I don’t know either.” Let’s find out together. Walk with me to a place I like to call Googlytown. No, we don’t need to take the car. It’s close enough to walk. Jeez, City Boy.


    Runner-up for favorite shot.

    The International Water Follies appear to have been started by synchronized swimming and water sports entrepeneur Sam Snyder.

    Billed as the “world’s longest traveling aqua show,” … the group included swimmers, divers,comedy divers, and water ballet swimmers.

    (Synchronized Swimming: An American History. Bean, Dawn Pawson. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2005: p. 11.)

    Interestingly, according to Synchronized Swimming, Snyder was in Boston prior to moving the Follies to Miami (p. 14). This is interesting because Cindy was a Bostonian gal. Stay with me. The outfit he ran in Mass. during the 1930’s was called Sam Synder Productions of Boston, and it seems to be shortly after that that he hit FL for the first time, where the St. Petersburg Aquabelles performed.


    After taking a break for the second World War, Snyder hit up the Bay Area in my Norcal neck of the woods, starting synchro programs in San Francisco and Oakland. Not long after, he took the production to Miami as Sam Snyder’s International Water Follies (p. 43).

    Interest in synchronized swimming and watersports shows was strong enough both domestically and internationally that the Follies made it in to Billboard.

    Sam Snyder’s Water Follies will mark its 25th season as it readies for a tour of the United States due to start next month. … Unique this season is … a new gimmick in water shows [with] the introduction of surf boards and small canoes in production numbers.

    (“Snyder Readies 25th ‘Follies’; Plans Recording.” Billboard. March 4, 1960. p. 135.)

    Mr. Snyder also recorded the singers whose music he used in his show and released their albums under his own label. I am coming up goose eggs on when his ambitious productions finally ceased, but if I ever find out, I’ll come back and let you know.

    And that’s the story of the International Water Follies.

    Ms. Fuller says she was the first Jewish playmate (we’ve talked about the contention for that title before), and she may well be very correct in that claim. After the Water Follies, Ms. Fuller also danced at the world-famous Copacabana in New York. Today, she goes by her married name, Cindy Fuller Martino, and is a professional artist.


    Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll find 10 pages devoted to a lively Miami party attended by Cindy and four other lively ladies.

    Group shots and an article scan from “Playmate House Party” and “Bunny’s Honeys,” special features Playboy ran in May 1959 and September 1959. Click to enlarge. The latter, “Bunny’s Honeys,” was an article about photographer Linnea “Bunny” Yeager, an amazing o.g. and female trailblazer in the pin-up world. Give her wiki a spin. You’ll be glad!


    top, L to R: Janet Lupo, Miss November 1975; Bebe Buell, Miss November 1974; Cindy Fuller, presently featured; and the I-can’t-believe-I-haven’t-featured-her super-rad Helena Antonaccio, Miss June 1964.
    bottom, L to R: Janet, Helena, Cindy, and Bebe. Adorable.

    The above pictures come from the amaze-balls fantabulous Helena Antonaccio’s personal website, and were taken during production of Vh1’s “Rock of All Ages,” which aired in November 1999. Featured were Miss Antonaccio, Miss Fuller, Janet Lupo, and Bebe Buell. What a lineup of special, timeless gals! Super-cool.

    Retread — Music Moment: Mother’s Day edition — “The Heart of the House,” by Alanis Morissette

    May 8, 2011

    I hope your mom has a good Mother’s Day. Sick burn! Except actually a fond wish …

    Alanis Morissette — “The Heart of the House”


    Shirley MacLaine and daughter Sachi.

    You are the original template.
    You are the original exemplary.
    How seen were you, actually?
    How revered were you, honestly, at the time?


    Mirrormask.
    Why pleased with your low maintenance?
    Where was your ally,
    your partner in feminine crime?
    But, oh, mother, who’s your buddy?
    Oh, mother, who’s got your back?


    Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher on Debbie’s birthday.
    The heart of the house,
    The heart of the house.
    All hail the goddess.


    Joanie and Christina.
    You were “good-ol'”
    You were “count on her ’til four a.m.”
    You saw me run from the house
    In the snow melodramatically.


    Marvelous Jessica Walter as Lucille on Arrested Development. It is comforting to know there are many worse winkers in the world than me. (But I wager not a great many.)
    But, oh, mother, who’s your sister?
    Oh, mother, who’s your friend?
    The heart of the house.
    The heart of the house.
    All hail the goddess.


    Shirley and Sachi again, by Leo Fuchs. I adore pictures of the two of them together.
    We left the men and we went for a walk in the gatineaus
    And talked like women,
    Like women to women would.
    “‘Women to women would’ — where did you get that from?
    Must’ve been your father, your dad.”


    Audrey Hepburn and her mother before the Occupation.
    I got it from you, I got it from you.
    Do you see yourself in my gypsy garage sale ways?
    In my fits of laughter?
    In my tinkerbell tendencies?
    In my lack of color coordination?


    Probably like the fifth time I’ve used this picture. Bebe Buell and Liv Tyler, beautiful women and loving mothers both.

    All my best wishes to the maternal among us of any age or gender. I don’t believe God intends any of us to be orphans. In the absence of a literal physical “mother,” I hope we are able to open our hearts to others in our lives that wish to help fill that role. And if you have still your original mom, won’t you call her or something? It’s a horrible and complex thing and that’s why none of us mothers are perfect, because it’s the first time you realize that you have to be this role first, and a person second, and though high-handed so-called instruction books abound, your own children arrive essentially manual-less. Cut mom a break and shoot her a thank you, maybe? As Panda says, file that under “just sayin’.” SeaQuest out!

    Glamburger: Inaugural edition with explanation

    May 6, 2011

    Empty caloric cravings as social equalizer. Enjoyed by pigs and Pigs alike.


    via.

    So I’m ’bout to get real here with saying a big “fuck you” to my need for Western Bacon cheeseburgers and their ilk. I’m going to try to just cut out fast food and bad shit altogether because this crazy-great frame of mind I’m in has me thinking I can scale mountains and crush ice and drop ‘stones’ of weight in time for the July-August bikini zenith like I’m the impossible space-time-blip lovechild of Braveheart and that bitch from Biggest Loser, and I have invented the new category I call Glamburger as both a biting commentary on the image of “burger” in the visual parole of post-modern pop culture, and as a way to make me sit and cry at the keyboard while gnawing my own fist.

    Also retconned in an old entry.

    Now, don’t panic. This is not turning in to a food journal. I hate that crap. I don’t need any ass-crazy “I’m so fat” “No you’re not” ED thinspiration folklore to get my internet rocks off: I just like cheesey shuck-and-jive pictures that encourage obesity in the name of capitalism. And … I like bacon and cheeseburgers. (hangs head.)

    Ghost Posts on a Big Day with bonus Confessions of a nervous puker

    April 28, 2011

    Today is my kidlet’s birthday. It’s also the day of her class trip to the zoo, as it worked out, and thankfully the school at which I teach is on Spring Break, so it’s all come synchronicitously together in order that I could chaperone the trip and spend the day with her classmates and her. Which is where I’ve been all day. Unless

    When I was a kid, there were no less than three separate occasions on which I was supposed to take a field trip to the zoo with my school and got so excited the morning of the trip that I threw up and was told I could not go.

    Consequently, my first zoo visit was in Berlin at age 18. No regrets, because it was a kickass experience, as well as informative: did you know that one of the zoo’s elephants was actually the first casualty of the Allied bombing of Berlin? Tell A Friend!

    Well … that’s a pretty bleak fact, any way you look at it, really. Maybe keep it among us. I’m sorry I even said anything. Lately I’ve been blurting out awful things: I don’t know what’s going on with me.

    As an example, I was next going to tell you that, growing up, besides vomiting my way out of zoo visits, I also got sick on my birthday two different times, and, in one instance, my mother briskly carried out the party in the backyard without me while I knelt on my bed and watched out the window of my room, but that’s bleak, too. Then I was going to say that I still throw up all the time when I’m nervous, upset, or excited, and it’s not an uncommon sight to see me roll down my window and have to puke out the car while behind the wheel, driving on my way to some place or person I feel Ways about that get my guts all knit up, but that’s even worse. Jesus wept, this is supposed to be about my kidlet’s birthday! I’m giving up.

    Here’s hoping that tomorrow (today) finds me on the trip as a chaperone, and not so excited that I got sick and the teacher and my mom made me stay home. Again.

    Daily Batman: Twiggy + cat Batmania edition

    April 28, 2011

    Holy kitsch and kittens!


    Psst … there is now a Twiggy category, to honor one of the most model citizens of them all.

    The one and only Lesley “Twiggy” Hornby Lawson photographed by Helmut Newton for Vogue (UK), March 1967.

    Daily Batman: You don’t need a plane to fly

    April 27, 2011

    This one’s for my goddaughter — SpongeBob Batpants.


    You don’t need a plane to fly,
    Plastic wings can make you cry.
    Kites were meant for windy days,
    Lawn chairs with balloons fly away,
    Inflatable pants, you might as well skip,
    If you want to fly, all you need
    Is friendship!

    (SpongeBob Squarepants. “The Sponge Who Could Fly (The Lost Episode).” Season 3, Episode 16. Originally aired March 21, 2003.)

    Last night after sushi I headed back to panda eraser’s pad and had a bonding moment or ten with Little V, my goddaughter. She was giving me a tour of her toys and suddenly started saying, “Bubbo, Bubbo,” which I finally figured out was a reference to SpongeBob coming on the television at that moment. I said, “I know that guy. He lives in a pineapple under the sea,” and she laughed and stuck the bottom half of a bisected doll in her mouth. She’s pretty rad.

    Teevee Time: Simpsons category Inaugural Edition feat. plea for help

    April 26, 2011

    Woo-hoo! (Homer voice)


    via.

    Oh, my goodness, dudes. The classes for the credential program into which I’ve been busting my ass to get accepted during my absence from the journal are so right-hand-to-Jeebus insanely expensive that I’d seriously sell my blood if I hadn’t been turned down in the past.* Anybody got any far-fetched ideas that are “so crazy they just might work” as to money-making schemes that don’t involve illegal activities or door-to-door knife sales (I consider those two things on a par)? I am taking ideas.





    *Tragically true story.

    Knock-knock: Who’s there? Still alive and quick explanation with bonus preview of coming attractions

    April 1, 2011


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    Don’t tell anyone I did this but … unannounced hiatus has been due to Lent: wanted to see if I could give up something that was actually hard not to do this year. It is way tougher than diet coke or dessert, from which I’ve also been abstaining. But I didn’t give up smoking or bloody beer — I’m not completely crazy.

    In the meantime, a preview of coming attractions:


    La Maschera del Demonio/The Mask of Satan/Black Sunday/The Black Mask (Mario Bava, 1960).

  • Some actual in-depth Mario Bava Movie Moments. It’s a scandal that I only did, like, one. I’m such a hack. Super-sorry. Feel free to browse the complete Movie Moments or Movie Milliseconds category while I’m gone and take a stroll down memory lane.
  • Even more Men Aren’t Attracted to a Girl In Glasses, Sk8 or Die, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, and Hot Men Bein’ Hot of the Day.

  • May Flowers — E’s favorite Miss Mays of yore. Pictured below is the lovely and talented Cindy Fuller, Miss May 1959. Other May Flowers will include Dolly Read and Anna Nicole Smith (posing as “Vickie”). Like, are you simply all kinds of psyched?

    In the meantime, remember that all the past spotlighted Playmates in the journal’s various projects have now been placed in their own Playboy category for your streamlined browsing pleasure, as well as to make it even more convenient for Hef to one day sue the everloving crap out of me.

  • Liberated Negative Space is a given.
  • Haven’t forgotten about the Bond Girls project. Name will be “Naughty Girls Need Love, Too,” because the best Bond Girls are the bad ones. Ow! (Please do not talk to me about Miss Moneypenny. I will clap my hands over my ears and sing the Goldfinger song, and you don’t want to hear that, believe me.)


    via
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  • Milton May: a month of quotes and insights on the antiheroic nature of Satan from that uniquely dogmatic, blind, old-timey charmer, John Milton (Paradise Lost).
  • And finally, in Teevee Time news, the Simpsons will get their own category, along with screencapped scandalous moments from a mystery shuck-and-jive sitcom of days gone by at which you will just have to guess.


    via
    .

    …. And at which you have now guessed, correctly, unless you did a lot of tranqs in the last fifteen to twenty years. Don’t do drugs, kids. Don’t be like Carol Brady. Not ever.

    All in all, I’ve been storming along, barbituate-free, like a Lent-observing bat outta hell and I got a lot of dogs in the fire — I’m looking forward to a strong return as soon as Easter has passed. As you can see, I will be back with a bang in a few weeks. This has just been a “can I even do it?” excercise to flex my muscles of restraint.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to see a man about a Giants’ game.


    via.

    Don’t you dare.

    Catch you all on the upcoming flip side!

  • Vonnegut month: The meaning of life

    February 12, 2011


    via.

    The moral of the story is, we’re here on Earth to fart around.

    (“David Barrancio Interview With Kurt Vonnegut”, NOW, PBS. Original airdate: October 7, 2005.)

    This gets misquoted a lot as, “We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anyone tell you different,” but the gist is the same.

    Vonnegut month: Welcome to Earth and ramblings about kids

    February 6, 2011


    via.

    “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — Goddamn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

    (God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. p. 129.)

    Everybody’s always preaching on about what the world is coming to and how everything’s changed and children aren’t being raised right anymore, and perhaps that’s so in more cases than it used to be, but, when I am with my kidlet and her friends or I’m in the classroom teaching and interacting with children, I don’t generally find these bell-ringing end-of-days declamations of “oh-kids-these-days!” too be true at all.

    If “kids” seem as a group to behave in a way that runs counter to previous societal standards, that is not reflective of their motivations, but of their parents’ lack. If they act out in a way they did not do twenty years ago, it’s because they’re being allowed to be fed bullshit from the television and other media by people too lazy to lift a finger to defend their minds from rot.

    Children are still people, and as long as we continue to try to teach them to be compassionate and to love, they will have the same things in common with the people of history (who were never any of them that great to begin with, don’t be fooled) that every other generation has done: love, sex, passion, greed, honor, and the whole scope of personal emotions. Kids cannot be cut off from the birthright that is human feelings by technology — only we, and our attitudes, can cut them off from that.