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Archive for March, 2009

Of Black Lists and Pink Mouths

Posted by scott on March 31st, 2009

Now that conservative intellectuals have proven that Franklin Delano Roosevelt caused the Great Depression, it’s time to debunk some of the other shibboleths of socialist historiography, beginning with the bad rap the Hollywood Blacklist has gotten.  American Thinker Ben-Peter Terpstra (who we last enjoyed here) shows us that red-baiting and witch-hunting, long considered unjust and even un-American, are actually a part of this complete breakfast:

Once upon a time, there was a conservative anticommunist Hollywood, proudly standing up for America.

And making movies like Big Jim McLain (He’s a Go-Get-’Em Guy for the U.S.A. on a Treason Trail that leads Half-a-World Away!) and The Green Berets (“Out here, due process is a bullet”), pictures that are as beloved and relevant today as they were 40 and 50 years ago (which reminds me, I’ve got to drop by Hot Topic and pick up those I Married A Communist wrist warmers my niece has been bugging me for).

In the 1940s, the director, Samuel Grosvenor Wood, was growing tired of Stalin’s friend President Franklin Roosevelt, and rightly so. Hollywood’s pro-appeasement culture, too, was just as irresponsible and arrogantly insensitive. Russia’s gulags were real. Leftwing actresses were not.

Gale Sondergaard and Marsha Hunt are figments of your imagination, so no more spicy food at bedtime, ‘kay?  Anyway, I feel bound to point out that “Stalin’s friend President Franklin Roosevelt” was also Churchill’s friend, but Winston was probably just pretending he liked Roosevelt to get to Eleanor.  Or John Nance Garner.  Anyway, there’s no disputing the pro-appeasement tone of Hollywood’s wartime output.  Just look at the top grossing films of the period: the 1942 Shirley Temple musical, The Little Obersturmbannführer, the 1943 William Powell/Myrna Loy romantic romp, Pfeffernusses For My Fuhrer, and of course, the 1944 holiday perennial, Miracle in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (you probably watch it on TV every Christmas and get all choked up just like I do, but believe it or not, some people think this heartwarming yuletide classic is kind of appeasy).  And without belaboring the point, I think we can all agree that if there’s one black mark against Hollywood leftists, it’s the zeal with which they schemed to keep America out of the war throughout the 1940s; especially after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June of 1941.  Charles Lindbergh was a huge Commie.

So, how did Sam challenge Hollywood? Some historians contend that Mission to Moscow, a love letter film to Red Russia, from liberal Hollywood, pushed the director over the edge.  Straight Sam’s response?

He got drunk on Cream Gin Fizzes and spent the weekend down at the Athletic Model Guild watching 16mm “physique films” with two off-duty sailors?

He helped form the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, in order to challenge Hollywood’s Alliance for the Preservation of Red Moscow’s Ideals.

I think you made that second one up.

And, fortunately, Hollywood’s womanly women and manly men stood with Sam

So did Hollywood’s hermaphroditely hermaphrodites, but Sam made them stand in back.

Yes, there were politically indecent writers, politically indecent directors, politically indecent producers, and — horror! — politically indecent actors, in Tinseltown. There were even some fabulous conservative costume designers (but that’s another story).

So you’re saying the womanly men and the manly women were also standing with Sam?  That dude was one effective rabble-rouser!

George Clooney’s fan club likes to fantasize about the HUAC’s Catholic Joe hunting down poor put-upon reds.

Sexual fantasies about Congressional committees aside…”Catholic Joe?”  I’ve heard McCarthy called “Tailgunner,” but “Catholic?”  Really?  Maybe Ben-Peter just likes to give personal little pet names to public figures based on their ethnicity or religion; he probably calls the head of MGM (and coincidentally a friendly witness who testified before HUAC) Jewy B. Mayer.

Then again, perhaps he’s not talking about Joe McCarthy at all, since the junior senator from Wisconsin was never elected to the House of Representatives, and therefore wouldn’t have been qualified to sit on the House Un-American Activities Committee.

But McCarthy, the anti-Nazi/anti-Stalinist Senator was not part of the “bad” HUAC.

Right.  He wasn’t part of HUAC at all, Ben-Pete!  Nor was he considered much of an anti-Nazi, even by the author of the sympathetic biography, :

In 1949 a group of Waffen SS prisoners went on trial for the massacre of unarmed American prisoners of war during the Battle of the Bulge near the French village of Malmédy…By every objective standard, [McCarthy] managed to make a fool of himself…by taking up the prisoners’ cause, and even casting doubt on some of the evidence relating to the Malmédy massacre, McCarthy became in the public’s eye an apologist for Nazi war crimes.

But McCarthyism is really just a rubric of political paranoia and witch-hunting. Catholic Pro-Nazi Joe was seemingly more concerned with exorcising ghost Bolsheviks from the Army and the State Department.  He really wasn’t about fighting the battle of Hollywood…

In reality, Hollywood’s greatest critics were her concerned actors, her concerned writers, her concerned producers, Red Dalton Trumbo’s longsuffering toilet scrubbers …  And, many of Hollywood’s concerns predated the so-called Red Scare. There were even some fabulously concerned makeup artists.

I’m beginning to think Ben-Pete is using the “fabulous” as some sort of code word…

What’s more, Hollywood’s anti-communists were not toothless hicks with tics from the back of Bourke.

Were these dentally-deprived rustics suffering from facial or verbal tics?  I guess it doesn’t matter; the important thing is, many anti-communist hicks were actually dazzling urbanites who were both toothful and ticless!

In this real reality, fiery intellectuals like Ayn Rand, for example, fueled their intellectual arguments.

Yes, it’s amazing what a nice fire you can stoke if you’ve got enough cow dung.

In all truth, the MIA was a great coming together of minds, from libertarian writers to Christian conservative actors (and, okay, fabulous costumes designers).

Fabulous again.  Hmmm.  What is he trying to say…?

Need more evidence?

I need a drink.

The libertarian-minded playwright/novelist, Ayn Rand, wrote the following in an official MPA pamphlet entitled “The purpose of the Communists in Hollywood is not the production of political movies openly advocating Communism. Their purpose is to corrupt our moral premises by corrupting non-political movies – by introducing small, casual bits of propaganda into innocent stories — thus making people absorb the basic principles of Collectivism by indirection and implication.”

Actually, if your point is that Ayn Rand is a crappy, crappy writer, I honestly don’t need any more evidence.  But thanks anyway.

And, the United States of America’s open ears were hearing and listening.

For they had been swabbed with the Q-Tip of Truth!

Rand’s writings sent Coulter-like shockwaves through the establishment. The above arguments were printed in newspapers across the United States, and even made it on the front-page of the entertainment section of The New York Times.

Atlas Vogued.

You have to give credit to clever Sam. He was in the thick of it. Today, we complain about liberal actors, but back then, the communists were only years away from taking over Hollywood, and therefore America’s cultural engine forever.

Just imagine the harm our military efforts in Vietnam might have suffered if we hadn’t scrubbed the crypto-Marxist propaganda from The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.

Conservative Sam changed all that. He put appeasers on notice. He wasn’t preaching to the conservative choir, he was fuelling conservatives, libertarians, and independents. Remember Reagan?

Yeah.  He was a so-called union president who ratted out his fellow guild members to the FBI.

While today’s Hollywood is still powerful, well-read people are awake to her tricks. And thanks to Sam, the Alliance’s first president, and his patriotic comrades, we don’t have to worry about choosing between Song of Russia and Song of Russia III in a rundown video store.

Thank God we’re free to rent Hotel For Dogs.

Conservative Hollywood lives in Walt Disney’s pirated Chinese versions of Song of the South.

What a tragedy that only the Yellow Man can enjoy a union-busting anti-Semite’s masterpiece of racism.

Conservative Hollywood lives in Gable’s frank movies.

Teacher’s Pet shaped an entire generation’s sexuality.

In the 1950s, there were no gulags in America.

Oh sure, there were lynchings, ghettos, and the odd restricted country club, but we kept the barbed wire to a bare minimum.

But there were “pinko-mouthing” Stalin enthusiasts with their pretend persecution stories, and their hatred for industrious women like Rand.

Now, I’m going to have to disagree, B-P.  I seriously doubt that any man who hates women is going to be an enthusiastic, let alone habitual pinko-mouther.

But she knew the real Sam, and the real Russia. Rand knew that population-control breadlines were real. They were nothing to sing about.

But that never stops David Hasselhof.

Because of Sam we can run to (and not from) Conservative Hollywood without blushing.

Actually, I’m alarmingly red-faced at the moment, but I think it’s more from the giggling than the Conservatism.

Post-Friday Beast Blogging: The “Who SAID I Was Paranoid?!” Edition

Posted by scott on March 29th, 2009



“What?  I don’t know how all these socks got here!  I had nothing to do with it…!”


“Mine!  They’re all mine!  Miiiiiine!


“You worry me.”

When Douchebags Attack!

Posted by Maryc on March 28th, 2009

Well, with Joe Lieberman, I think we all realize that not all douchebags are republican, some can be democrats.

But even then, I don’t think there’s ever been a bigger democratic douchebag than Mike Doogan(D)ouchebag

(btw–mudflats is getting slammed with visits, as you can imagine. they are moving to a larger server, so if the link isn’t loading, try tomorrow)

Swank Versus The Medieval Barbers

Posted by scott on March 27th, 2009

Pastor Swank has lost 40 pounds in 40 days, and now enjoys “increased energy and clarity of thought.” (Let’s hope not, or this post is going nowhere fast!)  Still, you can’t argue with results, and according to the Pastor, an amazing regimen of laxative teas, banana splits, and nasal spray has cranked up his nearly 70-year old metabolism and made the hypothalamus his bitch!

And what’s Swank doing with his new, boyish vim?  Well, let’s check his latest Townhall blog and see…

Monday was hand surgery day for Priscilla, my wife.

Several days prior she had been sick with the flu. Fill in the blanks.

Okay…we need a noun, an adverb, and a breed of cat…

But Monday she was well enough to have the cut-through.

The doctor cut all the way through her hand?  That sounds more like amputation than surgery, but I’m no expert.

However, waking up Monday for me was not fun. I now had the no-energy-at-all. Yet I was to drive her to and from the hospital. After all.

“At which point I would be alone again.  Naturally.”

I literally dragged to the van, turned the key and hoped to stay put on the frost heaves of River Road.

Well no wonder you felt so crappy, Pastor.  I had the dry heaves once, but at least the bathroom was heated.

By the time we got to the hospital, Priscilla went off to see the surgeon. I waited in the state-of-the-art reception solarium.

American medicine has made enormous advances in waiting!  Why, our waiting technology is light years beyond those socialists in Canada!

I was handed what appeared to be a type of remote which would wiggle and tickle when it was time for me to visit Priscilla through those awesome closed doors that signed AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.

So they gave you a vibrator?  Yeah, I can see how that would make the time go faster.

At the end of the long, long hall was the cubicle housing Priscilla. Thankfully, the hospital with its most accommodating provisions, had a lazy-boy chair for the visitor-with-patient. I made swift use of the chair, tilted back and closed my eyes.

“I was exhausted from all the hyphenating.  Guess I’m not as young as I used to be.”

It was now mid-day. I dared not put anything in my stomach because of you-know-why. Yet the strength was not upping.

Stupid strength.

Nevertheless, I was the designated driver. So home we went, Priscilla talking about meds for pain and my head gradually focusing on what was really important.

I collapsed on the couch, losing contact with the world through the few hours beckoning. When awakening, Priscilla said, “You know, I’m going to have to go back to the hospital because the nurse left a needle in my arm.”

Sure enough. The nurse had forgotten to take the “port”—is that what it’s called; I have no idea about medical terminology?

“So I’m going to make some up.  I’ve decided that sharp thing they use to take blood from your arm is called an ‘isthmus,’ and that thing they make you poop in when you’re stuck in bed?  I’m either going to call that a ‘grommet,’ or an ‘antimacassar.’”

Anyhow, it’s the needle that’s put into the flesh by which more whatevers can be added to the body for this and that.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Ease up on the jargon there, Dr. House.  We’re only human.

Yes, it was there all right. And it could not stay. Infection and so forth.

She might develop inflamed adverbs!

I don’t know if I can drive into the city. The hospital. It seems so far away,” I replied, unthinkingly, for who else was going to do it?

Back in the car. Night had fallen. I felt wretched. Priscilla was dealing with pain-after-hand-surgery.
We got to Mercy Hospital Emergency Room, checked in with the receptionist and so on and so on.

“Then we each told two friends about Organic Shampoo…”

To my right there sat a handsome young fellow who started to explain to me that my wife could have been taken to the local fire department where a medic would have extracted the object without us having to do what we did.

Set her on fire?

From that subject, we moved to his subject—which was that he suffers from diabetes, has an esophagus problem by which he cannot eat anything but apple sauce diluted with water.

“I’m losing weight. I have gone down from 225 to 155.”

“So you’ve discovered the laxative and nasal spray diet too?”

Then there came out this detail from Jeremy: “My mother is strict when it comes to religion.”
I asked him what church she goes to.
He replied with the name of the sanctuary. “I know where that is. And I believe what your mother believes. You don’t know it, but you have been talking with a minister.”
He looked startled—but pleased.

Well, startled anyway.

Jesus was in charge. And how many times has this same sequence played out in my life over and over again: problems, difficulties, barriers, slumps and then—surprise—the hand of God in-my-face?

“Thank you, Jesus!  May I have another?”

“Thank you, Jesus, for overruling today. The nurse forgot the “port”? We had to go back to another hospital because it was merely a nuisance?

That’s life. It’s a damaged world.

Except in the winter, when it’s really more of a marshmallow world.

Yet Jesus has promised in the consecrated life to use everything “according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Recall?

Pray for Jeremy, will you? Pray for Jeremy. It was such a privilege to have met him. He certainly is one hunk who could use a lot of saving grace and a healing miracle besides.

I’d like to help, Pastor, but my Hunks Who Need Praying For list is pretty full already.  Maybe I can bump Wentworth Miller and squeeze Jeremy in after The Thunder From Down Under guys…

Thank you, Jesus. I know you know and are in charge.
Now as to the state of the present-tense world. . .

Oop!  Hold that thought, Jesus.  I’m late for my Smooth Move Tea and Dristan enema.

“Stop The Presses!”

Posted by scott on March 24th, 2009

“Now start ‘em up again!  (You didn’t say Mother May I?)”


On deadline, harvesting mucus, and prepping for two meetings tomorrow.  Hope to be back later today.

- 30 -

Zardoz It Hurt?

Posted by scott on March 20th, 2009

I’m starting to finally feel a bit better, but not yet sound enough to survive an expedition to Townhall or RenewAmerica, so I hope you’ll all forgive me for dipping into the archives and presenting another encore.  Back in 2006, longtime friend of the blog D.Sidhe suggested that we give the BLTBM treatment to John Boorman’s celebrated masterpiece of cinematic What-The-Fuckery, Zardoz, and like an idiot, I fell for it.  Enjoy…!
Zardoz (1974)
Directed by:  John Boorman (at his most Boorish)
Written by: John Boorman

Our story opens in a style reminiscent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, except instead of a pair of crimson lips superimposed on a black screen, we get the disembodied face of a flamboyant Englishman, who has scribbled facial hair on himself with an eyebrow pencil and donned an Egyptian-style head-dress made from a periwinkle dishcloth.  This is “Zardoz,” and he’s here to explain things so we don’t get confused.

Like Criswell, he informs us that what we are about to see are future events, that will affect us in the future, while his towel-draped head slowly bounces from one side of the screen to the other, like the cursor in Pong.  Zardoz confesses that he’s a “fake god” with a “fake mustache,” but assures us that the boredom we’re about to experience will be genuine.

The credits roll, and “ZARDOZ” appears in a strange, dramatic font (I think it’s Xanadu Bold Condensed) followed by the most chilling words in the film: “Written, Directed, and Produced by John Boorman.”  Yes, John’s reward for the success of his previous film, Deliverance, was a bag of peyote buttons and carte blanche to film the subsequent hallucinations.  The resulting motion picture was largely deemed a failure by those members of the audience who were not concurrently hosting a large amount of psilocybin in their cerebrospinal fluid, but fortunately, Boorman redeemed himself with his next effort, Exorcist II:  The Heretic.

The future gets off to a goofy start when a giant paper-mâché bust of Santa Claus screaming like a howler monkey hovers over the English Midlands, while cavalry soldiers wearing nothing but Angry Santa masks and scarlet hot pants ride around below, the wan light reflecting from their white, hairless, Poppin Fresh-like thighs.

The Giant Screaming Santa Head lands and we learn that this is Zardoz, god and motivational speaker.  Zardoz reads the minutes of the last meeting, recounting how it raised the Hot Pants Men from brutality and taught them the sacred catechism (“Who wears short shorts?  We wear short shorts!”) so that they might go forth and slaughter everybody who had the decency to wear slacks.  To accomplish this, Zardoz reminds them, “I gave you the gift of the gun.  The gun is good.  The penis is bad.  The penis shoots seeds [and occasionally kidney stones] and makes new life.”  So auteur Boorman’s vision of the future comprises a society of hot pants-wearing Santa fans who worship the head of Andrea Dworkin.

Anyway, the service ends with the traditional admonition to “go forth and kill!”  Then Zardoz suffers a painful attack of acid reflux and vomits guns, just like Hobo Kelly’s toy machine if her mid-60’s syndicated kids’ show had been sponsored by the National Rifle Association rather than Milton Bradley and Bosco.

Zardoz lifts off, and suddenly a topless Sean Connery fills the frame, sporting a French braid, Harry Reems’ mustache from Sensuous Vixens, and enough armpit hair to knit a Cowichan jersey.  He looks around at his masked compatriots with a perplexed, irritated expression that seems to say, “What the hell?  Boorman told me I’d be playing King Arthur.  This looks like a bloody nudist camp on Guy Fawkes Day.”  Sean turns toward us, points a revolver, and shoots the cameraman.  Alas, he’s not getting out of the film that easily…

He makes a break for the car.  But it’s parked on the far side of the catering tent, and before he can reach it, director John Boorman foils Sean’s escape by cutting to a scene of Zardoz, the Giant Screaming Santa Head, floating serenely through the clouds, as it belts out an aria in its surprisingly lovely mezzo soprano voice.

Inside the head, we see a huge mound of sawdust.  Apparently, when he’s not defending the Second Amendment and preaching against the penis, Zardoz likes to relax with a little decorative woodworking.  But wait!  It turns out the sawdust was only there so that Sean could emerge dramatically from the pile (also so that they’d be prepared in the event the audience suddenly barfs).  As Sean rises, we can see that he’s dressed like the other pro-gun/anti-penis types (let’s call them The Cheneys), except he has spurned hot pants in favor of a pair of pleather Depends, and he’s accessorized his ensemble with hip waders and crossed bandoliers, creating a look that’s sort of And a River Runs Through It meets the Frito Bandito.

Sean looks around the interior of the head, sees a bunch of naked English people in man-sized Shake ‘N Bake bags, then spies the guy with the blue tea towel on his head, who tells Sean, “Without me, you’re nothing!”  Sean promptly shoots him right between the towel, and he falls out of Zardoz’s mouth and plunges screaming to his death.  (Well, we’re later told he falls a thousand feet and dies, although at this particular moment he appears to be thinking his Happy Thoughts because he just sort of hovers there in his pajamas like one of the Darling children.)

Anyway, the Giant Santa godhead and its precious cargo of boil-in-the-bag nudists lands at “the Vortex,” an impregnable, futuristic 17th century village where everyone dresses like Flemish peasants but talks like they’re on Space: 1999.  Sean wanders around the place and gets successively terrorized by flour, hydroponic Brussels sprouts, and a jack-in-the-box.  Fortunately, he finds a talking ring that explains everything in the movie, even when you don’t want it to:

Sean:  What is it?
Ring:  Flower.
Sean:  Purpose?
Ring:  Decorative.

This is a pretty cool gadget, and I wish I’d had one when the Netflix envelope first arrived:

Scott:  What is it?
Ring:  Zardoz.
Scott:  Purpose?
Ring:  To give self-indulgent crap a bad name.

A plain-looking woman appears.  Like the other residents of the Vortex, she is immortal, possesses deadly psionic powers, and is very, very boring.  Unlike the other “Eternals,” she also apparently thought Scarlett Johansson’s costume from Girl with a Pearl Earring would make the perfect fashion statement if you just accessorized it with a hat made from a damp Handi-Wipe and dyed the whole thing orange.

Anyway, Orangina mentally bitch-slaps Sean, then places him in a Mylar pup tent decorated with Playboy centerfolds, and we get to watch home movies of Sean riding around with a bunch of other guys sporting Pampers and porn ‘staches, shooting dress extras in the back and forcing themselves on women trapped in gill nets.

The raping and killing doesn’t bother blank-faced Eternal Charlotte Rampling, but she is so traumatized by Sean’s graphic memories of forced wheat farming that she can only speak in words beginning with the letter Q.  “Quench it,” she recommends.  “Quell it.”

Orangina wants to keep Sean, but there’s a no-pet policy in the Vortex, so the Homeowners Association has to take a vote.  A male Eternal named “Friend” with preternaturally poofy hair takes a liking to Sean and promises to feed him and pick up after he does his business.  The condo board agrees to let Sean live on a trial basis, but insists that in order to prevent him from digging up the flower beds, he has to be crated every night.

The next morning, Friend appears dressed in a skirt and a low cut macramé halter top, his hair ratted like Nancy Sinatra’s, and proceeds to methodically beat the half-naked Sean with a bullwhip in a scene that Robert Mapplethorpe found “a trifle excessive.”

The rest of the Eternals sit down to lunch, where they pass a green baguette around the table and ritually sniff it, while Sean hauls Friend around in a rickshaw as he delivers oddly-hued baked goods to the Apathetics –- a group dressed like late Renaissance Walloons who stand motionless and stare into space all day, slack-jawed and drooling.  Friend explains that these are the sole survivors of a Zardoz test screening in La Jolla.

After lunch, Sean attends Charlotte’s PowerPoint slide show on The Lost Art of the Erection.  Apparently, the Eternals can conquer death and construct giant flying heads, but they can’t figure out how the peepee works.  Charlotte, as part of her Show ‘N Tell segment, makes Sean watch Cinemax After Dark in an effort to put a Lincoln Log in his Huggies, but it doesn’t have the desired effect.  However, just when her presentation is circling the drain, the Soundtrack from Fantasia arrives and awards Sean a huge pulsating boner, which is symbolized by a cutaway to a llama.

The next day at lunch, an embittered Friend decides he doesn’t want to sniff the baguette.  The other Eternals respond to this mutiny by humming like a model train transformer while Carrot Top does a sinister jazz hands routine.

Sean decides he’s had enough of this and climbs a hill so he can do mime in peace.  Despite presenting a killer “trapped in the invisible box” routine, he sustains a critical drubbing, so he heads to the Sizzler to blow off steam and gets badly mauled by a group of elderly patrons who don’t appreciate him gadding about in a diaper while they’re trying to enjoy the Early Bird Special.

Then Charlotte and Sean fight over a poncho and Sean goes blind, but Princess Leia suddenly appears and performs Lasik on him, then warns him that his strength will inevitably fail, and when it does, he should eat some spinach.

The Eternals trap Sean in one of those inflatable Jolly Jumpers and start beating him to death, but he confounds them at the last possible second by throwing a handful of Gold Medal flour in their general direction and escaping!  Then he runs back to the top of the hill and violently vogues.  When this doesn’t seem to help, he goes to hang with the Apathetics since at least Boorman didn’t give them any dialogue.  Unfortunately, the catatonic women magically awaken when they taste his underarm perspiration.  This inspires a tepid lesbian makeout scene, but it doesn’t last, and suddenly all the apathetic Flemish chicks are moaning and licking Sean, so he frantically eats his spinach, then runs a 10K while an angry posse with severe erectile dysfunction gives chase.

Eventually, he’s saved by the elderly Sizzler patrons, who make him wear Miss Haversham’s wedding dress while they wander around with Roman candles and the Apathetics, still hopped up on Sean sweat, hump on the lawn ornaments.

Orangina realizes that, although the members of the Vortex possess the sum of all knowledge, Sean is a physically superior mutant who can pop a chubby at will, so he wins.  She figures that, if you can’t lick ‘em, then…well, lick ‘em, and tells Sean, “We will touch-teach you, and you will give us your seed.”  Sean agrees to this bargain, but adds, “Um…I’m gonna need a magazine.”

So Princess Leia gets naked and speaks Swedish while math problems are flashed on her skin by the Eternal AV Club’s Kenner Give-A-Show! Projector.  Then suddenly everybody is nude and covered in algorithms and speaking Albanian and nattering on about Ethelred the Unready and the Gadsen Purchase as Sean crams for his midterms.  Finally, Sean’s apotheosis reaches a climax as a girl with staticky hair offers to sell him a large cubic zirconium at a substantial discount.

Sean absorbs the sum of all human knowledge, and promptly realizes that he looks ridiculous in this diaper, so he goes and puts on some gauchos.  Charlotte sneaks up behind Sean with a huge knife, but she’s so moved by his attempt at pants that she instantly falls in love.

Then Sean sneaks into the Mormon Tabernacle, which doesn’t look at all like I thought it would – a lot more labyrinths, bleeding mirrors, and interpretive dance recitals by disembodied heads than you’d expect.  Meanwhile, the Flemish peasants break into the workroom on Project Runway and vandalize some dress forms.

Sean tells Orangina and Charlotte, “Stay close to me.  Inside my aura,” then sticks out his hand, which causes the film to reverse (but not, thankfully, to the beginning).  Then the Santa-Head Hot Pants People ride in waving their guns.  Suddenly, the screen is filled with men and women staggering around shouting “kill me!  Kill me!”  Since we’ve never seen most of these people before, I can only assume they’re members of the film crew who have finally snapped.  Meanwhile, Sean and Charlotte run off and hide in Injun Joe’s cave.

Suddenly, Charlotte’s nude and giving birth.  Then she and Sean are sitting on a rock in the cave, and staring expressionlessly at the viewer just like American Gothic, except they’re both topless and she’s nursing a baby.  Then, the film dissolves and they age a bit -– the kid is about 5 years old now –- but they’re still sitting on the rock, although now they’re dressed in forest green, Napoleonic-era greatcoats.  Another dissolve.  They’re still there, still modeling the coats, and the kid is about ten.  Another dissolve.  Nobody’s moved.  The kid is about 18 and sporting long, unkempt hair and a rawhide loincloth like Tarzan.  He looks at over Sean with an expression that plainly says, “Um, Dad?  Can we get up off this rock now?”  Sean doesn’t respond, so the kid pulls one of those “You guys are so bogus!  I am so out of here!” faces, and stalks off camera.

Now that the kid is no longer sitting between them, Sean and Charlotte join hands, and continue to decay in their overcoats.  Through a series of painfully slow, yet hilarious dissolves, they rot into skeletons.  Then the connective tissue decomposes, and at last they’re a big, disorganized pile of bones, and the camera pans up to Sean’s rusted gun hanging on the wall of the cave, beside two handprints that were apparently created using the science of Kirlian photography.  Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?!


Oh.  Um.  The End.

Prophet And Loss

Posted by scott on March 18th, 2009

Over at WorldNetDaily, our old friend Janet Porter (neé Folger) is doing a little damage control after swallowing a Snopes-worthy urban legend hook, line and sinker, as well as rod, reel, class ring and the fisherman’s Swatch.  Last week, she reported that David Wilkerson, the minister portrayed by Pat Boone in the movie The Cross and the Switchblade, has forecast an “imminent, earth-shattering calamity” that will result in “fires raging” through the Tri-State Area.  And to establish Wilkerson’s bona fides as a prophet, Janet recounted the story of The Lunch That Predicted 9/11, otherwise known as The Miracle of the Miracle Whip.

It seems that in 2001, God came to Wilkerson and revealed to him an impending attack on the World Trade Center, so that the minister might get a head start on making sandwiches.  (Janet appears to have deleted the original column from WND, but we found a cached version):

Wilkerson felt God telling him something that seemed rather bizarre. He felt God telling him to make sandwiches – lots of sandwiches. What were they for? Who would eat them? That part wasn’t clear, but his church did what they believed God was telling them anyway.

And on the 10th of September they stayed up all night making hundreds and hundreds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. By morning they had about 2,000 sandwiches. At 8:46 a.m. the first plane hit the World Trade Center and Times Square Church was ready to feed and minister to rescue workers and victims of our nation’s worst attack.

I don’t mean to quibble, but if God was going to drop a dime on Al Qaeda, perhaps he should have called the FBI, or the FAA, or any organization prepared to take stronger anti-terrorism measures than simply cutting the crust off the bread.  But as it turns out, the Lord didn’t actually appear to Wilkerson on the eve of 9/11 and order a party platter:

Despite the fact that multiple people told me they read about Times Square Church members making sandwiches prior to Sept. 11, 2001, in the Times Square Newsletter – and the fact that when a staff member of mine called the church he got someone who answered the phone who confirmed it, saying they knew “exactly” what we were talking about, that information was wrong.

There were sandwiches. There were lots of them. But they were not made prior to Sept. 11, according to the officials at Times Square Church I talked with Thursday (who were unavailable at my deadline last week). WND has already added an editor’s correction to my column, but, while the sequence of the sandwiches was incorrect, the rest of the story was confirmed to be true.

That is, because of Wilkerson’s prophecy, his congregation was mentally prepared for disaster, so that in the immediate aftermath of the attack they were still able to make PBJs, unlike their fellow New Yorkers, who had apparently slipped into some sort of fugue state which made sandwich assembly impossible.  But the minister has been visited by an even more apocalyptic vision, a disaster that cannot be so easily salved by edible unguents such as Skippy and Smuckers.

For 10 years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires – such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.

There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting – including Times Square, New York City.

God has foretold the fall of the ESPN Zone.


First, I give you a practical word I received for my own direction. If possible lay in store a 30-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials. In major cities, grocery stores are emptied in an hour at the sign of an impending disaster.

… I will behold our Lord on his throne, with his eye of tender, loving kindness watching over every step I take – trusting that he will deliver his people even through floods, fires, calamities, tests, trials of all kinds.

Note: I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off. I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose.

Well, usually in the event of a floods, fires, and calamities, choosey prophets choose Jif.  But as we said, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches won’t be enough to survive the smoldering hellscape of Pastor Wilkerson’s vision.  You’ll probably need a juice box too.

Anyway, since I’m still feeling feverish and phlegmmy and doped up, I’ve decided to take Janet’s Punking by the Prophet as a sign to recycle some material.  So here’s a revised version of an old piece s.z. and I did on The Cross and the Switchblade.  It’s about Pastor David Wilkerson’s journey of faith; it’s about love; it’s about redemption.  But mostly, it’s about Erik Estrada’s junk.


Director:  Don Murray
Written by:  Don Murray and James Bonnet

Our movie begins with a twilight shot of the Williamsburg bridge and a voiceover from the producer, who tells us that if the story we’re about to see were the mere product of a writer’s imagination, we would be entitled to call bullshit. But we must believe him when he says these events really happened, because if we’re watching this movie then chances are we’ve already agreed to spend the evening at a Baptist Youth Center, so we can probably be talked into just about anything.

We join a PF Flyers commercial already in progress. A young hoodlum runs his fastest and jumps his highest through Central Park, with The New Christy Minstrels in hot pursuit.  But even with the patented Posture Fitness insole, the clean-cut, fresh-faced thug can’t evade his tormentors, and the Glee Club throws him down and surrounds him.  Armed with switchblades, bike chains, and baseball bats, they proceed to administer the most listless beating in movie history; it looks less like a wilding and more like a pajama party pillow fight sponsored by Quaaludes.  On the bright side, they’re the most racially diverse group of juvenile delinquents since Kid Power, including Al Pacino’s stand-in from Panic in Needle Park, that guy from the Dry Look ads, and Ben Shapiro, and co-starring a Cowsill, Fareed Zakaria, and Jeb Bush.  But since they can’t be bothered to actually hit the kid they’re supposedly beating to death, Officer Krupke steps in and arrests the entire cast for loitering.

In court, Prosecutor Sam Waterston Lite (only one-third the talent of the national brand) is murmuring to the short, fat, angry defense attorney and repeatedly groping him, so either the State’s case isn’t going well and he wants to cut a deal, or the two actors got bored and started pretending they’re in Adam’s Rib. The judge, who gave up a guaranteed 5-and-under on a soap opera to do this stupid movie, grumpily admonishes counsel to hurry up and present his case against the New Christy Gangstas, because those slices of honeydew melon on the craft service table aren’t getting any fresher.

Suddenly, Pat Boone bursts into the room and says, “May I have a word with–-”  But before he can even finish the sentence, the judge leaps to his feet and screams, “Get him out of here!” Two cops instantly seize Pat by the scruff of the neck and violently eject him from the court room. Okay, we’ve changed our minds; this is the Best.  Movie.  Ever!

Out in the hall, the cops frisk Pat, demanding to know where “the weapon” is.  But since they’re patting him down in the upper pants area, they probably just mistook him for Harry Reems (who plays “Uncredited Gang Member”), since Pat doesn’t strike us as the kind of guy who’s…heavily armed.  In fact, Pat holds up a Bible and insists, “This is my only weapon!”  It turns out that he’s a hep young street preacher from Nowheresville, Pennsylvania, who’s come to help the gang and to get some hair care tips from the Dry Look guy, because his own tortured combover lacks body.

The cops tell Pat to get lost. He literally hangs his head to indicate sadness, then trudges off toward the elevator while the Mike Curb Congregation croons:

You’ve got to face the fact,
You’re just one guy.
But on the other hand the fact is,
You’ve got to try.

We admittedly don’t have a lot of experience with schizophrenia, but nonetheless feel that if you’re going to have easy listening voices in your head, they should be a bit less wishy-washy.

Cut to the next morning. Pat has covered the windows of his car with depressing headlines from the newspaper, and is sleeping inside. Some 12-year old black kids noisily begin stealing his hubcaps and stripping the car for parts. Two of the kids pause for the following colloquy:

Thug: There’s a dude asleep in the back seat.
Girl Thug: I dig.
Thug: What if he wakes up?
Girl Thug: He look bad?
Thug: He don’t look too bad. But he don’t look too good either.

As urban contemporary patois goes, this doesn’t seem to drip with authenticity, but it’s the best description of Pat Boone we’ve ever heard. Anyway, Pat eventually notices that a racially integrated group of children are dismantling his car and steps outside so they can stab him. But Girl Thug, who is wearing hand-me-downs from Huggy Bear and Mushmouth, recognizes him from the opening scene and commands him to “lay it on me.”

He attempts to shake hands, but the thugette demurs, and offers Pat his first lesson in Applied Badness. “Don’t wrestle with me, baby. Just lay it in the sky.” They slap palms, and the girl introduces herself as “Bo,” short for Little Bo Peep. Pat immediately pries into her religious affiliations, but Bo Peep rolls alone, and doesn’t worry about God, “just about the pigs, and hustling bread.” She does offer to hook him up with the Mau Mau gang, which involves introducing Pat to what we can only assume is the World’s Least Successful Hooker, since she’s dressed like a Mennonite hausfrau.

Inside the gang’s clubhouse, it’s one freaky scene, man. The Mau Maus (who are ostensibly a Puerto Rican group) are waiting for a pow-wow with the Bishops, an association of African-American youths. Pat is attempting to avoid toking on the plentiful Maryjane (“Smoke my peace pipe” commands a hippie who apparently walked straight into the movie from a Dragnet episode) when suddenly the door bursts open, and Linc from Mod Squad announces, “The Bishops are here!” Oddly, he announces it in the voice of Dudley Do-right. And no, that’s not a joke; it’s deeply saddened reportage.

Linc and his warlord, dashiki spokesmodel Abdullah, have come to parlay with the Mau Mau’s leader, Israel, and his warlord, Erik Estrada (playing gangbanger-cum-evangelist Nicky Cruz). Erik is quite the bad dude, even if, like all the other Mau Maus, he gads about in a Tyrolean hat and a bright red pleather windbreaker. The two factions are cordially negotiating the terms of their upcoming rumble, when suddenly Pat jumps between them and shouts, “You guys talk about getting high. God’ll get you high. But he won’t let you down!”  Inexplicably, no one shoves a handmade shiv into his liver.  But it’s implied that Pat’s rap was received cooly, because we cut to an exterior shot, as he sulks around Spanish Harlem while Up With People sings about what a loser he is.

Eventually, Pat is adopted by Hector Gomez, pastor of the Mean Streets Storefront Congregation. This allows Pat to stop living in his car and taking whore’s baths at the bus station; it also means Pat has access to a telephone, which is convenient since his wife back in Pennsylvania is about to give birth.  (“All right, honey, I’m gonna drive up to New York now and go irritate some hoodlums.  Give me a ring when you’re crowning.”)

Finally the Mau Maus and the Bishops meet in the park to savagely battle over which group is dressed more like the Partridge Family.  But it’s sort of a Guitar Hero version of a street fight, since they’re just bouncing around and brandishing Wiffle bats, while the Ray Conniff Singers harmonize:

Na na na na na,
We got a rumble,
Gettin’ it onnnnnn.

Pat is devastated.  Not only did his inspirational message about the hallucinogenic effects of God fall flat, but when heroin-addicted hooker Rosa comes to the storefront church and seeks his help, he has to admit that he can’t actually do anything about her problems, like getting off the street, or kicking the junk.  “Then why did you come here,” she asks, clearly puzzled.  Why, it’s simple, young horse-addled doxy.  He came to get away from his pregnant wife, and to translate the Gospels into jive.

Pat and the Apostle Bo-Peep stand on a street corner, where the thugette plays the trumpet to gather a crowd (granted, it doesn’t attract a friendly crowd, but it’s at least as efficient as throwing the burgemeister’s young daughter into the lake, then holing up in a burning windmill). Pat starts preaching, but a cop immediately tells him to shut up, and the crowd to move along.

“Officer,” Pat whines, “don’t I have a constitutional right to speak on any street corner in America?” The cop retorts, “Only if you’re standing under an American flag!”

Really? This is the first we’ve heard of this clause, and it makes us think we probably should have read the entire First Amendment, and not just skipped right to the parts with sex. But Linc, the Dudley Do-Right-voiced leader of the Negro gang, snaps off a car aerial with a tiny American flag ornament and gives it to Pat. Then he uses the rest of the antenna to make a zip-gun so he can give Pat one of his bullets, too.

Warlord Erik Estrada and Mau Mau CEO Israel stumble upon Pat’s soapbox sermon. The preacher offers his hand to Erik, who spits into it. Pat turns the other cheek and oozes, “God loves you, Nicky.”  Erik responds to this behavior in the only logical way by screaming, “If you come near me, I’ll kill you!”

“Yeah, you can do that,” Pat replies.  “You can cut me up in a thousand pieces and lay them in the street. And every piece will still love you.”

Erik stares at Pat with what we imagine is the same look you’d give a man standing next to you in an elevator if he suddenly set his own pants on fire and began to juggle fetal pigs.

It’s three o’clock in the morning and Erik is asleep in his cramped, shabby room at the YMCA, when there’s a loud pounding at the door. He gets up, wearing nothing but his tighty whiteys, and leans back against the wall with his groin jutting into the camera as though someone had mistakenly told him the film was in 3-D.  He opens the door, revealing singer, actor, and stalker Pat Boone. Erik recoils and shrieks, “Didn’t I tell you to leave me alone?!

Pat says, “You didn’t really mean that.” Then, as the swarthy, sweat-glazed youth stands there in his underpants, breathing heavily, Pat murmurs, “Aren’t you lonely, Nicky?”

It’s the next day, and The Association is singing:

Love is only a word to me,
A word you use when you’re not sure what to say

Rosa, the remarkably wholesome junkie streetwalker, finds Erik moodily enjoying a phosphate in Ned Glass’s candy store from West Side Story. She tells Erik that although she was gang property and had to share her favors equally with all of the Mau Maus, it was Erik whom she always loved, for he was the Mau-Mauiest in bed. Then she tries to cadge 10 bucks for a fix. But Pat’s late night visit has gotten under Erik’s skin and into his tighty whiteys, and Erik is suddenly having trouble relating to the other hoodlums his age. Instead of having quick, grunting coitus in a trash-choked alley in exchange for a dime bag, Erik hands her a switchblade and subcontracts her to kill Pat.

Meanwhile, at the storefront church, Pat’s mission to the Mau Maus has apparently been having some amazing, if off screen success, because suddenly everyone is abuzz over the way all the gangsters were flocking around him today.  But the joy of saved souls is tempered by the sting of an unsuccessful booty call, as Pat pouts, “I didn’t see Nicky.”

But Erik can’t get Pat out of his mind, either, and at that very momment he’s slumped down in a chair at the Mau Mau clubhouse, glowering into space.

“Are you still thinking about him,” Israel asks.  When he doesn’t respond, Israel inserts a cigarette in Erik’s mouth. (You may recall Pat’s public hissyfit over the frank homo-eroticism in Brokeback Mountain; having seen The Cross and the Switchblade, we suspect he felt the same way about the man-on-man love scenes in that film as Fats Domino felt about Pat’s cover of “Ain’t That A Shame.”)

Anyway, Rosa finally shows up at the storefront church.  She doesn’t want to kill Pat for some reason, but she really needs that ten-spot Erik promised her, so she tries to bargain with Pat — 10 dollars for a fix in exchange for some overacting.  But Pat gets up on his high horse to the junkie and says, “I’m no easy touch. I’m a man of God.”  Yeah, what was she thinking?  If she wanted Christian charity, she should’ve gone to a libertarian.  Reminded of her bootstraps, and that business is business, Rosa belatedly tries to fulfill her contract by shanking the Randian prick.

Pat defends himself by fighting like a girl, but he’s not woman enough to take Rosa, and we’re seconds from seeing strapping young Preacher filleted by the frail, strung-out junkie, until a bystander tells Rosa that God wants Pat to help her get off Horse.  Oh, really?  Okay.  We instantly dissolve to a montage of Rosa writhing and moaning as she goes through the agony of a cold turkey withdrawal from heroin. Or maybe she’s just reacting to the sappy soundtrack, “Jackie Gleason’s Music To Have The DTs By.”

Meanwhile, the Mau Maus throw a lovely funeral for Mingo, a gang member Erik accidentally murdered for chickening out of the last rumble. But the solemn proceedings are crashed by the Bishops, who want to pick up the fight where they left off. Floral arrangements get crushed. Somebody gets pushed into the open grave. Erik gets stabbed. It’s just how Mingo would have wanted it.

A bleeding Erik manages to stagger home. But Pat, to whom restraining orders mean nothing, barges in and continues to pester him. “Can’t you give a poor Spick a break,” pleads Erick. Good question, but I think we all know the answer to it . . .

Pat replies, “Some day you’re gonna stop running. And when you do, I’ll be there.”  The great thing about this motto is, it works for both youth ministers and Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

Having completing her 3 Step Program (Step 1:  Admit that you are powerless over drugs and your life has become unmanageable.  Step 2:  Attempt to knife Pat Boone.  Step 3:  Have a montage), love-sick Rosa shows up at Erik’s apartment and coos that she’s clean now.  But when Erik learns that she’s drug-free because of Pat, he shouts, “The Preacher! The Preacher! All I ever hear is the Preacher! I’m sick of the Preacher!” Hey, man, we feel your pain.

Erik rejects Rosa because of her Preacher-taint, so she immediately scores some H from a handy central casting pusher. However, thanks to Pat’s rehab program, the drug no longer has the power to get her high. It’s a miracle! (Or it was mixed with too much baby laxative.)

In any case, it’s finally time for Pat’s big anti-gang preach-a-thon at a local movie theater. The police, who don’t want to cramp Pat’s style (and who are still angry about that toy flag stunt), are boycotting the event, thus making it the perfect locale for the Rumble-to-End-All-Rumbles planned by the M&Ms and the Bishops. But the power of Pat compels them, and when dashiki supermodel Abdullah asks the gangbangers if they’re ready to rummmmmble, Erik, who was deeply touched by Pat’s words (whatever they were — we kinda nodded off at this point) interrupts.

Erick advises everyone to “cool it” and listen to the Preacher. He adds that, “He’s here, in this room, and He wants to touch you.”  Erik was either talking about God, or  Pat’s nocturnal visits to the YMCA, but in either case you can understand why Abdullah tries to stab him. However, Erik manages to grab the knife from Abdullah — and to show that he has completely fallen under Pat’s spell, he spares the Bishop’s life and tells him that that God loves him. Erik then announces that he’s “gonna give my life to God, baby.” He chirps to Rosa, “I’m two-minutes old.” She takes this as a cue to go find a moist towel and wipe the afterbirth off him.

Meanwhile, the gang members all eagerly take the free Bibles that Pat is passing out.  Israel opens his and declares, “Hey, my name is all over this book!”  In addition to being the inerrant word of God, the Bible is also a rap sheet!

Pat intones something about how this was just the start of his ministry, and that there would be “more Nickys, more Israels, more Rosas,” for . . . (get ready for it!) “The Cross is mightier than The Switchblade.”  And judging by this screenplay, both of them can beat the shit out of The Pen.

If I Were A Woman…

Posted by Maryc on March 16th, 2009

The good folks at FranklinAvenueBlogspot.com went to the most awesome gallery showing ever: Within Heaven’s Earshot: Religious Album Covers”.  (showing at the Synchronicity Space gallery in East Hollywood).

My favorite album cover?

And that’s not the most hilarious of them at all!  Check their blog out for the rest of the ironically hilarious album covers and for Los Angeles restaurant reviews, retro commercials, and general Los Angeles-centric news!

Ron Silver, One of the Dead Neo Cons…

Posted by Maryc on March 15th, 2009

RIP, Ron Silver.  Here’s hoping heaven will be pre-9/11, for you…
(Did you know he was recruited as a CIA apprentice? Neither did I!  But it makes his role in “Heat Vision and Jack” make so much more sense, now):

Remember That Game KaBoom?

Posted by scott on March 15th, 2009

kaboom1.jpg We’re on the plane, flying back to L.A., and at the moment that’s pretty much what my head is turning into.  On a brighter note, the wifi connection I’m getting at 30,000 feet is far superior to the crappy signal we squeezed from the aether of our hotel room, so I can finally post a few vacation snaps.  Or rather, pictures I surreptitiously snapped of someone else’s vacation.

Yesterday we took my cold out for a stroll through the wet and blustery streets of downtown Seattle (as I mentioned to a friend, this is a move that connoisseurs of suicide will immediately recognize as “the William Henry Harrison”).  We wound up taking the monorail to the Space Needle, and along with the remnants of the 1962 World’s Fair (an appellation I miss.  “Expo” just doesn’t evoke the same sense of wide-eyed wonder; it sounds more like a dreary trade show at the Convention Center) we discovered that the Guy Fawkes-faced anti-hero from V for Vendetta appears to have broken the back of British neo-fascism and is treating his family to a well-deserved holiday:

Later, the happy young anarchist family lingered over a tasty brunch at the Sky City restaurant, then visited the gift shop.  Then they blew up the Space Needle.

Talk about a Busman’s Holiday.