Friday, December 15, 2006

Fire Sale Friday

*** Today only *** all commentary comes with free half-price money-back guarantee of quality *** how do we do it? *** three words: volume volume volume *** A practice also known as "emptying the notebook" *** Warning: may contain left-wing political shizzle ***

At the very end of his life, Scarlet Letter author Nathaniel Hawthorne obsessively scribbled the number 64 over and over again on any surface he came across ... Please don't ask me how I know this, but you can Google it yourself or just take it as fact and use it in conversation at your own discretion ... Hawthorne died in 1864. Oooohh, scary! ... I didn't even know she had a name, but if you've been paying attention, the drawing of Tropic Ana, the little hula girl that had been the centerpiece of Tropicana orange juice advertising since the early 1950s has been downsized right off the carton, apparently the victim of political correctness. The new carton is completely mascot-free, and somehow it doesn't taste the same to me now. I've been a Tropicana fanatic for my entire life, so don't even step to me with any lame-ass Minute Maid substitution ... Apparently some prudish consumers take exception to scantily clad prepubescent native girls serving as corporate role models ... I'm not sure if it's worthy of a boycott on my part just yet, still looking into the mysterious circumstances of her demise...

One of the more ludicrous aspects of Jeopardy is how contestants are allowed to bet less than the category amount on a Daily Double. In other words if someone hits on a Daily Double clue for $1,600, they're of course allowed to bet up to whatever amount they've earned up to that point, but why are they allowed to bet less than the $1,600. Often you'll hear, "Alex I'll bet just $600." That's just wrong and it slows the game down ... You should have to wager AT LEAST the amount of the freaking clue as it's listed. Gutless bastards ... Did you know there were five Invisible Man flicks released in the 1940s? But except for the original starring Claude Rains, they're all pretty shoddy, uninspired affairs, including the inevitable Return Of and Revenge Of sequels starring Vincent Price, as well as Invisible Woman and Invisible Agent, the latter of which stars Peter Lorre as part of a bumbling gang of Nazi's out to steal the secret formula for their own nefarious ends ... Thank god they never got near enough to patent their own version, or we very likely would have been dealing with an invisible Adolph Hitler toward the end of the War. We had our hands full with the Germans as it was! ... All five flicks are contained in the two-disk collectors edition, the same treatment given by Universal to their other classic horror franchises like the Wolfman, Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mummy, etc.

Speaking of horror, does anyone else find it passingly curious that we haven't been subjected to any color-coded warnings in terms of the terror threat index? I mean, during the months leading up to the 2004 presidential election, every other week New York had an orange alert or a red alert, but it's been years since I've heard it used. I guess once Bush won the election, Karl Rove got tired of arbitrarily scaring people according to how Bush's poll numbers were faring. I'm just glad it was never used as a shameless political tool ... As a young child on vacation in Atlantic City in the 1960s, the sight of a larger than life Mr. Peanut roaming the boardwalk used to scare the hell out of me. I mean, a giant legume with a top hat, fancy walking cane and oversized monocle was a good deal scarier than any conventional screen monster conjured up by Hollywood. That distinguished Planters gentleman was perhaps the most threatening corporate mascot ever created in the long, sordid history of American capitalism.

Those preternaturally giddy Old Navy ads shown on TV every, oh, five or six seconds have the unintended effect of making me want to join the Communist Party or become a serial killer. Either way, I'm not picky, as long as I can just make those commercials go away ... If you can find it, rent Killer's Kiss -- Stanley Kubrick's directorial debut from 1955. The story is all right if slightly hackneyed -- washed up boxer falls in love with hoodlum's girl -- but the background is full of great shots of mid-century New York City, making it almost like an accidental documentary of how the City looked more than 50 years ago. Priceless, to employ an excruciatingly overworked sentiment ... I saw where the convicted killer of actress Nicole duFresne received a life sentence with no chance of parole, plus an additional 30 years. A harsh sentence, but deserved, because you know those last 30 years are really gonna be the tough ones for that lowlife scumbag.

I thought ruthless dictator slash U.S. ally in the cold war Augusto Pinochet dying on International Human Rights Day (December 10) was a nice real life example of Twilight Zone justice/irony. Now if Henry Kissinger would shuffle off this mortal coil sometime around Tet, the Vietnamese New Year holiday, we'd have something. He can then join Pinochet, who he installed in power and thus shares responsibility for thousands of disappearances and brutal killings of students, trade unionists and progressive, in Hell, along with recently deceased right wing propagandist/witch Jeanne Kirkpatrick. Never has the phrase The World Is A Better Place seemed so apt ... Speaking of mentally challenged right wing ideologues, nice to see that diplomat's diplomat, John Bolton, ousted from the UN. Bolton was the owner of the most ridiculous, anachronistic facial hair in government service, and was outdone by very few humans not named Myron Magnet. Unless you lose a wager or are the victim of a foolish dare, there is really no reason to leave your residence sporting such outdated hirsuteness. Even as I "Image Google" the name Myron Magnet, I can't with absolute certitude remember if he actually existed or I'm just imagining his visage due to some bad acid flashback, mescaline-related residue or perhaps psychedelic mushroom recurrence. And even studying the picture now, I can't rule out a mad PhotoShop experiment gone hideously, disastrously awry... Someone on Air America recently made the astute Moby-Dick related observation that if George W. Bush is the mad Captain Ahab, and his father the White Whale with which he is obsessed, that makes America itself the shipwrecked Pequod. I like that, although it does scare the crap half out of me that someone so obviously removed from reality is working out his dangerous unresolved Oedipal issues on the public stage.


e.e.grimshaw said...

1. leftwing political shizzle is soooo my phrase and it should be copyrighted.

2. i thought i saw henry kissinger at a starbucks on 60th and 1st, but i think it was just another morbidly obese creature with archaic 50s-era hair.

3. if you mention peter lorre, even in passing, it should immediately be followed with a two-sentence oratory about how he's one of the ugliest hunks in the history of all things.

jimithegreek said...

John Bolton & Donald Trump
Hair seperated at birth

WardensWorld said...

emma, we all know there's no such thing as copyright on the internet. i hear kissinger is considered a sex symbol in certain circles, but i realize it was over the line to wish for his early demise. seriously. i always feel bad later when i let my temper get the best of me, however justified. plus, the tet offensive reference made no sense as that happened during the lbj administration. i should have made a smart-alecky reference to the secret cambodian bombing he and nixon commissioned during christmas of ... 1970 I think it was ... that's what i get for firing my fact checker in a cost cutting move. or perhaps a reference to some obscure holiday in indonesia or east timor, where kissinger's hands were filled with blood in a macbeth type pact he made with some earthly devils... you know, even after i've let off some steam with some well deserved blasts of rage toward karol and her the alarming news acolytes, i often wish i had not gone been quite so hostile, even though those smug yuppie neocons deserve nothing less than -- you see, there I go again, so let me stop here.
with regard to peter lorre, he may have ... oh, unconventional looks, but he has one of the most interesting faces in the history of cinema, and like steve buscemi, every movie he is in is made that much more interesting just by his presence.
as my dad used to say, always try to take the high road, because you can always save the low road for later, it's always gonna be there. actually, he never said anything like that. but axioms always sound more convincing if you put them in the mouth of a close, deceased relative...