Thursday, August 31, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting THE CALL (FOR TAKEOUT) OF CTHULHU -- I've just come across the funniest thing (at least funny if you're weird like me). H.P. Lovecraft, the greatest horror author of the 20th century already, wrote a voluminous amount of letters in his lifetime and in them he revealed his favourite foods. This is just the cutest thing!
In a letter to Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian's daddy) on November 7, 1932, HPL wrote "I’m not, however, a heavy eater—take only 2 meals per day, since my digestion raises hell if I try to eat oftener than once in 7 hours. In winter, when it’s too cold for me to go out much, I subsist largely on canned stuff. I always get my own breakfasts, anyway—doughnuts and cheese. I have financial economy in eating worked out to a fine art, and know the self-service lunch rooms where I can get the best bargains. I never spend more than $3.00 per week on food, and often not even nearly that." But for someone who hardly ate (especially in his near-poverty New York years), HPL sure had a lot of opinions on food. In a letter to Mrs. Fritz Leiber (Dec. 20, 1936), HPL revealed his preference for spicy foods: "On the contrary, my tastes call for the most blisteringly high-seasoned materials conceivable, and for desserts as close to 100% C12H22O11 as possible. Indeed, of this latter commodity I never employ less than four teaspoons in an average cup of coffee. Favourite dinners—Italian spaghetti, chili con carne, Hungarian goulash (save when I can get white meat of turkey with highly-seasoned dressing)."
The old master was a definite carnivore. In a letter to Robert E. Howard Nov. 7, 1932 he wrote: "Of meats, I fancy I rather prefer beef for all-around consumption, but like most others pretty well. Fond of sausage—especially the old fashioned baked or fried sort. Like fowl—but white meat only. Can’t bear dark meat. My really favourite meal is the regular old New England turkey dinner, with highly seasoned dressing, cranberry sauce, onions, etc., and mince pie for dessert." In the same letter, HPL also writes: "Like Italian cooking very much—especially spaghetti with meat-and-tomato sauce, utterly engulfed in a snowbank of grated Parmesan cheese." Ole HPL even deftly turned a phrase in his correspondence as well as his stories. But he had no time for people (like Finkmaster Flash) who disliked cheese! In the same Oct. 30th letter to Vernon Shea, HPL lays down the law!: "How can anybody dislike cheese? And yet Little Belknap (fellow author Frank Belknap Long) hates it as badly as you do! I don’t suppose you would like spaghetti if you don’t like cheese, for the two rather go together." (to J. Vernon Shea, 30 October 1931).
In a letter to J. Vernon Shea (Dec. 9, 1931), HPL reveals his love of Hershey bars (!): "Hershey's sweet chocolate is one of my favourite nibbles." He seems to be a bit of a chocoholic as, in a letter to Robert E. Howard (Nov. 7, 1932) he states he loves chocolate " nearly any form -- cake, frosting, sweet milk chocolate, etc." Lovecraft munched on french fries, too: "I, too, am an enthusiastic potato-ite’—& guess I like the fried form best of all." (Oct. 30, 1931 letter). HPL's opinions on ice cream flavours? To Vernon Shea (Nov. 10, 1931) he wrote: "But I more often take ice cream, of which my favourite flavours are vanilla & coffee (the latter hard to get outside New England) & my least relished common flavour is strawberry." And it appears that H. P. Lovecraft was a sucker for Smuckers! "But as for jam or jelly—I am your utter opposite, for I like it so well that I pile on amounts thicker than the bread which sustains them!" (to J. Vernon Shea, 10 November 1931) "Pie is my favourite dessert," HPL wrote Robert E Howard on Nov. 7, 1932, "and blueberry (for summer) and mince (for winter) are my preferred kinds—with apple as a good all-year-round third. Like to take vanilla ice cream with apple and blueberry pie." I am, though, quite alarmed that we don't seem to have Lovecraft's opinion on puddin'. I'm sure he liked it, though. How could he not? Even Yog-Sothoth sucked down a puddin' or two. At least in my mind, he did. However, HPL had some definite opinions on veggies, in his Oct. 30, 1932 letter to Vernon Shea which stated, as only Lovecraft could: "Of other vegetables I like peas & onions, can tolerate cabbage & turnips, am neutral toward cauliflower, have no deep enmity toward carrots, prefer to dodge parsnips & asparagus, shun string beans & brussel sprouts & abominate spinach. I like rhubarb—& am also really fond of baked beans prepared in the ancient New England way..."
It never really occurred to me to wonder what foods H.P. Lovecraft (or any other author) enjoyed but it was kinda fun to get a little window glimpse into what made the old boy tick. Besides Cthulhu who lies sleeping. After all, we ALL know what The Great Cthulhu liked to eat. It's that stuff they make soylent green outta!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


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I don't know what it is but everywhere I look (at my job) I see office worker after office worker wearing orange. Now, I know that Finkmaster Flash started the whole "orange" thing (even tho he no longer wears it for fear of being perceived as a "dedicated follower of fashion" -- and orange is kinda a rare colour to see MANY people wearing. But, it seems like every day there are more than the average amount of people wearing orange. In fact, being as over-worked as I am, I somehow managed to find the time during my busy work schedule to conduct a head count as to how many people in the office at one time were wearing orange and the final total was 18. That's EIGHTEEN people wearing orange, children. In the SAME DAY!!! Surely, that's the sign of the coming of the beast or something?!?!?!? Have any of you lovely people noticed an increase of "orange wearers" where you work or play? Office workers in particular -- I wanna know what you've seen! Have we reached the end times? Again?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting WOULD YOU TRUST THIS ELEPHANT?!?
DOCTOR WHO 2006 SEASON: A THUMBNAIL REVIEW. Well, I've now seen the entire new season of Doctor Who starring David Tennant. Let's get this outta the way immediately, shall we, and say that it is not equal to the 2005 Christopher Eccleston series. But, of course, what COULD be? Lightning very seldom strikes twice, after all. But. The 2006 season was very good, all in all. David Tennant makes a perfectly respectable new Doctor. The fault seems to lie in the writing, which has fallen a notch below the previous season. There is also a disturbing tendency for episodes in this season to mirror (in tone) those in 2005. For example: The Christmas Invasion, Tennant's first as the new Doctor, reminds one strongly of Christopher Eccleston's first episode "Rose" (homicidal wax dummies in 2005/homicidal artificial Santas in 2006), New Earth resembles 2005's "The End of the World" (Granted, New Earth is a sequel but still), TOoth and Claw reminds one of the Dickens episode "The Unquiet Dead", The Idiot's Lantern reminds one of The Empty Child, etc. Well, here's what I thought. I'll be given each episode a rating: 5 stars is excellent, 1 star is poopy. Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTHE CHRISTMAS INVASION -- David Tennant's first chance to strut his stuff. Sadly, he spends half of the episode in a coma from his regeneration. But, the episode still manages to be a great deal of fun. Rose, her mother Jackie and Mickey are solid anchors for the episode. The homicidal plastic masked Santas and the whirling Christmas Tree of death are priceless. Jackie's mournful cry that she's going to be killed by a Christmas Tree is a great laugh. The aliens are nicely nasty with their blood curse and the fate of a good chunk of the world's population, perched on rooftops ready to jump, is very suspenseful. Add to that the return on now Prime Minister Harriet Jones and a brilliant twist ending, and the episode's a winner. Also, the first mention of the mysterious "Torchwood" occurs; this seasons "Bad Wolf" thread which will run throughout the season. Rating: ****
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingNEW EARTH -- The Doctor and Rose journey to the far future to visit the New Earth (which was helped along by Captain Jack at the end of last season). Before you ask -- No, Captain Jack does not appear this season. The story here is a bit of a disappointment but there are several very nice moments including the return of a character from last season as well as some nurses evolved from cats. Oh yes, and I would love to smell apple grass! Rating: **
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTOOTH AND CLAW -- The werewolf story. This one is strangely unsatisfying. Maybe I should watch it again. The Doctor and Rose journey back in time to the 19th century where they meet Queen Victoria and a werewolf. The usual CGI limitations make the werewolf adequate but vaguely unreal. Pauline Collins as Queen Victoria is perfect casting and provides the performance of the episode. We hear Torchwood again; this time revealed as a secret government agency created by the Queen in response to the Doctor's alien presence on Earth. The opening sequence involving a group of martial arts monks in red is quite spectacular; Doctor Who's "Crouching Tiger" moment. Rating: ***
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSCHOOL REUNION -- This is it! The reunion of the Doctor with his former companion Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and K-9. The nostalgia factor alone gives this episode an extra star. Add to that the scene-stealing performance of Anthony Stewart Head (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as the slimy, evil headmaster Mr. Finch and this should be a spectacular episode. Sadly, the plot is rather flimsy and, to me, seems to have been rushed. I think it would have worked better as a two-parter so that such an important event as Sarah Jane's return could have been more fully explored as well as giving more needed time to develop mood and suspense in the strange school. Oh well, even so this is a pretty great episode and the final goodbye between the Doctor and Sarah Jane made me cry. So what's to complain?!?!? Rating: ****

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Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTHE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE -- This is the best episode in the season so far. It's 1727 and the Doctor (3000 years in the future) peers thru a fireplace into the room of a little girl named Reinette. He appears periodically at different times in her life when she's in danger. The girl happens to grow up to become Madame de Pompadour; mistress of King Louis XIV of France.

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She is being hunted by a bunch of creepy clockwork aliens who want to harvest her brain. This storyline is very involving and one of the stronger of the season. Sophia Myles as Reinette/Madame de Pompadour is the standout performance. Rating: ****
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingRISE OF THE CYBERMEN / THE AGE OF STEEL -- The season's first two-parter and a rather good one. This one features the return/creation of classic villains The Cybermen. Granted, it's on a parallel earth but still. Shaun Dingwall returns as Pete Tyler, Rose's dead daddy, on his parallel earth version. To add to the fun, we get TWO MICKEY's running around. The dirigibles (again reminiscent of The Empty Child) that fill the sky are interesting but seemingly an afterthought. All things considered, this is one of the better Cybermen storylines. Rating: ***
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTHE IDIOT'S LANTERN -- The Doctor and Rose travel back in time to 1950's London just in time for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation and the introduction of the new medium of television. Sadly, there's something not quite right about the TVs in this particular neighbourhood. This episode is much-too reminiscent of "The Empty Child" where people had their faces morphed into gas masks; here the TV steals their faces. The plot again is kinda flimsy but the performances are worth watching. The Wire (played by a scenery-chewing Maureen Lipman) is fun. Rating: **
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingTHE IMPOSSIBLE PLANET / THE SATAN PIT: Another two-parter, this one I enjoyed even more than the Cybermen one. The storyline is equal parts H. P. Lovecraft, Ridley Scott's Alien and the old 70's Tom Baker Doctor Who adventure "The Robots of Death" with a dash of Disney's "The Black Hole" thrown in for good measure. None of this, however, is a negative thing. I enjoyed this two-parter a lot. The planetoid unnaturally perched on the edge of a black hole is interesting and the subterranean ruins are so nicely realized that one expects Cthulhu to appear any minute. Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe archaeologist Toby possessed by the "devil", covered in ancient demonic runes, is a startling image and the Lovecraftian slave-aliens (The Ood) are splendidly tentacly. Standout performance is by Claire Rushbrook as Ida Scott. Rating: ****
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingLOVE AND MONSTERS -- There is quite a bit of (intentional) humour in this episode and it has gotten quite a bit of flak from fans but I quite enjoyed it. Sure, the alien menace is crap but that's not the point. The real focus of the episode is the bizarre group of "Doctor hunters" that obsessively tracks down every Doctor sighting they can. The group entitled L.I.N.D.A. (don't ask) is the whole reason to watch. Sure, the ending is pretty weak but the rest of the episode is very enjoyable. Standout performance goes to Marc Warren as the ELO-loving Elton Pope. Rating: ***
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFEAR HER -- Easily the weakest episode of the season and, in my opinion, the plot is swiped from the little seen but excellent 80's British horror film "Paperhouse". The Doctor and Rose travel to 2012 London to see the Olympics. Seems a neighbourhood is having trouble with their children disappearing into thin air. A little girl (inhabited by a lonesome alien) has the ability to make any person she draws disappear.

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The episode's conclusion makes practically no sense and, to up the stupid-o-meter to maximum, the Doctor even carries the Olympic Torch. Whatever. This is the definite nadir. Rating: *
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image HostingARMY OF GHOSTS / DOOMSDAY -- The season finale two-parter is a slam-bang adventure from start to finish and, saddest of sads, the departure of Billie Piper from the series. The Cybermen return, the world is plagued by ghosts and we finally get to see the long-awaited reveal of Torchwood. Besides all this, Army of Ghosts has perhaps one of the best one-two punch cliffhangers in the 40 year history of Doctor Who. Then, the final reel of "Doomsday" has the extremely emotional goodbye between Rose and the Doctor.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Did I cry? You bet I did! A very respectable way to end the season. Standout performance in Army of Ghosts is by Tracy-Ann Oberman as Torchwood director Yvonne Hartman Standout performances in Doomsday were provided by Rose, The Doctor, Jackie and Mickey: the bedrock upon which the season stood. Rating: ****
FINAL VERDICT: While the 2006 season doesn't compare with the classic 2005 Christopher Eccleston series, the first year of David Tennant's Doctor Who was quite good (as was David Tennant himself). It's just a shame that the writing wasn't up to last season's standards. Tennant can have a tendency to go too far but, when he is given excellent material, he always rises to the occasion.

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Now, all we have to do is wait for the new companion Freema Agyeman as medical student Martha Jones and the Christmas episode "The Runaway Bride".

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOK, I won't even MENTION that car drive home from Chez Fink today when everyone substituted the word "Puddin'" for other words in book/movie titles i.e. Lady Chatterly's Puddin' or How Stella Got Her Puddin' Back! Suffice it to say that Puddin' Mania is spreading like tapioca on an outhouse door! BUT, when I see my mother (who's favourite flavour of puddin' -- butterscotch -- is picture over there) and she spontaneously breaks out into some sort of beatnik puddin' poetry -- well, Puddin' has conquered the universe. Here's what she recited:

"Puddin' is good, puddin' is great, Puddin' makes you put on weight.

Puddin' in the kitchen, puddin' in the hall, Smear that puddin' all over the wall."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting NOW THAT SUMMER'S ALMOST OVER, I finally decided to make a Summery Mix. Here are songs about summer and songs that simply remind me of summer (and no, Pax, I STILL haven't rewatched the Seven Year Itch yet ... I'm runnin' outta August so I better get started!) Anyway, here is my summer mix. Please feel encouraged to comment with summer songs I've left out. However, be advised that I don't like The Beach Boys OR Mungo Jerry's In the Summertime so I didn't forget them. Oh well, grab a tropical drink and let's hear some summery songs. Here is the Summer Mix on my ipod:

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Cruel Summer - Bananarama School's Out - Alice Cooper One Summer Night - The Danleers Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer - Nat King Cole Summertime - Sarah Vaughan Summer, Highland Falls - Billy Joel Caribbean Queen - Billy Ocean Summer in the City (A Mash-Up) - dj BC Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince Delius (Song of Summer) - Kate Bush Beach Baby - First Class Indian Summer - Glenn Miller & His Orchestra
Everybody Needs A Holiday - Big Audio Dynamite
Saturday Night Fish Fry - Louis Jordan It Must Be Summer - Fountains of Wayne
Pleather - They Might Be Giants
Sea Cruise - Dion
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting - Elton John
Under the Boardwalk - The Drifters Die in the Summertime - Manic Street Preachers You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) - Meat Loaf Summer (The First Time) - Bobby Goldsboro
Dream/Summer Song (Live) - Christine Lavin Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks The Warmth of the Sun (Live) - Vince Gill Sea Breeze - Arthur Lyman Full Moon - eden ahbez It's the Sun - The Polyphonic Spree Summerisle (The Maypole Song) - Mediaeval Baebes That Sunday, That Summer - Nat King Cole Summerlove - Neil Diamond Summertime - Barry Manilow & Diane Schuur Summer Breeze - Seals & Crofts Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & the Family Stone Summer of Drugs - Soul Asylum Family Reunion - Jill Scott The Enchanted Sea - Martin Denny Superwoman - Stevie Wonder
Up On the Roof - The Drifters
Dancing in the Street - David Bowie & Mick Jagger Long Hot Summer - Style Council Summer - War Something Cool - June Christy Summertime - Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
Ghost Town - The Specials The Boys of Summer - Don Henley 4th of July - X Famous Last Words - Billy Joel

Friday, August 18, 2006

SUPERSTITIONS AND FORTUNES by Elliott O'Donnell -- here is an excerpt from an old antiquarian booky-book about ghosts, folklore and superstition. I thought it would be fun to read some old Victorian muffety-guff from a century ago: "Friday's child is full of woe." Of all days Friday is universally regarded as the most unlucky. According to Soames in his work The Anglo-Saxon Church, Adam and Eve are the forbidden fruit on a Friday and died on a Friday. And since Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday, it is naturally of small wonder that Friday is accursed. To travel on Friday is generally deemed to be courting accident; to be married on Friday, courting divorce or death. Few sailors care to embark on Friday; few theatrical managers to produce a new play on Friday. In Livonia most of the inhabitants are so prejudiced against Friday, that they never settle any important business, or conclude a bargain on that day; in some places they do not even dress their children. For my part, I so far believe in this superstition that I never set out on a journey, or commence any new work on Friday, if I have the option of any other day. . . On All-Hallows E'en the spirits of the dead are supposed to walk. I remember when a child hearing from the lips of a relative how in her girlhood she had screwed up the courage to shut herself in a dark room on All-Hallows E'en and had eaten an apple in front of the mirror; and that instead of seeing the face of her future husband peering over her shoulder, she had seen a quantity of earth falling. She was informed that this was a prognostication of death and, surely enough, within the year her father died. I have heard, too, of a girl who, on All-Hallows E'en, walked down a gloomy garden path scattering hempseed for her future lover to pick up, and on hearing someone tiptoeing behind her, and fancying it was a practical joker, turned sharply round, to confront a skeleton dressed exactly similar to herself. She died before the year was out from the result of an accident on the ice. I have often poured boiling lead into water on All-Hallows E'en and it has assumed strange shapes, once -- a boot, once -- a coffin, once -- a ship. On New Year's Eve a certain family, with whom I am very intimately acquainted, frequently see ghosts of the future, as well as phantasms of the dead, and, when I stay with them, which I often do at Christmas, I am always glad when this night is over. . . The 28th of December, Childermass Day, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the day on which King Herod slaughtered so many infants (if they were no better mannered than the bulk of the County Council children of to-day, once can hardly blame him), is held to be unpropitious for the commencement of any new undertaking by those of tender years. The fishermen who dwell on the Baltic seldom use their nets between All Saints and St. Martin's Day, or on St. Blaise's Day; if they did, they believe they would not take any fish for a whole year. On Ash Wednesday the women in those parts neither sew nor knit for fear of bringing misfortune upon their cattle, whilst they do not use fire on St. Lawrence's Day, in order to secure themselves against fire for the rest of the year. In Moravia the peasants used not to hunt on St. Mark's or St. Catherine's Day, for fear they should be unlucky all the rest of the year. In Yorkshire it was once customary to watch for the dead on St. Mark's (April 24) and Midsummer Eve. On both those nights (so says Mr. Timbs in his Mysteries of Life and Futurity) persons whould sit and watch in the church porch from eleven o'clock at night till one in the morning. In the third year (for it must de done thrice), the watchers were said to see the spectres of all those who were to die the next year pass into the church. I am quite sure there is much truth in this, for I have heard of sceptics putting it to the test, and of "singing to quite a different tune" when the phantasms of those they knew quite well suddenly shot up from the ground, and, gliding past them, vanished at the threshold of the church.

Occassionally, too, I have been informed of cases where the watchers have seen themselves in the ghastly procession and have died shortly afterwards.

AUGUST ARTIST OF THE MONTH: VIRGIL FINLAY has been called the most popular fantasy artist of the 20th century. He was born in New York in 1914 and, at a fairly young age, broke into the business of pulp magazine illustration by boldly sending six unsolicited illustrations to the king of all pulp magazines: Weird Tales. Needless to say, he got the job. He was only 21 years old. Finlay's distinctive look comes from his use of scratchboards (which looks similar to wood engraving); it's an artboard covered in white clay with a coating of black ink that, when scratched away with a sharp utensil, leaves a white line. Gustave Gore was obviously an influence and, consequently Finlay has been a huge influence on illustrators such as Berni Wrightson. Finlay was the most popular artist Weird Tales ever had; no less a personage than H. P. Lovecraft himself wrote Finlay fans letters! Below is Finlay's illustration for Lovecraft's short story "The Shunned House": Virgil Finlay died in 1971. Obviously this is only a glimpse into his artwork but even these few examples show the wonderful combination of the macabre with the lyrical, the elegant with the unsettling. There's something about a Virgil Finlay illustration that lingers with you after the lights have been turned out. And that is why I've chosen Virgil Finlay as my artist of the month.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingALL WAS NOT QUIET IN THE BORDEN HOUSE.

The Bordens were a respectable, god-fearing family in Fall River, Massachusetts. Dr. Andrew Borden was what some might call overly frugal. While possessing quite a bit of wealth, Dr. Borden frowned on spending it. New dresses were not bought; old dresses were mended. Mutton stew was to be eaten even if it was several days old. Daughter Lizzie was a great fan of puddin'. And the decree came down that frivolous desserts (especially puddin') were not to be expected in the Borden household.

Daughter Lizzie soon made her displeasure known.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOH FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD!!! Can you believe those knuckleheads at NASA appear to have LOST the historic magnetic tapes of the first moon landing in 1969. Lost. Oops! Is it any wonder they can't manage to keep their shuttles from going *poof* with such obvious meticulous attention to detail. It's not like those recordings were important or anything. I mean, I know the whole thing was faked on a Hollywood soundstage but JEEZ!!!!!! Let's get with it, people!


Photobucket - Video and Image HostingNo, I haven't gotten the puddin' thing out of my system just yet!!! Here's a real blast from my past. When I was a tiny little tot, my mother used to give me Gerber Baby Food's Blueberry Buckle. Now, it wasn't mashed up blueberries or anything like that; it was an actual blueberry puddin', if there is such a thing. Now, it was awesome, let me tell you. It was so good that both my mother and I were both still polishing off jars of it when I was older and in elementary school, in fact. The stuff was incredible! Sadly, sometime in the mid-70's Gerber stopped making the damn thing so we just had to jones. HOWEVER, this little thing called the internet appears to be telling me that Gerber is STILL MAKING Blueberry Buckle. The pessimist in me has a nagging feeling that, if I manage to taste a jar once again, it won't be anywhere near as good as it was when I was a kid. But, hey, as a card-carrying Puddie I have to at least TRY, don't I??? I gotta get me some of this stuff fast, gang! I wonder if the local supermarket has it because, if it doesn't, I'm gonna have to buy this stuff online or something. Puddies Unite!!! Brandish your spoons and stuff some puddin' in your faces!!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

SCAMP'S QUOTES: Today's topic of Irritation: Liberty and Freedom:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
-- Amendment 1, United States Constitution,Dec. 15, 1791
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable."
-- Theodore Roosevelt
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"People kill and are killed because they cling too tightly to their own beliefs and ideologies. When we believe that ours is the only faith that contains the truth, violence and suffering will surely be the result."
-- Thich Nhat Hanh, "Living Buddha, Living Christ"
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"Consider the history of America closely. Never has America lost a war. When engaged in warfare the United States has always applied the principle of overkill and mercilessly stamped its opposition into the dust . . . But name, if you can, the last peace the United States won. Victory yes, but this country has never made a successful peace because peace requires exchanging ideas, concepts, thoughts, and recognizing the fact that two distinct systems of life can exist together without conflict. Consider how quickly America seems to be facing its allies of one war as new enemies."
-- Vine Deloria Jr., "Custer Died For Your Sins"
"America is about liberty, or it is about nothing."
-- Richard Brookhiser, "What Would the Founders Do"
"Nature averse to crime? I tell you that Nature lives and breathes by it, hungers at all her pores for bloodshed, yearns with all her heart for the furtherance of cruelty."
-- Marquis de Sade
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"We have forgotten the very principle of our origins, if we forget how to object, how to resist, how to agitate, how to pull down and build up, even to the extent of revolutionary practices if it be necessary."
-- Woodrow Wilson
"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought -- not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought we hate."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, "U.S. v. Schwimmer, 1928"
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"When I hear another express an opinion which is not mine, I say to myself, he has a right to his opinion, as I to mine. Why should I question it? His error does me no injury, and shall I become a Don Quixote, to bring all men by force of argument to one opinion?"
-- Thomas Jefferson
"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
-- Kris Kristofferson, "Me and Bobby McGee"
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"Nobody gives anybody their freedom. People can only deny somebody their freedom. . . They don't give us anything! You've got to get that clear in your mind."
-- Stokely Carmichael
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"If you think the United States has stood still, who built the largest shopping center in the world?"
-- Richard M. Nixon
"If the people will lead, eventually the leaders will follow."
-- Florence Robinson
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"Our republics cannot long exist in prosperity. We require adversity and appear to possess most of the republican spirit when most depressed."
-- Dr. Benjamin Rush, "letter to John Adams July 13, 1780"
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the right of every man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the Right of another: And this is the only check it ought to suffer, and the only Bounds it ought to know. This sacred Priviledge is so essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together . . . Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness of Speech..."
-- Benjamin Franklin, "8th Silence Dogood Letter, July 2, 1722"
"The gravest dangers to our free society are born-again apostles of one particular liberty and freedom who are incapable of imagining any way except their own. The greatest hope is that we have so many of these people, and their beliefs are so diverse. If a free society is ever destroyed in America, it will be done in the name of one particular vision of liberty and freedom. Many single-minded apostles of a narrow idea of a free society have become tyrants in their turn."
-- David Hackett Fischer, "Liberty and Freedom"

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain Under my head till morning; but the rain Is full of ghosts tonight that tap and sigh Upon the glass and listen for reply. And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain For unremembered lads that not again Will turn to me at midnight with a cry. Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree, Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one, Yet know its boughs more silent than before: I cannot say what loves have come and gone, I only know that summer sang in me A little while, that in me sings no more.

-- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Terra's Strange Experiment - Video Invite This is Terra Naomi. She's a singer-songwriter in the Los Angeles area. She doesn't have a recording contract. She really kinda should. Clicking on this video will give you a short message from Terra followed by an acoustic rendition of her song "Say It's Possible". She will be coming out with an independently released cd in a couple weeks. It can be got at You can also see quite a few of her performances on Enjoy.

Monday, August 07, 2006

NOW THAT THE MALL IS DYING AS A MAJOR FORCE IN AMERICAN LIFE, I was thinking about some of my favourite movies in which a mall features prominently. Naturally (or SUPERnaturally), the quintessential comment of America's consumerism was George A Romero's "Dawn of the Dead":

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And, of course, Quentin Tarantino staged the major maguffin in "Jackie Brown", the heist, inside the largest indoor mall:

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But nowhere was the mall celebrated to quite the extent as it was in Kevin Smith's underrated "Mallrats":

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What are some of your favourite "Mall Movies"???