Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Catherine and Vincent

I saw a promo for some show featuring Linda Hamilton.  I didn't watch whatever it was.  I just enjoyed a romantic reverie thinking about her as Catherine, in love with Vincent the Lion-man who lived underground.
Ron Perlman was perfect as Vincent.

His Vincent voice was perfect, too ... quite unlike his natural voice heard in his other roles.  I don't know where that came from.  I read that he was offered deals for promoting products as Vincent, but he turned them down.  Good man. That would have been a travesty.

Oh boy, they sure don't make shows like "Beauty and the Beast" anymore.  1987 ... can it possibly be that long ago ? I suppose it's available  on DVD. I don't know if I could handle watching it again.  I'm too old for that much romance.

There's much about the show on the 'net.

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Christmas Story" heavily abridged

The channel that kept Jean Sherpherd's Christmas Story  running for 24 hours chopped it up pretty bad to make it  and the commercials fit in two hours.  It has become such a holiday tradition that we know when something is missing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Perfectionists be Damned... or not?

Making You Tube videos is great fun but it brings out my latent, generally  well controlled perfectionism.  There is no possibility of producing sight and sound presentation of professisonal quality with the equipment available to me. Would it be perfect if I had the use of a high class production studio? Not a chance. Never good enough.  I couldn't even produce a decent, wholly satisfying  audio tape when I was in radio, presumably working with more or less professional equipment. I fussed over little things nobody would even notice but it was never quite right. Razor blades, splicing tape, multi-track machines. The digital generation doesn't know what it's missing.

The best that a perfectionist can hope for in his trek though an imperfect world is to  avoid subjecting others to his crazy standards.  We are crazed.

Herewith,  some painfully imperfect videos from my CAP production studio.  Cheap and Primitive.

Willie and me
Geriatric Playroom

Will the perfectionists be damned to an eternal hell of never getting it quite right or is there a corner of heaven where everything works?

One of the imperfections in this post, before I fixed it, wondered if perfectionists would be damed  to an eternal hell of never getting it right. I left out the "N."   Oh my, would that refer to an eternity of havng problems with dames ...dolls ... babes? Spare me that!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Invasion Iowa

I was about to risk being sent up the river to the Federal Pen for puchasing a bootleg DVD of a TV show not legally available.  It has now been released, so I must overcome my basic cheapskate nature  and buy it or ask someone who has it to make me a copy. That's not  exactly legal, either.  I'm not sure the Feds at our respective  doors would be impressed if I remind them  that everybody does it. 

What's got me into this moral dilemma is Invasion Iowa. I saw it on the Spyke channel back in 2005. There was some  kind of legal stuff that kept it from being available on DVDs until earlier this year.That mini series gets my vote as one of the funniest,  most elaborately orchestrated  and executed pranks of our time.

Riverside already had its share of what you might call future fame as the March 22, 2233 birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, who revealed in a Star Trek episode that he was from the tall corn state. I don't know if it was William Shatner or someone else who came up with the idea of  playing  a gigantic trick on the Iowans who lived there in the fifth year of century 21.  Whoever conceived it, they did it up right.

Shatner and a crew of super-quirky movie makers blew into Riverside with a script for a sci-fi  film to star local people. It was  a gigantic prank  to see how those Iowans would perform if they thought they were actually making a film. If they did it today I guess it would be called a reality show. I don't want to spoil it by revealing many details, but  the whole thing  is absolutely  hilarious and the finished "product" is  so bad that it's good.  Some of the locals who watched themselves in the movie were mad as a flock of wet hens clucking their way out of a muddy Iowa corn field  when they learned that they had been had. Others found humor in it all  A big cash donation to the town helped to calm the angry ones.

It's ten episodes long..  If you have plenty of time and want to laugh yourself silly, don't miss Invasion Iowa. But be sure your copy is legal, in case the copyright cops are watching.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tall Tales from the Tall Corn

What is it about Iowa that lends itself to huge hoaxes and pernicious pranks? Riverside's claim to fame is the future birthplace of Star Trek's Captain Kirk and a monumental hoax, Spike TV's   Invasion Iowa  from 2005.  Now the  town of Bancroft, Iowa is in the news.  An old hoax about Animusic, that astounding feat of computer animation that PBS runs at fund raising time,  is circulating again. The story says an incredible music machine was fashioned from tractor parts. The tale, a prank of the highest order, names names and institutions,   all phony, to add credibility to it all.  I don't think the person who started it has laid claim to his creation .  That's too bad.  It's as much a work of art as Animusic itself,  which exists only on  a computer's hard drive.   Rube Goldberg would love it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Introverts and Cats

Harry is right.  A meeting of introverts would be a most  unconventional convention. It gets funnier as I think about it.  A ballroom full of tables with a lone occupant at each one, being his or her best introvert self. 
Putting together such a meeting would be like herding cats.  I wish I had thought up that phrase.  It's more than a clever analogy.  Its a fact of feline life.  Cats will not be herded.  I have three and they herd me.

 Up there is Amos, who became Amy, soaking up the heat from the Comcast box. She is evil.

Here is Andy.  He is a sweet old guy.  Like me. His full name is Andretti, after the race car driver.

Willie is much too cute and charming and she knows it.

I wonder if there could be a convention of introverts and their cats.  That might work for those who get along better with pets than other people.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I learn about Joseph Schmidt

Technically, if I wish to be painfully precise about word meanings, I cannot feel nostalgia for something I have not experienced.  I can't long to return to a place or time where I have not been.  But I can have a love of learning about things that happened before I was born or when I was too young to know about them. Harry Heuser puts it perfectly as "keeping up with the out-of-date" in his Broadcastellan Blog.

I  knew nothing of Joseph Schmidt until I watched a most fascinating TV documentary. A Rumanian born operatic tenor, he was  apparently an earlier version of Mario Lanza. A superb singer, very good actor, romantic movie star, much  loved in Germany and the Netherlands during the '30s.  All this in spite of being only five feet tall, standing on a platform so as not to be dwarfed by his leading ladies.   He died in 1942.

Does anybody remember  Joseph Schmidt  these days? Does anybody care?  I care.  That's why I blog.

His story:   http://www.dutchdivas.net/tenors/josephschmidt.html